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Sample records for ancestral mammalian regulatorysequences

  1. Detection of Weakly Conserved Ancestral Mammalian RegulatorySequences by Primate Comparisons

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    Wang, Qian-fei; Prabhakar, Shyam; Chanan, Sumita; Cheng,Jan-Fang; Rubin, Edward M.; Boffelli, Dario

    2006-06-01

    Genomic comparisons between human and distant, non-primatemammals are commonly used to identify cis-regulatory elements based onconstrained sequence evolution. However, these methods fail to detectcryptic functional elements, which are too weakly conserved among mammalsto distinguish from nonfunctional DNA. To address this problem, weexplored the potential of deep intra-primate sequence comparisons. Wesequenced the orthologs of 558 kb of human genomic sequence, coveringmultiple loci involved in cholesterol homeostasis, in 6 nonhumanprimates. Our analysis identified 6 noncoding DNA elements displayingsignificant conservation among primates, but undetectable in more distantcomparisons. In vitro and in vivo tests revealed that at least three ofthese 6 elements have regulatory function. Notably, the mouse orthologsof these three functional human sequences had regulatory activity despitetheir lack of significant sequence conservation, indicating that they arecryptic ancestral cis-regulatory elements. These regulatory elementscould still be detected in a smaller set of three primate speciesincluding human, rhesus and marmoset. Since the human and rhesus genomesequences are already available, and the marmoset genome is activelybeing sequenced, the primate-specific conservation analysis describedhere can be applied in the near future on a whole-genome scale, tocomplement the annotation provided by more distant speciescomparisons.

  2. Reconstructing an ancestral mammalian immune supercomplex from a marsupial major histocompatibility complex.

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    Katherine Belov

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available The first sequenced marsupial genome promises to reveal unparalleled insights into mammalian evolution. We have used the Monodelphis domestica (gray short-tailed opossum sequence to construct the first map of a marsupial major histocompatibility complex (MHC. The MHC is the most gene-dense region of the mammalian genome and is critical to immunity and reproductive success. The marsupial MHC bridges the phylogenetic gap between the complex MHC of eutherian mammals and the minimal essential MHC of birds. Here we show that the opossum MHC is gene dense and complex, as in humans, but shares more organizational features with non-mammals. The Class I genes have amplified within the Class II region, resulting in a unique Class I/II region. We present a model of the organization of the MHC in ancestral mammals and its elaboration during mammalian evolution. The opossum genome, together with other extant genomes, reveals the existence of an ancestral "immune supercomplex" that contained genes of both types of natural killer receptors together with antigen processing genes and MHC genes.

  3. Ancestral Relationships Using Metafounders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Legarra, Andres; Christensen, Ole Fredslund; Vitezica, Zulma G

    2015-01-01

    due to finite size of the ancestral population and connections between populations. This complicates the conciliation of both approaches and, in particular, combining pedigree with genomic relationships. We present a coherent theoretical framework to consider base population in pedigree relationships....... We suggest a conceptual framework that considers each ancestral population as a finite-sized pool of gametes. This generates across-individual relationships and contrasts with the classical view where each population is considered as an infinite, unrelated pool. Several ancestral populations may......Recent use of genomic (marker-based) relationships shows that relationships exist within and across base population (breeds or lines). However, current treatment of pedigree relationships is unable to consider relationships within or across base populations, although such relationships must exist...

  4. Are palaeoscolecids ancestral ecdysozoans?

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    Harvey, Thomas H P; Dong, Xiping; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2010-01-01

    The reconstruction of ancestors is a central aim of comparative anatomy and evolutionary developmental biology, not least in attempts to understand the relationship between developmental and organismal evolution. Inferences based on living taxa can and should be tested against the fossil record, which provides an independent and direct view onto historical character combinations. Here, we consider the nature of the last common ancestor of living ecdysozoans through a detailed analysis of palaeoscolecids, an early and extinct group of introvert-bearing worms that have been proposed to be ancestral ecdysozoans. In a review of palaeoscolecid anatomy, including newly resolved details of the internal and external cuticle structure, we identify specific characters shared with various living nematoid and scalidophoran worms, but not with panarthropods. Considered within a formal cladistic context, these characters provide most overall support for a stem-priapulid affinity, meaning that palaeoscolecids are far-removed from the ecdysozoan ancestor. We conclude that previous interpretations in which palaeoscolecids occupy a deeper position in the ecdysozoan tree lack particular morphological support and rely instead on a paucity of preserved characters. This bears out a more general point that fossil taxa may appear plesiomorphic merely because they preserve only plesiomorphies, rather than the mélange of primitive and derived characters anticipated of organisms properly allocated to a position deep within animal phylogeny.

  5. Ancestral process and diffusion model with selection

    CERN Document Server

    Mano, Shuhei

    2008-01-01

    The ancestral selection graph in population genetics introduced by Krone and Neuhauser (1997) is an analogue to the coalescent genealogy. The number of ancestral particles, backward in time, of a sample of genes is an ancestral process, which is a birth and death process with quadratic death and linear birth rate. In this paper an explicit form of the number of ancestral particle is obtained, by using the density of the allele frequency in the corresponding diffusion model obtained by Kimura (1955). It is shown that fixation is convergence of the ancestral process to the stationary measure. The time to fixation of an allele is studied in terms of the ancestral process.

  6. Enhancer evolution across 20 mammalian species

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    Villar, Diego; Berthelot, Camille; Aldridge, Sarah;

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian radiation has corresponded with rapid changes in noncoding regions of the genome, but we lack a comprehensive understanding of regulatory evolution in mammals. Here, we track the evolution of promoters and enhancers active in liver across 20 mammalian species from six diverse orders...... by profiling genomic enrichment of H3K27 acetylation and H3K4 trimethylation. We report that rapid evolution of enhancers is a universal feature of mammalian genomes. Most of the recently evolved enhancers arise from ancestral DNA exaptation, rather than lineage-specific expansions of repeat elements....... These results provide important insight into the functional genetics underpinning mammalian regulatory evolution....

  7. The ancestral eutherian karyotype is present in Xenarthra.

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    Marta Svartman

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Molecular studies have led recently to the proposal of a new super-ordinal arrangement of the 18 extant Eutherian orders. From the four proposed super-orders, Afrotheria and Xenarthra were considered the most basal. Chromosome-painting studies with human probes in these two mammalian groups are thus key in the quest to establish the ancestral Eutherian karyotype. Although a reasonable amount of chromosome-painting data with human probes have already been obtained for Afrotheria, no Xenarthra species has been thoroughly analyzed with this approach. We hybridized human chromosome probes to metaphases of species (Dasypus novemcinctus, Tamandua tetradactyla, and Choloepus hoffmanii representing three of the four Xenarthra families. Our data allowed us to review the current hypotheses for the ancestral Eutherian karyotype, which range from 2n = 44 to 2n = 48. One of the species studied, the two-toed sloth C. hoffmanii (2n = 50, showed a chromosome complement strikingly similar to the proposed 2n = 48 ancestral Eutherian karyotype, strongly reinforcing it.

  8. The ancestral eutherian karyotype is present in Xenarthra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svartman, Marta; Stone, Gary; Stanyon, Roscoe

    2006-07-01

    Molecular studies have led recently to the proposal of a new super-ordinal arrangement of the 18 extant Eutherian orders. From the four proposed super-orders, Afrotheria and Xenarthra were considered the most basal. Chromosome-painting studies with human probes in these two mammalian groups are thus key in the quest to establish the ancestral Eutherian karyotype. Although a reasonable amount of chromosome-painting data with human probes have already been obtained for Afrotheria, no Xenarthra species has been thoroughly analyzed with this approach. We hybridized human chromosome probes to metaphases of species (Dasypus novemcinctus, Tamandua tetradactyla, and Choloepus hoffmanii) representing three of the four Xenarthra families. Our data allowed us to review the current hypotheses for the ancestral Eutherian karyotype, which range from 2n = 44 to 2n = 48. One of the species studied, the two-toed sloth C. hoffmanii (2n = 50), showed a chromosome complement strikingly similar to the proposed 2n = 48 ancestral Eutherian karyotype, strongly reinforcing it.

  9. The ancestral gene repertoire of animal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alié, Alexandre; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Sugimura, Itsuro; Manuel, Michaël; Sugano, Wakana; Mano, Akira; Satoh, Nori; Agata, Kiyokazu; Funayama, Noriko

    2015-12-22

    Stem cells are pivotal for development and tissue homeostasis of multicellular animals, and the quest for a gene toolkit associated with the emergence of stem cells in a common ancestor of all metazoans remains a major challenge for evolutionary biology. We reconstructed the conserved gene repertoire of animal stem cells by transcriptomic profiling of totipotent archeocytes in the demosponge Ephydatia fluviatilis and by tracing shared molecular signatures with flatworm and Hydra stem cells. Phylostratigraphy analyses indicated that most of these stem-cell genes predate animal origin, with only few metazoan innovations, notably including several partners of the Piwi machinery known to promote genome stability. The ancestral stem-cell transcriptome is strikingly poor in transcription factors. Instead, it is rich in RNA regulatory actors, including components of the "germ-line multipotency program" and many RNA-binding proteins known as critical regulators of mammalian embryonic stem cells.

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

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

    2015-11-01

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

  11. Mammalian pheromones.

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    Liberles, Stephen D

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Optimized ancestral state reconstruction using Sankoff parsimony

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    Valiente Gabriel

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parsimony methods are widely used in molecular evolution to estimate the most plausible phylogeny for a set of characters. Sankoff parsimony determines the minimum number of changes required in a given phylogeny when a cost is associated to transitions between character states. Although optimizations exist to reduce the computations in the number of taxa, the original algorithm takes time O(n2 in the number of states, making it impractical for large values of n. Results In this study we introduce an optimization of Sankoff parsimony for the reconstruction of ancestral states when ultrametric or additive cost matrices are used. We analyzed its performance for randomly generated matrices, Jukes-Cantor and Kimura's two-parameter models of DNA evolution, and in the reconstruction of elongation factor-1α and ancestral metabolic states of a group of eukaryotes, showing that in all cases the execution time is significantly less than with the original implementation. Conclusion The algorithms here presented provide a fast computation of Sankoff parsimony for a given phylogeny. Problems where the number of states is large, such as reconstruction of ancestral metabolism, are particularly adequate for this optimization. Since we are reducing the computations required to calculate the parsimony cost of a single tree, our method can be combined with optimizations in the number of taxa that aim at finding the most parsimonious tree.

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

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

    2016-10-01

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

  14. Enhancer evolution across 20 mammalian species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villar, Diego; Berthelot, Camille; Aldridge, Sarah;

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian radiation has corresponded with rapid changes in noncoding regions of the genome, but we lack a comprehensive understanding of regulatory evolution in mammals. Here, we track the evolution of promoters and enhancers active in liver across 20 mammalian species from six diverse orders...... by profiling genomic enrichment of H3K27 acetylation and H3K4 trimethylation. We report that rapid evolution of enhancers is a universal feature of mammalian genomes. Most of the recently evolved enhancers arise from ancestral DNA exaptation, rather than lineage-specific expansions of repeat elements....... In contrast, almost all liver promoters are partially or fully conserved across these species. Our data further reveal that recently evolved enhancers can be associated with genes under positive selection, demonstrating the power of this approach for annotating regulatory adaptations in genomic sequences...

  15. Reconstructing ancestral ranges in historical biogeography: properties and prospects

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    Kristin S. LAMM; Benjamin D. REDELINGS

    2009-01-01

    Recent years have witnessed a proliferation of quantitative methods for biogeographic inference. In particular, novel parametric approaches represent exciting new opportunities for the study of range evolution. Here, we review a selection of current methods for biogeographic analysis and discuss their respective properties. These methods include generalized parsimony approaches, weighted ancestral area analysis, dispersal-vicariance analysis, the dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis model and other maximum likelihood approaches, and Bayesian stochastic mapping of ancestral ranges, including a novel approach to inferring range evolution in the context of island biogeography. Some of these methods were developed specifically for problems of ancestral range reconstruction, whereas others were designed for more general problems of character state reconstruction and subsequently applied to the study of ancestral ranges. Methods for reconstructing ancestral history on a phylogenetic tree differ not only in the types of ancestral range states that are allowed, but also in the various historical events that may change the ancestral ranges. We explore how the form of allowed ancestral ranges and allowed transitions can both affect the outcome of ancestral range estimation. Finally, we mention some promising avenues for future work in the development of model-based approaches to biogeographic analysis.

  16. Mammalian sleep

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    Staunton, Hugh

    2005-05-01

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

  17. Hypothesis on the dual origin of the mammalian subplate

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    Juan F Montiel

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The development of the mammalian neocortex relies heavily on subplate. The proportion of this cell population varies considerably in different mammalian species. Subplate is almost undetectable in marsupials, forms a thin, but distinct layer in mouse and rat, a larger layer in carnivores and big-brained mammals as pig and a highly developed embryonic structure in human and non-human primates. The evolutionary origin of subplate neurons is the subject of current debate. Some hypothesize that subplate represents the ancestral cortex of sauropsids, while others consider it to be an increasingly complex phylogenetic novelty of the mammalian neocortex. Here we review recent work on expression of several genes that were originally identified in rodent as highly and differentially expressed in subplate. We relate these observations to cellular morphology, birthdating and hodology in the dorsal cortex/dorsal pallium of several amniote species. Based on this reviewed evidence we argue for a third hypothesis according to which subplate contains both ancestral and newly derived cell populations. We propose that the mammalian subplate originally derived from a phylogenetically ancient structure in the dorsal pallium of stem amniotes, but subsequently expanded with additional cell populations in the synapsid lineage to support an increasingly complex cortical plate development. Further understanding of the detailed molecular taxonomy, somatodendritic morphology and connectivity of subplate in a comparative context should contribute to the identification of the ancestral and newly evolved populations of subplate neurons.

  18. Hypothesis on the Dual Origin of the Mammalian Subplate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montiel, Juan F.; Wang, Wei Zhi; Oeschger, Franziska M.; Hoerder-Suabedissen, Anna; Tung, Wan Ling; García-Moreno, Fernando; Holm, Ida Elizabeth; Villalón, Aldo; Molnár, Zoltán

    2011-01-01

    The development of the mammalian neocortex relies heavily on subplate. The proportion of this cell population varies considerably in different mammalian species. Subplate is almost undetectable in marsupials, forms a thin, but distinct layer in mouse and rat, a larger layer in carnivores and big-brained mammals as pig, and a highly developed embryonic structure in human and non-human primates. The evolutionary origin of subplate neurons is the subject of current debate. Some hypothesize that subplate represents the ancestral cortex of sauropsids, while others consider it to be an increasingly complex phylogenetic novelty of the mammalian neocortex. Here we review recent work on expression of several genes that were originally identified in rodent as highly and differentially expressed in subplate. We relate these observations to cellular morphology, birthdating, and hodology in the dorsal cortex/dorsal pallium of several amniote species. Based on this reviewed evidence we argue for a third hypothesis according to which subplate contains both ancestral and newly derived cell populations. We propose that the mammalian subplate originally derived from a phylogenetically ancient structure in the dorsal pallium of stem amniotes, but subsequently expanded with additional cell populations in the synapsid lineage to support an increasingly complex cortical plate development. Further understanding of the detailed molecular taxonomy, somatodendritic morphology, and connectivity of subplate in a comparative context should contribute to the identification of the ancestral and newly evolved populations of subplate neurons. PMID:21519390

  19. Ancestral Area Analysis of the Genus Caragara (Leguminosae)

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    ZHANGMing-Li

    2004-01-01

    Caragana has a temperate Asian distribution. Based on the phylogeny and 13 distributionalareas of this genus, its ancestral area was studied via the ancestral area analysis suggested by Bremer(1992), Ronquist (1994) and Hausdorf (1997). The results indicate that three areas, Far East-NortheastChina, Altai-Sayan and North China-Qinling Mountains (Mts) are likely the ancestral areas. Linking to theviewpoints of the Holarctic origin for north temperate flora, Far East-Northeast China seems more likely tobe the ancestral area. According to the three ancestral areas isolated geographically and the analysis inthe present study, as well as former biogeographical analysis of this genus, it is suggested that Caraganaspeciation is mainly in the mode of vicariance rather than dispersal, and dispersed is often in shortdistance.

  20. Why Meillassoux’s Speculative Materialism Struggles with Ancestrality

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    Ciprian Jeler

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper shows that Quentin Meillassoux’s speculative materialism doesn’t offer us the means to account for the ancestral statements that the modern sciences produce, i.e. for the scientific statements about events preceding all forms of life. An analysis of the reasons why Meillassoux thinks that the problem of ancestrality problematizes the contemporary self-evidence of correlationism is first offered. The results of this analysis are then applied to speculative materialism itself and the consequences are not very promising: very much like correlationism, speculative materialism explicitly denies what I call the “generalized version of the realistic assumption of science” and, in so doing, renders scientific ancestral statements de jure unverifiable. Therefore, if correlationism is rendered suspicious by the issue of ancestrality, the same can be said of speculative materialism.

  1. Musculature in sipunculan worms: ontogeny and ancestral states.

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    Schulze, Anja; Rice, Mary E

    2009-01-01

    Molecular phylogenetics suggests that the Sipuncula fall into the Annelida, although they are morphologically very distinct and lack segmentation. To understand the evolutionary transformations from the annelid to the sipunculan body plan, it is important to reconstruct the ancestral states within the respective clades at all life history stages. Here we reconstruct the ancestral states for the head/introvert retractor muscles and the body wall musculature in the Sipuncula using Bayesian statistics. In addition, we describe the ontogenetic transformations of the two muscle systems in four sipunculan species with different developmental modes, using F-actin staining with fluorescent-labeled phalloidin in conjunction with confocal laser scanning microscopy. All four species, which have smooth body wall musculature and less than the full set of four introvert retractor muscles as adults, go through developmental stages with four retractor muscles that are eventually reduced to a lower number in the adult. The circular and sometimes the longitudinal body wall musculature are split into bands that later transform into a smooth sheath. Our ancestral state reconstructions suggest with nearly 100% probability that the ancestral sipunculan had four introvert retractor muscles, longitudinal body wall musculature in bands and circular body wall musculature arranged as a smooth sheath. Species with crawling larvae have more strongly developed body wall musculature than those with swimming larvae. To interpret our findings in the context of annelid evolution, a more solid phylogenetic framework is needed for the entire group and more data on ontogenetic transformations of annelid musculature are desirable.

  2. Ancestral gene synteny reconstruction improves extant species scaffolding.

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    Anselmetti, Yoann; Berry, Vincent; Chauve, Cedric; Chateau, Annie; Tannier, Eric; Bérard, Sèverine

    2015-01-01

    We exploit the methodological similarity between ancestral genome reconstruction and extant genome scaffolding. We present a method, called ARt-DeCo that constructs neighborhood relationships between genes or contigs, in both ancestral and extant genomes, in a phylogenetic context. It is able to handle dozens of complete genomes, including genes with complex histories, by using gene phylogenies reconciled with a species tree, that is, annotated with speciation, duplication and loss events. Reconstructed ancestral or extant synteny comes with a support computed from an exhaustive exploration of the solution space. We compare our method with a previously published one that follows the same goal on a small number of genomes with universal unicopy genes. Then we test it on the whole Ensembl database, by proposing partial ancestral genome structures, as well as a more complete scaffolding for many partially assembled genomes on 69 eukaryote species. We carefully analyze a couple of extant adjacencies proposed by our method, and show that they are indeed real links in the extant genomes, that were missing in the current assembly. On a reduced data set of 39 eutherian mammals, we estimate the precision and sensitivity of ARt-DeCo by simulating a fragmentation in some well assembled genomes, and measure how many adjacencies are recovered. We find a very high precision, while the sensitivity depends on the quality of the data and on the proximity of closely related genomes.

  3. Perianth evolution in Ranunculaceae: are petals ancestral in the family?

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    Sophie Nadot

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Progress has been made recently towards the elucidation of phylogenetic relationships among subfamilies and tribes of the Ranunculaceae – the most recent hypothesis was published in 2016 by our team. Although relationships among the 10 tribes of the subfamily Ranunculoideae remain incompletely supported, this hypothesis provides an interesting framework to address the key issue of the ancestral vs. derived nature of a differentiated perianth within the family, and at the level of Ranunculales as a whole. Here, we present ancestral state reconstructions for several perianth characters, such as differentiation into sepals and petals, shape of petals, presence/absence of nectaries, and petaloid or sepaloid aspect of sepals. Characters were scored using the PROTEUS database and optimized on the most recent phylogeny of Ranunculaceae using parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. The results are discussed with regard to recent evo-devo studies focused on identifying genes involved in floral organs identity (the so-called ABC model in Ranunculales.

  4. Bilingualism (Ancestral Language Maintenance) among Native American, Vietnamese American, and Hispanic American College Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wharry, Cheryl

    1993-01-01

    A survey of 21 Hispanic, 22 Native American, and 10 Vietnamese American college students found that adoption or maintenance of ancestral language was related to attitudes toward ancestral language, beliefs about parental attitudes, and integrative motivation (toward family and ancestral ethnic group). There were significant differences by gender…

  5. Ancestral facial morphology of Old World higher primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benefit, B R; McCrossin, M L

    1991-06-15

    Fossil remains of the cercopithecoid Victoria-pithecus recently recovered from middle Miocene deposits of Maboko Island (Kenya) provide evidence of the cranial anatomy of Old World monkeys prior to the evolutionary divergence of the extant subfamilies Colobinae and Cercopithecinae. Victoria-pithecus shares a suite of craniofacial features with the Oligocene catarrhine Aegyptopithecus and early Miocene hominoid Afropithecus. All three genera manifest supraorbital costae, anteriorly convergent temporal lines, the absence of a postglabellar fossa, a moderate to long snout, great facial height below the orbits, a deep cheek region, and anteriorly tapering premaxilla. The shared presence of these features in a catarrhine generally ancestral to apes and Old World monkeys, an early ape, and an early Old World monkey indicates that they are primitive characteristics that typified the last common ancestor of Hominoidea and Cercopithecoidea. These results contradict prevailing cranial morphotype reconstructions for ancestral catarrhines as Colobus- or Hylobates-like, characterized by a globular anterior braincase and orthognathy. By resolving several equivocal craniofacial morphocline polarities, these discoveries lay the foundation for a revised interpretation of the ancestral cranial morphology of Catarrhini more consistent with neontological and existing paleontological evidence.

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

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

    2009-02-01

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

  7. Visual system evolution and the nature of the ancestral snake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, B F; Sampaio, F L; Jared, C; Antoniazzi, M M; Loew, E R; Bowmaker, J K; Rodriguez, A; Hart, N S; Hunt, D M; Partridge, J C; Gower, D J

    2015-07-01

    The dominant hypothesis for the evolutionary origin of snakes from 'lizards' (non-snake squamates) is that stem snakes acquired many snake features while passing through a profound burrowing (fossorial) phase. To investigate this, we examined the visual pigments and their encoding opsin genes in a range of squamate reptiles, focusing on fossorial lizards and snakes. We sequenced opsin transcripts isolated from retinal cDNA and used microspectrophotometry to measure directly the spectral absorbance of the photoreceptor visual pigments in a subset of samples. In snakes, but not lizards, dedicated fossoriality (as in Scolecophidia and the alethinophidian Anilius scytale) corresponds with loss of all visual opsins other than RH1 (λmax 490-497 nm); all other snakes (including less dedicated burrowers) also have functional sws1 and lws opsin genes. In contrast, the retinas of all lizards sampled, even highly fossorial amphisbaenians with reduced eyes, express functional lws, sws1, sws2 and rh1 genes, and most also express rh2 (i.e. they express all five of the visual opsin genes present in the ancestral vertebrate). Our evidence of visual pigment complements suggests that the visual system of stem snakes was partly reduced, with two (RH2 and SWS2) of the ancestral vertebrate visual pigments being eliminated, but that this did not extend to the extreme additional loss of SWS1 and LWS that subsequently occurred (probably independently) in highly fossorial extant scolecophidians and A. scytale. We therefore consider it unlikely that the ancestral snake was as fossorial as extant scolecophidians, whether or not the latter are para- or monophyletic.

  8. Estimating ancestral geographical distributions: a Gondwanan origin for aphid parasitoids?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belshaw, R; Dowton, M; Quicke, D L; Austin, A D

    2000-01-01

    We tested the published hypothesis of a Gondwanan origin for the overwhelmingly northern hemisphere aphid parasitoids (Aphidiinae) as follows: (i) finding their sister group by a phylogenetic analysis of the entire Braconidae (Insecta: Hymenopterai using sequence data from approximately 500 bp fragments of both the nuclear 28S (D2 region) and mitochondrial 16S rDNA genes, (ii) using this sister-group relationship and the more informative 28S D2 gene to estimate the phylogeny of the Aphidiinae and (iii) estimating the ancestral distribution for the Aphidiinae using maximum-likelihood and maximum-parsimony methods. Both methods indicated a Gondwanan origin. PMID:10737407

  9. Fast phylogeny reconstruction through learning of ancestral sequences

    CERN Document Server

    Mihaescu, Radu; Rao, Satish

    2008-01-01

    Given natural limitations on the length DNA sequences, designing phylogenetic reconstruction methods which are reliable under limited information is a crucial endeavor. There have been two approaches to this problem: reconstructing partial but reliable information about the tree (\\cite{Mo07, DMR08,DHJ06,GMS08}), and reaching "deeper" in the tree through reconstruction of ancestral sequences. In the latter category, \\cite{DMR06} settled an important conjecture of M.Steel, showing that, under the CFN model of evolution, all trees on $n$ leaves with edge lengths bounded by the Ising model phase transition can be recovered with high probability from genomes of length $O(\\log n)$ with a polynomial time algorithm. Their methods had a running time of $O(n^{10})$. Here we enhance our methods from \\cite{DHJ06} with the learning of ancestral sequences and provide an algorithm for reconstructing a sub-forest of the tree which is reliable given available data, without requiring a-priori known bounds on the edge lengths o...

  10. The ancestral process of long term seed bank models

    CERN Document Server

    Blath, Jochen; Kurt, Noemi; Spanò, Dario

    2012-01-01

    We present a new model for the evolution of genetic types in the presence of so-called seed banks, i.e., where individuals may obtain their genetic type from ancestors which have lived in the near as well as the very far past. The classical Wright-Fisher model, as well as a seed bank model with bounded age distribution considered by Kaj, Krone and Lascoux (2001) are special cases of our model. We discern three parameter regimes of the seed bank age distribution, which lead to substantially different behaviour in terms of genetic variability, in particular with respect to fixation of types and time to the most recent common ancestor. We prove that for age distributions with finite mean, the rescaled ancestral process converges to a time-changed Kingman coalescent, while in the case of infinite mean, ancestral lineages might not merge at all with positive probability. Further, we present a construction of the forward in time process in equilibrium. The mathematical methods are based on renewal theory, the urn p...

  11. Global Alignment of Molecular Sequences via Ancestral State Reconstruction

    CERN Document Server

    Andoni, Alexandr; Hassidim, Avinatan; Roch, Sebastien

    2009-01-01

    Molecular phylogenetic techniques do not generally account for such common evolutionary events as site insertions and deletions (known as indels). Instead tree building algorithms and ancestral state inference procedures typically rely on substitution-only models of sequence evolution. In practice these methods are extended beyond this simplified setting with the use of heuristics that produce global alignments of the input sequences--an important problem which has no rigorous model-based solution. In this paper we consider a new version of the multiple sequence alignment in the context of stochastic indel models. More precisely, we introduce the following {\\em trace reconstruction problem on a tree} (TRPT): a binary sequence is broadcast through a tree channel where we allow substitutions, deletions, and insertions; we seek to reconstruct the original sequence from the sequences received at the leaves of the tree. We give a recursive procedure for this problem with strong reconstruction guarantees at low mut...

  12. Weak preservation of local neutral substitution rates across mammalian genomes

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    Karro John E

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The rate at which neutral (non-functional bases undergo substitution is highly dependent on their location within a genome. However, it is not clear how fast these location-dependent rates change, or to what extent the substitution rate patterns are conserved between lineages. To address this question, which is critical not only for understanding the substitution process but also for evaluating phylogenetic footprinting algorithms, we examine ancestral repeats: a predominantly neutral dataset with a significantly higher genomic density than other datasets commonly used to study substitution rate variation. Using this repeat data, we measure the extent to which orthologous ancestral repeat sequences exhibit similar substitution patterns in separate mammalian lineages, allowing us to ascertain how well local substitution rates have been preserved across species. Results We calculated substitution rates for each ancestral repeat in each of three independent mammalian lineages (primate – from human/macaque alignments, rodent – from mouse/rat alignments, and laurasiatheria – from dog/cow alignments. We then measured the correlation of local substitution rates among these lineages. Overall we found the correlations between lineages to be statistically significant, but too weak to have much predictive power (r2 5%. These correlations were found to be primarily driven by regional effects at the scale of several hundred kb or larger. A few repeat classes (e.g. 7SK, Charlie8, and MER121 also exhibited stronger conservation of rate patterns, likely due to the effect of repeat-specific purifying selection. These classes should be excluded when estimating local neutral substitution rates. Conclusion Although local neutral substitution rates have some correlations among mammalian species, these correlations have little predictive power on the scale of individual repeats. This indicates that local substitution rates have changed

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-02-02

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

  14. Estimation of the ancestral effective population sizes of African great apes under different selection regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrago, Carlos G

    2014-08-01

    Reliable estimates of ancestral effective population sizes are necessary to unveil the population-level phenomena that shaped the phylogeny and molecular evolution of the African great apes. Although several methods have previously been applied to infer ancestral effective population sizes, an analysis of the influence of the selective regime on the estimates of ancestral demography has not been thoroughly conducted. In this study, three independent data sets under different selective regimes were used were composed to tackle this issue. The results showed that selection had a significant impact on the estimates of ancestral effective population sizes of the African great apes. The inference of the ancestral demography of African great apes was affected by the selection regime. The effects, however, were not homogeneous along the ancestral populations of great apes. The effective population size of the ancestor of humans and chimpanzees was more impacted by the selection regime when compared to the same parameter in the ancestor of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. Because the selection regime influenced the estimates of ancestral effective population size, it is reasonable to assume that a portion of the discrepancy found in previous studies that inferred the ancestral effective population size may be attributable to the differential action of selection on the genes sampled.

  15. Autophagy in mammalian cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kadija; Abounit; Tiziano; M; Scarabelli; Roy; B; McCauley

    2012-01-01

    Autophagy is a regulated process for the degradation of cellular components that has been well conserved in eukaryotic cells. The discovery of autophagy-regulating proteins in yeast has been important in understanding this process. Although many parallels exist between fungi and mammals in the regulation and execution of autophagy, there are some important differences. The preautophagosomal structure found in yeast has not been identified in mammals, and it seems that there may be multiple origins for autophagosomes, including endoplasmic reticulum, plasma membrane and mitochondrial outer membrane. The maturation of the phagophore is largely dependent on 5’-AMP activated protein kinase and other factors that lead to the dephosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin. Once the process is initiated, the mammalian phagophore elongates and matures into an autophagosome by processes that are similar to those in yeast. Cargo selection is dependent on the ubiquitin conjugation of protein aggregates and organelles and recognition of these conjugates by autophagosomal receptors. Lysosomal degradation of cargo produces metabolites that can be recycled during stress. Autophagy is an impor-tant cellular safeguard during starvation in all eukaryotes; however, it may have more complicated, tissue specific roles in mammals. With certain exceptions, autophagy seems to be cytoprotective, and defects in the process have been associated with human disease.

  16. A Syntenic Region Conserved from Fish to Mammalian X Chromosome

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    Guijun Guan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sex chromosomes bearing the sex-determining gene initiate development along the male or female pathway, no matter which sex is determined by XY male or ZW female heterogamety. Sex chromosomes originate from ancient autosomes but evolved rapidly after the acquisition of sex-determining factors which are highly divergent between species. In the heterogametic male system (XY system, the X chromosome is relatively evolutionary silent and maintains most of its ancestral genes, in contrast to its Y counterpart that has evolved rapidly and degenerated. Sex in a teleost fish, the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, is determined genetically via an XY system, in which an unpaired region is present in the largest chromosome pair. We defined the differences in DNA contents present in this chromosome with a two-color comparative genomic hybridization (CGH and the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD approach in XY males. We further identified a syntenic segment within this region that is well conserved in several teleosts. Through comparative genome analysis, this syntenic segment was also shown to be present in mammalian X chromosomes, suggesting a common ancestral origin of vertebrate sex chromosomes.

  17. Allatotropin: An Ancestral Myotropic Neuropeptide Involved in Feeding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alzugaray, María Eugenia; Adami, Mariana Laura; Diambra, Luis Anibal; Hernandez-Martinez, Salvador; Damborenea, Cristina; Noriega, Fernando Gabriel; Ronderos, Jorge Rafael

    2013-01-01

    Background Cell-cell interactions are a basic principle for the organization of tissues and organs allowing them to perform integrated functions and to organize themselves spatially and temporally. Peptidic molecules secreted by neurons and epithelial cells play fundamental roles in cell-cell interactions, acting as local neuromodulators, neurohormones, as well as endocrine and paracrine messengers. Allatotropin (AT) is a neuropeptide originally described as a regulator of Juvenile Hormone synthesis, which plays multiple neural, endocrine and myoactive roles in insects and other organisms. Methods A combination of immunohistochemistry using AT-antibodies and AT-Qdot nanocrystal conjugates was used to identify immunoreactive nerve cells containing the peptide and epithelial-muscular cells targeted by AT in Hydra plagiodesmica. Physiological assays using AT and AT- antibodies revealed that while AT stimulated the extrusion of the hypostome in a dose-response fashion in starved hydroids, the activity of hypostome in hydroids challenged with food was blocked by treatments with different doses of AT-antibodies. Conclusions AT antibodies immunolabeled nerve cells in the stalk, pedal disc, tentacles and hypostome. AT-Qdot conjugates recognized epithelial-muscular cell in the same tissues, suggesting the existence of anatomical and functional relationships between these two cell populations. Physiological assays indicated that the AT-like peptide is facilitating food ingestion. Significance Immunochemical, physiological and bioinformatics evidence advocates that AT is an ancestral neuropeptide involved in myoregulatory activities associated with meal ingestion and digestion. PMID:24143240

  18. Inference of Ancestral Recombination Graphs through Topological Data Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cámara, Pablo G; Levine, Arnold J; Rabadán, Raúl

    2016-08-01

    The recent explosion of genomic data has underscored the need for interpretable and comprehensive analyses that can capture complex phylogenetic relationships within and across species. Recombination, reassortment and horizontal gene transfer constitute examples of pervasive biological phenomena that cannot be captured by tree-like representations. Starting from hundreds of genomes, we are interested in the reconstruction of potential evolutionary histories leading to the observed data. Ancestral recombination graphs represent potential histories that explicitly accommodate recombination and mutation events across orthologous genomes. However, they are computationally costly to reconstruct, usually being infeasible for more than few tens of genomes. Recently, Topological Data Analysis (TDA) methods have been proposed as robust and scalable methods that can capture the genetic scale and frequency of recombination. We build upon previous TDA developments for detecting and quantifying recombination, and present a novel framework that can be applied to hundreds of genomes and can be interpreted in terms of minimal histories of mutation and recombination events, quantifying the scales and identifying the genomic locations of recombinations. We implement this framework in a software package, called TARGet, and apply it to several examples, including small migration between different populations, human recombination, and horizontal evolution in finches inhabiting the Galápagos Islands.

  19. Deep phylogeny, ancestral groups and the four ages of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalier-Smith, Thomas

    2010-01-12

    Organismal phylogeny depends on cell division, stasis, mutational divergence, cell mergers (by sex or symbiogenesis), lateral gene transfer and death. The tree of life is a useful metaphor for organismal genealogical history provided we recognize that branches sometimes fuse. Hennigian cladistics emphasizes only lineage splitting, ignoring most other major phylogenetic processes. Though methodologically useful it has been conceptually confusing and harmed taxonomy, especially in mistakenly opposing ancestral (paraphyletic) taxa. The history of life involved about 10 really major innovations in cell structure. In membrane topology, there were five successive kinds of cell: (i) negibacteria, with two bounding membranes, (ii) unibacteria, with one bounding and no internal membranes, (iii) eukaryotes with endomembranes and mitochondria, (iv) plants with chloroplasts and (v) finally, chromists with plastids inside the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Membrane chemistry divides negibacteria into the more advanced Glycobacteria (e.g. Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria) with outer membrane lipolysaccharide and primitive Eobacteria without lipopolysaccharide (deserving intenser study). It also divides unibacteria into posibacteria, ancestors of eukaryotes, and archaebacteria-the sisters (not ancestors) of eukaryotes and the youngest bacterial phylum. Anaerobic eobacteria, oxygenic cyanobacteria, desiccation-resistant posibacteria and finally neomura (eukaryotes plus archaebacteria) successively transformed Earth. Accidents and organizational constraints are as important as adaptiveness in body plan evolution.

  20. Ancestral TSH mechanism signals summer in a photoperiodic mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanon, Elodie A; Lincoln, Gerald A; Fustin, Jean-Michel; Dardente, Hugues; Masson-Pévet, Mireille; Morgan, Peter J; Hazlerigg, David G

    2008-08-05

    In mammals, day-length-sensitive (photoperiodic) seasonal breeding cycles depend on the pineal hormone melatonin, which modulates secretion of reproductive hormones by the anterior pituitary gland [1]. It is thought that melatonin acts in the hypothalamus to control reproduction through the release of neurosecretory signals into the pituitary portal blood supply, where they act on pituitary endocrine cells [2]. Contrastingly, we show here that during the reproductive response of Soay sheep exposed to summer day lengths, the reverse applies: Melatonin acts directly on anterior-pituitary cells, and these then relay the photoperiodic message back into the hypothalamus to control neuroendocrine output. The switch to long days causes melatonin-responsive cells in the pars tuberalis (PT) of the anterior pituitary to increase production of thyrotrophin (TSH). This acts locally on TSH-receptor-expressing cells in the adjacent mediobasal hypothalamus, leading to increased expression of type II thyroid hormone deiodinase (DIO2). DIO2 initiates the summer response by increasing hypothalamic tri-iodothyronine (T3) levels. These data and recent findings in quail [3] indicate that the TSH-expressing cells of the PT play an ancestral role in seasonal reproductive control in vertebrates. In mammals this provides the missing link between the pineal melatonin signal and thyroid-dependent seasonal biology.

  1. Mammalian cytosolic glutathione transferases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dourado, Daniel F A R; Fernandes, Pedro Alexandrino; Ramos, Maria João

    2008-08-01

    Glutathione Transferases (GSTs) are crucial enzymes in the cell detoxification process catalyzing the nucleophilic attack of glutathione (GSH) on toxic electrophilic substrates and producing a less dangerous compound. GSTs studies are of great importance since they have been implicated in the development of drug resistance in tumoral cells and are related to human diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, atherosclerois, liver cirrhosis, aging and cataract formation. In this review we start by providing an evolutionary perspective of the mammalian cytosolic GSTs known to date. Later on we focus on the more abundant classes alpha, mu and pi and their structure, catalysis, metabolic associated functions, drug resistance relation and inhibition methods. Finally, we introduce the recent insights on the GST class zeta from a metabolic perspective.

  2. The microcephalin ancestral allele in a Neanderthal individual.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Lari

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The high frequency (around 0.70 worldwide and the relatively young age (between 14,000 and 62,000 years of a derived group of haplotypes, haplogroup D, at the microcephalin (MCPH1 locus led to the proposal that haplogroup D originated in a human lineage that separated from modern humans >1 million years ago, evolved under strong positive selection, and passed into the human gene pool by an episode of admixture circa 37,000 years ago. The geographic distribution of haplogroup D, with marked differences between Africa and Eurasia, suggested that the archaic human form admixing with anatomically modern humans might have been Neanderthal. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report the first PCR amplification and high-throughput sequencing of nuclear DNA at the microcephalin (MCPH1 locus from Neanderthal individual from Mezzena Rockshelter (Monti Lessini, Italy. We show that a well-preserved Neanderthal fossil dated at approximately 50,000 years B.P., was homozygous for the ancestral, non-D, allele. The high yield of Neanderthal mtDNA sequences of the studied specimen, the pattern of nucleotide misincorporation among sequences consistent with post-mortem DNA damage and an accurate control of the MCPH1 alleles in all personnel that manipulated the sample, make it extremely unlikely that this result might reflect modern DNA contamination. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The MCPH1 genotype of the Monti Lessini (MLS Neanderthal does not prove that there was no interbreeding between anatomically archaic and modern humans in Europe, but certainly shows that speculations on a possible Neanderthal origin of what is now the most common MCPH1 haplogroup are not supported by empirical evidence from ancient DNA.

  3. The Korarchaeota: Archaeal orphans representing an ancestral lineage of life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elkins, James G.; Kunin, Victor; Anderson, Iain; Barry, Kerrie; Goltsman, Eugene; Lapidus, Alla; Hedlund, Brian; Hugenholtz, Phil; Kyrpides, Nikos; Graham, David; Keller, Martin; Wanner, Gerhard; Richardson, Paul; Stetter, Karl O.

    2007-05-01

    Based on conserved cellular properties, all life on Earth can be grouped into different phyla which belong to the primary domains Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya. However, tracing back their evolutionary relationships has been impeded by horizontal gene transfer and gene loss. Within the Archaea, the kingdoms Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota exhibit a profound divergence. In order to elucidate the evolution of these two major kingdoms, representatives of more deeply diverged lineages would be required. Based on their environmental small subunit ribosomal (ss RNA) sequences, the Korarchaeota had been originally suggested to have an ancestral relationship to all known Archaea although this assessment has been refuted. Here we describe the cultivation and initial characterization of the first member of the Korarchaeota, highly unusual, ultrathin filamentous cells about 0.16 {micro}m in diameter. A complete genome sequence obtained from enrichment cultures revealed an unprecedented combination of signature genes which were thought to be characteristic of either the Crenarchaeota, Euryarchaeota, or Eukarya. Cell division appears to be mediated through a FtsZ-dependent mechanism which is highly conserved throughout the Bacteria and Euryarchaeota. An rpb8 subunit of the DNA-dependent RNA polymerase was identified which is absent from other Archaea and has been described as a eukaryotic signature gene. In addition, the representative organism possesses a ribosome structure typical for members of the Crenarchaeota. Based on its gene complement, this lineage likely diverged near the separation of the two major kingdoms of Archaea. Further investigations of these unique organisms may shed additional light onto the evolution of extant life.

  4. Reconstructing the ancestral butterfly eye: focus on the opsins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briscoe, Adriana D

    2008-06-01

    The eyes of butterflies are remarkable, because they are nearly as diverse as the colors of wings. Much of eye diversity can be traced to alterations in the number, spectral properties and spatial distribution of the visual pigments. Visual pigments are light-sensitive molecules composed of an opsin protein and a chromophore. Most butterflies have eyes that contain visual pigments with a wavelength of peak absorbance, lambda(max), in the ultraviolet (UV, 300-400 nm), blue (B, 400-500 nm) and long wavelength (LW, 500-600 nm) part of the visible light spectrum, respectively, encoded by distinct UV, B and LW opsin genes. In the compound eye of butterflies, each individual ommatidium is composed of nine photoreceptor cells (R1-9) that generally express only one opsin mRNA per cell, although in some butterfly eyes there are ommatidial subtypes in which two opsins are co-expressed in the same photoreceptor cell. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of opsin cDNAs from the five butterfly families, Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae, Lycaenidae and Riodinidae, and comparative analysis of opsin gene expression patterns from four of the five families, I propose a model for the patterning of the ancestral butterfly eye that is most closely aligned with the nymphalid eye. The R1 and R2 cells of the main retina expressed UV-UV-, UV-B- or B-B-absorbing visual pigments while the R3-9 cells expressed a LW-absorbing visual pigment. Visual systems of existing butterflies then underwent an adaptive expansion based on lineage-specific B and LW opsin gene multiplications and on alterations in the spatial expression of opsins within the eye. Understanding the molecular sophistication of butterfly eye complexity is a challenge that, if met, has broad biological implications.

  5. Adrenomedullin in mammalian embryogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garayoa, Mercedes; Bodegas, Elena; Cuttitta, Frank; Montuenga, Luis M

    2002-04-01

    Here are summarized data supporting that adrenomedullin (AM) is a multifunctional factor involved in the complex regulatory mechanisms of mammalian development. During rodent embryogenesis, AM is first expressed in the heart, followed by a broader but also defined spatio-temporal pattern of expression in vascular, neural, and skeletal-forming tissues as well as in the main embryonic internal organs. AM pattern of expression is suggestive of its involvement in the control of embryonic invasion, proliferation, and differentiation processes, probably through autocrine or paracrine modes of action. AM levels in fetoplacental tissues, uterus, maternal and umbilical plasma are highly increased during normal gestation. These findings in addition to other physiological and gene targeting studies support the importance of AM as a vasorelaxant factor implicated in the regulation of maternal vascular adaptation to pregnancy, as well as of fetal and fetoplacental circulations. AM is also present in amniotic fluid and milk, which is suggestive of additional functions in the maturation and immunological protection of the fetus. Altered expression of AM has been found in some gestational pathologies, although it is not yet clear whether this corresponds to causative or compensatory mechanisms. Future studies in regard to the distribution and expression levels of the molecules known to function as AM receptors, together with data on the action of complement factor H (an AM binding protein), may help to better define the roles of AM during embryonic development.

  6. Mammalian gut immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit Chassaing

    2014-10-01

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

  7. The Mammalian Septin Interactome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neubauer, Katharina; Zieger, Barbara

    2017-01-01

    Septins are GTP-binding and membrane-interacting proteins with a highly conserved domain structure involved in various cellular processes, including cytoskeleton organization, cytokinesis, and membrane dynamics. To date, 13 different septin genes have been identified in mammals (SEPT1 to SEPT12 and SEPT14), which can be classified into four distinct subgroups based on the sequence homology of their domain structure (SEPT2, SEPT3, SEPT6, and SEPT7 subgroup). The family members of these subgroups have a strong affinity for other septins and form apolar tri-, hexa-, or octameric complexes consisting of multiple septin polypeptides. The first characterized core complex is the hetero-trimer SEPT2-6-7. Within these complexes single septins can be exchanged in a subgroup-specific manner. Hexamers contain SEPT2 and SEPT6 subgroup members and SEPT7 in two copies each whereas the octamers additionally comprise two SEPT9 subgroup septins. The various isoforms seem to determine the function and regulation of the septin complex. Septins self-assemble into higher-order structures, including filaments and rings in orders, which are typical for different cell types. Misregulation of septins leads to human diseases such as neurodegenerative and bleeding disorders. In non-dividing cells such as neuronal tissue and platelets septins have been associated with exocytosis. However, many mechanistic details and roles attributed to septins are poorly understood. We describe here some important mammalian septin interactions with a special focus on the clinically relevant septin interactions. PMID:28224124

  8. An ancestral role for the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle S. McCommis

    2016-08-01

    Conclusions: Altogether, these studies suggest that the MPC plays an important and ancestral role in insulin-secreting cells in mediating glucose sensing, regulating insulin secretion, and controlling systemic glycemia.

  9. Analysis of the stone ancestral hall of Guo’s tomb on Xiaotang mountainin Han dynasty architectural features

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘国庆

    2014-01-01

    The stone ancestral hall of Guo’s tomb in Xiaotang mountain is the earliest existing buildings on the ground in China. It has a very high historical, cultural and artistic value, and it was described by the ancient and modern scholars and experts in their books and articles. But the study of architectural of ancestral hall was emphasized from 1930s, and became a brilliant star in the Chinese historic buildings. In this article, the architectural characteristics of the stone ancestral hall are discussed through fieldworks, in order to clarify the real architecture appearance of the ancestral hall and refer more informations for comprehensive study of Xiaotang stone ancestral hall.

  10. Widely divergent transcriptional patterns between SLE patients of different ancestral backgrounds in sorted immune cell populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Shruti; Jin, Zhongbo; Rosenzweig, Elizabeth; Rao, Swapna; Ko, Kichul; Niewold, Timothy B

    2015-06-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease of uncertain etiology. Patients from different ancestral backgrounds demonstrate differences in clinical manifestations and autoantibody profiles. We examined genome-wide transcriptional patterns in major immune cell subsets across different ancestral backgrounds. Peripheral blood was collected from African-American (AA) and European-American (EA) SLE patients and controls. CD4 T-cells, CD8 T-cells, monocytes, and B cells were purified by flow sorting, and each cell subset from each subject was run on a genome-wide expression array. Cases were compared to controls of the same ancestral background. The overlap in differentially expressed gene (DEG) lists between different cell types from the same ancestral background was modest (type between different ancestral backgrounds. IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) expression was not up-regulated synchronously in all cell types from a given patient, for example a given subject could have high ISG expression in T and B cells, but not in monocytes. AA subjects demonstrated more concordance in ISG expression between cell types from the same individual, and AA patients demonstrated significant down-regulation of metabolic gene expression which was not observed in EA patients. ISG expression was significantly decreased in B cells in patients taking immunosuppressants, while ISGs in other cell types did not differ with medication use. In conclusion, gene expression was strikingly different between immune cell subsets and between ancestral backgrounds in SLE patients. These findings emphasize the critical importance of studying multiple ancestral backgrounds and multiple cell types in gene expression studies. Ancestral backgrounds which are not studied will not benefit from personalized medicine strategies in SLE.

  11. The survival effect in memory: does it hold into old age and non-ancestral scenarios?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lixia; Lau, Karen P L; Truong, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The survival effect in memory refers to the memory enhancement for materials encoded in reference to a survival scenario compared to those encoded in reference to a control scenario or with other encoding strategies. The current study examined whether this effect is well maintained in old age by testing young (ages 18-29) and older adults (ages 65-87) on the survival effect in memory for words encoded in ancestral and/or non-ancestral modern survival scenarios relative to a non-survival control scenario. A pilot study was conducted to select the best matched comparison scenarios based on potential confounding variables, such as valence and arousal. Experiment 1 assessed the survival effect with a well-matched negative control scenario in both young and older adults. The results showed an age-equivalent survival effect across an ancestral and a non-ancestral modern survival scenario. Experiment 2 replicated the survival effect in both age groups with a positive control scenario. Taken together, the data suggest a robust survival effect that is well preserved in old age across ancestral and non-ancestral survival scenarios.

  12. Petrologic, tectonic, and metallogenic evolution of the Ancestral Cascades magmatic arc, Washington, Oregon, and northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Bray, Edward A.; John, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Present-day High Cascades arc magmatism was preceded by ~40 m.y. of nearly cospatial magmatism represented by the ancestral Cascades arc in Washington, Oregon, and northernmost California (United States). Time-space-composition relations for the ancestral Cascades arc have been synthesized from a recent compilation of more than 4000 geochemical analyses and associated age data. Neither the composition nor distribution of ancestral Cascades magmatism was uniform along the length of the ancestral arc through time. Initial (>40 to 36 Ma) ancestral Cascades magmatism (mostly basalt and basaltic andesite) was focused at the north end of the arc between the present-day locations of Mount Rainier and the Columbia River. From 35 to 18 Ma, initial basaltic andesite and andesite magmatism evolved to include dacite and rhyolite; magmatic activity became more voluminous and extended along most of the arc. Between 17 and 8 Ma, magmatism was focused along the part of the arc coincident with the northern two-thirds of Oregon and returned to more mafic compositions. Subsequent ancestral Cascades magmatism was dominated by basaltic andesite to basalt prior to the post–4 Ma onset of High Cascades magmatism. Transitional tholeiitic to calc-alkaline compositions dominated early (before 40 to ca. 25 Ma) ancestral Cascades eruptive products, whereas the majority of the younger arc rocks have a calc-alkaline affinity. Tholeiitic compositions characteristic of the oldest ancestral arc magmas suggest development associated with thin, immature crust and slab window processes, whereas the younger, calc-alkaline magmas suggest interaction with thicker, more evolved crust and more conventional subduction-related magmatic processes. Presumed changes in subducted slab dip through time also correlate with fundamental magma composition variation. The predominance of mafic compositions during latest ancestral arc magmatism and throughout the history of modern High Cascades magmatism probably

  13. Electroporation into Cultured Mammalian Embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Tadashi; Takahashi, Masanori; Osumi, Noriko

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

  14. Common 5' beta-globin RFLP haplotypes harbour a surprising level of ancestral sequence mosaicism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Matthew T; Clegg, John B; Harding, Rosalind M

    2003-07-01

    Blocks of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the human genome represent segments of ancestral chromosomes. To investigate the relationship between LD and genealogy, we analysed diversity associated with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) haplotypes of the 5' beta-globin gene complex. Genealogical analyses were based on sequence alleles that spanned a 12.2-kb interval, covering 3.1 kb around the psibeta gene and 6.2 kb of the delta-globin gene and its 5' flanking sequence known as the R/T region. Diversity was sampled from a Kenyan Luo population where recent malarial selection has contributed to substantial LD. A single common sequence allele spanning the 12.2-kb interval exclusively identified the ancestral chromosome bearing the "Bantu" beta(s) (sickle-cell) RFLP haplotype. Other common 5' RFLP haplotypes comprised interspersed segments from multiple ancestral chromosomes. Nucleotide diversity was similar between psibeta and R/T-delta-globin but was non-uniformly distributed within the R/T-delta-globin region. High diversity associated with the 5' R/T identified two ancestral lineages that probably date back more than 2 million years. Within this genealogy, variation has been introduced into the 3' R/T by gene conversion from other ancestral chromosomes. Diversity in delta-globin was found to lead through parts of the main genealogy but to coalesce in a more recent ancestor. The well-known recombination hotspot is clearly restricted to the region 3' of delta-globin. Our analyses show that, whereas one common haplotype in a block of high LD represents a long segment from a single ancestral chromosome, others are mosaics of short segments from multiple ancestors related in genealogies of unsuspected complexity.

  15. The evolution of imprinting: chromosomal mapping of orthologues of mammalian imprinted domains in monotreme and marsupial mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunham Ian

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evolution of genomic imprinting, the parental-origin specific expression of genes, is the subject of much debate. There are several theories to account for how the mechanism evolved including the hypothesis that it was driven by the evolution of X-inactivation, or that it arose from an ancestrally imprinted chromosome. Results Here we demonstrate that mammalian orthologues of imprinted genes are dispersed amongst autosomes in both monotreme and marsupial karyotypes. Conclusion These data, along with the similar distribution seen in birds, suggest that imprinted genes were not located on an ancestrally imprinted chromosome or associated with a sex chromosome. Our results suggest imprinting evolution was a stepwise, adaptive process, with each gene/cluster independently becoming imprinted as the need arose.

  16. Which came first: The lizard or the egg? Robustness in phylogenetic reconstruction of ancestral states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, April M; Lyons, Kathleen M; Brandley, Matthew C; Hillis, David M

    2015-09-01

    Changes in parity mode between egg-laying (oviparity) and live-bearing (viviparity) have occurred repeatedly throughout vertebrate evolution. Oviparity is the ancestral amniote state, and viviparity has evolved many times independently within amniotes (especially in lizards and snakes), with possibly a few reversions to oviparity. In amniotes, the shelled egg is considered a complex structure that is unlikely to re-evolve if lost (i.e., it is an example of Dollo's Principle). However, a recent ancestral state reconstruction analysis concluded that viviparity was the ancestral state of squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes), and that oviparity re-evolved from viviparity many times throughout the evolutionary history of squamates. Here, we re-evaluate support for this provocative conclusion by testing the sensitivity of the analysis to model assumptions and estimates of squamate phylogeny. We found that the models and methods used for parity mode reconstruction are highly sensitive to the specific estimate of phylogeny used, and that the point estimate of phylogeny used to suggest that viviparity is the root state of the squamate tree is far from an optimal phylogenetic solution. The ancestral state reconstructions are also highly sensitive to model choice and specific values of model parameters. A method that is designed to account for biases in taxon sampling actually accentuates, rather than lessens, those biases with respect to ancestral state reconstructions. In contrast to recent conclusions from the same data set, we find that ancestral state reconstruction analyses provide highly equivocal support for the number and direction of transitions between oviparity and viviparity in squamates. Moreover, the reconstructions of ancestral parity state are highly dependent on the assumptions of each model. We conclude that the common ancestor of squamates was oviparous, and subsequent evolutionary transitions to viviparity were common, but reversals to oviparity were

  17. Evolutionary dynamics of mammalian karyotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Alberto Redi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This special volume of Cytogenetic and Genome Research (edited by Roscoe Stanyon, University of Florence and Alexander Graphodatsky, Siberian division of the Russian Academy of Sciences is dedicated to the fascinating long search of the forces behind the evolutionary dynamics of mammalian karyotypes, revealed after the hypotonic miracle of the 1950s....

  18. Technology of mammalian cell encapsulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uludag, H; De Vos, P; Tresco, PA

    2000-01-01

    Entrapment of mammalian cells in physical membranes has been practiced since the early 1950s when it was originally introduced as a basic research tool. The method has since been developed based on the promise of its therapeutic usefulness in tissue transplantation. Encapsulation physically isolates

  19. Phylogenetic analysis of glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferases in opisthokonts reveals unexpected ancestral complexity and novel modern biosynthetic components.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather C Smart

    Full Text Available Glycerolipid synthesis represents a central metabolic process of all forms of life. In the last decade multiple genes coding for enzymes responsible for the first step of the pathway, catalyzed by glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT, have been described, and characterized primarily in model organisms like Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mice. Notoriously, the fungal enzymes share low sequence identity with their known animal counterparts, and the nature of their homology is unclear. Furthermore, two mitochondrial GPAT isoforms have been described in animal cells, while no such enzymes have been identified in Fungi. In order to determine if the yeast and mammalian GPATs are representative of the set of enzymes present in their respective groups, and to test the hypothesis that metazoan orthologues are indeed absent from the fungal clade, a comparative genomic and phylogenetic analysis was performed including organisms spanning the breadth of the Opisthokonta supergroup. Surprisingly, our study unveiled the presence of 'fungal' orthologs in the basal taxa of the holozoa and 'animal' orthologues in the basal holomycetes. This includes a novel clade of fungal homologues, with putative peroxisomal targeting signals, of the mitochondrial/peroxisomal acyltransferases in Metazoa, thus potentially representing an undescribed metabolic capacity in the Fungi. The overall distribution of GPAT homologues is suggestive of high relative complexity in the ancestors of the opisthokont clade, followed by loss and sculpting of the complement in the descendent lineages. Divergence from a general versatile metabolic model, present in ancestrally deduced GPAT complements, points to distinctive contributions of each GPAT isoform to lipid metabolism and homeostasis in contemporary organisms like humans and their fungal pathogens.

  20. Expansion and Functional Divergence of Jumonji C-Containing Histone Demethylases: Significance of Duplications in Ancestral Angiosperms and Vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Shengzhan; Wang, Yingxiang; Ma, Hong; Zhang, Liangsheng

    2015-08-01

    Histone modifications, such as methylation and demethylation, are crucial mechanisms altering chromatin structure and gene expression. Recent biochemical and molecular studies have uncovered a group of histone demethylases called Jumonji C (JmjC) domain proteins. However, their evolutionary history and patterns have not been examined systematically. Here, we report extensive analyses of eukaryotic JmjC genes and define 14 subfamilies, including the Lysine-Specific Demethylase3 (KDM3), KDM5, JMJD6, Putative-Lysine-Specific Demethylase11 (PKDM11), and PKDM13 subfamilies, shared by plants, animals, and fungi. Other subfamilies are detected in plants and animals but not in fungi (PKDM12) or in animals and fungi but not in plants (KDM2 and KDM4). PKDM7, PKDM8, and PKDM9 are plant-specific groups, whereas Jumonji, AT-Rich Interactive Domain2, KDM6, and PKDM10 are animal specific. In addition to known domains, most subfamilies have characteristic conserved amino acid motifs. Whole-genome duplication (WGD) was likely an important mechanism for JmjC duplications, with four pairs from an angiosperm-wide WGD and others from subsequent WGDs. Vertebrates also experienced JmjC duplications associated with the vertebrate ancestral WGDs, with additional mammalian paralogs from tandem duplication and possible transposition. The sequences of paralogs have diverged in both known functional domains and other regions, showing evidence of selection pressure. The increases of JmjC copy number and the divergences in sequence and expression might have contributed to the divergent functions of JmjC genes, allowing the angiosperms and vertebrates to adapt to a great number of ecological niches and contributing to their evolutionary successes.

  1. Anaho Island: Mammalian species richness report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This study assessed the mammalian species richness on Anaho Island using live trapping between July 18th and July 23rd 2005. The last mammalian species richness...

  2. Inheritance of the 8.1 ancestral haplotype in recurrent pregnancy loss

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kolte, Astrid M; Nielsen, Henriette S; Steffensen, Rudi;

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The 8.1 ancestral haplotype (AH) (HLA-A1, C7, B8, C4AQ0, C4B1, DR3, DQ2) is a remarkably long and conserved haplotype in the human major histocompatibility complex. It has been associated with both beneficial and detrimental effects, consistent with antagonistic pleiotr...

  3. Language Shift and Maintenance in Multilingual Mauritius: The Case of Indian Ancestral Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bissoonauth, Anu

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports on a research study conducted in Mauritius between June and July 2009. The aim of this research was to investigate the use of Indian ancestral languages in the domestic domain by the younger generations. The data were collected in the field by means of a questionnaire and interviews from a quota sample of secondary school…

  4. Ancestral TCDD exposure promotes epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of imprinted gene Igf2: Methylation status and DNMTs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jing; Chen, Xi; Liu, Yanan; Xie, Qunhui; Sun, Yawen; Chen, Jingshan; Leng, Ling; Yan, Huan; Zhao, Bin; Tang, Naijun

    2015-12-01

    Ancestral TCDD exposure could induce epigenetic transgenerational phenotypes, which may be mediated in part by imprinted gene inheritance. The aim of our study was to evaluate the transgenerational effects of ancestral TCDD exposure on the imprinted gene insulin-like growth factor-2 (Igf2) in rat somatic tissue. TCDD was administered daily by oral gavage to groups of F0 pregnant SD rats at dose levels of 0 (control), 200 or 800 ng/kg bw during gestation day 8-14. Animal transgenerational model of ancestral exposure to TCDD was carefully built, avoiding sibling inbreeding. Hepatic Igf2 expression of the TCDD male progeny was decreased concomitantly with hepatic damage and increased activities of serum hepatic enzymes both in the F1 and F3 generation. Imprinted Control Region (ICR) of Igf2 manifested a hypermethylated pattern, whereas methylation status in the Differentially Methylated Region 2 (DMR2) showed a hypomethylated manner in the F1 generation. These epigenetic alterations in these two regions maintained similar trends in the F3 generation. Meanwhile, the expressions of DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B) changed in a non-monotonic manner both in the F1 and F3 generation. This study provides evidence that ancestral TCDD exposure may promote epigenetic transgenerational alterations of imprinted gene Igf2 in adult somatic tissue.

  5. Mechanisms and evolutionary patterns of mammalian and avian dosage compensation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Julien

    Full Text Available As a result of sex chromosome differentiation from ancestral autosomes, male mammalian cells only contain one X chromosome. It has long been hypothesized that X-linked gene expression levels have become doubled in males to restore the original transcriptional output, and that the resulting X overexpression in females then drove the evolution of X inactivation (XCI. However, this model has never been directly tested and patterns and mechanisms of dosage compensation across different mammals and birds generally remain little understood. Here we trace the evolution of dosage compensation using extensive transcriptome data from males and females representing all major mammalian lineages and birds. Our analyses suggest that the X has become globally upregulated in marsupials, whereas we do not detect a global upregulation of this chromosome in placental mammals. However, we find that a subset of autosomal genes interacting with X-linked genes have become downregulated in placentals upon the emergence of sex chromosomes. Thus, different driving forces may underlie the evolution of XCI and the highly efficient equilibration of X expression levels between the sexes observed for both of these lineages. In the egg-laying monotremes and birds, which have partially homologous sex chromosome systems, partial upregulation of the X (Z in birds evolved but is largely restricted to the heterogametic sex, which provides an explanation for the partially sex-biased X (Z expression and lack of global inactivation mechanisms in these lineages. Our findings suggest that dosage reductions imposed by sex chromosome differentiation events in amniotes were resolved in strikingly different ways.

  6. The shape of mammalian phylogeny

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Purvis, Andy; Fritz, Susanne A; Rodríguez, Jesús

    2011-01-01

    Mammalian phylogeny is far too asymmetric for all contemporaneous lineages to have had equal chances of diversifying. We consider this asymmetry or imbalance from four perspectives. First, we infer a minimal set of 'regime changes'-points at which net diversification rate has changed-identifying 15...... significant radiations and 12 clades that may be 'downshifts'. We next show that mammalian phylogeny is similar in shape to a large set of published phylogenies of other vertebrate, arthropod and plant groups, suggesting that many clades may diversify under a largely shared set of 'rules'. Third, we simulate...... six simple macroevolutionary models, showing that those where speciation slows down as geographical or niche space is filled, produce more realistic phylogenies than do models involving key innovations. Lastly, an analysis of the spatial scaling of imbalance shows that the phylogeny of species within...

  7. Bioenergetics of Mammalian Sperm Capacitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Ferramosca

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available After ejaculation, the mammalian male gamete must undergo the capacitation process, which is a prerequisite for egg fertilization. The bioenergetics of sperm capacitation is poorly understood despite its fundamental role in sustaining the biochemical and molecular events occurring during gamete activation. Glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS are the two major metabolic pathways producing ATP which is the primary source of energy for spermatozoa. Since recent data suggest that spermatozoa have the ability to use different metabolic substrates, the main aim of this work is to present a broad overview of the current knowledge on the energy-producing metabolic pathways operating inside sperm mitochondria during capacitation in different mammalian species. Metabolism of glucose and of other energetic substrates, such as pyruvate, lactate, and citrate, is critically analyzed. Such knowledge, besides its obvious importance for basic science, could eventually translate into the development of novel strategies for treatment of male infertility, artificial reproduction, and sperm selection methods.

  8. Molecular aspects of mammalian fertilization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hector Serrano; Dolores Garcia-Suarez

    2001-01-01

    Mammalian fertilization is a highly regulated process, much of which are not clearly understood. Here we present some information in order to elaborate a working hypothesis for this process, beginning with the sperm modifications in the epidydimis up to sperm and egg plasmalemma interaction and fusion. We also discuss the still poorly understood capacitation process, the phenomenon of sperm chemo-attraction that brings the capacitated sperm to interact with the oocyte vestments and certain aspects of the acrosome reaction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  10. Functional characterization of mammalian Wntless homolog in mammalian system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li-Ting; Wang, Shih-Jong; Hsu, Shih-Hsien

    2012-07-01

    Wntless (GPR177) protein is a newly identified regulator of Wnt signals in Drosophila, but its cellular function in mammals is still unclear. In this study, we explored the expression pattern and potential cellular function of Wntless in mammalian cells. Wntless mRNA was expressed in many mouse tissues, including the spleen, lung, kidney, thymus, and stomach, and lower levels of expression were detected in the mouse brain and testis. Expression of Wntless protein analyzed by Western blot and immunohistochemical staining was only detected in the submucosa, muscle, ganglia, and nerve cells of murine large intestines. Both immunofluorescence staining and subcellular fraction extraction analysis revealed that endogenous Wntless protein was expressed predominantly in the cytoplasmic organelles with a morphologically dot-shaped distribution. Furthermore, overexpression of Wntless could be corrected by and may activate the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway in cancer (HeLa) cells. These results suggest that Wntless plays a role in signaling regulation during the formation of cancer in addition to its role as a retromer protein in mammalian systems.

  11. Ancestral genes can control the ability of horizontally acquired loci to confer new traits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Deborah Chen

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Horizontally acquired genes typically function as autonomous units conferring new abilities when introduced into different species. However, we reasoned that proteins preexisting in an organism might constrain the functionality of a horizontally acquired gene product if it operates on an ancestral pathway. Here, we determine how the horizontally acquired pmrD gene product activates the ancestral PmrA/PmrB two-component system in Salmonella enterica but not in the closely related bacterium Escherichia coli. The Salmonella PmrD protein binds to the phosphorylated PmrA protein (PmrA-P, protecting it from dephosphorylation by the PmrB protein. This results in transcription of PmrA-dependent genes, including those conferring polymyxin B resistance. We now report that the E. coli PmrD protein can activate the PmrA/PmrB system in Salmonella even though it cannot do it in E. coli, suggesting that these two species differ in an additional component controlling PmrA-P levels. We establish that the E. coli PmrB displays higher phosphatase activity towards PmrA-P than the Salmonella PmrB, and we identified a PmrB subdomain responsible for this property. Replacement of the E. coli pmrB gene with the Salmonella homolog was sufficient to render E. coli resistant to polymyxin B under PmrD-inducing conditions. Our findings provide a singular example whereby quantitative differences in the biochemical activities of orthologous ancestral proteins dictate the ability of a horizontally acquired gene product to confer species-specific traits. And they suggest that horizontally acquired genes can potentiate selection at ancestral loci.

  12. On the ancestral recruitment of metalloproteinases into the venom of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casewell, Nicholas R

    2012-09-15

    Tracing the evolutionary history of proteins can reveal insights into gene alterations responsible for changes in structure and function. Here, the origin of snake venom metalloproteinases was rigorously reassessed using phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancestral sequences. Basal SVMPs are most closely related to ADAM 7, 28 and decysin-1 proteins. Reconstructing the evolutionary history of these proteins and their hypothetical ancestors reveals progressive alterations in the amino acid composition and structural characteristics of ADAMs/SVMPs through evolutionary time.

  13. The ancestral karyotype of Carnivora: comparison with that of platyrrhine monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutrillaux, B; Couturier, J

    1983-01-01

    The karyotypes of six species of Carnivora (Mungos mungo, Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Potos flavus, Mustela furo, Felis serval, and Halichoerus grypus), representative of five different families, were studied and compared. Correspondence between almost all chromosome segments was found, and a presumed ancestral karyotype of Carnivora is proposed. Analogies to human chromosomes are also given, and the results obtained are in excellent agreement with previously published gene mapping data on man and the domestic cat.

  14. Ancestral Protein Reconstruction Yields Insights into Adaptive Evolution of Binding Specificity in Solute-Binding Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifton, Ben E; Jackson, Colin J

    2016-02-18

    The promiscuous functions of proteins are an important reservoir of functional novelty in protein evolution, but the molecular basis for binding promiscuity remains elusive. We used ancestral protein reconstruction to experimentally characterize evolutionary intermediates in the functional expansion of the polar amino acid-binding protein family, which has evolved to bind a variety of amino acids with high affinity and specificity. High-resolution crystal structures of an ancestral arginine-binding protein in complex with l-arginine and l-glutamine show that the promiscuous binding of l-glutamine is enabled by multi-scale conformational plasticity, water-mediated interactions, and selection of an alternative conformational substate productive for l-glutamine binding. Evolution of specialized glutamine-binding proteins from this ancestral protein was achieved by displacement of water molecules from the protein-ligand interface, reducing the entropic penalty associated with the promiscuous interaction. These results provide a structural and thermodynamic basis for the co-option of a promiscuous interaction in the evolution of binding specificity.

  15. Diverse adaptations of an ancestral gill: a common evolutionary origin for wings, breathing organs, and spinnerets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damen, Wim G M; Saridaki, Theodora; Averof, Michalis

    2002-10-01

    Changing conditions of life impose new requirements on the morphology and physiology of an organism. One of these changes is the evolutionary transition from aquatic to terrestrial life, leading to adaptations in locomotion, breathing, reproduction, and mechanisms for food capture. We have shown previously that insects' wings most likely originated from one of the gills of ancestral aquatic arthropods during their transition to life on land. Here we investigate the fate of these ancestral gills during the evolution of another major arthropod group, the chelicerates. We examine the expression of two developmental genes, pdm/nubbin and apterous, that participate in the specification of insects' wings and are expressed in particular crustacean epipods/gills. In the horseshoe crab, a primitively aquatic chelicerate, pdm/nubbin is specifically expressed in opisthosomal appendages that give rise to respiratory organs called book gills. In spiders (terrestrial chelicerates), pdm/nubbin and apterous are expressed in successive segmental primordia that give rise to book lungs, lateral tubular tracheae, and spinnerets, novel structures that are used by spiders to breathe on land and to spin their webs. Combined with morphological and palaeontological evidence, these observations suggest that fundamentally different new organs (wings, air-breathing organs, and spinnerets) evolved from the same ancestral structure (gills) in parallel instances of terrestrialization.

  16. Ancestral informative marker selection and population structure visualization using sparse Laplacian eigenfunctions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Zhang

    Full Text Available Identification of a small panel of population structure informative markers can reduce genotyping cost and is useful in various applications, such as ancestry inference in association mapping, forensics and evolutionary theory in population genetics. Traditional methods to ascertain ancestral informative markers usually require the prior knowledge of individual ancestry and have difficulty for admixed populations. Recently Principal Components Analysis (PCA has been employed with success to select SNPs which are highly correlated with top significant principal components (PCs without use of individual ancestral information. The approach is also applicable to admixed populations. Here we propose a novel approach based on our recent result on summarizing population structure by graph laplacian eigenfunctions, which differs from PCA in that it is geometric and robust to outliers. Our approach also takes advantage of the priori sparseness of informative markers in the genome. Through simulation of a ring population and the real global population sample HGDP of 650K SNPs genotyped in 940 unrelated individuals, we validate the proposed algorithm at selecting most informative markers, a small fraction of which can recover the similar underlying population structure efficiently. Employing a standard Support Vector Machine (SVM to predict individuals' continental memberships on HGDP dataset of seven continents, we demonstrate that the selected SNPs by our method are more informative but less redundant than those selected by PCA. Our algorithm is a promising tool in genome-wide association studies and population genetics, facilitating the selection of structure informative markers, efficient detection of population substructure and ancestral inference.

  17. What was the ancestral sex-determining mechanism in amniote vertebrates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson Pokorná, Martina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2016-02-01

    Amniote vertebrates, the group consisting of mammals and reptiles including birds, possess various mechanisms of sex determination. Under environmental sex determination (ESD), the sex of individuals depends on the environmental conditions occurring during their development and therefore there are no sexual differences present in their genotypes. Alternatively, through the mode of genotypic sex determination (GSD), sex is determined by a sex-specific genotype, i.e. by the combination of sex chromosomes at various stages of differentiation at conception. As well as influencing sex determination, sex-specific parts of genomes may, and often do, develop specific reproductive or ecological roles in their bearers. Accordingly, an individual with a mismatch between phenotypic (gonadal) and genotypic sex, for example an individual sex-reversed by environmental effects, should have a lower fitness due to the lack of specialized, sex-specific parts of their genome. In this case, evolutionary transitions from GSD to ESD should be less likely than transitions in the opposite direction. This prediction contrasts with the view that GSD was the ancestral sex-determining mechanism for amniote vertebrates. Ancestral GSD would require several transitions from GSD to ESD associated with an independent dedifferentiation of sex chromosomes, at least in the ancestors of crocodiles, turtles, and lepidosaurs (tuataras and squamate reptiles). In this review, we argue that the alternative theory postulating ESD as ancestral in amniotes is more parsimonious and is largely concordant with the theoretical expectations and current knowledge of the phylogenetic distribution and homology of sex-determining mechanisms.

  18. Ancestral state reconstruction, rate heterogeneity, and the evolution of reptile viviparity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Benedict; Lee, Michael S Y

    2015-05-01

    Virtually all models for reconstructing ancestral states for discrete characters make the crucial assumption that the trait of interest evolves at a uniform rate across the entire tree. However, this assumption is unlikely to hold in many situations, particularly as ancestral state reconstructions are being performed on increasingly large phylogenies. Here, we show how failure to account for such variable evolutionary rates can cause highly anomalous (and likely incorrect) results, while three methods that accommodate rate variability yield the opposite, more plausible, and more robust reconstructions. The random local clock method, implemented in BEAST, estimates the position and magnitude of rate changes on the tree; split BiSSE estimates separate rate parameters for pre-specified clades; and the hidden rates model partitions each character state into a number of rate categories. Simulations show the inadequacy of traditional models when characters evolve with both asymmetry (different rates of change between states within a character) and heterotachy (different rates of character evolution across different clades). The importance of accounting for rate heterogeneity in ancestral state reconstruction is highlighted empirically with a new analysis of the evolution of viviparity in squamate reptiles, which reveal a predominance of forward (oviparous-viviparous) transitions and very few reversals.

  19. Ancestral sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Iglesia, Horacio O; Moreno, Claudia; Lowden, Arne; Louzada, Fernando; Marqueze, Elaine; Levandovski, Rosa; Pilz, Luisa K; Valeggia, Claudia; Fernandez-Duque, Eduardo; Golombek, Diego A; Czeisler, Charles A; Skene, Debra J; Duffy, Jeanne F; Roenneberg, Till

    2016-04-01

    While we do not yet understand all the functions of sleep, its critical role for normal physiology and behaviour is evident. Its amount and temporal pattern depend on species and condition. Humans sleep about a third of the day with the longest, consolidated episode during the night. The change in lifestyle from hunter-gatherers via agricultural communities to densely populated industrialized centres has certainly affected sleep, and a major concern in the medical community is the impact of insufficient sleep on health [1,2]. One of the causal mechanisms leading to insufficient sleep is altered exposure to the natural light-dark cycle. This includes the wide availability of electric light, attenuated exposure to daylight within buildings, and evening use of light-emitting devices, all of which decrease the strength of natural light-dark signals that entrain circadian systems [3].

  20. Ceramide signaling in mammalian epidermis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchida, Yoshikazu

    2014-03-01

    Ceramide, the backbone structure of all sphingolipids, as well as a minor component of cellular membranes, has a unique role in the skin, by forming the epidermal permeability barrier at the extracellular domains of the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, which is required for terrestrial mammalian survival. In contrast to the role of ceramide in forming the permeability barrier, the signaling roles of ceramide and its metabolites have not yet been recognized. Ceramide and/or its metabolites regulate proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis in epidermal keratinocytes. Recent studies have further demonstrated that a ceramide metabolite, sphingosine-1-phosphate, modulates innate immune function. Ceramide has already been applied to therapeutic approaches for treatment of eczema associated with attenuated epidermal permeability barrier function. Pharmacological modulation of ceramide and its metabolites' signaling can also be applied to cutaneous disease prevention and therapy. The author here describes the signaling roles of ceramide and its metabolites in mammalian cells and tissues, including the epidermis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled The Important Role of Lipids in the Epidermis and their Role in the Formation and Maintenance of the Cutaneous Barrier. Guest Editors: Kenneth R. Feingold and Peter Elias.

  1. ABO (histo) blood group phenotype development and human reproduction as they relate to ancestral IgM formation: A hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arend, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The formation of a histo (blood) group) ABO phenotype and the exclusion of an autoreactive IgM or isoagglutinin activity arise apparently in identical glycosylation of complementary domains on cell surfaces and plasma proteins. The fundamental O-glycan emptiness of the circulating IgM, which during the neonatal amino acid sequencing of the variable regions is exerting germline-specific O-GalNAc glycan-reactive serine/threonine residues that in the plasma of the adult human blood group O individuals apparently remain associated with the open glycosidic sites on the ABOH convertible red cell surface, must raise suggestions on a transient expression of developmental glycans, which have been "lost" over the course of maturation. In fact, while the mammalian non-somatic, embryogenic stem cell (ESC)- germ cell (GC) transformation is characterized by a transient and genetically as-yet-undefined trans-species-functional O-GalNAc glycan expression, in the C57BL/10 mouse such expression was potentially identified in growth-dependent, blood group A-like GalNAc glycan-bearing, ovarian glycolipids complementary with the syngeneic anti-A reactive IgM, which does not appear in early ovariectomized animals. This non-somatically encoded, polyreactive, ancestral IgM molecule has not undergone clonal selection and does primarily not differentiate between self and non-self and might, due to amino acid hydroxyl groups, highly suggest substrate competition with subsequent O-glycosylations in ongoing ESC-GC transformations and affecting GC maturation. However, the membrane-bound somatic N/O-glycotransferases, which initiate, after formation of the zygote, the complex construction of the human ABO phenotypes in the trans cisternae of the Golgi apparatus, are associated and/or completed with soluble enzyme versions exerting identical specificities in plasma and likely competing vice versa by glycosylation of neonatal IgM amino acids, where they suggest to accomplish the clearance of anti

  2. Mammalian skin evolution: a reevaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maderson, P F A

    2003-06-01

    A 1972 model for the evolutionary origin of hair suggested a primary mechanoreceptor role improving behavioral thermoregulation contributed to the success of late Paleozoic mammal-like reptiles. An insulatory role appeared secondarily subsequent to protohair multiplication. That model is updated in light of new data on (a) palaeoecology of mammalian ancestors; (b) involvement of HRPs in keratinization; (c) lipogenic lamellar bodies that form the barrier to cutaneous water loss; and (d) growth factors involved in hair follicle embryogenesis and turnover. It is now proposed that multiplication of sensory protohairs caused by mutations in patterning genes initially protected the delicate barrier tissues and eventually produced the minimal morphology necessary for an insulatory pelage. The latter permitted Mesozoic mammals to occupy the nocturnal niche 'in the shadow of dinosaurs'. When the giant reptiles became extinct, mammals underwent rapid radiation and reemerged as the dominant terrestrial vertebrates.

  3. Genome regulation in mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puck, T T; Krystosek, A; Chan, D C

    1990-05-01

    A theory is presented proposing that genetic regulation in mammalian cells is at least a two-tiered effect; that one level of regulation involves the transition between gene exposure and sequestration; that normal differentiation requires a different spectrum of genes to be exposed in each separate state of differentiation; that the fiber systems of the cell cytoskeleton and the nuclear matrix together control the degree of gene exposure; that specific phosphorylation of these elements causes them to assume a different organizational network and to impose a different pattern of sequestration and exposure on the elements of the genome; that the varied gene phosphorylation mechanisms in the cell are integrated in this function; that attachment of this network system to specific parts of the chromosomes brings about sequestration or exposure of the genes in their neighborhood in a fashion similar to that observed when microtubule elements attach through the kinetochore to the centromeric DNA; that one function of repetitive sequences is to serve as elements for the final attachment of this fibrous network to the specific chromosomal loci; and that at least an important part of the calcium manifestation as a metabolic trigger of different differentiation states involves its acting as a binding agent to centers of electronegativity, in particular proteins and especially phosphorylated groups, so as to change the conformation of the fiber network that ultimately controls gene exposure in the mammalian cell. It would appear essential to determine what abnormal gene exposures and sequestrations are characteristic of each type of cancer; which agonists, if any, will bring about reverse transformation; and whether these considerations can be used in therapy.

  4. Evidence that the ancestral haplotype in Australian hemochromatosis patients may be associated with a common mutation in the gene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crawford, D.H.G.; Powell, L.W.; Leggett, B.A. [Univ. of Queensland (Australia)] [and others

    1995-08-01

    Hemochromatosis (HC) is a common inherited disorder of iron metabolism for which neither the gene nor biochemical defect have yet been identified. The aim of this study was to look for clinical evidence that the predominant ancestral haplotype in Australian patients is associated with a common mutation in the gene. We compared indices of iron metabolism and storage in three groups of HC patients categorized according to the presence of the ancestral haplotype (i.e., patients with two copies, one copy, and no copies of the ancestral haplotype). We also examined iron indices in two groups of HC heterozygotes (those with the ancestral haplotype and those without) and in age-matched controls. These analyses indicate that (i) HC patients with two copies of the ancestral haplotype show significantly more severe expression of the disorder than those with one copy or those without, (ii) HC heterozygotes have partial clinical expression, which may be influenced by the presence of the ancestral haplotype in females but not in males, and (iii) the high population frequency of the HC gene may be the result of the selective advantage conferred by protecting heterozygotes against iron deficiency. 18 refs., 3 tabs.

  5. Photodynamic Inactivation of Mammalian Viruses and Bacteriophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana Costa

    2012-06-01

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

  6. Photodynamic inactivation of mammalian viruses and bacteriophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  7. Neanderthal and Denisova genetic affinities with contemporary humans: introgression versus common ancestral polymorphisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowery, Robert K; Uribe, Gabriel; Jimenez, Eric B; Weiss, Mark A; Herrera, Kristian J; Regueiro, Maria; Herrera, Rene J

    2013-11-01

    Analyses of the genetic relationships among modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans have suggested that 1-4% of the non-Sub-Saharan African gene pool may be Neanderthal derived, while 6-8% of the Melanesian gene pool may be the product of admixture between the Denisovans and the direct ancestors of Melanesians. In the present study, we analyzed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) diversity among a worldwide collection of contemporary human populations with respect to the genetic constitution of these two archaic hominins and Pan troglodytes (chimpanzee). We partitioned SNPs into subsets, including those that are derived in both archaic lineages, those that are ancestral in both archaic lineages and those that are only derived in one archaic lineage. By doing this, we have conducted separate examinations of subsets of mutations with higher probabilities of divergent phylogenetic origins. While previous investigations have excluded SNPs from common ancestors in principal component analyses, we included common ancestral SNPs in our analyses to visualize the relative placement of the Neanderthal and Denisova among human populations. To assess the genetic similarities among the various hominin lineages, we performed genetic structure analyses to provide a comparison of genetic patterns found within contemporary human genomes that may have archaic or common ancestral roots. Our results indicate that 3.6% of the Neanderthal genome is shared with roughly 65.4% of the average European gene pool, which clinally diminishes with distance from Europe. Our results suggest that Neanderthal genetic associations with contemporary non-Sub-Saharan African populations, as well as the genetic affinities observed between Denisovans and Melanesians most likely result from the retention of ancient mutations in these populations.

  8. Chromosome painting in three-toed sloths: a cytogenetic signature and ancestral karyotype for Xenarthra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azevedo Nathália F

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Xenarthra (sloths, armadillos and anteaters represent one of four currently recognized Eutherian mammal supraorders. Some phylogenomic studies point to the possibility of Xenarthra being at the base of the Eutherian tree, together or not with the supraorder Afrotheria. We performed painting with human autosomes and X-chromosome specific probes on metaphases of two three-toed sloths: Bradypus torquatus and B. variegatus. These species represent the fourth of the five extant Xenarthra families to be studied with this approach. Results Eleven human chromosomes were conserved as one block in both B. torquatus and B. variegatus: (HSA 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21 and the X chromosome. B. torquatus, three additional human chromosomes were conserved intact (HSA 1, 3 and 4. The remaining human chromosomes were represented by two or three segments on each sloth. Seven associations between human chromosomes were detected in the karyotypes of both B. torquatus and B. variegatus: HSA 3/21, 4/8, 7/10, 7/16, 12/22, 14/15 and 17/19. The ancestral Eutherian association 16/19 was not detected in the Bradypus species. Conclusions Our results together with previous reports enabled us to propose a hypothetical ancestral Xenarthran karyotype with 48 chromosomes that would differ from the proposed ancestral Eutherian karyotype by the presence of the association HSA 7/10 and by the split of HSA 8 into three blocks, instead of the two found in the Eutherian ancestor. These same chromosome features point to the monophyly of Xenarthra, making this the second supraorder of placental mammals to have a chromosome signature supporting its monophyly.

  9. Sustainability of ancestral methods of agricultural production in Perú: ¿keep or replace?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dani Eduardo Vargas Huanca

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Based on the success of some Andean products such as quinoa, potatoes or maca in international food trade and the growing environmental degradation facing developing countries, resulting from intensive exploitation activities; Our research seeks to show the trend that is assumed from the academic / scientific community and public officials in the food sector in Peru, against the need to maintain sustainable various ancestral modes of agricultural production (case quinoa, for it analyze quantitative and qualitative obtained from public institutions and Peruvian universities.

  10. Sandals as Icons: Representations in Ancestral Pueblo Rock Art and Effigies in Stone and Wood

    OpenAIRE

    Polly Schaafsma

    2016-01-01

    Dating the late 1000s to the mid-1200s CE, petroglyphs of sandal images are among others that distinguish ancient Pueblo rock art in the San Juan and Little Colorado River drainages on the Colorado Plateau from Ancestral Pueblo rock art elsewhere across the Southwest. The sandal “track” also has counterparts  as effigies in stone and wood often found in ceremonial contexts in Pueblo sites. These representations reflect the sandal styles of the times, both plain in contour and the jog-toed var...

  11. Consistency and inconsistency of consensus methods for inferring species trees from gene trees in the presence of ancestral population structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGiorgio, Michael; Rosenberg, Noah A

    2016-08-01

    In the last few years, several statistically consistent consensus methods for species tree inference have been devised that are robust to the gene tree discordance caused by incomplete lineage sorting in unstructured ancestral populations. One source of gene tree discordance that has only recently been identified as a potential obstacle for phylogenetic inference is ancestral population structure. In this article, we describe a general model of ancestral population structure, and by relying on a single carefully constructed example scenario, we show that the consensus methods Democratic Vote, STEAC, STAR, R(∗) Consensus, Rooted Triple Consensus, Minimize Deep Coalescences, and Majority-Rule Consensus are statistically inconsistent under the model. We find that among the consensus methods evaluated, the only method that is statistically consistent in the presence of ancestral population structure is GLASS/Maximum Tree. We use simulations to evaluate the behavior of the various consensus methods in a model with ancestral population structure, showing that as the number of gene trees increases, estimates on the basis of GLASS/Maximum Tree approach the true species tree topology irrespective of the level of population structure, whereas estimates based on the remaining methods only approach the true species tree topology if the level of structure is low. However, through simulations using species trees both with and without ancestral population structure, we show that GLASS/Maximum Tree performs unusually poorly on gene trees inferred from alignments with little information. This practical limitation of GLASS/Maximum Tree together with the inconsistency of other methods prompts the need for both further testing of additional existing methods and development of novel methods under conditions that incorporate ancestral population structure.

  12. Mammalian N-acetylglutamate synthase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morizono, Hiroki; Caldovic, Ljubica; Shi, Dashuang; Tuchman, Mendel

    2004-04-01

    N-Acetylglutamate synthase (NAGS, E.C. 2.3.1.1) is a mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes the formation of N-acetylglutamate (NAG), an essential allosteric activator of carbamylphosphate synthetase I (CPSI). The mouse and human NAGS genes have been identified based on similarity to regions of NAGS from Neurospora crassa and cloned from liver cDNA libraries. These genes were shown to complement an argA- (NAGS) deficient Escherichia coli strain, and enzymatic activity of the proteins was confirmed by a new stable isotope dilution assay. The deduced amino acid sequence of mammalian NAGS contains a putative mitochondrial-targeting signal at the N-terminus. The mouse NAGS preprotein was overexpressed in insect cells to determine post-translational modifications and two processed proteins with different N-terminal truncations have been identified. Sequence analysis using a hidden Markov model suggests that the vertebrate NAGS protein contains domains with a carbamate kinase fold and an acyl-CoA N-acyltransferase fold, and protein crystallization experiments are currently underway. Inherited NAGS deficiency results in hyperammonemia, presumably due to the loss of CPSI activity. We, and others, have recently identified mutations in families with neonatal and late-onset NAGS deficiency and the identification of the gene has now made carrier testing and prenatal diagnosis feasible. A structural analog of NAG, carbamylglutamate, has been shown to bind and activate CPSI, and several patients have been reported to respond favorably to this drug (Carbaglu).

  13. Chemosignals, hormones and mammalian reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrulis, Aras

    2013-05-01

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

  14. Bearing the unbearable: ancestral transmission through dreams and moving metaphors in the analtyic field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Judith

    2012-11-01

    This paper explores how untold and unresolved intergenerational trauma may be transmitted through unconscious channels of communication, manifesting in the dreams of descendants. Unwitting carriers for that which was too horrific for their ancestors to bear, descendants may enter analysis through an unconscious need to uncover past secrets, piece together ancestral histories before the keys to comprehending their terrible inheritance die with their forebears. They seek the relational containment of the analytic relationship to provide psychological conditions to bear the unbearable, know the unknowable, speak the unspeakable and redeem the unredeemable. In the case of 'Rachael', initial dreams gave rise to what Hobson (1984) called 'moving metaphors of self' in the analytic field. Dream imagery, projective and introjective processes in the transference-countertransference dynamics gradually revealed an unknown ancestral history. I clarify the back and forth process from dream to waking dream thoughts to moving metaphors and differentiate the moving metaphor from a living symbol. I argue that the containment of the analytic relationship nested within the security of the analytic space is a necessary precondition for such healing processes to occur.

  15. Ancestral origin of the ATTCT repeat expansion in spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Almeida

    Full Text Available Spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10 is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease characterized by cerebellar ataxia and seizures. The disease is caused by a large ATTCT repeat expansion in the ATXN10 gene. The first families reported with SCA10 were of Mexican origin, but the disease was soon after described in Brazilian families of mixed Portuguese and Amerindian ancestry. The origin of the SCA10 expansion and a possible founder effect that would account for its geographical distribution have been the source of speculation over the last years. To unravel the mutational origin and spread of the SCA10 expansion, we performed an extensive haplotype study, using closely linked STR markers and intragenic SNPs, in families from Brazil and Mexico. Our results showed (1 a shared disease haplotype for all Brazilian and one of the Mexican families, and (2 closely-related haplotypes for the additional SCA10 Mexican families; (3 little or null genetic distance in small normal alleles of different repeat sizes, from the same SNP lineage, indicating that they are being originated by a single step mechanism; and (4 a shared haplotype for pure and interrupted expanded alleles, pointing to a gene conversion model for its generation. In conclusion, we show evidence for an ancestral common origin for SCA10 in Latin America, which might have arisen in an ancestral Amerindian population and later have been spread into the mixed populations of Mexico and Brazil.

  16. The mosaic of ancestral karyotype blocks in the Sinapis alba L. genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Matthew N; Parkin, Isobel A P; Lydiate, Derek J

    2011-01-01

    The organisation of the Sinapis alba genome, comprising 12 linkage groups (n = 12), was compared with the Brassicaceae ancestral karyotype (AK) genomic blocks previously described in other crucifer species. Most of the S. alba genome falls into conserved triplicated genomic blocks that closely match the AK-defined genomic blocks found in other crucifer species including the A, B, and C genomes of closely related Brassica species. In one instance, an S. alba linkage group (S05) was completely collinear with one AK chromosome (AK1), the first time this has been observed in a member of the Brassiceae tribe. However, as observed for other members of the Brassiceae tribe, ancestral genomic blocks were fragmented in the S. alba genome, supporting previously reported comparative chromosome painting describing rearrangements of the AK karyotype prior to the divergence of the Brassiceae from other crucifers. The presented data also refute previous phylogenetic reports that suggest S. alba was more closely related to Brassica nigra (B genome) than to B. rapa (A genome) and B. oleracea (C genome). A comparison of the S. alba and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes revealed many regions of conserved gene order, which will facilitate access to the rich genomic resources available in the model species A. thaliana for genetic research in the less well-resourced crop species S. alba.

  17. On the historical biogeography of global Galliformes: ancestral range and diversification patterns

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Youhua; Chen

    2014-01-01

    Background: In this study, the ancestral distributional ranges and the tempo of diversification patterns of global Galliformes were investigated.Methods: Different diversification models characterizing possible tempo patterns were fitted and compared onto the phylogenetic tree for the 197 Galliforme species, consisting of a constant-speciation and constant-extinction model(CONSTANT), a decreasing-speciation and constant-extinction model(SPVAR), a constant-speciation and increasing-extinction model(EXVAR) and a decreasing-speciation and increasing-extinction model(BOTHVAR).Ancestral range reconstruction was conducted using the dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis model.Results: A constant-diversification-rate(CONSTANT) model best quantified the historical speciation patterns of this avian assemblage through model selection. Clade age and species richness are significantly and positively correlated. The most recent common ancestor for Galliformes species was originally found in the disjunctive regions between Southeast Asia and North America. High-frequency dispersal events were identified across the whole evolutionary time.Conclusions: The constant diversification rate for global Galliforme species implied that there were no diversification rate-shifting trends for Galliformes species. The present study may contribute to the understanding of the ecology and diversity patterns of Galliformes from the perspective of historical biogeography, although some limitations existed.

  18. Ancestral Protein Reconstruction and Circular Permutation for Improving the Stability and Dynamic Range of FRET Sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifton, Ben E; Whitfield, Jason H; Sanchez-Romero, Inmaculada; Herde, Michel K; Henneberger, Christian; Janovjak, Harald; Jackson, Colin J

    2017-01-01

    Small molecule biosensors based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) enable small molecule signaling to be monitored with high spatial and temporal resolution in complex cellular environments. FRET sensors can be constructed by fusing a pair of fluorescent proteins to a suitable recognition domain, such as a member of the solute-binding protein (SBP) superfamily. However, naturally occurring SBPs may be unsuitable for incorporation into FRET sensors due to their low thermostability, which may preclude imaging under physiological conditions, or because the positions of their N- and C-termini may be suboptimal for fusion of fluorescent proteins, which may limit the dynamic range of the resulting sensors. Here, we show how these problems can be overcome using ancestral protein reconstruction and circular permutation. Ancestral protein reconstruction, used as a protein engineering strategy, leverages phylogenetic information to improve the thermostability of proteins, while circular permutation enables the termini of an SBP to be repositioned to maximize the dynamic range of the resulting FRET sensor. We also provide a protocol for cloning the engineered SBPs into FRET sensor constructs using Golden Gate assembly and discuss considerations for in situ characterization of the FRET sensors.

  19. Internal structural variations in a debris-avalanche deposit from ancestral Mount Shasta, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ui, T.; Glicken, H.

    1986-01-01

    Various parameters of the internal structure of a debris-avalanche deposit from ancestral Mount Shasta (size and percentage of block facies in each exposure, number and width of jigsaw cracks, and number of rounded clasts in matrix facies) were measured in order to study flow and emplacement mechanisms. Three types of coherent blocks were identified: blocks of massive or brecciated lava flows or domes, blocks of layered volcaniclastic deposits, and blocks of accidental material, typically from sedimentary units underlying Shasta Valley. The mean maximum dimension of the three largest blocks of layered volcaniclastic material is 220 m, and that of the lava blocks, 110 m. This difference may reflect plastic deformation of blocks of layered volcaniclastic material; blocks of massive or brecciated volcanic rock deformated brittly and may have split into several smaller blocks. The blocks in the deposit are one order of magnitude larger, and the height of collapse 1100 m higher, than the Pungarehu debris-avalanche deposit at Mount Egmont, New Zealand, although the degree of fracturing is about the same.This suggests either that the Shasta source material was less broken, or that the intensity of any accompanying explosion was smaller at ancestral Mount Shasta. The Shasta debris-avalanche deposit covered the floor of a closed basin; the flanks of the basin may have retarded the opening of jigsaw cracks and the formation of stretched and deformed blocks such as those of the Pungarehu debris-avalanche deposit. ?? 1986 Springer-Verlag.

  20. Evolution of steroid receptors from an estrogen-sensitive ancestral receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eick, Geeta N; Thornton, Joseph W

    2011-03-01

    Members of the steroid hormone receptor (SR) family activate transcription from different DNA response elements and are regulated by distinct hormonal ligands. Understanding the evolutionary process by which this diversity arose can provide insight into how and why SRs function as they do. Here we review the characteristics of the ancient receptor protein from which the SR family descends by a process of gene duplication and divergence. Several orthogonal lines of evidence - bioinformatic, phylogenetic, and experimental - indicate that this ancient SR had the capacity to activate transcription from DNA estrogen response elements in response to estrogens. Duplication and divergence of the ancestral SR gene subsequently generated new receptors that were activated by other steroid hormones, including progestagens, androgens, and corticosteroids. The androgen and progesterone receptors recruited as their ligands steroids that were previously present as biochemical intermediates in the synthesis of estrogens. This process is an example of molecular exploitation--the evolution of new molecular interactions when an older molecule, which previously had a different function, is co-opted as a binding partner by a newly evolved molecule. The primordial interaction between the ancestral steroid receptor and estrogens may itself have evolved due to an early molecular exploitation event.

  1. QTL linkage analysis of connected populations using ancestral marker and pedigree information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bink, Marco C A M; Totir, L Radu; ter Braak, Cajo J F; Winkler, Christopher R; Boer, Martin P; Smith, Oscar S

    2012-04-01

    The common assumption in quantitative trait locus (QTL) linkage mapping studies that parents of multiple connected populations are unrelated is unrealistic for many plant breeding programs. We remove this assumption and propose a Bayesian approach that clusters the alleles of the parents of the current mapping populations from locus-specific identity by descent (IBD) matrices that capture ancestral marker and pedigree information. Moreover, we demonstrate how the parental IBD data can be incorporated into a QTL linkage analysis framework by using two approaches: a Threshold IBD model (TIBD) and a Latent Ancestral Allele Model (LAAM). The TIBD and LAAM models are empirically tested via numerical simulation based on the structure of a commercial maize breeding program. The simulations included a pilot dataset with closely linked QTL on a single linkage group and 100 replicated datasets with five linkage groups harboring four unlinked QTL. The simulation results show that including parental IBD data (similarly for TIBD and LAAM) significantly improves the power and particularly accuracy of QTL mapping, e.g., position, effect size and individuals' genotype probability without significantly increasing computational demand.

  2. Ancestral state reconstruction infers phytopathogenic origins of sooty blotch and flyspeck fungi on apple.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Siti Izera; Batzer, Jean Carlson; Harrington, Thomas C; Crous, Pedro W; Lavrov, Dennis V; Li, Huanyu; Gleason, Mark L

    2016-01-01

    Members of the sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) complex are epiphytic fungi in the Ascomycota that cause economically damaging blemishes of apples worldwide. SBFS fungi are polyphyletic, but approx. 96% of SBFS species are in the Capnodiales. Evolutionary origins of SBFS fungi remain unclear, so we attempted to infer their origins by means of ancestral state reconstruction on a phylogenetic tree built utilizing genes for the nuc 28S rDNA (approx. 830 bp from near the 59 end) and the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPB2). The analyzed taxa included the well-known genera of SBFS as well as non-SBFS fungi from seven families within the Capnodiales. The non-SBFS taxa were selected based on their distinct ecological niches, including plant-parasitic and saprophytic species. The phylogenetic analyses revealed that most SBFS species in the Capnodiales are closely related to plant-parasitic fungi. Ancestral state reconstruction provided strong evidence that plant-parasitic fungi were the ancestors of the major SBFS lineages. Knowledge gained from this study may help to better understand the ecology and evolution of epiphytic fungi.

  3. Cambrian cinctan echinoderms shed light on feeding in the ancestral deuterostome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Imran A; Zamora, Samuel; Falkingham, Peter L; Phillips, Jeremy C

    2015-11-07

    Reconstructing the feeding mode of the latest common ancestor of deuterostomes is key to elucidating the early evolution of feeding in chordates and allied phyla; however, it is debated whether the ancestral deuterostome was a tentaculate feeder or a pharyngeal filter feeder. To address this, we evaluated the hydrodynamics of feeding in a group of fossil stem-group echinoderms (cinctans) using computational fluid dynamics. We simulated water flow past three-dimensional digital models of a Cambrian fossil cinctan in a range of possible life positions, adopting both passive tentacular feeding and active pharyngeal filter feeding. The results demonstrate that an orientation with the mouth facing downstream of the current was optimal for drag and lift reduction. Moreover, they show that there was almost no flow to the mouth and associated marginal groove under simulations of passive feeding, whereas considerable flow towards the animal was observed for active feeding, which would have enhanced the transport of suspended particles to the mouth. This strongly suggests that cinctans were active pharyngeal filter feeders, like modern enteropneust hemichordates and urochordates, indicating that the ancestral deuterostome employed a similar feeding strategy.

  4. A FORTRAN subroutine to compute inbreeding and kinship coefficients according to the number of ancestral generations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu Tien Khang, J

    1989-07-01

    This paper presents a FORTRAN IV subroutine to calculate inbreeding and kinship coefficients from pedigree information in a diploid population without self-fertilization. The user can specify the number of ancestral generations to be taken into account. It is thus possible to determine contributions of succeeding ancestral generations to the inbreeding and kinship coefficients under consideration. The subroutine is based on a recursive procedure that generates systematically all paths connecting two individuals. NP and NM, whose kinship coefficient is to be calculated (or between the father NP and the mother NM of the individual whose inbreeding coefficient is to be calculated). These paths obey the following conditions: (i) a given path does not contain the same parent-offspring link more than once; (ii) the vertex of a path is an ancestor common to individuals NP and NM, with a rank lower or equal to the parameter specified in input. Constraints regarding the size of the corpus of genealogical data and the storage method are discussed, as well as the interest of this subroutine compared to the existing ones. An example of application is given.

  5. On the historical biogeography of global Galliformes:ancestral range and diversification patterns

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Youhua Chen

    2014-01-01

    Background:In this study, the ancestral distributional ranges and the tempo of diversification patterns of global Galliformes were investigated. Methods:Different diversification models characterizing possible tempo patterns were fitted and compared onto the phylogenetic tree for the 197 Galliforme species, consisting of a constant-speciation and constant-extinction model (CONSTANT), a decreasing-speciation and constant-extinction model (SPVAR), a constant-speciation and increasing-extinction model (EXVAR) and a decreasing-speciation and increasing-extinction model (BOTHVAR). Ancestral range reconstruction was conducted using the dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis model. Results:A constant-diversification-rate (CONSTANT) model best quantified the historical speciation patterns of this avian assemblage through model selection. Clade age and species richness are significantly and positively correlated. The most recent common ancestor for Galliformes species was originally found in the disjunctive regions between Southeast Asia and North America. High-frequency dispersal events were identified across the whole evolutionary time. Conclusions:The constant diversification rate for global Gal iforme species implied that there were no diversification rate-shifting trends for Galliformes species. The present study may contribute to the understanding of the ecology and diversity patterns of Galliformes from the perspective of historical biogeography, although some limitations existed.

  6. Baculoviruses as Vectors in Mammalian Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chang-yong LIANG; Xin-wen CHEN

    2007-01-01

    The Baculoviridae are a large family of enveloped DNA viruses exclusively pathogenic to arthropods. Baculoviruses have been extensively used in insect cell-based recombinant protein expression system and as biological pesticides. They have been deomostrated to be safe to mammals, birds and fish. Recently, baculoviruses has been shown to transduce different mammalian cells in spite of the fact that they cannot replicate in mammalian cells (11, 73, 76). This has resulted in the development of baculoviruses as mammalian expression systems and even as vestors for gene therapy.

  7. Enzymology of Mammalian DNA Methyltransferases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurkowska, Renata Z; Jeltsch, Albert

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is currently one of the hottest topics in basic and biomedical research. Despite tremendous progress in understanding the structures and biochemical properties of the mammalian DNA nucleotide methyltransferases (DNMTs), principles of their regulation in cells have only begun to be uncovered. In mammals, DNA methylation is introduced by the DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B enzymes, which are all large multi-domain proteins. These enzymes contain a catalytic C-terminal domain with a characteristic cytosine-C5 methyltransferase fold and an N-terminal part with different domains that interacts with other proteins and chromatin and is involved in targeting and regulation of the DNMTs. The subnuclear localization of the DNMT enzymes plays an important role in their biological function: DNMT1 is localized to replicating DNA via interaction with PCNA and UHRF1. DNMT3 enzymes bind to heterochromatin via protein multimerization and are targeted to chromatin by their ADD and PWWP domains. Recently, a novel regulatory mechanism has been discovered in DNMTs, as latest structural and functional data demonstrated that the catalytic activities of all three enzymes are under tight allosteric control of their N-terminal domains having autoinhibitory functions. This mechanism provides numerous possibilities for the precise regulation of the methyltransferases via controlling the binding and release of autoinhibitory domains by protein factors, noncoding RNAs, or by posttranslational modifications of the DNMTs. In this chapter, we summarize key enzymatic properties of DNMTs, including their specificity and processivity, and afterward we focus on the regulation of their activity and targeting via allosteric processes, protein interactors, and posttranslational modifications.

  8. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-06

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

  9. Bats and Rodents Shape Mammalian Retroviral Phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-09

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

  10. Defining viability in mammalian cell cultures

    OpenAIRE

    Browne, Susan M.; Al-Rubeai, Mohamed

    2011-01-01

    Abstract A large number of assays are available to monitor viability in mammalian cell cultures with most defining loss of viability as a loss of plasma membrane integrity, a characteristic of necrotic cell death. However, the majority of cultured cells die by apoptosis and early apoptotic cells, although non-viable, maintain an intact plasma membrane and are thus ignored. Here we measure the viability of cultures of a number of common mammalian cell lines by assays that measure me...

  11. Hacking the genetic code of mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarzer, Dirk

    2009-07-06

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

  12. Toward more accurate ancestral protein genotype-phenotype reconstructions with the use of species tree-aware gene trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groussin, Mathieu; Hobbs, Joanne K; Szöllősi, Gergely J; Gribaldo, Simonetta; Arcus, Vickery L; Gouy, Manolo

    2015-01-01

    The resurrection of ancestral proteins provides direct insight into how natural selection has shaped proteins found in nature. By tracing substitutions along a gene phylogeny, ancestral proteins can be reconstructed in silico and subsequently synthesized in vitro. This elegant strategy reveals the complex mechanisms responsible for the evolution of protein functions and structures. However, to date, all protein resurrection studies have used simplistic approaches for ancestral sequence reconstruction (ASR), including the assumption that a single sequence alignment alone is sufficient to accurately reconstruct the history of the gene family. The impact of such shortcuts on conclusions about ancestral functions has not been investigated. Here, we show with simulations that utilizing information on species history using a model that accounts for the duplication, horizontal transfer, and loss (DTL) of genes statistically increases ASR accuracy. This underscores the importance of the tree topology in the inference of putative ancestors. We validate our in silico predictions using in vitro resurrection of the LeuB enzyme for the ancestor of the Firmicutes, a major and ancient bacterial phylum. With this particular protein, our experimental results demonstrate that information on the species phylogeny results in a biochemically more realistic and kinetically more stable ancestral protein. Additional resurrection experiments with different proteins are necessary to statistically quantify the impact of using species tree-aware gene trees on ancestral protein phenotypes. Nonetheless, our results suggest the need for incorporating both sequence and DTL information in future studies of protein resurrections to accurately define the genotype-phenotype space in which proteins diversify.

  13. Evolution of mammalian sensorimotor cortex: Thalamic projections to parietal cortical areas in Monodelphis domestica

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    James Clinton Dooley

    2015-01-01

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

  14. A comparative study and a phylogenetic exploration of the compositional architectures of mammalian nuclear genomes.

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    Eran Elhaik

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available For the past four decades the compositional organization of the mammalian genome posed a formidable challenge to molecular evolutionists attempting to explain it from an evolutionary perspective. Unfortunately, most of the explanations adhered to the "isochore theory," which has long been rebutted. Recently, an alternative compositional domain model was proposed depicting the human and cow genomes as composed mostly of short compositionally homogeneous and nonhomogeneous domains and a few long ones. We test the validity of this model through a rigorous sequence-based analysis of eleven completely sequenced mammalian and avian genomes. Seven attributes of compositional domains are used in the analyses: (1 the number of compositional domains, (2 compositional domain-length distribution, (3 density of compositional domains, (4 genome coverage by the different domain types, (5 degree of fit to a power-law distribution, (6 compositional domain GC content, and (7 the joint distribution of GC content and length of the different domain types. We discuss the evolution of these attributes in light of two competing phylogenetic hypotheses that differ from each other in the validity of clade Euarchontoglires. If valid, the murid genome compositional organization would be a derived state and exhibit a high similarity to that of other mammals. If invalid, the murid genome compositional organization would be closer to an ancestral state. We demonstrate that the compositional organization of the murid genome differs from those of primates and laurasiatherians, a phenomenon previously termed the "murid shift," and in many ways resembles the genome of opossum. We find no support to the "isochore theory." Instead, our findings depict the mammalian genome as a tapestry of mostly short homogeneous and nonhomogeneous domains and few long ones thus providing strong evidence in favor of the compositional domain model and seem to invalidate clade Euarchontoglires.

  15. Where did the chili get its spice? Biogeography of capsaicinoid production in ancestral wild chili species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tewksbury, Joshua J; Manchego, Carlos; Haak, David C; Levey, Douglas J

    2006-03-01

    The biogeography of pungency in three species of wild chili in the chaco and surrounding highland habitats of southeastern Bolivia is described. We report that Capsicum chacoense, C. baccatum, and C. eximium are polymorphic for production of capsaicin and its analogs, such that completely pungent and completely nonpungent individuals co-occur in some populations. In C. chacoense, the density of plants and the proportion of pungent plants increased with elevation. Above 900 m, all individuals in all populations except two were pungent; nonpungent individuals in at least one of the two polymorphic populations were likely a result of spreading by humans. The occurrence of pungent and nonpungent individuals in three species of ancestral Capsicum and the geographic variation of pungency within species suggest that production of capsaicin and its analogs entails both costs and benefits, which shift from one locality to another. Determining the selection pressures behind such shifts is necessary to understand the evolution of pungency in chilies.

  16. A phenol-enriched cuticle is ancestral to lignin evolution in land plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renault, Hugues; Alber, Annette; Horst, Nelly A.; Basilio Lopes, Alexandra; Fich, Eric A.; Kriegshauser, Lucie; Wiedemann, Gertrud; Ullmann, Pascaline; Herrgott, Laurence; Erhardt, Mathieu; Pineau, Emmanuelle; Ehlting, Jürgen; Schmitt, Martine; Rose, Jocelyn K. C.; Reski, Ralf; Werck-Reichhart, Danièle

    2017-01-01

    Lignin, one of the most abundant biopolymers on Earth, derives from the plant phenolic metabolism. It appeared upon terrestrialization and is thought critical for plant colonization of land. Early diverging land plants do not form lignin, but already have elements of its biosynthetic machinery. Here we delete in a moss the P450 oxygenase that defines the entry point in angiosperm lignin metabolism, and find that its pre-lignin pathway is essential for development. This pathway does not involve biochemical regulation via shikimate coupling, but instead is coupled with ascorbate catabolism, and controls the synthesis of the moss cuticle, which prevents desiccation and organ fusion. These cuticles share common features with lignin, cutin and suberin, and may represent the extant representative of a common ancestor. Our results demonstrate a critical role for the ancestral phenolic metabolism in moss erect growth and cuticle permeability, consistent with importance in plant adaptation to terrestrial conditions. PMID:28270693

  17. Novel ancestral Dysferlin splicing mutation which migrated from the Iberian peninsula to South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernengo, Luis; Oliveira, Jorge; Krahn, Martin; Vieira, Emilia; Santos, Rosário; Carrasco, Luisa; Negrão, Luís; Panuncio, Ana; Leturcq, France; Labelle, Veronique; Bronze-da-Rocha, Elsa; Mesa, Rosario; Pizzarossa, Carlos; Lévy, Nicolas; Rodriguez, Maria-Mirta

    2011-05-01

    Primary dysferlinopathies are a group of recessive heterogeneous muscular dystrophies. The most common clinical presentations are Miyoshi myopathy and LGMD2B. Additional presentations range from isolated hyperCKemia to severe functional disability. Symptomatology begins in the posterior muscle compartment of the calf and its clinical course progresses slowly in Miyoshi myopathy whereas LGMD2B involves predominantly the proximal muscles of the lower limbs. The age of onset ranges from 13 to 60years in Caucasians. We present five patients that carry a novel mutation in the exon12/intron12 boundary: c.1180_1180+7delAGTGCGTG (r.1054_1284del). We provide evidence of a founder effect due to a common ancestral origin of this mutation, detected in heterozygosity in four patients and in homozygosity in one patient.

  18. On the ancestral compatibility of two phylogenetic trees with nested taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llabrés, Mercè; Rocha, Jairo; Rosselló, Francesc; Valiente, Gabriel

    2006-09-01

    Compatibility of phylogenetic trees is the most important concept underlying widely-used methods for assessing the agreement of different phylogenetic trees with overlapping taxa and combining them into common supertrees to reveal the tree of life. The notion of ancestral compatibility of phylogenetic trees with nested taxa was recently introduced. In this paper we analyze in detail the meaning of this compatibility from the points of view of the local structure of the trees, of the existence of embeddings into a common supertree, and of the joint properties of their cluster representations. Our analysis leads to a very simple polynomial-time algorithm for testing this compatibility, which we have implemented and is freely available for download from the BioPerl collection of Perl modules for computational biology.

  19. Genes Suggest Ancestral Colour Polymorphisms Are Shared across Morphologically Cryptic Species in Arctic Bumblebees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul H Williams

    Full Text Available Our grasp of biodiversity is fine-tuned through the process of revisionary taxonomy. If species do exist in nature and can be discovered with available techniques, then we expect these revisions to converge on broadly shared interpretations of species. But for the primarily arctic bumblebees of the subgenus Alpinobombus of the genus Bombus, revisions by some of the most experienced specialists are unusual for bumblebees in that they have all reached different conclusions on the number of species present. Recent revisions based on skeletal morphology have concluded that there are from four to six species, while variation in colour pattern of the hair raised questions as to whether at least seven species might be present. Even more species are supported if we accept the recent move away from viewing species as morphotypes to viewing them instead as evolutionarily independent lineages (EILs using data from genes. EILs are recognised here in practice from the gene coalescents that provide direct evidence for their evolutionary independence. We show from fitting both general mixed Yule/coalescent (GMYC models and Poisson-tree-process (PTP models to data for the mitochondrial COI gene that there is support for nine species in the subgenus Alpinobombus. Examination of the more slowly evolving nuclear PEPCK gene shows further support for a previously unrecognised taxon as a new species in northwestern North America. The three pairs of the most morphologically similar sister species are separated allopatrically and prevented from interbreeding by oceans. We also find that most of the species show multiple shared colour patterns, giving the appearance of mimicry among parts of the different species. However, reconstructing ancestral colour-pattern states shows that speciation is likely to have cut across widespread ancestral polymorphisms, without or largely without convergence. In the particular case of Alpinobombus, morphological, colour-pattern, and

  20. Inferring genome-wide patterns of admixture in Qataris using fifty-five ancestral populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omberg Larsson

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Populations of the Arabian Peninsula have a complex genetic structure that reflects waves of migrations including the earliest human migrations from Africa and eastern Asia, migrations along ancient civilization trading routes and colonization history of recent centuries. Results Here, we present a study of genome-wide admixture in this region, using 156 genotyped individuals from Qatar, a country located at the crossroads of these migration patterns. Since haplotypes of these individuals could have originated from many different populations across the world, we have developed a machine learning method "SupportMix" to infer loci-specific genomic ancestry when simultaneously analyzing many possible ancestral populations. Simulations show that SupportMix is not only more accurate than other popular admixture discovery tools but is the first admixture inference method that can efficiently scale for simultaneous analysis of 50-100 putative ancestral populations while being independent of prior demographic information. Conclusions By simultaneously using the 55 world populations from the Human Genome Diversity Panel, SupportMix was able to extract the fine-scale ancestry of the Qatar population, providing many new observations concerning the ancestry of the region. For example, as well as recapitulating the three major sub-populations in Qatar, composed of mainly Arabic, Persian, and African ancestry, SupportMix additionally identifies the specific ancestry of the Persian group to populations sampled in Greater Persia rather than from China and the ancestry of the African group to sub-Saharan origin and not Southern African Bantu origin as previously thought.

  1. Ancestral state reconstruction by comparative analysis of a GRN kernel operating in echinoderms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkenbrack, Eric M; Ako-Asare, Kayla; Miller, Emily; Tekelenburg, Saira; Thompson, Jeffrey R; Romano, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Diverse sampling of organisms across the five major classes in the phylum Echinodermata is beginning to reveal much about the structure and function of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) in development and evolution. Sea urchins are the most studied clade within this phylum, and recent work suggests there has been dramatic rewiring at the top of the skeletogenic GRN along the lineage leading to extant members of the euechinoid sea urchins. Such rewiring likely accounts for some of the observed developmental differences between the two major subclasses of sea urchins-cidaroids and euechinoids. To address effects of topmost rewiring on downstream GRN events, we cloned four downstream regulatory genes within the skeletogenic GRN and surveyed their spatiotemporal expression patterns in the cidaroid Eucidaris tribuloides. We performed phylogenetic analyses with homologs from other non-vertebrate deuterostomes and characterized their spatiotemporal expression by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and whole-mount in situ hybridization (WMISH). Our data suggest the erg-hex-tgif subcircuit, a putative GRN kernel, exhibits a mesoderm-specific expression pattern early in Eucidaris development that is directly downstream of the initial mesodermal GRN circuitry. Comparative analysis of the expression of this subcircuit in four echinoderm taxa allowed robust ancestral state reconstruction, supporting hypotheses that its ancestral function was to stabilize the mesodermal regulatory state and that it has been co-opted and deployed as a unit in mesodermal subdomains in distantly diverged echinoderms. Importantly, our study supports the notion that GRN kernels exhibit structural and functional modularity, locking down and stabilizing clade-specific, embryonic regulatory states.

  2. Evolutionary history of assassin bugs (insecta: hemiptera: Reduviidae: insights from divergence dating and ancestral state reconstruction.

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    Wei Song Hwang

    Full Text Available Assassin bugs are one of the most successful clades of predatory animals based on their species numbers (∼6,800 spp. and wide distribution in terrestrial ecosystems. Various novel prey capture strategies and remarkable prey specializations contribute to their appeal as a model to study evolutionary pathways involved in predation. Here, we reconstruct the most comprehensive reduviid phylogeny (178 taxa, 18 subfamilies to date based on molecular data (5 markers. This phylogeny tests current hypotheses on reduviid relationships emphasizing the polyphyletic Reduviinae and the blood-feeding, disease-vectoring Triatominae, and allows us, for the first time in assassin bugs, to reconstruct ancestral states of prey associations and microhabitats. Using a fossil-calibrated molecular tree, we estimated divergence times for key events in the evolutionary history of Reduviidae. Our results indicate that the polyphyletic Reduviinae fall into 11-14 separate clades. Triatominae are paraphyletic with respect to the reduviine genus Opisthacidius in the maximum likelihood analyses; this result is in contrast to prior hypotheses that found Triatominae to be monophyletic or polyphyletic and may be due to the more comprehensive taxon and character sampling in this study. The evolution of blood-feeding may thus have occurred once or twice independently among predatory assassin bugs. All prey specialists evolved from generalist ancestors, with multiple evolutionary origins of termite and ant specializations. A bark-associated life style on tree trunks is ancestral for most of the lineages of Higher Reduviidae; living on foliage has evolved at least six times independently. Reduviidae originated in the Middle Jurassic (178 Ma, but significant lineage diversification only began in the Late Cretaceous (97 Ma. The integration of molecular phylogenetics with fossil and life history data as presented in this paper provides insights into the evolutionary history of

  3. Wnt signalling pathway parameters for mammalian cells.

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    Chin Wee Tan

    Full Text Available Wnt/β-catenin signalling regulates cell fate, survival, proliferation and differentiation at many stages of mammalian development and pathology. Mutations of two key proteins in the pathway, APC and β-catenin, have been implicated in a range of cancers, including colorectal cancer. Activation of Wnt signalling has been associated with the stabilization and nuclear accumulation of β-catenin and consequential up-regulation of β-catenin/TCF gene transcription. In 2003, Lee et al. constructed a computational model of Wnt signalling supported by experimental data from analysis of time-dependent concentration of Wnt signalling proteins in Xenopus egg extracts. Subsequent studies have used the Xenopus quantitative data to infer Wnt pathway dynamics in other systems. As a basis for understanding Wnt signalling in mammalian cells, a confocal live cell imaging measurement technique is developed to measure the cell and nuclear volumes of MDCK, HEK293T cells and 3 human colorectal cancer cell lines and the concentrations of Wnt signalling proteins β-catenin, Axin, APC, GSK3β and E-cadherin. These parameters provide the basis for formulating Wnt signalling models for kidney/intestinal epithelial mammalian cells. There are significant differences in concentrations of key proteins between Xenopus extracts and mammalian whole cell lysates. Higher concentrations of Axin and lower concentrations of APC are present in mammalian cells. Axin concentrations are greater than APC in kidney epithelial cells, whereas in intestinal epithelial cells the APC concentration is higher than Axin. Computational simulations based on Lee's model, with this new data, suggest a need for a recalibration of the model.A quantitative understanding of Wnt signalling in mammalian cells, in particular human colorectal cancers requires a detailed understanding of the concentrations of key protein complexes over time. Simulations of Wnt signalling in mammalian cells can be initiated

  4. Magmatism and Epithermal Gold-Silver Deposits of the Southern Ancestral Cascade Arc, Western Nevada and Eastern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, David A.; du Bray, Edward A.; Henry, Christopher D.; Vikre, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Many epithermal gold-silver deposits are temporally and spatially associated with late Oligocene to Pliocene magmatism of the southern ancestral Cascade arc in western Nevada and eastern California. These deposits, which include both quartz-adularia (low- and intermediate-sulfidation; Comstock Lode, Tonopah, Bodie) and quartz-alunite (high-sulfidation; Goldfield, Paradise Peak) types, were major producers of gold and silver. Ancestral Cascade arc magmatism preceded that of the modern High Cascades arc and reflects subduction of the Farallon plate beneath North America. Ancestral arc magmatism began about 45 Ma, continued until about 3 Ma, and extended from near the Canada-United States border in Washington southward to about 250 km southeast of Reno, Nevada. The ancestral arc was split into northern and southern segments across an inferred tear in the subducting slab between Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak in northern California. The southern segment extends between 42°N in northern California and 37°N in western Nevada and was active from about 30 to 3 Ma. It is bounded on the east by the northeast edge of the Walker Lane. Ancestral arc volcanism represents an abrupt change in composition and style of magmatism relative to that in central Nevada. Large volume, caldera-forming, silicic ignimbrites associated with the 37 to 19 Ma ignimbrite flareup are dominant in central Nevada, whereas volcanic centers of the ancestral arc in western Nevada consist of andesitic stratovolcanoes and dacitic to rhyolitic lava domes that mostly formed between 25 and 4 Ma. Both ancestral arc and ignimbrite flareup magmatism resulted from rollback of the shallowly dipping slab that began about 45 Ma in northeast Nevada and migrated south-southwest with time. Most southern segment ancestral arc rocks have oxidized, high potassium, calc-alkaline compositions with silica contents ranging continuously from about 55 to 77 wt%. Most lavas are porphyritic and contain coarse plagioclase

  5. Brain scaling in mammalian evolution as a consequence of concerted and mosaic changes in numbers of neurons and average neuronal cell size

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    Suzana eHerculano-Houzel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Enough species have now been subject to systematic quantitative analysis of the relationship between the morphology and cellular composition of their brain that patterns begin to emerge and shed light on the evolutionary path that led to mammalian brain diversity. Based on an analysis of the shared and clade-specific characteristics of 41 modern mammalian species in 6 clades, and in light of the phylogenetic relationships among them, here we propose that ancestral mammal brains were composed and scaled in their cellular composition like modern afrotherian and glire brains: with an addition of neurons that is accompanied by a decrease in neuronal density and very little modification in glial cell density, implying a significant increase in average neuronal cell size in larger brains, and the allocation of approximately 2 neurons in the cerebral cortex and 8 neurons in the cerebellum for every neuron allocated to the rest of brain. We also propose that in some clades the scaling of different brain structures has diverged away from the common ancestral layout through clade-specific (or clade-defining changes in how average neuronal cell mass relates to numbers of neurons in each structure, and how numbers of neurons are differentially allocated to each structure relative to the number of neurons in the rest of brain. Thus, the evolutionary expansion of mammalian brains has involved both concerted and mosaic patterns of scaling across structures. This is, to our knowledge, the first mechanistic model that explains the generation of brains large and small in mammalian evolution, and it opens up new horizons for seeking the cellular pathways and genes involved in brain evolution.

  6. Archetype, adaptation and the mammalian heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meijler, F L; Meijler, T D

    2011-03-01

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

  7. Mammalian Cell-Based Sensor System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Pratik; Franz, Briana; Bhunia, Arun K.

    Use of living cells or cellular components in biosensors is receiving increased attention and opens a whole new area of functional diagnostics. The term "mammalian cell-based biosensor" is designated to biosensors utilizing mammalian cells as the biorecognition element. Cell-based assays, such as high-throughput screening (HTS) or cytotoxicity testing, have already emerged as dependable and promising approaches to measure the functionality or toxicity of a compound (in case of HTS); or to probe the presence of pathogenic or toxigenic entities in clinical, environmental, or food samples. External stimuli or changes in cellular microenvironment sometimes perturb the "normal" physiological activities of mammalian cells, thus allowing CBBs to screen, monitor, and measure the analyte-induced changes. The advantage of CBBs is that they can report the presence or absence of active components, such as live pathogens or active toxins. In some cases, mammalian cells or plasma membranes are used as electrical capacitors and cell-cell and cell-substrate contact is measured via conductivity or electrical impedance. In addition, cytopathogenicity or cytotoxicity induced by pathogens or toxins resulting in apoptosis or necrosis could be measured via optical devices using fluorescence or luminescence. This chapter focuses mainly on the type and applications of different mammalian cell-based sensor systems.

  8. Intersection of opposing pedagogical frameworks: Native Hawaiian ancestral stories and scientific inquiry in a high school science class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanahele-Mossman, Huihui

    Inquiry is defined as "an examination into facts and principles." In science education science inquiry is a process through which important discoveries are made by students through scientific methodology. The most important step in this process is forming the right question. The questions formed by students are usually the wrong questions which deem the remainder of the inquiry process impotent. This research will look at the pedagogy of ancestral stories for a solution. For the researcher, ancestral stories were a source of wonderment and learning not only from the lessons the stories revealed but mainly from the questions that still remained after the stories were told. Questions such as "why does the eel only swim near that part?", or "why does the story only talk about the uhu?" are examples of questions that remained after experiencing an ancestral narrative. The research questions were composed for the purpose of finding compatibility between the two pedagogies. The first research question which reads "how can Native Hawaiian ancestral stories encourage an increased level of student driven interactions at all levels of feedback from Native Hawaiian students in science classroom" focuses the research on the level of student feedback that initiate questions. Question two which reads "how can teachers of Native Hawaiian students facilitate the construction of science inquiry projects from ancestral stories" addresses the skill of the teacher and imbeds the concept of pedagogical knowledge into the literature. The last research question "how do analysis and discussion of the stories connect Native Hawaiian students to their ancestral intelligence" examines the role of identity and identity to ancestral intelligence. The method intended for this research was Grounded theory which allows the researcher to develop principles, concepts and theories based on the data presented. Another method utilized in this research is an undocumented but culturally imbedded method

  9. Modelling the ancestral sequence distribution and model frequencies in context-dependent models for primate non-coding sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baele Guy

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent approaches for context-dependent evolutionary modelling assume that the evolution of a given site depends upon its ancestor and that ancestor's immediate flanking sites. Because such dependency pattern cannot be imposed on the root sequence, we consider the use of different orders of Markov chains to model dependence at the ancestral root sequence. Root distributions which are coupled to the context-dependent model across the underlying phylogenetic tree are deemed more realistic than decoupled Markov chains models, as the evolutionary process is responsible for shaping the composition of the ancestral root sequence. Results We find strong support, in terms of Bayes Factors, for using a second-order Markov chain at the ancestral root sequence along with a context-dependent model throughout the remainder of the phylogenetic tree in an ancestral repeats dataset, and for using a first-order Markov chain at the ancestral root sequence in a pseudogene dataset. Relaxing the assumption of a single context-independent set of independent model frequencies as presented in previous work, yields a further drastic increase in model fit. We show that the substitution rates associated with the CpG-methylation-deamination process can be modelled through context-dependent model frequencies and that their accuracy depends on the (order of the Markov chain imposed at the ancestral root sequence. In addition, we provide evidence that this approach (which assumes that root distribution and evolutionary model are decoupled outperforms an approach inspired by the work of Arndt et al., where the root distribution is coupled to the evolutionary model. We show that the continuous-time approximation of Hwang and Green has stronger support in terms of Bayes Factors, but the parameter estimates show minimal differences. Conclusions We show that the combination of a dependency scheme at the ancestral root sequence and a context

  10. Autofluorescence of viable cultured mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubin, J E

    1979-01-01

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

  11. Elongation Factor-Tu (EF-Tu) proteins structural stability and bioinformatics in ancestral gene reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehipawala, Sunil; Nguyen, A.; Tremberger, G.; Cheung, E.; Schneider, P.; Lieberman, D.; Holden, T.; Cheung, T.

    2013-09-01

    A paleo-experimental evolution report on elongation factor EF-Tu structural stability results has provided an opportunity to rewind the tape of life using the ancestral protein sequence reconstruction modeling approach; consistent with the book of life dogma in current biology and being an important component in the astrobiology community. Fractal dimension via the Higuchi fractal method and Shannon entropy of the DNA sequence classification could be used in a diagram that serves as a simple summary. Results from biomedical gene research provide examples on the diagram methodology. Comparisons between biomedical genes such as EEF2 (elongation factor 2 human, mouse, etc), WDR85 in epigenetics, HAR1 in human specificity, DLG1 in cognitive skill, and HLA-C in mosquito bite immunology with EF Tu DNA sequences have accounted for the reported circular dichroism thermo-stability data systematically; the results also infer a relatively less volatility geologic time period from 2 to 3 Gyr from adaptation viewpoint. Comparison to Thermotoga maritima MSB8 and Psychrobacter shows that Thermus thermophilus HB8 EF-Tu calibration sequence could be an outlier, consistent with free energy calculation by NUPACK. Diagram methodology allows computer simulation studies and HAR1 shows about 0.5% probability from chimp to human in terms of diagram location, and SNP simulation results such as amoebic meningoencephalitis NAF1 suggest correlation. Extensions to the studies of the translation and transcription elongation factor sequences in Megavirus Chiliensis, Megavirus Lba and Pandoravirus show that the studied Pandoravirus sequence could be an outlier with the highest fractal dimension and lowest entropy, as compared to chicken as a deviant in the DNMT3A DNA methylation gene sequences from zebrafish to human and to the less than one percent probability in computer simulation using the HAR1 0.5% probability as reference. The diagram methodology would be useful in ancestral gene

  12. Analysis on the reconstruction accuracy of the Fitch method for inferring ancestral states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grünewald Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background As one of the most widely used parsimony methods for ancestral reconstruction, the Fitch method minimizes the total number of hypothetical substitutions along all branches of a tree to explain the evolution of a character. Due to the extensive usage of this method, it has become a scientific endeavor in recent years to study the reconstruction accuracies of the Fitch method. However, most studies are restricted to 2-state evolutionary models and a study for higher-state models is needed since DNA sequences take the format of 4-state series and protein sequences even have 20 states. Results In this paper, the ambiguous and unambiguous reconstruction accuracy of the Fitch method are studied for N-state evolutionary models. Given an arbitrary phylogenetic tree, a recurrence system is first presented to calculate iteratively the two accuracies. As complete binary tree and comb-shaped tree are the two extremal evolutionary tree topologies according to balance, we focus on the reconstruction accuracies on these two topologies and analyze their asymptotic properties. Then, 1000 Yule trees with 1024 leaves are generated and analyzed to simulate real evolutionary scenarios. It is known that more taxa not necessarily increase the reconstruction accuracies under 2-state models. The result under N-state models is also tested. Conclusions In a large tree with many leaves, the reconstruction accuracies of using all taxa are sometimes less than those of using a leaf subset under N-state models. For complete binary trees, there always exists an equilibrium interval [a, b] of conservation probability, in which the limiting ambiguous reconstruction accuracy equals to the probability of randomly picking a state. The value b decreases with the increase of the number of states, and it seems to converge. When the conservation probability is greater than b, the reconstruction accuracies of the Fitch method increase rapidly. The reconstruction

  13. A promoter-level mammalian expression atlas

    KAUST Repository

    Forest, Alistair R R

    2014-03-26

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

  14. A promoter-level mammalian expression atlas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrest, Alistair R R; Kawaji, Hideya; Rehli, Michael; Baillie, J Kenneth; de Hoon, Michiel J L; Haberle, Vanja; Lassmann, Timo; Kulakovskiy, Ivan V; Lizio, Marina; Itoh, Masayoshi; Andersson, Robin; Mungall, Christopher J; Meehan, Terrence F; Schmeier, Sebastian; Bertin, Nicolas; Jørgensen, Mette; Dimont, Emmanuel; Arner, Erik; Schmidl, Christian; Schaefer, Ulf; Medvedeva, Yulia A; Plessy, Charles; Vitezic, Morana; Severin, Jessica; Semple, Colin A; Ishizu, Yuri; Young, Robert S; Francescatto, Margherita; Alam, Intikhab; Albanese, Davide; Altschuler, Gabriel M; Arakawa, Takahiro; Archer, John A C; Arner, Peter; Babina, Magda; Rennie, Sarah; Balwierz, Piotr J; Beckhouse, Anthony G; Pradhan-Bhatt, Swati; Blake, Judith A; Blumenthal, Antje; Bodega, Beatrice; Bonetti, Alessandro; Briggs, James; Brombacher, Frank; Burroughs, A Maxwell; Califano, Andrea; Cannistraci, Carlo V; Carbajo, Daniel; Chen, Yun; Chierici, Marco; Ciani, Yari; Clevers, Hans C; Dalla, Emiliano; Davis, Carrie A; Detmar, Michael; Diehl, Alexander D; Dohi, Taeko; Drabløs, Finn; Edge, Albert S B; Edinger, Matthias; Ekwall, Karl; Endoh, Mitsuhiro; Enomoto, Hideki; Fagiolini, Michela; Fairbairn, Lynsey; Fang, Hai; Farach-Carson, Mary C; Faulkner, Geoffrey J; Favorov, Alexander V; Fisher, Malcolm E; Frith, Martin C; Fujita, Rie; Fukuda, Shiro; Furlanello, Cesare; Furino, Masaaki; Furusawa, Jun-ichi; Geijtenbeek, Teunis B; Gibson, Andrew P; Gingeras, Thomas; Goldowitz, Daniel; Gough, Julian; Guhl, Sven; Guler, Reto; Gustincich, Stefano; Ha, Thomas J; Hamaguchi, Masahide; Hara, Mitsuko; Harbers, Matthias; Harshbarger, Jayson; Hasegawa, Akira; Hasegawa, Yuki; Hashimoto, Takehiro; Herlyn, Meenhard; Hitchens, Kelly J; Ho Sui, Shannan J; Hofmann, Oliver M; Hoof, Ilka; Hori, Furni; Huminiecki, Lukasz; Iida, Kei; Ikawa, Tomokatsu; Jankovic, Boris R; Jia, Hui; Joshi, Anagha; Jurman, Giuseppe; Kaczkowski, Bogumil; Kai, Chieko; Kaida, Kaoru; Kaiho, Ai; Kajiyama, Kazuhiro; Kanamori-Katayama, Mutsumi; Kasianov, Artem S; Kasukawa, Takeya; Katayama, Shintaro; Kato, Sachi; Kawaguchi, Shuji; Kawamoto, Hiroshi; Kawamura, Yuki I; Kawashima, Tsugumi; Kempfle, Judith S; Kenna, Tony J; Kere, Juha; Khachigian, Levon M; Kitamura, Toshio; Klinken, S Peter; Knox, Alan J; Kojima, Miki; Kojima, Soichi; Kondo, Naoto; Koseki, Haruhiko; Koyasu, Shigeo; Krampitz, Sarah; Kubosaki, Atsutaka; Kwon, Andrew T; Laros, Jeroen F J; Lee, Weonju; Lennartsson, Andreas; Li, Kang; Lilje, Berit; Lipovich, Leonard; Mackay-Sim, Alan; Manabe, Ri-ichiroh; Mar, Jessica C; Marchand, Benoit; Mathelier, Anthony; Mejhert, Niklas; Meynert, Alison; Mizuno, Yosuke; de Lima Morais, David A; Morikawa, Hiromasa; Morimoto, Mitsuru; Moro, Kazuyo; Motakis, Efthymios; Motohashi, Hozumi; Mummery, Christine L; Murata, Mitsuyoshi; Nagao-Sato, Sayaka; Nakachi, Yutaka; Nakahara, Fumio; Nakamura, Toshiyuki; Nakamura, Yukio; Nakazato, Kenichi; van Nimwegen, Erik; Ninomiya, Noriko; Nishiyori, Hiromi; Noma, Shohei; Noma, Shohei; Noazaki, Tadasuke; Ogishima, Soichi; Ohkura, Naganari; Ohimiya, Hiroko; Ohno, Hiroshi; Ohshima, Mitsuhiro; Okada-Hatakeyama, Mariko; Okazaki, Yasushi; Orlando, Valerio; Ovchinnikov, Dmitry A; Pain, Arnab; Passier, Robert; Patrikakis, Margaret; Persson, Helena; Piazza, Silvano; Prendergast, James G D; Rackham, Owen J L; Ramilowski, Jordan A; Rashid, Mamoon; Ravasi, Timothy; Rizzu, Patrizia; Roncador, Marco; Roy, Sugata; Rye, Morten B; Saijyo, Eri; Sajantila, Antti; Saka, Akiko; Sakaguchi, Shimon; Sakai, Mizuho; Sato, Hiroki; Savvi, Suzana; Saxena, Alka; Schneider, Claudio; Schultes, Erik A; Schulze-Tanzil, Gundula G; Schwegmann, Anita; Sengstag, Thierry; Sheng, Guojun; Shimoji, Hisashi; Shimoni, Yishai; Shin, Jay W; Simon, Christophe; Sugiyama, Daisuke; Sugiyama, Takaai; Suzuki, Masanori; Suzuki, Naoko; Swoboda, Rolf K; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Tagami, Michihira; Takahashi, Naoko; Takai, Jun; Tanaka, Hiroshi; Tatsukawa, Hideki; Tatum, Zuotian; Thompson, Mark; Toyodo, Hiroo; Toyoda, Tetsuro; Valen, Elvind; van de Wetering, Marc; van den Berg, Linda M; Verado, Roberto; Vijayan, Dipti; Vorontsov, Ilya E; Wasserman, Wyeth W; Watanabe, Shoko; Wells, Christine A; Winteringham, Louise N; Wolvetang, Ernst; Wood, Emily J; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Yamamoto, Masayuki; Yoneda, Misako; Yonekura, Yohei; Yoshida, Shigehiro; Zabierowski, Susan E; Zhang, Peter G; Zhao, Xiaobei; Zucchelli, Silvia; Summers, Kim M; Suzuki, Harukazu; Daub, Carsten O; Kawai, Jun; Heutink, Peter; Hide, Winston; Freeman, Tom C; Lenhard, Boris; Bajic, Vladimir B; Taylor, Martin S; Makeev, Vsevolod J; Sandelin, Albin; Hume, David A; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide

    2014-03-27

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

  15. Architecture of mammalian respiratory complex I.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-06

    Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) is essential for oxidative phosphorylation in mammalian mitochondria. It couples electron transfer from NADH to ubiquinone with proton translocation across the energy-transducing inner membrane, providing electrons for respiration and driving ATP synthesis. Mammalian complex I contains 44 different nuclear- and mitochondrial-encoded subunits, with a combined mass of 1 MDa. The 14 conserved 'core' subunits have been structurally defined in the minimal, bacterial complex, but the structures and arrangement of the 30 'supernumerary' subunits are unknown. Here we describe a 5 Å resolution structure of complex I from Bos taurus heart mitochondria, a close relative of the human enzyme, determined by single-particle electron cryo-microscopy. We present the structures of the mammalian core subunits that contain eight iron-sulphur clusters and 60 transmembrane helices, identify 18 supernumerary transmembrane helices, and assign and model 14 supernumerary subunits. Thus, we considerably advance knowledge of the structure of mammalian complex I and the architecture of its supernumerary ensemble around the core domains. Our structure provides insights into the roles of the supernumerary subunits in regulation, assembly and homeostasis, and a basis for understanding the effects of mutations that cause a diverse range of human diseases.

  16. Cholesterol, the central lipid of mammalian cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maxfield, F. R.; van Meer, G.

    2010-01-01

    Despite its importance for mammalian cell biology and human health, there are many basic aspects of cholesterol homeostasis that are not well understood. Even for the well-characterized delivery of cholesterol to cells via lipoproteins, a novel regulatory mechanism has been discovered recently, invo

  17. Archetype, adaptation and the mammalian heart

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijler, F.L.; Meijler, T.D.

    2011-01-01

    Forty years ago, we started our quest for 'The Holy Grail' of understanding ventricular rate control and rhythm in atrial fibrillation (AF). We therefore studied the morphology and function of a wide range of mammalian hearts. From mouse to whale, we found that all hearts show similar structural and

  18. Molecular evolution of mammalian ribonucleases 1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dubois, J.Y; Ursing, B.M.; Kolkman, J.A.; Beintema, J.J

    2003-01-01

    There have been many studies on the chemistry of mammalian pancreatic ribonucleases (ribonucleases 1), but the functional biology of this family of homologous proteins is still largely unknown. Many studies have been performed on the molecular evolution and properties of this enzyme from species bel

  19. The evolution of mammalian gene families.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffery P Demuth

    Full Text Available Gene families are groups of homologous genes that are likely to have highly similar functions. Differences in family size due to lineage-specific gene duplication and gene loss may provide clues to the evolutionary forces that have shaped mammalian genomes. Here we analyze the gene families contained within the whole genomes of human, chimpanzee, mouse, rat, and dog. In total we find that more than half of the 9,990 families present in the mammalian common ancestor have either expanded or contracted along at least one lineage. Additionally, we find that a large number of families are completely lost from one or more mammalian genomes, and a similar number of gene families have arisen subsequent to the mammalian common ancestor. Along the lineage leading to modern humans we infer the gain of 689 genes and the loss of 86 genes since the split from chimpanzees, including changes likely driven by adaptive natural selection. Our results imply that humans and chimpanzees differ by at least 6% (1,418 of 22,000 genes in their complement of genes, which stands in stark contrast to the oft-cited 1.5% difference between orthologous nucleotide sequences. This genomic "revolving door" of gene gain and loss represents a large number of genetic differences separating humans from our closest relatives.

  20. Ancestral feeding state of ruminants reconsidered: earliest grazing adaptation claims a mixed condition for Cervidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azanza Beatriz

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Specialised leaf-eating is almost universally regarded as the ancestral state of all ruminants, yet little evidence can be cited in support of this assumption, apart from the fact that all early ruminants had low crowned cheek teeth. Instead, recent years have seen the emergence evidence contradicting the conventional view that low tooth crowns always indicate leaf-eating and high tooth crowns grass-eating. Results Here we report the results of two independent palaeodietary reconstructions for one of the earliest deer, Procervulus ginsburgi from the Early Miocene of Spain, suggesting that despite having lower tooth crowns than any living ruminant, this species included a significant proportion of grass in its diet. Conclusion The phylogenetic distribution of feeding styles strongly supports that leaf-grass mixed feeding was the original feeding style of deer, and that later dietary specialization on leaves or grass occurred independently in several lineages. Evidence for other ruminant clades suggests that facultative mixed feeding may in fact have been the primitive dietary state of the Ruminantia, which would have been morphologically expressed only under specific environmental factors.

  1. A PCA-based method for ancestral informative markers selection in structured populations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Identification of population structure can help trace population histories and identify disease genes. Structured association (SA) is a commonly used approach for population structure identification and association mapping. A major issue with SA is that its performance greatly depends on the informa-tiveness and the numbers of ancestral informative markers (AIMs). Present major AIM selection meth-ods mostly require prior individual ancestry information, which is usually not available or uncertain in practice. To address this potential weakness, we herein develop a novel approach for AIM selection based on principle component analysis (PCA), which does not require prior ancestry information of study subjects. Our simulation and real genetic data analysis results suggest that, with equivalent AIMs, PCA-based selected AIMs can significantly increase the accuracy of inferred individual ancestries compared with traditionally randomly selected AIMs. Our method can easily be applied to whole genome data to select a set of highly informative AIMs in population structure, which can then be used to identify potential population structure and correct possible statistical biases caused by population stratification.

  2. Anomalously high variation in postnatal development is ancestral for dinosaurs but lost in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Christopher T; Nesbitt, Sterling J

    2016-12-20

    Compared with all other living reptiles, birds grow extremely fast and possess unusually low levels of intraspecific variation during postnatal development. It is now clear that birds inherited their high rates of growth from their dinosaurian ancestors, but the origin of the avian condition of low variation during development is poorly constrained. The most well-understood growth trajectories of later Mesozoic theropods (e.g., Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus) show similarly low variation to birds, contrasting with higher variation in extant crocodylians. Here, we show that deep within Dinosauria, among the earliest-diverging dinosaurs, anomalously high intraspecific variation is widespread but then is lost in more derived theropods. This style of development is ancestral for dinosaurs and their closest relatives, and, surprisingly, this level of variation is far higher than in living crocodylians. Among early dinosaurs, this variation is widespread across Pangaea in the Triassic and Early Jurassic, and among early-diverging theropods (ceratosaurs), this variation is maintained for 165 million years to the end of the Cretaceous. Because the Late Triassic environment across Pangaea was volatile and heterogeneous, this variation may have contributed to the rise of dinosaurian dominance through the end of the Triassic Period.

  3. Bacterial community composition and diversity in an ancestral ant fungus symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellner, Katrin; Ishak, Heather D; Linksvayer, Timothy A; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-07-01

    Fungus-farming ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Attini) exhibit some of the most complex microbial symbioses because both macroscopic partners (ants and fungus) are associated with a rich community of microorganisms. The ant and fungal microbiomes are thought to serve important beneficial nutritional and defensive roles in these symbioses. While most recent research has investigated the bacterial communities in the higher attines (e.g. the leaf-cutter ant genera Atta and Acromyrmex), which are often associated with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, very little is known about the microbial communities in basal lineages, labeled as 'lower attines', which retain the ancestral traits of smaller and more simple societies. In this study, we used 16S amplicon pyrosequencing to characterize bacterial communities of the lower attine ant Mycocepurus smithii among seven sampling sites in central Panama. We discovered that ant and fungus garden-associated microbiota were distinct from surrounding soil, but unlike the situation in the derived fungus-gardening ants, which show distinct ant and fungal microbiomes, microbial community structure of the ants and their fungi were similar. Another surprising finding was that the abundance of actinomycete bacteria was low and instead, these symbioses were characterized by an abundance of Lactobacillus and Pantoea bacteria. Furthermore, our data indicate that Lactobacillus strains are acquired from the environment rather than acquired vertically.

  4. Mouthparts of the Burgess Shale fossils Odontogriphus and Wiwaxia: implications for the ancestral molluscan radula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Martin R

    2012-10-22

    The Middle Cambrian lophotrochozoans Odontogriphus omalus and Wiwaxia corrugata have been interpreted as stem-group members of either the Mollusca, the Annelida, or a group containing Mollusca + Annelida. The case for each classification rests on the organisms' unusual mouthparts, whose two to three tooth-rows resemble both the molluscan radula and the jaws of certain annelid worms. Despite their potential significance, these mouthparts have not previously been described in detail. This study examined the feeding apparatuses of over 300 specimens from the 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale, many of which were studied for the first time. Rather than denticulate plates, each tooth row comprises a single axial tooth that is flanked on each side by eight to 16 separate shoehorn-shaped teeth. Tooth rows sat on a grooved basal tongue, and two large lobes flanked the apparatus. New observations--the shape, distribution and articulation of the individual teeth, and the mouthparts' mode of growth--are incompatible with an annelid interpretation, instead supporting a classification in Mollusca. The ancestral molluscan radula is best reconstructed as unipartite with a symmetrical medial tooth, and Odontogriphus and Wiwaxia as grazing deposit-feeders.

  5. DNA replication fidelity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis is mediated by an ancestral prokaryotic proofreader.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rock, Jeremy M; Lang, Ulla F; Chase, Michael R; Ford, Christopher B; Gerrick, Elias R; Gawande, Richa; Coscolla, Mireia; Gagneux, Sebastien; Fortune, Sarah M; Lamers, Meindert H

    2015-06-01

    The DNA replication machinery is an important target for antibiotic development in increasingly drug-resistant bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although blocking DNA replication leads to cell death, disrupting the processes used to ensure replication fidelity can accelerate mutation and the evolution of drug resistance. In Escherichia coli, the proofreading subunit of the replisome, the ɛ exonuclease, is essential for high-fidelity DNA replication; however, we find that the corresponding subunit is completely dispensable in M. tuberculosis. Rather, the mycobacterial replicative polymerase DnaE1 itself encodes an editing function that proofreads DNA replication, mediated by an intrinsic 3'-5' exonuclease activity within its PHP domain. Inactivation of the DnaE1 PHP domain increases the mutation rate by more than 3,000-fold. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis of DNA replication proofreading in the bacterial kingdom suggests that E. coli is a phylogenetic outlier and that PHP domain-mediated proofreading is widely conserved and indeed may be the ancestral prokaryotic proofreader.

  6. The tendency to recreate ancestral CG dinucleotides in the human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Mingkun

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The CG dinucleotides are known to be deficient in the human genome, due to a high mutation rate from 5-methylated CG to TG and its complementary pair CA. Meanwhile, many cellular functions rely on these CG dinucleotides, such as gene expression controlled by cytosine methylation status. Thus, CG dinucleotides that provide essential functional substrates should be retained in genomes. How these two conflicting processes regarding the fate of CG dinucleotides - i.e., high mutation rate destroying CG dinucleotides, vs. functional processes that require their preservation remains an unsolved question. Results By analyzing the mutation and frequency spectrum of newly derived alleles in the human genome, a tendency towards generating more CGs was observed, which was mainly contributed by an excess number of mutations from CA/TG to CG. Simultaneously, we found a fixation preference for CGs derived from TG/CA rather than CGs generated by other dinucleotides. These tendencies were observed both in intergenic and genic regions. An analysis of Integrated Extended Haplotype Homozygosity provided no evidence of selection for newly derived CGs. Conclusions Ancestral CG dinucleotides that were subsequently lost by mutation tend to be recreated in the human genome, as indicated by a biased mutation and fixation pattern favoring new CGs that derived from TG/CA.

  7. Sandals as Icons: Representations in Ancestral Pueblo Rock Art and Effigies in Stone and Wood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Polly Schaafsma

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Dating the late 1000s to the mid-1200s CE, petroglyphs of sandal images are among others that distinguish ancient Pueblo rock art in the San Juan and Little Colorado River drainages on the Colorado Plateau from Ancestral Pueblo rock art elsewhere across the Southwest. The sandal “track” also has counterparts  as effigies in stone and wood often found in ceremonial contexts in Pueblo sites. These representations reflect the sandal styles of the times, both plain in contour and the jog-toed variety, the latter characterized by a projection where the little toe is positioned. These representations are both plain and patterned,  as are their material sandal counterparts. Their significance  as symbolic icons is their dominant aspect, and a ritual meaning is implicit.  As a component of a symbol system that was radically altered after 1300 CE, however, there is no ethnographic information that provides clues as to the sandal icon’s meaning. While there is no significant pattern of its associations with other symbolic content in the petroglyph panels, in some western San Juan sites cases a relationship to the hunt can be inferred. It is suggested that the track itself could refer to a deity, a mythological hero, or the carver ’s social identity. In conclusion, however, no clear meaning of the images themselves is forthcoming, and further research beckons.

  8. Ancestral gene duplication enabled the evolution of multifunctional cellulases in stick insects (Phasmatodea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelomi, Matan; Heckel, David G; Pauchet, Yannick

    2016-04-01

    The Phasmatodea (stick insects) have multiple, endogenous, highly expressed copies of glycoside hydrolase family 9 (GH9) genes. The purpose for retaining so many was unknown. We cloned and expressed the enzymes in transfected insect cell lines, and tested the individual proteins against different plant cell wall component poly- and oligosaccharides. Nearly all isolated enzymes were active against carboxymethylcellulose, however most could also degrade glucomannan, and some also either xylan or xyloglucan. The latter two enzyme groups were each monophyletic, suggesting the evolution of these novel substrate specificities in an early ancestor of the order. Such enzymes are highly unusual for Metazoa, for which no xyloglucanases had been reported. Phasmatodea gut extracts could degrade multiple plant cell wall components fully into sugar monomers, suggesting that enzymatic breakdown of plant cell walls by the entire Phasmatodea digestome may contribute to the Phasmatodea nutritional budget. The duplication and neofunctionalization of GH9s in the ancestral Phasmatodea may have enabled them to specialize as folivores and diverge from their omnivorous ancestors. The structural changes enabling these unprecedented activities in the cellulases require further study.

  9. Multiple chromosomal rearrangements structured the ancestral vertebrate Hox-bearing protochromosomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent J Lynch

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available While the proposal that large-scale genome expansions occurred early in vertebrate evolution is widely accepted, the exact mechanisms of the expansion--such as a single or multiple rounds of whole genome duplication, bloc chromosome duplications, large-scale individual gene duplications, or some combination of these--is unclear. Gene families with a single invertebrate member but four vertebrate members, such as the Hox clusters, provided early support for Ohno's hypothesis that two rounds of genome duplication (the 2R-model occurred in the stem lineage of extant vertebrates. However, despite extensive study, the duplication history of the Hox clusters has remained unclear, calling into question its usefulness in resolving the role of large-scale gene or genome duplications in early vertebrates. Here, we present a phylogenetic analysis of the vertebrate Hox clusters and several linked genes (the Hox "paralogon" and show that different phylogenies are obtained for Dlx and Col genes than for Hox and ErbB genes. We show that these results are robust to errors in phylogenetic inference and suggest that these competing phylogenies can be resolved if two chromosomal crossover events occurred in the ancestral vertebrate. These results resolve conflicting data on the order of Hox gene duplications and the role of genome duplication in vertebrate evolution and suggest that a period of genome reorganization occurred after genome duplications in early vertebrates.

  10. Ancestral origins of the prion protein gene D178N mutation in the Basque Country.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Ana B; Barreau, Christian; Coupry, Isabelle; Yagüe, Jordi; Sánchez-Valle, Raquel; Galdós-Alcelay, Luis; Ibáñez, Agustín; Digón, Antón; Fernández-Manchola, Ignacio; Goizet, Cyril; Castro, Azucena; Cuevas, Nerea; Alvarez-Alvarez, Maite; de Pancorbo, Marian M; Arveiler, Benoît; Zarranz, Juan J

    2005-06-01

    Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (fCJD) are familial prion diseases with autosomal dominant inheritance of the D178N mutation. FFI has been reported in at least 27 pedigrees around the world. Twelve apparently unrelated FFI and fCJD pedigrees with the characteristic D178N mutation have been reported in the Prion Diseases Registry of the Basque Country since 1993. The high incidence of familial prion diseases in this region may reflect a unique ancestral origin of the chromosome carrying this mutation. In order to investigate this putative founder effect, we developed "happy typing", a new approach to the happy mapping method, which consists of the physical isolation of large haploid genomic DNA fragments and their analysis by the Polymerase Chain Reaction in order to perform haplotypic analysis instead of pedigree analysis. Six novel microsatellite markers, located in a 150-kb genomic segment flanking the PRNP gene were characterized for typing haploid DNA fragments of 285 kb in size. A common haplotype was found in patients from the Basque region, strongly suggesting a founder effect. We propose that "happy typing" constitutes an efficient method for determining disease-associated haplotypes, since the analysis of a single affected individual per pedigree should provide sufficient evidence.

  11. Nondecarboxylating and decarboxylating isocitrate dehydrogenases: oxalosuccinate reductase as an ancestral form of isocitrate dehydrogenase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoshima, Miho; Igarashi, Yasuo

    2008-03-01

    Isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH) from Hydrogenobacter thermophilus catalyzes the reduction of oxalosuccinate, which corresponds to the second step of the reductive carboxylation of 2-oxoglutarate in the reductive tricarboxylic acid cycle. In this study, the oxidation reaction catalyzed by H. thermophilus ICDH was kinetically analyzed. As a result, a rapid equilibrium random-order mechanism was suggested. The affinities of both substrates (isocitrate and NAD+) toward the enzyme were extremely low compared to other known ICDHs. The binding activities of isocitrate and NAD+ were not independent; rather, the binding of one substrate considerably promoted the binding of the other. A product inhibition assay demonstrated that NADH is a potent inhibitor, although 2-oxoglutarate did not exhibit an inhibitory effect. Further chromatographic analysis demonstrated that oxalosuccinate, rather than 2-oxoglutarate, is the reaction product. Thus, it was shown that H. thermophilus ICDH is a nondecarboxylating ICDH that catalyzes the conversion between isocitrate and oxalosuccinate by oxidation and reduction. This nondecarboxylating ICDH is distinct from well-known decarboxylating ICDHs and should be categorized as a new enzyme. Oxalosuccinate-reducing enzyme may be the ancestral form of ICDH, which evolved to the extant isocitrate oxidative decarboxylating enzyme by acquiring higher substrate affinities.

  12. Anomalously high variation in postnatal development is ancestral for dinosaurs but lost in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Christopher T.; Nesbitt, Sterling J.

    2016-12-01

    Compared with all other living reptiles, birds grow extremely fast and possess unusually low levels of intraspecific variation during postnatal development. It is now clear that birds inherited their high rates of growth from their dinosaurian ancestors, but the origin of the avian condition of low variation during development is poorly constrained. The most well-understood growth trajectories of later Mesozoic theropods (e.g., Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus) show similarly low variation to birds, contrasting with higher variation in extant crocodylians. Here, we show that deep within Dinosauria, among the earliest-diverging dinosaurs, anomalously high intraspecific variation is widespread but then is lost in more derived theropods. This style of development is ancestral for dinosaurs and their closest relatives, and, surprisingly, this level of variation is far higher than in living crocodylians. Among early dinosaurs, this variation is widespread across Pangaea in the Triassic and Early Jurassic, and among early-diverging theropods (ceratosaurs), this variation is maintained for 165 million years to the end of the Cretaceous. Because the Late Triassic environment across Pangaea was volatile and heterogeneous, this variation may have contributed to the rise of dinosaurian dominance through the end of the Triassic Period.

  13. Major Chromosomal Rearrangements Distinguish Willow and Poplar After the Ancestral "Salicoid" Genome Duplication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Jing; Ye, Ning; Dong, Zhongyuan; Lu, Mengzhu; Li, Laigeng; Yin, Tongming

    2016-06-27

    Populus (poplar) and Salix (willow) are sister genera in the Salicaceae family. In both lineages extant species are predominantly diploid. Genome analysis previously revealed that the two lineages originated from a common tetraploid ancestor. In this study, we conducted a syntenic comparison of the corresponding 19 chromosome members of the poplar and willow genomes. Our observations revealed that almost every chromosomal segment had a parallel paralogous segment elsewhere in the genomes, and the two lineages shared a similar syntenic pinwheel pattern for most of the chromosomes, which indicated that the two lineages diverged after the genome reorganization in the common progenitor. The pinwheel patterns showed distinct differences for two chromosome pairs in each lineage. Further analysis detected two major interchromosomal rearrangements that distinguished the karyotypes of willow and poplar. Chromosome I of willow was a conjunction of poplar chromosome XVI and the lower portion of poplar chromosome I, whereas willow chromosome XVI corresponded to the upper portion of poplar chromosome I. Scientists have suggested that Populus is evolutionarily more primitive than Salix. Therefore, we propose that, after the "salicoid" duplication event, fission and fusion of the ancestral chromosomes first give rise to the diploid progenitor of extant Populus species. During the evolutionary process, fission and fusion of poplar chromosomes I and XVI subsequently give rise to the progenitor of extant Salix species. This study contributes to an improved understanding of genome divergence after ancient genome duplication in closely related lineages of higher plants.

  14. Convergent evolution of caffeine in plants by co-option of exapted ancestral enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ruiqi; O'Donnell, Andrew J; Barboline, Jessica J; Barkman, Todd J

    2016-09-20

    Convergent evolution is a process that has occurred throughout the tree of life, but the historical genetic and biochemical context promoting the repeated independent origins of a trait is rarely understood. The well-known stimulant caffeine, and its xanthine alkaloid precursors, has evolved multiple times in flowering plant history for various roles in plant defense and pollination. We have shown that convergent caffeine production, surprisingly, has evolved by two previously unknown biochemical pathways in chocolate, citrus, and guaraná plants using either caffeine synthase- or xanthine methyltransferase-like enzymes. However, the pathway and enzyme lineage used by any given plant species is not predictable from phylogenetic relatedness alone. Ancestral sequence resurrection reveals that this convergence was facilitated by co-option of genes maintained over 100 million y for alternative biochemical roles. The ancient enzymes of the Citrus lineage were exapted for reactions currently used for various steps of caffeine biosynthesis and required very few mutations to acquire modern-day enzymatic characteristics, allowing for the evolution of a complete pathway. Future studies aimed at manipulating caffeine content of plants will require the use of different approaches given the metabolic and genetic diversity revealed by this study.

  15. Evolution of outer membrane beta-barrels from an ancestral beta beta hairpin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remmert, M; Biegert, A; Linke, D; Lupas, A N; Söding, J

    2010-06-01

    Outer membrane beta-barrels (OMBBs) are the major class of outer membrane proteins from Gram-negative bacteria, mitochondria, and plastids. Their transmembrane domains consist of 8-24 beta-strands forming a closed, barrel-shaped beta-sheet around a central pore. Despite their obvious structural regularity, evidence for an origin by duplication or for a common ancestry has not been found. We use three complementary approaches to show that all OMBBs from Gram-negative bacteria evolved from a single, ancestral beta beta hairpin. First, we link almost all families of known single-chain bacterial OMBBs with each other through transitive profile searches. Second, we identify a clear repeat signature in the sequences of many OMBBs in which the repeating sequence unit coincides with the structural beta beta hairpin repeat. Third, we show that the observed sequence similarity between OMBB hairpins cannot be explained by structural or membrane constraints on their sequences. The third approach addresses a longstanding problem in protein evolution: how to distinguish between a very remotely homologous relationship and the opposing scenario of "sequence convergence." The origin of a diverse group of proteins from a single hairpin module supports the hypothesis that, around the time of transition from the RNA to the protein world, proteins arose by amplification and recombination of short peptide modules that had previously evolved as cofactors of RNAs.

  16. Transgenerational actions of environmental compounds on reproductive disease and identification of epigenetic biomarkers of ancestral exposures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohan Manikkam

    Full Text Available Environmental factors during fetal development can induce a permanent epigenetic change in the germ line (sperm that then transmits epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult-onset disease in the absence of any subsequent exposure. The epigenetic transgenerational actions of various environmental compounds and relevant mixtures were investigated with the use of a pesticide mixture (permethrin and insect repellant DEET, a plastic mixture (bisphenol A and phthalates, dioxin (TCDD and a hydrocarbon mixture (jet fuel, JP8. After transient exposure of F0 gestating female rats during the period of embryonic gonadal sex determination, the subsequent F1-F3 generations were obtained in the absence of any environmental exposure. The effects on the F1, F2 and F3 generations pubertal onset and gonadal function were assessed. The plastics, dioxin and jet fuel were found to promote early-onset female puberty transgenerationally (F3 generation. Spermatogenic cell apoptosis was affected transgenerationally. Ovarian primordial follicle pool size was significantly decreased with all treatments transgenerationally. Differential DNA methylation of the F3 generation sperm promoter epigenome was examined. Differential DNA methylation regions (DMR were identified in the sperm of all exposure lineage males and found to be consistent within a specific exposure lineage, but different between the exposures. Several genomic features of the DMR, such as low density CpG content, were identified. Exposure-specific epigenetic biomarkers were identified that may allow for the assessment of ancestral environmental exposures associated with adult onset disease.

  17. Evolutionary Psychology: How Psychological Mechanisms Shaped by Natural Selection for Ancestral Environments Produce Current Behaviours

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Charles Crawford

    2009-01-01

    The central purpose of this paper is to explain how Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection can be used in understanding current human behaviour. First, Darwin's logic is briefly described. Development is an important issue when applying evolutionary theory to human behaviour. The notion of innate developmental orga-nization of psychological mechanisms is introduced. The possible social and political outcomes produced when differ-ent levels of innate developmental organization are paired with different beliefs about it are considered. The notion of psychological mechanisms as evolved adaptations is considered in some detail. Then I discuss different ways evo-htionists think about how genes are involved in the development of adaptations. The paper concludes with a frame-work for considering how ancestral adaptations function in current environments and outlines some ways of studying them. In China and many other parts of the world people desire a more harmonious society. Ⅰ hope that this paper will be of some small help in achieving this great task.

  18. A PCA-based method for ancestral informative markers selection in structured populations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Feng; ZHANG Lei; DENG Hong-Wen

    2009-01-01

    Identification of population structure can help trace population histories and identify disease genes.Structured association (SA) is a commonly used approach for population structure identification and association mapping. A major issue with SA is that its performance greatly depends on the informativeness and the numbers of ancestral informative markers (AIMs). Present major AIM selection methods mostly require prior individual ancestry information, which is usually not available or uncertain in practice. To address this potential weakness, we herein develop a novel approach for AIM selection based on principle component analysis (PCA), which does not require prior ancestry information of study subjects. Our simulation and real genetic data analysis results suggest that, with equivalent AIMs,PCA-based selected AIMs can significantly increase the accuracy of inferred individual ancestries compared with traditionally randomly selected AIMs. Our method can easily be applied to whole genome data to select a set of highly informative AIMs in population structure, which can then be used to identify potential population structure and correct possible statistical biases caused by population stratification.

  19. 客家祠堂的文化内涵研究--以三明客家祠堂为例%Study on the Culture Connotation of Hakka Ancestral Hall---Taking Sanming Hakka Ancestral Hall as an Example

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄晓珍

    2014-01-01

    Hakka ancestral hall is the most important place of Hakka clan ancestors,and it is an emotion carrier of Hakka as well, which contains rich cultural connotation. Sanming,as an important part of Fujian,Guangdong and Jiangxi Hakka stronghold,has a large number of Hakka ancestral halls. The name、couplets and architectural pattern of Hakka ancestral hall reflect how deeply the con-cept of ancestor worship of Hakka is;The pedigree of a clan、temple monument and ancestral hall couplets reflect how difficult Hakka' s migration path is;Its ancestor's instruction and function reflect how strong Hakka's concept of farming-reading is;Its site selection and layout reflect how prosperous Feng Shui Culture in Hakka is. They are the windows through which we can know Hakka history and Hak-ka culture.%客家祠堂是客家宗族祭祖的首要重地,也是客家人的情感载体,蕴含着丰富的文化内涵。三明作为闽粤赣边客家大本营的重要地区,拥有大量的客家祠堂,其堂号、楹联、建筑格局反映了客家人崇祖观念之深;其族谱、祠碑、楹联反映了客家人移民道路之艰;其祖训、功能反映出客家人耕读思想之重;其选址、布局反映出客家人风水文化之盛。客家祠堂是研究与理解客家历史文化的重要窗口。

  20. Metabolic-flux analysis of mammalian-cell culture.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonarius, H.P.J.

    1998-01-01

    In the biopharmaceutical industry mammalian cells are cultivated for the production of recombinant glycoproteins, vaccines, and monoclonal antibodies. In contrast to other expression systems, such as prokaryotes or yeasts, mammalian cells are able to glycosylate and fold therapeutic proteins correct

  1. Thermotolerant Yeast Strains Adapted by Laboratory Evolution Show Trade-Off at Ancestral Temperatures and Preadaptation to Other Stresses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspeta, Luis; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-01-01

    . Thermotolerant yeast strains showed horizontal displacement of their thermal reaction norms to higher temperatures. Hence, their optimal and maximum growth temperatures increased by about 3°C, whereas they showed a growth trade-off at temperatures below 34°C. Computational analysis of the physical properties...... in the ancestral strain. The latter is an advantageous attribute for acquiring thermotolerance and correlates with the reduction of yeast functions associated with loss of respiration capacity. This trait caused glycerol overproduction that was associated with the growth trade-off at ancestral temperatures....... In combination with altered sterol composition of cellular membranes, glycerol overproduction was also associated with yeast osmotolerance and improved tolerance of high concentrations of glucose and ethanol. Our study shows that thermal adaptation of yeast is suitable for improving yeast resistance...

  2. Identification of a new Newcastle disease virus isolate from Indonesia represents an ancestral lineage of class II genotype XIII.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrester, Naomi L; Widen, Steve G; Wood, Thomas G; Travassos da Rosa, Amelia P; Ksiazek, Thomas G; Vasilakis, Nikos; Tesh, Robert B

    2013-08-01

    An unknown virus was isolated from a mosquito pool collected in Jakarta during routine surveillance in 1979. Analysis of the sample using the Illumina platform resulted in the identification of a Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolate. The sequence of the isolate indicated that it is an ancestral lineage of class II, genotype XIII. The source of the isolate is unusual, as newcastle disease virus is not believed to be vector-borne, although this mosquito pool was processed in a laboratory also handling samples for avian influenza surveillance and it is possible that this resulted in cross-contamination. This NDV isolate is still ancestral to most extant genotype XIII strains and provides a useful insight into historic NDV evolution.

  3. Genotype-based ancestral background consistently predicts efficacy and side effects across treatments in CATIE and STAR*D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel E Adkins

    Full Text Available Only a subset of patients will typically respond to any given prescribed drug. The time it takes clinicians to declare a treatment ineffective leaves the patient in an impaired state and at unnecessary risk for adverse drug effects. Thus, diagnostic tests robustly predicting the most effective and safe medication for each patient prior to starting pharmacotherapy would have tremendous clinical value. In this article, we evaluated the use of genetic markers to estimate ancestry as a predictive component of such diagnostic tests. We first estimated each patient's unique mosaic of ancestral backgrounds using genome-wide SNP data collected in the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE (n = 765 and the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D (n = 1892. Next, we performed multiple regression analyses to estimate the predictive power of these ancestral dimensions. For 136/89 treatment-outcome combinations tested in CATIE/STAR*D, results indicated 1.67/1.84 times higher median test statistics than expected under the null hypothesis assuming no predictive power (p<0.01, both samples. Thus, ancestry showed robust and pervasive correlations with drug efficacy and side effects in both CATIE and STAR*D. Comparison of the marginal predictive power of MDS ancestral dimensions and self-reported race indicated significant improvements to model fit with the inclusion of MDS dimensions, but mixed evidence for self-reported race. Knowledge of each patient's unique mosaic of ancestral backgrounds provides a potent immediate starting point for developing algorithms identifying the most effective and safe medication for a wide variety of drug-treatment response combinations. As relatively few new psychiatric drugs are currently under development, such personalized medicine offers a promising approach toward optimizing pharmacotherapy for psychiatric conditions.

  4. Evolutionary site-number changes of ribosomal DNA loci during speciation: complex scenarios of ancestral and more recent polyploid events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosato, Marcela; Moreno-Saiz, Juan C; Galián, José A; Rosselló, Josep A

    2015-11-16

    Several genome duplications have been identified in the evolution of seed plants, providing unique systems for studying karyological processes promoting diversification and speciation. Knowledge about the number of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) loci, together with their chromosomal distribution and structure, provides clues about organismal and molecular evolution at various phylogenetic levels. In this work, we aim to elucidate the evolutionary dynamics of karyological and rDNA site-number variation in all known taxa of subtribe Vellinae, showing a complex scenario of ancestral and more recent polyploid events. Specifically, we aim to infer the ancestral chromosome numbers and patterns of chromosome number variation, assess patterns of variation of both 45S and 5S rDNA families, trends in site-number change of rDNA loci within homoploid and polyploid series, and reconstruct the evolutionary history of rDNA site number using a phylogenetic hypothesis as a framework. The best-fitting model of chromosome number evolution with a high likelihood score suggests that the Vellinae core showing x = 17 chromosomes arose by duplication events from a recent x = 8 ancestor. Our survey suggests more complex patterns of polyploid evolution than previously noted for Vellinae. High polyploidization events (6x, 8x) arose independently in the basal clade Vella castrilensis-V. lucentina, where extant diploid species are unknown. Reconstruction of ancestral rDNA states in Vellinae supports the inference that the ancestral number of loci in the subtribe was two for each multigene family, suggesting that an overall tendency towards a net loss of 5S rDNA loci occurred during the splitting of Vellinae ancestors from the remaining Brassiceae lineages. A contrasting pattern for rDNA site change in both paleopolyploid and neopolyploid species was linked to diversification of Vellinae lineages. This suggests dynamic and independent changes in rDNA site number during speciation processes and a

  5. [Evolutionary history of Metazoa, ancestral status of the bilateria clonal reproduction, and semicolonial origin of the mollusca].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martynov, A V

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary history of any metazoan group is a history of the entire ontogenetic cycles instead of separate stages and genes only. Ontogeny in the most objective way links two key components of the biological systematics: historically-independent characters attribution and phylogeny itself. A general theory encompassing "static" traditional taxonomy and dynamic evolutionary process, based on the ontogenetic transformation of the organisms' shape is suggested here to term as ontogenetic systematics. As an important practical implication of the ontogenetic systematics, a new model of the bilaterian metazoans evolution is suggested. The new model considers asexual clonal reproduction as a central feature of the ancestral ontogenetic cycles of basal Bilateria. The new scenario resolves several notable contradictions, e.g. morphological, ontogenetic and molecular similarities of Pogonophora, Vestimentifera, Phoronida simultaneously to protostomian Spiralia (Lophotrochozoa) and Deuterostomia. The suggested model implies individuation (possibly multiple) of ancestral semicolonial sedentary group as a major factor of the basal Bilateria diversification. In the late Ediacaran and early Cambrian thus existed ancestral bilaterian group that shared characters of both Spiralia and Deuterostomia and possessed polyp-shape body and cephalic secretory shield (like in modern Pterobranchia and Vestimentifera), that later on reduced in various lines. This ancestral taxon in rank of supraphylum is suggested to term as Carmaphora (shield-bearers). Presence of the enigmatic sedentary fossil of the genus Cloudina with vestimentiferan-like tubes and evident clonal reproduction already in the late Ediacaran, and most recent found of an unquestionable pterobranch already in the early Cambrian support the new model of Bilateria evolution.

  6. Effect of the assignment of ancestral CpG state on the estimation of nucleotide substitution rates in mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keightley Peter D

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular evolutionary studies in mammals often estimate nucleotide substitution rates within and outside CpG dinucleotides separately. Frequently, in alignments of two sequences, the division of sites into CpG and non-CpG classes is based simply on the presence or absence of a CpG dinucleotide in either sequence, a procedure that we refer to as CpG/non-CpG assignment. Although it likely that this procedure is biased, it is generally assumed that the bias is negligible if species are very closely related. Results Using simulations of DNA sequence evolution we show that assignment of the ancestral CpG state based on the simple presence/absence of the CpG dinucleotide can seriously bias estimates of the substitution rate, because many true non-CpG changes are misassigned as CpG. Paradoxically, this bias is most severe between closely related species, because a minimum of two substitutions are required to misassign a true ancestral CpG site as non-CpG whereas only a single substitution is required to misassign a true ancestral non-CpG site as CpG in a two branch tree. We also show that CpG misassignment bias differentially affects fourfold degenerate and noncoding sites due to differences in base composition such that fourfold degenerate sites can appear to be evolving more slowly than noncoding sites. We demonstrate that the effects predicted by our simulations occur in a real evolutionary setting by comparing substitution rates estimated from human-chimp coding and intronic sequence using CpG/non-CpG assignment with estimates derived from a method that is largely free from bias. Conclusion Our study demonstrates that a common method of assigning sites into CpG and non CpG classes in pairwise alignments is seriously biased and recommends against the adoption of ad hoc methods of ancestral state assignment.

  7. Estimating ancestral proportions in a multi-ethnic US sample: implications for studies of admixed populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levran Orna

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study was designed to determine the ancestral composition of a multi-ethnic sample collected for studies of drug addictions in New York City and Las Vegas, and to examine the reliability of self-identified ethnicity and three-generation family history data. Ancestry biographical scores for seven clusters corresponding to world major geographical regions were obtained using STRUCTURE, based on genotypes of 168 ancestry informative markers (AIMs, for a sample of 1,291 African Americans (AA, European Americans (EA, and Hispanic Americans (HA along with data from 1,051 HGDP-CEPH ‘diversity panel’ as a reference. Self-identified ethnicity and family history data, obtained in an interview, were accurate in identifying the individual major ancestry in the AA and the EA samples (approximately 99% and 95%, respectively but were not useful for the HA sample and could not predict the extent of admixture in any group. The mean proportions of the combined clusters corresponding to European and Middle Eastern populations in the AA sample, revealed by AIMs analysis, were 0.13. The HA subjects, predominantly Puerto Ricans, showed a highly variable hybrid contribution pattern of clusters corresponding to Europe (0.27, Middle East (0.27, Africa (0.20, and Central Asia (0.14. The effect of admixture on allele frequencies is demonstrated for two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (118A > G, 17 C > T of the mu opioid receptor gene (OPRM1. This study reiterates the importance of AIMs in defining ancestry, especially in admixed populations.

  8. Does body posture influence hand preference in an ancestral primate model?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leliveld Lisette

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The origin of human handedness and its evolution in primates is presently under debate. Current hypotheses suggest that body posture (postural origin hypothesis and bipedalism hypothesis have an important impact on the evolution of handedness in primates. To gain insight into the origin of manual lateralization in primates, we studied gray mouse lemurs, suggested to represent the most ancestral primate condition. First, we investigated hand preference in a simple food grasping task to explore the importance of hand usage in a natural foraging situation. Second, we explored the influence of body posture by applying a forced food grasping task with varying postural demands (sit, biped, cling, triped. Results The tested mouse lemur population did not prefer to use their hands alone to grasp for food items. Instead, they preferred to pick them up using a mouth-hand combination or the mouth alone. If mouth usage was inhibited, they showed an individual but no population level handedness for all four postural forced food grasping tasks. Additionally, we found no influence of body posture on hand preference in gray mouse lemurs. Conclusion Our results do not support the current theories of primate handedness. Rather, they propose that ecological adaptation indicated by postural habit and body size of a given species has an important impact on hand preference in primates. Our findings suggest that small-bodied, quadrupedal primates, adapted to the fine branch niche of dense forests, prefer mouth retrieval of food and are less manually lateralized than large-bodied species which consume food in a more upright, and less stable body posture.

  9. Identification of the ancestral killer immunoglobulin-like receptor gene in primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coggill Penny

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR are essential immuno-surveillance molecules. They are expressed on natural killer and T cells, and interact with human leukocyte antigens. KIR genes are highly polymorphic and contribute vital variability to our immune system. Numerous KIR genes, belonging to five distinct lineages, have been identified in all primates examined thus far and shown to be rapidly evolving. Since few KIR remain orthologous between species, with only one of them, KIR2DL4, shown to be common to human, apes and monkeys, the evolution of the KIR gene family in primates remains unclear. Results Using comparative analyses, we have identified the ancestral KIR lineage (provisionally named KIR3DL0 in primates. We show KIR3DL0 to be highly conserved with the identification of orthologues in human (Homo sapiens, common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes, gorilla (Gorilla gorilla, rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta and common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus. We predict KIR3DL0 to encode a functional molecule in all primates by demonstrating expression in human, chimpanzee and rhesus monkey. Using the rhesus monkey as a model, we further show the expression profile to be typical of KIR by quantitative measurement of KIR3DL0 from an enriched population of natural killer cells. Conclusion One reason why KIR3DL0 may have escaped discovery for so long is that, in human, it maps in between two related leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor clusters outside the known KIR gene cluster on Chromosome 19. Based on genomic, cDNA, expression and phylogenetic data, we report a novel lineage of immunoglobulin receptors belonging to the KIR family, which is highly conserved throughout 50 million years of primate evolution.

  10. Paraphyly of organelle DNAs in Cycas Sect. Asiorientales due to ancient ancestral polymorphisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsu Tsai-Wen

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study addresses the apportionment of genetic diversity between Cycas revoluta and C. taitungensis, species that constitute the section Asiorientales and represent a unique, basal lineage of the Laurasian genus Cycas. Fossil evidence indicates divergence of the section from the rest of Cycas at least 30 million years ago. Geographically, C. taitungensis is limited to Taiwan whereas C. revoluta is found in the Ryukyu Archipelago and on mainland China. Results The phylogenies of ribosomal ITS region of mtDNA and the intergenic spacer between atpB and rbcL genes of cpDNA were reconstructed. Phylogenetic analyses revealed paraphyly of both loci in the two species and also in the section Asiorientales. The lack of reciprocal monophyly between these long isolated sections is likely due to persistent shared ancestral polymorphisms. Molecular dating estimated that mt- and cp DNA lineages coalesced to the most recent common ancestors (TMRCA about 327 (mt and 204 MYA (cp, corresponding with the divergence of cycad sections in the Mesozoic. Conclusion Fates of newly derived mutations of cycads follow Klopfstein et al.'s surfing model where the majority of new mutations do not spread geographically and remain at low frequencies or are eventually lost by genetic drift. Only successful 'surfing mutations' reach very high frequencies and occupy a large portion of a species range. These mutations exist as dominant cytotypes across populations and species. Geographical subdivision is lacking in both species, even though recurrent gene flow by both pollen and seed is severely limited. In total, the contrasting levels between historical and ongoing gene flow, large population sizes, a long lifespan, and slow mutation rates in both organelle DNAs have all likely contributed to the unusually long duration of paraphyly in cycads.

  11. Regionalization of the shark hindbrain: a survey of an ancestral organization

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    Isabel eRodríguez-Moldes

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Cartilaginous fishes (chondrichthyans represent an ancient radiation of vertebrates currently considered the sister group of the group of gnathostomes with a bony skeleton that gave rise to land vertebrates. This out-group position makes chondrichthyans essential in assessing the ancestral organization of the brain of jawed vertebrates. To gain knowledge about hindbrain evolution we have studied its development in a shark, the lesser spotted dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula by analyzing the expression of some developmental genes and the origin and distribution of specific neuronal populations, which may help to identify hindbrain subdivisions and boundaries and the topology of specific cell groups. We have characterized three developmental periods that will serve as a framework to compare the development of different neuronal systems and may represent a suitable tool for comparing the absolute chronology of development among vertebrates. The expression patterns of Pax6, Wnt8 and Hoxa2 genes in early embryos of S. canicula showed close correspondence to what has been described in other vertebrates and helped to identify the anterior rhombomeres. Also in these early embryos, the combination of Pax6 with protein markers of migrating neuroblasts (DCX and early differentiating neurons (general: HuC/D; neuron type specific: GAD, the GABA synthesizing enzyme revealed the organization of S. canicula hindbrain in both transverse segmental units corresponding to visible rhombomeres and longitudinal columns. Later in development, when the interrhombomeric boundaries fade away, accurate information about S. canicula hindbrain subdivisions was achieved by comparing the expression patterns of Pax6 and GAD, serotonin (serotoninergic neurons, tyrosine hydroxylase (catecholaminergic neurons, choline acetyltransferase (cholinergic neurons and calretinin (a calcium-binding protein. The patterns observed revealed many topological correspondences with other vertebrates

  12. Streptococcus thermophilus Biofilm Formation: A Remnant Trait of Ancestral Commensal Life?

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    Benoit Couvigny

    Full Text Available Microorganisms have a long history of use in food production and preservation. Their adaptation to food environments has profoundly modified their features, mainly through genomic flux. Streptococcus thermophilus, one of the most frequent starter culture organisms consumed daily by humans emerged recently from a commensal ancestor. As such, it is a useful model for genomic studies of bacterial domestication processes. Many streptococcal species form biofilms, a key feature of the major lifestyle of these bacteria in nature. However, few descriptions of S. thermophilus biofilms have been reported. An analysis of the ability of a representative collection of natural isolates to form biofilms revealed that S. thermophilus was a poor biofilm producer and that this characteristic was associated with an inability to attach firmly to surfaces. The identification of three biofilm-associated genes in the strain producing the most biofilms shed light on the reasons for the rarity of this trait in this species. These genes encode proteins involved in crucial stages of biofilm formation and are heterogeneously distributed between strains. One of the biofilm genes appears to have been acquired by horizontal transfer. The other two are located in loci presenting features of reductive evolution, and are absent from most of the strains analyzed. Their orthologs in commensal bacteria are involved in adhesion to host cells, suggesting that they are remnants of ancestral functions. The biofilm phenotype appears to be a commensal trait that has been lost during the genetic domestication of S. thermophilus, consistent with its adaptation to the milk environment and the selection of starter strains for dairy fermentations.

  13. Streptococcus thermophilus Biofilm Formation: A Remnant Trait of Ancestral Commensal Life?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couvigny, Benoit; Thérial, Claire; Gautier, Céline; Renault, Pierre; Briandet, Romain; Guédon, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Microorganisms have a long history of use in food production and preservation. Their adaptation to food environments has profoundly modified their features, mainly through genomic flux. Streptococcus thermophilus, one of the most frequent starter culture organisms consumed daily by humans emerged recently from a commensal ancestor. As such, it is a useful model for genomic studies of bacterial domestication processes. Many streptococcal species form biofilms, a key feature of the major lifestyle of these bacteria in nature. However, few descriptions of S. thermophilus biofilms have been reported. An analysis of the ability of a representative collection of natural isolates to form biofilms revealed that S. thermophilus was a poor biofilm producer and that this characteristic was associated with an inability to attach firmly to surfaces. The identification of three biofilm-associated genes in the strain producing the most biofilms shed light on the reasons for the rarity of this trait in this species. These genes encode proteins involved in crucial stages of biofilm formation and are heterogeneously distributed between strains. One of the biofilm genes appears to have been acquired by horizontal transfer. The other two are located in loci presenting features of reductive evolution, and are absent from most of the strains analyzed. Their orthologs in commensal bacteria are involved in adhesion to host cells, suggesting that they are remnants of ancestral functions. The biofilm phenotype appears to be a commensal trait that has been lost during the genetic domestication of S. thermophilus, consistent with its adaptation to the milk environment and the selection of starter strains for dairy fermentations.

  14. The ancestral activation promiscuity of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylases from oxygenic photosynthetic organisms

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    Kuhn Misty L

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (ADP-Glc PPase catalyzes the first committed step in the synthesis of glycogen in bacteria and starch in algae and plants. In oxygenic photosynthetic organisms, ADP-Glc PPase is mainly activated by 3-phosphoglycerate (3-PGA and to a lesser extent by other metabolites. In this work, we analyzed the activation promiscuity of ADP-Glc PPase subunits from the cyanobacterium Anabaena PCC 7120, the green alga Ostreococcus tauri, and potato (Solanum tuberosum tuber by comparing a specificity constant for 3-PGA, fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP, fructose-6-phosphate, and glucose-6-phosphate. Results The 3-PGA specificity constant for the enzymes from Anabaena (homotetramer, O. tauri, and potato tuber was considerably higher than for other activators. O. tauri and potato tuber enzymes were heterotetramers comprising homologous small and large subunits. Conversely, the O. tauri small subunit (OtaS homotetramer was more promiscuous because its FBP specificity constant was similar to that for 3-PGA. To explore the role of both OtaS and OtaL (O. tauri large subunit in determining the specificity of the heterotetramer, we knocked out the catalytic activity of each subunit individually by site-directed mutagenesis. Interestingly, the mutants OtaSD148A/OtaL and OtaS/OtaLD171A had higher specificity constants for 3-PGA than for FBP. Conclusions After gene duplication, OtaS seemed to have lost specificity for 3-PGA compared to FBP. This was physiologically and evolutionarily feasible because co-expression of both subunits restored the specificity for 3-PGA of the resulting heterotetrameric wild type enzyme. This widespread promiscuity seems to be ancestral and intrinsic to the enzyme family. Its presence could constitute an efficient evolutionary mechanism to accommodate the ADP-Glc PPase regulation to different metabolic needs.

  15. Evolution of neural crest and placodes: amphioxus as a model for the ancestral vertebrate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, L. Z.; Holland, N. D.

    2001-01-01

    Recent studies of protochordates (ascidian tunicates and amphioxus) have given insights into possible ancestors of 2 of the characteristic features of the vertebrate head: neural crest and placodes. The neural crest probably evolved from cells on either side of the neural plate-epidermis boundary in a protochordate ancestral to the vertebrates. In amphioxus, homologues of several vertebrate neural crest marker genes (BMP2/4, Pax3/7, Msx, Dll and Snail) are expressed at the edges of the neural plate and/or adjacent nonneural ectoderm. Some of these markers are also similarly expressed in tunicates. In protochordates, however, these cells, unlike vertebrate neural crest, neither migrate as individuals through embryonic tissues nor differentiate into a wide spectrum of cell types. Therefore, while the protochordate ancestor of the vertebrates probably had the beginnings of a genetic programme for neural crest formation, this programme was augmented in the earliest vertebrates to attain definitive neural crest. Clear homologues of vertebrate placodes are lacking in protochordates. However, both amphioxus and tunicates have ectodermal sensory cells. In tunicates these are all primary neurons, sending axons to the central nervous system, while in amphioxus, the ectodermal sensory cells include both primary neurons and secondary neurons lacking axons. Comparisons of developmental gene expression suggest that the anterior ectoderm in amphioxus may be homologous to the vertebrate olfactory placode, the only vertebrate placode with primary, not secondary, neurons. Similarly, biochemical, morphological and gene expression data suggest that amphioxus and tunicates also have homologues of the adenohypophysis, one of the few vertebrate structures derived from nonneurogenic placodes. In contrast, the origin of the other vertebrate placodes is very uncertain.

  16. Evidence-based green algal genomics reveals marine diversity and ancestral characteristics of land plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    van Baren, Marijke J.; Bachy, Charles; Reistetter, Emily Nahas; Purvine, Samuel O.; Grimwood, Jane; Sudek, Sebastian; Yu, Hang; Poirier, Camille; Deerinck, Thomas J.; Kuo, Alan; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Wong, Chee-Hong; Smith, Richard D.; Callister, Stephen J.; Wei, Chia-Lin; Schmutz, Jeremy; Worden, Alexandra Z.

    2016-03-31

    Prasinophytes are widespread marine green algae that are related to plants. Abundance of the genus Micromonas has reportedly increased in the Arctic due to climate-induced changes. Thus, studies of these organisms are important for marine ecology and understanding Virdiplantae evolution and diversification. We generated evidence-based Micromonas gene models using proteomics and RNA-Seq to improve prasinophyte genomic resources. First, sequences of four chromosomes in the 22 Mb Micromonas pusilla (CCMP1545) genome were finished. Comparison with the finished 21 Mb Micromonas commoda (RCC299) shows they share less than 8,142of ~10,000 protein-encoding genes, depending on the analysis method. Unlike RCC299 and other sequenced eukaryotes, CCMP1545 has two abundant repetitive intron types and a high percent (26%) GC splice donors. Micromonas has more genus-specific protein families (19%) than other genome sequenced prasinophytes (11%). Comparative analyses using predicted proteomes from other prasinophytes reveal proteins likely related to scale formation and ancestral photosynthesis. Our studies also indicate that peptidoglycan (PG) biosynthesis enzymes have been lost in multiple independent events in select prasinophytes and most plants. However, CCMP1545, polar Micromonas CCMP2099 and prasinophytes from other claasses retain the entire PG pathway, like moss and glaucophyte algae. Multiple vascular plants that share a unique bi-domain protein also have the pathway, except the Penicillin-Binding-Protein. Alongside Micromonas experiments using antibiotics that halt bacterial PG biosynthesis, the findings highlight unrecognized phylogenetic complexity in the PG-pathway retention and implicate a role in chloroplast structure of division in several extant Vridiplantae lineages. Extensive differences in gene loss and architecture between related prasinophytes underscore their extensive divergence. PG biosynthesis genes from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont that became the

  17. BAC libraries construction from the ancestral diploid genomes of the allotetraploid cultivated peanut

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    Chaine Christian

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cultivated peanut, Arachis hypogaea is an allotetraploid of recent origin, with an AABB genome. In common with many other polyploids, it seems that a severe genetic bottle-neck was imposed at the species origin, via hybridisation of two wild species and spontaneous chromosome duplication. Therefore, the study of the genome of peanut is hampered both by the crop's low genetic diversity and its polyploidy. In contrast to cultivated peanut, most wild Arachis species are diploid with high genetic diversity. The study of diploid Arachis genomes is therefore attractive, both to simplify the construction of genetic and physical maps, and for the isolation and characterization of wild alleles. The most probable wild ancestors of cultivated peanut are A. duranensis and A. ipaënsis with genome types AA and BB respectively. Results We constructed and characterized two large-insert libraries in Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC vector, one for each of the diploid ancestral species. The libraries (AA and BB are respectively c. 7.4 and c. 5.3 genome equivalents with low organelle contamination and average insert sizes of 110 and 100 kb. Both libraries were used for the isolation of clones containing genetically mapped legume anchor markers (single copy genes, and resistance gene analogues. Conclusion These diploid BAC libraries are important tools for the isolation of wild alleles conferring resistances to biotic stresses, comparisons of orthologous regions of the AA and BB genomes with each other and with other legume species, and will facilitate the construction of a physical map.

  18. Allelic lineages of the ficolin genes (FCNs are passed from ancestral to descendant primates.

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    Tina Hummelshøj

    Full Text Available The ficolins recognize carbohydrates and acetylated compounds on microorganisms and dying host cells and are able to activate the lectin pathway of the complement system. In humans, three ficolin genes have been identified: FCN1, FCN2 and FCN3, which encode ficolin-1, ficolin-2 and ficolin-3, respectively. Rodents have only two ficolins designated ficolin-A and ficolin-B that are closely related to human ficolin-1, while the rodent FCN3 orthologue is a pseudogene. Ficolin-2 and ficolin-3 have so far only been observed in humans. Thus, we performed a systematic investigation of the FCN genes in non-human primates. The exons and intron-exon boundaries of the FCN1-3 genes were sequenced in the following primate species: chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, rhesus macaque, cynomolgus macaque, baboon and common marmoset. We found that the exon organisation of the FCN genes was very similar between all the non-human primates and the human FCN genes. Several variations in the FCN genes were found in more than one primate specie suggesting that they were carried from one species to another including humans. The amino acid diversity of the ficolins among human and non-human primate species was estimated by calculating the Shannon entropy revealing that all three proteins are generally highly conserved. Ficolin-1 and ficolin-2 showed the highest diversity, whereas ficolin-3 was more conserved. Ficolin-2 and ficolin-3 were present in non-human primate sera with the same characteristic oligomeric structures as seen in human serum. Taken together all the FCN genes show the same characteristics in lower and higher primates. The existence of trans-species polymorphisms suggests that different FCN allelic lineages may be passed from ancestral to descendant species.

  19. CHAAJ (JUEGO DE PELOTA MESOAMERICANO: UN jUEGO ANCESTRAL ENTRE EMERGENCIAS CULTURALES

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    Jairzinho Francisco Panqueba Cifuentes

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Los juegos de pelota mesoamericanos son manifestaciones corporales que han sido exploradasprincipalmente desde perspectivas arqueológicas e históricas, pero también han sido retomadosdesde distintas iniciativas para ponerlos en práctica. Desde la frontera entre Estados Unidos conMéxico, pasando por distintos Estados del país “azteca”, son practicadas diferentes modalidades deeste juego. Sin embargo, decir que el chaaj en Mesoamérica es hoy en día una alternativa recreativay deportiva, es quedarse corto respecto a su ya demostrado potencial. La sacralidad manifestada através de los movimientos corporales está ofreciendo opciones de innovación en varios espacios de lassociedades actuales. En su dimensión ceremonial, revela una comunicación ancestral muy actual. Allíse ponen en juego los códices, las interpretaciones arqueológicas y los conocimientos territoriales depersonas sabedoras de las comunidades. En su dimensión lúdica, el juego reúne elementos culturales,deportivos y pedagógicos. Ha sido una práctica corporal, técnica y motora ejecutada constantementeen algunas regiones mexicanas y guatemaltecas. No obstante su antigüedad, en los últimos años seviene registrando una promoción inusitada, en medio de los actuales tiempos de cambio que fueronanunciados desde tiempos inmemoriales por los sabedores y las sabedoras mayas.

  20. Toxic and nontoxic components of botulinum neurotoxin complex are evolved from a common ancestral zinc protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inui, Ken [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-8 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472 (Japan); Sagane, Yoshimasa [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Miyata, Keita [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-8 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472 (Japan); Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Suzuki, Tomonori [Department of Bacteriology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan); Shikamori, Yasuyuki [Agilent Technologies International Japan, Ltd. Takaura-cho 9-1, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-0033 (Japan); Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Watanabe, Toshihiro, E-mail: t-watana@bioindustry.nodai.ac.jp [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan)

    2012-03-16

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer BoNT and NTNHA proteins share a similar protein architecture. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NTNHA and BoNT were both identified as zinc-binding proteins. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NTNHA does not have a classical HEXXH zinc-coordinating motif similar to that found in all serotypes of BoNT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Homology modeling implied probable key residues involved in zinc coordination. -- Abstract: Zinc atoms play an essential role in a number of enzymes. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most potent toxin known in nature, is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase. Here we identify the nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA), one of the BoNT-complex constituents, as a zinc-binding protein, along with BoNT. A protein structure classification database search indicated that BoNT and NTNHA share a similar domain architecture, comprising a zinc-dependent metalloproteinase-like, BoNT coiled-coil motif and concanavalin A-like domains. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that every single NTNHA molecule contains a single zinc atom. This is the first demonstration of a zinc atom in this protein, as far as we know. However, the NTNHA molecule does not possess any known zinc-coordinating motif, whereas all BoNT serotypes possess the classical HEXXH motif. Homology modeling of the NTNHA structure implied that a consensus K-C-L-I-K-X{sub 35}-D sequence common among all NTNHA serotype molecules appears to coordinate a single zinc atom. These findings lead us to propose that NTNHA and BoNT may have evolved distinct functional specializations following their branching out from a common ancestral zinc protein.

  1. Are Hox genes ancestrally involved in axial patterning? Evidence from the hydrozoan Clytia hemisphaerica (Cnidaria.

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    Roxane Chiori

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The early evolution and diversification of Hox-related genes in eumetazoans has been the subject of conflicting hypotheses concerning the evolutionary conservation of their role in axial patterning and the pre-bilaterian origin of the Hox and ParaHox clusters. The diversification of Hox/ParaHox genes clearly predates the origin of bilaterians. However, the existence of a "Hox code" predating the cnidarian-bilaterian ancestor and supporting the deep homology of axes is more controversial. This assumption was mainly based on the interpretation of Hox expression data from the sea anemone, but growing evidence from other cnidarian taxa puts into question this hypothesis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Hox, ParaHox and Hox-related genes have been investigated here by phylogenetic analysis and in situ hybridisation in Clytia hemisphaerica, an hydrozoan species with medusa and polyp stages alternating in the life cycle. Our phylogenetic analyses do not support an origin of ParaHox and Hox genes by duplication of an ancestral ProtoHox cluster, and reveal a diversification of the cnidarian HOX9-14 genes into three groups called A, B, C. Among the 7 examined genes, only those belonging to the HOX9-14 and the CDX groups exhibit a restricted expression along the oral-aboral axis during development and in the planula larva, while the others are expressed in very specialised areas at the medusa stage. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Cross species comparison reveals a strong variability of gene expression along the oral-aboral axis and during the life cycle among cnidarian lineages. The most parsimonious interpretation is that the Hox code, collinearity and conservative role along the antero-posterior axis are bilaterian innovations.

  2. Emergence, Retention and Selection: A Trilogy of Origination for Functional De Novo Proteins from Ancestral LncRNAs in Primates.

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    Jia-Yu Chen

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available While some human-specific protein-coding genes have been proposed to originate from ancestral lncRNAs, the transition process remains poorly understood. Here we identified 64 hominoid-specific de novo genes and report a mechanism for the origination of functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs with precise splicing structures and specific tissue expression profiles. Whole-genome sequencing of dozens of rhesus macaque animals revealed that these lncRNAs are generally not more selectively constrained than other lncRNA loci. The existence of these newly-originated de novo proteins is also not beyond anticipation under neutral expectation, as they generally have longer theoretical lifespan than their current age, due to their GC-rich sequence property enabling stable ORFs with lower chance of non-sense mutations. Interestingly, although the emergence and retention of these de novo genes are likely driven by neutral forces, population genetics study in 67 human individuals and 82 macaque animals revealed signatures of purifying selection on these genes specifically in human population, indicating a proportion of these newly-originated proteins are already functional in human. We thus propose a mechanism for creation of functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs during the primate evolution, which may contribute to human-specific genetic novelties by taking advantage of existed genomic contexts.

  3. When ancestral heritage is a source of discomfort: culture, pre-object relatedness, and self-alienation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kradin, Richard L

    2012-04-01

    The ancestral claims on an individual can evoke mental conflict when they involve separating from an ethnic group whose beliefs and customs are devalued by the dominant culture. However, these claims are engraved on the psyche early in development by caretakers to the level of pre-object relatedness, where contents and affect tones are implicit and may be unavailable for later psychoanalytical interventions. In addition, as the anthropologist Clifford Geertz notes, one's culture of origin precedes the development of psyche and creates its own set of claims that must be renegotiated when one encounters a different domain of cultural symbols, a confrontation that can produce psychological dissonance and self-alienation. In this paper, three cases are examined in which mental conflicts were evoked by attempts at divesting ancestral claims in response to conscious efforts to assimilate into the dominant culture. These patients suffered from separation guilt and unstable self-esteem and reported dream imagery suggesting psychological imbalance. The requirement to carefully delineate the ancestral claims on psyche as well as those contents and affects that may not be accessible to therapeutic intervention is emphasized, and the importance of compromise and acceptance with respect to the psychological demands of the unconscious are considered.

  4. Scaling up the curvature of mammalian metabolism

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    Juan eBueno

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available A curvilinear relationship between mammalian metabolic rate and body size on a log-log scale has been adopted in lieu of thelongstanding concept of a 3/4 allometric relationship (Kolokotrones et al. 2010. The central tenet of Metabolic Ecology (ME states that metabolism at the individual level scales-up to drive the ecology of populations, communities and ecosystems. If this tenet is correct, the curvature of metabolism should be perceived in other ecological traits. By analyzing the size scaling allometry of eight different mammalian traits including basal and field metabolic rate, offspring biomass production, ingestion rate, costs of locomotion, life span, population growth rate and population density we show that the curvature affects most ecological rates and

  5. [DNA homologous recombination repair in mammalian cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popławski, Tomasz; Błasiak, Janusz

    2006-01-01

    DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the most serious DNA damage. Due to a great variety of factors causing DSBs, the efficacy of their repair is crucial for the cell's functioning and prevents DNA fragmentation, chromosomal translocation and deletion. In mammalian cells DSBs can be repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), homologous recombination (HRR) and single strand annealing (SSA). HRR can be divided into the first and second phase. The first phase is initiated by sensor proteins belonging to the MRN complex, that activate the ATM protein which target HRR proteins to obtain the second response phase--repair. HRR is precise because it utilizes a non-damaged homologous DNA fragment as a template. The key players of HRR in mammalian cells are MRN, RPA, Rad51 and its paralogs, Rad52 and Rad54.

  6. Mammalian Sperm Motility: Observation and Theory

    KAUST Repository

    Gaffney, E.A.

    2011-01-21

    Mammalian spermatozoa motility is a subject of growing importance because of rising human infertility and the possibility of improving animal breeding. We highlight opportunities for fluid and continuum dynamics to provide novel insights concerning the mechanics of these specialized cells, especially during their remarkable journey to the egg. The biological structure of the motile sperm appendage, the flagellum, is described and placed in the context of the mechanics underlying the migration of mammalian sperm through the numerous environments of the female reproductive tract. This process demands certain specific changes to flagellar movement and motility for which further mechanical insight would be valuable, although this requires improved modeling capabilities, particularly to increase our understanding of sperm progression in vivo. We summarize current theoretical studies, highlighting the synergistic combination of imaging and theory in exploring sperm motility, and discuss the challenges for future observational and theoretical studies in understanding the underlying mechanics. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

  7. Structure and function of mammalian cilia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Satir, Peter; Christensen, Søren T

    2008-01-01

    In the past half century, beginning with electron microscopic studies of 9 + 2 motile and 9 + 0 primary cilia, novel insights have been obtained regarding the structure and function of mammalian cilia. All cilia can now be viewed as sensory cellular antennae that coordinate a large number...... of cellular signaling pathways, sometimes coupling the signaling to ciliary motility or alternatively to cell division and differentiation. This view has had unanticipated consequences for our understanding of developmental processes and human disease....

  8. Cell-surface remodelling during mammalian erythropoiesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wraith, D C; Chesterton, C J

    1982-10-15

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

  9. Evolution of the mammalian lysozyme gene family

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    Biegel Jason M

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lysozyme c (chicken-type lysozyme has an important role in host defense, and has been extensively studied as a model in molecular biology, enzymology, protein chemistry, and crystallography. Traditionally, lysozyme c has been considered to be part of a small family that includes genes for two other proteins, lactalbumin, which is found only in mammals, and calcium-binding lysozyme, which is found in only a few species of birds and mammals. More recently, additional testes-expressed members of this family have been identified in human and mouse, suggesting that the mammalian lysozyme gene family is larger than previously known. Results Here we characterize the extent and diversity of the lysozyme gene family in the genomes of phylogenetically diverse mammals, and show that this family contains at least eight different genes that likely duplicated prior to the diversification of extant mammals. These duplicated genes have largely been maintained, both in intron-exon structure and in genomic context, throughout mammalian evolution. Conclusions The mammalian lysozyme gene family is much larger than previously appreciated and consists of at least eight distinct genes scattered around the genome. Since the lysozyme c and lactalbumin proteins have acquired very different functions during evolution, it is likely that many of the other members of the lysozyme-like family will also have diverse and unexpected biological properties.

  10. Some principles of regeneration in mammalian systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bruce M

    2005-11-01

    This article presents some general principles underlying regenerative phenomena in vertebrates, starting with the epimorphic regeneration of the amphibian limb and continuing with tissue and organ regeneration in mammals. Epimorphic regeneration following limb amputation involves wound healing, followed shortly by a phase of dedifferentiation that leads to the formation of a regeneration blastema. Up to the point of blastema formation, dedifferentiation is guided by unique regenerative pathways, but the overall developmental controls underlying limb formation from the blastema generally recapitulate those of embryonic limb development. Damaged mammalian tissues do not form a blastema. At the cellular level, differentiation follows a pattern close to that seen in the embryo, but at the level of the tissue and organ, regeneration is strongly influenced by conditions inherent in the local environment. In some mammalian systems, such as the liver, parenchymal cells contribute progeny to the regenerate. In others, e.g., skeletal muscle and bone, tissue-specific progenitor cells constitute the main source of regenerating cells. The substrate on which regeneration occurs plays a very important role in determining the course of regeneration. Epimorphic regeneration usually produces an exact replica of the structure that was lost, but in mammalian tissue regeneration the form of the regenerate is largely determined by the mechanical environment acting on the regenerating tissue, and it is normally an imperfect replica of the original. In organ hypertophy, such as that occurring after hepatic resection, the remaining liver mass enlarges, but there is no attempt to restore the original form.

  11. Aneuploidy in mammalian somatic cells in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimino, M C; Tice, R R; Liang, J C

    1986-01-01

    Aneuploidy is an important potential source of human disease and of reproductive failure. Nevertheless, the ability of chemical agents to induce aneuploidy has been investigated only sporadically in intact (whole-animal) mammalian systems. A search of the available literature from the EMCT Aneuploidy File (for years 1970-1983) provided 112 papers that dealt with aneuploidy in mammalian somatic cells in vivo. 59 of these papers did not meet minimal criteria for analysis and were rejected from subsequent review. Of the remaining 53 papers that dealt with aneuploidy induction by chemical agents in mammalian somatic cells in vivo, only 3 (6%) contained data that were considered to be supported conclusively by adequate study designs, execution, and reporting. These 3 papers dealt with 2 chemicals, one of which, mercury, was negative for aneuploidy induction in humans, and the other, pyrimethamine, was positive in an experimental rodent study. The majority of papers (94%) were considered inconclusive for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons for calling a study inconclusive were (a) combining data on hyperploidy with those on hypoploidy and/or polyploidy, (b) an inadequate or unspecified number of animals and/or cells per animal scored per treatment group, and (c) poor data presentation such that animal-to-animal variability could not be assessed. Suggestions for protocol development are made, and the future directions of research into aneuploidy induction are discussed.

  12. Epigenetic regulation of the mammalian cell.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith Baverstock

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Understanding how mammalian cells are regulated epigenetically to express phenotype is a priority. The cellular phenotypic transition, induced by ionising radiation, from a normal cell to the genomic instability phenotype, where the ability to replicate the genotype accurately is compromised, illustrates important features of epigenetic regulation. Based on this phenomenon and earlier work we propose a model to describe the mammalian cell as a self assembled open system operating in an environment that includes its genotype, neighbouring cells and beyond. Phenotype is represented by high dimensional attractors, evolutionarily conditioned for stability and robustness and contingent on rules of engagement between gene products encoded in the genetic network. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: We describe how this system functions and note the indeterminacy and fluidity of its internal workings which place it in the logical reasoning framework of predicative logic. We find that the hypothesis is supported by evidence from cell and molecular biology. CONCLUSIONS: Epigenetic regulation and memory are fundamentally physical, as opposed to chemical, processes and the transition to genomic instability is an important feature of mammalian cells with probable fundamental relevance to speciation and carcinogenesis. A source of evolutionarily selectable variation, in terms of the rules of engagement between gene products, is seen as more likely to have greater prominence than genetic variation in an evolutionary context. As this epigenetic variation is based on attractor states phenotypic changes are not gradual; a phenotypic transition can involve the changed contribution of several gene products in a single step.

  13. Evidence for intron length conservation in a set of mammalian genes associated with embryonic development

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2011-10-05

    Abstract Background We carried out an analysis of intron length conservation across a diverse group of nineteen mammalian species. Motivated by recent research suggesting a role for time delays associated with intron transcription in gene expression oscillations required for early embryonic patterning, we searched for examples of genes that showed the most extreme conservation of total intron content in mammals. Results Gene sets annotated as being involved in pattern specification in the early embryo or containing the homeobox DNA-binding domain, were significantly enriched among genes with highly conserved intron content. We used ancestral sequences reconstructed with probabilistic models that account for insertion and deletion mutations to distinguish insertion and deletion events on lineages leading to human and mouse from their last common ancestor. Using a randomization procedure, we show that genes containing the homeobox domain show less change in intron content than expected, given the number of insertion and deletion events within their introns. Conclusions Our results suggest selection for gene expression precision or the existence of additional development-associated genes for which transcriptional delay is functionally significant.

  14. Evidence for intron length conservation in a set of mammalian genes associated with embryonic development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korir Paul K

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We carried out an analysis of intron length conservation across a diverse group of nineteen mammalian species. Motivated by recent research suggesting a role for time delays associated with intron transcription in gene expression oscillations required for early embryonic patterning, we searched for examples of genes that showed the most extreme conservation of total intron content in mammals. Results Gene sets annotated as being involved in pattern specification in the early embryo or containing the homeobox DNA-binding domain, were significantly enriched among genes with highly conserved intron content. We used ancestral sequences reconstructed with probabilistic models that account for insertion and deletion mutations to distinguish insertion and deletion events on lineages leading to human and mouse from their last common ancestor. Using a randomization procedure, we show that genes containing the homeobox domain show less change in intron content than expected, given the number of insertion and deletion events within their introns. Conclusions Our results suggest selection for gene expression precision or the existence of additional development-associated genes for which transcriptional delay is functionally significant.

  15. A Common Ancestral Mutation in CRYBB3 Identified in Multiple Consanguineous Families with Congenital Cataracts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaodong Jiao

    report a common ancestral mutation in CRYBB3 associated with autosomal recessive congenital cataracts identified in four familial cases of Pakistani origin.

  16. Muscle fiber-type variation in lizards (Squamata) and phylogenetic reconstruction of hypothesized ancestral states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonine, Kevin E; Gleeson, Todd T; Garland, Theodore

    2005-12-01

    . Reconstruction of ancestral trait values by use of phylogenetically based statistical methods indicates especially large changes in fiber-type composition during the evolution of horned lizards.

  17. Reconstructed ancestral Myo-inositol-3-phosphate synthases indicate that ancestors of the Thermococcales and Thermotoga species were more thermophilic than their descendants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas C Butzin

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

  18. La modernidad, el cuidado de la salud y la cultura ancestral.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cecilia Becerra

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available La modernidad es tanto un período histórico como un concepto filosófico y sociológico que impuso la razón y el método formal sobre todos los actos políticos, sociales y epistemológicos de las distintas culturas del mundo. La modernidad se construyó en su momento sobre el imaginario de la superioridad europea1 y durante el período colonial fue la causante del proceso avasallador de exterminio y de desconocimiento de las sociedades y culturas indígenas de América. Ella, con sus valores patriarcales y formales, desplazó la ética del cuidado y del abrigo de los pueblos autóctonos imponiendo una lógica racional, calculadora e impersonal. Al desconocer y casi negar en su totalidad la cosmovisión ancestral de curar y cuidar, relegó los ejercicios profesionalizantes de la salud bajo el amparo de la mercantilización del capitalismo mundial integrado. La modernidad, desde el inicio y en la actualidad, ha impregnado la cultura de todos los pueblos y ha condicionado todos los actos académicos en las instituciones escolares y universitarias. La perpetuación de un modelo positivista y occidentalizado ha sido una constante en las aulas universitarias y en las disciplinas, sobre todo en las ciencias de la salud. Históricamente el conocimiento en salud ha sido construido con base en el enfoque positivista y la concepción biologista del proceso salud-enfermedad, lo cual lleva a una fragmentación del saber, disyunción del sujeto y el objeto en la producción del conocimiento, y a una incapacidad de asumir al ser humano en todas sus dimensiones, razón de ser de la acción en salud, como totalidad y unidad integral2. Este panorama aquí planteado deja un gran reto epistemológico a los profesionales y a los docentes de las ciencias de la salud en general y de enfermería en particular. Vista la enfermería desde la fundamentación del cuidado de la salud, no se puede descontextualizar ni escindir de nuestra propia cultura, pretendiendo

  19. La modernidad, el cuidado de la salud y la cultura ancestral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cecilia Becerra

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available La modernidad es tanto un período histórico como un concepto filosófico y sociológico que impuso la razón y el método formal sobre todos los actos políticos, sociales y epistemológicos de las distintas culturas del mundo. La modernidad se construyó en su momento sobre el imaginario de la superioridad europea1 y durante el período colonial fue la causante del proceso avasallador de exterminio y de desconocimiento de las sociedades y culturas indígenas de América.Ella, con sus valores patriarcales y formales, desplazó la ética del cuidado y del abrigo de los pueblos autóctonos imponiendo una lógica racional, calculadora e impersonal. Al desconocer y casi negar en su totalidad la cosmovisión ancestral de curar y cuidar, relegó los ejercicios profesionalizantes de la salud bajo el amparo de la mercantilización del capitalismo mundial integrado.La modernidad, desde el inicio y en la actualidad, ha impregnado la cultura de todos los pueblos y ha condicionado todos los actos académicos en las instituciones escolares y universitarias. La perpetuación de un modelo positivista y occidentalizado ha sido una constante en las aulas universitarias y en las disciplinas, sobre todo en las ciencias de la salud. Históricamente el conocimiento en salud ha sido construido con base en el enfoque positivista y la concepción biologista del proceso salud-enfermedad, lo cual lleva a una fragmentación del saber, disyunción del sujeto y el objeto en la producción del conocimiento, y a una incapacidad de asumir al ser humano en todas sus dimensiones, razón de ser de la acción en salud, como totalidad y unidad integral2.Este panorama aquí planteado deja un gran reto epistemológico a los profesionales y a los docentes de las ciencias de la salud en general y de enfermería en particular. Vista la enfermería desde la fundamentación del cuidado de la salud, no se puede descontextualizar ni escindir de nuestra propia cultura, pretendiendo

  20. Protein and genome evolution in Mammalian cells for biotechnology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majors, Brian S; Chiang, Gisela G; Betenbaugh, Michael J

    2009-06-01

    Mutation and selection are the essential steps of evolution. Researchers have long used in vitro mutagenesis, expression, and selection techniques in laboratory bacteria and yeast cultures to evolve proteins with new properties, termed directed evolution. Unfortunately, the nature of mammalian cells makes applying these mutagenesis and whole-organism evolution techniques to mammalian protein expression systems laborious and time consuming. Mammalian evolution systems would be useful to test unique mammalian cell proteins and protein characteristics, such as complex glycosylation. Protein evolution in mammalian cells would allow for generation of novel diagnostic tools and designer polypeptides that can only be tested in a mammalian expression system. Recent advances have shown that mammalian cells of the immune system can be utilized to evolve transgenes during their natural mutagenesis processes, thus creating proteins with unique properties, such as fluorescence. On a more global level, researchers have shown that mutation systems that affect the entire genome of a mammalian cell can give rise to cells with unique phenotypes suitable for commercial processes. This review examines the advances in mammalian cell and protein evolution and the application of this work toward advances in commercial mammalian cell biotechnology.

  1. Mammalian niche conservation through deep time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

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

  2. Preservation of mammalian germ plasm by freezing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mazur, P.

    1978-01-01

    Embryos of several mammalian species can be frozen to -196/sup 0/C (or below) by procedures that result in the thawed embryos being indistinguishable from their unfrozen counterparts. The survival often exceeds 90%, and in liquid nitrogen it should remain at that high level for centuries. Sublethal biochemical changes are also precluded at -196/sup 0/C. No developmental abnormalities have been detected in mouse offspring derived from frozen-thawed embryos, and, since all the manipulations are carried out on the preimplantation stages, none would be expected.

  3. Acoustophoretic Synchronization of Mammalian Cells in Microchannels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thévoz, P.; Adams, J.D.; Shea, H.

    2010-01-01

    We report the first use of ultrasonic standing waves to achieve cell cycle phase synchronization in mammalian cells in a high-throughput and reagent-free manner. The acoustophoretic cell synchronization (ACS) device utilizes volume-dependent acoustic radiation force within a microchannel...... to selectively purify target cells of desired phase from an asynchronous mixture based on cell cycle-dependent fluctuations in size. We show that ultrasonic separation allows for gentle, scalable, and label-free synchronization with high G1 phase synchrony (84%) and throughput (3 × 106 cells/h per microchannel)....

  4. Mammalian developmental genetics in the twentieth century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artzt, Karen

    2012-12-01

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

  5. Mammalian odorant receptors: functional evolution and variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yue; Matsunami, Hiroaki

    2015-10-01

    In mammals, the perception of smell starts with the activation of odorant receptors (ORs) by volatile molecules in the environment. The mammalian OR repertoire has been subject to rapid evolution, and is highly diverse within the human population. Recent advances in the functional expression and ligand identification of ORs allow for functional analysis of OR evolution, and reveal that changes in OR protein sequences translate into high degrees of functional variations. Moreover, in several cases the functional variation of a single OR affects the perception of its cognate odor ligand, providing clues as to how an odor is coded at the receptor level.

  6. Chlorpromazine inhibits mitosis of mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1983-09-01

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

  7. Optogenetics for gene expression in mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  8. Estimation of hominoid ancestral population sizes under bayesian coalescent models incorporating mutation rate variation and sequencing errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Ralph; Yang, Ziheng

    2008-09-01

    Estimation of population parameters for the common ancestors of humans and the great apes is important in understanding our evolutionary history. In particular, inference of population size for the human-chimpanzee common ancestor may shed light on the process by which the 2 species separated and on whether the human population experienced a severe size reduction in its early evolutionary history. In this study, the Bayesian method of ancestral inference of Rannala and Yang (2003. Bayes estimation of species divergence times and ancestral population sizes using DNA sequences from multiple loci. Genetics. 164:1645-1656) was extended to accommodate variable mutation rates among loci and random species-specific sequencing errors. The model was applied to analyze a genome-wide data set of approximately 15,000 neutral loci (7.4 Mb) aligned for human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and macaque. We obtained robust and precise estimates for effective population sizes along the hominoid lineage extending back approximately 30 Myr to the cercopithecoid divergence. The results showed that ancestral populations were 5-10 times larger than modern humans along the entire hominoid lineage. The estimates were robust to the priors used and to model assumptions about recombination. The unusually low X chromosome divergence between human and chimpanzee could not be explained by variation in the male mutation bias or by current models of hybridization and introgression. Instead, our parameter estimates were consistent with a simple instantaneous process for human-chimpanzee speciation but showed a major reduction in X chromosome effective population size peculiar to the human-chimpanzee common ancestor, possibly due to selective sweeps on the X prior to separation of the 2 species.

  9. Extensive Chromosomal Reorganization in the Evolution of New World Muroid Rodents (Cricetidae, Sigmodontinae): Searching for Ancestral Phylogenetic Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Adenilson Leão; Malcher, Stella Miranda; Nagamachi, Cleusa Yoshiko; O’Brien, Patricia Caroline Mary; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm Andrew; Mendes-Oliveira, Ana Cristina; Pieczarka, Julio Cesar

    2016-01-01

    Sigmodontinae rodents show great diversity and complexity in morphology and ecology. This diversity is accompanied by extensive chromosome variation challenging attempts to reconstruct their ancestral genome. The species Hylaeamys megacephalus–HME (Oryzomyini, 2n = 54), Necromys lasiurus—NLA (Akodontini, 2n = 34) and Akodon sp.–ASP (Akodontini, 2n = 10) have extreme diploid numbers that make it difficult to understand the rearrangements that are responsible for such differences. In this study we analyzed these changes using whole chromosome probes of HME in cross-species painting of NLA and ASP to construct chromosome homology maps that reveal the rearrangements between species. We include data from the literature for other Sigmodontinae previously studied with probes from HME and Mus musculus (MMU) probes. We also use the HME probes on MMU chromosomes for the comparative analysis of NLA with other species already mapped by MMU probes. Our results show that NLA and ASP have highly rearranged karyotypes when compared to HME. Eleven HME syntenic blocks are shared among the species studied here. Four syntenies may be ancestral to Akodontini (HME2/18, 3/25, 18/25 and 4/11/16) and eight to Sigmodontinae (HME26, 1/12, 6/21, 7/9, 5/17, 11/16, 20/13 and 19/14/19). Using MMU data we identified six associations shared among rodents from seven subfamilies, where MMU3/18 and MMU8/13 are phylogenetic signatures of Sigmodontinae. We suggest that the associations MMU2entire, MMU6proximal/12entire, MMU3/18, MMU8/13, MMU1/17, MMU10/17, MMU12/17, MMU5/16, MMU5/6 and MMU7/19 are part of the ancestral Sigmodontinae genome. PMID:26800516

  10. Human Genetic Ancestral Composition Correlates with the Origin of Mycobacterium leprae Strains in a Leprosy Endemic Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona-Castro, Nora; Cortés, Edwin; Beltrán, Camilo; Romero, Marcela; Badel-Mogollón, Jaime E.; Bedoya, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Recent reports have suggested that leprosy originated in Africa, extended to Asia and Europe, and arrived in the Americas during European colonization and the African slave trade. Due to colonization, the contemporary Colombian population is an admixture of Native-American, European and African ancestries. Because microorganisms are known to accompany humans during migrations, patterns of human migration can be traced by examining genomic changes in associated microbes. The current study analyzed 118 leprosy cases and 116 unrelated controls from two Colombian regions endemic for leprosy (Atlantic and Andean) in order to determine possible associations of leprosy with patient ancestral background (determined using 36 ancestry informative markers), Mycobacterium leprae genotype and/or patient geographical origin. We found significant differences between ancestral genetic composition. European components were predominant in Andean populations. In contrast, African components were higher in the Atlantic region. M. leprae genotypes were then analyzed for cluster associations and compared with the ancestral composition of leprosy patients. Two M. leprae principal clusters were found: haplotypes C54 and T45. Haplotype C54 associated with African origin and was more frequent in patients from the Atlantic region with a high African component. In contrast, haplotype T45 associated with European origin and was more frequent in Andean patients with a higher European component. These results suggest that the human and M. leprae genomes have co-existed since the African and European origins of the disease, with leprosy ultimately arriving in Colombia during colonization. Distinct M. leprae strains followed European and African settlement in the country and can be detected in contemporary Colombian populations. PMID:26360617

  11. The ear region of earliest known elephant relatives: new light on the ancestral morphotype of proboscideans and afrotherians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Arnaud; Gheerbrant, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    One of the last major clades of placental mammals recognized was the Afrotheria, which comprises all main endemic African mammals. This group includes the ungulate-like paenungulates, and among them the elephant order Proboscidea. Among afrotherians, the petrosal anatomy remains especially poorly known in Proboscidea. We provide here the first comparative CT scan study of the ear region of the two earliest known proboscideans (and paenungulates), Eritherium and Phosphatherium, from the mid Palaeocene and early Eocene of Morocco. It is helpful to characterize the ancestral morphotype of Proboscidea to understand petrosal evolution within proboscideans and afrotherians. The petrosal structure of these two taxa shows several differences. Eritherium is more primitive than Phosphatherium and closer to the basal paenungulate Ocepeia in several traits (inflated tegmen tympani, very deep fossa subarcuata and ossified canal for ramus superior of stapedial artery). Phosphatherium, however, retains plesiomorphies such as a true crus commune secundaria. A cladistic analysis of petrosal traits of Eritherium and Phosphatherium among Proboscidea results in a single tree with a low level of homoplasy in which Eritherium, Phosphatherium and Numidotherium are basal. This contrasts with previous phylogenetic studies showing homoplasy in petrosal evolution among Tethytheria. It suggests that evolutionary modalities of petrosal characters differ with the taxonomic level among Afrotheria: noticeable convergences occurred among the paenungulate orders, whereas little homoplasy seems to have occurred at intra-ordinal level in orders such as Proboscidea. Most petrosal features of both Eritherium and Phosphatherium are primitive. The ancestral petrosal morphotype of Proboscidea was not specialized but was close to the generalized condition of paenungulates, afrotherians, and even eutherians. This is consistent with cranial and dental characters of Eritherium, suggesting that the ancestral

  12. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Bat1 and Bat2 aminotransferases have functionally diverged from the ancestral-like Kluyveromyces lactis orthologous enzyme.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maritrini Colón

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Gene duplication is a key evolutionary mechanism providing material for the generation of genes with new or modified functions. The fate of duplicated gene copies has been amply discussed and several models have been put forward to account for duplicate conservation. The specialization model considers that duplication of a bifunctional ancestral gene could result in the preservation of both copies through subfunctionalization, resulting in the distribution of the two ancestral functions between the gene duplicates. Here we investigate whether the presumed bifunctional character displayed by the single branched chain amino acid aminotransferase present in K. lactis has been distributed in the two paralogous genes present in S. cerevisiae, and whether this conservation has impacted S. cerevisiae metabolism. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our results show that the KlBat1 orthologous BCAT is a bifunctional enzyme, which participates in the biosynthesis and catabolism of branched chain aminoacids (BCAAs. This dual role has been distributed in S. cerevisiae Bat1 and Bat2 paralogous proteins, supporting the specialization model posed to explain the evolution of gene duplications. BAT1 is highly expressed under biosynthetic conditions, while BAT2 expression is highest under catabolic conditions. Bat1 and Bat2 differential relocalization has favored their physiological function, since biosynthetic precursors are generated in the mitochondria (Bat1, while catabolic substrates are accumulated in the cytosol (Bat2. Under respiratory conditions, in the presence of ammonium and BCAAs the bat1Δ bat2Δ double mutant shows impaired growth, indicating that Bat1 and Bat2 could play redundant roles. In K. lactis wild type growth is independent of BCAA degradation, since a Klbat1Δ mutant grows under this condition. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that BAT1 and BAT2 differential expression and subcellular relocalization has resulted in the distribution of the

  13. Human Genetic Ancestral Composition Correlates with the Origin of Mycobacterium leprae Strains in a Leprosy Endemic Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardona-Castro, Nora; Cortés, Edwin; Beltrán, Camilo; Romero, Marcela; Badel-Mogollón, Jaime E; Bedoya, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Recent reports have suggested that leprosy originated in Africa, extended to Asia and Europe, and arrived in the Americas during European colonization and the African slave trade. Due to colonization, the contemporary Colombian population is an admixture of Native-American, European and African ancestries. Because microorganisms are known to accompany humans during migrations, patterns of human migration can be traced by examining genomic changes in associated microbes. The current study analyzed 118 leprosy cases and 116 unrelated controls from two Colombian regions endemic for leprosy (Atlantic and Andean) in order to determine possible associations of leprosy with patient ancestral background (determined using 36 ancestry informative markers), Mycobacterium leprae genotype and/or patient geographical origin. We found significant differences between ancestral genetic composition. European components were predominant in Andean populations. In contrast, African components were higher in the Atlantic region. M. leprae genotypes were then analyzed for cluster associations and compared with the ancestral composition of leprosy patients. Two M. leprae principal clusters were found: haplotypes C54 and T45. Haplotype C54 associated with African origin and was more frequent in patients from the Atlantic region with a high African component. In contrast, haplotype T45 associated with European origin and was more frequent in Andean patients with a higher European component. These results suggest that the human and M. leprae genomes have co-existed since the African and European origins of the disease, with leprosy ultimately arriving in Colombia during colonization. Distinct M. leprae strains followed European and African settlement in the country and can be detected in contemporary Colombian populations.

  14. Estimating Divergence Time and Ancestral Effective Population Size of Bornean and Sumatran Orangutan Subspecies Using a Coalescent Hidden Markov Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mailund, Thomas; Dutheil, Julien; Hobolth, Asger

    2011-01-01

    event has occurred to split them apart. The size of these segments of constant divergence depends on the recombination rate, but also on the speciation time, the effective population size of the ancestral population, as well as demographic effects and selection. Thus, inference of these parameters may......ue to genetic variation in the ancestor of two populations or two species, the divergence time for DNA sequences from two populations is variable along the genome. Within genomic segments all bases will share the same divergence—because they share a most recent common ancestor—when no recombination...

  15. Calcium Signaling in Mammalian Eggs at Fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirakawa, Hideki; Kikuchi, Takashi; Ito, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E; Safi, Kamran

    2011-09-12

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

  17. Ecology and evolution of mammalian biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kate E.; Safi, Kamran

    2011-01-01

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

  18. The Mammalian Ovary from Genesis to Revelation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Redox regulation of mammalian sperm capacitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian O′Flaherty

    2015-01-01

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

  20. A common tendency for phylogenetic overdispersion in mammalian assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Natalie; RODRIGUEZ, JESUS; Purvis, Andy

    2008-01-01

    PUBLISHED Competition has long been proposed as an important force in structuring mammalian communities. Although early work recognised that competition has a phylogenetic dimension, only with recent increases in the availability of phylogenies have true phylogenetic investigations of mammalian community structure become possible. We test whether the phylogenetic structure of 142 assemblages from three mammalian clades (New World monkeys, North American ground squirrels and Australasian po...

  1. Conservation and diversification of an ancestral chordate gene regulatory network for dorsoventral patterning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iryna Kozmikova

    Full Text Available Formation of a dorsoventral axis is a key event in the early development of most animal embryos. It is well established that bone morphogenetic proteins (Bmps and Wnts are key mediators of dorsoventral patterning in vertebrates. In the cephalochordate amphioxus, genes encoding Bmps and transcription factors downstream of Bmp signaling such as Vent are expressed in patterns reminiscent of those of their vertebrate orthologues. However, the key question is whether the conservation of expression patterns of network constituents implies conservation of functional network interactions, and if so, how an increased functional complexity can evolve. Using heterologous systems, namely by reporter gene assays in mammalian cell lines and by transgenesis in medaka fish, we have compared the gene regulatory network implicated in dorsoventral patterning of the basal chordate amphioxus and vertebrates. We found that Bmp but not canonical Wnt signaling regulates promoters of genes encoding homeodomain proteins AmphiVent1 and AmphiVent2. Furthermore, AmphiVent1 and AmphiVent2 promoters appear to be correctly regulated in the context of a vertebrate embryo. Finally, we show that AmphiVent1 is able to directly repress promoters of AmphiGoosecoid and AmphiChordin genes. Repression of genes encoding dorsal-specific signaling molecule Chordin and transcription factor Goosecoid by Xenopus and zebrafish Vent genes represents a key regulatory interaction during vertebrate axis formation. Our data indicate high evolutionary conservation of a core Bmp-triggered gene regulatory network for dorsoventral patterning in chordates and suggest that co-option of the canonical Wnt signaling pathway for dorsoventral patterning in vertebrates represents one of the innovations through which an increased morphological complexity of vertebrate embryo is achieved.

  2. Reconstruction of ancestral chromosome architecture and gene repertoire reveals principles of genome evolution in a model yeast genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakirlis, Nikolaos; Sarilar, Véronique; Drillon, Guénola; Fleiss, Aubin; Agier, Nicolas; Meyniel, Jean-Philippe; Blanpain, Lou; Carbone, Alessandra; Devillers, Hugo; Dubois, Kenny; Gillet-Markowska, Alexandre; Graziani, Stéphane; Huu-Vang, Nguyen; Poirel, Marion; Reisser, Cyrielle; Schott, Jonathan; Schacherer, Joseph; Lafontaine, Ingrid; Llorente, Bertrand; Neuvéglise, Cécile; Fischer, Gilles

    2016-07-01

    Reconstructing genome history is complex but necessary to reveal quantitative principles governing genome evolution. Such reconstruction requires recapitulating into a single evolutionary framework the evolution of genome architecture and gene repertoire. Here, we reconstructed the genome history of the genus Lachancea that appeared to cover a continuous evolutionary range from closely related to more diverged yeast species. Our approach integrated the generation of a high-quality genome data set; the development of AnChro, a new algorithm for reconstructing ancestral genome architecture; and a comprehensive analysis of gene repertoire evolution. We found that the ancestral genome of the genus Lachancea contained eight chromosomes and about 5173 protein-coding genes. Moreover, we characterized 24 horizontal gene transfers and 159 putative gene creation events that punctuated species diversification. We retraced all chromosomal rearrangements, including gene losses, gene duplications, chromosomal inversions and translocations at single gene resolution. Gene duplications outnumbered losses and balanced rearrangements with 1503, 929, and 423 events, respectively. Gene content variations between extant species are mainly driven by differential gene losses, while gene duplications remained globally constant in all lineages. Remarkably, we discovered that balanced chromosomal rearrangements could be responsible for up to 14% of all gene losses by disrupting genes at their breakpoints. Finally, we found that nonsynonymous substitutions reached fixation at a coordinated pace with chromosomal inversions, translocations, and duplications, but not deletions. Overall, we provide a granular view of genome evolution within an entire eukaryotic genus, linking gene content, chromosome rearrangements, and protein divergence into a single evolutionary framework.

  3. Topologies of the conditional ancestral trees and full-likelihood-based inference in the general coalescent tree framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargsyan, Ori

    2010-08-01

    The general coalescent tree framework is a family of models for determining ancestries among random samples of DNA sequences at a nonrecombining locus. The ancestral models included in this framework can be derived under various evolutionary scenarios. Here, a computationally tractable full-likelihood-based inference method for neutral polymorphisms is presented, using the general coalescent tree framework and the infinite-sites model for mutations in DNA sequences. First, an exact sampling scheme is developed to determine the topologies of conditional ancestral trees. However, this scheme has some computational limitations and to overcome these limitations a second scheme based on importance sampling is provided. Next, these schemes are combined with Monte Carlo integrations to estimate the likelihood of full polymorphism data, the ages of mutations in the sample, and the time of the most recent common ancestor. In addition, this article shows how to apply this method for estimating the likelihood of neutral polymorphism data in a sample of DNA sequences completely linked to a mutant allele of interest. This method is illustrated using the data in a sample of DNA sequences at the APOE gene locus.

  4. Conservation of shh cis-regulatory architecture of the coelacanth is consistent with its ancestral phylogenetic position

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lang Michael

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The modern coelacanth (Latimeria is the extant taxon of a basal sarcopterygian lineage and sister group to tetrapods. Apart from certain apomorphic traits, its morphology is characterized by a high degree of retention of ancestral vertebrate structures and little morphological change. An insight into the molecular evolution that may explain the unchanged character of Latimeria morphology requires the analysis of the expression patterns of developmental regulator genes and their cis-regulatory modules (CRMs. Results We describe the comparative and functional analysis of the sonic hedgehog (shh genomic region of Latimeria menadoensis. Several putative enhancers in the Latimeria shh locus have been identified by comparisons to sarcopterygian and actinopterygian extant species. Specific sequence conservation with all known actinopterygian enhancer elements has been detected. However, these elements are selectively missing in more recently diverged actinopterygian and sarcopterygian species. The functionality of the putative Latimeria enhancers was confirmed by reporter gene expression analysis in transient transgenic zebrafish and chick embryos. Conclusions Latimeria shh CRMs represent the ancestral set of enhancers that have emerged before the split of lobe-finned and ray-finned fishes. In contrast to lineage-specific losses and differentiations in more derived lineages, Latimeria shh enhancers reveal low levels of sequence diversification. High overall sequence conservation of shh conserved noncoding elements (CNE is consistent with the general trend of high levels of conservation of noncoding DNA in the slowly evolving Latimeria genome.

  5. Mutational Studies on Resurrected Ancestral Proteins Reveal Conservation of Site-Specific Amino Acid Preferences throughout Evolutionary History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risso, Valeria A.; Manssour-Triedo, Fadia; Delgado-Delgado, Asunción; Arco, Rocio; Barroso-delJesus, Alicia; Ingles-Prieto, Alvaro; Godoy-Ruiz, Raquel; Gavira, Jose A.; Gaucher, Eric A.; Ibarra-Molero, Beatriz; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M.

    2015-01-01

    Local protein interactions (“molecular context” effects) dictate amino acid replacements and can be described in terms of site-specific, energetic preferences for any different amino acid. It has been recently debated whether these preferences remain approximately constant during evolution or whether, due to coevolution of sites, they change strongly. Such research highlights an unresolved and fundamental issue with far-reaching implications for phylogenetic analysis and molecular evolution modeling. Here, we take advantage of the recent availability of phenotypically supported laboratory resurrections of Precambrian thioredoxins and β-lactamases to experimentally address the change of site-specific amino acid preferences over long geological timescales. Extensive mutational analyses support the notion that evolutionary adjustment to a new amino acid may occur, but to a large extent this is insufficient to erase the primitive preference for amino acid replacements. Generally, site-specific amino acid preferences appear to remain conserved throughout evolutionary history despite local sequence divergence. We show such preference conservation to be readily understandable in molecular terms and we provide crystallographic evidence for an intriguing structural-switch mechanism: Energetic preference for an ancestral amino acid in a modern protein can be linked to reorganization upon mutation to the ancestral local structure around the mutated site. Finally, we point out that site-specific preference conservation naturally leads to one plausible evolutionary explanation for the existence of intragenic global suppressor mutations. PMID:25392342

  6. Application of a sensitive collection heuristic for very large protein families: Evolutionary relationship between adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL and classic mammalian lipases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berezovsky Igor

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Manually finding subtle yet statistically significant links to distantly related homologues becomes practically impossible for very populated protein families due to the sheer number of similarity searches to be invoked and analyzed. The unclear evolutionary relationship between classical mammalian lipases and the recently discovered human adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL; a patatin family member is an exemplary case for such a problem. Results We describe an unsupervised, sensitive sequence segment collection heuristic suitable for assembling very large protein families. It is based on fan-like expanding, iterative database searches. To prevent inclusion of unrelated hits, additional criteria are introduced: minimal alignment length and overlap with starting sequence segments, finding starting sequences in reciprocal searches, automated filtering for compositional bias and repetitive patterns. This heuristic was implemented as FAMILYSEARCHER in the ANNIE sequence analysis environment and applied to search for protein links between the classical lipase family and the patatin-like group. Conclusion The FAMILYSEARCHER is an efficient tool for tracing distant evolutionary relationships involving large protein families. Although classical lipases and ATGL have no obvious sequence similarity and differ with regard to fold and catalytic mechanism, homology links detected with FAMILYSEARCHER show that they are evolutionarily related. The conserved sequence parts can be narrowed down to an ancestral core module consisting of three β-strands, one α-helix and a turn containing the typical nucleophilic serine. Moreover, this ancestral module also appears in numerous enzymes with various substrate specificities, but that critically rely on nucleophilic attack mechanisms.

  7. Peromyscus as a Mammalian Epigenetic Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly R. Shorter

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Deer mice (Peromyscus offer an opportunity for studying the effects of natural genetic/epigenetic variation with several advantages over other mammalian models. These advantages include the ability to study natural genetic variation and behaviors not present in other models. Moreover, their life histories in diverse habitats are well studied. Peromyscus resources include genome sequencing in progress, a nascent genetic map, and >90,000 ESTs. Here we review epigenetic studies and relevant areas of research involving Peromyscus models. These include differences in epigenetic control between species and substance effects on behavior. We also present new data on the epigenetic effects of diet on coat-color using a Peromyscus model of agouti overexpression. We suggest that in terms of tying natural genetic variants with environmental effects in producing specific epigenetic effects, Peromyscus models have a great potential.

  8. Mammalian Autophagy: How Does It Work?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bento, Carla F; Renna, Maurizio; Ghislat, Ghita; Puri, Claudia; Ashkenazi, Avraham; Vicinanza, Mariella; Menzies, Fiona M; Rubinsztein, David C

    2016-06-02

    Autophagy is a conserved intracellular pathway that delivers cytoplasmic contents to lysosomes for degradation via double-membrane autophagosomes. Autophagy substrates include organelles such as mitochondria, aggregate-prone proteins that cause neurodegeneration and various pathogens. Thus, this pathway appears to be relevant to the pathogenesis of diverse diseases, and its modulation may have therapeutic value. Here, we focus on the cell and molecular biology of mammalian autophagy and review the key proteins that regulate the process by discussing their roles and how these may be modulated by posttranslational modifications. We consider the membrane-trafficking events that impact autophagy and the questions relating to the sources of autophagosome membrane(s). Finally, we discuss data from structural studies and some of the insights these have provided.

  9. Mechanosensor Channels in Mammalian Somatosensory Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Delmas

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Mechanoreceptive sensory neurons innervating the skin, skeletal muscles andviscera signal both innocuous and noxious information necessary for proprioception, touchand pain. These neurons are responsible for the transduction of mechanical stimuli intoaction potentials that propagate to the central nervous system. The ability of these cells todetect mechanical stimuli impinging on them relies on the presence of mechanosensitivechannels that transduce the external mechanical forces into electrical and chemical signals.Although a great deal of information regarding the molecular and biophysical properties ofmechanosensitive channels in prokaryotes has been accumulated over the past two decades,less is known about the mechanosensitive channels necessary for proprioception and thesenses of touch and pain. This review summarizes the most pertinent data onmechanosensitive channels of mammalian somatosensory neurons, focusing on theirproperties, pharmacology and putative identity.

  10. KN-93 inhibits IKr in mammalian cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegyi, Bence; Chen-Izu, Ye; Jian, Zhong; Shimkunas, Rafael; Izu, Leighton T; Banyasz, Tamas

    2015-12-01

    Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) inhibitor KN-93 is widely used in multiple fields of cardiac research especially for studying the mechanisms of cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmias. Whereas KN-93 is a potent inhibitor of CaMKII, several off-target effects have also been found in expression cell systems and smooth muscle cells, but there is no information on the KN93 side effects in mammalian ventricular myocytes. In this study we explore the effect of KN-93 on the rapid component of delayed rectifier potassium current (IKr) in the ventricular myocytes from rabbit and guinea pig hearts. Our data indicate that KN-93 exerts direct inhibitory effect on IKr that is not mediated via CaMKII. This off-target effect of KN93 should be taken into account when interpreting the data from using KN93 to investigate the role of CaMKII in cardiac function.

  11. [Thiamine triphosphatase activity in mammalian mitochondria].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusina, I M; Makarchikov, A F

    2003-01-01

    Mitochondrial preparations isolated from bovine kidney and brain as well as the liver and the brain of rat show thiamine triphosphatase (ThTPase) activity. The activity was determined from the particles by freezing-thawing suggesting that a soluble enzyme is involved. The liberation patterns of ThTPase and marker enzyme activities from mitochondria under osmotic shock or treatment with increasing Triton X-100 concentrations indicate the presence of ThTPase both in the matrix and intermembrane space. It was found, basing on gel filtration behavior, that the mitochondrial ThTPase has the same molecular mass as specific cytosolic ThTPase (EC 3.6.1.28). The enzymes, however, were clearly distinguishable in Km values, the mitochondrial one showing a higher apparent affinity for substrate. These results imply the existence of ThTPase multiple forms in mammalian cells.

  12. Nuclear transfer technology in mammalian cloning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, D P; Mitalipov, S; Norgren, R B

    2001-01-01

    The past several years have witnessed remarkable progress in mammalian cloning using nuclear transfer (NT). Until 1997 and the announcement of the successful cloning of sheep from adult mammary gland or fetal fibroblast cells, our working assumption was that cloning by NT could only be accomplished with relatively undifferentiated embryonic cells. Indeed, live offspring were first produced by NT over 15 years ago from totipotent, embryonic blastomeres derived from early cleavage-stage embryos. However, once begun, the progression to somatic cell cloning or NT employing differentiated cells as the source of donor nuclei was meteoric, initially involving differentiated embryonic cell cultures in sheep in 1996 and quickly thereafter, fetal or adult somatic cells in sheep, cow, mouse, goat, and pig. Several recent reviews provide a background for and discussion of these successes. Here we will focus on the potential uses of reproductive cloning along with recent activities in the field and a discussion concerning current interests in human reproductive and therapeutic cloning.

  13. The architecture of mammalian ribosomal protein promoters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perry Robert P

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mammalian ribosomes contain 79 different proteins encoded by widely scattered single copy genes. Coordinate expression of these genes at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels is required to ensure a roughly equimolar accumulation of ribosomal proteins. To date, detailed studies of only a very few ribosomal protein (rp promoters have been made. To elucidate the general features of rp promoter architecture, I made a detailed sequence comparison of the promoter regions of the entire set of orthologous human and mouse rp genes. Results A striking evolutionarily conserved feature of most rp genes is the separation by an intron of the sequences involved in transcriptional and translational regulation from the sequences with protein encoding function. Another conserved feature is the polypyrimidine initiator, which conforms to the consensus (Y2C+1TY(T2(Y3. At least 60 % of the rp promoters contain a largely conserved TATA box or A/T-rich motif, which should theoretically have TBP-binding capability. A remarkably high proportion of the promoters contain conserved binding sites for transcription factors that were previously implicated in rp gene expression, namely upstream GABP and Sp1 sites and downstream YY1 sites. Over 80 % of human and mouse rp genes contain a transposable element residue within 900 bp of 5' flanking sequence; very little sequence identity between human and mouse orthologues was evident more than 200 bp upstream of the transcriptional start point. Conclusions This analysis has provided some valuable insights into the general architecture of mammalian rp promoters and has identified parameters that might coordinately regulate the transcriptional activity of certain subsets of rp genes.

  14. RNAa is conserved in mammalian cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Huang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: RNA activation (RNAa is a newly discovered mechanism of gene activation triggered by small double-stranded RNAs termed 'small activating RNAs' (saRNAs. Thus far, RNAa has only been demonstrated in human cells and is unclear whether it is conserved in other mammals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, we evaluated RNAa in cells derived from four mammalian species including nonhuman primates (African green monkey and chimpanzee, mouse, and rat. Previously, we identified saRNAs leading to the activation of E-cadherin, p21, and VEGF in human cells. As the targeted sequences are highly conserved in primates, transfection of each human saRNA into African green monkey (COS1 and chimpanzee (WES cells also resulted in induction of the intended gene. Additional saRNAs targeting clinically relevant genes including p53, PAR4, WT1, RB1, p27, NKX3-1, VDR, IL2, and pS2 were also designed and transfected into COS1 and WES cells. Of the nine genes, p53, PAR4, WT1, and NKX3-1 were induced by their corresponding saRNAs. We further extended our analysis of RNAa into rodent cell types. We identified two saRNAs that induced the expression of mouse Cyclin B1 in NIH/3T3 and TRAMP C1 cells, which led to increased phosphorylation of histone H3, a downstream marker for chromosome condensation and entry into mitosis. We also identified two saRNAs that activated the expression of CXCR4 in primary rat adipose-derived stem cells. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study demonstrates that RNAa exists in mammalian species other than human. Our findings also suggest that nonhuman primate disease models may have clinical applicability for validating RNAa-based drugs.

  15. The DNA damage response in mammalian oocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eCarroll

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available DNA damage is one of the most common insults that challenge all cells. To cope, an elaborate molecular and cellular response has evolved to sense, respond to and correct the damage. This allows the maintenance of DNA fidelity essential for normal cell viability and the prevention of genomic instability that can lead to tumour formation. In the context of oocytes, the impact of DNA damage is not one of tumour formation but of the maintenance of fertility. Mammalian oocytes are particularly vulnerable to DNA damage because physiologically they may lie dormant in the ovary for many years (>40 in humans until they receive the stimulus to grow and acquire the competence to become fertilized. The implication of this is that in some organisms, such as humans, oocytes face the danger of cumulative genetic damage for decades. Thus, the ability to detect and repair DNA damage is essential to maintain the supply of oocytes necessary for reproduction. Therefore, failure to confront DNA damage in oocytes could cause serious anomalies in the embryo that may be propagated in the form of mutations to the next generation allowing the appearance of hereditary disease. Despite the potential impact of DNA damage on reproductive capacity and genetic fidelity of embryos, the mechanisms available to the oocyte for monitoring and repairing such insults have remained largely unexplored until recently. Here, we review the different aspects of the response to DNA damage in mammalian oocytes. Specifically, we address the oocyte DNA damage response from embryonic life to adulthood and throughout oocyte development.

  16. Engineered Trehalose Permeable to Mammalian Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alireza Abazari

    Full Text Available Trehalose is a naturally occurring disaccharide which is associated with extraordinary stress-tolerance capacity in certain species of unicellular and multicellular organisms. In mammalian cells, presence of intra- and extracellular trehalose has been shown to confer improved tolerance against freezing and desiccation. Since mammalian cells do not synthesize nor import trehalose, the development of novel methods for efficient intracellular delivery of trehalose has been an ongoing investigation. Herein, we studied the membrane permeability of engineered lipophilic derivatives of trehalose. Trehalose conjugated with 6 acetyl groups (trehalose hexaacetate or 6-O-Ac-Tre demonstrated superior permeability in rat hepatocytes compared with regular trehalose, trehalose diacetate (2-O-Ac-Tre and trehalose tetraacetate (4-O-Ac-Tre. Once in the cell, intracellular esterases hydrolyzed the 6-O-Ac-Tre molecules, releasing free trehalose into the cytoplasm. The total concentration of intracellular trehalose (plus acetylated variants reached as high as 10 fold the extracellular concentration of 6-O-Ac-Tre, attaining concentrations suitable for applications in biopreservation. To describe this accumulation phenomenon, a diffusion-reaction model was proposed and the permeability and reaction kinetics of 6-O-Ac-Tre were determined by fitting to experimental data. Further studies suggested that the impact of the loading and the presence of intracellular trehalose on cellular viability and function were negligible. Engineering of trehalose chemical structure rather than manipulating the cell, is an innocuous, cell-friendly method for trehalose delivery, with demonstrated potential for trehalose loading in different types of cells and cell lines, and can facilitate the wide-spread application of trehalose as an intracellular protective agent in biopreservation studies.

  17. Recent integrations of mammalian Hmg retropseudogenes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Eillen Tecle; Leann Zielinski; David H. Kass

    2006-12-01

    We propose that select retropseudogenes of the high mobility group nonhistone chromosomal protein genes have recently integrated into mammalian genomes on the basis of the high sequence identity of the copies to the cDNA sequences derived from the original genes. These include the Hmg1 gene family in mice and the Hmgn2 family in humans. We investigated orthologous loci of several strains and species of Mus for presence or absence of apparently young Hmg1 retropseudogenes. Three of four analysed elements were specific to Mus musculus, two of which were not fixed, indicative of recent evolutionary origins. Additionally, we datamined a presumptive subfamily (Hmgz) of mouse Hmg1, but only identified one true element in the GenBank database, which is not consistent with a separate subfamily status. Two of four analysed Hmgn2 retropseudogenes were specific for the human genome, whereas a third was identified in human, chimpanzee and gorilla genomes, and a fourth additionally found in orangutan but absent in African green monkey. Flanking target-site duplications were consistent with LINE integration sites supporting LINE machinery for their mechanism of amplification. The human Hmgn2 retropseudogenes were full length, whereas the mouse Hmg1 elements were either full length or 3′-truncated at specific positions, most plausibly the result of use of alternative polyadenylation sites. The nature of their recent amplification success in relation to other retropseudogenes is unclear, although availability of a large number of transcripts during gametogenesis may be a reason. It is apparent that retropseudogenes continue to shape mammalian genomes, and may provide insight into the process of retrotransposition, as well as offer potential use as phylogenetic markers.

  18. The scalable mammalian brain: Emergent distributions of glia and neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jehee, J.F.M.; Murre, J.M.J.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we demonstrate that two characteristic properties of mammalian brains emerge when scaling-up modular, cortical structures. Firstly, the glia-to-neuron ratio is not constant across brains of different sizes: large mammalian brains have more glia per neuron than smaller brains. Our anal

  19. Adult Neurogenesis in the Mammalian Hippocampus: Why the Dentate Gyrus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Liam J.; Fusi, Stefano; Hen, René

    2013-01-01

    In the adult mammalian brain, newly generated neurons are continuously incorporated into two networks: interneurons born in the subventricular zone migrate to the olfactory bulb, whereas the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus integrates locally born principal neurons. That the rest of the mammalian brain loses significant neurogenic capacity…

  20. A versatile expression vector system for mammalian cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Anne Mathilde; Kildegaard, Helene Faustrup; Hansen, Bjarne Gram

    The development of the field of mammalian cell factories requests fast and high-throughput methods which means high need for simpler and more efficient cloning techniques. This project applies the ligation-free USERTM (uracil-specific excision reagent) cloning technique to construct mammalian...

  1. Homologue of mammalian apolipoprotein A-Ⅱ in non-mammalian vertebrates

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Malay Choudhury; Shoji Yamada; Masaharu Komatsu; Hideki Kishimura; Seiichi Ando

    2009-01-01

    Although apolipoprotein with molecular weight 14 kDa (apo-14 kDa) is associated with fish plasma highdensity lipoproteins(HDLs),it remains to be determined whether apo-14 kDa is the homologue of mammalian apoA-Ⅱ.We have obtained the full cDNA sequences that encode Japanese eel and rainbow trout apo-14 kDa.Homologues of Japanese eel apo-14 kDa sequence could be found in 14 fish species deposited in the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank or TGI database.Fish apo14 kDa lacks propeptide and contains more internal repeats than mammalian apoA-Ⅱ.Nevertheless,phylogenetic analysis allowed fish apo-14 kDa to be the homologue of mammalian apoA-Ⅱ.In addition,in silico cloning of the TGI,Ensembl,or NCBI database revealed apoA-Ⅱs in dog,chicken,green anole lizard,and African clawed frog whose sequences had not so far been available,suggesting both apoA-Ⅰ and apoA-Ⅱas fundamental constituents of vertebrate HDLs.

  2. Characterization of the bovine pseudoautosomal region and comparison with sheep, goat, and other mammalian pseudoautosomal regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, P J; Chowdhary, B P; Raudsepp, T

    2009-01-01

    The pseudoautosomal region (PAR) is a small region of sequence homology between mammalian X and Y chromosomes and is needed for sex chromosome segregation in male meiosis. The region, though studied as yet in only a few species, shows considerable variation in size and gene content. We have constructed a medium-density gene map for the cattle PAR and the adjacent X-specific region by isolating and mapping 18 BAC clones which contain 20 PAR- and 5 X-specific genes. One BAC clone containing TBL1XY and GPR143 spanned the recently demarcated bovine pseudoautosomal boundary (PAB). Comparing the gene map of cattle PAR with the high-resolution maps of human, horse, and dog PAR allowed to estimate that the size of cattle PAR is approximately 5-9 Mb. BAC end sequence analysis showed that there is a gradient of decreasing GC content from PARter towards the PAB which is consistent with findings in human, mouse, and horse. The 20 PAR- and 5 X-specific cattle genes were mapped also in goat and sheep, showing that PAR in the 3 species is similar in size, gene content, and gene order. For the first time the PAB was determined in goat sex chromosomes. Comparison of cattle, goat, and sheep PAR with homologous regions on human and horse X chromosomes showed a high degree of linkage conservation between all species. However, the most terminal human, horse, and dog PAR gene, PLCXD1, is X-specific in ruminants. Since the human/horse linkage group containing PLCXD1 is of ancestral origin, the location of PLCXD1 can be considered as a de novo event in ruminant sex chromosome evolution. The gene map of the cattle PAR adds to our knowledge about the comparative organization and evolution of the eutherian PAR and aids the sequencing, sequence assembly, and annotation of the terminal region of BTAXq.

  3. On Cultural Perspective of Ancestral Hall Couplets in Sanming%三明宗祠楹联的文化透视

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    金文凯

    2012-01-01

    宗祠楹联是宋元以后宗族社会特有的一种艺术形式,是祠堂文化的典型产物。三明宗祠楹联文化蕴涵丰富。有的反映祠堂的祭祀功能;有的追祖溯源,崇仰故土祖根;有的表彰先贤,表达对先人的顶礼膜拜;有的则训勉后人,激励家族不断进取。它们在一定程度上记录着各家族的繁衍生息、荣衰变迁,为我们探知三明祠堂文化、了解三明宗族发展的历史以及研究三明历史文化名人等提供了珍贵的资料;同时,它们又以宗经明道、敦品立德为要旨,对促进社会和谐有序与可持续发展也具有重要意义,值得重视。%The ancestral hall couplet is a unique art form in clan society of the Song and Yuan dynasties,which is a typical product of the ancestral temple culture.The ancestral hall couplets in Sanming have rich cultural implications,such as reflecting the ritual function of the ancestral hall,recovering ancestral source,enshrining the homeland ancestral root,the recognition of the sages,the expression of pay homage to the ancestors,encouraging future generations and inspiring family to make progress.To a certain extent,they are a record of the development of each family as well as their changes in prosperity and decline,which provide valuable information for probing the ancestral hall culture in Sanming,understanding the history of ancestral hall couplets' development and studying the historical and cultural celebrities in Sanming.What's more,their following traditional ideas and regulating ethical conduct have important significance to promote harmonious society and sustainable development,which deserves attention.

  4. Mating animals by minimising the covariance between ancestral contributions generates less inbreeding without compromising genetic gain in breeding schemes with truncation selection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henryon, M; Berg, P; Sørensen, A C

    2009-01-01

    We reasoned that mating animals by minimising the covariance between ancestral contributions (MCAC mating) will generate less inbreeding and at least as much genetic gain as minimum-coancestry mating in breeding schemes where the animals are truncation-selected. We tested this hypothesis by stoch......We reasoned that mating animals by minimising the covariance between ancestral contributions (MCAC mating) will generate less inbreeding and at least as much genetic gain as minimum-coancestry mating in breeding schemes where the animals are truncation-selected. We tested this hypothesis...

  5. EREM: Parameter Estimation and Ancestral Reconstruction by Expectation-Maximization Algorithm for a Probabilistic Model of Genomic Binary Characters Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liran Carmel

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary binary characters are features of species or genes, indicating the absence (value zero or presence (value one of some property. Examples include eukaryotic gene architecture (the presence or absence of an intron in a particular locus, gene content, and morphological characters. In many studies, the acquisition of such binary characters is assumed to represent a rare evolutionary event, and consequently, their evolution is analyzed using various flavors of parsimony. However, when gain and loss of the character are not rare enough, a probabilistic analysis becomes essential. Here, we present a comprehensive probabilistic model to describe the evolution of binary characters on a bifurcating phylogenetic tree. A fast software tool, EREM, is provided, using maximum likelihood to estimate the parameters of the model and to reconstruct ancestral states (presence and absence in internal nodes and events (gain and loss events along branches.

  6. Ancestral mutations as a tool for solubilizing proteins: The case of a hydrophobic phosphate-binding protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Gonzalez

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Stable and soluble proteins are ideal candidates for functional and structural studies. Unfortunately, some proteins or enzymes can be difficult to isolate, being sometimes poorly expressed in heterologous systems, insoluble and/or unstable. Numerous methods have been developed to address these issues, from the screening of various expression systems to the modification of the target protein itself. Here we use a hydrophobic, aggregation-prone, phosphate-binding protein (HPBP as a case study. We describe a simple and fast method that selectively uses ancestral mutations to generate a soluble, stable and functional variant of the target protein, here named sHPBP. This variant is highly expressed in Escherichia coli, is easily purified and its structure was solved at much higher resolution than its wild-type progenitor (1.3 versus 1.9 Å, respectively.

  7. The mechanistic basis of hemoglobin adaptation in the high-flying barheaded goose: insights from ancestral protein resurrection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Kumar, Amit; Moriyama, Hideaki

    2016-01-01

    of this text-book example of biochemical adaptation. Previous hypotheses about the molecular basis of the evolved increase in Hb-O2 affinity were tested by engineering BHGspecific mutations into recombinant human Hb. This approach can provide important insights, but one problem with such ‘horizontal......’ comparisons – swapping residues between proteins of contemporary species – is that the focal mutations are introduced into a sequence context that may not be evolutionarily relevant. If mutations have context-dependent effects, then introducing BHG-specific substitutions into human Hb may not recapitulate...... the functional effects of causative mutations on the genetic background in which they actually occurred during evolution (i.e., in the BHG ancestor). An alternative ‘vertical’ approach is to reconstruct and resurrect ancestral proteins to test the effects of historical mutations on the genetic background...

  8. Retinal research using the perfused mammalian eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, G

    2001-05-01

    The effort to isolate and maintain alive in vitro an intact mammalian eye is rewarded by the full control provided over the arterial input and exclusion of systemic regulatory or compensatory mechanisms. Electrical recording of typical light-evoked field potentials from retina and optic nerve can be complemented by single-cell recording. Thus, light-induced electrical activity reflects the function of the retinal pigment epithelium, of the layers of the retina and of the ganglion cells or their axons. Retinal function in vitro is documented by electrophysiological and morphological methods revealing subtle features of retinal information processing as well as optic nerve signals that approach-at threshold stimulus intensity-the human psychophysical threshold. Such sensitivity of third-order retinal neurons is described for the first time. This well controlled in vitro preparation has been used successfully for biophysical, metabolic and pharmacological studies. Examples are provided that demonstrate the marked sensibility of the rod system to changes in glucose supply. Moreover, histochemical identification of glycogen stores revealed labeling of the second- and third-order neurons subserving the rod system, in addition to labeling of Müller (glial) cells in the cat retina. The glycogen content of the cat retina is augmented by prolonged anesthesia, largely depleted by ischemia after enucleation and enhanced by insulin. Pharmacological experiments using agonists and antagonists of putative retinal neurotransmitters are summarized and outlined using the muscarinic cholinergic agonist QNB as an example. Actions and uptake of the neuromodulator adenosine are presented in detail, including inhibitory effects on physiologically characterized ganglion cells. Neuronal effects of adenosine are distinguished from those resulting from vasodilatation and from glycogenolysis induced by the neuromodulator. To open the blood-retina barrier, a hyperosmotic challenge can be

  9. ¿Con o sin ancestros? Vigencia de lo ancestral en la Amazonía peruana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Mouriès

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The existence —or not— of the concept of ancestors in the indigenous Amazon has been the subject of much debate. However, regional leaders do not hesitate to call upon ‘ancestral’ knowledge, customs, or territories in the sense that, from an academic point of view, could appear enigmatic. «Ancestral, but… with or without ancestors?» is the question a confused anthropologist might ask. In this article, I propose to offer elements of a response to this question,based on a case study in Peru. First I analyze how Amazonian indigenous leaders, following international law, have adopted the legal notion of ‘ancestral possession’ of their territory to adapt it to the political sphere. This approach accounts for the recent generalization and uniformization of the term ‘ancestral’, but poses the problem of how it articulates with the indigenous cosmologies that it supposes to reflect. For this reason, I explore in the second section the pertinence of the category of ‘ancestor’ in the indigenous Amazon, briefly drawing upon the academic debate in order to define inwhat way this category takes on meaning. Based on testimony from an experienced Awajún leader, we thus return in the third section more explicitly to the different meanings and planes of reference that unfold when one uses the term ‘ancestral’, showing how Amazonian indigenous people not only adopt external conceptual elements and arguments, but also transform them based on their own cosmological singularities and political perspectives.

  10. PhyloBot: A Web Portal for Automated Phylogenetics, Ancestral Sequence Reconstruction, and Exploration of Mutational Trajectories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson-Smith, Victor; Johnson, Alexander

    2016-07-01

    The method of phylogenetic ancestral sequence reconstruction is a powerful approach for studying evolutionary relationships among protein sequence, structure, and function. In particular, this approach allows investigators to (1) reconstruct and "resurrect" (that is, synthesize in vivo or in vitro) extinct proteins to study how they differ from modern proteins, (2) identify key amino acid changes that, over evolutionary timescales, have altered the function of the protein, and (3) order historical events in the evolution of protein function. Widespread use of this approach has been slow among molecular biologists, in part because the methods require significant computational expertise. Here we present PhyloBot, a web-based software tool that makes ancestral sequence reconstruction easy. Designed for non-experts, it integrates all the necessary software into a single user interface. Additionally, PhyloBot provides interactive tools to explore evolutionary trajectories between ancestors, enabling the rapid generation of hypotheses that can be tested using genetic or biochemical approaches. Early versions of this software were used in previous studies to discover genetic mechanisms underlying the functions of diverse protein families, including V-ATPase ion pumps, DNA-binding transcription regulators, and serine/threonine protein kinases. PhyloBot runs in a web browser, and is available at the following URL: http://www.phylobot.com. The software is implemented in Python using the Django web framework, and runs on elastic cloud computing resources from Amazon Web Services. Users can create and submit jobs on our free server (at the URL listed above), or use our open-source code to launch their own PhyloBot server.

  11. The impact of ancestral population size and incomplete lineage sorting on Bayesian estimation of species divergence times

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Konstantinos ANGELIS; Mario DOS REIS

    2015-01-01

    Although the effects of the coalescent process on sequence divergence and genealogies are well understood, the vir-tual majority of studies that use molecular sequences to estimate times of divergence among species have failed to account for the coalescent process. Here we study the impact of ancestral population size and incomplete lineage sorting on Bayesian estimates of species divergence times under the molecular clock when the inference model ignores the coalescent process. Using a combi-nation of mathematical analysis, computer simulations and analysis of real data, we find that the errors on estimates of times and the molecular rate can be substantial when ancestral populations are large and when there is substantial incomplete lineage sort-ing. For example, in a simple three-species case, we find that if the most precise fossil calibration is placed on the root of the phylogeny, the age of the internal node is overestimated, while if the most precise calibration is placed on the internal node, then the age of the root is underestimated. In both cases, the molecular rate is overestimated. Using simulations on a phylogeny of nine species, we show that substantial errors in time and rate estimates can be obtained even when dating ancient divergence events. We analyse the hominoid phylogeny and show that estimates of the neutral mutation rate obtained while ignoring the coalescent are too high. Using a coalescent-based technique to obtain geological times of divergence, we obtain estimates of the mutation rate that are within experimental estimates and we also obtain substantially older divergence times within the phylogeny [Current Zoology 61 (5): 874–885, 2015].

  12. Apoptosis in mammalian oocytes: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, Meenakshi; Prasad, Shilpa; Tripathi, Anima; Pandey, Ashutosh N; Ali, Irfan; Singh, Arvind K; Shrivastav, Tulsidas G; Chaube, Shail K

    2015-08-01

    Apoptosis causes elimination of more than 99% of germ cells from cohort of ovary through follicular atresia. Less than 1% of germ cells, which are culminated in oocytes further undergo apoptosis during last phases of oogenesis and depletes ovarian reserve in most of the mammalian species including human. There are several players that induce apoptosis directly or indirectly in oocytes at various stages of meiotic cell cycle. Premature removal of encircling granulosa cells from immature oocytes, reduced levels of adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate and guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate, increased levels of calcium (Ca(2+)) and oxidants, sustained reduced level of maturation promoting factor, depletion of survival factors, nutrients and cell cycle proteins, reduced meiotic competency, increased levels of proapoptotic as well as apoptotic factors lead to oocyte apoptosis. The BH3-only proteins also act as key regulators of apoptosis in oocyte within the ovary. Both intrinsic (mitochondria-mediated) as well as extrinsic (cell surface death receptor-mediated) pathways are involved in oocyte apoptosis. BID, a BH3-only protein act as a bridge between both apoptotic pathways and its cleavage activates cell death machinery of both the pathways inside the follicular microenvironment. Oocyte apoptosis leads to the depletion of ovarian reserve that directly affects reproductive outcome of various mammals including human. In this review article, we highlight some of the important players and describe the pathways involved during oocyte apoptosis in mammals.

  13. Mitochondrial dynamics in mammalian health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liesa, Marc; Palacín, Manuel; Zorzano, Antonio

    2009-07-01

    The meaning of the word mitochondrion (from the Greek mitos, meaning thread, and chondros, grain) illustrates that the heterogeneity of mitochondrial morphology has been known since the first descriptions of this organelle. Such a heterogeneous morphology is explained by the dynamic nature of mitochondria. Mitochondrial dynamics is a concept that includes the movement of mitochondria along the cytoskeleton, the regulation of mitochondrial architecture (morphology and distribution), and connectivity mediated by tethering and fusion/fission events. The relevance of these events in mitochondrial and cell physiology has been partially unraveled after the identification of the genes responsible for mitochondrial fusion and fission. Furthermore, during the last decade, it has been identified that mutations in two mitochondrial fusion genes (MFN2 and OPA1) cause prevalent neurodegenerative diseases (Charcot-Marie Tooth type 2A and Kjer disease/autosomal dominant optic atrophy). In addition, other diseases such as type 2 diabetes or vascular proliferative disorders show impaired MFN2 expression. Altogether, these findings have established mitochondrial dynamics as a consolidated area in cellular physiology. Here we review the most significant findings in the field of mitochondrial dynamics in mammalian cells and their implication in human pathologies.

  14. Modelling study of dimerization in mammalian defensins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verma Chandra

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Defensins are antimicrobial peptides of innate immunity functioning by non-specific binding to anionic phospholipids in bacterial membranes. Their cationicity, amphipathicity and ability to oligomerize are considered key factors for their action. Based on structural information on human β-defensin 2, we examine homologous defensins from various mammalian species for conserved functional physico-chemical characteristics. Results Based on homology greater than 40%, structural models of 8 homologs of HBD-2 were constructed. A conserved pattern of electrostatics and dynamics was observed across 6 of the examined defensins; models backed by energetics suggest that the defensins in these 6 organisms are characterized by dimerization-linked enhanced functional potentials. In contrast, dimerization is not energetically favoured in the sheep, goat and mouse defensins, suggesting that they function efficiently as monomers. Conclusion β-defensin 2 from some mammals may work as monomers while those in others, including humans, work as oligomers. This could potentially be used to design human defensins that may be effective at lower concentrations and hence have therapeutic benefits.

  15. Centrifugal innervation of the mammalian olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsutani, Shinji; Yamamoto, Noboru

    2008-12-01

    Although it has been known for decades that the mammalian olfactory bulb receives a substantial number of centrifugal inputs from other regions of the brain, relatively few data have been available on the function of the centrifugal olfactory system. Knowing the role of the centrifugal projection and how it works is of critical importance to fully understanding olfaction. The centrifugal fibers can be classified into two groups, a group that release neuromodulators, such as noradrenaline, serotonin, or acetylcholine, and a group originating in the olfactory cortex. Accumulating evidence suggests that centrifugal neuromodulatory inputs are associated with acquisition of odor memory. Because the distribution of the terminals on these fibers is diffuse and widespread, the neuromodulatory inputs must affect diverse subsets of bulbar neurons at the same time. In contrast, knowledge of the role of centrifugal fibers from the olfactory cortical areas is limited. Judging from recent morphological evidence, these fibers may modify the activity of neurons located in sparse and discrete loci in the olfactory bulb. Given the modular organization of the olfactory bulb, centrifugal fibers from the olfactory cortex may help coordinate the activities of restricted subsets of neurons belonging to distinct functional modules in an odor-specific manner. Because the olfactory cortex receives inputs from limbic and neocortical areas in addition to inputs from the bulb, the centrifugal inputs from the cortex can modulate odor processing in the bulb in response to non-olfactory as well as olfactory cues.

  16. Mitochondrial toxicity of triclosan on mammalian cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charmaine Ajao

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Effects of triclosan (5-chloro-2′-(2,4-dichlorophenoxyphenol on mammalian cells were investigated using human peripheral blood mono nuclear cells (PBMC, keratinocytes (HaCaT, porcine spermatozoa and kidney tubular epithelial cells (PK-15, murine pancreatic islets (MIN-6 and neuroblastoma cells (MNA as targets. We show that triclosan (1–10 μg ml−1 depolarised the mitochondria, upshifted the rate of glucose consumption in PMBC, HaCaT, PK-15 and MNA, and subsequently induced metabolic acidosis. Triclosan induced a regression of insulin producing pancreatic islets into tiny pycnotic cells and necrotic death. Short exposure to low concentrations of triclosan (30 min, ≤1 μg/ml paralyzed the high amplitude tail beating and progressive motility of spermatozoa, within 30 min exposure, depolarized the spermatozoan mitochondria and hyperpolarised the acrosome region of the sperm head and the flagellar fibrous sheath (distal part of the flagellum. Experiments with isolated rat liver mitochondria showed that triclosan impaired oxidative phosphorylation, downshifted ATP synthesis, uncoupled respiration and provoked excessive oxygen uptake. These exposure concentrations are 100–1000 fold lower that those permitted in consumer goods. The mitochondriotoxic mechanism of triclosan differs from that of valinomycin, cereulide and the enniatins by not involving potassium ionophoric activity.

  17. Ventricular Fibrillation in Mammalian Hearts: Simulation Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenton, Flavio H.

    2002-03-01

    The computational approach to understanding the initiation and evolution of cardiac arrhythmias forms a necessary link between experiment and theory. Numerical simulations combine useful mathematical models and complex geometry while offering clean and comprehensive data acquisition, reproducible results that can be compared to experiments, and the flexibility of exploring parameter space systematically. However, because cardiac dynamics occurs on many scales (on the order of 10^9 cells of size 10-100 microns with more than 40 ionic currents and time scales as fast as 0.01ms), roughly 10^17 operations are required to simulate just one second of real time. These intense computational requirements lead to significant implementation challenges even on existing supercomputers. Nevertheless, progress over the last decade in understanding the effects of some spatial scales and spatio-temporal dynamics on cardiac cell and tissue behavior justifies the use of certain simplifications which, along with improved models for cellular dynamics and detailed digital models of cardiac anatomy, are allowing simulation studies of full-size ventricles and atria. We describe this simulation problem from a combined numerical, physical and biological point of view, with an emphasis on the dynamics and stability of scroll waves of electrical activity in mammalian hearts and their relation to tachycardia, fibrillation and sudden death. Detailed simulations of electrical activity in ventricles including complex anatomy, anisotropic fiber structure, and electrophysiological effects of two drugs (DAM and CytoD) are presented and compared with experimental results.

  18. Protection of cultured mammalian cells by rebamipide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Antoku, Shigetoshi; Aramaki, Ryoji [Kyushu Univ., Fukuoka (Japan). Faculty of Medicine; Tanaka, Hisashi; Kusumoto, Naotoshi

    1997-06-01

    Rebamipide which is used as a drug for gastritis and stomach ulcer has large capability for OH radical scavenging. It is expected that rebamipide has protective effect against ionizing radiations. The present paper deals with protective effect of rebamipide for cultured mammalian cells exposed to ionizing radiations. As rebamipide is insoluble in water, three solvents were used to dissolve. Rebamipide dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), dimethyl formamide (DMFA) and 0.02 N NaOH was added to the cells in Eagle`s minimum essential medium (MEM) supplemented with 10% fetal calf serum and the cells were irradiated with X-rays. After irradiation, the cells were trypsinized, plated in MEM with 10% fetal calf serum and incubated for 7 days in a CO{sub 2} incubator to form colonies. Rebamipide dissolved in 0.02 N NaOH exhibited the protective effect expected its OH radical scavenging capability. However, the protective effect of rebamipide dissolved in DMSO was about half of that expected by its radical scavenging capability and that of rebamipide dissolved in DMFA was not observed. Uptake of rebamipide labeled with {sup 14}C increased with increasing contact time with rebamipide. These rebamipide mainly distributed in nucleus rather than cytoplasm. (author)

  19. Functional Amyloid Formation within Mammalian Tissue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Amyloid is a generally insoluble, fibrous cross-beta sheet protein aggregate. The process of amyloidogenesis is associated with a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington disease. We report the discovery of an unprecedented functional mammalian amyloid structure generated by the protein Pmel17. This discovery demonstrates that amyloid is a fundamental nonpathological protein fold utilized by organisms from bacteria to humans. We have found that Pmel17 amyloid templates and accelerates the covalent polymerization of reactive small molecules into melanin-a critically important biopolymer that protects against a broad range of cytotoxic insults including UV and oxidative damage. Pmel17 amyloid also appears to play a role in mitigating the toxicity associated with melanin formation by sequestering and minimizing diffusion of highly reactive, toxic melanin precursors out of the melanosome. Intracellular Pmel17 amyloidogenesis is carefully orchestrated by the secretory pathway, utilizing membrane sequestration and proteolytic steps to protect the cell from amyloid and amyloidogenic intermediates that can be toxic. While functional and pathological amyloid share similar structural features, critical differences in packaging and kinetics of assembly enable the usage of Pmel17 amyloid for normal function. The discovery of native Pmel17 amyloid in mammals provides key insight into the molecular basis of both melanin formation and amyloid pathology, and demonstrates that native amyloid (amyloidin may be an ancient, evolutionarily conserved protein quaternary structure underpinning diverse pathways contributing to normal cell and tissue physiology.

  20. Nitric oxide negatively regulates mammalian adult neurogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packer, Michael A.; Stasiv, Yuri; Benraiss, Abdellatif; Chmielnicki, Eva; Grinberg, Alexander; Westphal, Heiner; Goldman, Steven A.; Enikolopov, Grigori

    2003-08-01

    Neural progenitor cells are widespread throughout the adult central nervous system but only give rise to neurons in specific loci. Negative regulators of neurogenesis have therefore been postulated, but none have yet been identified as subserving a significant role in the adult brain. Here we report that nitric oxide (NO) acts as an important negative regulator of cell proliferation in the adult mammalian brain. We used two independent approaches to examine the function of NO in adult neurogenesis. In a pharmacological approach, we suppressed NO production in the rat brain by intraventricular infusion of an NO synthase inhibitor. In a genetic approach, we generated a null mutant neuronal NO synthase knockout mouse line by targeting the exon encoding active center of the enzyme. In both models, the number of new cells generated in neurogenic areas of the adult brain, the olfactory subependyma and the dentate gyrus, was strongly augmented, which indicates that division of neural stem cells in the adult brain is controlled by NO and suggests a strategy for enhancing neurogenesis in the adult central nervous system.

  1. Functional amyloid formation within mammalian tissue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas M Fowler

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Amyloid is a generally insoluble, fibrous cross-beta sheet protein aggregate. The process of amyloidogenesis is associated with a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington disease. We report the discovery of an unprecedented functional mammalian amyloid structure generated by the protein Pmel17. This discovery demonstrates that amyloid is a fundamental nonpathological protein fold utilized by organisms from bacteria to humans. We have found that Pmel17 amyloid templates and accelerates the covalent polymerization of reactive small molecules into melanin-a critically important biopolymer that protects against a broad range of cytotoxic insults including UV and oxidative damage. Pmel17 amyloid also appears to play a role in mitigating the toxicity associated with melanin formation by sequestering and minimizing diffusion of highly reactive, toxic melanin precursors out of the melanosome. Intracellular Pmel17 amyloidogenesis is carefully orchestrated by the secretory pathway, utilizing membrane sequestration and proteolytic steps to protect the cell from amyloid and amyloidogenic intermediates that can be toxic. While functional and pathological amyloid share similar structural features, critical differences in packaging and kinetics of assembly enable the usage of Pmel17 amyloid for normal function. The discovery of native Pmel17 amyloid in mammals provides key insight into the molecular basis of both melanin formation and amyloid pathology, and demonstrates that native amyloid (amyloidin may be an ancient, evolutionarily conserved protein quaternary structure underpinning diverse pathways contributing to normal cell and tissue physiology.

  2. Mammalian cardenolides in cancer prevention and therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Ghoul, Mohammad; Valdes, Roland

    2008-04-01

    Digoxin-like immunoreactive factor (DLIF) and ouabain-like factor (OLF) are the mammalian counterparts to the plant-derived cardiotonic steroids digoxin and ouabain. Compelling evidence indicates that the cardiotonic steroids may have anticancer properties. Recent evidence indicates that low (nanomolar) concentrations of DLIF selectively induce cell death in transformed cells, while sparing normal cells, and is even more potent than the plant-derived compounds. The discovery that these endogenous molecules may play a role in the regulation of cancer cell proliferation provides a potentially new paradigm for the physiologic role of DLIF and OLF. In addition, the possible use of digoxin itself as a therapeutic agent in cancer has been explored, and evidence suggests that its conversion to dihydrodigoxin may be involved in regulating anticancer activity. The mechanism(s) for the pro-apoptotic property of these compounds is not known. In this brief review, we will discuss the proposed mechanism of action of digoxin, ouabain, DLIF, and OLF as anticancer compounds and discuss the effects that metabolic conversion to their dihydro-derivatives may have on this activity. From the perspective of therapeutic drug monitoring, these findings suggest some potential new challenges in the need to measure concentrations of digoxin and dihydrodigoxin as well as their endogenous counterparts DLIF and OLF in serum.

  3. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Pablo E Visconti; Dario Krapf; José Luis de la Vega-Beltrán; Juan José Acevedo; Alberto Darszon

    2011-01-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies.

  4. Historical Perspectives: plasticity of mammalian skeletal muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pette, D

    2001-03-01

    More than 40 years ago, the nerve cross-union experiment of Buller, Eccles, and Eccles provided compelling evidence for the essential role of innervation in determining the properties of mammalian skeletal muscle fibers. Moreover, this experiment revealed that terminally differentiated muscle fibers are not inalterable but are highly versatile entities capable of changing their phenotype from fast to slow or slow to fast. With the use of various experimental models, numerous studies have since confirmed and extended the notion of muscle plasticity. Together, these studies demonstrated that motoneuron-specific impulse patterns, neuromuscular activity, and mechanical loading play important roles in both the maintenance and transition of muscle fiber phenotypes. Depending on the type, intensity, and duration of changes in any of these factors, muscle fibers adjust their phenotype to meet the altered functional demands. Fiber-type transitions resulting from multiple qualitative and quantitative changes in gene expression occur sequentially in a regular order within a spectrum of pure and hybrid fiber types.

  5. Movement Symmetries and the Mammalian Vestibular System

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCollum, Gin; Boyle, Richard

    2000-03-01

    Unity of movement requires vertebrates to have an ability to symmetrize along the midline. For example, human erect stance involves symmetry with respect to gravity. The mammalian vestibular system provides a mechanism for maintaining symmetries, which is also open to influence and adaptation by the rest of the organism. The vestibular system includes the inner ear endorgans and central nuclei, along with projections to oculomotor, cerebellar, thalamic, and spinal motor centers. The vestibular endorgans - the semicircular canals and the otoliths - use sensory hairs to register inertia. The vestibular endorgans are right-left symmetric and the semicircular canals form an approximately orthogonal coordinate system for angular motion. Primary afferent axons project from the endorgans to the vestibular nuclei (and a few other places). The vestibular nuclei integrate vestibular, visual, and somatosensory signals, along with a proposed copy of the voluntary motor command and signals from other central structures. The relationship between the canals and the otoliths gives rise to symmetries among neurons, in the organization among the several vestibular nuclei, and in the projections from the vestibular nuclei. These symmetries organize the space of body movements so that functional relationships are maintained in spite of the many free variables of body movement. They also provide a foundation for adaptive reinterpretation of the relationship between canal and otolith signals, for example in freefall.

  6. Angiogenesis is inhibitory for mammalian digit regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Ling; Yan, Mingquan; Simkin, Jennifer; Ketcham, Paulina D; Leininger, Eric; Han, Manjong; Muneoka, Ken

    2014-06-01

    The regenerating mouse digit tip is a unique model for investigating blastema formation and epimorphic regeneration in mammals. The blastema is characteristically avascular and we previously reported that blastema expression of a known anti-angiogenic factor gene, Pedf, correlated with a successful regenerative response (Yu, L., Han, M., Yan, M., Lee, E. C., Lee, J. & Muneoka, K. (2010). BMP signaling induces digit regeneration in neonatal mice. Development, 137, 551-559). Here we show that during regeneration Vegfa transcripts are not detected in the blastema but are expressed at the onset of differentiation. Treating the amputation wound with vascular endothelial growth factor enhances angiogenesis but inhibits regeneration. We next tested bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9), another known mediator of angiogenesis, and found that BMP9 is also a potent inhibitor of digit tip regeneration. BMP9 induces Vegfa expression in the digit stump suggesting that regenerative failure is mediated by enhanced angiogenesis. Finally, we show that BMP9 inhibition of regeneration is completely rescued by treatment with pigment epithelium-derived factor. These studies show that precocious angiogenesis is inhibitory for regeneration, and provide compelling evidence that the regulation of angiogenesis is a critical factor in designing therapies aimed at stimulating mammalian regeneration.

  7. Neuropeptidomics applied to studies of mammalian reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Le Thao T.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuropeptidomics, a mass spectrometry-based technique which aims to uncover the complete suite of neuropeptides present in a tissue, organ or cell from the brain or nervous system, has found application in studies examining physiological responses (e.g. food intake, appetite and reproduction. Neuropeptides (and peptide hormones have long been known as regulators of mammalian physiological processes, particularly reproduction. These peptides are derived from precursor proteins and become active via proteolytic processes and post-translational modifications. A relatively large number of neuropeptides, mainly formed in the hypothalamus or the anterior pituitary of mammals, have been specifically associated with reproduction, including GnRH, NPY, PYY and kisspeptin. Here, we will present an overview of neuropeptides, their roles in reproduction and the application of neuropeptidomics in this field. We address the advantages of neuropeptidomics in reproductive studies including the high throughput identification, profiling and quantification of neuropeptides present in reproductive tissues and also discuss some of the challenges. The application of neuropeptidomics to the field of reproduction will provide the foundation for a greater understanding of how neuropeptides act to regulate reproductive function.

  8. Cell fate regulation in early mammalian development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oron, Efrat; Ivanova, Natalia

    2012-08-01

    Preimplantation development in mammals encompasses a period from fertilization to implantation and results in formation of a blastocyst composed of three distinct cell lineages: epiblast, trophectoderm and primitive endoderm. The epiblast gives rise to the organism, while the trophectoderm and the primitive endoderm contribute to extraembryonic tissues that support embryo development after implantation. In many vertebrates, such as frog or fish, maternally supplied lineage determinants are partitioned within the egg. Cell cleavage that follows fertilization results in polarization of these factors between the individual blastomeres, which become restricted in their developmental fate. In contrast, the mouse oocyte and zygote lack clear polarity and, until the eight-cell stage, individual blastomeres retain the potential to form all lineages. How are cell lineages specified in the absence of a maternally supplied blueprint? This is a fundamental question in the field of developmental biology. The answer to this question lies in understanding the cell-cell interactions and gene networks involved in embryonic development prior to implantation and using this knowledge to create testable models of the developmental processes that govern cell fates. We provide an overview of classic and contemporary models of early lineage development in the mouse and discuss the emerging body of work that highlights similarities and differences between blastocyst development in the mouse and other mammalian species.

  9. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visconti, Pablo E; Krapf, Dario; de la Vega-Beltrán, José Luis; Acevedo, Juan José; Darszon, Alberto

    2011-05-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies.

  10. Evolution of the mammalian dentate gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hevner, Robert F

    2016-02-15

    The dentate gyrus (DG), a part of the hippocampal formation, has important functions in learning, memory, and adult neurogenesis. Compared with homologous areas in sauropsids (birds and reptiles), the mammalian DG is larger and exhibits qualitatively different phenotypes: 1) folded (C- or V-shaped) granule neuron layer, concave toward the hilus and delimited by a hippocampal fissure; 2) nonperiventricular adult neurogenesis; and 3) prolonged ontogeny, involving extensive abventricular (basal) migration and proliferation of neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs). Although gaps remain, available data indicate that these DG traits are present in all orders of mammals, including monotremes and marsupials. The exception is Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), in which DG size, convolution, and adult neurogenesis have undergone evolutionary regression. Parsimony suggests that increased growth and convolution of the DG arose in stem mammals concurrently with nonperiventricular adult hippocampal neurogenesis and basal migration of NSPCs during development. These traits could all result from an evolutionary change that enhanced radial migration of NSPCs out of the periventricular zones, possibly by epithelial-mesenchymal transition, to colonize and maintain nonperiventricular proliferative niches. In turn, increased NSPC migration and clonal expansion might be a consequence of growth in the cortical hem (medial patterning center), which produces morphogens such as Wnt3a, generates Cajal-Retzius neurons, and is regulated by Lhx2. Finally, correlations between DG convolution and neocortical gyrification (or capacity for gyrification) suggest that enhanced abventricular migration and proliferation of NSPCs played a transformative role in growth and folding of neocortex as well as archicortex.

  11. Timing of circadian genes in mammalian tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korenčič, Anja; Košir, Rok; Bordyugov, Grigory; Lehmann, Robert; Rozman, Damjana; Herzel, Hanspeter

    2014-01-01

    Circadian clocks are endogenous oscillators driving daily rhythms in physiology. The cell-autonomous clock is governed by an interlocked network of transcriptional feedback loops. Hundreds of clock-controlled genes (CCGs) regulate tissue specific functions. Transcriptome studies reveal that different organs (e.g. liver, heart, adrenal gland) feature substantially varying sets of CCGs with different peak phase distributions. To study the phase variability of CCGs in mammalian peripheral tissues, we develop a core clock model for mouse liver and adrenal gland based on expression profiles and known cis-regulatory sites. ‘Modulation factors’ associated with E-boxes, ROR-elements, and D-boxes can explain variable rhythms of CCGs, which is demonstrated for differential regulation of cytochromes P450 and 12 h harmonics. By varying model parameters we explore how tissue-specific peak phase distributions can be generated. The central role of E-boxes and ROR-elements is confirmed by analysing ChIP-seq data of BMAL1 and REV-ERB transcription factors. PMID:25048020

  12. Mitochondrial inheritance is mediated by microtubules in mammalian cell division.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Elizabeth; Mandato, Craig

    2013-11-01

    The mitochondrial network fragments and becomes uniformly dispersed within the cytoplasm when mammalian cells enter mitosis. Such morphology and distribution of mitochondria was previously thought to facilitate the stochastic inheritance of mitochondria by daughter cells. In contrast, we recently reported that mitochondria in dividing mammalian cells are inherited by an ordered mechanism of inheritance mediated by microtubules. We showed that mitochondria are progressively enriched at the cell equator and depleted at the poles throughout division. Furthermore, the mitochondrial distribution during division is dependent on microtubules, indicating an ordered inheritance strategy. The microtubule-mediated positioning of mitochondria in dividing mammalian cells may have functional consequences for cell division and/or mitochondrial inheritance.

  13. Complete tribal sampling reveals basal split in Muscidae (Diptera), confirms saprophagy as ancestral feeding mode, and reveals an evolutionary correlation between instar numbers and carnivory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kutty, Sujatha Narayanan; Pont, Adrian C.; Meier, Rudolf;

    2014-01-01

    of the number of larval instars from three (ancestral) to two and one. The genus Achanthiptera which was previously in its own subfamily is shown to be closely related to Azeliini. However, it appears that Azeliinae is paraphyletic because Muscinae is sister-group to the Azeliini while the azeliine...

  14. Ancestral state reconstructions require biological evidence to test evolutionary hypotheses: A case study examining the evolution of reproductive mode in squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Oliver W; Blackburn, Daniel G; Brandley, Matthew C; Van Dyke, James U; Whittington, Camilla M; Thompson, Michael B

    2015-09-01

    To understand evolutionary transformations it is necessary to identify the character states of extinct ancestors. Ancestral character state reconstruction is inherently difficult because it requires an accurate phylogeny, character state data, and a statistical model of transition rates and is fundamentally constrained by missing data such as extinct taxa. We argue that model based ancestral character state reconstruction should be used to generate hypotheses but should not be considered an analytical endpoint. Using the evolution of viviparity and reversals to oviparity in squamates as a case study, we show how anatomical, physiological, and ecological data can be used to evaluate hypotheses about evolutionary transitions. The evolution of squamate viviparity requires changes to the timing of reproductive events and the successive loss of features responsible for building an eggshell. A reversal to oviparity requires that those lost traits re-evolve. We argue that the re-evolution of oviparity is inherently more difficult than the reverse. We outline how the inviability of intermediate phenotypes might present physiological barriers to reversals from viviparity to oviparity. Finally, we show that ecological data supports an oviparous ancestral state for squamates and multiple transitions to viviparity. In summary, we conclude that the first squamates were oviparous, that frequent transitions to viviparity have occurred, and that reversals to oviparity in viviparous lineages either have not occurred or are exceedingly rare. As this evidence supports conclusions that differ from previous ancestral state reconstructions, our paper highlights the importance of incorporating biological evidence to evaluate model-generated hypotheses.

  15. Cell-penetrating peptides: From mammalian to plant cells

    OpenAIRE

    Eudes, François; Chugh, Archana

    2008-01-01

    Internalization of cell-penetrating peptides, well described in mammalian cell system, has recently been reported in a range of plant cells by three independent groups. Despite fundamental differences between animal cell and plant cell composition, the CPP uptake pattern between the mammalian system and the plant system is very similar. Tat, Tat-2 pVEC and transportan internalisation is concentration dependent and non saturable, enhanced at low temperature (4°C), and receptor independent. The...

  16. Origin and evolution of developmental enhancers in the mammalian neocortex

    OpenAIRE

    Emera, Deena; Yin, Jun; Reilly, Steven K.; Gockley, Jake; Noonan, James P.

    2016-01-01

    The neocortex mediates complex cognitive and motor tasks in all mammals. A long-debated question is how this complex structure evolved in primitive mammals. Here we investigate the role of novel mammalian gene regulatory sequences in the emergence of the neocortex and the mechanisms by which these sequences emerged. We find that ∼20% of elements active during human and mouse neocortical development were born in early mammals. These novel mammalian elements enrich for cell migration, cell sign...

  17. Non-flying mammalian fauna of Ampijoroa, Ankarafantsika National Park

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    There is no list of the mammalian fauna of Ampijoroa Forest Station, a dry deciduous forest within Ankarafantsika National Park. We set Sherman traps and pitfall traps and carried out transect surveys to survey the non-flying mammalian fauna of Ampijoroa In total, 19 species of mammals were recorded, comprising 10 families. Records include three species of Tenrecidae, two species of Soricidae, one species of Muridae, three species of Nesomyidae, three species of Cheirogaleidae, one species of...

  18. The ancestral cascades arc: Cenozoic evolution of the central Sierra Nevada (California) and the birth of the new plate boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, C.J.; Hagan, J.C.; Putirka, K.; Pluhar, C.J.; Gans, P.B.; Wagner, D.L.; Rood, D.; DeOreo, S.B.; Skilling, I.

    2008-01-01

    We integrate new stratigraphic, structural, geochemical, geochronological, and magnetostratigraphic data on Cenozoic volcanic rocks in the central Sierra Nevada to arrive at closely inter-related new models for: (1) the paleogeography of the ancestral Cascades arc, (2) the stratigraphic record of uplift events in the Sierra Nevada, (3) the tectonic controls on volcanic styles and compositions in the arc, and (4) the birth of a new plate margin. Previous workers have assumed that the ancestral Cascades arc consisted of stratovolcanoes, similar to the modern Cascades arc, but we suggest that the arc was composed largely of numerous, very small centers, where magmas frequently leaked up strands of the Sierran frontal fault zone. These small centers erupted to produce andesite lava domes that collapsed to produce block-and-ash flows, which were reworked into paleocanyons as volcanic debris flows and streamflow deposits. Where intrusions rose up through water-saturated paleocanyon fill, they formed peperite complexes that were commonly destabilized to form debris flows. Paleocanyons that were cut into Cretaceous bedrock and filled with Oligocene to late Miocene strata not only provide a stratigraphic record of the ancestral Cascades arc volcanism, but also deep unconformities within them record tectonic events. Preliminary correlation of newly mapped unconformities and new geochronological, magnetostratigraphic, and structural data allow us to propose three episodes of Cenozoic uplift that may correspond to (1) early Miocene onset of arc magmatism (ca. 15 Ma), (2) middle Miocene onset of Basin and Range faulting (ca. 10 Ma), and (3) late Miocene arrival of the triple junction (ca. 6 Ma), perhaps coinciding with a second episode of rapid extension on the range front. Oligocene ignimbrites, which erupted from calderas in central Nevada and filled Sierran paleocanyons, were deeply eroded during the early Miocene uplift event. The middle Miocene event is recorded by growth

  19. Incorporation of mammalian actin into microfilaments in plant cell nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paves Heiti

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Actin is an ancient molecule that shows more than 90% amino acid homology between mammalian and plant actins. The regions of the actin molecule that are involved in F-actin assembly are largely conserved, and it is likely that mammalian actin is able to incorporate into microfilaments in plant cells but there is no experimental evidence until now. Results Visualization of microfilaments in onion bulb scale epidermis cells by different techniques revealed that rhodamine-phalloidin stained F-actin besides cytoplasm also in the nuclei whereas GFP-mouse talin hybrid protein did not enter the nuclei. Microinjection of fluorescently labeled actin was applied to study the presence of nuclear microfilaments in plant cells. Ratio imaging of injected fluorescent rabbit skeletal muscle actin and phalloidin staining of the microinjected cells showed that mammalian actin was able to incorporate into plant F-actin. The incorporation occurred preferentially in the nucleus and in the perinuclear region of plant cells whereas part of plant microfilaments, mostly in the periphery of cytoplasm, did not incorporate mammalian actin. Conclusions Microinjected mammalian actin is able to enter plant cell's nucleus, whereas incorporation of mammalian actin into plant F-actin occurs preferentially in the nucleus and perinuclear area.

  20. Genesis of the vertebrate FoxP subfamily member genes occurred during two ancestral whole genome duplication events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xiaowei; Tang, Yezhong; Wang, Yajun

    2016-08-22

    The vertebrate FoxP subfamily genes play important roles in the construction of essential functional modules involved in physiological and developmental processes. To explore the adaptive evolution of functional modules associated with the FoxP subfamily member genes, it is necessary to study the gene duplication process. We detected four member genes of the FoxP subfamily in sea lampreys (a representative species of jawless vertebrates) through genome screenings and phylogenetic analyses. Reliable paralogons (i.e. paralogous chromosome segments) have rarely been detected in scaffolds of FoxP subfamily member genes in sea lampreys due to the considerable existence of HTH_Tnp_Tc3_2 transposases. However, these transposases did not alter gene numbers of the FoxP subfamily in sea lampreys. The coincidence between the "1-4" gene duplication pattern of FoxP subfamily genes from invertebrates to vertebrates and two rounds of ancestral whole genome duplication (1R- and 2R-WGD) events reveal that the FoxP subfamily of vertebrates was quadruplicated in the 1R- and 2R-WGD events. Furthermore, we deduced that a synchronous gene duplication process occurred for the FoxP subfamily and for three linked gene families/subfamilies (i.e. MIT family, mGluR group III and PLXNA subfamily) in the 1R- and 2R-WGD events using phylogenetic analyses and mirror-dendrogram methods (i.e. algorithms to test protein-protein interactions). Specifically, the ancestor of FoxP1 and FoxP3 and the ancestor of FoxP2 and FoxP4 were generated in 1R-WGD event. In the subsequent 2R-WGD event, these two ancestral genes were changed into FoxP1, FoxP2, FoxP3 and FoxP4. The elucidation of these gene duplication processes shed light on the phylogenetic relationships between functional modules of the FoxP subfamily member genes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Insights into the evolution of mammalian telomerase: Platypus TERT shares similarities with genes of birds and other reptiles and localizes on sex chromosomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hrdličková Radmila

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The TERT gene encodes the catalytic subunit of the telomerase complex and is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Vertebrate telomerase has been studied in eutherian mammals, fish, and the chicken, but less attention has been paid to other vertebrates. The platypus occupies an important evolutionary position, providing unique insight into the evolution of mammalian genes. We report the cloning of a platypus TERT (OanTERT ortholog, and provide a comparison with genes of other vertebrates. Results The OanTERT encodes a protein with a high sequence similarity to marsupial TERT and avian TERT. Like the TERT of sauropsids and marsupials, as well as that of sharks and echinoderms, OanTERT contains extended variable linkers in the N-terminal region suggesting that they were present already in basal vertebrates and lost independently in ray-finned fish and eutherian mammals. Several alternatively spliced OanTERT variants structurally similar to avian TERT variants were identified. Telomerase activity is expressed in all platypus tissues like that of cold-blooded animals and murine rodents. OanTERT was localized on pseudoautosomal regions of sex chromosomes X3/Y2, expanding the homology between human chromosome 5 and platypus sex chromosomes. Synteny analysis suggests that TERT co-localized with sex-linked genes in the last common mammalian ancestor. Interestingly, female platypuses express higher levels of telomerase in heart and liver tissues than do males. Conclusions OanTERT shares many features with TERT of the reptilian outgroup, suggesting that OanTERT represents the ancestral mammalian TERT. Features specific to TERT of eutherian mammals have, therefore, evolved more recently after the divergence of monotremes.

  3. The minute brain of the copepod Tigriopus californicus supports a complex ancestral ground pattern of the tetraconate cerebral nervous systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew, David R; Brown, Sheena M; Strausfeld, Nicholas J

    2012-10-15

    Copepods are a diverse and ecologically crucial group of minute crustaceans that are relatively neglected in terms of studies on nervous system organization. Recently, morphological neural characters have helped clarify evolutionary relationships within Arthropoda, particularly among Tetraconata (i.e., crustaceans and hexapods), and indicate that copepods occupy an important phylogenetic position relating to both Malacostraca and Hexapoda. This taxon therefore provides the opportunity to evaluate those neural characters common to these two clades likely to be results of shared ancestry (homology) versus convergence (homoplasy). Here we present an anatomical characterization of the brain and central nervous system of the well-studied harpacticoid copepod species Tigriopus californicus. We show that this species is endowed with a complex brain possessing a central complex comprising a protocerebral bridge and central body. Deutocerebral glomeruli are supplied by the antennular nerves, and a lateral protocerebral olfactory neuropil corresponds to the malacostracan hemiellipsoid body. Glomeruli contain synaptic specializations comparable to the presynaptic "T-bars" typical of dipterous insects, including Drosophila melanogaster. Serotonin-like immunoreactivity pervades the brain and ventral nervous system, with distinctive deutocerebral distributions. The present observations suggest that a suite of morphological characters typifying the Tigriopus brain reflect a ground pattern organization of an ancestral Tetraconata, which possessed an elaborate and structurally differentiated nervous system.

  4. Ancestral association between HLA and HFE H63D and C282Y gene mutations from northwest Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Libia M Rodriguez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available A significant association between HFE gene mutations and the HLA-A*03-B*07 and HLA-A*29-B*44 haplotypes has been reported in the Spanish population. It has been proposed that these mutations are probably connected with Celtic and North African ancestry, respectively. We aimed to find the possible ancestral association between HLA alleles and haplotypes associated with the HFE gene (C282Y and H63D mutations in 214 subjects from Antioquia, Colombia. These were 18 individuals with presumed hereditary hemochromatosis (“HH” and 196 controls. The HLA-B*07 allele was in linkage disequilibrium (LD with C282Y, while HLA-A*23, A*29, HLA-B*44, and B*49 were in LD with H63D. Altogether, our results show that, although the H63D mutation is more common in the Antioquia population, it is not associated with any particular HLA haplotype, whereas the C282Y mutation is associated with HLA-A*03-B*07, this supporting a northern Spaniard ancestry.

  5. Natural environments, ancestral diets, and microbial ecology: is there a modern "paleo-deficit disorder"? Part II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, Alan C; Katzman, Martin A; Balanzá-Martínez, Vicent

    2015-03-10

    Famed microbiologist René J. Dubos (1901-1982) was an early pioneer in the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) construct. In the 1960s, he conducted groundbreaking research concerning the ways in which early-life experience with nutrition, microbiota, stress, and other environmental variables could influence later-life health outcomes. He recognized the co-evolutionary relationship between microbiota and the human host. Almost 2 decades before the hygiene hypothesis, he suggested that children in developed nations were becoming too sanitized (vs. our ancestral past) and that scientists should determine whether the childhood environment should be "dirtied up in a controlled manner." He also argued that oft-celebrated growth chart increases via changes in the global food supply and dietary patterns should not be equated to quality of life and mental health. Here in the second part of our review, we reflect the words of Dubos off contemporary research findings in the areas of diet, the gut-brain-axis (microbiota and anxiety and depression) and microbial ecology. Finally, we argue, as Dubos did 40 years ago, that researchers should more closely examine the relevancy of silo-sequestered, reductionist findings in the larger picture of human quality of life. In the context of global climate change and the epidemiological transition, an allergy epidemic and psychosocial stress, our review suggests that discussions of natural environments, urbanization, biodiversity, microbiota, nutrition, and mental health, are often one in the same.

  6. Evolution of the human diet: linking our ancestral diet to modern functional foods as a means of chronic disease prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jew, Stephanie; AbuMweis, Suhad S; Jones, Peter J H

    2009-10-01

    The evolution of the human diet over the past 10,000 years from a Paleolithic diet to our current modern pattern of intake has resulted in profound changes in feeding behavior. Shifts have occurred from diets high in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood to processed foods high in sodium and hydrogenated fats and low in fiber. These dietary changes have adversely affected dietary parameters known to be related to health, resulting in an increase in obesity and chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and cancer. Some intervention trials using Paleolithic dietary patterns have shown promising results with favorable changes in CVD and diabetes risk factors. However, such benefits may be offset by disadvantages of the Paleolithic diet, which is low in vitamin D and calcium and high in fish potentially containing environmental toxins. More advantageous would be promotion of foods and food ingredients from our ancestral era that have been shown to possess health benefits in the form of functional foods. Many studies have investigated the health benefits of various functional food ingredients, including omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, fiber, and plant sterols. These bioactive compounds may help to prevent and reduce incidence of chronic diseases, which in turn could lead to health cost savings ranging from $2 to $3 billion per year as estimated by case studies using omega-3 and plant sterols as examples. Thus, public health benefits should result from promotion of the positive components of Paleolithic diets as functional foods.

  7. Testing the museum versus cradle tropical biological diversity hypothesis: phylogeny, diversification, and ancestral biogeographic range evolution of the ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Corrie S; Bell, Charles D

    2013-08-01

    Ants are one of the most ecologically and numerically dominant group of terrestrial organisms with most species diversity currently found in tropical climates. Several explanations for the disparity of biological diversity in the tropics compared to temperate regions have been proposed including that the tropics may act as a "museum" where older lineages persist through evolutionary time or as a "cradle" where new species continue to be generated. We infer the molecular phylogenetic relationships of 295 ant specimens including members of all 21 extant subfamilies to explore the evolutionary diversification and biogeography of the ants. By constraining the topology and age of the root node while using 45 fossils as minimum constraints, we converge on an age of 139-158 Mya for the modern ants. Further diversification analyses identified 10 periods with a significant change in the tempo of diversification of the ants, although these shifts did not appear to correspond to ancestral biogeographic range shifts. Likelihood-based historical biogeographic reconstructions suggest that the Neotropics were important in early ant diversification (e.g., Cretaceous). This finding coupled with the extremely high-current species diversity suggests that the Neotropics have acted as both a museum and cradle for ant diversity.

  8. Food-Nonfood Discrimination in Ancestral Vertebrates: Gamete Cannibalism and the Origin of the Adaptive Immune System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corcos, D

    2015-11-01

    Adaptive immunity is a complex system that appeared twice in vertebrates (in gnathostomes and in jawless fish) although it is not required for invertebrate defence. The adaptive immune system is tightly associated with self-non-self discrimination, and it is now clear that this interplay is not limited to the prevention of autoreactivity. Micro-organisms are usually considered for their pathogenicity or symbiotic ability, but, for most small metazoans, they mainly constitute food. Vertebrates are characterized by feeding by predation on larger preys, when compared to their ancestors who were filter feeders and ate micro-organisms. Predation gives a strong selective advantage, not only due to the availability of new food resources but also by the ability to eliminate competitors for environmental resources (intraguild predation (IGP)). Unlike size-structured IGP, intraspecific predation of juveniles, zygotes or gametes can be detrimental for species fitness in some circumstances. The ability of individuals to recognize highly polymorphic molecules on the surface of gametes present in the plankton and so distinguish self versus non-self gametes might have constituted a strong selective advantage in intraspecific competition. Here, I propose the theory that the capacity to rearrange receptors has been selected in ancestral vertebrates as a consequence of this strong need for discriminating between hetero-cannibalism versus filial cannibalism. This evolutionary origin sheds light on presently unexplained features of the immune system, including the existence of regulatory T cells and of non-pathogenic natural autoimmunity.

  9. Ancestral variation and the potential for genetic accommodation in larval amphibians: implications for the evolution of novel feeding strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledon-Rettig, Cris C; Pfennig, David W; Nascone-Yoder, Nanette

    2008-01-01

    Few studies provide empirical evidence for phenotypic plasticity's role in the evolution of novel traits. One way to do so is to test whether latent plasticity is present in an ancestor that can be refined, enhanced, or diminished by selection in derived taxa (through "genetic accommodation"), thereby producing novel traits. Here, we evaluated whether gut plasticity preceded and promoted the evolution of a novel feeding strategy in spadefoot toad tadpoles. We studied Scaphiopus couchii, whose tadpoles develop an elongate gut and consume only detritus, and two derived species, Spea multiplicata and Sp. bombifrons, whose tadpoles also express a novel, short-gut phenotype in response to a novel resource (anostracan shrimp). Consistent with the expectations of plasticity-mediated trait evolution, we found that shrimp induced a range of phenotypes in Scaphiopus that were not produced with detritus. This plasticity was either suppressed or exaggerated in Spea depending on whether the induced phenotypes were adaptive. Moreover, in contrast to its effects on morphology, shrimp induced little or no functional plasticity, as assessed by gut cell proliferation, in Scaphiopus. Shrimp did, however, induce substantial proliferation in Sp. bombifrons, the species that consumes the most shrimp and that produces the short-gut phenotype the most frequently. Thus, if Spea had ancestral morphological plasticity in response to a novel diet, their shrimp-induced short-gut morphology may have undergone subsequent genetic accommodation that improved its functionality. Hence, diet-induced phenotypic plasticity may have preceded and even promoted the evolution of a novel phenotype.

  10. Facial anatomy of Victoriapithecus and its relevance to the ancestral cranial morphology of Old World monkeys and apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benefit, B R; McCrossin, M L

    1993-11-01

    Recently discovered craniofacial fossils of the middle Miocene cercopithecoid Victoriapithecus are described. The frontal, zygomatic, maxilla, and premaxilla anatomy differ from the previously proposed colobine-like ancestral cercopithecoid morphotype in several significant respects. This morphotype was based on the assumption that features held in common by subordinate hominoid and cercopithecoid morphotypes (Colobinae and Hylobatidae) are primitive for Old World monkeys. Cranial similarities between Victoriapithecus, which represents the sister-group of both colobine and cercopithecine monkeys, and the shorter-snouted Cercopithecinae (Macaca and Cercopithecus) indicate that the last common ancestor of Old World monkeys possessed the following features: a narrow interorbital septum, moderately long snout, moderately long and anteriorly tapering premaxilla, large procumbent upper central incisors set anterior to and with longer roots than lateral incisors, moderately tall face below the orbits, teardrop-shaped nasal aperture of low height and moderate width, and probably long and narrow nasal bones. The Victoriapithecus cranium is also characterized by features not present in modern cercopithecids. These include a deep malar region of the zygomatic and the presence of a frontal trigon due to the occurrence of temporal lines that merge with supraorbital costae close to the midline of each orbit and converge anterior to bregma. These features are interpreted as primitive retentions from the basal catarrhine condition as indicated by the occurrence of these features among primitive catarrhines (Aegyptopithecus) and Miocene hominoids (Afropithecus).

  11. Natural epigenetic protection against the I-factor, a Drosophila LINE retrotransposon, by remnants of ancestral invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dramard, Xavier; Heidmann, Thierry; Jensen, Silke

    2007-03-21

    Transposable elements are major components of most eukaryotic genomes. Such sequences are generally defective for transposition and have little or no coding capacity. Because transposition can be highly mutagenic, mobile elements that remain functional are tightly repressed in all living species. Drosophila pericentromeric heterochromatin naturally contains transposition-defective, non-coding derivatives of a LINE retrotransposon related to the I-factor. The I-factor is a good model to study the regulation of transposition in vivo because, under specific conditions, current functional copies of this mobile element can transpose at high frequency, specifically in female germ cells, with deleterious effects including female sterility. However, this high transpositional activity becomes spontaneously repressed upon ageing or heat treatment, by a maternally transmitted, transgenerational epigenetic mechanism of unknown nature. We have analyzed, by quantitative real time RT-PCR, the RNA profile of the transposition-defective I-related sequences, in the Drosophila ovary during ageing and upon heat treatment, and also in female somatic tissues and in males, which are not permissive for I-factor transposition. We found evidence for a role of transcripts from these ancestral remnants in the natural epigenetic protection of the Drosophila melanogaster genome against the deleterious effects of new invasions by functional I-factors. These results provide a molecular basis for a probably widespread natural protection against transposable elements by persisting vestiges of ancient invasions.

  12. What was the ancestral function of decidual stromal cells? A model for the evolution of eutherian pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavan, Arun Rajendra; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Wagner, Günter P

    2016-04-01

    In human and mouse, decidual stromal cells (DSC) are necessary for the establishment (implantation) and the maintenance of pregnancy by preventing inflammation and the immune rejection of the semi-allograft conceptus. DSC originated along the stem lineage of eutherian mammals, coincidental with the origin of invasive placentation. Surprisingly, in many eutherian lineages decidual cells are lost after the implantation phase of pregnancy, making it unlikely that DSC are necessary for the maintenance of pregnancy in these animals. In order to understand this variation, we review the literature on the fetal-maternal interface in all major eutherian clades Euarchontoglires, Laurasiatheria, Xenarthra and Afrotheria, as well as the literature about the ancestral eutherian species. We conclude that maintaining pregnancy may not be a shared derived function of DSC among all eutherian mammals. Rather, we propose that DSC originated to manage the inflammatory reaction associated with invasive implantation. We envision that this happened in a stem eutherian that had invasive placenta but still a short gestation. We further propose that extended gestation evolved independently in the major eutherian clades explaining why the major lineages of eutherian mammals differ with respect to the mechanisms maintaining pregnancy.

  13. Cochlear gene therapy with ancestral AAV in adult mice: complete transduction of inner hair cells without cochlear dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Jun; Hashimoto, Ken; Xiao, Ru; Vandenberghe, Luk H.; Liberman, M. Charles

    2017-01-01

    The use of viral vectors for inner ear gene therapy is receiving increased attention for treatment of genetic hearing disorders. Most animal studies to date have injected viral suspensions into neonatal ears, via the round window membrane. Achieving transduction of hair cells, or sensory neurons, throughout the cochlea has proven difficult, and no studies have been able to efficiently transduce sensory cells in adult ears while maintaining normal cochlear function. Here, we show, for the first time, successful transduction of all inner hair cells and the majority of outer hair cells in an adult cochlea via virus injection into the posterior semicircular canal. We used a “designer” AAV, AAV2/Anc80L65, in which the main capsid proteins approximate the ancestral sequence state of AAV1, 2, 8, and 9. Our injections also transduced ~10% of spiral ganglion cells and a much larger fraction of their satellite cells. In the vestibular sensory epithelia, the virus transduced large numbers of hair cells and virtually all the supporting cells, along with close to half of the vestibular ganglion cells. We conclude that this viral vector and this delivery route hold great promise for gene therapy applications in both cochlear and vestibular sense organs. PMID:28367981

  14. Hox Proteins Display a Common and Ancestral Ability to Diversify Their Interaction Mode with the PBC Class Cofactors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudry, Bruno; Remacle, Sophie; Delfini, Marie-Claire; Rezsohazy, René; Graba, Yacine; Merabet, Samir

    2012-01-01

    Hox transcription factors control a number of developmental processes with the help of the PBC class proteins. In vitro analyses have established that the formation of Hox/PBC complexes relies on a short conserved Hox protein motif called the hexapeptide (HX). This paradigm is at the basis of the vast majority of experimental approaches dedicated to the study of Hox protein function. Here we questioned the unique and general use of the HX for PBC recruitment by using the Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) assay. This method allows analyzing Hox-PBC interactions in vivo and at a genome-wide scale. We found that the HX is dispensable for PBC recruitment in the majority of investigated Drosophila and mouse Hox proteins. We showed that HX-independent interaction modes are uncovered by the presence of Meis class cofactors, a property which was also observed with Hox proteins of the cnidarian sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Finally, we revealed that paralog-specific motifs convey major PBC-recruiting functions in Drosophila Hox proteins. Altogether, our results highlight that flexibility in Hox-PBC interactions is an ancestral and evolutionary conserved character, which has strong implications for the understanding of Hox protein functions during normal development and pathologic processes. PMID:22745600

  15. Hox proteins display a common and ancestral ability to diversify their interaction mode with the PBC class cofactors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Hudry

    Full Text Available Hox transcription factors control a number of developmental processes with the help of the PBC class proteins. In vitro analyses have established that the formation of Hox/PBC complexes relies on a short conserved Hox protein motif called the hexapeptide (HX. This paradigm is at the basis of the vast majority of experimental approaches dedicated to the study of Hox protein function. Here we questioned the unique and general use of the HX for PBC recruitment by using the Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC assay. This method allows analyzing Hox-PBC interactions in vivo and at a genome-wide scale. We found that the HX is dispensable for PBC recruitment in the majority of investigated Drosophila and mouse Hox proteins. We showed that HX-independent interaction modes are uncovered by the presence of Meis class cofactors, a property which was also observed with Hox proteins of the cnidarian sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Finally, we revealed that paralog-specific motifs convey major PBC-recruiting functions in Drosophila Hox proteins. Altogether, our results highlight that flexibility in Hox-PBC interactions is an ancestral and evolutionary conserved character, which has strong implications for the understanding of Hox protein functions during normal development and pathologic processes.

  16. 论家族祠堂文化的教育与传承--以博白客家家族祠堂为例%Cultural Education and Inheritance of Family Ancestral Temple-- Take Bobai Hakka Family Ancestral Temple County as an Example

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李春霞; 程丽秋

    2016-01-01

    祠堂是家族的中心和家族文化的载体,它践行着家族文化的教育与传承的重要使命。博白县客家的家族文化氛围特别浓厚,本文以其为例,论述博白客家祠堂文化及其教育与传承的方式。家族祠堂文化对可塑性极强的儿童的影响方式有环境熏陶、榜样示范以及教育期望等等,即论述家族祠堂文化的教育与传承,需要家族充分利用祠堂这个载体进行家族教育,以实现祠堂教育功能最大化的发挥。%Family ancestral temple is the center of the family and the isotopic carrier of family culture. It sustains the responsibility of the education and inheritance of family culture. Bobai county is selected as an example because Bobai Hakka people have a strong concept of family. This paper discusses culture, education and inheritance of the Hakka family ancestral temple culture in Bobai county. The culture of family ancestral temple has an influence on educable child and the influence way include environmental edifying, model demonstrating and educational expectation, etc. It needs the family to make full use of the isotopic carrier of the ancestral temple to educate the descendants when discussing the cultural education and inheritance of family ancestral temple. It aims to maximize the educational function of ancestral temple education.

  17. Amino acids in the cultivation of mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Andrew; Keusgen, Michael; von Hagen, Jörg

    2016-05-01

    Amino acids are crucial for the cultivation of mammalian cells. This importance of amino acids was realized soon after the development of the first cell lines, and a solution of a mixture of amino acids has been supplied to cultured cells ever since. The importance of amino acids is further pronounced in chemically defined mammalian cell culture media, making the consideration of their biological and chemical properties necessary. Amino acids concentrations have been traditionally adjusted to their cellular consumption rates. However, since changes in the metabolic equilibrium of amino acids can be caused by changes in extracellular concentrations, metabolomics in conjunction with flux balance analysis is being used in the development of culture media. The study of amino acid transporters is also gaining importance since they control the intracellular concentrations of these molecules and are influenced by conditions in cell culture media. A better understanding of the solubility, stability, dissolution kinetics, and interactions of these molecules is needed for an exploitation of these properties in the development of dry powdered chemically defined media for mammalian cells. Due to the complexity of these mixtures however, this has proven to be challenging. Studying amino acids in mammalian cell culture media will help provide a better understanding of how mammalian cells in culture interact with their environment. It would also provide insight into the chemical behavior of these molecules in solutions of complex mixtures, which is important in the understanding of the contribution of individual amino acids to protein structure.

  18. The mammalian fauna from the Central Himalaya, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hem Bahadur Katuwal

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Nepal harbors unique mammalian fauna, but it is poorly studied at higher elevation. Mammalian fauna were recorded in Manaslu Conservation Area, Dudhkunda and Dudhkoshi valley of Solukhumbu district and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area of Nepal during March 2011 to April 2013 along the trail and the study plots from 700m to 4400m a.s.l. Semi-structured interviews were made with local people to understand their behavior and habitats. Altogether, 29 mammalian fauna were recorded. Five species were recorded new for the areas. Overall, Carnivore species (nine were encountered more, followed by species of the order Cetartiodactyla (seven. The highest number of mammalian fauna (18 was identified from Manaslu Conservation Area whereas the least (11 from Dudhkunda and Dudhkoshi valley. Human wildlife conflict was frequent with Himalayan Goral (Naemorhedus goral, Barking Deer (Muntiacus vaginalis, Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus, Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta, Nepal Grey Langur (Semnopithecus schistaceus and Himalayan Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus for crop depredation in these areas. Although mammalian research started a long time ago, scenario of comprehensive research is not satisfactory in the Central Himalaya, Nepal.

  19. Creation of Functional Viruses from Non-Functional cDNA Clones Obtained from an RNA Virus Population by the Use of Ancestral Reconstruction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fahnøe, Ulrik; Pedersen, Anders Gorm; Dräger, Carolin;

    2015-01-01

    the reconstructed cDNAs were tested in cell culture and pigs. Both reconstructed ancestral genomes proved functional, and displayed distinct phenotypes in vitro and in vivo. We suggest that reconstruction of ancestral viruses is a useful tool for experimental and computational investigations of virulence and viral......RNA viruses have the highest known mutation rates. Consequently it is likely that a high proportion of individual RNA virus genomes, isolated from an infected host, will contain lethal mutations and be non-functional. This is problematic if the aim is to clone and investigate high...... a moderately virulent isolate. In addition to here being used as a model for RNA viruses generally, CSFV has high socioeconomic importance and remains a threat to animal welfare and pig production. We find that the majority of the investigated genomes are non-functional and only 12% produced infectious RNA...

  20. The pig story (tiboi sakkoko Storytelling of kinship, memories of the past, and rights to plots of ancestral land in Mentawai

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juniator Tulius

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines some significant elements of the pig story (tiboi sakkoko. This tale contains crucial information about the collective identity, ancestors and historical events affecting particular Mentawai kin-groups. As families do not preserve their culture and traditions in written form, storytellers of kin-groups have narrated the pig story from generation to generation so as to preserve it carefully. In the course of time, storytellers establish particular ways of telling their stories so as to remember the content and plot of the stories easily. Through the pig story, members of kin groups also recollect their ancestral place of origin and plots of ancestral lands. The role of human memory is indispensable to recalling all these important elements. Therefore, this paper analyses memories of the past of different family generations. To achieve its aims, this paper also evaluates the roles of family stories in the culture and traditions of Mentawai society.

  1. Clan, ancestral hall, and sacrifice in the Song Dynasty%宋代的宗族祠堂、祭祀及其它

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    游彪

    2007-01-01

    The Song Dynasty is the most important period in Chinese history in terms of the establishment of a new type of clan system. During the Song, Chinese social organization, at the grass-roots level, experienced a fundamental change.In the wake of the late-Tang collapse of the local power system, it was necessary for the Song to replace the ancestral lineage structure and develop a new system to adapt itself to the new circumstances brought on by drastic changes in its economy. Song Confucians played a vital part in the changes. Not only did they gradually solve the theoretical problems of the new type of clan organization, but they also developed many feasible and standard models. Eventually this model would gain even wider acceptance after the Yuan Dynasty with the rise of Neo-Confucianism. Thus, ancestral halls, serving as the major centers for the new clan activities, became prevalent among common people.

  2. Los no lugares y el mundo de las aguas: Aproximación al territorio ancestral de una comunidad amazónica

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Characterization of an ancestral territory of the indigenous community of Macedonia was performed (Colombian Amazon located 57 km upstream from Leticia); through the cultural maps analysis obtained of ethnographic methodology based on social mapping and one analysis through intersubjective processes of consensus.As a result, georeferenced maps that generate an approximation of non-places that give access to shamanistic macro-space were obtained, which in turn is used to generate a local cultu...

  3. Rapid, modular and reliable construction of complex mammalian gene circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guye, Patrick; Li, Yinqing; Wroblewska, Liliana; Duportet, Xavier; Weiss, Ron

    2013-09-01

    We developed a framework for quick and reliable construction of complex gene circuits for genetically engineering mammalian cells. Our hierarchical framework is based on a novel nucleotide addressing system for defining the position of each part in an overall circuit. With this framework, we demonstrate construction of synthetic gene circuits of up to 64 kb in size comprising 11 transcription units and 33 basic parts. We show robust gene expression control of multiple transcription units by small molecule inducers in human cells with transient transfection and stable chromosomal integration of these circuits. This framework enables development of complex gene circuits for engineering mammalian cells with unprecedented speed, reliability and scalability and should have broad applicability in a variety of areas including mammalian cell fermentation, cell fate reprogramming and cell-based assays.

  4. A common tendency for phylogenetic overdispersion in mammalian assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Natalie; Rodríguez, Jesús; Purvis, Andy

    2008-09-07

    Competition has long been proposed as an important force in structuring mammalian communities. Although early work recognized that competition has a phylogenetic dimension, only with recent increases in the availability of phylogenies have true phylogenetic investigations of mammalian community structure become possible. We test whether the phylogenetic structure of 142 assemblages from three mammalian clades (New World monkeys, North American ground squirrels and Australasian possums) shows the imprint of competition. The full set of assemblages display a highly significant tendency for members to be more distantly related than expected by chance (phylogenetic overdispersion). The overdispersion is also significant within two of the clades (monkeys and squirrels) separately. This is the first demonstration of widespread overdispersion in mammal assemblages and implies an important role for either competition between close relatives where traits are conserved, habitat filtering where distant relatives share convergent traits, or both.

  5. Structure and Function of Mammalian Carbohydrate-Lectin Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Kevin; Evers, David; Rice, Kevin G.

    Over the past three decades the field of glycobiology has expanded beyond a basic understanding of the structure and biosynthesis of glycoprotein, proteoglycans, and glycolipids toward a more detailed picture of how these molecules afford communication through binding to mammalian lectins. Although the number of different mammalian lectin domains appears to be finite and even much smaller than early estimates predicated based on the diversity of glycan structures, nature appears capable of using these in numerous combinations to fine tune specificity. The following provides an overview of the major classes of mammalian lectins and discusses their glycan binding specificity. The review provides a snapshot of the field of glycobiology that continues to grow providing an increasing number of examples of biological processes that rely upon glycan-lectin binding.

  6. Phylogenomic analysis of vertebrate thrombospondins reveals fish-specific paralogues, ancestral gene relationships and a tetrapod innovation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adams Josephine C

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Thrombospondins (TSPs are evolutionarily-conserved, extracellular, calcium-binding glycoproteins with important roles in cell-extracellular matrix interactions, angiogenesis, synaptogenesis and connective tissue organisation. Five TSPs, designated TSP-1 through TSP-5, are encoded in the human genome. All but one have known roles in acquired or inherited human diseases. To further understand the roles of TSPs in human physiology and pathology, it would be advantageous to extend the repertoire of relevant vertebrate models. In general the zebrafish is proving an excellent model organism for vertebrate biology, therefore we set out to evaluate the status of TSPs in zebrafish and two species of pufferfish. Results We identified by bioinformatics that three fish species encode larger numbers of TSPs than vertebrates, yet all these sequences group as homologues of TSP-1 to -4. By phylogenomic analysis of neighboring genes, we uncovered that, in fish, a TSP-4-like sequence is encoded from the gene corresponding to the tetrapod TSP-5 gene. Thus, all TSP genes show conservation of synteny between fish and tetrapods. In the human genome, the TSP-1, TSP-3, TSP-4 and TSP-5 genes lie within paralogous regions that provide insight into the ancestral genomic context of vertebrate TSPs. Conclusion A new model for TSP evolution in vertebrates is presented. The TSP-5 protein sequence has evolved rapidly from a TSP-4-like sequence as an innovation in the tetrapod lineage. TSP biology in fish is complicated by the presence of additional lineage- and species-specific TSP paralogues. These novel results give deeper insight into the evolution of TSPs in vertebrates and open new directions for understanding the physiological and pathological roles of TSP-4 and TSP-5 in humans.

  7. Somatostatin signaling system as an ancestral mechanism: Myoregulatory activity of an Allatostatin-C peptide in Hydra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alzugaray, María Eugenia; Hernández-Martínez, Salvador; Ronderos, Jorge Rafael

    2016-08-01

    The coordination of physiological processes requires precise communication between cells. Cellular interactions allow cells to be functionally related, facilitating the maintaining of homeostasis. Neuropeptides functioning as intercellular signals are widely distributed in Metazoa. It is assumed that neuropeptides were the first intercellular transmitters, appearing early during the evolution. In Cnidarians, neuropeptides are mainly involved in neurotransmission, acting directly or indirectly on epithelial muscle cells, and thereby controlling coordinated movements. Allatostatins are a group of chemically unrelated neuropeptides that were originally characterized based on their ability to inhibit juvenil hormone synthesis in insects. Allatostatin-C has pleiotropic functions, acting as myoregulator in several insects. In these studies, we analyzed the myoregulatory effect of Aedes aegypti Allatostatin-C in Hydra sp., a member of the phylum Cnidaria. Allatostatin-C peptide conjugated with Qdots revealed specifically distributed cell populations that respond to the peptide in different regions of hydroids. In vivo physiological assays using Allatostatin-C showed that the peptide induced changes in shape and length in tentacles, peduncle and gastrovascular cavity. The observed changes were dose and time dependent suggesting the physiological nature of the response. Furthermore, at highest doses, Allatostatin-C induced peristaltic movements of the gastrovascular cavity resembling those that occur during feeding. In silico search of putative Allatostatin-C receptors in Cnidaria showed that genomes predict the existence of proteins of the somatostatin/Allatostatin-C receptors family. Altogether, these results suggest that Allatostatin-C has myoregulatory activity in Hydra sp, playing a role in the control of coordinated movements during feeding, indicating that Allatostatin-C/Somatostatin based signaling might be an ancestral mechanism.

  8. Amoebozoans Are Secretly but Ancestrally Sexual: Evidence for Sex Genes and Potential Novel Crossover Pathways in Diverse Groups of Amoebae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Fiona C.; Katz, Laura A.; Cerón-Romero, Mario A.; Gorfu, Lydia A.

    2017-01-01

    Sex is beneficial in eukaryotes as it can increase genetic diversity, reshuffle their genomes, and purge deleterious mutations. Yet, its evolution remains a mystery. The eukaryotic clade supergroup Amoebozoa encompasses diverse lineages of polymorphic amoeboid forms, including both free-living and parasitic lineages. The group is generally believed to be asexual, though recent studies show that some of its members are implicated in cryptic forms of sexual cycles. In this study, we conduct a comprehensive inventory and analysis of genes involved in meiosis and related processes, in order to investigate the evolutionary history of sex in the clade. We analyzed genomic and transcriptomic data of 39 amoebozoans representing all major subclades of Amoebozoa. Our results show that Amoebozoa possess most of the genes exclusive to meiosis but lack genes encoding synaptonemal complex (SC). The absence of SC genes is discussed in the context of earlier studies that reported ultrastructural evidence of SC in some amoebae. We also find interclade and intrageneric variation in sex gene distribution, indicating diversity in sexual pathways in the group. Particularly, members of Mycetozoa engage in a novel sexual pathway independent of the universally conserved meiosis initiator gene, SPO11. Our findings strongly suggest that not only do amoebozoans possess sex genes in their genomes, but also, based on the transcriptome evidence, the present sex genes are functional. We conclude that Amoebozoa is ancestrally sexual, contrary to the long held belief that most of its members are asexual. Thus, asexuality in Amoebozoa, if confirmed to be present, is a derived-trait that appeared later in their evolution. PMID:28087686

  9. Genome-wide association study and ancestral origins of the slick-hair coat in tropically adapted cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huson, Heather J; Kim, Eui-Soo; Godfrey, Robert W; Olson, Timothy A; McClure, Matthew C; Chase, Chad C; Rizzi, Rita; O'Brien, Ana M P; Van Tassell, Curt P; Garcia, José F; Sonstegard, Tad S

    2014-01-01

    The slick hair coat (SLICK) is a dominantly inherited trait typically associated with tropically adapted cattle that are from Criollo descent through Spanish colonization of cattle into the New World. The trait is of interest relative to climate change, due to its association with improved thermo-tolerance and subsequent increased productivity. Previous studies localized the SLICK locus to a 4 cM region on chromosome (BTA) 20 and identified signatures of selection in this region derived from Senepol cattle. The current study compares three slick-haired Criollo-derived breeds including Senepol, Carora, and Romosinuano and three additional slick-haired cross-bred lineages to non-slick ancestral breeds. Genome-wide association (GWA), haplotype analysis, signatures of selection, runs of homozygosity (ROH), and identity by state (IBS) calculations were used to identify a 0.8 Mb (37.7-38.5 Mb) consensus region for the SLICK locus on BTA20 in which contains SKP2 and SPEF2 as possible candidate genes. Three specific haplotype patterns are identified in slick individuals, all with zero frequency in non-slick individuals. Admixture analysis identified common genetic patterns between the three slick breeds at the SLICK locus. Principal component analysis (PCA) and admixture results show Senepol and Romosinuano sharing a higher degree of genetic similarity to one another with a much lesser degree of similarity to Carora. Variation in GWA, haplotype analysis, and IBS calculations with accompanying population structure information supports potentially two mutations, one common to Senepol and Romosinuano and another in Carora, effecting genes contained within our refined location for the SLICK locus.

  10. Genome-wide association study and ancestral origins of the slick-hair coat in tropically adapted cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather Jay Huson

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The slick hair coat (SLICK is a dominantly inherited trait typically associated with tropically adapted cattle that are from Criollo descent through Spanish colonization of cattle into the New World. The trait is of interest relative to climate change, due to its association with improved thermo-tolerance and subsequent increased productivity. Previous studies localized the SLICK locus to a 4 cM region on chromosome (Chr 20 and identified signatures of selection in this region derived from Senepol cattle. The current study compares three slick-haired Criollo-derived breeds including Senepol, Carora, and Romosinuano and three additional slick-haired cross-bred lineages to non-slick ancestral breeds. Genome-wide association (GWA, haplotype analysis, signatures of selection, runs of homozygosity, and identity by state (IBS calculations were used to identify a 0.8Mb (37.7-38.5Mb consensus region for the SLICK locus on Chr 20 in which contains SKP2 and SPEF2 as possible candidate genes. Three specific haplotype patterns are identified in slick individuals, all with zero frequency in non-slick individuals. Admixture analysis identified common genetic patterns between the three slick breeds at the SLICK locus. Principle component analysis and admixture results show Senepol and Romosinuano sharing a higher degree of genetic similarity to one another with a much lesser degree of similarity to Carora. Variation in GWA, haplotype analysis, and IBS calculations with accompanying population structure information supports potentially two mutations, one common to Senepol and Romosinuano and another in Carora, effecting genes contained within our refined location for the SLICK locus.

  11. Zebrafish Wnt9a,9b paralog comparisons suggest ancestral roles for Wnt9 in neural, oral-pharyngeal ectoderm and mesendoderm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, A A; Jezewski, P A; Fang, P-K; Payne-Ferreira, T L

    2010-09-01

    The Wnts are a highly conserved family of secreted glycoproteins involved in cell-cell signaling and pattern formation during early embryonic development. Teasing out the role of individual Wnt molecules through development is challenging. Gene duplications are one of the most important mechanisms for generating evolutionary variations. The current consensus suggests that most anatomical variation is generated by divergence of regulatory control regions rather than by coding sequence divergence. Thus phylogenetic comparisons of divergent gene expression patterns are essential to understanding ancestral morphogenetic patterns from which subsequent anatomy diversified in modern lineages. We previously demonstrated strongest expression of zebrafish wnt9b within its heart tube, limb bud and ventral/anterior ectoderm during oral and pharyngeal arch patterning. Our goal is to compare and contrast zwnt9b to its closest paralog, zwnt9a. Sequenced, fulllength zebrafish wnt9a and wnt9b cDNA clones were used for phylogenetic analysis, which suggests their derivation from a common pre-vertebrate archeolog by gene duplication and divergence. Here we demonstrate that zwnt9a expression is found within unique (CNS, pronephric ducts, sensory organs) and overlapping (pectoral fin buds) expression domains relative to zwnt9b. Apparently, Wnt9 paralogs differentially parsed common ancestral expression domains during their subsequent rounds of gene duplication, divergence and loss in different vertebrate lineages. This expression data suggests ancestral roles for Wnt9s in early patterning of neural/oral-pharyngeal ectoderm and mesendoderm derivatives.

  12. Evolution of echinoderms may not have required modification of the ancestral deuterostome HOX gene cluster: first report of PG4 and PG5 Hox orthologues in echinoderms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Suzanne; Martinez, Pedro; Chen, Wei-Chung; Thorndyke, Michael; Byrne, Maria

    2003-11-01

    Is the extreme derivation of the echinoderm body plan reflected in a derived echinoderm Hox genotype? Building on previous work, we exploited the sequence conservation of the homeobox to isolate putative orthologues of several Hox genes from two asteroid echinoderms. The 5-peptide motif (LPNTK) diagnostic of PG4 Hox genes was identified immediately downstream of one of the partial homeodomains from Patiriella exigua. This constitutes the first unequivocal report of a PG4 Hox gene orthologue from an echinoderm. Subsequent screenings identified genes of both PG4 and PG4/5 in Asterias rubens. Although in echinoids only a single gene (PG4/5) occupies these two contiguous cluster positions, we conclude that the ancestral echinoderm must have had the complete deuterostome suite of medial Hox genes, including orthologues of both PG4 and PG4/5 (=PG5). The reported absence of PG4 in the HOX cluster of echinoids is therefore a derived state, and the ancestral echinoderm probably had a HOX cluster not dissimilar to that of other deuterostomes. Modification of the ancestral deuterostome Hox genotype may not have been required for evolution of the highly derived echinoderm body plan.

  13. Role of ortho-retronasal olfaction in mammalian cortical evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Timothy B; Shepherd, Gordon M

    2016-02-15

    Fossils of mammals and their extinct relatives among cynodonts give evidence of correlated transformations affecting olfaction as well as mastication, head movement, and ventilation, and suggest evolutionary coupling of these seemingly separate anatomical regions into a larger integrated system of ortho-retronasal olfaction. Evidence from paleontology and physiology suggests that ortho-retronasal olfaction played a critical role at three stages of mammalian cortical evolution: early mammalian brain development was driven in part by ortho-retronasal olfaction; the bauplan for neocortex had higher-level association functions derived from olfactory cortex; and human cortical evolution was enhanced by ortho-retronasal smell.

  14. Role of Notch signaling in the mammalian heart

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, X.L.; Liu, J.C. [Department of Cardiac Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Nanchang University, Donghu District, Nanchang, Jiangxi (China)

    2013-12-12

    Notch signaling is an evolutionarily ancient, highly conserved pathway important for deciding cell fate, cellular development, differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Notch signaling is also critical in mammalian cardiogenesis, as mutations in this signaling pathway are linked to human congenital heart disease. Furthermore, Notch signaling can repair myocardial injury by promoting myocardial regeneration, protecting ischemic myocardium, inducing angiogenesis, and negatively regulating cardiac fibroblast-myofibroblast transformation. This review provides an update on the known roles of Notch signaling in the mammalian heart. The goal is to assist in developing strategies to influence Notch signaling and optimize myocardial injury repair.

  15. Expression and purification of splicing proteins from mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allemand, Eric; Hastings, Michelle L

    2014-01-01

    Pre-mRNA splicing is a complex process that is carried out by a large ribonucleoprotein enzyme, termed the spliceosome, which comprises up to 200 proteins. Despite this complexity, the role of individual spliceosomal proteins in the splicing reaction has been successfully investigated using cell-free assays. In many cases, the splicing factor of interest must be expressed and purified in order to study its function in vitro. Posttranslational modifications such as phosphorylation, methylation, acetylation, and ubiquitination of splicing factors are important for activity. Thus, their purification from mammalian cells presents numerous advantages. Here, we describe a method for expression and purification of splicing proteins from mammalian cells.

  16. Retention of the Native Epigenome in Purified Mammalian Chromatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas H Ehrensberger

    Full Text Available A protocol is presented for the isolation of native mammalian chromatin as fibers of 25-250 nucleosomes under conditions that preserve the natural epigenetic signature. The material is composed almost exclusively of histones and DNA and conforms to the structure expected by electron microscopy. All sequences probed for were retained, indicating that the material is representative of the majority of the genome. DNA methylation marks and histone marks resembled the patterns observed in vivo. Importantly, nucleosome positions also remained largely unchanged, except on CpG islands, where nucleosomes were found to be unstable. The technical challenges of reconstituting biochemical reactions with native mammalian chromatin are discussed.

  17. The meiosis-specific modification of mammalian telomeres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibuya, Hiroki; Watanabe, Yoshinori

    2014-01-01

    During meiosis, rapid chromosome movements within the nucleus enable homologous chromosomes to acquire physical juxtaposition. In most organisms, chromosome ends, telomeres, tethered to the transmembrane LINC-complex mediate this movement by transmitting cytoskeletal forces to the chromosomes. While the majority of molecular studies have been performed using lower eukaryotes as model systems, recent studies have identified mammalian meiotic telomere regulators, including the LINC-complex SUN1/KASH5 and the meiosis-specific telomere binding protein TERB1. This review highlights the molecular regulations of mammalian meiotic telomeres in comparison with other model systems and discusses some future perspectives.

  18. Ion channels that control fertility in mammalian spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Betsy; Kirichok, Yuriy; Chung, Jean-Ju; Clapham, David E

    2008-01-01

    Whole-cell voltage clamp of mammalian spermatozoa was first achieved in 2006. This technical advance, combined with genetic deletion strategies, makes unambiguous identification of sperm ion channel currents possible. This review summarizes the ion channel currents that have been directly measured in mammalian sperm, and their physiological roles in fertilization. The predominant currents are a Ca2+-selective current requiring expression of the 4 mCatSper genes, and a rectifying K+ current with properties most similar to mSlo3. Intracellular alkalinization activates both channels and induces hyperactivated motility.

  19. In vivo strains in the femur of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) during terrestrial locomotion: testing hypotheses of evolutionary shifts in mammalian bone loading and design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butcher, Michael T; White, Bartholomew J; Hudzik, Nathan B; Gosnell, W Casey; Parrish, John H A; Blob, Richard W

    2011-08-01

    Terrestrial locomotion can impose substantial loads on vertebrate limbs. Previous studies have shown that limb bones from cursorial species of eutherian mammals experience high bending loads with minimal torsion, whereas the limb bones of non-avian reptiles (and amphibians) exhibit considerable torsion in addition to bending. It has been hypothesized that these differences in loading regime are related to the difference in limb posture between upright mammals and sprawling reptiles, and that the loading patterns observed in non-avian reptiles may be ancestral for tetrapod vertebrates. To evaluate whether non-cursorial mammals show loading patterns more similar to those of sprawling lineages, we measured in vivo strains in the femur during terrestrial locomotion of the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a marsupial that uses more crouched limb posture than most mammals from which bone strains have been recorded, and which belongs to a clade phylogenetically between reptiles and the eutherian mammals studied previously. The presence of substantial torsion in the femur of opossums, similar to non-avian reptiles, would suggest that this loading regime likely reflects an ancestral condition for tetrapod limb bone design. Strain recordings indicate the presence of both bending and appreciable torsion (shear strain: 419.1 ± 212.8 με) in the opossum femur, with planar strain analyses showing neutral axis orientations that placed the lateral aspect of the femur in tension at the time of peak strains. Such mediolateral bending was unexpected for a mammal running with near-parasagittal limb kinematics. Shear strains were similar in magnitude to peak compressive axial strains, with opossum femora experiencing similar bending loads but higher levels of torsion compared with most previously studied mammals. Analyses of peak femoral strains led to estimated safety factor ranges of 5.1-7.2 in bending and 5.5-7.3 in torsion, somewhat higher than typical mammalian values

  20. The Constrained Maximal Expression Level Owing to Haploidy Shapes Gene Content on the Mammalian X Chromosome

    KAUST Repository

    Hurst, Laurence D.

    2015-12-18

    X chromosomes are unusual in many regards, not least of which is their nonrandom gene content. The causes of this bias are commonly discussed in the context of sexual antagonism and the avoidance of activity in the male germline. Here, we examine the notion that, at least in some taxa, functionally biased gene content may more profoundly be shaped by limits imposed on gene expression owing to haploid expression of the X chromosome. Notably, if the X, as in primates, is transcribed at rates comparable to the ancestral rate (per promoter) prior to the X chromosome formation, then the X is not a tolerable environment for genes with very high maximal net levels of expression, owing to transcriptional traffic jams. We test this hypothesis using The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) and data from the Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome (FANTOM5) project. As predicted, the maximal expression of human X-linked genes is much lower than that of genes on autosomes: on average, maximal expression is three times lower on the X chromosome than on autosomes. Similarly, autosome-to-X retroposition events are associated with lower maximal expression of retrogenes on the X than seen for X-to-autosome retrogenes on autosomes. Also as expected, X-linked genes have a lesser degree of increase in gene expression than autosomal ones (compared to the human/Chimpanzee common ancestor) if highly expressed, but not if lowly expressed. The traffic jam model also explains the known lower breadth of expression for genes on the X (and the Z of birds), as genes with broad expression are, on average, those with high maximal expression. As then further predicted, highly expressed tissue-specific genes are also rare on the X and broadly expressed genes on the X tend to be lowly expressed, both indicating that the trend is shaped by the maximal expression level not the breadth of expression per se. Importantly, a limit to the maximal expression level explains biased tissue of expression

  1. The Constrained Maximal Expression Level Owing to Haploidy Shapes Gene Content on the Mammalian X Chromosome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurence D Hurst

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available X chromosomes are unusual in many regards, not least of which is their nonrandom gene content. The causes of this bias are commonly discussed in the context of sexual antagonism and the avoidance of activity in the male germline. Here, we examine the notion that, at least in some taxa, functionally biased gene content may more profoundly be shaped by limits imposed on gene expression owing to haploid expression of the X chromosome. Notably, if the X, as in primates, is transcribed at rates comparable to the ancestral rate (per promoter prior to the X chromosome formation, then the X is not a tolerable environment for genes with very high maximal net levels of expression, owing to transcriptional traffic jams. We test this hypothesis using The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE and data from the Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome (FANTOM5 project. As predicted, the maximal expression of human X-linked genes is much lower than that of genes on autosomes: on average, maximal expression is three times lower on the X chromosome than on autosomes. Similarly, autosome-to-X retroposition events are associated with lower maximal expression of retrogenes on the X than seen for X-to-autosome retrogenes on autosomes. Also as expected, X-linked genes have a lesser degree of increase in gene expression than autosomal ones (compared to the human/Chimpanzee common ancestor if highly expressed, but not if lowly expressed. The traffic jam model also explains the known lower breadth of expression for genes on the X (and the Z of birds, as genes with broad expression are, on average, those with high maximal expression. As then further predicted, highly expressed tissue-specific genes are also rare on the X and broadly expressed genes on the X tend to be lowly expressed, both indicating that the trend is shaped by the maximal expression level not the breadth of expression per se. Importantly, a limit to the maximal expression level explains biased

  2. The Constrained Maximal Expression Level Owing to Haploidy Shapes Gene Content on the Mammalian X Chromosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurst, Laurence D; Ghanbarian, Avazeh T; Forrest, Alistair R R; Huminiecki, Lukasz

    2015-12-01

    X chromosomes are unusual in many regards, not least of which is their nonrandom gene content. The causes of this bias are commonly discussed in the context of sexual antagonism and the avoidance of activity in the male germline. Here, we examine the notion that, at least in some taxa, functionally biased gene content may more profoundly be shaped by limits imposed on gene expression owing to haploid expression of the X chromosome. Notably, if the X, as in primates, is transcribed at rates comparable to the ancestral rate (per promoter) prior to the X chromosome formation, then the X is not a tolerable environment for genes with very high maximal net levels of expression, owing to transcriptional traffic jams. We test this hypothesis using The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) and data from the Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome (FANTOM5) project. As predicted, the maximal expression of human X-linked genes is much lower than that of genes on autosomes: on average, maximal expression is three times lower on the X chromosome than on autosomes. Similarly, autosome-to-X retroposition events are associated with lower maximal expression of retrogenes on the X than seen for X-to-autosome retrogenes on autosomes. Also as expected, X-linked genes have a lesser degree of increase in gene expression than autosomal ones (compared to the human/Chimpanzee common ancestor) if highly expressed, but not if lowly expressed. The traffic jam model also explains the known lower breadth of expression for genes on the X (and the Z of birds), as genes with broad expression are, on average, those with high maximal expression. As then further predicted, highly expressed tissue-specific genes are also rare on the X and broadly expressed genes on the X tend to be lowly expressed, both indicating that the trend is shaped by the maximal expression level not the breadth of expression per se. Importantly, a limit to the maximal expression level explains biased tissue of expression

  3. Wave characterization for mammalian cell culture: residence time distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Maria Elisa; Costa, Ana Rita; Henriques, Mariana; Azeredo, Joana; Oliveira, Rosário

    2012-02-15

    The high dose requirements of biopharmaceutical products led to the development of mammalian cell culture technologies that increase biomanufacturing capacity. The disposable Wave bioreactor is one of the most promising technologies, providing ease of operation and no cross-contamination, and using an innovative undulation movement that ensures good mixing and oxygen transfer without cell damage. However, its recentness demands further characterization. This study evaluated the residence time distribution (RTD) in Wave, allowing the characterization of mixing and flow and the comparison with ideal models and a Stirred tank reactor (STR) used for mammalian cell culture. RTD was determined using methylene blue with pulse input methodology, at three flow rates common in mammalian cell culture (3.3×10(-5)m(3)/h, 7.9×10(-5)m(3)/h, and 1.25×10(-4)m(3)/h) and one typical of microbial culture (5×10(-3)m(3)/h). Samples were taken periodically and the absorbance read at 660nm. It was observed that Wave behavior diverted from ideal models, but was similar to STR. Therefore, the deviations are not related to the particular Wave rocking mechanism, but could be associated with the inadequacy of these reactors to operate in continuous mode or to a possible inability of the theoretical models to properly describe the behavior of reactors designed for mammalian cell culture. Thus, the development of new theoretical models could better characterize the performance of these reactors.

  4. Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor-associated stomatitis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boers-Doets, C.B.; Raber-Durlacher, J.E.; Treister, N.S.; Epstein, J.B.; Arends, A.B.P.; Wiersma, D.R.; Lalla, R.V.; Logan, R.M.; van Erp, N.R.P.; Gelderblom, H.

    2013-01-01

    With the recent introduction of inhibitors of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in oncology, distinct cutaneous and oral adverse events have been identified. In fact, stomatitis and rash are documented as the most frequent and potentially dose-limiting side effects. Clinically, mTOR inhibitor-ass

  5. Fate and Metabolism of PBDEs in Mammalian Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) belong to an emerging class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Although the toxicology of PBDEs is not well developed, they are persistent and bioaccumulative, and therefore, of growing environmental concern. The metabolism of PBDEs in mammalian systems h...

  6. Supercomplexes in the respiratory chains of yeast and mammalian mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schägger, H; Pfeiffer, K

    2000-04-17

    Around 30-40 years after the first isolation of the five complexes of oxidative phosphorylation from mammalian mitochondria, we present data that fundamentally change the paradigm of how the yeast and mammalian system of oxidative phosphorylation is organized. The complexes are not randomly distributed within the inner mitochondrial membrane, but assemble into supramolecular structures. We show that all cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is bound to cytochrome c reductase (complex III), which exists in three forms: the free dimer, and two supercomplexes comprising an additional one or two complex IV monomers. The distribution between these forms varies with growth conditions. In mammalian mitochondria, almost all complex I is assembled into supercomplexes comprising complexes I and III and up to four copies of complex IV, which guided us to present a model for a network of respiratory chain complexes: a 'respirasome'. A fraction of total bovine ATP synthase (complex V) was isolated in dimeric form, suggesting that a dimeric state is not limited to S.cerevisiae, but also exists in mammalian mitochondria.

  7. Germ cells and the origins of mammalian pluripotent cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijk, E.W.

    2009-01-01

    Mammalian embryonic stem (ES) cells originate from preimplantation embryos and can be propagated indefinitely without loss of pluripotency; i.e. the potential to develop into any embryonic cell type. ES cells have been described for mouse, rhesus monkey, and human. There is considerable interest in

  8. Complementation of mutant phenotypes and genotypes of cultured mammalian cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.J.R. de Jonge

    1985-01-01

    textabstractThis dissertation describes experiments aimed at the complementation of a genetic mutation in cultured mammalian cells in order to investigate several aspects of the structure and functioning of the human genome. Complementation is indicated by the correction of a biochemical function in

  9. The different shades of mammalian pluripotent stem cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuijk, E.W.; Lopes, S.M.; Geijsen, N.; Macklon, N.S.; Roelen, B.A.J.

    2011-01-01

    The different shades of mammalian pluripotent stem cells Abstract BACKGROUND Pluripotent stem cells have been derived from a variety of sources such as from the inner cell mass of preimplantation embryos, from primordial germ cells, from teratocarcinomas and from male germ cells. The recent developm

  10. Incorporation of nanoparticles within mammalian spermatozoa using in vitro capacitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    There is still much unknown about the journey of spermatozoa within the female genital tract. Recent studies have investigated mammalian spermatozoa labeling with fluorescent quantum dot nanoparticles (QD) for non-invasive imaging. Furthermore, the incorporation of these QD within the spermatozoa ma...

  11. 40 CFR 799.9539 - TSCA mammalian erythrocyte micronucleus test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true TSCA mammalian erythrocyte micronucleus test. 799.9539 Section 799.9539 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED... strains of young healthy animals should be employed. At the commencement of the study, the...

  12. ¿Con o sin ancestros?: vigencia de lo ancestral en la Amazonía peruana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Mouriès

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available La existencia o no de ancestros en la Amazonía indígena ha sido objeto de importantes debates. Sin embargo, los líderes de la región no dudan en llamar ‘ancestrales’ sus saberes, normas o territorios, en un sentido que, desde un punto de vista académico, puede parecer enigmático. «Ancestrales, pero… ¿con o sin ancestros?», preguntaría entonces, confuso, el antropólogo. En este artículo propongo aportar elementos de respuesta a esta pregunta a través del caso peruano. Primero analizo cómo los líderes indígenas amazónicos, conectándose al circuito del derecho internacional, adoptan la noción jurídica de ‘posesión ancestral’ del territorio para adaptarla al ámbito político. Este planteamiento rinde cuenta de la generalización y uniformización reciente del vocablo ‘ancestral’ pero deja pendiente el problema de su eventual articulación con las cosmologías indígenas que pretende reflejar. Por eso, en la segunda parte, intento sondear sobre la pertinencia de la categoría de ‘ancestro’ en la Amazonía indígena, recordando brevemente el debate académico para ir definiendo en qué medida esta categoría puede cobrar sentido. A partir del testimonio de un experimentado líder awajún, la tercera parte permite, entonces, volver más explícitos los diferentes sentidos y planos referenciales que despliega la referencia a lo ancestral, mostrando cómo los indígenas amazónicos no solo adoptan elementos conceptuales y discursivos externos, sino que al mismo tiempo los transforman a partir de sus propias singularidades cosmológicas y perspectivas políticas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-13

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

  15. Mammalian target of rapamycin activity is required for expansion of CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitor cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geest, Christian R.; Zwartkruis, Fried J.; Vellenga, Edo; Coffer, Paul J.; Buitenhuis, Miranda

    2009-01-01

    Background The mammalian target of rapamycin is a conserved protein kinase known to regulate protein synthesis, cell size and proliferation. Aberrant regulation of mammalian target of rapamycin activity has been observed in hematopoietic malignancies, including acute leukemias and myelodysplastic sy

  16. Mammalian target of rapamycin activity is required for expansion of CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geest, C.R.; Zwartkruis, G.J.T.; Vellenga, E.; Coffer, P.J.; Buitenhuis, M.

    2009-01-01

    Background The mammalian target of rapamycin is a conserved protein kinase known to regulate protein synthesis, cell size and proliferation. Aberrant regulation of mammalian target of rapamycin activity has been observed in hematopoietic malignancies, including acute leukemias and myelodysplastic sy

  17. An ancestral miR-1304 allele present in Neanderthals regulates genes involved in enamel formation and could explain dental differences with modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Valenzuela, Maria; Ramírez, Oscar; Rosas, Antonio; García-Vargas, Samuel; de la Rasilla, Marco; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Espinosa-Parrilla, Yolanda

    2012-07-01

    Genetic changes in regulatory elements are likely to result in phenotypic effects that might explain population-specific as well as species-specific traits. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are posttranscriptional repressors involved in the control of almost every biological process. These small noncoding RNAs are present in various phylogenetic groups, and a large number of them remain highly conserved at the sequence level. MicroRNA-mediated regulation depends on perfect matching between the seven nucleotides of its seed region and the target sequence usually located at the 3' untranslated region of the regulated gene. Hence, even single changes in seed regions are predicted to be deleterious as they may affect miRNA target specificity. In accordance to this, purifying selection has strongly acted on these regions. Comparison between the genomes of present-day humans from various populations, Neanderthal, and other nonhuman primates showed an miRNA, miR-1304, that carries a polymorphism on its seed region. The ancestral allele is found in Neanderthal, nonhuman primates, at low frequency (~5%) in modern Asian populations and rarely in Africans. Using miRNA target site prediction algorithms, we found that the derived allele increases the number of putative target genes for the derived miRNA more than ten-fold, indicating an important functional evolution for miR-1304. Analysis of the predicted targets for derived miR-1304 indicates an association with behavior and nervous system development and function. Two of the predicted target genes for the ancestral miR-1304 allele are important genes for teeth formation, enamelin, and amelotin. MicroRNA overexpression experiments using a luciferase-based assay showed that the ancestral version of miR-1304 reduces the enamelin- and amelotin-associated reporter gene expression by 50%, whereas the derived miR-1304 does not have any effect. Deletion of the corresponding target sites for miR-1304 in these dental genes avoided their repression

  18. Personal and Social Transformation in the Health Area through Education: A Brief Journey from the Ancestral Indigenous Wisdom to the Modern Tyranny of Healthiness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés de Muller

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims at claiming the ancestral wisdom of indigenous people in the health area. It analyzes how health has been commodified in the interest of large companies (particularly those related to the pharmaceutical industry to the detriment of a holistic definition of wellness through education. Furthermore, the concept of health as a right disagrees with such commodification or sale to the highest bidder, which prompts dehumanization of health services and public misinformation. The abundance of self-proclaimed gurus or healers who appeal to autosuggestion contributes both to confusion and to an unhealthy cult of healthiness.

  19. Latest Miocene-earliest Pliocene evolution of the ancestral Rio Grande at the Española-San Luis Basin boundary, northern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel J. Koning,; Scott Aby,; Grauch, V. J.; Matthew J. Zimmerer,

    2016-01-01

    We use stratigraphic relations, paleoflow data, and 40Ar/39Ar dating to interpret net aggradation, punctuated by at least two minor incisional events, along part of the upper ancestral Rio Grande fluvial system between 5.5 and 4.5 Ma (in northern New Mexico). The studied fluvial deposits, which we informally call the Sandlin unit of the Santa Fe Group, overlie a structural high between the San Luis and Española Basins. The Sandlin unit was deposited by two merging, west- to southwest-flowing, ancestral Rio Grande tributaries respectively sourced in the central Taos Mountains and southern Taos Mountains-northeastern Picuris Mountains. The river confluence progressively shifted southwestward (downstream) with time, and the integrated river (ancestral Rio Grande) flowed southwards into the Española Basin to merge with the ancestral Rio Chama. Just prior to the end of the Miocene, this fluvial system was incised in the southern part of the study area (resulting in an approximately 4–7 km wide paleovalley), and had sufficient competency to transport cobbles and boulders. Sometime between emplacement of two basalt flows dated at 5.54± 0.38 Ma and 4.82±0.20 Ma (groundmass 40Ar/39Ar ages), this fluvial system deposited 10–12 m of sandier sediment (lower Sandlin subunit) preserved in the northern part of this paleovalley. The fluvial system widened between 4.82±0.20 and 4.50±0.07 Ma, depositing coarse sand and fine gravel up to 14 km north of the present-day Rio Grande. This 10–25 m-thick sediment package (upper Sandlin unit) buried earlier south- to southeast-trending paleovalleys (500–800 m wide) inferred from aeromagnetic data. Two brief incisional events are recognized. The first was caused by the 4.82±0.20 Ma basalt flow impounding south-flowing paleodrainages, and the second occurred shortly after emplacement of a 4.69±0.09 Ma basalt flow in the northern study area. Drivers responsible for Sandlin unit aggradation may include climate

  20. Live-cell imaging of mammalian RNAs with Spinach2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strack, Rita L.; Jaffrey, Samie R.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to monitor RNAs of interest in living cells is crucial to understanding the function, dynamics, and regulation of this important class of molecules. In recent years, numerous strategies have been developed with the goal of imaging individual RNAs of interest in living cells, each with their own advantages and limitations. This chapter provides an overview of current methods of live-cell RNA imaging, including a detailed discussion of genetically encoded strategies for labeling RNAs in mammalian cells. This chapter then focuses on the development and use of “RNA mimics of GFP” or Spinach technology for tagging mammalian RNAs, and includes a detailed protocol for imaging 5S and CGG60 RNA with the recently described Spinach2 tag. PMID:25605384

  1. Growth of the Mammalian Golgi Apparatus during Interphase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sin, Alex T-W; Harrison, Rene E

    2016-09-15

    During the cell cycle, genetic materials and organelles are duplicated to ensure that there is sufficient cellular content for daughter cells. While Golgi growth in interphase has been observed in lower eukaryotes, the elaborate ribbon structure of the mammalian Golgi apparatus has made it challenging to monitor. Here we demonstrate the growth of the mammalian Golgi apparatus in its protein content and volume during interphase. Through ultrastructural analyses, physical growth of the Golgi apparatus was revealed to occur by cisternal elongation of the individual Golgi stacks. By examining the timing and regulation of Golgi growth, we established that Golgi growth starts after passage through the cell growth checkpoint at late G1 phase and continues in a manner highly correlated with cell size growth. Finally, by identifying S6 kinase 1 as a major player in Golgi growth, we revealed the coordination between cell size and Golgi growth via activation of the protein synthesis machinery in early interphase.

  2. Experimental comparison of mammalian and avian blood flow in microchannels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Kathryn; Liepmann, Dorian

    2015-11-01

    The non-Newtonian, shear rate dependent behavior of blood in microchannel fluid dynamics has been studied for nearly a century, with a significant focus on the characteristics of human blood. However, for over 200 years biologists have noted significant differences in red blood cell characteristics across vertebrate species, with particularly drastic differences in cell size and shape between mammals and non-mammalian classes. We present an experimental analysis of flow in long microchannels for several varieties of mammalian and avian blood, across a range of hematocrits, channel diameters, and flow rates. Correlation of shear rate and viscosity is compared to existing constitutive equations for human blood to further quantify the importance of red blood cell characteristics. Ongoing experimental results are made available in an online database for reference or collaboration. K.F. acknowledges funding from the ARCS Foundation and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship through NSF Grant DGE 1106400.

  3. Number matters: control of mammalian mitochondrial DNA copy number.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clay Montier, Laura L; Deng, Janice J; Bai, Yidong

    2009-03-01

    Regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis is essential for proper cellular functioning. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion and the resulting mitochondrial malfunction have been implicated in cancer, neurodegeneration, diabetes, aging, and many other human diseases. Although it is known that the dynamics of the mammalian mitochondrial genome are not linked with that of the nuclear genome, very little is known about the mechanism of mtDNA propagation. Nevertheless, our understanding of the mode of mtDNA replication has advanced in recent years, though not without some controversies. This review summarizes our current knowledge of mtDNA copy number control in mammalian cells, while focusing on both mtDNA replication and turnover. Although mtDNA copy number is seemingly in excess, we reason that mtDNA copy number control is an important aspect of mitochondrial genetics and biogenesis and is essential for normal cellular function.

  4. Mammalian cycles: internally defined periods and interaction-driven amplitudes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LR Ginzburg

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The cause of mammalian cycles—the rise and fall of populations over a predictable period of time—has remained controversial since these patterns were first observed over a century ago. In spite of extensive work on observable mammalian cycles, the field has remained divided upon what the true cause is, with a majority of opinions attributing it to either predation or to intra-species mechanisms. Here we unite the eigenperiod hypothesis, which describes an internal, maternal effect-based mechanism to explain the cycles’ periods with a recent generalization explaining the amplitude of snowshoe hare cycles in northwestern North America based on initial predator abundance. By explaining the period and the amplitude of the cycle with separate mechanisms, a unified and consistent view of the causation of cycles is reached. Based on our suggested theory, we forecast the next snowshoe hare cycle (predicted peak in 2016 to be of extraordinarily low amplitude.

  5. Genetic modification of mammalian genome at chromosome level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OLEG L. SEROV

    2000-09-01

    Full Text Available The review is concerned with a progress in genetic modification of a mammalian genome in vitro and in vivo at chromosomal level. Recently three new approaches for the chromosome biotechnology have been developed: Using Cre/loxP-system a researcher is able to produce targeted rearrangements of whole chromosomes or their segments or particular genes within the genome, and therefore to modify the set, position and copy number of the endogenous elements of the genome. Mammalian artificial chromosomes (MACs provide a possibility to introduce into genome relatively large segments of alien chromosome material, either artificially constructed or derived from the genome of different species. Using ES-somatic cell hybrids allows to transfer whole chromosomes or their fragments between different genomes within and between species. Advantages and limitations of these approaches are discussed.

  6. Formation of mammalian erythrocytes: chromatin condensation and enucleation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Peng; Murata-Hori, Maki; Lodish, Harvey F

    2011-07-01

    In all vertebrates, the cell nucleus becomes highly condensed and transcriptionally inactive during the final stages of red cell biogenesis. Enucleation, the process by which the nucleus is extruded by budding off from the erythroblast, is unique to mammals. Enucleation has critical physiological and evolutionary significance in that it allows an elevation of hemoglobin levels in the blood and also gives red cells their flexible biconcave shape. Recent experiments reveal that enucleation involves multiple molecular and cellular pathways that include histone deacetylation, actin polymerization, cytokinesis, cell-matrix interactions, specific microRNAs and vesicle trafficking; many evolutionarily conserved proteins and genes have been recruited to participate in this uniquely mammalian process. In this review, we discuss recent advances in mammalian erythroblast chromatin condensation and enucleation, and conclude with our perspectives on future studies.

  7. A genetically encoded fluorescent probe in mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Abhishek; Guo, Jiantao; Lee, Hyun Soo; Schultz, Peter G

    2013-08-28

    Fluorescent reporters are useful in vitro and in vivo probes of protein structure, function, and localization. Here we report that the fluorescent amino acid, 3-(6-acetylnaphthalen-2-ylamino)-2-aminopropanoic acid (Anap), can be site-specifically incorporated into proteins in mammalian cells in response to the TAG codon with high efficiency using an orthogonal amber suppressor tRNA/aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aaRS) pair. We further demonstrate that Anap can be used to image the subcellular localization of proteins in live mammalian cells. The small size of Anap, its environment-sensitive fluorescence, and the ability to introduce Anap at specific sites in the proteome by simple mutagenesis make it a unique and valuable tool in eukaryotic cell biology.

  8. Adult neural stem cells in the mammalian central nervous system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dengke K Ma; Michael A Bonaguidi; Guo-li Ming; Hongjun Song

    2009-01-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are present not only during the embryonic development but also in the adult brain of all mammalian species, including humans. Stem cell niche architecture in vivo enables adult NSCs to continuously generate functional neurons in specific brain regions throughout life. The adult neurogenesis process is subject to dynamic regulation by various physiological, pathological and pharmacological stimuli. Multipotent adult NSCs also appear to be intrinsically plastic, amenable to genetic programing during normal differentiation, and to epigenetic reprograming during de-differentiation into pluripotency. Increasing evidence suggests that adult NSCs significantly contribute to specialized neural functions under physiological and pathological conditions. Fully understanding the biology of adult NSCs will provide crucial insights into both the etiology and potential therapeutic interventions of major brain disorders. Here, we review recent progress on adult NSCs of the mammalian central nervous system, in-cluding topics on their identity, niche, function, plasticity, and emerging roles in cancer and regenerative medicine.

  9. Mammalian pheromones: emerging properties and mechanisms of detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stowers, Lisa; Kuo, Tsung-Han

    2015-10-01

    The concept of mammalian pheromones was established decades before the discovery of any bioactive ligands. Therefore, their molecular identity, native sources, and the meaning of their detection has been largely speculative. There has been recent success in identifying a variety of candidate mouse pheromones and other specialized odors. These discoveries reveal that mammalian pheromones come in a variety of ligand types and they are detected by sensory neurons that are pre-set to promote an array of social and survival behaviors. Importantly, recent findings show that they activate molecularly diverse sensory neurons that differ from canonical odorant detectors. These novel sensory neurons hold future promise to unlock the mystery of how their detection is hardwired to generate behavior.

  10. Phylogenetics and the correlates of mammalian sleep: a reappraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesku, John A; Roth, Timothy C; Rattenborg, Niels C; Amlaner, Charles J; Lima, Steven L

    2008-06-01

    The correlates of mammalian sleep have been investigated previously in at least eight comparative studies in an effort to illuminate the functions of sleep. However, all of these univariate analyses treated each species, or taxonomic Family, as a statistically independent unit, which is invalid due to the phylogenetic relationships among species. Here, we reassess these influential correlates of mammalian sleep using the formal phylogenetic framework of independent contrasts. After controlling for phylogeny using this procedure, the interpretation of many of the correlates changed. For instance, and contrary to previous studies, we found interspecific support for a neurophysiological role for rapid-eye-movement sleep, such as memory consolidation. Also in contrast to previous studies, we did not find comparative support for an energy conservation function for slow-wave sleep. Thus, the incorporation of a phylogenetic control into comparative analyses of sleep yields meaningful differences that affect our understanding of why we sleep.

  11. PepGMV Rep-Protein Expression in Mammalian Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapa-Oliver, Angela María; Mejía-Teniente, Laura; García-Gasca, Teresa; Guevara-Gonzalez, Ramon Gerardo; Torres-Pacheco, Irineo

    2012-01-01

    The Geminiviruses genome is a small, single strand DNA that replicates in the plant cell nucleus. Analogous to animal DNA viruses, Geminiviruses depend on the host replication machinery to amplify their genomes and only supply the factors required to initiate their replication. Consequently, Geminiviruses remove the cell-cycle arrest and induce the host replication machinery using an endocycle process. They encode proteins, such as the conserved replication-associated proteins (Rep) that interact with retinoblastoma-like proteins in plants and alter the cell division cycle in yeasts. Therefore, the aim of this work is to analyze the impact of Pepper Golden Mosaic Virus (PepGMV) Rep protein in mammalian cells. Results indicate that the pTracer-SV40:Rep construction obtained in this work can be used to analyze the Rep protein effect in mammalian cells in order to compare the cell cycle regulation mechanisms in plants and animals. PMID:23170183

  12. Bacterial iron-sulfur cluster sensors in mammalian pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Halie K.; Auerbuch, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Iron-sulfur clusters act as important cofactors for a number of transcriptional regulators in bacteria, including many mammalian pathogens. The sensitivity of iron-sulfur clusters to iron availability, oxygen tension, and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species enables bacteria to use such regulators to adapt their gene expression profiles rapidly in response to changing environmental conditions. In this review, we discuss how the [4Fe-4S] or [2Fe-2S] cluster-containing regulators FNR, Wbl, aconitase, IscR, NsrR, SoxR, and AirSR contribute to bacterial pathogenesis through control of both metabolism and classical virulence factors. In addition, we briefly review mammalian iron homeostasis as well as oxidative/nitrosative stress to provide context for understanding the function of bacterial iron-sulfur cluster sensors in different niches within the host. PMID:25738802

  13. Mammalian safety of Decaleside II in the laboratory mouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Rajashekar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Decaleside II, a novel trisaccharide isolated from the edible roots of Decalepis hamiltonii, belongs to a new class of natural insecticides. We have evaluated the mammalian safety of Decaleside II in the laboratory mouse. Our results on acute and sub acute toxicity study suggest that Decaleside II is not toxic to the laboratory mice as there were no symptoms of toxicity or mortality up to 2400 mg/kg bw. Haematological profile was unaltered and serum profiles of enzymes were not significantly affected. The lack of toxicity of Decaleside is attributed to the 1,4 α linkage of the sugars which are easily hydrolyzed by the digestive enzymes such as glucosidases. The selective toxicity to insects and mammalian safety of Decaleside II makes them highly suitable for use as novel grain protectants of natural origin.

  14. Mammalian cycles: internally defined periods and interaction-driven amplitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginzburg, L R; Krebs, C J

    2015-01-01

    The cause of mammalian cycles-the rise and fall of populations over a predictable period of time-has remained controversial since these patterns were first observed over a century ago. In spite of extensive work on observable mammalian cycles, the field has remained divided upon what the true cause is, with a majority of opinions attributing it to either predation or to intra-species mechanisms. Here we unite the eigenperiod hypothesis, which describes an internal, maternal effect-based mechanism to explain the cycles' periods with a recent generalization explaining the amplitude of snowshoe hare cycles in northwestern North America based on initial predator abundance. By explaining the period and the amplitude of the cycle with separate mechanisms, a unified and consistent view of the causation of cycles is reached. Based on our suggested theory, we forecast the next snowshoe hare cycle (predicted peak in 2016) to be of extraordinarily low amplitude.

  15. Isolation, characterization and comparison of mammalian epidermal prekeratins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bladon, P T; Taylor, M; Wood, E J; Cunliffe, W J

    1983-01-01

    1. The lower living layers of mammalian epidermis contain a cytoplasmic tonofilament protein, prekeratin, believed to be the precursor of the keratin which is found in the outer dead cell layer or stratum corneum. 2. Prekeratin is distinguished by its property of being extractable from epidermis homogenized in the presence of citric acid trisodium citrate buffer pH 2.65. 3. In the present study we have compared the epidermal prekeratins from ten mammalian species and have shown them to be of similar amino acid composition. 4. Conditions have been established for studying the immunology of these insoluble proteins and examination of their immunological properties has shown that they are similar to one another but that their antigenic determinants are different from those of callus keratin. 5. The SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic patterns of these proteins differ widely and we have also demonstrated anatomical site variation by this method.

  16. Stability of resazurin in buffers and mammalian cell culture media

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Eva; Nicolaisen, G.M.

    1999-01-01

    The utility of a ferricyanide/ferrocyanide system used in the AlamarBlue(TM) (Serotec, Oxford, UK) vital. dye to inhibit the reduction of resazurin by mammalian cell culture media is questioned. Resazurin was found to be relatively stable when dissolved in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The use...... of HEPES resulted in a huge immediate dye reduction, which was significantly enhanced by exposure to diffuse light from fluorescent tubes in the laboratory 8 h per day. The reduction of resazurin by various cell culture media was time and temperature dependent, and it was significantly enhanced......'s nutrient mixture F-10 and F-12. Fetal calf serum (5-20%) slightly decreased resazurin reduction during the first 2 days of incubation. The reduction of resazurin by mammalian cell culture media do not appear to be problematic under normal culture conditions, and it is primarily dependent upon the presence...

  17. Report on Mammalian Fossils of Chinji Formation, Dhulian, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad A. Khan

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Twenty mammalian fossil specimens of varying preservational state are described from the Chinji Formation of Dhulian, Pakistan. The remains described in this study are all teeth and represent the Proboscidea, Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla. All the dental specimens are new variants recorded here for the first time. Pliotriplopus dhulianensis is new to science having small size and absence of crista than Pliotriplopus chinjiensis. These findings extend the geographic distribution of this dentally highly derived Triplopinae, which was previously restricted to a single species, Pliotriplopus chinjiensis. Additional fossils of the three mammalian orders are necessary to shed new light on the phylogenetic relationships within the first representatives of the orders in Eurasia. A very important, deciduous tooth of the species Stegolophodon cautleyi hitherto unknown is described in this report.

  18. Gut microbes of mammalian herbivores facilitate intake of plant toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Kevin D; Weiss, Robert B; Cox, James; Dale, Colin; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-10-01

    The foraging ecology of mammalian herbivores is strongly shaped by plant secondary compounds (PSCs) that defend plants against herbivory. Conventional wisdom holds that gut microbes facilitate the ingestion of toxic plants; however, this notion lacks empirical evidence. We investigated the gut microbiota of desert woodrats (Neotoma lepida), some populations of which specialise on highly toxic creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). Here, we demonstrate that gut microbes are crucial in allowing herbivores to consume toxic plants. Creosote toxins altered the population structure of the gut microbiome to facilitate an increase in abundance of genes that metabolise toxic compounds. In addition, woodrats were unable to consume creosote toxins after the microbiota was disrupted with antibiotics. Last, ingestion of toxins by naïve hosts was increased through microbial transplants from experienced donors. These results demonstrate that microbes can enhance the ability of hosts to consume PSCs and therefore expand the dietary niche breadth of mammalian herbivores.

  19. Whole-Genome Sequence Assembly for Mammalian Genomes: Arachne 2

    OpenAIRE

    Jaffe, David B.; Butler, Jonathan; Gnerre, Sante; Mauceli, Evan; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Jill P. Mesirov; Michael C Zody; Lander, Eric S.

    2003-01-01

    We previously described the whole-genome assembly program Arachne, presenting assemblies of simulated data for small to mid-sized genomes. Here we describe algorithmic adaptations to the program, allowing for assembly of mammalian-size genomes, and also improving the assembly of smaller genomes. Three principal changes were simultaneously made and applied to the assembly of the mouse genome, during a six-month period of development: (1) Supercontigs (scaffolds) were iteratively broken and rej...

  20. Mechanisms of mammalian zinc-regulated gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Kelly A; Valentine, Ruth A; Coneyworth, Lisa J; Mathers, John C; Ford, Dianne

    2008-12-01

    Mechanisms through which gene expression is regulated by zinc are central to cellular zinc homoeostasis. In this context, evidence for the involvement of zinc dyshomoeostasis in the aetiology of diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and cancer, highlights the importance of zinc-regulated gene expression. Mechanisms elucidated in bacteria and yeast provide examples of different possible modes of zinc-sensitive gene regulation, involving the zinc-regulated binding of transcriptional activators and repressors to gene promoter regions. A mammalian transcriptional regulatory mechanism that mediates zinc-induced transcriptional up-regulation, involving the transcription factor MTF1 (metal-response element-binding transcription factor 1), has been studied extensively. Gene responses in the opposite direction (reduced mRNA levels in response to increased zinc availability) have been observed in mammalian cells, but a specific transcriptional regulatory process responsible for such a response has yet to be identified. Examples of single zinc-sensitive transcription factors regulating gene expression in opposite directions are emerging. Although zinc-induced transcriptional repression by MTF1 is a possible explanation in some specific instances, such a mechanism cannot account for repression by zinc of all mammalian genes that show this mode of regulation, indicating the existence of as yet uncharacterized mechanisms of zinc-regulated transcription in mammalian cells. In addition, recent findings reveal a role for effects of zinc on mRNA stability in the regulation of specific zinc transporters. Our studies on the regulation of the human gene SLC30A5 (solute carrier 30A5), which codes for the zinc transporter ZnT5, have revealed that this gene provides a model system by which to study both zinc-induced transcriptional down-regulation and zinc-regulated mRNA stabilization.

  1. Intrinsic control of electroresponsive properties of transplanted mammalian brain neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, J; Yarom, Y

    1985-01-01

    The present study presents the first analysis of neurons in mammalian brain transplants based on intracellular recording. The results, obtained in brain slices including both donor and host tissue, showed that neuronal precursor cells in embryonic transplants retained their ability to complete...... their normal differentiation of cell-type-specific electroresponsive properties. Distortions in cell aggregation and synaptic connectivity did not affect this aspect of neuronal differentiation....

  2. Phytoestrogen Biological Actions on Mammalian Reproductive System and Cancer Growth

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, E; Mu, Qing

    2010-01-01

    Phytoestrogens are a family of diverse polyphenolic compounds derived from nature plant that structurally or functionally mimic circulating estrogen in the mammalian reproductive system. They induce estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects in the brain-pituitary-gonad axis (a principal endocrine system involving in reproductive regulation) and peripheral reproductive organs. The dichotomy of phytoestrogen-mediated actions elucidates that they play the biological activities via complex mechanism...

  3. Applications of stable isotope analysis in mammalian ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, W David; Kurle, Carolyn M; Hopkins, John B

    2014-01-01

    In this editorial, we provide a brief introduction and summarize the 10 research articles included in this Special Issue on Applications of stable isotope analysis in mammalian ecology. The first three articles report correction and discrimination factors that can be used to more accurately estimate the diets of extinct and extant mammals using stable isotope analysis. The remaining seven applied research articles use stable isotope analysis to address a variety of wildlife conservation and management questions from the oceans to the mountains.

  4. Endogenous peripheral neuromodulators of the mammalian taste bud.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dando, Robin

    2010-10-01

    The sensitivity of the mammalian taste system displays a degree of plasticity based on short-term nutritional requirements. Deficiency in a particular substance may lead to a perceived increase in palatability of this substance, providing an additional drive to redress this nutritional imbalance through modification of intake. This alteration occurs not only in the brain but also, before any higher level processing has occurred, in the taste buds themselves. A brief review of recent advances is offered.

  5. Passive versus active local microrheology in mammalian cells and amoebae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riviere, C.; Gazeau, F.; Marion, S.; Bacri, J.-C.; Wilhelm, C.

    2004-12-01

    We compare in this paper the rotational magnetic microrheology detailed by Marion et al [18] and Wilhelm et al [19] to the passive tracking microrheology. The rotational microrheology has been designed to explore, using magnetic rotating probes, the local intracellular microenvironment of living cells in terms of viscoelasticity. Passive microrheology techniques is based on the analysis of spontaneous diffusive motions of Brownian probes. The dependence of mean square displacement (MSD) with the time then directly reflects the type of movement (sub-, hyper- or diffusive motions). Using the same intracellular probes, we performed two types of measurements (active and passive). Based on the fluctuation-dissipation theorem, one should obtain the same information from the both techniques in a thermally equilibrium system. Interestingly, our measurements differ, and the discordances directly inform on active biological processes, which add to thermally activated fluctuations in our out-of equilibrium systems. In both cell models used, mammalian Hela cells and amoebae Entamoeba Histolytica, a hyper-diffusive regime at a short time is observed, which highlights the presence of an active non-thermal driving force, acting on the probe. However, the nature of this active force in mammalian cells and amoebae is different, according to their different phenotypes. In mammalian cells active processes are governed by the transport, via molecular motors, on the microtubule network. In amoebae, which are highly motile cells free of microtubule network, the active processes are dominated by strong fluxes of cytoplasm driven by extension of pseudopodia, in random directions, leading to an amplitude of motion one order of magnitude higher than for mammalian cells. Figs 7, Refs 32.

  6. Mammalian Non-CpG Methylation: Stem Cells and Beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara E. Pinney

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Although CpG dinucleotides remain the primary site for DNA methylation in mammals, there is emerging evidence that DNA methylation at non-CpG sites (CpA, CpT and CpC is not only present in mammalian cells, but may play a unique role in the regulation of gene expression. For some time it has been known that non-CpG methylation is abundant in plants and present in mammalian embryonic stem cells, but non-CpG methylation was thought to be lost upon cell differentiation. However, recent publications have described a role for non-CpG methylation in adult mammalian somatic cells including the adult mammalian brain, skeletal muscle, and hematopoietic cells and new interest in this field has been stimulated by the availability of high throughput sequencing techniques that can accurately measure this epigenetic modification. Genome wide assays indicate that non-CpG methylation is negligible in human fetal brain, but abundant in human adult brain tissue. Genome wide measurement of non-CpG methylation coupled with RNA-Sequencing indicates that in the human adult brain non-CpG methylation levels are inversely proportional to the abundance of mRNA transcript at the associated gene. Additionally specific examples where alterations in non-CpG methylation lead to changes in gene expression have been described; in PGC1α in human skeletal muscle, IFN-γ in human T-cells and SYT11 in human brain, all of which contribute to the development of human disease.

  7. Digital microfluidic processing of mammalian embryos for vitrification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek G Pyne

    Full Text Available Cryopreservation is a key technology in biology and clinical practice. This paper presents a digital microfluidic device that automates sample preparation for mammalian embryo vitrification. Individual micro droplets manipulated on the microfluidic device were used as micro-vessels to transport a single mouse embryo through a complete vitrification procedure. Advantages of this approach, compared to manual operation and channel-based microfluidic vitrification, include automated operation, cryoprotectant concentration gradient generation, and feasibility of loading and retrieval of embryos.

  8. Crude subcellular fractionation of cultured mammalian cell lines

    OpenAIRE

    Holden Paul; Horton William A

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background The expression and study of recombinant proteins in mammalian culture systems can be complicated during the cell lysis procedure by contaminating proteins from cellular compartments distinct from those within which the protein of interest resides and also by solubility issues that may arise from the use of a single lysis buffer. Partial subcellular fractionation using buffers of increasing stringency, rather than whole cell lysis is one way in which to avoid or reduce this...

  9. Transcription Factor Zbtb20 Controls Regional Specification of Mammalian Archicortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenthal, Eva Helga

    2010-01-01

    Combinatorial expression of sets of transcription factors (TFs) along the mammalian cortex controls its subdivision into functional areas. Unlike neocortex, only few recent data suggest genetic mechanisms controlling the regionalization of the archicortex. TF Emx2 plays a crucial role in patterning...... later on becoming restricted exclusively to postmitotic neurons of hippocampus (Hi) proper, dentate gyrus (DG), and two transitory zones, subiculum (S) and retrosplenial cortex (Rsp). Analysis of Zbtb20-/- mice revealed altered cortical patterning at the border between neocortex and archicortex...

  10. Effect of methylprednisolone on mammalian neuronal networks in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittstock, Matthias; Rommer, Paulus S; Schiffmann, Florian; Jügelt, Konstantin; Stüwe, Simone; Benecke, Reiner; Schiffmann, Dietmar; Zettl, Uwe K

    2015-01-01

    Glucocorticosteroids (GCS) are widely used for the treatment of neurological diseases, e.g. multiple sclerosis. High levels of GCS are toxic to the central nervous system and can produce adverse effects. The effect of methylprednisolone (MP) on mammalian neuronal networks was studied in vitro. We demonstrate a dose-dependent excitatory effect of MP on cultured neuronal networks, followed by a shut-down of electrical activity using the microelectrode array technique.

  11. Functional study of mammalian Neph proteins in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Helmstädter

    Full Text Available Neph molecules are highly conserved immunoglobulin superfamily proteins (IgSF which are essential for multiple morphogenetic processes, including glomerular development in mammals and neuronal as well as nephrocyte development in D. melanogaster. While D. melanogaster expresses two Neph-like proteins (Kirre and IrreC/Rst, three Neph proteins (Neph1-3 are expressed in the mammalian system. However, although these molecules are highly abundant, their molecular functions are still poorly understood. Here we report on a fly system in which we overexpress and replace endogenous Neph homologs with mammalian Neph1-3 proteins to identify functional Neph protein networks required for neuronal and nephrocyte development. Misexpression of Neph1, but neither Neph2 nor Neph3, phenocopies the overexpression of endogenous Neph molecules suggesting a functional diversity of mammalian Neph family proteins. Moreover, structure-function analysis identified a conserved and specific Neph1 protein motif that appears to be required for the functional replacement of Kirre. Hereby, we establish D. melanogaster as a genetic system to specifically model molecular Neph1 functions in vivo and identify a conserved amino acid motif linking Neph1 to Drosophila Kirre function.

  12. Non-linear leak currents affect mammalian neuron physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiwei eHuang

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In their seminal works on squid giant axons, Hodgkin and Huxley approximated the membrane leak current as Ohmic, i.e. linear, since in their preparation, sub-threshold current rectification due to the influence of ionic concentration is negligible. Most studies on mammalian neurons have made the same, largely untested, assumption. Here we show that the membrane time constant and input resistance of mammalian neurons (when other major voltage-sensitive and ligand-gated ionic currents are discounted varies non-linearly with membrane voltage, following the prediction of a Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz-based passive membrane model. The model predicts that under such conditions, the time constant/input resistance-voltage relationship will linearize if the concentration differences across the cell membrane are reduced. These properties were observed in patch-clamp recordings of cerebellar Purkinje neurons (in the presence of pharmacological blockers of other background ionic currents and were more prominent in the sub-threshold region of the membrane potential. Model simulations showed that the non-linear leak affects voltage-clamp recordings and reduces temporal summation of excitatory synaptic input. Together, our results demonstrate the importance of trans-membrane ionic concentration in defining the functional properties of the passive membrane in mammalian neurons as well as other excitable cells.

  13. Engineering prokaryotic channels for control of mammalian tissue excitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung X.; Kirkton, Robert D.; Bursac, Nenad

    2016-01-01

    The ability to directly enhance electrical excitability of human cells is hampered by the lack of methods to efficiently overexpress large mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC). Here we describe the use of small prokaryotic sodium channels (BacNav) to create de novo excitable human tissues and augment impaired action potential conduction in vitro. Lentiviral co-expression of specific BacNav orthologues, an inward-rectifying potassium channel, and connexin-43 in primary human fibroblasts from the heart, skin or brain yields actively conducting cells with customizable electrophysiological phenotypes. Engineered fibroblasts (‘E-Fibs') retain stable functional properties following extensive subculture or differentiation into myofibroblasts and rescue conduction slowing in an in vitro model of cardiac interstitial fibrosis. Co-expression of engineered BacNav with endogenous mammalian VGSCs enhances action potential conduction and prevents conduction failure during depolarization by elevated extracellular K+, decoupling or ischaemia. These studies establish the utility of engineered BacNav channels for induction, control and recovery of mammalian tissue excitability. PMID:27752065

  14. Micro-optical coherence tomography of the mammalian cochlea

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Review of Quantitative Structure - Activity Relationships for Acute Mammalian Toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iglika Lessigiarska

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR models for acute mammalian toxicity published in the last decade. A number of QSAR models based on cytotoxicity data from mammalian cell lines are also included because of their possible use as a surrogate system for predicting acute toxicity to mammals. On the basis of the review, the following conclusions can be made: i a relatively small number of models for in vivo toxicity are published in the literature. This is due to the nature of the endpoint - acute systemic toxicity is usually related to whole body phenomena and therefore is very complex. The complexity of the mechanisms involved leads to difficulties in the QSAR modelling; ii most QSAR models identify hydrophobicity as a parameter of high importance for the modelled toxicity. In addition, many models indicate the role of the electronic and steric effects; iii most of the literature-based models are restricted to single chemical classes. Models based on more heterogeneous data sets are those incorporated in expert systems. In general, the QSAR models for mammalian toxicity identified in this review are considered useful for investigating the mechanisms of toxicity of defined chemical classes. However, for predictive purposes in the regulatory assessment of chemicals most of the models require additional information to satisfy internationally agreed validation principles. In addition, the development of new models covering larger chemical domains would be useful for the regulatory assessment of chemicals.

  16. Space radiation effects on plant and mammalian cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arena, C.; De Micco, V.; Macaeva, E.; Quintens, R.

    2014-11-01

    The study of the effects of ionizing radiation on organisms is related to different research aims. The current review emphasizes the studies on the effects of different doses of sparsely and densely ionizing radiation on living organisms, with the final purpose of highlighting specific and common effects of space radiation in mammals and plants. This topic is extremely relevant in the context of radiation protection from space environment. The response of different organisms to ionizing radiation depends on the radiation quality/dose and/or the intrinsic characteristics of the living system. Macromolecules, in particular DNA, are the critical targets of radiation, even if there is a strong difference between damages encountered by plant and mammalian cells. The differences in structure and metabolism between the two cell types are responsible for the higher resistance of the plant cell compared with its animal counterpart. In this review, we report some recent findings from studies performed in Space or on Earth, simulating space-like levels of radiation with ground-based facilities, to understand the effect of ionizing radiation on mammalian and plant cells. In particular, our attention is focused on genetic alterations and repair mechanisms in mammalian cells and on structures and mechanisms conferring radioresistance to plant cells.

  17. Base Composition Characteristics of Mammalian miRNAs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs are short RNA sequences that repress protein synthesis by either inhibiting the translation of messenger RNA (mRNA or increasing mRNA degradation. Endogenous miRNAs have been found in various organisms, including animals, plants, and viruses. Mammalian miRNAs are evolutionarily conserved, are scattered throughout chromosomes, and play an important role in the immune response and the onset of cancer. For this study, the author explored the base composition characteristics of miRNA genes from the six mammalian species that contain the largest number of known miRNAs. It was found that mammalian miRNAs are evolutionarily conserved and GU-rich. Interestingly, in the miRNA sequences investigated, A residues are clearly the most frequent occupants of positions 2 and 3 of the 5′ end of miRNAs. Unlike G and U residues that may pair with C/U and A/G, respectively, A residues can only pair with U residues of target mRNAs, which may augment the recognition specificity of the 5′ seed region.

  18. The APC/C in female mammalian meiosis I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homer, Hayden

    2013-08-01

    The anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C) orchestrates a meticulously controlled sequence of proteolytic events critical for proper cell cycle progression, the details of which have been most extensively elucidated during mitosis. It has become apparent, however, that the APC/C, particularly when acting in concert with its Cdh1 co-activator (APC/C(Cdh1)), executes a staggeringly diverse repertoire of functions that extend its remit well outside the bounds of mitosis. Findings over the past decade have not only earmarked mammalian oocyte maturation as one such case in point but have also begun to reveal a complex pattern of APC/C regulation that underpins many of the oocyte's unique developmental attributes. This review will encompass the latest findings pertinent to the APC/C, especially APC/C(Cdh1), in mammalian oocytes and how its activity and substrates shape the stop-start tempo of female mammalian first meiotic division and the challenging requirement for assembling spindles in the absence of centrosomes.

  19. DNA repair and radiation sensitivity in mammalian cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, D.J.C.; Stackhouse, M. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Chen, D.S. [Rochester Univ., NY (United States). Dept. of Radiation Oncology

    1993-02-01

    Ionizing radiation induces various types of damage in mammalian cells including DNA single-strand breaks, DNA double-strand breaks (DSB), DNA-protein cross links, and altered DNA bases. Although human cells can repair many of these lesions there is little detailed knowledge of the nature of the genes and the encoded enzymes that control these repair processes. We report here on the cellular and genetic analyses of DNA double-strand break repair deficient mammalian cells. It has been well established that the DNA double-strand break is one of the major lesions induced by ionizing radiation. Utilizing rodent repair-deficient mutant, we have shown that the genes responsible for DNA double-strand break repair are also responsible for the cellular expression of radiation sensitivity. The molecular genetic analysis of DSB repair in rodent/human hybrid cells indicate that at least 6 different genes in mammalian cells are responsible for the repair of radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks. Mapping and the prospect of cloning of human radiation repair genes are reviewed. Understanding the molecular and genetic basis of radiation sensitivity and DNA repair in man will provide a rational foundation to predict the individual risk associated with radiation exposure and to prevent radiation-induced genetic damage in the human population.

  20. DNA repair and radiation sensitivity in mammalian cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, D.J.C.; Stackhouse, M. (Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)); Chen, D.S. (Rochester Univ., NY (United States). Dept. of Radiation Oncology)

    1993-01-01

    Ionizing radiation induces various types of damage in mammalian cells including DNA single-strand breaks, DNA double-strand breaks (DSB), DNA-protein cross links, and altered DNA bases. Although human cells can repair many of these lesions there is little detailed knowledge of the nature of the genes and the encoded enzymes that control these repair processes. We report here on the cellular and genetic analyses of DNA double-strand break repair deficient mammalian cells. It has been well established that the DNA double-strand break is one of the major lesions induced by ionizing radiation. Utilizing rodent repair-deficient mutant, we have shown that the genes responsible for DNA double-strand break repair are also responsible for the cellular expression of radiation sensitivity. The molecular genetic analysis of DSB repair in rodent/human hybrid cells indicate that at least 6 different genes in mammalian cells are responsible for the repair of radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks. Mapping and the prospect of cloning of human radiation repair genes are reviewed. Understanding the molecular and genetic basis of radiation sensitivity and DNA repair in man will provide a rational foundation to predict the individual risk associated with radiation exposure and to prevent radiation-induced genetic damage in the human population.

  1. Crude subcellular fractionation of cultured mammalian cell lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holden Paul

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The expression and study of recombinant proteins in mammalian culture systems can be complicated during the cell lysis procedure by contaminating proteins from cellular compartments distinct from those within which the protein of interest resides and also by solubility issues that may arise from the use of a single lysis buffer. Partial subcellular fractionation using buffers of increasing stringency, rather than whole cell lysis is one way in which to avoid or reduce this contamination and ensure complete recovery of the target protein. Currently published protocols involve time consuming centrifugation steps which may require expensive equipment and commercially available kits can be prohibitively expensive when handling large or multiple samples. Findings We have established a protocol to sequentially extract proteins from cultured mammalian cells in fractions enriched for cytosolic, membrane bound organellar, nuclear and insoluble proteins. All of the buffers used can be made inexpensively and easily and the protocol requires no costly equipment. While the method was optimized for a specific cell type, we demonstrate that the protocol can be applied to a variety of commonly used cell lines and anticipate that it can be applied to any cell line via simple optimization of the primary extraction step. Conclusion We describe a protocol for the crude subcellular fractionation of cultured mammalian cells that is both straightforward and cost effective and may facilitate the more accurate study of recombinant proteins and the generation of purer preparations of said proteins from cell extracts.

  2. Mitochondria localize to the cleavage furrow in mammalian cytokinesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Elizabeth J; Mandato, Craig A

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondria are dynamic organelles with multiple cellular functions, including ATP production, calcium buffering, and lipid biosynthesis. Several studies have shown that mitochondrial positioning is regulated by the cytoskeleton during cell division in several eukaryotic systems. However, the distribution of mitochondria during mammalian cytokinesis and whether the distribution is regulated by the cytoskeleton has not been examined. Using live spinning disk confocal microscopy and quantitative analysis of mitochondrial fluorescence intensity, we demonstrate that mitochondria are recruited to the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis in HeLa cells. After anaphase onset, the mitochondria are recruited towards the site of cleavage furrow formation, where they remain enriched as the furrow ingresses and until cytokinesis completion. Furthermore, we show that recruitment of mitochondria to the furrow occurs in multiple mammalian cells lines as well as in monopolar, bipolar, and multipolar divisions, suggesting that the mechanism of recruitment is conserved and robust. Using inhibitors of cytoskeleton dynamics, we show that the microtubule cytoskeleton, but not actin, is required to transport mitochondria to the cleavage furrow. Thus, mitochondria are specifically recruited to the cleavage furrow in a microtubule-dependent manner during mammalian cytokinesis. Two possible reasons for this could be to localize mitochondrial function to the furrow to facilitate cytokinesis and / or ensure accurate mitochondrial inheritance.

  3. Origin and evolution of developmental enhancers in the mammalian neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emera, Deena; Yin, Jun; Reilly, Steven K; Gockley, Jake; Noonan, James P

    2016-05-10

    Morphological innovations such as the mammalian neocortex may involve the evolution of novel regulatory sequences. However, de novo birth of regulatory elements active during morphogenesis has not been extensively studied in mammals. Here, we use H3K27ac-defined regulatory elements active during human and mouse corticogenesis to identify enhancers that were likely active in the ancient mammalian forebrain. We infer the phylogenetic origins of these enhancers and find that ∼20% arose in the mammalian stem lineage, coincident with the emergence of the neocortex. Implementing a permutation strategy that controls for the nonrandom variation in the ages of background genomic sequences, we find that mammal-specific enhancers are overrepresented near genes involved in cell migration, cell signaling, and axon guidance. Mammal-specific enhancers are also overrepresented in modules of coexpressed genes in the cortex that are associated with these pathways, notably ephrin and semaphorin signaling. Our results also provide insight into the mechanisms of regulatory innovation in mammals. We find that most neocortical enhancers did not originate by en bloc exaptation of transposons. Young neocortical enhancers exhibit smaller H3K27ac footprints and weaker evolutionary constraint in eutherian mammals than older neocortical enhancers. Based on these observations, we present a model of the enhancer life cycle in which neocortical enhancers initially emerge from genomic background as short, weakly constrained "proto-enhancers." Many proto-enhancers are likely lost, but some may serve as nucleation points for complex enhancers to evolve.

  4. Molecular evolutionary analysis of ABCB5: the ancestral gene is a full transporter with potentially deleterious single nucleotide polymorphisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karobi Moitra

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: ABCB5 is a member of the ABC protein superfamily, which includes the transporters ABCB1, ABCC1 and ABCG2 responsible for causing drug resistance in cancer patients and also several other transporters that have been linked to human disease. The ABCB5 full transporter (ABCB5.ts is expressed in human testis and its functional significance is presently unknown. Another variant of this transporter, ABCB5 beta possess a "half-transporter-like" structure and is expressed in melanoma stem cells, normal melanocytes, and other types of pigment cells. ABCB5 beta has important clinical implications, as it may be involved with multidrug resistance in melanoma stem cells, allowing these stem cells to survive chemotherapeutic regimes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We constructed and examined in detail topological structures of the human ABCB5 protein and determined in-silico the cSNPs (coding single nucleotide polymorphisms that may affect its function. Evolutionary analysis of ABCB5 indicated that ABCB5, ABCB1, ABCB4, and ABCB11 share a common ancestor, which began duplicating early in the evolutionary history of chordates. This suggests that ABCB5 has evolved as a full transporter throughout its evolutionary history. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: From our in-silco analysis of cSNPs we found that a large number of non-synonymous cSNPs map to important functional regions of the protein suggesting that these SNPs if present in human populations may play a role in diseases associated with ABCB5. From phylogenetic analyses, we have shown that ABCB5 evolved as a full transporter throughout its evolutionary history with an absence of any major shifts in selection between the various lineages suggesting that the function of ABCB5 has been maintained during mammalian evolution. This finding would suggest that ABCB5 beta may have evolved to play a specific role in human pigment cells and/or melanoma cells where it is predominantly expressed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Ameri Sefideh

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

  6. A shark antibody heavy chain encoded by a nonsomatically rearranged VDJ is preferentially expressed in early development and is convergent with mammalian IgG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumfelt, L L; Avila, D; Diaz, M; Bartl, S; McKinney, E C; Flajnik, M F

    2001-02-13

    In most vertebrate embryos and neonates studied to date unique antigen receptors (antibodies and T cell receptors) are expressed that possess a limited immune repertoire. We have isolated a subclass of IgM, IgM(1gj), from the nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum that is preferentially expressed in neonates. The variable (V) region gene encoding the heavy (H) chain underwent V-D-J rearrangement in germ cells ("germline-joined"). Such H chain V genes were discovered over 10 years ago in sharks but until now were not shown to be expressed at appreciable levels; we find expression of H(1gj) in primary and secondary lymphoid tissues early in life, but in adults only in primary lymphoid tissue, which is identified in this work as the epigonal organ. H(1gj) chain associates covalently with light (L) chains and is most similar in sequence to IgM H chains, but like mammalian IgG has three rather than the four IgM constant domains; deletion of the ancestral IgM C2 domain thus defines both IgG and IgM(1gj). Because sharks are the members of the oldest vertebrate class known to possess antibodies, unique or specialized antibodies expressed early in ontogeny in sharks and other vertebrates were likely present at the inception of the adaptive immune system.

  7. Evolutionary history of mammalian sucking lice (Phthiraptera: Anoplura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allen Julie M

    2010-09-01

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

  8. Estimating ancestral distributions of lineages with uncertain sister groups: a statistical approach to Dispersal-Vicariance Analysis and a case using Aesculus L. (Sapindaceae) including fossils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    A.J. HARRIS; Qiu-Yun (Jenny) XIANG

    2009-01-01

    We propose a simple statistical approach for using Dispersal-Vicariance Analysis (DIVA) software to infer biogeographic histories without fully bifurcating trees. In this approach, ancestral ranges are first optimized for a sample of Bayesian trees. The probability P of an ancestral range r at a node is then calculated as P(rY)= Σnt=1 F(rY)tPt where Y is a node, and F(rY) is the frequency of range r among all the optimal solutions resulting from DIVA optimization at node Y, t is one of n topologies optimized, and Pt is the probability of topology t. Node Y is a hypothesized ancestor shared by a specific crown lineage and the sister of that lineage "x", where x may vary due to phylogenetic uncertainty (polytomies and nodes with posterior probability <100%). Using this method, the ancestral distribution at Y can be estimated to provide inference of the geographic origins of the specific crown group of interest. This approach takes into account phylogenetic uncertainty as well as uncertainty from DIVA optimization. It is an extension of the previously described method called Bayes-DIVA, which pairs Bayesian phylogenetic analysis with biogeographic analysis using DIVA. Further, we show that the probability P of an ancestral range at Y calculated using this method does not equate to pp* F(rY) on the Bayesian consensus tree when both variables are < 100%, where pp is the posterior probability and F(rY) is the frequency of range r for the node containing the specific crown group. We tested our DIVA-Bayes approach using Aesculus L., which has major lineages unresolved as a polytomy. We inferred the most probable geographic origins of the five traditional sections of Aesculus and ofAesculus californica Nutt. and examined range subdivisions at parental nodes of these lineages.Additionally, we used the DIVA-Bayes data from Aesculus to quantify the effects on biogeographic inference of including two wildcard fossil taxa in phylogenetic analysis. Our analysis resolved the

  9. Dicer is associated with ribosomal DNA chromatin in mammalian cells.

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    Lasse Sinkkonen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: RNA silencing is a common term for pathways utilizing small RNAs as sequence-specific guides to repress gene expression. Components of the RNA silencing machinery are involved in different aspects of chromatin function in numerous organisms. However, association of RNA silencing with chromatin in mammalian cells remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Immunostaining of mitotic chromosomes with antibodies visualizing either endogenous or ectopically expressed Dicer in mammalian cells revealed association of the protein with ribosomal DNA (rDNA repeats. Chromatin immunoprecipitations and bisulfite sequencing experiments indicated that Dicer is associated with transcribed regions of both active and silenced genes in rDNA arrays of interphase chromosomes. Metabolic labeling of the mouse embryonic stem (ES cells lacking Dicer did not reveal apparent defect in rRNA biogenesis though pre-rRNA synthesis in these cells was decreased, likely as a consequence of their slower growth caused by the loss of miRNAs. We analyzed in detail chromatin structure of rDNA but did not find any epigenetic changes at rDNA loci in Dicer(-/- ES cells. Instead, we found that rDNA methylation is rather low in primary tissues, contrasting with rDNA methylation patterns in transformed cell lines. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We found that Dicer, a key component of RNA silencing pathways, can be detected in association with rDNA chromatin in mammalian cells. The role of this particular localization of Dicer is not readily apparent since the enzyme is associated with rDNA genes regardless of their transcriptional activity. However, localization of Dicer to the transcribed region suggests that transcription may contribute to the Dicer deposition at rDNA chromatin. We hypothesize that Dicer functions in maintaining integrity of rDNA arrays.

  10. Mammalian CAP interacts with CAP, CAP2, and actin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubberstey, A; Yu, G; Loewith, R; Lakusta, C; Young, D

    1996-06-01

    We previously identified human CAP, a homolog of the yeast adenylyl cyclase-associated protein. Previous studies suggest that the N-terminal and C-terminal domains of CAP have distinct functions. We have explored the interactions of human CAP with various proteins. First, by performing yeast two-hybrid screens, we have identified peptides from several proteins that interact with the C-terminal and/or the N-terminal domains of human CAP. These peptides include regions derived from CAP and BAT3, a protein with unknown function. We have further shown that MBP fusions with these peptides can associate in vitro with the N-terminal or C-terminal domains of CAP fused to GST. Our observations indicate that CAP contains regions in both the N-terminal and C-terminal domains that are capable of interacting with each other or with themselves. Furthermore, we found that myc-epitope-tagged CAP coimmunoprecipitates with HA-epitope-tagged CAP from either yeast or mammalian cell extracts. Similar results demonstrate that human CAP can also interact with human CAP2. We also show that human CAP interacts with actin, both by the yeast two-hybrid test and by coimmunoprecipitation of epitope-tagged CAP from yeast or mammalian cell extracts. This interaction requires the C-terminal domain of CAP, but not the N-terminal domain. Thus CAP appears to be capable of interacting in vivo with other CAP molecules, CAP2, and actin. We also show that actin co-immunoprecipitates with HA-CAP2 from mammalian cell extracts.

  11. Labeling proteins on live mammalian cells using click chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikić, Ivana; Kang, Jun Hee; Girona, Gemma Estrada; Aramburu, Iker Valle; Lemke, Edward A

    2015-05-01

    We describe a protocol for the rapid labeling of cell-surface proteins in living mammalian cells using click chemistry. The labeling method is based on strain-promoted alkyne-azide cycloaddition (SPAAC) and strain-promoted inverse-electron-demand Diels-Alder cycloaddition (SPIEDAC) reactions, in which noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) bearing ring-strained alkynes or alkenes react, respectively, with dyes containing azide or tetrazine groups. To introduce ncAAs site specifically into a protein of interest (POI), we use genetic code expansion technology. The protocol can be described as comprising two steps. In the first step, an Amber stop codon is introduced--by site-directed mutagenesis--at the desired site on the gene encoding the POI. This plasmid is then transfected into mammalian cells, along with another plasmid that encodes an aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA (RS/tRNA) pair that is orthogonal to the host's translational machinery. In the presence of the ncAA, the orthogonal RS/tRNA pair specifically suppresses the Amber codon by incorporating the ncAA into the polypeptide chain of the POI. In the second step, the expressed POI is labeled with a suitably reactive dye derivative that is directly supplied to the growth medium. We provide a detailed protocol for using commercially available ncAAs and dyes for labeling the insulin receptor, and we discuss the optimal surface-labeling conditions and the limitations of labeling living mammalian cells. The protocol involves an initial cloning step that can take 4-7 d, followed by the described transfections and labeling reaction steps, which can take 3-4 d.

  12. Plasmodium ookinetes coopt mammalian plasminogen to invade the mosquito midgut

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghosh, Anil K; Coppens, Isabelle; Gårdsvoll, Henrik;

    2011-01-01

    inhibits oocyst development of both Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium falciparum, suggesting that enolase may act as an invasion ligand. Importantly, we demonstrate that surface enolase captures plasminogen from the mammalian blood meal via its lysine motif (DKSLVK) and that this interaction is essential...... for ookinete invasion. The results support the hypothesis that enolase on the surface of Plasmodium ookinetes plays a dual role in midgut invasion: by acting as a ligand that interacts with the midgut epithelium and, further, by capturing plasminogen, whose conversion to active plasmin promotes the invasion...

  13. Robust expression of a bioactive mammalian protein in Chlamydomonas chloroplast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mayfield, Stephen P

    2015-01-13

    Methods and compositions are disclosed to engineer chloroplast comprising heterologous mammalian genes via a direct replacement of chloroplast Photosystem II (PSII) reaction center protein coding regions to achieve expression of recombinant protein above 5% of total protein. When algae is used, algal expressed protein is produced predominantly as a soluble protein where the functional activity of the peptide is intact. As the host algae is edible, production of biologics in this organism for oral delivery of proteins/peptides, especially gut active proteins, without purification is disclosed.

  14. Engineering controlled mammalian type O-Glycosylation in plant cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Zhang; Drew, Damian Paul; Jørgensen, Bodil

    2011-01-01

    Human mucins are large heavily O-glycosylated glycoproteins (>200 kDa), which account for the majority of proteins in mucus layers that e.g. hydrate, lubricate and protect cells from proteases as well as from pathogens. O-linked mucin glycans are truncated in many cancers, yielding truncated cancer...... specific glyco-peptide epitopes, such as the Tn epitope (GalNAc sugar attached to either Serine or Threonine), which are antigenic to the immune system. In the present study, we have identified plant cells as the only eukaryotic cells without mammalian type O-glycosylation or competing (for sites) O...

  15. Molecular mechanisms involved in mammalian primary sex determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    She, Zhen-Yu; Yang, Wan-Xi

    2014-08-01

    Sex determination refers to the developmental decision that directs the bipotential genital ridge to develop as a testis or an ovary. Genetic studies on mice and humans have led to crucial advances in understanding the molecular fundamentals of sex determination and the mutually antagonistic signaling pathway. In this review, we summarize the current molecular mechanisms of sex determination by focusing on the known critical sex determining genes and their related signaling pathways in mammalian vertebrates from mice to humans. We also discuss the underlying delicate balance between testis and ovary sex determination pathways, concentrating on the antagonisms between major sex determining genes.

  16. A game of thrones: neural plasticity in mammalian social hierarchies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Skyler J; Peragine, Diana E; Hathaway, Georgia A; Holmes, Melissa M

    2014-01-01

    Social status is a key regulator of health and reproduction in mammals, including humans. Despite this, relatively little is known about how social status influences the mammalian brain. Furthermore, the extent to which status is an independent construct, i.e., not simply acting as a psychosocial stressor, is yet to be determined. Research to date reveals several promising mechanisms and/or systems associated with social status, including monoamine systems, hypothalamic neuroendocrine axes, and the hippocampus, though whether these differences are the cause or effect of status is often unclear. We review these candidates and propose how best to approach this research question in the future.

  17. Mammalian ovary differentiation - a focus on female meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baillet, Adrienne; Mandon-Pepin, Béatrice

    2012-06-05

    Over the past 50 years, the ovary development has been subject of fewer studies as compare to the male pathway. Nevertheless due to the advancement of genetics, mouse ES cells and the development of genetic models, studies of ovarian differentiation was boosted. This review emphasizes some of new progresses in the research field of the mammalian ovary differentiation that have occurred in recent years with focuses of the period around prophase I of meiosis and of recent roles of small non-RNAs in the ovarian gene expression.

  18. Universal area distributions in the monolayers of confluent mammalian cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilk, Gary; Iwasa, Masatomo; Fuller, Patrick E.; Kandere-Grzybowska, Kristiana; Grzybowski, Bartosz A.

    2014-01-01

    When mammalian cells form confluent monolayers completely filling a plane, these apparently random “tilings” show regularity in the statistics of cell areas for various types of epithelial and endothelial cells. The observed distributions are reproduced by a model which accounts for cell growth and division, with the latter treated stochastically both in terms of the sizes of the dividing cells as well as the sizes of the “newborn” ones – remarkably, the modeled and experimental distributions fit well when all free parameters are estimated directly from experiments. PMID:24745461

  19. Equipment for large-scale mammalian cell culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozturk, Sadettin S

    2014-01-01

    This chapter provides information on commonly used equipment in industrial mammalian cell culture, with an emphasis on bioreactors. The actual equipment used in the cell culture process can vary from one company to another, but the main steps remain the same. The process involves expansion of cells in seed train and inoculation train processes followed by cultivation of cells in a production bioreactor. Process and equipment options for each stage of the cell culture process are introduced and examples are provided. Finally, the use of disposables during seed train and cell culture production is discussed.

  20. Mammalian Cochlear Hair Cell Regeneration and Ribbon Synapse Reformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoling Lu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hair cells (HCs are the sensory preceptor cells in the inner ear, which play an important role in hearing and balance. The HCs of organ of Corti are susceptible to noise, ototoxic drugs, and infections, thus resulting in permanent hearing loss. Recent approaches of HCs regeneration provide new directions for finding the treatment of sensor neural deafness. To have normal hearing function, the regenerated HCs must be reinnervated by nerve fibers and reform ribbon synapse with the dendrite of spiral ganglion neuron through nerve regeneration. In this review, we discuss the research progress in HC regeneration, the synaptic plasticity, and the reinnervation of new regenerated HCs in mammalian inner ear.

  1. The chromosome complement of Acomys spp. (Rodentia, Muridae) from Oursi, Burkina Faso--the ancestral karyotype of the cahirinus-dimidiatus group?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volobouev, V; Gautun, J C; Sicard, B; Tranier, M

    1996-11-01

    We present here data on chromosome banding analysis (R- and C-bands) of Acomys sp. (Rodentia, Muridae) from Oursi, Burkina Faso, characterized by 2n = FN = 68 and comparison of its banding patterns with those of Acomys dimidiatus from Saudi Arabia (2n = 38, FN = 70), studied previously. The study revealed complete homology between acrocentric chromosomes of Acomys sp. and chromosome arms of 16 pairs of metacentric and two pairs of acrocentric chromosomes of A. dimidiatus. In addition to monobrachial homology, one tandem translocation accompanied by a centromeric shift was identified in the karyotype of the latter species. The data obtained show that karyotypes of all the species of the Acomys cahirinus-dimidiatus group studied previously may be derived from that of Acomys sp. from Oursl by means of numerous non-homologous Rb translocations and 1-2 tandem transiocations, and thus its karyotype may be considered as ancestral for the cahirinus-dimidiatus group.

  2. Mammalian designer cells: Engineering principles and biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Mingqi; Fussenegger, Martin

    2015-07-01

    Biotechnology is a widely interdisciplinary field focusing on the use of living cells or organisms to solve established problems in medicine, food production and agriculture. Synthetic biology, the science of engineering complex biological systems that do not exist in nature, continues to provide the biotechnology industry with tools, technologies and intellectual property leading to improved cellular performance. One key aspect of synthetic biology is the engineering of deliberately reprogrammed designer cells whose behavior can be controlled over time and space. This review discusses the most commonly used techniques to engineer mammalian designer cells; while control elements acting on the transcriptional and translational levels of target gene expression determine the kinetic and dynamic profiles, coupling them to a variety of extracellular stimuli permits their remote control with user-defined trigger signals. Designer mammalian cells with novel or improved biological functions not only directly improve the production efficiency during biopharmaceutical manufacturing but also open the door for cell-based treatment strategies in molecular and translational medicine. In the future, the rational combination of multiple sets of designer cells could permit the construction and regulation of higher-order systems with increased complexity, thereby enabling the molecular reprogramming of tissues, organisms or even populations with highest precision.

  3. The TLC: a novel auditory nucleus of the mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldaña, Enrique; Viñuela, Antonio; Marshall, Allen F; Fitzpatrick, Douglas C; Aparicio, M-Auxiliadora

    2007-11-28

    We have identified a novel nucleus of the mammalian brain and termed it the tectal longitudinal column (TLC). Basic histologic stains, tract-tracing techniques and three-dimensional reconstructions reveal that the rat TLC is a narrow, elongated structure spanning the midbrain tectum longitudinally. This paired nucleus is located close to the midline, immediately dorsal to the periaqueductal gray matter. It occupies what has traditionally been considered the most medial region of the deep superior colliculus and the most medial region of the inferior colliculus. The TLC differs from the neighboring nuclei of the superior and inferior colliculi and the periaqueductal gray by its distinct connections and cytoarchitecture. Extracellular electrophysiological recordings show that TLC neurons respond to auditory stimuli with physiologic properties that differ from those of neurons in the inferior or superior colliculi. We have identified the TLC in rodents, lagomorphs, carnivores, nonhuman primates, and humans, which indicates that the nucleus is conserved across mammals. The discovery of the TLC reveals an unexpected level of longitudinal organization in the mammalian tectum and raises questions as to the participation of this mesencephalic region in essential, yet completely unexplored, aspects of multisensory and/or sensorimotor integration.

  4. CRISPR Technology for Genome Activation and Repression in Mammalian Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Dan; Qi, Lei S

    2016-01-04

    Targeted modulation of transcription is necessary for understanding complex gene networks and has great potential for medical and industrial applications. CRISPR is emerging as a powerful system for targeted genome activation and repression, in addition to its use in genome editing. This protocol describes how to design, construct, and experimentally validate the function of sequence-specific single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) for sequence-specific repression (CRISPRi) or activation (CRISPRa) of transcription in mammalian cells. In this technology, the CRISPR-associated protein Cas9 is catalytically deactivated (dCas9) to provide a general platform for RNA-guided DNA targeting of any locus in the genome. Fusion of dCas9 to effector domains with distinct regulatory functions enables stable and efficient transcriptional repression or activation in mammalian cells. Delivery of multiple sgRNAs further enables activation or repression of multiple genes. By using scaffold RNAs (scRNAs), different effectors can be recruited to different genes for simultaneous activation of some and repression of others. The CRISPRi and CRISPRa methods provide powerful tools for sequence-specific control of gene expression on a genome-wide scale to aid understanding gene functions and for engineering genetic regulatory systems.

  5. Cetacean sleep: an unusual form of mammalian sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyamin, Oleg I; Manger, Paul R; Ridgway, Sam H; Mukhametov, Lev M; Siegel, Jerome M

    2008-10-01

    Our knowledge of the form of lateralized sleep behavior, known as unihemispheric slow wave sleep (USWS), seen in all members of the order Cetacea examined to date, is described. We trace the discovery of this phenotypically unusual form of mammalian sleep and highlight specific aspects that are different from sleep in terrestrial mammals. We find that for cetaceans sleep is characterized by USWS, a negligible amount or complete absence of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and a varying degree of movement during sleep associated with body size, and an asymmetrical eye state. We then compare the anatomy of the mammalian somnogenic system with what is known in cetaceans, highlighting areas where additional knowledge is needed to understand cetacean sleep. Three suggested functions of USWS (facilitation of movement, more efficient sensory processing and control of breathing) are discussed. Lastly, the possible selection pressures leading to this form of sleep are examined, leading us to the suggestion that the selection pressure necessitating the evolution of cetacean sleep was most likely the need to offset heat loss to the water from birth and throughout life. Aspects such as sentinel functions and breathing are likely to be proximate evolutionary phenomenon of this form of sleep.

  6. Manufacture of biopharmaceutical proteins by mammalian cell culture systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolbert, W R

    1990-01-01

    In the last several years, dramatic advances have been in the development of new biopharmaceuticals including monoclonal antibodies for diagnosis and treatment and such genetically engineered proteins as tPA, Factor VIIIc, erythropoietin and soluble CD4, an anti-AIDS protein. Currently, there are several hundred such candidate drugs in human clinical trials. In most cases, these protein-based drugs will require manufacture by mammalian cell culture due to the inability of lower organisms to properly glycosylate, fold, make correct disulfide bonds and secrete active biomolecular forms. The need for large scale production from cell culture will greatly increase as more of the products in clinical trials are approved for commercial production. This will require significant reduction in manufacturing costs per gram, concomitant with increased capacity to hundreds or perhaps even thousands of kilograms annually. As an example, Invitron's multi-reactor manufacturing facility has operated at greater than one-half million liters per year and has experience with more than 250 mammalian cell lines for producing protein drug products.

  7. Deciphering the rules governing assembly order of mammalian septin complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellin, Mikael E; Sandblad, Linda; Stenmark, Sonja; Gullberg, Martin

    2011-09-01

    Septins are conserved GTP-binding proteins that assemble into lateral diffusion barriers and molecular scaffolds. Vertebrate genomes contain 9-17 septin genes that encode both ubiquitous and tissue-specific septins. Expressed septins may assemble in various combinations through both heterotypic and homotypic G-domain interactions. However, little is known regarding assembly states of mammalian septins and mechanisms directing ordered assembly of individual septins into heteromeric units, which is the focus of this study. Our analysis of the septin system in cells lacking or overexpressing selected septins reveals interdependencies coinciding with previously described homology subgroups. Hydrodynamic and single-particle data show that individual septins exist solely in the context of stable six- to eight-subunit core heteromers, all of which contain SEPT2 and SEPT6 subgroup members and SEPT7, while heteromers comprising more than six subunits also contain SEPT9. The combined data suggest a generic model for how the temporal order of septin assembly is homology subgroup-directed, which in turn determines the subunit arrangement of native heteromers. Because mammalian cells normally express multiple members and/or isoforms of some septin subgroups, our data also suggest that only a minor fraction of native heteromers are arranged as perfect palindromes.

  8. Odorant-stimulated phosphoinositide signaling in mammalian olfactory receptor neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klasen, K.; Corey, E.A.; Kuck, F.; Wetzel, C.H.; Hatt, H.; Ache, B.W.

    2009-01-01

    Recent evidence has revived interest in the idea that phosphoinositides (PIs) may play a role in signal transduction in mammalian olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). To provide direct evidence that odorants indeed activate PI signaling in ORNs, we used adenoviral vectors carrying two different fluorescently tagged probes, the pleckstrin homology (PH) domains of phospholipase Cδ1 (PLCδ1) and the general receptor of phosphoinositides (GRP1), to monitor PI activity in the dendritic knobs of ORNs in vivo. Odorants mobilized PI(4,5)P2/IP3 and PI(3,4,5)P3, the substrates and products of PLC and PI3K. We then measured odorant activation of PLC and PI3K in olfactory ciliary-enriched membranes in vitro using a phospholipid overlay assay and ELISAs. Odorants activated both PLC and PI3K in the olfactory cilia within 2 sec of odorant stimulation. Odorant-dependent activation of PLC and PI3K in the olfactory epithelium could be blocked by enzyme-specific inhibitors. Odorants activated PLC and PI3K with partially overlapping specificity. These results provide direct evidence that odorants indeed activate PI signaling in mammalian ORNs in a manner that is consistent with the idea that PI signaling plays a role in olfactory transduction. PMID:19781634

  9. Inhibitory Odorant Signaling in Mammalian Olfactory Receptor Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corey, Elizabeth A.; Brunert, Daniela; Klasen, Katharina; Ache, Barry W.

    2010-01-01

    Odorants inhibit as well as excite olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in many species of animals. Cyclic nucleotide-dependent activation of canonical mammalian ORNs is well established but it is still unclear how odorants inhibit these cells. Here we further implicate phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), an indispensable element of PI signaling in many cellular processes, in olfactory transduction in rodent ORNs. We show that odorants rapidly and transiently activate PI3K in the olfactory cilia and in the olfactory epithelium in vitro. We implicate known G-protein–coupled isoforms of PI3K and show that they modulate not only the magnitude but also the onset kinetics of the electrophysiological response of ORNs to complex odorants. Finally, we show that the ability of a single odorant to inhibit another can be PI3K dependent. Our collective results provide compelling support for the idea that PI3K-dependent signaling mediates inhibitory odorant input to mammalian ORNs and at least in part contributes to the mixture suppression typically seen in the response of ORNs to complex natural odorants. PMID:20032232

  10. [Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on mammalian spermatogenesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susa, Martina; Pavicić, Ivan

    2007-12-01

    This article reviews studies about the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic (RF EM) fields on male reproductive system and reproductive health in mammals. According to current data, there are almost 4 million active mobile phone lines in Croatia while this number has risen to 2 billion in the world. Increased use of mobile technology raises scientific and public concern about possible hazardous effects of RF fields on human health. The effects of radiofrequencies on reproductive health and consequences for the offspring are still mainly unknown. A number of in vivo and in vitro studies indicated that RF fields could interact with charged intracellular macromolecular structures. Results of several laboratory studies on animal models showed how the RF fields could affect the mammalian reproductive system and sperm cells. Inasmuch as, in normal physiological conditions spermatogenesis is a balanced process of division, maturation and storage of cells, it is particularly vulnerable to the chemical and physical environmental stimuli. Especially sensitive could be the cytoskeleton, composed of charged proteins; actin, intermedial filaments and microtubules. Cytoskeleton is a functional and structural part of the cell that has important role in the sperm motility, and is actively involved in the morphologic changes that occur during mammalian spermiogenesis.

  11. Mechanisms Underlying Mammalian Hybrid Sterility in Two Feline Interspecies Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Brian W; Seabury, Christopher M; Brashear, Wesley A; Li, Gang; Roelke-Parker, Melody; Murphy, William J

    2015-10-01

    The phenomenon of male sterility in interspecies hybrids has been observed for over a century, however, few genes influencing this recurrent phenotype have been identified. Genetic investigations have been primarily limited to a small number of model organisms, thus limiting our understanding of the underlying molecular basis of this well-documented "rule of speciation." We utilized two interspecies hybrid cat breeds in a genome-wide association study employing the Illumina 63 K single-nucleotide polymorphism array. Collectively, we identified eight autosomal genes/gene regions underlying associations with hybrid male sterility (HMS) involved in the function of the blood-testis barrier, gamete structural development, and transcriptional regulation. We also identified several candidate hybrid sterility regions on the X chromosome, with most residing in close proximity to complex duplicated regions. Differential gene expression analyses revealed significant chromosome-wide upregulation of X chromosome transcripts in testes of sterile hybrids, which were enriched for genes involved in chromatin regulation of gene expression. Our expression results parallel those reported in Mus hybrids, supporting the "Large X-Effect" in mammalian HMS and the potential epigenetic basis for this phenomenon. These results support the value of the interspecies feline model as a powerful tool for comparison to rodent models of HMS, demonstrating unique aspects and potential commonalities that underpin mammalian reproductive isolation.

  12. Modular construction of mammalian gene circuits using TALE transcriptional repressors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yinqing; Jiang, Yun; Chen, He; Liao, Weixi; Li, Zhihua; Weiss, Ron; Xie, Zhen

    2015-03-01

    An important goal of synthetic biology is the rational design and predictable implementation of synthetic gene circuits using standardized and interchangeable parts. However, engineering of complex circuits in mammalian cells is currently limited by the availability of well-characterized and orthogonal transcriptional repressors. Here, we introduce a library of 26 reversible transcription activator-like effector repressors (TALERs) that bind newly designed hybrid promoters and exert transcriptional repression through steric hindrance of key transcriptional initiation elements. We demonstrate that using the input-output transfer curves of our TALERs enables accurate prediction of the behavior of modularly assembled TALER cascade and switch circuits. We also show that TALER switches using feedback regulation exhibit improved accuracy for microRNA-based HeLa cancer cell classification versus HEK293 cells. Our TALER library is a valuable toolkit for modular engineering of synthetic circuits, enabling programmable manipulation of mammalian cells and helping elucidate design principles of coupled transcriptional and microRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation.

  13. New vaccines for Mammalian allergy using molecular approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hage, Marianne; Pauli, Gabrielle

    2014-01-01

    Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) offers a disease specific causative treatment by modifying the allergen-specific immune response allowing tolerance to higher doses of allergen and preventing progression of allergic diseases. It may be considered in patients allergic to furry animals. Current mammalian allergy vaccines are still prepared from relatively poorly defined allergen extracts and may induce immediate and late phase side effects. Although the mechanisms of SIT are still not fully understood, the more recent approaches report different strategies to reduce both allergen-specific IgE as well as T cell reactivity. The availability of recombinant allergens and synthetic peptides from the mammalian species has contributed to formulating new allergy vaccines to improve SIT for furry animal allergy. The majority of studies have focused on the major cat allergen Fel d 1 due to its extensive characterization in terms of IgE and T cell epitopes and to its dominant role in cat allergy. Here we review the most recent approaches, e.g., synthetic peptides, recombinant allergen derivatives, different hypoallergenic molecules, and recombinant allergens coupled to virus-like particles or immunomodulatory substances as well as strategies targeting the allergen to Fcγ receptors and the MHC class II pathway using a new route for administration. Many of the new vaccines hold promise but only a few of them have been investigated in clinical trials which will be the gold standard for evaluation of safety and efficacy in allergic patients.

  14. Engineering considerations for process development in mammalian cell cultivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hu; Wang, Weixiang; Quan, Chunshan; Fan, Shengdi

    2010-01-01

    Mammalian cell cultivation plays a great role in producing protein therapeutics in the last decades. Many engineering parameters are considered for optimization during process development in mammalian cell cultivation, only shear and mixing are especially highlighted in this paper. It is believed that shear stress due to agitation has been over-estimated to damage cells, but shear may result in nonlethal physiological responses. There is no cell damage in the regions where bubbles form, break up and coalescence, but shear stress becomes significant in the wake of rising bubbles and causes great damage to cells in bubble burst regions. Mixing is not sufficient to provide homogeneous dissolved oxygen tension, pH, CO2 and nutrients in large-scale bioreactors, which can bring severe problems for cell growth, product formation and process control. Scale-down reactors have been developed to address mixing and shear problems for parallel operations. Engineering characterization in conventional and recently developed scale-down bioreactors has been briefly introduced. Process challenges for cultivation of industrial cell lines in high cell densities as well as cultivation of stem cells and other human cells for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and gene therapy are prospected. Important techniques, such as micromanipulation and nanomanipulation (optical tweezers) for single cell analysis, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for shear and mixing characterization, and miniaturized bioreactors, are being developed to address those challenges.

  15. RNAi pathway participates in chromosome segregation in mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Chuan; Wang, Xiaolin; Liu, Xu; Cao, Shuhuan; Shan, Ge

    2015-01-01

    The RNAi machinery is a mighty regulator in a myriad of life events. Despite lines of evidence that small RNAs and components of the RNAi pathway may be associated with structure and behavior of mitotic chromosomes in diverse organisms, a direct role of the RNAi pathway in mammalian mitotic chromosome segregation remains elusive. Here we report that Dicer and AGO2, two central components of the mammalian RNAi pathway, participate in the chromosome segregation. Knockdown of Dicer or AGO2 results in a higher incidence of chromosome lagging, and this effect is independent from microRNAs as examined with DGCR8 knockout cells. Further investigation has revealed that α-satellite RNA, a noncoding RNA derived from centromeric repeat region, is managed by AGO2 under the guidance of endogenous small interference RNAs (ASAT siRNAs) generated by Dicer. Furthermore, the slicer activity of AGO2 is essential for the chromosome segregation. Level and distribution of chromosome-associated α-satellite RNA have crucial regulatory effect on the localization of centromeric proteins such as centromere protein C1 (CENPC1). With these results, we also provide a paradigm in which the RNAi pathway participates in vital cellular events through the maintenance of level and distribution of noncoding RNAs in cells.

  16. Mammalian heme peroxidases: from molecular mechanisms to health implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Michael J; Hawkins, Clare L; Pattison, David I; Rees, Martin D

    2008-07-01

    A marked increase in interest has occurred over the last few years in the role that mammalian heme peroxidase enzymes, primarily myeloperoxidase, eosinophil peroxidase, and lactoperoxidase, may play in both disease prevention and human pathologies. This increased interest has been sparked by developments in our understanding of polymorphisms that control the levels of these enzymes, a greater understanding of the basic chemistry and biochemistry of the oxidants formed by these species, the development of specific biomarkers that can be used in vivo to detect damage induced by these oxidants, the detection of active forms of these peroxidases at most, if not all, sites of inflammation, and a correlation between the levels of these enzymes and a number of major human pathologies. This article reviews recent developments in our understanding of the enzymology, chemistry, biochemistry and biologic roles of mammalian peroxidases and the oxidants that they generate, the potential role of these oxidants in human disease, and the use of the levels of these enzymes in disease prognosis.

  17. Mechanism of reaction of chlorite with mammalian heme peroxidases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakopitsch, Christa; Pirker, Katharina F; Flemmig, Jörg; Hofbauer, Stefan; Schlorke, Denise; Furtmüller, Paul G; Arnhold, Jürgen; Obinger, Christian

    2014-06-01

    This study demonstrates that heme peroxidases from different superfamilies react differently with chlorite. In contrast to plant peroxidases, like horseradish peroxidase (HRP), the mammalian counterparts myeloperoxidase (MPO) and lactoperoxidase (LPO) are rapidly and irreversibly inactivated by chlorite in the micromolar concentration range. Chlorite acts as efficient one-electron donor for Compound I and Compound II of MPO and LPO and reacts with the corresponding ferric resting states in a biphasic manner. The first (rapid) phase is shown to correspond to the formation of a MPO-chlorite high-spin complex, whereas during the second (slower) phase degradation of the prosthetic group was observed. Cyanide, chloride and hydrogen peroxide can block or delay heme bleaching. In contrast to HRP, the MPO/chlorite system does not mediate chlorination of target molecules. Irreversible inactivation is shown to include heme degradation, iron release and decrease in thermal stability. Differences between mammalian peroxidases and HRP are discussed with respect to differences in active site architecture and heme modification.

  18. New vaccines for mammalian allergy using molecular approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne evan Hage

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT offers a disease specific causative treatment by inducing tolerance to the allergen and preventing progression of allergic diseases. It may be considered in patients allergic to furry animals. Current mammalian allergy vaccines are still prepared from relatively poorly defined allergen extracts and may induce immediate and late phase side effects. Although the mechanisms of SIT are still not fully understood, the more recent approaches report different strategies to reduce both allergen-specific IgE as well as T cell reactivity. The availability of recombinant allergens and synthetic peptides from mammalian species has contributed to formulating new allergy vaccines to improve SIT for furry animal allergy. The majority of studies have focused on the major cat allergen Fel d 1 due to it’s extensively characterization in terms of IgE and T-cell epitopes and to its dominant role in cat allergy. Here we review the most recent approaches, e.g. synthetic peptides, recombinant allergen derivatives, different hypoallergenic molecules, recombinant allergens coupled to virus-like particles or immunomodulatory substances as well as strategies targeting the allergen to Fc receptors and the MHC class II pathway using a new route for administration. Many of the new vaccines hold promise but only a few of them have been investigated in clinical trials which will be the gold standard for evaluation of safety and efficacy in allergic patients.

  19. Identification of chikungunya virus interacting proteins in mammalian cells

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mandar S Paingankar; Vidya A Arankalle

    2014-06-01

    Identification and characterization of virus host interactions is an essential step for the development of novel antiviral strategies. Very few studies have been targeted towards identification of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) interacting host proteins. In current study, virus overlay protein binding assay (VOPBA) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight analysis (MALDI TOF/TOF) were employed for the identification of CHIKV binding proteins in mammalian cells. HSP70 and actin were identified as virus binding proteins in HEK-293T and Vero-E6 cells, whereas STAT-2 was identified as an additional protein in Vero-E6 cells. Pre-incubation with anti-HSP70 antibody and miRNA silencing of HSP70 significantly reduced the CHIKV production in HEK-293T and Vero-E6 cells at early time points. These results suggest that CHIKV exploits the housekeeping molecules such as actin, HSP70 and STAT-2 to establish infection in the mammalian cells.

  20. Review: Toward an integrated evolutionary understanding of the mammalian placenta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildman, D E

    2011-03-01

    The placenta is fundamentally important for the success of pregnancy. Disruptions outside the normal range for placental function can result in pregnancy failure and other complications. The anatomy of the placenta varies greatly across mammals, as do key parameters in pregnancy such as neonatal body mass, length of gestation and number of offspring per pregnancy. An accurate understanding of the evolution of the mammalian placenta will require at minimum the integration of anatomical, developmental, physiological, genetic, and epigenetic data. Currently available data suggest that the placenta is a dynamic organ that has evolved rapidly in a lineage specific manner. Examination of the placenta from the perspective of human evolution shows that many anatomical features of the human placenta are relatively conserved. Despite the anatomical conservation of the human placenta there are many recently evolved placenta-specific genes (e.g. CGB, LGALS13, GH2) that are important in the development and function of the human placenta. Other mammalian genomes have also evolved specific suites of placenta-expressed genes. For example, rodents have undergone expansions of the cathepsin and prolactin families, and artiodactyls have expanded their suite of pregnancy-associated glycoproteins. In addition to lineage specific birth and death of gene family members, the pattern of imprinted loci varies greatly among species. Taken together, these studies suggest that a strategy reliant upon the sampling of placentally expressed and imprinted genes from a phylogenetically diverse range of species is appropriate for unraveling the conserved and derived aspects of placental biology.

  1. Bayesian phylogeography of influenza A/H3N2 for the 2014-15 season in the United States using three frameworks of ancestral state reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchard, Marc A.

    2017-01-01

    Ancestral state reconstructions in Bayesian phylogeography of virus pandemics have been improved by utilizing a Bayesian stochastic search variable selection (BSSVS) framework. Recently, this framework has been extended to model the transition rate matrix between discrete states as a generalized linear model (GLM) of genetic, geographic, demographic, and environmental predictors of interest to the virus and incorporating BSSVS to estimate the posterior inclusion probabilities of each predictor. Although the latter appears to enhance the biological validity of ancestral state reconstruction, there has yet to be a comparison of phylogenies created by the two methods. In this paper, we compare these two methods, while also using a primitive method without BSSVS, and highlight the differences in phylogenies created by each. We test six coalescent priors and six random sequence samples of H3N2 influenza during the 2014–15 flu season in the U.S. We show that the GLMs yield significantly greater root state posterior probabilities than the two alternative methods under five of the six priors, and significantly greater Kullback-Leibler divergence values than the two alternative methods under all priors. Furthermore, the GLMs strongly implicate temperature and precipitation as driving forces of this flu season and nearly unanimously identified a single root state, which exhibits the most tropical climate during a typical flu season in the U.S. The GLM, however, appears to be highly susceptible to sampling bias compared with the other methods, which casts doubt on whether its reconstructions should be favored over those created by alternate methods. We report that a BSSVS approach with a Poisson prior demonstrates less bias toward sample size under certain conditions than the GLMs or primitive models, and believe that the connection between reconstruction method and sampling bias warrants further investigation. PMID:28170397

  2. Evolution of bacterial-like phosphoprotein phosphatases in photosynthetic eukaryotes features ancestral mitochondrial or archaeal origin and possible lateral gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhrig, R Glen; Kerk, David; Moorhead, Greg B

    2013-12-01

    Protein phosphorylation is a reversible regulatory process catalyzed by the opposing reactions of protein kinases and phosphatases, which are central to the proper functioning of the cell. Dysfunction of members in either the protein kinase or phosphatase family can have wide-ranging deleterious effects in both metazoans and plants alike. Previously, three bacterial-like phosphoprotein phosphatase classes were uncovered in eukaryotes and named according to the bacterial sequences with which they have the greatest similarity: Shewanella-like (SLP), Rhizobiales-like (RLPH), and ApaH-like (ALPH) phosphatases. Utilizing the wealth of data resulting from recently sequenced complete eukaryotic genomes, we conducted database searching by hidden Markov models, multiple sequence alignment, and phylogenetic tree inference with Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods to elucidate the pattern of evolution of eukaryotic bacterial-like phosphoprotein phosphatase sequences, which are predominantly distributed in photosynthetic eukaryotes. We uncovered a pattern of ancestral mitochondrial (SLP and RLPH) or archaeal (ALPH) gene entry into eukaryotes, supplemented by possible instances of lateral gene transfer between bacteria and eukaryotes. In addition to the previously known green algal and plant SLP1 and SLP2 protein forms, a more ancestral third form (SLP3) was found in green algae. Data from in silico subcellular localization predictions revealed class-specific differences in plants likely to result in distinct functions, and for SLP sequences, distinctive and possibly functionally significant differences between plants and nonphotosynthetic eukaryotes. Conserved carboxyl-terminal sequence motifs with class-specific patterns of residue substitutions, most prominent in photosynthetic organisms, raise the possibility of complex interactions with regulatory proteins.

  3. The impact of ancestral heath management on soils and landscapes. A reconstruction based on paleoecological analyses of soil records in the middle and southeast Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Mourik, Jan; Doorenbosch, Marieke

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of heath lands during the Holocene has been registered in various soil records . Paleoecological analyses of these records enable to reconstruct the changing economic and cultural management of heaths and the consequences for landscape and soils. Heaths are characteristic components of cultural landscape mosaics on sandy soils in the Netherlands. The natural habitat of heather species was moorland. At first, natural events like forest fires and storms caused small-scale forest degradation, in addition on the forest degradation accelerated due to cultural activities like forest grazing, wood cutting and shifting cultivation. Heather plants invaded on degraded forest soils and heaths developed. People learned to use the heaths for economic and cultural purposes. The impact of the heath management on landscape and soils was registered in soil records of barrows, drift sand sequences and plaggic Anthrosols. Based on pollen diagrams of such records we could reconstruct that heaths were developed and used for cattle grazing before the Bronze Age. During the Late Neolithic, the Bronze Age and Iron Age, people created the barrow landscape on the ancestral heaths. After the Iron Age people probably continued with cattle grazing on the heaths and plaggic agriculture until the Early Middle Ages. After 1000 AD two events affected the heaths. At first deforestation for the sale of wood resulted in the first regional extension of sand drifting and heath degradation. After that the introduction of the deep stable economy and heath sods digging resulted in acceleration of the rise of plaggic horizons, severe heath degradation and the second extension of sand drifting. At the end of the 19th century the heath lost its economic value due to the introduction of chemical fertilizers. The heaths were transformed into 'new' arable fields and forests and due to deep ploughing most soil archives were destroyed. Since 1980 AD, the remaining relicts of the ancestral heaths are

  4. Clusters of ancestrally related genes that show paralogy in whole or in part are a major feature of the genomes of humans and other species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael B Walker

    Full Text Available Arrangements of genes along chromosomes are a product of evolutionary processes, and we can expect that preferable arrangements will prevail over the span of evolutionary time, often being reflected in the non-random clustering of structurally and/or functionally related genes. Such non-random arrangements can arise by two distinct evolutionary processes: duplications of DNA sequences that give rise to clusters of genes sharing both sequence similarity and common sequence features and the migration together of genes related by function, but not by common descent. To provide a background for distinguishing between the two, which is important for future efforts to unravel the evolutionary processes involved, we here provide a description of the extent to which ancestrally related genes are found in proximity.Towards this purpose, we combined information from five genomic datasets, InterPro, SCOP, PANTHER, Ensembl protein families, and Ensembl gene paralogs. The results are provided in publicly available datasets (http://cgd.jax.org/datasets/clustering/paraclustering.shtml describing the extent to which ancestrally related genes are in proximity beyond what is expected by chance (i.e. form paraclusters in the human and nine other vertebrate genomes, as well as the D. melanogaster, C. elegans, A. thaliana, and S. cerevisiae genomes. With the exception of Saccharomyces, paraclusters are a common feature of the genomes we examined. In the human genome they are estimated to include at least 22% of all protein coding genes. Paraclusters are far more prevalent among some gene families than others, are highly species or clade specific and can evolve rapidly, sometimes in response to environmental cues. Altogether, they account for a large portion of the functional clustering previously reported in several genomes.

  5. Coalescent models reveal the relative roles of ancestral polymorphism, vicariance, and dispersal in shaping phylogeographical structure of an African montane forest robin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowie, Rauri C K; Fjeldså, Jon; Hackett, Shannon J; Bates, John M; Crowe, Timothy M

    2006-01-01

    Although many studies have documented the effect of glaciation on the evolutionary history of Northern Hemisphere flora and fauna, this study is the first to investigate how the indirect aridification of Africa caused by global cooling in response to glacial cycles at higher latitudes has influenced the evolutionary history of an African montane bird. Mitochondrial DNA sequences from the NADH 3 gene were collected from 283 individual Starred Robins (Pogonocichla stellata, Muscicapoidea). At least two major vicariant events, one that separated the Albertine Rift from all but the Kenyan Highlands around 1.3-1.2 Myrs BP, and another that separated the Kenyan Highlands from the northern Eastern Arc, and the northern Eastern Arc from the south-central Eastern Arc between 0.9 and 0.8 Myrs BP appear to underlie much of the observed genetic diversity and structure within Starred Robin populations. These dates of divergence suggest a lack of recurrent gene flow; although the Albertine Rift and south-central Eastern Arc share haplotypes, based on coalescent analyses this can confidently be accounted for by ancestral polymorphism as opposed to recurrent gene flow. Taken collectively, strong evidence exists for recognition of four major ancestral populations: (1) Kenyan Highlands (subspecies keniensis), (2) Albertine Rift (ruwenzori), (3) northern Eastern Arc (helleri), and (4) south-central Eastern Arc, Ufipa and the Malawi Rift (orientalis). The estimated divergence times cluster remarkably around one of the three estimated peaks of aridification in Africa during the Plio-Pleistocene centred on 1 Myrs BP. Further, time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) estimates (1.7-1.6 Myrs BP) of gene divergence between the Albertine Rift and the other montane highlands corresponds closely with a second estimated peak of aridification at about 1.7 Myrs BP. Collectively, these results suggest that aridification of Africa in response to glaciation at higher latitudes during the

  6. Nourseothricin N-acetyl transferase: a positive selection marker for mammalian cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bose S Kochupurakkal

    Full Text Available Development of Nourseothricin N-acetyl transferase (NAT as a selection marker for mammalian cells is described. Mammalian cells are acutely susceptible to Nourseothricin, similar to the widely used drug Puromycin, and NAT allows for quick and robust selection of transfected/transduced cells in the presence of Nourseothricin. NAT is compatible with other selection markers puromycin, hygromycin, neomycin, blasticidin, and is a valuable addition to the repertoire of mammalian selection markers.

  7. 祠堂文化助力农村社区教育发展研究——基于三水祠堂文化活化视角%Research on How Ancestral Temple Culture Boost Rural Community Education Development—— Based on the New Concept of Sanshui Ancestral Temple Culture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李永霞

    2015-01-01

    With the development of rural urbanization, value of the rural ancestral temple was slowly highlighted. The traditional sense of the Ancestral temple′s functions such as social education, village autonomy in rural community governance is renewed. The highly fit of the Ancestral temple culture and the rural community education, with its confidence, inheritance, and liberty is helpful to the villagers′cultural consciousness and education consciousness. It is also helpful to the community autonomy, reshaping rural ethics and cultivating the spirit of the rural citizens. With the guidance of the government organizations at all levels, activating the ancestral temple culture and constructing the rural public cultural synthesis is not only an important way for the innovation of the rural education and the rural community governance model, but also the best performance of the new rural villagers′self-conscious to the traditional culture.%随着农村城镇化进程的深入,农村祠堂文化价值突显. 祠堂传统意义上的社会教化、村落自治功能在农村社区治理中重新焕发. 祠堂文化与农村社区教育的高度契合及其置信、传承、自主等优越性有助于村民文化自觉、教育自觉和社区自治,重塑农村伦理道德和培养农村公民精神. 各级政府部门组织引导社会各方力量,活化祠堂文化,积极构建农村公共文化教育综合体是创新农村社区教育和农村社区治理模式的重要途径,更是新农村村民对传统文化自觉的表现.

  8. Structure and diversity in mammalian accessory olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisami, E; Bhatnagar, K P

    1998-12-15

    The accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) is the first neural integrative center for the olfactory-like vomeronasal sensory system. In this article, we first briefly present an overview of vomeronasal system organization and review the history of the discovery of mammalian AOB. Next, we briefly review the evolution of the vomeronasal system in vertebrates, in particular the reptiles. Following these introductory aspects, the structure of the rodent AOB, as typical of the well-developed mammalian AOB, is presented, detailing laminar organization and cell types as well as aspects of the homology with the main olfactory bulb. Then, the evolutionary origin and diversity of the AOB in mammalian orders and species is discussed, describing structural, phylogenetic, and species-specific variation in the AOB location, shape, and size and morphologic differentiation and development. The AOB is believed to be absent in fishes but present in terrestrial tetrapods including amphibians; among the reptiles AOB is absent in crocodiles, present in turtles, snakes, and some lizards where it may be as large or larger than the main bulb. The AOB is absent in bird and in the aquatic mammals (whales, porpoises, manatees). Among other mammals, AOB is present in the monotremes and marsupials, edentates, and in the majority of the placental mammals like carnivores, herbivores, as well as rodents and lagomorphs. Most bat species do not have an AOB and among those where one is found, it shows marked variation in size and morphologic development. Among insectivores and primates, AOB shows marked variation in occurrence, size, and morphologic development. It is small in shrews and moles, large in hedgehogs and prosimians; AOB continues to persist in New World monkeys but is not found in the adults of the higher primates such as the Old World monkeys, apes, and humans. In many species where AOB is absent in the adult, it often develops in the embryo and fetus but regresses in later stages of

  9. PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy in mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eiyama, Akinori; Okamoto, Koji

    2015-04-01

    Mitochondria-specific autophagy (mitophagy) is a fundamental process critical for maintaining mitochondrial fitness in a myriad of cell types. Particularly, mitophagy contributes to mitochondrial quality control by selectively eliminating dysfunctional mitochondria. In mammalian cells, the Ser/Thr kinase PINK1 and the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin act cooperatively in sensing mitochondrial functional state and marking damaged mitochondria for disposal via the autophagy pathway. Notably, ubiquitin and deubiquitinases play vital roles in modulating Parkin activity and mitophagy efficiency. In this review, we highlight recent breakthroughs addressing the key issues of how PINK1 activates Parkin in response to mitochondrial malfunction, how Parkin localizes specifically to impaired mitochondria, and how ubiquitination and deubiquitination regulate PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy.

  10. The Microprocessor controls the activity of mammalian retrotransposons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heras, Sara R; Macias, Sara; Plass, Mireya; Fernandez, Noemí; Cano, David; Eyras, Eduardo; Garcia-Perez, José L; Cáceres, Javier F

    2013-10-01

    More than half of the human genome is made of transposable elements whose ongoing mobilization is a driving force in genetic diversity; however, little is known about how the host regulates their activity. Here, we show that the Microprocessor (Drosha-DGCR8), which is required for microRNA biogenesis, also recognizes and binds RNAs derived from human long interspersed element 1 (LINE-1), Alu and SVA retrotransposons. Expression analyses demonstrate that cells lacking a functional Microprocessor accumulate LINE-1 mRNA and encoded proteins. Furthermore, we show that structured regions of the LINE-1 mRNA can be cleaved in vitro by Drosha. Additionally, we used a cell culture-based assay to show that the Microprocessor negatively regulates LINE-1 and Alu retrotransposition in vivo. Altogether, these data reveal a new role for the Microprocessor as a post-transcriptional repressor of mammalian retrotransposons and a defender of human genome integrity.

  11. Plasma long-chain free fatty acids predict mammalian longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jové, Mariona; Naudí, Alba; Aledo, Juan Carlos; Cabré, Rosanna; Ayala, Victoria; Portero-Otin, Manuel; Barja, Gustavo; Pamplona, Reinald

    2013-11-28

    Membrane lipid composition is an important correlate of the rate of aging of animals and, therefore, the determination of their longevity. In the present work, the use of high-throughput technologies allowed us to determine the plasma lipidomic profile of 11 mammalian species ranging in maximum longevity from 3.5 to 120 years. The non-targeted approach revealed a specie-specific lipidomic profile that accurately predicts the animal longevity. The regression analysis between lipid species and longevity demonstrated that the longer the longevity of a species, the lower is its plasma long-chain free fatty acid (LC-FFA) concentrations, peroxidizability index, and lipid peroxidation-derived products content. The inverse association between longevity and LC-FFA persisted after correction for body mass and phylogenetic interdependence. These results indicate that the lipidomic signature is an optimized feature associated with animal longevity, emerging LC-FFA as a potential biomarker of longevity.

  12. Transient transfection of mammalian cells using a violet diode laser

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Mapa, Maria Leilani; Angus, Liselotte; Ploschner, Martin; Dholakia, Kishan; Gunn-Moore, Frank J.

    2010-07-01

    We demonstrate the first use of the violet diode laser for transient mammalian cell transfection. In contrast to previous studies, which showed the generation of stable cell lines over a few weeks, we develop a methodology to transiently transfect cells with an efficiency of up to ~40%. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) and human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells are exposed to a tightly focused 405-nm laser in the presence of plasmid DNA encoding for a mitochondrial targeted red fluorescent protein. We report transfection efficiencies as a function of laser power and exposure time for our system. We also show, for the first time, that a continuous wave laser source can be successfully applied to selective gene silencing experiments using small interfering RNA. This work is a major step towards an inexpensive and portable phototransfection system.

  13. Experimental chemotherapy of mammalian coccidiosis with Bay g 7183.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberkorn, A; Schulz, H P

    1981-01-01

    Bay g 7183, a substituted sym. triazintrione derivative has a known high efficacy against poultry coccidia. Experimental investigations using the mouse coccidia E. falciformis indicated an activity also against mammalian coccidia. Minimum effective daily doses range between 0.25 to 10 mg/kg. Eimeria species used: E. falciformis (mouse(, E. contorta (rat), E. chinchillae (Mastomys), E. irresidua, E. magna, E. media, E. perforans, E. stiedae (rabbit), E. ashata, E. arloingi, E. faurei, E. ninakohlyakimovi, E. parva (sheep). A very appropriate mode of treatment, e.g. for rabbits is the dermal one (pour on) beside the oral route by using a stomach tube or with medicated food. Bay g 7183 is active both on schizogonic stages and gamonts. This explains the high efficacy even of single doses. If given e.g. once weekly it prevents or stops development of even massive experimental infections and their clinical symptoms. The value of E. falciformis as a test model is discussed.

  14. Mammalian mitogenomic relationships and the root of the eutherian tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnason, Ulfur; Adegoke, Joseph A; Bodin, Kristina; Born, Erik W; Esa, Yuzine B; Gullberg, Anette; Nilsson, Maria; Short, Roger V; Xu, Xiufeng; Janke, Axel

    2002-06-11

    The strict orthology of mitochondrial (mt) coding sequences has promoted their use in phylogenetic analyses at different levels. Here we present the results of a mitogenomic study (i.e., analysis based on the set of protein-coding genes from complete mt genomes) of 60 mammalian species. This number includes 11 new mt genomes. The sampling comprises all but one of the traditional eutherian orders. The previously unrepresented order Dermoptera (flying lemurs) fell within Primates as the sister group of Anthropoidea, making Primates paraphyletic. This relationship was strongly supported. Lipotyphla ("insectivores") split into three distinct lineages: Erinaceomorpha, Tenrecomorpha, and Soricomorpha. Erinaceomorpha was the basal eutherian lineage. Sirenia (dugong) and Macroscelidea (elephant shrew) fell within the African clade. Pholidota (pangolin) joined the Cetferungulata as the sister group of Carnivora. The analyses identified monophyletic Pinnipedia with Otariidae (sea lions, fur seals) and Odobenidae (walruses) as sister groups to the exclusion of Phocidae (true seals).

  15. Modulation of mammalian apoptotic pathways by intracellular protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, V; Cordeiro-da-Silva, A; Laforge, M; Ouaissi, A; Silvestre, R; Estaquier, J

    2012-03-01

    During intracellular parasitic infections, pathogens and host cells take part in a complex web of events that are crucial for the outcome of the infection. Modulation of host cell apoptosis by pathogens attracted the attention of scientists during the last decade. Apoptosis is an efficient mechanism used by the host to control infection and limit pathogen multiplication and dissemination. In order to ensure completion of their complex life cycles and to guarantee transmission between different hosts, intracellular parasites have developed mechanisms to block apoptosis and sustain the viability of their host cells. Here, we review how some of the most prominent intracellular protozoan parasites modulate the main mammalian apoptotic pathways by emphasizing the advances from the last decade, which have begun to dissect this dynamic and complex interaction.

  16. Restoration of electron transport without proton pumping in mammalian mitochondria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perales-Clemente, Ester; Bayona-Bafaluy, Maria Pilar; Pérez-Martos, Acisclo; Barrientos, Antoni; Fernández-Silva, Patricio; Enriquez, Jose Antonio

    2008-01-01

    We have restored the CoQ oxidative capacity of mouse mtDNA-less cells (ρ° cells) by transforming them with the alternative oxidase Aox of Emericella nidulans. Cotransforming ρ° cells with the NADH dehydrogenase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Ndi1 and Aox recovered the NADH DH/CoQ reductase and the CoQ oxidase activities. CoQ oxidation by AOX reduces the dependence of ρ° cells on pyruvate and uridine. Coexpression of AOX and NDI1 further improves the recycling of NAD+. Therefore, 2 single-protein enzymes restore the electron transport in mammalian mitochondria substituting >80 nuclear DNA-encoded and 11 mtDNA-encoded proteins. Because those enzymes do not pump protons, we were able to split electron transport and proton pumping (ATP synthesis) and inquire which of the metabolic deficiencies associated with the loss of oxidative phosphorylation should be attributed to each of the 2 processes. PMID:19020091

  17. Presence of abscisic acid, a phytohormone, in the mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Page-Degivry, M T; Bidard, J N; Rouvier, E; Bulard, C; Lazdunski, M

    1986-01-01

    This paper reports the presence of abscisic acid, one of the most important phytohormones, in the central nervous system of pigs and rats. The identification of this hormone in brain was made after extensive purification by using a radioimmunoassay that is very specific for (+)-cis-abscisic acid. The final product of purification from mammalian brain has the same properties as authentic abscisic acid: it crossreacts in the radioimmunoassay for the phytohormone and it has the same retention properties and the same gas chromatography/mass spectrometry characteristics. Moreover, like (+)-cis-abscisic acid itself, the brain factor inhibits stomatal apertures of abaxial epidermis strips of Setcreasea purpurea Boom (Commelinaceae). The presence of abscisic acid conjugates that are present in plants has also been identified in brain. Images PMID:2937056

  18. Local Nucleosome Dynamics Facilitate Chromatin Accessibility in Living Mammalian Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saera Hihara

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Genome information, which is three-dimensionally organized within cells as chromatin, is searched and read by various proteins for diverse cell functions. Although how the protein factors find their targets remains unclear, the dynamic and flexible nature of chromatin is likely crucial. Using a combined approach of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, single-nucleosome imaging, and Monte Carlo computer simulations, we demonstrate local chromatin dynamics in living mammalian cells. We show that similar to interphase chromatin, dense mitotic chromosomes also have considerable chromatin accessibility. For both interphase and mitotic chromatin, we observed local fluctuation of individual nucleosomes (∼50 nm movement/30 ms, which is caused by confined Brownian motion. Inhibition of these local dynamics by crosslinking impaired accessibility in the dense chromatin regions. Our findings show that local nucleosome dynamics drive chromatin accessibility. We propose that this local nucleosome fluctuation is the basis for scanning genome information.

  19. Mammalian comparative sequence analysis of the Agrp locus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher B Kaelin

    Full Text Available Agouti-related protein encodes a neuropeptide that stimulates food intake. Agrp expression in the brain is restricted to neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus and is elevated by states of negative energy balance. The molecular mechanisms underlying Agrp regulation, however, remain poorly defined. Using a combination of transgenic and comparative sequence analysis, we have previously identified a 760 bp conserved region upstream of Agrp which contains STAT binding elements that participate in Agrp transcriptional regulation. In this study, we attempt to improve the specificity for detecting conserved elements in this region by comparing genomic sequences from 10 mammalian species. Our analysis reveals a symmetrical organization of conserved sequences upstream of Agrp, which cluster into two inverted repeat elements. Conserved sequences within these elements suggest a role for homeodomain proteins in the regulation of Agrp and provide additional targets for functional evaluation.

  20. Bacterial xylanase expression in mammalian cells and transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontes, C M; Ali, S; Gilbert, H J; Hazlewood, G P; Hirst, B H; Hall, J

    1999-06-11

    The energy which simple-stomached livestock can derive from dietary plant material is limited by the lack of plant polysaccharide degrading enzymes in their gastro-intestinal (GI) tract and the inefficient microbial fermentation of such material in their hind-gut. In poultry the non-starch polysaccharides found in cereal grains can also impair normal digestive function as they form viscous gels in the GI tract inhibiting the breakdown and absorption of nutrients. The nutrition of such livestock could, therefore, be improved by the introduction of enzymes able to degrade plant polysaccharides in the small intestine. We describe the expression of a xylanase, XYLY', from the bacterium Clostridium thermocellum in mammalian cells and the exocrine pancreas of transgenic mice. The enzyme is synthesised, secreted and functionally active in the eukaryote system. This work demonstrates the feasibility of generating animals with the endogenous capacity to depolymerise the xylan component of hemi-cellulose.

  1. Comparative reactivity of myeloperoxidase-derived oxidants with mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayner, Benjamin S; Love, Dominic T; Hawkins, Clare L

    2014-06-01

    Myeloperoxidase is an important heme enzyme released by activated leukocytes that catalyzes the reaction of hydrogen peroxide with halide and pseudo-halide ions to form various hypohalous acids. Hypohalous acids are chemical oxidants that have potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties and, as such, play key roles in the human immune system. However, increasing evidence supports an alternative role for myeloperoxidase-derived oxidants in the development of disease. Excessive production of hypohalous acids, particularly during chronic inflammation, leads to the initiation and accumulation of cellular damage that has been implicated in many human pathologies including atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative disease, lung disease, arthritis, inflammatory cancers, and kidney disease. This has sparked a significant interest in developing a greater understanding of the mechanisms involved in myeloperoxidase-derived oxidant-induced mammalian cell damage. This article reviews recent developments in our understanding of the cellular reactivity of hypochlorous acid, hypobromous acid, and hypothiocyanous acid, the major oxidants produced by myeloperoxidase under physiological conditions.

  2. Epicardial FSTL1 reconstitution regenerates the adult mammalian heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ke; Serpooshan, Vahid; Hurtado, Cecilia; Diez-Cuñado, Marta; Zhao, Mingming; Maruyama, Sonomi; Zhu, Wenhong; Fajardo, Giovanni; Noseda, Michela; Nakamura, Kazuto; Tian, Xueying; Liu, Qiaozhen; Wang, Andrew; Matsuura, Yuka; Bushway, Paul; Cai, Wenqing; Savchenko, Alex; Mahmoudi, Morteza; Schneider, Michael D; van den Hoff, Maurice J B; Butte, Manish J; Yang, Phillip C; Walsh, Kenneth; Zhou, Bin; Bernstein, Daniel; Mercola, Mark; Ruiz-Lozano, Pilar

    2015-09-24

    The elucidation of factors that activate the regeneration of the adult mammalian heart is of major scientific and therapeutic importance. Here we found that epicardial cells contain a potent cardiogenic activity identified as follistatin-like 1 (Fstl1). Epicardial Fstl1 declines following myocardial infarction and is replaced by myocardial expression. Myocardial Fstl1 does not promote regeneration, either basally or upon transgenic overexpression. Application of the human Fstl1 protein (FSTL1) via an epicardial patch stimulates cell cycle entry and division of pre-existing cardiomyocytes, improving cardiac function and survival in mouse and swine models of myocardial infarction. The data suggest that the loss of epicardial FSTL1 is a maladaptive response to injury, and that its restoration would be an effective way to reverse myocardial death and remodelling following myocardial infarction in humans.

  3. Translation in the mammalian oocyte in space and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susor, Andrej; Jansova, Denisa; Anger, Martin; Kubelka, Michal

    2016-01-01

    A hallmark of oocyte development in mammals is the dependence on the translation and utilization of stored RNA and proteins rather than the de novo transcription of genes in order to sustain meiotic progression and early embryo development. In the absence of transcription, the completion of meiosis and early embryo development in mammals relies significantly on maternally synthesized RNAs. Post-transcriptional control of gene expression at the translational level has emerged as an important cellular function in normal development. Therefore, the regulation of gene expression in oocytes is controlled almost exclusively at the level of mRNA and protein stabilization and protein synthesis. This current review is focused on the recently emerged findings on RNA distribution related to the temporal and spatial translational control of the meiotic progression of the mammalian oocyte.

  4. Rational design and evaluation of mammalian ribonuclease cytotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomax, Jo E; Eller, Chelcie H; Raines, Ronald T

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian pancreatic-type ribonucleases (ptRNases) comprise an enzyme family that is remarkably well suited for therapeutic exploitation. ptRNases are robust and prodigious catalysts of RNA cleavage that can naturally access the cytosol. Instilling cytotoxic activity requires endowing them with the ability to evade a cytosolic inhibitor protein while retaining other key attributes. These efforts have informed our understanding of ptRNase-based cytotoxins, as well as the action of protein-based drugs with cytosolic targets. Here, we address the most pressing problems encountered in the design of cytotoxic ptRNases, along with potential solutions. In addition, we describe assays that can be used to evaluate a successful design in vitro, in cellulo, and in vivo. The emerging information validates the continuing development of ptRNases as chemotherapeutic agents.

  5. Structure and permeation mechanism of a mammalian urea transporter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levin, Elena J.; Cao, Yu; Enkavi, Giray; Quick, Matthias; Pan, Yaping; Tajkhorshid, Emad; Zhou, Ming (UIUC); (Columbia)

    2012-09-17

    As an adaptation to infrequent access to water, terrestrial mammals produce urine that is hyperosmotic to plasma. To prevent osmotic diuresis by the large quantity of urea generated by protein catabolism, the kidney epithelia contain facilitative urea transporters (UTs) that allow rapid equilibration between the urinary space and the hyperosmotic interstitium. Here we report the first X-ray crystal structure of a mammalian UT, UT-B, at a resolution of 2.36 {angstrom}. UT-B is a homotrimer and each protomer contains a urea conduction pore with a narrow selectivity filter. Structural analyses and molecular dynamics simulations showed that the selectivity filter has two urea binding sites separated by an approximately 5.0 kcal/mol energy barrier. Functional studies showed that the rate of urea conduction in UT-B is increased by hypoosmotic stress, and that the site of osmoregulation coincides with the location of the energy barrier.

  6. Fate-restricted neural progenitors in the mammalian cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Santos J; Gil-Sanz, Cristina; Martinez-Garay, Isabel; Espinosa, Ana; Harkins-Perry, Sarah R; Ramos, Cynthia; Müller, Ulrich

    2012-08-10

    During development of the mammalian cerebral cortex, radial glial cells (RGCs) generate layer-specific subtypes of excitatory neurons in a defined temporal sequence, in which lower-layer neurons are formed before upper-layer neurons. It has been proposed that neuronal subtype fate is determined by birthdate through progressive restriction of the neurogenic potential of a common RGC progenitor. Here, we demonstrate that the murine cerebral cortex contains RGC sublineages with distinct fate potentials. Using in vivo genetic fate mapping and in vitro clonal analysis, we identified an RGC lineage that is intrinsically specified to generate only upper-layer neurons, independently of niche and birthdate. Because upper cortical layers were expanded during primate evolution, amplification of this RGC pool may have facilitated human brain evolution.

  7. Function of the sex chromosomes in mammalian fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heard, Edith; Turner, James

    2011-10-01

    The sex chromosomes play a highly specialized role in germ cell development in mammals, being enriched in genes expressed in the testis and ovary. Sex chromosome abnormalities (e.g., Klinefelter [XXY] and Turner [XO] syndrome) constitute the largest class of chromosome abnormalities and the commonest genetic cause of infertility in humans. Understanding how sex-gene expression is regulated is therefore critical to our understanding of human reproduction. Here, we describe how the expression of sex-linked genes varies during germ cell development; in females, the inactive X chromosome is reactivated before meiosis, whereas in males the X and Y chromosomes are inactivated at this stage. We discuss the epigenetics of sex chromosome inactivation and how this process has influenced the gene content of the mammalian X and Y chromosomes. We also present working models for how perturbations in sex chromosome inactivation or reactivation result in subfertility in the major classes of sex chromosome abnormalities.

  8. Mammalian Odor Information Recognition by Implanted Microsensor Array in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jun; Dong, Qi; Zhuang, Liujing; Liu, Qingjun; Wang, Ping

    2011-09-01

    The mammalian olfactory system has an exquisite capacity to rapidly recognize and discriminate thousands of distinct odors in our environment. Our research group focus on reading information from olfactory bulb circuit of anethetized Sprague-Dawley rat and utilize artificial recognition system for odor discrimination. After being stimulated by three odors with concentration of 10 μM to rat nose, the response of mitral cells in olfactory bulb is recorded by eight channel microwire sensor array. In 20 sessions with 3 animals, we obtained 30 discriminated individual cells recordings. The average firing rates of the cells are Isoamyl acetate 26 Hz, Methoxybenzene 16 Hz, and Rose essential oil 11 Hz. By spike sorting, we detect peaks and analyze the interspike interval distribution. Further more, principal component analysis is applied to reduce the dimensionality of the data sets and classify the response.

  9. Regulation of mammalian pre-mRNA splicing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUI JingYi

    2009-01-01

    In eukaryotes, most protein-coding genes contain introns which are removed by precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing. Alternative splicing is a process by which multiple messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are generated from a single pre-mRNA, resulting in functionally distinct proteins. Recent genome-wide analyses of alternative splicing indicated that in higher eukaryotes alternative splicing is an important mechanism that generates proteomic complexity and regulates gene expression. Mis-regulation of splicing causes a wide range of human diseases. This review describes the current understanding of pre-mRNA splicing and the mechanisms that regulate mammalian pre-mRNA splicing. It also discusses emerging directions in the field of alternative splicing.

  10. Regulation of mammalian pre-mRNA splicing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    In eukaryotes,most protein-coding genes contain introns which are removed by precursor messenger RNA(pre-mRNA) splicing.Alternative splicing is a process by which multiple messenger RNAs(mRNAs) are generated from a single pre-mRNA,resulting in functionally distinct proteins.Recent genome-wide analyses of alternative splicing indicated that in higher eukaryotes alternative splicing is an important mechanism that generates proteomic complexity and regulates gene expression.Mis-regulation of splicing causes a wide range of human diseases.This review describes the current understanding of pre-mRNA splicing and the mechanisms that regulate mammalian pre-mRNA splicing.It also discusses emerging directions in the field of alternative splicing.

  11. Patterns of positive selection in six Mammalian genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kosiol, Carolin; Vinar, Tomás; da Fonseca, Rute R

    2008-01-01

    Genome-wide scans for positively selected genes (PSGs) in mammals have provided insight into the dynamics of genome evolution, the genetic basis of differences between species, and the functions of individual genes. However, previous scans have been limited in power and accuracy owing to small...... numbers of available genomes. Here we present the most comprehensive examination of mammalian PSGs to date, using the six high-coverage genome assemblies now available for eutherian mammals. The increased phylogenetic depth of this dataset results in substantially improved statistical power, and permits...... and taste perception. Several pathways were strongly enriched for PSGs, suggesting possible co-evolution of interacting genes. A novel Bayesian analysis of the possible "selection histories" of each gene indicated that most PSGs have switched multiple times between positive selection and nonselection...

  12. Presence of abscisic acid, a phytohormone, in the mammalian brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Page-Degivry, M.T.; Bidard, J.N.; Rouvier, E.; Bulard, C.; Lazdunski, M.

    1986-02-01

    This paper reports the presence of abscisic acid, one of the most important phytohormones, in the central nervous system of pigs and rats. The identification of this hormone in brain was made after extensive purification by using a radioimmunoassay that is very specific for (+)-cis-abscisic acid. The final product of purification from mammalian brain has the same properties as authentic abscisic acid: it crossreacts in the radioimmunoassay for the phytohormone and it has the same retention properties and the same gas chromatography/mass spectrometry characteristics. Moreover, like (+)-cis-abscisic acid itself, the brain factor inhibits stomatal apertures of abaxial epidermis strips of Setcreasea purpurea Boom (Commelinaceae). The presence of abscisic acid conjugates that are present in plants has also been identified in brain.

  13. DNA Ligase I Is Not Essential for Mammalian Cell Viability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Han

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Of the three DNA ligases present in all vertebrates, DNA ligase I (Lig1 has been considered essential for ligating Okazaki fragments during DNA replication and thereby essential for cell viability. Here, we report the striking finding that a Lig1-null murine B cell line is viable. Surprisingly, the Lig1-null cells exhibit normal proliferation and normal immunoglobulin heavy chain class switch recombination and are not hypersensitive to a wide variety of DNA damaging agents. These findings demonstrate that Lig1 is not absolutely required for cellular DNA replication and repair and that either Lig3 or Lig4 can substitute for the role of Lig1 in joining Okazaki fragments. The establishment of a Lig1-null cell line will greatly facilitate the characterization of DNA ligase function in mammalian cells, but the finding alone profoundly reprioritizes the role of ligase I in DNA replication, repair, and recombination.

  14. DNA ligase I is not essential for mammalian cell viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Li; Masani, Shahnaz; Hsieh, Chih-lin; Yu, Kefei

    2014-04-24

    Of the three DNA ligases present in all vertebrates, DNA ligase I (Lig1) has been considered essential for ligating Okazaki fragments during DNA replication and thereby essential for cell viability. Here, we report the striking finding that a Lig1-null murine B cell line is viable. Surprisingly, the Lig1-null cells exhibit normal proliferation and normal immunoglobulin heavy chain class switch recombination and are not hypersensitive to a wide variety of DNA damaging agents. These findings demonstrate that Lig1 is not absolutely required for cellular DNA replication and repair and that either Lig3 or Lig4 can substitute for the role of Lig1 in joining Okazaki fragments. The establishment of a Lig1-null cell line will greatly facilitate the characterization of DNA ligase function in mammalian cells, but the finding alone profoundly reprioritizes the role of ligase I in DNA replication, repair, and recombination.

  15. A synthetic mammalian electro-genetic transcription circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Wilfried; Luzi, Stefan; Karlsson, Maria; Sanchez-Bustamante, Carlota Diaz; Frey, Urs; Hierlemann, Andreas; Fussenegger, Martin

    2009-03-01

    Electric signal processing has evolved to manage rapid information transfer in neuronal networks and muscular contraction in multicellular organisms and controls the most sophisticated man-built devices. Using a synthetic biology approach to assemble electronic parts with genetic control units engineered into mammalian cells, we designed an electric power-adjustable transcription control circuit able to integrate the intensity of a direct current over time, to translate the amplitude or frequency of an alternating current into an adjustable genetic readout or to modulate the beating frequency of primary heart cells. Successful miniaturization of the electro-genetic devices may pave the way for the design of novel hybrid electro-genetic implants assembled from electronic and genetic parts.

  16. Recombinant protein production from stable mammalian cell lines and pools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacker, David L; Balasubramanian, Sowmya

    2016-06-01

    We highlight recent developments for the production of recombinant proteins from suspension-adapted mammalian cell lines. We discuss the generation of stable cell lines using transposons and lentivirus vectors (non-targeted transgene integration) and site-specific recombinases (targeted transgene integration). Each of these methods results in the generation of cell lines with protein yields that are generally superior to those achievable through classical plasmid transfection that depends on the integration of the transfected DNA by non-homologous DNA end-joining. This is the main reason why these techniques can also be used for the generation of stable cell pools, heterogenous populations of recombinant cells generated by gene delivery and genetic selection without resorting to single cell cloning. This allows the time line from gene transfer to protein production to be reduced.

  17. Computing in mammalian cells with nucleic acid strand exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groves, Benjamin; Chen, Yuan-Jyue; Zurla, Chiara; Pochekailov, Sergii; Kirschman, Jonathan L.; Santangelo, Philip J.; Seelig, Georg

    2016-03-01

    DNA strand displacement has been widely used for the design of molecular circuits, motors, and sensors in cell-free settings. Recently, it has been shown that this technology can also operate in biological environments, but capabilities remain limited. Here, we look to adapt strand displacement and exchange reactions to mammalian cells and report DNA circuitry that can directly interact with a native mRNA. We began by optimizing the cellular performance of fluorescent reporters based on four-way strand exchange reactions and identified robust design principles by systematically varying the molecular structure, chemistry and delivery method. Next, we developed and tested AND and OR logic gates based on four-way strand exchange, demonstrating the feasibility of multi-input logic. Finally, we established that functional siRNA could be activated through strand exchange, and used native mRNA as programmable scaffolds for co-localizing gates and visualizing their operation with subcellular resolution.

  18. Patterns of positive selection in six Mammalian genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Kosiol

    Full Text Available Genome-wide scans for positively selected genes (PSGs in mammals have provided insight into the dynamics of genome evolution, the genetic basis of differences between species, and the functions of individual genes. However, previous scans have been limited in power and accuracy owing to small numbers of available genomes. Here we present the most comprehensive examination of mammalian PSGs to date, using the six high-coverage genome assemblies now available for eutherian mammals. The increased phylogenetic depth of this dataset results in substantially improved statistical power, and permits several new lineage- and clade-specific tests to be applied. Of approximately 16,500 human genes with high-confidence orthologs in at least two other species, 400 genes showed significant evidence of positive selection (FDR<0.05, according to a standard likelihood ratio test. An additional 144 genes showed evidence of positive selection on particular lineages or clades. As in previous studies, the identified PSGs were enriched for roles in defense/immunity, chemosensory perception, and reproduction, but enrichments were also evident for more specific functions, such as complement-mediated immunity and taste perception. Several pathways were strongly enriched for PSGs, suggesting possible co-evolution of interacting genes. A novel Bayesian analysis of the possible "selection histories" of each gene indicated that most PSGs have switched multiple times between positive selection and nonselection, suggesting that positive selection is often episodic. A detailed analysis of Affymetrix exon array data indicated that PSGs are expressed at significantly lower levels, and in a more tissue-specific manner, than non-PSGs. Genes that are specifically expressed in the spleen, testes, liver, and breast are significantly enriched for PSGs, but no evidence was found for an enrichment for PSGs among brain-specific genes. This study provides additional evidence for

  19. Prokaryotic arsenate reductase enhances arsenate resistance in Mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Dan; Tao, Xuanyu; Wu, Gaofeng; Li, Xiangkai; Liu, Pu

    2014-01-01

    Arsenic is a well-known heavy metal toxicant in the environment. Bioremediation of heavy metals has been proposed as a low-cost and eco-friendly method. This article described some of recent patents on transgenic plants with enhanced heavy metal resistance. Further, to test whether genetic modification of mammalian cells could render higher arsenic resistance, a prokaryotic arsenic reductase gene arsC was transfected into human liver cancer cell HepG2. In the stably transfected cells, the expression level of arsC gene was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Results showed that arsC was expressed in HepG2 cells and the expression was upregulated by 3 folds upon arsenate induction. To further test whether arsC has function in HepG2 cells, the viability of HepG2-pCI-ArsC cells exposed to arsenite or arsenate was compared to that of HepG2-pCI cells without arsC gene. The results indicated that arsC increased the viability of HepG2 cells by 25% in arsenate, but not in arsenite. And the test of reducing ability of stably transfected cells revealed that the concentration of accumulated trivalent arsenic increased by 25% in HepG2-pCI-ArsC cells. To determine the intracellular localization of ArsC, a fusion vector with fluorescent marker pEGFP-N1-ArsC was constructed and transfected into.HepG2. Laser confocal microscopy showed that EGFP-ArsC fusion protein was distributed throughout the cells. Taken together, these results demonstrated that prokaryotic arsenic resistant gene arsC integrated successfully into HepG2 genome and enhanced arsenate resistance of HepG2, which brought new insights of arsenic detoxification in mammalian cells.

  20. Problems of allometric scaling analysis: examples from mammalian reproductive biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Robert D; Genoud, Michel; Hemelrijk, Charlotte K

    2005-05-01

    Biological scaling analyses employing the widely used bivariate allometric model are beset by at least four interacting problems: (1) choice of an appropriate best-fit line with due attention to the influence of outliers; (2) objective recognition of divergent subsets in the data (allometric grades); (3) potential restrictions on statistical independence resulting from phylogenetic inertia; and (4) the need for extreme caution in inferring causation from correlation. A new non-parametric line-fitting technique has been developed that eliminates requirements for normality of distribution, greatly reduces the influence of outliers and permits objective recognition of grade shifts in substantial datasets. This technique is applied in scaling analyses of mammalian gestation periods and of neonatal body mass in primates. These analyses feed into a re-examination, conducted with partial correlation analysis, of the maternal energy hypothesis relating to mammalian brain evolution, which suggests links between body size and brain size in neonates and adults, gestation period and basal metabolic rate. Much has been made of the potential problem of phylogenetic inertia as a confounding factor in scaling analyses. However, this problem may be less severe than suspected earlier because nested analyses of variance conducted on residual variation (rather than on raw values) reveals that there is considerable variance at low taxonomic levels. In fact, limited divergence in body size between closely related species is one of the prime examples of phylogenetic inertia. One common approach to eliminating perceived problems of phylogenetic inertia in allometric analyses has been calculation of 'independent contrast values'. It is demonstrated that the reasoning behind this approach is flawed in several ways. Calculation of contrast values for closely related species of similar body size is, in fact, highly questionable, particularly when there are major deviations from the best

  1. Life in the cold: links between mammalian hibernation and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Cheng-Wei; Storey, Kenneth B

    2016-02-01

    The biological process of aging is the primary determinant of lifespan, but the factors that influence the rate of aging are not yet clearly understood and remain a challenging question. Mammals are characterized by >100-fold differences in maximal lifespan, influenced by relative variances in body mass and metabolic rate. Recent discoveries have identified long-lived mammalian species that deviate from the expected longevity quotient. A commonality among many long-lived species is the capacity to undergo metabolic rate depression, effectively re-programming normal metabolism in response to extreme environmental stress and enter states of torpor or hibernation. This stress tolerant phenotype often involves a reduction in overall metabolic rate to just 1-5% of the normal basal rate as well as activation of cytoprotective responses. At the cellular level, major energy savings are achieved via coordinated suppression of many ATP-expensive cell functions; e.g. global rates of protein synthesis are strongly reduced via inhibition of the insulin signaling axis. At the same time, various studies have shown activation of stress survival signaling during hibernation including up-regulation of protein chaperones, increased antioxidant defenses, and transcriptional activation of pro-survival signaling such as the FOXO and p53 pathways. Many similarities and parallels exist between hibernation phenotypes and different long-lived models, e.g. signal transduction pathways found to be commonly regulated during hibernation are also known to induce lifespan extension in animals such as Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. In this review, we highlight some of the molecular mechanisms that promote longevity in classic aging models C. elegans, Drosophila, and mice, while providing a comparative analysis to how they are regulated during mammalian hibernation.

  2. 4Pi-SHG imaging of mammalian myofibrillar structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Martin; Hahn, Dorothea; Schürmann, Sebastian; Lang, Marion; Wegner, Frederic v.; Friedrich, Oliver; Engelhardt, Johann; Hell, Stefan W.; Fink, Rainer H.

    2006-02-01

    Intrinsic Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) signals obtained from the motor protein myosin are of particular interest for 3D-imaging of living muscle cells. In addition, the new and powerful tool of 4Pi microscopy allows to markedly enhance the optical resolution of microscopy as well as the sensitivity for small objects because of the high peak intensities due to the interference pattern created in the focus. In the present study, we report, to our knowledge for the first time, measurements of intrinsic SHG signals under 4Pi conditions of type A. These measurements on mammalian myofibrilar structures are combined with very high resolution 4Pi fluorescence data obtained from the same preparations. We have chosen myofibrillar preparations of isolated mammalian muscle fibers as they (i) possess a regular repetitive pattern of actin and myosin filaments within sarcomers 2 to 3 μm in length, (ii) consist of single myofibrils of small total diameter of approximately 1 μm and (iii) are ideally suited to study the biomedically important process of force generation via calcium regulated motor protein interactions. Myofibrillar preparations were obtained from murine skeletal and heart muscle by using a combined chemical and mechanical fractionation1 (Both et al. 2004, JBO 9(5):882-892). BODIPY FL phallacidin has been used to fluorescently label the actin filaments. The experiments were carried out with a Leica SP2 multi photon microscope modified for 4Pi measurements using a Ti:Sa laser tuned to 850-900 nm. SHG as well as fluorescence photons were detected confocally by a counting APD detector. The approach taken our study provides new 3D-data for the analysis and simulation of the important process of excitation-contraction coupling under normal physiological as well as under pathophysiological conditions.

  3. How to build transcriptional network models of mammalian pattern formation.

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    Chrissa Kioussi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Genetic regulatory networks of sequence specific transcription factors underlie pattern formation in multicellular organisms. Deciphering and representing the mammalian networks is a central problem in development, neurobiology, and regenerative medicine. Transcriptional networks specify intermingled embryonic cell populations during pattern formation in the vertebrate neural tube. Each embryonic population gives rise to a distinct type of adult neuron. The homeodomain transcription factor Lbx1 is expressed in five such populations and loss of Lbx1 leads to distinct respecifications in each of the five populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have purified normal and respecified pools of these five populations from embryos bearing one or two copies of the null Lbx1(GFP allele, respectively. Microarrays were used to show that expression levels of 8% of all transcription factor genes were altered in the respecified pool. These transcription factor genes constitute 20-30% of the active nodes of the transcriptional network that governs neural tube patterning. Half of the 141 regulated nodes were located in the top 150 clusters of ultraconserved non-coding regions. Generally, Lbx1 repressed genes that have expression patterns outside of the Lbx1-expressing domain and activated genes that have expression patterns inside the Lbx1-expressing domain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Constraining epistasis analysis of Lbx1 to only those cells that normally express Lbx1 allowed unprecedented sensitivity in identifying Lbx1 network interactions and allowed the interactions to be assigned to a specific set of cell populations. We call this method ANCEA, or active node constrained epistasis analysis, and think that it will be generally useful in discovering and assigning network interactions to specific populations. We discuss how ANCEA, coupled with population partitioning analysis, can greatly facilitate the systematic dissection of

  4. Mammalian homologue of the calcium-sensitive phosphoglycoprotein, parafusin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyroba, E; Widding Høyer, A; Storgaard, P; Satir, B H

    1995-12-01

    Three specific antipeptide antibodies and oligonucleotide probes synthesized to internal sequences of parafusin have been used to search for mammalian counterpart(s) of this protein. Parafusin is an exocytic-sensitive phosphoglycoprotein from a unicellular eukaryote Paramecium that was recently cloned and sequenced (Subramanian et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 91, 9832-9836 (1994)). Western and Southern blot analyses, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse transcriptase coupled PCR (RT-PCR) techniques have been used to examine rat liver and pancreas, human pancreas and a murine pancreatic beta-cell line (beta TC3) arising in transgenic mice. The parafusin-specific antibodies showed cross-reaction with a protein at approximately 63 kDa in 4 tissues, whereas a phosphoglucomutase-specific antibody also detected a second band of similar molecular weight in the beta TC3 cells. The presence of two bands shows that parafusin homologue(s) and phosphoglucomutase are separate entities. beta TC3 cells were shown to incorporate [beta 35]UDPGlc into the parafusin homologue in a Ca(++)-sensitive manner characteristic of parafusin. Southern blot analysis revealed that the parafusin-specific probe hybridized with restriction enzyme digests of rat DNA in distinct patterns different from those observed with a phosphoglucomutase-specific probe. Rat genomic DNA and mRNA from the beta TC3 cells were used as the templates for PCR and RT-PCR using internal parafusin primers. In both cases similarly sized products were obtained which hybridized in Southern analysis with a specific parafusion probe located within the amplified region. These results indicate that a parafusin homologue exists in mammalian cells.

  5. Studies of copper transport in mammalian cells using copper radioisotopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camakaris, J.; Voskoboinik, I.; Brooks, H.; Greenough, M. [University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC (Australia). Department of Genetics; Smith, S. [Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Lucas Heights, NSW (Australia). Radiopharmaceuticals Division; Mercer, J. [Deakin University, Clayton, VIC (Australia). Centre of Cellular and Molecular Biology

    1998-12-31

    The trace element copper poses a major problem for all organisms. It is essential as a number of vital enzymes require it. Copper deficiency can lead to neurological disorders, osteoporosis and weakening of arteries. However Cu is also highly toxic and homeostatic mechanisms have evolved to maintain Cu at levels which satisfy requirements but do not cause toxicity. Toxicity is mediated by the oxidative capacity of Cu and its ability to generate toxic free radicals. There are several acquired and inherited diseases due to either Cu toxicity or Cu deficiency. The study of these diseases facilitates identification of genes and proteins involved in copper homeostasis, and this in turn will provide rational therapeutic approaches. Using the copper radioisotopes {sup 64}Cu (t1/2 = 12.8 hr) and {sup 67}Cu (t1/2 = 61 hr) we have developed a number of systems for studying copper transport in mammalian cells. These include investigation of copper uptake, copper efflux and ligand blot assays for Cu-binding proteins. Our studies have focused on Menkes disease which is an inherited and usually lethal copper deficiency disorder in humans. We have demonstrated that the Menkes protein is directly involved as a copper efflux pump in mammalian cells. Using cells overexpressing the Menkes protein we have provided the first biochemical evidence that this functions as a Cu translocating (across the membrane) P-type ATPase (Voskoboinik et al., FEBS Letters, in press). These studies were carried out using purified plasma membrane vesicles. We are now carrying out structure- function studies on this protein using targeted mutations and assaying using the radiocopper vesicle assay. Recently we have commenced studies on the role of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in copper transport and relationship of this to Alzheimers disease

  6. Non-flying mammalian fauna of Ampijoroa, Ankarafantsika National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroki Sato

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available There is no list of the mammalian fauna of Ampijoroa Forest Station, a dry deciduous forest within Ankarafantsika National Park. We set Sherman traps and pitfall traps and carried out transect surveys to survey the non-flying mammalian fauna of Ampijoroa In total, 19 species of mammals were recorded, comprising 10 families. Records include three species of Tenrecidae, two species of Soricidae, one species of Muridae, three species of Nesomyidae, three species of Cheirogaleidae, one species of Lepilemuridae, two species of Lemuridae, two species of Indriidae, one species of Eupleridae, and one species of Suidae. RÉSUMÉNous avons procédé à des observations de la faune mammalienne de la station forestière d’Ampijoroa, du Parc National d'Ankarafantsika. Pour compléter les données visuelles, nous avons posé des pièges Sherman, des trous pièges ou pitfall traps afin de capturer des animaux vivants qui furent relâchés ultérieurement sur leur lieu de capture. Au total, 19 espèces de mammifères ont été confirmées dans cette forêt, appartenant à 10 familles dont trois espèces de Tenrecidae, deux espèces de Soricidae, une espèce de Muridae, trois espèces de Nesomyidae, trois espèces de Cheirogaleidae, une espèce de Lepilemuridae, deux espèces de Lemuridae, deux espèces d’Indriidae, une espèce d’Eupleridae et une espèce de Suidae.

  7. Gelation, oxygen permeability and mechanical properties of mammalian and fish gelatin films

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the gelation, thermal, mechanical and oxygen permeability properties of different mammalian, warm- and cold-water fish gelatin solutions and films. Mammalian gelatin solutions had the highest gel set temperatures, followed by warm-water fish and then cold-...

  8. Increased virus replication in mammalian cells by blocking intracellular innate defense responses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, W. de; Haasnoot, J.; Velden, J. van der; Montfort, T. van; Zorgdrager, F.; Paxton, W.; Cornelissen, M.; Kuppeveld, F.J.M. van; Haan, P. de; Berkhout, B.

    2008-01-01

    The mammalian innate immune system senses viral infection by recognizing viral signatures and activates potent antiviral responses. Besides the interferon (IFN) response, there is accumulating evidence that RNA silencing or RNA interference (RNAi) serves as an antiviral mechanism in mammalian cells.

  9. Many novel mammalian microRNA candidates identified by extensive cloning and RAKE analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berezikov, Eugene; van Tetering, Geert; Verheul, Mark; van de Belt, Jose; van Laake, Linda; Vos, Joost; Verloop, Robert; van de Wetering, Marc; Guryev, Victor; Takada, Shuji; van Zonneveld, Anton Jan; Mano, Hiroyuki; Plasterk, Ronald; Cuppen, Edwin

    2006-01-01

    MicroRNAs are 20- to 23-nucleotide RNA molecules that can regulate gene expression. Currently > 400 microRNAs have been experimentally identified in mammalian genomes, whereas estimates go up to 1000 and beyond. Here we show that many more mammalian microRNAs exist. We discovered novel microRNA cand

  10. 40 CFR 798.5395 - In vivo mammalian bone marrow cytogenetics tests: Micronucleus assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... cytogenetics tests: Micronucleus assay. 798.5395 Section 798.5395 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL... Genetic Toxicity § 798.5395 In vivo mammalian bone marrow cytogenetics tests: Micronucleus assay. (a) Purpose. The micronucleus test is a mammalian in vivo test which detects damage of the chromosomes...

  11. Molecular dissection of the roles of the SOD genes in mammalian response to low dose irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Chuan-Yaun

    2009-01-27

    “Molecular dissection of the roles of the SOD genes in mammalian response to low dose irradiation " was started on 09/01/03 and ended on 08/31/07. The primary objective of the project was to carry out mechanistic studies of the roles of the anti-oxidant SOD genes in mammalian cellular response to low dose ionizing radiation.

  12. Research Progress on the Large-scale Culture Technology of Mammalian Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Chunyan; XIAO Jing; JIANG Yonghou

    2009-01-01

    The culture of mammalian cells is closely related to the development of biotechnology, which has been used extensively in the research and application fields of biology and medical science. In this article, various factors affecting cell cultivation and the application of microcarrier and bioreactor on large-scale culture of mammalian cells were reviewed.

  13. Complementary innate (anti-A-specific) IgM emerging from ontogenic O-GalNAc-transferase depletion: (Innate IgM complementarity residing in ancestral antigen completeness).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arend, Peter

    2014-04-01

    The murine and the human genome have global properties in common. So the murine anti-A-specific complementary IgM and related human innate isoagglutinin represent developmental, 2-mercaptoethanol-sensitive, complement-binding glycoproteins, which do not arise from any measurable environmentally-induced or auto- immune response. The murine anti-A certainly originates from a cell surface- or cell adhesion molecule, which in the course of germ cell development becomes devoid of O-GalNAc-transferase and is released into the circulation. In human sera the enzyme occurs exclusively in those of blood group A- and AB subjects, while in group O(H) an identically encoded protein lets expect an opposite function and appears in conjunction with a complementary anti-A reactive glycoprotein. Since O-glycosylations rule the carbohydrate metabolism in growth and reproduction processes, we propose that the ancestral histo-(blood)-group A molecule arises in the course of O-GalNAc-glycosylations of glycolipids and protein envelops at progenitor cell surfaces. Germ cell development postulates embryonic stem cell fidelity, which is characterised by persistent production of α-linked O-GalNAc-glycans. They are determined by the A-allele within the human, "complete" histo (blood) group AB(O) structure that in early ontogeny is hypothesised to be synthesised independently from the final phenotype. The structure either passes "completely" through the germline, in transferase-secreting mature tissues becoming the "complete" phenotype AB, or disappears in exhaustive glycotransferase depletion from the differentiating cell surfaces and leaves behind the "incomplete" blood group O-phenotype, which has released a transferase- and O-glycan-depleted, complementary glycoprotein (IgM) into the circulation. The process implies, that in humans the different blood phenotypes evolve from a "complete" AB(O) molecular complex in a distinct enzymatic and/or complement cascade suggesting O

  14. Dual-function vector for protein expression in both mammalian cells and Xenopus laevis oocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Thomas; Grunnet, M; Angelo, K;

    2002-01-01

    will often engage both oocytes and mammalian cells. Efficient expression of a protein in both systems have thus far only been possible by subcloning the cDNA into two different vectors because several different molecular requirements should be fulfilled to obtain a high protein level in both mammalian cells...... and oocytes. To address this problem, we have constructed a plasmid vector, pXOOM, that can function as a template for expression in both oocytes and mammalian cells. By including all the necessary RNA stability elements for oocyte expression in a standard mammalian expression vector, we have obtained a dual......-function vector capable of supporting protein production in both Xenopus oocytes and CHO-K1 cells at an expression level equivalent to the levels obtained with vectors optimized for either oocyte or mammalian expression. Our functional studies have been performed with hERGI, KCNQ4, and Kv1.3 potassium channels....

  15. A highly conserved novel family of mammalian developmental transcription factors related to Drosophila grainyhead.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilanowski, Tomasz; Tuckfield, Annabel; Cerruti, Loretta; O'Connell, Sinead; Saint, Robert; Parekh, Vishwas; Tao, Jianning; Cunningham, John M; Jane, Stephen M

    2002-06-01

    The Drosophila transcription factor Grainyhead regulates several key developmental processes. Three mammalian genes, CP2, LBP-1a and LBP-9 have been previously identified as homologues of grainyhead. We now report the cloning of two new mammalian genes (Mammalian grainyhead (MGR) and Brother-of-MGR (BOM)) and one new Drosophila gene (dCP2) that rewrite the phylogeny of this family. We demonstrate that MGR and BOM are more closely related to grh, whereas CP2, LBP-1a and LBP-9 are descendants of the dCP2 gene. MGR shares the greatest sequence homology with grh, is expressed in tissue-restricted patterns more comparable to grh and binds to and transactivates the promoter of the human Engrailed-1 gene, the mammalian homologue of the key grainyhead target gene, engrailed. This sequence and functional conservation indicates that the new mammalian members of this family play important developmental roles.

  16. Expression of a secreted protein in mammalian cells using baculovirus particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardin, Barbara Ann; Elias, Cynthia B; Prakash, Satya

    2012-01-01

    There are many methods presently available to produce recombinant proteins in mammalian systems. The BacMam system is a simple straightforward method which overlaps two well-established technologies, namely the BEVS insect cell system and the transduction of mammalian cells in vitro. This chapter describes a method for the study of gene expression in mammalian cells in a series of simple steps. Protocols outlined include the design and construction of the recombinant baculovirus, cell culture techniques required to maintain both insect and mammalian cells, generation of baculovirus stocks, and methods to obtain maximal and reproducible gene expression in mammalian cells. Currently available statistical techniques using factorial design of experiment to optimize conditions for recombinant protein in vitro are outlined. Then details with respect to process scale-up in disposable bioreactors are included.

  17. Droplet size influences division of mammalian cell factories in droplet microfluidic cultivation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Periyannan Rajeswari, Prem Kumar; Joensson, Haakan N.; Svahn, Helene Andersson

    2017-01-01

    The potential of using droplet microfluidics for screening mammalian cell factories has been limited by the difficulty in achieving continuous cell division during cultivation in droplets. Here, we report the influence of droplet size on mammalian cell division and viability during cultivation......, making them a more suitable droplet size for 72-h cultivation. This study shows a direct correlation of microfluidic droplet size to the division and viability of mammalian cells. This highlights the importance of selecting suitable droplet size for mammalian cell factory screening assays....... in droplets. Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells, the most widely used mammalian host cells for biopharmaceuticals production were encapsulated and cultivated in 33, 180 and 320 pL droplets for 3 days. Periodic monitoring of the droplets during incubation showed that the cell divisions in 33 pL droplets stopped...

  18. Genomes of Helicobacter pylori from native Peruvians suggest admixture of ancestral and modern lineages and reveal a western type cag-pathogenicity island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahman Syed

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Helicobacter pylori is presumed to be co-evolved with its human host and is a highly diverse gastric pathogen at genetic levels. Ancient origins of H. pylori in the New World are still debatable. It is not clear how different waves of human migrations in South America contributed to the evolution of strain diversity of H. pylori. The objective of our 'phylogeographic' study was to gain fresh insights into these issues through mapping genetic origins of H. pylori of native Peruvians (of Amerindian ancestry and their genomic comparison with isolates from Spain, and Japan. Results For this purpose, we attempted to dissect genetic identity of strains by fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (FAFLP analysis, multilocus sequence typing (MLST of the 7 housekeeping genes (atpA, efp, ureI, ppa, mutY, trpC, yphC and the sequence analyses of the babB adhesin and oipA genes. The whole cag pathogenicity-island (cagPAI from these strains was analyzed using PCR and the geographic type of cagA phosphorylation motif EPIYA was determined by gene sequencing. We observed that while European genotype (hp-Europe predominates in native Peruvian strains, approximately 20% of these strains represent a sub-population with an Amerindian ancestry (hsp-Amerind. All of these strains however, irrespective of their ancestral affiliation harbored a complete, 'western' type cagPAI and the motifs surrounding it. This indicates a possible acquisition of cagPAI by the hsp-Amerind strains from the European strains, during decades of co-colonization. Conclusion Our observations suggest presence of ancestral H. pylori (hsp-Amerind in Peruvian Amerindians which possibly managed to survive and compete against the Spanish strains that arrived to the New World about 500 years ago. We suggest that this might have happened after native Peruvian H. pylori strains acquired cagPAI sequences, either by new acquisition in cag-negative strains or by recombination

  19. Comparison with ancestral diets suggests dense acellular carbohydrates promote an inflammatory microbiota, and may be the primary dietary cause of leptin resistance and obesity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spreadbury I

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Ian SpreadburyGastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, CanadaAbstract: A novel hypothesis of obesity is suggested by consideration of diet-related inflammation and evolutionary medicine. The obese homeostatically guard their elevated weight. In rodent models of high-fat diet-induced obesity, leptin resistance is seen initially at vagal afferents, blunting the actions of satiety mediators, then centrally, with gastrointestinal bacterial-triggered SOCS3 signaling implicated. In humans, dietary fat and fructose elevate systemic lipopolysaccharide, while dietary glucose also strongly activates SOCS3 signaling. Crucially however, in humans, low-carbohydrate diets spontaneously decrease weight in a way that low-fat diets do not. Furthermore, nutrition transition patterns and the health of those still eating diverse ancestral diets with abundant food suggest that neither glycemic index, altered fat, nor carbohydrate intake can be intrinsic causes of obesity, and that human energy homeostasis functions well without Westernized foods containing flours, sugar, and refined fats. Due to being made up of cells, virtually all "ancestral foods" have markedly lower carbohydrate densities than flour- and sugar-containing foods, a property quite independent of glycemic index. Thus the "forgotten organ" of the gastrointestinal microbiota is a prime candidate to be influenced by evolutionarily unprecedented postprandial luminal carbohydrate concentrations. The present hypothesis suggests that in parallel with the bacterial effects of sugars on dental and periodontal health, acellular flours, sugars, and processed foods produce an inflammatory microbiota via the upper gastrointestinal tract, with fat able to effect a "double hit" by increasing systemic absorption of lipopolysaccharide. This model is consistent with a broad spectrum of reported dietary phenomena. A diet of grain-free whole foods with carbohydrate from cellular

  20. The impact of ancestral heath management on soils and landscapes: a reconstruction based on paleoecological analyses of soil records in the central and southeastern Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doorenbosch, Marieke; van Mourik, Jan M.

    2016-07-01

    The evolution of heathlands during the Holocene has been registered in various soil records. Paleoecological analyses of these records enable reconstruction of the changing economic and cultural management of heaths and the consequences for landscape and soils. Heaths are characteristic components of cultural landscape mosaics on sandy soils in the Netherlands. The natural habitat of heather species was moorland. At first, natural events like forest fires and storms caused small-scale forest degradation; in addition on that, the forest degradation accelerated due to cultural activities like forest grazing, wood cutting, and shifting cultivation. Heather plants invaded degraded forest soils, and heaths developed. People learned to use the heaths for economic and cultural purposes. The impact of the heath management on landscape and soils was registered in soil records of barrows, drift sand sequences, and plaggic Anthrosols. Based on pollen diagrams of such records we could reconstruct that heaths were developed and used for cattle grazing before the Bronze Age. During the late Neolithic, the Bronze Age, and Iron Age, people created the barrow landscape on the ancestral heaths. After the Iron Age, people probably continued with cattle grazing on the heaths and plaggic agriculture until the early Middle Ages. Severe forest degradation by the production of charcoal for melting iron during the Iron Age till the 6th-7th century and during the 11th-13th century for the trade of wood resulted in extensive sand drifting, a threat to the valuable heaths. The introduction of the deep, stable economy and heath sods digging in the course of the 18th century resulted in acceleration of the rise of plaggic horizons, severe heath degradation, and again extension of sand drifting. At the end of the 19th century heath lost its economic value due to the introduction of chemical fertilizers. The heaths were transformed into "new" arable fields and forests, and due to deep ploughing

  1. The vertebrate makorin ubiquitin ligase gene family has been shaped by large-scale duplication and retroposition from an ancestral gonad-specific, maternal-effect gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volff Jean-Nicolas

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Members of the makorin (mkrn gene family encode RING/C3H zinc finger proteins with U3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Although these proteins have been described in a variety of eukaryotes such as plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates including human, almost nothing is known about their structural and functional evolution. Results Via partial sequencing of a testis cDNA library from the poeciliid fish Xiphophorus maculatus, we have identified a new member of the makorin gene family, that we called mkrn4. In addition to the already described mkrn1 and mkrn2, mkrn4 is the third example of a makorin gene present in both tetrapods and ray-finned fish. However, this gene was not detected in mouse and rat, suggesting its loss in the lineage leading to rodent murids. Mkrn2 and mkrn4 are located in large ancient duplicated regions in tetrapod and fish genomes, suggesting the possible involvement of ancestral vertebrate-specific genome duplication in the formation of these genes. Intriguingly, many mkrn1 and mkrn2 intronless retrocopies have been detected in mammals but not in other vertebrates, most of them corresponding to pseudogenes. The nature and number of zinc fingers were found to be conserved in Mkrn1 and Mkrn2 but much more variable in Mkrn4, with lineage-specific differences. RT-qPCR analysis demonstrated a highly gonad-biased expression pattern for makorin genes in medaka and zebrafish (ray-finned fishes and amphibians, but a strong relaxation of this specificity in birds and mammals. All three mkrn genes were maternally expressed before zygotic genome activation in both medaka and zebrafish early embryos. Conclusion Our analysis demonstrates that the makorin gene family has evolved through large-scale duplication and subsequent lineage-specific retroposition-mediated duplications in vertebrates. From the three major vertebrate mkrn genes, mkrn4 shows the highest evolutionary dynamics, with lineage-specific loss of zinc

  2. Miniaturization of Scorpion β-Toxins Uncovers a Putative Ancestral Surface of Interaction with Voltage-gated Sodium Channels*♦

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    The bioactive surface of scorpion β-toxins that interact with receptor site-4 at voltage-gated sodium channels is constituted of residues of the conserved βαββ core and the C-tail. In an attempt to evaluate the extent by which residues of the toxin core contribute to bioactivity, the anti-insect and anti-mammalian β-toxins Bj-xtrIT and Css4 were truncated at their N and C termini, resulting in miniature peptides composed essentially of the core secondary structure motives. The truncated β-tox...

  3. The footprint of metabolism in the organization of mammalian genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berná Luisa

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background At present five evolutionary hypotheses have been proposed to explain the great variability of the genomic GC content among and within genomes: the mutational bias, the biased gene conversion, the DNA breakpoints distribution, the thermal stability and the metabolic rate. Several studies carried out on bacteria and teleostean fish pointed towards the critical role played by the environment on the metabolic rate in shaping the base composition of genomes. In mammals the debate is still open, and evidences have been produced in favor of each evolutionary hypothesis. Human genes were assigned to three large functional categories (as well as to the corresponding functional classes according to the KOG database: (i information storage and processing, (ii cellular processes and signaling, and (iii metabolism. The classification was extended to the organisms so far analyzed performing a reciprocal Blastp and selecting the best reciprocal hit. The base composition was calculated for each sequence of the whole CDS dataset. Results The GC3 level of the above functional categories was increasing from (i to (iii. This specific compositional pattern was found, as footprint, in all mammalian genomes, but not in frog and lizard ones. Comparative analysis of human versus both frog and lizard functional categories showed that genes involved in the metabolic processes underwent the highest GC3 increment. Analyzing the KOG functional classes of genes, again a well defined intra-genomic pattern was found in all mammals. Not only genes of metabolic pathways, but also genes involved in chromatin structure and dynamics, transcription, signal transduction mechanisms and cytoskeleton, showed an average GC3 level higher than that of the whole genome. In the case of the human genome, the genes of the aforementioned functional categories showed a high probability to be associated with the chromosomal bands. Conclusions In the light of different

  4. Control levels of acetylcholinesterase expression in the mammalian skeletal muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubic, Z; Zajc-Kreft, K; Brank, M; Mars, T; Komel, R; Miranda, A F

    1999-05-14

    Protein expression can be controled at different levels. Understanding acetylcholinesterase (EC. 3.1.1.7, AChE) expression in the living organisms therefore necessitates: (1) determination and mapping of control levels of AChE metabolism; (2) identification of the regulatory factors acting at these levels; and (3) detailed insight into the mechanisms of action of these factors. Here we summarize the results of our studies on the regulation of AChE expression in the mammalian skeletal muscle. Three experimental models were employed: in vitro innervated human muscle, mechanically denervated adult fast rat muscle, and the glucocorticoid treated fast rat muscle. In situ hybridization of AChE mRNA, combined with AChE histochemistry, revealed that different distribution patterns of AChE, observed during in vitro ontogenesis and synaptogenesis of human skeletal muscle, reflect alterations in the distribution of AChE mRNA (Z. Grubic, R. Komel, W.F. Walker, A.F. Miranda, Myoblast fusion and innervation with rat motor nerve alter the distribution of acetylcholinesterase and its mRNA in human muscle cultures, Neuron 14 (1995) 317-327). To study the mechanisms of AChE mRNA loss in denervated adult rat skeletal muscle, we exposed deproteinated AChE mRNA to various subcellular fractions in vitro. Fractions were isolated from the normal and denervated rat sternomastoideus muscle. We found significantly increased, but non-specific AChE mRNA degradation capacities in the three fractions studied, suggesting that increased susceptibility of muscle mRNA to degradation might be at least partly responsible for the decreased AChE mRNA observed under such conditions (K. Zajc-Kreft, S. Kreft, Z. Grubic, Degradation of AChE mRNA in the normal and denervated rat skeletal muscle, Book of Abstracts, The Sixth International Meeting on Cholinesterases, La Jolla, CA, March 20-24, 1998, p. A3.). In adult fast rat muscle, treated chronically with glucocorticoids, we found the fraction of early

  5. Detection of planar polarity proteins in mammalian cochlea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montcouquiol, Mireille; Jones, Jennifer M; Sans, Nathalie

    2008-01-01

    The "core genes" were identified as a group of genes believed to function as a conserved signaling cassette for the specification of planar polarity in Drosophila Melanogaster, and includes frizzled (fz), van gogh (vang) or strabismus (stbm), prickle (Pk), dishevelled (dsh), flamingo (fmi), and diego. The mutation of each of these genes not only causes the disruption of planar polarity within the wing or the eye of the animal, but also affects the localization of all the other protein members of the core group. These properties emphasize the importance of the interrelations between the proteins of this group. All of these core genes have homologs in vertebrates. Studies in Danio Rerio (zebrafish) and Xenopus laevis (frog) have uncovered other roles for some of these molecules in gastrulation and neurulation, during which the shape of a given tissue will undergo major transformation through cell movements. A disruption in these processes can lead to severe neural tube defects in diverse organisms, including humans. In fact, a large body of evidence suggests that planar polarity proteins are not involved in one specific cascade but in many different ones and many different mechanisms such as, but not limited to, hair or cilia orientation, asymmetric division, cellular movements, or neuronal migration. In mice cochleae, mutations in planar polarity genes lead to defects in the orientation of the stereociliary bundles at the apex of each hair cell. This phenotype established the cochlea as one of the clearest examples of planar polarity in mammals. Although significant progress has been made toward understanding the molecular basis required for the development of planar polarity in invertebrates, similar advances in vertebrates are more recent and rely mainly on the identification of a group of mammalian mutants that affect hair cell stereociliary bundle orientation. These include mutation of vangl2, scrb1, celsr1, PTK-7, dvl1-2, and more recently fz3 and fz6. In this

  6. The Drosophila genome nexus: a population genomic resource of 623 Drosophila melanogaster genomes, including 197 from a single ancestral range population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lack, Justin B; Cardeno, Charis M; Crepeau, Marc W; Taylor, William; Corbett-Detig, Russell B; Stevens, Kristian A; Langley, Charles H; Pool, John E

    2015-04-01

    Hundreds of wild-derived Drosophila melanogaster genomes have been published, but rigorous comparisons across data sets are precluded by differences in alignment methodology. The most common approach to reference-based genome assembly is a single round of alignment followed by quality filtering and variant detection. We evaluated variations and extensions of this approach and settled on an assembly strategy that utilizes two alignment programs and incorporates both substitutions and short indels to construct an updated reference for a second round of mapping prior to final variant detection. Utilizing this approach, we reassembled published D. melanogaster population genomic data sets and added unpublished genomes from several sub-Saharan populations. Most notably, we present aligned data from phase 3 of the Drosophila Population Genomics Project (DPGP3), which provides 197 genomes from a single ancestral range population of D. melanogaster (from Zambia). The large sample size, high genetic diversity, and potentially simpler demographic history of the DPGP3 sample will make this a highly valuable resource for fundamental population genetic research. The complete set of assemblies described here, termed the Drosophila Genome Nexus, presently comprises 623 consistently aligned genomes and is publicly available in multiple formats with supporting documentation and bioinformatic tools. This resource will greatly facilitate population genomic analysis in this model species by reducing the methodological differences between data sets.

  7. Sex pheromone of a coccoid insect with sexual and asexual lineages: fate of an ancestrally essential sexual signal in parthenogenetic females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabata, Jun; Ichiki, Ryoko T; Moromizato, Chie; Mori, Kenji

    2017-03-01

    Sex pheromones play a central role in intersexual communication for reproduction in many organisms. Particularly in insects, reproductive isolation that leads to speciation is often achieved by shifts of pheromone chemistries. However, the divergence and evolution of pheromones remain largely unknown. This study reveals a unique evolutionary consequence for terpenoid pheromones in coccoid insects. Coccoids, such as mealybugs, show clear sexual dimorphism: males are dwarf and short-lived, whereas females are wingless and almost immobile. Female pheromones are therefore indispensable for males to navigate for sexual reproduction, but some females can reproduce asexually. Interestingly, a derived asexual lineage that reproduces by parthenogenesis coexists with its ancestral lineage that reproduces sexually in a population of the pineapple mealybug, Dysmicoccus brevipes Here, we isolated, characterized and synthesized a novel monoterpene, (-)-(anti-1,2-dimethyl-3-methylenecyclopentyl)acetaldehyde, as a pheromone of the sexual females of Dbrevipes This monoterpene aldehyde, with an irregular linkage of isoprene units, is notable, because all mealybug pheromones previously reported are carboxylic esters of terpenols. This compound was, however, never produced by the asexual females. As a consequence of acquiring parthenogenetic reproduction, the asexual females appear to have abandoned the production of the sex pheromone, which had been essential to attracting males in their ancestors.

  8. TM4SF20 ancestral deletion and susceptibility to a pediatric disorder of early language delay and cerebral white matter hyperintensities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiszniewski, Wojciech; Hunter, Jill V; Hanchard, Neil A; Willer, Jason R; Shaw, Chad; Tian, Qi; Illner, Anna; Wang, Xueqing; Cheung, Sau W; Patel, Ankita; Campbell, Ian M; Gelowani, Violet; Hixson, Patricia; Ester, Audrey R; Azamian, Mahshid S; Potocki, Lorraine; Zapata, Gladys; Hernandez, Patricia P; Ramocki, Melissa B; Santos-Cortez, Regie L P; Wang, Gao; York, Michele K; Justice, Monica J; Chu, Zili D; Bader, Patricia I; Omo-Griffith, Lisa; Madduri, Nirupama S; Scharer, Gunter; Crawford, Heather P; Yanatatsaneejit, Pattamawadee; Eifert, Anna; Kerr, Jeffery; Bacino, Carlos A; Franklin, Adiaha I A; Goin-Kochel, Robin P; Simpson, Gayle; Immken, Ladonna; Haque, Muhammad E; Stosic, Marija; Williams, Misti D; Morgan, Thomas M; Pruthi, Sumit; Omary, Reed; Boyadjiev, Simeon A; Win, Kay K; Thida, Aye; Hurles, Matthew; Hibberd, Martin Lloyd; Khor, Chiea Chuen; Van Vinh Chau, Nguyen; Gallagher, Thomas E; Mutirangura, Apiwat; Stankiewicz, Pawel; Beaudet, Arthur L; Maletic-Savatic, Mirjana; Rosenfeld, Jill A; Shaffer, Lisa G; Davis, Erica E; Belmont, John W; Dunstan, Sarah; Simmons, Cameron P; Bonnen, Penelope E; Leal, Suzanne M; Katsanis, Nicholas; Lupski, James R; Lalani, Seema R

    2013-08-01

    White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) of the brain are important markers of aging and small-vessel disease. WMHs are rare in healthy children and, when observed, often occur with comorbid neuroinflammatory or vasculitic processes. Here, we describe a complex 4 kb deletion in 2q36.3 that segregates with early childhood communication disorders and WMH in 15 unrelated families predominantly from Southeast Asia. The premature brain aging phenotype with punctate and multifocal WMHs was observed in ~70% of young carrier parents who underwent brain MRI. The complex deletion removes the penultimate exon 3 of TM4SF20, a gene encoding a transmembrane protein of unknown function. Minigene analysis showed that the resultant net loss of an exon introduces a premature stop codon, which, in turn, leads to the generation of a stable protein that fails to target to the plasma membrane and accumulates in the cytoplasm. Finally, we report this deletion to be enriched in individuals of Vietnamese Kinh descent, with an allele frequency of about 1%, embedded in an ancestral haplotype. Our data point to a constellation of early language delay and WMH phenotypes, driven by a likely toxic mechanism of TM4SF20 truncation, and highlight the importance of understanding and managing population-specific low-frequency pathogenic alleles.

  9. Travelling in time with networks: Revealing present day hybridization versus ancestral polymorphism between two species of brown algae, Fucus vesiculosus and F. spiralis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pearson Gareth A

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hybridization or divergence between sympatric sister species provides a natural laboratory to study speciation processes. The shared polymorphism in sister species may either be ancestral or derive from hybridization, and the accuracy of analytic methods used thus far to derive convincing evidence for the occurrence of present day hybridization is largely debated. Results Here we propose the application of network analysis to test for the occurrence of present day hybridization between the two species of brown algae Fucus spiralis and F. vesiculosus. Individual-centered networks were analyzed on the basis of microsatellite genotypes from North Africa to the Pacific American coast, through the North Atlantic. Two genetic distances integrating different time steps were used, the Rozenfeld (RD; based on alleles divergence and the Shared Allele (SAD; based on alleles identity distances. A diagnostic level of genotype divergence and clustering of individuals from each species was obtained through RD while screening for exchanges through putative hybridization was facilitated using SAD. Intermediate individuals linking both clusters on the RD network were those sampled at the limits of the sympatric zone in Northwest Iberia. Conclusion These results suggesting rare hybridization were confirmed by simulation of hybrids and F2 with directed backcrosses. Comparison with the Bayesian method STRUCTURE confirmed the usefulness of both approaches and emphasized the reliability of network analysis to unravel and study hybridization

  10. Migration of the Pee Dee River system inferred from ancestral paleochannels underlying the South Carolina Grand Strand and Long Bay inner shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, W.E.; Morton, R.A.; Putney, T.R.; Katuna, M.P.; Harris, M.S.; Gayes, P.T.; Driscoll, N.W.; Denny, J.F.; Schwab, W.C.

    2006-01-01

    Several generations of the ancestral Pee Dee River system have been mapped beneath the South Carolina Grand Strand coastline and adjacent Long Bay inner shelf. Deep boreholes onshore and high-resolution seismic-reflection data offshore allow for reconstruction of these paleochannels, which formed during glacial lowstands, when the Pee Dee River system incised subaerially exposed coastal-plain and continental-shelf strata. Paleochannel groups, representing different generations of the system, decrease in age to the southwest, where the modern Pee Dee River merges with several coastal-plain tributaries at Winyah Bay, the southern terminus of Long Bay. Positions of the successive generational groups record a regional, southwestward migration of the river system that may have initiated during the late Pliocene. The migration was primarily driven by barrier-island deposition, resulting from the interaction of fluvial and shoreline processes during eustatic highstands. Structurally driven, subsurface paleotopography associated with the Mid-Carolina Platform High has also indirectly assisted in forcing this migration. These results provide a better understanding of the evolution of the region and help explain the lack of mobile sediment on the Long Bay inner shelf. Migration of the river system caused a profound change in sediment supply during the late Pleistocene. The abundant fluvial source that once fed sand-rich barrier islands was cut off and replaced with a limited source, supplied by erosion and reworking of former coastal deposits exposed at the shore and on the inner shelf.

  11. The capability to synthesize phytochelatins and the presence of constitutive and functional phytochelatin synthases are ancestral (plesiomorphic) characters for basal land plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petraglia, Alessandro; De Benedictis, Maria; Degola, Francesca; Pastore, Giovanni; Calcagno, Margherita; Ruotolo, Roberta; Mengoni, Alessio; Sanità di Toppi, Luigi

    2014-03-01

    Bryophytes, a paraphyletic group which includes liverworts, mosses, and hornworts, have been stated as land plants that under metal stress (particularly cadmium) do not synthesize metal-binding peptides such as phytochelatins. Moreover, very little information is available to date regarding phytochelatin synthesis in charophytes, postulated to be the direct ancestors of land plants, or in lycophytes, namely very basal tracheophytes. In this study, it was hypothesized that basal land plants and charophytes have the capability to produce phytochelatins and possess constitutive and functional phytochelatin synthases. To verify this hypothesis, twelve bryophyte species (six liverworts, four mosses, and two hornworts), three charophytes, and two lycophyte species were exposed to 0-36 μM cadmium for 72 h, and then assayed for: (i) glutathione and phytochelatin quali-quantitative content by HPLC and mass spectrometry; (ii) the presence of putative phytochelatin synthases by western blotting; and (iii) in vitro activity of phytochelatin synthases. Of all the species tested, ten produced phytochelatins in vivo, while the other seven did not. The presence of a constitutively expressed and functional phytochelatin synthase was demonstrated in all the bryophyte lineages and in the lycophyte Selaginella denticulata, but not in the charophytes. Hence, current knowledge according to phytochelatins have been stated as being absent in bryophytes was therefore confuted by this work. It is argued that the capability to synthesize phytochelatins, as well as the presence of active phytochelatin synthases, are ancestral (plesiomorphic) characters for basal land plants.

  12. Transcriptome Profiling of the Green Alga Spirogyra pratensis (Charophyta) Suggests an Ancestral Role for Ethylene in Cell Wall Metabolism, Photosynthesis, and Abiotic Stress Responses1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    It is well known that ethylene regulates a diverse set of developmental and stress-related processes in angiosperms, yet its roles in early-diverging embryophytes and algae are poorly understood. Recently, it was shown that ethylene functions as a hormone in the charophyte green alga Spirogyra pratensis. Since land plants evolved from charophytes, this implies conservation of ethylene as a hormone in green plants for at least 450 million years. However, the physiological role of ethylene in charophyte algae has remained unknown. To gain insight into ethylene responses in Spirogyra, we used mRNA sequencing to measure changes in gene expression over time in Spirogyra filaments in response to an ethylene treatment. Our analyses show that at the transcriptional level, ethylene predominantly regulates three processes in Spirogyra: (1) modification of the cell wall matrix by expansins and xyloglucan endotransglucosylases/hydrolases, (2) down-regulation of chlorophyll biosynthesis and photosynthesis, and (3) activation of abiotic stress responses. We confirmed that the photosynthetic capacity and chlorophyll content were reduced by an ethylene treatment and that several abiotic stress conditions could stimulate cell elongation in an ethylene-dependent manner. We also found that the Spirogyra transcriptome harbors only 10 ethylene-responsive transcription factor (ERF) homologs, several of which are regulated by ethylene. These results provide an initial understanding of the hormonal responses induced by ethylene in Spirogyra and help to reconstruct the role of ethylene in ancestral charophytes prior to the origin of land plants. PMID:27489312

  13. Baculovirus ETL promoter acts as a shuttle promoter between insect cells and mammalian cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yu-kou LIU; Chih-chieh CHU; Tzong-yuan WU

    2006-01-01

    Aim:To identify a shuttle promoter that can mediate gene expression in both insect cells and mammalian cells to facilitate the development of a baculovirus vector-based mammalian cell gene delivery vehicle.Methods:Recombinant baculoviruses carrying the β-galactosidase reporter gene under the control of an early to late(ETL)promoter of the Autographa califomica multiple nuclear polyhedrosis virus(AcMNPV)or a cytomegalovirus immediate early promoter (CMV promoter)were constructed.COS1,HeLa,CHO-K1,hFob1.19,and MCF-7 mammalian cells were tested for the expression of β-galactosidase.Results:ETL promoter activity was higher in bone-derived hFob1.19 than in COS1,HeLa,CHOK1,or MCF-7 mammalian cells.The transient plasmid transfection assay indicated that ETL promoter activity in mammalian cells was dependent on baculovirus gene expression.Conclusion:ETL promoter activity in mammalian cells is baculovirus gene expression-dependent,and the shuttle promoter will facilitate the application of baculovirus expression vectors in mammalian cell expression systems and for gene therapy.

  14. Evolutionary patterns of RNA-based duplication in non-mammalian chordates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Chen

    Full Text Available The role of RNA-based duplication, or retroposition, in the evolution of new gene functions in mammals, plants, and Drosophila has been widely reported. However, little is known about RNA-based duplication in non-mammalian chordates. In this study, we screened ten non-mammalian chordate genomes for retrocopies and investigated their evolutionary patterns. We identified numerous retrocopies in these species. Examination of the age distribution of these retrocopies revealed no burst of young retrocopies in ancient chordate species. Upon comparing these non-mammalian chordate species to the mammalian species, we observed that a larger fraction of the non-mammalian retrocopies was under strong evolutionary constraints than mammalian retrocopies are, as evidenced by signals of purifying selection and expression profiles. For the Western clawed frog, Medaka, and Sea squirt, many retrogenes have evolved gonad and brain expression patterns, similar to what was observed in human. Testing of retrogene movement in the Medaka genome, where the nascent sex chrosomes have been well assembled, did not reveal any significant gene movement. Taken together, our analyses demonstrate that RNA-based duplication generates many functional genes and can make a significant contribution to the evolution of non-mammalian genomes.

  15. Nuclear proteins hijacked by mammalian cytoplasmic plus strand RNA viruses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lloyd, Richard E., E-mail: rlloyd@bcm.edu

    2015-05-15

    Plus strand RNA viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm face challenges in supporting the numerous biosynthetic functions required for replication and propagation. Most of these viruses are genetically simple and rely heavily on co-opting cellular proteins, particularly cellular RNA-binding proteins, into new roles for support of virus infection at the level of virus-specific translation, and building RNA replication complexes. In the course of infectious cycles many nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling proteins of mostly nuclear distribution are detained in the cytoplasm by viruses and re-purposed for their own gain. Many mammalian viruses hijack a common group of the same factors. This review summarizes recent gains in our knowledge of how cytoplasmic RNA viruses use these co-opted host nuclear factors in new functional roles supporting virus translation and virus RNA replication and common themes employed between different virus groups. - Highlights: • Nuclear shuttling host proteins are commonly hijacked by RNA viruses to support replication. • A limited group of ubiquitous RNA binding proteins are commonly hijacked by a broad range of viruses. • Key virus proteins alter roles of RNA binding proteins in different stages of virus replication.

  16. Longitudinally propagating traveling waves of the mammalian tectorial membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghaffari, Roozbeh; Aranyosi, Alexander J; Freeman, Dennis M

    2007-10-16

    Sound-evoked vibrations transmitted into the mammalian cochlea produce traveling waves that provide the mechanical tuning necessary for spectral decomposition of sound. These traveling waves of motion that have been observed to propagate longitudinally along the basilar membrane (BM) ultimately stimulate the mechano-sensory receptors. The tectorial membrane (TM) plays a key role in this process, but its mechanical function remains unclear. Here we show that the TM supports traveling waves that are an intrinsic feature of its visco-elastic structure. Radial forces applied at audio frequencies (2-20 kHz) to isolated TM segments generate longitudinally propagating waves on the TM with velocities similar to those of the BM traveling wave near its best frequency place. We compute the dynamic shear storage modulus and shear viscosity of the TM from the propagation velocity of the waves and show that segments of the TM from the basal turn are stiffer than apical segments are. Analysis of loading effects of hair bundle stiffness, the limbal attachment of the TM, and viscous damping in the subtectorial space suggests that TM traveling waves can occur in vivo. Our results show the presence of a traveling wave mechanism through the TM that can functionally couple a significant longitudinal extent of the cochlea and may interact with the BM wave to greatly enhance cochlear sensitivity and tuning.

  17. A novel gene delivery system for mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Brian; Duffy, Angela M; Gould Fogerite, Susan; Krause-Elsmore, Sara; Lu, Ruying; Shang, Gaofeng; Chen, Zi-Wei; Mannino, Raphael J; Bouchier-Hayes, David J; Harmey, Judith H

    2004-01-01

    Although gene therapy holds great promise for the treatment of both acquired and genetic diseases, its development has been limited by practical considerations. Non-viral efficacy of delivery remains quite poor. We are investigating the feasibility of a novel lipid-based delivery system, cochleates, to deliver transgenes to mammalian cells. Rhodamine-labelled empty cochleates were incubated with two cell-lines (4T1 adenocarcinoma and H36.12 macrophage hybridoma) and primary macrophages in vitro and in vivo. Cochleates containing green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression plasmid were incubated with 4T1 adenocarcinoma cells. Cellular uptake of labelled cochleates or transgene GFP expression were visualised with fluorescence microscopy. 4T1 and H36.12 lines showed 39% and 23.1% uptake of rhodamine-cochleates, respectively. Human monocyte-derived macrophages and mouse peritoneal macrophages had 48+/-5.38% and 51.46+/-15.6% uptake of rhodamine-cochleates in vitro. In vivo 25.69+/-0.127% of peritoneal macrophages were rhodamine-positive after intra-peritoneal injection of rhodamine-cochleates. 19.49+/-10.12% of 4T1 cells expressed GFP. Cochleates may therefore be an effective, non-toxic and non-immunogenic method to introduce transgenes in vitro and in vivo.

  18. DNA methylation supports intrinsic epigenetic memory in mammalian cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available We have investigated the role of DNA methylation in the initiation and maintenance of silenced chromatin in somatic mammalian cells. We found that a mutated transgene, in which all the CpG dinucleotides have been eliminated, underwent transcriptional silencing to the same extent as the unmodified transgene. These observations demonstrate that DNA methylation is not required for silencing. The silenced CpG-free transgene exhibited all the features of heterochromatin, including silencing of transcriptional activity, delayed DNA replication, lack of histone H3 and H4 acetylation, lack of H3-K4 methylation, and enrichment in tri-methyl-H3-K9. In contrast, when we tested for transgene reactivation using a Cre recombinase-mediated inversion assay, we observed a marked difference between a CpG-free and an unmodified transgene: the CpG-free transgene resumed transcription and did not exhibit markers of heterochromatin whereas the unmodified transgene remained silenced. These data indicate that methylation of CpG residues conferred epigenetic memory in this system. These results also suggest that replication delay, lack of histone H3 and H4 acetylation, H3-K4 methylation, and enrichment in tri-methyl-H3-K9 are not sufficient to confer epigenetic memory. We propose that DNA methylation within transgenes serves as an intrinsic epigenetic memory to permanently silence transgenes and prevent their reactivation.

  19. Epigenetic control of mammalian LINE-1 retrotransposon by retinoblastoma proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montoya-Durango, Diego E. [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, Louisville, KY 40202 (United States); Liu, Yongqing [James Graham Brown Cancer Center and Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, Louisville, KY 40202 (United States); Teneng, Ivo; Kalbfleisch, Ted; Lacy, Mary E.; Steffen, Marlene C. [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, Louisville, KY 40202 (United States); Ramos, Kenneth S., E-mail: kenneth.ramos@louisville.edu [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine Health Sciences Center, Louisville, KY 40202 (United States)

    2009-06-01

    Long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs or L1 elements) are targeted for epigenetic silencing during early embryonic development and remain inactive in most cells and tissues. Here we show that E2F-Rb family complexes participate in L1 elements epigenetic regulation via nucleosomal histone modifications and recruitment of histone deacetylases (HDACs) HDAC1 and HDAC2. Our experiments demonstrated that (i) Rb and E2F interact with human and mouse L1 elements, (ii) L1 elements are deficient in both heterochromatin-associated histone marks H3 tri methyl K9 and H4 tri methyl K20 in Rb family triple knock out (Rb, p107, and p130) fibroblasts (TKO), (iii) L1 promoter exhibits increased histone H3 acetylation in the absence of HDAC1 and HDAC2 recruitment, (iv) L1 expression in TKO fibroblasts is upregulated compared to wild type counterparts, (v) L1 expression increases in the presence of the HDAC inhibitor TSA. On the basis of these findings we propose a model in which L1 sequences throughout the genome serve as centers for heterochromatin formation in an Rb family-dependent manner. As such, Rb proteins and L1 elements may play key roles in heterochromatin formation beyond pericentromeric chromosomal regions. These findings describe a novel mechanism of L1 reactivation in mammalian cells mediated by failure of corepressor protein recruitment by Rb, loss of histone epigenetic marks, heterochromatin formation, and increased histone