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Sample records for pigmentation pathway evolution

  1. On the evolution of the photosynthetic pigments.

    PubMed

    Evstigneev, V B

    1975-07-01

    During the course of terrestrial evolution, some organisms developed the capability of capturing and utilizing solar radiation. Colored compounds were undoubtedly incorporated within living forms from the earliest times, but during the transition from heterotrophic to a photoautotrophic metabolism only those pigments were selected that were components of the evolving photosynthetic apparatus and were able to catalyze reactions involving storage of light energy in chemical bonds. In this communication, some properties of tetrapyrroles with a closed porphyrin ring containing a metal ion in the center are discussed. These compounds are present in all principal contemporary photosynthetic pigments, and their synthesis has been demonstrated from simpler compounds under prebiotic conditions. It is probable that during intermediate stages in the evolution of photosynthesis, pigments with oxidizing potentials lower than that of chlorophyll were utilized to store light energy although they were not capable of removing electrons from water. The evolution and function of multiple forms of a given photosynthetic pigment in vivo are discussed. 'Accessory' pigments may be regarded as rudiments of the evolutionary development of the photosynthetic apparatus.

  2. Lineage-specific gene radiations underlie the evolution of novel betalain pigmentation in Caryophyllales

    PubMed Central

    Brockington, Samuel F; Yang, Ya; Gandia-Herrero, Fernando; Covshoff, Sarah; Hibberd, Julian M; Sage, Rowan F; Wong, Gane K S; Moore, Michael J; Smith, Stephen A

    2015-01-01

    Betalain pigments are unique to the Caryophyllales and structurally and biosynthetically distinct from anthocyanins. Two key enzymes within the betalain synthesis pathway have been identified: 4,5-dioxygenase (DODA) that catalyzes the formation of betalamic acid and CYP76AD1, a cytochrome P450 gene that catalyzes the formation of cyclo-DOPA. We performed phylogenetic analyses to reveal the evolutionary history of the DODA and CYP76AD1 lineages and in the context of an ancestral reconstruction of pigment states we explored the evolution of these genes in relation to the complex evolution of pigments in Caryophylalles. Duplications within the CYP76AD1 and DODA lineages arose just before the origin of betalain pigmentation in the core Caryophyllales. The duplications gave rise to DODA-α and CYP76AD1-α isoforms that appear specific to betalain synthesis. Both betalain-specific isoforms were then lost or downregulated in the anthocyanic Molluginaceae and Caryophyllaceae. Our findings suggest a single origin of the betalain synthesis pathway, with neofunctionalization following gene duplications in the CYP76AD1 and DODA lineages. Loss of DODA-α and CYP76AD1-α in anthocyanic taxa suggests that betalain pigmentation has been lost twice in Caryophyllales, and exclusion of betalain pigments from anthocyanic taxa is mediated through gene loss or downregulation. [Correction added after online publication 13 May 2015: in the last two paragraphs of the Summary the gene name CYP761A was changed to CYP76AD1.] PMID:25966996

  3. Lineage-specific gene radiations underlie the evolution of novel betalain pigmentation in Caryophyllales.

    PubMed

    Brockington, Samuel F; Yang, Ya; Gandia-Herrero, Fernando; Covshoff, Sarah; Hibberd, Julian M; Sage, Rowan F; Wong, Gane K S; Moore, Michael J; Smith, Stephen A

    2015-09-01

    Betalain pigments are unique to the Caryophyllales and structurally and biosynthetically distinct from anthocyanins. Two key enzymes within the betalain synthesis pathway have been identified: 4,5-dioxygenase (DODA) that catalyzes the formation of betalamic acid and CYP76AD1, a cytochrome P450 gene that catalyzes the formation of cyclo-DOPA. We performed phylogenetic analyses to reveal the evolutionary history of the DODA and CYP76AD1 lineages and in the context of an ancestral reconstruction of pigment states we explored the evolution of these genes in relation to the complex evolution of pigments in Caryophylalles. Duplications within the CYP76AD1 and DODA lineages arose just before the origin of betalain pigmentation in the core Caryophyllales. The duplications gave rise to DODA-α and CYP76AD1-α isoforms that appear specific to betalain synthesis. Both betalain-specific isoforms were then lost or downregulated in the anthocyanic Molluginaceae and Caryophyllaceae. Our findings suggest a single origin of the betalain synthesis pathway, with neofunctionalization following gene duplications in the CYP76AD1 and DODA lineages. Loss of DODA-α and CYP76AD1-α in anthocyanic taxa suggests that betalain pigmentation has been lost twice in Caryophyllales, and exclusion of betalain pigments from anthocyanic taxa is mediated through gene loss or downregulation. [Correction added after online publication 13 May 2015: in the last two paragraphs of the Summary the gene name CYP761A was changed to CYP76AD1.].

  4. Molecular evolution of vertebrate visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, S

    2000-07-01

    Dramatic improvement of our understanding of the genetic basis of vision was brought by the molecular characterization of the bovine rhodopsin gene and the human rhodopsin and color opsin genes (Nathans and Hogness, 1983; Nathans et al., 1984, 1986a,b). The availability of cDNA clones from these studies has facilitated the isolation of retinal and nonretinal opsin genes and cDNA clones from a large variety of species. Today, the number of genomic and cDNA clones of opsin genes isolated from different vertebrate species exceeds 100 and is increasing rapidly. The opsin gene sequences reveal the importance of the origin and differentiation of various opsins and visual pigments. To understand the molecular genetic basis of spectral tuning of visual pigments, it is essential to establish correlations between a series of the sequences of visual pigments and their lambda(max) values. The potentially important amino acid changes identified in this way have to be tested whether they are in fact responsible for the lambda(max)-shifts using site-directed mutagenesis and cultured cells. A major goal of molecular evolutionary genetics is to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in functional adaptations of organisms to different environments, including the mechanisms of the regulation of the spectral absorption. Therefore, both molecular evolutionary analyses of visual pigments and vision science have an important common goal.

  5. Not just black and white: pigment pattern development and evolution in vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Margaret G.; Patterson, Larissa B.

    2009-01-01

    Animals display diverse colors and patterns that vary within and between species. Similar phenotypes appear in both closely related and widely divergent taxa. Pigment patterns thus provide an opportunity to explore how development is altered to produce differences in form and whether similar phenotypes share a common genetic basis. Understanding the development and evolution of pigment patterns requires knowledge of the cellular interactions and signaling pathways that produce those patterns. These complex traits provide unparalleled opportunities for integrating studies from ecology and behavior to molecular biology and biophysics. PMID:19073271

  6. Gene expression changes in the tyrosine metabolic pathway regulate caste-specific cuticular pigmentation of termites.

    PubMed

    Masuoka, Yudai; Maekawa, Kiyoto

    2016-07-01

    In social insects, all castes have characteristic phenotypes suitable for their own tasks and to engage in social behavior. The acquisition of caste-specific phenotypes was a key event in the course of social insect evolution. However, understanding of the genetic basis and the developmental mechanisms that produce these phenotypes is still very limited. In particular, termites normally possess more than two castes with specific phenotypes (i.e. workers, soldiers, and reproductives), but proximate developmental mechanisms are far from being fully understood. In this study, we focused on the pigmentation of the cuticle as a model trait for caste-specific phenotypes, during the molts of each caste; workers, soldiers, presoldiers (intermediate stage of soldiers), and alates (primary reproductives) in Zootermopsis nevadensis. Expression patterns of cuticular tanning genes (members of the tyrosine metabolic pathway) were different among each molt, and high expression levels of several "key genes" were observed during each caste differentiation. For the differentiation of castes with well-tanned cuticles (i.e. soldiers and alates), all focal genes except DDC in the former were highly expressed. On the other hand, high expression levels of yellow and aaNAT were observed during worker and presoldier molts, respectively, but most other genes in the pathway were expressed at low levels. RNA interference (RNAi) of these key genes affected caste-specific cuticular pigmentation, leading to soldiers with yellowish-white heads and pigmented mandibular tips, presoldiers with partly pigmented head cuticles, and alates with the yellow head capsules. These results suggest that the pigmentation of caste-specific cuticles is achieved by the regulation of gene expression in the tyrosine metabolic pathway. PMID:27125584

  7. Evolution of dim-light and color vision pigments.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Shozo

    2008-01-01

    A striking level of diversity of visual systems in different species reflects their adaptive responses to various light environments. To study the adaptive evolution of visual systems, we need to understand how visual pigments, the light-sensitive molecules, have tuned their wavelengths of light absorption. The molecular basis of spectral tuning in visual pigments, a central unsolved problem in phototransduction, can be understood only by studying how different species have adapted to various light environments. Certain amino acid replacements at 30 residues explain some dim-light and color vision in vertebrates. To better understand the molecular and functional adaptations of visual pigments, we must identify all critical amino acid replacements that are involved in the spectral tuning and elucidate the effects of their interactions on the spectral shifts.

  8. Evolution of the TOR pathway.

    PubMed

    van Dam, Teunis J P; Zwartkruis, Fried J T; Bos, Johannes L; Snel, Berend

    2011-10-01

    The TOR kinase is a major regulator of growth in eukaryotes. Many components of the TOR pathway are implicated in cancer and metabolic diseases in humans. Analysis of the evolution of TOR and its pathway may provide fundamental insight into the evolution of growth regulation in eukaryotes and provide a practical framework on which experimental evidence can be compared between species. Here we performed phylogenetic analyses on the components of the TOR pathway and determined their point of invention. We find that the two TOR complexes and a large part of the TOR pathway originated before the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor and form a core to which new inputs have been added during animal evolution. In addition, we provide insight into how duplications and sub-functionalization of the S6K, RSK, SGK and PKB kinases shaped the complexity of the TOR pathway. In yeast we identify novel AGC kinases that are orthologous to the S6 kinase. These results demonstrate how a vital signaling pathway can be both highly conserved and flexible in eukaryotes.

  9. Inhibitors of intracellular signaling pathways that lead to stimulated epidermal pigmentation: perspective of anti-pigmenting agents.

    PubMed

    Imokawa, Genji; Ishida, Koichi

    2014-01-01

    Few anti-pigmenting agents have been designed and developed according to their known hyperpigmentation mechanisms and corresponding intracellular signaling cascades. Most anti-pigmenting agents developed so far are mechanistically involved in the interruption of constitutional melanogenic mechanisms by which skin color is maintained at a normal and unstimulated level. Thus, owing to the difficulty of confining topical application to a specific hyperpigmented skin area, potent anti-pigmenting agents capable of attenuating the natural unstimulated pigmentation process have the risk of leading to hypopigmentation. Since intracellular signaling pathways within melanocytes do not function substantially in maintaining normal skin color and are activated only by environmental stimuli such as UV radiation, specifically down-regulating the activation of melanogenesis to the constitutive level would be an appropriate strategy to develop new potent anti-pigmenting agents with a low risk of hypopigmentation. In this article, we review the hyperpigmentation mechanisms and intracellular signaling pathways that lead to the stimulation of melanogenesis. We also discuss a screening and evaluation system to select candidates for new anti-melanogenic substances by focusing on inhibitors of endothelin-1 or stem cell factor-triggered intracellular signaling cascades. From this viewpoint, we show that extracts of the herbs Withania somnifera and Melia toosendan and the natural chemicals Withaferin A and Astaxanthin are new candidates for potent anti-pigmenting substances that avoid the risk of hypopigmentation. PMID:24823877

  10. Visual Pigments, Ocular Filters and the Evolution of Snake Vision.

    PubMed

    Simões, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L; Douglas, Ronald H; Kodandaramaiah, Ullasa; Casewell, Nicholas R; Harrison, Robert A; Hart, Nathan S; Partridge, Julian C; Hunt, David M; Gower, David J

    2016-10-01

    Much of what is known about the molecular evolution of vertebrate vision comes from studies of mammals, birds and fish. Reptiles (especially snakes) have barely been sampled in previous studies despite their exceptional diversity of retinal photoreceptor complements. Here, we analyze opsin gene sequences and ocular media transmission for up to 69 species to investigate snake visual evolution. Most snakes express three visual opsin genes (rh1, sws1, and lws). These opsin genes (especially rh1 and sws1) have undergone much evolutionary change, including modifications of amino acid residues at sites of known importance for spectral tuning, with several tuning site combinations unknown elsewhere among vertebrates. These changes are particularly common among dipsadine and colubrine "higher" snakes. All three opsin genes are inferred to be under purifying selection, though dN/dS varies with respect to some lineages, ecologies, and retinal anatomy. Positive selection was inferred at multiple sites in all three opsins, these being concentrated in transmembrane domains and thus likely to have a substantial effect on spectral tuning and other aspects of opsin function. Snake lenses vary substantially in their spectral transmission. Snakes active at night and some of those active by day have very transmissive lenses, whereas some primarily diurnal species cut out shorter wavelengths (including UVA). In terms of retinal anatomy, lens transmission, visual pigment spectral tuning and opsin gene evolution the visual system of snakes is exceptionally diverse compared with all other extant tetrapod orders. PMID:27535583

  11. Visual Pigments, Ocular Filters and the Evolution of Snake Vision.

    PubMed

    Simões, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L; Douglas, Ronald H; Kodandaramaiah, Ullasa; Casewell, Nicholas R; Harrison, Robert A; Hart, Nathan S; Partridge, Julian C; Hunt, David M; Gower, David J

    2016-10-01

    Much of what is known about the molecular evolution of vertebrate vision comes from studies of mammals, birds and fish. Reptiles (especially snakes) have barely been sampled in previous studies despite their exceptional diversity of retinal photoreceptor complements. Here, we analyze opsin gene sequences and ocular media transmission for up to 69 species to investigate snake visual evolution. Most snakes express three visual opsin genes (rh1, sws1, and lws). These opsin genes (especially rh1 and sws1) have undergone much evolutionary change, including modifications of amino acid residues at sites of known importance for spectral tuning, with several tuning site combinations unknown elsewhere among vertebrates. These changes are particularly common among dipsadine and colubrine "higher" snakes. All three opsin genes are inferred to be under purifying selection, though dN/dS varies with respect to some lineages, ecologies, and retinal anatomy. Positive selection was inferred at multiple sites in all three opsins, these being concentrated in transmembrane domains and thus likely to have a substantial effect on spectral tuning and other aspects of opsin function. Snake lenses vary substantially in their spectral transmission. Snakes active at night and some of those active by day have very transmissive lenses, whereas some primarily diurnal species cut out shorter wavelengths (including UVA). In terms of retinal anatomy, lens transmission, visual pigment spectral tuning and opsin gene evolution the visual system of snakes is exceptionally diverse compared with all other extant tetrapod orders.

  12. Pigment cell interactions and differential xanthophore recruitment underlying zebrafish stripe reiteration and Danio pattern evolution

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Larissa B.; Bain, Emily J.; Parichy, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Fishes have diverse pigment patterns, yet mechanisms of pattern evolution remain poorly understood. In zebrafish, Danio rerio, pigment-cell autonomous interactions generate dark stripes of melanophores that alternate with light interstripes of xanthophores and iridophores. Here, we identify mechanisms underlying the evolution of a uniform pattern in D. albolineatus in which all three pigment cell classes are intermingled. We show that in this species xanthophores differentiate precociously over a wider area, and that cis regulatory evolution has increased expression of xanthogenic Colony Stimulating Factor-1 (Csf1). Expressing Csf1 similarly in D. rerio has cascading effects, driving the intermingling of all three pigment cell classes and resulting in the loss of stripes, as in D. albolineatus. Our results identify novel mechanisms of pattern development and illustrate how pattern diversity can be generated when a core network of pigment-cell autonomous interactions is coupled with changes in pigment cell differentiation. PMID:25374113

  13. Pigment cell interactions and differential xanthophore recruitment underlying zebrafish stripe reiteration and Danio pattern evolution.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Larissa B; Bain, Emily J; Parichy, David M

    2014-11-06

    Fishes have diverse pigment patterns, yet mechanisms of pattern evolution remain poorly understood. In zebrafish, Danio rerio, pigment-cell autonomous interactions generate dark stripes of melanophores that alternate with light interstripes of xanthophores and iridophores. Here, we identify mechanisms underlying the evolution of a uniform pattern in D. albolineatus in which all three pigment cell classes are intermingled. We show that in this species xanthophores differentiate precociously over a wider area, and that cis regulatory evolution has increased expression of xanthogenic Colony Stimulating Factor-1 (Csf1). Expressing Csf1 similarly in D. rerio has cascading effects, driving the intermingling of all three pigment cell classes and resulting in the loss of stripes, as in D. albolineatus. Our results identify novel mechanisms of pattern development and illustrate how pattern diversity can be generated when a core network of pigment-cell autonomous interactions is coupled with changes in pigment cell differentiation.

  14. Origins of adult pigmentation: diversity in pigment stem cell lineages and implications for pattern evolution

    PubMed Central

    Spiewak, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Teleosts comprise about half of all vertebrate species and exhibit an extraordinary diversity of adult pigment patterns that function in shoaling, camouflage and mate choice and have played important roles in speciation. Here, we review recent studies that have identified several distinct neural crest lineages, with distinct genetic requirements, that give rise to adult pigment cells in fishes. These lineages include post-embryonic, peripheral nerve associated stem cells that generate black melanophores and iridescent iridophores, cells derived directly from embryonic neural crest cells that generate yellow-orange xanthophores, and bipotent stem cells that generate both melanophores and xanthophores. This complexity in adult chromatophore lineages has implications for our understanding of adult traits, melanoma, and the evolutionary diversification of pigment cell lineages and patterns. PMID:25421288

  15. Origins of adult pigmentation: diversity in pigment stem cell lineages and implications for pattern evolution.

    PubMed

    Parichy, David M; Spiewak, Jessica E

    2015-01-01

    Teleosts comprise about half of all vertebrate species and exhibit an extraordinary diversity of adult pigment patterns that function in shoaling, camouflage, and mate choice and have played important roles in speciation. Here, we review studies that have identified several distinct neural crest lineages, with distinct genetic requirements, that give rise to adult pigment cells in fishes. These lineages include post-embryonic, peripheral nerve-associated stem cells that generate black melanophores and iridescent iridophores, cells derived directly from embryonic neural crest cells that generate yellow-orange xanthophores, and bipotent stem cells that generate both melanophores and xanthophores. This complexity in adult chromatophore lineages has implications for our understanding of adult traits, melanoma, and the evolutionary diversification of pigment cell lineages and patterns.

  16. Spectral tuning and evolution of primate short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Livia S; Davies, Wayne L; Robinson, Phyllis R; Hunt, David M

    2012-01-22

    The peak sensitivities (λ(max)) of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) pigments in mammals range from the ultraviolet (UV) (360-400 nm) to the violet (400-450 nm) regions of the spectrum. In most cases, a UV or violet peak is determined by the residue present at site 86, with Phe conferring UV sensitivity (UVS) and either Ser, Tyr or Val causing a shift to violet wavelengths. In primates, however, the tuning mechanism of violet-sensitive (VS) pigments would appear to differ. In this study, we examine the tuning mechanisms of prosimian SWS1 pigments. One species, the aye-aye, possesses a pigment with Phe86 but in vitro spectral analysis reveals a VS rather than a UVS pigment. Other residues (Cys, Ser and Val) at site 86 in prosimians also gave VS pigments. Substitution at site 86 is not, therefore, the primary mechanism for the tuning of VS pigments in primates, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that substitutions at site 86 have occurred at least five times in primate evolution. The sole potential tuning site that is conserved in all primate VS pigments is Pro93, which when substituted by Thr (as found in mammalian UVS pigments) in the aye-aye pigment shifted the peak absorbance into the UV region with a λ(max) value at 371 nm. We, therefore, conclude that the tuning of VS pigments in primates depends on Pro93, not Tyr86 as in other mammals. However, it remains uncertain whether the initial event that gave rise to the VS pigment in the ancestral primate was achieved by a Thr93Pro or a Phe86Tyr substitution.

  17. Spectral tuning and evolution of primate short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Livia S.; Davies, Wayne L.; Robinson, Phyllis R.; Hunt, David M.

    2012-01-01

    The peak sensitivities (λmax) of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) pigments in mammals range from the ultraviolet (UV) (360–400 nm) to the violet (400–450 nm) regions of the spectrum. In most cases, a UV or violet peak is determined by the residue present at site 86, with Phe conferring UV sensitivity (UVS) and either Ser, Tyr or Val causing a shift to violet wavelengths. In primates, however, the tuning mechanism of violet-sensitive (VS) pigments would appear to differ. In this study, we examine the tuning mechanisms of prosimian SWS1 pigments. One species, the aye-aye, possesses a pigment with Phe86 but in vitro spectral analysis reveals a VS rather than a UVS pigment. Other residues (Cys, Ser and Val) at site 86 in prosimians also gave VS pigments. Substitution at site 86 is not, therefore, the primary mechanism for the tuning of VS pigments in primates, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that substitutions at site 86 have occurred at least five times in primate evolution. The sole potential tuning site that is conserved in all primate VS pigments is Pro93, which when substituted by Thr (as found in mammalian UVS pigments) in the aye-aye pigment shifted the peak absorbance into the UV region with a λmax value at 371 nm. We, therefore, conclude that the tuning of VS pigments in primates depends on Pro93, not Tyr86 as in other mammals. However, it remains uncertain whether the initial event that gave rise to the VS pigment in the ancestral primate was achieved by a Thr93Pro or a Phe86Tyr substitution. PMID:21697177

  18. Pigment pattern evolution by differential deployment of neural crest and post-embryonic melanophore lineages in Danio fishes.

    PubMed

    Quigley, Ian K; Turner, Jessica M; Nuckels, Richard J; Manuel, Joan L; Budi, Erine H; MacDonald, Erin L; Parichy, David M

    2004-12-01

    Latent precursors or stem cells of neural crest origin are present in a variety of post-embryonic tissues. Although these cells are of biomedical interest for roles in human health and disease, their potential evolutionary significance has been underappreciated. As a first step towards elucidating the contributions of such cells to the evolution of vertebrate form, we investigated the relative roles of neural crest cells and post-embryonic latent precursors during the evolutionary diversification of adult pigment patterns in Danio fishes. These pigment patterns result from the numbers and arrangements of embryonic melanophores that are derived from embryonic neural crest cells, as well as from post-embryonic metamorphic melanophores that are derived from latent precursors of presumptive neural crest origin. In the zebrafish D. rerio, a pattern of melanophore stripes arises during the larval-to-adult transformation by the recruitment of metamorphic melanophores from latent precursors. Using a comparative approach in the context of new phylogenetic data, we show that adult pigment patterns in five additional species also arise from metamorphic melanophores, identifying this as an ancestral mode of adult pigment pattern development. By contrast, superficially similar adult stripes of D. nigrofasciatus (a sister species to D. rerio) arise by the reorganization of melanophores that differentiated at embryonic stages, with a diminished contribution from metamorphic melanophores. Genetic mosaic and molecular marker analyses reveal evolutionary changes that are extrinsic to D. nigrofasciatus melanophore lineages, including a dramatic reduction of metamorphic melanophore precursors. Finally, interspecific complementation tests identify a candidate genetic pathway for contributing to the evolutionary reduction in metamorphic melanophores and the increased contribution of early larval melanophores to D. nigrofasciatus adult pigment pattern development. These results

  19. Pigmentation, pleiotropy, and genetic pathways in humans and mice

    SciTech Connect

    Barsh, G.S.

    1995-10-01

    Some of the most striking polymorphisms in human populations affect the color of our eyes, hair, or skin. Despite some simple lessons from high school biology (blue eyes are recessive; brown are dominant), the genetic basis of such phenotypic variability has, for the most part, eluded Mendelian description. A logical place to search for the keys to understanding common variation in human pigmentation are genes in which defects cause uncommon conditions such as albinism or piebaldism. The area under this lamppost has recently gotten larger, with two articles, one in this issue of the Journal, that describe the map position for Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) and with the recent cloning of a gene that causes X-linked ocular albinism (OA1). In addition, a series of three recent articles in Cell demonstrate (1) that defects in the gene encoding the endothelin B (ET{sub B}) receptor cause hypopigmentation and Hirschsprung disease in a Mennonite population and the mouse mutation piebald(s) and (2) that a defect in the edn3 gene, which encodes one of the ligands for the ET{sub B} receptor, causes the lethal spotting (ls) mouse mutation. 47 refs., 1 fig.

  20. A non-linear irreversible thermodynamic perspective on organic pigment proliferation and biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaelian, K.

    2013-12-01

    The most important thermodynamic work performed by life today is the dissipation of the solar photon flux into heat through organic pigments in water. From this thermodynamic perspective, biological evolution is thus just the dispersal of organic pigments and water throughout Earth's surface, while adjusting the gases of Earth's atmosphere to allow the most intense part of the solar spectrum to penetrate the atmosphere and reach the surface to be intercepted by these pigments. The covalent bonding of atoms in organic pigments provides excited levels compatible with the energies of these photons. Internal conversion through vibrational relaxation to the ground state of these excited molecules when in water leads to rapid dissipation of the solar photons into heat, and this is the major source of entropy production on Earth. A non-linear irreversible thermodynamic analysis shows that the proliferation of organic pigments on Earth is a direct consequence of the pigments catalytic properties in dissipating the solar photon flux. A small part of the energy of the photon goes into the production of more organic pigments and supporting biomass, while most of the energy is dissipated and channeled into the hydrological cycle through the latent heat of vaporization of surface water. By dissipating the surface to atmosphere temperature gradient, the hydrological cycle further increases the entropy production of Earth. This thermodynamic perspective of solar photon dissipation by life has implications to the possibility of finding extra-terrestrial life in our solar system and the Universe.

  1. The Evolution of the Wnt Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Holstein, Thomas W.

    2012-01-01

    Wnt genes are important regulators of embryogenesis and cell differentiation in vertebrates and insects. New data revealed by comparative genomics have now shown that members of the Wnt signaling pathway can be found in all clades of metazoans, but not in fungi, plants, or unicellular eukaryotes. This article focuses on new data from recent genomic analyses of several basal metazoan organisms, providing evidence that the Wnt pathway was a primordial signaling pathway during evolution. The formation of a Wnt signaling center at the site of gastrulation was instrumental for the formation of a primary, anterior–posterior body axis, which can be traced throughout animal evolution. PMID:22751150

  2. Brain evolution by brain pathway duplication.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Jarvis, Erich D

    2015-12-19

    Understanding the mechanisms of evolution of brain pathways for complex behaviours is still in its infancy. Making further advances requires a deeper understanding of brain homologies, novelties and analogies. It also requires an understanding of how adaptive genetic modifications lead to restructuring of the brain. Recent advances in genomic and molecular biology techniques applied to brain research have provided exciting insights into how complex behaviours are shaped by selection of novel brain pathways and functions of the nervous system. Here, we review and further develop some insights to a new hypothesis on one mechanism that may contribute to nervous system evolution, in particular by brain pathway duplication. Like gene duplication, we propose that whole brain pathways can duplicate and the duplicated pathway diverge to take on new functions. We suggest that one mechanism of brain pathway duplication could be through gene duplication, although other mechanisms are possible. We focus on brain pathways for vocal learning and spoken language in song-learning birds and humans as example systems. This view presents a new framework for future research in our understanding of brain evolution and novel behavioural traits.

  3. Brain evolution by brain pathway duplication

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of evolution of brain pathways for complex behaviours is still in its infancy. Making further advances requires a deeper understanding of brain homologies, novelties and analogies. It also requires an understanding of how adaptive genetic modifications lead to restructuring of the brain. Recent advances in genomic and molecular biology techniques applied to brain research have provided exciting insights into how complex behaviours are shaped by selection of novel brain pathways and functions of the nervous system. Here, we review and further develop some insights to a new hypothesis on one mechanism that may contribute to nervous system evolution, in particular by brain pathway duplication. Like gene duplication, we propose that whole brain pathways can duplicate and the duplicated pathway diverge to take on new functions. We suggest that one mechanism of brain pathway duplication could be through gene duplication, although other mechanisms are possible. We focus on brain pathways for vocal learning and spoken language in song-learning birds and humans as example systems. This view presents a new framework for future research in our understanding of brain evolution and novel behavioural traits. PMID:26554045

  4. Brain evolution by brain pathway duplication.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Mukta; Jarvis, Erich D

    2015-12-19

    Understanding the mechanisms of evolution of brain pathways for complex behaviours is still in its infancy. Making further advances requires a deeper understanding of brain homologies, novelties and analogies. It also requires an understanding of how adaptive genetic modifications lead to restructuring of the brain. Recent advances in genomic and molecular biology techniques applied to brain research have provided exciting insights into how complex behaviours are shaped by selection of novel brain pathways and functions of the nervous system. Here, we review and further develop some insights to a new hypothesis on one mechanism that may contribute to nervous system evolution, in particular by brain pathway duplication. Like gene duplication, we propose that whole brain pathways can duplicate and the duplicated pathway diverge to take on new functions. We suggest that one mechanism of brain pathway duplication could be through gene duplication, although other mechanisms are possible. We focus on brain pathways for vocal learning and spoken language in song-learning birds and humans as example systems. This view presents a new framework for future research in our understanding of brain evolution and novel behavioural traits. PMID:26554045

  5. Laboratory evolution of catabolic enzymes and pathways.

    PubMed

    Parales, Rebecca E; Ditty, Jayna L

    2005-06-01

    The laboratory evolution of environmentally relevant enzymes and proteins has resulted in the generation of optimized and stabilized enzymes, as well as enzymes with activity against new substrates. Numerous methods, including random mutagenesis, site-directed mutagenesis and DNA shuffling, have been widely used to generate variants of existing enzymes. These evolved catabolic enzymes have application for improving biodegradation pathways, generating engineered pathways for the degradation of particularly recalcitrant compounds, and for the development of biocatalytic processes to produce useful compounds. Regulatory proteins associated with catabolic pathways have been utilized to generate biosensors for the detection of bioavailable concentrations of environmentally relevant chemicals.

  6. The contribution of the melanin pathway to overall body pigmentation during ontogenesis of Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Lemonds, Thomas R; Liu, Jin; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-08-01

    The most prominent colors observed in insects are black or brown, whose production is attributed to the melanin pathway. At present, though, the contribution of this pathway to overall body pigmentation throughout ontogenesis is still lacking. To address this question we examined the roles of 2 key melanin genes (TH and DDC), in embryonic and postembryonic development of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Our results show that the melanin pathway does not contribute to the light brown coloration observed in the first nymphs. However, the dark brown coloration in mid nymphs and adults is produced solely from the melanin pathway. In addition, the DDC RNAi results reveal that it is dopamine melanin, not DOPA melanin, acts as the main contributor in this process. Overall, present study provides a new insight into insect pigmentation suggesting that genetic mechanisms of coloration can change during ontogenesis. Future studies of additional basal insect lineages will be required to assess in more details the generality of this phenomenon. PMID:27158782

  7. Human Pigmentation, Cutaneous Vitamin D Synthesis and Evolution: Variants of Genes (SNPs) Involved in Skin Pigmentation Are Associated with 25(OH)D Serum Concentration.

    PubMed

    Rossberg, Willi; Saternus, Roman; Wagenpfeil, Stefan; Kleber, Marcus; März, Winfried; Reichrath, Sandra; Vogt, Thomas; Reichrath, Jörg

    2016-03-01

    Vitamin D deficiency is common and associated with higher risk for and unfavourable outcome of many diseases. Limited data exist on genetic determinants of serum 25(OH)D concentration. In a cohort of the LURIC study (n=2974, median 25(OH)D concentration 15.5 ng/ml), we tested the hypothesis that variants (SNPs, n=244) of several genes (n=15) involved in different aspects of skin pigmentation, including melanosomal biogenesis (ATP7A, DTNBP1, BLOC1S5, PLDN, PMEL), melanosomal transport within melanocytes (RAB27A, MYO5A, MLPH); or various melanocyte signaling pathways (MC1R, MITF, PAX3, SOX10, DKK1, RACK1, CNR1) are predictive of serum 25(OH)D levels. Eleven SNPs located in 6 genes were associated (p<0.05) with low or high serum 25(OH)D levels, 3 out of these 11 SNPs reached the aimed significance level after correction for multiple comparisons (FDR). In the linear regression model adjusted for sex, body mass index (BMI), year of birth and month of blood sample rs7565264 (MLPH), rs10932949 (PAX3), and rs9328451 (BLOC1S5) showed a significant association with 25(OH)D. The combined impact on variation of 25(OH)D serum levels (coefficient of determination (R(2))) for the 11 SNPs was 1.6% and for the 3 SNPs after FDR 0.3%. In Cox Regression we identified rs2292881 (MLPH) as having a significant association (advantage) with overall survival. Kaplan-Meier analysis did not show any significant impact of individual SNPs on overall survival. In conclusion, these results shed new light on the role of sunlight, skin pigmentation and vitamin D for human evolution. PMID:26977047

  8. Human Pigmentation, Cutaneous Vitamin D Synthesis and Evolution: Variants of Genes (SNPs) Involved in Skin Pigmentation Are Associated with 25(OH)D Serum Concentration.

    PubMed

    Rossberg, Willi; Saternus, Roman; Wagenpfeil, Stefan; Kleber, Marcus; März, Winfried; Reichrath, Sandra; Vogt, Thomas; Reichrath, Jörg

    2016-03-01

    Vitamin D deficiency is common and associated with higher risk for and unfavourable outcome of many diseases. Limited data exist on genetic determinants of serum 25(OH)D concentration. In a cohort of the LURIC study (n=2974, median 25(OH)D concentration 15.5 ng/ml), we tested the hypothesis that variants (SNPs, n=244) of several genes (n=15) involved in different aspects of skin pigmentation, including melanosomal biogenesis (ATP7A, DTNBP1, BLOC1S5, PLDN, PMEL), melanosomal transport within melanocytes (RAB27A, MYO5A, MLPH); or various melanocyte signaling pathways (MC1R, MITF, PAX3, SOX10, DKK1, RACK1, CNR1) are predictive of serum 25(OH)D levels. Eleven SNPs located in 6 genes were associated (p<0.05) with low or high serum 25(OH)D levels, 3 out of these 11 SNPs reached the aimed significance level after correction for multiple comparisons (FDR). In the linear regression model adjusted for sex, body mass index (BMI), year of birth and month of blood sample rs7565264 (MLPH), rs10932949 (PAX3), and rs9328451 (BLOC1S5) showed a significant association with 25(OH)D. The combined impact on variation of 25(OH)D serum levels (coefficient of determination (R(2))) for the 11 SNPs was 1.6% and for the 3 SNPs after FDR 0.3%. In Cox Regression we identified rs2292881 (MLPH) as having a significant association (advantage) with overall survival. Kaplan-Meier analysis did not show any significant impact of individual SNPs on overall survival. In conclusion, these results shed new light on the role of sunlight, skin pigmentation and vitamin D for human evolution.

  9. Evolution-guided optimization of biosynthetic pathways

    PubMed Central

    Raman, Srivatsan; Rogers, Jameson K.; Taylor, Noah D.; Church, George M.

    2014-01-01

    Engineering biosynthetic pathways for chemical production requires extensive optimization of the host cellular metabolic machinery. Because it is challenging to specify a priori an optimal design, metabolic engineers often need to construct and evaluate a large number of variants of the pathway. We report a general strategy that combines targeted genome-wide mutagenesis to generate pathway variants with evolution to enrich for rare high producers. We convert the intracellular presence of the target chemical into a fitness advantage for the cell by using a sensor domain responsive to the chemical to control a reporter gene necessary for survival under selective conditions. Because artificial selection tends to amplify unproductive cheaters, we devised a negative selection scheme to eliminate cheaters while preserving library diversity. This scheme allows us to perform multiple rounds of evolution (addressing ∼109 cells per round) with minimal carryover of cheaters after each round. Based on candidate genes identified by flux balance analysis, we used targeted genome-wide mutagenesis to vary the expression of pathway genes involved in the production of naringenin and glucaric acid. Through up to four rounds of evolution, we increased production of naringenin and glucaric acid by 36- and 22-fold, respectively. Naringenin production (61 mg/L) from glucose was more than double the previous highest titer reported. Whole-genome sequencing of evolved strains revealed additional untargeted mutations that likely benefit production, suggesting new routes for optimization. PMID:25453111

  10. Evolution of the control of pigment and plastid development in photosynthetic organisms.

    PubMed

    Schiff, J A

    1981-01-01

    How do bioenergetic organelles relate to the cells they are in and how was this relationship established over the course of evolution? Plastids and mitochondria are viewed as prokaryotic residents in eukaryotic cells. These organelles are semiautonomous: they perpetuate themselves by division but regulate and are subject to regulation by the cell in which they are residents. Although these organelles are usually constitutive, their development is arrested in certain organisms when an inducing substrate is absent (light, for example, in the case of the chloroplast) with the formation of precursor organelles such as proplastids. Various trends in the evolution of photo-control systems are discussed including those concerned with photoperception and photomorphogenesis. The photocontrol of chloroplast development by blue and red light is discussed in relation to its possible evolutionary origins in a system for finding the right light for photosynthesis. Models for various types of cellular regulation by light during chloroplast development are discussed. Also considered is the evolution of plastid pigments in response to available light. A parallel evolution of accessory pigments and chlorophylls is suggested which led to chlorophyll reaction centers serving as energy sinks for light absorbed by accessory pigments and, therefore, having their absorptions pushed to the longest possible wavelengths as accessory pigments evolved to fill the middle of the spectrum in response to ecological selection. An endosymbiotic origin of bioenergetic organelles is suggested based on polyphyletic origins of chloroplasts from a number of oxygenic procaryotic precursors. The similarity between proplastids and these oxygenic procaryotes suggests that the original invading organelle may have resembled a modern proplastid rather than a mature chloroplast.

  11. The evolution of plant virus transmission pathways.

    PubMed

    Hamelin, Frédéric M; Allen, Linda J S; Prendeville, Holly R; Hajimorad, M Reza; Jeger, Michael J

    2016-05-01

    The evolution of plant virus transmission pathways is studied through transmission via seed, pollen, or a vector. We address the questions: under what circumstances does vector transmission make pollen transmission redundant? Can evolution lead to the coexistence of multiple virus transmission pathways? We restrict the analysis to an annual plant population in which reproduction through seed is obligatory. A semi-discrete model with pollen, seed, and vector transmission is formulated to investigate these questions. We assume vector and pollen transmission rates are frequency-dependent and density-dependent, respectively. An ecological stability analysis is performed for the semi-discrete model and used to inform an evolutionary study of trade-offs between pollen and seed versus vector transmission. Evolutionary dynamics critically depend on the shape of the trade-off functions. Assuming a trade-off between pollen and vector transmission, evolution either leads to an evolutionarily stable mix of pollen and vector transmission (concave trade-off) or there is evolutionary bi-stability (convex trade-off); the presence of pollen transmission may prevent evolution of vector transmission. Considering a trade-off between seed and vector transmission, evolutionary branching and the subsequent coexistence of pollen-borne and vector-borne strains is possible. This study contributes to the theory behind the diversity of plant-virus transmission patterns observed in nature. PMID:26908348

  12. Evolution and spectral tuning of visual pigments in birds and mammals

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, David M.; Carvalho, Livia S.; Cowing, Jill A.; Davies, Wayne L.

    2009-01-01

    Variation in the types and spectral characteristics of visual pigments is a common mechanism for the adaptation of the vertebrate visual system to prevailing light conditions. The extent of this diversity in mammals and birds is discussed in detail in this review, alongside an in-depth consideration of the molecular changes involved. In mammals, a nocturnal stage in early evolution is thought to underlie the reduction in the number of classes of cone visual pigment genes from four to only two, with the secondary loss of one of these genes in many monochromatic nocturnal and marine species. The trichromacy seen in many primates arises from either a polymorphism or duplication of one of these genes. In contrast, birds have retained the four ancestral cone visual pigment genes, with a generally conserved expression in either single or double cone classes. The loss of sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is a feature of both mammalian and avian visual evolution, with UV sensitivity retained among mammals by only a subset of rodents and marsupials. Where it is found in birds, it is not ancestral but newly acquired. PMID:19720655

  13. Positive selection of a duplicated UV-sensitive visual pigment coincides with wing pigment evolution in Heliconius butterflies

    PubMed Central

    Briscoe, Adriana D.; Bybee, Seth M.; Bernard, Gary D.; Yuan, Furong; Sison-Mangus, Marilou P.; Reed, Robert D.; Warren, Andrew D.; Llorente-Bousquets, Jorge; Chiao, Chuan-Chin

    2010-01-01

    The butterfly Heliconius erato can see from the UV to the red part of the light spectrum with color vision proven from 440 to 640 nm. Its eye is known to contain three visual pigments, rhodopsins, produced by an 11-cis-3-hydroxyretinal chromophore together with long wavelength (LWRh), blue (BRh) and UV (UVRh1) opsins. We now find that H. erato has a second UV opsin mRNA (UVRh2)—a previously undescribed duplication of this gene among Lepidoptera. To investigate its evolutionary origin, we screened eye cDNAs from 14 butterfly species in the subfamily Heliconiinae and found both copies only among Heliconius. Phylogeny-based tests of selection indicate positive selection of UVRh2 following duplication, and some of the positively selected sites correspond to vertebrate visual pigment spectral tuning residues. Epi-microspectrophotometry reveals two UV-absorbing rhodopsins in the H. erato eye with λmax = 355 nm and 398 nm. Along with the additional UV opsin, Heliconius have also evolved 3-hydroxy-DL-kynurenine (3-OHK)-based yellow wing pigments not found in close relatives. Visual models of how butterflies perceive wing color variation indicate this has resulted in an expansion of the number of distinguishable yellow colors on Heliconius wings. Functional diversification of the UV-sensitive visual pigments may help explain why the yellow wing pigments of Heliconius are so colorful in the UV range compared to the yellow pigments of close relatives lacking the UV opsin duplicate. PMID:20133601

  14. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in warblers.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Natasha I; Morrow, James M; Chang, Belinda S W; Price, Trevor D

    2015-02-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors-historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20 Ma. During this process, the SWS2 gene accumulated six substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected.

  15. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in Warblers

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Natasha I.; Morrow, James M.; Chang, Belinda S.W.; Price, Trevor D.

    2014-01-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors – historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20Ma. During this process the SWS2 gene accumulated 6 substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected. PMID:25496318

  16. The cone visual pigments of an Australian marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii): sequence, spectral tuning, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Deeb, Samir S; Wakefield, Matthew J; Tada, Takashi; Marotte, Lauren; Yokoyama, Shozo; Marshall Graves, Jenny A

    2003-10-01

    Studies on marsupial color vision have been limited to very few species. There is evidence from behavioral, electroretinographic (ERG), and microspectrophotometric (MSP) measurements for the existence of both dichromatic and trichromatic color vision. No studies have yet investigated the molecular mechanisms of spectral tuning in the visual pigments of marsupials. Our study is the first to determine the mRNA sequence, infer the amino acid sequence, and determine, by in vitro expression, the spectra of the cone opsins of a marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). This yielded some information on mechanisms and evolution of spectral tuning of these pigments. The tammar wallaby retina contains only short-wavelength sensitive (SWS) and middle-wavelength sensitive (MWS) pigment mRNAs. This predicts dichromatic color vision, which is consistent with conclusions from previous behavioral studies ( Hemmi 1999). We found that the wallaby has a SWS1 class pigment of 346 amino acids. Sequence comparison with eutherian SWS pigments predicts that this SWS1 pigment absorbs maximally (lambdamax) at 424 nm and, therefore, is a blue rather than a UV pigment. This (lambdamax) is close to that of the in vitro-expressed wallaby SWS pigment (lambdamax of 420 +/- 2 nm) and to that determined behaviorally (420 nm). The difference from the mouse UV pigment (lambdamax of 359 nm) is largely accounted for by the F86Y substitution, in agreement with in vitro results comparing a variety of other SWS pigments. This suggests that spectral tuning employing F86Y substitution most likely arose independently in the marsupials and ungulates as a result of convergent evolution. An apparently different mechanism of spectral tuning of the SWS1 pigments, involving five amino acid positions, evolved in primates. The wallaby MWS pigment has 363 amino acids. Species comparisons at positions critical to spectral tuning predict a lambdamax near 530 nm, which is close to that of the in vitro

  17. The cone visual pigments of an Australian marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii): sequence, spectral tuning, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Deeb, Samir S; Wakefield, Matthew J; Tada, Takashi; Marotte, Lauren; Yokoyama, Shozo; Marshall Graves, Jenny A

    2003-10-01

    Studies on marsupial color vision have been limited to very few species. There is evidence from behavioral, electroretinographic (ERG), and microspectrophotometric (MSP) measurements for the existence of both dichromatic and trichromatic color vision. No studies have yet investigated the molecular mechanisms of spectral tuning in the visual pigments of marsupials. Our study is the first to determine the mRNA sequence, infer the amino acid sequence, and determine, by in vitro expression, the spectra of the cone opsins of a marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). This yielded some information on mechanisms and evolution of spectral tuning of these pigments. The tammar wallaby retina contains only short-wavelength sensitive (SWS) and middle-wavelength sensitive (MWS) pigment mRNAs. This predicts dichromatic color vision, which is consistent with conclusions from previous behavioral studies ( Hemmi 1999). We found that the wallaby has a SWS1 class pigment of 346 amino acids. Sequence comparison with eutherian SWS pigments predicts that this SWS1 pigment absorbs maximally (lambdamax) at 424 nm and, therefore, is a blue rather than a UV pigment. This (lambdamax) is close to that of the in vitro-expressed wallaby SWS pigment (lambdamax of 420 +/- 2 nm) and to that determined behaviorally (420 nm). The difference from the mouse UV pigment (lambdamax of 359 nm) is largely accounted for by the F86Y substitution, in agreement with in vitro results comparing a variety of other SWS pigments. This suggests that spectral tuning employing F86Y substitution most likely arose independently in the marsupials and ungulates as a result of convergent evolution. An apparently different mechanism of spectral tuning of the SWS1 pigments, involving five amino acid positions, evolved in primates. The wallaby MWS pigment has 363 amino acids. Species comparisons at positions critical to spectral tuning predict a lambdamax near 530 nm, which is close to that of the in vitro

  18. Basis for the gain and subsequent dilution of epidermal pigmentation during human evolution: The barrier and metabolic conservation hypotheses revisited.

    PubMed

    Elias, Peter M; Williams, Mary L

    2016-10-01

    The evolution of human skin pigmentation must address both the initial evolution of intense epidermal pigmentation in hominins, and its subsequent dilution in modern humans. While many authorities believe that epidermal pigmentation evolved to protect against either ultraviolet B (UV-B) irradiation-induced mutagenesis or folic acid photolysis, we hypothesize that pigmentation augmented the epidermal barriers by shifting the UV-B dose-response curve from toxic to beneficial. Whereas erythemogenic UV-B doses produce apoptosis and cell death, suberythemogenic doses benefit permeability and antimicrobial function. Heavily melanized melanocytes acidify the outer epidermis and emit paracrine signals that augment barrier competence. Modern humans, residing in the cooler, wetter climes of south-central Europe and Asia, initially retained substantial pigmentation. While their outdoor lifestyles still permitted sufficient cutaneous vitamin D3 (VD3) synthesis, their marginal nutritional status, coupled with cold-induced caloric needs, selected for moderate pigment reductions that diverted limited nutritional resources towards more urgent priorities (=metabolic conservation). The further pigment-dilution that evolved as humans reached north-central Europe (i.e., northern France, Germany), likely facilitated cutaneous VD3 synthesis, while also supporting ongoing, nutritional requirements. But at still higher European latitudes where little UV-B breaches the atmosphere (i.e., present-day UK, Scandinavia, Baltic States), pigment dilution alone could not suffice. There, other nonpigment-related mutations evolved to facilitate VD3 production; for example, in the epidermal protein, filaggrin, resulting in reduced levels of its distal metabolite, trans-urocanic acid, a potent UV-B chromophore. Thus, changes in human pigmentation reflect a complex interplay between latitude, climate, diet, lifestyle, and shifting metabolic priorities. PMID:27324932

  19. Basis for the gain and subsequent dilution of epidermal pigmentation during human evolution: The barrier and metabolic conservation hypotheses revisited.

    PubMed

    Elias, Peter M; Williams, Mary L

    2016-10-01

    The evolution of human skin pigmentation must address both the initial evolution of intense epidermal pigmentation in hominins, and its subsequent dilution in modern humans. While many authorities believe that epidermal pigmentation evolved to protect against either ultraviolet B (UV-B) irradiation-induced mutagenesis or folic acid photolysis, we hypothesize that pigmentation augmented the epidermal barriers by shifting the UV-B dose-response curve from toxic to beneficial. Whereas erythemogenic UV-B doses produce apoptosis and cell death, suberythemogenic doses benefit permeability and antimicrobial function. Heavily melanized melanocytes acidify the outer epidermis and emit paracrine signals that augment barrier competence. Modern humans, residing in the cooler, wetter climes of south-central Europe and Asia, initially retained substantial pigmentation. While their outdoor lifestyles still permitted sufficient cutaneous vitamin D3 (VD3) synthesis, their marginal nutritional status, coupled with cold-induced caloric needs, selected for moderate pigment reductions that diverted limited nutritional resources towards more urgent priorities (=metabolic conservation). The further pigment-dilution that evolved as humans reached north-central Europe (i.e., northern France, Germany), likely facilitated cutaneous VD3 synthesis, while also supporting ongoing, nutritional requirements. But at still higher European latitudes where little UV-B breaches the atmosphere (i.e., present-day UK, Scandinavia, Baltic States), pigment dilution alone could not suffice. There, other nonpigment-related mutations evolved to facilitate VD3 production; for example, in the epidermal protein, filaggrin, resulting in reduced levels of its distal metabolite, trans-urocanic acid, a potent UV-B chromophore. Thus, changes in human pigmentation reflect a complex interplay between latitude, climate, diet, lifestyle, and shifting metabolic priorities.

  20. Molecular diversity, metabolic transformation, and evolution of carotenoid feather pigments in cotingas (Aves: Cotingidae).

    PubMed

    Prum, Richard O; LaFountain, Amy M; Berro, Julien; Stoddard, Mary Caswell; Frank, Harry A

    2012-12-01

    Carotenoid pigments were extracted from 29 feather patches from 25 species of cotingas (Cotingidae) representing all lineages of the family with carotenoid plumage coloration. Using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), mass spectrometry, chemical analysis, and ¹H-NMR, 16 different carotenoid molecules were documented in the plumages of the cotinga family. These included common dietary xanthophylls (lutein and zeaxanthin), canary xanthophylls A and B, four well known and broadly distributed avian ketocarotenoids (canthaxanthin, astaxanthin, α-doradexanthin, and adonixanthin), rhodoxanthin, and seven 4-methoxy-ketocarotenoids. Methoxy-ketocarotenoids were found in 12 species within seven cotinga genera, including a new, previously undescribed molecule isolated from the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock Rupicola peruviana, 3'-hydroxy-3-methoxy-β,β-carotene-4-one, which we name rupicolin. The diversity of cotinga plumage carotenoid pigments is hypothesized to be derived via four metabolic pathways from lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, and β-carotene. All metabolic transformations within the four pathways can be described by six or seven different enzymatic reactions. Three of these reactions are shared among three precursor pathways and are responsible for eight different metabolically derived carotenoid molecules. The function of cotinga plumage carotenoid diversity was analyzed with reflectance spectrophotometry of plumage patches and a tetrahedral model of avian color visual perception. The evolutionary history of the origin of this diversity is analyzed phylogenetically. The color space analyses document that the evolutionarily derived metabolic modifications of dietary xanthophylls have resulted in the creation of distinctive orange-red and purple visual colors. PMID:22669477

  1. Molecular diversity, metabolic transformation, and evolution of carotenoid feather pigments in cotingas (Aves: Cotingidae).

    PubMed

    Prum, Richard O; LaFountain, Amy M; Berro, Julien; Stoddard, Mary Caswell; Frank, Harry A

    2012-12-01

    Carotenoid pigments were extracted from 29 feather patches from 25 species of cotingas (Cotingidae) representing all lineages of the family with carotenoid plumage coloration. Using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), mass spectrometry, chemical analysis, and ¹H-NMR, 16 different carotenoid molecules were documented in the plumages of the cotinga family. These included common dietary xanthophylls (lutein and zeaxanthin), canary xanthophylls A and B, four well known and broadly distributed avian ketocarotenoids (canthaxanthin, astaxanthin, α-doradexanthin, and adonixanthin), rhodoxanthin, and seven 4-methoxy-ketocarotenoids. Methoxy-ketocarotenoids were found in 12 species within seven cotinga genera, including a new, previously undescribed molecule isolated from the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock Rupicola peruviana, 3'-hydroxy-3-methoxy-β,β-carotene-4-one, which we name rupicolin. The diversity of cotinga plumage carotenoid pigments is hypothesized to be derived via four metabolic pathways from lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, and β-carotene. All metabolic transformations within the four pathways can be described by six or seven different enzymatic reactions. Three of these reactions are shared among three precursor pathways and are responsible for eight different metabolically derived carotenoid molecules. The function of cotinga plumage carotenoid diversity was analyzed with reflectance spectrophotometry of plumage patches and a tetrahedral model of avian color visual perception. The evolutionary history of the origin of this diversity is analyzed phylogenetically. The color space analyses document that the evolutionarily derived metabolic modifications of dietary xanthophylls have resulted in the creation of distinctive orange-red and purple visual colors.

  2. Out of the blue: adaptive visual pigment evolution accompanies Amazon invasion.

    PubMed

    Van Nynatten, Alexander; Bloom, Devin; Chang, Belinda S W; Lovejoy, Nathan R

    2015-07-01

    Incursions of marine water into South America during the Miocene prompted colonization of freshwater habitats by ancestrally marine species and present a unique opportunity to study the molecular evolution of adaptations to varying environments. Freshwater and marine environments are distinct in both spectra and average intensities of available light. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of rhodopsin, the photosensitive pigment in the eye that activates in response to light, in a clade of South American freshwater anchovies derived from a marine ancestral lineage. Using likelihood-based comparative sequence analyses, we found evidence for positive selection in the rhodopsin of freshwater anchovy lineages at sites known to be important for aspects of rhodopsin function such as spectral tuning. No evidence was found for positive selection in marine lineages, nor in three other genes not involved in vision. Our results suggest that an increased rate of rhodopsin evolution was driven by diversification into freshwater habitats, thereby constituting a rare example of molecular evolution mirroring large-scale palaeogeographic events. PMID:26224386

  3. The beet Y locus encodes an anthocyanin MYB-like protein that activates the betalain red pigment pathway.

    PubMed

    Hatlestad, Gregory J; Akhavan, Neda A; Sunnadeniya, Rasika M; Elam, Lee; Cargile, Scott; Hembd, Austin; Gonzalez, Antonio; McGrath, J Mitchell; Lloyd, Alan M

    2015-01-01

    Nearly all flowering plants produce red/violet anthocyanin pigments. Caryophyllales is the only order containing families that replace anthocyanins with unrelated red and yellow betalain pigments. Close biological correlation of pigmentation patterns suggested that betalains might be regulated by a conserved anthocyanin-regulating transcription factor complex consisting of a MYB, a bHLH and a WD repeat-containing protein (the MBW complex). Here we show that a previously uncharacterized anthocyanin MYB-like protein, Beta vulgaris MYB1 (BvMYB1), regulates the betalain pathway in beets. Silencing BvMYB1 downregulates betalain biosynthetic genes and pigmentation, and overexpressing BvMYB1 upregulates them. However, unlike anthocyanin MYBs, BvMYB1 will not interact with bHLH members of heterologous anthocyanin MBW complexes because of identified nonconserved residues. BvMYB1 resides at the historic beet pigment-patterning locus, Y, required for red-fleshed beets. We show that Y and y express different levels of BvMYB1 transcripts. The co-option of a transcription factor regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis would be an important evolutionary event allowing betalains to largely functionally replace anthocyanins. PMID:25436858

  4. The beet Y locus encodes an anthocyanin MYB-like protein that activates the betalain red pigment pathway.

    PubMed

    Hatlestad, Gregory J; Akhavan, Neda A; Sunnadeniya, Rasika M; Elam, Lee; Cargile, Scott; Hembd, Austin; Gonzalez, Antonio; McGrath, J Mitchell; Lloyd, Alan M

    2015-01-01

    Nearly all flowering plants produce red/violet anthocyanin pigments. Caryophyllales is the only order containing families that replace anthocyanins with unrelated red and yellow betalain pigments. Close biological correlation of pigmentation patterns suggested that betalains might be regulated by a conserved anthocyanin-regulating transcription factor complex consisting of a MYB, a bHLH and a WD repeat-containing protein (the MBW complex). Here we show that a previously uncharacterized anthocyanin MYB-like protein, Beta vulgaris MYB1 (BvMYB1), regulates the betalain pathway in beets. Silencing BvMYB1 downregulates betalain biosynthetic genes and pigmentation, and overexpressing BvMYB1 upregulates them. However, unlike anthocyanin MYBs, BvMYB1 will not interact with bHLH members of heterologous anthocyanin MBW complexes because of identified nonconserved residues. BvMYB1 resides at the historic beet pigment-patterning locus, Y, required for red-fleshed beets. We show that Y and y express different levels of BvMYB1 transcripts. The co-option of a transcription factor regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis would be an important evolutionary event allowing betalains to largely functionally replace anthocyanins.

  5. Pigmented anatomy in Carboniferous cyclostomes and the evolution of the vertebrate eye.

    PubMed

    Gabbott, Sarah E; Donoghue, Philip C J; Sansom, Robert S; Vinther, Jakob; Dolocan, Andrei; Purnell, Mark A

    2016-08-17

    The success of vertebrates is linked to the evolution of a camera-style eye and sophisticated visual system. In the absence of useful data from fossils, scenarios for evolutionary assembly of the vertebrate eye have been based necessarily on evidence from development, molecular genetics and comparative anatomy in living vertebrates. Unfortunately, steps in the transition from a light-sensitive 'eye spot' in invertebrate chordates to an image-forming camera-style eye in jawed vertebrates are constrained only by hagfish and lampreys (cyclostomes), which are interpreted to reflect either an intermediate or degenerate condition. Here, we report-based on evidence of size, shape, preservation mode and localized occurrence-the presence of melanosomes (pigment-bearing organelles) in fossil cyclostome eyes. Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses reveal secondary ions with a relative intensity characteristic of melanin as revealed through principal components analyses. Our data support the hypotheses that extant hagfish eyes are degenerate, not rudimentary, that cyclostomes are monophyletic, and that the ancestral vertebrate had a functional visual system. We also demonstrate integument pigmentation in fossil lampreys, opening up the exciting possibility of investigating colour patterning in Palaeozoic vertebrates. The examples we report add to the record of melanosome preservation in Carboniferous fossils and attest to surprising durability of melanosomes and biomolecular melanin. PMID:27488650

  6. Pigmented anatomy in Carboniferous cyclostomes and the evolution of the vertebrate eye

    PubMed Central

    Gabbott, Sarah E.; Sansom, Robert S.; Vinther, Jakob; Dolocan, Andrei; Purnell, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    The success of vertebrates is linked to the evolution of a camera-style eye and sophisticated visual system. In the absence of useful data from fossils, scenarios for evolutionary assembly of the vertebrate eye have been based necessarily on evidence from development, molecular genetics and comparative anatomy in living vertebrates. Unfortunately, steps in the transition from a light-sensitive ‘eye spot’ in invertebrate chordates to an image-forming camera-style eye in jawed vertebrates are constrained only by hagfish and lampreys (cyclostomes), which are interpreted to reflect either an intermediate or degenerate condition. Here, we report—based on evidence of size, shape, preservation mode and localized occurrence—the presence of melanosomes (pigment-bearing organelles) in fossil cyclostome eyes. Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry analyses reveal secondary ions with a relative intensity characteristic of melanin as revealed through principal components analyses. Our data support the hypotheses that extant hagfish eyes are degenerate, not rudimentary, that cyclostomes are monophyletic, and that the ancestral vertebrate had a functional visual system. We also demonstrate integument pigmentation in fossil lampreys, opening up the exciting possibility of investigating colour patterning in Palaeozoic vertebrates. The examples we report add to the record of melanosome preservation in Carboniferous fossils and attest to surprising durability of melanosomes and biomolecular melanin. PMID:27488650

  7. Pathway redesign for deoxyviolacein biosynthesis in Citrobacter freundii and characterization of this pigment.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Pei-xia; Wang, Hai-sheng; Xiao, Su; Fang, Ming-yue; Zhang, Rui-ping; He, Shu-ying; Lou, Kai; Xing, Xin-Hui

    2012-06-01

    Violacein (Vio) is an important purple pigment with many potential bioactivities. Deoxyviolacein, a structural analog of Vio, is always synthesized in low concentrations with Vio in wild-type bacteria. Due to deoxyviolacein's low production and difficulties in isolation and purification, little has been learned regarding its function and potential applications. This study was the first effort in developing a stable and efficient biosynthetic system for producing pure deoxyviolacein. A recombinant plasmid with vioabce genes was constructed by splicing using an overlapping extension-polymerase chain reaction, based on the Vio-synthesizing gene cluster of vioabcde, originating from Duganella sp. B2, and was introduced into Citrobacter freundii. With the viod gene disrupted in the Vio synthetic pathway, Vio production was completely abolished and the recombinant C. freundii synthesized only deoxyviolacein. Interestingly, vioe gene expression was strongly stimulated in the viod-deleted recombinant strain, indicating that viod disruptions could potentially induce polar effects upon the downstream vioe gene within this small operon. Deoxyviolacein production by this strain reached 1.9 g/L in shaker flasks. The product exhibited significant acid/alkali and UV resistance as well as significant inhibition of hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation at low concentrations of 0.1-1 μM. These physical characteristics and antitumor activities of deoxyviolacein contribute to illuminating its potential applications.

  8. Tracking the excited-state time evolution of the visual pigment with multiconfigurational quantum chemistry.

    PubMed

    Frutos, Luis Manuel; Andruniów, Tadeusz; Santoro, Fabrizio; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2007-05-01

    The primary event that initiates vision is the photoinduced isomerization of retinal in the visual pigment rhodopsin (Rh). Here, we use a scaled quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics potential that reproduces the isomerization path determined with multiconfigurational perturbation theory to follow the excited-state evolution of bovine Rh. The analysis of a 140-fs trajectory provides a description of the electronic and geometrical changes that prepare the system for decay to the ground state. The data uncover a complex change of the retinal backbone that, at approximately 60-fs delay, initiates a space saving "asynchronous bicycle-pedal or crankshaft" motion, leading to a conical intersection on a 110-fs time scale. It is shown that the twisted structure achieved at decay features a momentum that provides a natural route toward the photoRh structure recently resolved by using femtosecond-stimulated Raman spectroscopy. PMID:17470789

  9. Molecular characterization of crustacean visual pigments and the evolution of pancrustacean opsins.

    PubMed

    Porter, Megan L; Cronin, Thomas W; McClellan, David A; Crandall, Keith A

    2007-01-01

    Investigations of opsin evolution outside of vertebrate systems have long been focused on insect visual pigments, whereas other groups have received little attention. Furthermore, few studies have explicitly investigated the selective influences across all the currently characterized arthropod opsins. In this study, we contribute to the knowledge of crustacean opsins by sequencing 1 opsin gene each from 6 previously uncharacterized crustacean species (Euphausia superba, Homarus gammarus, Archaeomysis grebnitzkii, Holmesimysis costata, Mysis diluviana, and Neomysis americana). Visual pigment spectral absorbances were measured using microspectrophotometry for species not previously characterized (A. grebnitzkii=496 nm, H. costata=512 nm, M. diluviana=501 nm, and N. americana=520 nm). These novel crustacean opsin sequences were included in a phylogenetic analysis with previously characterized arthropod opsin sequences to determine the evolutionary placement relative to the well-established insect spectral clades (long-/middle-/short-wavelength sensitive). Phylogenetic analyses indicate these novel crustacean opsins form a monophyletic clade with previously characterized crayfish opsin sequences and form a sister group to insect middle-/long-wavelength-sensitive opsins. The reconstructed opsin phylogeny and the corresponding spectral data for each sequence were used to investigate selective influences within arthropod, and mainly "pancrustacean," opsin evolution using standard dN/dS ratio methods and more sensitive techniques investigating the amino acid property changes resulting from nonsynonymous replacements in a historical (i.e., phylogenetic) context. Although the conservative dN/dS methods did not detect any selection, 4 amino acid properties (coil tendencies, compressibility, power to be at the middle of an alpha-helix, and refractive index) were found to be influenced by destabilizing positive selection. Ten amino acid sites relating to these properties were

  10. Contrasting modes of evolution of the visual pigments in Heliconius butterflies.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Furong; Bernard, Gary D; Le, Jennifer; Briscoe, Adriana D

    2010-10-01

    The adult compound eyes of passion-vine butterflies in the genus Heliconius contain one more UV opsin than other butterflies. Together with an 11-cis-3-hydroxyretinal chromophore, their four opsin genes UVRh1, UVRh2, BRh, and LWRh produce four rhodopsins that are UV-, blue-, or long wavelength absorbing. One of the Heliconius UV opsin genes, UVRh2, was found to have evolved under positive selection following recent gene duplication, using the branch-site test of selection. Using a more conservative test, the small-sample method, we confirm our prior finding of positive selection of UVRh2 and provide new statistical evidence of episodic evolution, that is, positive selection followed by purifying selection. We also newly note that one of the positively selected amino acid sites contains substitutions with known spectral tuning effects in avian ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive visual pigments. As this is one of a handful of described examples of positive selection of any specific gene in any butterfly where functional variation between copies has been characterized, we were interested in examining the molecular and physiological context of this adaptive event by examining the UV opsin genes in contrast to the other visual pigment genes. We cloned BRh and LWRh from 13 heliconiine species and UVRh1 and UVRh2 from Heliconius elevatus. In parallel, we performed in vivo epi-microspectrophotometric experiments to estimate the wavelength of peak absorbance, λ(max), of several rhodopsins in seven heliconiine species. In contrast to UVRh2, we found both physiological and statistical evidence consistent with purifying selection on UVRh1, BRh, and LWRh along the branch leading to the common ancestor of Heliconius. These results underscore the utility of combining molecular and physiological experiments in a comparative context for strengthening evidence for adaptive evolution at the molecular level.

  11. The Role of IRE-XBP1 Pathway in Regulation of Retinal Pigment Epithelium Tight Junctions

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jacey H.; Wang, Joshua J.; Li, Junhua; Pfeffer, Bruce A.; Zhong, Yiming; Zhang, Sarah X.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) tight junctions play a pivotal role in maintaining the homeostatic environment of the neural retina. Herein, we investigated the role of X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-responsive transcription factor, in regulation of RPE tight junctions. Methods Human RPE cell line (ARPE-19) and primary primate RPE cells were used for in vitro experiments and RPE-specific XBP1 knockout (KO) mice were used for in vivo study. Endoplasmic reticulum stress was induced by a sublethal dose of thapsigargin or tunicamycin. XBP1 activation was manipulated by IRE inhibitor 4μ8C, which suppresses XBP1 mRNA splicing. The integrity of tight junctions and the involvement of calcium-dependent RhoA/Rho kinase pathway were examined. Results Induction of ER stress by thapsigargin, but not tunicamycin, disrupted RPE tight junctions in ARPE-19 cells. Inhibition of XBP1 activation by 4μ8C resulted in a remarkable downregulation of tight junction proteins (ZO-1 and occludin) and defects in tight junction formation in the presence or absence of ER stress inducers. Overexpression of active XBP1 partially reversed 4μ8C-induced anomalies in tight junctions. Mechanistically, XBP1 inhibition resulted in increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration, upregulation of RhoA expression, redistribution of F-actin, and tight junction damage, which was attenuated by Rho kinase inhibitor Y27632. In vivo, deletion of XBP1 in the RPE resulted in defective RPE tight junctions accompanied by increased VEGF expression. Conclusions Taken together, these results suggest a protective role of XBP1 in maintaining RPE tight junctions possibly through regulation of calcium-dependent RhoA/Rho kinase signaling and actin cytoskeletal reorganization. PMID:27701635

  12. The Convergent Evolution of Blue Iris Pigmentation in Primates Took Distinct Molecular Paths

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Wynn K; Zhang, Sidi; Hayakawa, Sachiko; Imai, Hiroo; Przeworski, Molly

    2013-01-01

    How many distinct molecular paths lead to the same phenotype? One approach to this question has been to examine the genetic basis of convergent traits, which likely evolved repeatedly under a shared selective pressure. We investigated the convergent phenotype of blue iris pigmentation, which has arisen independently in four primate lineages: humans, blue-eyed black lemurs, Japanese macaques, and spider monkeys. Characterizing the phenotype across these species, we found that the variation within the blue-eyed subsets of each species occupies strongly overlapping regions of CIE L*a*b* color space. Yet whereas Japanese macaques and humans display continuous variation, the phenotypes of blue-eyed black lemurs and their sister species (whose irises are brown) occupy more clustered subspaces. Variation in an enhancer of OCA2 is primarily responsible for the phenotypic difference between humans with blue and brown irises. In the orthologous region, we found no variant that distinguishes the two lemur species or associates with quantitative phenotypic variation in Japanese macaques. Given the high similarity between the blue iris phenotypes in these species and that in humans, this finding implies that evolution has used different molecular paths to reach the same end. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:398–407, 2013.© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:23640739

  13. A scenario for the evolution of selective egg coloration: the roles of enemy-free space, camouflage, thermoregulation and pigment limitation

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Campos, Inmaculada; Abram, Paul K.; Guerra-Grenier, Eric; Boivin, Guy; Brodeur, Jacques

    2016-01-01

    Behavioural plasticity can drive the evolution of new traits in animals. In oviparous species, plasticity in oviposition behaviour could promote the evolution of new egg traits by exposing them to different selective pressures in novel oviposition sites. Individual females of the predatory stink bug Podisus maculiventris are able to selectively colour their eggs depending on leaf side, laying lightly pigmented eggs on leaf undersides and more pigmented eggs, which are more resistant to ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage, on leaf tops. Here, we propose an evolutionary scenario for P. maculiventris egg pigmentation and its selective application. We experimentally tested the influence of several ecological factors that: (i) could have favoured a behavioural shift towards laying eggs on leaf tops and thus the evolution of a UV-protective egg pigment (i.e. exploitation of enemy-reduced space or a thermoregulatory benefit) and (ii) could have subsequently led to the evolution of selective pigment application (i.e. camouflage or costly pigment production). We found evidence that a higher predation pressure on leaf undersides could have caused a shift in oviposition effort towards leaf tops. We also found the first evidence of an insect egg pigment providing a thermoregulatory advantage. Our study contributes to an understanding of how plasticity in oviposition behaviour could shape the responses of organisms to ecological factors affecting their reproductive success, spurring the evolution of new morphological traits. PMID:27152215

  14. A scenario for the evolution of selective egg coloration: the roles of enemy-free space, camouflage, thermoregulation and pigment limitation.

    PubMed

    Torres-Campos, Inmaculada; Abram, Paul K; Guerra-Grenier, Eric; Boivin, Guy; Brodeur, Jacques

    2016-04-01

    Behavioural plasticity can drive the evolution of new traits in animals. In oviparous species, plasticity in oviposition behaviour could promote the evolution of new egg traits by exposing them to different selective pressures in novel oviposition sites. Individual females of the predatory stink bug Podisus maculiventris are able to selectively colour their eggs depending on leaf side, laying lightly pigmented eggs on leaf undersides and more pigmented eggs, which are more resistant to ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage, on leaf tops. Here, we propose an evolutionary scenario for P. maculiventris egg pigmentation and its selective application. We experimentally tested the influence of several ecological factors that: (i) could have favoured a behavioural shift towards laying eggs on leaf tops and thus the evolution of a UV-protective egg pigment (i.e. exploitation of enemy-reduced space or a thermoregulatory benefit) and (ii) could have subsequently led to the evolution of selective pigment application (i.e. camouflage or costly pigment production). We found evidence that a higher predation pressure on leaf undersides could have caused a shift in oviposition effort towards leaf tops. We also found the first evidence of an insect egg pigment providing a thermoregulatory advantage. Our study contributes to an understanding of how plasticity in oviposition behaviour could shape the responses of organisms to ecological factors affecting their reproductive success, spurring the evolution of new morphological traits. PMID:27152215

  15. A scenario for the evolution of selective egg coloration: the roles of enemy-free space, camouflage, thermoregulation and pigment limitation.

    PubMed

    Torres-Campos, Inmaculada; Abram, Paul K; Guerra-Grenier, Eric; Boivin, Guy; Brodeur, Jacques

    2016-04-01

    Behavioural plasticity can drive the evolution of new traits in animals. In oviparous species, plasticity in oviposition behaviour could promote the evolution of new egg traits by exposing them to different selective pressures in novel oviposition sites. Individual females of the predatory stink bug Podisus maculiventris are able to selectively colour their eggs depending on leaf side, laying lightly pigmented eggs on leaf undersides and more pigmented eggs, which are more resistant to ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage, on leaf tops. Here, we propose an evolutionary scenario for P. maculiventris egg pigmentation and its selective application. We experimentally tested the influence of several ecological factors that: (i) could have favoured a behavioural shift towards laying eggs on leaf tops and thus the evolution of a UV-protective egg pigment (i.e. exploitation of enemy-reduced space or a thermoregulatory benefit) and (ii) could have subsequently led to the evolution of selective pigment application (i.e. camouflage or costly pigment production). We found evidence that a higher predation pressure on leaf undersides could have caused a shift in oviposition effort towards leaf tops. We also found the first evidence of an insect egg pigment providing a thermoregulatory advantage. Our study contributes to an understanding of how plasticity in oviposition behaviour could shape the responses of organisms to ecological factors affecting their reproductive success, spurring the evolution of new morphological traits.

  16. The evolution of fungal metabolic pathways.

    PubMed

    Wisecaver, Jennifer H; Slot, Jason C; Rokas, Antonis

    2014-12-01

    Fungi contain a remarkable range of metabolic pathways, sometimes encoded by gene clusters, enabling them to digest most organic matter and synthesize an array of potent small molecules. Although metabolism is fundamental to the fungal lifestyle, we still know little about how major evolutionary processes, such as gene duplication (GD) and horizontal gene transfer (HGT), have interacted with clustered and non-clustered fungal metabolic pathways to give rise to this metabolic versatility. We examined the synteny and evolutionary history of 247,202 fungal genes encoding enzymes that catalyze 875 distinct metabolic reactions from 130 pathways in 208 diverse genomes. We found that gene clustering varied greatly with respect to metabolic category and lineage; for example, clustered genes in Saccharomycotina yeasts were overrepresented in nucleotide metabolism, whereas clustered genes in Pezizomycotina were more common in lipid and amino acid metabolism. The effects of both GD and HGT were more pronounced in clustered genes than in their non-clustered counterparts and were differentially distributed across fungal lineages; specifically, GD, which was an order of magnitude more abundant than HGT, was most frequently observed in Agaricomycetes, whereas HGT was much more prevalent in Pezizomycotina. The effect of HGT in some Pezizomycotina was particularly strong; for example, we identified 111 HGT events associated with the 15 Aspergillus genomes, which sharply contrasts with the 60 HGT events detected for the 48 genomes from the entire Saccharomycotina subphylum. Finally, the impact of GD within a metabolic category was typically consistent across all fungal lineages, whereas the impact of HGT was variable. These results indicate that GD is the dominant process underlying fungal metabolic diversity, whereas HGT is episodic and acts in a category- or lineage-specific manner. Both processes have a greater impact on clustered genes, suggesting that metabolic gene clusters

  17. Carotenoid scarcity, synthetic pteridine pigments and the evolution of sexual coloration in guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Grether, G F; Hudon, J; Endler, J A

    2001-06-22

    Carotenoid-based sexual coloration is the classic example of an honest signal of mate quality. Animals cannot synthesize carotenoid pigments and ultimately depend on dietary sources. Thus, in carotenoid-poor environments, carotenoid coloration may be a direct indicator of foraging ability and an indirect indicator of health and vigour. Carotenoid coloration may also be affected, more directly, by parasites in some species. Carotenoids are not, however, the only conspicuous pigments available to animals. Pteridine pigments, with similar spectral properties, are displayed in the exoskeletons and wings of insects, the irides of birds and the skins of fishes, lizards and amphibians. Unlike carotenoids, pteridines are synthesized de novo by animals. We report that the orange spots that male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) display to females contain red pteridine pigments (drosopterins) in addition to carotenoids. We also examined the relationship between drosopterin production by males and carotenoid availability in the field. The results contrasted sharply with the hypothesis that males use drosopterins to compensate for carotenoid scarcity: males used more, not less, drosopterins in streams with higher carotenoid availability. The positive association between drosopterin use and carotenoid availability could reflect the costs of drosopterin synthesis or it could be a consequence of females preferring a particular pigment ratio or hue. Male guppies appear to use drosopterin pigments in a manner that dilutes, but does not eliminate, the indicator value of carotenoid coloration.

  18. The Silk-protein Sericin Induces Rapid Melanization of Cultured Primary Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells by Activating the NF-κB Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Eidet, J. R.; Reppe, S.; Pasovic, L.; Olstad, O. K.; Lyberg, T.; Khan, A. Z.; Fostad, I. G.; Chen, D. F.; Utheim, T. P.

    2016-01-01

    Restoration of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to prevent further loss of vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration represents a promising novel treatment modality. Development of RPE transplants, however, requires up to 3 months of cell differentiation. We explored whether the silk protein sericin can induce maturation of primary human retinal pigment epithelial (hRPE) cells. Microarray analysis demonstrated that sericin up-regulated RPE-associated transcripts (RPE65 and CRALBP). Upstream analysis identified the NF-κB pathway as one of the top sericin-induced regulators. ELISA confirmed that sericin stimulates the main NF-κB pathway. Increased levels of RPE-associated proteins (RPE65 and the pigment melanin) in the sericin-supplemented cultures were confirmed by western blot, spectrophotometry and transmission electron microscopy. Sericin also increased cell density and reduced cell death following serum starvation in culture. Inclusion of NF-κB agonists and antagonists in the culture medium showed that activation of the NF-κB pathway appears to be necessary, but not sufficient, for sericin-induced RPE pigmentation. We conclude that sericin promotes pigmentation of cultured primary hRPE cells by activating the main NF-κB pathway. Sericin’s potential role in culture protocols for rapid differentiation of hRPE cells derived from embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells should be investigated. PMID:26940175

  19. Evolution of the parathyroid hormone family and skeletal formation pathways.

    PubMed

    Danks, Janine A; D'Souza, Damian G; Gunn, Haley J; Milley, Kristi M; Richardson, Samantha J

    2011-01-01

    Bone is considered to be a feature of higher vertebrates and one of the features that was required for the movement from water onto land. But there are a number of evolutionarily important species that have cartilaginous skeletons, including sharks. Both bony and cartilaginous fish are believed to have a common ancestor who had a bony skeleton. A number of factors and pathways have been shown to be involved in the development and maintenance of bony skeleton including the Wnt pathway and the parathyroid hormone gene family. The study of these pathways and factors in cartilaginous animals may shed light on the evolution of the vertebrate skeleton. PMID:21074535

  20. Oxygen and the evolution of metabolic pathways

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnke, L. L.

    1986-01-01

    While a considerable amount of evidence has been accumulated about the history of oxygen on this planet, little is known about the relative amounts to which primitive cells might have been exposed. One clue may be found in the metabolic pathways of extant microorganisms. While eucaryotes are principally aerobic organisms, a number are capable of anaerobic growth by fermentation. One such eucaryotic microorganism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, will grow in the complete absence of oxygen when supplemented with unsaturated fatty acid and sterol. Oxygen-requiring enzymes are involved in the synthesis of both of these compounds. Studies have demonstrated that the oxidative desaturation of palmitic acid and the conversion of squalene to sterols occur in the range of 10-(3) to 10(-2) PAL. Thus, if the oxygen requirements of these enzymatic processes are an indication, eucaryotes might be more primitive than anticipated from the microfossil record. Results of studies on the oxygen requirements for sterol and unsaturated fatty acid synthesis in a more primitive procaryotic system are also discussed.

  1. Molecular characterization of visual pigments in Branchiopoda and the evolution of opsins in Arthropoda.

    PubMed

    Kashiyama, Kazuyuki; Seki, Takaharu; Numata, Hideharu; Goto, Shin G

    2009-02-01

    Studies on color vision in invertebrates have focused primarily on insect visual pigments, with little attention given to crustacean visual pigments. None of the blue-green-, blue-, or ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive-opsins have been identified in crustaceans. In addition, the discussion of visual pigments has been limited to long-wavelength-sensitive opsins in Pancrustacea. Here, we focused on Branchiopoda (Crustacea), which is a sister group of Hexapoda including insects. In the tadpole shrimp Triops granarius, the visual pigment chromophore was retinal. Multiple opsins were isolated from each of three branchiopod species, T. granarius, Triops longicaudatus, and the fairy shrimp Branchinella kugenumaensis (five, five, and four opsins from these species, respectively). Phylogenetic analyses and the presence of a lysine residue corresponding to position 90 in bovine rhodopsin suggested that three of the branchiopod opsins comprise UV-sensitive pigments. In addition, the phylogenetic relationships between insect and branchiopod UV-sensitive opsins revealed that the divergence of blue- and UV-sensitive pigments predates the Branchiopoda and Insecta divergence. The other branchiopod opsins show distant relationships to other known insect opsins and form novel clusters. The present results strongly suggest that the ancestral arthropod of the Chelicerata-Pancrustacea lineages possessed at least four types of opsins. The ancestors of Pancrustacea and the Insecta-Branchiopoda lineages possessed at least five and six types of opsins, respectively. Our results suggest that in the evolutionary process associated with each lineage, several opsins appeared and diversified with repeated gene duplication, of which some have been lost in some taxa.

  2. Lutein inhibits the migration of retinal pigment epithelial cells via cytosolic and mitochondrial Akt pathways (lutein inhibits RPE cells migration).

    PubMed

    Su, Ching-Chieh; Chan, Chi-Ming; Chen, Han-Min; Wu, Chia-Chun; Hsiao, Chien-Yu; Lee, Pei-Lan; Lin, Victor Chia-Hsiang; Hung, Chi-Feng

    2014-08-08

    During the course of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells will de-differentiate, proliferate, and migrate onto the surfaces of the sensory retina. Several studies have shown that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) can induce migration of RPE cells via an Akt-related pathway. In this study, the effect of lutein on PDGF-BB-induced RPE cells migration was examined using transwell migration assays and Western blot analyses. We found that both phosphorylation of Akt and mitochondrial translocation of Akt in RPE cells induced by PDGF-BB stimulation were suppressed by lutein. Furthermore, the increased migration observed in RPE cells with overexpressed mitochondrial Akt could also be suppressed by lutein. Our results demonstrate that lutein can inhibit PDGF-BB induced RPE cells migration through the inhibition of both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial Akt activation.

  3. Evolution of the Known Centaurs Population - Dynamical and Thermal Pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarid, Gal

    2010-10-01

    The structural and thermal evolution of small Solar system bodies may be strongly dependent on their dynamical history and environment. Objects on planet-crossing orbits are prone to gravitational perturbations that de-stabilize their orbits. Such are the Centaurs, which are the transient population, between the relatively stable trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) and the short-lived Jupiter family Comets (JFCs). This may indicate that these objects experience intermediate levels of internal processing, at different periods of their lives. Examining the evolution of several these Centaur objects, both in orbital and physical parameters, can help categorize the different states and origin and evolution scenarios in the outer Solar system. Determining the dynamical evolution of each object is achieved through statistical analysis of the results of multiple N-body integrations. This is achieved by using many clones of specific objects, with known orbital elements. Statistics of large clone samples of specific objects yield valuable information about their current states and future fates. Specifically, and with greater importance to thermal evolution, we focus on the dynamical lifetimes, survivability and mean orbital elements. The latter are considered during the relatively stable and non-diffusive phase of orbital evolution. Profiles of temperature, structure and composition are calculated utilizing our robust thermal evolution code several specific objects, which represent slightly varying dynamical groups, and for different orbits of the same object, which represent specific orbital evolution pathways. This has an influence on the internal stratified structure, through an adapting thermal response of the nucleus.

  4. The beet Y locus encodes an anthocyanin-MYB-like protein that activates the betalain red pigment pathway

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Almost all flowering plants produce red/violet, phenylalanine-based, anthocyanin pigments. A single order, the Caryophyllales, contains families that replace anthocyanins with tyrosine-based red and yellow betalain pigments. Close biological correlation of pigmentation patterns suggested that betala...

  5. The phospholipase D pathway mediates the inflammatory response of the retinal pigment epithelium.

    PubMed

    Mateos, Melina V; Kamerbeek, Constanza B; Giusto, Norma M; Salvador, Gabriela A

    2014-10-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important immunological role in the retina and it is involved in many ocular inflammatory diseases that may end in loss of vision and blindness. In this work the role of phospholipase D (PLD) classical isoforms, PLD1 and PLD2, in the inflammatory response of human RPE cells (ARPE-19) was studied. ARPE-19 cells exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 μg/ml) displayed increased levels of NO production and diminished mitochondrial function after 48 h of incubation. Furthermore, 24h LPS treatment strongly induced cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2). EGFP-PLDs showed the typical subcellular localization, perinuclear for PLD1 and plasma membrane for PLD2. LPS increased PLD activity by 90% with respect to the control. The presence of PLD1 inhibitor (EVJ 0.15 μM) or PLD2 inhibitor (APV 0.5 μM) reduced LPS-induced COX-2 induction but only PLD2 inhibition reduced ERK1/2 activation. Mitochondrial function was restored after inhibition of PLD2 and ERK1/2. These findings evidence the participation of PLD2 as a promoter of RPE inflammatory response through ERK1/2 and COX-2 regulation. Our results demonstrate for the first time distinctive roles of PLD isoforms in pathological conditions in RPE. PMID:25172550

  6. Was skin cancer a selective force for black pigmentation in early hominin evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Greaves, Mel

    2014-01-01

    Melanin provides a crucial filter for solar UV radiation and its genetically determined variation influences both skin pigmentation and risk of cancer. Genetic evidence suggests that the acquisition of a highly stable melanocortin 1 receptor allele promoting black pigmentation arose around the time of savannah colonization by hominins at some 1–2 Ma. The adaptive significance of dark skin is generally believed to be protection from UV damage but the pathologies that might have had a deleterious impact on survival and/or reproductive fitness, though much debated, are uncertain. Here, I suggest that data on age-associated cancer incidence and lethality in albinos living at low latitudes in both Africa and Central America support the contention that skin cancer could have provided a potent selective force for the emergence of black skin in early hominins. PMID:24573849

  7. Sequence and evolution of the blue cone pigment gene in old and new world primates

    SciTech Connect

    Hunt, D.M.; Cowing, J.A.; Patel, R.

    1995-06-10

    The sequences of the blue cone photopigments in the talapoin monkey (Miopithecus talapoin), an Old World primate, and in the marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), a New World monkey, are presented. Both genes are composed of 5 exons separated by 4 introns. In this respect, they are identical to the human blue gene, and intron sizes are also similar. Based on the level of amino acid identity, both monkey pigments are members of the S branch of pigments. Alignment of these sequences with the human gene requires the insertion/deletion of two separate codons in exon 1. The silent site divergence between these primate blue genes indicates a separation of the Old and New World primate lineages around 43 million years ago. 41 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  8. Was skin cancer a selective force for black pigmentation in early hominin evolution?

    PubMed

    Greaves, Mel

    2014-04-22

    Melanin provides a crucial filter for solar UV radiation and its genetically determined variation influences both skin pigmentation and risk of cancer. Genetic evidence suggests that the acquisition of a highly stable melanocortin 1 receptor allele promoting black pigmentation arose around the time of savannah colonization by hominins at some 1-2 Ma. The adaptive significance of dark skin is generally believed to be protection from UV damage but the pathologies that might have had a deleterious impact on survival and/or reproductive fitness, though much debated, are uncertain. Here, I suggest that data on age-associated cancer incidence and lethality in albinos living at low latitudes in both Africa and Central America support the contention that skin cancer could have provided a potent selective force for the emergence of black skin in early hominins.

  9. Evolution and Mechanism of Spectral Tuning of Blue-Absorbing Visual Pigments in Butterflies

    PubMed Central

    Wakakuwa, Motohiro; Terakita, Akihisa; Koyanagi, Mitsumasa; Stavenga, Doekele G.; Shichida, Yoshinori; Arikawa, Kentaro

    2010-01-01

    The eyes of flower-visiting butterflies are often spectrally highly complex with multiple opsin genes generated by gene duplication, providing an interesting system for a comparative study of color vision. The Small White butterfly, Pieris rapae, has duplicated blue opsins, PrB and PrV, which are expressed in the blue (λmax = 453 nm) and violet receptors (λmax = 425 nm), respectively. To reveal accurate absorption profiles and the molecular basis of the spectral tuning of these visual pigments, we successfully modified our honeybee opsin expression system based on HEK293s cells, and expressed PrB and PrV, the first lepidopteran opsins ever expressed in cultured cells. We reconstituted the expressed visual pigments in vitro, and analysed them spectroscopically. Both reconstituted visual pigments had two photointerconvertible states, rhodopsin and metarhodopsin, with absorption peak wavelengths 450 nm and 485 nm for PrB and 420 nm and 482 nm for PrV. We furthermore introduced site-directed mutations to the opsins and found that two amino acid substitutions, at positions 116 and 177, were crucial for the spectral tuning. This tuning mechanism appears to be specific for invertebrates and is partially shared by other pierid and lycaenid butterfly species. PMID:21124838

  10. In silico study for diversing the molecular pathway of pigment formation: an alternative to manual coloring in cotton fibers.

    PubMed

    Ahad, Ammara; Ahmad, Aftab; Din, Salah Ud; Rao, Abdul Q; Shahid, Ahmad A; Husnain, Tayyab

    2015-01-01

    Diversity of colors in flowers and fruits is largely due to anthocyanin pigments. The flavonoid/anthocyanin pathway has been most extensively studied. Dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) is a vital enzyme of the flavonoid pathway which displays major impact on the formation of anthocyanins, flavan 3-ols and flavonols. The substrate specificity of the DFR was found to play a crucial role in determination of type of anthocyanidins. Altering the flavonoid/anthocyanin pathway through genetic engineering to develop color of our own choice is an exciting subject of future research. In the present study, comparison among four DFR genes (Gossypium hirsutum, Iris × hollandica, Ang. DFRI and DFRII), sequence alignment for homology as well as protein modeling and docking is demonstrated. Estimation of catalytic sites, prediction of substrate preference and protein docking were the key features of this article. For specific substrate uptake, a proline rich region and positions 12 plus 26 along with other positions emphasizing the 26-amino acid residue region (132-157) was tested. Results showed that proline rich region position 12, 26, and 132-157 plays an important role in selective attachment of DFRs with respective substrates. Further, "Expasy ProtParam tool" results showed that Iris × hollandica DFR amino acids (Asn 9: Asp 23) are favorable for reducing DHQ and DHM thus accumulating delphinidin, while Gossypium hirsutum DFR has (Asn 13: Asp 21) hypothesized to consume DHK. Protein docking data showed that amino acid residues in above mentioned positions were just involved in attachment of DFR with substrate and had no role in specific substrate uptake. Advanced bioinformatics analysis has revealed that all above mentioned positions have role in substrate attachment. For substrate specificity, other residues region is involved. It will help in color manipulations in different plant species. PMID:26442064

  11. Spectral tuning and molecular evolution of rod visual pigments in the species flock of cottoid fish in Lake Baikal.

    PubMed

    Hunt, D M; Fitzgibbon, J; Slobodyanyuk, S J; Bowmaker, J K

    1996-05-01

    Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia is the deepest and one of the largest and most ancient lakes in the world. However, even in the deepest regions, oxygenation levels do not fall below 75-80% of the surface levels. This has enabled a remarkable flock of largely endemic teleost fish of the sub-order Cottoidei to colonize all depth habitats. We have previously shown that species that occupy progressively deeper habitats show a blue shift in the peak wavelength of absorbance (lambda max) of both their rod and cone visual pigments; for the rod pigments, a number of stepwise shifts occur from about 516 nm in littoral species to about 484 nm in abyssal species. By sequencing the rod opsin gene from 11 species of Baikal cottoids that include representatives from all depth habitats, we have been able to identify four amino acid substitutions that would account for these shifts. The effect of each substitution on lambda max is approximately additive and each corresponds to a particular lineage of evolution. PMID:8711901

  12. Long-distance communication by specialized cellular projections during pigment pattern development and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Eom, Dae Seok; Bain, Emily J; Patterson, Larissa B; Grout, Megan E; Parichy, David M

    2015-01-01

    Changes in gene activity are essential for evolutionary diversification. Yet, elucidating the cellular behaviors that underlie modifications to adult form remains a profound challenge. We use neural crest-derived adult pigmentation of zebrafish and pearl danio to uncover cellular bases for alternative pattern states. We show that stripes in zebrafish require a novel class of thin, fast cellular projection to promote Delta-Notch signaling over long distances from cells of the xanthophore lineage to melanophores. Projections depended on microfilaments and microtubules, exhibited meandering trajectories, and stabilized on target cells to which they delivered membraneous vesicles. By contrast, the uniformly patterned pearl danio lacked such projections, concomitant with Colony stimulating factor 1-dependent changes in xanthophore differentiation that likely curtail signaling available to melanophores. Our study reveals a novel mechanism of cellular communication, roles for differentiation state heterogeneity in pigment cell interactions, and an unanticipated morphogenetic behavior contributing to a striking difference in adult form. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12401.001 PMID:26701906

  13. In vivo continuous evolution of genes and pathways in yeast

    PubMed Central

    Crook, Nathan; Abatemarco, Joseph; Sun, Jie; Wagner, James M.; Schmitz, Alexander; Alper, Hal S.

    2016-01-01

    Directed evolution remains a powerful, highly generalizable approach for improving the performance of biological systems. However, implementations in eukaryotes rely either on in vitro diversity generation or limited mutational capacities. Here we synthetically optimize the retrotransposon Ty1 to enable in vivo generation of mutant libraries up to 1.6 × 107 l−1 per round, which is the highest of any in vivo mutational generation approach in yeast. We demonstrate this approach by using in vivo-generated libraries to evolve single enzymes, global transcriptional regulators and multi-gene pathways. When coupled to growth selection, this approach enables in vivo continuous evolution (ICE) of genes and pathways. Through a head-to-head comparison, we find that ICE libraries yield higher-performing variants faster than error-prone PCR-derived libraries. Finally, we demonstrate transferability of ICE to divergent yeasts, including Kluyveromyces lactis and alternative S. cerevisiae strains. Collectively, this work establishes a generic platform for rapid eukaryotic-directed evolution across an array of target cargo. PMID:27748457

  14. MC1R, the cAMP pathway, and the response to solar UV: extending the horizon beyond pigmentation.

    PubMed

    García-Borrón, Jose C; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Jiménez-Cervantes, Celia

    2014-09-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is a G protein-coupled receptor crucial for the regulation of melanocyte proliferation and function. Upon binding melanocortins, MC1R activates several signaling cascades, notably the cAMP pathway leading to synthesis of photoprotective eumelanin. Polymorphisms in the MC1R gene are a major source of normal variation of human hair color and skin pigmentation, response to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), and skin cancer susceptibility. The identification of a surprisingly high number of MC1R natural variants strongly associated with pigmentary phenotypes and increased skin cancer risk has prompted research on the functional properties of the wild-type receptor and frequent mutant alleles. We summarize current knowledge on MC1R structural and functional properties, as well as on its intracellular trafficking and signaling. We also review the current knowledge about the function of MC1R as a skin cancer, particularly melanoma, susceptibility gene and how it modulates the response of melanocytes to UVR.

  15. Insight into the evolution of the iron oxidation pathways.

    PubMed

    Ilbert, Marianne; Bonnefoy, Violaine

    2013-02-01

    Iron is a ubiquitous element in the universe. Ferrous iron (Fe(II)) was abundant in the primordial ocean until the oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere led to its widespread oxidation and precipitation. This change of iron bioavailability likely put selective pressure on the evolution of life. This element is essential to most extant life forms and is an important cofactor in many redox-active proteins involved in a number of vital pathways. In addition, iron plays a central role in many environments as an energy source for some microorganisms. This review is focused on Fe(II) oxidation. The fact that the ability to oxidize Fe(II) is widely distributed in Bacteria and Archaea and in a number of quite different biotopes suggests that the dissimilatory Fe(II) oxidation is an ancient energy metabolism. Based on what is known today about Fe(II) oxidation pathways, we propose that they arose independently more than once in evolution and evolved convergently. The iron paleochemistry, the phylogeny, the physiology of the iron oxidizers, and the nature of the cofactors of the redox proteins involved in these pathways suggest a possible scenario for the timescale in which each type of Fe(II) oxidation pathways evolved. The nitrate dependent anoxic iron oxidizers are likely the most ancient iron oxidizers. We suggest that the phototrophic anoxic iron oxidizers arose in surface waters after the Archaea/Bacteria-split but before the Great Oxidation Event. The neutrophilic oxic iron oxidizers possibly appeared in microaerobic marine environments prior to the Great Oxidation Event while the acidophilic ones emerged likely after the advent of atmospheric O(2). This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The evolutionary aspects of bioenergetic systems. PMID:23044392

  16. Vitreous-induced cytoskeletal rearrangements via the Rac1 GTPase-dependent signaling pathway in human retinal pigment epithelial cells

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Xionggao; Wei, Yantao; Ma, Haizhi; Zhang, Shaochong

    2012-03-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Vitreous induces morphological changes and cytoskeletal rearrangements in RPE cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Rac1 is activated in vitreous-transformed RPE cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Rac inhibition prevents morphological changes in vitreous-transformed RPE cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Rac inhibition suppresses cytoskeletal rearrangements in vitreous-transformed RPE cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The vitreous-induced effects are mediated by a Rac1 GTPase/LIMK1/cofilin pathway. -- Abstract: Proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) is mainly caused by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell migration, invasion, proliferation and transformation into fibroblast-like cells that produce the extracellular matrix (ECM). The vitreous humor is known to play an important role in PVR. An epithelial-to-mesenchymal transdifferentiation (EMT) of human RPE cells induced by 25% vitreous treatment has been linked to stimulation of the mesenchymal phenotype, migration and invasion. Here, we characterized the effects of the vitreous on the cell morphology and cytoskeleton in human RPE cells. The signaling pathway that mediates these effects was investigated. Serum-starved RPE cells were incubated with 25% vitreous, and the morphological changes were examined by phase-contrast microscopy. Filamentous actin (F-actin) was examined by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. Protein phosphorylation of AKT, ERK1/2, Smad2/3, LIM kinase (LIMK) 1 and cofilin was analyzed by Western blot analysis. Vitreous treatment induced cytoskeletal rearrangements, activated Rac1 and enhanced the phosphorylation of AKT, ERK1/2 and Smad2/3. When the cells were treated with a Rac activation-specific inhibitor, the cytoskeletal rearrangements were prevented, and the phosphorylation of Smad2/3 was blocked. Vitreous treatment also enhanced the phosphorylation of LIMK1 and cofilin and the Rac inhibitor blocked this effect. We propose that vitreous

  17. Skin Pigment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Professional Version Pigment Disorders Overview of Skin Pigment Albinism Vitiligo Hyperpigmentation Melasma Melanin is the brown pigment ... dark-skinned people produce the most. People with albinism have little or no melanin and thus their ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-22

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-22

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

  20. Comparative classification of species and the study of pathway evolution based on the alignment of metabolic pathways

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Pathways provide topical descriptions of cellular circuitry. Comparing analogous pathways reveals intricate insights into individual functional differences among species. While previous works in the field performed genomic comparisons and evolutionary studies that were based on specific genes or proteins, whole genomic sequence, or even single pathways, none of them described a genomic system level comparative analysis of metabolic pathways. In order to properly implement such an analysis one should overcome two specific challenges: how to combine the effect of many pathways under a unified framework and how to appropriately analyze co-evolution of pathways. Here we present a computational approach for solving these two challenges. First, we describe a comprehensive, scalable, information theory based computational pipeline that calculates pathway alignment information and then compiles it in a novel manner that allows further analysis. This approach can be used for building phylogenies and for pointing out specific differences that can then be analyzed in depth. Second, we describe a new approach for comparing the evolution of metabolic pathways. This approach can be used for detecting co-evolutionary relationships between metabolic pathways. Results We demonstrate the advantages of our approach by applying our pipeline to data from the MetaCyc repository (which includes a total of 205 organisms and 660 metabolic pathways). Our analysis revealed several surprising biological observations. For example, we show that the different habitats in which Archaea organisms reside are reflected by a pathway based phylogeny. In addition, we discover two striking clusters of metabolic pathways, each cluster includes pathways that have very similar evolution. Conclusion We demonstrate that distance measures that are based on the topology and the content of metabolic networks are useful for studying evolution and co-evolution. PMID:20122211

  1. 19,19'-Diacyloxy Signature: An Atypical Level of Structural Evolution in Carotenoid Pigments.

    PubMed

    Gavalás-Olea, Antonio; Álvarez, Susana; Riobó, Pilar; Rodríguez, Francisco; Garrido, José L; Vaz, Belén

    2016-09-16

    We report the isolation from the green dinoflagellate Lepidodinium chlorophorum and structural characterization of a new carotenoid termed lepidoxanthin (1), determined to be (3S,5R,6S,3'R,6'R)-5,6-epoxy-19-(2-decenoyloxy)-19'-acetoxy-4',5'-didehydro-5,6,5',6'-tetrahydro-β,ε-carotene-3,3'-diol. Its until now unidentified 19,19'-diacyloxy substitution constitutes a chemical signature that can aid in unraveling the evolutionary course of this unicellular algae based on the proposed biosynthethic pathway. PMID:27583572

  2. Evolution of carotenoid pigmentation in caciques and meadowlarks (Icteridae): repeated gains of red plumage coloration by carotenoid C4-oxygenation.

    PubMed

    Friedman, Nicholas R; McGraw, Kevin J; Omland, Kevin E

    2014-03-01

    Many animals use carotenoid pigments to produce yellow, orange, and red coloration. In birds, at least 10 carotenoid compounds have been documented in red feathers; most of these are produced through metabolic modification of dietary precursor compounds. However, it is poorly understood how lineages have evolved the biochemical mechanisms for producing red coloration. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to identify the carotenoid compounds present in feathers from 15 species across two clades of blackbirds (the meadowlarks and allies, and the caciques and oropendolas; Icteridae), and mapped their presence or absence on a phylogeny. We found that the red plumage found in meadowlarks includes different carotenoid compounds than the red plumage found in caciques, indicating that these gains of red color are convergent. In contrast, we found that red coloration in two closely related lineages of caciques evolved twice by what appear to be similar biochemical mechanisms. The C4-oxygenation of dietary carotenoids was responsible for each observed transition from yellow to red plumage coloration, and has been commonly reported by other researchers. This suggests that the C4-oxygenation pathway may be a readily evolvable means to gain red coloration using carotenoids. PMID:24164419

  3. Space and Time Evolution of the Electrostatic Potential During the Activation of a Visual Pigment.

    PubMed

    Melaccio, Federico; Calimet, Nicolas; Schapiro, Igor; Valentini, Alessio; Cecchini, Marco; Olivucci, Massimo

    2016-07-01

    Animal and microbial retinal proteins employ the Schiff base of retinal as their chromophore. Here, the possible consequences of the charge translocation associated with the light-induced dynamics of the chromophore of a visual opsin are investigated along a representative semiclassical trajectory. We show that the evolution of the electrostatic potential projected by the chromophore onto the surrounding protein displays intense but topographically localized sudden variations in proximity of the decay region. pKa calculations carried out on selected snapshots used as probes, indicate that the only residue which may be sensitive to the electrostatic potential shift is Glu181. Accordingly, our results suggest that the frail Tyr191/268-Glu181-Wat2-Ser186 hydrogen bond network may be perturbed by the transient variations of the electrostatic potential.

  4. Space and Time Evolution of the Electrostatic Potential During the Activation of a Visual Pigment.

    PubMed

    Melaccio, Federico; Calimet, Nicolas; Schapiro, Igor; Valentini, Alessio; Cecchini, Marco; Olivucci, Massimo

    2016-07-01

    Animal and microbial retinal proteins employ the Schiff base of retinal as their chromophore. Here, the possible consequences of the charge translocation associated with the light-induced dynamics of the chromophore of a visual opsin are investigated along a representative semiclassical trajectory. We show that the evolution of the electrostatic potential projected by the chromophore onto the surrounding protein displays intense but topographically localized sudden variations in proximity of the decay region. pKa calculations carried out on selected snapshots used as probes, indicate that the only residue which may be sensitive to the electrostatic potential shift is Glu181. Accordingly, our results suggest that the frail Tyr191/268-Glu181-Wat2-Ser186 hydrogen bond network may be perturbed by the transient variations of the electrostatic potential. PMID:27322155

  5. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Knobloch, H Sophie; Grinevich, Valery

    2014-01-01

    The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians), magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing homologs of oxytocin reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds, and mammals) into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei (AN) between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots. PMID:24592219

  6. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Knobloch, H. Sophie; Grinevich, Valery

    2014-01-01

    The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians), magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing homologs of oxytocin reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds, and mammals) into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei (AN) between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots. PMID:24592219

  7. Aerobic biodegradation of the chloroethenes: pathways, enzymes, ecology, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Mattes, Timothy E; Alexander, Anne K; Coleman, Nicholas V

    2010-07-01

    Extensive use and inadequate disposal of chloroethenes have led to prevalent groundwater contamination worldwide. The occurrence of the lesser chlorinated ethenes [i.e. vinyl chloride (VC) and cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cDCE)] in groundwater is primarily a consequence of incomplete anaerobic reductive dechlorination of the more highly chlorinated ethenes (tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene). VC and cDCE are toxic and VC is a known human carcinogen. Therefore, their presence in groundwater is undesirable. In situ cleanup of VC- and cDCE-contaminated groundwater via oxidation by aerobic microorganisms is an attractive and potentially cost-effective alternative to physical and chemical approaches. Of particular interest are aerobic bacteria that use VC or cDCE as growth substrates (known as the VC- and cDCE-assimilating bacteria). Bacteria that grow on VC are readily isolated from contaminated and uncontaminated environments, suggesting that they are widespread and influential in aerobic natural attenuation of VC. In contrast, only one cDCE-assimilating strain has been isolated, suggesting that their environmental occurrence is rare. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the physiology, biodegradation pathways, genetics, ecology, and evolution of VC- and cDCE-assimilating bacteria. Techniques (e.g. PCR, proteomics, and compound-specific isotope analysis) that aim to determine the presence, numbers, and activity of these bacteria in the environment will also be discussed.

  8. Genetic Architecture of Abdominal Pigmentation in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Dembeck, Lauren M; Huang, Wen; Magwire, Michael M; Lawrence, Faye; Lyman, Richard F; Mackay, Trudy F C

    2015-05-01

    Pigmentation varies within and between species and is often adaptive. The amount of pigmentation on the abdomen of Drosophila melanogaster is a relatively simple morphological trait, which serves as a model for mapping the genetic basis of variation in complex phenotypes. Here, we assessed natural variation in female abdominal pigmentation in 175 sequenced inbred lines of the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel, derived from the Raleigh, NC population. We quantified the proportion of melanization on the two most posterior abdominal segments, tergites 5 and 6 (T5, T6). We found significant genetic variation in the proportion of melanization and high broad-sense heritabilities for each tergite. Genome-wide association studies identified over 150 DNA variants associated with the proportion of melanization on T5 (84), T6 (34), and the difference between T5 and T6 (35). Several of the top variants associated with variation in pigmentation are in tan, ebony, and bric-a-brac1, genes known to affect D. melanogaster abdominal pigmentation. Mutational analyses and targeted RNAi-knockdown showed that 17 out of 28 (61%) novel candidate genes implicated by the genome-wide association study affected abdominal pigmentation. Several of these genes are involved in developmental and regulatory pathways, chitin production, cuticle structure, and vesicle formation and transport. These findings show that genetic variation may affect multiple steps in pathways involved in tergite development and melanization. Variation in these novel candidates may serve as targets for adaptive evolution and sexual selection in D. melanogaster.

  9. Genetic Architecture of Abdominal Pigmentation in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Dembeck, Lauren M.; Huang, Wen; Magwire, Michael M.; Lawrence, Faye; Lyman, Richard F.; Mackay, Trudy F. C.

    2015-01-01

    Pigmentation varies within and between species and is often adaptive. The amount of pigmentation on the abdomen of Drosophila melanogaster is a relatively simple morphological trait, which serves as a model for mapping the genetic basis of variation in complex phenotypes. Here, we assessed natural variation in female abdominal pigmentation in 175 sequenced inbred lines of the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel, derived from the Raleigh, NC population. We quantified the proportion of melanization on the two most posterior abdominal segments, tergites 5 and 6 (T5, T6). We found significant genetic variation in the proportion of melanization and high broad-sense heritabilities for each tergite. Genome-wide association studies identified over 150 DNA variants associated with the proportion of melanization on T5 (84), T6 (34), and the difference between T5 and T6 (35). Several of the top variants associated with variation in pigmentation are in tan, ebony, and bric-a-brac1, genes known to affect D. melanogaster abdominal pigmentation. Mutational analyses and targeted RNAi-knockdown showed that 17 out of 28 (61%) novel candidate genes implicated by the genome-wide association study affected abdominal pigmentation. Several of these genes are involved in developmental and regulatory pathways, chitin production, cuticle structure, and vesicle formation and transport. These findings show that genetic variation may affect multiple steps in pathways involved in tergite development and melanization. Variation in these novel candidates may serve as targets for adaptive evolution and sexual selection in D. melanogaster. PMID:25933381

  10. Blockade of Jagged/Notch pathway abrogates transforming growth factor β2-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human retinal pigment epithelium cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, X; Xiao, W; Liu, X; Zeng, M; Luo, L; Wu, M; Ye, S; Liu, Y

    2014-05-01

    The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells plays a key role in proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), which lead to the loss of vision. The Jagged/Notch pathway has been reported to be essential in EMT during embryonic development, fibrotic diseases and cancer metastasis. However, the function of Jagged/Notch signaling in EMT of RPE cells is unknown. Thus, we hypothesized that a crosstalk between Notch and transforming growth factor β2 (TGF-β2) signaling could induce EMT in RPE cells, which subsequently contributes to PVR and PDR. Here, we demonstrate that Jagged-1/Notch pathway is involved in the TGF-β2-mediated EMT of human RPE cells. Blockade of Notch pathway with DAPT (a specific inhibitor of Notch receptor cleavage) and knockdown of Jagged-1 expression inhibited TGF-β2-induced EMT through regulating the expression of Snail, Slug and ZEB1. Besides the canonical Smad signaling pathway, the noncanonical PI3K/Akt and MAPK pathway also contributed to TGF-β2-induced up-regulation of Jagged-1 in RPE cells. Overexpression of Jagged-1 could mimic TGF-β2 induce EMT. Our data suggest that the Jagged-1/Notch signaling pathway plays a critical role in TGF-β2-induced EMT in human RPE cells, and may contribute to the development of PVR and PDR. Inhibition of the Jagged/Notch signaling pathway, therefore, may have therapeutic value in the prevention and treatment of PVR and PDR.

  11. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms

    PubMed Central

    Kuczynska, Paulina; Jemiola-Rzeminska, Malgorzata; Strzalka, Kazimierz

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvesting pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, and fucoxanthin, there is a group of photoprotective carotenoids which includes β-carotene and the xanthophylls, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin, which are engaged in the xanthophyll cycle. Additionally, some intermediate products of biosynthetic pathways have been identified in diatoms as well as unusual pigments, e.g., marennine. Marine algae have become widely recognized as a source of unique bioactive compounds for potential industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical applications. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on diatom photosynthetic pigments complemented by some new insights regarding their physico-chemical properties, biological role, and biosynthetic pathways, as well as the regulation of pigment level in the cell, methods of purification, and significance in industries. PMID:26389924

  12. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi induce the non-mevalonate methylerythritol phosphate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis correlated with accumulation of the 'yellow pigment' and other apocarotenoids.

    PubMed

    Walter, M H; Fester, T; Strack, D

    2000-03-01

    Plants and certain bacteria use a non-mevalonate alternative route for the biosynthesis of many isoprenoids, including carotenoids. This route has been discovered only recently and has been designated the deoxyxylulose phosphate pathway or methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway. We report here that colonisation of roots from wheat, maize, rice and barley by the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal symbiont Glomus intraradices involves strong induction of transcript levels of two of the pivotal enzymes of the MEP pathway, 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase (DXS) and 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase (DXR). This induction is temporarily and spatially correlated with specific and concomitant accumulation of two classes of apocarotenoids, namely glycosylated C13 cyclohexenone derivatives and mycorradicin (C14) conjugates, the latter being a major component of the long-known 'yellow pigment'. A total of six cyclohexenone derivatives were characterised from mycorrhizal wheat and maize roots. Furthermore, the acyclic structure of mycorradicin described previously only from maize has been identified from mycorrhizal wheat roots after alkaline treatment of an 'apocarotenoid complex' of yellow root constituents. We propose a hypothetical scheme for biogenesis of both types of apocarotenoids from a common oxocarotenoid (xanthophyll) precursor. This is the first report demonstrating (i) that the plastidic MEP pathway is active in plant roots and (ii) that it can be induced by a fungus. PMID:10758508

  13. A dominant mutation in MAPKAPK3, an actor of p38 signaling pathway, causes a new retinal dystrophy involving Bruch's membrane and retinal pigment epithelium.

    PubMed

    Meunier, Isabelle; Lenaers, Guy; Bocquet, Béatrice; Baudoin, Corinne; Piro-Megy, Camille; Cubizolle, Aurélie; Quilès, Mélanie; Jean-Charles, Albert; Cohen, Salomon Yves; Merle, Harold; Gaudric, Alain; Labesse, Gilles; Manes, Gaël; Péquignot, Marie; Cazevieille, Chantal; Dhaenens, Claire-Marie; Fichard, Agnès; Ronkina, Natalia; Arthur, Simon J; Gaestel, Matthias; Hamel, Christian P

    2016-03-01

    Inherited retinal dystrophies are clinically and genetically heterogeneous with significant number of cases remaining genetically unresolved. We studied a large family from the West Indies islands with a peculiar retinal disease, the Martinique crinkled retinal pigment epitheliopathy that begins around the age of 30 with retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Bruch's membrane changes resembling a dry desert land and ends with a retinitis pigmentosa. Whole-exome sequencing identified a heterozygous c.518T>C (p.Leu173Pro) mutation in MAPKAPK3 that segregates with the disease in 14 affected and 28 unaffected siblings from three generations. This unknown variant is predicted to be damaging by bioinformatic predictive tools and the mutated protein to be non-functional by crystal structure analysis. MAPKAPK3 is a serine/threonine protein kinase of the p38 signaling pathway that is activated by a variety of stress stimuli and is implicated in cellular responses and gene regulation. In contrast to other tissues, MAPKAPK3 is highly expressed in the RPE, suggesting a crucial role for retinal physiology. Expression of the mutated allele in HEK cells revealed a mislocalization of the protein in the cytoplasm, leading to cytoskeleton alteration and cytodieresis inhibition. In Mapkapk3-/- mice, Bruch's membrane is irregular with both abnormal thickened and thinned portions. In conclusion, we identified the first pathogenic mutation in MAPKAPK3 associated with a retinal disease. These findings shed new lights on Bruch's membrane/RPE pathophysiology and will open studies of this signaling pathway in diseases with RPE and Bruch's membrane alterations, such as age-related macular degeneration.

  14. Illumination from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) disrupts pathological cytokines expression and activates relevant signal pathways in primary human retinal pigment epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Shen, Ye; Xie, Chen; Gu, Yangshun; Li, Xiuyi; Tong, Jianping

    2016-04-01

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the aged people. The latest systemic review of epidemiological investigations revealed that excessive light exposure increases the risk of AMD. With the drastically increasing use of high-energy light-emitting diodes (LEDs) light in our domestic environment nowadays, it is supposed to pose a potential oxidative threat to ocular health. Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is the major ocular source of pathological cytokines, which regulate local inflammation and angiogenesis. We hypothesized that high-energy LED light might disrupt the pathological cytokine expression of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), contributing to the pathogenesis of AMD. Primary human RPE cells were isolated from eyecups of normal eye donors and seeded into plate wells for growing to confluence. Two widely used multichromatic white light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with correlated color temperatures (CCTs) of 2954 and 7378 K were used in this experiment. The confluent primary RPE cells were under white LEDs light exposure until 24 h. VEGF-A, IL-6, IL-8 and MCP-1 proteins and mRNAs were measured using an ELISA kit and RT-PCR, respectively. Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), Akt, Janus kinase (JAK)2 and Nuclear factor (NF)-κB signal pathways after LEDs illumination were evaluated by western blotting analysis. The level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) using chloromethyl- 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate. Inhibitors of relevant signal pathways and anti-oxidants were added to the primary RPE cells before LEDs illumination to evaluate their biological functions. We found that 7378 K light, but not 2954 K upregulated the VEGF-A, IL-6, IL-8 and downregulated MCP-1 proteins and mRNAs levels in a time-dependent manner. In parallel, initial activation of MAPKs and NF-κB signal pathways were also observed after 7378 K light exposure. Mechanistically, antioxidants for eliminating reactive oxygen

  15. Swapping one red pigment for another.

    PubMed

    Davies, Kevin M

    2015-01-01

    Betalains are bright red and yellow pigments, which are produced in only one order of plants, the Caryophyllales, and replace the more familiar anthocyanin pigments. The evolutionary origin of betalain production is a mystery, but a new study has identified the first regulator of betalain production and discovered a previously unknown link between the two pigment pathways. PMID:25547597

  16. [Macular pigments].

    PubMed

    Canovas, Renata; Cypel, Marcela; Farah, Michel Eid; Belfort, Rubens

    2009-01-01

    Lutein and Zeaxanthin are yellow pigments located at the macula. Because of your location macular pigments decrease and filter the amount of blue light that reach photoreceptors, protect the outer retina from oxidative stress and may improve the vision quality. This is a review regarding incorporation mechanism, function and knowledge update. PMID:20098912

  17. mTOR pathway is activated by PKA in adrenocortical cells and participates in vivo to apoptosis resistance in primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD).

    PubMed

    de Joussineau, Cyrille; Sahut-Barnola, Isabelle; Tissier, Frédérique; Dumontet, Typhanie; Drelon, Coralie; Batisse-Lignier, Marie; Tauveron, Igor; Pointud, Jean-Christophe; Lefrançois-Martinez, Anne-Marie; Stratakis, Constantine A; Bertherat, Jérôme; Val, Pierre; Martinez, Antoine

    2014-10-15

    Primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD) is associated with inactivating mutations of the PRKAR1A tumor suppressor gene that encodes the regulatory subunit R1α of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). In human and mouse adrenocortical cells, these mutations lead to increased PKA activity, which results in increased resistance to apoptosis that contributes to the tumorigenic process. We used in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the possibility of a crosstalk between PKA and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways in adrenocortical cells and its possible involvement in apoptosis resistance. Impact of PKA signaling on activation of the mTOR pathway and apoptosis was measured in a mouse model of PPNAD (AdKO mice), in human and mouse adrenocortical cell lines in response to pharmacological inhibitors and in PPNAD tissues by immunohistochemistry. AdKO mice showed increased mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway activity. Inhibition of mTORC1 by rapamycin restored sensitivity of adrenocortical cells to apoptosis in AdKO but not in wild-type mice. In both cell lines and mouse adrenals, rapid phosphorylation of mTORC1 targets including BAD proapoptotic protein was observed in response to PKA activation. Accordingly, BAD hyperphosphorylation, which inhibits its proapoptotic activity, was increased in both AdKO mouse adrenals and human PPNAD tissues. In conclusion, mTORC1 pathway is activated by PKA signaling in human and mouse adrenocortical cells, leading to increased cell survival, which is correlated with BAD hyperphosphorylation. These alterations could be causative of tumor formation. PMID:24865460

  18. Evolution of tryptophan biosynthetic pathway in microbial genomes: a comparative genetic study.

    PubMed

    Priya, V K; Sarkar, Susmita; Sinha, Somdatta

    2014-03-01

    Biosynthetic pathway evolution needs to consider the evolution of a group of genes that code for enzymes catalysing the multiple chemical reaction steps leading to the final end product. Tryptophan biosynthetic pathway has five chemical reaction steps that are highly conserved in diverse microbial genomes, though the genes of the pathway enzymes show considerable variations in arrangements, operon structure (gene fusion and splitting) and regulation. We use a combined bioinformatic and statistical analyses approach to address the question if the pathway genes from different microbial genomes, belonging to a wide range of groups, show similar evolutionary relationships within and between them. Our analyses involved detailed study of gene organization (fusion/splitting events), base composition, relative synonymous codon usage pattern of the genes, gene expressivity, amino acid usage, etc. to assess inter- and intra-genic variations, between and within the pathway genes, in diverse group of microorganisms. We describe these genetic and genomic variations in the tryptophan pathway genes in different microorganisms to show the similarities across organisms, and compare the same genes across different organisms to find the possible variability arising possibly due to horizontal gene transfers. Such studies form the basis for moving from single gene evolution to pathway evolutionary studies that are important steps towards understanding the systems biology of intracellular pathways. PMID:24592292

  19. Evolution of the Isoprene Biosynthetic Pathway in Kudzu1[w

    PubMed Central

    Sharkey, Thomas D.; Yeh, Sansun; Wiberley, Amy E.; Falbel, Tanya G.; Gong, Deming; Fernandez, Donna E.

    2005-01-01

    Isoprene synthase converts dimethylallyl diphosphate, derived from the methylerythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway, to isoprene. Isoprene is made by some plants in substantial amounts, which affects atmospheric chemistry, while other plants make no isoprene. As part of our long-term study of isoprene synthesis, the genetics of the isoprene biosynthetic pathway of the isoprene emitter, kudzu (Pueraria montana), was compared with similar genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), which does not make isoprene. The MEP pathway genes in kudzu were similar to the corresponding Arabidopsis genes. Isoprene synthase genes of kudzu and aspen (Populus tremuloides) were cloned to compare their divergence with the divergence seen in MEP pathway genes. Phylogenetic analysis of the terpene synthase gene family indicated that isoprene synthases are either within the monoterpene synthase clade or sister to it. In Arabidopsis, the gene most similar to isoprene synthase is a myrcene/ocimene (acyclic monoterpenes) synthase. Two phenylalanine residues found exclusively in isoprene synthases make the active site smaller than other terpene synthase enzymes, possibly conferring specificity for the five-carbon substrate rather than precursors of the larger isoprenoids. Expression of the kudzu isoprene synthase gene in Arabidopsis caused Arabidopsis to emit isoprene, indicating that whether or not a plant emits isoprene depends on whether or not it has a terpene synthase capable of using dimethylallyl diphosphate. PMID:15653811

  20. Pigmented casts.

    PubMed

    Miteva, Mariya; Romanelli, Paolo; Tosti, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    Pigmented casts have been reported with variable frequency in scalp biopsies from alopecia areata, trichotillomania, chemotherapy-induced alopecia and postoperative (pressure induced) alopecia. Their presence and morphology in other scalp disorders has not been described. The authors assessed for the presence and morphology of pigmented casts in 308 transversely bisected scalp biopsies from nonscarring and scarring alopecia, referred to the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami within a year. The pigmented casts were present in 21 of 29 cases of alopecia areata (72%), 7 of 7 cases of trichotillomania (100%), 1 case of friction alopecia, 4 of 28 cases of central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (14%), and 4 of 4 cases of dissecting cellulitis (100%). They did not show any distinguishing features except for the morphology in trichotillomania, which included twisted, linear (zip), and "button"-like pigment aggregation. The linear arrangement was found also in friction alopecia and dissecting cellulitis. Pigmented casts in the hair canals of miniaturized/vellus hairs was a clue to alopecia areata. Pigmented casts can be observed in biopsies of different hair disorders, but they are not specific for the diagnosis. Horizontal sections allow to better assess their morphology and the follicular level of presence of pigmented casts, which in the context of the other follicular findings may be a clue to the diagnosis. PMID:23823025

  1. The secretory pathway of protists: spatial and functional organization and evolution.

    PubMed Central

    Becker, B; Melkonian, M

    1996-01-01

    All cells secrete a diversity of macromolecules to modify their environment or to protect themselves. Eukaryotic cells have evolved a complex secretory pathway consisting of several membrane-bound compartments which contain specific sets of proteins. Experimental work on the secretory pathway has focused mainly on mammalian cell lines or on yeasts. Now, some general principles of the secretory pathway have become clear, and most components of the secretory pathway are conserved between yeast cells and mammalian cells. However, the structure and function of the secretory system in protists have been less extensively studied. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the secretory pathway of five different groups of protists: Giardia lamblia, one of the earliest lines of eukaryotic evolution, kinetoplastids, the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, and two lineages within the "crown" of eukaryotic cell evolution, the alveolates (ciliates and Plasmodium species) and the green algae. Comparison of these systems with the mammalian and yeast system shows that most elements of the secretory pathway were presumably present in the earliest eukaryotic organisms. However, one element of the secretory pathway shows considerable variation: the presence of a Golgi stack and the number of cisternae within a stack. We suggest that the functional separation of the plasma membrane from the nucleus-endoplasmic reticulum system during evolution required a sorting compartment, which became the Golgi apparatus. Once a Golgi apparatus was established, it was adapted to the various needs of the different organisms. PMID:8987360

  2. The secretory pathway of protists: spatial and functional organization and evolution.

    PubMed

    Becker, B; Melkonian, M

    1996-12-01

    All cells secrete a diversity of macromolecules to modify their environment or to protect themselves. Eukaryotic cells have evolved a complex secretory pathway consisting of several membrane-bound compartments which contain specific sets of proteins. Experimental work on the secretory pathway has focused mainly on mammalian cell lines or on yeasts. Now, some general principles of the secretory pathway have become clear, and most components of the secretory pathway are conserved between yeast cells and mammalian cells. However, the structure and function of the secretory system in protists have been less extensively studied. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the secretory pathway of five different groups of protists: Giardia lamblia, one of the earliest lines of eukaryotic evolution, kinetoplastids, the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, and two lineages within the "crown" of eukaryotic cell evolution, the alveolates (ciliates and Plasmodium species) and the green algae. Comparison of these systems with the mammalian and yeast system shows that most elements of the secretory pathway were presumably present in the earliest eukaryotic organisms. However, one element of the secretory pathway shows considerable variation: the presence of a Golgi stack and the number of cisternae within a stack. We suggest that the functional separation of the plasma membrane from the nucleus-endoplasmic reticulum system during evolution required a sorting compartment, which became the Golgi apparatus. Once a Golgi apparatus was established, it was adapted to the various needs of the different organisms.

  3. Evolution of mammalian Opn5 as a specialized UV-absorbing pigment by a single amino acid mutation.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Takahiro; Ono, Katsuhiko; Ohuchi, Hideyo; Yumoto, Akane; Gotoh, Hitoshi; Tomonari, Sayuri; Sakai, Kazumi; Fujita, Hirofumi; Imamoto, Yasushi; Noji, Sumihare; Nakamura, Katsuki; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2014-02-14

    Opn5 is one of the recently identified opsin groups that is responsible for nonvisual photoreception in animals. We previously showed that a chicken homolog of mammalian Opn5 (Opn5m) is a Gi-coupled UV sensor having molecular properties typical of bistable pigments. Here we demonstrated that mammalian Opn5m evolved to be a more specialized photosensor by losing one of the characteristics of bistable pigments, direct binding of all-trans-retinal. We first confirmed that Opn5m proteins in zebrafish, Xenopus tropicalis, mouse, and human are also UV-sensitive pigments. Then we found that only mammalian Opn5m proteins lack the ability to directly bind all-trans-retinal. Mutational analysis showed that these characteristics were acquired by a single amino acid replacement at position 168. By comparing the expression patterns of Opn5m between mammals and chicken, we found that, like chicken Opn5m, mammalian Opn5m was localized in the ganglion cell layer and inner nuclear layer of the retina. However, the mouse and primate (common marmoset) opsins were distributed not in the posterior hypothalamus (including the region along the third ventricle) where chicken Opn5m is localized, but in the preoptic hypothalamus. Interestingly, RPE65, an essential enzyme for forming 11-cis-retinal in the visual cycle is expressed near the preoptic hypothalamus of the mouse and common marmoset brain but not near the region of the chicken brain where chicken Opn5m is expressed. Therefore, mammalian Opn5m may work exclusively as a short wavelength sensor in the brain as well as in the retina with the assistance of an 11-cis-retinal-supplying system. PMID:24403072

  4. TGF-{beta}-stimulated aberrant expression of class III {beta}-tubulin via the ERK signaling pathway in cultured retinal pigment epithelial cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, Eun Jee; Chun, Ji Na; Jung, Sun-Ah; Cho, Jin Won; Lee, Joon H.

    2011-11-18

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer TGF-{beta} induces aberrant expression of {beta}III in RPE cells via the ERK pathway. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer TGF-{beta} increases O-GlcNAc modification of {beta}III in RPE cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Mature RPE cells have the capacity to express a neuron-associated gene by TGF-{beta}. -- Abstract: The class III {beta}-tubulin isotype ({beta}{sub III}) is expressed exclusively by neurons within the normal human retina and is not present in normal retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells in situ or in the early phase of primary cultures. However, aberrant expression of class III {beta}-tubulin has been observed in passaged RPE cells and RPE cells with dedifferentiated morphology in pathologic epiretinal membranes from idiopathic macular pucker, proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Transforming growth factor-{beta} (TGF-{beta}) has been implicated in dedifferentiation of RPE cells and has a critical role in the development of proliferative vitreoretinal diseases. Here, we investigated the potential effects of TGF-{beta} on the aberrant expression of class III {beta}-tubulin and the intracellular signaling pathway mediating these changes. TGF-{beta}-induced aberrant expression and O-linked-{beta}-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNac) modification of class III {beta}-tubulin in cultured RPE cells as determined using Western blotting, RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry. TGF-{beta} also stimulated phosphorylation of ERK. TGF-{beta}-induced aberrant expression of class III {beta}-tubulin was significantly reduced by pretreatment with U0126, an inhibitor of ERK phosphorylation. Our findings indicate that TGF-{beta} stimulated aberrant expression of class III {beta}-tubulin via activation of the ERK signaling pathway. These data demonstrate that mature RPE cells have the capacity to express a neuron-associated gene in response to TGF-{beta} stimulation and provide useful information

  5. Mutational Pathway Determines Whether Drug Gradients Accelerate Evolution of Drug-Resistant Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greulich, Philip; Waclaw, Bartłomiej; Allen, Rosalind J.

    2012-08-01

    Drug gradients are believed to play an important role in the evolution of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and tumors resistant to anticancer drugs. We use a statistical physics model to study the evolution of a population of malignant cells exposed to drug gradients, where drug resistance emerges via a mutational pathway involving multiple mutations. We show that a nonuniform drug distribution has the potential to accelerate the emergence of resistance when the mutational pathway involves a long sequence of mutants with increasing resistance, but if the pathway is short or crosses a fitness valley, the evolution of resistance may actually be slowed down by drug gradients. These predictions can be verified experimentally, and may help to improve strategies for combating the emergence of resistance.

  6. Directed evolution of a cellobiose utilization pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by simultaneously engineering multiple proteins

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The optimization of metabolic pathways is critical for efficient and economical production of biofuels and specialty chemicals. One such significant pathway is the cellobiose utilization pathway, identified as a promising route in biomass utilization. Here we describe the optimization of cellobiose consumption and ethanol productivity by simultaneously engineering both proteins of the pathway, the β-glucosidase (gh1-1) and the cellodextrin transporter (cdt-1), in an example of pathway engineering through directed evolution. Results The improved pathway was assessed based on the strain specific growth rate on cellobiose, with the final mutant exhibiting a 47% increase over the wild-type pathway. Metabolite analysis of the engineered pathway identified a 49% increase in cellobiose consumption (1.78 to 2.65 g cellobiose/(L · h)) and a 64% increase in ethanol productivity (0.611 to 1.00 g ethanol/(L · h)). Conclusions By simultaneously engineering multiple proteins in the pathway, cellobiose utilization in S. cerevisiae was improved. This optimization can be generally applied to other metabolic pathways, provided a selection/screening method is available for the desired phenotype. The improved in vivo cellobiose utilization demonstrated here could help to decrease the in vitro enzyme load in biomass pretreatment, ultimately contributing to a reduction in the high cost of biofuel production. PMID:23802545

  7. Stepwise evolution of the centriole-assembly pathway.

    PubMed

    Carvalho-Santos, Zita; Machado, Pedro; Branco, Pedro; Tavares-Cadete, Filipe; Rodrigues-Martins, Ana; Pereira-Leal, José B; Bettencourt-Dias, Mónica

    2010-05-01

    The centriole and basal body (CBB) structure nucleates cilia and flagella, and is an essential component of the centrosome, underlying eukaryotic microtubule-based motility, cell division and polarity. In recent years, components of the CBB-assembly machinery have been identified, but little is known about their regulation and evolution. Given the diversity of cellular contexts encountered in eukaryotes, but the remarkable conservation of CBB morphology, we asked whether general mechanistic principles could explain CBB assembly. We analysed the distribution of each component of the human CBB-assembly machinery across eukaryotes as a strategy to generate testable hypotheses. We found an evolutionarily cohesive and ancestral module, which we term UNIMOD and is defined by three components (SAS6, SAS4/CPAP and BLD10/CEP135), that correlates with the occurrence of CBBs. Unexpectedly, other players (SAK/PLK4, SPD2/CEP192 and CP110) emerged in a taxon-specific manner. We report that gene duplication plays an important role in the evolution of CBB components and show that, in the case of BLD10/CEP135, this is a source of tissue specificity in CBB and flagella biogenesis. Moreover, we observe extreme protein divergence amongst CBB components and show experimentally that there is loss of cross-species complementation among SAK/PLK4 family members, suggesting species-specific adaptations in CBB assembly. We propose that the UNIMOD theory explains the conservation of CBB architecture and that taxon- and tissue-specific molecular innovations, gained through emergence, duplication and divergence, play important roles in coordinating CBB biogenesis and function in different cellular contexts. PMID:20392737

  8. Lycopene inhibits PDGF-BB-induced retinal pigment epithelial cell migration by suppression of PI3K/Akt and MAPK pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, Chi-Ming; Fang, Jia-You; Lin, Hsin-Huang; Yang, Chi-Yea; Hung, Chi-Feng

    2009-10-09

    Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells play a dominant role in the development of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), which is the leading cause of failure in retinal reattachment surgery. Several studies have shown that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) exhibits chemotaxis and proliferation effects on RPE cells in PVR. In this study, the inhibitory effect of lycopene on PDGF-BB-induced ARPE19 cell migration is examined. In electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) and Transwell migration assays, significant suppression of PDGF-BB-induced ARPE19 cell migration by lycopene is observed. Cell viability assays show no cytotoxicity of lycopene on RPE cells. Lycopene shows no effect on ARPE19 cell adhesion and is found to inhibit PDGF-BB-induced tyrosine phosphorylation and the underlying signaling pathways of PI3K, Akt, ERK and p38 activation. However, PDGF-BB and lycopene show no effects on JNK activation. Taken together, our results demonstrate that lycopene inhibits PDGF-BB-induced ARPE19 cell migration through inhibition of PI3K/Akt, ERK and p38 activation.

  9. SLC29A3 gene is mutated in pigmented hypertrichosis with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus syndrome and interacts with the insulin signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Cliffe, Simon T; Kramer, Jamie M; Hussain, Khalid; Robben, Joris H; de Jong, Eiko K; de Brouwer, Arjan P; Nibbeling, Esther; Kamsteeg, Erik-Jan; Wong, Melanie; Prendiville, Julie; James, Chela; Padidela, Raja; Becknell, Charlie; van Bokhoven, Hans; Deen, Peter M T; Hennekam, Raoul C M; Lindeman, Robert; Schenck, Annette; Roscioli, Tony; Buckley, Michael F

    2009-06-15

    Pigmented hypertrichotic dermatosis with insulin-dependent diabetes (PHID) syndrome is a recently described autosomal recessive disorder associated with predominantly antibody negative, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In order to identify the genetic basis of PHID and study its relationship with glucose metabolism, we performed homozygosity mapping in five unrelated families followed by candidate gene sequencing. Five loss-of-function mutations were identified in the SLC29A3 gene which encodes a member of a highly conserved protein family that transports nucleosides, nucleobases and nucleoside analogue drugs, hENT3. We show that PHID is allelic with a related syndrome without diabetes mellitus, H syndrome. The interaction of SLC29A3 with insulin signaling pathways was then studied using an established model in Drosophila melanogaster. Ubiquitous knockdown of the Drosophila ortholog of hENT3, dENT1 is lethal under stringent conditions; whereas milder knockdown induced scutellar bristle phenotypes similar to those previously reported in the knockdown of the Drosophila ortholog of the Islet gene. A cellular growth assay showed a reduction of cell size/number which could be rescued or enhanced by manipulation of the Drosophila insulin receptor and its downstream signaling effectors, dPI3K and dAkt. In summary, inactivating mutations in SLC29A3 cause a syndromic form of insulin-dependent diabetes in humans and in Drosophila profoundly affect cell size/number through interactions with the insulin signaling pathway. These data suggest that further investigation of the role of SLC29A3 in glucose metabolism is a priority for diabetes research.

  10. Evolution of pigment-dispersing factor neuropeptides in Panarthropoda: Insights from Onychophora (velvet worms) and Tardigrada (water bears).

    PubMed

    Mayer, Georg; Hering, Lars; Stosch, Juliane M; Stevenson, Paul A; Dircksen, Heinrich

    2015-09-01

    Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) denotes a conserved family of homologous neuropeptides present in several invertebrate groups, including mollusks, nematodes, insects, and crustaceans (referred to here as pigment-dispersing hormone [PDH]). With regard to their encoding genes (pdf, pdh), insects possess only one, nematodes two, and decapod crustaceans up to three, but their phylogenetic relationship is unknown. To shed light on the origin and diversification of pdf/pdh homologs in Panarthropoda (Onychophora + Tardigrada + Arthropoda) and other molting animals (Ecdysozoa), we analyzed the transcriptomes of five distantly related onychophorans and a representative tardigrade and searched for putative pdf homologs in publically available genomes of other protostomes. This revealed only one pdf homolog in several mollusk and annelid species; two in Onychophora, Priapulida, and Nematoda; and three in Tardigrada. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the last common ancestor of Panarthropoda possessed two pdf homologs, one of which was lost in the arthropod or arthropod/tardigrade lineage, followed by subsequent duplications of the remaining homolog in some taxa. Immunolocalization of PDF-like peptides in six onychophoran species, by using a broadly reactive antibody that recognizes PDF/PDH peptides in numerous species, revealed an elaborate system of neurons and fibers in their central and peripheral nervous systems. Large varicose projections in the heart suggest that the PDF neuropeptides functioned as both circulating hormones and locally released transmitters in the last common ancestor of Onychophora and Arthropoda. The lack of PDF-like-immunoreactive somata associated with the onychophoran optic ganglion conforms to the hypothesis that onychophoran eyes are homologous to the arthropod median ocelli.

  11. Evolution of pigment-dispersing factor neuropeptides in Panarthropoda: Insights from Onychophora (velvet worms) and Tardigrada (water bears).

    PubMed

    Mayer, Georg; Hering, Lars; Stosch, Juliane M; Stevenson, Paul A; Dircksen, Heinrich

    2015-09-01

    Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) denotes a conserved family of homologous neuropeptides present in several invertebrate groups, including mollusks, nematodes, insects, and crustaceans (referred to here as pigment-dispersing hormone [PDH]). With regard to their encoding genes (pdf, pdh), insects possess only one, nematodes two, and decapod crustaceans up to three, but their phylogenetic relationship is unknown. To shed light on the origin and diversification of pdf/pdh homologs in Panarthropoda (Onychophora + Tardigrada + Arthropoda) and other molting animals (Ecdysozoa), we analyzed the transcriptomes of five distantly related onychophorans and a representative tardigrade and searched for putative pdf homologs in publically available genomes of other protostomes. This revealed only one pdf homolog in several mollusk and annelid species; two in Onychophora, Priapulida, and Nematoda; and three in Tardigrada. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the last common ancestor of Panarthropoda possessed two pdf homologs, one of which was lost in the arthropod or arthropod/tardigrade lineage, followed by subsequent duplications of the remaining homolog in some taxa. Immunolocalization of PDF-like peptides in six onychophoran species, by using a broadly reactive antibody that recognizes PDF/PDH peptides in numerous species, revealed an elaborate system of neurons and fibers in their central and peripheral nervous systems. Large varicose projections in the heart suggest that the PDF neuropeptides functioned as both circulating hormones and locally released transmitters in the last common ancestor of Onychophora and Arthropoda. The lack of PDF-like-immunoreactive somata associated with the onychophoran optic ganglion conforms to the hypothesis that onychophoran eyes are homologous to the arthropod median ocelli. PMID:25722044

  12. The expansion of body coloration involves coordinated evolution in cis and trans within the pigmentation regulatory network of Drosophila prostipennis.

    PubMed

    Ordway, Alison J; Hancuch, Kerry N; Johnson, Winslow; Wiliams, Thomas M; Rebeiz, Mark

    2014-08-15

    The generation of complex morphological features requires the precisely orchestrated expression of numerous genes during development. While several traits have been resolved to evolutionary changes within a single gene, the evolutionary path by which genes derive co-localized or mutually excluded expression patterns is currently a mystery. Here we investigate how the Drosophila pigmentation gene network was altered in Drosophila prostipennis, a species in the Drosophila melanogaster subgroup, that evolved expanded abdominal pigmentation. We show that this expansion involved broadened expression of the melanin-promoting enzyme genes tan and yellow, and a reciprocal withdrawn pattern of the melanin-suppressing enzyme gene ebony. To examine whether these coordinated changes to the network were generated through mutations in the cis-regulatory elements (CREs) of these genes, we cloned and tested CREs of D. prostipennis tan, ebony, and yellow in transgenic reporter assays. Regulatory regions of both tan and ebony failed to recapitulate the derived D. prostipennis expression phenotype, implicating the modification of a factor or factors upstream of both genes. However, the D. prostipennis yellow cis-regulatory region recapitulated the expanded expression pattern observed in this species, implicating causative mutations in cis to yellow. Our results provide an example in which a coordinated expression program evolved through independent changes at multiple loci, rather than through changes to a single "master regulator" directing a suite of downstream target genes. This implies a complex network structure in which each gene may be subject to a unique set of inputs, and resultantly may require individualized evolutionary paths to yield correlated gene expression patterns.

  13. Pathways to social evolution: reciprocity, relatedness, and synergy.

    PubMed

    Van Cleve, Jeremy; Akçay, Erol

    2014-08-01

    Many organisms live in populations structured by space and by class, exhibit plastic responses to their social partners, and are subject to nonadditive ecological and fitness effects. Social evolution theory has long recognized that all of these factors can lead to different selection pressures but has only recently attempted to synthesize how these factors interact. Using models for both discrete and continuous phenotypes, we show that analyzing these factors in a consistent framework reveals that they interact with one another in ways previously overlooked. Specifically, behavioral responses (reciprocity), genetic relatedness, and synergy interact in nontrivial ways that cannot be easily captured by simple summary indices of assortment. We demonstrate the importance of these interactions by showing how they have been neglected in previous synthetic models of social behavior both within and between species. These interactions also affect the level of behavioral responses that can evolve in the long run; proximate biological mechanisms are evolutionarily stable when they generate enough responsiveness relative to the level of responsiveness that exactly balances the ecological costs and benefits. Given the richness of social behavior across taxa, these interactions should be a boon for empirical research as they are likely crucial for describing the complex relationship linking ecology, demography, and social behavior.

  14. Evidence from Biochemical Pathways in Favor of Unfinished Evolution Rather than Intelligent Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrman, Edward J.; Marzluf, George A.

    2004-01-01

    An argument is made in favor of imperfect or unfinished evolution based on some metabolic pathways in which it seems that intelligent design would have done better. The case studies noted indicate the absence of highly intelligent design and are not intended as comprehensive collection but as a limited sample of inefficient situations in…

  15. Evolution of a new chlorophyll metabolic pathway driven by the dynamic changes in enzyme promiscuous activity.

    PubMed

    Ito, Hisashi; Tanaka, Ayumi

    2014-03-01

    Organisms generate an enormous number of metabolites; however, the mechanisms by which a new metabolic pathway is acquired are unknown. To elucidate the importance of promiscuous enzyme activity for pathway evolution, the catalytic and substrate specificities of Chl biosynthetic enzymes were examined. In green plants, Chl a and Chl b are interconverted by the Chl cycle: Chl a is hydroxylated to 7-hydroxymethyl chlorophyll a followed by the conversion to Chl b, and both reactions are catalyzed by chlorophyllide a oxygenase. Chl b is reduced to 7-hydroxymethyl chlorophyll a by Chl b reductase and then converted to Chl a by 7-hydroxymethyl chlorophyll a reductase (HCAR). A phylogenetic analysis indicated that HCAR evolved from cyanobacterial 3,8-divinyl chlorophyllide reductase (DVR), which is responsible for the reduction of an 8-vinyl group in the Chl biosynthetic pathway. In addition to vinyl reductase activity, cyanobacterial DVR also has Chl b reductase and HCAR activities; consequently, three of the four reactions of the Chl cycle already existed in cyanobacteria, the progenitor of the chloroplast. During the evolution of cyanobacterial DVR to HCAR, the HCAR activity, a promiscuous reaction of cyanobacterial DVR, became the primary reaction. Moreover, the primary reaction (vinyl reductase activity) and some disadvantageous reactions were lost, but the neutral promiscuous reaction (NADH dehydrogenase) was retained in both DVR and HCAR. We also show that a portion of the Chl c biosynthetic pathway already existed in cyanobacteria. We discuss the importance of dynamic changes in promiscuous activity and of the latent pathways for metabolic evolution.

  16. Mechanism of riboflavin uptake by cultured human retinal pigment epithelial ARPE-19 cells: possible regulation by an intracellular Ca2+-calmodulin-mediated pathway.

    PubMed

    Said, Hamid M; Wang, Shuling; Ma, Thomas Y

    2005-07-15

    In mammalian cells (including those of the ocular system), the water-soluble vitamin B2 (riboflavin, RF) assumes an essential role in a variety of metabolic reactions and is critical for normal cellular functions, growth and development. Cells of the human retinal pigment epithelium (hRPE) play an important role in providing a sufficient supply of RF to the retina, but nothing is known about the mechanism of the vitamin uptake by these cells and its regulation. Our aim in the present study was to address this issue using the hRPE ARPE-19 cells as the retinal epithelial model. Our results show RF uptake in the hRPE to be: (1) energy and temperature dependent and occurring without metabolic alteration in the transported substrate, (2) pH but not Na+ dependent, (3) saturable as a function of concentration with an apparent Km of 80 +/- 14 nM, (4) trans-stimulated by unlabelled RF and its structural analogue lumiflavine, (5) cis-inhibited by the RF structural analogues lumiflavine and lumichrome but not by unrelated compounds, and (6) inhibited by the anion transport inhibitors 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulphonic acid (DIDS) and 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulphonic acid (SITS) as well as by the Na+ -H+ exchange inhibitor amiloride and the sulfhydryl group inhibitor p-chloromercuriphenylsulphonate (p-CMPS). Maintaining the hRPE cells in a RF-deficient medium led to a specific and significant up-regulation in RF uptake which was mediated via changes in the number and affinity of the RF uptake carriers. While modulating the activities of intracellular protein kinase A (PKA)-, protein kinase C (PKC)-, protein tyrosine kinase (PTK)-, and nitric oxide (NO)-mediated pathways were found to have no role in regulating RF uptake, a role for the Ca2+ -calmodulin-mediated pathway was observed. These studies demonstrate for the first time the involvement of a specialized carrier-mediated mechanism for RF uptake by hRPE cells and show that the process is

  17. Evolution of JAK-STAT Pathway Components: Mechanisms and Role in Immune System Development

    PubMed Central

    Liongue, Clifford; O'Sullivan, Lynda A.; Trengove, Monique C.; Ward, Alister C.

    2012-01-01

    Background Lying downstream of a myriad of cytokine receptors, the Janus kinase (JAK) – Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway is pivotal for the development and function of the immune system, with additional important roles in other biological systems. To gain further insight into immune system evolution, we have performed a comprehensive bioinformatic analysis of the JAK-STAT pathway components, including the key negative regulators of this pathway, the SH2-domain containing tyrosine phosphatase (SHP), Protein inhibitors against Stats (PIAS), and Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins across a diverse range of organisms. Results Our analysis has demonstrated significant expansion of JAK-STAT pathway components co-incident with the emergence of adaptive immunity, with whole genome duplication being the principal mechanism for generating this additional diversity. In contrast, expansion of upstream cytokine receptors appears to be a pivotal driver for the differential diversification of specific pathway components. Conclusion Diversification of JAK-STAT pathway components during early vertebrate development occurred concurrently with a major expansion of upstream cytokine receptors and two rounds of whole genome duplications. This produced an intricate cell-cell communication system that has made a significant contribution to the evolution of the immune system, particularly the emergence of adaptive immunity. PMID:22412924

  18. Evolution of alternative biosynthetic pathways for vitamin C following plastid acquisition in photosynthetic eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Glen; Ishikawa, Takahiro; Pornsaksit, Varissa; Smirnoff, Nicholas

    2015-03-13

    Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is an enzyme co-factor in eukaryotes that also plays a critical role in protecting photosynthetic eukaryotes against damaging reactive oxygen species derived from the chloroplast. Many animal lineages, including primates, have become ascorbate auxotrophs due to the loss of the terminal enzyme in their biosynthetic pathway, L-gulonolactone oxidase (GULO). The alternative pathways found in land plants and Euglena use a different terminal enzyme, L-galactonolactone dehydrogenase (GLDH). The evolutionary processes leading to these differing pathways and their contribution to the cellular roles of ascorbate remain unclear. Here we present molecular and biochemical evidence demonstrating that GULO was functionally replaced with GLDH in photosynthetic eukaryote lineages following plastid acquisition. GULO has therefore been lost repeatedly throughout eukaryote evolution. The formation of the alternative biosynthetic pathways in photosynthetic eukaryotes uncoupled ascorbate synthesis from hydrogen peroxide production and likely contributed to the rise of ascorbate as a major photoprotective antioxidant.

  19. Early steps of metabolism evolution inferred by cladistic analysis of amino acid catabolic pathways.

    PubMed

    Cunchillos, Chomin; Lecointre, Guillaume

    2002-02-01

    Among abiotic molecules available in primitive environments, free amino acids are good candidates as the first source of energy and molecules for early protocells. Amino acid catabolic pathways are likely to be one of the very first metabolic pathways of life. Among them, which ones were the first to emerge? A cladistic analysis of catabolic pathways of the sixteen aliphatic amino acids and two portions of the Krebs cycle is performed using four criteria of homology. The cladogram shows that the earliest pathways to emerge are not portions of the Krebs cycle but catabolisms of aspartate, asparagine, glutamate, glutamine, proline, arginine. Earliest enzymatic catabolic functions were deaminations and transaminations. Later on appeared enzymatic decarboxylations. The consensus tree allows to propose four time spans for catabolism development and corroborates the views of Cordón in 1990 about the evolution of catabolism.

  20. On the levels of enzymatic substrate specificity: Implications for the early evolution of metabolic pathways

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lazcano, A.; Diaz-Villagomez, E.; Mills, T.; Oro, J.

    1995-01-01

    The most frequently invoked explanation for the origin of metabolic pathways is the retrograde evolution hypothesis. In contrast, according to the so-called 'patchwork' theory, metabolism evolved by the recruitment of relatively inefficient small enzymes of broad specificity that could react with a wide range of chemically related substrates. In this paper it is argued that both sequence comparisons and experimental results on enzyme substrate specificity support the patchwork assembly theory. The available evidence supports previous suggestions that gene duplication events followed by a gradual neoDarwinian accumulation of mutations and other minute genetic changes lead to the narrowing and modification of enzyme function in at least some primordial metabolic pathways.

  1. Human skin pigmentation as an adaptation to UV radiation

    PubMed Central

    Jablonski, Nina G.; Chaplin, George

    2010-01-01

    Human skin pigmentation is the product of two clines produced by natural selection to adjust levels of constitutive pigmentation to levels of UV radiation (UVR). One cline was generated by high UVR near the equator and led to the evolution of dark, photoprotective, eumelanin-rich pigmentation. The other was produced by the requirement for UVB photons to sustain cutaneous photosynthesis of vitamin D3 in low-UVB environments, and resulted in the evolution of depigmented skin. As hominins dispersed outside of the tropics, they experienced different intensities and seasonal mixtures of UVA and UVB. Extreme UVA throughout the year and two equinoctial peaks of UVB prevail within the tropics. Under these conditions, the primary selective pressure was to protect folate by maintaining dark pigmentation. Photolysis of folate and its main serum form of 5-methylhydrofolate is caused by UVR and by reactive oxygen species generated by UVA. Competition for folate between the needs for cell division, DNA repair, and melanogenesis is severe under stressful, high-UVR conditions and is exacerbated by dietary insufficiency. Outside of tropical latitudes, UVB levels are generally low and peak only once during the year. The populations exhibiting maximally depigmented skin are those inhabiting environments with the lowest annual and summer peak levels of UVB. Development of facultative pigmentation (tanning) was important to populations settling between roughly 23° and 46° , where levels of UVB varied strongly according to season. Depigmented and tannable skin evolved numerous times in hominin evolution via independent genetic pathways under positive selection. PMID:20445093

  2. [The origin of novel proteins by gene duplication: what is common in evolution of the color-sensitive pigment proteins and translation termination factors].

    PubMed

    Zhuravleva, G A; Inge-Vechtomov, S G

    2009-01-01

    The review is discussing a role of duplications in evolution, including events from genes to genomes duplications. The important role of duplications is their participation in the block-modular reorganizations leading to a combination of fragments from various genes. Examples of gene duplications leading to occurrence of proteins with divergent functions are shown. For instance, human and Old World monkey trichromatic vision has arisen due to consecutive duplications of the genes encoding color-sensitive pigment proteins, and their subsequent divergence. Many proteins participating in regulation and the control of protein synthesis have resulted from series of gene duplications that has led to origin of modern translation elongation and termination factors. It is supposed, that proteins participating in the control of newly synthesized mRNA quality have arisen also due to duplication of the genes encoding ancient translation elongation factors. Their subsequent divergence has led to the origin of proteins with the new properties, but already unable to participate in the control of translation. PMID:19899624

  3. [The origin of novel proteins by gene duplication: what is common in evolution of the color-sensitive pigment proteins and translation termination factors].

    PubMed

    Zhuravleva, G A; Inge-Vechtomov, S G

    2009-01-01

    The review is discussing a role of duplications in evolution, including events from genes to genomes duplications. The important role of duplications is their participation in the block-modular reorganizations leading to a combination of fragments from various genes. Examples of gene duplications leading to occurrence of proteins with divergent functions are shown. For instance, human and Old World monkey trichromatic vision has arisen due to consecutive duplications of the genes encoding color-sensitive pigment proteins, and their subsequent divergence. Many proteins participating in regulation and the control of protein synthesis have resulted from series of gene duplications that has led to origin of modern translation elongation and termination factors. It is supposed, that proteins participating in the control of newly synthesized mRNA quality have arisen also due to duplication of the genes encoding ancient translation elongation factors. Their subsequent divergence has led to the origin of proteins with the new properties, but already unable to participate in the control of translation.

  4. The role of log-normal dynamics in the evolution of biochemical pathways.

    PubMed

    Nacher, J C; Ochiai, T; Yamada, T; Kanehisa, M; Akutsu, T

    2006-01-01

    The study of the scale-free topology in non-biological and biological networks and the dynamics that can explain this fascinating property of complex systems have captured the attention of the scientific community in the last years. Here, we analyze the biochemical pathways of three organisms (Methanococcus jannaschii, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae) which are representatives of the main kingdoms Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes during the course of the biological evolution. We can consider two complementary representations of the biochemical pathways: the enzymes network and the chemical compounds network. In this article, we propose a stochastic model that explains that the scale-free topology with exponent in the vicinity of gamma approximately 3/2 found across these three organisms is governed by the log-normal dynamics in the evolution of the enzymes network. Precisely, the fluctuations of the connectivity degree of enzymes in the biochemical pathways between evolutionary distant organisms follow the same conserved dynamical principle, which in the end is the origin of the stationary scale-free distribution observed among species, from Archaea to Eukaryotes. In particular, the log-normal dynamics guarantees the conservation of the scale-free distribution in evolving networks. Furthermore, the log-normal dynamics also gives a possible explanation for the restricted range of observed exponents gamma in the scale-free networks (i.e., gamma > or = 3/2). Finally, our model is also applied to the chemical compounds network of biochemical pathways and the Internet network.

  5. Evolution of branched regulatory genetic pathways: directional selection on pleiotropic loci accelerates developmental system drift.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Norman A; Porter, Adam H

    2007-01-01

    Developmental systems are regulated by a web of interacting loci. One common and useful approach in studying the evolution of development is to focus on classes of interacting elements within these systems. Here, we use individual-based simulations to study the evolution of traits controlled by branched developmental pathways involving three loci, where one locus regulates two different traits. We examined the system under a variety of selective regimes. In the case where one branch was under stabilizing selection and the other under directional selection, we observed "developmental system drift": the trait under stabilizing selection showed little phenotypic change even though the loci underlying that trait showed considerable evolutionary divergence. This occurs because the pleiotropic locus responds to directional selection and compensatory mutants are then favored in the pathway under stabilizing selection. Though developmental system drift may be caused by other mechanisms, it seems likely that it is accelerated by the same underlying genetic mechanism as that producing the Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities that lead to speciation in both linear and branched pathways. We also discuss predictions of our model for developmental system drift and how different selective regimes affect probabilities of speciation in the branched pathway system.

  6. The evolution and origin of animal Toll-like receptor signaling pathway revealed by network-level molecular evolutionary analyses.

    PubMed

    Song, Xiaojun; Jin, Ping; Qin, Sheng; Chen, Liming; Ma, Fei

    2012-01-01

    Genes carry out their biological functions through pathways in complex networks consisting of many interacting molecules. Studies on the effect of network architecture on the evolution of individual proteins will provide valuable information for understanding the origin and evolution as well as functional conservation of signaling pathways. However, the relationship between the network architecture and the individual protein sequence evolution is yet little known. In current study, we carried out network-level molecular evolution analysis on TLR (Toll-like receptor ) signaling pathway, which plays an important role in innate immunity in insects and mammals, and we found that: 1) The selection constraint of genes was negatively correlated with its position along TLR signaling pathway; 2) all genes in TLR signaling pathway were highly conserved and underwent strong purifying selection; 3) the distribution of selective pressure along the pathway was driven by differential nonsynonymous substitution levels; 4) The TLR signaling pathway might present in a common ancestor of sponges and eumetazoa, and evolve via the TLR, IKK, IκB and NF-κB genes underwent duplication events as well as adaptor molecular enlargement, and gene structure and conservation motif of NF-κB genes shifted in their evolutionary history. Our results will improve our understanding on the evolutionary history of animal TLR signaling pathway as well as the relationship between the network architecture and the sequences evolution of individual protein.

  7. The Evolution and Origin of Animal Toll-Like Receptor Signaling Pathway Revealed by Network-Level Molecular Evolutionary Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Sheng; Chen, Liming; Ma, Fei

    2012-01-01

    Genes carry out their biological functions through pathways in complex networks consisting of many interacting molecules. Studies on the effect of network architecture on the evolution of individual proteins will provide valuable information for understanding the origin and evolution as well as functional conservation of signaling pathways. However, the relationship between the network architecture and the individual protein sequence evolution is yet little known. In current study, we carried out network-level molecular evolution analysis on TLR (Toll-like receptor ) signaling pathway, which plays an important role in innate immunity in insects and mammals, and we found that: 1) The selection constraint of genes was negatively correlated with its position along TLR signaling pathway; 2) all genes in TLR signaling pathway were highly conserved and underwent strong purifying selection; 3) the distribution of selective pressure along the pathway was driven by differential nonsynonymous substitution levels; 4) The TLR signaling pathway might present in a common ancestor of sponges and eumetazoa, and evolve via the TLR, IKK, IκB and NF-κB genes underwent duplication events as well as adaptor molecular enlargement, and gene structure and conservation motif of NF-κB genes shifted in their evolutionary history. Our results will improve our understanding on the evolutionary history of animal TLR signaling pathway as well as the relationship between the network architecture and the sequences evolution of individual protein. PMID:23236523

  8. Evolution in an Ancient Detoxification Pathway Is Coupled with a Transition to Herbivory in the Drosophilidae

    PubMed Central

    Gloss, Andrew D.; Vassão, Daniel G.; Hailey, Alexander L.; Nelson Dittrich, Anna C.; Schramm, Katharina; Reichelt, Michael; Rast, Timothy J.; Weichsel, Andrzej; Cravens, Matthew G.; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Montfort, William R.; Whiteman, Noah K.

    2014-01-01

    Chemically defended plant tissues present formidable barriers to herbivores. Although mechanisms to resist plant defenses have been identified in ancient herbivorous lineages, adaptations to overcome plant defenses during transitions to herbivory remain relatively unexplored. The fly genus Scaptomyza is nested within the genus Drosophila and includes species that feed on the living tissue of mustard plants (Brassicaceae), yet this lineage is derived from microbe-feeding ancestors. We found that mustard-feeding Scaptomyza species and microbe-feeding Drosophila melanogaster detoxify mustard oils, the primary chemical defenses in the Brassicaceae, using the widely conserved mercapturic acid pathway. This detoxification strategy differs from other specialist herbivores of mustard plants, which possess derived mechanisms to obviate mustard oil formation. To investigate whether mustard feeding is coupled with evolution in the mercapturic acid pathway, we profiled functional and molecular evolutionary changes in the enzyme glutathione S-transferase D1 (GSTD1), which catalyzes the first step of the mercapturic acid pathway and is induced by mustard defense products in Scaptomyza. GSTD1 acquired elevated activity against mustard oils in one mustard-feeding Scaptomyza species in which GstD1 was duplicated. Structural analysis and mutagenesis revealed that substitutions at conserved residues within and near the substrate-binding cleft account for most of this increase in activity against mustard oils. Functional evolution of GSTD1 was coupled with signatures of episodic positive selection in GstD1 after the evolution of herbivory. Overall, we found that preexisting functions of generalized detoxification systems, and their refinement by natural selection, could play a central role in the evolution of herbivory. PMID:24974374

  9. Comparison of human cell signaling pathway databases—evolution, drawbacks and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, Saikat; Sarkar, Ram Rup

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the complexities of cell signaling pathways is of immense importance to gain understanding about various biological phenomenon, such as dynamics of gene/protein expression regulation, cell fate determination, embryogenesis and disease progression. The successful completion of human genome project has also helped experimental and theoretical biologists to analyze various important pathways. To advance this study, during the past two decades, systematic collections of pathway data from experimental studies have been compiled and distributed freely by several databases, which also integrate various computational tools for further analysis. Despite significant advancements, there exist several drawbacks and challenges, such as pathway data heterogeneity, annotation, regular update and automated image reconstructions, which motivated us to perform a thorough review on popular and actively functioning 24 cell signaling databases. Based on two major characteristics, pathway information and technical details, freely accessible data from commercial and academic databases are examined to understand their evolution and enrichment. This review not only helps to identify some novel and useful features, which are not yet included in any of the databases but also highlights their current limitations and subsequently propose the reasonable solutions for future database development, which could be useful to the whole scientific community. PMID:25632107

  10. Molecular and genetic studies of fusarium trichothecene biosynthesis: pathways, genes, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Makoto; Tokai, Takeshi; Takahashi-Ando, Naoko; Ohsato, Shuichi; Fujimura, Makoto

    2007-09-01

    Trichothecenes are a large family of sesquiterpenoid secondary metabolites of Fusarium species (e.g., F. graminearum) and other molds. They are major mycotoxins that can cause serious problems when consumed via contaminated cereal grains. In the past 20 years, an outline of the trichothecene biosynthetic pathway has been established based on the results of precursor feeding experiments and blocked mutant analyses. Following the isolation of the pathway gene Tri5 encoding the first committed enzyme trichodiene synthase, 10 biosynthesis genes (Tri genes; two regulatory genes, seven pathway genes, and one transporter gene) were functionally identified in the Tri5 gene cluster. At least three pathway genes, Tri101 (separated alone), and Tri1 and Tri16 (located in the Tri1-Tri16 two-gene cluster), were found outside of the Tri5 gene cluster. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the pathways of biosynthesis, the functions of cloned Tri genes, and the evolution of Tri genes, focusing on Fusarium species. PMID:17827683

  11. Evolution of a pathway for chlorobenzene metabolism leads to natural attenuation in contaminated groundwater

    PubMed

    van der Meer JR; Werlen; Nishino; Spain

    1998-11-01

    Complete metabolism of chlorinated benzenes is not a feature that is generally found in aerobic bacteria but is thought to be due to a novel recombination of two separate gene clusters. Such a recombination could be responsible for adaptation of a natural microbial community in response to contamination with synthetic chemicals. This hypothesis was tested in a chlorobenzene (CB)-contaminated aquifer. CB-degrading bacteria from a contaminated site were characterized for a number of years by examining a combination of growth characteristics and DNA-DNA hybridization, PCR, and DNA sequence data. The genetic information obtained for the CB pathway of the predominant microorganism, Ralstonia sp. strain JS705, revealed a unique combination of (partially duplicated) genes for chlorocatechol degradation and genes for a benzene-toluene type of aromatic ring dioxygenase. The organism was detected in CB-polluted groundwater by hybridizing colonies cultivated on low-strength heterotrophic media with probes for the CB pathway. Southern hybridizations performed to determine the organization of the CB pathway genes and the 16S ribosomal DNA indicated that CB-degrading organisms isolated from different wells at the site were identical to JS705. Physiological characterization by the Biolog test system revealed some differences. The genes for the aromatic ring dioxygenase and dihydrodiol dehydrogenase of JS705 were detected in toluene and benzene degraders from the same site. Our results suggest that recent horizontal gene transfer and genetic recombination of existing genes between indigenous microorganisms were the mechanisms for evolution of the catabolic pathway. Evolution of the CB pathway seems to have created the capacity for natural attenuation of CB at the contaminated site.

  12. A toolbox model of evolution of metabolic pathways on networks of arbitrary topology.

    PubMed

    Pang, Tin Yau; Maslov, Sergei

    2011-05-01

    In prokaryotic genomes the number of transcriptional regulators is known to be proportional to the square of the total number of protein-coding genes. A toolbox model of evolution was recently proposed to explain this empirical scaling for metabolic enzymes and their regulators. According to its rules, the metabolic network of an organism evolves by horizontal transfer of pathways from other species. These pathways are part of a larger "universal" network formed by the union of all species-specific networks. It remained to be understood, however, how the topological properties of this universal network influence the scaling law of functional content of genomes in the toolbox model. Here we answer this question by first analyzing the scaling properties of the toolbox model on arbitrary tree-like universal networks. We prove that critical branching topology, in which the average number of upstream neighbors of a node is equal to one, is both necessary and sufficient for quadratic scaling. We further generalize the rules of the model to incorporate reactions with multiple substrates/products as well as branched and cyclic metabolic pathways. To achieve its metabolic tasks, the new model employs evolutionary optimized pathways with minimal number of reactions. Numerical simulations of this realistic model on the universal network of all reactions in the KEGG database produced approximately quadratic scaling between the number of regulated pathways and the size of the metabolic network. To quantify the geometrical structure of individual pathways, we investigated the relationship between their number of reactions, byproducts, intermediate, and feedback metabolites. Our results validate and explain the ubiquitous appearance of the quadratic scaling for a broad spectrum of topologies of underlying universal metabolic networks. They also demonstrate why, in spite of "small-world" topology, real-life metabolic networks are characterized by a broad distribution of pathway

  13. A Toolbox Model of Evolution of Metabolic Pathways on Networks of Arbitrary Topology

    SciTech Connect

    Maslov, S.; Pang, T.Y.

    2011-05-01

    In prokaryotic genomes the number of transcriptional regulators is known to be proportional to the square of the total number of protein-coding genes. A toolbox model of evolution was recently proposed to explain this empirical scaling for metabolic enzymes and their regulators. According to its rules, the metabolic network of an organism evolves by horizontal transfer of pathways from other species. These pathways are part of a larger 'universal' network formed by the union of all species-specific networks. It remained to be understood, however, how the topological properties of this universal network influence the scaling law of functional content of genomes in the toolbox model. Here we answer this question by first analyzing the scaling properties of the toolbox model on arbitrary tree-like universal networks. We prove that critical branching topology, in which the average number of upstream neighbors of a node is equal to one, is both necessary and sufficient for quadratic scaling. We further generalize the rules of the model to incorporate reactions with multiple substrates/products as well as branched and cyclic metabolic pathways. To achieve its metabolic tasks, the new model employs evolutionary optimized pathways with minimal number of reactions. Numerical simulations of this realistic model on the universal network of all reactions in the KEGG database produced approximately quadratic scaling between the number of regulated pathways and the size of the metabolic network. To quantify the geometrical structure of individual pathways, we investigated the relationship between their number of reactions, byproducts, intermediate, and feedback metabolites. Our results validate and explain the ubiquitous appearance of the quadratic scaling for a broad spectrum of topologies of underlying universal metabolic networks. They also demonstrate why, in spite of 'small-world' topology, real-life metabolic networks are characterized by a broad distribution of pathway

  14. The evolution of microRNA pathway protein components in Cnidaria.

    PubMed

    Moran, Yehu; Praher, Daniela; Fredman, David; Technau, Ulrich

    2013-12-01

    In the last decade, it became evident that posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression by microRNAs is a central biological process in both plants and animals. Yet, our knowledge about microRNA biogenesis and utilization in animals stems mostly from the study of Bilateria. In this study, we identified genes encoding the protein components of different parts of the microRNA pathway in Cnidaria, the likely sister phylum of Bilateria. These genes originated from three cnidarian lineages (sea anemones, stony corals, and hydras) that are separated by at least 500 My from one another. We studied the expression and phylogeny of the cnidarian homologs of Drosha and Pasha (DGCR8) that compose the microprocessor, the RNAse III enzyme Dicer and its partners, the HEN1 methyltransferase, the Argonaute protein effectors, as well as members of the GW182 protein family. We further reveal that whereas the bilaterian dicer partners Loquacious/TRBP and PACT are absent from Cnidaria, this phylum contains homologs of the double-stranded RNA-binding protein HYL1, the Dicer partner found in plants. We also identified HYL1 homologs in a sponge and a ctenophore. This finding raises questions regarding the independent evolution of the microRNA pathway in plants and animals, and together with the other results shed new light on the evolution of an important regulatory pathway.

  15. Metabolic evolution of energy-conserving pathways for succinate production in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xueli; Jantama, Kaemwich; Moore, Jonathan C.; Jarboe, Laura R.; Shanmugam, Keelnatham T.; Ingram, Lonnie O.

    2009-01-01

    During metabolic evolution to improve succinate production in Escherichia coli strains, significant changes in cellular metabolism were acquired that increased energy efficiency in two respects. The energy-conserving phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) carboxykinase (pck), which normally functions in the reverse direction (gluconeogenesis; glucose repressed) during the oxidative metabolism of organic acids, evolved to become the major carboxylation pathway for succinate production. Both PCK enzyme activity and gene expression levels increased significantly in two stages because of several mutations during the metabolic evolution process. High-level expression of this enzyme-dominated CO2 fixation and increased ATP yield (1 ATP per oxaloacetate). In addition, the native PEP-dependent phosphotransferase system for glucose uptake was inactivated by a mutation in ptsI. This glucose transport function was replaced by increased expression of the GalP permease (galP) and glucokinase (glk). Results of deleting individual transport genes confirmed that GalP served as the dominant glucose transporter in evolved strains. Using this alternative transport system would increase the pool of PEP available for redox balance. This change would also increase energy efficiency by eliminating the need to produce additional PEP from pyruvate, a reaction that requires two ATP equivalents. Together, these changes converted the wild-type E. coli fermentation pathway for succinate into a functional equivalent of the native pathway that nature evolved in succinate-producing rumen bacteria. PMID:19918073

  16. The oestrogen pathway underlies the evolution of exaggerated male cranial shapes in Anolis lizards

    PubMed Central

    Sanger, Thomas J.; Seav, Susan M.; Tokita, Masayoshi; Langerhans, R. Brian; Ross, Lela M.; Losos, Jonathan B.; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2014-01-01

    Sexual dimorphisms vary widely among species. This variation must arise through sex-specific evolutionary modifications to developmental processes. Anolis lizards vary extensively in their expression of cranial dimorphism. Compared with other Anolis species, members of the carolinensis clade have evolved relatively high levels of cranial dimorphism; males of this clade have exceptionally long faces relative to conspecific females. Developmentally, this facial length dimorphism arises through an evolutionarily novel, clade-specific strategy. Our analyses herein reveal that sex-specific regulation of the oestrogen pathway underlies evolution of this exaggerated male phenotype, rather than the androgen or insulin growth factor pathways that have long been considered the primary regulators of male-biased dimorphism among vertebrates. Our results suggest greater intricacy in the genetic mechanisms that underlie sexual dimorphisms than previously appreciated. PMID:24741020

  17. Solid State Pathways to Complex Shape Evolution and Tunable Porosity during Metallic Crystal Growth

    PubMed Central

    Valenzuela, Carlos Díaz; Carriedo, Gabino A.; Valenzuela, María L.; Zúñiga, Luis; O'Dwyer, Colm

    2013-01-01

    Growing complex metallic crystals, supported high index facet nanocrystal composites and tunable porosity metals, and exploiting factors that influence shape and morphology is crucial in many exciting developments in chemistry, catalysis, biotechnology and nanoscience. Assembly, organization and ordered crystallization of nanostructures into complex shapes requires understanding of the building blocks and their association, and this relationship can define the many physical properties of crystals and their assemblies. Understanding crystal evolution pathways is required for controlled deposition onto surfaces. Here, complex metallic crystals on the nano- and microscale, carbon supported nanoparticles, and spinodal porous noble metals with defined inter-feature distances in 3D, are accomplished in the solid-state for Au, Ag, Pd, and Re. Bottom-up growth and positioning is possible through competitive coarsening of mobile nanoparticles and their site-specific crystallization in a nucleation-dewetted matrix. Shape evolution, density and growth mechanism of complex metallic crystals and porous metals can be imaged during growth. PMID:24026532

  18. Solid state pathways to complex shape evolution and tunable porosity during metallic crystal growth.

    PubMed

    Valenzuela, Carlos Díaz; Carriedo, Gabino A; Valenzuela, María L; Zúñiga, Luis; O'Dwyer, Colm

    2013-01-01

    Growing complex metallic crystals, supported high index facet nanocrystal composites and tunable porosity metals, and exploiting factors that influence shape and morphology is crucial in many exciting developments in chemistry, catalysis, biotechnology and nanoscience. Assembly, organization and ordered crystallization of nanostructures into complex shapes requires understanding of the building blocks and their association, and this relationship can define the many physical properties of crystals and their assemblies. Understanding crystal evolution pathways is required for controlled deposition onto surfaces. Here, complex metallic crystals on the nano- and microscale, carbon supported nanoparticles, and spinodal porous noble metals with defined inter-feature distances in 3D, are accomplished in the solid-state for Au, Ag, Pd, and Re. Bottom-up growth and positioning is possible through competitive coarsening of mobile nanoparticles and their site-specific crystallization in a nucleation-dewetted matrix. Shape evolution, density and growth mechanism of complex metallic crystals and porous metals can be imaged during growth.

  19. Evolution of the EGFR pathway in Metazoa and its diversification in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Barberán, Sara; Martín-Durán, José M.; Cebrià, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    The EGFR pathway is an essential signaling system in animals, whose core components are the epidermal growth factors (EGF ligands) and their trans-membrane tyrosine kinase receptors (EGFRs). Despite extensive knowledge in classical model organisms, little is known of the composition and function of the EGFR pathway in most animal lineages. Here, we have performed an extensive search for the presence of EGFRs and EGF ligands in representative species of most major animal clades, with special focus on the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. With the exception of placozoans and cnidarians, we found that the EGFR pathway is potentially present in all other analyzed animal groups, and has experienced frequent independent expansions. We further characterized the expression domains of the EGFR/EGF identified in S. mediterranea, revealing a wide variety of patterns and localization in almost all planarian tissues. Finally, functional experiments suggest an interaction between one of the previously described receptors, Smed-egfr-5, and the newly found ligand Smed-egf-6. Our findings provide the most comprehensive overview to date of the EGFR pathway, and indicate that the last common metazoan ancestor had an initial complement of one EGFR and one putative EGF ligand, which was often expanded or lost during animal evolution. PMID:27325311

  20. Evolution of alternative biosynthetic pathways for vitamin C following plastid acquisition in photosynthetic eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, Glen; Ishikawa, Takahiro; Pornsaksit, Varissa; Smirnoff, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is an enzyme co-factor in eukaryotes that also plays a critical role in protecting photosynthetic eukaryotes against damaging reactive oxygen species derived from the chloroplast. Many animal lineages, including primates, have become ascorbate auxotrophs due to the loss of the terminal enzyme in their biosynthetic pathway, l-gulonolactone oxidase (GULO). The alternative pathways found in land plants and Euglena use a different terminal enzyme, l-galactonolactone dehydrogenase (GLDH). The evolutionary processes leading to these differing pathways and their contribution to the cellular roles of ascorbate remain unclear. Here we present molecular and biochemical evidence demonstrating that GULO was functionally replaced with GLDH in photosynthetic eukaryote lineages following plastid acquisition. GULO has therefore been lost repeatedly throughout eukaryote evolution. The formation of the alternative biosynthetic pathways in photosynthetic eukaryotes uncoupled ascorbate synthesis from hydrogen peroxide production and likely contributed to the rise of ascorbate as a major photoprotective antioxidant. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06369.001 PMID:25768426

  1. Simulation of permeability evolution of leakage pathway in carbonate-rich caprocks in carbon sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, B.; Fitts, J. P.; Dobossy, M. E.; Peters, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Geologic carbon sequestration in deep saline aquifers is a promising strategy for mitigating climate change. A major concern is the possibility of brine and CO2 migration through the caprock such as through fractures and faults. In this work, we examine the extent to which mineral dissolution will substantially alter the porosity and permeability of caprock leakage pathways as CO2-acidified brine flows through them. Three models were developed. Firstly, a reactive transport model, Permeability Evolution of Leakage pathway (PEL), was developed to simulate permeability evolution of a leakage pathway during the injection period, and assumes calcite is the only reactive mineral. The system domain is a 100 m long by 0.2 m diameter cylindrical flow path with fixed boundaries containing a rock matrix with an initial porosity of 30% and initial permeability of 1×10-13 m2. One example result is for an initial calcite volume fraction (CVF) of 0.20, in which all the calcite is dissolved after 50 years and the permeability reaches 3.2×10-13 m2. For smaller values of CVF, the permeability reaches its final value earlier but the increase in permeability is minimal. For a large value of CVF such as 0.50, the permeability could eventually reach 1×10-12 m2, but the large amount of dissolved calcium buffers the solution and slows the reaction. After 50 years the permeability change is negligible. Thus, there is a non-monotonic relationship between the amount of calcite in the rock and the resulting permeability change because of the competing dynamics of calcite dissolution and alkalinity build-up. In the second model, PEL was coupled to an existing basin-scale multiphase flow model, Princeton's Estimating Leakage Semi-Analytical (ELSA) model. The new model, ELSA-PEL, estimates the brine and CO2 leakage rates during the injection period under conditions of permeability evolution. The scenario considered in this work is for 50 years of CO2 injection into the Mt. Simon formation in

  2. Evolution of threonine aldolases, a diverse family involved in the second pathway of glycine biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guangxiu; Zhang, Manxiao; Chen, Ximing; Zhang, Wei; Ding, Wei; Zhang, Qi

    2015-02-01

    Threonine aldolases (TAs) catalyze the interconversion of threonine and glycine plus acetaldehyde in a pyridoxal phosphate-dependent manner. This class of enzymes complements the primary glycine biosynthetic pathway catalyzed by serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT), and was shown to be necessary for yeast glycine auxotrophy. Because the reverse reaction of TA involves carbon-carbon bond formation, resulting in a β-hydroxyl-α-amino acid with two adjacent chiral centers, TAs are of high interests in synthetic chemistry and bioengineering studies. Here, we report systematic phylogenetic analysis of TAs. Our results demonstrated that L-TAs and D-TAs that are specific for L- and D-threonine, respectively, are two phylogenetically unique families, and both enzymes are different from their closely related enzymes SHMTs and bacterial alanine racemases (ARs). Interestingly, L-TAs can be further grouped into two evolutionarily distinct families, which share low sequence similarity with each other but likely possess the same structural fold, suggesting a convergent evolution of these enzymes. The first L-TA family contains enzymes of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic origins, and is related to fungal ARs, whereas the second contains only prokaryotic L-TAs. Furthermore, we show that horizontal gene transfer may occur frequently during the evolution of both L-TA families. Our results indicate the complex, dynamic, and convergent evolution process of TAs and suggest an updated classification scheme for L-TAs. PMID:25644973

  3. RAS/MAPK activation drives resistance to Smo inhibition, metastasis and tumor evolution in Shh pathway-dependent tumors

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xuesong; Ponomaryov, Tatyana; Ornell, Kimberly J.; Zhou, Pengcheng; Dabral, Sukriti K.; Pak, Ekaterina; Li, Wei; Atwood, Scott X.; Whitson, Ramon J.; Chang, Anne Lynn S.; Li, Jiang; Oro, Anthony E.; Chan, Jennifer A.; Kelleher, Joseph F.; Segal, Rosalind A.

    2015-01-01

    Aberrant Shh signaling promotes tumor growth in diverse cancers. The importance of Shh signaling is particularly evident in medulloblastoma and basal cell carcinoma (BCC), where inhibitors targeting the Shh pathway component Smoothened (Smo) show great therapeutic promise. However, the emergence of drug resistance limits long-term efficacy and the mechanisms of resistance remain poorly understood. Using new medulloblastoma models, we identify two distinct paradigms of resistance to Smo inhibition. Sufu mutations lead to maintenance of the Shh pathway in the presence of Smo inhibitors. Alternatively activation of the RAS/MAPK pathway circumvents Shh pathway-dependency, drives tumor growth and enhances metastatic behavior. Strikingly, in BCC patients treated with Smo inhibitor, squamous cell cancers with RAS/MAPK activation emerged from the antecedent BCC tumors. Together these findings reveal a critical role of RAS/MAPK pathway in drug resistance and tumor evolution of Shh pathway-dependent tumors. PMID:26130651

  4. Color vision of the coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and adaptive evolution of rhodopsin (RH1) and rhodopsin-like (RH2) pigments.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, S

    2000-01-01

    The coelacanth, a "living fossil," lives at a depth of about 200 m near the coast of the Comoros archipelago in the Indian Ocean and receives only a narrow range of light at about 480 nm. To see the entire range of "color" the Comoran coelacanth appears to use only rod-specific RH1 and cone-specific RH2 visual pigments, with the optimum light sensitivities (lambda max) at 478 nm and 485 nm, respectively. These blue-shifted lambda max values of RH1 and RH2 pigments are fully explained by independent double amino acid replacements E122Q/A292S and E122Q/M207L, respectively. More generally, currently available mutagenesis experiments identify only 10 amino acid changes that shift the lambda max values of visual pigments more than 5 nm. Among these, D83N, E1220, M207L, and A292S are associated strongly with the adaptive blue shifts in the lambda max values of RH1 and RH2 pigments in vertebrates.

  5. Comparative genomic analysis of nine Sphingobium strains: Insights into their evolution and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) degradation pathways

    DOE PAGES

    Verma, Helianthous; Kumar, Roshan; Oldach, Phoebe; Sangwan, Naseer; Khurana, Jitendra P.; Gilbert, Jack A.; Lal, Rup

    2014-11-23

    Background: Sphingobium spp. are efficient degraders of a wide range of chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons. In particular, strains which harbour the lin pathway genes mediating the degradation of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers are of interest due to the widespread persistence of this contaminant. Here, we examined the evolution and diversification of the lin pathway under the selective pressure of HCH, by comparing the draft genomes of six newly-sequenced Sphingobium spp. (strains LL03, DS20, IP26, HDIPO4, P25 and RL3) isolated from HCH dumpsites, with three existing genomes (S. indicum B90A, S. japonicum UT26S and Sphingobium sp. SYK6). Results: Efficient HCH degraders phylogeneticallymore » clustered in a closely related group comprising of UT26S, B90A, HDIPO4 and IP26, where HDIPO4 and IP26 were classified as subspecies with ANI value >98%. Less than 10% of the total gene content was shared among all nine strains, but among the eight HCH-associated strains, that is all except SYK6, the shared gene content jumped to nearly 25%. Genes associated with nitrogen stress response and two-component systems were found to be enriched. The strains also housed many xenobiotic degradation pathways other than HCH, despite the absence of these xenobiotics from isolation sources. In addition, these strains, although non-motile, but posses flagellar assembly genes. While strains HDIPO4 and IP26 contained the complete set of lin genes, DS20 was entirely devoid of lin genes (except linKLMN) whereas, LL03, P25 and RL3 were identified as lin deficient strains, as they housed incomplete lin pathways. Further, in HDIPO4, linA was found as a hybrid of two natural variants i.e., linA1 and linA2 known for their different enantioselectivity. In conclusion, the bacteria isolated from HCH dumpsites provide a natural testing ground to study variations in the lin system and their effects on degradation efficacy. Further, the diversity in the lin gene sequences and copy number, their

  6. Molecular evolution accompanying functional divergence of duplicated genes along the plant starch biosynthesis pathway

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Starch is the main source of carbon storage in the Archaeplastida. The starch biosynthesis pathway (sbp) emerged from cytosolic glycogen metabolism shortly after plastid endosymbiosis and was redirected to the plastid stroma during the green lineage divergence. The SBP is a complex network of genes, most of which are members of large multigene families. While some gene duplications occurred in the Archaeplastida ancestor, most were generated during the sbp redirection process, and the remaining few paralogs were generated through compartmentalization or tissue specialization during the evolution of the land plants. In the present study, we tested models of duplicated gene evolution in order to understand the evolutionary forces that have led to the development of SBP in angiosperms. We combined phylogenetic analyses and tests on the rates of evolution along branches emerging from major duplication events in six gene families encoding sbp enzymes. Results We found evidence of positive selection along branches following cytosolic or plastidial specialization in two starch phosphorylases and identified numerous residues that exhibited changes in volume, polarity or charge. Starch synthases, branching and debranching enzymes functional specializations were also accompanied by accelerated evolution. However, none of the sites targeted by selection corresponded to known functional domains, catalytic or regulatory. Interestingly, among the 13 duplications tested, 7 exhibited evidence of positive selection in both branches emerging from the duplication, 2 in only one branch, and 4 in none of the branches. Conclusions The majority of duplications were followed by accelerated evolution targeting specific residues along both branches. This pattern was consistent with the optimization of the two sub-functions originally fulfilled by the ancestral gene before duplication. Our results thereby provide strong support to the so-called “Escape from Adaptive Conflict

  7. Evolution of mitochondrial cell death pathway: Proapoptotic role of HtrA2/Omi in Drosophila

    SciTech Connect

    Igaki, Tatsushi; Suzuki, Yasuyuki; Tokushige, Naoko; Aonuma, Hiroka; Takahashi, Ryosuke . E-mail: ryosuket@kuhp.kyoto-u.ac.jp; Miura, Masayuki . E-mail: miura@mol.f.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    2007-05-18

    Despite the essential role of mitochondria in a variety of mammalian cell death processes, the involvement of mitochondrial pathway in Drosophila cell death has remained unclear. To address this, we cloned and characterized DmHtrA2, a Drosophila homolog of a mitochondrial serine protease HtrA2/Omi. We show that DmHtrA2 normally resides in mitochondria and is up-regulated by UV-irradiation. Upon receipt of apoptotic stimuli, DmHtrA2 is translocated to extramitochondrial compartment; however, unlike its mammalian counterpart, the extramitochondrial DmHtrA2 does not diffuse throughout the cytosol but stays near the mitochondria. RNAi-mediated knock-down of DmHtrA2 in larvae or adult flies results in a resistance to stress stimuli. DmHtrA2 specifically cleaves Drosophila inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein 1 (DIAP1), a cellular caspase inhibitor, and induces cell death both in vitro and in vivo as potent as other fly cell death proteins. Our observations suggest that DmHtrA2 promotes cell death through a cleavage of DIAP1 in the vicinity of mitochondria, which may represent a prototype of mitochondrial cell death pathway in evolution.

  8. Parallel evolution of Nitric Oxide signaling: Diversity of synthesis & memory pathways

    PubMed Central

    Moroz, Leonid L.; Kohn, Andrea B.

    2014-01-01

    The origin of NO signaling can be traceable back to the origin of life with the large scale of parallel evolution of NO synthases (NOSs). Inducible-like NOSs may be the most basal prototype of all NOSs and that neuronal-like NOS might have evolved several times from this prototype. Other enzymatic and non-enzymatic pathways for NO synthesis have been discovered using reduction of nitrites, an alternative source of NO. Diverse synthetic mechanisms can co-exist within the same cell providing a complex NO-oxygen microenvironment tightly coupled with cellular energetics. The dissection of multiple sources of NO formation is crucial in analysis of complex biological processes such as neuronal integration and learning mechanisms when NO can act as a volume transmitter within memory-forming circuits. In particular, the molecular analysis of learning mechanisms (most notably in insects and gastropod molluscs) opens conceptually different perspectives to understand the logic of recruiting evolutionarily conserved pathways for novel functions. Giant uniquely identified cells from Aplysia and related species precent unuque opportunities for integrative analysis of NO signaling at the single cell level. PMID:21622160

  9. Divergence along the gonadal steroidogenic pathway: Implications for hormone-mediated phenotypic evolution.

    PubMed

    Rosvall, Kimberly A; Bergeon Burns, Christine M; Jayaratna, Sonya P; Ketterson, Ellen D

    2016-08-01

    Across a range of taxa, hormones regulate suites of traits that influence survival and reproductive success; however, the mechanisms by which hormone-mediated traits evolve are still unclear. We hypothesized that phenotypic divergence might follow from differential regulation of genes encoding key steps in hormone biosynthesis and thus the rate of hormone production. We tested this hypothesis in relation to the steroid hormone testosterone by comparing two subspecies of junco (Junco hyemalis) in the wild and in captivity. These subspecies have diverged over the last 10-15kyears in multiple testosterone-mediated traits, including aggression, ornamentation, and body size. We show that variation in gonadal gene expression along the steroid biosynthetic pathway predicts phenotypic divergence within and among subspecies, and that the more androgenized subspecies exhibits a more prolonged time-course of elevated testosterone following exogenous stimulation. Our results point to specific genes that fulfill key conditions for phenotypic evolution because they vary functionally in their expression among individuals and between populations, and they map onto population variation in phenotype in a common garden. Our findings therefore build an important bridge between hormones, genes, and phenotypic evolution. PMID:27206546

  10. Evolution of the C4 photosynthetic pathway: events at the cellular and molecular levels.

    PubMed

    Ludwig, Martha

    2013-11-01

    The biochemistry and leaf anatomy of plants using C4 photosynthesis promote the concentration of atmospheric CO2 in leaf tissue that leads to improvements in growth and yield of C4 plants over C3 species in hot, dry, high light, and/or saline environments. C4 plants like maize and sugarcane are significant food, fodder, and bioenergy crops. The C4 photosynthetic pathway is an excellent example of convergent evolution, having evolved in multiple independent lineages of land plants from ancestors employing C3 photosynthesis. In addition to C3 and C4 species, some plant lineages contain closely related C3-C4 intermediate species that demonstrate leaf anatomical, biochemical, and physiological characteristics between those of C3 plants and species using C4 photosynthesis. These groups of plants have been extremely useful in dissecting the modifications to leaf anatomy and molecular biology, which led to the evolution of C4 photosynthesis. It is now clear that great variation exists in C4 leaf anatomy, and diverse molecular mechanisms underlie C4 biochemistry and physiology. However, all these different paths have led to the same destination-the expression of a C4 CO2 concentrating mechanism. Further identification of C4 leaf anatomical traits and molecular biological components, and understanding how they are controlled and assembled will not only allow for additional insights into evolutionary convergence, but also contribute to sustainable food and bioenergy production strategies.

  11. Genome survey sequencing provides clues into glucosinolate biosynthesis and flowering pathway evolution in allotetrapolyploid Brassica juncea

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Brassica juncea is an economically important vegetable crop in China, oil crop in India, condiment crop in Europe and selected for canola quality recently in Canada and Australia. B. juncea (2n = 36, AABB) is an allotetraploid derived from interspecific hybridization between B. rapa (2n = 20, AA) and B. nigra (2n = 16, BB), followed by spontaneous chromosome doubling. Results Comparative genome analysis by genome survey sequence (GSS) of allopolyploid B. juncea with B. rapa was carried out based on high-throughput sequencing approaches. Over 28.35 Gb of GSS data were used for comparative analysis of B. juncea and B. rapa, producing 45.93% reads mapping to the B. rapa genome with a high ratio of single-end reads. Mapping data suggested more structure variation (SV) in the B. juncea genome than in B. rapa. We detected 2,921,310 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with high heterozygosity and 113,368 SVs, including 1-3 bp Indels, between B. juncea and B. rapa. Non-synonymous polymorphisms in glucosinolate biosynthesis genes may account for differences in glucosinolate biosynthesis and glucosinolate components between B. juncea and B. rapa. Furthermore, we identified distinctive vernalization-dependent and photoperiod-dependent flowering pathways coexisting in allopolyploid B. juncea, suggesting contribution of these pathways to adaptation for survival during polyploidization. Conclusions Taken together, we proposed that polyploidization has allowed for accelerated evolution of the glucosinolate biosynthesis and flowering pathways in B. juncea that likely permit the phenotypic variation observed in the crop. PMID:24502855

  12. Skin Pigmentation Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of ...

  13. Oral pigmentation: A review

    PubMed Central

    Sreeja, C.; Ramakrishnan, K.; Vijayalakshmi, D.; Devi, M.; Aesha, I.; Vijayabanu, B.

    2015-01-01

    Pigmentations are commonly found in the mouth. They represent in various clinical patterns that can range from just physiologic changes to oral manifestations of systemic diseases and malignancies. Color changes in the oral mucosa can be attributed to the deposition of either endogenous or exogenous pigments as a result of various mucosal diseases. The various pigmentations can be in the form of blue/purple vascular lesions, brown melanotic lesions, brown heme-associated lesions, gray/black pigmentations. PMID:26538887

  14. Oral pigmentation: A review.

    PubMed

    Sreeja, C; Ramakrishnan, K; Vijayalakshmi, D; Devi, M; Aesha, I; Vijayabanu, B

    2015-08-01

    Pigmentations are commonly found in the mouth. They represent in various clinical patterns that can range from just physiologic changes to oral manifestations of systemic diseases and malignancies. Color changes in the oral mucosa can be attributed to the deposition of either endogenous or exogenous pigments as a result of various mucosal diseases. The various pigmentations can be in the form of blue/purple vascular lesions, brown melanotic lesions, brown heme-associated lesions, gray/black pigmentations. PMID:26538887

  15. Overview of plant pigments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chlorophylls, carotenoids, flavonoids and betalains are four major classes of biological pigments produced in plants. Chlorophylls are the primary pigments responsible for plant green and photosynthesis. The other three are accessary pigments and secondary metabolites that yield non-green colors and...

  16. Structural and functional evolution of isopropylmalate dehydrogenases in the leucine and glucosinolate pathways of Arabidopsis thaliana

    SciTech Connect

    He, Yan; Galant, Ashley; Pang, Qiuying; Strul, Johanna M.; Balogun, Sherifat F.; Jez, Joseph M.; Chen, Sixue

    2012-10-24

    The methionine chain-elongation pathway is required for aliphatic glucosinolate biosynthesis in plants and evolved from leucine biosynthesis. In Arabidopsis thaliana, three 3-isopropylmalate dehydrogenases (AtIPMDHs) play key roles in methionine chain-elongation for the synthesis of aliphatic glucosinolates (e.g. AtIPMDH1) and leucine (e.g. AtIPMDH2 and AtIPMDH3). Here we elucidate the molecular basis underlying the metabolic specialization of these enzymes. The 2.25 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure of AtIPMDH2 was solved to provide the first detailed molecular architecture of a plant IPMDH. Modeling of 3-isopropylmalate binding in the AtIPMDH2 active site and sequence comparisons of prokaryotic and eukaryotic IPMDH suggest that substitution of one active site residue may lead to altered substrate specificity and metabolic function. Site-directed mutagenesis of Phe-137 to a leucine in AtIPMDH1 (AtIPMDH1-F137L) reduced activity toward 3-(2'-methylthio)ethylmalate by 200-fold, but enhanced catalytic efficiency with 3-isopropylmalate to levels observed with AtIPMDH2 and AtIPMDH3. Conversely, the AtIPMDH2-L134F and AtIPMDH3-L133F mutants enhanced catalytic efficiency with 3-(2'-methylthio)ethylmalate {approx}100-fold and reduced activity for 3-isopropylmalate. Furthermore, the altered in vivo glucosinolate profile of an Arabidopsis ipmdh1 T-DNA knock-out mutant could be restored to wild-type levels by constructs expressing AtIPMDH1, AtIPMDH2-L134F, or AtIPMDH3-L133F, but not by AtIPMDH1-F137L. These results indicate that a single amino acid substitution results in functional divergence of IPMDH in planta to affect substrate specificity and contributes to the evolution of specialized glucosinolate biosynthesis from the ancestral leucine pathway.

  17. Laboratory evolution of fast-folding green fluorescent protein using secretory pathway quality control.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Adam C; DeLisa, Matthew P

    2008-01-01

    Green fluorescent protein (GFP) has undergone a long history of optimization to become one of the most popular proteins in all of cell biology. It is thermally and chemically robust and produces a pronounced fluorescent phenotype when expressed in cells of all types. Recently, a superfolder GFP was engineered with increased resistance to denaturation and improved folding kinetics. Here we report that unlike other well-folded variants of GFP (e.g., GFPmut2), superfolder GFP was spared from elimination when targeted for secretion via the SecYEG translocase. This prompted us to hypothesize that the folding quality control inherent to this secretory pathway could be used as a platform for engineering similar 'superfolded' proteins. To test this, we targeted a combinatorial library of GFPmut2 variants to the SecYEG translocase and isolated several superfolded variants that accumulated in the cytoplasm due to their enhanced folding properties. Each of these GFP variants exhibited much faster folding kinetics than the parental GFPmut2 protein and one of these, designated superfast GFP, folded at a rate that even exceeded superfolder GFP. Remarkably, these GFP variants exhibited little to no loss in specific fluorescence activity relative to GFPmut2, suggesting that the process of superfolding can be accomplished without altering the proteins' normal function. Overall, we demonstrate that laboratory evolution combined with secretory pathway quality control enables sampling of largely unexplored amino-acid sequences for the discovery of artificial, high-performance proteins with properties that are unparalleled in their naturally occurring analogues. PMID:18545653

  18. A primer on pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Greenhalgh, David G

    2015-01-01

    There is at least a temporary loss of skin pigmentation with all but first-degree burns. Commonly, pigment changes persist for months, and sometimes, permanent changes in skin color add to the ultimate change in appearance that commonly affects burn patients. There are many different treatment modalities for the treatment of pigment changes, but most of them have little scientific basis and often lead to disappointing results. The purpose of this review is to discuss the molecular and cellular mechanisms of skin pigmentation, mechanisms of repigmentation after burns, treatment options for dealing with pigmentation changes, and advice for dealing with the sun after burn injury. PMID:25501768

  19. A primer on pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Greenhalgh, David G

    2015-01-01

    There is at least a temporary loss of skin pigmentation with all but first-degree burns. Commonly, pigment changes persist for months, and sometimes, permanent changes in skin color add to the ultimate change in appearance that commonly affects burn patients. There are many different treatment modalities for the treatment of pigment changes, but most of them have little scientific basis and often lead to disappointing results. The purpose of this review is to discuss the molecular and cellular mechanisms of skin pigmentation, mechanisms of repigmentation after burns, treatment options for dealing with pigmentation changes, and advice for dealing with the sun after burn injury.

  20. MEK/ERK pathway mediates UVB-induced AQP1 downregulation and water permeability impairment in human retinal pigment epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Qin; Cao, Cong; Lu, Shan; Kivlin, Rebecca; Wallin, Brittany; Chu, Wenming; Bi, Zhigang; Wang, Xinru; Wan, Yinsheng

    2009-06-01

    Aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of 13 small ( approximately 30 kDa/monomer), hydrophobic, integral membrane proteins. AQPs are expressed in various epithelial and endothelial cells involved in fluid transport. Here, we demonstrated for the first time that AQP1 is expressed in cultured human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells (ARPE-19 cell line). Ultraviolet radiation (UVB) and H2O2, two major factors causing RPE cell damage, induced AQP1 downregulation which was mediated by MEK/ERK activation. UV and H2O2 as well as AQP1-specific siRNA knockdown impaired water permeability of ARPE-19 cells. Notably, pretreatment with all-trans retinoic acid attenuated UV- and H2O2-induced AQP1 downregulation and water permeability impairment. Considering that water permeability is involved in multiple functions of RPE cells such as cellular junction formation, fluid or protein exchange and barrier formation, our data elucidated a novel mechanism through which UV radiation and oxidative stress induce eye cell damage. Our results further support the notion that all-trans retinoic acid might be useful for protection against UV or oxidative stress-induced eye cell damage. PMID:19424603

  1. Alternate pathways of body shape evolution translate into common patterns of locomotor evolution in two clades of lizards.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Philip J; Irschick, Duncan J

    2010-06-01

    Body shape has a fundamental impact on organismal function, but it is unknown how functional morphology and locomotor performance and kinematics relate across a diverse array of body shapes. We showed that although patterns of body shape evolution differed considerably between lizards of the Phrynosomatinae and Lerista, patterns of locomotor evolution coincided between clades. Specifically, we found that the phrynosomatines evolved a stocky phenotype through body widening and limb shortening, whereas Lerista evolved elongation through body lengthening and limb shortening. In both clades, relative limb length played a key role in locomotor evolution and kinematic strategies, with long-limbed species moving faster and taking longer strides. In Lerista, the body axis also influenced locomotor evolution. Similar patterns of locomotor evolution were likely due to constraints on how the body can move. However, these common patterns of locomotor evolution between the two clades resulted in different kinematic strategies and levels of performance among species because of their morphological differences. Furthermore, we found no evidence that distinct body shapes are adaptations to different substrates, as locomotor kinematics did not change on loose or solid substrates. Our findings illustrate the importance of studying kinematics to understand the mechanisms of locomotor evolution and phenotype-function relationships.

  2. Genetic basis of eye and pigment loss in the cave crustacean, Asellus aquaticus.

    PubMed

    Protas, Meredith E; Trontelj, Peter; Patel, Nipam H

    2011-04-01

    Understanding the process of evolution is one of the great challenges in biology. Cave animals are one group with immense potential to address the mechanisms of evolutionary change. Amazingly, similar morphological alterations, such as enhancement of sensory systems and the loss of eyes and pigmentation, have evolved multiple times in a diverse assemblage of cave animals. Our goal is to develop an invertebrate model to study cave evolution so that, in combination with a previously established vertebrate cave system, we can address genetic questions concerning evolutionary parallelism and convergence. We chose the isopod crustacean, Asellus aquaticus, and generated a genome-wide linkage map for this species. Our map, composed of 117 markers, of which the majority are associated with genes known to be involved in pigmentation, eye, and appendage development, was used to identify loci of large effect responsible for several pigmentation traits and eye loss. Our study provides support for the prediction that significant morphological change can be mediated through one or a few genes. Surprisingly, we found that within population variability in eye size occurs through multiple mechanisms; eye loss has a different genetic basis than reduced eye size. Similarly, again within a population, the phenotype of albinism can be achieved by two different genetic pathways--either by a recessive genotype at one locus or doubly recessive genotypes at two other loci. Our work shows the potential of Asellus for studying the extremes of parallel and convergent evolution-spanning comparisons within populations to comparisons between vertebrate and arthropod systems.

  3. One phase of the dormancy developmental pathway is critical for the evolution of insect seasonality.

    PubMed

    Wadsworth, C B; Woods, W A; Hahn, D A; Dopman, E B

    2013-11-01

    Evolutionary change in the timing of dormancy enables animals and plants to adapt to changing seasonal environments and can result in ecological speciation. Despite its clear biological importance, the mechanisms underlying the evolution of dormancy timing in animals remain poorly understood because of a lack of anatomical landmarks to discern which phase of dormancy an individual is experiencing. Taking advantage of the nearly universal characteristic of metabolic suppression during insect dormancy (diapause), we use patterns of respiratory metabolism to document physiological landmarks of dormancy and test which of the distinct phases of the dormancy developmental pathway contribute to a month-long shift in diapause timing between a pair of incipient moth species. Here, we show that divergence in life cycle between the earlier-emerging E-strain and the later-emerging Z-strain of European corn borer (ECB) is clearly explained by a delay in the timing of the developmental transition from the diapause maintenance phase to the termination phase. Along with recent findings indicating that life-cycle differences between ECB strains stem from allelic variation at a single sex-linked locus, our results demonstrate how dramatic shifts in animal seasonality can result from simple developmental and genetic changes. Although characterizing the multiple phases of the diapause developmental programme in other locally adapted populations and species will undoubtedly yield surprises about the nature of animal dormancy, results in the ECB moth suggest that focusing on genetic variation in the timing of the dormancy termination phase may help explain how (or whether) organisms rapidly respond to global climate change, expand their ranges after accidental or managed introductions, undergo seasonal adaptation, or evolve into distinct species through allochronic isolation.

  4. Evolution of sexes from an ancestral mating-type specification pathway.

    PubMed

    Geng, Sa; De Hoff, Peter; Umen, James G

    2014-07-01

    Male and female sexes have evolved repeatedly in eukaryotes but the origins of dimorphic sexes and their relationship to mating types in unicellular species are not understood. Volvocine algae include isogamous species such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with two equal-sized mating types, and oogamous multicellular species such as Volvox carteri with sperm-producing males and egg-producing females. Theoretical work predicts genetic linkage of a gamete cell-size regulatory gene(s) to an ancestral mating-type locus as a possible step in the evolution of dimorphic gametes, but this idea has not been tested. Here we show that, contrary to predictions, a single conserved mating locus (MT) gene in volvocine algae-MID, which encodes a RWP-RK domain transcription factor-evolved from its ancestral role in C. reinhardtii as a mating-type specifier, to become a determinant of sperm and egg development in V. carteri. Transgenic female V. carteri expressing male MID produced functional sperm packets during sexual development. Transgenic male V. carteri with RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdowns of VcMID produced functional eggs, or self-fertile hermaphrodites. Post-transcriptional controls were found to regulate cell-type-limited expression and nuclear localization of VcMid protein that restricted its activity to nuclei of developing male germ cells and sperm. Crosses with sex-reversed strains uncoupled sex determination from sex chromosome identity and revealed gender-specific roles for male and female mating locus genes in sexual development, gamete fitness and reproductive success. Our data show genetic continuity between the mating-type specification and sex determination pathways of volvocine algae, and reveal evidence for gender-specific adaptations in the male and female mating locus haplotypes of Volvox. These findings will enable a deeper understanding of how a master regulator of mating-type determination in an ancestral unicellular species was reprogrammed to

  5. Evolution of Sexes from an Ancestral Mating-Type Specification Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Geng, Sa; De Hoff, Peter; Umen, James G.

    2014-01-01

    Male and female sexes have evolved repeatedly in eukaryotes but the origins of dimorphic sexes and their relationship to mating types in unicellular species are not understood. Volvocine algae include isogamous species such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with two equal-sized mating types, and oogamous multicellular species such as Volvox carteri with sperm-producing males and egg-producing females. Theoretical work predicts genetic linkage of a gamete cell-size regulatory gene(s) to an ancestral mating-type locus as a possible step in the evolution of dimorphic gametes, but this idea has not been tested. Here we show that, contrary to predictions, a single conserved mating locus (MT) gene in volvocine algae—MID, which encodes a RWP-RK domain transcription factor—evolved from its ancestral role in C. reinhardtii as a mating-type specifier, to become a determinant of sperm and egg development in V. carteri. Transgenic female V. carteri expressing male MID produced functional sperm packets during sexual development. Transgenic male V. carteri with RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdowns of VcMID produced functional eggs, or self-fertile hermaphrodites. Post-transcriptional controls were found to regulate cell-type–limited expression and nuclear localization of VcMid protein that restricted its activity to nuclei of developing male germ cells and sperm. Crosses with sex-reversed strains uncoupled sex determination from sex chromosome identity and revealed gender-specific roles for male and female mating locus genes in sexual development, gamete fitness and reproductive success. Our data show genetic continuity between the mating-type specification and sex determination pathways of volvocine algae, and reveal evidence for gender-specific adaptations in the male and female mating locus haplotypes of Volvox. These findings will enable a deeper understanding of how a master regulator of mating-type determination in an ancestral unicellular species was reprogrammed

  6. One phase of the dormancy developmental pathway is critical for the evolution of insect seasonality.

    PubMed

    Wadsworth, C B; Woods, W A; Hahn, D A; Dopman, E B

    2013-11-01

    Evolutionary change in the timing of dormancy enables animals and plants to adapt to changing seasonal environments and can result in ecological speciation. Despite its clear biological importance, the mechanisms underlying the evolution of dormancy timing in animals remain poorly understood because of a lack of anatomical landmarks to discern which phase of dormancy an individual is experiencing. Taking advantage of the nearly universal characteristic of metabolic suppression during insect dormancy (diapause), we use patterns of respiratory metabolism to document physiological landmarks of dormancy and test which of the distinct phases of the dormancy developmental pathway contribute to a month-long shift in diapause timing between a pair of incipient moth species. Here, we show that divergence in life cycle between the earlier-emerging E-strain and the later-emerging Z-strain of European corn borer (ECB) is clearly explained by a delay in the timing of the developmental transition from the diapause maintenance phase to the termination phase. Along with recent findings indicating that life-cycle differences between ECB strains stem from allelic variation at a single sex-linked locus, our results demonstrate how dramatic shifts in animal seasonality can result from simple developmental and genetic changes. Although characterizing the multiple phases of the diapause developmental programme in other locally adapted populations and species will undoubtedly yield surprises about the nature of animal dormancy, results in the ECB moth suggest that focusing on genetic variation in the timing of the dormancy termination phase may help explain how (or whether) organisms rapidly respond to global climate change, expand their ranges after accidental or managed introductions, undergo seasonal adaptation, or evolve into distinct species through allochronic isolation. PMID:24016035

  7. Metabolic evolution of two reducing equivalent-conserving pathways for high-yield succinate production in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xinna; Tan, Zaigao; Xu, Hongtao; Chen, Jing; Tang, Jinlei; Zhang, Xueli

    2014-07-01

    Reducing equivalents are an important cofactor for efficient synthesis of target products. During metabolic evolution to improve succinate production in Escherichia coli strains, two reducing equivalent-conserving pathways were activated to increase succinate yield. The sensitivity of pyruvate dehydrogenase to NADH inhibition was eliminated by three nucleotide mutations in the lpdA gene. Pyruvate dehydrogenase activity increased under anaerobic conditions, which provided additional NADH. The pentose phosphate pathway and transhydrogenase were activated by increased activities of transketolase and soluble transhydrogenase SthA. These data suggest that more carbon flux went through the pentose phosphate pathway, thus leading to production of more reducing equivalent in the form of NADPH, which was then converted to NADH through soluble transhydrogenase for succinate production. Reverse metabolic engineering was further performed in a parent strain, which was not metabolically evolved, to verify the effects of activating these two reducing equivalent-conserving pathways for improving succinate yield. Activating pyruvate dehydrogenase increased succinate yield from 1.12 to 1.31mol/mol, whereas activating the pentose phosphate pathway and transhydrogenase increased succinate yield from 1.12 to 1.33mol/mol. Activating these two pathways in combination led to a succinate yield of 1.5mol/mol (88% of theoretical maximum), suggesting that they exhibited a synergistic effect for improving succinate yield.

  8. Cone visual pigments of monotremes: filling the phylogenetic gap.

    PubMed

    Wakefield, Matthew J; Anderson, Mark; Chang, Ellen; Wei, Ke-Jun; Kaul, Rajinder; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall; Grützner, Frank; Deeb, Samir S

    2008-01-01

    We have determined the sequence and genomic organization of the genes encoding the cone visual pigment of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), and inferred their spectral properties and evolutionary pathways. We prepared platypus and echidna retinal RNA and used primers of the middle-wave-sensitive (MWS), long-wave-sensitive (LWS), and short-wave sensitive (SWS1) pigments corresponding to coding sequences that are highly conserved among mammals; to PCR amplify the corresponding pigment sequences. Amplification from the retinal RNA revealed the expression of LWS pigment mRNA that is homologous in sequence and spectral properties to the primate LWS visual pigments. However, we were unable to amplify the mammalian SWS1 pigment from these two species, indicating this gene was lost prior to the echidna-platypus divergence (21 MYA). Subsequently, when the platypus genome sequence became available, we found an LWS pigment gene in a conserved genomic arrangement that resembles the primate pigment, but, surprisingly we found an adjacent (20 kb) SWS2 pigment gene within this conserved genomic arrangement. We obtained the same result after sequencing the echidna genes. The encoded SWS2 pigment is predicted to have a wavelength of maximal absorption of about 440 nm, and is paralogous to SWS pigments typically found in reptiles, birds, and fish but not in mammals. This study suggests the locus control region (LCR) has played an important role in the conservation of photo receptor gene arrays and the control of their spatial and temporal expression in the retina in all mammals. In conclusion, a duplication event of an ancestral cone visual pigment gene, followed by sequence divergence and selection gave rise to the LWS and SWS2 visual pigments. So far, the echidna and platypus are the only mammals that share the gene structure of the LWS-SWS2 pigment gene complex with reptiles, birds and fishes.

  9. Cone visual pigments of monotremes: filling the phylogenetic gap.

    PubMed

    Wakefield, Matthew J; Anderson, Mark; Chang, Ellen; Wei, Ke-Jun; Kaul, Rajinder; Graves, Jennifer A Marshall; Grützner, Frank; Deeb, Samir S

    2008-01-01

    We have determined the sequence and genomic organization of the genes encoding the cone visual pigment of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), and inferred their spectral properties and evolutionary pathways. We prepared platypus and echidna retinal RNA and used primers of the middle-wave-sensitive (MWS), long-wave-sensitive (LWS), and short-wave sensitive (SWS1) pigments corresponding to coding sequences that are highly conserved among mammals; to PCR amplify the corresponding pigment sequences. Amplification from the retinal RNA revealed the expression of LWS pigment mRNA that is homologous in sequence and spectral properties to the primate LWS visual pigments. However, we were unable to amplify the mammalian SWS1 pigment from these two species, indicating this gene was lost prior to the echidna-platypus divergence (21 MYA). Subsequently, when the platypus genome sequence became available, we found an LWS pigment gene in a conserved genomic arrangement that resembles the primate pigment, but, surprisingly we found an adjacent (20 kb) SWS2 pigment gene within this conserved genomic arrangement. We obtained the same result after sequencing the echidna genes. The encoded SWS2 pigment is predicted to have a wavelength of maximal absorption of about 440 nm, and is paralogous to SWS pigments typically found in reptiles, birds, and fish but not in mammals. This study suggests the locus control region (LCR) has played an important role in the conservation of photo receptor gene arrays and the control of their spatial and temporal expression in the retina in all mammals. In conclusion, a duplication event of an ancestral cone visual pigment gene, followed by sequence divergence and selection gave rise to the LWS and SWS2 visual pigments. So far, the echidna and platypus are the only mammals that share the gene structure of the LWS-SWS2 pigment gene complex with reptiles, birds and fishes. PMID:18598396

  10. Evolution of the TGF-β Signaling Pathway and Its Potential Role in the Ctenophore, Mnemiopsis leidyi

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Kevin; Ryan, Joseph F.; Baxevanis, Andreas D.; Martindale, Mark Q.

    2011-01-01

    The TGF-β signaling pathway is a metazoan-specific intercellular signaling pathway known to be important in many developmental and cellular processes in a wide variety of animals. We investigated the complexity and possible functions of this pathway in a member of one of the earliest branching metazoan phyla, the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. A search of the recently sequenced Mnemiopsis genome revealed an inventory of genes encoding ligands and the rest of the components of the TGF-β superfamily signaling pathway. The Mnemiopsis genome contains nine TGF-β ligands, two TGF-β-like family members, two BMP-like family members, and five gene products that were unable to be classified with certainty. We also identified four TGF-β receptors: three Type I and a single Type II receptor. There are five genes encoding Smad proteins (Smad2, Smad4, Smad6, and two Smad1s). While we have identified many of the other components of this pathway, including Tolloid, SMURF, and Nomo, notably absent are SARA and all of the known antagonists belonging to the Chordin, Follistatin, Noggin, and CAN families. This pathway likely evolved early in metazoan evolution as nearly all components of this pathway have yet to be identified in any non-metazoan. The complement of TGF-β signaling pathway components of ctenophores is more similar to that of the sponge, Amphimedon, than to cnidarians, Trichoplax, or bilaterians. The mRNA expression patterns of key genes revealed by in situ hybridization suggests that TGF-β signaling is not involved in ctenophore early axis specification. Four ligands are expressed during gastrulation in ectodermal micromeres along all three body axes, suggesting a role in transducing earlier maternal signals. Later expression patterns and experiments with the TGF-β inhibitor SB432542 suggest roles in pharyngeal morphogenesis and comb row organization. PMID:21931657

  11. Evolution of the TGF-β signaling pathway and its potential role in the ctenophore, Mnemiopsis leidyi.

    PubMed

    Pang, Kevin; Ryan, Joseph F; Baxevanis, Andreas D; Martindale, Mark Q

    2011-01-01

    The TGF-β signaling pathway is a metazoan-specific intercellular signaling pathway known to be important in many developmental and cellular processes in a wide variety of animals. We investigated the complexity and possible functions of this pathway in a member of one of the earliest branching metazoan phyla, the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. A search of the recently sequenced Mnemiopsis genome revealed an inventory of genes encoding ligands and the rest of the components of the TGF-β superfamily signaling pathway. The Mnemiopsis genome contains nine TGF-β ligands, two TGF-β-like family members, two BMP-like family members, and five gene products that were unable to be classified with certainty. We also identified four TGF-β receptors: three Type I and a single Type II receptor. There are five genes encoding Smad proteins (Smad2, Smad4, Smad6, and two Smad1s). While we have identified many of the other components of this pathway, including Tolloid, SMURF, and Nomo, notably absent are SARA and all of the known antagonists belonging to the Chordin, Follistatin, Noggin, and CAN families. This pathway likely evolved early in metazoan evolution as nearly all components of this pathway have yet to be identified in any non-metazoan. The complement of TGF-β signaling pathway components of ctenophores is more similar to that of the sponge, Amphimedon, than to cnidarians, Trichoplax, or bilaterians. The mRNA expression patterns of key genes revealed by in situ hybridization suggests that TGF-β signaling is not involved in ctenophore early axis specification. Four ligands are expressed during gastrulation in ectodermal micromeres along all three body axes, suggesting a role in transducing earlier maternal signals. Later expression patterns and experiments with the TGF-β inhibitor SB432542 suggest roles in pharyngeal morphogenesis and comb row organization. PMID:21931657

  12. PI3K/Akt and mTOR/p70S6K pathways mediate neuroprotectin D1-induced retinal pigment epithelial cell survival during oxidative stress-induced apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Faghiri, Zahra; Bazan, Nicolas G

    2010-06-01

    The initiation and progression of several forms of retinal degenerations involve excessive, repetitive, and/or sustained oxidative stress that, in turn, mediate photoreceptor cell damage and death. Since phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and mTOR/p70S6-kinase pathways are part of survival signaling in cells confronted with oxidative stress, we asked whether or not docosahexaenoic acid-derived neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1) mediates survival upon single-dose and/or repetitive oxidative stress through this pathway. For this purpose, we used human retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells challenged by exposure to hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) plus tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). We found that in single-dose oxidative stress-induced apoptosis, phosphorylation of Akt, mTOR, and p70S6K was both time- and dose- dependent. Inhibition of PI3K or mTOR/p70S6K by wortmannin and rapamycin, respectively, increased apoptosis and inhibited phosphorylation of Akt and p70S6K induced by single-dose oxidative stress. While two exposures of a low dose, non-damaging oxidation induced apoptosis and upregulation of Akt, mTOR, and p70S6K, longer treatment of the cells with three exposures of low dose to low-dose stress showed no changes in the levels of Akt, mTOR, or p70S6K, and resulted in enhanced apoptosis compared to higher doses. Removing the oxidative stress-inducing agents following the single-dose or short term repetitive oxidative stress at the peak of Akt, mTOR, and p70S6K phosphorylation (i.e., 30 min after induction) led to recovery, with no apoptosis after 16 h of incubation. Cells that were induced with three low doses of stress did not show recovery when oxidative stress was removed 30 min after the last exposure. NPD1 protected the RPE cells against both single-dose and repetitive oxidative stress-induced apoptosis and promoted higher levels of phosphorylated Akt, mTOR, and p70S6K. Together, our results show that a) repetitive oxidative stress is dose dependent

  13. Investigating the evolution of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways with a large number of scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweizer, V. J.; Guivarch, C.; Rozenberg, J.

    2013-12-01

    The new scenario framework for climate change research includes alternative possible trends for socioeconomic development called Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs). The SSPs bear some similarities to other scenarios used for global change research, but they also have important differences. Like the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios or the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, SSPs are defined by a scenario logic consisting of two axes. However, these axes define SSPs with respect to their location in an outcome space for challenges to mitigation and to adaptation rather than by their drivers. Open questions for the SSPs include what their drivers are and how the time dimension could be interpreted with the outcomes space. We present a new analytical approach for addressing both questions by studying large numbers of scenarios produced by an integrated assessment model, IMACLIM-R. We systematically generated 432 scenarios and used the SSP framework to classify them by typology. We then analyzed them dynamically, tracing their evolution through the SSP challenges space at annual time steps over the period 2010-2090. Through this approach, we found that many scenarios do not remain fixed to a particular SSP domain; they drift from one domain to another. In papers describing the framework for new scenarios, SSPs are envisioned as hypothetical (counter-factual) reference scenarios that remain fixed in one domain over some time period of interest. However, we conclude that it may be important to also research scenarios that shift across SSP domains. This is relevant for another open question, which is what scenarios are important to explore given their consequences. Through a data mining technique, we uncovered prominent drivers for scenarios that shift across SSP domains. Scenarios with different challenges for adaptation and mitigation (that is, mitigation and adaptation challenges that are not co-varying) were found to be the least stable, and the following

  14. Pigmentation in basal cell carcinoma involves enhanced endothelin-1 expression.

    PubMed

    Lan, Cheng-Che E; Wu, Ching-Shuang; Cheng, Chiu-Min; Yu, Chia-Li; Chen, Gwo-Shing; Yu, Hsin-Su

    2005-07-01

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most prevalent malignant skin tumor. In Asian patients, marked pigmentation in BCC lesions is often observed. Recently, endothelins (ETs) have been implicated to participate in the pigmentation process of BCC. Therefore, we set out to investigate the involvement of ET in the pigmentation process of BCC and the potential regulators in the pigmentation pathway. We explored the effects of an established BCC cell line on melanocytes. The growth factor profiles of BCC culture supernatant and effects of supernatant on melanocytes were documented. Potential regulators involved in the pigmentation pathway were also studied. The immunohistochemical staining of pigmented and non-pigmented BCC specimens was performed to confirm our in vitro findings. Our results showed that BCC supernatant contained significant amount of ET-1, basic fibroblast growth factor, and nerve growth factor. Furthermore, BCC supernatant stimulated melanin formation of cultured melanocytes. Addition of ET-receptor antagonist abrogated the melanogenic effect of BCC supernatant on melanocytes. Introduction of UVB irradiation decreased the ET-1 secretion by BCC cells. Immunohistochemical staining of the pigmented facial BCC specimens showed prominent expression of ET-1 on pigmented BCC, while the non-pigmented facial BCC specimens showed little ET-1 reactivity. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) staining showed little expression on BCC specimens, regardless of pigmentation status. In summary, our results indicate that enhanced ET-1 expression in pigmented BCC plays an important role in the hyperpigmentation of this tumor. Moreover, this enhanced ET-1 cascade showed little correlation with UV irradiation and TNF-alpha expression in our study.

  15. Feeding the Elite: The Evolution of Elite Pathways from Star High Schools to Elite Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LeTendre, Gerald K.; Gonzalez, Roger Geertz; Nomi, Takako

    2006-01-01

    During the last 50 years, private "feeder" schools in Japan came to dominate entry into elite colleges. Intense organizational competition shaped the organizational environment and changed the pathways available to social elites. Compared to Japan, elite private feeders in the US have failed to dominate pathways into elite colleges. In this paper,…

  16. A Single Gene Causes an Interspecific Difference in Pigmentation in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed-Braimah, Yasir H.; Sweigart, Andrea L.

    2015-01-01

    The genetic basis of species differences remains understudied. Studies in insects have contributed significantly to our understanding of morphological evolution. Pigmentation traits in particular have received a great deal of attention and several genes in the insect pigmentation pathway have been implicated in inter- and intraspecific differences. Nonetheless, much remains unknown about many of the genes in this pathway and their potential role in understudied taxa. Here we genetically analyze the puparium color difference between members of the virilis group of Drosophila. The puparium of Drosophila virilis is black, while those of D. americana, D. novamexicana, and D. lummei are brown. We used a series of backcross hybrid populations between D. americana and D. virilis to map the genomic interval responsible for the difference between this species pair. First, we show that the pupal case color difference is caused by a single Mendelizing factor, which we ultimately map to an ∼11-kb region on chromosome 5. The mapped interval includes only the first exon and regulatory region(s) of the dopamine N-acetyltransferase gene (Dat). This gene encodes an enzyme that is known to play a part in the insect pigmentation pathway. Second, we show that this gene is highly expressed at the onset of pupation in light brown taxa (D. americana and D. novamexicana) relative to D. virilis, but not in the dark brown D. lummei. Finally, we examine the role of Dat in adult pigmentation between D. americana (heavily melanized) and D. novamexicana (lightly melanized) and find no discernible effect of this gene in adults. Our results demonstrate that a single gene is entirely or almost entirely responsible for a morphological difference between species. PMID:25769982

  17. A single gene causes an interspecific difference in pigmentation in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ahmed-Braimah, Yasir H; Sweigart, Andrea L

    2015-05-01

    The genetic basis of species differences remains understudied. Studies in insects have contributed significantly to our understanding of morphological evolution. Pigmentation traits in particular have received a great deal of attention and several genes in the insect pigmentation pathway have been implicated in inter- and intraspecific differences. Nonetheless, much remains unknown about many of the genes in this pathway and their potential role in understudied taxa. Here we genetically analyze the puparium color difference between members of the virilis group of Drosophila. The puparium of Drosophila virilis is black, while those of D. americana, D. novamexicana, and D. lummei are brown. We used a series of backcross hybrid populations between D. americana and D. virilis to map the genomic interval responsible for the difference between this species pair. First, we show that the pupal case color difference is caused by a single Mendelizing factor, which we ultimately map to an ∼11-kb region on chromosome 5. The mapped interval includes only the first exon and regulatory region(s) of the dopamine N-acetyltransferase gene (Dat). This gene encodes an enzyme that is known to play a part in the insect pigmentation pathway. Second, we show that this gene is highly expressed at the onset of pupation in light brown taxa (D. americana and D. novamexicana) relative to D. virilis, but not in the dark brown D. lummei. Finally, we examine the role of Dat in adult pigmentation between D. americana (heavily melanized) and D. novamexicana (lightly melanized) and find no discernible effect of this gene in adults. Our results demonstrate that a single gene is entirely or almost entirely responsible for a morphological difference between species.

  18. Ion transport in pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Bellono, Nicholas W.; Oancea, Elena V.

    2014-01-01

    Skin melanocytes and ocular pigment cells contain specialized organelles called melanosomes, which are responsible for the synthesis of melanin, the major pigment in mammals. Defects in the complex mechanisms involved in melanin synthesis and regulation result in vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired development of the visual system,, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Ion transport across cellular membranes is critical for many biological processes, including pigmentation, but the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates melanin synthesis, storage, and transfer are not understood. In this review we first discuss ion channels and transporters that function at the plasma membrane of melanocytes; in the second part we consider ion transport across the membrane of intracellular organelles, with emphasis on melanosomes. We discuss recently characterized lysosomal and endosomal ion channels and transporters associated with pigmentation phenotypes. We then review the evidence for melanosomal channels and transporters critical for pigmentation, discussing potential molecular mechanisms mediating their function. The studies investigating ion transport in pigmentation physiology open new avenues for future research and could reveal novel molecular mechanisms underlying melanogenesis. PMID:25034214

  19. Ion transport in pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Oancea, Elena V

    2014-12-01

    Skin melanocytes and ocular pigment cells contain specialized organelles called melanosomes, which are responsible for the synthesis of melanin, the major pigment in mammals. Defects in the complex mechanisms involved in melanin synthesis and regulation result in vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired development of the visual system, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Ion transport across cellular membranes is critical for many biological processes, including pigmentation, but the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates melanin synthesis, storage, and transfer are not understood. In this review we first discuss ion channels and transporters that function at the plasma membrane of melanocytes; in the second part we consider ion transport across the membrane of intracellular organelles, with emphasis on melanosomes. We discuss recently characterized lysosomal and endosomal ion channels and transporters associated with pigmentation phenotypes. We then review the evidence for melanosomal channels and transporters critical for pigmentation, discussing potential molecular mechanisms mediating their function. The studies investigating ion transport in pigmentation physiology open new avenues for future research and could reveal novel molecular mechanisms underlying melanogenesis.

  20. Evolution of variation in presence and absence of genes in bacterial pathways

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Bacterial genomes exhibit a remarkable degree of variation in the presence and absence of genes, which probably extends to the level of individual pathways. This variation may be a consequence of the significant evolutionary role played by horizontal gene transfer, but might also be explained by the loss of genes through mutation. A challenge is to understand why there would be variation in gene presence within pathways if they confer a benefit only when complete. Results Here, we develop a mathematical model to study how variation in pathway content is produced by horizontal transfer, gene loss and partial exposure of a population to a novel environment. Conclusions We discuss the possibility that variation in gene presence acts as cryptic genetic variation on which selection acts when the appropriate environment occurs. We find that a high level of variation in gene presence can be readily explained by decay of the pathway through mutation when there is no longer exposure to the selective environment, or when selection becomes too weak to maintain the genes. In the context of pathway variation the role of horizontal gene transfer is probably the initial introduction of a complete novel pathway rather than in building up the variation in a genome without the pathway. PMID:22520826

  1. Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayr, Ernst

    1978-01-01

    Traces the history of evolution theory from Lamarck and Darwin to the present. Discusses natural selection in detail. Suggests that, besides biological evolution, there is also a cultural evolution which is more rapid than the former. (MA)

  2. Pigment patterns of larval salamanders (Ambystomatidae, Salamandridae): the role of the lateral line sensory system and the evolution of pattern-forming mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Parichy, D M

    1996-05-01

    In many species of salamanders, pigment cells derived from the neural crest give rise to a horizontal stripe pattern in hatchling larvae. A defining element of these horizontal stripe patterns is a region over the middle of the myotomes that is relatively free of melanophores. This study shows that formation of a "melanophore-free region" and horizontal stripe pattern in Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum (family Ambystomatidae) correlates with the development of the trunk lateral line sensory system. Moreover, prevention of lateral line development results in greater densities of melanophores in the middle of the flank, essentially eliminating the melanophore-free region in this taxon. A phylogenetic survey also revealed that ablation of the lateral lines has qualitatively similar effects on melanophores in seven of eight additional taxa (Ambystomatidae: A. barbouri, A. maculatum, A. talpoideum; Salamandridae: Notophthalmus viridescens, Pleurodeles waltl, Taricha granulosa, T. rivularis). In Taricha torosa, however, a superficially similar melanophore-free region forms prior to lateral line development, and ablation of the lateral lines does not perturb the horizontal stripe pattern. Finally, heterospecific grafting experiments demonstrated that T. torosa lateral lines are competent to generate a melanophore-free region, and T. torosa melanophores are competent to respond to cues associated with the lateral lines. These results indicate that lateral line-dependent pattern-forming mechanisms are common and probably ancestral within the families Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae and suggest that these ancestral mechanisms have been retained in T. torosa as redundant, lateral line-dependent mechanisms for stripe formation have evolved. PMID:8626032

  3. Loss of the six3/6 controlling pathways might have resulted in pinhole-eye evolution in Nautilus

    PubMed Central

    Ogura, Atsushi; Yoshida, Masa-aki; Moritaki, Takeya; Okuda, Yuki; Sese, Jun; Shimizu, Kentaro K.; Sousounis, Konstantinos; Tsonis, Panagiotis A.

    2013-01-01

    Coleoid cephalopods have an elaborate camera eye whereas nautiloids have primitive pinhole eye without lens and cornea. The Nautilus pinhole eye provides a unique example to explore the module of lens formation and its evolutionary mechanism. Here, we conducted an RNA-seq study of developing eyes of Nautilus and pygmy squid. First, we found that evolutionary distances from the common ancestor to Nautilus or squid are almost the same. Although most upstream eye development controlling genes were expressed in both species, six3/6 that are required for lens formation in vertebrates was not expressed in Nautilus. Furthermore, many downstream target genes of six3/6 including crystallin genes and other lens protein related genes were not expressed in Nautilus. As six3/6 and its controlling pathways are widely conserved among molluscs other than Nautilus, the present data suggest that deregulation of the six3/6 pathway led to the pinhole eye evolution in Nautilus. PMID:23478590

  4. Loss of the six3/6 controlling pathways might have resulted in pinhole-eye evolution in Nautilus.

    PubMed

    Ogura, Atsushi; Yoshida, Masa-aki; Moritaki, Takeya; Okuda, Yuki; Sese, Jun; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Sousounis, Konstantinos; Tsonis, Panagiotis A

    2013-01-01

    Coleoid cephalopods have an elaborate camera eye whereas nautiloids have primitive pinhole eye without lens and cornea. The Nautilus pinhole eye provides a unique example to explore the module of lens formation and its evolutionary mechanism. Here, we conducted an RNA-seq study of developing eyes of Nautilus and pygmy squid. First, we found that evolutionary distances from the common ancestor to Nautilus or squid are almost the same. Although most upstream eye development controlling genes were expressed in both species, six3/6 that are required for lens formation in vertebrates was not expressed in Nautilus. Furthermore, many downstream target genes of six3/6 including crystallin genes and other lens protein related genes were not expressed in Nautilus. As six3/6 and its controlling pathways are widely conserved among molluscs other than Nautilus, the present data suggest that deregulation of the six3/6 pathway led to the pinhole eye evolution in Nautilus.

  5. Learning from input and memory evolution: Points of vulnerability on a pathway to mastery in word learning

    PubMed Central

    Storkel, Holly L.

    2014-01-01

    Word learning consists of at least two neurocognitive processes: learning from input during training and memory evolution during gaps between training sessions. Fine-grained analysis of word learning by normal adults provides evidence that learning from input is swift and stable, whereas memory evolution is a point of potential vulnerability on the pathway to mastery. Moreover, success during learning from input is linked to positive outcomes from memory evolution. These two neurocognitive processes can be overlaid on to components of clinical treatment with within-session variables (i.e., dose form and dose) potentially linked to learning from input and between-session variables (i.e., dose frequency) linked to memory evolution. Collecting data at the beginning and end of a treatment session can be used to identify the point of vulnerability in word learning for a given client and the appropriate treatment component can then be adjusted to improve the client’s word learning. Two clinical cases are provided to illustrate this approach. PMID:25539474

  6. Evolution of flux control in the glucosinolate pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Olson-Manning, Carrie F; Lee, Cheng-Ruei; Rausher, Mark D; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Network characteristics of biochemical pathways are believed to influence the rate of evolutionary change in constituent enzymes. One characteristic that may affect rate heterogeneity is control of the amount of product produced by a biochemical pathway or flux control. In particular, theoretical analyses suggest that adaptive substitutions should be concentrated in the enzyme(s) that exert the greatest control over flux. Although a handful of studies have found a correlation between position in a pathway and evolutionary rate, these investigations have not examined the relationship between evolutionary rate and flux control. Given that genes with greater control will experience stronger selection and that the probability of fixation is proportional to the selective advantage, we ask the following: 1) do upstream enzymes have majority flux control, 2) do enzymes with majority flux control accumulate adaptive substitutions, and 3) are upstream enzymes under higher selective constraint? First, by perturbing the enzymes in the aliphatic glucosinolate pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana with gene insertion lines, we show that flux control is focused in the first enzyme in the pathway. Next, by analyzing several sequence signatures of selection, we also show that this enzyme is the only one in the pathway that shows convincing evidence of selection. Our results support the hypothesis that natural selection preferentially acts on enzymes with high flux control.

  7. A closer look at evolution: Variants (SNPs) of genes involved in skin pigmentation, including EXOC2, TYR, TYRP1, and DCT, are associated with 25(OH)D serum concentration.

    PubMed

    Saternus, Roman; Pilz, Stefan; Gräber, Stefan; Kleber, Marcus; März, Winfried; Vogt, Thomas; Reichrath, Jörg

    2015-01-01

    )D levels as compared with the total cohort (median, 15.5 ng/mL). Although 1 SNP in the EXOC2 gene reached the aimed significance level after correction for multiple comparisons (false discovery rate) and was associated with a Δ25(OH)D value more than 5.00 ng/mL, 11 SNPs located in the TYR (n = 4), PRKACG (n = 1), EDN1 (n = 3), TYRP1 (n = 1), and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (n = 2) genes reached the aimed significance level after false discovery rate correction but were not associated with Δ25(OH)D value more than 5.00 ng/mL. We conclude that variants of genes involved in skin pigmentation are predictive of serum 25(OH)D levels in the Caucasian population. Our data indicate that out of the variants in 29 different genes analyzed, variants of 11 genes, including EXOC2, TYR, and TYRP1, have the highest impact on vitamin D status. Our results have a fundamental importance to understand the role of sunlight, skin pigmentation, and vitamin D for the human evolution.

  8. A closer look at evolution: Variants (SNPs) of genes involved in skin pigmentation, including EXOC2, TYR, TYRP1, and DCT, are associated with 25(OH)D serum concentration.

    PubMed

    Saternus, Roman; Pilz, Stefan; Gräber, Stefan; Kleber, Marcus; März, Winfried; Vogt, Thomas; Reichrath, Jörg

    2015-01-01

    )D levels as compared with the total cohort (median, 15.5 ng/mL). Although 1 SNP in the EXOC2 gene reached the aimed significance level after correction for multiple comparisons (false discovery rate) and was associated with a Δ25(OH)D value more than 5.00 ng/mL, 11 SNPs located in the TYR (n = 4), PRKACG (n = 1), EDN1 (n = 3), TYRP1 (n = 1), and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (n = 2) genes reached the aimed significance level after false discovery rate correction but were not associated with Δ25(OH)D value more than 5.00 ng/mL. We conclude that variants of genes involved in skin pigmentation are predictive of serum 25(OH)D levels in the Caucasian population. Our data indicate that out of the variants in 29 different genes analyzed, variants of 11 genes, including EXOC2, TYR, and TYRP1, have the highest impact on vitamin D status. Our results have a fundamental importance to understand the role of sunlight, skin pigmentation, and vitamin D for the human evolution. PMID:25396269

  9. Scientists Discover Two New Interstellar Molecules: Point to Probable Pathways for Chemical Evolution in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-06-01

    are particularly interesting since several biologically significant molecules, including a family of sugar molecules, are aldehydes. "The GBT can be used to fully explore the possibility that a significant amount of prebiotic chemistry may occur in space long before it occurs on a newly formed planet," said Remijan. "Comets form from interstellar clouds and incessantly bombard a newly formed planet early in its history. Craters on our Moon attest to this. Thus, comets may be the delivery vehicles for organic molecules necessary for life to begin on a new planet." Laboratory experiments also demonstrate that atomic addition reactions -- similar to those assumed to occur in interstellar clouds -- play a role in synthesizing complex molecules by subjecting ices containing simpler molecules such as water, carbon dioxide, and methanol to ionizing radiation dosages. Thus, laboratory experiments can now be devised with various ice components to attempt production of the aldehydes observed with the GBT. "The detection of the two new aldehydes, which are related by a common chemical pathway called hydrogen addition, demonstrates that evolution to more complex species occurs routinely in interstellar clouds and that a relatively simple mechanism may build large molecules out of smaller ones. The GBT is now a key instrument in exploring chemical evolution in space," said Hollis. The GBT is the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope; it is operated by the NRAO. "The large diameter and high precision of the GBT allowed us to study small interstellar clouds that can absorb the radiation from a bright, background source. The sensitivity and flexibility of the telescope gave us an important new tool for the study of complex interstellar molecules," said Jewell. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

  10. Pigmentation in Xiphophorus: an emerging system in ecological and evolutionary genetics.

    PubMed

    Culumber, Zachary W

    2014-02-01

    The genus Xiphophorus has great potential to contribute to the study of vertebrate pigmentation and elucidating the relative influence of ecology, physiology, and behavior on evolution at the molecular level. More importantly, the association between pigmentation and a functional oncogene offers the potential to understand the evolution and maintenance of cancer-causing genetic elements. Using criteria laid out recently in the literature, I demonstrate the power of the Xiphophorus system for studying pigment evolution through integrative organismal biology. Using the most recent phylogeny, the phylogenetic distribution of several important pigmentation loci are reevaluated. I then review support for existing hypotheses of the functional importance of pigmentation. Finally, new observations and hypotheses regarding some of the characteristics of pigment patterns in natural populations and open questions and future directions in the study of the evolution of these traits are discussed.

  11. Pigment-protein complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Siegelman, H W

    1980-01-01

    The photosynthetically-active pigment protein complexes of procaryotes and eucaryotes include chlorophyll proteins, carotenochlorophyll proteins, and biliproteins. They are either integral components or attached to photosynthetic membranes. Detergents are frequently required to solubilize the pigment-protein complexes. The membrane localization and detergent solubilization strongly suggest that the pigment-protein complexes are bound to the membranes by hydrophobic interactions. Hydrophobic interactions of proteins are characterized by an increase in entropy. Their bonding energy is directly related to temperature and ionic strength. Hydrophobic-interaction chromatography, a relatively new separation procedure, can furnish an important method for the purification of pigment-protein complexes. Phycobilisome purification and properties provide an example of the need to maintain hydrophobic interactions to preserve structure and function.

  12. Recreating a functional ancestral archosaur visual pigment.

    PubMed

    Chang, Belinda S W; Jönsson, Karolina; Kazmi, Manija A; Donoghue, Michael J; Sakmar, Thomas P

    2002-09-01

    The ancestors of the archosaurs, a major branch of the diapsid reptiles, originated more than 240 MYA near the dawn of the Triassic Period. We used maximum likelihood phylogenetic ancestral reconstruction methods and explored different models of evolution for inferring the amino acid sequence of a putative ancestral archosaur visual pigment. Three different types of maximum likelihood models were used: nucleotide-based, amino acid-based, and codon-based models. Where possible, within each type of model, likelihood ratio tests were used to determine which model best fit the data. Ancestral reconstructions of the ancestral archosaur node using the best-fitting models of each type were found to be in agreement, except for three amino acid residues at which one reconstruction differed from the other two. To determine if these ancestral pigments would be functionally active, the corresponding genes were chemically synthesized and then expressed in a mammalian cell line in tissue culture. The expressed artificial genes were all found to bind to 11-cis-retinal to yield stable photoactive pigments with lambda(max) values of about 508 nm, which is slightly redshifted relative to that of extant vertebrate pigments. The ancestral archosaur pigments also activated the retinal G protein transducin, as measured in a fluorescence assay. Our results show that ancestral genes from ancient organisms can be reconstructed de novo and tested for function using a combination of phylogenetic and biochemical methods. PMID:12200476

  13. Recreating a functional ancestral archosaur visual pigment.

    PubMed

    Chang, Belinda S W; Jönsson, Karolina; Kazmi, Manija A; Donoghue, Michael J; Sakmar, Thomas P

    2002-09-01

    The ancestors of the archosaurs, a major branch of the diapsid reptiles, originated more than 240 MYA near the dawn of the Triassic Period. We used maximum likelihood phylogenetic ancestral reconstruction methods and explored different models of evolution for inferring the amino acid sequence of a putative ancestral archosaur visual pigment. Three different types of maximum likelihood models were used: nucleotide-based, amino acid-based, and codon-based models. Where possible, within each type of model, likelihood ratio tests were used to determine which model best fit the data. Ancestral reconstructions of the ancestral archosaur node using the best-fitting models of each type were found to be in agreement, except for three amino acid residues at which one reconstruction differed from the other two. To determine if these ancestral pigments would be functionally active, the corresponding genes were chemically synthesized and then expressed in a mammalian cell line in tissue culture. The expressed artificial genes were all found to bind to 11-cis-retinal to yield stable photoactive pigments with lambda(max) values of about 508 nm, which is slightly redshifted relative to that of extant vertebrate pigments. The ancestral archosaur pigments also activated the retinal G protein transducin, as measured in a fluorescence assay. Our results show that ancestral genes from ancient organisms can be reconstructed de novo and tested for function using a combination of phylogenetic and biochemical methods.

  14. The evolution of the TOR pathway and its role in cancer.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, E M; Platanias, L C

    2013-08-22

    The target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway is highly conserved among eukaryotes and has evolved to couple nutrient sensing to cellular growth. TOR is found in two distinct signaling complexes in cells, TOR complex 1 (TORC1) and TOR complex 2 (TORC2). These complexes are differentially regulated and act as effectors for the generation of signals that drive diverse cellular processes such as growth, proliferation, protein synthesis, rearrangement of the cytoskeleton, autophagy, metabolism and survival. Mammalian TOR (mTOR) is very important for development in embryos, while in adult organisms it is linked to aging and lifespan effects. In humans, the mTOR pathway is implicated in the tumorigenesis of multiple cancer types and its deregulation is associated with familial cancer syndromes. Because of its high biological relevance, different therapeutic strategies have been developed to target this signaling cascade, resulting in the emergence of unique pharmacological inhibitors that are either already approved for use in clinical oncology or currently under preclinical or clinical development. Multimodal treatment strategies that simultaneously target multiple nodes of the pathway and/or negative feedback regulatory loops may ultimately provide the best therapeutic advantage in targeting this pathway for the treatment of malignancies.

  15. Phylobiochemical characterization of class-Ib aspartate/prephenate aminotransferases reveals evolution of the plant arogenate phenylalanine pathway.

    PubMed

    Dornfeld, Camilla; Weisberg, Alexandra J; K C, Ritesh; Dudareva, Natalia; Jelesko, John G; Maeda, Hiroshi A

    2014-07-01

    The aromatic amino acid Phe is required for protein synthesis and serves as the precursor of abundant phenylpropanoid plant natural products. While Phe is synthesized from prephenate exclusively via a phenylpyruvate intermediate in model microbes, the alternative pathway via arogenate is predominant in plant Phe biosynthesis. However, the molecular and biochemical evolution of the plant arogenate pathway is currently unknown. Here, we conducted phylogenetically informed biochemical characterization of prephenate aminotransferases (PPA-ATs) that belong to class-Ib aspartate aminotransferases (AspAT Ibs) and catalyze the first committed step of the arogenate pathway in plants. Plant PPA-ATs and succeeding arogenate dehydratases (ADTs) were found to be most closely related to homologs from Chlorobi/Bacteroidetes bacteria. The Chlorobium tepidum PPA-AT and ADT homologs indeed efficiently converted prephenate and arogenate into arogenate and Phe, respectively. A subset of AspAT Ib enzymes exhibiting PPA-AT activity was further identified from both Plantae and prokaryotes and, together with site-directed mutagenesis, showed that Thr-84 and Lys-169 play key roles in specific recognition of dicarboxylic keto (prephenate) and amino (aspartate) acid substrates. The results suggest that, along with ADT, a gene encoding prephenate-specific PPA-AT was transferred from a Chlorobi/Bacteroidetes ancestor to a eukaryotic ancestor of Plantae, allowing efficient Phe and phenylpropanoid production via arogenate in plants today.

  16. Competition between anthocyanin and flavonol biosynthesis produces spatial pattern variation of floral pigments between Mimulus species.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yao-Wu; Rebocho, Alexandra B; Sagawa, Janelle M; Stanley, Lauren E; Bradshaw, Harvey D

    2016-03-01

    Flower color patterns have long served as a model for developmental genetics because pigment phenotypes are visually striking, yet generally not required for plant viability, facilitating the genetic analysis of color and pattern mutants. The evolution of novel flower colors and patterns has played a key role in the adaptive radiation of flowering plants via their specialized interactions with different pollinator guilds (e.g., bees, butterflies, birds), motivating the search for allelic differences affecting flower color pattern in closely related plant species with different pollinators. We have identified LIGHT AREAS1 (LAR1), encoding an R2R3-MYB transcription factor, as the causal gene underlying the spatial pattern variation of floral anthocyanin pigmentation between two sister species of monkeyflower: the bumblebee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii and the hummingbird-pollinated Mimulus cardinalis. We demonstrated that LAR1 positively regulates FLAVONOL SYNTHASE (FLS), essentially eliminating anthocyanin biosynthesis in the white region (i.e., light areas) around the corolla throat of M. lewisii flowers by diverting dihydroflavonol into flavonol biosynthesis from the anthocyanin pigment pathway. FLS is preferentially expressed in the light areas of the M. lewisii flower, thus prepatterning the corolla. LAR1 expression in M. cardinalis flowers is much lower than in M. lewisii, explaining the unpatterned phenotype and recessive inheritance of the M. cardinalis allele. Furthermore, our gene-expression analysis and genetic mapping results suggest that cis-regulatory change at the LAR1 gene played a critical role in the evolution of different pigmentation patterns between the two species. PMID:26884205

  17. Competition between anthocyanin and flavonol biosynthesis produces spatial pattern variation of floral pigments between Mimulus species

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Yao-Wu; Rebocho, Alexandra B.; Sagawa, Janelle M.; Stanley, Lauren E.; Bradshaw, Harvey D.

    2016-01-01

    Flower color patterns have long served as a model for developmental genetics because pigment phenotypes are visually striking, yet generally not required for plant viability, facilitating the genetic analysis of color and pattern mutants. The evolution of novel flower colors and patterns has played a key role in the adaptive radiation of flowering plants via their specialized interactions with different pollinator guilds (e.g., bees, butterflies, birds), motivating the search for allelic differences affecting flower color pattern in closely related plant species with different pollinators. We have identified LIGHT AREAS1 (LAR1), encoding an R2R3-MYB transcription factor, as the causal gene underlying the spatial pattern variation of floral anthocyanin pigmentation between two sister species of monkeyflower: the bumblebee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii and the hummingbird-pollinated Mimulus cardinalis. We demonstrated that LAR1 positively regulates FLAVONOL SYNTHASE (FLS), essentially eliminating anthocyanin biosynthesis in the white region (i.e., light areas) around the corolla throat of M. lewisii flowers by diverting dihydroflavonol into flavonol biosynthesis from the anthocyanin pigment pathway. FLS is preferentially expressed in the light areas of the M. lewisii flower, thus prepatterning the corolla. LAR1 expression in M. cardinalis flowers is much lower than in M. lewisii, explaining the unpatterned phenotype and recessive inheritance of the M. cardinalis allele. Furthermore, our gene-expression analysis and genetic mapping results suggest that cis-regulatory change at the LAR1 gene played a critical role in the evolution of different pigmentation patterns between the two species. PMID:26884205

  18. Planarian Hh signaling regulates regeneration polarity and links Hh pathway evolution to cilia

    PubMed Central

    Rink, Jochen C.; Gurley, Kyle A.; Elliott, Sarah A.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2010-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays multiple essential roles during metazoan development, homeostasis, and disease. Although core protein components are highly conserved, the variations in Hh signal transduction mechanisms exhibited by existing model systems (Drosophila, fish, and mammals) are difficult to understand. We characterize the Hh pathway in planarians. Hh signaling is essential for establishing the Anterior/Posterior axis during regeneration by modulating wnt expression. Moreover, RNAi methods to reduce signal transduction proteins Cos2/Kif27/Kif7, Fused, or Iguana do not result in detectable Hh signaling defects; however, these proteins are essential for planarian ciliogenesis. Our study expands the understanding of Hh signaling in the animal kingdom and suggests an ancestral mechanistic link between Hh signaling and the function of cilia. PMID:19933103

  19. Evidence for loss of a partial flagellar glycolytic pathway during trypanosomatid evolution.

    PubMed

    Brown, Robert W B; Collingridge, Peter W; Gull, Keith; Rigden, Daniel J; Ginger, Michael L

    2014-01-01

    Classically viewed as a cytosolic pathway, glycolysis is increasingly recognized as a metabolic pathway exhibiting surprisingly wide-ranging variations in compartmentalization within eukaryotic cells. Trypanosomatid parasites provide an extreme view of glycolytic enzyme compartmentalization as several glycolytic enzymes are found exclusively in peroxisomes. Here, we characterize Trypanosoma brucei flagellar proteins resembling glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK): we show the latter associates with the axoneme and the former is a novel paraflagellar rod component. The paraflagellar rod is an essential extra-axonemal structure in trypanosomes and related protists, providing a platform into which metabolic activities can be built. Yet, bioinformatics interrogation and structural modelling indicate neither the trypanosome PGK-like nor the GAPDH-like protein is catalytically active. Orthologs are present in a free-living ancestor of the trypanosomatids, Bodo saltans: the PGK-like protein from B. saltans also lacks key catalytic residues, but its GAPDH-like protein is predicted to be catalytically competent. We discuss the likelihood that the trypanosome GAPDH-like and PGK-like proteins constitute molecular evidence for evolutionary loss of a flagellar glycolytic pathway, either as a consequence of niche adaptation or the re-localization of glycolytic enzymes to peroxisomes and the extensive changes to glycolytic flux regulation that accompanied this re-localization. Evidence indicating loss of localized ATP provision via glycolytic enzymes therefore provides a novel contribution to an emerging theme of hidden diversity with respect to compartmentalization of the ubiquitous glycolytic pathway in eukaryotes. A possibility that trypanosome GAPDH-like protein additionally represents a degenerate example of a moonlighting protein is also discussed. PMID:25050549

  20. Evidence for loss of a partial flagellar glycolytic pathway during trypanosomatid evolution.

    PubMed

    Brown, Robert W B; Collingridge, Peter W; Gull, Keith; Rigden, Daniel J; Ginger, Michael L

    2014-01-01

    Classically viewed as a cytosolic pathway, glycolysis is increasingly recognized as a metabolic pathway exhibiting surprisingly wide-ranging variations in compartmentalization within eukaryotic cells. Trypanosomatid parasites provide an extreme view of glycolytic enzyme compartmentalization as several glycolytic enzymes are found exclusively in peroxisomes. Here, we characterize Trypanosoma brucei flagellar proteins resembling glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK): we show the latter associates with the axoneme and the former is a novel paraflagellar rod component. The paraflagellar rod is an essential extra-axonemal structure in trypanosomes and related protists, providing a platform into which metabolic activities can be built. Yet, bioinformatics interrogation and structural modelling indicate neither the trypanosome PGK-like nor the GAPDH-like protein is catalytically active. Orthologs are present in a free-living ancestor of the trypanosomatids, Bodo saltans: the PGK-like protein from B. saltans also lacks key catalytic residues, but its GAPDH-like protein is predicted to be catalytically competent. We discuss the likelihood that the trypanosome GAPDH-like and PGK-like proteins constitute molecular evidence for evolutionary loss of a flagellar glycolytic pathway, either as a consequence of niche adaptation or the re-localization of glycolytic enzymes to peroxisomes and the extensive changes to glycolytic flux regulation that accompanied this re-localization. Evidence indicating loss of localized ATP provision via glycolytic enzymes therefore provides a novel contribution to an emerging theme of hidden diversity with respect to compartmentalization of the ubiquitous glycolytic pathway in eukaryotes. A possibility that trypanosome GAPDH-like protein additionally represents a degenerate example of a moonlighting protein is also discussed.

  1. Evidence for Loss of a Partial Flagellar Glycolytic Pathway during Trypanosomatid Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Robert W. B.; Collingridge, Peter W.; Gull, Keith; Rigden, Daniel J.; Ginger, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Classically viewed as a cytosolic pathway, glycolysis is increasingly recognized as a metabolic pathway exhibiting surprisingly wide-ranging variations in compartmentalization within eukaryotic cells. Trypanosomatid parasites provide an extreme view of glycolytic enzyme compartmentalization as several glycolytic enzymes are found exclusively in peroxisomes. Here, we characterize Trypanosoma brucei flagellar proteins resembling glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK): we show the latter associates with the axoneme and the former is a novel paraflagellar rod component. The paraflagellar rod is an essential extra-axonemal structure in trypanosomes and related protists, providing a platform into which metabolic activities can be built. Yet, bioinformatics interrogation and structural modelling indicate neither the trypanosome PGK-like nor the GAPDH-like protein is catalytically active. Orthologs are present in a free-living ancestor of the trypanosomatids, Bodo saltans: the PGK-like protein from B. saltans also lacks key catalytic residues, but its GAPDH-like protein is predicted to be catalytically competent. We discuss the likelihood that the trypanosome GAPDH-like and PGK-like proteins constitute molecular evidence for evolutionary loss of a flagellar glycolytic pathway, either as a consequence of niche adaptation or the re-localization of glycolytic enzymes to peroxisomes and the extensive changes to glycolytic flux regulation that accompanied this re-localization. Evidence indicating loss of localized ATP provision via glycolytic enzymes therefore provides a novel contribution to an emerging theme of hidden diversity with respect to compartmentalization of the ubiquitous glycolytic pathway in eukaryotes. A possibility that trypanosome GAPDH-like protein additionally represents a degenerate example of a moonlighting protein is also discussed. PMID:25050549

  2. Evolution of hydrological pathways in engineered hillslopes due to soil and vegetation development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appels, Willemijn M.; Ireson, Andrew M.; McDonnell, Jeffrey J.; Barbour, S. Lee

    2015-04-01

    The structure and hydraulic properties of soils and bedrock within a hillslope combined with the timing and rates of water availability control the partitioning of precipitation into vertical and lateral flowpaths. In natural hillslope sites, heterogeneity in both soil texture and structure are the result of long-term landscape evolution processes and consequently can be assumed to be static relative to the timescale of rainfall-runoff processes. However; engineered hillslopes, constructed commonly as reclamation covers overlying mine waste, have been observed to undergo rapid changes in hydraulic properties over relatively short timescales (i.e. 3-5 years) as a result of weathering (e.g. freeze-thaw and wet-dry cycles) and vegetation growth (e.g. increasing rooting depth and density). Rainfall-runoff responses on such hillslopes would therefore not only be expected to reflect seasonal dynamics, but also the evolution of the system from a relatively homogeneous initial condition to a system with increasing heterogeneity of soil texture and structure. We present results of a combined field and modeling study of three prototype soil covers on a saline-sodic shale overburden dump at the Syncrude Canada Ltd. Mildred Lake mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Since their construction in 1999, soil properties, hydrological response to atmospheric and vegetative demands, and vegetation properties have been extensively monitored. The three covers have undergone substantial evolution due to freeze-thaw processes and aggrading vegetation. In this work, we quantify hydrological processes in the reclamation covers, focusing on inter- and intra-annual patterns. To this purpose we analyzed the long-term hydrometric data with field sampling of the distribution of salts and the stable isotopes of water within soil water and subsurface flow in the base of the cover. We use a 2D Hydrus model to explore the co-evolution of soil and vegetation and quantify its effect on flow

  3. DNA mismatch repair pathway defects in the pathogenesis and evolution of myeloma.

    PubMed

    Velangi, Mark R; Matheson, Elizabeth C; Morgan, Gareth J; Jackson, Graham H; Taylor, Penelope R; Hall, Andrew G; Irving, Julie A E

    2004-10-01

    Genetic instability is a prominent feature in multiple myeloma and progression of this disease from monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS) and smouldering myeloma (SMM) is associated with increasing molecular and chromosomal abnormalities. The DNA mismatch repair (MMR) pathway is a post-replicational DNA repair system that maintains genetic stability by repairing mismatched bases and insertion/deletion loops mistakenly incorporated during DNA replication. Deficiencies in proteins pivotal to this pathway result in a higher mutation rate, particularly at regions of microsatellite DNA. We have investigated the proficiency of the MMR pathway in clinical samples and myeloma cell lines. Microsatellite analysis showed instability at one or more of nine loci examined in 15 from 92 patients: 7.7% of MGUS/SMM, 20.7% of MM/plasma cell leukaemia (PCL) and 12.5% of relapsed MM/PCL. An in vitro heteroduplex G/T repair assay found reduced repair in two cell lines, JIM1 and JIM3, and in two of four PCL cases and was associated with aberrant expression of at least one mismatch repair protein. Thus we show that MMR defects are found in plasma cell dyscrasias and the increased frequency during more active stages of the disease suggests a contributory role in disease progression. PMID:15142887

  4. The origin of the supernumerary subunits and assembly factors of complex I: A treasure trove of pathway evolution.

    PubMed

    Elurbe, Dei M; Huynen, Martijn A

    2016-07-01

    We review and document the evolutionary origin of all complex I assembly factors and nine supernumerary subunits from protein families. Based on experimental data and the conservation of critical residues we identify a spectrum of protein function conservation between the complex I representatives and their non-complex I homologs. This spectrum ranges from proteins that have retained their molecular function but in which the substrate specificity may have changed or have become more specific, like NDUFAF5, to proteins that have lost their original molecular function and critical catalytic residues like NDUFAF6. In between are proteins that have retained their molecular function, which however appears unrelated to complex I, like ACAD9, or proteins in which amino acids of the active site are conserved but for which no enzymatic activity has been reported, like NDUFA10. We interpret complex I evolution against the background of molecular evolution theory. Complex I supernumerary subunits and assembly factors appear to have been recruited from proteins that are mitochondrial and/or that are expressed when complex I is active. Within the evolution of complex I and its assembly there are many cases of neofunctionalization after gene duplication, like ACAD9 and TMEM126B, one case of subfunctionalization: ACPM1 and ACPM2 in Yarrowia lipolytica, and one case in which a complex I protein itself appears to have been the source of a new protein from another complex: NDUFS6 gave rise to cytochrome c oxidase subunit COX4/COX5b. Complex I and its assembly can therewith be regarded as a treasure trove for pathway evolution. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Respiratory complex I, edited by Volker Zickermann and Ulrich Brandt.

  5. Phototrophic pigment production with microalgae: biological constraints and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Mulders, Kim J M; Lamers, Packo P; Martens, Dirk E; Wijffels, René H

    2014-04-01

    There is increasing interest in naturally produced colorants, and microalgae represent a bio-technologically interesting source due to their wide range of colored pigments, including chlorophylls (green), carotenoids (red, orange and yellow), and phycobiliproteins (red and blue). However, the concentration of these pigments, under optimal growth conditions, is often too low to make microalgal-based pigment production economically feasible. In some Chlorophyta (green algae), specific process conditions such as oversaturating light intensities or a high salt concentration induce the overproduction of secondary carotenoids (β-carotene in Dunaliella salina (Dunal) Teodoresco and astaxanthin in Haematococcus pluvialis (Flotow)). Overproduction of all other pigments (including lutein, fucoxanthin, and phycocyanin) requires modification in gene expression or enzyme activity, most likely combined with the creation of storage space outside of the photosystems. The success of such modification strategies depends on an adequate understanding of the metabolic pathways and the functional roles of all the pigments involved. In this review, the distribution of commercially interesting pigments across the most common microalgal groups, the roles of these pigments in vivo and their biosynthesis routes are reviewed, and constraints and opportunities for overproduction of both primary and secondary pigments are presented.

  6. Biology of pigmentation

    SciTech Connect

    Parker, F.

    1981-01-01

    The many factors involved in the normal pigmentation of human skin are highly complex involving anatomic, biochemical, and genetic aspects of melanocytes in the skin and the influence of UV light and various hormones on the melanocytes. It is probably more than just coincidence that the melanocytes, which are of neurogenic origin, are so responsive to several trophic hormones produced in the brain. Understanding of the various factors involved in the normal pigmentary process is crucial to explaining the many alterations and anomalies in human pigmentation.

  7. Embryological pigment epithelial dystrophies.

    PubMed

    François, J

    1976-01-01

    The embryological pigment epithelial dystrophies may be due, although rather rarely, to chemical factors, such as antibiotics and thalidomide, to ionizing radiation and to infectious factors, syphilis or viral infections, such as mumps, measles, varicella, or cytomegalovirus. The most frequent and the most typical dystrophy is, nevertheless, the rubella epitheliopathy with its widespread scattered black pigment deposits, found predominantly in the posterior pole, and its unaffected visual functions. The macular dystrophy associated with deaf-mutism is also often due to a maternal rubella infection.

  8. Evolution under different storage conditions of anomalous blue coloration of Mozzarella cheese intentionally contaminated with a pigment-producing strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens.

    PubMed

    Cenci-Goga, B T; Karama, M; Sechi, P; Iulietto, M F; Novelli, S; Mattei, S

    2014-11-01

    Several widespread occurrences of anomalous blue coloration of Mozzarella cheese have been recorded in the United States and some European countries. Official laboratory analysis and health authorities have linked the occurrences to contamination of the processing water with strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens, although several experts questioned how to unequivocally link the blue color to the presence of the microorganism. To establish a method to determine whether a given Pseudomonas spp. strain is responsible for the defect and study the evolution of the coloration under different storage conditions, we developed an in vitro system for the evaluation of blue coloration of Mozzarella cheese intentionally contaminated with strains of P. fluorescens. The purpose of the system was to determine whether P.fluorescens strains, isolated from Mozzarella cheese with anomalous blue coloration, were able to reproduce the blue coloration under controlled experimental conditions. Thirty-six trials of experimental inoculation of Mozzarella cheese in different preservation liquids were conducted using various suspensions of P.fluorescens (P. fluorescens ATCC 13525, P.fluorescens CFBP 3150, and P. fluorescens 349 field strain isolated from blue-colored Mozzarella cheese) at different concentrations and incubated at different temperatures. Growth curves of all tested P.fluorescens strains demonstrated that after 3 d of incubation the concentration was generally >10(6) cfu/g of Mozzarella cheese incubated in either tryptic soy broth (control) or conditioning brine. Prolonged incubation for 5 d at either 20 °C or 8 °C led to concentrations up to 10(9) cfu/g of Mozzarella cheese incubated in tryptic soy broth and up to 10(8) cfu/g of Mozzarella cheese incubated in preservation liquid. All Mozzarella cheeses inoculated with the field strain of P. fluorescens, except those opened 1h after packaging and stored at 8 °C, showed the characteristic anomalous blue coloration, which

  9. Parallel processing in the honeybee olfactory pathway: structure, function, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Rössler, Wolfgang; Brill, Martin F

    2013-11-01

    Animals face highly complex and dynamic olfactory stimuli in their natural environments, which require fast and reliable olfactory processing. Parallel processing is a common principle of sensory systems supporting this task, for example in visual and auditory systems, but its role in olfaction remained unclear. Studies in the honeybee focused on a dual olfactory pathway. Two sets of projection neurons connect glomeruli in two antennal-lobe hemilobes via lateral and medial tracts in opposite sequence with the mushroom bodies and lateral horn. Comparative studies suggest that this dual-tract circuit represents a unique adaptation in Hymenoptera. Imaging studies indicate that glomeruli in both hemilobes receive redundant sensory input. Recent simultaneous multi-unit recordings from projection neurons of both tracts revealed widely overlapping response profiles strongly indicating parallel olfactory processing. Whereas lateral-tract neurons respond fast with broad (generalistic) profiles, medial-tract neurons are odorant specific and respond slower. In analogy to "what-" and "where" subsystems in visual pathways, this suggests two parallel olfactory subsystems providing "what-" (quality) and "when" (temporal) information. Temporal response properties may support across-tract coincidence coding in higher centers. Parallel olfactory processing likely enhances perception of complex odorant mixtures to decode the diverse and dynamic olfactory world of a social insect.

  10. Enzyme chemistry and the evolution of metabolic diversity: the. beta. -ketoadipate pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Kozarich, J.W.

    1986-05-01

    The two converging catechol and protocatechuate branches of the ..beta..-ketoadipate pathway in Pseudomonas putida have long been considered a paradigm of evolutionary divergence of specialized enzymes from a common ancestor. The structural similarities of substrates, products and the enzymes themselves have supported this hypothesis. Employing chemical and /sup 1/H NMR techniques, they have determined the absolute stereochemical courses of the reactions catalyzed by ..beta..-carboxymuconate cycloisomerase, muconolactone isomerase, and ..gamma..-carboxymuconolactone decarboxylase. Surprisingly, ..beta..-carboxymuconate cycloisomerase proceeds via an anti addition while the corresponding muconate cycloisomerase has been shown to catalyze a syn addition. Moreover, the chiral centers generated in the products of both enzymes are of the opposite relative configuration. They believe that the shift in mechanism may reflect basic energetic differences of the two reactions. The stereochemistries of the isomerase and decarboxylase have been established by /sup 1/H NMR using a ricochet analysis. Both reactions proceed via a syn process; the relative configurations of muconolactone and ..gamma..-carboxymuconolactone necessitate that the enzymes operate on opposite faces of the common enol-lactone product. These findings suggest that either critical active site changes have occurred in these enzymes to accommodate preferred mechanistic pathways or the evolutionary relationship of the two branches is more remote than previously believed.

  11. Neoproterozoic Oxygenation of Earth Surface Environments Reflected in the Late Evolution of the O2-Dependent Vitamin B12 Biosynthesis Pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, M. A.; Bertrand, E. M.; Anbar, A.

    2008-12-01

    There are multiple lines of evidence for a significant rise of O2 in the Earth's atmosphere ~2.4 Ga. A second oxygenation event in the Neoproterozoic is not as well constrained. These changes in environmental redox affected the abundances of bioessential elements. Trace elements such as Co, Fe, and Ni were likely favored in the early evolution of metalloenzymes, prior to the first oxidation event. Consistent with this expectation, vitamin B12 is a Co-containing biomolecule whose biosynthesis is thought to have evolved prior to the origin of oxygenic photosynthesis and the first rise in O2. However, biochemical characterization of the many enzymes involved in B12 biosynthesis has revealed two distinct pathways: an O2-independent pathway and an O2-dependant pathway. The major difference between these pathways involves the timing of the insertion of Co. We examined the amino acid sequences of enzymes in the B12 biosynthesis pathway from a set of 100 phylogenetically diverse microbial genomes, focusing on enzymes exclusive to each pathway as well as enzymes shared by both. Molecular clock and phylogenetic analyses were performed on alignments of the sequences obtained from these study genomes. This approach focused on functional genes rather than the phylogeny of microbes in an attempt to understand the evolution of the pathway itself, rather than its presence in individual phylogenetic groups. Clear differences in age are apparent between representatives of each pathway. The O2-independent pathway and enzymes shared in both pathways show the most ancient last common ancestors. In contrast, the enzymes associated exclusively with the O2-dependent pathway diverged from a common ancestor less than a billion years ago. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that these enzymes were recruited from other biochemical pathways. From these results it seems likely that the evolution of the O2-dependent pathway occurred long after the initial evolution of the B12 biosynthesis. This

  12. Comparative genomic analysis of nine Sphingobium strains: Insights into their evolution and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) degradation pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Verma, Helianthous; Kumar, Roshan; Oldach, Phoebe; Sangwan, Naseer; Khurana, Jitendra P.; Gilbert, Jack A.; Lal, Rup

    2014-11-23

    Background: Sphingobium spp. are efficient degraders of a wide range of chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons. In particular, strains which harbour the lin pathway genes mediating the degradation of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers are of interest due to the widespread persistence of this contaminant. Here, we examined the evolution and diversification of the lin pathway under the selective pressure of HCH, by comparing the draft genomes of six newly-sequenced Sphingobium spp. (strains LL03, DS20, IP26, HDIPO4, P25 and RL3) isolated from HCH dumpsites, with three existing genomes (S. indicum B90A, S. japonicum UT26S and Sphingobium sp. SYK6). Results: Efficient HCH degraders phylogenetically clustered in a closely related group comprising of UT26S, B90A, HDIPO4 and IP26, where HDIPO4 and IP26 were classified as subspecies with ANI value >98%. Less than 10% of the total gene content was shared among all nine strains, but among the eight HCH-associated strains, that is all except SYK6, the shared gene content jumped to nearly 25%. Genes associated with nitrogen stress response and two-component systems were found to be enriched. The strains also housed many xenobiotic degradation pathways other than HCH, despite the absence of these xenobiotics from isolation sources. In addition, these strains, although non-motile, but posses flagellar assembly genes. While strains HDIPO4 and IP26 contained the complete set of lin genes, DS20 was entirely devoid of lin genes (except linKLMN) whereas, LL03, P25 and RL3 were identified as lin deficient strains, as they housed incomplete lin pathways. Further, in HDIPO4, linA was found as a hybrid of two natural variants i.e., linA1 and linA2 known for their different enantioselectivity. In conclusion, the bacteria isolated from HCH dumpsites provide a natural testing ground to study variations in the lin system and their

  13. Cerebral white matter--historical evolution of facts and notions concerning the organization of the fiber pathways of the brain.

    PubMed

    Schmahmann, Jeremy D; Pandya, Deepak N

    2007-01-01

    Gross and microscopic studies by early investigators led the cerebral white matter from being regarded as an amorphous mass to an intricately organized system of fasciculi that facilitate the highest expression of cerebral activity. Here we pay homage to the anatomists whose observations resulted in the evolution of ideas about the cerebral white matter. We also draw attention to limitations of the earlier methodologies and to some of the conflicts and controversies that have characterized this field and that persist in the current literature. We conclude with brief reference to the principles of organization of the fiber pathways derived from our studies in the monkey using the autoradiographic tract tracing technique, another step in the ongoing investigations of the cerebral white matter. This historical review has contemporary relevance because the fiber pathways of the brain are crucial components of the distributed neural circuits that subserve nervous system function; the clinical manifestations of white matter damage are recognized with greater frequency and clarity; and magnetic resonance imaging tractography has made it possible to view these fiber bundles within the living human brain. PMID:17620190

  14. Genomic and Secondary Metabolite Analyses of Streptomyces sp. 2AW Provide Insight into the Evolution of the Cycloheximide Pathway.

    PubMed

    Stulberg, Elizabeth R; Lozano, Gabriel L; Morin, Jesse B; Park, Hyunjun; Baraban, Ezra G; Mlot, Christine; Heffelfinger, Christopher; Phillips, Gillian M; Rush, Jason S; Phillips, Andrew J; Broderick, Nichole A; Thomas, Michael G; Stabb, Eric V; Handelsman, Jo

    2016-01-01

    The dearth of new antibiotics in the face of widespread antimicrobial resistance makes developing innovative strategies for discovering new antibiotics critical for the future management of infectious disease. Understanding the genetics and evolution of antibiotic producers will help guide the discovery and bioengineering of novel antibiotics. We discovered an isolate in Alaskan boreal forest soil that had broad antimicrobial activity. We elucidated the corresponding antimicrobial natural products and sequenced the genome of this isolate, designated Streptomyces sp. 2AW. This strain illustrates the chemical virtuosity typical of the Streptomyces genus, producing cycloheximide as well as two other biosynthetically unrelated antibiotics, neutramycin, and hygromycin A. Combining bioinformatic and chemical analyses, we identified the gene clusters responsible for antibiotic production. Interestingly, 2AW appears dissimilar from other cycloheximide producers in that the gene encoding the polyketide synthase resides on a separate part of the chromosome from the genes responsible for tailoring cycloheximide-specific modifications. This gene arrangement and our phylogenetic analyses of the gene products suggest that 2AW holds an evolutionarily ancestral lineage of the cycloheximide pathway. Our analyses support the hypothesis that the 2AW glutaramide gene cluster is basal to the lineage wherein cycloheximide production diverged from other glutarimide antibiotics. This study illustrates the power of combining modern biochemical and genomic analyses to gain insight into the evolution of antibiotic-producing microorganisms. PMID:27199910

  15. Genomic and Secondary Metabolite Analyses of Streptomyces sp. 2AW Provide Insight into the Evolution of the Cycloheximide Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Stulberg, Elizabeth R.; Lozano, Gabriel L.; Morin, Jesse B.; Park, Hyunjun; Baraban, Ezra G.; Mlot, Christine; Heffelfinger, Christopher; Phillips, Gillian M.; Rush, Jason S.; Phillips, Andrew J.; Broderick, Nichole A.; Thomas, Michael G.; Stabb, Eric V.; Handelsman, Jo

    2016-01-01

    The dearth of new antibiotics in the face of widespread antimicrobial resistance makes developing innovative strategies for discovering new antibiotics critical for the future management of infectious disease. Understanding the genetics and evolution of antibiotic producers will help guide the discovery and bioengineering of novel antibiotics. We discovered an isolate in Alaskan boreal forest soil that had broad antimicrobial activity. We elucidated the corresponding antimicrobial natural products and sequenced the genome of this isolate, designated Streptomyces sp. 2AW. This strain illustrates the chemical virtuosity typical of the Streptomyces genus, producing cycloheximide as well as two other biosynthetically unrelated antibiotics, neutramycin, and hygromycin A. Combining bioinformatic and chemical analyses, we identified the gene clusters responsible for antibiotic production. Interestingly, 2AW appears dissimilar from other cycloheximide producers in that the gene encoding the polyketide synthase resides on a separate part of the chromosome from the genes responsible for tailoring cycloheximide-specific modifications. This gene arrangement and our phylogenetic analyses of the gene products suggest that 2AW holds an evolutionarily ancestral lineage of the cycloheximide pathway. Our analyses support the hypothesis that the 2AW glutaramide gene cluster is basal to the lineage wherein cycloheximide production diverged from other glutarimide antibiotics. This study illustrates the power of combining modern biochemical and genomic analyses to gain insight into the evolution of antibiotic-producing microorganisms. PMID:27199910

  16. Retinal pigment epithelial cell proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Temple, Sally

    2015-01-01

    The human retinal pigment epithelium forms early in development and subsequently remains dormant, undergoing minimal proliferation throughout normal life. Retinal pigment epithelium proliferation, however, can be activated in disease states or by removing retinal pigment epithelial cells into culture. We review the conditions that control retinal pigment epithelial proliferation in culture, in animal models and in human disease and interpret retinal pigment epithelium proliferation in context of the recently discovered retinal pigment epithelium stem cell that is responsible for most in vitro retinal pigment epithelial proliferation. Retinal pigment epithelial proliferation-mediated wound repair that occurs in selected macular diseases is contrasted with retinal pigment epithelial proliferation-mediated fibroblastic scar formation that underlies proliferative vitreoretinopathy. We discuss the role of retinal pigment epithelial proliferation in age-related macular degeneration which is reparative in some cases and destructive in others. Macular retinal pigment epithelium wound repair and regression of choroidal neovascularization are more pronounced in younger than older patients. We discuss the possibility that the limited retinal pigment epithelial proliferation and latent wound repair in older age-related macular degeneration patients can be stimulated to promote disease regression in age-related macular degeneration. PMID:26041390

  17. The neuroprogressive nature of major depressive disorder: pathways to disease evolution and resistance, and therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Moylan, S; Maes, M; Wray, N R; Berk, M

    2013-05-01

    In some patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), individual illness characteristics appear consistent with those of a neuroprogressive illness. Features of neuroprogression include poorer symptomatic, treatment and functional outcomes in patients with earlier disease onset and increased number and length of depressive episodes. In such patients, longer and more frequent depressive episodes appear to increase vulnerability for further episodes, precipitating an accelerating and progressive illness course leading to functional decline. Evidence from clinical, biochemical and neuroimaging studies appear to support this model and are informing novel therapeutic approaches. This paper reviews current knowledge of the neuroprogressive processes that may occur in MDD, including structural brain consequences and potential molecular mechanisms including the role of neurotransmitter systems, inflammatory, oxidative and nitrosative stress pathways, neurotrophins and regulation of neurogenesis, cortisol and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis modulation, mitochondrial dysfunction and epigenetic and dietary influences. Evidence-based novel treatments informed by this knowledge are discussed.

  18. Evolution of the Chaperone/Usher Assembly Pathway: Fimbrial Classification Goes Greek†

    PubMed Central

    Nuccio, Sean-Paul; Bäumler, Andreas J.

    2007-01-01

    Summary: Many Proteobacteria use the chaperone/usher pathway to assemble proteinaceous filaments on the bacterial surface. These filaments can curl into fimbrial or nonfimbrial surface structures (e.g., a capsule or spore coat). This article reviews the phylogeny of operons belonging to the chaperone/usher assembly class to explore the utility of establishing a scheme for subdividing them into clades of phylogenetically related gene clusters. Based on usher amino acid sequence comparisons, our analysis shows that the chaperone/usher assembly class is subdivided into six major phylogenetic clades, which we have termed α-, β-, γ-, κ-, π-, and σ-fimbriae. Members of each clade share related operon structures and encode fimbrial subunits with similar protein domains. The proposed classification system offers a simple and convenient method for assigning newly discovered chaperone/usher systems to one of the six major phylogenetic groups. PMID:18063717

  19. Radioactive impact of Fukushima accident on the Iberian Peninsula: evolution and plume previous pathway.

    PubMed

    Lozano, R L; Hernández-Ceballos, M A; Adame, J A; Casas-Ruíz, M; Sorribas, M; San Miguel, E G; Bolívar, J P

    2011-10-01

    High activity concentrations of several man-made radionuclides (such as (131)I, (132)I, (132)Te, (134)Cs and (137)Cs) have been detected along the Iberian Peninsula from March 28th to April 7th 2011. The analysis of back-trajectories of air masses allowed us to demonstrate that the levels of manmade radionuclide activity concentrations in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula come from the accident produced in the nuclear power plant of Fukushima. The pathway followed by the radioactive plume from Fukushima into Huelva (southwest of the Iberian Peninsula) was deduced through back-trajectories analysis, and this fact was also verified by the activity concentrations measured of those radionuclides reported in places crossed by this radioactive cloud. In fact, activity concentrations reported by E.P.A., and by IAEA, in several places of Japan, Pacific Ocean and United States of America are according to the expected ones from the air mass trajectory arriving at Huelva province.

  20. Olfactory pathway of the hornet Vespa velutina: New insights into the evolution of the hymenopteran antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Couto, Antoine; Lapeyre, Benoit; Thiéry, Denis; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2016-08-01

    In the course of evolution, eusociality has appeared several times independently in Hymenoptera, within different families such as Apidae (bees), Formicidae (ants), and Vespidae (wasps and hornets), among others. The complex social organization of eusocial Hymenoptera relies on sophisticated olfactory communication systems. Whereas the olfactory systems of several bee and ant species have been well characterized, very little information is as yet available in Vespidae, although this family represents a highly successful insect group, displaying a wide range of life styles from solitary to eusocial. Using fluorescent labeling, confocal microscopy, and 3D reconstructions, we investigated the organization of the olfactory pathway in queens, workers, and males of the eusocial hornet Vespa velutina. First, we found that caste and sex dimorphism is weakly pronounced in hornets, with regard to both whole-brain morphology and antennal lobe organization, although several male-specific macroglomeruli are present. The V. velutina antennal lobe contains approximately 265 glomeruli (in females), grouped in nine conspicuous clusters formed by afferent tract subdivisions. As in bees and ants, hornets display a dual olfactory pathway, with two major efferent tracts, the medial and the lateral antennal lobe tracts (m- and l-ALT), separately arborizing two antennal lobe hemilobes and projecting to partially different regions of higher order olfactory centers. Finally, we found remarkable anatomical similarities in the glomerular cluster organizations among hornets, ants, and bees, suggesting the possible existence of homologies in the olfactory pathways of these eusocial Hymenoptera. We propose a common framework for describing AL compartmentalization across Hymenoptera and discuss possible evolutionary scenarios. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2335-2359, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26850231

  1. Evolution of oligomeric state through allosteric pathways that mimic ligand binding

    PubMed Central

    Perica, Tina; Kondo, Yasushi; Tiwari, Sandhya P.; McLaughlin, Stephen H.; Kemplen, Katherine R.; Zhang, Xiuwei; Steward, Annette; Reuter, Nathalie; Clarke, Jane; Teichmann, Sarah A.

    2015-01-01

    Evolution and design of protein complexes is almost always viewed through the lens of amino acid mutations at protein interfaces. We showed previously that residues not involved in the physical interaction between proteins make important contributions to oligomerisation by acting indirectly or allosterically. Here, we sought to investigate the mechanism by which allosteric mutations act using the example of the PyrR family of pyrimidine operon attenuators. In this family, a perfectly sequence-conserved helix that forms a tetrameric interface is exposed as solvent-accessible surface in dimeric orthologues. This means that mutations must be acting from a distance to destabilize the interface. We identified eleven key mutations controlling oligomeric state, all distant from the interfaces and outside ligand-binding pockets. Finally, we show that the key mutations introduce conformational changes equivalent to the conformational shift between the free versus the nucleotide-bound conformations of the proteins. PMID:25525255

  2. Combining natural and man-made DNA tracers to advance understanding of hydrologic flow pathway evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlke, H. E.; Walter, M. T.; Lyon, S. W.; Rosqvist, G. N.

    2014-12-01

    Identifying and characterizing the sources, pathways and residence times of water and associated constituents is critical to developing improved understanding of watershed-stream connections and hydrological/ecological/biogeochemical models. To date the most robust information is obtained from integrated studies that combine natural tracers (e.g. isotopes, geochemical tracers) with controlled chemical tracer (e.g., bromide, dyes) or colloidal tracer (e.g., carboxilated microspheres, tagged clay particles, microorganisms) applications. In the presented study we explore how understanding of sources and flow pathways of water derived from natural tracer studies can be improved and expanded in space and time by simultaneously introducing man-made, synthetic DNA-based microtracers. The microtracer used were composed of polylactic acid (PLA) microspheres into which short strands of synthetic DNA and paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are incorporated. Tracer experiments using both natural tracers and the DNA-based microtracers were conducted in the sub-arctic, glacierized Tarfala (21.7 km2) catchment in northern Sweden. Isotopic hydrograph separations revealed that even though storm runoff was dominated by pre-event water the event water (i.e. rainfall) contributions to streamflow increased throughout the summer season as glacial snow cover decreased. This suggests that glaciers are a major source of the rainwater fraction in streamflow. Simultaneous injections of ten unique DNA-based microtracers confirmed this hypothesis and revealed that the transit time of water traveling from the glacier surface to the stream decreased fourfold over the summer season leading to instantaneous rainwater contributions during storm events. These results highlight that integrating simultaneous tracer injections (injecting tracers at multiple places at one time) with traditional tracer methods (sampling multiple times at one place) rather than using either approach in isolation can

  3. The puzzle of the Krebs citric acid cycle: assembling the pieces of chemically feasible reactions, and opportunism in the design of metabolic pathways during evolution.

    PubMed

    Meléndez-Hevia, E; Waddell, T G; Cascante, M

    1996-09-01

    The evolutionary origin of the Krebs citric acid cycle has been for a long time a model case in the understanding of the origin and evolution of metabolic pathways: How can the emergence of such a complex pathway be explained? A number of speculative studies have been carried out that have reached the conclusion that the Krebs cycle evolved from pathways for amino acid biosynthesis, but many important questions remain open: Why and how did the full pathway emerge from there? Are other alternative routes for the same purpose possible? Are they better or worse? Have they had any opportunity to be developed in cellular metabolism evolution? We have analyzed the Krebs cycle as a problem of chemical design to oxidize acetate yielding reduction equivalents to the respiratory chain to make ATP. Our analysis demonstrates that although there are several different chemical solutions to this problem, the design of this metabolic pathway as it occurs in living cells is the best chemical solution: It has the least possible number of steps and it also has the greatest ATP yielding. Study of the evolutionary possibilities of each one-taking the available material to build new pathways-demonstrates that the emergence of the Krebs cycle has been a typical case of opportunism in molecular evolution. Our analysis proves, therefore, that the role of opportunism in evolution has converted a problem of several possible chemical solutions into a single-solution problem, with the actual Krebs cycle demonstrated to be the best possible chemical design. Our results also allow us to derive the rules under which metabolic pathways emerged during the origin of life.

  4. Development of Betta splendens embryos and larvae reveals variation in pigmentation patterns.

    PubMed

    Carey, Alexis N; Lyvers, Benjamin H; Ferrill, Rachel N; Johnson, Rachel L; Dumaine, Anne Marie; Sly, Belinda J

    2016-06-01

    Vertebrate pigmentation provides an ideal system for studying the intersections between evolution, genetics, and developmental biology. Teleost fish, with their accessible developmental stages and intense and diverse colours produced by chromatophores, are an ideal group for study. We set out to test whether Betta splendens is a good model organism for studying the evolution and development of diverse pigmentation. Our results demonstrate that B. splendens can be bred to produce large numbers of offspring with easily visualized pigment cells. Depending on the colour of the parents, there was variation in larval pigmentation patterns both within and between breeding events. In juveniles the developing adult pigmentation patterns showed even greater variation. These results suggest that B. splendens has great potential as a model organism for pigmentation studies.

  5. Development of Betta splendens embryos and larvae reveals variation in pigmentation patterns.

    PubMed

    Carey, Alexis N; Lyvers, Benjamin H; Ferrill, Rachel N; Johnson, Rachel L; Dumaine, Anne Marie; Sly, Belinda J

    2016-06-01

    Vertebrate pigmentation provides an ideal system for studying the intersections between evolution, genetics, and developmental biology. Teleost fish, with their accessible developmental stages and intense and diverse colours produced by chromatophores, are an ideal group for study. We set out to test whether Betta splendens is a good model organism for studying the evolution and development of diverse pigmentation. Our results demonstrate that B. splendens can be bred to produce large numbers of offspring with easily visualized pigment cells. Depending on the colour of the parents, there was variation in larval pigmentation patterns both within and between breeding events. In juveniles the developing adult pigmentation patterns showed even greater variation. These results suggest that B. splendens has great potential as a model organism for pigmentation studies. PMID:27172056

  6. Photooxidations in pigmented Blepharisma.

    PubMed

    GIESE, A C; ZEUTHEN, E

    1949-03-20

    1. Blepharisma undulans, a protozoan with a reddish pigment, shows increased oxygen consumption under the influence of light. 2. If the light intensity is high, the animals are killed during a burst of oxygen consumption. 3. If the blepharismas are first bleached by exposure to light of low intensity they show only slightly increased oxygen consumption under the influence of light and they are not killed. 4. A preparation in which the animals are killed by heat still shows the increase in oxygen consumption on illumination with brilliant light. The supernatant solution does so as well, as does an alcohol extract of the dye. 5. The conclusion is drawn that the blepharismas are killed during photooxidation of the pigment, but the mechanism of action is not clear. Several possibilities are considered in the discussion.

  7. The roles of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor and pigmentation in melanoma.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Jennifer J; Fisher, David E

    2014-12-01

    MITF and pigmentation play important roles in both normal melanocyte and transformed melanoma cell biology. MITF is regulated by many pathways and it also regulates many targets, some of which are still being discovered and functionally validated. MITF is involved in a wide range of processes in melanocytes, including pigment synthesis and lineage survival. Pigmentation itself plays an important role as the interface between genetic and environmental factors that contribute to melanoma.

  8. The Timing of Pigmentation Lightening in Europeans

    PubMed Central

    Beleza, Sandra; Santos, António M.; McEvoy, Brian; Alves, Isabel; Martinho, Cláudia; Cameron, Emily; Shriver, Mark D.; Parra, Esteban J.; Rocha, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    The inverse correlation between skin pigmentation and latitude observed in human populations is thought to have been shaped by selective pressures favoring lighter skin to facilitate vitamin D synthesis in regions far from the equator. Several candidate genes for skin pigmentation have been shown to exhibit patterns of polymorphism that overlap the geospatial variation in skin color. However, little work has focused on estimating the time frame over which skin pigmentation has changed and on the intensity of selection acting on different pigmentation genes. To provide a temporal framework for the evolution of lighter pigmentation, we used forward Monte Carlo simulations coupled with a rejection sampling algorithm to estimate the time of onset of selective sweeps and selection coefficients at four genes associated with this trait in Europeans: KITLG, TYRP1, SLC24A5, and SLC45A2. Using compound haplotype systems consisting of rapidly evolving microsatellites linked to one single-nucleotide polymorphism in each gene, we estimate that the onset of the sweep shared by Europeans and East Asians at KITLG occurred approximately 30,000 years ago, after the out-of-Africa migration, whereas the selective sweeps for the European-specific alleles at TYRP1, SLC24A5, and SLC45A2 started much later, within the last 11,000–19,000 years, well after the first migrations of modern humans into Europe. We suggest that these patterns were influenced by recent increases in size of human populations, which favored the accumulation of advantageous variants at different loci. PMID:22923467

  9. Animal pigment bilirubin discovered in plants.

    PubMed

    Pirone, Cary; Quirke, J Martin E; Priestap, Horacio A; Lee, David W

    2009-03-01

    The bile pigment bilirubin-IXalpha is the degradative product of heme, distributed among mammals and some other vertebrates. It can be recognized as the pigment responsible for the yellow color of jaundice and healing bruises. In this paper we present the first example of the isolation of bilirubin in plants. The compound was isolated from the brilliant orange-colored arils of Strelitzia nicolai, the white bird of paradise tree, and characterized by HPLC-ESMS, UV-visible, (1)H NMR, and (13)C NMR spectroscopy, as well as comparison with an authentic standard. This discovery indicates that plant cyclic tetrapyrroles may undergo degradation by a previously unknown pathway. Preliminary analyses of related plants, including S. reginae, the bird of paradise, also revealed bilirubin in the arils and flowers, indicating that the occurrence of bilirubin is not limited to a single species or tissue type. PMID:19206232

  10. Development of two simplified geochemical models for permeability evolution due to calcite dissolution in preferential pathways in caprock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, B.; Fitts, J. P.; Peters, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    Leakage through faults and fractures in caprocks is a major concern for geologic carbon sequestration in deep saline aquifers. Current leakage models assume constant permeabilities of pathways, but CO2-acidified brine may cause minerals to dissolve, leading to permeability alteration. Calcite could cause significant permeability alteration, because it is abundant, thermodynamically unstable at low pH, and kinetically fast-reacting. We developed two simplified geochemical models to describe Permeability Evolution due to Calcite dissolution (PEC) in 1D flow paths through caprocks. The first is a numerical reactive transport model that couples solute advection and diffusion with carbonate reactions. The PEC model was used to examine geochemical and mineralogical conditions that lead to extensive permeability alterations. It was found that formations with larger amounts of calcite ultimately have larger final permeabilities, but the change is slower because extensive calcite dissolution buffers the reaction and retards the advance of the dissolution front. The second model, PEC Reaction Progress (PECRP), is a semi-analytical model developed to replicate the predictions of the PEC model but with much shorter run times. The PECRP model is based on assumptions of spatial homogeneity, sharp reacting front, and no reactions above the front. We simulated a synthetic system, the Eau Claire formation, and a sandstone in the Paris Basin to assess PECRP model performance. We found 1) for most cases the PECRP model causes a slightly shorter breakthrough time than the PEC model without affecting the final permeability; 2) when initial porosity is low, we observe temporary permeability decrease in the PEC model, while permeability never decreases in the PECRP model; 3) the PECRP model tends to fail to reproduce results from the PEC model with low Péclet numbers; 4) the PECRP model is not suitable for for pathways with certain types and degrees of mineral spatial heterogeneity. In

  11. Raman Spectroscopy of Microbial Pigments

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Howell G. M.; Oren, Aharon

    2014-01-01

    Raman spectroscopy is a rapid nondestructive technique providing spectroscopic and structural information on both organic and inorganic molecular compounds. Extensive applications for the method in the characterization of pigments have been found. Due to the high sensitivity of Raman spectroscopy for the detection of chlorophylls, carotenoids, scytonemin, and a range of other pigments found in the microbial world, it is an excellent technique to monitor the presence of such pigments, both in pure cultures and in environmental samples. Miniaturized portable handheld instruments are available; these instruments can be used to detect pigments in microbiological samples of different types and origins under field conditions. PMID:24682303

  12. Black-pigmented sputum

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Girón, Rafael; Mosquera-Martínez, Joaquín; Martínez-Torre, Santiago

    2013-01-01

    Black-pigmented sputum, also called “melanoptysis,” is a symptom that may be observed in certain pathologies such us coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (anthracosis). The cavitation and liquefaction of a fibrosed mass by an infectious process (tuberculosis, infections by anaerobes, etc.) or by ischemic necrosis may cause expectoration of a blackish secretion. We report the case of a patient with labor precedents as a coal worker, from whom abundant black sputum was obtained in the course of an incidental expectoration. Cyto-histological findings are shown and a differential diagnosis is established. PMID:24648674

  13. LOCALIZED PIGMENTED VILLONODULAR SYNOVITIS: CASE REPORT.

    PubMed

    Carvalho Godoy, Fabiola Andrea de; Faustino, Carlos Alberto Cury; Meneses, Cláudio Santos; Nishi, Sergio Tadao; Góes, César Eduardo Giancoli; Canto, Abaeté Leite do

    2011-01-01

    This case concerned a female patient with a complaint of pain in the anterior region of her left knee during and after sports activities, followed by joint blockage three months ago. From imaging examinations, simple radiography of the knee was normal and magnetic resonance showed a solid expansive mass, possibly corresponding to soft-tissue chondroma or focal nodular synovitis. Arthroscopic resection of the lesion was performed, and the diagnosis of diffuse giant cell tumor resembling localized pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) was made from the result of the anatomopathological examination. The patient presented good clinical evolution, with disappearance of symptoms and return to physical activities.

  14. Blue stragglers and X -ray binaries in open clusters: An observational study of alternative pathways in stellar evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosnell, Natalie Marie

    Membership studies of evolved open clusters reveal many alternative pathway stellar products whose evolution cannot be explained using single-star evolutionary models. These stars are neither rare nor anomalous, and in fact are a common occurrence in cluster populations. The goal of this thesis is to investigate the origin and evolutionary pathways of such stars through the careful study of X-ray binaries in NGC 6819 and white dwarf (WD) companions of mass transfer-formed blue straggler stars (BSSs) in NGC 188. I present the first X-ray study of the intermediate-age open cluster NGC 6819, using observations from XMM-Newton. This study of NGC 6819 is part of a systematic survey to investigate the relationship between the number of X-ray sources and cluster dynamics in the regime of massive open clusters. Of the 12 X-ray sources within the half-light radius of NGC 6819, four sources challenge single-star evolutionary models, including a candidate quiescent low-mass X-ray binary. Next, I present the first results from a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) far-ultraviolet (FUV) campaign to search for WD companions of BSSs as indicators of mass transfer formation. I find direct observational detections of young (< 250 Myr), hot WD companions in three BSS binaries. Their presence in a well-studied cluster environment allows for unparalleled constraints on the pre-mass transfer system. I outline potential formation timelines for these three BSSs, which all formed through recent mass transfer. Finally, I use HST photometry of the complete NGC 188 BSS population to place limits on the mass transfer BSS formation frequency. Comparison of the observations with models for BSS FUV emission reveals seven WD companions with temperatures greater than 11,000 K. The location of the young BSSs on an optical color-magnitude diagram suggests that using single-star evolutionary models to age luminous BSSs may be problematic. Considering other formation scenarios, the total mass transfer

  15. Cosmetic tattoo pigment reaction.

    PubMed

    Greywal, Tanya; Cohen, Philip R

    2016-01-01

    BackgroundCutaneous reactions to tattoos are most commonly granulomatous or lichenoid.PurposeWe describe a woman who developed a lymphocytic reaction following a cosmetic tattoo procedure with black dye. The reaction occurred not only at the site of the tattoos (eyebrows and eyelash lines), but also in non-tattooed skin (bilateral malar cheeks).Methods and MaterialsWe reviewed PubMed for the following terms: cosmetic, dye, granuloma, granulomatous, lichenoid, lymphocytic, perivascular, pigment, pseudolymphoma, reaction, and tattoo. We also reviewed papers containing these terms and their references.ResultsHistopathologic examination of the left eyebrow and left cheek punch biopsies showed predominantly a perivascular lymphocytic reaction secondary to exogenous tattoo pigment.ConclusionsPerivascular lymphocytic reaction is an uncommonly described complication of tattooing. Our patient had an atypical presentation since she had no prior tattoos, became symptomatic only a few days after the procedure, reacted to black dye, and involved skin both within and outside the confines of the tattoos. Her symptoms and lesions resolved after treatment with systemic and topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines. PMID:27617722

  16. Evolution of fracture and fault-controlled fluid pathways in carbonates of the Albanides fold-thrust belt

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, Wall B.R.; Girbacea, R.; Mesonjesi, A.; Aydin, A.

    2006-01-01

    The process of fracture and fault formation in carbonates of the Albanides fold-thrust belt has been systematically documented using hierarchical development of structural elements from hand sample, outcrop, and geologic-map scales. The function of fractures and faults in fluid migration was elucidated using calcite cement and bitumen in these structures as a paleoflow indicator. Two prefolding pressure-solution and vein assemblages were identified: an overburden assemblage and a remote tectonic stress assemblage. Sheared layer-parallel pressure-solution surfaces of the overburden assemblage define mechanical layers. Shearing of mechanical layers associated with folding resulted in the formation of a series of folding assemblage fractures at different orientations, depending on the slip direction of individual mechanical layers. Prefolding- and folding-related fracture assemblages together formed fragmentation zones in mechanical layers and are the sites of incipient fault localization. Further deformation along these sites was accommodated by rotation and translation of fragmented rock, which formed breccia and facilitated fault offset across multiple mechanical layers. Strike-slip faults formed by this process are organized in two sets in an apparent conjugate pattern. Calcite cement and bitumen that accumulated along fractures and faults are evidence of localized fluid flow along fault zones. By systematic identification of fractures and faults, their evolution, and their fluid and bitumen contents, along with subsurface core and well-log data, we identify northeast-southwest-trending strike-slip faults and the associated structures as dominant fluid pathways in the Albanides fold-thrust belt. Copyright ?? 2006. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

  17. The evolution of alternative developmental pathways: footprints of selection on life-history traits in a butterfly.

    PubMed

    Aalberg Haugen, I M; Berger, D; Gotthard, K

    2012-07-01

    Developmental pathways may evolve to optimize alternative phenotypes across environments. However, the maintenance of such adaptive plasticity under relaxed selection has received little study. We compare the expression of life-history traits across two developmental pathways in two populations of the butterfly Pararge aegeria where both populations express a diapause pathway but one never expresses direct development in nature. In the population with ongoing selection on both pathways, the difference between pathways in development time and growth rate was larger, whereas the difference in body size was smaller compared with the population experiencing relaxed selection on one pathway. This indicates that relaxed selection on the direct pathway has allowed life-history traits to drift towards values associated with lower fitness when following this pathway. Relaxed selection on direct development was also associated with a higher degree of genetic variation for protandry expressed as within-family sexual dimorphism in growth rate. Genetic correlations for larval growth rate across sexes and pathways were generally positive, with the notable exception of correlation estimates that involved directly developing males of the population that experienced relaxed selection on this pathway. We conclude that relaxed selection on one developmental pathway appears to have partly disrupted the developmental regulation of life-history trait expression. This in turn suggests that ongoing selection may be responsible for maintaining adaptive developmental regulation along alternative developmental pathways in these populations.

  18. Comparative chromatography of chloroplast pigment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grandolfo, M.; Sherma, J.; Strain, H. H.

    1969-01-01

    Methods for isolation of low concentration pigments of the cocklebur species are described. The methods entail two step chromatography so that the different sorption properties of the various pigments in varying column parameters can be utilized. Columnar and thin layer methods are compared. Many conditions influence separability of the chloroplasts.

  19. Nonphotosynthetic pigments as potential biosignatures.

    PubMed

    Schwieterman, Edward W; Cockell, Charles S; Meadows, Victoria S

    2015-05-01

    Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge. Although oxygenic photosynthesis, facilitated by pigments evolved to capture photons, is the dominant metabolism on our planet, pigmentation has evolved for multiple purposes to adapt organisms to their environment. We present an interdisciplinary study of the diversity and detectability of nonphotosynthetic pigments as biosignatures, which includes a description of environments that host nonphotosynthetic biologically pigmented surfaces, and a lab-based experimental analysis of the spectral and broadband color diversity of pigmented organisms on Earth. We test the utility of broadband color to distinguish between Earth-like planets with significant coverage of nonphotosynthetic pigments and those with photosynthetic or nonbiological surfaces, using both 1-D and 3-D spectral models. We demonstrate that, given sufficient surface coverage, nonphotosynthetic pigments could significantly impact the disk-averaged spectrum of a planet. However, we find that due to the possible diversity of organisms and environments, and the confounding effects of the atmosphere and clouds, determination of substantial coverage by biologically produced pigments would be difficult with broadband colors alone and would likely require spectrally resolved data.

  20. Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures

    PubMed Central

    Cockell, Charles S.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge. Although oxygenic photosynthesis, facilitated by pigments evolved to capture photons, is the dominant metabolism on our planet, pigmentation has evolved for multiple purposes to adapt organisms to their environment. We present an interdisciplinary study of the diversity and detectability of nonphotosynthetic pigments as biosignatures, which includes a description of environments that host nonphotosynthetic biologically pigmented surfaces, and a lab-based experimental analysis of the spectral and broadband color diversity of pigmented organisms on Earth. We test the utility of broadband color to distinguish between Earth-like planets with significant coverage of nonphotosynthetic pigments and those with photosynthetic or nonbiological surfaces, using both 1-D and 3-D spectral models. We demonstrate that, given sufficient surface coverage, nonphotosynthetic pigments could significantly impact the disk-averaged spectrum of a planet. However, we find that due to the possible diversity of organisms and environments, and the confounding effects of the atmosphere and clouds, determination of substantial coverage by biologically produced pigments would be difficult with broadband colors alone and would likely require spectrally resolved data. Key Words: Biosignatures—Exoplanets—Halophiles—Pigmentation—Reflectance spectroscopy—Spectral models. Astrobiology 15, 341–361. PMID:25941875

  1. New directions in phthalocyanine pigments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trinh, Diep VO

    1994-01-01

    Phthalocyanines have been used as a pigment in coatings and related applications for many years. These pigments are some of the most stable organic pigments known. The phthalo blue and green pigments have been known to be ultraviolet (UV) stable and thermally stable to over 400 C. These phthalocyanines are both a semiconductor and photoconductor, exhibiting catalytic activity and photostabilization capability of polymers. Many metal free and metallic phthalocyanine derivatives have been prepared. Development of the new classes of phthalocyanine pigment could be used as coating on NASA spacecraft material such as glass to decrease the optical degradation from UV light, the outside of the space station modules for UV protection, and coating on solar cells to increase lifetime and efficiency.

  2. Bees' subtle colour preferences: how bees respond to small changes in pigment concentration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papiorek, Sarah; Rohde, Katja; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-07-01

    Variability in flower colour of animal-pollinated plants is common and caused, inter alia, by inter-individual differences in pigment concentrations. If and how pollinators, especially bees, respond to these small differences in pigment concentration is not known, but it is likely that flower colour variability impacts the choice behaviour of all flower visitors that exhibit innate and learned colour preferences. In behavioural experiments, we simulated varying pigment concentrations and studied its impact on the colour choices of bumblebees and honeybees. Individual bees were trained to artificial flowers having a specific concentration of a pigment, i.e. Acridine Orange or Aniline Blue, and then given the simultaneous choice between three test colours including the training colour, one colour of lower and one colour of higher pigment concentration. For each pigment, two set-ups were provided, covering the range of low to middle and the range of middle to high pigment concentrations. Despite the small bee-subjective perceptual contrasts between the tested stimuli and regardless of training towards medium concentrations, bees preferred neither the training stimuli nor the stimuli offering the highest pigment concentration but more often chose those stimuli offering the highest spectral purity and the highest chromatic contrast against the background. Overall, this study suggests that bees choose an intermediate pigment concentration due to its optimal conspicuousness. It is concluded that the spontaneous preferences of bees for flower colours of high spectral purity might exert selective pressure on the evolution of floral colours and of flower pigmentation.

  3. [INHERITANCE OF EPIDERMIS PIGMENTATION IN SUNFLOWER ACHENES].

    PubMed

    Gorohivets, N A; Vedmedeva, E V

    2016-01-01

    Inheritance of epidermis pigmentation in the pericarp of sunflower seeds was studied. Inheritance of pigmentation was confirmed by three alleles Ew (epidermis devoid of pigmentation), Estr (epidermal pigmentation in strips), Edg (solid pigmentation). Dominance of the lack of epidermis pigmentation over striped epidermis and striped epidermis over solid pigmentation was established. It was shown that the striped epidermis pigmentation and the presence of testa layer are controlled by two genes, expression of which is independent from each other. Yellowish hypodermis was discovered in the sample I2K2218, which is inherited monogenically dominantly. PMID:27281924

  4. [INHERITANCE OF EPIDERMIS PIGMENTATION IN SUNFLOWER ACHENES].

    PubMed

    Gorohivets, N A; Vedmedeva, E V

    2016-01-01

    Inheritance of epidermis pigmentation in the pericarp of sunflower seeds was studied. Inheritance of pigmentation was confirmed by three alleles Ew (epidermis devoid of pigmentation), Estr (epidermal pigmentation in strips), Edg (solid pigmentation). Dominance of the lack of epidermis pigmentation over striped epidermis and striped epidermis over solid pigmentation was established. It was shown that the striped epidermis pigmentation and the presence of testa layer are controlled by two genes, expression of which is independent from each other. Yellowish hypodermis was discovered in the sample I2K2218, which is inherited monogenically dominantly.

  5. Natural pigments and sacred art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelekian, Lena, ,, Lady

    2010-05-01

    Since the dawn of mankind, cavemen has expressed himself through art. The earliest known cave paintings date to some 32,000 years ago and used 4 colours derived from the earth. These pigments were iron oxides and known as ochres, blacks and whites. All pigments known by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and Renaissance man were natural and it was not until the 18th century that synthetic pigments were made and widely used. Until that time all art, be it sacred or secular used only natural pigments, of which the preparation of many have been lost or rarely used because of their tedious preparation. As a geologist, a mineralogist and an artist specializing in iconography, I have been able to rediscover 89 natural pigments extracted from minerals. I use these pigments to paint my icons in the traditional Byzantine manner and also to restore old icons, bringing back their glamour and conserving them for years to come. The use of the natural pigments in its proper way also helps to preserve the traditional skills of the iconographer. In the ancient past, pigments were extremely precious. Many took an exceedingly long journey to reach the artists, and came from remote countries. Research into these pigments is the work of history, geography and anthropology. It is an interesting journey in itself to discover that the blue aquamarines came from Afghanistan, the reds from Spain, the greens Africa, and so on. In this contribution I will be describing the origins, preparation and use of some natural pigments, together with their history and provenance. Additionally, I will show how the natural pigments are used in the creation of an icon. Being a geologist iconographer, for me, is a sacrement that transforms that which is earthly, material and natural into a thing of beauty that is sacred. As bread and wine in the Eucharist, water during baptism and oil in Holy Union transmit sanctification to the beholder, natural pigments do the same when one considers an icon. The

  6. The Rieske Fe/S protein of the cytochrome b6/f complex in chloroplasts: missing link in the evolution of protein transport pathways in chloroplasts?

    PubMed

    Molik, S; Karnauchov, I; Weidlich, C; Herrmann, R G; Klösgen, R B

    2001-11-16

    The Rieske Fe/S protein, a nuclear-encoded subunit of the cytochrome b(6)/f complex in chloroplasts, is retarded in the stromal space after import into the chloroplast and only slowly translocated further into the thylakoid membrane system. As shown by the sensitivity to nigericin and to specific competitor proteins, thylakoid transport takes place by the DeltapH-dependent TAT pathway. The Rieske protein is an untypical TAT substrate, however. It is only the second integral membrane protein shown to utilize this pathway, and it is the first authentic substrate without a cleavable signal peptide. Transport is instead mediated by the NH(2)-terminal membrane anchor, which lacks, however, the twin-arginine motif indicative of DeltapH/TAT-dependent transport signals. Furthermore, transport is affected by sodium azide as well as by competitor proteins for the Sec pathway in chloroplasts, demonstrating for the first time some cross-talk of the two pathways. This might take place in the stroma where the Rieske protein accumulates after import in several complexes of high molecular mass, among which the cpn60 complex is the most prominent. These untypical features suggest that the Rieske protein represents an intermediate or early state in the evolution of the thylakoidal protein transport pathways. PMID:11526115

  7. Human cone pigment expressed in transgenic mice yields altered vision.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, G H; Fenwick, J C; Calderone, J B; Deeb, S S

    1999-04-15

    Genetically driven alterations in the complement of retinal photopigments are fundamental steps in the evolution of vision. We sought to determine how a newly added photopigment might impact vision by studying a transgenic mouse that expresses a human cone photopigment. Electroretinogram (ERG) measurements indicate that the added pigment works well, significantly changing spectral sensitivity without deleteriously affecting the operation of the native cone pigments. Visual capacities of the transgenic mice were established in behavioral tests. The new pigment was found to provide a significant expansion of the spectral range over which mice can perceive light, thus underlining the immediate utility of acquiring a new photopigment. The transgenic mouse also has the receptor basis for a novel color vision capacity, but tests show that potential was not realized. This failure likely reflects limitations in the organizational arrangement of the mouse retina.

  8. Sulfate as a pivotal factor in regulation of Serratia sp. strain S2B pigment biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Rastegari, Banafsheh; Karbalaei-Heidari, Hamid Reza

    2016-10-01

    In the present work, we investigated the prodiginine family as secondary metabolite members. Bacterial strain S2B, with the ability to produce red pigment, was isolated from the Sarcheshmeh copper mine in Iran. 16S rDNA gene sequencing revealed that the strain was placed in the Serratia genus. Pigment production was optimized using low-cost culture medium and the effects of various physicochemical factors were studied via statistical approaches. Purification of the produced pigment by silica gel column chromatography showed a strong red pigment fraction and a weaker orange band. Mass spectrometry, FT-IR spectroscopy and (1)H NMR analysis revealed that the red pigment was prodigiosin and the orange band was a prodigiosin-like analog, with molecular weights of 323 and 317 Da, respectively. Genotoxicity and cytotoxicity studies confirmed their membership in the prodiginine family. Analysis of the production pattern of the pigments in the presence of different concentrations of ammonium salts revealed the role of sulfate as an important factor in regulation of the pigment biosynthesis pathway. Overall, the data showed that regulation of the pigment biosynthesis pathway in Serratia sp. strain S2B was affected by inorganic micronutrients, particularly the sulfate ions.

  9. Precise spatio-temporal regulation of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway leads to petal spot formation in Clarkia gracilis (Onagraceae)

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Talline R.; Berg, Jeremy J.; Blinka, Steven; Rausher, Mark D.; Baum, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Petal spots are widespread in Angiosperms and are often implicated in pollinator attraction. Clarkia gracilis petals each have a single red-purple spot that contrasts against a pink background. The position and presence of spots in C. gracilis are determined by the epistatic interaction of alleles at two, as-yet-unidentified loci.We used HPLC to identify the different pigments produced in the petals, and qualitative and quantitative RT-PCR to assay for spatio-temporal patterns of expression of different anthocyanin pathway genes.We found that spots contain different pigments from the remainder of the petal, being composed of cyanidin/peonidin-based, instead of malvidin-based anthocyanins. Expression assays of anthocyanin pathway genes show that Dfr2 has a spot-specific expression pattern and acts as a switch for spot production. Co-segregation analyses implicate the gene products of the P and I loci as trans-regulators of this switch. Spot pigments appear earlier in development due to early expression of Dfr2 and F3′h1. Pigments in the background appear later, due to later expression of Dfr1 and F3′5′h1.The evolution of this spot production mechanism appears to have been facilitated by duplication of the Dfr gene and to have required substantial reworking of the anthocyanin pathway regulatory network. PMID:23231386

  10. Monitoring pigmented skin lesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, Vincent P.; Bamber, Jeffery C.; Ott, Robert J.; Crawford, Diane C.; Mortimer, Peter S.

    2002-06-01

    The rising incidence of skin cancer has led to an increase in the number of patients with skin lesions that require diagnosis, mostly using subjective visual examination. Successful treatment depends on early diagnosis. Unfortunately diagnostic accuracy, even by experts, can be as low as 56%; therefore, an accurate, objective diagnostic aid is greatly needed. Reflectance characteristics of pigmented skin lesions were documented to evaluate their diagnostic potential. Reflectance spectra in the wavelength range 320-1100nm were obtained from 260 lesions. Differences between spectra from benign and malignant lesions were utilized by extracting features with the best discriminating power. Discrimination was evaluated using two techniques: multivariate statistical analysis and artificial neural networks, using histology as the standard. Each technique was tested in a blind study and assessed in terms of its ability to diagnose new cases and compared to the clinical diagnosis. The artificial neural network achieved the best diagnostic performance for discriminating between malignant melanoma and benign nevi, having a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 65%. Utilization of visible and infrared techniques for monitoring skin lesions has lead to improvements in diagnostic accuracy. We conclude that these techniques are worthy of further development and evaluation in clinical practice as a screening tool.

  11. A pigmented calcifying odontogenic cyst.

    PubMed

    Soames, J V

    1982-04-01

    A case of the pigmented variant of the calcifying odontogenic cyst occurring in a 15-year-old West Indian girl is reported. Melanin pigment was widely distributed and appeared in greatest amount in cells exhibiting the appearance of stellate reticulum. Ultrastructural examination demonstrated large numbers of melanosomes in these cells but relatively few in epithelial ghost cells. The latter contained thick bundles of tonofilaments. Melanocytes were identified and two forms were distinguished, depending on their content of premelanosomes and fully melanized melanosomes.

  12. Evolutionary Recycling of Light Signaling Components in Fleshy Fruits: New Insights on the Role of Pigments to Monitor Ripening.

    PubMed

    Llorente, Briardo; D'Andrea, Lucio; Rodríguez-Concepción, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Besides an essential source of energy, light provides environmental information to plants. Photosensory pathways are thought to have occurred early in plant evolution, probably at the time of the Archaeplastida ancestor, or perhaps even earlier. Manipulation of individual components of light perception and signaling networks in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) affects the metabolism of ripening fruit at several levels. Most strikingly, recent experiments have shown that some of the molecular mechanisms originally devoted to sense and respond to environmental light cues have been re-adapted during evolution to provide plants with useful information on fruit ripening progression. In particular, the presence of chlorophylls in green fruit can strongly influence the spectral composition of the light filtered through the fruit pericarp. The concomitant changes in light quality can be perceived and transduced by phytochromes (PHYs) and PHY-interacting factors, respectively, to regulate gene expression and in turn modulate the production of carotenoids, a family of metabolites that are relevant for the final pigmentation of ripe fruits. We raise the hypothesis that the evolutionary recycling of light-signaling components to finely adjust pigmentation to the actual ripening stage of the fruit may have represented a selective advantage for primeval fleshy-fruited plants even before the extinction of dinosaurs. PMID:27014289

  13. Evolutionary Recycling of Light Signaling Components in Fleshy Fruits: New Insights on the Role of Pigments to Monitor Ripening

    PubMed Central

    Llorente, Briardo; D’Andrea, Lucio; Rodríguez-Concepción, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Besides an essential source of energy, light provides environmental information to plants. Photosensory pathways are thought to have occurred early in plant evolution, probably at the time of the Archaeplastida ancestor, or perhaps even earlier. Manipulation of individual components of light perception and signaling networks in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) affects the metabolism of ripening fruit at several levels. Most strikingly, recent experiments have shown that some of the molecular mechanisms originally devoted to sense and respond to environmental light cues have been re-adapted during evolution to provide plants with useful information on fruit ripening progression. In particular, the presence of chlorophylls in green fruit can strongly influence the spectral composition of the light filtered through the fruit pericarp. The concomitant changes in light quality can be perceived and transduced by phytochromes (PHYs) and PHY-interacting factors, respectively, to regulate gene expression and in turn modulate the production of carotenoids, a family of metabolites that are relevant for the final pigmentation of ripe fruits. We raise the hypothesis that the evolutionary recycling of light-signaling components to finely adjust pigmentation to the actual ripening stage of the fruit may have represented a selective advantage for primeval fleshy-fruited plants even before the extinction of dinosaurs. PMID:27014289

  14. Yolk pigments of the Mexican leaf frog.

    PubMed

    Marinetti, G V; Bagnara, J T

    1983-02-25

    Eggs of the Mexican leaf frog contain blue and yellow pigments identified as biliverdin and lutein, respectively. Both pigments are bound to proteins that occur in crystalline form in the yolk platelet. The major blue pigment is biliverdin IX alpha. The eggs vary in color from brilliant blue to pale yellow-green depending on the amount of each pigment. These pigments may provide protective coloration to the eggs. PMID:6681678

  15. Yolk pigments of the Mexican leaf frog.

    PubMed

    Marinetti, G V; Bagnara, J T

    1983-02-25

    Eggs of the Mexican leaf frog contain blue and yellow pigments identified as biliverdin and lutein, respectively. Both pigments are bound to proteins that occur in crystalline form in the yolk platelet. The major blue pigment is biliverdin IX alpha. The eggs vary in color from brilliant blue to pale yellow-green depending on the amount of each pigment. These pigments may provide protective coloration to the eggs.

  16. Phytogenic pigments in animal nutrition: potentials and risks.

    PubMed

    Faehnrich, Bettina; Lukas, Brigitte; Humer, Elke; Zebeli, Qendrim

    2016-03-30

    Phytogenic pigments are secondary plant compounds responsible for coloring effects in plant tissues. In particular, phenolic flavonoids and terpenoid carotenoids, but also rare compounds like curcumin and betalain, form this group of biochemical agents used in animal nutrition. From the perspective of ecological mutuality between plants and animals, these compounds are of crucial importance because they serve as visual attraction for herbivores but also signal nutritional and/or health-promoting values. This review focuses on the properties of phytogenic pigments which are likely to impact feed intake and preferences of livestock. Also natural prophylactic and/or therapeutic properties and, in particular, the potential of pigments to enhance quality and health value of animal products for human consumption are important issues. Nevertheless, reasonable limits of use due to possible adverse indications have been suggested recently. Pathways of digestion, metabolism and excretion in animals play a crucial role not only in the evaluation of effectiveness but also in the prediction of potential risks for human consumption. The popularity of natural feed additives is growing; therefore, more research work is needed to better understand metabolic pathways in the animal's body and to better estimate the potentials and risks of pigmenting plant compounds used in animal nutrition. PMID:26415572

  17. Phytogenic pigments in animal nutrition: potentials and risks.

    PubMed

    Faehnrich, Bettina; Lukas, Brigitte; Humer, Elke; Zebeli, Qendrim

    2016-03-30

    Phytogenic pigments are secondary plant compounds responsible for coloring effects in plant tissues. In particular, phenolic flavonoids and terpenoid carotenoids, but also rare compounds like curcumin and betalain, form this group of biochemical agents used in animal nutrition. From the perspective of ecological mutuality between plants and animals, these compounds are of crucial importance because they serve as visual attraction for herbivores but also signal nutritional and/or health-promoting values. This review focuses on the properties of phytogenic pigments which are likely to impact feed intake and preferences of livestock. Also natural prophylactic and/or therapeutic properties and, in particular, the potential of pigments to enhance quality and health value of animal products for human consumption are important issues. Nevertheless, reasonable limits of use due to possible adverse indications have been suggested recently. Pathways of digestion, metabolism and excretion in animals play a crucial role not only in the evaluation of effectiveness but also in the prediction of potential risks for human consumption. The popularity of natural feed additives is growing; therefore, more research work is needed to better understand metabolic pathways in the animal's body and to better estimate the potentials and risks of pigmenting plant compounds used in animal nutrition.

  18. S cones: Evolution, retinal distribution, development, and spectral sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Hunt, David M; Peichl, Leo

    2014-03-01

    S cones expressing the short wavelength-sensitive type 1 (SWS1) class of visual pigment generally form only a minority type of cone photoreceptor within the vertebrate duplex retina. Hence, their primary role is in color vision, not in high acuity vision. In mammals, S cones may be present as a constant fraction of the cones across the retina, may be restricted to certain regions of the retina or may form a gradient across the retina, and in some species, there is coexpression of SWS1 and the long wavelength-sensitive (LWS) class of pigment in many cones. During retinal development, SWS1 opsin expression generally precedes that of LWS opsin, and evidence from genetic studies indicates that the S cone pathway may be the default pathway for cone development. With the notable exception of the cartilaginous fishes, where S cones appear to be absent, they are present in representative species from all other vertebrate classes. S cone loss is not, however, uncommon; they are absent from most aquatic mammals and from some but not all nocturnal terrestrial species. The peak spectral sensitivity of S cones depends on the spectral characteristics of the pigment present. Evidence from the study of agnathans and teleost fishes indicates that the ancestral vertebrate SWS1 pigment was ultraviolet (UV) sensitive with a peak around 360 nm, but this has shifted into the violet region of the spectrum (>380 nm) on many separate occasions during vertebrate evolution. In all cases, the shift was generated by just one or a few replacements in tuning-relevant residues. Only in the avian lineage has tuning moved in the opposite direction, with the reinvention of UV-sensitive pigments. PMID:23895771

  19. S cones: Evolution, retinal distribution, development, and spectral sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Hunt, David M; Peichl, Leo

    2014-03-01

    S cones expressing the short wavelength-sensitive type 1 (SWS1) class of visual pigment generally form only a minority type of cone photoreceptor within the vertebrate duplex retina. Hence, their primary role is in color vision, not in high acuity vision. In mammals, S cones may be present as a constant fraction of the cones across the retina, may be restricted to certain regions of the retina or may form a gradient across the retina, and in some species, there is coexpression of SWS1 and the long wavelength-sensitive (LWS) class of pigment in many cones. During retinal development, SWS1 opsin expression generally precedes that of LWS opsin, and evidence from genetic studies indicates that the S cone pathway may be the default pathway for cone development. With the notable exception of the cartilaginous fishes, where S cones appear to be absent, they are present in representative species from all other vertebrate classes. S cone loss is not, however, uncommon; they are absent from most aquatic mammals and from some but not all nocturnal terrestrial species. The peak spectral sensitivity of S cones depends on the spectral characteristics of the pigment present. Evidence from the study of agnathans and teleost fishes indicates that the ancestral vertebrate SWS1 pigment was ultraviolet (UV) sensitive with a peak around 360 nm, but this has shifted into the violet region of the spectrum (>380 nm) on many separate occasions during vertebrate evolution. In all cases, the shift was generated by just one or a few replacements in tuning-relevant residues. Only in the avian lineage has tuning moved in the opposite direction, with the reinvention of UV-sensitive pigments.

  20. Multiple Roles of Photosynthetic and Sunscreen Pigments in Cyanobacteria Focusing on the Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Naoki; Sakamoto, Toshio; Matsugo, Seiichi

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria have two types of sunscreen pigments, scytonemin and mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). These secondary metabolites are thought to play multiple roles against several environmental stresses such as UV radiation and desiccation. Not only the large molar absorption coefficients of these sunscreen pigments, but also their antioxidative properties may be necessary for the protection of biological molecules against the oxidative damages induced by UV radiation. The antioxidant activity and vitrification property of these pigments are thought to be requisite for the desiccation and rehydration processes in anhydrobiotes. In this review, the multiple roles of photosynthetic pigments and sunscreen pigments on stress resistance, especially from the viewpoint of their structures, biosynthetic pathway, and in vitro studies of their antioxidant activity, will be discussed. PMID:24958001

  1. Construction of artificial pigment-protein antennae

    SciTech Connect

    Sibbald, J.

    1997-01-10

    Photosynthesis is a complex process which results in the conversion of solar radiation into chemical energy. This chemical energy is then used as the free energy source for all living organisms. In its basic form, photosynthesis can be described as the light-activated synthesis of carbohydrates from the simple molecules of water and carbon dioxide: 6H{sub 2}O + 6 CO{sub 2} light C{sub 6}H{sub 12}O{sub 6} + 6 O{sub 2} This basic mechanism actually requires numerous reaction steps. The two primary steps being: the capture of light by pigment molecules in light-harvesting antenna complexes and the transfer of this captured energy to the so-called photochemical reaction center. While the preferred pathway for energy absorbed by the chromophores in the antenna complexes is transfer to the reaction center, energy can be lost to competing processes such as internal conversion or radiative decay. Therefore, the energy transfer must be rapid, typically on the order of picoseconds, to successfully compete. The focus of the present work is on the construction of light-harvesting antenna complexes incorporating modular pigment-proteins.

  2. A genomic and transcriptomic approach to investigate the blue pigment phenotype in Pseudomonas fluorescens.

    PubMed

    Andreani, Nadia Andrea; Carraro, Lisa; Martino, Maria Elena; Fondi, Marco; Fasolato, Luca; Miotto, Giovanni; Magro, Massimiliano; Vianello, Fabio; Cardazzo, Barbara

    2015-11-20

    Pseudomonas fluorescens is a well-known food spoiler, able to cause serious economic losses in the food industry due to its ability to produce many extracellular, and often thermostable, compounds. The most outstanding spoilage events involving P. fluorescens were blue discoloration of several food stuffs, mainly dairy products. The bacteria involved in such high-profile cases have been identified as belonging to a clearly distinct phylogenetic cluster of the P. fluorescens group. Although the blue pigment has recently been investigated in several studies, the biosynthetic pathway leading to the pigment formation, as well as its chemical nature, remain challenging and unsolved points. In the present paper, genomic and transcriptomic data of 4 P. fluorescens strains (2 blue-pigmenting strains and 2 non-pigmenting strains) were analyzed to evaluate the presence and the expression of blue strain-specific genes. In particular, the pangenome analysis showed the presence in the blue-pigmenting strains of two copies of genes involved in the tryptophan biosynthesis pathway (including trpABCDF). The global expression profiling of blue-pigmenting strains versus non-pigmenting strains showed a general up-regulation of genes involved in iron uptake and a down-regulation of genes involved in primary metabolism. Chromogenic reaction of the blue-pigmenting bacterial cells with Kovac's reagent indicated an indole-derivative as the precursor of the blue pigment. Finally, solubility tests and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis of the isolated pigment suggested that its molecular structure is very probably a hydrophobic indigo analog.

  3. Skin Pigmentation and Pigmentary Disorders: Focus on Epidermal/Dermal Cross-Talk.

    PubMed

    Bastonini, Emanuela; Kovacs, Daniela; Picardo, Mauro

    2016-06-01

    Variation in human skin and hair color is the most notable aspect of human variability and several studies in evolution, genetics and developmental biology contributed to explain the mechanisms underlying human skin pigmentation, which is responsible for differences in skin color across the world's populations. Despite skin pigmentation is primarily related to melanocytes functionality, the surrounding keratinocytes and extracellular matrix proteins and fibroblasts in the underlying dermal compartment actively contribute to cutaneous homeostasis. Many autocrine/paracrine secreted factors and cell adhesion mechanisms involving both epidermal and dermal constituents determine constitutive skin pigmentation and, whenever deregulated, the occurrence of pigmentary disorders. In particular, an increased expression of such mediators and their specific receptors frequently lead to hyperpigmentary conditions, such as in melasma and in solar lentigo, whereas a defect in their expression/release is related to hypopigmented disorders, as seen in vitiligo. All these interactions underline the relevant role of pigmentation on human evolution and biology. PMID:27274625

  4. Skin Pigmentation and Pigmentary Disorders: Focus on Epidermal/Dermal Cross-Talk

    PubMed Central

    Bastonini, Emanuela; Kovacs, Daniela

    2016-01-01

    Variation in human skin and hair color is the most notable aspect of human variability and several studies in evolution, genetics and developmental biology contributed to explain the mechanisms underlying human skin pigmentation, which is responsible for differences in skin color across the world's populations. Despite skin pigmentation is primarily related to melanocytes functionality, the surrounding keratinocytes and extracellular matrix proteins and fibroblasts in the underlying dermal compartment actively contribute to cutaneous homeostasis. Many autocrine/paracrine secreted factors and cell adhesion mechanisms involving both epidermal and dermal constituents determine constitutive skin pigmentation and, whenever deregulated, the occurrence of pigmentary disorders. In particular, an increased expression of such mediators and their specific receptors frequently lead to hyperpigmentary conditions, such as in melasma and in solar lentigo, whereas a defect in their expression/release is related to hypopigmented disorders, as seen in vitiligo. All these interactions underline the relevant role of pigmentation on human evolution and biology. PMID:27274625

  5. Microprobe analysis of chlorpromazine pigmentation

    SciTech Connect

    Benning, T.L.; McCormack, K.M.; Ingram, P.; Kaplan, D.L.; Shelburne, J.D.

    1988-10-01

    We describe the histochemical, ultrastructural, and microanalytical features of a skin biopsy specimen obtained from a patient with chlorpromazine pigmentation. Golden-brown pigment granules were present in the dermis, predominantly in a perivascular arrangement. The granules stained positively with the Fontana-Masson stain for silver-reducing substances and negatively with Perl's stain for iron. Electron microscopy revealed dense inclusion bodies in dermal histiocytes, pericytes, endothelial cells, and Schwann cells, as well as lying free in the extracellular matrix. These ''chlorpromazine bodies'' were quite dense even in unosmicated, unstained ultrathin sections, indicating that the pigmentation is related, at least in part, to the inclusions. Microprobe analysis of the chlorpromazine bodies revealed a striking peak for sulfur, which strongly suggests the presence of the drug or its metabolite within these inclusions.

  6. From PIE to APPLES: The Evolution of a Survey Instrument to Explore Engineering Student Pathways. Research Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Helen; Donaldson, Krista; Eris, Ozgur; Chachra, Debbie; Lichtenstein, Gary; Sheppard, Sheri; Toye, George

    2008-01-01

    The Academic Pathways Study (APS) of the NSF-funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) is a cross-university study that systematically examines how engineering students navigate their education, and how engineering skills and identity develop during their undergraduate careers. The APS has utilized a variety of methods…

  7. Glucose metabolism in rat retinal pigment epithelium.

    PubMed

    Coffe, Víctor; Carbajal, Raymundo C; Salceda, Rocío

    2006-01-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is the major transport pathway for exchange of metabolites and ions between choroidal blood supply and the neural retina. To gain insight into the mechanisms controlling glucose metabolism in RPE and its possible relationship to retinopathy, we studied the influence of different glucose concentrations on glycogen and lactate levels and CO(2) production in RPE from normal and streptozotocin-treated diabetic rats. Incubation of normal RPE in the absence of glucose caused a decrease in lactate production and glycogen content. In normal RPE, increasing glucose concentrations from 5.6 mM to 30 mM caused a four-fold increase in glucose accumulation and CO(2) yield, as well as reduction in lactate and glycogen production. In RPE from diabetic rats glucose accumulation did not increase in the presence of high glucose substrate, but it showed a four- and a seven-fold increase in CO(2) production through the mitochondrial and pentose phosphate pathways, respectively. We found high glycogen levels in RPE which can be used as an energy reserve for RPE itself and/or neural retina. Findings further show that the RPE possesses a high oxidative capacity. The large increase in glucose shunting to the pentose phosphate pathway in diabetic retina exposed to high glucose suggests a need for reducing capacity, consistent with increased oxidative stress. PMID:16475003

  8. Evaluating the Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Bile Pigments in Early and Later Life

    PubMed Central

    Dennery, Phyllis A.

    2012-01-01

    The heme degradation pathway has been conserved throughout phylogeny and allows for the removal of a pro-oxidant and the generation of unique molecules including bile pigments with important cellular functions. The impact of bile pigments on health and disease are reviewed, as is the special circumstance of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. In addition, the importance of promoter polymorphisms in the UDP-glucuronosyl transferase gene (UGTA1), which is key to the elimination of excess bilirubin and to the prevention of its toxicity, are discussed. Overall, the duality of bile pigments as either cytoprotective or toxic molecules is highlighted. PMID:22737125

  9. Sex-specific splicing of the honeybee doublesex gene reveals 300 million years of evolution at the bottom of the insect sex-determination pathway.

    PubMed

    Cho, Soochin; Huang, Zachary Y; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2007-11-01

    Sex-determination mechanisms vary greatly among taxa. It has been proposed that genetic sex-determination pathways evolve in reverse order from the final step in the pathway to the first step. Consistent with this hypothesis, doublesex (dsx), the most downstream gene in the Drosophila sex-determination cascade that determines most sexual phenotypes also determines sex in other dipterans and the silk moth, while the upstream genes vary among these species. However, it is unknown when dsx was recruited to the sex-determination pathway during insect evolution. Furthermore, sex-specific splicing of dsx, by which dsx determines sex, is different in pattern and mechanism between the moth and the fly, raising an interesting question of how these insects have kept the executor of sex determination while allowing flexibility in the means of execution. To address these questions, here we study the dsx gene of the honeybee Apis mellifera, a member of the most basal lineage of holometabolous insects. We report that honeybee dsx is sex-specifically spliced and that it produces both the fly-type and moth-type splicing forms, indicating that the use of different splicing forms of Dsx in controlling sexual differentiation was present in the common ancestor of holometabolous insects. Our data suggest that in ancestral holometabolous insects the female Dsx form is the default and the male form is generated by suppressing the splicing of the female form. Thus, it is likely that the dsx splicing activator system in flies, where the male form is the default, arose during early dipteran evolution.

  10. A small number of genes underlie male pigmentation traits in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    O'Quin, Claire T; Drilea, Alexi C; Roberts, Reade B; Kocher, Thomas D

    2012-05-01

    Pigmentation patterns are one of the most recognizable forms of phenotypic diversity and an important component of organismal fitness. While much progress has been made in understanding the genes controlling pigmentation in model systems, many questions remain about the genetic basis of pigment traits observed in nature. Lake Malawi cichlid fishes are known for their diversity of male pigmentation patterns, which have been shaped by sexual selection. To begin the process of identifying the genes underlying this diversity, we quantified the number of pigment cells on the body and fins of two species of the genus Metriaclima and their hybrids. We then used the Castle-Wright equation to estimate that differences in individual pigmentation traits between these species are controlled by one to four genes each. Different pigmentation traits are highly correlated in the F(2) , suggesting shared developmental pathways and genetic pleiotropy. Melanophore and xanthophore traits fall on opposite ends of the first principal component axis of the F(2) phenotypes, suggesting a tradeoff during the development of these two pigment cell types.

  11. The Genetic Basis of Pigmentation Differences Within and Between Drosophila Species.

    PubMed

    Massey, J H; Wittkopp, P J

    2016-01-01

    In Drosophila, as well as in many other plants and animals, pigmentation is highly variable both within and between species. This variability, combined with powerful genetic and transgenic tools as well as knowledge of how pigment patterns are formed biochemically and developmentally, has made Drosophila pigmentation a premier system for investigating the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for phenotypic evolution. In this chapter, we review and synthesize findings from a rapidly growing body of case studies examining the genetic basis of pigmentation differences in the abdomen, thorax, wings, and pupal cases within and between Drosophila species. A core set of genes, including genes required for pigment synthesis (eg, yellow, ebony, tan, Dat) as well as developmental regulators of these genes (eg, bab1, bab2, omb, Dll, and wg), emerge as the primary sources of this variation, with most genes having been shown to contribute to pigmentation differences both within and between species. In cases where specific genetic changes contributing to pigmentation divergence were identified in these genes, the changes were always located in noncoding sequences and affected cis-regulatory activity. We conclude this chapter by discussing these and other lessons learned from evolutionary genetic studies of Drosophila pigmentation and identify topics we think should be the focus of future work with this model system. PMID:27282023

  12. The genetic basis of pigmentation differences within and between Drosophila species

    PubMed Central

    Massey, Jonathan; Wittkopp, Patricia J.

    2016-01-01

    In Drosophila, as well as in many other plants and animals, pigmentation is highly variable both within and between species. This variability, combined with powerful genetic and transgenic tools as well as knowledge of how pigment patterns are formed biochemically and developmentally, have made Drosophila pigmentation a premier system for investigating the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for phenotypic evolution. In this chapter, we review and synthesize findings from a rapidly growing body of case studies examining the genetic basis of pigmentation differences in the abdomen, thorax, wings, and pupal cases within and between Drosophila species. A core set of genes, including genes required for pigment synthesis (e.g., yellow, ebony, tan, Dat) as well as developmental regulators of these genes (e.g., bab1, bab2, omb, Dll, and wg) emerge as the primary sources of this variation, with most genes having been shown to contribute to pigmentation differences both within and between species. In cases where specific genetic changes contributing to pigmentation divergence were identified in these genes, the changes were always located in noncoding sequences and affected cis-regulatory activity. We conclude this chapter by discussing these and other lessons learned from evolutionary genetic studies of Drosophila pigmentation and identify topics we think should be the focus of future work with this model system. PMID:27282023

  13. Barrier Requirements as the Evolutionary “Driver” of Epidermal Pigmentation in Humans

    PubMed Central

    ELIAS, PETER M.; MENON, GOPINATHAN; WETZEL, BRUCE K.; WILLIAMS, JOHN (JACK) W.

    2011-01-01

    Current explanations for the development of epidermal pigmentation during human evolution are not tenable as stand-alone hypotheses. Accordingly, we assessed instead whether xeric- and UV-B-induced stress to the epidermal permeability barrier, critical to survival in a terrestrial environment, could have “driven” the development of epidermal pigmentation. (1) Megadroughts prevailed in central Africa when hominids expanded into open savannahs [≈1.5–0.8 million years ago], resulting in sustained exposure to both extreme aridity and erythemogenic UV-B, correlating with genetic evidence that pigment developed ≈1.2 million years ago. (2) Pigmented skin is endowed with enhanced permeability barrier function, stratum corneum integrity/cohesion, and a reduced susceptibility to infections. The enhanced function of pigmented skin can be attributed to the lower pH of the outer epidermis, likely due to the persistence of (more-acidic) melanosomes into the outer epidermis, as well as the conservation of genes associated with eumelanin synthesis and melanosome acidification (e.g., TYR, OCA2 [p protein], SLC24A5, SLC45A2, MATP) in pigmented populations. Five keratinocyte-derived signals (stem cell factor⇒KIT; FOXn1⇒FGF2; IL-1α, NGF, and p53) are potential candidates to have stimulated the sequential development of epidermal pigmentation in response to stress to the barrier. We summarize evidence here that epidermal interfollicular pigmentation in early hominids likely evolved in response to stress to the permeability barrier. PMID:20209486

  14. The Genetic Basis of Pigmentation Differences Within and Between Drosophila Species.

    PubMed

    Massey, J H; Wittkopp, P J

    2016-01-01

    In Drosophila, as well as in many other plants and animals, pigmentation is highly variable both within and between species. This variability, combined with powerful genetic and transgenic tools as well as knowledge of how pigment patterns are formed biochemically and developmentally, has made Drosophila pigmentation a premier system for investigating the genetic and molecular mechanisms responsible for phenotypic evolution. In this chapter, we review and synthesize findings from a rapidly growing body of case studies examining the genetic basis of pigmentation differences in the abdomen, thorax, wings, and pupal cases within and between Drosophila species. A core set of genes, including genes required for pigment synthesis (eg, yellow, ebony, tan, Dat) as well as developmental regulators of these genes (eg, bab1, bab2, omb, Dll, and wg), emerge as the primary sources of this variation, with most genes having been shown to contribute to pigmentation differences both within and between species. In cases where specific genetic changes contributing to pigmentation divergence were identified in these genes, the changes were always located in noncoding sequences and affected cis-regulatory activity. We conclude this chapter by discussing these and other lessons learned from evolutionary genetic studies of Drosophila pigmentation and identify topics we think should be the focus of future work with this model system.

  15. A phylogenetic approach to the early evolution of autotrophy: the case of the reverse TCA and the reductive acetyl-CoA pathways.

    PubMed

    Becerra, Arturo; Rivas, Mario; García-Ferris, Carlos; Lazcano, Antonio; Peretó, Juli

    2014-06-01

    In recent decades, a number of hypotheses on the autotrophic origin of life have been presented. These proposals invoke the emergence of reaction networks leading from CO or CO₂ to the organic molecules required for life. It has also been suggested that the last (universal) common ancestor (LCA or LUCA) of all extant cell lineages was a chemolitho-autotrophic thermophilic anaerobe. The antiquity of some carbon fixation pathways, the phylogenetic basal distribution of some autotrophic organisms, and the catalytic properties of iron-sulfur minerals have been advanced in support of these ideas. Here we critically examine the phylogenetic distribution and evolution of enzymes that are essential for two of the most ancient autotrophic means of metabolism: the reductive tricarboxylic acid (rTCA) cycle and the reductive acetyl-CoA pathway. Phylogenetic analysis of citryl-CoA synthetase and of citryl-CoA lyase, key enzymatic components of the rTCA cycle, and of CO dehydrogenase/acetyl-CoA synthase, a key enzyme in the reductive acetyl-CoA pathway, revealed that all three enzymes have undergone major lateral transfer events and therefore cannot be used as proof of the LCA's metabolic abilities nor as evidence of an autotrophic origin of life. PMID:26418853

  16. Changes in localization and expression levels of Shroom2 and spectrin contribute to variation in amphibian egg pigmentation patterns.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chanjae; Le, Minh-Phuong; Cannatella, David; Wallingford, John B

    2009-06-01

    One contributing factor in the worldwide decline in amphibian populations is thought to be the exposure of eggs to UV light. Enrichment of pigment in the animal hemisphere of eggs laid in the sunlight defends against UV damage, but little is known about the cell biological mechanisms controlling such polarized pigment patterns. Even less is known about how such mechanisms were modified during evolution to achieve the array of amphibian egg pigment patterns. Here, we show that ectopic expression of the gamma-tubulin regulator, Shroom2, is sufficient to induce co-accumulation of pigment granules, spectrin, and dynactin in Xenopus blastomeres. Shroom2 and spectrin are enriched and co-localize specifically in the pigmented animal hemisphere of Xenopus eggs and blastulae. Moreover, Shroom2 messenger RNA (mRNA) is expressed maternally at high levels in Xenopus. In contrast to Xenopus, eggs and blastulae of Physalaemus pustulosus have very little surface pigmentation. Rather, we find that pigment is enriched in the perinuclear region of these embryos, where it co-localizes with spectrin. Moreover, maternal Shroom2 mRNA was barely detectable in Physaleamus, though zygotic levels were comparable to Xenopus. We therefore suggest that a Shroom2/spectrin/dynactin-based mechanism controls pigment localization in amphibian eggs and that variation in maternal Shroom2 mRNA levels accounts in part for variation in amphibian egg pigment patterns during evolution. PMID:19554350

  17. Evolution of albinism in cave planthoppers by a convergent defect in the first step of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Cetković, Helena; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    Albinism, the reduction or loss of melanin pigment, is found in many diverse cave-dwelling animals. The mechanisms responsible for loss of melanin pigment are poorly understood. In this study we use a melanogenic substrate assay to determine the position where melanin synthesis is blocked in independently evolved cave planthoppers from Hawaii and Croatia. In this assay, substrates of enzymes responsible for melanin biosynthesis are added to fixed specimens in vitro and their ability to rescue black melanin pigmentation is determined. L-tyrosine, the first substrate in the pathway, did not produce melanin pigment, whereas L-DOPA, the second substrate, restored black pigment. Substrates in combination with enzyme inhibitors were used to test the possibility of additional downstream defects in the pathway. The results showed that downstream reactions leading from L-DOPA and dopamine to DOPA-melanin and dopamine-melanin, the two types of insect melanin, are functional. It is concluded that albinism is caused by a defect in the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway in cave-adapted planthoppers from widely separated parts of the world. However, Western blots indicated that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the only enzyme shown to operate at the first step in insects, is present in Hawaiian cave planthoppers. Thus, an unknown factor(s) operating at this step may be important in the evolution of planthopper albinism. In the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus, a genetic defect has also been described at the first step of melanin synthesis suggesting convergent evolution of albinism in both cave-adapted insects and teleosts.

  18. Evolution of albinism in cave planthoppers by a convergent defect in the first step of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Cetković, Helena; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    Albinism, the reduction or loss of melanin pigment, is found in many diverse cave-dwelling animals. The mechanisms responsible for loss of melanin pigment are poorly understood. In this study we use a melanogenic substrate assay to determine the position where melanin synthesis is blocked in independently evolved cave planthoppers from Hawaii and Croatia. In this assay, substrates of enzymes responsible for melanin biosynthesis are added to fixed specimens in vitro and their ability to rescue black melanin pigmentation is determined. L-tyrosine, the first substrate in the pathway, did not produce melanin pigment, whereas L-DOPA, the second substrate, restored black pigment. Substrates in combination with enzyme inhibitors were used to test the possibility of additional downstream defects in the pathway. The results showed that downstream reactions leading from L-DOPA and dopamine to DOPA-melanin and dopamine-melanin, the two types of insect melanin, are functional. It is concluded that albinism is caused by a defect in the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway in cave-adapted planthoppers from widely separated parts of the world. However, Western blots indicated that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the only enzyme shown to operate at the first step in insects, is present in Hawaiian cave planthoppers. Thus, an unknown factor(s) operating at this step may be important in the evolution of planthopper albinism. In the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus, a genetic defect has also been described at the first step of melanin synthesis suggesting convergent evolution of albinism in both cave-adapted insects and teleosts. PMID:23017027

  19. The Whole Genome Sequence of Sphingobium chlorophenolicum L-1: Insights into the Evolution of the Pentachlorophenol Degradation Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Copley, Shelley D.; Rokicki, Joseph; Turner, Pernilla; Daligault, Hajnalka E.; Nolan, Matt; Land, Miriam L

    2012-01-01

    Sphingobium chlorophenolicum Strain L-1 can mineralize the toxic pesticide pentachlorophenol (PCP). We have sequenced the genome of S. chlorophenolicum Strain L-1. The genome consists of a primary chromosome that encodes most of the genes for core processes, a secondary chromosome that encodes primarily genes that appear to be involved in environmental adaptation, and a small plasmid. The genes responsible for degradation of PCP are found on chromosome 2. We have compared the genomes of S. chlorophenolicum Strain L-1 and Sphingobium japonicum, a closely related Sphingomonad that degrades lindane. Our analysis suggests that the genes encoding the first three enzymes in the PCP degradation pathway were acquired via two different horizontal gene transfer events, and the genes encoding the final two enzymes in the pathway were acquired from the most recent common ancestor of these two bacteria.

  20. Modeling of the dorsal gradient across species reveals interaction between embryo morphology and Toll signaling pathway during evolution.

    PubMed

    Ambrosi, Priscilla; Chahda, Juan Sebastian; Koslen, Hannah R; Chiel, Hillel J; Mizutani, Claudia Mieko

    2014-08-01

    Morphogenetic gradients are essential to allocate cell fates in embryos of varying sizes within and across closely related species. We previously showed that the maternal NF-κB/Dorsal (Dl) gradient has acquired different shapes in Drosophila species, which result in unequally scaled germ layers along the dorso-ventral axis and the repositioning of the neuroectodermal borders. Here we combined experimentation and mathematical modeling to investigate which factors might have contributed to the fast evolutionary changes of this gradient. To this end, we modified a previously developed model that employs differential equations of the main biochemical interactions of the Toll (Tl) signaling pathway, which regulates Dl nuclear transport. The original model simulations fit well the D. melanogaster wild type, but not mutant conditions. To broaden the applicability of this model and probe evolutionary changes in gradient distributions, we adjusted a set of 19 independent parameters to reproduce three quantified experimental conditions (i.e. Dl levels lowered, nuclear size and density increased or decreased). We next searched for the most relevant parameters that reproduce the species-specific Dl gradients. We show that adjusting parameters relative to morphological traits (i.e. embryo diameter, nuclear size and density) alone is not sufficient to reproduce the species Dl gradients. Since components of the Tl pathway simulated by the model are fast-evolving, we next asked which parameters related to Tl would most effectively reproduce these gradients and identified a particular subset. A sensitivity analysis reveals the existence of nonlinear interactions between the two fast-evolving traits tested above, namely the embryonic morphological changes and Tl pathway components. Our modeling further suggests that distinct Dl gradient shapes observed in closely related melanogaster sub-group lineages may be caused by similar sequence modifications in Tl pathway components, which

  1. Modeling of the Dorsal Gradient across Species Reveals Interaction between Embryo Morphology and Toll Signaling Pathway during Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Koslen, Hannah R.; Chiel, Hillel J.; Mizutani, Claudia Mieko

    2014-01-01

    Morphogenetic gradients are essential to allocate cell fates in embryos of varying sizes within and across closely related species. We previously showed that the maternal NF-κB/Dorsal (Dl) gradient has acquired different shapes in Drosophila species, which result in unequally scaled germ layers along the dorso-ventral axis and the repositioning of the neuroectodermal borders. Here we combined experimentation and mathematical modeling to investigate which factors might have contributed to the fast evolutionary changes of this gradient. To this end, we modified a previously developed model that employs differential equations of the main biochemical interactions of the Toll (Tl) signaling pathway, which regulates Dl nuclear transport. The original model simulations fit well the D. melanogaster wild type, but not mutant conditions. To broaden the applicability of this model and probe evolutionary changes in gradient distributions, we adjusted a set of 19 independent parameters to reproduce three quantified experimental conditions (i.e. Dl levels lowered, nuclear size and density increased or decreased). We next searched for the most relevant parameters that reproduce the species-specific Dl gradients. We show that adjusting parameters relative to morphological traits (i.e. embryo diameter, nuclear size and density) alone is not sufficient to reproduce the species Dl gradients. Since components of the Tl pathway simulated by the model are fast-evolving, we next asked which parameters related to Tl would most effectively reproduce these gradients and identified a particular subset. A sensitivity analysis reveals the existence of nonlinear interactions between the two fast-evolving traits tested above, namely the embryonic morphological changes and Tl pathway components. Our modeling further suggests that distinct Dl gradient shapes observed in closely related melanogaster sub-group lineages may be caused by similar sequence modifications in Tl pathway components, which

  2. Developmental pathways of Glossotermes oculatus (Isoptera, Serritermitidae): at the cross-roads of worker caste evolution in termites.

    PubMed

    Bourguignon, Thomas; Sobotník, Jan; Hanus, Robert; Roisin, Yves

    2009-01-01

    The onset of a specialized ("true") worker caste is a crucial step in the evolution of termite societies. Such workers, permanently excluded from wing development, repeatedly evolved from totipotent immatures, called "false" workers or pseudergates. In the family Rhinotermitidae, the presence of true workers and the level of specialization of this caste are highly variable, and key taxa illustrate transitional situations providing clues about worker evolution. Here we focused on the status of working immatures of Glossotermes oculatus, from the family Serritermitidae, now thought to represent either the sister-group of the Rhinotermitidae or a basal lineage nested within them. Contrary to previous assumptions, we show that the apterous immatures performing worker tasks in G. oculatus are the source of the single wing-budded nymphal instar preceding the alate. Consequently, they qualify as pseudergates rather than true workers. However, the sex ratio is strongly male biased in pseudergates and soldiers, which is a trait usually restricted to termites with true workers. We therefore argue that pseudergates of G. oculatus are close to a point where the species could easily shift toward the differentiation of a true worker caste, and that G. oculatus pinpoints a new possible route for the evolution of true workers from pseudergates.

  3. Clofazimine-induced Hair Pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Philip, Mariam; Samson, Joan Felicita; Simi, Puthenveedu Salahudeen

    2012-07-01

    A 45-year-old man was treated with WHO multibacillary multidrug therapy for borderline leprosy and high dose daily Clofazimine for lepra reaction. Along with the expected side effect of skin pigmentation, the patient also noticed darkening of previously grey hair. This colour persisted eight months after completing multibacillary multidrug therapy. PMID:23180930

  4. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and... ADDITIVES EXEMPT FROM CERTIFICATION Foods § 73.352 Paracoccus pigment. (a) Identity. (1) The color additive paracoccus pigment consists of the heat-killed, dried cells of a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic strain...

  5. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and... ADDITIVES EXEMPT FROM CERTIFICATION Foods § 73.352 Paracoccus pigment. (a) Identity. (1) The color additive paracoccus pigment consists of the heat-killed, dried cells of a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic strain...

  6. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725 Food... Certain Adjuvants and Production Aids § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in...

  7. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and... ADDITIVES EXEMPT FROM CERTIFICATION Foods § 73.352 Paracoccus pigment. (a) Identity. (1) The color additive paracoccus pigment consists of the heat-killed, dried cells of a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic strain...

  8. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725... Certain Adjuvants and Production Aids § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in...

  9. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725... Certain Adjuvants and Production Aids § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in...

  10. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725... Certain Adjuvants and Production Aids § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in...

  11. 21 CFR 178.3725 - Pigment dispersants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Pigment dispersants. 178.3725 Section 178.3725... § 178.3725 Pigment dispersants. Subject to the provisions of this regulation, the substances listed in this section may be safely used as pigment dispersants in food-contact materials....

  12. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and... ADDITIVES EXEMPT FROM CERTIFICATION Foods § 73.352 Paracoccus pigment. (a) Identity. (1) The color additive paracoccus pigment consists of the heat-killed, dried cells of a nonpathogenic and nontoxicogenic strain...

  13. Melanin: the biophysiology of oral melanocytes and physiological oral pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The presence of melanocytes in the oral epithelium is a well-established fact, but their physiological functions are not well defined. Melanin provides protection from environmental stressors such as ultraviolet radiation and reactive oxygen species; and melanocytes function as stress-sensors having the capacity both to react to and to produce a variety of microenvironmental cytokines and growth factors, modulating immune, inflammatory and antibacterial responses. Melanocytes also act as neuroendocrine cells producing local neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, catecholamines and opioids, and hormones of the melanocortin system such as proopiomelanocortin, adrenocorticotropic hormone and α-melanocyte stimulating hormone, that participate in intracellular and in intercellular signalling pathways, thus contributing to tissue homeostasis. There is a wide range of normal variation in melanin pigmentation of the oral mucosa. In general, darker skinned persons more frequently have oral melanin pigmentation than light-skinned persons. Variations in oral physiological pigmentation are genetically determined unless associated with some underlying disease. In this article, we discuss some aspects of the biophysiology of oral melanocytes, of the functions of melanin, and of physiological oral pigmentation. PMID:24661309

  14. Response of pigmented Serratia marcescens to the illumination.

    PubMed

    Ryazantseva, Irina N; Saakov, Vladimir S; Andreyeva, Irina N; Ogorodnikova, Tatjana I; Zuev, Yuriy F

    2012-01-01

    Variations in the illumination conditions (light/darkness) affected both the biosynthesis of prodigiosin and energy metabolism of the pigmented strain ATCC 9986 Serratia marcescens growing aerobical in the batch culture were shown. In the process incubation the transition of the pigmented culture from illumination within (24 h, 48 h) in the dark conditions increased the prodigiosin synthesis by 2.0, 2.5 times, respectively. At the same time, the illumination did not influence the prodigiosin biosynthesis in the stationary growth phase. In the initial period of prodigiosin synthesis the rate of oxygen consumption was higher than later when the pigment synthesis gradually decreased. The respiration activity of colorless strain 24-5 is not independent from the lighting conditions. The regulation of energetic pathways in the light and in darkness has been revealed. Prodigiosin is associated with the hydrophobic protein and it is represented pigment protein complex by diameter of particles less 100 kDa. Fluorescence spectrum of prodigiosin and it the absorption spectra of derivatives of high orders D(IV) and D(VIII) were described.

  15. The genetic control of aposematic black pigmentation in hemimetabolous insects: insights from Oncopeltus fasciatus

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jin; Lemonds, Thomas R.; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Variations in body pigmentation, encompassing both the range of specific colors as well as the spatial arrangement of those colors, are among the most noticeable and lineage-specific insect features. However, the genetic mechanisms responsible for generating this diversity are still limited to several model species that are primarily holometabolous insects. To address this lack of knowledge, we utilize Oncopeltus fasciatus, an aposematic hemimetabolous insect, as a new model to study insect pigmentation. First, to determine the genetic regulation of black pigment production in Oncopeltus, we perform an RNAi analysis on three core genes involved in the melanin pathway, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopa decarboxylase (DDC), and laccase 2 (lac2). The black pigmentation is affected in all instances, showing that the black pigments in this species are derived from the melanin pathway. The results of the DDC RNAi are particularly informative because they reveal that it is Dopamine melanin, not DOPA melanin, which is the predominant component of black pigments in Oncopeltus. Second, we test whether pigmentation follows a two-step model where the spatial pre-mapping of enzymatic activity is followed by vein-dependent transportation of melanin substances. We confirm the existence of the first step by observing that premature wings develop black pigmentation when exposed to melanin precursors. In addition, we provide evidence for the second step by showing that wing melanin patterning is disrupted when vein transportation is halted. These findings bring novel insights from a hemimetabolous species and establish a framework for subsequent studies on the mechanisms of pigment production and patterning responsible for variations in insect coloration. PMID:25124093

  16. The genetic control of aposematic black pigmentation in hemimetabolous insects: insights from Oncopeltus fasciatus.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin; Lemonds, Thomas R; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2014-09-01

    Variations in body pigmentation, encompassing both the range of specific colors as well as the spatial arrangement of those colors, are among the most noticeable and lineage-specific insect features. However, the genetic mechanisms responsible for generating this diversity are still limited to several model species that are primarily holometabolous insects. To address this lack of knowledge, we utilize Oncopeltus fasciatus, an aposematic hemimetabolous insect, as a new model to study insect pigmentation. First, to determine the genetic regulation of black pigment production in Oncopeltus, we perform an RNAi analysis on three core genes involved in the melanin pathway, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopa decarboxylase (DDC), and laccase 2 (lac2). The black pigmentation is affected in all instances, showing that the black pigments in this species are derived from the melanin pathway. The results of the DDC RNAi are particularly informative because they reveal that it is Dopamine melanin, not DOPA melanin, which is the predominant component of black pigments in Oncopeltus. Second, we test whether pigmentation follows a two-step model where the spatial pre-mapping of enzymatic activity is followed by vein-dependent transportation of melanin substances. We confirm the existence of the first step by observing that premature wings develop black pigmentation when exposed to melanin precursors. In addition, we provide evidence for the second step by showing that wing melanin patterning is disrupted when vein transportation is halted. These findings bring novel insights from a hemimetabolous species and establish a framework for subsequent studies on the mechanisms of pigment production and patterning responsible for variations in insect coloration.

  17. The Hedgehog gene family of the cnidarian, Nematostella vectensis, and implications for understanding metazoan Hedgehog pathway evolution

    PubMed Central

    Matus, David Q.; Magie, Craig; Pang, Kevin; Martindale, Mark Q; Thomsen, Gerald H.

    2008-01-01

    Hedgehog signaling is an important component of cell-cell communication during bilaterian development, and abnormal Hedgehog signaling contributes to disease and birth defects. Hedgehog genes are composed of a ligand (“hedge”) domain and an autocatalytic intein (“hog”) domain. Hedgehog (hh) ligands bind to a conserved set of receptors and activate downstream signal transduction pathways terminating with Gli/Ci transcription factors. We have identified five intein-containing genes in the anthozoan cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, two of which (NvHh1 and NvHh2) contain definitive hedgehog ligand domains, suggesting that to date, cnidarians are the earliest branching metazoan phylum to possess definitive Hh orthologs. Expression analysis of NvHh1 and NvHh2, the receptor NvPatched and a downstream transcription factor NvGli (a Gli3/Ci ortholog) indicate that these genes may have conserved roles in planar and trans-epithelial signaling during gut and germline development, while the three remaining intein-containing genes (NvHint1,2,3) are expressed in a cell-type specific manner in putative neural precursors. Metazoan intein-containing genes that lack a ligand domain have previously only been identified within nematodes. However, phylogenetic analyses suggest that these nematode inteins may be derived from an ancestral nematode true hedgehog gene, and that the non-bilaterian intein-containing genes identified here may represent an ancestral state prior to the domain swapping events that resulted in the formation of true hedgehog genes in the cnidarian-bilaterian ancestor. Genomic surveys of N. vectensis suggest that most of the components of both protostome and deuterostome Hh signaling pathways are present in anthozoans and that some appear to have been lost in ecdysozoan lineages. Cnidarians possess many bilaterian cell-cell signaling pathways (Wnt, TGFß, FGF and Hh) that appear to act in concert to pattern tissues along the oral-aboral axis of the polyp

  18. Clonal evolution enhances leukemia propagating cell frequency in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia through Akt/mTORC1 pathway activation

    PubMed Central

    Blackburn, Jessica S.; Liu, Sali; Wilder, Jayme L.; Dobrinski, Kimberly P.; Lobbardi, Riadh; Moore, Finola E.; Martinez, Sarah A.; Chen, Eleanor Y.; Lee, Charles; Langenau, David M.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Clonal evolution and intratumoral heterogeneity drive cancer progression through unknown molecular mechanisms. To address this issue, functional differences between single T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) clones were assessed using a zebrafish transgenic model. Functional variation was observed within individual clones, with a minority of clones enhancing growth rate and leukemia propagating potential with time. Akt pathway activation was acquired in a subset of these evolved clones, which increased the number of leukemia propagating cells through activating mTORC1, elevated growth rate likely by stabilizing the Myc protein, and rendered cells resistant to dexamethasone, which was reversed by combined treatment with an Akt inhibitor. Thus, T-ALL clones spontaneously and continuously evolve to drive leukemia progression even in the absence of therapy-induced selection. PMID:24613413

  19. Combined use of synchrotron radiation based micro-X-ray fluorescence, micro-X-ray diffraction, micro-X-ray absorption near-edge, and micro-fourier transform infrared spectroscopies for revealing an alternative degradation pathway of the pigment cadmium yellow in a painting by Van Gogh.

    PubMed

    Van der Snickt, Geert; Janssens, Koen; Dik, Joris; De Nolf, Wout; Vanmeert, Frederik; Jaroszewicz, Jacub; Cotte, Marine; Falkenberg, Gerald; Van der Loeff, Luuk

    2012-12-01

    Over the past years a number of studies have described the instability of the pigment cadmium yellow (CdS). In a previous paper we have shown how cadmium sulfide on paintings by James Ensor oxidizes to CdSO(4)·H(2)O. The degradation process gives rise to the fading of the bright yellow color and the formation of disfiguring white crystals that are present on the paint surface in approximately 50 μm sized globular agglomerations. Here, we study cadmium yellow in the painting "Flowers in a blue vase" by Vincent van Gogh. This painting differs from the Ensor case in the fact that (a) a varnish was superimposed onto the degraded paint surface and (b) the CdS paint area is entirely covered with an opaque crust. The latter obscures the yellow color completely and thus presents a seemingly more advanced state of degradation. Analysis of a cross-sectioned and a crushed sample by combining scanning microscopic X-ray diffraction (μ-XRD), microscopic X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (μ-XANES), microscopic X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) based chemical state mapping and scanning microscopic Fourier transform infrared (μ-FT-IR) spectrometry allowed unravelling the complex alteration pathway. Although no crystalline CdSO(4) compounds were identified on the Van Gogh paint samples, we conclude that the observed degradation was initially caused by oxidation of the original CdS pigment, similar as for the previous Ensor case. However, due to the presence of an overlying varnish containing lead-based driers and oxalate ions, secondary reactions took place. In particular, it appears that upon the photoinduced oxidation of its sulfidic counterion, the Cd(2+) ions reprecipitated at the paint/varnish interface after having formed a complex with oxalate ions that themselves are considered to be degradation products of the resin and/or oil in the varnish. The SO(4)(2-) anions, for their part, found a suitable reaction partner in Pb(2+) ions stemming from a dissolved lead

  20. Combined use of synchrotron radiation based micro-X-ray fluorescence, micro-X-ray diffraction, micro-X-ray absorption near-edge, and micro-fourier transform infrared spectroscopies for revealing an alternative degradation pathway of the pigment cadmium yellow in a painting by Van Gogh.

    PubMed

    Van der Snickt, Geert; Janssens, Koen; Dik, Joris; De Nolf, Wout; Vanmeert, Frederik; Jaroszewicz, Jacub; Cotte, Marine; Falkenberg, Gerald; Van der Loeff, Luuk

    2012-12-01

    Over the past years a number of studies have described the instability of the pigment cadmium yellow (CdS). In a previous paper we have shown how cadmium sulfide on paintings by James Ensor oxidizes to CdSO(4)·H(2)O. The degradation process gives rise to the fading of the bright yellow color and the formation of disfiguring white crystals that are present on the paint surface in approximately 50 μm sized globular agglomerations. Here, we study cadmium yellow in the painting "Flowers in a blue vase" by Vincent van Gogh. This painting differs from the Ensor case in the fact that (a) a varnish was superimposed onto the degraded paint surface and (b) the CdS paint area is entirely covered with an opaque crust. The latter obscures the yellow color completely and thus presents a seemingly more advanced state of degradation. Analysis of a cross-sectioned and a crushed sample by combining scanning microscopic X-ray diffraction (μ-XRD), microscopic X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (μ-XANES), microscopic X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) based chemical state mapping and scanning microscopic Fourier transform infrared (μ-FT-IR) spectrometry allowed unravelling the complex alteration pathway. Although no crystalline CdSO(4) compounds were identified on the Van Gogh paint samples, we conclude that the observed degradation was initially caused by oxidation of the original CdS pigment, similar as for the previous Ensor case. However, due to the presence of an overlying varnish containing lead-based driers and oxalate ions, secondary reactions took place. In particular, it appears that upon the photoinduced oxidation of its sulfidic counterion, the Cd(2+) ions reprecipitated at the paint/varnish interface after having formed a complex with oxalate ions that themselves are considered to be degradation products of the resin and/or oil in the varnish. The SO(4)(2-) anions, for their part, found a suitable reaction partner in Pb(2+) ions stemming from a dissolved lead

  1. Continental variation in wing pigmentation in Calopteryx damselflies is related to the presence of heterospecifics.

    PubMed

    Hassall, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Wing pigmentation in Calopteryx damselflies, caused by the deposition of melanin, is energetically expensive to produce and enhances predation risk. However, patterns of melanisation are used in species identification, greater pigmentation is an accurate signal of male immune function in at least some species, and there may be a role for pigment in thermoregulation. This study tested two potential hypotheses to explain the presence of, and variation in, this pigmentation based on these three potential benefits using 907 male specimens of Calopteryx maculata collected from 49 sites (34 discrete populations) across the geographical range of the species in North America: (i) pigmentation varies with the presence of the closely related species, Calopteryx aequabilis, and (ii) pigment increases at higher latitudes as would be expected if it enhances thermoregulatory capacity. No gradual latitudinal pattern was observed, as might be expected if pigmentation was involved in thermoregulation. However, strong variation was observed between populations that were sympatric or allopatric with C. aequabilis. This variation was characterised by dark wings through allopatry in the south of the range and then a step change to much lighter wings at the southern border of sympatry. Pigmentation then increased further north into the sympatric zone, finally returning to allopatry levels at the northern range margin. These patterns are qualitatively similar to variation in pigmentation in C. aequabilis, meaning that the data are consistent with what would be expected from convergent character displacement. Overall, the results corroborate recent research that has suggested sexual selection as a primary driver behind the evolution of wing pigmentation in this group.

  2. Continental variation in wing pigmentation in Calopteryx damselflies is related to the presence of heterospecifics

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Wing pigmentation in Calopteryx damselflies, caused by the deposition of melanin, is energetically expensive to produce and enhances predation risk. However, patterns of melanisation are used in species identification, greater pigmentation is an accurate signal of male immune function in at least some species, and there may be a role for pigment in thermoregulation. This study tested two potential hypotheses to explain the presence of, and variation in, this pigmentation based on these three potential benefits using 907 male specimens of Calopteryx maculata collected from 49 sites (34 discrete populations) across the geographical range of the species in North America: (i) pigmentation varies with the presence of the closely related species, Calopteryx aequabilis, and (ii) pigment increases at higher latitudes as would be expected if it enhances thermoregulatory capacity. No gradual latitudinal pattern was observed, as might be expected if pigmentation was involved in thermoregulation. However, strong variation was observed between populations that were sympatric or allopatric with C. aequabilis. This variation was characterised by dark wings through allopatry in the south of the range and then a step change to much lighter wings at the southern border of sympatry. Pigmentation then increased further north into the sympatric zone, finally returning to allopatry levels at the northern range margin. These patterns are qualitatively similar to variation in pigmentation in C. aequabilis, meaning that the data are consistent with what would be expected from convergent character displacement. Overall, the results corroborate recent research that has suggested sexual selection as a primary driver behind the evolution of wing pigmentation in this group. PMID:24949250

  3. Early Development and Orientation of the Acoustic Funnel Provides Insight into the Evolution of Sound Reception Pathways in Cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    Yamato, Maya; Pyenson, Nicholas D.

    2015-01-01

    Whales receive underwater sounds through a fundamentally different mechanism than their close terrestrial relatives. Instead of hearing through the ear canal, cetaceans hear through specialized fatty tissues leading to an evolutionarily novel feature: an acoustic funnel located anterior to the tympanic aperture. We traced the ontogenetic development of this feature in 56 fetal specimens from 10 different families of toothed (odontocete) and baleen (mysticete) whales, using X-ray computed tomography. We also charted ear ossification patterns through ontogeny to understand the impact of heterochronic developmental processes. We determined that the acoustic funnel arises from a prominent V-shaped structure established early in ontogeny, formed by the malleus and the goniale. In odontocetes, this V-formation develops into a cone-shaped funnel facing anteriorly, directly into intramandibular acoustic fats, which is likely functionally linked to the anterior orientation of sound reception in echolocation. In contrast, the acoustic funnel in balaenopterids rotates laterally, later in fetal development, consistent with a lateral sound reception pathway. Balaenids and several fossil mysticetes retain a somewhat anteriorly oriented acoustic funnel in the mature condition, indicating that a lateral sound reception pathway in balaenopterids may be a recent evolutionary innovation linked to specialized feeding modes, such as lunge-feeding. PMID:25760328

  4. Signaling pathways that regulate life and cell death: evolution of apoptosis in the context of self-defense.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Pinedo, Cristina

    2012-01-01

    Programmed Cell Death is essential for the life cycle of many organisms. Cell death in multicellular organisms can occur as a consequence of massive damage (necrosis) or in a controlled form, through engagement of diverse biochemical programs. The best well known form of programmed cell death is apoptosis. Apoptosis occurs in animals as a consequence of a variety of stimuli including stress and social signals and it plays essential roles in morphogenesis and immune defense. The machinery of apoptosis is well conserved among animals and it is composed of caspases (the proteases which execute cell death), adapter proteins (caspase activators), Bcl-2 family proteins and Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins (IAPs). We will describe in this chapter the main apoptotic pathways in animals: the extrinsic (death receptor-mediated), the intrinsic/mitochondrial and the Granzyme B pathway. Other forms of non-apoptotic Programmed Cell Death which occur in animals will also be discussed. We will summarize the current knowledge about apoptotic-like and other forms of cell death in other organisms such as plants and protists.Additionally, we will discuss the hypothesis that apoptosis originated as part of a host defense mechanism. We will explore the similarities between the protein complexes which mediate apoptosis (apoptosomes) and complexes involved in immunity: inflammasomes. Additional functions of apoptotic proteins related to immune function will be summarized, in an effort to explore the evolutionary origins of cell death.

  5. Evolution of galactoglycerolipid biosynthetic pathways--from cyanobacteria to primary plastids and from primary to secondary plastids.

    PubMed

    Petroutsos, Dimitris; Amiar, Souad; Abida, Heni; Dolch, Lina-Juana; Bastien, Olivier; Rébeillé, Fabrice; Jouhet, Juliette; Falconet, Denis; Block, Maryse A; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Bowler, Chris; Botté, Cyrille; Maréchal, Eric

    2014-04-01

    Photosynthetic membranes have a unique lipid composition that has been remarkably well conserved from cyanobacteria to chloroplasts. These membranes are characterized by a very high content in galactoglycerolipids, i.e., mono- and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG and DGDG, respectively). Galactoglycerolipids make up the bulk of the lipid matrix in which photosynthetic complexes are embedded. They are also known to fulfill specific functions, such as stabilizing photosystems, being a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids for various purposes and, in some eukaryotes, being exported to other subcellular compartments. The conservation of MGDG and DGDG suggests that selection pressures might have conserved the enzymes involved in their biosynthesis, but this does not appear to be the case. Important evolutionary transitions comprise primary endosymbiosis (from a symbiotic cyanobacterium to a primary chloroplast) and secondary endosymbiosis (from a symbiotic unicellular algal eukaryote to a secondary plastid). In this review, we compare biosynthetic pathways based on available molecular and biochemical data, highlighting enzymatic reactions that have been conserved and others that have diverged or been lost, as well as the emergence of parallel and alternative biosynthetic systems originating from other metabolic pathways. Questions for future research are highlighted.

  6. Availability and Utilization of Pigments from Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Begum, Hasina; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Khatoon, Helena; Shariff, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Microalgae are the major photosynthesizers on earth and produce important pigments that include chlorophyll a, b and c, β-carotene, astaxanthin, xanthophylls, and phycobiliproteins. Presently, synthetic colorants are used in food, cosmetic, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical industries. However, due to problems associated with the harmful effects of synthetic colorants, exploitation of microalgal pigments as a source of natural colors becomes an attractive option. There are various factors such as nutrient availability, salinity, pH, temperature, light wavelength, and light intensity that affect pigment production in microalgae. This paper reviews the availability and characteristics of microalgal pigments, factors affecting pigment production, and the application of pigments produced from microalgae. The potential of microalgal pigments as a source of natural colors is enormous as an alternative to synthetic coloring agents, which has limited applications due to regulatory practice for health reasons.

  7. Availability and Utilization of Pigments from Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Begum, Hasina; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Khatoon, Helena; Shariff, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    Microalgae are the major photosynthesizers on earth and produce important pigments that include chlorophyll a, b and c, β-carotene, astaxanthin, xanthophylls, and phycobiliproteins. Presently, synthetic colorants are used in food, cosmetic, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical industries. However, due to problems associated with the harmful effects of synthetic colorants, exploitation of microalgal pigments as a source of natural colors becomes an attractive option. There are various factors such as nutrient availability, salinity, pH, temperature, light wavelength, and light intensity that affect pigment production in microalgae. This paper reviews the availability and characteristics of microalgal pigments, factors affecting pigment production, and the application of pigments produced from microalgae. The potential of microalgal pigments as a source of natural colors is enormous as an alternative to synthetic coloring agents, which has limited applications due to regulatory practice for health reasons. PMID:25674822

  8. Using THz Spectroscopy, Evolutionary Network Analysis Methods, and MD Simulation to Map the Evolution of Allosteric Communication Pathways in c-Type Lysozymes.

    PubMed

    Woods, Kristina N; Pfeffer, Juergen

    2016-01-01

    It is now widely accepted that protein function is intimately tied with the navigation of energy landscapes. In this framework, a protein sequence is not described by a distinct structure but rather by an ensemble of conformations. And it is through this ensemble that evolution is able to modify a protein's function by altering its landscape. Hence, the evolution of protein functions involves selective pressures that adjust the sampling of the conformational states. In this work, we focus on elucidating the evolutionary pathway that shaped the function of individual proteins that make-up the mammalian c-type lysozyme subfamily. Using both experimental and computational methods, we map out specific intermolecular interactions that direct the sampling of conformational states and accordingly, also underlie shifts in the landscape that are directly connected with the formation of novel protein functions. By contrasting three representative proteins in the family we identify molecular mechanisms that are associated with the selectivity of enhanced antimicrobial properties and consequently, divergent protein function. Namely, we link the extent of localized fluctuations involving the loop separating helices A and B with shifts in the equilibrium of the ensemble of conformational states that mediate interdomain coupling and concurrently moderate substrate binding affinity. This work reveals unique insights into the molecular level mechanisms that promote the progression of interactions that connect the immune response to infection with the nutritional properties of lactation, while also providing a deeper understanding about how evolving energy landscapes may define present-day protein function.

  9. Using THz Spectroscopy, Evolutionary Network Analysis Methods, and MD Simulation to Map the Evolution of Allosteric Communication Pathways in c-Type Lysozymes

    PubMed Central

    Woods, Kristina N.; Pfeffer, Juergen

    2016-01-01

    It is now widely accepted that protein function is intimately tied with the navigation of energy landscapes. In this framework, a protein sequence is not described by a distinct structure but rather by an ensemble of conformations. And it is through this ensemble that evolution is able to modify a protein’s function by altering its landscape. Hence, the evolution of protein functions involves selective pressures that adjust the sampling of the conformational states. In this work, we focus on elucidating the evolutionary pathway that shaped the function of individual proteins that make-up the mammalian c-type lysozyme subfamily. Using both experimental and computational methods, we map out specific intermolecular interactions that direct the sampling of conformational states and accordingly, also underlie shifts in the landscape that are directly connected with the formation of novel protein functions. By contrasting three representative proteins in the family we identify molecular mechanisms that are associated with the selectivity of enhanced antimicrobial properties and consequently, divergent protein function. Namely, we link the extent of localized fluctuations involving the loop separating helices A and B with shifts in the equilibrium of the ensemble of conformational states that mediate interdomain coupling and concurrently moderate substrate binding affinity. This work reveals unique insights into the molecular level mechanisms that promote the progression of interactions that connect the immune response to infection with the nutritional properties of lactation, while also providing a deeper understanding about how evolving energy landscapes may define present-day protein function. PMID:26337549

  10. Global and regional evolution of short-lived radiatively-active gases and aerosols in the Representative Concentration Pathways

    SciTech Connect

    Lamarque, J.-F.; Kyle, G. Page; Meinshausen, Malte; Riahi, Keywan; Smith, Steven J.; Van Vuuren, Detlef; Conley, Andrew; Vitt, Francis

    2011-08-05

    In this paper, we discuss the results of 2000-2100 simulations with a chemistry-climate model, focusing on the changes in atmospheric composition (troposphere and stratosphere) following the emissions associated with the Representative Concentration Pathways. We show that tropospheric ozone is projected to decrease (RCP3PD and RCP4.5) or increase (RCP8.5) between 2000 and 2100. Surface ozone in 2100 is projected to change little compared from 2000 conditions, a much-reduced impact from the projections based on the A2 scenario. Aerosols are projected to strongly decrease in the 21st century, a reflection of their projected decrease in emissions. Similarly, sulfate deposition is projected to strongly decrease. However, nitrogen deposition is projected to increase over certain regions because of the projected increase NH3 emissions.

  11. Holographic films from carotenoid pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toxqui-López, S.; Lecona-Sánchez, J. F.; Santacruz-Vázquez, C.; Olivares-Pérez, A.; Fuentes-Tapia, I.

    2014-02-01

    Carotenoids pigments presents in pineapple can be more than just natural dyes, which is one of the applications that now at day gives the chemical industry. In this research shown that can be used in implementing of holographic recording Films. Therefore we describe the technique how to obtain this kind of pigments trough spay drying of natural pineapple juice, which are then dissolved with water in a proportion of 0.1g to 1mL. The obtained sample is poured into glass substrates using the gravity method, after a drying of 24 hours in laboratory normal conditions the films are ready. The films are characterized by recording transmission holographic gratings (LSR 445 NL 445 nm) and measuring the diffraction efficiency holographic parameter. This recording material has good diffraction efficiency and environmental stability.

  12. Pigments, Parasites and Personalitiy: Towards a Unifying Role for Steroid Hormones?

    PubMed Central

    Kittilsen, Silje; Johansen, Ida Beitnes; Braastad, Bjarne Olai; Øverli, Øyvind

    2012-01-01

    A surging interest in the evolution of consistent trait correlations has inspired research on pigment patterns as a correlate of behavioural syndromes, or “animal personalities”. Associations between pigmentation, physiology and health status are less investigated as potentially conserved trait clusters. In the current study, lice counts performed on farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar naturally infected with ectoparasitic sea lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis showed that individual fish with high incidence of black melanin-based skin spots harboured fewer female sea lice carrying egg sacs, compared to less pigmented fish. There was no significant association between pigmentation and lice at other developmental stages, suggesting that host factors associated with melanin-based pigmentation may modify ectoparasite development to a larger degree than settlement. In a subsequent laboratory experiment a strong negative correlation between skin spots and post-stress cortisol levels was revealed, with less pigmented individuals showing a more pronounced cortisol response to acute stress. The observation that lice prevalence was strongly increased on a fraction of sexually mature male salmon which occurred among the farmed fish further supports a role for steroid hormones as mediators of reduced parasite resistance. The data presented here propose steroid hormones as a proximate cause for the association between melanin-based pigmentation and parasites. Possible fundamental and applied implications are discussed. PMID:22493685

  13. Cutaneous metastatic pigmented breast carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Gaitan-Gaona, Francisco; Said, Mirra C; Valdes-Rodriguez, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    A 66-year-old woman presented with a 3 cm black, ulcerated nodule located on the skin of the upper abdomen, just below the breast. The lesion was painful to the touch, but the patient reported no other associated symptoms and was otherwise healthy. A 4-mm punch biopsy of the affected skin was obtained and the histological diagnosis was cutaneous metastatic pigmented breast carcinoma. PMID:27136637

  14. New group of ceramic pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Cherepanov, E.S.; Grum-Grzhimailo, O.S.; Belostotskaya, N.S.; Bibilashvili, M.S.

    1987-03-01

    The authors assess the corrosion resistance, crystal structure, chemical composition and color properties of a variety of zircon-based materials used as pigments and protective coatings for ceramic tiles. The constituents of these materials include, apart from zircon, iron oxides, vanadium oxides, and the sulfides, selenides and tellurides of cadmium. The effects of these constituents on the structural behavior of the zirconium silicate are investigated.

  15. Gene duplication in Mimulus underlies parallel floral evolution via independent trans-regulatory changes.

    PubMed

    Cooley, Arielle M; Modliszewski, Jennifer L; Rommel, Megan L; Willis, John H

    2011-04-26

    Identifying the genetic basis of parallelism reveals the means by which evolution repeats itself and shows what aspects-if any-may be predictable. The recently tetraploid luteus group of Mimulus contains five species native to central Chile, three of which have evolved extensive red floral pigmentation using at least two distinct loci . Here we show that the parallel evolution of petal lobe anthocyanin (PLA) pigmentation in M. cupreus and M. luteus var. variegatus occurred via separate yet strikingly similar mechanisms. In each case, a dominant, single-locus gain of pigmentation maps to a genomic region (pla1 and pla2, respectively) containing adjacent, apparently recently duplicated paralogs of MYB anthocyanin-regulating transcription factors. Interestingly, candidate genes in pla1 and pla2 are themselves related by an older duplication. In both cases, pla genotype cosegregates with expression of multiple genes in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway, revealing a mechanism of coordinated trans-regulatory expression changes across functionally related enzyme-encoding genes. We conclude that in this instance, evolution has repeated itself with marked consistency. Duplication has enabled that repetition to occur using two physically independent but functionally similar loci, highlighting the importance of genomic complexity to the evolutionary process. PMID:21474312

  16. Pigment Cell Progenitors in Zebrafish Remain Multipotent through Metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ajeet Pratap; Dinwiddie, April; Mahalwar, Prateek; Schach, Ursula; Linker, Claudia; Irion, Uwe; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2016-08-01

    The neural crest is a transient, multipotent embryonic cell population in vertebrates giving rise to diverse cell types in adults via intermediate progenitors. The in vivo cell-fate potential and lineage segregation of these postembryonic progenitors is poorly understood, and it is unknown if and when the progenitors become fate restricted. We investigate the fate restriction in the neural crest-derived stem cells and intermediate progenitors in zebrafish, which give rise to three distinct adult pigment cell types: melanophores, iridophores, and xanthophores. By inducing clones in sox10-expressing cells, we trace and quantitatively compare the pigment cell progenitors at four stages, from embryogenesis to metamorphosis. At all stages, a large fraction of the progenitors are multipotent. These multipotent progenitors have a high proliferation ability, which diminishes with fate restriction. We suggest that multipotency of the nerve-associated progenitors lasting into metamorphosis may have facilitated the evolution of adult-specific traits in vertebrates. PMID:27453500

  17. PP-O and PP-V, Monascus pigment homologues, production, and phylogenetic analysis in Penicillium purpurogenum.

    PubMed

    Arai, Teppei; Kojima, Ryo; Motegi, Yoshiki; Kato, Jun; Kasumi, Takafumi; Ogihara, Jun

    2015-12-01

    The production of pigments as secondary metabolites by microbes is known to vary by species and by physiological conditions within a single strain. The fungus strain Penicillium purpurogenum IAM15392 has been found to produce violet pigment (PP-V) and orange pigment (PP-O),Monascus azaphilone pigment homologues, when grown under specific culture conditions. In this study, we analysed PP-V and PP-O production capability in seven strains of P. purpurogenum in addition to strain IAM15392 under specific culture conditions. The pigment production pattern of five strains cultivated in PP-V production medium was similar to that of strain IAM15392, and all violet pigments produced by these five strains were confirmed to be PP-V. Strains that did not produce pigment were also identified. In addition, two strains cultivated in PP-O production medium produced a violet pigment identified as PP-V. The ribosomal DNA (rDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region sequences from the eight P. purpurogenum strains were sequenced and used to construct a neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree. PP-O and PP-V production of P. purpurogenum was shown to be related to phylogenetic placement based on rDNA ITS sequence. Based on these results, two hypotheses for the alteration of pigment production of P. purpurogenum in evolution were proposed.

  18. Chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments in solar saltern microbial mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villanueva, Joan; Grimalt, Joan O.; de Wit, Rutger; Keely, Brendan J.; Maxwell, James R.

    1994-11-01

    The distributions of carotenoids, chlorophylls, and their degradation products have been studied in two microbial mat systems developed in the calcite and calcite/gypsum evaporite domains of a solar saltern system. Phormidium valderianum and Microcoleus chthonoplastes are the dominant cyanobacterial species, respectively, and large amounts of Chloroflexus-like bacteria occur in the carbonate/gypsum mat. In both systems, the major pigments are chlorophyll a, zeaxanthin, β-carotene and myxoxanthophyll, which originate from these mat-building cyanobacteria. This common feature contrasts with differences in other pigments that are specific for each mat community. Thus, chlorophyll c and fucoxanthin, reflecting diatom inputs, are only found in the calcite mat, whereas the calcite/gypsum mat contains high concentrations of bacteriochlorophylls c produced by the multicellular green filamentous bacteria. In both cases, the depth concentration profiles (0-30 and 0-40 mm) show a relatively good preservation of the cyanobacterial carotenoids, zeaxanthin, β-carotene, myxoxanthophyll, and echinenone. This contrasts with the extensive biodegradation of cyanobacterial remains observed microscopically. Fucoxanthin in the calcite mat is also transformed at a faster rate than the cyanobacterial carotenoids. Chlorophyll a, the major pigment in both mats, exhibits different transformation pathways. In the calcite/gypsum mat, it is transformed via C-13 2 carbomethoxy defunctionalization prior to loss of the phytyl chain, leading to the formation of pyrophaeophytin a and, subsequently, pyrophaeophorbide a. On the other hand, the occurrence of the enzyme chlorophyllase, attributed to diatoms in the calcite mat, gives rise to extensive phytyl hydrolysis, with the formation of chlorophyllide a, pyrophaeophorbide a and, in minor proportion, phaeophorbide a. Studies of the sources of the photosynthetic pigments and of their transformation pathways in such simplified ecosystems provide a

  19. Combinatorial biosynthesis of cyclic lipopeptide antibiotics: a model for synthetic biology to accelerate the evolution of secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways.

    PubMed

    Baltz, Richard H

    2014-10-17

    Nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) are giant multi-enzymes that carry out sequencial assembly line couplings of amino acids to generate linear or cyclic peptides. NRPSs are composed of repeating enzyme domains with modular organization to activate and couple specific amino acids in a particular order. From a synthetic biology perspective, they can be considered as peptide assembly machines composed of devices to couple fatty acids to l-amino acids, l-amino acids to l-amino acids, and d-amino acids to l-amino acids. The coupling devices are composed of specific parts that contain two or more enzyme domains that can be exchanged combinatorially to generate novel peptide assembly machines to produce novel peptides. The potent lipopeptide antibiotics daptomycin and A54145E have identical cyclic depsipeptide ring structures and stereochemistry but have divergent amino acid sequences. As their biosynthetic gene clusters are derived from an ancient ancestral lipopetide pathway, these lipopeptides provided an attractive model to develop combinatorial biosynthesis to generate antibiotics superior to daptomycin. These studies on combinatorial biosynthesis have helped generate guidelines for the successful assembly of NRPS parts and devices that can be used to generate novel lipopeptide structures and have established a basis for future synthetic biology studies to further develop combinatorial biosynthesis as a robust approach to natural product drug discovery.

  20. Sequence Evolution and Expression of the Androgen Receptor and Other Pathway-Related Genes in a Unisexual Fish, the Amazon Molly, Poecilia formosa, and Its Bisexual Ancestors

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Fangjun; Schlupp, Ingo; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    The all-female Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa) originated from a single hybridization of two bisexual ancestors, Atlantic molly (Poecilia mexicana) and sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna). As a gynogenetic species, the Amazon molly needs to copulate with a heterospecific male, but the genetic information of the sperm-donor does not contribute to the next generation, as the sperm only acts as the trigger for the diploid eggs’ embryogenesis. Here, we study the sequence evolution and gene expression of the duplicated genes coding for androgen receptors (ars) and other pathway-related genes, i.e., the estrogen receptors (ers) and cytochrome P450, family19, subfamily A, aromatase genes (cyp19as), in the Amazon molly, in comparison to its bisexual ancestors. Mollies possess–as most other teleost fish—two copies of the ar, er, and cyp19a genes, i.e., arα/arβ, erα/erβ1, and cyp19a1 (also referred as cyp19a1a)/cyp19a2 (also referred to as cyp19a1b), respectively. Non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among the ancestral bisexual species were generally predicted not to alter protein function. Some derived substitutions in the P. mexicana and one in P. formosa are predicted to impact protein function. We also describe the gene expression pattern of the ars and pathway-related genes in various tissues (i.e., brain, gill, and ovary) and provide SNP markers for allele specific expression research. As a general tendency, the levels of gene expression were lowest in gill and highest in ovarian tissues, while expression levels in the brain were intermediate in most cases. Expression levels in P. formosa were conserved where expression did not differ between the two bisexual ancestors. In those cases where gene expression levels significantly differed between the bisexual species, P. formosa expression was always comparable to the higher expression level among the two ancestors. Interestingly, erβ1 was expressed neither in brain nor in gill in the analyzed

  1. Corrosion resistance of flaky aluminum pigment coated with cerium oxides/hydroxides in chloride and acidic electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niroumandrad, S.; Rostami, M.; Ramezanzadeh, B.

    2015-12-01

    The objective of this study was to enhance the corrosion resistance of lamellar aluminum pigment through surface treatment by cerium oxides/hydroxides. The surface composition of the pigments was studied by energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The corrosion resistance of the pigment was evaluated by conventional hydrogen evolution measurements in acidic solution and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in 3.5% NaCl solution. Results showed that the Ce-rich coating composed of Ce2O3 and CeO2 was precipitated on the pigment surface after immersion in the cerium solution. The corrosion resistance of pigment was significantly enhanced after modification with cerium layer.

  2. Mechanistically Distinct Pathways of Divergent Regulatory DNA Creation Contribute to Evolution of Human-Specific Genomic Regulatory Networks Driving Phenotypic Divergence of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Glinsky, Gennadi V

    2016-01-01

    Thousands of candidate human-specific regulatory sequences (HSRS) have been identified, supporting the hypothesis that unique to human phenotypes result from human-specific alterations of genomic regulatory networks. Collectively, a compendium of multiple diverse families of HSRS that are functionally and structurally divergent from Great Apes could be defined as the backbone of human-specific genomic regulatory networks. Here, the conservation patterns analysis of 18,364 candidate HSRS was carried out requiring that 100% of bases must remap during the alignments of human, chimpanzee, and bonobo sequences. A total of 5,535 candidate HSRS were identified that are: (i) highly conserved in Great Apes; (ii) evolved by the exaptation of highly conserved ancestral DNA; (iii) defined by either the acceleration of mutation rates on the human lineage or the functional divergence from non-human primates. The exaptation of highly conserved ancestral DNA pathway seems mechanistically distinct from the evolution of regulatory DNA segments driven by the species-specific expansion of transposable elements. Genome-wide proximity placement analysis of HSRS revealed that a small fraction of topologically associating domains (TADs) contain more than half of HSRS from four distinct families. TADs that are enriched for HSRS and termed rapidly evolving in humans TADs (revTADs) comprise 0.8-10.3% of 3,127 TADs in the hESC genome. RevTADs manifest distinct correlation patterns between placements of human accelerated regions, human-specific transcription factor-binding sites, and recombination rates. There is a significant enrichment within revTAD boundaries of hESC-enhancers, primate-specific CTCF-binding sites, human-specific RNAPII-binding sites, hCONDELs, and H3K4me3 peaks with human-specific enrichment at TSS in prefrontal cortex neurons (P < 0.0001 in all instances). Present analysis supports the idea that phenotypic divergence of Homo sapiens is driven by the evolution of human

  3. Mechanistically Distinct Pathways of Divergent Regulatory DNA Creation Contribute to Evolution of Human-Specific Genomic Regulatory Networks Driving Phenotypic Divergence of Homo sapiens.

    PubMed

    Glinsky, Gennadi V

    2016-09-19

    Thousands of candidate human-specific regulatory sequences (HSRS) have been identified, supporting the hypothesis that unique to human phenotypes result from human-specific alterations of genomic regulatory networks. Collectively, a compendium of multiple diverse families of HSRS that are functionally and structurally divergent from Great Apes could be defined as the backbone of human-specific genomic regulatory networks. Here, the conservation patterns analysis of 18,364 candidate HSRS was carried out requiring that 100% of bases must remap during the alignments of human, chimpanzee, and bonobo sequences. A total of 5,535 candidate HSRS were identified that are: (i) highly conserved in Great Apes; (ii) evolved by the exaptation of highly conserved ancestral DNA; (iii) defined by either the acceleration of mutation rates on the human lineage or the functional divergence from non-human primates. The exaptation of highly conserved ancestral DNA pathway seems mechanistically distinct from the evolution of regulatory DNA segments driven by the species-specific expansion of transposable elements. Genome-wide proximity placement analysis of HSRS revealed that a small fraction of topologically associating domains (TADs) contain more than half of HSRS from four distinct families. TADs that are enriched for HSRS and termed rapidly evolving in humans TADs (revTADs) comprise 0.8-10.3% of 3,127 TADs in the hESC genome. RevTADs manifest distinct correlation patterns between placements of human accelerated regions, human-specific transcription factor-binding sites, and recombination rates. There is a significant enrichment within revTAD boundaries of hESC-enhancers, primate-specific CTCF-binding sites, human-specific RNAPII-binding sites, hCONDELs, and H3K4me3 peaks with human-specific enrichment at TSS in prefrontal cortex neurons (P < 0.0001 in all instances). Present analysis supports the idea that phenotypic divergence of Homo sapiens is driven by the evolution of human

  4. Development, regeneration, and evolution of feathers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chih-Feng; Foley, John; Tang, Pin-Chi; Li, Ang; Jiang, Ting Xin; Wu, Ping; Widelitz, Randall B; Chuong, Cheng Ming

    2015-01-01

    The feather is a complex ectodermal organ with hierarchical branching patterns. It provides functions in endothermy, communication, and flight. Studies of feather growth, cycling, and health are of fundamental importance to avian biology and poultry science. In addition, feathers are an excellent model for morphogenesis studies because of their accessibility, and their distinct patterns can be used to assay the roles of specific molecular pathways. Here we review the progress in aspects of development, regeneration, and evolution during the past three decades. We cover the development of feather buds in chicken embryos, regenerative cycling of feather follicle stem cells, formation of barb branching patterns, emergence of intrafeather pigmentation patterns, interplay of hormones and feather growth, and the genetic identification of several feather variants. The discovery of feathered dinosaurs redefines the relationship between feathers and birds. Inspiration from biomaterials and flight research further fuels biomimetic potential of feathers as a multidisciplinary research focal point.

  5. Interaction of pollinators and herbivores on plant fitness suggests a pathway for correlated evolution of mutualism- and antagonism-related traits

    PubMed Central

    Herrera, Carlos M.; Medrano, Mónica; Rey, Pedro J.; Sánchez-Lafuente, Alfonso M.; García, María B.; Guitián, Javier; Manzaneda, Antonio J.

    2002-01-01

    Different kinds of plant–animal interactions are ordinarily studied in isolation, yet considering the combined fitness effects of mutualistic and antagonistic interactions is essential to understanding plant character evolution. Functional, structural, or phylogenetic associations between attractive and defensive traits may be nonadaptive or result from correlational selection on sets of herbivory- and pollination-linked traits. Nonadditivity of fitness effects of mutualists and antagonists, a requisite for correlational selection, was experimentally tested in the field. We created experimental populations of the insect-pollinated perennial herb, Helleborus foetidus, at 16 different locations distributed among three regions in the Iberian Peninsula. Plants experienced one of four possible selective regimes generated by independently weakening the effects of pollinators and herbivores (flower and fruit predators) according to a two-way fully factorial design. Effects were assessed in terms of number of next-generation offspring recruited per mother plant under natural field conditions. Differences among H. foetidus plants in the strength of their interactions with pollinators and herbivores translated into differential fitness, as measured in terms of recruited offspring, and subsequent changes in plant population densities. A strong, geographically consistent nonadditivity in the fitness consequences of pollinators and herbivores was found also. Plants possessing the particular combination of “traits” simultaneously enhancing pollination and escape from herbivores enjoyed a disproportionate fitness advantage over plants possessing any of the other three possible “trait” combinations. Results suggest a simple, possibly widespread ecological pathway favoring the adaptive correlated evolution of mutualism- and antagonism-related plant traits in pollinator-dependent plants suffering intense flower and fruit herbivory. PMID:12482948

  6. Potential-Dependent Electrocatalytic Pathways: Controlling Reactivity with pKa for Mechanistic Investigation of a Nickel-Based Hydrogen Evolution Catalyst.

    PubMed

    Rountree, Eric S; Dempsey, Jillian L

    2015-10-21

    A detailed mechanistic analysis is presented for the hydrogen evolution catalyst [Ni(P2(Ph)N2(Ph))2(CH2CN)][BF4]2 in acetonitrile (P2(Ph)N2(Ph) = 1,3,5,7-tetraphenyl-1,5-diaza-3,7-diphosphacyclooctane). This complex has a Ni(II/I) redox couple at −0.83 V and a Ni(I/0) redox couple at −1.03 V versus Fc(+/0). These two closely spaced redox events both promote proton reduction catalysis, each via a distinct mechanism: an electrochemical ECEC pathway and an EECC route. The EECC mechanism, operative at more negative potentials, was isolated through use of a weak acid (anilinium, pKa = 10.6 in CH3CN) to avert protonation of the singly reduced species. Electroanalytical methods and time-resolved spectroscopy were used to analyze the kinetics of the elementary steps of hydrogen evolution catalysis. The rate constant for the formation of a nickel(II)–hydride intermediate was determined via measurements of peak shift (k1 = 1.2 × 106 M(-1) s(-1)) and through foot-of-the-wave analysis (k1 = 6.5 × 106 M(-1) s(-1)). Reactivity of the isolated hydride with acid to release hydrogen and regenerate the nickel(II) complex was monitored by stopped-flow spectroscopy. Kinetics obtained from stopped-flow measurements are corroborated by current plateau analysis of the catalytic cyclic voltammograms. These kinetic data suggest the presence of an off-cycle intermediate in the reaction.

  7. Non-photosynthetic pigments as potential biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwieterman, E. W.; Cockell, C. S.; Meadows, V. S.

    2014-03-01

    Photosynthetic organisms on Earth produce potentially detectable surface reflectance biosignatures due in part to the spectral location and strength of pigment absorption. However, life on Earth uses pigments for a multitude of purposes other than photosynthesis, including coping with extreme environments. Macroscopic environments exist on Earth where the surface reflectance is significantly altered by a nonphotosynthetic pigment, such as the case of hypersaline lakes and ponds (Oren et al. 1992). Here we explore the nature and potential detectability of non-photosynthetic pigments in disk-averaged planetary observations using a combination of laboratory measurements and archival reflectance spectra, along with simulated broadband photometry and spectra. The in vivo visible reflectance spectra of a cross section of pigmented microorganisms are presented to illustrate the spectral diversity of biologically produced pigments. Synthetic broadband colors are generated to show a significant spread in color space. A 1D radiative transfer model (Meadows & Crisp 1996; Crisp 1997) is used to approximate the spectra of scenarios where pigmented organisms are widespread on planets with Earth-like atmospheres. Broadband colors are revisited to show that colors due to surface reflectivity are not robust to the addition of scattering and absorption effects from the atmosphere. We consider a èbest case' plausible scenario for the detection of nonphotosynthetic pigments by using the Virtual Planetary Laboratory's 3D spectral Earth model (Robinson et al. 2011) to explore the detectability of the surface biosignature produced by pigmented halophiles that are widespread on an Earth-analog planet.

  8. Melanin pigmented solar absorbing surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Gallas, J.M.; Eisner, M.

    1980-01-01

    Selectivity enhancement is shown to result for melanin, a black biopolymer pigment, for sufficiently low sample density. The effect is proposed to follow from a consideration of the evanescent waves associated with the total internal reflection phenomenon. A relationship is discussed among powder density, pH and the paramagnetic properties of melanin; this relationship is shown to be consistent with, and offer support to an amino-acid side group proposed earlier as part of the melanin structure. A brief discussion is also presented on the optical properties of melanin and the relative importance of quinhydrone, a change transfer complex believed to exist in the polymeric structure of melanin.

  9. Pigmented Lesion of Buccal Mucosa

    PubMed Central

    Bajpai, Manas; Kumar, Malay; Kumar, Manish; Agarwal, Deshant

    2014-01-01

    Pigmented lesions are commonly found in the mouth. Such lesions represent a variety of clinical entities, ranging from physiologic changes to manifestation of systemic illness and malignant neoplasm. Diagnosis of such lesions requires a proper case history, extraoral and intraoral examination, and, in some cases, biopsy, aspiration cytology, and laboratory investigations. Here we present a case of purple lesion on the buccal mucosa of a 34-year-old male patient which was provisionally diagnosed as mucocele but on the basis of histopathological picture it was finally diagnosed as angiofibroma, and we also discuss the clinical and histopathological differential diagnosis. PMID:25161669

  10. Iris pigmentation and behavioral inhibition.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, A; Kagan, J

    1987-07-01

    Two independent investigations of the association between the temperamental dimensions of inhibition and lack of inhibition to the unfamiliar, on the one hand, and the degree of pigmentation of the iris, on the other, revealed a statistically significant relation in Caucasian children between behavioral inhibition to the unfamiliar and blue irises and uninhibited behavior and brown irises. Several biochemical interpretations of this association were discussed and it was suggested that these behavioral styles might be influenced by biological factors that are partially marked by eye color in Caucasian populations.

  11. SETUP, a program of representative laboratory simulations of Titan's atmosphere dedicated to better understand and quantify its chemical evolution pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazeau, M.; Bahrini, C.; Benilan, Y.; Jolly, A.; Landsheere, X.; Lebert, B.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheres are enormously complex systems. Therefore, experimental simulations are a welcome tool in the researcher's toolbox since they provide an alternative source to compare with direct measurements and theoretical models. This is important for Titan, since direct measurements are limited and theoretical models often lack important parameters. The advantage of experimental simulations is that they reduce the problem to only the chemical reactions in a certain region by neglecting atmospheric dynamics. The experimental simulations of Titan's atmosphere performed in the frame of the SETUP (French acronym for Experimental and Theoretical Simulations Useful for Planetology) program are the most representative ever achieved towards Titan's condition in term of energy deposition: the coupled N2/CH4 chemistry is initiated in a flow reactor using microwave plasma discharge as well as Ly-alpha photons delivered by a continuous H2/He lamp. The vacuum pumping and measurement system limit the experiment to pressures above 1x10-3 mbar, which corresponds well to the lower thermosphere and below. The experiment is run at ambient temperature which does not correspond directly with any region, however the upper stratosphere and above is the closest match. According to pressure and temperature, SETUP best represents from the upper stratosphere up to the lower thermosphere. The ability to perform in-situ and absolute analysis is another improvement of SETUP over its predecessors: the chemical composition is probed in-situ using cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS, an absolute and highly sensitive laser spectroscopic technique based upon absorption spectroscopy) allowing us to study the evolution of the resulting gas sample. We have chosen to use a difference-frequency generation technique that combines the advantages of decent sensitivity over widely tunable wavelength range in the mid-infrared region. Indeed, numerous molecular species exhibit their fundamental vibrational

  12. Structural evolution and tissue-specific expression of tetrapod-specific second isoform of secretory pathway Ca{sup 2+}-ATPase

    SciTech Connect

    Pestov, Nikolay B.; Dmitriev, Ruslan I.; Kostina, Maria B.; Korneenko, Tatyana V.; Shakhparonov, Mikhail I.; Modyanov, Nikolai N.

    2012-01-27

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Full-length secretory pathway Ca-ATPase (SPCA2) cloned from rat duodenum. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer ATP2C2 gene (encoding SPCA2) exists only in genomes of Tetrapoda. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Rat and pig SPCA2 are expressed in intestines, lung and some secretory glands. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Subcellular localization of SPCA2 may depend on tissue type. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer In rat duodenum, SPCA2 is localized in plasma membrane-associated compartments. -- Abstract: Secretory pathway Ca-ATPases are less characterized mammalian calcium pumps than plasma membrane Ca-ATPases and sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPases. Here we report analysis of molecular evolution, alternative splicing, tissue-specific expression and subcellular localization of the second isoform of the secretory pathway Ca-ATPase (SPCA2), the product of the ATP2C2 gene. The primary structure of SPCA2 from rat duodenum deduced from full-length transcript contains 944 amino acid residues, and exhibits 65% sequence identity with known SPCA1. The rat SPCA2 sequence is also highly homologous to putative human protein KIAA0703, however, the latter seems to have an aberrant N-terminus originating from intron 2. The tissue-specificity of SPCA2 expression is different from ubiquitous SPCA1. Rat SPCA2 transcripts were detected predominantly in gastrointestinal tract, lung, trachea, lactating mammary gland, skin and preputial gland. In the newborn pig, the expression profile is very similar with one remarkable exception: porcine bulbourethral gland gave the strongest signal. Upon overexpression in cultured cells, SPCA2 shows an intracellular distribution with remarkable enrichment in Golgi. However, in vivo SPCA2 may be localized in compartments that differ among various tissues: it is intracellular in epidermis, but enriched in plasma membranes of the intestinal epithelium. Analysis of SPCA2 sequences from various vertebrate species argue that ATP2C2

  13. Identification of microbial pigments in evaporitic matrices using Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vítek, Petr; Jehlička, Jan; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Wierzchos, Jacek

    2010-05-01

    An evaporitic environment is considered as one of the possible habitats for life on Mars. From terrestrial geological scenarios we know that microorganisms inhabiting such an extreme environment (halophiles) are rich in protective pigments, depending on the metabolic pathways and specific adaptation to the harsh environmental conditions. Carotenoids typically occur within the cells of halophiles (bacteria, archaea as well as eukaryotic algae) in large amounts as part of their photosystem and protective adaptation to high doses of UV radiation that are typical for most recent evaporitic environments. Chlorophyll occurs in halophilic cyanobacteria together with carotenoids and possibly other pigments which are synthetised in response to the high UV radiation insolation. Here we present the results of Raman spectroscopic investigations of a) beta-carotene in experimentally prepared mixtures with halite, gypsum and epsomite; and b) cyanobacterial colonies inhabiting real halite and gypsum matrices in the Atacama Desert. Our results demonstrate the possibility of detection of beta-carotene - a typical carotenoid - in relatively low concentrations within the evaporitic powdered mixtures; the lowest concentration of carotenoid signal detected was 0,1 mg kg-1, which represents 100 ppb. Raman spectroscopic analyses of natural specimens (endolithic cyanobacteria) from the Atacama desert revealed the presence of scytonemin, an extremely efficient UV protective pigment, carotenoids of various types and chlorophyll. The detection potential as well as limitations of Raman spectroscopy as a part of a payload within future robotic space missions focused on the search for life on Mars is discussed.

  14. Genomic clustering of cyanogenic glucoside biosynthetic genes aids their identification in Lotus japonicus and suggests the repeated evolution of this chemical defence pathway.

    PubMed

    Takos, Adam M; Knudsen, Camilla; Lai, Daniela; Kannangara, Rubini; Mikkelsen, Lisbeth; Motawia, Mohammed S; Olsen, Carl E; Sato, Shusei; Tabata, Satoshi; Jørgensen, Kirsten; Møller, Birger L; Rook, Fred

    2011-10-01

    Cyanogenic glucosides are amino acid-derived defence compounds found in a large number of vascular plants. Their hydrolysis by specific β-glucosidases following tissue damage results in the release of hydrogen cyanide. The cyanogenesis deficient1 (cyd1) mutant of Lotus japonicus carries a partial deletion of the CYP79D3 gene, which encodes a cytochrome P450 enzyme that is responsible for the first step in cyanogenic glucoside biosynthesis. The genomic region surrounding CYP79D3 contains genes encoding the CYP736A2 protein and the UDP-glycosyltransferase UGT85K3. In combination with CYP79D3, these genes encode the enzymes that constitute the entire pathway for cyanogenic glucoside biosynthesis. The biosynthetic genes for cyanogenic glucoside biosynthesis are also co-localized in cassava (Manihot esculenta) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), but the three gene clusters show no other similarities. Although the individual enzymes encoded by the biosynthetic genes in these three plant species are related, they are not necessarily orthologous. The independent evolution of cyanogenic glucoside biosynthesis in several higher plant lineages by the repeated recruitment of members from similar gene families, such as the CYP79s, is a likely scenario.

  15. Evolution of high-level ethambutol-resistant tuberculosis through interacting mutations in decaprenylphosphoryl-β-D-arabinose biosynthetic and utilization pathway genes.

    PubMed

    Safi, Hassan; Lingaraju, Subramanya; Amin, Anita; Kim, Soyeon; Jones, Marcus; Holmes, Michael; McNeil, Michael; Peterson, Scott N; Chatterjee, Delphi; Fleischmann, Robert; Alland, David

    2013-10-01

    To study the evolution of drug resistance, we genetically and biochemically characterized Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains selected in vitro for ethambutol resistance. Mutations in decaprenylphosphoryl-β-D-arabinose (DPA) biosynthetic and utilization pathway genes Rv3806c, Rv3792, embB and embC accumulated to produce a wide range of ethambutol minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) that depended on mutation type and number. Rv3806c mutations increased DPA synthesis, causing MICs to double from 2 to 4 μg/ml in a wild-type background and to increase from 16 to 32 μg/ml in an embB codon 306 mutant background. Synonymous mutations in Rv3792 increased the expression of downstream embC, an ethambutol target, resulting in MICs of 8 μg/ml. Multistep selection was required for high-level resistance. Mutations in embC or very high embC expression were observed at the highest resistance level. In clinical isolates, Rv3806c mutations were associated with high-level resistance and had multiplicative effects with embB mutations on MICs. Ethambutol resistance is acquired through the acquisition of mutations that interact in complex ways to produce a range of MICs, from those falling below breakpoint values to ones representing high-level resistance.

  16. Terminal Synthesis of Xanthommatin in DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER. III. Mutational Pleiotropy and Pigment Granule Association of Phenoxazinone Synthetase

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, John P.; Forrest, Hugh S.; Kulkarni, Anil D.

    1973-01-01

    Phenoxazinone synthetase, which catalyzes the condensation of 3-hydroxykynurenine to xanthommatin, the brown eye pigment of Drosophila, is shown to exist in association with a particle which resembles the cytologically defined Type I pigment granule. Several classical eye color mutants (v, cn, st, ltd, cd, w), including two which effect other enzymes in the xanthommatin pathway (v, cn), have low levels of phenoxazinone synthetase activity and disrupt the normal association of the enzyme with the pigment granule. A model is proposed depicting several structural and enzymatic interrelationships involved in the developmental control of xanthommatin synthesis in Drosophila. PMID:4631600

  17. Visual pigments in a palaeognath bird, the emu Dromaius novaehollandiae: implications for spectral sensitivity and the origin of ultraviolet vision.

    PubMed

    Hart, Nathan S; Mountford, Jessica K; Davies, Wayne I L; Collin, Shaun P; Hunt, David M

    2016-07-13

    A comprehensive description of the spectral characteristics of retinal photoreceptors in palaeognaths is lacking. Moreover, controversy exists with respect to the spectral sensitivity of the short-wavelength-sensitive-1 (SWS1) opsin-based visual pigment expressed in one type of single cone: previous microspectrophotometric (MSP) measurements in the ostrich (Struthio camelus) suggested a violet-sensitive (VS) SWS1 pigment, but all palaeognath SWS1 opsin sequences obtained to date (including the ostrich) imply that the visual pigment is ultraviolet-sensitive (UVS). In this study, MSP was used to measure the spectral properties of visual pigments and oil droplets in the retinal photoreceptors of the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Results show that the emu resembles most other bird species in possessing four spectrally distinct single cones, as well as double cones and rods. Four cone and a single rod opsin are expressed, each an orthologue of a previously identified pigment. The SWS1 pigment is clearly UVS (wavelength of maximum absorbance [λmax] = 376 nm), with key tuning sites (Phe86 and Cys90) consistent with other vertebrate UVS SWS1 pigments. Palaeognaths would appear, therefore, to have UVS SWS1 pigments. As they are considered to be basal in avian evolution, this suggests that UVS is the most likely ancestral state for birds. The functional significance of a dedicated UVS cone type in the emu is discussed. PMID:27383819

  18. Ephrin-mediated restriction of ERK1/2 activity delimits the number of pigment cells in the Ciona CNS.

    PubMed

    Haupaix, Nicolas; Abitua, Philip B; Sirour, Cathy; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Levine, Michael; Hudson, Clare

    2014-10-01

    Recent evidence suggests that ascidian pigment cells are related to neural crest-derived melanocytes of vertebrates. Using live-imaging, we determine a revised cell lineage of the pigment cells in Ciona intestinalis embryos. The neural precursors undergo successive rounds of anterior-posterior (A-P) oriented cell divisions, starting at the blastula 64-cell stage. A previously unrecognized fourth A-P oriented cell division in the pigment cell lineage leads to the generation of the post-mitotic pigment cell precursors. We provide evidence that MEK/ERK signals are required for pigment cell specification until approximately 30min after the final cell division has taken place. Following each of the four A-P oriented cell divisions, ERK1/2 is differentially activated in the posterior sister cells, into which the pigment cell lineage segregates. Eph/ephrin signals are critical during the third A-P oriented cell division to spatially restrict ERK1/2 activation to the posterior daughter cell. Targeted inhibition of Eph/ephrin signals results in, at neurula stages, anterior expansion of both ERK1/2 activation and a pigment cell lineage marker and subsequently, at larval stages, supernumerary pigment cells. We discuss the implications of these findings with respect to the evolution of the vertebrate neural crest.

  19. Gene Loss and Parallel Evolution Contribute to Species Difference in Flower Color

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Stacey D.; Rausher, Mark D.

    2011-01-01

    Although the importance of regulatory and functional sequence evolution in generating species differences has been studied to some extent, much less is known about the role of other types of genomic changes, such as fluctuation in gene copy number. Here, we apply analyses of gene function and expression of anthocyanin pigment pathway genes, as well as cosegregation analyses in backcross populations, to examine the genetic changes involved in the shift from blue to red flowers in Andean Iochroma (Solanaceae). We demonstrate that deletion of a gene coding for an anthocyanin pathway enzyme was necessary for the transition to red floral pigmentation. The downregulation of a second pathway gene was also necessary for the novel flower color, and this regulatory pattern parallels the genetic change in the two other red-flowered species in the sister family Convolvulaceae in which flower color change has been examined genetically. Finally, we document a shift in enzymatic function at a third locus, but the importance of this change in the transition to red flowers depends on the exact order with which the three changes occurred. This study shows that gene inactivation or loss can be involved in the origin of phenotypic differences between species, thereby restricting the possibility of reversion to the ancestral state. It also demonstrates that parallel evolution of red flowers in three different species occurs via a common developmental/regulatory change but by mutations in different genes. PMID:21551271

  20. Visual pigments in a living fossil, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri

    PubMed Central

    Bailes, Helena J; Davies, Wayne L; Trezise, Ann EO; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-01-01

    Background One of the greatest challenges facing the early land vertebrates was the need to effectively interpret a terrestrial environment. Interpretation was based on ocular adaptations evolved for an aquatic environment millions of years earlier. The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is thought to be the closest living relative to the first terrestrial vertebrate, and yet nothing is known about the visual pigments present in lungfish or the early tetrapods. Results Here we identify and characterise five visual pigments (rh1, rh2, lws, sws1 and sws2) expressed in the retina of N. forsteri. Phylogenetic analysis of the molecular evolution of lungfish and other vertebrate visual pigment genes indicates a closer relationship between lungfish and amphibian pigments than to pigments in teleost fishes. However, the relationship between lungfish, the coelacanth and tetrapods could not be absolutely determined from opsin phylogeny, supporting an unresolved trichotomy between the three groups. Conclusion The presence of four cone pigments in Australian lungfish suggests that the earliest tetrapods would have had a colorful view of their terrestrial environment. PMID:17961206

  1. Genetic variations associated with six-white-point coat pigmentation in Diannan small-ear pigs

    PubMed Central

    Lü, Meng-Die; Han, Xu-Man; Ma, Yun-Fei; Irwin, David M.; Gao, Yun; Deng, Jia-Kun; Adeola, Adeniyi C.; Xie, Hai-Bing; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2016-01-01

    A common phenotypic difference among domestic animals is variation in coat color. Six-white-point is a pigmentation pattern observed in varying pig breeds, which seems to have evolved through several different mechanistic pathways. Herein, we re-sequenced whole genomes of 31 Diannan small-ear pigs from China and found that the six-white-point coat color in Diannan small-ear pigs is likely regulated by polygenic loci, rather than by the MC1R locus. Strong associations were observed at three loci (EDNRB, CNTLN, and PINK1), which explain about 20 percent of the total coat color variance in the Diannan small-ear pigs. We found a mutation that is highly differentiated between six-white-point and black Diannan small-ear pigs, which is located in a conserved noncoding sequence upstream of the EDNRB gene and is a putative binding site of the CEBPB protein. This study advances our understanding of coat color evolution in Diannan small-ear pigs and expands our traditional knowledge of coat color being a monogenic trait. PMID:27270507

  2. The bioefficacy of microemulsified natural pigments in egg yolk pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Chow, P Y; Gue, S Z; Leow, S K; Goh, L B

    2014-01-01

    1. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that microemulsified carotenoid products show improved bioavailability over corresponding regular preparations, leading to greater yolk pigmentation at lower dosages. 2. The first trial was conducted using a maize-soya bean basal diet supplemented with either 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0 and 1.25 g/kg of microemulsified Red or non-microemulsified Red. The second trial involved feeding microemulsified Yellow or non-microemulsified Yellow using a similar dosage range. The layers were divided into 4 replicates of 8 layers each (32 layers per treatment). The 8 cages of layers were fed from a single feed trough. Feed and water were provided ad libitum throughout the trial. Each week, the eggs were collected. The whole liquid egg colour was determined by means of a commercially available yolk colour fan. Where required, HPLC-(high-performance liquid chromatography) based analysis of trans-capsanthin or trans-lutein equivalents using the Association of Analytical Communities method was carried out. Data were statistically analysed by one-way ANOVA method using Statgraphics. 3. Results showed that the colour and carotenoid content of the egg yolk increased with increasing amount of carotenoids in the diet. The colour of egg yolks from layers fed similar concentrations of microemulsified versus the regular preparation was significantly different. At the commercial recommended dose of one g/kg regular Yellow or Red product, the microemulsified pigmenter is able to provide the equivalent yolk colour at a 20-30% lower dose. 4. In conclusion, the trial results supported the hypothesis that a desired yolk colour score is achievable at a significantly lower inclusion rate when carotenoid molecules are emulsified using the microemulsion nanotechnology.

  3. The spleen pigment cells in some amphibia.

    PubMed

    Scalia, Marina; Di Pietro, Cinzia; Poma, Mariangela; Ragusa, Marco; Sichel, Giovanni; Corsaro, Concetta

    2004-04-01

    It was demonstrated that the spleen pigment cells of Amphibia are macrophages: they show an ultrastructurally distinctive morphology, are able to phagocytose and react positively for non-specific esterases. These pigmented macrophages express mRNA for tyrosinase and also they show dopa oxidase activity; therefore they are able to synthesize melanins, as Kupffer cells do.

  4. Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) of Chlorophyll Pigments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foote, Jerry

    1984-01-01

    Background information, list of materials needed, procedures used, and discussion of typical results are provided for an experiment on the thin layer chromatography of chlorophyll pigments. The experiment works well in high school, since the chemicals used are the same as those used in paper chromatography of plant pigments. (JN)

  5. Dermatoscopic findings of pigmented purpuric dermatosis*

    PubMed Central

    Ozkaya, Dilek Biyik; Emiroglu, Nazan; Su, Ozlem; Cengiz, Fatma Pelin; Bahali, Anil Gulsel; Yildiz, Pelin; Demirkesen, Cuyan; Onsun, Nahide

    2016-01-01

    Background Pigmented purpuric dermatosis is a chronic skin disorder of unknown aetiology characterised by symmetrical petechial and pigmented macules, often confined to the lower limbs. The aetiology of pigmented purpuric dermatosis is unknown. Dermatoscopy is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that allows the visualisation of morphological features invisible to the naked eye; it combines a method that renders the corneal layer of the skin translucent with an optical system that magnifies the image projected onto the retina. Objectives The aim of this study is to investigate the dermatoscopic findings of pigmented purpuric dermatosis. Methods This study enrolled patients diagnosed histopathologically with pigmented purpuric dermatosis who had dermatoscopic records. We reviewed the dermatoscopic images of PPD patients who attended the outpatient clinic in the Istanbul Dermatovenereology Department at the Bezmialem Vakıf University Medical Faculty. Results Dermatoscopy showed: coppery-red pigmentation (97%, n = 31) in the background, a brown network (34%, n = 11), linear vessels (22%, n = 7), round to oval red dots, globules, and patches (69%, n = 22; 75%, n = 24; 34%, n = 11; respectively), brown globules (26%, n = 8) and dots (53%, n = 17), linear brown lines (22%, n = 7), and follicular openings (13%, n = 4). Conclusion To our knowledge, this is the first study to report the dermatoscopy of pigmented purpuric dermatosis. In our opinion, dermatoscopy can be useful in the diagnosis of pigmented purpuric dermatosis.

  6. A survey of the trans-regulatory landscape for Drosophila melanogaster abdominal pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Rogers, William A; Grover, Sumant; Stringer, Samantha J; Parks, Jennifer; Rebeiz, Mark; Williams, Thomas M

    2014-01-15

    Trait development results from the collaboration of genes interconnected in hierarchical networks that control which genes are activated during the progression of development. While networks are understood to change over developmental time, the alterations that occur over evolutionary times are much less clear. A multitude of transcription factors and a far greater number of linkages between transcription factors and cis-regulatory elements (CREs) have been found to structure well-characterized networks, but the best understood networks control traits that are deeply conserved. Fruit fly abdominal pigmentation may represent an optimal setting to study network evolution, as this trait diversified over short evolutionary time spans. However, the current understanding of the underlying network includes a small set of transcription factor genes. Here, we greatly expand this network through an RNAi-screen of 558 transcription factors. We identified 28 genes, including previously implicated abd-A, Abd-B, bab1, bab2, dsx, exd, hth, and jing, as well as 20 novel factors with uncharacterized roles in pigmentation development. These include genes which promote pigmentation, suppress pigmentation, and some that have either male- or female-limited effects. We show that many of these transcription factors control the reciprocal expression of two key pigmentation enzymes, whereas a subset controls the expression of key factors in a female-specific circuit. We found the pupal Abd-A expression pattern was conserved between species with divergent pigmentation, indicating diversity resulted from changes to other loci. Collectively, these results reveal a greater complexity of the pigmentation network, presenting numerous opportunities to map transcription factor-CRE interactions that structure trait development and numerous candidate loci to investigate as potential targets of evolution.

  7. Developing fungal pigments for "painting" vascular plants.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Sara C

    2012-02-01

    The use of fungal pigments as color additives to wood as a method to increase forest revenue is a relatively new, but quickly developing field. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is currently the primary utilized hardwood for spalting and appears to be the best suited North American hardwood for such purposes. The combination of Trametes versicolor and Bjerkandera adusta has been identified in several instances as a strong fungal pairing for zone line production; however, Xylaria polymorpha is capable of creating zone lines without the antagonism of a secondary fungus. Few fungal pigments have been developed for reliable use; Scytalidium cuboideum is capable of producing a penetrating pink/red stain, as well as a blue pigment after extended incubation, and Chlorociboria sp. produces a blue/green pigment if grown on aspen (Populus tremuloides). Several opportunities exist for stimulation of fungal pigments including the use of copper sulfate and changes in wood pH. PMID:22237673

  8. Identification of Shell Colour Pigments in Marine Snails Clanculus pharaonius and C. margaritarius (Trochoidea; Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Williams, S T; Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K; Goral, T; Edwards, N P; Wogelius, R A; Henkel, T; de Oliveira, L F C; Maia, L F; Strekopytov, S; Jeffries, T; Speiser, D I; Marsden, J T

    2016-01-01

    Colour and pattern are key traits with important roles in camouflage, warning and attraction. Ideally, in order to begin to understand the evolution and ecology of colour in nature, it is important to identify and, where possible, fully characterise pigments using biochemical methods. The phylum Mollusca includes some of the most beautiful exemplars of biological pigmentation, with the vivid colours of sea shells particularly prized by collectors and scientists alike. Biochemical studies of molluscan shell colour were fairly common in the last century, but few of these studies have been confirmed using modern methods and very few shell pigments have been fully characterised. Here, we use modern chemical and multi-modal spectroscopic techniques to identify two porphyrin pigments and eumelanin in the shell of marine snails Clanculus pharaonius and C margaritarius. The same porphyrins were also identified in coloured foot tissue of both species. We use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to show definitively that these porphyrins are uroporphyrin I and uroporphyrin III. Evidence from confocal microscopy analyses shows that the distribution of porphyrin pigments corresponds to the striking pink-red of C. pharaonius shells, as well as pink-red dots and lines on the early whorls of C. margaritarius and yellow-brown colour of later whorls. Additional HPLC results suggest that eumelanin is likely responsible for black spots. We refer to the two differently coloured porphyrin pigments as trochopuniceus (pink-red) and trochoxouthos (yellow-brown) in order to distinguish between them. Trochopuniceus and trochoxouthos were not found in the shell of a third species of the same superfamily, Calliostoma zizyphinum, despite its superficially similar colouration, suggesting that this species has different shell pigments. These findings have important implications for the study of colour and pattern in molluscs specifically, but in other taxa more generally, since this

  9. Identification of Shell Colour Pigments in Marine Snails Clanculus pharaonius and C. margaritarius (Trochoidea; Gastropoda)

    PubMed Central

    Ito, S.; Wakamatsu, K.; Goral, T.; Edwards, N. P.; Wogelius, R. A.; Henkel, T.; de Oliveira, L. F. C.; Maia, L. F.; Strekopytov, S.; Speiser, D. I.; Marsden, J. T.

    2016-01-01

    Colour and pattern are key traits with important roles in camouflage, warning and attraction. Ideally, in order to begin to understand the evolution and ecology of colour in nature, it is important to identify and, where possible, fully characterise pigments using biochemical methods. The phylum Mollusca includes some of the most beautiful exemplars of biological pigmentation, with the vivid colours of sea shells particularly prized by collectors and scientists alike. Biochemical studies of molluscan shell colour were fairly common in the last century, but few of these studies have been confirmed using modern methods and very few shell pigments have been fully characterised. Here, we use modern chemical and multi-modal spectroscopic techniques to identify two porphyrin pigments and eumelanin in the shell of marine snails Clanculus pharaonius and C margaritarius. The same porphyrins were also identified in coloured foot tissue of both species. We use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to show definitively that these porphyrins are uroporphyrin I and uroporphyrin III. Evidence from confocal microscopy analyses shows that the distribution of porphyrin pigments corresponds to the striking pink-red of C. pharaonius shells, as well as pink-red dots and lines on the early whorls of C. margaritarius and yellow-brown colour of later whorls. Additional HPLC results suggest that eumelanin is likely responsible for black spots. We refer to the two differently coloured porphyrin pigments as trochopuniceus (pink-red) and trochoxouthos (yellow-brown) in order to distinguish between them. Trochopuniceus and trochoxouthos were not found in the shell of a third species of the same superfamily, Calliostoma zizyphinum, despite its superficially similar colouration, suggesting that this species has different shell pigments. These findings have important implications for the study of colour and pattern in molluscs specifically, but in other taxa more generally, since this

  10. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland.

    PubMed

    Drewnowska, Justyna M; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment.

  11. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland

    PubMed Central

    Drewnowska, Justyna M.; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment. PMID:25909751

  12. Identification of Shell Colour Pigments in Marine Snails Clanculus pharaonius and C. margaritarius (Trochoidea; Gastropoda).

    PubMed

    Williams, S T; Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K; Goral, T; Edwards, N P; Wogelius, R A; Henkel, T; de Oliveira, L F C; Maia, L F; Strekopytov, S; Jeffries, T; Speiser, D I; Marsden, J T

    2016-01-01

    Colour and pattern are key traits with important roles in camouflage, warning and attraction. Ideally, in order to begin to understand the evolution and ecology of colour in nature, it is important to identify and, where possible, fully characterise pigments using biochemical methods. The phylum Mollusca includes some of the most beautiful exemplars of biological pigmentation, with the vivid colours of sea shells particularly prized by collectors and scientists alike. Biochemical studies of molluscan shell colour were fairly common in the last century, but few of these studies have been confirmed using modern methods and very few shell pigments have been fully characterised. Here, we use modern chemical and multi-modal spectroscopic techniques to identify two porphyrin pigments and eumelanin in the shell of marine snails Clanculus pharaonius and C margaritarius. The same porphyrins were also identified in coloured foot tissue of both species. We use high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to show definitively that these porphyrins are uroporphyrin I and uroporphyrin III. Evidence from confocal microscopy analyses shows that the distribution of porphyrin pigments corresponds to the striking pink-red of C. pharaonius shells, as well as pink-red dots and lines on the early whorls of C. margaritarius and yellow-brown colour of later whorls. Additional HPLC results suggest that eumelanin is likely responsible for black spots. We refer to the two differently coloured porphyrin pigments as trochopuniceus (pink-red) and trochoxouthos (yellow-brown) in order to distinguish between them. Trochopuniceus and trochoxouthos were not found in the shell of a third species of the same superfamily, Calliostoma zizyphinum, despite its superficially similar colouration, suggesting that this species has different shell pigments. These findings have important implications for the study of colour and pattern in molluscs specifically, but in other taxa more generally, since this

  13. Structure of plant bile pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Schoenleber, R.W.

    1983-12-01

    Selective peptide cleavage has provided a general procedure for the study of the structure, including stereochemistry, of plant bile pigments. The information derived from the synthesis and spectral analysis of a series of 2,3-dihydrodioxobilins allows the determination of the trans relative stereochemistry for ring A of the ..beta../sub 1/-phycocyanobilin from C-phycocyanin as well as for ring A of phytochrome. A complete structure proof of the five phycoerythrobilins attached to the ..cap alpha.. and ..beta.. subunits of B-phycoerythrin is described. One of these tetrapyrroles is doubly-peptide linked to a single peptide chain through two thioethers at the C-3' and C-18' positions. The four remaining phycoerythrobilins are singly-linked to the protein through thioethers at the C-3' position and all possess the probable stereochemistry C-2(R), C-3(R), C-3'(R), and C-16(R).

  14. Evolution of MIR159/319 microRNA genes and their post-transcriptional regulatory link to siRNA pathways

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are prevalent and important endogenous gene regulators in eukaryotes. MiR159 and miR319 are highly conserved miRNAs essential for plant development and fertility. Despite high similarity in conservation pattern and mature miRNA sequences, miR159 and miR319 have distinct expression patterns, targets and functions. In addition, both MIR319 and MIR159 precursors produce multiple miRNAs in a phased loop-to-base manner. Thus, MIR159 and MIR319 appear to be related in origin and considerably diverged. However the phylogeny of MIR159 and MIR319 genes and why such unusual style of miRNA production has been conserved during evolution is not well understood. Results We reconstructed the phylogeny of MIR159/319 genes and analyzed their mature miRNA expression. The inferred phylogeny suggests that the MIR159/319 genes may have formed at least ten extant early-branching clades through gene duplication and loss. A series of duplications occurred in the common ancestor of seed plants leading to the original split of flowering plant MIR159 and MIR319. The results also indicate that the expression of MIR159/319 is regulated at post-transcriptional level to switch on the expression of alternative miRNAs during development in a highly spatio-temporal specific manner, and to selectively respond to the disruption of defensive siRNA pathways. Such intra-stem-loop regulation appears diverged across the early-branching clades of MIR159/319 genes. Conclusions Our results support that the MIR159 and MIR319 genes evolve from a common ancestor, which is likely to be a phased stem-loop small RNA. Through duplication and loss of genes this miRNA gene family formed clades specific to moss, lycopods, gymnosperms and angiosperms including the two major clades of flowering plants containing the founding members of MIR319 and MIR159 genes in A.thaliana. Our analyses also suggest that some MIR159/319 have evolved into unusual miRNA genes that are regulated at post

  15. Widespread flower color convergence in Solanaceae via alternate biochemical pathways.

    PubMed

    Ng, Julienne; Smith, Stacey D

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic convergence is rampant throughout the tree of life. While recent studies have made significant progress in ascertaining the proximate mechanisms underlying convergent phenotypes, less is known about the frequency and predictability with which convergent phenotypes arise via the same or multiple pathways at the macroevolutionary scale. We investigated the proximate causes and evolutionary patterns of red flower color in the tomato family, Solanaceae, using large-scale data mining and new sequence data to reconstruct a megaphylogeny of 1341 species. We then combined spectral and anatomical data to assess how many times red flowers have evolved, the relative contribution of different pathways to independent origins of red, and whether the underlying pathway is predicted by phylogenetic relatedness. We estimated at least 30 relatively recent origins of red flowers using anthocyanins, carotenoids, or a dual production of both pigments, with significant phylogenetic signal in the use of anthocyanins and dual production, indicating that closely related red-flowered species tend to employ the same mechanism for coloration. Our study is the first to test whether developmental pathways exhibit phylogenetic signal and implies that historical contingency strongly influences the evolution of new phenotypes.

  16. Pigmentation in the sentinel node correlates with increased sentinel node tumor burden in melanoma patients.

    PubMed

    van Lanschot, Cornelia G F; Koljenović, Senada; Grunhagen, Dirk-Jan; Verhoef, Cornelis; van Akkooi, Alexander C J

    2014-06-01

    The prognosis of sentinel node (SN)-positive melanoma patients is predicted by a number of characteristics such as size and site of the metastases in the SN. The pathway and prognosis of strong pigmentation of melanoma metastases in the SN is unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of pigmentation and growth pattern of metastases in the SN with respect to survival. A total of 389 patients underwent an SN procedure (1997-2011). Ninety-five patients had a positive SN and material from 75 patients was available for review. The median follow-up time was 75 months (range 6-164). Pigmentation was scored from 0 to 2 using the following scale: 0=absent, 1=slight, and 2=strong. Growth pattern was scored as either eccentric (1) or infiltrative (2). SN tumor burden was measured according to the Rotterdam criteria. The primary melanoma had a median Breslow thickness of 2.90 mm (0.8-12.00 mm). Ulceration was present in 34 patients (45.3%). There was a median SN tumor burden of 0.5 mm (0.05-7.00 mm). In a total of 75 patients, 59 patients (79%) had no pigmentation, 13 patients (17%) had slight pigmentation, and three patients (4%) had strong pigmentation in the SN. Because of the small numbers, the classification was modified to either absent 59 (79%) or present 16 (21%) pigmentation, respectively. The SN tumor burden was significantly higher (P=0.031) for patients with pigmentation. Patients with pigmentation had a 5-year melanoma-specific survival (MSS) of 47% and a 10-year MSS of 33%. Patients without pigmentation had a 5-year MSS of 70% and a 10-year MSS of 59% (P=0.06). There was no difference in MSS for patients with an eccentric or an infiltrative growth pattern, nor did it correlate with other prognostic factors. Multivariate analysis for MSS showed five significant factors associated with worse prognosis: male sex (P=0.036), nodular melanoma (P=0.001), truncal site (P=0.0001), SN tumor burden more than 1.0 mm (P=0.022), and positive completion lymph node

  17. Distinctive expression patterns of Hedgehog pathway genes in the Ciona intestinalis larva: implications for a role of Hedgehog signaling in postembryonic development and chordate evolution.

    PubMed

    Islam, A F M Tariqul; Moly, Pricila Khan; Miyamoto, Yuki; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2010-02-01

    Members of the Hedgehog (Hh) family are soluble ligands that orchestrate a wide spectrum of developmental processes ranging from left-right axis determination of the embryo to tissue patterning and organogenesis. Tunicates, including ascidians, are the closest relatives of vertebrates, and elucidation of Hh signaling in ascidians should provide an important clue towards better understanding the role of this pathway in development. In previous studies, expression patterns of genes encoding Hh and its downstream factor Gli have been examined up to the tailbud stage in the ascidian embryo, but their expression in the larva has not been reported. Here we show the spatial expression patterns of hedgehog (Ci-hh1, Ci-hh2), patched (Ci-ptc), smoothened (Ci-smo), and Gli (Ci-Gli) orthologs in larvae of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. The expression patterns of Ci-hh2 and Ci-Gli dramatically change during the period between the late tailbud embryo and the swimming larva. At the larval stage, expression of Ci-Gli was found in a central part of the endoderm and in the visceral ganglion, while Ci-hh2 was expressed in two discrete endodermal regions, anteriorly and posteriorly adjacent to the cells expressing Gli. The expression patterns of these genes suggest that the Hh ligand controls postembryonic development of the endoderm and the central nervous system. Expression of a gene encoding Hh in the anterior and/or pharyngeal endoderm is probably an ancient chordate character; diversification of regulation and targets of the Hh signaling in this region may have played a major role in the evolution of chordate body structures.

  18. Chicken genomics: feather-pecking and victim pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Keeling, Linda; Andersson, Leif; Schütz, Karin E; Kerje, Susanne; Fredriksson, Robert; Carlborg, Orjan; Cornwallis, Charles K; Pizzari, Tommaso; Jensen, Per

    2004-10-01

    Feather-pecking in domestic birds is associated with cannibalism and severe welfare problems. It is a dramatic example of a spiteful behaviour in which the victim's fitness is reduced for no immediate direct benefit to the perpetrator and its evolution is unexplained. Here we show that the plumage pigmentation of a chicken may predispose it to become a victim: birds suffer more drastic feather-pecking when the colour of their plumage is due to the expression of a wild recessive allele at PMEL17, a gene that controls plumage melanization, and when these birds are relatively common in a flock. These findings, obtained using an intercross between a domestic fowl and its wild ancestor, have implications for the welfare of domestic species and offer insight into the genetic changes associated with the evolution of feather-pecking during the early stages of domestication. PMID:15470416

  19. Exosomes released by keratinocytes modulate melanocyte pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Lo Cicero, Alessandra; Delevoye, Cédric; Gilles-Marsens, Floriane; Loew, Damarys; Dingli, Florent; Guéré, Christelle; André, Nathalie; Vié, Katell; van Niel, Guillaume; Raposo, Graça

    2015-01-01

    Cells secrete extracellular vesicles (EVs), exosomes and microvesicles, which transfer proteins, lipids and RNAs to regulate recipient cell functions. Skin pigmentation relies on a tight dialogue between keratinocytes and melanocytes in the epidermis. Here we report that exosomes secreted by keratinocytes enhance melanin synthesis by increasing both the expression and activity of melanosomal proteins. Furthermore, we show that the function of keratinocyte-derived exosomes is phototype-dependent and is modulated by ultraviolet B. In sum, this study uncovers an important physiological function for exosomes in human pigmentation and opens new avenues in our understanding of how pigmentation is regulated by intercellular communication in both healthy and diseased states.

  20. UV signaling pathways within the skin

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hongxiang; Weng, Qing Yu; Fisher, David E.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of UVR on the skin include tanning, carcinogenesis, immunomodulation, and synthesis of vitamin D, among others. Melanocortin 1 receptor polymorphisms correlate with skin pigmentation, UV sensitivity, and skin cancer risk. This article reviews pathways through which UVR induces cutaneous stress and the pigmentation response. Modulators of the UV tanning pathway include sunscreen agents, MC1R activators, adenylate cyclase activators, phosphodiesterase 4D3 inhibitors, T oligos, and MITF regulators such as histone deacetylase (HDAC)-inhibitors. UVR, as one of the most ubiquitous carcinogens, represents both a challenge and enormous opportunity in skin cancer prevention. PMID:24759085

  1. Spectropolarimetry of Photosynthetic Pigments as Global Surface Biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, W. B.; Parenteau, M. N.; Blankenship, R. E.; Germer, T. A.; Meadows, V. S.; Telesco, C. M.

    2015-12-01

    Photosynthesis is an ancient metabolic process on the early Earth. The most primitive phototrophs used reductants such as H2, H2S, and Fe(II) and were widespread in marine, intertidal, and likely continental habitats. These anoxygenic phototrophs were the key primary producers for the first ~1 billion years before the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis at 2.7 Ga. The potential clearly exists for this type of primitive photosynthesis to operate on habitable exoplanets. Anoxygenic phototrophs are not known to emit gases that are uniquely biogenic in origin, so we focus on surface pigments signatures as having the strongest promise to offer identifiable biosignatures for a pre-oxygenic habitable exoplanet. Following our earlier work that showed photosynthetic cyanobacteria yield a polarization signature potentially useful in remote sensing, here we seek to characterize the remotely detectable polarization biosignatures associated with anoxygenic phototrophs. The six major pigments of anoxygenic phototrophs (bacteriochlorophylls [Bchls]) absorb in the near-infrared (NIR) from ~705 - 1040 nm. The lower symmetry of the pigment structure relative to chlorophylls shifts the energy absorption bands to longer wavelengths. As a result, Bchls are well suited to absorbing the relatively higher flux of red and NIR radiation of M dwarf stars, the most abundant type of star in the Galaxy, as well as the plentiful flux of typical main sequence stars. Homochirality is a powerful biosignature, and because of the optical activity of biological molecules, it can, in principle, be remotely observed on macroscopic scales using circular polarization spectroscopy. Bchls and Chls are optically active molecules with several chiral centers, strongly interacting with the incident light. We measured the reflectance and transmission full Stokes polarization spectra of pure cultures of anoxygenic phototrophs and environmental samples of microbial mats, and found strong correlations between

  2. Alkaptonuric ochronosis presenting as palmoplantar pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Vijaikumar, M; Thappa, D M; Srikanth, S; Sethuraman, G; Nadarajan, S

    2000-06-01

    We describe a 37-year-old woman who presented with palmoplantar pigmentation, thickening and pitting of 4 years duration. Bluish pigmented patches were seen over the sclera of her eyes. Her lumbar spine showed typical calcification of the intervertebral discs. Addition of Benedict's reagent to a urine sample of the patient gave rise to greenish brown precipitate and brownish black supernatant. Alkalinization of urine turned it black. A biopsy of the palmar lesion demonstrated irregular breaking up, swelling and homogenization of collagen bundles in the reticular dermis. Yellow-brown (ochre coloured) pigment was seen lying within the collagen bundles and also freely in the deeper dermis confirming our clinical diagnosis of alkaptonuric ochronosis. To the best of our knowledge this is probably the second report of alkaptonuria presenting with palmoplantar pigmentation. PMID:10971492

  3. Pleiotropic effects of pigmentation genes in horses.

    PubMed

    Bellone, R R

    2010-12-01

    Horses are valued for the beauty and variety of colouration and coat patterning. To date, eleven different genes have been characterized that contribute to the variation observed in the horse. Unfortunately, mutations involving pigmentation often lead to deleterious effects in other systems, some of which have been described in the horse. This review focuses on six such pleiotropic effects or associations with pigmentation genes. These include neurological defects (lethal white foal syndrome and lavender foal syndrome), hearing defects, eye disorders (congenital stationary night blindness and multiple congenital ocular anomalies), as well as horse-specific melanoma. The pigmentation phenotype, disorder phenotype, mode of inheritance, genetic or genomic methods utilized to identify the genes involved and, if known, the causative mutations, molecular interactions and other susceptibility loci are discussed. As our understanding of pigmentation in the horse increases, through the use of novel genomic tools, we are likely to unravel yet unknown pleiotropic effects and determine additional interactions between previously discovered loci.

  4. Conservation of the chromatophore pigment response.

    PubMed

    Dukovcic, Stephanie R; Hutchison, Janine R; Trempy, Janine E

    2010-08-01

    Toxicant sensing technology has evolved to include biological sensors, such as cell-based biosensors, which rely on viable cells to convey a measurable physiological signal. Chromatophores are a class of pigment cells that have been investigated as cell-based biosensors. We report the characterization of Oncorhynchus tshawytscha melanophores and describe the melanophore pigment response to neurotransmitters in terms of pigment area occupied. Compared with the previously described model, Betta splendens erythrophores, O. tshawytscha melanophores responded similarly, indicating that pigment responses are biologically conserved between these two species. Additionally, melanophores responded to mercuric chloride and sodium arsenite, similar to B. splendens erythrophores, suggesting that melanophores can be used as detectors for environmental toxicants. This report highlights the potential of O. tshawytscha melanophores to be used as cell-based biosensors to address environmental toxicity, and warrants a continued investigation to strengthen this technology and its applications. PMID:20809546

  5. Pseudoephedrine may cause "pigmenting" fixed drug eruption.

    PubMed

    Ozkaya, Esen; Elinç-Aslan, Meryem Sevinç

    2011-05-01

    Fixed drug eruption (FDE) is a distinctive drug eruption characterized by recurrent well-defined lesions in the same location each time the responsible drug is taken. Two different clinical forms have been described: the common classic pigmenting form and the rare nonpigmenting form. Nonpigmenting FDE is mainly characterized by symmetrical large erythematous plaques and the dermal histopathologic reaction pattern. Pseudoephedrine is known as the major inducer of nonpigmenting FDE. Pigmenting FDE from pseudoephedrine has not been reported previously. Here, the first case of pseudoephedrine-induced pigmenting FDE is reported, showing the characteristic features of classic pigmenting FDE such as asymmetry, normal-sized lesions, and the epidermodermal histopathologic reaction pattern. Moreover, a positive occlusive patch-test reaction to pseudoephedrine could be demonstrated on postlesional FDE skin for the first time.

  6. Diagnosis and management of facial pigmented macules.

    PubMed

    Lallas, Aimilios; Argenziano, Giuseppe; Moscarella, Elvira; Longo, Caterina; Simonetti, Vito; Zalaudek, Iris

    2014-01-01

    The differential diagnosis of pigmented macules on the mottled chronic sun-damaged skin of the face is challenging and includes lentigo maligna (LM), pigmented actinic (solar) keratosis, solar lentigo, and lichen-planus-like keratosis. Although dermatoscopy improves the diagnostic accuracy of the unaided eye, the accurate diagnosis and management of pigmented facial macules remains one of the most challenging scenarios in daily practice. This is related to the fact that pigmented actinic (solar) keratosis, lichen-planus-like keratosis, and LM may reveal overlapping criteria, making their differential diagnosis clinically difficult. For this reason, practical rules have been introduced, which should help to minimize the risk for inappropriate diagnosis and management of LM.

  7. New Directions in Phthalocyanine Pigments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandemark, Michael R.

    1992-01-01

    The objectives were the following: (1) investigation of the synthesis of new phthalocyanines; (2) characterization of the new phthalocyanines synthesized; (3) investigate the properties of the newly synthesized phthalocyanines with emphasis on UV protection of plastics and coatings; and (4) utilize quantum mechanics to evaluate the structural relationships with possible properties and synthetic approaches. The proposed research targeted the synthesis of phthalocyanines containing an aromatic bridge between two phthalocyanine rings. The goal was to synthesize pigments which would protect plastics when exposed to the photodegradation effects of the sun in space. The stability and extended conjugation of the phthalocyanines offer a unique opportunity for energy absorption and numerous radiative and non-radiative energy loss mechanisms. Although the original targeted phthalocyanines were changed early in the project, several new and unique phthalocyanine compounds were prepared. The basic goals of this work were met and some unique and unexpected outcomes of the work were the result of the integral use of quantum mechanics and molecular modeling with the synthetic effort.

  8. [Bacterial pigment prodigiosin and its genotoxic effects].

    PubMed

    Gur'ianov, I D; Karamova, N S; Iusupova, D V; Gnezdilov, O I; Koshkarova, L A

    2013-01-01

    The prodigiosin preparation was isolated and purified from Serratia marcescens ATCC 9986, using chromatographic methods. The analysis of the preparation by TLC, NMR-spectrometry and mass-spectrometry allowed to confirm the red pigment fraction as the prodigiosin and detect its purity. Originally, the specific features of the toxic and genotoxic effects of prodigiosin and the possibility of induction of mutations by pigment in the cells of Salmonella typhimurium TA 100 (Ames test) and chromosome damage of mammalian erythroblasts have been determined.

  9. Zeo-pigment for traditional ceramic industry

    SciTech Connect

    Valdes, J.J.P.; Rodriguez, A.V.; Caraballo, M.M.

    1996-12-31

    In the present work the possibility of using natural zeolites mixed with soluble salts for ceramic pigment elaboration (further named zeo-pigment) is studied. The mixture of zeolite with salts is thermally treated to produce the pigment, this procedure was followed by x-ray diffraction (XRD) method. The obtained zeo-pigments were used to colour the porcelanized ceramic stoneware tiles at the experimental production. As it is known, it is possible to prepare a wide range of colours in these type of tiles by adding specific stains to the mixture of raw materials during grinding in the amount of 0.5 to 5 %, in this way any product called marbleized, mottled, granite, etc. ware is obtained. It is important to remember that when stains are added to the basic white body in order to produce one-color porcelanized ceramic stoneware, this does not involve great problems for the production. The physical properties of experimental produced ceramics, coloured by zeo-pigments, were studied according to European standard test. The present work is intended to be useful from the point of view of pollution prevention and waste minimization, regarding the utilization of soluble salts contained in some industrial wastes for the elaboration of ceramic pigments.

  10. FTIR study of primate color visual pigments

    PubMed Central

    Katayama, Kota; Kandori, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    How do we distinguish colors? Humans possess three color pigments; red-, green-, and blue-sensitive proteins, which have maximum absorbance (λmax) at 560, 530, and 420 nm, respectively, and contribute to normal human trichromatic vision (RGB). Each color pigments consists of a different opsin protein bound to a common chromophore molecule, 11-cis-retinal, whereas different chromophore-protein interactions allow preferential absorption of different colors. However, detailed experimental structural data to explain the molecular basis of spectral tuning of color pigments are lacking, mainly because of the difficulty in sample preparation. We thus started structural studies of primate color visual pigments using low-temperature Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, which needs only 0.3 mg protein for a single measurement. Here we report the first structural data of monkey red- (MR) and green- (MG) sensitive pigments, in which the information about the protein, retinal chromophore, and internal water molecules is contained. Molecular mechanism of color discrimination between red and green pigments will be discussed based on the structural data by FTIR spectroscopy. PMID:27493516

  11. Microspectrophotometry of Arthropod Visual Screening Pigments

    PubMed Central

    Strother, G. K.; Casella, A. J.

    1972-01-01

    Absorption spectra of visual screening pigments obtained in vitro with a microspectrophotometer using frozen sections are given for the insects Musca domestica, Phormia regina, Libellula luctuosa, Apis mellifera (worker honeybee only), Drosophila melanogaster (wild type only) and the arachnids Lycosa baltimoriana and Lycosa miami. The spectral range covered is 260–700 nm for Lycosa and Drosophila and 310–700 nm for the remainder of the arthropods. A complete description of the instrumentation is given. For the flies, Phormia and Musca, light absorption by the yellow and red pigments is high from 310 to about 610 nm. This implies that for these insects there should be no wavelength shift in electroretinogram (ERG) results due to light leakage among neighboring ommatidia for this wavelength range. The same comment applies to Calliphora erythrocephala, which is known to have similar screening pigments. For some of the insects studied a close correspondence is noted between screening pigment absorption spectra and spectral sensitivity curves for individual photoreceptors, available in the literature. In some cases the screening pigment absorption spectra can be related to chemical extraction results, with the general observation that some of the in vitro absorption peaks are shifted to the red. The Lycosa, Apis, and Libellula dark red pigments absorb strongly over a wide spectral range and therefore prevent chemical identification. PMID:4623852

  12. FTIR study of primate color visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Kota; Kandori, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    How do we distinguish colors? Humans possess three color pigments; red-, green-, and blue-sensitive proteins, which have maximum absorbance (λmax) at 560, 530, and 420 nm, respectively, and contribute to normal human trichromatic vision (RGB). Each color pigments consists of a different opsin protein bound to a common chromophore molecule, 11-cis-retinal, whereas different chromophore-protein interactions allow preferential absorption of different colors. However, detailed experimental structural data to explain the molecular basis of spectral tuning of color pigments are lacking, mainly because of the difficulty in sample preparation. We thus started structural studies of primate color visual pigments using low-temperature Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, which needs only 0.3 mg protein for a single measurement. Here we report the first structural data of monkey red- (MR) and green- (MG) sensitive pigments, in which the information about the protein, retinal chromophore, and internal water molecules is contained. Molecular mechanism of color discrimination between red and green pigments will be discussed based on the structural data by FTIR spectroscopy.

  13. A conserved aromatic residue regulating photosensitivity in short-wavelength sensitive cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Kuemmel, Colleen M; Sandberg, Megan N; Birge, Robert R; Knox, Barry E

    2013-07-30

    Visual pigments have a conserved phenylalanine in transmembrane helix 5 located near the β-ionone ring of the retinal chromophore. Site-directed mutants of this residue (F207) in a short-wavelength sensitive visual pigment (VCOP) were studied using UV-visible spectroscopy to investigate its role in photosensitivity and formation of the light-activated state. The side chain is important for pigment formation: VCOP(F207A), VCOP(F207L), VCOP(F207M), and VCOP(F207W) substitutions all bound 11-cis-retinal and formed a stable visual pigment, while VCOP(F207V), VCOP(F207S), VCOP(F207T), and VCOP(F207Y) substitutions do not. The extinction coefficients of all pigments are close, ranging between 35800 and 45600 M⁻¹ cm⁻¹. Remarkably, the mutants exhibit an up to 5-fold reduction in photosensitivity and also abnormal photobleaching behavior. One mutant, VCOP(F207A), forms an isomeric composition of the retinal chromophore after illumination comparable to that of wild-type VCOP yet does not release the all-trans-retinal chromophore. These findings suggest that the conserved F207 residue is important for a normal photoactivation pathway, formation of the active conformation and the exit of all-trans-retinal from the chromophore-binding pocket. PMID:23808485

  14. Beyond spectral tuning: human cone visual pigments adopt different transient conformations for chromophore regeneration.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Sundaramoorthy; Cordomí, Arnau; Ramon, Eva; Garriga, Pere

    2016-03-01

    Human red and green visual pigments are seven transmembrane receptors of cone photoreceptor cells of the retina that mediate color vision. These pigments share a very high degree of homology and have been assumed to feature analogous structural and functional properties. We report on a different regeneration mechanism among red and green cone opsins with retinal analogs using UV-Vis/fluorescence spectroscopic analyses, molecular modeling and site-directed mutagenesis. We find that photoactivated green cone opsin adopts a transient conformation which regenerates via an unprotonated Schiff base linkage with its natural chromophore, whereas red cone opsin forms a typical protonated Schiff base. The chromophore regeneration kinetics is consistent with a secondary retinal uptake by the cone pigments. Overall, our findings reveal, for the first time, structural differences in the photoactivated conformation between red and green cone pigments that may be linked to their molecular evolution, and support the proposal of secondary retinal binding to visual pigments, in addition to binding to the canonical primary site, which may serve as a regulatory mechanism of dark adaptation in the phototransduction process. PMID:26387074

  15. Beyond spectral tuning: human cone visual pigments adopt different transient conformations for chromophore regeneration.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Sundaramoorthy; Cordomí, Arnau; Ramon, Eva; Garriga, Pere

    2016-03-01

    Human red and green visual pigments are seven transmembrane receptors of cone photoreceptor cells of the retina that mediate color vision. These pigments share a very high degree of homology and have been assumed to feature analogous structural and functional properties. We report on a different regeneration mechanism among red and green cone opsins with retinal analogs using UV-Vis/fluorescence spectroscopic analyses, molecular modeling and site-directed mutagenesis. We find that photoactivated green cone opsin adopts a transient conformation which regenerates via an unprotonated Schiff base linkage with its natural chromophore, whereas red cone opsin forms a typical protonated Schiff base. The chromophore regeneration kinetics is consistent with a secondary retinal uptake by the cone pigments. Overall, our findings reveal, for the first time, structural differences in the photoactivated conformation between red and green cone pigments that may be linked to their molecular evolution, and support the proposal of secondary retinal binding to visual pigments, in addition to binding to the canonical primary site, which may serve as a regulatory mechanism of dark adaptation in the phototransduction process.

  16. New prodigiosin-like pigment from Alteromonas rubra.

    PubMed Central

    Gerber, N N; Gauthier, M J

    1979-01-01

    The red prodigiosin-like pigment from Alteromonas rubra was shown to be a mixture of prodigiosin (pigment 1) and a new cyclic isomer (pigment 2). The new structure was elucidated by mass and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra. Careful examinations of the prodigiosins produced by Serratia marcescens, Vibrio psychoerythrus, and an unidentified red bacterium (LL-100-6) failed to disclose any of the new pigment, pigment 2. PMID:384909

  17. Regressive Evolution in Astyanax Cavefish

    PubMed Central

    Jeffery, William R.

    2013-01-01

    A diverse group of animals, including members of most major phyla, have adapted to life in the perpetual darkness of caves. These animals are united by the convergence of two regressive phenotypes, loss of eyes and pigmentation. The mechanisms of regressive evolution are poorly understood. The teleost Astyanax mexicanus is of special significance in studies of regressive evolution in cave animals. This species includes an ancestral surface dwelling form and many con-specific cave-dwelling forms, some of which have evolved their recessive phenotypes independently. Recent advances in Astyanax development and genetics have provided new information about how eyes and pigment are lost during cavefish evolution; namely, they have revealed some of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in trait modification, the number and identity of the underlying genes and mutations, the molecular basis of parallel evolution, and the evolutionary forces driving adaptation to the cave environment. PMID:19640230

  18. Identification of the silkworm quail gene reveals a crucial role of a receptor guanylyl cyclase in larval pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Yuasa, Masashi; Kiuchi, Takashi; Banno, Yutaka; Katsuma, Susumu; Shimada, Toru

    2016-01-01

    Diverse color patterns on the integument of lepidopteran larvae play important roles in their survival through camouflage, mimicry, sexual signaling, and aposematism. In the silkworm Bombyx mori, many color pattern variations have been preserved in inbred strains making them a good model for elucidating the molecular mechanisms that underlie color pattern formation. In this study, we focused on the silkworm quail (q) mutant, which exhibits abnormalities in multiple pigment biosynthesis pathways. Positional cloning of the q gene revealed that disruption of a guanylyl cyclase gene, BmGC-I, is responsible for its abnormal pigmentation. In q mutants, we identified a 16-bp deletion in the BmGC-I transcript, resulting in the production of a premature stop codon. Knockout of the BmGC-I gene resulted in the q-like abnormal pigmentation, thereby demonstrating that the BmGC-I gene is involved in the pigment biosynthesis pathway in the integument. Moreover, quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction showed that BmGC-I was strongly expressed in the fourth instar on day 2. Our results suggest that BmGC-I deficiency affects the pigment biosynthesis pathway, which supports the involvement of guanylyl cyclase in larval coloration.

  19. Pigment-dependence of LHC assembly, structure, and function

    SciTech Connect

    Plumley, F.G.; Weston, B.; Stafford, R.A. ); Schmidt, G.W. )

    1993-05-01

    The role of pigments in the assembly and function of light-harvesting complexes in incompletely understood. A Chl b- and neoxanthin-deficient Chlamydomonas mutant (GE2.27) was isolated. Surprisingly, the rate of PSII-dependent O[sub 2] evolution at light-limiting conditions in mutant GE2.27 is reduced to the same extent as in another Chlamydomonas mutant completely devoid of LHC apoproteins. Thus, the partially assembled LHCs of GE2,27 do not functionally interact with PSII. Protease treatments of thylakoids reveal that the LHC proteins of GE2.27 are both hypersensitive and digested at unique sites indicating that the partially assembled LHC proteins of GE2.27 have an altered topological organization. Because thylakoid proteins from both PSI- and PSII-deficient mutants do not exhibit alterations in their susceptibility to exogenous proteases, the topological changes observed in GE2.27 LHC proteins are not a result of their propensity to associate with PSI or their apparent inability to functionally associate with PSII.Partially assembled LHCs, containing only Chl a, lutein, loroxanthin and violaxanthin were purified from GE2.27 thylakoids. the data indicate the altered topology as assessed by protease digestion assays are not simply due to the absence of Chl b and/or neoxanthin as proteolytic shields. We suggest that assembly of Chl b is required for proper folding of LHC proteins in thylakoid membranes and the conformational changes facilitate assembly and, therefore, accumulation of neoxanthin. Finally, neither Chl b nor neoxanthin is required for LHC association with PSI but one or more of these pigments is necessary to promote LHC association with PSII reaction centers. This is the first demonstration of pigment-dependent modulation of thylakoid protein conformation and function.

  20. Molecular evolution of color vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Shozo

    2002-10-30

    Visual systems of vertebrates exhibit a striking level of diversity, reflecting their adaptive responses to various color environments. The photosensitive molecules, visual pigments, can be synthesized in vitro and their absorption spectra can be determined. Comparing the amino acid sequences and absorption spectra of various visual pigments, we can identify amino acid changes that have modified the absorption spectra of visual pigments. These hypotheses can then be tested using the in vitro assay. This approach has been a powerful tool in elucidating not only the molecular bases of color vision, but the processes of adaptive evolution at the molecular level.

  1. Betalain: a particular class of antioxidant pigment.

    PubMed

    El Gharras, Hasna

    2011-10-01

    We have analyzed the stability of betalains in juices prepared from Moroccan yellow cactus pears (Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill.) as a function of temperature and pH. The experiments were carried out at temperatures ranging from 80 to 100 degrees C with juices at pH 3.5, 5 and 6.5. The degree of pigment retention decreased when the temperature increased. The degradation constant rates were determined for thermal degradation rates of pseudo-first order. The Arrhenius plot obtained for the degradation of betaxanthin from the yellow fruits was not linear. Regardless of the temperature of treatment, the lowest degradation was obtained for pH 5. When some stabilizers were tested for the protection of pigments, the results showed that ascorbic acid was a better protective agent at pH 3.5, increasing the protection by 40%. The inhibitive action of betalain pigments extracted from cactus pears towards corrosion of stainless steel in phosphoric acid was investigated using electrochemical polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) methods. It was found that the presence of natural pigments reduces the corrosion rate of the tested metal, especially on addition of the red pigments (97%). The inhibition efficiency increases as the pigment concentration of extracts increases. It was also found that the pigments tested act as mixed inhibitors. The inhibitive action of the extracts is discussed in term of adsorption and that such adsorption follows a Langmuir adsorption isotherm. The calculated values of the free energy of adsorption indicated that the adsorption process is spontaneous.

  2. Pigmented pleomorphic adenoma, a novel melanin-pigmented benign salivary gland tumor.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Yasunori; Satoh, Masanobu; Nakamura, Shin-ichi

    2004-08-01

    This paper reports a pleomorphic adenoma with grossly visible pigmentation resulting in the macroscopic appearance of melanotic lesion in a 33-year-old Japanese male. In addition to the characteristic histopathological features of a benign pleomorphic adenoma, variously formed and -sized cells, many of which were considered to be melanocytes, containing melanin pigment in their cytoplasm, were distributed in the epithelial component. In addition, melanin pigment was deposited in tumor cells of duct structures. Furthermore, condensed secretory substances with marked pigmentation were frequently seen in the tubular lumina. Perusal of the English language literature revealed only two cases of parenchymal pigmentation of salivary gland tumors: both were mucoepidermoid carcinoma. The possible histogenesis of melanocytes in the salivary gland lesions is discussed, though no firm conclusion could be drawn.

  3. Yap and Taz regulate retinal pigment epithelial cell fate

    PubMed Central

    Miesfeld, Joel B.; Gestri, Gaia; Clark, Brian S.; Flinn, Michael A.; Poole, Richard J.; Bader, Jason R.; Besharse, Joseph C.; Wilson, Stephen W.; Link, Brian A.

    2015-01-01

    The optic vesicle comprises a pool of bi-potential progenitor cells from which the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and neural retina fates segregate during ocular morphogenesis. Several transcription factors and signaling pathways have been shown to be important for RPE maintenance and differentiation, but an understanding of the initial fate specification and determination of this ocular cell type is lacking. We show that Yap/Taz-Tead activity is necessary and sufficient for optic vesicle progenitors to adopt RPE identity in zebrafish. A Tead-responsive transgene is expressed within the domain of the optic cup from which RPE arises, and Yap immunoreactivity localizes to the nuclei of prospective RPE cells. yap (yap1) mutants lack a subset of RPE cells and/or exhibit coloboma. Loss of RPE in yap mutants is exacerbated in combination with taz (wwtr1) mutant alleles such that, when Yap and Taz are both absent, optic vesicle progenitor cells completely lose their ability to form RPE. The mechanism of Yap-dependent RPE cell type determination is reliant on both nuclear localization of Yap and interaction with a Tead co-factor. In contrast to loss of Yap and Taz, overexpression of either protein within optic vesicle progenitors leads to ectopic pigmentation in a dosage-dependent manner. Overall, this study identifies Yap and Taz as key early regulators of RPE genesis and provides a mechanistic framework for understanding the congenital ocular defects of Sveinsson's chorioretinal atrophy and congenital retinal coloboma. PMID:26209646

  4. Transcriptional control of floral anthocyanin pigmentation in monkeyflowers (Mimulus).

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yao-Wu; Sagawa, Janelle M; Frost, Laura; Vela, James P; Bradshaw, Harvey D

    2014-12-01

    A molecular description of the control of floral pigmentation in a multi-species group displaying various flower color patterns is of great interest for understanding the molecular bases of phenotypic diversification and pollinator-mediated speciation. Through transcriptome profiling, mutant analyses and transgenic experiments, we aim to establish a 'baseline' floral anthocyanin regulation model in Mimulus lewisii and to examine the different ways of tinkering with this model in generating the diversity of floral anthocyanin patterns in other Mimulus species. We find one WD40 and one bHLH gene controlling anthocyanin pigmentation in the entire corolla of M. lewisii and two R2R3-MYB genes, PELAN and NEGAN, controlling anthocyanin production in the petal lobe and nectar guide, respectively. The autoregulation of NEGAN might be a critical property to generate anthocyanin spots. Independent losses of PELAN expression (via different mechanisms) explain two natural yellow-flowered populations of M. cardinalis (typically red-flowered). The NEGAN ortholog is the only anthocyanin-activating MYB expressed in the M. guttatus flowers. The mutant lines and transgenic tools available for M. lewisii will enable gene-by-gene replacement experiments to dissect the genetic and developmental bases of more complex floral color patterns, and to test hypotheses on phenotypic evolution in general.

  5. Iris pigment epithelial cysts in a newborn

    PubMed Central

    Zargar, Shabnam; Prendiville, Kevin John; Martinez, Eladio

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: We report a case of iris pigment epithelial cysts in a newborn and discuss the importance of an accurate diagnosis for prevention of amblyopia. Methods: We describe a case of an abnormal red reflex seen on a newborn exam. Results: A full-term female born via normal spontaneous vaginal delivery without any complications was seen in the newborn nursery. She was noted to have an abnormal eye exam. Pupils were large with circular dark excrescences of the iris pigment epithelium. She was referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist where she was noted to fixate and follow faces. No afferent pupillary defect was seen. OD red reflex was normal whereas OS red reflex was blocked mostly by dark excrescences. A 2–3 mm dark brown lesion was seen in the OD iris and a 3–5 mm dark brown lesion was seen in the OS iris, consistent with a pupillary iris pigment epithelial cyst. Central visual axis was clear OU. Glaucoma was not present and patching was not performed. Observations and clinical photographs were recommended with follow-up in three months. Conclusion: Iris pigment epithelial cysts are uncommonly seen in children. The primary care provider first seeing a newborn must be aware of lesions obscuring a red reflex with appropriate follow-up. Follow-up in three months with IOP measurements is recommended. Iris pigment epithelial cysts in children may be a cause of amblyopia, thus prompt evaluation is important for prognostic purposes and the prevention of amblyopia. PMID:27625966

  6. Synchrotron powder diffraction on Aztec blue pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez Del Río, M.; Gutiérrez-León, A.; Castro, G. R.; Rubio-Zuazo, J.; Solís, C.; Sánchez-Hernández, R.; Robles-Camacho, J.; Rojas-Gaytán, J.

    2008-01-01

    Some samples of raw blue pigments coming from an archaeological rescue mission in downtown Mexico City have been characterized using different techniques. The samples, some recovered as a part of a ritual offering, could be assigned to the late Aztec period (XVth century). The striking characteristic of these samples is that they seem to be raw pigments prior to any use in artworks, and it was possible to collect a few μg of pigment after manual grain selection under a microscopy monitoring. All pigments are made of indigo, an organic colorant locally known as añil or xiuhquilitl. The colorant is always found in combination with an inorganic matrix, studied by powder diffraction. In one case the mineral base is palygorskite, a rare clay mineral featuring micro-channels in its structure, well known as the main ingredient of the Maya blue pigment. However, other samples present the minerals sepiolite (a clay mineral of the palygorskite family) and calcite. Another sample contains barite, a mineral never reported in prehispanic paints. We present the results of characterization using high resolution powder diffraction recorded at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (BM25A, SpLine beamline) complemented with other techniques. All of them gave consistent results on the composition. A chemical test on resistance to acids was done, showing a high resistance for the palygorskite and eventually sepiolite compounds, in good agreement with the excellent resistance of the Maya blue.

  7. Pigmented eccrine poroma: dermoscopic and confocal features.

    PubMed

    Bombonato, Caterina; Piana, Simonetta; Moscarella, Elvira; Lallas, Aimillios; Argenziano, Giuseppe; Longo, Caterina

    2016-07-01

    Eccrine poroma is a rare benign adnexal tumor of epithelial cells originating from the terminal ductal portion of the sweat glands that is typically located on palms and soles, although other cutaneous sites can be affected [1]. It is usually nonpigmented even if there is a pigmented variant that corresponds to 17% of cases and it is usually underdiagnosed, since it is mistakenly confused with other pigmented tumors [2,3]. Dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) may assist in the correct diagnosis of this tumor. Herein, we report one case of pigmented eccrine poroma (PEP) that simulated clinically a cutaneous melanoma or a basal cell carcinoma. Dermoscopy and RCM excluded the possibilities of those two diagnoses; the overall confocal findings were suggestive for a benign epithelial tumor. Histology was fundamental to diagnose this lesion as a pigmented eccrine poroma. Even if the diagnosis of eccrine poroma remains histopathological still, as in this case report, noninvasive tools such as dermoscopy and RCM examinations can be of help to rule out the diagnosis of melanoma. Larger studies on this rare pigmented variant of eccrine poroma could shed new light on the identification of specific diagnostic dermoscopic and confocal features. PMID:27648386

  8. Pigments in avocado tissue and oil.

    PubMed

    Ashton, Ofelia B O; Wong, Marie; McGhie, Tony K; Vather, Rosheila; Wang, Yan; Requejo-Jackman, Cecilia; Ramankutty, Padmaja; Woolf, Allan B

    2006-12-27

    Pigments are important contributors to the appearance and healthful properties of both avocado fruits and the oils extracted from these fruits. This study determined carotenoid and chlorophyll pigment concentrations in the skin and three sections of the flesh (outer dark green, middle pale green, and inner yellow flesh-nearest the seed) and anthocyanin concentrations in the skin of Hass avocado during ripening at 20 degrees C. Pigments were extracted from frozen tissue with acetone and measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. Pigments were also measured in the oil extracted from freeze-dried tissue sections by an accelerated solvent extraction system using hexane. Carotenoids and chlorophylls identified in the skin, flesh, and oil were lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, neoxanthin, violaxanthin, zeaxanthin, antheraxanthin, chlorophylls a and b, and pheophytins a and b with the highest concentrations of all pigments in the skin. Chlorophyllides a and b were identified in the skin and flesh tissues only. As the fruit ripened and softened, the skin changed from green to purple/black, corresponding to changes in skin hue angle, and a concomitant increase in cyanidin 3-O-glucoside and the loss of chlorophyllide a. In flesh tissue, chroma and lightness values decreased with ripening, with no changes in hue angle. The levels of carotenoids and chlorophylls did not change significantly during ripening. As fruit ripened, the total chlorophyll level in the oil from the flesh sections remained constant but declined in the oil extracted from the skin.

  9. Pigmented eccrine poroma: dermoscopic and confocal features

    PubMed Central

    Bombonato, Caterina; Piana, Simonetta; Moscarella, Elvira; Lallas, Aimillios; Argenziano, Giuseppe; Longo, Caterina

    2016-01-01

    Eccrine poroma is a rare benign adnexal tumor of epithelial cells originating from the terminal ductal portion of the sweat glands that is typically located on palms and soles, although other cutaneous sites can be affected [1]. It is usually nonpigmented even if there is a pigmented variant that corresponds to 17% of cases and it is usually underdiagnosed, since it is mistakenly confused with other pigmented tumors [2,3]. Dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) may assist in the correct diagnosis of this tumor. Herein, we report one case of pigmented eccrine poroma (PEP) that simulated clinically a cutaneous melanoma or a basal cell carcinoma. Dermoscopy and RCM excluded the possibilities of those two diagnoses; the overall confocal findings were suggestive for a benign epithelial tumor. Histology was fundamental to diagnose this lesion as a pigmented eccrine poroma. Even if the diagnosis of eccrine poroma remains histopathological still, as in this case report, noninvasive tools such as dermoscopy and RCM examinations can be of help to rule out the diagnosis of melanoma. Larger studies on this rare pigmented variant of eccrine poroma could shed new light on the identification of specific diagnostic dermoscopic and confocal features. PMID:27648386

  10. Pigmented eccrine poroma: dermoscopic and confocal features

    PubMed Central

    Bombonato, Caterina; Piana, Simonetta; Moscarella, Elvira; Lallas, Aimillios; Argenziano, Giuseppe; Longo, Caterina

    2016-01-01

    Eccrine poroma is a rare benign adnexal tumor of epithelial cells originating from the terminal ductal portion of the sweat glands that is typically located on palms and soles, although other cutaneous sites can be affected [1]. It is usually nonpigmented even if there is a pigmented variant that corresponds to 17% of cases and it is usually underdiagnosed, since it is mistakenly confused with other pigmented tumors [2,3]. Dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) may assist in the correct diagnosis of this tumor. Herein, we report one case of pigmented eccrine poroma (PEP) that simulated clinically a cutaneous melanoma or a basal cell carcinoma. Dermoscopy and RCM excluded the possibilities of those two diagnoses; the overall confocal findings were suggestive for a benign epithelial tumor. Histology was fundamental to diagnose this lesion as a pigmented eccrine poroma. Even if the diagnosis of eccrine poroma remains histopathological still, as in this case report, noninvasive tools such as dermoscopy and RCM examinations can be of help to rule out the diagnosis of melanoma. Larger studies on this rare pigmented variant of eccrine poroma could shed new light on the identification of specific diagnostic dermoscopic and confocal features.

  11. Inadvertent polychlorinated biphenyls in commercial paint pigments.

    PubMed

    Hu, Dingfei; Hornbuckle, Keri C

    2010-04-15

    A polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) that was not produced as part of the Aroclor mixtures banned in the 1980s was recently reported in air samples collected in Chicago, Philadelphia, the Arctic, and several sites around the Great Lakes. In Chicago, the congener 3,3'-dichlorobiphenyl or PCB11 was found to be the fifth most concentrated congener and ubiquitous throughout the city. The congener exhibited strong seasonal concentration trends that suggest volatilization of this compound from common outdoor surfaces. Due to these findings and also the compound's presence in waters that received waste from paint manufacturing facilities, we hypothesized that PCB11 may be present in current commercial paint. In this study we measured PCBs in paint sold on the current retail market. We tested 33 commercial paint pigments purchased from three local paint stores. The pigment samples were analyzed for all 209 PCB congeners using gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). More than 50 PCB congeners including several dioxin-like PCBs were detected, and the PCB profiles varied due to different types of pigments and different manufacturing processes. PCB congeners were detected in azo and phthalocyanine pigments which are commonly used in paint but also in inks, textiles, paper, cosmetics, leather, plastics, food and other materials. Our findings suggest several possible mechanisms for the inadvertent production of specific PCB congeners during the manufacturing of paint pigments.

  12. Investigations of biomimetic light energy harvesting pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Van Patten, P.G.; Donohoe, R.J.; Lindsey, J.S.; Bocian, D.F.

    1998-12-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Nature uses chlorophyll and other porphyrinic pigments to capture and transfer light energy as a preliminary step in photosynthesis. The design of synthetic assemblies of light harvesting and energy directing pigments has been explored through synthesis and characterization of porphyrin oligomers. In this project, pigment electronic and vibrational structures have been explored by electrochemistry and dynamic and static optical measurements. Transient absorption data reveal energy transfer between pigments with lifetimes on the order of 20--200 picoseconds, while Raman data reveal that the basic porphyrin core structure is unperturbed relative to the individual monomer units. These two findings, along with an extensive series of experiments on the oxidized oligomers, reveal that coupling between the pigments is fundamentally weak, but sufficient to allow facile energy transfer as the predominant excited state process. Modeling of the expected quantum yields for energy transfer within a variety of arrays was accomplished, thereby providing a tool to guide synthetic goals.

  13. Fault Zone Architecture and Permeability-Structure Evolution in Basalts: the Generation of Fluid-Flow Pathways in low Permeability Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, R. J.; Holdsworth, R. E.; Armitage, P. J.; Faulkner, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Understanding fluid flow and sealing potential in basaltic sequences is becoming increasingly important with the rising economic significance of intra- and sub-volcanic hydrocarbon plays. Fluid flow in upper-crustal brittle fault zones is dependent on the permeability of the fault rock assemblage and its architecture. Models for clastic sedimentary sequences typically involve a low-permeability fault core surrounded by a high-permeability damage zone, relative to the intermediate permeability of the undeformed host rock. Here we present a combined field, microstructural and experimental characterization of basalt-hosted fault zones from the Faroe Islands. Samples that are representative of the various fault zone components, and of early to late stage fault development, were used for experimental determination of the permeability structure of faults in basalts. Fault rock characterization reveals that the intensity of fault-associated brittle deformation increases towards the principal slip surface, from crackle and mosaic breccias, to chaotic breccias and cataclasite along the principal slip zone. Identified breccia styles involve collapse/infill, wear/abrasion, and implosion processes, which respectively indicate increasingly short-lived syn-kinematic permeability. Collapse/infill breccias indicate sustained fluid-migration pathways, as they require open, subterranean cavities that are formed faster than mineral precipitation can seal them. Wear/abrasion and implosion breccias record crack-seal behaviour during successive slip events. Experimental permeability measurements were performed with argon gas, at a range of confining pressures (20-200 MPa) and constant fluid pressure (10 MPa) using the Transient Pulse Decay technique. Results indicate that, within the depth range of ~0.3 to ~3.0 km, basalt-hosted faults evolve from relatively low-permeability mm-cm-scale displacement structures (e.g. ~9.47x10-18 to 3.40x10-19 m2), to relatively high-permeability metre

  14. Population diversity and adaptive evolution in keratinization genes: impact of environment in shaping skin phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Pramod; Chaurasia, Amit; Bhattacharya, Aniket; Grover, Ritika; Mukerji, Mitali; Natarajan, Vivek T

    2015-03-01

    Several studies have demonstrated the role of climatic factors in shaping skin phenotypes, particularly pigmentation. Keratinization is another well-designed feature of human skin, which is involved in modulating transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Although this physiological process is closely linked to climate, presently it is not clear whether genetic diversity is observed in keratinization and whether this process also responds to the environmental pressure. To address this, we adopted a multipronged approach, which involved analysis of 1) copy number variations in diverse Indian and HapMap populations from varied geographical regions; 2) genetic association with geoclimatic parameters in 61 populations of dbCLINE database in a set of 549 genes from four processes namely keratinization, pigmentation, epidermal differentiation, and housekeeping functions; 3) sequence divergence in 4,316 orthologous promoters and corresponding exonic regions of human and chimpanzee with macaque as outgroup, and 4) protein sequence divergence (Ka/Ks) across nine vertebrate classes, which differ in their extent of TEWL. Our analyses demonstrate that keratinization and epidermal differentiation genes are under accelerated evolution in the human lineage, relative to pigmentation and housekeeping genes. We show that this entire pathway may have been driven by environmental selection pressure through concordant functional polymorphisms across several genes involved in skin keratinization. Remarkably, this underappreciated function of skin may be a crucial determinant of adaptation to diverse environmental pressures across world populations.

  15. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - Primitive pigment systems in the prebiotic environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deamer, D. W.

    1992-01-01

    The chemical evolution of meteoritic organics in the primitive earth is examined experimentally with attention given to the photochemical effects of hydrocarbon/water mixtures. Also addressed are the generation of amphiphilic products by photochemical reactions and the transduction of light energy into potentially useful forms. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) absorb light and exist in carbonaceous chondrites; PAHs are therefore examined as primitive pigments by means of salt solutions with pyrene, fluoranthene, and pyrene derivatives with hexadecane. The hexadecane undergoes photochemical oxidation and yields long-chain amphiphiles with oxygen supplied by water, and acid pH shifts also occur. PAHs are also tested in lipid bilayer membranes to examine light-energy transduction. Protons are found to accumulate within the membrane-bounded volume to form proton gradients, and this reaction is theorized to be a good model of primitive photochemical reactions that related to the transduction of light energy into useable forms.

  16. Pigments which reflect infrared radiation from fire

    DOEpatents

    Berdahl, P.H.

    1998-09-22

    Conventional paints transmit or absorb most of the intense infrared (IR) radiation emitted by fire, causing them to contribute to the spread of fire. The present invention comprises a fire retardant paint additive that reflects the thermal IR radiation emitted by fire in the 1 to 20 micrometer ({micro}m) wavelength range. The important spectral ranges for fire control are typically about 1 to about 8 {micro}m or, for cool smoky fires, about 2 {micro}m to about 16 {micro}m. The improved inventive coatings reflect adverse electromagnetic energy and slow the spread of fire. Specific IR reflective pigments include titanium dioxide (rutile) and red iron oxide pigments with diameters of about 1 {micro}m to about 2 {micro}m and thin leafing aluminum flake pigments. 4 figs.

  17. Pigments which reflect infrared radiation from fire

    DOEpatents

    Berdahl, Paul H.

    1998-01-01

    Conventional paints transmit or absorb most of the intense infrared (IR) radiation emitted by fire, causing them to contribute to the spread of fire. The present invention comprises a fire retardant paint additive that reflects the thermal IR radiation emitted by fire in the 1 to 20 micrometer (.mu.m) wavelength range. The important spectral ranges for fire control are typically about 1 to about 8 .mu.m or, for cool smoky fires, about 2 .mu.m to about 16 .mu.m. The improved inventive coatings reflect adverse electromagnetic energy and slow the spread of fire. Specific IR reflective pigments include titanium dioxide (rutile) and red iron oxide pigments with diameters of about 1 .mu.m to about 2 .mu.m and thin leafing aluminum flake pigments.

  18. An intracellular anion channel critical for pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Escobar, Iliana E; Lefkovith, Ariel J; Marks, Michael S; Oancea, Elena

    2014-12-16

    Intracellular ion channels are essential regulators of organellar and cellular function, yet the molecular identity and physiological role of many of these channels remains elusive. In particular, no ion channel has been characterized in melanosomes, organelles that produce and store the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanosome function cause albinism, characterized by vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired retinal development, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. The most common form of albinism is caused by mutations in oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2), a melanosome-specific transmembrane protein with unknown function. Here we used direct patch-clamp of skin and eye melanosomes to identify a novel chloride-selective anion conductance mediated by OCA2 and required for melanin production. Expression of OCA2 increases organelle pH, suggesting that the chloride channel might regulate melanin synthesis by modulating melanosome pH. Thus, a melanosomal anion channel that requires OCA2 is essential for skin and eye pigmentation.

  19. ABCF1 extrinsically regulates retinal pigment epithelial cell phagocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Feiye; Ding, Ying; Caberoy, Nora; Alvarado, Gabriela; Wang, Feng; Chen, Rui; Li, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Phagocytosis of shed photoreceptor outer segments (POSs) by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is critical to retinal homeostasis and shares many conserved signaling pathways with other phagocytes, including extrinsic regulations. Phagocytotic ligands are the key to cargo recognition, engulfment initiation, and activity regulation. In this study, we identified intracellular protein ATP-binding cassette subfamily F member 1 (ABCF1) as a novel RPE phagocytotic ligand by a new approach of functional screening. ABCF1 was independently verified to extrinsically promote phagocytosis of shed POSs by D407 RPE cells. This finding was further corroborated with primary RPE cells and RPE explants. Internalized POS vesicles were colocalized with a phagosome marker, suggesting that ABCF1-mediated engulfment is through a phagocytic pathway. ABCF1 was released from apoptotic cells and selectively bound to shed POS vesicles and apoptotic cells, possibly via externalized phosphatidylserine. ABCF1 is predominantly expressed in POSs and colocalized with the POS marker rhodopsin, providing geographical convenience for regulation of RPE phagocytosis. Collectively these results suggest that ABCF1 is released from and binds to shed POSs in an autocrine manner to facilitate RPE phagocytosis through a conserved pathway. Furthermore, the new approach is broadly applicable to many other phagocytes and will enable systematic elucidation of their ligands to understand extrinsic regulation and cargo recognition. PMID:25904329

  20. ABCF1 extrinsically regulates retinal pigment epithelial cell phagocytosis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Feiye; Ding, Ying; Caberoy, Nora; Alvarado, Gabriela; Wang, Feng; Chen, Rui; Li, Wei

    2015-06-15

    Phagocytosis of shed photoreceptor outer segments (POSs) by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is critical to retinal homeostasis and shares many conserved signaling pathways with other phagocytes, including extrinsic regulations. Phagocytotic ligands are the key to cargo recognition, engulfment initiation, and activity regulation. In this study, we identified intracellular protein ATP-binding cassette subfamily F member 1 (ABCF1) as a novel RPE phagocytotic ligand by a new approach of functional screening. ABCF1 was independently verified to extrinsically promote phagocytosis of shed POSs by D407 RPE cells. This finding was further corroborated with primary RPE cells and RPE explants. Internalized POS vesicles were colocalized with a phagosome marker, suggesting that ABCF1-mediated engulfment is through a phagocytic pathway. ABCF1 was released from apoptotic cells and selectively bound to shed POS vesicles and apoptotic cells, possibly via externalized phosphatidylserine. ABCF1 is predominantly expressed in POSs and colocalized with the POS marker rhodopsin, providing geographical convenience for regulation of RPE phagocytosis. Collectively these results suggest that ABCF1 is released from and binds to shed POSs in an autocrine manner to facilitate RPE phagocytosis through a conserved pathway. Furthermore, the new approach is broadly applicable to many other phagocytes and will enable systematic elucidation of their ligands to understand extrinsic regulation and cargo recognition.

  1. Photo-oxidative stress in the eye: role of retinal pigment epithelial pigments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glickman, Randolph D.; Dontsov, Alexander E.; Ostrovsky, Michail A.; Kumar, Neeru; Vendal, Meena; Gonzales, Mary A.

    1999-09-01

    The pigments of the retinal pigment epithelium, i.e. the intracellular granules of melanin, lipofuscin, and melanolipofuscin, have been shown to catalyze free radical activity, especially when illuminated with visible or ultraviolet light. An important question is whether these reactions are sufficient to produce oxidative damage in the eye. To address this question, the relative photoreactivity of isolated RPE pigment granules towards polyunsaturated fatty acids has been determined, including the dark as well as the light-stimulated reactions. Hydroperoxide derivatives of docosahexaenoic acid were produced by irradiation with short wavelength (< 550 nm) visible light when RPE pigments were present. Although melanosomes exhibited the greatest light-induced activity in these reactions, lipofuscin granules induced peroxidation of fatty acids in the dark. In intact, cultured RPE cells, the existence of pigment-medicated photo-reactions were demonstrated with a fluorescent indicator probe of oxidation, 2',7'- dichlorofluorescein, that was photooxidized in probe-labeled cells in a wavelength dependence fashion with peak activity in the 450 to 500 nm region. This behavior resembled the action spectrum for melanin reactivity. These findings support the hypotheses that the RPE pigments contribute to general photooxidative stress in ocular tissue, and that accumulation of lipofuscin pigment contributes to age-related oxidative stress in the RPE.

  2. Green pigments of the Pompeian artists' palette

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aliatis, Irene; Bersani, Danilo; Campani, Elisa; Casoli, Antonella; Lottici, Pier Paolo; Mantovan, Silvia; Marino, Iari-Gabriel; Ospitali, Francesca

    2009-08-01

    Green colored samples on wall paintings and green powder from a pigment pot found in Pompeii area are investigated by micro-Raman, FT-IR and, for one sample, SEM-EDX. To obtain the green color, green earths and malachite were used, together with mixture of Egyptian blue and yellow ochre. The mineralogical identification of the green earths has been attempted through the comparison of the vibrational features, discriminating between celadonite and glauconite spectra. Traces of a modern synthetic pigment containing copper phthalocyanine were found in a fresco fragment.

  3. Pseudoepitheliomatous Hyperplasia in a Red Pigment Tattoo

    PubMed Central

    Kazlouskaya, Viktoryia

    2015-01-01

    Red pigment tattoos are known to cause pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia in the skin, frequently simulating squamous cell carcinoma or keratoacanthoma. Herein, the authors present two additional cases of red pigment tattoo pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia in which they noted a lichenoid tissue reaction. They reviewed the previously published cases and observed a lichenoid reaction in the histopathological images similar to hypertrophic lichen planus. The authors suggest that these reactions might best be referred to as “lichenoid reaction with pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia” or “hypertrophic lichen planus-like reaction.” Accordingly, recognition of an inflammatory component may allow additional treatment options. PMID:26705448

  4. Fundamental molecules of life are pigments which arose and evolved to dissipate the solar spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaelian, K.; Simeonov, A.

    2015-02-01

    The driving force behind the origin and evolution of life has been the thermodynamic imperative of increasing the entropy production of the biosphere through increasing the global solar photon dissipation rate. In the upper atmosphere of today, oxygen and ozone derived from life processes are performing the short wavelength UVC and UVB dissipation. On Earth's surface, water and organic pigments in water facilitate the near UV and visible photon dissipation. The first organic pigments probably formed, absorbed, and dissipated at those photochemically active wavelengths in the UVC that could have reached Earth's surface during the Archean. Proliferation of these pigments can be understood as an autocatalytic photochemical process obeying non-equilibrium thermodynamic directives related to increasing solar photon dissipation rate. Under these directives, organic pigments would have evolved over time to increase the global photon dissipation rate by; (1) increasing the ratio of their effective photon cross sections to their physical size, (2) decreasing their electronic excited state life times, (3) quenching radiative de-excitation channels (e.g. fluorescence), (4) covering ever more completely the prevailing solar spectrum, and (5) proliferating and dispersing to cover an ever greater surface area of Earth. From knowledge of the evolution of the spectrum of G-type stars, and considering the most probable history of the transparency of Earth's atmosphere, we construct the most probable Earth surface solar spectrum as a function of time and compare this with the history of molecular absorption maxima obtained from the available data in the literature. This comparison supports the conjecture that many fundamental molecules of life are pigments which arose and evolved to dissipate the solar spectrum, supports the thermodynamic dissipation theory for the origin of life, constrains models for Earth's early atmosphere, and sheds some new light on the origin of

  5. Separation of Chloroplast Pigments Using Reverse Phase Chromatography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reese, R. Neil

    1997-01-01

    Presents a protocol that uses reverse phase chromatography for the separation of chloroplast pigments. Provides a simple and relatively safe procedure for use in teaching laboratories. Discusses pigment extraction, chromatography, results, and advantages of the process. (JRH)

  6. Pigment oligomers as natural and artificial photosynthetic antennas

    SciTech Connect

    Blankenship, R.E.

    1996-12-31

    Green photosynthetic bacteria contain antenna complexes known as chlorosomes. These complexes are appressed to the cytoplasmic side of the inner cell membrane and function to absorb light and transfer the energy to the photochemical reaction center, where photochemical energy storage takes place. Chlorosomes differ from all other known photosynthetic antenna complexes in that the geometrical arrangement of pigments is determined primarily by pigment-pigment interactions instead of pigment-protein interactions. The bacteriochlorophyll c, d or e pigments found in chlorosomes form large oligomers with characteristic spectral properties significantly perturbed from those exhibited by monomeric pigments. Because of their close spatial interaction, the pigments are thought to be strongly coupled electronically, and many of the optical properties result from exciton interactions. This presentation will summarize existing knowledge on the chemical composition and properties of chlorosomes, the evidence for the oligomeric nature of chlorosome pigment organization and proposed structures for the oligomers, and the kinetics and mechanisms of energy transfer in chlorosomes.

  7. The peripheral clock regulates human pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Hardman, Jonathan A; Tobin, Desmond J; Haslam, Iain S; Farjo, Nilofer; Farjo, Bessam; Al-Nuaimi, Yusur; Grimaldi, Benedetto; Paus, Ralf

    2015-04-01

    Although the regulation of pigmentation is well characterized, it remains unclear whether cell-autonomous controls regulate the cyclic on-off switching of pigmentation in the hair follicle (HF). As human HFs and epidermal melanocytes express clock genes and proteins, and given that core clock genes (PER1, BMAL1) modulate human HF cycling, we investigated whether peripheral clock activity influences human HF pigmentation. We found that silencing BMAL1 or PER1 in human HFs increased HF melanin content. Furthermore, tyrosinase expression and activity, as well as TYRP1 and TYRP2 mRNA levels, gp100 protein expression, melanocyte dendricity, and the number gp100+ HF melanocytes, were all significantly increased in BMAL1 and/or PER1-silenced HFs. BMAL1 or PER1 silencing also increased epidermal melanin content, gp100 protein expression, and tyrosinase activity in human skin. These effects reflect direct modulation of melanocytes, as BMAL1 and/or PER1 silencing in isolated melanocytes increased tyrosinase activity and TYRP1/2 expression. Mechanistically, BMAL1 knockdown reduces PER1 transcription, and PER1 silencing induces phosphorylation of the master regulator of melanogenesis, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, thus stimulating human melanogenesis and melanocyte activity in situ and in vitro. Therefore, the molecular clock operates as a cell-autonomous modulator of human pigmentation and may be targeted for future therapeutic strategies. PMID:25310406

  8. "Dry-column" chromatography of plant pigments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woeller, F. H.; Lehwalt, M. F.; Oyama, V. I.

    1973-01-01

    Separation of plant pigments which can be accomplished on thin-layer silica plates with mixture of petroleum ether, halocarbon, acetone, and polar solvent can be readily translated into dry-column technique that yields reproducible chromatograms after elution in fashion of liquid chromatography with fluorimeter as detector. Best solvent system was found to be mixture of petroleum ether, dichloromethane, acetone, and ethyl acetate.

  9. 21 CFR 73.352 - Paracoccus pigment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Paracoccus pigment. 73.352 Section 73.352 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES GENERAL LISTING OF COLOR... accepted stability testing methods), other information required by § 70.25 of this chapter, and...

  10. Retinal pigment epithelial hamartoma--unusual manifestations.

    PubMed Central

    Rosenberg, P. R.; Walsh, J. B.

    1984-01-01

    Hamartoma of the retinal pigment epithelium is an uncommon tumour of young adults. We have seen 2 patients with this clinical diagnosis, both with unusual manifestations. In one patient growth of the tumour was observed over a 5-year period. In the second patient arterial-arterial anastomoses were detected at a site distal to the tumour. Images PMID:6722077

  11. [Pigmented villonodular synovitis: apropos of 3 cases].

    PubMed

    Mullier, J; Beauvois, S; Gebhart, M; Roelandts, M; Van Houtte, P

    2001-04-01

    Three cases of pigmented villonodular synovitis treated in recent years are described. One case presents a malignant transformation and raises the question of the benign character of these lesions. The therapeutic options are considered as well as the need for a larger series of patients to define therapeutic strategy.

  12. The peripheral clock regulates human pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Hardman, Jonathan A; Tobin, Desmond J; Haslam, Iain S; Farjo, Nilofer; Farjo, Bessam; Al-Nuaimi, Yusur; Grimaldi, Benedetto; Paus, Ralf

    2015-04-01

    Although the regulation of pigmentation is well characterized, it remains unclear whether cell-autonomous controls regulate the cyclic on-off switching of pigmentation in the hair follicle (HF). As human HFs and epidermal melanocytes express clock genes and proteins, and given that core clock genes (PER1, BMAL1) modulate human HF cycling, we investigated whether peripheral clock activity influences human HF pigmentation. We found that silencing BMAL1 or PER1 in human HFs increased HF melanin content. Furthermore, tyrosinase expression and activity, as well as TYRP1 and TYRP2 mRNA levels, gp100 protein expression, melanocyte dendricity, and the number gp100+ HF melanocytes, were all significantly increased in BMAL1 and/or PER1-silenced HFs. BMAL1 or PER1 silencing also increased epidermal melanin content, gp100 protein expression, and tyrosinase activity in human skin. These effects reflect direct modulation of melanocytes, as BMAL1 and/or PER1 silencing in isolated melanocytes increased tyrosinase activity and TYRP1/2 expression. Mechanistically, BMAL1 knockdown reduces PER1 transcription, and PER1 silencing induces phosphorylation of the master regulator of melanogenesis, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, thus stimulating human melanogenesis and melanocyte activity in situ and in vitro. Therefore, the molecular clock operates as a cell-autonomous modulator of human pigmentation and may be targeted for future therapeutic strategies.

  13. Pigment patterns in adult fish result from superimposition of two largely independent pigmentation mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Ceinos, Rosa M; Guillot, Raúl; Kelsh, Robert N; Cerdá-Reverter, José M; Rotllant, Josep

    2015-03-01

    Dorso-ventral pigment pattern differences are the most widespread pigmentary adaptations in vertebrates. In mammals, this pattern is controlled by regulating melanin chemistry in melanocytes using a protein, agouti-signalling peptide (ASIP). In fish, studies of pigment patterning have focused on stripe formation, identifying a core striping mechanism dependent upon interactions between different pigment cell types. In contrast, mechanisms driving the dorso-ventral countershading pattern have been overlooked. Here, we demonstrate that, in fact, zebrafish utilize two distinct adult pigment patterning mechanisms - an ancient dorso-ventral patterning mechanism, and a more recent striping mechanism based on cell-cell interactions; remarkably, the dorso-ventral patterning mechanism also utilizes ASIP. These two mechanisms function largely independently, with resultant patterns superimposed to give the full pattern.

  14. Evolution of colour vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Bowmaker, J K

    1998-01-01

    The expression of five major families of visual pigments occurred early in vertebrae evolution, probably about 350-400 million years ago, before the separation of the major vertebrate classes. Phylogenetic analysis of opsin gene sequences suggests that the ancestral pigments were cone pigments, with rod pigments evolving last. Modern teleosts, reptiles and birds have genera that possess rods and four spectral classes of cone each representing one of the five visual pigment families. The complement of four spectrally distinct cone classes endows these species with the potential for tetrachromatic colour vision. In contrast, probably because of their nocturnal ancestry, mammals have rod-dominated retinas with colour vision reduced to a basic dichromatic system subserved by only two spectral classes of cone. It is only within primates, about 35 millions years ago, that mammals 're-evolved' a higher level of colour vision: trichromacy. This was achieved by a gene duplication within the longer-wave cone class to produce two spectrally distinct members of the same visual pigment family which, in conjunction with a short-wavelength pigment, provide the three spectral classes of cone necessary to subserve trichromacy.

  15. Rethinking the history of artists' pigments through chemical analysis.

    PubMed

    Berrie, Barbara H

    2012-01-01

    Following a brief overview of the history of analysis of artists' pigments, I discuss the illustrative example of lead-tin yellow. Recent advances in our knowledge of artists' use of red lakes, glassy pigments, and metallic pigments in works of cultural heritage, particularly European paintings, as determined from chemical analyses are described. PMID:22708904

  16. Rethinking the History of Artists' Pigments Through Chemical Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berrie, Barbara H.

    2012-07-01

    Following a brief overview of the history of analysis of artists' pigments, I discuss the illustrative example of lead-tin yellow. Recent advances in our knowledge of artists' use of red lakes, glassy pigments, and metallic pigments in works of cultural heritage, particularly European paintings, as determined from chemical analyses are described.

  17. The determination and optimization of (rutile) pigment particle size distributions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richards, L. W.

    1972-01-01

    A light scattering particle size test which can be used with materials having a broad particle size distribution is described. This test is useful for pigments. The relation between the particle size distribution of a rutile pigment and its optical performance in a gray tint test at low pigment concentration is calculated and compared with experimental data.

  18. Pigment chemistry: the red sweat of the hippopotamus.

    PubMed

    Saikawa, Yoko; Hashimoto, Kimiko; Nakata, Masaya; Yoshihara, Masato; Nagai, Kiyoshi; Ida, Motoyasu; Komiya, Teruyuki

    2004-05-27

    Within a few minutes of perspiration, the colourless, viscous sweat of the hippopotamus gradually turns red, and then brown as the pigment polymerizes. Here we isolate and characterize the pigments responsible for this colour reaction. The unstable red and orange pigments turn out to be non-benzenoid aromatic compounds that are unexpectedly acidic and have antibiotic as well as sunscreen activity.

  19. Pigment chemistry: the red sweat of the hippopotamus.

    PubMed

    Saikawa, Yoko; Hashimoto, Kimiko; Nakata, Masaya; Yoshihara, Masato; Nagai, Kiyoshi; Ida, Motoyasu; Komiya, Teruyuki

    2004-05-27

    Within a few minutes of perspiration, the colourless, viscous sweat of the hippopotamus gradually turns red, and then brown as the pigment polymerizes. Here we isolate and characterize the pigments responsible for this colour reaction. The unstable red and orange pigments turn out to be non-benzenoid aromatic compounds that are unexpectedly acidic and have antibiotic as well as sunscreen activity. PMID:15164051

  20. Neurotized congenital melanocytic nevus resembling a pigmented neurofibroma.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nidhi; Chandrashekar, Laxmisha; Kar, Rakhee; Sylvia, Mary Theresa; Thappa, Devinder Mohan

    2015-01-01

    Neurotized congenital melanocytic nevus and pigmented neurofibroma (PNF) are close mimics and pose a clinicopathological challenge. We present a case of pigmented hypertrichotic plaque over lumbosacral region and discuss the differential diagnosis and its clinical, histopathological and immunohistochemistry features which may aid in differentiation. We highlight the difficulties faced in differentiating neurotized congenital melanocytic nevus from pigmented neurofibroma.

  1. Aspartate Decarboxylase is Required for a Normal Pupa Pigmentation Pattern in the Silkworm, Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Fangyin; Qiao, Liang; Cao, Cun; Liu, Xiaofan; Tong, Xiaoling; He, Songzhen; Hu, Hai; Zhang, Li; Wu, Songyuan; Tan, Duan; Xiang, Zhonghuai; Lu, Cheng

    2015-01-01

    The pigmentation pattern of Lepidoptera varies greatly in different development stages. To date, the effects of key genes in the melanin metabolism pathway on larval and adult body color are distinct, yet the effects on pupal pigmentation remains unclear. In the silkworm, Bombyx mori, the black pupa (bp) mutant is only specifically melanized at the pupal stage. Using positional cloning, we found that a mutation in the Aspartate decarboxylase gene (BmADC) is causative in the bp mutant. In the bp mutant, a SINE-like transposon with a length of 493 bp was detected ~2.2 kb upstream of the transcriptional start site of BmADC. This insertion causes a sharp reduction in BmADC transcript levels in bp mutants, leading to deficiency of β-alanine and N-β-alanyl dopamine (NBAD), but accumulation of dopamine. Following injection of β-alanine into bp mutants, the color pattern was reverted that of the wild-type silkworms. Additionally, melanic pupae resulting from knock-down of BmADC in the wild-type strain were obtained. These findings show that BmADC plays a crucial role in melanin metabolism and in the pigmentation pattern of the silkworm pupal stage. Finally, this study contributes to a better understanding of pupa pigmentation patterns in Lepidoptera. PMID:26077025

  2. Aspartate Decarboxylase is Required for a Normal Pupa Pigmentation Pattern in the Silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Dai, Fangyin; Qiao, Liang; Cao, Cun; Liu, Xiaofan; Tong, Xiaoling; He, Songzhen; Hu, Hai; Zhang, Li; Wu, Songyuan; Tan, Duan; Xiang, Zhonghuai; Lu, Cheng

    2015-06-16

    The pigmentation pattern of Lepidoptera varies greatly in different development stages. To date, the effects of key genes in the melanin metabolism pathway on larval and adult body color are distinct, yet the effects on pupal pigmentation remains unclear. In the silkworm, Bombyx mori, the black pupa (bp) mutant is only specifically melanized at the pupal stage. Using positional cloning, we found that a mutation in the Aspartate decarboxylase gene (BmADC) is causative in the bp mutant. In the bp mutant, a SINE-like transposon with a length of 493 bp was detected ~2.2 kb upstream of the transcriptional start site of BmADC. This insertion causes a sharp reduction in BmADC transcript levels in bp mutants, leading to deficiency of β-alanine and N-β-alanyl dopamine (NBAD), but accumulation of dopamine. Following injection of β-alanine into bp mutants, the color pattern was reverted that of the wild-type silkworms. Additionally, melanic pupae resulting from knock-down of BmADC in the wild-type strain were obtained. These findings show that BmADC plays a crucial role in melanin metabolism and in the pigmentation pattern of the silkworm pupal stage. Finally, this study contributes to a better understanding of pupa pigmentation patterns in Lepidoptera.

  3. Melanocyte pigmentation inversely correlates with MCP-1 production and angiogenesis-inducing potential.

    PubMed

    Adini, Irit; Adini, Avner; Bazinet, Lauren; Watnick, Randolph S; Bielenberg, Diane R; D'Amato, Robert J

    2015-02-01

    The incidence of certain angiogenesis-dependent diseases is higher in Caucasians than in African Americans. Angiogenesis is amplified in wound healing and cornea models in albino C57 mice compared with black C57 mice. Moreover, mouse and human melanocytes with low pigmentation stimulate endothelial cell (EC) proliferation and migration in vitro more than melanocytes with high pigmentation. This effect is due, in part, to the secretion of an angiogenic protein called fibromodulin (FMOD) from lowly pigmented melanocytes. Herein, we expand upon the mechanism contributing to increased angiogenesis in lighter skin and report that monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) is secreted by nonpigmented mouse melanocytes by 5- to 10-fold more than pigmented melanocytes. MCP-1 protein stimulates EC proliferation and migration in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo. Mechanistic studies determine that FMOD is upstream of MCP-1 and promotes its secretion from both melanocytes and activated ECs via stimulation of NF-κB activity. Mice injected with FMOD-neutralizing antibodies show 2.3-fold decreased levels of circulating MCP-1. Human studies confirmed that, on average, Caucasians have 2-fold higher serum levels of MCP-1 than African Americans. Taken together, this study implicates the FMOD/MCP-1 pathway in the regulation of angiogenesis by local melanocytes and suggests that melanogenic activity may protect against aberrant angiogenic diseases.

  4. How parrots see their colours: novelty in the visual pigments of Platycercus elegans.

    PubMed

    Knott, Ben; Davies, Wayne I L; Carvalho, Livia S; Berg, Mathew L; Buchanan, Katherine L; Bowmaker, James K; Bennett, Andrew T D; Hunt, David M

    2013-12-01

    Intraspecific differences in retinal physiology have been demonstrated in several vertebrate taxa and are often subject to adaptive evolution. Nonetheless, such differences are currently unknown in birds, despite variations in habitat, behaviour and visual stimuli that might influence spectral sensitivity. The parrot Platycercus elegans is a species complex with extreme plumage colour differences between (and sometimes within) subspecies, making it an ideal candidate for intraspecific differences in spectral sensitivity. Here, the visual pigments of P. elegans were fully characterised through molecular sequencing of five visual opsin genes and measurement of their absorbance spectra using microspectrophotometry. Three of the genes, LWS, SW1 and SWS2, encode for proteins similar to those found in other birds; however, both the RH1 and RH2 pigments had polypeptides with carboxyl termini of different lengths and unusual properties that are unknown previously for any vertebrate visual pigment. Specifically, multiple RH2 transcripts and protein variants (short, medium and long) were identified for the first time that are generated by alternative splicing of downstream coding and non-coding exons. Our work provides the first complete characterisation of the visual pigments of a parrot, perhaps the most colourful order of birds, and moreover suggests more variability in avian eyes than hitherto considered.

  5. The spectrum of pigmented purpuric dermatosis and mycosis fungoides: atypical T-cell dyscrasia.

    PubMed

    Ladrigan, Manasi Kadam; Poligone, Brian

    2014-12-01

    We report the case of a healthy 17-year-old adolescent boy with an unremarkable medical history who presented with an asymptomatic fixed rash on the abdomen, buttocks, and legs. The rash initially developed in a small area on the right leg 2 years prior and had progressed slowly. Prior biopsies were consistent with pigmented purpura. Clinical examination revealed multiple annular purpuric patches on the abdomen, buttocks, and legs covering approximately 20% of the body surface area without lymphadenopathy or hepatosplenomegaly. Additional biopsies demonstrated changes consistent with mycosis fungoides (MF). T-cell receptor g gene rearrangements demonstrated clonality. The patient was diagnosed with stage IB MF of the pigmented purpura-like variant. The patient responded well to psoralen plus UVA therapy. It has been proposed that pigmented purpuric dermatosis (PPD) is a form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoid dyscrasia and that T-cell gene rearrangement studies should be obtained for prognostic evaluation in patients with widespread disease. In our patient, the clinical appearance of the lesions, pathologic findings, and gene rearrangement studies led to the diagnosis of MF. Until the potential for evolution of PPD to malignant disease is better understood, further evaluation of MF in patients with an unusual presentation of pigmented purpura is warranted. PMID:25566571

  6. The Eyes Have It: Regulatory and Structural Changes Both Underlie Cichlid Visual Pigment Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, N. Justin; Cronin, Thomas W.; Seehausen, Ole; Carleton, Karen L.

    2009-01-01

    A major goal of evolutionary biology is to unravel the molecular genetic mechanisms that underlie functional diversification and adaptation. We investigated how changes in gene regulation and coding sequence contribute to sensory diversification in two replicate radiations of cichlid fishes. In the clear waters of Lake Malawi, differential opsin expression generates diverse visual systems, with sensitivities extending from the ultraviolet to the red regions of the spectrum. These sensitivities fall into three distinct clusters and are correlated with foraging habits. In the turbid waters of Lake Victoria, visual sensitivity is constrained to longer wavelengths, and opsin expression is correlated with ambient light. In addition to regulatory changes, we found that the opsins coding for the shortest- and longest-wavelength visual pigments have elevated numbers of potentially functional substitutions. Thus, we present a model of sensory evolution in which both molecular genetic mechanisms work in concert. Changes in gene expression generate large shifts in visual pigment sensitivity across the collective opsin spectral range, but changes in coding sequence appear to fine-tune visual pigment sensitivity at the short- and long-wavelength ends of this range, where differential opsin expression can no longer extend visual pigment sensitivity. PMID:20027211

  7. The spectrum of pigmented purpuric dermatosis and mycosis fungoides: atypical T-cell dyscrasia.

    PubMed

    Ladrigan, Manasi Kadam; Poligone, Brian

    2014-12-01

    We report the case of a healthy 17-year-old adolescent boy with an unremarkable medical history who presented with an asymptomatic fixed rash on the abdomen, buttocks, and legs. The rash initially developed in a small area on the right leg 2 years prior and had progressed slowly. Prior biopsies were consistent with pigmented purpura. Clinical examination revealed multiple annular purpuric patches on the abdomen, buttocks, and legs covering approximately 20% of the body surface area without lymphadenopathy or hepatosplenomegaly. Additional biopsies demonstrated changes consistent with mycosis fungoides (MF). T-cell receptor g gene rearrangements demonstrated clonality. The patient was diagnosed with stage IB MF of the pigmented purpura-like variant. The patient responded well to psoralen plus UVA therapy. It has been proposed that pigmented purpuric dermatosis (PPD) is a form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoid dyscrasia and that T-cell gene rearrangement studies should be obtained for prognostic evaluation in patients with widespread disease. In our patient, the clinical appearance of the lesions, pathologic findings, and gene rearrangement studies led to the diagnosis of MF. Until the potential for evolution of PPD to malignant disease is better understood, further evaluation of MF in patients with an unusual presentation of pigmented purpura is warranted.

  8. Detrimental effects of carotenoid pigments: the dark side of bright coloration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huggins, Kristal A.; Navara, Kristen J.; Mendonça, Mary T.; Hill, Geoffrey E.

    2010-07-01

    Carotenoid pigments produce yellow, orange, and red integumentary color displays that can serve as reliable signals of health and condition. In many birds and fish, individuals gain competitive or mating advantages by ingesting and utilizing large quantities of carotenoid pigments. Carotenoid pigments serve as antioxidants, performing important functions as free-radical scavengers. The beneficial effects of carotenoid pigments are well documented, but rarely have researchers considered potential detrimental effects of high-level accumulation of carotenoids. We maintained American goldfinches ( Carduelis tristis) on high- or low-carotenoid diets through molt and tested for damage to the liver and skeletal muscle. High intake of carotenoids had no measurable effect on liver enzymes but caused an increase in creatine kinase, an indicator of skeletal muscle breakdown, and a reduction in vertical flight performance, a measure of skeletal muscle integrity. The detrimental effects of high-level carotenoid accumulation were approximately equivalent to the negative effects of removing carotenoids from the diet. The adverse effects observed in this study have important implications for theories of the function and evolution of colorful plumage.

  9. Dimerization of visual pigments in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Cao, Li-Hui; Kumar, Sandeep; Enemchukwu, Nduka O; Zhang, Ning; Lambert, Alyssia; Zhao, Xuchen; Jones, Alex; Wang, Shixian; Dennis, Emily M; Fnu, Amrita; Ham, Sam; Rainier, Jon; Yau, King-Wai; Fu, Yingbin

    2016-08-01

    It is a deeply engrained notion that the visual pigment rhodopsin signals light as a monomer, even though many G protein-coupled receptors are now known to exist and function as dimers. Nonetheless, recent studies (albeit all in vitro) have suggested that rhodopsin and its chromophore-free apoprotein, R-opsin, may indeed exist as a homodimer in rod disk membranes. Given the overwhelmingly strong historical context, the crucial remaining question, therefore, is whether pigment dimerization truly exists naturally and what function this dimerization may serve. We addressed this question in vivo with a unique mouse line (S-opsin(+)Lrat(-/-)) expressing, transgenically, short-wavelength-sensitive cone opsin (S-opsin) in rods and also lacking chromophore to exploit the fact that cone opsins, but not R-opsin, require chromophore for proper folding and trafficking to the photoreceptor's outer segment. In R-opsin's absence, S-opsin in these transgenic rods without chromophore was mislocalized; in R-opsin's presence, however, S-opsin trafficked normally to the rod outer segment and produced functional S-pigment upon subsequent chromophore restoration. Introducing a competing R-opsin transmembrane helix H1 or helix H8 peptide, but not helix H4 or helix H5 peptide, into these transgenic rods caused mislocalization of R-opsin and S-opsin to the perinuclear endoplasmic reticulum. Importantly, a similar peptide-competition effect was observed even in WT rods. Our work provides convincing evidence for visual pigment dimerization in vivo under physiological conditions and for its role in pigment maturation and targeting. Our work raises new questions regarding a potential mechanistic role of dimerization in rhodopsin signaling. PMID:27462111

  10. Patchwork assembly of nag-like nitroarene dioxygenase genes and the 3-chlorocatechol degradation cluster for evolution of the 2-chloronitrobenzene catabolism pathway in Pseudomonas stutzeri ZWLR2-1.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Wang, Shu-Jun; Zhang, Jun-Jie; Dai, Hui; Tang, Huiru; Zhou, Ning-Yi

    2011-07-01

    Pseudomonas stutzeri ZWLR2-1 utilizes 2-chloronitrobenzene (2CNB) as a sole source of carbon, nitrogen, and energy. To identify genes involved in this pathway, a 16.2-kb DNA fragment containing putative 2CNB dioxygenase genes was cloned and sequenced. Of the products from the 19 open reading frames that resulted from this fragment, CnbAc and CnbAd exhibited striking identities to the respective α and β subunits of the Nag-like ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases involved in the metabolism of nitrotoluene, nitrobenzene, and naphthalene. The encoding genes were also flanked by two copies of insertion sequence IS6100. CnbAa and CnbAb are similar to the ferredoxin reductase and ferredoxin for anthranilate 1,2-dioxygenase from Burkholderia cepacia DBO1. Escherichia coli cells expressing cnbAaAbAcAd converted 2CNB to 3-chlorocatechol with concomitant nitrite release. Cell extracts of E. coli/pCNBC exhibited chlorocatechol 1,2-dioxygenase activity. The cnbCDEF gene cluster, homologous to a 3-chlorocatechol degradation cluster in Sphingomonas sp. strain TFD44, probably contains all of the genes necessary for the conversion of 3-chlorocatechol to 3-oxoadipate. The patchwork-like structure of this catabolic cluster suggests that the cnb cluster for 2CNB degradation evolved by recruiting two catabolic clusters encoding a nitroarene dioxygenase and a chlorocatechol degradation pathway. This provides another example to help elucidate the bacterial evolution of catabolic pathways in response to xenobiotic chemicals.

  11. Challenges of identifying eczema in darkly pigmented skin.

    PubMed

    Myers, Joan

    2015-07-01

    There is a paucity of information about the difference in the presentation of eczema in darkly pigmented skin compared to children with fair or white skin. This article describes the possible challenges of diagnosing eczema in children with darkly pigmented skin. The physiological difference in darkly pigmented skin compared with fair or white skin is explored, and how eczema may be manifested and identified in darkly pigmented skin. The author uses the term darkly pigmented skin to describe children of black Caribbean, African or Asian descent.

  12. Retinal pigment epithelial function: a role for CFTR?

    PubMed

    Blaug, Sasha; Quinn, Richard; Quong, Judy; Jalickee, Stephen; Miller, Sheldon S

    2003-01-01

    In the vertebrate eye, the photoreceptor outer segments and the apical membrane of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) are separated by a small extracellular (subretinal) space whose volume and chemical composition varies in the light and dark. Light onset triggers relatively fast (ms) retinal responses and much slower voltage and resistance changes (s to min) at the apical and basolateral membranes of the RPE. Two of these slow RPE responses, the fast oscillation (FO) and the light peak, are measured clinically as part of the electrooculogram (EOG). Both EOG responses are mediated in part by apical and basolateral membranes proteins that form a pathway for the movement of salt and osmotically obliged fluid across the RPE, from retina to choroid. This transport pathway serves to control the volume and chemical composition of the subretinal and choroidal extracellular spaces. In human fetal RPE, we have identified one of these proteins, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) by RT-PCR, immunolocalization, and electrophysiological techniques. Evidence is presented to suggest that the FO component of the EOG is mediated directly or indirectly by CFTR. PMID:12675485

  13. The molecular genetics and evolution of red and green color vision in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, S; Radlwimmer, F B

    2001-08-01

    To better understand the evolution of red-green color vision in vertebrates, we inferred the amino acid sequences of the ancestral pigments of 11 selected visual pigments: the LWS pigments of cave fish (Astyanax fasciatus), frog (Xenopus laevis), chicken (Gallus gallus), chameleon (Anolis carolinensis), goat (Capra hircus), and human (Homo sapiens);and the MWS pigments of cave fish, gecko (Gekko gekko), mouse (Mus musculus), squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), and human. We constructed these ancestral pigments by introducing the necessary mutations into contemporary pigments and evaluated their absorption spectra using an in vitro assay. The results show that the common ancestor of vertebrates and most other ancestors had LWS pigments. Multiple regression analyses of ancestral and contemporary MWS and LWS pigments show that single mutations S180A, H197Y, Y277F, T285A, A308S, and double mutations S180A/H197Y shift the lambda(max) of the pigments by -7, -28, -8, -15, -27, and 11 nm, respectively. It is most likely that this "five-sites" rule is the molecular basis of spectral tuning in the MWS and LWS pigments during vertebrate evolution.

  14. Reaction-diffusion models of within-feather pigmentation patterning.

    PubMed

    Prum, Richard O; Williamson, Scott

    2002-04-22

    Feathers are complex, branched keratin structures that exhibit a diversity of pigmentation patterns. Feather pigments are transferred into developing feather keratinocytes from pigment cells that migrate into the tubular feather germ from the dermis. Within-feather pigment patterns are determined by differential pigmentation of keratinocytes within independent barb ridges during feather development. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that determine which keratinocytes receive pigment. We apply reaction-diffusion models to the growth of within-feather pigment patterns based on a realistic model of feather growth. These models accurately simulate the growth of a diversity of the within-feather pigmentation patterns found in real feathers, including a central patch, a 'hollow' central patch, concentric central patches, bars, chevrons, a central circular spot, rows of paired spots, and arrays of offset dots. The models can also simulate the complex transitions between distinct pigmentation patterns among feathers observed in real avian plumages, including transitions from bars to chevrons, bars to paired dots, and bars to arrays of dots. The congruence between the developmental dynamics of the simulated and observed feather patterns indicates that the reaction-diffusion models provide a realistic and accurate description of the determination of pigment pattern within avian feather follicles. The models support the hypothesis that within-feather pigmentation patterning is determined by antagonistic interactions among molecular expression gradients within the tubular follicle and feather germ.

  15. [Spectral analysis of ceramic-painting pigments from Taosi site].

    PubMed

    Li, Nai-Sheng; Yang, Yi-Min; He, Nu; Mao, Zhen-Wei

    2008-04-01

    Based on the analysis of Raman, IR spectroscopy and XRD methods, the structure of the different pigments and bond in red pigment in the ceramic from Taosi site in Xiangfeng county, Shanxi province was analyzed. It is very prominent that both red and white pigments have been well preserved. The red pigment was identified as HgS, while white pigment is CaCO3, and the bond in red pigment is CaCO3, which was made from white lime, and the reasons for its formation is because of carbon dioxide in air, which was absorbed by white lime over long history. Moreover, it was indicated that the Raman and IR spectra are more effective for identifying the ancient pigments in very few quantities than XRD. Furthermore, the fact that quartz was unfound in vermilion, suggested that the technique for synthetic vermilion might have been known in 4 000 years ago in Taosi site.

  16. Color me bad: microbial pigments as virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Liu, George Y.; Nizet, Victor

    2009-01-01

    A hallmark feature of several pathogenic microbes is the distinctive color of their colonies when propagated in the clinical laboratory. Such pigmentation comes in a variety of hues, and has often proven useful in presumptive clinical diagnosis. Recent advances in microbial pigment biochemistry and the genetic basis of pigment production has sometimes revealed a more sinister aspect to these curious materials that change the color of reflected light by selective light absorbance. In many cases, the microbial pigment contributes to disease pathogenesis by interfering with host immune clearance mechanisms or by exhibiting pro-inflammatory or cytotoxic properties. Here, we review several examples of pigments that promote microbial virulence, including the golden staphyloxanthin of Staphylococcus aureus, the blue-green pyocyanin of Pseudomonas spp., and the dark brown or black melanin pigments of Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus spp. Targeted pigment neutralization may represent a viable concept to enhance treatment of certain difficult infectious disease conditions. PMID:19726196

  17. Pigmented Pindborg tumor of the maxilla: A case report

    PubMed Central

    Priya, Subashchandrabose; Madanagopaal, Lakshmikanth Ramiah; Sarada, Venkaterwaran

    2016-01-01

    The calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor (CEOT), also known as the Pindborg tumor, is a benign locally invasive neoplasm. Common variants of CEOT include noncalcifying, Langerhans cell, bone and cementum forming and clear cell, which have a prognostic significance. Pigmented variants are known to occur in other odontogenic tumors. However, a definitive pigmented variant of CEOT has not been reported in literature so far. Here, we report the first case of pigmented Pindborg tumor arising from the maxilla in a young female. The pigment was demonstrated as melanin by staining and confirmed by immunohistochemistry. The pigmented variant of CEOT did not recur within 18 months postsurgery. Our report indicates that it is essential to recognize the pigmented variant. We discuss the common variants of CEOT and potential histogenesis of the pigmented variant. Further studies are required to reveal the histogenesis of melanocytes and their pathological significance in the odontogenic tumors. PMID:27721633

  18. pyewacket, a new zebrafish fin pigment pattern mutant.

    PubMed

    Mellgren, Eve M; Johnson, Stephen L

    2006-06-01

    Many mutants that disrupt zebrafish embryonic pigment pattern have been isolated, and subsequent cloning of the mutated genes causing these phenotypes has contributed to our understanding of pigment cell development. However, few mutants have been identified that specifically affect development of the adult pigment pattern. Through a mutant screen for adult pigment pattern phenotypes, we identified pyewacket (pye), a novel zebrafish mutant in which development of the adult caudal fin pigment pattern is aberrant. Specifically, pye mutants have fin melanocyte pigment pattern defects and fewer xanthophores than wild-type fins. We mapped pye to an interval where a single gene, the zebrafish ortholog of the human gene DHRSX, is present. pye will be an informative mutant for understanding how xanthophores and melanocytes interact to form the pigment pattern of the adult zebrafish fin.

  19. Genetic basis of eye and pigment loss in the cave crustacean, Asellus aquaticus

    PubMed Central

    Protas, Meredith E.; Trontelj, Peter; Patel, Nipam H.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the process of evolution is one of the great challenges in biology. Cave animals are one group with immense potential to address the mechanisms of evolutionary change. Amazingly, similar morphological alterations, such as enhancement of sensory systems and the loss of eyes and pigmentation, have evolved multiple times in a diverse assemblage of cave animals. Our goal is to develop an invertebrate model to study cave evolution so that, in combination with a previously established vertebrate cave system, we can address genetic questions concerning evolutionary parallelism and convergence. We chose the isopod crustacean, Asellus aquaticus, and generated a genome-wide linkage map for this species. Our map, composed of 117 markers, of which the majority are associated with genes known to be involved in pigmentation, eye, and appendage development, was used to identify loci of large effect responsible for several pigmentation traits and eye loss. Our study provides support for the prediction that significant morphological change can be mediated through one or a few genes. Surprisingly, we found that within population variability in eye size occurs through multiple mechanisms; eye loss has a different genetic basis than reduced eye size. Similarly, again within a population, the phenotype of albinism can be achieved by two different genetic pathways—either by a recessive genotype at one locus or doubly recessive genotypes at two other loci. Our work shows the potential of Asellus for studying the extremes of parallel and convergent evolution—spanning comparisons within populations to comparisons between vertebrate and arthropod systems. PMID:21422298

  20. Molecular characterization of two endothelin pathways in East African cichlid fishes.

    PubMed

    Diepeveen, Eveline T; Salzburger, Walter

    2011-12-01

    The adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes in East Africa have been associated with the acquisition of evolutionary novelties as well as the ecological opportunities existing in the East African Great lakes. Two remarkable evolutionary innovations are the pharyngeal jaw apparatus, found in all cichlid species, and the anal fin egg-spots of mouthbrooding cichlids. Based on their conserved functions during the development of both the jaw apparatus and pigmentation, the endothelin ligands and receptors form a putative link between these naturally and sexually selected traits. Here we study the evolutionary history of four members of two endothelin pathways (Edn1/EdnrAa and Edn3b/EdnrB1a) to elucidate their possible roles during the evolution and development of key innovations in East African cichlids species. The analyses performed on partial sequences (ca. 6,000 bp per taxon) show that all four endothelin family members evolved under purifying selection, although both ligands are characterized by an accelerated rate of protein evolution in comparison to the receptors. In accordance with earlier findings, we show that the mature protein sequence of Edn1 and Edn3 are highly conserved, also in cichlids, whereas the preproendothelin parts are variable indicating relaxed selective constraints. In the receptors, nonsynonymous substitutions were mainly found in the ligand-binding domains suggesting functional divergence. Gene expression assays with Real-Time PCR indeed reveal that the two studied endothelin pathways are expressed in the cichlid pharyngeal jaw and in the haplochromine egg-spot (among other pigment-cell containing tissues), suggesting their involvement during morphogenesis of naturally and sexually selected traits in cichlids. PMID:22271349

  1. The histopathology of subcutaneous minocycline pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Bowen, Anneli Ririe; McCalmont, Timothy H

    2007-11-01

    Hyperpigmentation associated with prolonged minocycline use is well documented. The histopathology of cutaneous minocycline pigment is characterized by deposition of brown/black, Fontana-Masson, and Perls' positive granules deposited along elastic fibers in the papillary dermis and occurring within macrophages along vessels and eccrine units in the dermis. The subcutis may also be involved; however, the specific subcutaneous findings associated with minocycline hyperpigmentation have not been well established. We present the histopathologic findings of 4 cases of minocycline hyperpigmentation with subcutaneous involvement. Green-gray, flocculent, nonrefractile globules within macrophages were found in the subcutis of all patients. Two of 4 cases exhibited lipomembraneous changes that were also associated with pigment. These distinctive findings may provide additional clues to enable a diagnosis of drug-induced hyperpigmentation to be offered, even in the absence of a clear clinical history. PMID:17939935

  2. Melanocyte pigmentation inversely correlates with MCP-1 production and angiogenesis-inducing potential

    PubMed Central

    Adini, Irit; Adini, Avner; Bazinet, Lauren; Watnick, Randolph S.; Bielenberg, Diane R.; D’Amato, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    The incidence of certain angiogenesis-dependent diseases is higher in Caucasians than in African Americans. Angiogenesis is amplified in wound healing and cornea models in albino C57 mice compared with black C57 mice. Moreover, mouse and human melanocytes with low pigmentation stimulate endothelial cell (EC) proliferation and migration in vitro more than melanocytes with high pigmentation. This effect is due, in part, to the secretion of an angiogenic protein called fibromodulin (FMOD) from lowly pigmented melanocytes. Herein, we expand upon the mechanism contributing to increased angiogenesis in lighter skin and report that monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) is secreted by nonpigmented mouse melanocytes by 5- to 10-fold more than pigmented melanocytes. MCP-1 protein stimulates EC proliferation and migration in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo. Mechanistic studies determine that FMOD is upstream of MCP-1 and promotes its secretion from both melanocytes and activated ECs via stimulation of NF-κB activity. Mice injected with FMOD-neutralizing antibodies show 2.3-fold decreased levels of circulating MCP-1. Human studies confirmed that, on average, Caucasians have 2-fold higher serum levels of MCP-1 than African Americans. Taken together, this study implicates the FMOD/MCP-1 pathway in the regulation of angiogenesis by local melanocytes and suggests that melanogenic activity may protect against aberrant angiogenic diseases.—Adini, I., Adini, A., Bazinet, L., Watnick, R. S., Bielenberg, D. R., and D’Amato, R. J. Melanocyte pigmentation inversely correlates with MCP-1 production and angiogenesis-inducing potential. PMID:25406462

  3. Complex patterns of cis-regulatory polymorphisms in ebony underlie standing pigmentation variation in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Miyagi, Ryutaro; Akiyama, Noriyoshi; Osada, Naoki; Takahashi, Aya

    2015-12-01

    Pigmentation traits in adult Drosophila melanogaster were used in this study to investigate how phenotypic variations in continuous ecological traits can be maintained in a natural population. First, pigmentation variation in the adult female was measured at seven different body positions in 20 strains from the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) originating from a natural population in North Carolina. Next, to assess the contributions of cis-regulatory polymorphisms of the genes involved in the melanin biosynthesis pathway, allele-specific expression levels of four genes were quantified by amplicon sequencing using a 454 GS Junior. Among those genes, ebony was significantly associated with pigmentation intensity of the thoracic segment. Detailed sequence analysis of the gene regulatory regions of this gene indicated that many different functional cis-regulatory alleles are segregating in the population and that variations outside the core enhancer element could potentially play important roles in the regulation of gene expression. In addition, a slight enrichment of distantly associated SNP pairs was observed in the ~10 kb cis-regulatory region of ebony, which suggested the presence of interacting elements scattered across the region. In contrast, sequence analysis in the core cis-regulatory region of tan indicated that SNPs within the region are significantly associated with allele-specific expression level of this gene. Collectively, the data suggest that the underlying genetic differences in the cis-regulatory regions that control intraspecific pigmentation variation can be more complex than those of interspecific pigmentation trait differences, where causal genetic changes are typically confined to modular enhancer elements.

  4. Schiff base protonation changes in Siberian hamster ultraviolet cone pigment photointermediates.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Victoria L; Szundi, Istvan; Lewis, James W; Yan, Elsa C Y; Kliger, David S

    2012-03-27

    Molecular structure and function studies of vertebrate ultraviolet (UV) cone visual pigments are needed to understand the molecular evolution of these photoreceptors, which uniquely contain unprotonated Schiff base linkages between the 11-cis-retinal chromophore and the opsin proteins. In this study, the Siberian hamster ultraviolet cone pigment (SHUV) was expressed and purified in an n-dodecyl-β-D-maltoside suspension for optical characterization. Time-resolved absorbance measurements, over a spectral range from 300 to 700 nm, were taken for the purified pigment at time delays from 30 ns to 4.64 s after photoexcitation using 7 ns pulses of 355 nm light. The resulting data were fit globally to a sum of exponential functions after noise reduction using singular-value decomposition. Four exponentials best fit the data with lifetimes of 1.4 μs, 210 μs, 47 ms, and 1 s. The first photointermediate species characterized here is an equilibrated mixture similar to the one formed after rhodopsin's Batho intermediate decays into equilibrium with its successor, BSI. The extremely large red shift of the SHUV Batho component relative to the pigment suggests that SHUV Batho has a protonated Schiff base and that the SHUV cone pigment itself has an unprotonated Schiff base. In contrast to SHUV Batho, the portion of the equilibrated mixture's spectrum corresponding to SHUV BSI is well fit by a model spectrum with an unprotonated Schiff base. The spectra of the next two photointermediate species revealed that they both have unprotonated Schiff bases and suggest they are analogous to rhodopsin's Lumi I and Lumi II species. After decay of SHUV Lumi II, the correspondence with rhodopsin photointermediates breaks down and the next photointermediate, presumably including the G protein-activating species, is a mixture of protonated and unprotonated Schiff base photointermediate species.

  5. Practice and Educational Gaps in Abnormal Pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Mohammad, Tasneem F; Hamzavi, Iltefat H

    2016-07-01

    Dyschromia refers to abnormal pigmentation and is one of the most common diagnoses in dermatology. However, there are many educational and practice gaps in this area, specifically in melasma, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, and vitiligo. This article aims to review the gold standard of care for these conditions as well as highlight common educational and practice gaps in these areas. Finally, possible solutions to these gaps are addressed. PMID:27363886

  6. [Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase of pigmented yeasts].

    PubMed

    Mushi, N Iu; Kupletskaia, M B; Bab'eva, I P; Egorov, N S

    1980-01-01

    116 pigmented yeast cultures were tested for the presence of L-phenylalanine-ammonia lyase transforming L-phenylalanine into trans-cinnamic acid. The enzyme was found in 54 strains. Most of these strains belonged to the genera Rhodotorula and Sporobolomyces. Toluene, along with acetone, was successfully used to increase cellular permeability of the yeast cultures while determining the activity of phenylalanine-ammonia lyase.

  7. Copy number variants and rasopathies: germline KRAS duplication in a patient with syndrome including pigmentation abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Gilbert-Dussardier, Brigitte; Briand-Suleau, Audrey; Laurendeau, Ingrid; Bilan, Frédéric; Cavé, Hélène; Verloes, Alain; Vidaud, Michel; Vidaud, Dominique; Pasmant, Eric

    2016-01-01

    RAS/MAPK pathway germline mutations were described in Rasopathies, a class of rare genetic syndromes combining facial abnormalities, heart defects, short stature, skin and genital abnormalities, and mental retardation. The majority of the mutations identified in the Rasopathies are point mutations which increase RAS/MAPK pathway signaling. Duplications encompassing RAS/MAPK pathway genes (PTPN11, RAF1, MEK2, or SHOC2) were more rarely described. Here we report, a syndromic familial case of a 12p duplication encompassing the dosage sensitive gene KRAS, whose phenotype overlapped with rasopathies. The patient was referred because of a history of mild learning disabilities, small size, facial dysmorphy, and pigmentation abnormalities (café-au-lait and achromic spots, and axillar lentigines). This phenotype was reminiscent of rasopathies. No mutation was identified in the most common genes associated with Noonan, cardio-facio-cutaneous, Legius, and Costello syndromes, as well as neurofibromatosis type 1. The patient constitutional DNA exhibited a ~10.5 Mb duplication at 12p, including the KRAS gene. The index case's mother carried the same chromosome abnormality and also showed development delay with short stature, and numerous café-au-lait spots. Duplication of the KRAS gene may participate in the propositus phenotype, in particular of the specific pigmentation abnormalities. Array-CGH or some other assessment of gene/exon CNVs of RAS/MAPK pathway genes should be considered in the evaluation of individuals with rasopathies. PMID:27450488

  8. Melanoma induction by ultraviolet A but not ultraviolet B radiation requires melanin pigment.

    PubMed

    Noonan, Frances P; Zaidi, M Raza; Wolnicka-Glubisz, Agnieszka; Anver, Miriam R; Bahn, Jesse; Wielgus, Albert; Cadet, Jean; Douki, Thierry; Mouret, Stephane; Tucker, Margaret A; Popratiloff, Anastas; Merlino, Glenn; De Fabo, Edward C

    2012-06-06

    Malignant melanoma of the skin (CMM) is associated with ultraviolet radiation exposure, but the mechanisms and even the wavelengths responsible are unclear. Here we use a mammalian model to investigate melanoma formed in response to precise spectrally defined ultraviolet wavelengths and biologically relevant doses. We show that melanoma induction by ultraviolet A (320-400 nm) requires the presence of melanin pigment and is associated with oxidative DNA damage within melanocytes. In contrast, ultraviolet B radiation (280-320 nm) initiates melanoma in a pigment-independent manner associated with direct ultraviolet B DNA damage. Thus, we identified two ultraviolet wavelength-dependent pathways for the induction of CMM and describe an unexpected and significant role for melanin within the melanocyte in melanomagenesis.

  9. An intracellular anion channel critical for pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Escobar, Iliana E; Lefkovith, Ariel J; Marks, Michael S; Oancea, Elena

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular ion channels are essential regulators of organellar and cellular function, yet the molecular identity and physiological role of many of these channels remains elusive. In particular, no ion channel has been characterized in melanosomes, organelles that produce and store the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanosome function cause albinism, characterized by vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired retinal development, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. The most common form of albinism is caused by mutations in oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2), a melanosome-specific transmembrane protein with unknown function. Here we used direct patch-clamp of skin and eye melanosomes to identify a novel chloride-selective anion conductance mediated by OCA2 and required for melanin production. Expression of OCA2 increases organelle pH, suggesting that the chloride channel might regulate melanin synthesis by modulating melanosome pH. Thus, a melanosomal anion channel that requires OCA2 is essential for skin and eye pigmentation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04543.001 PMID:25513726

  10. An intracellular anion channel critical for pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Escobar, Iliana E; Lefkovith, Ariel J; Marks, Michael S; Oancea, Elena

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular ion channels are essential regulators of organellar and cellular function, yet the molecular identity and physiological role of many of these channels remains elusive. In particular, no ion channel has been characterized in melanosomes, organelles that produce and store the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanosome function cause albinism, characterized by vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired retinal development, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. The most common form of albinism is caused by mutations in oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2), a melanosome-specific transmembrane protein with unknown function. Here we used direct patch-clamp of skin and eye melanosomes to identify a novel chloride-selective anion conductance mediated by OCA2 and required for melanin production. Expression of OCA2 increases organelle pH, suggesting that the chloride channel might regulate melanin synthesis by modulating melanosome pH. Thus, a melanosomal anion channel that requires OCA2 is essential for skin and eye pigmentation. PMID:25513726

  11. Characterization of the mantle transcriptome of yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis): identification of genes potentially involved in biomineralization and pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiujun; Yang, Aiguo; Wu, Biao; Zhou, Liqing; Liu, Zhihong

    2015-01-01

    The Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis is an economically important marine bivalve species in aquaculture and fishery in Asian countries. However, limited genomic resources are available for this scallop, which hampers investigations into molecular mechanisms underlying their unique biological characteristics, such as shell formation and pigmentation. Mantle is the special tissue of P. yessoensis that secretes biomineralization proteins inducing shell deposition as well as pigmentation on the shells. However, a current deficiency of transcriptome information limits insight into mechanisms of shell formation and pigmentation in this species. In this study, the transcriptome of the mantle of P. yessoensis was deeply sequenced and characterized using Illumina RNA-seq technology. A total of 86,521 unique transcripts are assembled from 55,884,122 reads that passed quality filters, and annotated, using Gene Ontology classification. A total of 259 pathways are identified in the mantle transcriptome, including the calcium signaling and melanogenesis pathways. A total of 237 unigenes that are homologous to 102 reported biomineralization genes are identified, and 121 unigenes that are homologous to 93 known proteins related to melanin biosynthesis are found. Twenty-three annotated unigenes, which are mainly homologous to calmodulin and related proteins, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, adenylate/guanylate cyclase, and tyrosinase family are potentially involved in both biomineralization and melanin biosynthesis. It is suggested that these genes are probably not limited in function to induce shell deposition by calcium metabolism, but may also be involved in pigmentation of the shells of the scallop. This potentially supports the idea that there might be a link between calcium metabolism and melanin biosynthesis, which was previously found in vertebrates. The findings presented here will notably advance the understanding of the sophisticated processes of shell

  12. Characterization of the Mantle Transcriptome of Yesso Scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis): Identification of Genes Potentially Involved in Biomineralization and Pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xiujun; Yang, Aiguo; Wu, Biao; Zhou, Liqing; Liu, Zhihong

    2015-01-01

    The Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis is an economically important marine bivalve species in aquaculture and fishery in Asian countries. However, limited genomic resources are available for this scallop, which hampers investigations into molecular mechanisms underlying their unique biological characteristics, such as shell formation and pigmentation. Mantle is the special tissue of P. yessoensis that secretes biomineralization proteins inducing shell deposition as well as pigmentation on the shells. However, a current deficiency of transcriptome information limits insight into mechanisms of shell formation and pigmentation in this species. In this study, the transcriptome of the mantle of P. yessoensis was deeply sequenced and characterized using Illumina RNA-seq technology. A total of 86,521 unique transcripts are assembled from 55,884,122 reads that passed quality filters, and annotated, using Gene Ontology classification. A total of 259 pathways are identified in the mantle transcriptome, including the calcium signaling and melanogenesis pathways. A total of 237 unigenes that are homologous to 102 reported biomineralization genes are identified, and 121 unigenes that are homologous to 93 known proteins related to melanin biosynthesis are found. Twenty-three annotated unigenes, which are mainly homologous to calmodulin and related proteins, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase, adenylate/guanylate cyclase, and tyrosinase family are potentially involved in both biomineralization and melanin biosynthesis. It is suggested that these genes are probably not limited in function to induce shell deposition by calcium metabolism, but may also be involved in pigmentation of the shells of the scallop. This potentially supports the idea that there might be a link between calcium metabolism and melanin biosynthesis, which was previously found in vertebrates. The findings presented here will notably advance the understanding of the sophisticated processes of shell

  13. The photochromic effect of bismuth vanadate pigments. Part I: Synthesis, characterization and lightfastness of pigment coatings

    SciTech Connect

    Tuecks, A.; Beck, H.P. . E-mail: hp.beck@mx.uni-saarland.de

    2005-04-15

    We report on investigations of the photochromic effect of BiVO{sub 4} pigments. Emphasis is placed on an approach widely used in industrial color testing. By means of colorimetry {delta}E{sub ab}*-values, which measure the perceived color difference, can be calculated from reflectance spectra of non-illuminated and illuminated pigment coatings. Pigments were prepared by either wet-chemical precipitation or solid-state reactions. Depending on the choice of starting compounds, lightfastness was found to vary significantly. Small amounts of impurity phases do not seem to affect photochromism. In contrast, impurities like Fe and Pb cause intense photochromism. The role of Fe is suggested by trace analyses, which (in case of pigments synthesized by precipitation reactions) reveal a correlation between concentration and {delta}E{sub ab}*. Indications are found that other effects like pigment-lacquer interactions might also be of importance. Difference reflectance spectra turn out to vary in shape depending on the type and concentration of impurities or dopants. For BiVO{sub 4} at least three different mechanisms of photochromism can be assumed.

  14. Mitochondrial Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    Viewed through the lens of the genome it contains, the mitochondrion is of unquestioned bacterial ancestry, originating from within the bacterial phylum α-Proteobacteria (Alphaproteobacteria). Accordingly, the endosymbiont hypothesis—the idea that the mitochondrion evolved from a bacterial progenitor via symbiosis within an essentially eukaryotic host cell—has assumed the status of a theory. Yet mitochondrial genome evolution has taken radically different pathways in diverse eukaryotic lineages, and the organelle itself is increasingly viewed as a genetic and functional mosaic, with the bulk of the mitochondrial proteome having an evolutionary origin outside Alphaproteobacteria. New data continue to reshape our views regarding mitochondrial evolution, particularly raising the question of whether the mitochondrion originated after the eukaryotic cell arose, as assumed in the classical endosymbiont hypothesis, or whether this organelle had its beginning at the same time as the cell containing it. PMID:22952398

  15. Identification, characterisation and molecular modelling of two AP endonucleases from base excision repair pathway in sugarcane provide insights on the early evolution of green plants.

    PubMed

    Maira, N; Torres, T M; de Oliveira, A L; de Medeiros, S R B; Agnez-Lima, L F; Lima, J P M S; Scortecci, K C

    2014-05-01

    Unlike bacteria and mammals, plant DNA repair pathways are not well characterised, especially in monocots. The understanding of these processes in the plant cell is of major importance, since they may be directly involved in plant acclimation and adaptation to stressful environments. Hence, two sugarcane ESTs were identified as homologues of AP endonuclease from the base-excision repair pathway: ScARP1 and ScARP3. In order to understand their probable function and evolutionary origin, structural and phylogenetic studies were performed using bioinformatics approaches. The two predicted proteins present a considerable amino acid sequence similarity, and molecular modelling procedures indicate that both are functional, since the main structural motifs remain conserved. However, inspection of the sort signal regions on the full-length cDNAs indicated that these proteins have a distinct organelle target. Furthermore, variances in their promoter cis-element motifs were also found. Although the mRNA expression pattern was similar, there were significant differences in their expression levels. Taken together, these data raise the hypothesis that the ScARP is an example of a probable gene duplication event that occurred before monocotyledon/dicotyledon segregation, followed by a sub-functionalisation event in the Poaceae, leading to new intracellular targeting and different expression levels.

  16. The genetics of skin, hair, and eye color variation and its relevance to forensic pigmentation predictive tests.

    PubMed

    Maroñas, O; Söchtig, J; Ruiz, Y; Phillips, C; Carracedo, Á; Lareu, M V

    2015-01-01

    This review examines the potential application of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based predictive tests for skin, hair, and eye color to forensic analysis in support of police investigations lacking DNA database matches or eyewitness testimony. Brief descriptions of the biology of melanogenesis and the main genes involved are presented in order to understand the basis of common pigmentation variation in humans. We outline the most recently developed forensically sensitive multiplex tests that can be applied to investigative analyses. The review also describes the biology of the SNPs with the closest associations to, and therefore the best predictors for, common variation in eye, hair, and skin pigmentation. Because pigmentation pathways are complex in their patterns, many of the better-studied human albinism traits provide insight into how pigmentation SNPs interact, control, or modify gene expression and show varying degrees of association with the key genes identified to date. These aspects of SNP action are discussed in an overview of each of the functional groups of pigmentation genes.

  17. The genetics of skin, hair, and eye color variation and its relevance to forensic pigmentation predictive tests.

    PubMed

    Maroñas, O; Söchtig, J; Ruiz, Y; Phillips, C; Carracedo, Á; Lareu, M V

    2015-01-01

    This review examines the potential application of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based predictive tests for skin, hair, and eye color to forensic analysis in support of police investigations lacking DNA database matches or eyewitness testimony. Brief descriptions of the biology of melanogenesis and the main genes involved are presented in order to understand the basis of common pigmentation variation in humans. We outline the most recently developed forensically sensitive multiplex tests that can be applied to investigative analyses. The review also describes the biology of the SNPs with the closest associations to, and therefore the best predictors for, common variation in eye, hair, and skin pigmentation. Because pigmentation pathways are complex in their patterns, many of the better-studied human albinism traits provide insight into how pigmentation SNPs interact, control, or modify gene expression and show varying degrees of association with the key genes identified to date. These aspects of SNP action are discussed in an overview of each of the functional groups of pigmentation genes. PMID:26227136

  18. Apd1(+), a Gene Required for Red Pigment Formation in Ade6 Mutants of Schizosaccharomyces Pombe, Encodes an Enzyme Required for Glutathione Biosynthesis: A Role for Glutathione and a Glutathione-Conjugate Pump

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhuri, B.; Ingavale, S.; Bachhawat, A. K.

    1997-01-01

    Mutants in the adenine biosynthetic pathway of yeasts (ade1 and ade2 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ade6 and ade7 of Schizosaccharomyces pombe) accumulate an intense red pigment in their vacuoles when grown under adenine-limiting conditions. The precise events that determine the formation of the pigment are however, still unknown. We have begun a genetic investigation into the nature and cause of pigmentation of ade6 mutants of S. pombe and have discovered that one of these pigmentation defective mutants, apd1 (adenine pigmentation defective), is a strict glutathione auxotroph. The gene apd1(+) was found to encode the first enzyme in glutathione biosynthesis, γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase, gcs1(+). This gene when expressed in the mutant could confer both glutathione prototrophy and the characteristic red pigmentation, and disruption of the gene led to a loss in both phenotypes. Supplementation of glutathione in the medium, however, could only restore growth but not the pigmentation because the cells were unable to achieve sufficient intracellular levels of glutathione. Disruption of the second enzyme in glutathione biosynthesis, glutathione synthetase, gsh2(+), also led to glutathione auxotrophy, but only a partial defect in pigment formation. A reevaluation of the major amino acids previously reported to be present in the pigment indicated that the pigment is probably a glutathione conjugate. The ability of vanadate to inhibit pigment formation indicated that the conjugate was transported into the vacuole through a glutathione-conjugate pump. This was further confirmed using strains of S. cerevisiae bearing disruptions in the recently identified glutathione-conjugate pump, YCF1, where a significant reduction in pigment formation was observed. The pump of S. pombe is distinct from the previously identified vacuolar pump, hmt1p, for transporting cadystin peptides into vacuoles of S. pombe. PMID:9017391

  19. High-contrast enzymatic immunohistochemistry of pigmented tissues

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Sara M.; Seigel, Gail M.

    2016-01-01

    Historically, standard enzyme immunohistochemistry has been accomplished with brown (DAB, diaminobenzidine) substrate. This can become problematic in pigmented tissues, such as the retina, where brown pigment of retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells can be easily confounded with brown substrate. Although immunofluorescence detection methods can overcome this challenge, fluorescence may fade over a period of weeks, while enzyme substrates allow for more long-lasting, archival results. In this report, we will describe a high-contrast enzyme immunohistochemistry method ideal for pigmented tissues that utilizes purple (VIP) substrate. We compared brown (DAB) and purple (VIP) substrates in enzyme immunohistochemistry experiments using human retina (paraffin sections) and monkey retinal pigmented epithelial cells (frozen sections), both containing brown pigmented cells. We compared substrates using several primary antibodies against markers that can be detected in the retina, including GFAP, VEGF, CD147 (EMMPRIN), RHO (rhodopsin) and PAX6. Methyl green was used as a counterstain for paraffin sections. A side-by-side comparison between DAB and VIP immunohistochemistry showed excellent contrast between pigmented cells and the purple VIP substrate in both human retinal tissue and monkey pigmented epithelial cells for all of the markers tested. This was a marked improvement over DAB staining in pigmented cells and tissues. For both paraffin sections and frozen sections of pigmented tissues, purple VIP substrate is an excellent alternative to brown DAB substrate and non-permanent immunofluorescence methods. PMID:27660801

  20. Interaction between Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. leaf pigment and rice proteins.

    PubMed

    Wang, Li; Xu, Yuan; Zhou, Sumei; Qian, Haifeng; Zhang, Hui; Qi, Xiguang; Fan, Meihua

    2016-03-01

    In this study, we investigated the interaction of Vaccinium bracteatum Thunb. leaf (VBTL) pigment and rice proteins. In the presence of rice protein, VBTL pigment antioxidant activity and free polyphenol content decreased by 67.19% and 68.11%, respectively, and L(∗) of the protein-pigment complex decreased significantly over time. L(∗) values of albumin, globulin and glutelin during 60-min pigment exposure decreased by 55.00, 57.14, and 54.30%, respectively, indicating that these proteins had bound to the pigment. A significant difference in protein surface hydrophobicity was observed between rice proteins and pigment-protein complexes, indicating that hydrophobic interaction is a major binding mechanism between VBTL pigment and rice proteins. A significant difference in secondary structures between proteins and protein-pigment complexes was also uncovered, indicating that hydrogen bonding may be another mode of interaction between VBTL pigment and rice proteins. Our results indicate that VBTL pigment can stain rice proteins with hydrophobic and hydrogen interactions. PMID:26471554

  1. Evolution of the eye transcriptome under constant darkness in Sinocyclocheilus cavefish.

    PubMed

    Meng, Fanwei; Braasch, Ingo; Phillips, Jennifer B; Lin, Xiwen; Titus, Tom; Zhang, Chunguang; Postlethwait, John H

    2013-07-01

    In adaptating to perpetual darkness, cave species gradually lose eyes and body pigmentation and evolve alternatives for exploring their environments. Although troglodyte features evolved independently many times in cavefish, we do not yet know whether independent evolution of these characters involves common genetic mechanisms. Surface-dwelling and many cave-dwelling species make the freshwater teleost genus Sinocyclocheilus an excellent model for studying the evolution of adaptations to life in constant darkness. We compared the mature retinal histology of surface and cave species in Sinocyclocheilus and found that adult cavefish showed a reduction in the number and length of photoreceptor cells. To identify genes and genetic pathways that evolved in constant darkness, we used RNA-seq to compare eyes of surface and cave species. De novo transcriptome assemblies were developed for both species, and contigs were annotated with gene ontology. Results from cave-dwelling Sinocyclocheilus revealed reduced transcription of phototransduction and other genes important for retinal function. In contrast to the blind Mexican tetra cavefish Astyanax mexicanus, our results on morphologies and gene expression suggest that evolved retinal reduction in cave-dwelling Sinocyclocheilus occurs in a lens-independent fashion by the reduced proliferation and downregulation of transcriptional factors shown to have direct roles in retinal development and maintenance, including cone-rod homeobox (crx) and Wnt pathway members. These results show that the independent evolution of retinal degeneration in cavefish can occur by different developmental genetic mechanisms. PMID:23612715

  2. Comparison of Ergot Alkaloid Biosynthesis Gene Clusters in Claviceps Species Indicates Loss of Late Pathway Steps in Evolution of C. fusiformis▿

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, Nicole; Wilson, Ella V.; Machado, Caroline; Schardl, Christopher L.; Tudzynski, Paul

    2007-01-01

    The grass parasites Claviceps purpurea and Claviceps fusiformis produce ergot alkaloids (EA) in planta and in submerged culture. Whereas EA synthesis (EAS) in C. purpurea proceeds via clavine intermediates to lysergic acid and the complex ergopeptines, C. fusiformis produces only agroclavine and elymoclavine. In C. purpurea the EAS gene (EAS) cluster includes dmaW (encoding the first pathway step), cloA (elymoclavine oxidation to lysergic acid), and the lpsA/lpsB genes (ergopeptine formation). We analyzed the corresponding C. fusiformis EAS cluster to investigate the evolutionary basis for chemotypic differences between the Claviceps species. Other than three peptide synthetase genes (lpsC and the tandem paralogues lpsA1 and lpsA2), homologues of all C. purpurea EAS genes were identified in C. fusiformis, including homologues of lpsB and cloA, which in C. purpurea encode enzymes for steps after clavine synthesis. Rearrangement of the cluster was evident around lpsB, which is truncated in C. fusiformis. This and several frameshift mutations render CflpsB a pseudogene (CflpsBΨ). No obvious inactivating mutation was identified in CfcloA. All C. fusiformis EAS genes, including CflpsBΨ and CfcloA, were expressed in culture. Cross-complementation analyses demonstrated that CfcloA and CflpsBΨ were expressed in C. purpurea but did not encode functional enzymes. In contrast, CpcloA catalyzed lysergic acid biosynthesis in C. fusiformis, indicating that C. fusiformis terminates its EAS pathway at elymoclavine because the cloA gene product is inactive. We propose that the C. fusiformis EAS cluster evolved from a more complete cluster by loss of some lps genes and by rearrangements and mutations inactivating lpsB and cloA. PMID:17720822

  3. Probing S-state advancements and recombination pathways in photosystem II with a global fit program for flash-induced oxygen evolution pattern.

    PubMed

    Pham, Long Vo; Messinger, Johannes

    2016-06-01

    The oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) in photosystem II catalyzes the oxidation of water to molecular oxygen. Four decades ago, measurements of flash-induced oxygen evolution have shown that the OEC steps through oxidation states S(0), S(1), S(2), S(3) and S(4) before O(2) is released and the S(0) state is reformed. The light-induced transitions between these states involve misses and double hits. While it is widely accepted that the miss parameter is S state dependent and may be further modulated by the oxidation state of the acceptor side, the traditional way of analyzing each flash-induced oxygen evolution pattern (FIOP) individually did not allow using enough free parameters to thoroughly test this proposal. Furthermore, this approach does not allow assessing whether the presently known recombination processes in photosystem II fully explain all measured oxygen yields during Si state lifetime measurements. Here we present a global fit program that simultaneously fits all flash-induced oxygen yields of a standard FIOP (2 Hz flash frequency) and of 11-18 FIOPs each obtained while probing the S(0), S(2) and S(3) state lifetimes in spinach thylakoids at neutral pH. This comprehensive data treatment demonstrates the presence of a very slow phase of S(2) decay, in addition to the commonly discussed fast and slow reduction of S(2) by YD and QB(-), respectively. Our data support previous suggestions that the S(0)→S(1) and S(1)→S(2) transitions involve low or no misses, while high misses occur in the S(2)→S(3) or S(3)→S(0) transitions. PMID:27033305

  4. Probing S-state advancements and recombination pathways in photosystem II with a global fit program for flash-induced oxygen evolution pattern.

    PubMed

    Pham, Long Vo; Messinger, Johannes

    2016-06-01

    The oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) in photosystem II catalyzes the oxidation of water to molecular oxygen. Four decades ago, measurements of flash-induced oxygen evolution have shown that the OEC steps through oxidation states S(0), S(1), S(2), S(3) and S(4) before O(2) is released and the S(0) state is reformed. The light-induced transitions between these states involve misses and double hits. While it is widely accepted that the miss parameter is S state dependent and may be further modulated by the oxidation state of the acceptor side, the traditional way of analyzing each flash-induced oxygen evolution pattern (FIOP) individually did not allow using enough free parameters to thoroughly test this proposal. Furthermore, this approach does not allow assessing whether the presently known recombination processes in photosystem II fully explain all measured oxygen yields during Si state lifetime measurements. Here we present a global fit program that simultaneously fits all flash-induced oxygen yields of a standard FIOP (2 Hz flash frequency) and of 11-18 FIOPs each obtained while probing the S(0), S(2) and S(3) state lifetimes in spinach thylakoids at neutral pH. This comprehensive data treatment demonstrates the presence of a very slow phase of S(2) decay, in addition to the commonly discussed fast and slow reduction of S(2) by YD and QB(-), respectively. Our data support previous suggestions that the S(0)→S(1) and S(1)→S(2) transitions involve low or no misses, while high misses occur in the S(2)→S(3) or S(3)→S(0) transitions.

  5. Comparative changes in color features and pigment composition of red wines aged in oak and cherry wood casks.

    PubMed

    Chinnici, Fabio; Natali, Nadia; Sonni, Francesca; Bellachioma, Attilio; Riponi, Claudio

    2011-06-22

    The color features and the evolution of both the monomeric and the derived pigments of red wines aged in oak and cherry 225 L barriques have been investigated during a four months period. For cherry wood, the utilization of 1000 L casks was tested as well. The use of cherry casks resulted in a faster evolution of pigments with a rapid decline of monomeric anthocyanins and a quick augmentation formation of derived and polymeric compounds. At the end of the aging, wines stored in oak and cherry barriques lost, respectively, about 20% and 80% of the initial pigment amount, while in the 1000 L cherry casks, the same compounds diminished by about 60%. Ethyl-bridged adducts and vitisins were the main class of derivatives formed, representing up to 25% of the total pigment amount in the cherry aged samples. Color density augmented in both the oak and cherry wood aged samples, but the latter had the highest values of this parameter. Because of the highly oxidative behavior of the cherry barriques, the use of larger casks (e.g., 1000 L) is proposed in the case of prolonged aging times. PMID:21548629

  6. Comparative changes in color features and pigment composition of red wines aged in oak and cherry wood casks.

    PubMed

    Chinnici, Fabio; Natali, Nadia; Sonni, Francesca; Bellachioma, Attilio; Riponi, Claudio

    2011-06-22

    The color features and the evolution of both the monomeric and the derived pigments of red wines aged in oak and cherry 225 L barriques have been investigated during a four months period. For cherry wood, the utilization of 1000 L casks was tested as well. The use of cherry casks resulted in a faster evolution of pigments with a rapid decline of monomeric anthocyanins and a quick augmentation formation of derived and polymeric compounds. At the end of the aging, wines stored in oak and cherry barriques lost, respectively, about 20% and 80% of the initial pigment amount, while in the 1000 L cherry casks, the same compounds diminished by about 60%. Ethyl-bridged adducts and vitisins were the main class of derivatives formed, representing up to 25% of the total pigment amount in the cherry aged samples. Color density augmented in both the oak and cherry wood aged samples, but the latter had the highest values of this parameter. Because of the highly oxidative behavior of the cherry barriques, the use of larger casks (e.g., 1000 L) is proposed in the case of prolonged aging times.

  7. Characterization of Sorolla's gouache pigments by means of spectroscopic techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roldán, Clodoaldo; Juanes, David; Ferrazza, Livio; Carballo, Jorgelina

    2016-02-01

    This paper presents the characterization of the Joaquín Sorolla's gouache sketches for the oil on canvas series "Vision of Spain" commissioned by A. M. Huntington to decorate the library of the Hispanic Society of America in New York. The analyses were focused on the identification of the elemental composition of the gouache pigments by means of portable EDXRF spectrometry in a non-destructive mode. Additionally, SEM-EDX and FTIR analyses of a selected set of micro-samples were carried out to identify completely the pigments, the paint technique and the binding media. The obtained results have confirmed the identification of lead and zinc white, vermillion, earth pigments, ochre, zinc yellow, chrome yellow, ultramarine, Prussian blue, chromium based and copper-arsenic based green pigments, bone black and carbon based black pigments, and the use of gum arabic as binding media in the gouache pigments.

  8. Analytical Raman spectroscopic discrimination between yellow pigments of the Renaissance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Howell G. M.

    2011-10-01

    The Renaissance represented a major advance in painting techniques, subject matter, artistic style and the use of pigments and pigment mixtures. However, most pigments in general use were still mineral-based as most organic dyes were believed to be fugitive; the historical study of artists' palettes and recipes has assumed importance for the attribution of art works to the Renaissance period. Although the application of diagnostic elemental and molecular spectroscopic techniques play vital and complementary roles in the analysis of art works, elemental techniques alone cannot definitively provide the data needed for pigment identification. The advantages and limitations of Raman spectroscopy for the definitive diagnostic characterisation of yellow pigments that were in use during the Renaissance is demonstrated here in consideration of heavy metal oxides and sulphides; these data will be compared with those obtained from analyses of synthetic yellow pigments that were available during the eighteenth and nineteenth Centuries which could have been used in unrecorded restorations of Renaissance paintings.

  9. Analytical Raman spectroscopic discrimination between yellow pigments of the Renaissance.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Howell G M

    2011-10-01

    The Renaissance represented a major advance in painting techniques, subject matter, artistic style and the use of pigments and pigment mixtures. However, most pigments in general use were still mineral-based as most organic dyes were believed to be fugitive; the historical study of artists' palettes and recipes has assumed importance for the attribution of art works to the Renaissance period. Although the application of diagnostic elemental and molecular spectroscopic techniques play vital and complementary roles in the analysis of art works, elemental techniques alone cannot definitively provide the data needed for pigment identification. The advantages and limitations of Raman spectroscopy for the definitive diagnostic characterisation of yellow pigments that were in use during the Renaissance is demonstrated here in consideration of heavy metal oxides and sulphides; these data will be compared with those obtained from analyses of synthetic yellow pigments that were available during the eighteenth and nineteenth Centuries which could have been used in unrecorded restorations of Renaissance paintings.

  10. Mapping pigment distribution in mud samples through hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehrübeoglu, Mehrube; Nicula, Cosmina; Trombley, Christopher; Smith, Shane W.; Smith, Dustin K.; Shanks, Elizabeth S.; Zimba, Paul V.

    2015-09-01

    Mud samples collected from bodies of water reveal information about the distribution of microorganisms in the local sediments. Hyperspectral imaging has been investigated as a technology to identify phototropic organisms living on sediments collected from the Texas Coastal Bend area based on their spectral pigment profiles and spatial arrangement. The top pigment profiles identified through high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) have been correlated with spectral signatures extracted from the hyperspectral data of mud using fast Fourier transform (FFT). Spatial distributions have also been investigated using 2D hyperspectral image processing. 2D pigment distribution maps have been created based on the correlation with pigment profiles in the FFT domain. Among the tested pigments, the results show match among four out of five pigment distribution trends between HPLC and hyperspectral data analysis. Differences are attributed mainly to the difference between area and volume of scale between the HPLC analysis and area covered by hyperspectral imaging.

  11. Oral pigmented lesions: Clinicopathologic features and review of the literature

    PubMed Central

    da Silva-Jorge, Rogério; Jorge, Jacks; Lopes, Márcio A.; Vargas, Pablo A.

    2012-01-01

    Diagnosis of pigmented lesions of the oral cavity and perioral tissues is challenging. Even though epidemiology may be of some help in orientating the clinician and even though some lesions may confidently be diagnosed on clinical grounds alone, the definitive diagnosis usually requires histopathologic evaluation. Oral pigmentation can be physiological or pathological, and exogenous or endogenous. Color, location, distribution, and duration as well as drugs use, family history, and change in pattern are important for the differential diagnosis. Dark or black pigmented lesions can be focal, multifocal or diffuse macules, including entities such as racial pigmentation, melanotic macule, melanocytic nevus, blue nevus, smoker’s melanosis, oral melanoacanthoma, pigmentation by foreign bodies or induced by drugs, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Addison´s disease and oral melanoma. The aim of this review is to present the main oral black lesions contributing to better approach of the patients. Key words:Pigmentation, melanin, oral, diagnosis, management. PMID:22549672

  12. Remote sensing of ocean chlorophyll: consequence of nonuniform pigment profile.

    PubMed

    Sathyendranath, S; Platt, T

    1989-02-01

    Remote sensing of ocean color, applied to the estimation of chlorophyll biomass, is discussed for the case where the vertical distribution of phytoplankton pigments is nonuniform. Using a spectral model of reflectance, the consequences of vertical structure are evaluated by sensitivity analysis on a generalized pigment profile. It is shown that the assumption of a vertically homogeneous chlorophyll distribution can lead to significant errors (relative error exceeding 100%) in the estimation from satellite data of photic depth and total pigment content in the photic zone. The errors are shown to be functions of the parameters of the pigment profile. It is further shown that, if the shape of the pigment profile is known from independent data, the entire pigment profile may be recovered from the satellite data by making slight changes in the existing algorithms for chlorophyll retrieval.

  13. BASIS FOR ENHANCED BARRIER FUNCTION OF PIGMENTED SKIN

    PubMed Central

    Man, Mao-Qiang; Lin, Tzu-Kai; Santiago, Juan Luis; Celli, Anna; Zhong, Lily; Huang, Zhi-Ming; Roelandt, Truus; Hupe, Melanie; Sundberg, John P.; Silva, Kathleen A.; Crumrine, Debra; Martin-Ezquerra, Gemma; Trullas, Carles; Sun, Richard; Wakefield, Joan S.; Wei, Maria L.; Feingold, Kenneth R.; Mauro, Theodora M.; Elias, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

    Humans with darkly-pigmented skin display superior permeability barrier function in comparison to humans with lightly-pigmented skin. The reduced pH of the stratum corneum (SC) of darkly-pigmented skin could account for enhanced function, because acidifying lightly-pigmented human SC resets barrier function to darkly-pigmented levels. In SKH1 (non-pigmented) vs. SKH2/J (pigmented) hairless mice, we evaluated how a pigment-dependent reduction in pH could influence epidermal barrier function. Permeability barrier homeostasis is enhanced in SKH2/J vs. SKH1 mice, correlating with a reduced pH in the lower SC that co-localizes with the extrusion of melanin granules. Darkly-pigmented human epidermis also shows substantial melanin extrusion in the outer epidermis. Both acute barrier disruption and topical basic pH challenges accelerate re-acidification of SKH2/J (but not SKH1) SC, while inducing melanin extrusion. SKH2/J mice also display enhanced expression of the SC acidifying enzyme, secretory phospholipase A2f (sPLA2f). Enhanced barrier function of SKH2/J mice could be attributed to enhanced activity of two acidic pH-dependent, ceramide-generating enzymes, β-glucocerebrosidase and acidic sphingomyelinase, leading to accelerated maturation of SC lamellar bilayers. Finally, organotypic cultures of darkly-pigmented-bearing human keratinocytes display enhanced barrier function in comparison to lightly-pigmented cultures. Together, these results suggest that the superior barrier function of pigmented epidermis can be largely attributed to the pH-lowering impact of melanin persistence/extrusion and enhanced sPLA2f expression. PMID:24732399

  14. Atmospheric effects in the remote sensing of phytoplankton pigments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gordon, H. R.; Clark, D. K.

    1980-01-01

    The accuracy with which relevant atmospheric parameters must be estimated to derive photoplankton pigment concentrations of a given accuracy, from measurements of the ocean's apparent spectral radiance at satellite altitudes, is examined. A phytoplankton pigment algorithm is developed which relates the pigment concentration (c) to the three ratios of upwelling radiance just beneath the sea surface which can be formed from wavelengths (lambda) 440, 520 and 550 nm.

  15. Relationship of Gingival Pigmentation with Passive Smoking in Women

    PubMed Central

    Moravej-Salehi, Elahe; Moravej-Salehi, Elham

    2015-01-01

    Background: Oral mucosal pigmentation is among the most common findings in smokers, affecting smile esthetics. Passive smoking significantly compromises the health of non-smoker individuals particularly women. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship of passive smoking with oral pigmentation in non-smoker women. Materials and Methods: This historical-cohort study was conducted on a case group of 50 married women who were unemployed, not pregnant, non-smoker, had no systemic condition causing cutaneous or mucosal pigmentation, were not taking any medication causing cutaneous or mucosal pigmentation and had a heavy smoker husband. The control group comprised of 50 matched females with no smoker member in the family. Both groups were clinically examined for presence of gingival pigmentation and the results were analyzed using chi-square and logistic regression tests. Results: Gingival pigmentation was found in 27 (54%) passive smokers and 14 (28%) controls (P=0.01). The odds ratio (OR) of gingival pigmentation in women exposed to secondhand smoke of their husbands (adjusted for education and having a smoker parent at childhood) was 3 (95% confidence interval; CI: 1.26 – 7.09). House floor area was correlated with gingival pigmentation in female passive smokers (P=0.025). Conclusion: This study was the first to describe the relationship between secondhand smoke and gingival pigmentation in women and this effect was magnified in smaller houses. PMID:26528364

  16. Abnormal pigmentation within cutaneous scars: A complication of wound healing

    PubMed Central

    Chadwick, Sarah; Heath, Rebecca; Shah, Mamta

    2012-01-01

    Abnormally pigmented scars are an undesirable consequence of cutaneous wound healing and are a complication every single individual worldwide is at risk of. They present a challenge for clinicians, as there are currently no definitive treatment options available, and render scars much more noticeable making them highly distressing for patients. Despite extensive research into both wound healing and the pigment cell, there remains a scarcity of knowledge surrounding the repigmentation of cutaneous scars. Pigment production is complex and under the control of many extrinsic and intrinsic factors and patterns of scar repigmentation are unpredictable. This article gives an overview of human skin pigmentation, repigmentation following wounding and current treatment options. PMID:23162241

  17. Intra-Articular Pigmentation of Synovium: An Unusual Cause

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Steven; Liew, Sue M

    2016-01-01

    An unusual grayish brown discoloration of the synovium was found during a knee arthroscopy of a 72-year-old man. He also had similar pigmentation affecting the skin on the legs, arms, hands, and face. It was found he had been taking 400 mg of amiodarone hydrochloride daily for last 7 years. Amiodarone is known to cause a slate grey pigmentation of skin and cornea, but we believe this is the first report of amiodarone-induced pigmentation of the synovium. The arthroscopist should be aware of the possibility of drug-related synovial pigmentation and include this in differential diagnosis. PMID:27583118

  18. Neodymium-YAG transscleral cyclophotocoagulation. The role of pigmentation

    SciTech Connect

    Cantor, L.B.; Nichols, D.A.; Katz, L.J.; Moster, M.R.; Poryzees, E.; Shields, J.A.; Spaeth, G.L. )

    1989-08-01

    Using a rabbit model we investigated the role of pigmentation of the ciliary body in obtaining ciliodestruction by neodymium-YAG transscleral cyclophotocoagulation. There was marked destruction of the ciliary body in pigmented rabbit eyes, but no histologic effect was observed in albino rabbit eyes. These findings suggest that pigmentation of the ciliary body is important for obtaining the desired response from neodymium-YAG transscleral cyclophotocoagulation in rabbit eyes by our technique. Further study is necessary to define the role of pigmentation in human eyes in this treatment modality.

  19. Intra-Articular Pigmentation of Synovium: An Unusual Cause.

    PubMed

    Verma, Shobhit; Hamilton, Steven; Liew, Sue M

    2016-09-01

    An unusual grayish brown discoloration of the synovium was found during a knee arthroscopy of a 72-year-old man. He also had similar pigmentation affecting the skin on the legs, arms, hands, and face. It was found he had been taking 400 mg of amiodarone hydrochloride daily for last 7 years. Amiodarone is known to cause a slate grey pigmentation of skin and cornea, but we believe this is the first report of amiodarone-induced pigmentation of the synovium. The arthroscopist should be aware of the possibility of drug-related synovial pigmentation and include this in differential diagnosis. PMID:27583118

  20. Corrosion-Indicating Pigment And Probes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Bugga, Ratnakumar V.; Attia, Alan I.

    1993-01-01

    Proposed hydrogen-sensitive paint for metal structures changes color at onset of corrosion, involving emission of hydrogen as result of electrochemical reactions. Pigment of suitable paint includes rhodium compound RhCl(PPh3)3, known as Wilkinson's catalyst. As coating on critical parts of such structures as bridges and aircraft, paint gives early warning of corrosion, and parts thus repaired or replaced before failing catastrophically. Reveals corrosion before it becomes visible to eye. Inspection for changes in color not ordinarily necessitate removal of structure from service, and costs less than inspection by x-ray or thermal neutron radiography, ultrasonic, eddy-current, or acoustic-emission techniques.

  1. A golden age of human pigmentation genetics.

    PubMed

    Sturm, Richard A

    2006-09-01

    The zebrafish golden mutation is characterized by the production of small and irregular-shaped melanin granules, resulting in a lightening of the pigmented lateral stripes of the animal. The recent positional cloning and localization of the golden gene, combined with genotype-phenotype correlations of alleles of its human orthologue (SLC24A5) in African-American and African-Caribbean populations, provide insights into the genetic and molecular basis of human skin colour. SLC24A5 promotes melanin deposition through maturation of the melanosome, highlighting the importance of ion-exchange in the function of this organelle.

  2. Method of preparing zinc orthotitanate pigment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gates, D. W.; Harada, Y.; Logan, W. R.; Gilligan, J. E. (Inventor)

    1977-01-01

    Zinc orthotitanate suitable for use as a pigment for spacecraft thermal control coatings is prepared by heating a slightly zinc deficient reaction mixture of precipitated oxalates of zinc and titanium. The reaction mixture can be formed by coprecipitation of zinc and titanium oxalates from chloride solution or by mixing separately precipitated oxalates. The mixture is first heated to 400 to 600 C to remove volatiles and is then rapidly heated at 900 to 1200 C. Zinc orthotitanate produced by this method exhibits the very fine particle size needed for thermal control coatings as well as stability in a space environment.

  3. Dermatoscopic features of pigmented and non-pigmented basal cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Kiladze, N; Shulaia, T; Bulinska, A; Abrahamovych, L

    2015-01-01

    Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is one of the most common malignant tumors, which accounts for about 75% of all skin cancers, its early diagnosis is crucial for proper treatment. In recent years, an increasingly important role in the early and differential diagnosis of skin tumors plays dermatoscopy, making possible to improve the diagnosis of pigmented and nonpigmented skin lesions, especially in the early stages of development. The aim of this work is to study the dermatoscopic criteria for pigmented and nonpigmented BCC using the algorithm of H. Kittler. Were studied 78 cases of different clinical types of BCC, diagnosis was based on clinical and dermatoscopic picture with further confirmation by cytology. The obtained data show that for pigmented BCC are characteristic five major signs of dermatoscopy - lines, dots, clods, circles and pseudopodia, whereas for non-pigmented form - pattern of blood vessels and, as an additional feature, structureless areas. Further studies are needed to evaluate specific dermoscopic hallmarks regarding different categories of BCC and sensitivity of these dermatoscopic features. PMID:25693214

  4. Mutations in CTNNA1 cause butterfly-shaped pigment dystrophy and perturbed retinal pigment epithelium integrity

    PubMed Central

    Saksens, Nicole T.M.; Krebs, Mark P.; Schoenmaker-Koller, Frederieke E.; Hicks, Wanda; Yu, Minzhong; Shi, Lanying; Rowe, Lucy; Collin, Gayle B.; Charette, Jeremy R.; Letteboer, Stef J.; Neveling, Kornelia; van Moorsel, Tamara W.; Abu-Ltaif, Sleiman; De Baere, Elfride; Walraedt, Sophie; Banfi, Sandro; Simonelli, Francesca; Cremers, Frans P.M.; Boon, Camiel J.F.; Roepman, Ronald; Leroy, Bart P.; Peachey, Neal S.; Hoyng, Carel B.; Nishina, Patsy M.; den Hollander, Anneke I.

    2015-01-01

    Butterfly-shaped pigment dystrophy is an eye disease characterized by lesions in the macula that can resemble the wings of a butterfly. Here, we report the identification of heterozygous missense mutations in the α-catenin 1 (CTNNA1) gene in three families with butterfly-shaped pigment dystrophy. In addition, we identified a Ctnna1 missense mutation in a chemically induced mouse mutant, tvrm5. Parallel clinical phenotypes were observed in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of individuals with butterfly-shaped pigment dystrophy and in tvrm5 mice, including pigmentary abnormalities, focal thickening and elevated lesions, and decreased light-activated responses. Morphological studies in tvrm5 mice revealed increased cell shedding and large multinucleated RPE cells, suggesting defects in intercellular adhesion and cytokinesis. This study identifies CTNNA1 gene variants as a cause of macular dystrophy, suggests that CTNNA1 is involved in maintaining RPE integrity, and suggests that other components that participate in intercellular adhesion may be implicated in macular disease. PMID:26691986

  5. Evolution of the tapetum.

    PubMed Central

    Schwab, Ivan R; Yuen, Carlton K; Buyukmihci, Nedim C; Blankenship, Thomas N; Fitzgerald, Paul G

    2002-01-01

    PURPOSE: To review, contrast, and compare current known tapetal mechanisms and review the implications for the evolution of the tapetum. METHODS: Ocular specimens of representative fish in key piscine families, including Acipenseridae, Cyprinidae, Chacidae; the reptilian family Crocodylidae; the mammalian family Felidae; and the Lepidopteran family Sphingidae were reviewed and compared histologically. All known varieties of tapeta were examined and classified and compared to the known cladogram representing the evolution of each specific family. RESULTS: Types of tapeta include tapetum cellulosum, tapetum fibrosum, retinal tapetum, invertebrate pigmented tapetum, and invertebrate thin-film tapetum. All but the invertebrate pigmented tapetum were examined histologically. Review of the evolutionary cladogram and comparison with known tapeta suggest that the tapetum evolved in the Devonian period 345 to 395 million years ago. Tapeta developed independently in at least three separate orders in invertebrates and vertebrates, and yet all have surprisingly similar mechanisms of light reflection, including thin-film interference, diffusely reflecting tapeta, Mie scattering, Rayleigh scattering, and perhaps orthogonal retroreflection. CONCLUSION: Tapeta are found in invertebrates and vertebrates and display different physical mechanisms of reflection. Each tapetum reflects the wavelengths most relevant to the species' ecological niche. With this work, we have hypothesized that the tapetum evolved independently in both invertebrates and vertebrates as early as the Devonian period and coincided with an explosion of life forms. PMID:12545693

  6. Mesd extrinsically promotes phagocytosis by retinal pigment epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiuping; Guo, Feiye; LeBlanc, Michelle E; Ding, Ying; Zhang, Chenming; Shakya, Akhalesh; Li, Wei

    2016-08-01

    Phagocytosis is a critical process to maintain tissue homeostasis. In the retina, photoreceptor cells renew their photoexcitability by shedding photoreceptor outer segments (POSs) in a diurnal rhythm. Shed POSs are phagocytosed by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to prevent debris accumulation, retinal degeneration, and blindness. Phagocytosis ligands are the key to understanding how RPE recognizes shed POSs. Here, we characterized mesoderm development candidate 2 (Mesd or Mesdc2), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperon for low-density lipoprotein receptor-related proteins (LRPs), to extrinsically promote RPE phagocytosis. The results showed that Mesd stimulated phagocytosis of fluorescence-labeled POS vesicles by D407 RPE cells. Ingested POSs were partially degraded within 3 h in some RPE cells to dispense undegradable fluorophore throughout the cytoplasm. Internalized POSs were colocalized with phagosome biomarker Rab7, suggesting that Mesd-mediated engulfment is involved in a phagocytosis pathway. Mesd also facilitated phagocytosis of POSs by primary RPE cells. Mesd bound to unknown phagocytic receptor(s) on RPE cells. Mesd was detected in the cytoplasm, but not nuclei, of different retinal layers and is predominantly expressed in the ER-free cellular compartment of POSs. Mesd was not secreted into medium from healthy cells but passively released from apoptotic cells with increased membrane permeability. Released Mesd selectively bound to the surface of POS vesicles and apoptotic cells, but not healthy cells. These results suggest that Mesd may be released from and bind to shed POSs to facilitate their phagocytic clearance.

  7. Lyar Is a New Ligand for Retinal Pigment Epithelial Phagocytosis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Feiye; Ding, Ying; Caberoy, Nora B; Alvarado, Gabriela; Liu, Robert; Shen, Chen; Yu, Jisu; Zhou, Yixiong; Salero, Enrique; LeBlanc, Michelle E; Wang, Weiwen; Li, Wei

    2015-10-01

    Phagocytosis is critical to tissue homeostasis, as highlighted by phagocytosis defect of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells with debris accumulation, photoreceptor degeneration and blindness. Phagocytosis ligands are the key to delineating molecular mechanisms and functional roles of phagocytes, but are traditionally identified in individual cases with technical challenges. We recently developed open reading frame phage display (OPD) for phagocytosis-based functional cloning (PFC) to identify unknown ligands. One of the identified ligands was Ly-1 antibody reactive clone (Lyar) with functions poorly defined. Herein, we characterized Lyar as a new ligand to stimulate RPE phagocytosis. In contrast to its reported nucleolar expression, immunohistochemistry sho