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Sample records for functional modules revealed

  1. Remote synchronization reveals network symmetries and functional modules

    CERN Document Server

    Nicosia, Vincenzo; Chavez, Mario; Díaz-Guilera, Albert; Latora, Vito

    2012-01-01

    We study a Kuramoto model in which the oscillators are associated to the nodes of a complex network and the interactions include a phase frustration, thus preventing full synchronization. The system organizes into a regime of remote synchronization where pairs of nodes with the same network symmetry are fully synchronized, despite their distance on the graph. We provide analytical arguments to explain this result and we show how the frustration parameter affects the distribution of phases. An application to brain networks suggests that anatomical symmetry plays a role in neural synchronization by determining correlated functional modules across distant locations.

  2. Conservation and Rewiring of Functional Modules Revealed by an Epistasis Map in Fission Yeast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roguev, Assen; Bandyopadhyay, Sourav; Zofall, Martin; Zhang, Ke; Fischer, Tamas; Collins, Sean R.; Qu, Hongjing; Shales, Michael; Park, Han-Oh; Hayles, Jacqueline; Hoe, Kwang-Lae; Kim, Dong-Uk; Ideker, Trey; Grewal, Shiv I.; Weissman, Jonathan S.; Krogan, Nevan J.

    2009-01-01

    An epistasis map (E-MAP) was constructed in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, by systematically measuring the phenotypes associated with pairs of mutations. This high-density, quantitative genetic interaction map focused on various aspects of chromosome function, including transcription regulation and DNA repair/replication. The E-MAP uncovered a previously unidentified component of the RNA interference (RNAi) machinery (rsh1) and linked the RNAi pathway to several other biological processes. Comparison of the S. pombe E-MAP to an analogous genetic map from the budding yeast revealed that, whereas negative interactions were conserved between genes involved in similar biological processes, positive interactions and overall genetic profiles between pairs of genes coding for physically associated proteins were even more conserved. Hence, conservation occurs at the level of the functional module (protein complex), but the genetic cross talk between modules can differ substantially. PMID:18818364

  3. Predicting invasive species impacts: a community module functional response approach reveals context dependencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, Rachel A; Dick, Jaimie T A; Pritchard, Daniel W; Ennis, Marilyn; Hatcher, Melanie J; Dunn, Alison M

    2015-03-01

    Predatory functional responses play integral roles in predator-prey dynamics, and their assessment promises greater understanding and prediction of the predatory impacts of invasive species. Other interspecific interactions, however, such as parasitism and higher-order predation, have the potential to modify predator-prey interactions and thus the predictive capability of the comparative functional response approach. We used a four-species community module (higher-order predator; focal native or invasive predators; parasites of focal predators; native prey) to compare the predatory functional responses of native Gammarus duebeni celticus and invasive Gammarus pulex amphipods towards three invertebrate prey species (Asellus aquaticus, Simulium spp., Baetis rhodani), thus, quantifying the context dependencies of parasitism and a higher-order fish predator on these functional responses. Our functional response experiments demonstrated that the invasive amphipod had a higher predatory impact (lower handling time) on two of three prey species, which reflects patterns of impact observed in the field. The community module also revealed that parasitism had context-dependent influences, for one prey species, with the potential to further reduce the predatory impact of the invasive amphipod or increase the predatory impact of the native amphipod in the presence of a higher-order fish predator. Partial consumption of prey was similar for both predators and occurred increasingly in the order A. aquaticus, Simulium spp. and B. rhodani. This was associated with increasing prey densities, but showed no context dependencies with parasitism or higher-order fish predator. This study supports the applicability of comparative functional responses as a tool to predict and assess invasive species impacts incorporating multiple context dependencies. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  4. Evidence of functional connectivity between auditory cortical areas revealed by amplitude modulation sound processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guéguin, Marie; Le Bouquin-Jeannès, Régine; Faucon, Gérard; Chauvel, Patrick; Liégeois-Chauvel, Catherine

    2007-02-01

    The human auditory cortex includes several interconnected areas. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in auditory cortical functions requires a detailed knowledge of neuronal connectivity between functional cortical regions. In human, it is difficult to track in vivo neuronal connectivity. We investigated the interarea connection in vivo in the auditory cortex using a method of directed coherence (DCOH) applied to depth auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). This paper presents simultaneous AEPs recordings from insular gyrus (IG), primary and secondary cortices (Heschl's gyrus and planum temporale), and associative areas (Brodmann area [BA] 22) with multilead intracerebral electrodes in response to sinusoidal modulated white noises in 4 epileptic patients who underwent invasive monitoring with depth electrodes for epilepsy surgery. DCOH allowed estimation of the causality between 2 signals recorded from different cortical sites. The results showed 1) a predominant auditory stream within the primary auditory cortex from the most medial region to the most lateral one whatever the modulation frequency, 2) unidirectional functional connection from the primary to secondary auditory cortex, 3) a major auditory propagation from the posterior areas to the anterior ones, particularly at 8, 16, and 32 Hz, and 4) a particular role of Heschl's sulcus dispatching information to the different auditory areas. These findings suggest that cortical processing of auditory information is performed in serial and parallel streams. Our data showed that the auditory propagation could not be associated to a unidirectional traveling wave but to a constant interaction between these areas that could reflect the large adaptive and plastic capacities of auditory cortex. The role of the IG is discussed.

  5. Identification of unstable network modules reveals disease modules associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masataka Kikuchi

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD, the most common cause of dementia, is associated with aging, and it leads to neuron death. Deposits of amyloid β and aberrantly phosphorylated tau protein are known as pathological hallmarks of AD, but the underlying mechanisms have not yet been revealed. A high-throughput gene expression analysis previously showed that differentially expressed genes accompanying the progression of AD were more down-regulated than up-regulated in the later stages of AD. This suggested that the molecular networks and their constituent modules collapsed along with AD progression. In this study, by using gene expression profiles and protein interaction networks (PINs, we identified the PINs expressed in three brain regions: the entorhinal cortex (EC, hippocampus (HIP and superior frontal gyrus (SFG. Dividing the expressed PINs into modules, we examined the stability of the modules with AD progression and with normal aging. We found that in the AD modules, the constituent proteins, interactions and cellular functions were not maintained between consecutive stages through all brain regions. Interestingly, the modules were collapsed with AD progression, specifically in the EC region. By identifying the modules that were affected by AD pathology, we found the transcriptional regulation-associated modules that interact with the proteasome-associated module via UCHL5 hub protein, which is a deubiquitinating enzyme. Considering PINs as a system made of network modules, we found that the modules relevant to the transcriptional regulation are disrupted in the EC region, which affects the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

  6. Structural and functional studies of the modulator NS9283 reveal agonist-like mechanism of action at α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Jeppe A; Ahring, Philip K; Kastrup, Jette Sandholm Jensen;

    2014-01-01

    Modulation of Cys loop receptor ion channels is a proven drug discovery strategy, but many underlying mechanisms of the mode of action are poorly understood. We report the x-ray structure of the acetylcholine-binding protein from Lymnaea stagnalis with NS9283, a stoichiometry selective positive m...

  7. Second-order temporal modulation transfer functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzi, C; Soares, C; Vonner, T

    2001-08-01

    Detection thresholds were measured for a sinusoidal modulation applied to the modulation depth of a sinusoidally amplitude-modulated (SAM) white noise carrier as a function of the frequency of the modulation applied to the modulation depth (referred to as f'm). The SAM noise acted therefore as a "carrier" stimulus of frequency fm, and sinusoidal modulation of the SAM-noise modulation depth generated two additional components in the modulation spectrum: fm-f'm and fm+f'm. The tracking variable was the modulation depth of the sinusoidal variation applied to the "carrier" modulation depth. The resulting "second-order" temporal modulation transfer functions (TMTFs) measured on four listeners for "carrier" modulation frequencies fm of 16, 64, and 256 Hz display a low-pass segment followed by a plateau. This indicates that sensitivity to fluctuations in the strength of amplitude modulation is best for fluctuation rates f'm below about 2-4 Hz when using broadband noise carriers. Measurements of masked modulation detection thresholds for the lower and upper modulation sideband suggest that this capacity is possibly related to the detection of a beat in the sound's temporal envelope. The results appear qualitatively consistent with the predictions of an envelope detector model consisting of a low-pass filtering stage followed by a decision stage. Unlike listeners' performance, a modulation filterbank model using Q values > or = 2 should predict that second-order modulation detection thresholds should decrease at high values of f'm due to the spectral resolution of the modulation sidebands (in the modulation domain). This suggests that, if such modulation filters do exist, their selectivity is poor. In the latter case, the Q value of modulation filters would have to be less than 2. This estimate of modulation filter selectivity is consistent with the results of a previous study using a modulation-masking paradigm [S. D. Ewert and T. Dau, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1181

  8. Identifying Functional Modules in Complex Networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a new method that enables us to detect and describe the functional modules in complex networks. Using the proposed method, we can classify the nodes of networks into different modules according to their pattern of intra- and extra-module links. We use our method to analyze the modular structures of the ER random networks. We find that different modules of networks have different structure properties, such as the clustering coefficient. Moreover, at the same time, many nodes of networks participate different modules. Remarkably, we find that in the ER random networks, when the probability p is small, different modules or different roles of nodes can be identified by different regionsin the c-p parameter space.

  9. [Novel function of astrocytes revealed by optogenetics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beppu, Kaoru; Matsui, Ko

    2014-12-01

    Astrocytes respond to neuronal activity. However, whether astrocytic activity has any significance in brain function is unknown. Signaling pathway leading from astrocytes to neurons would be required for astrocytes to participate in neuronal functions and, here, we investigated the presence of such pathway. Optogenetics was used to manipulate astrocytic activity. A light-sensitive protein, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), was selectively expressed in astrocytes. Photostimulation of these astrocytes induced glutamate release which modulated neuronal activity and animal behavior. Such glutamate release was triggered by intracellular acidification produced by ChR2 photoactivation. Astrocytic acidification occurs upon brain ischemia, and we found that another optogenetic tool, archaerhodopsin (ArchT), could counter the acidification and suppress astrocytic glutamate release. Controlling of astrocytic pH may become a therapeutic strategy upon ischemia.

  10. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). "Cognitive neuroscience of attention". New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind…

  11. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). "Cognitive neuroscience of attention". New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind…

  12. Extended degree functions and monomial modules

    OpenAIRE

    2004-01-01

    The arithmetic degree, the smallest extended degree, and the homological degree are invariants that have been proposed as alternatives of the degree of a module if this module is not Cohen-Macaulay. We compare these degree functions and study their behavior when passing to the generic initial or the lexicographic submodule. This leads to various bounds and to counterexamples to a conjecture of Gunston and Vasconcelos, respectively. Particular attention is given to the class of sequentially Co...

  13. Additive Functional Inequalities in Banach Modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    An JongSu

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We investigate the following functional inequality in Banach modules over a -algebra and prove the generalized Hyers-Ulam stability of linear mappings in Banach modules over a -algebra in the spirit of the Th. M. Rassias stability approach. Moreover, these results are applied to investigate homomorphisms in complex Banach algebras and prove the generalized Hyers-Ulam stability of homomorphisms in complex Banach algebras.

  14. A Walsh Function Module Users' Manual

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnoffo, Peter A.

    2014-01-01

    The solution of partial differential equations (PDEs) with Walsh functions offers new opportunities to simulate many challenging problems in mathematical physics. The approach was developed to better simulate hypersonic flows with shocks on unstructured grids. It is unique in that integrals and derivatives are computed using simple matrix multiplication of series representations of functions without the need for divided differences. The product of any two Walsh functions is another Walsh function - a feature that radically changes an algorithm for solving PDEs. A FORTRAN module for supporting Walsh function simulations is documented. A FORTRAN code is also documented with options for solving time-dependent problems: an advection equation, a Burgers equation, and a Riemann problem. The sample problems demonstrate the usage of the Walsh function module including such features as operator overloading, Fast Walsh Transforms in multi-dimensions, and a Fast Walsh reciprocal.

  15. GOMA: functional enrichment analysis tool based on GO modules

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qiang Huang; Ling-Yun Wu; Yong Wang; Xiang-Sun Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Analyzing the function of gene sets is a critical step in interpreting the results of high-throughput experiments in systems biology.A variety of enrichment analysis tools have been developed in recent years,but most output a long list of significantly enriched terms that are often redundant,making it difficult to extract the most meaningful functions.In this paper,we present GOMA,a novel enrichment analysis method based on the new concept of enriched functional Gene Ontology (GO) modules.With this method,we systematically revealed functional GO modules,i.e.,groups of functionally similar GO terms,via an optimization model and then ranked them by enrichment scores.Our new method simplifies enrichment analysis results by reducing redundancy,thereby preventing inconsistent enrichment results among functionally similar terms and providing more biologically meaningful results.

  16. GOMA: functional enrichment analysis tool based on GO modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qiang; Wu, Ling-Yun; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2013-01-01

    Analyzing the function of gene sets is a critical step in interpreting the results of high-throughput experiments in systems biology. A variety of enrichment analysis tools have been developed in recent years, but most output a long list of significantly enriched terms that are often redundant, making it difficult to extract the most meaningful functions. In this paper, we present GOMA, a novel enrichment analysis method based on the new concept of enriched functional Gene Ontology (GO) modules. With this method, we systematically revealed functional GO modules, i.e., groups of functionally similar GO terms, via an optimization model and then ranked them by enrichment scores. Our new method simplifies enrichment analysis results by reducing redundancy, thereby preventing inconsistent enrichment results among functionally similar terms and providing more biologically meaningful results. PMID:23237213

  17. Computational integration of homolog and pathway gene module expression reveals general stemness signatures.

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    Martina Koeva

    Full Text Available The stemness hypothesis states that all stem cells use common mechanisms to regulate self-renewal and multi-lineage potential. However, gene expression meta-analyses at the single gene level have failed to identify a significant number of genes selectively expressed by a broad range of stem cell types. We hypothesized that stemness may be regulated by modules of homologs. While the expression of any single gene within a module may vary from one stem cell type to the next, it is possible that the expression of the module as a whole is required so that the expression of different, yet functionally-synonymous, homologs is needed in different stem cells. Thus, we developed a computational method to test for stem cell-specific gene expression patterns from a comprehensive collection of 49 murine datasets covering 12 different stem cell types. We identified 40 individual genes and 224 stemness modules with reproducible and specific up-regulation across multiple stem cell types. The stemness modules included families regulating chromatin remodeling, DNA repair, and Wnt signaling. Strikingly, the majority of modules represent evolutionarily related homologs. Moreover, a score based on the discovered modules could accurately distinguish stem cell-like populations from other cell types in both normal and cancer tissues. This scoring system revealed that both mouse and human metastatic populations exhibit higher stemness indices than non-metastatic populations, providing further evidence for a stem cell-driven component underlying the transformation to metastatic disease.

  18. Quantification of cell edge velocities and traction forces reveals distinct motility modules during cell spreading.

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    Benjamin J Dubin-Thaler

    Full Text Available Actin-based cell motility and force generation are central to immune response, tissue development, and cancer metastasis, and understanding actin cytoskeleton regulation is a major goal of cell biologists. Cell spreading is a commonly used model system for motility experiments -- spreading fibroblasts exhibit stereotypic, spatially-isotropic edge dynamics during a reproducible sequence of functional phases: 1 During early spreading, cells form initial contacts with the surface. 2 The middle spreading phase exhibits rapidly increasing attachment area. 3 Late spreading is characterized by periodic contractions and stable adhesions formation. While differences in cytoskeletal regulation between phases are known, a global analysis of the spatial and temporal coordination of motility and force generation is missing. Implementing improved algorithms for analyzing edge dynamics over the entire cell periphery, we observed that a single domain of homogeneous cytoskeletal dynamics dominated each of the three phases of spreading. These domains exhibited a unique combination of biophysical and biochemical parameters -- a motility module. Biophysical characterization of the motility modules revealed that the early phase was dominated by periodic, rapid membrane blebbing; the middle phase exhibited continuous protrusion with very low traction force generation; and the late phase was characterized by global periodic contractions and high force generation. Biochemically, each motility module exhibited a different distribution of the actin-related protein VASP, while inhibition of actin polymerization revealed different dependencies on barbed-end polymerization. In addition, our whole-cell analysis revealed that many cells exhibited heterogeneous combinations of motility modules in neighboring regions of the cell edge. Together, these observations support a model of motility in which regions of the cell edge exhibit one of a limited number of motility modules

  19. On Functional Module Detection in Metabolic Networks

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    Ina Koch

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Functional modules of metabolic networks are essential for understanding the metabolism of an organism as a whole. With the vast amount of experimental data and the construction of complex and large-scale, often genome-wide, models, the computer-aided identification of functional modules becomes more and more important. Since steady states play a key role in biology, many methods have been developed in that context, for example, elementary flux modes, extreme pathways, transition invariants and place invariants. Metabolic networks can be studied also from the point of view of graph theory, and algorithms for graph decomposition have been applied for the identification of functional modules. A prominent and currently intensively discussed field of methods in graph theory addresses the Q-modularity. In this paper, we recall known concepts of module detection based on the steady-state assumption, focusing on transition-invariants (elementary modes and their computation as minimal solutions of systems of Diophantine equations. We present the Fourier-Motzkin algorithm in detail. Afterwards, we introduce the Q-modularity as an example for a useful non-steady-state method and its application to metabolic networks. To illustrate and discuss the concepts of invariants and Q-modularity, we apply a part of the central carbon metabolism in potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum as running example. The intention of the paper is to give a compact presentation of known steady-state concepts from a graph-theoretical viewpoint in the context of network decomposition and reduction and to introduce the application of Q-modularity to metabolic Petri net models.

  20. Elements and modulation of functional dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, Alan C

    2014-10-09

    The existing structure-function paradigm of drug discovery has been evolving toward the essential incorporation of dynamics data. This new functional dynamics paradigm emphasizes conformational entropy as a driving force of protein function and intermolecular recognition. Conformational dynamics (a proxy of conformational entropy) impacts the degree of protein (dis)order and the constitution of the conformational ensemble, the mechanisms of allostery and drug resistance, and the free energy of ligand binding. Specific protein and ligand conformations facilitate favorable, reciprocal interactions. The number of protein and ligand conformers that exhibit favorable binding interactions will vary from system to system. All binding scenarios can modulate protein dynamics by various levels of enthalpic and entropic contribution, with significant influence on the functional dynamics of the system. Analysis and consideration of resulting changes of activity, signaling, catalysis, and subsequent phenotypic outcome are powerful motivations in the drug design process.

  1. Stochastic homothetically revealed preference for tight stochastic demand functions

    OpenAIRE

    Jan Heufer

    2009-01-01

    This paper strengthens the framework of stochastic revealed preferences introduced by Bandyopadhyay et al. (1999, 2004) for stochastic homothetically revealed preferences for tight stochastic demand functions.

  2. Modulation transfer functions at Ka band

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesany, Vahid; Sistani, Bita; Salam, Asif; Haimov, Samuel; Gogineni, Prasad; Moore, Richard K.

    The modulation transfer function (MTF) is often used to describe the modulation of the radar signal by the long waves. MTFs were measured at 35 GHz (Ka band) with a switched-beam vector slope gauge/scatterometer on the research platform NORDSEE as part of the SAXON-FPN experiment. Three independent measurements of the scattering were available for each height measurement. This provided the opportunity to average the time series to reduce the effects of fading noise and sea spikes, or, alternatively, to append the time series to achieve more degrees of freedom in the spectral estimates. For upwind measurements, the phase of the VV-polarized Ka-band MTF was always positive, which implies that the maximum of the radar return originates from the forward face of the long-scale waves. This phase increases with increasing wind speed. The magnitude of the MTF decreases with increasing wind speed.

  3. A Network Partition Algorithm for Mining Gene Functional Modules of Colon Cancer from DNA Microarray Data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Gang Ruan; Jin-Lian Wang; Jian-Geng Li

    2006-01-01

    Computational analysis is essential for transforming the masses of microarray data into a mechanistic understanding of cancer. Here we present a method for finding gene functional modules of cancer from microarray data and have applied it to colon cancer. First, a colon cancer gene network and a normal colon tissue gene network were constructed using correlations between the genes. Then the modules that tended to have a homogeneous functional composition were identified by splitting up the network. Analysis of both networks revealed that they are scale-free.Comparison of the gene functional modules for colon cancer and normal tissues showed that the modules' functions changed with their structures.

  4. Weyl modules and q-Whittaker functions

    CERN Document Server

    Braverman, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Let G be a semi-simple simply connected group over complex numbers. In this paper we give a geometric definition of the (dual) Weyl modules over the group G[t] and show that their characters form an eigen-function of the lattice version of the q-Toda integrable integrable system (defined by means of the quantum group version of Kostant-Whittaker reduction due to Etingof and Sevostyanov). All the proofs are algebro-geometric and rely on our previous work which interprets the universal eigen-function of the q-Toda system in terms of rings of functions on the spaces of based quasi-maps from P^1 to the flag variety of G. We discuss in detail the relation between the current work and the works of Cherednik, Ion and Gerasimov-Lebedev-Oblezin.

  5. Modulation Based on Probability Density Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Glenn L.

    2009-01-01

    A proposed method of modulating a sinusoidal carrier signal to convey digital information involves the use of histograms representing probability density functions (PDFs) that characterize samples of the signal waveform. The method is based partly on the observation that when a waveform is sampled (whether by analog or digital means) over a time interval at least as long as one half cycle of the waveform, the samples can be sorted by frequency of occurrence, thereby constructing a histogram representing a PDF of the waveform during that time interval.

  6. Electrical neuroimaging reveals early generator modulation to emotional words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortigue, Stephanie; Michel, Christoph M; Murray, Micah M; Mohr, Christine; Carbonnel, Serge; Landis, Theodor

    2004-04-01

    Functional electrical neuroimaging investigated incidental emotional word processing. Previous research suggests that the brain may differentially respond to the emotional content of linguistic stimuli pre-lexically (i.e., before distinguishing that these stimuli are words). We investigated the spatiotemporal brain mechanisms of this apparent paradox and in particular whether the initial differentiation of emotional stimuli is marked by different brain generator configurations using high-density, event-related potentials. Such would support the existence of specific cerebral resources dedicated to emotional word processing. A related issue concerns the possibility of right-hemispheric specialization in the processing of emotional stimuli. Thirteen healthy men performed a go/no-go lexical decision task with bilateral word/non-word or non-word/non-word stimulus pairs. Words included equal numbers of neutral and emotional stimuli, but subjects made no explicit discrimination along this dimension. Emotional words appearing in the right visual field (ERVF) yielded the best overall performance, although the difference between emotional and neutral words was larger for left than for right visual field presentations. Electrophysiologically, ERVF presentations were distinguished from all other conditions over the 100-140 ms period by a distinct scalp topography, indicative of different intracranial generator configurations. A distributed linear source estimation (LAURA) of this distinct scalp potential field revealed bilateral lateral-occipital sources with a right hemisphere current density maximum. These data support the existence of a specialized brain network triggered by the emotional connotation of words at a very early processing stage.

  7. On the Cauchy Functional Inequality in Banach Modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Park Choonkil

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We investigate the following functional inequality: in Banach modules over a -algebra, and prove the generalized Hyers-Ulam stability of linear mappings in Banach modules over a -algebra.

  8. Structural and functional studies of titin's fn3 modules reveal conserved surface patterns and binding to myosin S1--a possible role in the Frank-Starling mechanism of the heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhle-Goll, C; Habeck, M; Cazorla, O; Nilges, M; Labeit, S; Granzier, H

    2001-10-19

    The A-band part of titin, a striated-muscle specific protein spanning from the Z-line to the M-line, mainly consists of a well-ordered super-repeat array of immunoglobulin-like and fibronectin-type III (fn3)-like domains. Since it has been suspected that the fn3 domains might represent titin's binding sites to myosin, we have developed structural models for all of titin's 132 fn3-like domains. A subset of eight experimentally determined fn3 structures from a range of proteins, including titin itself, was used as homology templates. After grouping the models according to their position within the super-repeat segment of the central A-band titin region, we analyzed the models with respect to side-chain conservation. This showed that conserved residues form an extensive surface pattern predominantly at one side of the domains, whereas domains outside the central C-zone super-repeat region show generally less conserved surfaces. Since the conserved surface residues may function as protein-binding sites, we experimentally studied the binding properties of expressed multi-domain fn3 fragments. This revealed that fn3 fragments specifically bind to the sub-fragment 1 of myosin. We also measured the effect of fn3 fragments on the contractile properties of single cardiac myocytes. At sub-maximal Ca(2+) concentrations, fn3 fragments significantly enhance active tension. This effect is most pronounced at short sarcomere length, and as a result the length-dependence of Ca(2+) activation is reduced. A model of how titin's fn3-like domains may influence actomyosin interaction is proposed.

  9. Madagascar corals reveal Pacific multidecadal modulation of rainfall since 1708

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    C. A. Grove

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The Pacific Ocean modulates Australian and North American rainfall variability on multidecadal timescales, in concert with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO. It has been suggested that Pacific decadal variability may also influence Indian Ocean surface temperature and rainfall in a far-field response, similar to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO on interannual timescales. However, instrumental records of rainfall are too short and too sparse to confidently assess such multidecadal climatic teleconnections. Here, we present four climate archives spanning the past 300 yr from giant Madagascar corals. We decouple 20th century human deforestation effects from rainfall induced soil erosion using spectral luminescence scanning and geochemistry. The corals provide the first evidence for Pacific decadal modulation of rainfall over the Western Indian Ocean. We find that positive PDO phases are associated with increased Indian Ocean temperatures and rainfall in Eastern Madagascar, while precipitation in Southern Africa and Eastern Australia declines. Consequently, the negative PDO phase that started in 1998 should lead to reduced rainfall over Eastern Madagascar and increased precipitation in Southern Africa and Eastern Australia. We conclude that the PDO has important implications for future multidecadal variability of African rainfall, where water resource management is increasingly important under the warming climate.

  10. Hierarchical structure and modules in the Escherichia coli transcriptional regulatory network revealed by a new top-down approach

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    Buer Jan

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cellular functions are coordinately carried out by groups of genes forming functional modules. Identifying such modules in the transcriptional regulatory network (TRN of organisms is important for understanding the structure and function of these fundamental cellular networks and essential for the emerging modular biology. So far, the global connectivity structure of TRN has not been well studied and consequently not applied for the identification of functional modules. Moreover, network motifs such as feed forward loop are recently proposed to be basic building blocks of TRN. However, their relationship to functional modules is not clear. Results In this work we proposed a top-down approach to identify modules in the TRN of E. coli. By studying the global connectivity structure of the regulatory network, we first revealed a five-layer hierarchical structure in which all the regulatory relationships are downward. Based on this regulatory hierarchy, we developed a new method to decompose the regulatory network into functional modules and to identify global regulators governing multiple modules. As a result, 10 global regulators and 39 modules were identified and shown to have well defined functions. We then investigated the distribution and composition of the two basic network motifs (feed forward loop and bi-fan motif in the hierarchical structure of TRN. We found that most of these network motifs include global regulators, indicating that these motifs are not basic building blocks of modules since modules should not contain global regulators. Conclusion The transcriptional regulatory network of E. coli possesses a multi-layer hierarchical modular structure without feedback regulation at transcription level. This hierarchical structure builds the basis for a new and simple decomposition method which is suitable for the identification of functional modules and global regulators in the transcriptional regulatory network of E

  11. Flexible Connectivity in the Aging Brain Revealed by Task Modulations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geerligs, Linda; Saliasi, Emi; Renken, Remco J.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.

    Recent studies have shown that aging has a large impact on connectivity within and between functional networks. An open question is whether elderly still have the flexibility to adapt functional network connectivity (FNC) to the demands of the task at hand. To study this, we collected fMRI data in

  12. Functional modules of sigma factor regulons guarantee adaptability and evolvability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Sebastian C.; Eckweiler, Denitsa; Schulz, Sebastian; Bielecka, Agata; Nicolai, Tanja; Franke, Raimo; Häussler, Susanne; Meyer-Hermann, Michael

    2016-02-01

    The focus of modern molecular biology turns from assigning functions to individual genes towards understanding the expression and regulation of complex sets of molecules. Here, we provide evidence that alternative sigma factor regulons in the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa largely represent insulated functional modules which provide a critical level of biological organization involved in general adaptation and survival processes. Analysis of the operational state of the sigma factor network revealed that transcription factors functionally couple the sigma factor regulons and significantly modulate the transcription levels in the face of challenging environments. The threshold quality of newly evolved transcription factors was reached faster and more robustly in in silico testing when the structural organization of sigma factor networks was taken into account. These results indicate that the modular structures of alternative sigma factor regulons provide P. aeruginosa with a robust framework to function adequately in its environment and at the same time facilitate evolutionary change. Our data support the view that widespread modularity guarantees robustness of biological networks and is a key driver of evolvability.

  13. Contractive Hilbert modules and their dilations over natural function algebras

    CERN Document Server

    Douglas, Ronald G; Sarkar, Jaydeb

    2009-01-01

    In this note, we show that quasi-free Hilbert modules R defined over natural function algebras satisfying a certain positivity condition, defined via the hereditary functional calculus, admit a dilation (actually a co-extension) to the Hardy module over the polydisk. An explicit realization of the dilation space is given along with the isometric embedding of the module R in it. Some consequences of this basic fact is then explored in the case of several natural function algebras.

  14. Revealing remodeler function: Varied and unique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastlund, Allen

    Chromatin remodelers perform a necessary and required function for the successful expression of our genetic code. By modifying, shifting, or ejecting nucleosomes from the chromatin structure they allow access to the underlying DNA to the rest of the cell's machinery. This research has focused on two major remodeler motors from major families of chromatin remodelers: the trimeric motor domain of RSC and the motor domain of the ISWI family, ISWI. Using primarily stopped-flow spectrofluorometry, I have categorized the time-dependent motions of these motor domains along their preferred substrate, double-stranded DNA. Combined with collected ATP utilization data, I present the subsequent analysis and associated conclusions that stem from the underlying assumptions and models. Interestingly, there is little in common between the investigated proteins aside from their favored medium. While RSC exhibits modest translocation characteristics and highly effective motion with the ability for large molecular forces, ISWI is not only structurally different but highly inefficient in its motion leading to difficulties in determining its specific translocation mechanics. While chromatin remodeling is a ubiquitous facet of eukaryotic life, there remains much to be understood about their general mechanisms.

  15. Fold modulating function: Bacterial toxins to functional amyloids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adnan Khawaja Syed

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Many bacteria produce cytolytic toxins that target host cells or other competing microbes. It is well known that environmental factors control toxin expression, however recent work suggests that some bacteria manipulate the fold of these protein toxins to control their function. The β-sheet rich amyloid fold is a highly stable ordered aggregate that many toxins form in response to specific environmental conditions. When in the amyloid state, toxins become inert, losing the cytolytic activity they display in the soluble form. Emerging evidence suggest that some amyloids function as toxin storage systems until they are again needed, while other bacteria utilize amyloids as a structural matrix component of biofilms. This amyloid matrix component facilitates resistance to biofilm disruptive challenges. The bacterial amyloids discussed in this review reveal an elegant system where changes in protein fold and solubility dictate the function of proteins in response to the environment.

  16. Fold modulating function: bacterial toxins to functional amyloids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syed, Adnan K; Boles, Blaise R

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteria produce cytolytic toxins that target host cells or other competing microbes. It is well known that environmental factors control toxin expression, however, recent work suggests that some bacteria manipulate the fold of these protein toxins to control their function. The β-sheet rich amyloid fold is a highly stable ordered aggregate that many toxins form in response to specific environmental conditions. When in the amyloid state, toxins become inert, losing the cytolytic activity they display in the soluble form. Emerging evidence suggest that some amyloids function as toxin storage systems until they are again needed, while other bacteria utilize amyloids as a structural matrix component of biofilms. This amyloid matrix component facilitates resistance to biofilm disruptive challenges. The bacterial amyloids discussed in this review reveal an elegant system where changes in protein fold and solubility dictate the function of proteins in response to the environment.

  17. On Functional Inequalities Originating from Module Jordan Left Derivations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kang Sheon-Young

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract We first examine the generalized Hyers-Ulam stability of functional inequality associated with module Jordan left derivation (resp., module Jordan derivation. Secondly, we study the functional inequality with linear Jordan left derivation (resp., linear Jordan derivation mapping into the Jacobson radical.

  18. On Functional Inequalities Originating from Module Jordan Left Derivations

    OpenAIRE

    Kang Sheon-Young; Chang Ick-Soon; Kim Hark-Mahn

    2008-01-01

    Abstract We first examine the generalized Hyers-Ulam stability of functional inequality associated with module Jordan left derivation (resp., module Jordan derivation). Secondly, we study the functional inequality with linear Jordan left derivation (resp., linear Jordan derivation) mapping into the Jacobson radical.

  19. On Functional Inequalities Originating from Module Jordan Left Derivations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ick-Soon Chang

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available We first examine the generalized Hyers-Ulam stability of functional inequality associated with module Jordan left derivation (resp., module Jordan derivation. Secondly, we study the functional inequality with linear Jordan left derivation (resp., linear Jordan derivation mapping into the Jacobson radical.

  20. Designing a Growing Functional Modules “Artificial Brain”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérôme Leboeuf-Pasquier

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available

    The present paper illustrates the design process for the Growing Functional Modules (GFM learning based controller. GFM controllers are elaborated interconnecting four kinds of components: Global Goals, Acting Modules, Sensations and Sensing Modules. Global Goals trigger intrinsic motivations, Acting and Sensing Modules develop specific functionalities and Sensations provide the controlled system's feedback. GFM controllers learn to satisfy some predefined goals while interacting with the environment and thus should be considered as artificial brains. An example of the design process of a simple controller is provided herein to explain the inherent methodology, to exhibit the components' interconnections and to demonstrate the control process.

  1. Modulation of immune development and function by intestinal microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabat, Agnieszka M; Srinivasan, Naren; Maloy, Kevin J

    2014-11-01

    The immune system must constantly monitor the gastrointestinal tract for the presence of pathogens while tolerating trillions of commensal microbiota. It is clear that intestinal microbiota actively modulate the immune system to maintain a mutually beneficial relation, but the mechanisms that maintain homeostasis are not fully understood. Recent advances have begun to shed light on the cellular and molecular factors involved, revealing that a range of microbiota derivatives can influence host immune functions by targeting various cell types, including intestinal epithelial cells, mononuclear phagocytes, innate lymphoid cells, and B and T lymphocytes. Here, we review these findings, highlighting open questions and important challenges to overcome in translating this knowledge into new therapies for intestinal and systemic immune disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Identifying disease feature genes based on cellular localized gene functional modules and regulation networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Min; ZHU Jing; GUO Zheng; LI Xia; YANG Da; WANG Lei; RAO Shaoqi

    2006-01-01

    Identifying disease-relevant genes and functional modules, based on gene expression profiles and gene functional knowledge, is of high importance for studying disease mechanisms and subtyping disease phenotypes. Using gene categories of biological process and cellular component in Gene Ontology, we propose an approach to selecting functional modules enriched with differentially expressed genes, and identifying the feature functional modules of high disease discriminating abilities. Using the differentially expressed genes in each feature module as the feature genes, we reveal the relevance of the modules to the studied diseases. Using three datasets for prostate cancer, gastric cancer, and leukemia, we have demonstrated that the proposed modular approach is of high power in identifying functionally integrated feature gene subsets that are highly relevant to the disease mechanisms. Our analysis has also shown that the critical disease-relevant genes might be better recognized from the gene regulation network, which is constructed using the characterized functional modules, giving important clues to the concerted mechanisms of the modules responding to complex disease states. In addition, the proposed approach to selecting the disease-relevant genes by jointly considering the gene functional knowledge suggests a new way for precisely classifying disease samples with clear biological interpretations, which is critical for the clinical diagnosis and the elucidation of the pathogenic basis of complex diseases.

  3. Matrix factorization reveals aging-specific co-expression gene modules in the fat and muscle tissues in nonhuman primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yongcui; Zhao, Weiling; Zhou, Xiaobo

    2016-10-01

    Accurate identification of coherent transcriptional modules (subnetworks) in adipose and muscle tissues is important for revealing the related mechanisms and co-regulated pathways involved in the development of aging-related diseases. Here, we proposed a systematically computational approach, called ICEGM, to Identify the Co-Expression Gene Modules through a novel mathematical framework of Higher-Order Generalized Singular Value Decomposition (HO-GSVD). ICEGM was applied on the adipose, and heart and skeletal muscle tissues in old and young female African green vervet monkeys. The genes associated with the development of inflammation, cardiovascular and skeletal disorder diseases, and cancer were revealed by the ICEGM. Meanwhile, genes in the ICEGM modules were also enriched in the adipocytes, smooth muscle cells, cardiac myocytes, and immune cells. Comprehensive disease annotation and canonical pathway analysis indicated that immune cells, adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, and smooth muscle cells played a synergistic role in cardiac and physical functions in the aged monkeys by regulation of the biological processes associated with metabolism, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. In conclusion, the ICEGM provides an efficiently systematic framework for decoding the co-expression gene modules in multiple tissues. Analysis of genes in the ICEGM module yielded important insights on the cooperative role of multiple tissues in the development of diseases.

  4. Monaural and binaural subjective modulation transfer functions in simple reverberation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2008-01-01

    The envelope of a signal is filtered by the transmission channel through which it passes. The amount of reduction for a given envelope, or modulation, frequency has been called the modulation transfer function (MTF) and can be derived from the impulse response of the transmission channel [Schroeder......, M.R. (1981) Modulation transfer-functions: Definition and measurement, Acustica, 49, 179-182]. The envelope of a speech signal is critical for intelligibility, and the speech transmission index (STI) predicts the intelligibility of speech through a given transmission channel based on its MTF...... [Houtgast, T. and Steeneken, H.J.M. (1973) Modulation transfer-function in room acoustics as a predictor of speech intelligibility, Acustica, 28, 66-73]. In the present study, the results of intensity modulation detection experiments with broad-band noise carriers are reported in monaural and binaural...

  5. Towards functional effects of polyphenols : modulation of energy metabolism revealed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de V.C.J.

    2007-01-01

    A diet rich in fruits and vegetables contains high levels of polyphenols (up to 1 gram per day). Epidemiological studies suggest that a high dietary intake of selected polyphenols can be protective against development of cardiovascular heart diseases in humans. In addition, mechanistic studies demon

  6. Coexpression Analysis Reveals Key Gene Modules and Pathway of Human Coronary Heart Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yu; Ke, Zun-Ping; Peng, Yi-Gen; Cai, Ping-Tai

    2017-08-31

    Coronary heart disease is a kind of disease which causes great injury to people world-widely. Although gene expression analyses had been performed previously, to our best knowledge, systemic co-expression analysis for this disease is still lacking to date. Microarray data of coronary heart disease was downloaded from NCBI with the accession number of GSE20681. Co-expression modules were constructed by WGCNA. Besides, the connectivity degree of eigengenes was analyzed. Furthermore, GO and KEGG enrichment analysis was performed on these eigengenes in these constructed modules. A total of 11 co-expression modules were constructed by the 3,000 up-regulated genes from the 99 samples with coronary heart disease. The average number of genes in these modules was 270. The interaction analysis indicated the relative independence of gene expression in these modules. The functional enrichment analysis showed that there was a significant difference in the enriched terms and degree among these 11 modules. The results showed that module 9 and module 10 played critical roles in the occurrence of coronary disease. Pathways of hsa00190(Oxidative phosphorylation)and (hsa01130: Biosynthesis of antibiotics) were thought to be closely related to the occurrence and development of coronary heart disease. Our result demonstrated that module 9 and module 10 were the most critical modules in the occurrence of coronary heart disease. Pathways as hsa00190(Oxidative phosphorylation) and (hsa01130: Biosynthesis of antibiotics) had the potential to serve as the prognostic and predictive marker of coronary heart disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  7. Ferrocene Functionalized Endocrine Modulators as Anticancer Agents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillard, Elizabeth A.; Vessières, Anne; Jaouen, Gerard

    We present here some of our studies on the synthesis and behaviour of ferrocenyl selective endocrine receptor modulators against cancer cells, particularly breast and prostate cancers. The proliferative/anti-proliferative effects of compounds based on steroidal and non-steroidal endocrine modulators have been extensively explored in vitro. Structure-activity relationship studies of such molecules, particularly the hydroxyferrocifens and ferrocene phenols, have shown the effect of (1) the presence and the length of the N,N-dimethylamino side chain, (2) the presence and position of the phenol group, (3) the role of the ferrocenyl moiety, (4) that of conjugation, (5) phenyl functionalisation and (6) the placement of the phenyl group. Compounds possessing a ferrocene moiety linked to a p-phenol by a conjugated π-system are among the most potent of the series, with IC50 values ranging from 0.090 to 0.6µM on hormone independent breast cancer cells. Based on the SAR data and electrochemical studies, we have proposed an original mechanism to explain the unusual behaviour of these bioorganometallic species and coin the term "kronatropic" to qualify this effect, involving ROS production and bio-oxidation. In addition, the importance of formulation is underlined. We also discuss the behaviour of ferrocenyl androgens and anti-androgens for possible use against prostate cancers. In sum, ferrocene has proven to be a fascinating substituent due to its vast potential for oncology.

  8. EXPOSURE TO SWINE HOUSING DUST MODULATES MACROPHAGE MORPHOLOGY AND FUNCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth J. Pender

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Swine Confinement Facility (SCF dust consists of a complex mixture of feed grain particles, bacterial components, organic particulates and gases. When these particles are inhaled they deposit along the respiratory tract and mediate respiratory symptoms and disease in swine farmers and facility workers. Macrophages ingest and eliminate microbes and debris under chronic conditions; however, the role of macrophages in agricultural-related respiratory disease has not been fully elucidated. The goal was to evaluate the hypothesis that chronic exposure to SCF dust causes inflammation by modulating pulmonary protein levels and macrophage function. Balb/c mice were exposed to 5, 12.5 and 25% SCF Dust Extract (DE via nebulization 30 min/day five days a week, for eight weeks with weekends excluded. Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid (BALF was collected and analyzed for protein concentration, leukocyte distribution and macrophage morphology. For comparison, THP-1 monocytic cells were exposed to 0.1-10% DE overnight and evaluated for phagocytosis and reactive oxygen species production. Repeated exposure to DE via nebulizer caused a significant increase in protein concentration and inflammatory cell number, namely macrophages, in a dose-dependent manner within the lung as compared to controls. Macrophages with pseudopods and vacuoles were the most abundant leukocytes within BALF of mice exposed to DE. Similarly, in vitro studies with 10% DE treated THP-1 cells revealed enhanced phagocytosis (p<0.05, pseudopodia and vacuolization following exposure to compared to control cells. In addition, there were time- and dose-dependent increases of intracellular ROS production by THP-1 cells exposed to 5 and 10% DE compared to control (p<0.01. These findings indicate repeated, long-term inhalation of swine confinement facility dust may mediate chronic airway and lung inflammation through modulation of protein concentration and macrophage function. The aerosolized dust

  9. Natural selection on functional modules, a genome-wide analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serra, François; Arbiza, Leonardo; Dopazo, Joaquín; Dopazo, Hernán

    2011-03-01

    Classically, the functional consequences of natural selection over genomes have been analyzed as the compound effects of individual genes. The current paradigm for large-scale analysis of adaptation is based on the observed significant deviations of rates of individual genes from neutral evolutionary expectation. This approach, which assumed independence among genes, has not been able to identify biological functions significantly enriched in positively selected genes in individual species. Alternatively, pooling related species has enhanced the search for signatures of selection. However, grouping signatures does not allow testing for adaptive differences between species. Here we introduce the Gene-Set Selection Analysis (GSSA), a new genome-wide approach to test for evidences of natural selection on functional modules. GSSA is able to detect lineage specific evolutionary rate changes in a notable number of functional modules. For example, in nine mammal and Drosophilae genomes GSSA identifies hundreds of functional modules with significant associations to high and low rates of evolution. Many of the detected functional modules with high evolutionary rates have been previously identified as biological functions under positive selection. Notably, GSSA identifies conserved functional modules with many positively selected genes, which questions whether they are exclusively selected for fitting genomes to environmental changes. Our results agree with previous studies suggesting that adaptation requires positive selection, but not every mutation under positive selection contributes to the adaptive dynamical process of the evolution of species.

  10. Natural selection on functional modules, a genome-wide analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Serra

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Classically, the functional consequences of natural selection over genomes have been analyzed as the compound effects of individual genes. The current paradigm for large-scale analysis of adaptation is based on the observed significant deviations of rates of individual genes from neutral evolutionary expectation. This approach, which assumed independence among genes, has not been able to identify biological functions significantly enriched in positively selected genes in individual species. Alternatively, pooling related species has enhanced the search for signatures of selection. However, grouping signatures does not allow testing for adaptive differences between species. Here we introduce the Gene-Set Selection Analysis (GSSA, a new genome-wide approach to test for evidences of natural selection on functional modules. GSSA is able to detect lineage specific evolutionary rate changes in a notable number of functional modules. For example, in nine mammal and Drosophilae genomes GSSA identifies hundreds of functional modules with significant associations to high and low rates of evolution. Many of the detected functional modules with high evolutionary rates have been previously identified as biological functions under positive selection. Notably, GSSA identifies conserved functional modules with many positively selected genes, which questions whether they are exclusively selected for fitting genomes to environmental changes. Our results agree with previous studies suggesting that adaptation requires positive selection, but not every mutation under positive selection contributes to the adaptive dynamical process of the evolution of species.

  11. Modeling development and quantitative trait mapping reveal independent genetic modules for leaf size and shape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Robert L; Leong, Wen Fung; Brock, Marcus T; Markelz, R J Cody; Covington, Michael F; Devisetty, Upendra K; Edwards, Christine E; Maloof, Julin; Welch, Stephen; Weinig, Cynthia

    2015-10-01

    Improved predictions of fitness and yield may be obtained by characterizing the genetic controls and environmental dependencies of organismal ontogeny. Elucidating the shape of growth curves may reveal novel genetic controls that single-time-point (STP) analyses do not because, in theory, infinite numbers of growth curves can result in the same final measurement. We measured leaf lengths and widths in Brassica rapa recombinant inbred lines (RILs) throughout ontogeny. We modeled leaf growth and allometry as function valued traits (FVT), and examined genetic correlations between these traits and aspects of phenology, physiology, circadian rhythms and fitness. We used RNA-seq to construct a SNP linkage map and mapped trait quantitative trait loci (QTL). We found genetic trade-offs between leaf size and growth rate FVT and uncovered differences in genotypic and QTL correlations involving FVT vs STPs. We identified leaf shape (allometry) as a genetic module independent of length and width and identified selection on FVT parameters of development. Leaf shape is associated with venation features that affect desiccation resistance. The genetic independence of leaf shape from other leaf traits may therefore enable crop optimization in leaf shape without negative effects on traits such as size, growth rate, duration or gas exchange.

  12. CLARM: An integrative approach for functional modules discovery

    KAUST Repository

    Salem, Saeed M.

    2011-01-01

    Functional module discovery aims to find well-connected subnetworks which can serve as candidate protein complexes. Advances in High-throughput proteomic technologies have enabled the collection of large amount of interaction data as well as gene expression data. We propose, CLARM, a clustering algorithm that integrates gene expression profiles and protein protein interaction network for biological modules discovery. The main premise is that by enriching the interaction network by adding interactions between genes which are highly co-expressed over a wide range of biological and environmental conditions, we can improve the quality of the discovered modules. Protein protein interactions, known protein complexes, and gene expression profiles for diverse environmental conditions from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae were used for evaluate the biological significance of the reported modules. Our experiments show that the CLARM approach is competitive to wellestablished module discovery methods. Copyright © 2011 ACM.

  13. Nanomaterial-modulated autophagy: underlying mechanisms and functional consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Wei; Wei, Min; Li, Song; Le, Weidong

    2016-06-01

    Autophagy is an essential lysosome-dependent process that controls the quality of the cytoplasm and maintains cellular homeostasis, and dysfunction of this protein degradation system is correlated with various disorders. A growing body of evidence suggests that nanomaterials (NMs) have autophagy-modulating effects, thus predicting a valuable and promising application potential of NMs in the diagnosis and treatment of autophagy-related diseases. NMs exhibit unique physical, chemical and biofunctional properties, which may endow NMs with capabilities to modulate autophagy via various mechanisms. The present review highlights the impacts of various NMs on autophagy and their functional consequences. The possible underlying mechanisms for NM-modulated autophagy are also discussed.

  14. Exercise and neuroendocrine modulation of macrophage function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, J A

    2000-05-01

    Like all immune cells, Mphi's cannot simply be viewed as individual cells, but as part of a complex network of cells and tissues that communicate in many different ways in an attempt to elicit an appropriate host response to immune and other challenges. Mphi's are important initial effector cells and are highly regulated by other cells (including T and B lymphocytes) and hormones produced by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Indeed, it may well be that stressors, including exercise, exert their regulatory influence over these cells by activating the SNS, HPA axis, or by influencing other tissues or cells. With this in mind, the overall objective of this review is to introduce and provide current information regarding the role of neuroendocrine factors in mediating exercise-induced changes in macrophage (Mphi) function. Under this broad objective this review will: 1) briefly discuss the cell biology of the Mphi and its role in host defense, 2) explore the potential regulatory influence of selected neuroendocrine hormones (glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone, prolactin, and beta-endorphin) that may potentially mediate exercise-induced changes in Mphi function, and 3) describe the effects of exercise on the functions of the Mphi.

  15. Xanthophylls as modulators of membrane protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruban, Alexander V; Johnson, Matthew P

    2010-12-01

    This review discusses the structural aspect of the role of photosynthetic antenna xanthophylls. It argues that xanthophyll hydrophobicity/polarity could explain the reason for xanthophyll variety and help to understand their recently emerging function--control of membrane organization and the work of membrane proteins. The structure of a xanthophyll molecule is discussed in relation to other amphiphilic compounds like lipids, detergents, etc. Xanthophyll composition of membrane proteins, the role of their variety in protein function are discussed using as an example for the major light harvesting antenna complex of photosystem II, LHCII, from higher plants. A new empirical parameter, hydrophobicity parameter (H-parameter), has been introduced as an effective measure of the hydrophobicity of the xanthophyll complement of LHCII from different xanthophyll biosynthesis mutants of Arabidopsis. Photosystem II quantum efficiency was found to correlate well with the H-parameter of LHCII xanthophylls. PSII down-regulation by non-photochemical chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, NPQ, had optimum corresponding to the wild-type xanthophyll composition, where lutein occupies intrinsic sites, L1 and L2. Xanthophyll polarity/hydrophobicity alteration by the activity of the xanthophyll cycle explains the allosteric character of NPQ regulation, memory of illumination history and the hysteretic nature of the relationship between the triggering factor, ΔpH, and the energy dissipation process. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Modulation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil functions by astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xie Luokun

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neuroinflammation is a complex process involving cells from the immune system and the central nerve system (CNS. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN are the most abundant class of white blood cells, and typically the first type of leukocyte recruited to sites of inflammation. In the CNS, astrocytes are the most abundant glial cell population and participate in the local innate immune response triggered by a variety of insults. In the present study, we investigated the impacts of astrocytes on PMN function. Methods Primary astrocyte cultures were derived from postnatal C57BL/6 mice and primary neutrophils were isolated from 8 to 12 weeks old C57BL/6 mice. PMNs respiratory burst was analyzed by H2DCFDA assay. For phagocytosis assay, neutrophils were incubated with FITC-labeled E. coli and the phagocytosis of E coli was determined by flow cytometer. PMNs degranulation was determined by myeloperoxidase assay. Cytokine expression was determined by real-time PCR. To determine the involvement of different signaling pathway, protein lysates were prepared and western blots were conducted to assess the activation of Akt, Erk1/2, and p38. Results Using ex vivo neutrophils and primary astrocyte cultures, our study demonstrated that astrocytes differentially regulate neutrophil functions, depending upon whether the interactions between the two cell types are direct or indirect. Upon direct cell-cell contact, astrocytes attenuate neutrophil apoptosis, respiratory bust, and degranulation, while enhancing neutrophil phagocytic capability and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. Through indirect interaction with neutrophils, astrocytes attenuate apoptosis and enhance necrosis in neutrophils, augment neutrophil phagocytosis and respiratory burst, and inhibit neutrophil degranulation. In addition, astrocytes could augment Akt, Erk1/2, and p38 activation in neutrophils. Conclusions Astrocytes differentially regulate neutrophil functions through

  17. Low Dose Ionizing Radiation Modulates Immune Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, Gregory A. [Loma Linda Univ., CA (United States)

    2016-01-12

    In order to examine the effects of low dose ionizing radiation on the immune system we chose to examine an amplified adaptive cellular immunity response. This response is Type IV delayed-type hypersensitivity also called contact hypersensitivity. The agent fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) is a low molecular weight, lipophilic, reactive, fluorescent molecule that can be applied to the skin where it (hapten) reacts with proteins (carriers) to become a complete antigen. Exposure to FITC leads to sensitization which is easily measured as a hypersensitivity inflammatory reaction following a subsequent exposure to the ear. Ear swelling, eosinophil infiltration, immunoglobulin E production and cytokine secretion patterns characteristic of a “Th2 polarized” immune response are the components of the reaction. The reaction requires successful implementation of antigen processing and presentation by antigen presenting Langerhans cells, communication with naïve T lymphocytes in draining lymph nodes, expansion of activated T cell clones, migration of activated T cells to the circulation, and recruitment of memory T cells, macrophages and eosinophils to the site of the secondary challenge. Using this model our approach was to quantify system function rather than relying only on indirect biomarkers of cell. We measured the FITC-induced hypersensitivity reaction over a range of doses from 2 cGy to 2 Gy. Irradiations were performed during key events or prior to key events to deplete critical cell populations. In addition to quantifying the final inflammatory response, we assessed cell populations in peripheral blood and spleen, cytokine signatures, IgE levels and expression of genes associated with key processes in sensitization and elicitation/recall. We hypothesized that ionizing radiation would produce a biphasic effect on immune system function resulting in an enhancement at low doses and a depression at higher doses and suggested that this transition would occur in the

  18. Performance of SEM scintillation detector evaluated by modulation transfer function and detective quantum efficiency function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bok, Jan; Schauer, Petr

    2014-01-01

    In the paper, the SEM detector is evaluated by the modulation transfer function (MTF) which expresses the detector's influence on the SEM image contrast. This is a novel approach, since the MTF was used previously to describe only the area imaging detectors, or whole imaging systems. The measurement technique and calculation of the MTF for the SEM detector are presented. In addition, the measurement and calculation of the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) as a function of the spatial frequency for the SEM detector are described. In this technique, the time modulated e-beam is used in order to create well-defined input signal for the detector. The MTF and DQE measurements are demonstrated on the Everhart-Thornley scintillation detector. This detector was alternated using the YAG:Ce, YAP:Ce, and CRY18 single-crystal scintillators. The presented MTF and DQE characteristics show good imaging properties of the detectors with the YAP:Ce or CRY18 scintillator, especially for a specific type of the e-beam scan. The results demonstrate the great benefit of the description of SEM detectors using the MTF and DQE. In addition, point-by-point and continual-sweep e-beam scans in SEM were discussed and their influence on the image quality was revealed using the MTF.

  19. Integrating phosphorylation network with transcriptional network reveals novel functional relationships.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Wang

    Full Text Available Phosphorylation and transcriptional regulation events are critical for cells to transmit and respond to signals. In spite of its importance, systems-level strategies that couple these two networks have yet to be presented. Here we introduce a novel approach that integrates the physical and functional aspects of phosphorylation network together with the transcription network in S.cerevisiae, and demonstrate that different network motifs are involved in these networks, which should be considered in interpreting and integrating large scale datasets. Based on this understanding, we introduce a HeRS score (hetero-regulatory similarity score to systematically characterize the functional relevance of kinase/phosphatase involvement with transcription factor, and present an algorithm that predicts hetero-regulatory modules. When extended to signaling network, this approach confirmed the structure and cross talk of MAPK pathways, inferred a novel functional transcription factor Sok2 in high osmolarity glycerol pathway, and explained the mechanism of reduced mating efficiency upon Fus3 deletion. This strategy is applicable to other organisms as large-scale datasets become available, providing a means to identify the functional relationships between kinases/phosphatases and transcription factors.

  20. Identification of fractional order systems using modulating functions method

    KAUST Repository

    Liu, Dayan

    2013-06-01

    The modulating functions method has been used for the identification of linear and nonlinear systems. In this paper, we generalize this method to the on-line identification of fractional order systems based on the Riemann-Liouville fractional derivatives. First, a new fractional integration by parts formula involving the fractional derivative of a modulating function is given. Then, we apply this formula to a fractional order system, for which the fractional derivatives of the input and the output can be transferred into the ones of the modulating functions. By choosing a set of modulating functions, a linear system of algebraic equations is obtained. Hence, the unknown parameters of a fractional order system can be estimated by solving a linear system. Using this method, we do not need any initial values which are usually unknown and not equal to zero. Also we do not need to estimate the fractional derivatives of noisy output. Moreover, it is shown that the proposed estimators are robust against high frequency sinusoidal noises and the ones due to a class of stochastic processes. Finally, the efficiency and the stability of the proposed method is confirmed by some numerical simulations.

  1. A Study on the Design of Electronic SAMG Functional Modules

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, S. H.; Kim, J. H.; Ahn, K. I. [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-10-15

    This paper describes a study on the design of e-SAMG functional modules. A study of for the design of e-SAMG was introduced. During an emergency status of a severe accident, the items for the functional module during a rapid and exact action are surveyed. The results are being implemented in e-SAMG. The operators can be supported through the use of e-SAMG. Based on the design of functional modules, the implementation will be accelerated and the refined design can also be applied. As a part of the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (MSIP) Project, we at KAERI are developing electronic SAMG (e-SAMG, severe accident mitigation guideline) for general SAMG for nuclear power plants. Due to computerized trends, various efforts related to computer systems have been carried out for safety systems in nuclear power plants. In particular, since the Fukushima accident, unexpected accidents or extreme damages have become a concern. With this status, a rapid and exact confrontation such as a computerized attempt in SAMG has been tried. To develop an electronic SAMG, based on an analysis of the general SAMG, the architecture of e-SAMG was founded. The functional modules occupy important parts in the e-SAMG.

  2. Towards revealing the functions of all genes in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhee, Seung Yon; Mutwil, Marek

    2014-04-01

    The great recent progress made in identifying the molecular parts lists of organisms revealed the paucity of our understanding of what most of the parts do. In this review, we introduce computational and statistical approaches and omics data used for inferring gene function in plants, with an emphasis on network-based inference. We also discuss caveats associated with network-based function predictions such as performance assessment, annotation propagation, the guilt-by-association concept, and the meaning of hubs. Finally, we note the current limitations and possible future directions such as the need for gold standard data from several species, unified access to data and tools, quantitative comparison of data and tool quality, and high-throughput experimental validation platforms for systematic gene function elucidation in plants.

  3. Synthetic protein interactions reveal a functional map of the cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Lisa K; Ólafsson, Guðjón; Ledesma-Fernández, Elena; Thorpe, Peter H

    2016-01-01

    To understand the function of eukaryotic cells, it is critical to understand the role of protein-protein interactions and protein localization. Currently, we do not know the importance of global protein localization nor do we understand to what extent the cell is permissive for new protein associations – a key requirement for the evolution of new protein functions. To answer this question, we fused every protein in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae with a partner from each of the major cellular compartments and quantitatively assessed the effects upon growth. This analysis reveals that cells have a remarkable and unanticipated tolerance for forced protein associations, even if these associations lead to a proportion of the protein moving compartments within the cell. Furthermore, the interactions that do perturb growth provide a functional map of spatial protein regulation, identifying key regulatory complexes for the normal homeostasis of eukaryotic cells. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13053.001 PMID:27098839

  4. Multi-functional Electric Module for a Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluethmann, William J. (Inventor); Waligora, Thomas M. (Inventor); Fraser-Chanpong, Nathan (Inventor); Reed, Ryan (Inventor); Akinyode, Akinjide Akinniyi (Inventor); Spain, Ivan (Inventor); Dawson, Andrew D. (Inventor); Figuered, Joshua M. (Inventor); Herrera, Eduardo (Inventor); Markee, Mason M. (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    A multi-functional electric module (eModule) is provided for a vehicle having a chassis, a master controller, and a drive wheel having a propulsion-braking module. The eModule includes a steering control assembly, mounting bracket, propulsion control assembly, brake controller, housing, and control arm. The steering control assembly includes a steering motor controlled by steering controllers in response to control signals from the master controller. A mounting feature of the bracket connects to the chassis. The propulsion control assembly and brake controller are in communication with the propulsion-braking module. The control arm connects to the lower portion and contains elements of a suspension system, with the control arm being connectable to the drive wheel via a wheel input/output block. The controllers are responsive to the master controller to control a respective steering, propulsion, and braking function. The steering motor may have a dual-wound stator with windings controlled via the respective steering controllers.

  5. On the Cauchy Functional Inequality in Banach Modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choonkil Park

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the following functional inequality: ‖f(x+f(y+f(z‖≤‖f(x+y+z‖ in Banach modules over a C∗-algebra, and prove the generalized Hyers-Ulam stability of linear mappings in Banach modules over a C∗-algebra.

  6. String Functions for Affine Lie Algebras Integrable Modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr Kulish

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The recursion relations of branching coefficients kξ(μ for a module Lg¯ hμ reduced to a Cartan subalgebra h are transformed in order to place the recursion shifts γ Î Γa Ì h into the fundamental Weyl chamber. The new ensembles FΨ (the ''folded fans'' of shifts were constructed and the corresponding recursion properties for the weights belonging to the fundamental Weyl chamber were formulated. Being considered simultaneously for the set of string functions (corresponding to the same congruence class Ξv of modules the system of recursion relations constitute an equation M(u Ξv m(u μ = δ(u μ where the operator M(u Ξv is an invertible matrix whose elements are defined by the coordinates and multiplicities of the shift weights in the folded fans FΨ and the components of the vector m(u μ are the string function coefficients for Lμ enlisted up to an arbitrary fixed grade u. The examples are presented where the string functions for modules of g = A2(1 are explicitly constructed demonstrating that the set of folded fans provides a compact and effective tool to study the integrable highest weight modules.

  7. Fold modulating function: bacterial toxins to functional amyloids

    OpenAIRE

    Adnan Khawaja Syed; Blaise R. Boles

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteria produce cytolytic toxins that target host cells or other competing microbes. It is well known that environmental factors control toxin expression, however, recent work suggests that some bacteria manipulate the fold of these protein toxins to control their function. The β-sheet rich amyloid fold is a highly stable ordered aggregate that many toxins form in response to specific environmental conditions. When in the amyloid state, toxins become inert, losing the cytolytic activity...

  8. Assessing the functional coherence of modules found in multiple-evidence networks from Arabidopsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hodgman Charlie

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Combining multiple evidence-types from different information sources has the potential to reveal new relationships in biological systems. The integrated information can be represented as a relationship network, and clustering the network can suggest possible functional modules. The value of such modules for gaining insight into the underlying biological processes depends on their functional coherence. The challenges that we wish to address are to define and quantify the functional coherence of modules in relationship networks, so that they can be used to infer function of as yet unannotated proteins, to discover previously unknown roles of proteins in diseases as well as for better understanding of the regulation and interrelationship between different elements of complex biological systems. Results We have defined the functional coherence of modules with respect to the Gene Ontology (GO by considering two complementary aspects: (i the fragmentation of the GO functional categories into the different modules and (ii the most representative functions of the modules. We have proposed a set of metrics to evaluate these two aspects and demonstrated their utility in Arabidopsis thaliana. We selected 2355 proteins for which experimentally established protein-protein interaction (PPI data were available. From these we have constructed five relationship networks, four based on single types of data: PPI, co-expression, co-occurrence of protein names in scientific literature abstracts and sequence similarity and a fifth one combining these four evidence types. The ability of these networks to suggest biologically meaningful grouping of proteins was explored by applying Markov clustering and then by measuring the functional coherence of the clusters. Conclusions Relationship networks integrating multiple evidence-types are biologically informative and allow more proteins to be assigned to a putative functional module. Using additional

  9. K(v)7 channels: function, pharmacology and channel modulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalby-Brown, William; Hansen, Henrik H; Korsgaard, Mads P G; Mirza, Naheed; Olesen, Søren-P

    2006-01-01

    K(v)7 channels are unique among K(+) channels, since four out of the five channel subtypes have well-documented roles in the development of human diseases. They have distinct physiological functions in the heart and in the nervous system, which can be ascribed to their voltage-gating properties. The K(v)7 channels also lend themselves to pharmacological modulation, and synthetic openers as well as blockers of the channels, regulating neuronal excitability, have existed even before the K(v)7 channels were identified by cloning. In the present review we give an account on the focused efforts to develop selective modulators, openers as well as blockers, of the K(v)7 channel subtypes, which have been undertaken during recent years, along with a discussion of the K(v)7 ion channel physiology and therapeutic indications for modulators of the neuronal K(v)7 channels.

  10. Amplitude-modulated stimuli reveal auditory-visual interactions in brain activity and brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laing, Mark; Rees, Adrian; Vuong, Quoc C

    2015-01-01

    The temporal congruence between auditory and visual signals coming from the same source can be a powerful means by which the brain integrates information from different senses. To investigate how the brain uses temporal information to integrate auditory and visual information from continuous yet unfamiliar stimuli, we used amplitude-modulated tones and size-modulated shapes with which we could manipulate the temporal congruence between the sensory signals. These signals were independently modulated at a slow or a fast rate. Participants were presented with auditory-only, visual-only, or auditory-visual (AV) trials in the fMRI scanner. On AV trials, the auditory and visual signal could have the same (AV congruent) or different modulation rates (AV incongruent). Using psychophysiological interaction analyses, we found that auditory regions showed increased functional connectivity predominantly with frontal regions for AV incongruent relative to AV congruent stimuli. We further found that superior temporal regions, shown previously to integrate auditory and visual signals, showed increased connectivity with frontal and parietal regions for the same contrast. Our findings provide evidence that both activity in a network of brain regions and their connectivity are important for AV integration, and help to bridge the gap between transient and familiar AV stimuli used in previous studies.

  11. Conditional gene deletion reveals functional redundancy of GABAB receptors in peripheral nociceptors in vivo

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    Bettler Bernhard

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA is an important inhibitory neurotransmitter which mainly mediates its effects on neurons via ionotropic (GABAA and metabotropic (GABAB receptors. GABAB receptors are widely expressed in the central and the peripheral nervous system. Although there is evidence for a key function of GABAB receptors in the modulation of pain, the relative contribution of peripherally- versus centrally-expressed GABAB receptors is unclear. Results In order to elucidate the functional relevance of GABAB receptors expressed in peripheral nociceptive neurons in pain modulation we generated and analyzed conditional mouse mutants lacking functional GABAB(1 subunit specifically in nociceptors, preserving expression in the spinal cord and brain (SNS-GABAB(1-/- mice. Lack of the GABAB(1 subunit precludes the assembly of functional GABAB receptor. We analyzed SNS-GABAB(1-/- mice and their control littermates in several models of acute and neuropathic pain. Electrophysiological studies on peripheral afferents revealed higher firing frequencies in SNS-GABAB(1-/- mice compared to corresponding control littermates. However no differences were seen in basal nociceptive sensitivity between these groups. The development of neuropathic and chronic inflammatory pain was similar across the two genotypes. The duration of nocifensive responses evoked by intraplantar formalin injection was prolonged in the SNS-GABAB(1-/- animals as compared to their control littermates. Pharmacological experiments revealed that systemic baclofen-induced inhibition of formalin-induced nociceptive behaviors was not dependent upon GABAB(1 expression in nociceptors. Conclusion This study addressed contribution of GABAB receptors expressed on primary afferent nociceptive fibers to the modulation of pain. We observed that neither the development of acute and chronic pain nor the analgesic effects of a systematically-delivered GABAB agonist was significantly

  12. Cholinergic modulation of cognition: Insights from human pharmacological functional neuroimaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Paul; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2011-01-01

    Evidence from lesion and cortical-slice studies implicate the neocortical cholinergic system in the modulation of sensory, attentional and memory processing. In this review we consider findings from sixty-three healthy human cholinergic functional neuroimaging studies that probe interactions of cholinergic drugs with brain activation profiles, and relate these to contemporary neurobiological models. Consistent patterns that emerge are: (1) the direction of cholinergic modulation of sensory cortex activations depends upon top-down influences; (2) cholinergic hyperstimulation reduces top-down selective modulation of sensory cortices; (3) cholinergic hyperstimulation interacts with task-specific frontoparietal activations according to one of several patterns, including: suppression of parietal-mediated reorienting; decreasing ‘effort’-associated activations in prefrontal regions; and deactivation of a ‘resting-state network’ in medial cortex, with reciprocal recruitment of dorsolateral frontoparietal regions during performance-challenging conditions; (4) encoding-related activations in both neocortical and hippocampal regions are disrupted by cholinergic blockade, or enhanced with cholinergic stimulation, while the opposite profile is observed during retrieval; (5) many examples exist of an ‘inverted-U shaped’ pattern of cholinergic influences by which the direction of functional neural activation (and performance) depends upon both task (e.g. relative difficulty) and subject (e.g. age) factors. Overall, human cholinergic functional neuroimaging studies both corroborate and extend physiological accounts of cholinergic function arising from other experimental contexts, while providing mechanistic insights into cholinergic-acting drugs and their potential clinical applications. PMID:21708219

  13. The nature of relaxation processes revealed by the action signals of phase modulated light fields

    CERN Document Server

    Osipov, Vladimir Al; Hansen, Thorsten; Pullerits, Tõnu; Karki, Khadga Jung

    2016-01-01

    In the article we develop a theory of the action signals induced by the two-photon absorption of two phase modulated laser beams. In such experiments the phase of each laser beams is modulated at the frequencies $\\phi_1$ and $\\phi_2$, respectively, and the nonlinear signals are isolated at frequencies $m\\phi=m(\\phi_1-\\phi_2)$ ($m=0,1,2,\\dots$). We demonstrate that the ratio of the amplitudes of primary ($m=1$) and secondary ($m=2$) signals, $A_{\\phi}:A_{2\\phi}$, can be used as an indicator of the type of relaxation processes taking place in the material. The reference ratio value $4:1$ is achieved for the fast linear relaxation processes, and changes smoothly as the relaxation time increases. In case of bimolecular relaxation the ratio becomes a rapidly changing function of the excitation intensity. Our theoretical findings are supported by the experimental observations.

  14. Robust fractional order differentiators using generalized modulating functions method

    KAUST Repository

    Liu, Dayan

    2015-02-01

    This paper aims at designing a fractional order differentiator for a class of signals satisfying a linear differential equation with unknown parameters. A generalized modulating functions method is proposed first to estimate the unknown parameters, then to derive accurate integral formulae for the left-sided Riemann-Liouville fractional derivatives of the studied signal. Unlike the improper integral in the definition of the left-sided Riemann-Liouville fractional derivative, the integrals in the proposed formulae can be proper and be considered as a low-pass filter by choosing appropriate modulating functions. Hence, digital fractional order differentiators applicable for on-line applications are deduced using a numerical integration method in discrete noisy case. Moreover, some error analysis are given for noise error contributions due to a class of stochastic processes. Finally, numerical examples are given to show the accuracy and robustness of the proposed fractional order differentiators.

  15. Resting-state brain organization revealed by functional covariance networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiqiang Zhang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Brain network studies using techniques of intrinsic connectivity network based on fMRI time series (TS-ICN and structural covariance network (SCN have mapped out functional and structural organization of human brain at respective time scales. However, there lacks a meso-time-scale network to bridge the ICN and SCN and get insights of brain functional organization. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We proposed a functional covariance network (FCN method by measuring the covariance of amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF in BOLD signals across subjects, and compared the patterns of ALFF-FCNs with the TS-ICNs and SCNs by mapping the brain networks of default network, task-positive network and sensory networks. We demonstrated large overlap among FCNs, ICNs and SCNs and modular nature in FCNs and ICNs by using conjunctional analysis. Most interestingly, FCN analysis showed a network dichotomy consisting of anti-correlated high-level cognitive system and low-level perceptive system, which is a novel finding different from the ICN dichotomy consisting of the default-mode network and the task-positive network. CONCLUSION: The current study proposed an ALFF-FCN approach to measure the interregional correlation of brain activity responding to short periods of state, and revealed novel organization patterns of resting-state brain activity from an intermediate time scale.

  16. Human skin hypoxia modulates cerebrovascular and autonomic functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivia Pucci

    Full Text Available Because the skin is an oxygen sensor in amphibians and mice, we thought to confirm this function also in humans. The human upright posture, however, introduces additional functional demands for the maintenance of oxygen homeostasis in which cerebral blood flow and autonomic nervous system (ANS function may also be involved. We examined nine males and three females. While subjects were breathing ambient air, at sea level, we changed gases in a plastic body-bag during two conditions of the experiment such as to induce skin hypoxia (with pure nitrogen or skin normoxia (with air. The subjects performed a test of hypoxic ventilatory drive during each condition of the experiment. We found no differences in the hypoxic ventilatory drive tests. However, ANS function and cerebral blood flow velocities were modulated by skin hypoxia and the effect was significantly greater on the left than right middle cerebral arteries. We conclude that skin hypoxia modulates ANS function and cerebral blood flow velocities and this might impact life styles and tolerance to ambient hypoxia at altitude. Thus the skin in normal humans, in addition to its numerous other functions, is also an oxygen sensor.

  17. Parametric dependence of ocean wave-radar modulation transfer functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant, W. J.; Keller, W. C.; Cross, A.

    1983-01-01

    Microwave techniques at X and L band were used to determine the dependence of ocean-wave radar modulation transfer functions (MTFs) on various environmental and radar parameters during the Marine Remote Sensing experiment of 1979 (MARSEN 79). These MIF are presented, as are coherence functions between the AM and FM parts of the backscattered microwave signal. It is shown that they both depend on several of these parameters. Besides confirming many of the properties of transfer functions reported by previous authors, indications are found that MTFs decrease with increasing angle between wave propagation and antenna-look directions but are essentially independent of small changes in air-sea temperature difference. However, coherence functions are much smaller when the antennas are pointed perpendicular to long waves. It is found that X band transfer functions measured with horizontally polarized microwave radiation have larger magnitudes than those obtained by using vertical polarization.

  18. A functional network module for Smith-Magenis syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girirajan, S; Truong, H T; Blanchard, C L; Elsea, S H

    2009-04-01

    Disorders with overlapping diagnostic features are grouped into a network module. Based on phenotypic similarities or differential diagnoses, it is possible to identify functional pathways leading to individual features. We generated a Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS)-specific network module utilizing patient clinical data, text mining from the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man database, and in vitro functional analysis. We tested our module by functional studies based on a hypothesis that RAI1 acts through phenotype-specific pathways involving several downstream genes, which are altered due to RAI1 haploinsufficiency. A preliminary genome-wide gene expression study was performed using microarrays on RAI1 haploinsufficient cells created by RNAi-based approximately 50% knockdown of RAI1 in HEK293T cells. The top dysregulated genes were involved in growth signaling and insulin sensitivity, neuronal differentiation, lipid biosynthesis and fat mobilization, circadian activity, behavior, renal, cardiovascular and skeletal development, gene expression, and cell-cycle regulation and recombination, reflecting the spectrum of clinical features observed in SMS. Validation using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction confirmed the gene expression profile of 75% of the selected genes analyzed in both HEK293T RAI1 knockdown cells and SMS lymphoblastoid cell lines. Overall, these data support a method for identifying genes and pathways responsible for individual clinical features in a complex disorder such as SMS.

  19. Modeling reveals bistability and low-pass filtering in the network module determining blood stem cell fate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jatin Narula

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Combinatorial regulation of gene expression is ubiquitous in eukaryotes with multiple inputs converging on regulatory control elements. The dynamic properties of these elements determine the functionality of genetic networks regulating differentiation and development. Here we propose a method to quantitatively characterize the regulatory output of distant enhancers with a biophysical approach that recursively determines free energies of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions from experimental analysis of transcriptional reporter libraries. We apply this method to model the Scl-Gata2-Fli1 triad-a network module important for cell fate specification of hematopoietic stem cells. We show that this triad module is inherently bistable with irreversible transitions in response to physiologically relevant signals such as Notch, Bmp4 and Gata1 and we use the model to predict the sensitivity of the network to mutations. We also show that the triad acts as a low-pass filter by switching between steady states only in response to signals that persist for longer than a minimum duration threshold. We have found that the auto-regulation loops connecting the slow-degrading Scl to Gata2 and Fli1 are crucial for this low-pass filtering property. Taken together our analysis not only reveals new insights into hematopoietic stem cell regulatory network functionality but also provides a novel and widely applicable strategy to incorporate experimental measurements into dynamical network models.

  20. Investigation of electrostatic performance for a conical surrounding gate MOSFET with linearly modulated work-function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramkrishna, B. S.; Jena, B.; Dash, S.; Mishra, G. P.

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, for the first time a continuous variation of work-function based gate metal has been introduced in conical surrounding gate MOSFET. Here, a comparative study of the electrostatic as well as RF characteristics for basic conical surrounding gate MOSFET and the work-function modulated conical MOSFET is carried out using TCAD device simulator. These simulated results reveal that the work-function modulated conical model provides better electrostatic and RF performance in terms of drain current, transconductance, transconductance generation factor, unity gain cut-off frequency and intrinsic delay. An overall performance investigation has been presented for both the aforementioned models and verified using TCAD device simulator from Synopsys.

  1. Temporal changes in milk proteomes reveal developing milk functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Xinliu; McMahon, Robert J; Woo, Jessica G; Davidson, Barbara S; Morrow, Ardythe L; Zhang, Qiang

    2012-07-06

    Human milk proteins provide essential nutrition for growth and development, and support a number of vital developmental processes in the neonate. A complete understanding of the possible functions of human milk proteins has been limited by incomplete knowledge of the human milk proteome. In this report, we have analyzed the proteomes of whey from human transitional and mature milk using ion-exchange and SDS-PAGE based protein fractionation methods. With a larger-than-normal sample loading approach, we are able to largely extend human milk proteome to 976 proteins. Among them, 152 proteins are found to render significant regulatory changes between transitional milk and mature milk. We further found that immunoglobulins sIgA and IgM are more abundant in transitional milk, whereas IgG is more abundant in mature milk, suggesting a transformation in defense mechanism from newborns to young infants. Additionally, we report a more comprehensive view of a complement system and associated regulatory apparatus in human milk, demonstrating the presence and function of a system similar to that found in the circulation but prevailed by alternative pathway in complement activation. Proteins involved in various aspects of carbohydrate metabolism are also described, revealing either a transition in milk functionality to accommodate carbohydrate-rich secretions as lactation progresses, or a potentially novel way of looking at the metabolic state of the mammary tissue. Lately, a number of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins are found to be in higher abundance in transitional milk and may be relevant to the development of infants' gastrointestinal tract in early life. In contrast, the ECM protein fibronectin and several of the actin cytoskeleton proteins that it regulates are more abundant in mature milk, which may indicate the important functional role for milk in regulating reactive oxygen species.

  2. Degree of musical expertise modulates higher order brain functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oechslin, Mathias S; Van De Ville, Dimitri; Lazeyras, François; Hauert, Claude-Alain; James, Clara E

    2013-09-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show for the first time that levels of musical expertise stepwise modulate higher order brain functioning. This suggests that degree of training intensity drives such cerebral plasticity. Participants (non-musicians, amateurs, and expert musicians) listened to a comprehensive set of specifically composed string quartets with hierarchically manipulated endings. In particular, we implemented 2 irregularities at musical closure that differed in salience but were both within the tonality of the piece (in-key). Behavioral sensitivity scores (d') of both transgressions perfectly separated participants according to their level of musical expertise. By contrasting brain responses to harmonic transgressions against regular endings, functional brain imaging data showed compelling evidence for stepwise modulation of brain responses by both violation strength and expertise level in a fronto-temporal network hosting universal functions of working memory and attention. Additional independent testing evidenced an advantage in visual working memory for the professionals, which could be predicted by musical training intensity. The here introduced findings of brain plasticity demonstrate the progressive impact of musical training on cognitive brain functions that may manifest well beyond the field of music processing.

  3. Pro-cognitive drug effects modulate functional brain network organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten eGiessing

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies document that cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs improve attention, memory and cognitive control in healthy subjects and patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. In humans neural mechanisms of cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation have mainly been analyzed by investigating drug-induced changes of task-related neural activity measured with fMRI. Endogenous neural activity has often been neglected. Further, although drugs affect the coupling between neurons, only a few human studies have explicitly addressed how drugs modulate the functional connectome, i.e. the functional neural interactions within the brain. These studies have mainly focused on synchronization or correlation of brain activations. Recently, there are some drug studies using graph theory and other new mathematical approaches to model the brain as a complex network of interconnected processing nodes. Using such measures it is possible to detect not only focal, but also subtle, widely distributed drug effects on functional network topology. Most important, graph theoretical measures also quantify whether drug-induced changes in topology or network organization facilitate or hinder information processing. Several studies could show that functional brain integration is highly correlated with behavioral performance suggesting that cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs which improve measures of cognitive performance should increase functional network integration. The purpose of this paper is to show that graph theory provides a mathematical tool to develop theory-driven biomarkers of pro-cognitive drug effects, and also to discuss how these approaches can contribute to the understanding of the role of cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation in the human brain. Finally we discuss the global workspace theory as a theoretical framework of pro-cognitive drug effects and argue that pro-cognitive effects of cholinergic and noradrenergic drugs might be related to higher

  4. Functional metabolomics reveals novel active products in the DHA metabolome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masakazu eShinohara

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Endogenous mechanisms for successful resolution of an acute inflammatory response and the local return to homeostasis are of interest because excessive inflammation underlies many human diseases. In this review, we provide an update and overview of functional metabolomics that identified a new bioactive metabolome of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA. Systematic studies revealed that DHA was converted to DHEA-derived novel bioactive products as well as aspirin-triggered (AT forms of protectins. The new oxygenated DHEA derived products blocked PMN chemotaxis, reduced P-selectin expression and platelet-leukocyte adhesion, and showed organ protection in ischemia/reperfusion injury. These products activated cannabinoid receptor (CB2 receptor and not CB1 receptors. The AT-PD1 reduced neutrophil (PMN recruitment in murine peritonitis. With human cells, AT-PD1 decreased transendothelial PMN migration as well as enhanced efferocytosis of apoptotic human PMN by macrophages. The recent findings reviewed here indicate that DHEA oxidative metabolism and aspirin-triggered conversion of DHA produce potent novel molecules with anti-inflammatory and organ-protective properties, opening the DHA metabolome functional roles.

  5. Holistic atlases of functional networks and interactions reveal reciprocal organizational architecture of cortical function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Jinglei; Jiang, Xi; Li, Xiang; Zhu, Dajiang; Zhang, Shu; Zhao, Shijie; Chen, Hanbo; Zhang, Tuo; Hu, Xintao; Han, Junwei; Ye, Jieping; Guo, Lei; Liu, Tianming

    2015-04-01

    For decades, it has been largely unknown to what extent multiple functional networks spatially overlap/interact with each other and jointly realize the total cortical function. Here, by developing novel sparse representation of whole-brain fMRI signals and by using the recently publicly released large-scale Human Connectome Project high-quality fMRI data, we show that a number of reproducible and robust functional networks, including both task-evoked and resting state networks, are simultaneously distributed in distant neuroanatomic areas and substantially spatially overlapping with each other, thus forming an initial collection of holistic atlases of functional networks and interactions (HAFNIs). More interestingly, the HAFNIs revealed two distinct patterns of highly overlapped regions and highly specialized regions and exhibited that these two patterns of areas are reciprocally localized, revealing a novel organizational principle of cortical function.

  6. Modulation of Vascular Cell Function by Bim Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret E. Morrison

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Apoptosis of vascular cells, including pericytes and endothelial cells, contributes to disease pathogenesis in which vascular rarefaction plays a central role. Bim is a proapoptotic protein that modulates not only apoptosis but also cellular functions such as migration and extracellular matrix (ECM protein expression. Endothelial cells and pericytes each make a unique contribution to vascular formation and function although the details require further delineation. Here we set out to determine the cell autonomous impact of Bim expression on retinal endothelial cell and pericyte function using cells prepared from Bim deficient (Bim−/− mice. Bim−/− endothelial cells displayed an increased production of ECM proteins, proliferation, migration, adhesion, and VEGF expression but, a decreased eNOS expression and nitric oxide production. In contrast, pericyte proliferation decreased in the absence of Bim while migration, adhesion, and VEGF expression were increased. In addition, we demonstrated that the coculturing of either wild-type or Bim−/− endothelial cells with Bim−/− pericytes diminished their capillary morphogenesis. Thus, our data further emphasizes the importance of vascular cell autonomous regulatory mechanisms in modulation of vascular function.

  7. Modulation of vascular cell function by bim expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Margaret E; Palenski, Tammy L; Jamali, Nasim; Sheibani, Nader; Sorenson, Christine M

    2013-01-01

    Apoptosis of vascular cells, including pericytes and endothelial cells, contributes to disease pathogenesis in which vascular rarefaction plays a central role. Bim is a proapoptotic protein that modulates not only apoptosis but also cellular functions such as migration and extracellular matrix (ECM) protein expression. Endothelial cells and pericytes each make a unique contribution to vascular formation and function although the details require further delineation. Here we set out to determine the cell autonomous impact of Bim expression on retinal endothelial cell and pericyte function using cells prepared from Bim deficient (Bim(-/-)) mice. Bim(-/-) endothelial cells displayed an increased production of ECM proteins, proliferation, migration, adhesion, and VEGF expression but, a decreased eNOS expression and nitric oxide production. In contrast, pericyte proliferation decreased in the absence of Bim while migration, adhesion, and VEGF expression were increased. In addition, we demonstrated that the coculturing of either wild-type or Bim(-/-) endothelial cells with Bim(-/-) pericytes diminished their capillary morphogenesis. Thus, our data further emphasizes the importance of vascular cell autonomous regulatory mechanisms in modulation of vascular function.

  8. Dissociable modulation of overt visual attention in valence and arousal revealed by topology of scan path.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianguang Ni

    Full Text Available Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion, have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low. Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal.

  9. Estimation of presampling modulation transfer function in synchrotron radiation microtomography

    CERN Document Server

    Mizutani, Ryuta; Takeuchi, Akihisa; Uesugi, Kentaro; Suzuki, Yoshio

    2016-01-01

    The spatial resolution achieved by recent synchrotron radiation microtomographs should be estimated from the modulation transfer function (MTF) on the micrometer scale. Step response functions of a synchrotron radiation microtomograph were determined by the slanted edge method by using high-precision surfaces of diamond crystal and ion-milled aluminum wire. Tilted reconstruction was introduced to enable any edge to be used as the slanted edge by defining the reconstruction pixel matrix in an arbitrary orientation. MTFs were estimated from the step response functions of the slanted edges. The obtained MTFs coincided with MTF values estimated from square-wave patterns milled on the aluminum surface. Although x-ray refraction influences should be taken into account to evaluate MTFs, any flat surfaces with nanometer roughness can be used to determine the spatial resolutions of microtomographs.

  10. Cholinergic modulation of the hippocampal region and memory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haam, Juhee; Yakel, Jerrel L

    2017-08-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) plays an important role in memory function and has been implicated in aging-related dementia, in which the impairment of hippocampus-dependent learning strongly manifests. Cholinergic neurons densely innervate the hippocampus, mediating the formation of episodic as well as semantic memory. Here, we will review recent findings on acetylcholine's modulation of memory function, with a particular focus on hippocampus-dependent learning, and the circuits involved. In addition, we will discuss the complexity of ACh actions in memory function to better understand the physiological role of ACh in memory. This is an article for the special issue XVth International Symposium on Cholinergic Mechanisms. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  11. The modulation of WTI transcription function by cofactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Stefan G E

    2006-01-01

    Wilms' tumour is a paediatric malignancy of the kidneys that affects one in every 10,000 live births, making it the most common solid tumour in the young. This cancer arises due to a failure of the metanephric mesenchyme to differentiate and form the kidney filtration units and tubules, which instead undergo uncontrolled proliferation. WT1 (Wilms' tumour 1) was identified as a factor that is frequently mutated in Wilms' tumours. WT1 plays a central role in the development of the genito-urinary organs and also other regions of the embryo. A major function of WT1 is to act as a regulator of transcription, controlling the expression of genes that are involved in proliferation and differentiation. WT1 can either activate or repress transcription of its target genes. Thus the transcription function of WT1 is highly context-specific, and can be modulated by a number of cofactors. Here, the known interaction partners of WT1 and the mechanisms by which they modulate WT1 transcription function will be discussed.

  12. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) as Function Promoting Therapies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Shalender; Jasuja, Ravi

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of review The last decade has witnessed unprecedented discovery effort to develop selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) that improve physical function and bone health without adversely affecting the prostate and cardiovascular outcomes. This review describes the historical evolution, the rationale for SARM development, and the mechanisms of testosterone action and SARM selectivity. Recent Findings While steroidal SARMs have been around since the 1940s, a number of nonsteroidal SARMs that do not serve as substrates for CYP19 aromatase or 5α-reductase, act as full agonists in muscle and bone and as partial agonists in prostate are in development. The differing interactions of steroidal and nonsteroidal compounds with AR contribute to their unique pharmacologic actions. Ligand binding induces specific conformational changes in the ligand binding domain, which could modulate surface topology and protein-protein interactions between AR and coregulators, resulting in tissue-specific gene regulation. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the ability of SARMs to increase muscle and bone mass in preclinical rodent models with varying degree of prostate sparing. Phase I trials of SARMs in humans have reported modest increments in fat-free mass. Summary SARMs hold promise as a new class of function promoting anabolic therapies for a number of clinical indications, including functional limitations associated with aging and chronic disease, frailty, cancer cachexia, and osteoporosis. PMID:19357508

  13. Gap junction modulation and its implications for heart function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtenbach, Stefan; Kurtenbach, Sarah; Zoidl, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction communication (GJC) mediated by connexins is critical for heart function. To gain insight into the causal relationship of molecular mechanisms of disease pathology, it is important to understand which mechanisms contribute to impairment of gap junctional communication. Here, we present an update on the known modulators of connexins, including various interaction partners, kinases, and signaling cascades. This gap junction network (GJN) can serve as a blueprint for data mining approaches exploring the growing number of publicly available data sets from experimental and clinical studies.

  14. Gap junction modulation and its implications for heart function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan eKurtenbach

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction communication mediated by connexins is critical for heart function. To gain insight into the causal relationship of molecular mechanisms of disease pathology, it is important to understand which mechanisms contribute to impairment of gap junctional communication. Here, we present an update on the known modulators of connexins, including various interaction partners, kinases and signaling cascades. This gap junction network can serve as a blueprint for data mining approaches exploring the growing number of publicly available data sets from experimental and clinical studies.

  15. A Method of Clustering Components into Modules Based on Products' Functional and Structural Analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MENG Xiang-hui; JIANG Zu-hua; ZHENG Ying-fei

    2006-01-01

    Modularity is the key to improving the cost-variety trade-off in product development. To achieve the functional independency and structural independency of modules, a method of clustering components to identify modules based on functional and structural analysis was presented. Two stages were included in the method. In the first stage the products' function was analyzed to determine the primary level of modules. Then the objective function for modules identifying was formulated to achieve functional independency of modules. Finally the genetic algorithm was used to solve the combinatorial optimization problem in modules identifying to form the primary modules of products. In the second stage the cohesion degree of modules and the coupling degree between modules were analyzed. Based on this structural analysis the modular scheme was refined according to the thinking of structural independency. A case study on the gear reducer was conducted to illustrate the validity of the presented method.

  16. Module-based quality system functionality evaluation in production logistics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khabbazi, M.R.; Wikander, J.; Onori, M.; Maffei, A.; Chen, D.

    2016-07-01

    This paper addresses a comprehensive modeling and functionality evaluation of a module-based quality system in production logistics at the highest domain abstract level of business processes. All domain quality business processes and quality data transactions are modeled using BPMN and UML tools and standards at the business process and data modeling. A modular web-based prototype is developed to evaluate the models addressing the quality information system functionality requirements and modularity in production logistics through data scenarios and data queries. Using the object-oriented technique in design at the highest domain level, the proposed models are subject further development in the lower levels for the implementing case. The models are specifically able to manipulate all quality operations including remedy and control in a lot-based make-to-order production logistics system as an individual module. Due to the specification of system as domain design structure, all proposed BPMs, data models, and the actual database prototype are seen referential if not a solution as a practical “to-be” quality business process re-engineering template. This paper sets out to provide an explanatory approach using different practical technique at modeling steps as well as the prototype implementation. (Author)

  17. Enhancing NMDA Receptor Function: Recent Progress on Allosteric Modulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are subtype glutamate receptors that play important roles in excitatory neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Their hypo- or hyperactivation are proposed to contribute to the genesis or progression of various brain diseases, including stroke, schizophrenia, depression, and Alzheimer's disease. Past efforts in targeting NMDARs for therapeutic intervention have largely been on inhibitors of NMDARs. In light of the discovery of NMDAR hypofunction in psychiatric disorders and perhaps Alzheimer's disease, efforts in boosting NMDAR activity/functions have surged in recent years. In this review, we will focus on enhancing NMDAR functions, especially on the recent progress in the generation of subunit-selective, allosteric positive modulators (PAMs) of NMDARs. We shall also discuss the usefulness of these newly developed NMDAR-PAMs. PMID:28163934

  18. Enhancing NMDA Receptor Function: Recent Progress on Allosteric Modulators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lulu Yao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs are subtype glutamate receptors that play important roles in excitatory neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Their hypo- or hyperactivation are proposed to contribute to the genesis or progression of various brain diseases, including stroke, schizophrenia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Past efforts in targeting NMDARs for therapeutic intervention have largely been on inhibitors of NMDARs. In light of the discovery of NMDAR hypofunction in psychiatric disorders and perhaps Alzheimer’s disease, efforts in boosting NMDAR activity/functions have surged in recent years. In this review, we will focus on enhancing NMDAR functions, especially on the recent progress in the generation of subunit-selective, allosteric positive modulators (PAMs of NMDARs. We shall also discuss the usefulness of these newly developed NMDAR-PAMs.

  19. Beta Function Measurement in the Tevatron Using Quadrupole Gradient Modulation

    CERN Document Server

    Jansson, Andreas; Volk, James T

    2005-01-01

    Early in Run2, there was an effort to compare the different emittance measurements in the Tevatron (flying wires and synchtotron light) and understand the origin of the observed differences. To measure the beta function at a few key locations near the instruments, air-core quadrupoles were installed. By modulating the gradient of these magents and measuring the effect on the tune, the lattice parameters can be extracted. Initially, the results seem to disagree with with other methods. At the time, the lattice was strongly coupled due to a skew component in the main dipoles, caused by sagging of the cryostat. After a large fraction of the superconducting magnets were shimmed to remove a strong skew quadrupole component, the results now agree with expectations, confirming that the beta function is not the major error source of discrepancy in the emittance measurement.

  20. Fatty acids as modulators of neutrophil recruitment, function and survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Hosana G; Takeo Sato, Fabio; Curi, Rui; Vinolo, Marco A R

    2016-08-15

    Neutrophils are well-known to act in the destruction of invading microorganisms. They have also been implicated in the activation of other immune cells including B- and T-lymphocytes and in the resolution of inflammation and tissue regeneration. Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow and released into the circulation from where they migrate to tissues to perform their effector functions. Neutrophils are in constant contact with fatty acids that can modulate their function, activation and fate (survival or cell death) through different mechanisms. In this review, the effects of fatty acids pertaining to five classes, namely, long-chain saturated fatty acids (LCSFAs), short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and omega-3 (n-3), omega-6 (n-6) and omega-9 (n-9) unsaturated fatty acids, on neutrophils and the relevance of these effects for disease development are discussed.

  1. ENSO and its modulations on annual and multidecadal timescales revealed by Nonlinear Laplacian Spectral Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannakis, D.; Slawinska, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    The variability of the Indo-Pacific Ocean on interannual to multidecadal timescales is investigated in a millennial control run of CCSM4 and in observations using a recently introduced technique called Nonlinear Laplacian Spectral Analysis (NLSA). Through this technique, drawbacks associated with ad hoc pre-filtering of the input data are avoided, enabling recovery of low-frequency and intermittent modes not accessible previously via classical approaches. Here, a multiscale hierarchy of modes is identified for Indo-Pacific SST and numerous linkages between these patterns are revealed. On interannual timescales, a mode with spatiotemporal pattern corresponding to the fundamental component of ENSO emerges, along with modulations of the annual cycle by ENSO in agreement with ENSO combination mode theory. In spatiotemporal reconstructions, these patterns capture the seasonal southward migration of SST and zonal wind anomalies associated with termination of El Niño and La Niña events. Notably, this family of modes explains a significant portion of SST variance in Eastern Indian Ocean regions employed in the definition of Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) indices, suggesting that it should be useful for understanding the linkage of these indices with ENSO and the interaction of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In model data, we find that the ENSO and ENSO combination modes are modulated on multidecadal timescales by a mode predominantly active in the western tropical Pacific - we call this mode West Pacific Multidecadal Oscillation (WPMO). Despite the relatively low variance explained by this mode, its dynamical role appears to be significant as it has clear sign-dependent modulating relationships with the interannual modes carrying most of the variance. In particular, cold WPMO events are associated with anomalous Central Pacific westerlies favoring stronger ENSO events, while warm WPMO events suppress ENSO activity. Moreover, the WPMO has significant climatic impacts as

  2. Key herbivores reveal limited functional redundancy on inshore coral reefs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Johansson, C.L.; Leemput, van de I.A.; Depczynski, M.; Hoey, A.S.; Bellwood, D.R.

    2013-01-01

    Marine ecosystems are facing increasing exposure to a range of stressors and declines in critical ecological functions. The likelihood of further loss of functions and resilience is dependent, in part, on the extent of functional redundancy (i.e. the capacity of one species to functionally compensat

  3. System identification and model reduction using modulating function techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yan

    1993-01-01

    Weighted least squares (WLS) and adaptive weighted least squares (AWLS) algorithms are initiated for continuous-time system identification using Fourier type modulating function techniques. Two stochastic signal models are examined using the mean square properties of the stochastic calculus: an equation error signal model with white noise residuals, and a more realistic white measurement noise signal model. The covariance matrices in each model are shown to be banded and sparse, and a joint likelihood cost function is developed which links the real and imaginary parts of the modulated quantities. The superior performance of above algorithms is demonstrated by comparing them with the LS/MFT and popular predicting error method (PEM) through 200 Monte Carlo simulations. A model reduction problem is formulated with the AWLS/MFT algorithm, and comparisons are made via six examples with a variety of model reduction techniques, including the well-known balanced realization method. Here the AWLS/MFT algorithm manifests higher accuracy in almost all cases, and exhibits its unique flexibility and versatility. Armed with this model reduction, the AWLS/MFT algorithm is extended into MIMO transfer function system identification problems. The impact due to the discrepancy in bandwidths and gains among subsystem is explored through five examples. Finally, as a comprehensive application, the stability derivatives of the longitudinal and lateral dynamics of an F-18 aircraft are identified using physical flight data provided by NASA. A pole-constrained SIMO and MIMO AWLS/MFT algorithm is devised and analyzed. Monte Carlo simulations illustrate its high-noise rejecting properties. Utilizing the flight data, comparisons among different MFT algorithms are tabulated and the AWLS is found to be strongly favored in almost all facets.

  4. Modulating functional and dysfunctional mentalizing by transcranial magnetic stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias eSchuwerk

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Mentalizing, the ability to attribute mental states to others and oneself, is a cognitive function with high relevance for social interactions. Recent neuroscientific research has increasingly contributed to attempts to decompose this complex social cognitive function into constituting neurocognitive building blocks. Additionally, clinical research that focuses on social cognition to find links between impaired social functioning and neurophysiological deviations has accumulated evidence that mentalizing is affected in most psychiatric disorders. Recently, both lines of research have started to employ transcranial magnetic stimulation: the first to modulate mentalizing in order to specify its neurocognitive components, the latter to treat impaired mentalizing in clinical conditions. This review integrates findings of these two different approaches to draw a more detailed picture of the neurocognitive basis of mentalizing and its deviations in psychiatric disorders. Moreover, we evaluate the effectiveness of hitherto employed stimulation techniques and protocols, paradigms and outcome measures. Based on this overview we highlight new directions for future research on the neurocognitive basis of functional and dysfunctional social cognition.

  5. The functional modulation of epigenetic regulators by alternative splicing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martínez-Balbás Marian

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Epigenetic regulators (histone acetyltransferases, methyltransferases, chromatin-remodelling enzymes, etc play a fundamental role in the control of gene expression by modifying the local state of chromatin. However, due to their recent discovery, little is yet known about their own regulation. This paper addresses this point, focusing on alternative splicing regulation, a mechanism already known to play an important role in other protein families, e.g. transcription factors, membrane receptors, etc. Results To this end, we compiled the data available on the presence/absence of alternative splicing for a set of 160 different epigenetic regulators, taking advantage of the relatively large amount of unexplored data on alternative splicing available in public databases. We found that 49 % (70 % in human of these genes express more than one transcript. We then studied their alternative splicing patterns, focusing on those changes affecting the enzyme's domain composition. In general, we found that these sequence changes correspond to different mechanisms, either repressing the enzyme's function (e.g. by creating dominant-negative inhibitors of the functional isoform or creating isoforms with new functions. Conclusion We conclude that alternative splicing of epigenetic regulators can be an important tool for the function modulation of these enzymes. Considering that the latter control the transcriptional state of large sets of genes, we propose that epigenetic regulation of gene expression is itself strongly regulated by alternative splicing.

  6. Single particle tracking with sterol modulation reveals the cholesterol-mediated diffusion properties of integrin receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Neha; Syed, Aleem; Sander, Suzanne; Smith, Emily A.

    2014-12-01

    A combination of sterol modulation with cyclodextrins plus fluorescence microscopy revealed a biophysical mechanism behind cholesterol’s influence on the diffusion of a ubiquitous class of receptors called integrins. The heterogeneous diffusion of integrins bound to ligand-coated quantum dots was measured using single particle tracking (SPT), and the ensemble changes in integrin diffusion were measured by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). A 25 ± 1% reduction of membrane cholesterol resulted in three significant changes to the diffusion of ligand-bound αPS2CβPS integrins as measured by SPT. There was a 23% increase in ligand-bound mobile integrins; there was a statistically significant increase in the average diffusion coefficient inside zones of confined diffusion, and histograms of confined integrin trajectories showed an increased frequency in the range of 0.1-1 μm2 s-1 and a decreased frequency in the 0.001-0.1 μm2 s-1 range. No statistical change was measured in the duration of confinement nor the size of confined zones. Restoring the cholesterol-depleted cells with exogenous cholesterol or exogenous epicholesterol resulted in similar diffusion properties. Epicholesterol differs from cholesterol in the orientation of a single hydroxyl group. The ability of epicholesterol to substitute for cholesterol suggests a biophysical mechanism for cholesterol’s effect on integrin diffusion. Influences of bilayer thickness, viscosity and organization are discussed as possible explanations for the measured changes in integrin diffusion when the membrane cholesterol concentration is reduced.

  7. Phase noise reveals early category-specific modulation of the event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Németh, Kornél; Kovács, Petra; Vakli, Pál; Kovács, Gyula; Zimmer, Márta

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have found that the amplitude of the early event-related potential (ERP) components evoked by faces, such as N170 and P2, changes systematically as a function of noise added to the stimuli. This change has been linked to an increased perceptual processing demand and to enhanced difficulty in perceptual decision making about faces. However, to date it has not yet been tested whether noise manipulation affects the neural correlates of decisions about face and non-face stimuli similarly. To this end, we measured the ERPs for faces and cars at three different phase noise levels. Subjects performed the same two-alternative age-discrimination task on stimuli chosen from young-old morphing continua that were created from faces as well as cars and were calibrated to lead to similar performances at each noise-level. Adding phase noise to the stimuli reduced performance and enhanced response latency for the two categories to the same extent. Parallel to that, phase noise reduced the amplitude and prolonged the latency of the face-specific N170 component. The amplitude of the P1 showed category-specific noise dependence: it was enhanced over the right hemisphere for cars and over the left hemisphere for faces as a result of adding phase noise to the stimuli, but remained stable across noise levels for cars over the left and for faces over the right hemisphere. Moreover, noise modulation altered the category-selectivity of the N170, while the P2 ERP component, typically associated with task decision difficulty, was larger for the more noisy stimuli regardless of stimulus category. Our results suggest that the category-specificity of noise-induced modulations of ERP responses starts at around 100 ms post-stimulus.

  8. Control over the strength of connections between modules: a double dissociation between stimulus format and task revealed by Granger causality mapping in fMRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Britt; Soliman, Sherif; O’Malley, Shannon; Danckert, James; Besner, Derek

    2015-01-01

    Drawing on theoretical and computational work with the localist dual route reading model and results from behavioral studies, Besner et al. (2011) proposed that the ability to perform tasks that require overriding stimulus-specific defaults (e.g., semantics when naming Arabic numerals, and phonology when evaluating the parity of number words) necessitate the ability to modulate the strength of connections between cognitive modules for lexical representation, semantics, and phonology on a task- and stimulus-specific basis. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate this account by assessing changes in functional connectivity while participants performed tasks that did and did not require such stimulus-task default overrides. The occipital region showing the greatest modulation of BOLD signal strength for the two stimulus types was used as the seed region for Granger causality mapping (GCM). Our GCM analysis revealed a region of rostromedial frontal cortex with a crossover interaction. When participants performed tasks that required overriding stimulus type defaults (i.e., parity judgments of number words and naming Arabic numerals) functional connectivity between the occipital region and rostromedial frontal cortex was present. Statistically significant functional connectivity was absent when the tasks were the default for the stimulus type (i.e., parity judgments of Arabic numerals and reading number words). This frontal region (BA 10) has previously been shown to be involved in goal-directed behavior and maintenance of a specific task set. We conclude that overriding stimulus-task defaults requires a modulation of connection strengths between cognitive modules and that the override mechanism predicted from cognitive theory is instantiated by frontal modulation of neural activity of brain regions specialized for sensory processing. PMID:25870571

  9. Effects of the modulation of microbiota on the gastrointestinal immune system and bowel function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanauchi, Osamu; Andoh, Akira; Mitsuyama, Keiichi

    2013-10-23

    The gastrointestinal tract harbors a tremendous number and variety of commensal microbiota. The intestinal mucosa simultaneously absorbs essential nutrients and protects against detrimental antigens or pathogenic microbiota as the first line of defense. Beneficial interactions between the host and microbiota are key requirements for host health. Although the gut microbiota has been previously studied in the context of inflammatory diseases, it has recently become clear that this microbial environment has a beneficial role during normal homeostasis, by modulating the immune system or bowel motor function. Recent studies revealed that microbiota, including their metabolites, modulate key signaling pathways involved in the inflammation of the mucosa or the neurotransmitter system in the gut-brain axis. The underlying molecular mechanisms of host-microbiota interactions are still unclear; however, manipulation of microbiota by probiotics or prebiotics is becoming increasingly recognized as an important therapeutic option, especially for the treatment of the dysfunction or inflammation of the intestinal tract.

  10. Rhythmic Components in Extracranial Brain Signals Reveal Multifaceted Task Modulation of Overlapping Neuronal Activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roemer van der Meij

    Full Text Available Oscillatory neuronal activity is implicated in many cognitive functions, and its phase coupling between sensors may reflect networks of communicating neuronal populations. Oscillatory activity is often studied using extracranial recordings and compared between experimental conditions. This is challenging, because there is overlap between sensor-level activity generated by different sources, and this can obscure differential experimental modulations of these sources. Additionally, in extracranial data, sensor-level phase coupling not only reflects communicating populations, but can also be generated by a current dipole, whose sensor-level phase coupling does not reflect source-level interactions. We present a novel method, which is capable of separating and characterizing sources on the basis of their phase coupling patterns as a function of space, frequency and time (trials. Importantly, this method depends on a plausible model of a neurobiological rhythm. We present this model and an accompanying analysis pipeline. Next, we demonstrate our approach, using magnetoencephalographic (MEG recordings during a cued tactile detection task as a case study. We show that the extracted components have overlapping spatial maps and frequency content, which are difficult to resolve using conventional pairwise measures. Because our decomposition also provides trial loadings, components can be readily contrasted between experimental conditions. Strikingly, we observed heterogeneity in alpha and beta sources with respect to whether their activity was suppressed or enhanced as a function of attention and performance, and this happened both in task relevant and irrelevant regions. This heterogeneity contrasts with the common view that alpha and beta amplitude over sensory areas are always negatively related to attention and performance.

  11. Experimental research of limits for thermal modulation transfer function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomić Ljubiša D.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presented testing of surface defects by pulse video thermography techniques. Such techniques rely on transient infrared radiation from the sample heated by the short duration flux initiated by flesh. Experimental measurements are realized by infrared sensor (FLIR camera. Testing results are considered for the samples with controlled designed defects beyond observed surfaces. The effects of response through the transparent wall are measured as infrared visible radiance. Researches with controlled samples are performed to verify visibility threshold of defect dimensions and forms, for possible use as modulation transfer function of defects hidden beyond the surfaces of thin metal walls. Dimensionless coefficients are derived for method estimations as the results from experimental research.

  12. Control over the Strength of Connections Between Modules: A Double Dissociation Between Stimulus Format and Task Revealed by Granger Causality Mapping in fMRI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britt eAnderson

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Drawing on theoretical and computational work with the localist Dual Route reading model and results from behavioral studies, Besner, Moroz, and O'Malley (2011 proposed that the ability to perform tasks that require overriding stimulus-specific defaults (e.g., semantics when naming Arabic numerals, and phonology when evaluating the parity of number words necessitate the ability to modulate the strength of connections between cognitive modules for lexical representation, semantics, and phonology on a task- and stimulus-specific basis. We used fMRI to evaluate this account by assessing changes in functional connectivity while participants performed tasks that did and did not require such stimulus-task default overrides. The occipital region showing the greatest modulation of BOLD signal strength for the two stimulus types was used as the seed region for Granger Causality Mapping (GCM. Our GCM analysis revealed a region of rostromedial frontal cortex with a crossover interaction. When participants performed tasks that required overriding stimulus type defaults (i.e., parity judgments of number words and naming Arabic numerals functional connectivity between the occipital region and rostromedial frontal cortex was present. Statistically significant functional connectivity was absent when the tasks were the default for the stimulus type (i.e., parity judgments of Arabic numerals and reading number words. This frontal region (BA 10 has previously been shown to be involved in goal-directed behaviour and maintenance of a specific task-set. We conclude that overriding stimulus-task defaults requires a modulation of connection strengths between cognitive modules and that the override mechanism predicted from cognitive theory is instantiated by frontal modulation of neural activity of brain regions specialized for sensory processing.

  13. Reliable and rapid characterization of functional FCN2 gene variants reveals diverse geographical patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ojurongbe Olusola

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ficolin-2 coded by FCN2 gene is a soluble serum protein and an innate immune recognition element of the complement system. FCN2 gene polymorphisms reveal distinct geographical patterns and are documented to alter serum ficolin levels and modulate disease susceptibility. Methods We employed a real-time PCR based on Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET method to genotype four functional SNPs including -986 G > A (#rs3124952, -602 G > A (#rs3124953, -4A > G (#rs17514136 and +6424 G > T (#rs7851696 in the ficolin-2 (FCN2 gene. We characterized the FCN2 variants in individuals representing Brazilian (n = 176, Nigerian (n = 180, Vietnamese (n = 172 and European Caucasian ethnicity (n = 165. Results We observed that the genotype distribution of three functional SNP variants (−986 G > A, -602 G > A and -4A > G differ significantly between the populations investigated (p p  Conclusions The observed distribution of the FCN2 functional SNP variants may likely contribute to altered serum ficolin levels and this may depend on the different disease settings in world populations. To conclude, the use of FRET based real-time PCR especially for FCN2 gene will benefit a larger scientific community who extensively depend on rapid, reliable method for FCN2 genotyping.

  14. Modulation of chloride channel functions by the plant lignan compounds kobusin and eudesmin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu eJiang

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Plant lignans are diphenolic compounds widely present in vegetables, fruits and grains. These compounds have been demonstrated to have protective effect against cancer, hypertension and diabetes. In the present study, we showed that two lignan compounds, kobusin and eudesmin, isolated from Magnoliae Flos, could modulate intestinal chloride transport mediated by cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR and calcium-activated chloride channels (CaCCs chloride channels. The compounds potentiated CFTR channel function in both FRT cells and in HT-29 cells. The modulating effects of kobusin and eudesmin on the activity of CaCCgie (CaCC expressed in gastrointestinal epithelial cells were also investigated, and the result showed that both compounds could stimulate CaCCgie-mediated short-circuit currents and the stimulation was synergistic with ATP. In ex vivo studies, both compounds potentiated CFTR and CaCCgie chloride channel activities in mouse colonic epithelia. Remarkably, the compounds showed inhibitory effects toward ANO1/CaCC-mediated short-circuit currents in ANO1/CaCC-expressing FRT cells, with IC50 values of 75 M for kobusin and 100 M for eudesmin. In charcoal transit study, both compounds mildly reduced gastrointestinal motility in mice. Taken together, these results revealed a new kind of activity displayed by the lignan compounds, one that is concerned with the modulation of chloride channel function.

  15. Acidic bile salts modulate the squamous epithelial barrier function by modulating tight junction proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xin; Oshima, Tadayuki; Tomita, Toshihiko; Fukui, Hirokazu; Watari, Jiro; Matsumoto, Takayuki; Miwa, Hiroto

    2011-08-01

    Experimental models for esophageal epithelium in vitro either suffer from poor differentiation or complicated culture systems. An air-liquid interface system with normal human bronchial epithelial cells can serve as a model of esophageal-like squamous epithelial cell layers. Here, we explore the influence of bile acids on barrier function and tight junction (TJ) proteins. The cells were treated with taurocholic acid (TCA), glycocholic acid (GCA), or deoxycholic acid (DCA) at different pH values, or with pepsin. Barrier function was measured by transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and the diffusion of paracellular tracers (permeability). The expression of TJ proteins, including claudin-1 and claudin-4, was examined by Western blotting of 1% Nonidet P-40-soluble and -insoluble fractions. TCA and GCA dose-dependently decreased TEER and increased paracellular permeability at pH 3 after 1 h. TCA (4 mM) or GCA (4 mM) did not change TEER and permeability at pH 7.4 or pH 4. The combination of TCA and GCA at pH 3 significantly decreased TEER and increased permeability at lower concentrations (2 mM). Pepsin (4 mg/ml, pH 3) did not have any effect on barrier function. DCA significantly decreased the TEER and increased permeability at pH 6, a weakly acidic condition. TCA (4 mM) and GCA (4 mM) significantly decreased the insoluble fractions of claudin-1 and claudin-4 at pH 3. In conclusion, acidic bile salts disrupted the squamous epithelial barrier function partly by modulating the amounts of claudin-1 and claudin-4. These results provide new insights for understanding the role of TJ proteins in esophagitis.

  16. Posterior association networks and functional modules inferred from rich phenotypes of gene perturbations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Wang

    Full Text Available Combinatorial gene perturbations provide rich information for a systematic exploration of genetic interactions. Despite successful applications to bacteria and yeast, the scalability of this approach remains a major challenge for higher organisms such as humans. Here, we report a novel experimental and computational framework to efficiently address this challenge by limiting the 'search space' for important genetic interactions. We propose to integrate rich phenotypes of multiple single gene perturbations to robustly predict functional modules, which can subsequently be subjected to further experimental investigations such as combinatorial gene silencing. We present posterior association networks (PANs to predict functional interactions between genes estimated using a Bayesian mixture modelling approach. The major advantage of this approach over conventional hypothesis tests is that prior knowledge can be incorporated to enhance predictive power. We demonstrate in a simulation study and on biological data, that integrating complementary information greatly improves prediction accuracy. To search for significant modules, we perform hierarchical clustering with multiscale bootstrap resampling. We demonstrate the power of the proposed methodologies in applications to Ewing's sarcoma and human adult stem cells using publicly available and custom generated data, respectively. In the former application, we identify a gene module including many confirmed and highly promising therapeutic targets. Genes in the module are also significantly overrepresented in signalling pathways that are known to be critical for proliferation of Ewing's sarcoma cells. In the latter application, we predict a functional network of chromatin factors controlling epidermal stem cell fate. Further examinations using ChIP-seq, ChIP-qPCR and RT-qPCR reveal that the basis of their genetic interactions may arise from transcriptional cross regulation. A Bioconductor package

  17. The small GTPase Arf1 modulates mitochondrial morphology and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackema, Karin B; Hench, Jürgen; Böckler, Stefan; Wang, Shyi Chyi; Sauder, Ursula; Mergentaler, Heidi; Westermann, Benedikt; Bard, Frédéric; Frank, Stephan; Spang, Anne

    2014-11-18

    The small GTPase Arf1 plays critical roles in membrane traffic by initiating the recruitment of coat proteins and by modulating the activity of lipid-modifying enzymes. Here, we report an unexpected but evolutionarily conserved role for Arf1 and the ArfGEF GBF1 at mitochondria. Loss of function of ARF-1 or GBF-1 impaired mitochondrial morphology and activity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Similarly, mitochondrial defects were observed in mammalian and yeast cells. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, aberrant clusters of the mitofusin Fzo1 accumulated in arf1-11 mutants and were resolved by overexpression of Cdc48, an AAA-ATPase involved in ER and mitochondria-associated degradation processes. Yeast Arf1 co-fractionated with ER and mitochondrial membranes and interacted genetically with the contact site component Gem1. Furthermore, similar mitochondrial abnormalities resulted from knockdown of either GBF-1 or contact site components in worms, suggesting that the role of Arf1 in mitochondrial functioning is linked to ER-mitochondrial contacts. Thus, Arf1 is involved in mitochondrial homeostasis and dynamics, independent of its role in vesicular traffic.

  18. NAD+ Modulates p53 DNA Binding Specificity and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLure, Kevin G.; Takagi, Masatoshi; Kastan, Michael B.

    2004-01-01

    DNA damage induces p53 DNA binding activity, which affects tumorigenesis, tumor responses to therapies, and the toxicities of cancer therapies (B. Vogelstein, D. Lane, and A. J. Levine, Nature 408:307-310, 2000; K. H. Vousden and X. Lu, Nat. Rev. Cancer 2:594-604, 2002). Both transcriptional and transcription-independent activities of p53 contribute to DNA damage-induced cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and aneuploidy prevention (M. B. Kastan et al., Cell 71:587-597, 1992; K. H. Vousden and X. Lu, Nat. Rev. Cancer 2:594-604, 2002). Small-molecule manipulation of p53 DNA binding activity has been an elusive goal, but here we show that NAD+ binds to p53 tetramers, induces a conformational change, and modulates p53 DNA binding specificity in vitro. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) increases the rate of intracellular NAD+ synthesis, alters radiation-induced p53 DNA binding specificity, and modulates activation of a subset of p53 transcriptional targets. These effects are likely due to a direct effect of NAD+ on p53, as a molecule structurally related to part of NAD+, TDP, also inhibits p53 DNA binding, and the TDP precursor, thiamine (vitamin B1), inhibits intracellular p53 activity. Niacinamide and thiamine affect two p53-regulated cellular responses to ionizing radiation: rereplication and apoptosis. Thus, niacinamide and thiamine form a novel basis for the development of small molecules that affect p53 function in vivo, and these results suggest that changes in cellular energy metabolism may regulate p53. PMID:15509798

  19. Dopamine Modulates the Functional Organization of the Orbitofrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahnt, Thorsten; Tobler, Philippe N

    2017-02-08

    Neuromodulators such as dopamine can alter the intrinsic firing properties of neurons and may thereby change the configuration of larger functional circuits. The primate orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) receives dopaminergic input from midbrain nuclei, but the role of dopamine in the OFC is still unclear. Here we tested the idea that dopaminergic activity changes the pattern of connectivity between the OFC and the rest of the brain and thereby reconfigures functional networks in the OFC. To this end, we combined double-blind, placebo-controlled pharmacology [D2 receptor (D2R) antagonist amisulpride] in humans with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and clustering methods. In the placebo group, we replicated previously observed parcellations of the OFC into two and six subregions based on connectivity patterns with the rest of the brain. Most importantly, while the twofold clustering did not differ significantly between groups, blocking D2Rs significantly changed the composition of the sixfold parcellation, suggesting a dopamine-dependent reconfiguration of functional OFC subregions. Moreover, multivariate decoding analyses revealed that amisulpride changed the whole-brain connectivity patterns of individual OFC subregions. In particular, D2R blockade shifted the balance of OFC connectivity from associative areas in the temporal and parietal lobe toward functional connectivity with the frontal cortex. In summary, our results suggest that dopamine alters the composition of functional OFC circuits, possibly indicating a broader role for neuromodulators in the dynamic reconfiguration of functional brain networks.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT A key role of any neuromodulator may be the reconfiguration of functional brain circuits. Here we test this idea with regard to dopamine and the organization of functional networks in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). We show that blockade of dopamine D2 receptors has profound effects on the functional connectivity patterns of

  20. Attentional load modulates large-scale functional brain connectivity beyond the core attention networks.

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    Alnæs, Dag; Kaufmann, Tobias; Richard, Geneviève; Duff, Eugene P; Sneve, Markus H; Endestad, Tor; Nordvik, Jan Egil; Andreassen, Ole A; Smith, Stephen M; Westlye, Lars T

    2015-04-01

    In line with the notion of a continuously active and dynamic brain, functional networks identified during rest correspond with those revealed by task-fMRI. Characterizing the dynamic cross-talk between these network nodes is key to understanding the successful implementation of effortful cognitive processing in healthy individuals and its breakdown in a variety of conditions involving aberrant brain biology and cognitive dysfunction. We employed advanced network modeling on fMRI data collected during a task involving sustained attentive tracking of objects at two load levels and during rest. Using multivariate techniques, we demonstrate that attentional load levels can be significantly discriminated, and from a resting-state condition, the accuracy approaches 100%, by means of estimates of between-node functional connectivity. Several network edges were modulated during task engagement: The dorsal attention network increased connectivity with a visual node, while decreasing connectivity with motor and sensory nodes. Also, we observed a decoupling between left and right hemisphere dorsal visual streams. These results support the notion of dynamic network reconfigurations based on attentional effort. No simple correspondence between node signal amplitude change and node connectivity modulations was found, thus network modeling provides novel information beyond what is revealed by conventional task-fMRI analysis. The current decoding of attentional states confirms that edge connectivity contains highly predictive information about the mental state of the individual, and the approach shows promise for the utilization in clinical contexts.

  1. A new analytical edge spread function fitting model for modulation transfer function measurement

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tiecheng Li; Huajun Feng; Zhihai Xu

    2011-01-01

    @@ We propose a new analytical edge spread function (ESF) fitting model to measure the modulation transfer function (MTF).The ESF data obtained from a slanted-edge image are fitted to our model through the non-linear least squares (NLLSQ) method.The differentiation of the ESF yields the line spread function (LSF), the Fourier transform of which gives the profile of two-dimensional MTF.Compared with the previous methods, the MTF estimate determined by our method conforms more closely to the reference.A practical application of our MTF measurement in degraded image restoration also validates the accuracy of our model.%We propose a new analytical edge spread function (ESF) fitting model to measure the modulation transfer function (MTF). The ESF data obtained from a slanted-edge image are fitted to our model through the non-linear least squares (NLLSQ) method. The differentiation of the ESF yields the line spread function (LSF), the Fourier transform of which gives the profile of two-dimensional MTF. Compared with the previous methods, the MTF estimate determined by our method conforms more closely to the reference. A practical application of our MTF measurement in degraded image restoration also validates the accuracy of our model.

  2. Heterologous expression of the filarial nematode alt gene products reveals their potential to inhibit immune function

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    Aebischer Toni

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasites exploit sophisticated strategies to evade host immunity that require both adaptation of existing genes and evolution of new gene families. We have addressed this question by testing the immunological function of novel genes from helminth parasites, in which conventional transgenesis is not yet possible. We investigated two such novel genes from Brugia malayi termed abundant larval transcript (alt, expression of which reaches ~5% of total transcript at the time parasites enter the human host. Results To test the hypothesis that ALT proteins modulate host immunity, we adopted an alternative transfection strategy to express these products in the protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana. We then followed the course of infection in vitro in macrophages and in vivo in mice. Expression of ALT proteins, but not a truncated mutant, conferred greater infectivity of macrophages in vitro, reaching 3-fold higher parasite densities. alt-transfected parasites also caused accelerated disease in vivo, and fewer mice were able to clear infection of organisms expressing ALT. alt-transfected parasites were more resistant to IFN-γ-induced killing by macrophages. Expression profiling of macrophages infected with transgenic L. mexicana revealed consistently higher levels of GATA-3 and SOCS-1 transcripts, both associated with the Th2-type response observed in in vivo filarial infection. Conclusion Leishmania transfection is a tractable and informative approach to determining immunological functions of single genes from heterologous organisms. In the case of the filarial ALT proteins, our data suggest that they may participate in the Th2 bias observed in the response to parasite infection by modulating cytokine-induced signalling within immune system cells.

  3. Quetiapine modulates functional connectivity in brain aggression networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klasen, Martin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Schwenzer, Michael; Mathiak, Krystyna A; Sarkheil, Pegah; Weber, René; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-07-15

    Aggressive behavior is associated with dysfunctions in an affective regulation network encompassing amygdala and prefrontal areas such as orbitofrontal (OFC), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In particular, prefrontal regions have been postulated to control amygdala activity by inhibitory projections, and this process may be disrupted in aggressive individuals. The atypical antipsychotic quetiapine successfully attenuates aggressive behavior in various disorders; the underlying neural processes, however, are unknown. A strengthened functional coupling in the prefrontal-amygdala system may account for these anti-aggressive effects. An inhibition of this network has been reported for virtual aggression in violent video games as well. However, there have been so far no in-vivo observations of pharmacological influences on corticolimbic projections during human aggressive behavior. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, quetiapine and placebo were administered for three successive days prior to an fMRI experiment. In this experiment, functional brain connectivity was assessed during virtual aggressive behavior in a violent video game and an aggression-free control task in a non-violent modification. Quetiapine increased the functional connectivity of ACC and DLPFC with the amygdala during virtual aggression, whereas OFC-amygdala coupling was attenuated. These effects were observed neither for placebo nor for the non-violent control. These results demonstrate for the first time a pharmacological modification of aggression-related human brain networks in a naturalistic setting. The violence-specific modulation of prefrontal-amygdala networks appears to control aggressive behavior and provides a neurobiological model for the anti-aggressive effects of quetiapine.

  4. Unsuspected functional disparity in Devonian fishes revealed by tooth morphometrics?

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    Gauchey, Samuel; Girard, Catherine; Adnet, Sylvain; Renaud, Sabrina

    2014-09-01

    The shape of features involved in key biological functions, such as teeth in nutrition, can provide insights into ecological processes even in ancient time, by linking the occupation of the morphological space (disparity) to the occupation of the ecological space. Investigating disparity in radiating groups may provide insights into the ecological diversification underlying evolution of morphological diversity. Actinopterygian fishes initiated their radiation in the Devonian, a period characterized by the diversification of marine ecosystem. Although a former morpho-functional analysis of jaw shape concluded to conservative and poorly diversified morphologies in this early part of their history, fish tooth disparity evidenced here an unsuspected diversity of possible functional significance in the pivotal period of the Late Devonian (Famennian). All teeth being caniniforms, some were stocky and robust, in agreement with expectations for active generalist predators. More surprisingly, elongated teeth also occurred at the beginning of Famennian. Their needle-like shape challenges morpho-functional interpretations by making them fragile in response to bending or torsion. The occurrence of both types of fish teeth during the beginning of the Famennian points to a discrete but real increase in disparity, thus testifying a first burst of feeding specialization despite overall conservative jaw morphology. The disappearance of these needle-like teeth in the Late Famennian might have been related to a relay in dental diversity with abundant co-occurring groups, namely conodonts and chondrichthyans (sharks).

  5. Comparative Analysis of mRNA Isoform Expression in Cardiac Hypertrophy and Development Reveals Multiple Post-Transcriptional Regulatory Modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Ji Yeon; Li, Wencheng; Zheng, Dinghai; Zhai, Peiyong; Zhao, Yun; Matsuda, Takahisa; Vatner, Stephen F.; Sadoshima, Junichi; Tian, Bin

    2011-01-01

    Cardiac hypertrophy is enlargement of the heart in response to physiological or pathological stimuli, chiefly involving growth of myocytes in size rather than in number. Previous studies have shown that the expression pattern of a group of genes in hypertrophied heart induced by pressure overload resembles that at the embryonic stage of heart development, a phenomenon known as activation of the “fetal gene program”. Here, using a genome-wide approach we systematically defined genes and pathways regulated in short- and long-term cardiac hypertrophy conditions using mice with transverse aortic constriction (TAC), and compared them with those regulated at different stages of embryonic and postnatal development. In addition, exon-level analysis revealed widespread mRNA isoform changes during cardiac hypertrophy resulting from alternative usage of terminal or internal exons, some of which are also developmentally regulated and may be attributable to decreased expression of Fox-1 protein in cardiac hypertrophy. Genes with functions in certain pathways, such as cell adhesion and cell morphology, are more likely to be regulated by alternative splicing. Moreover, we found 3′UTRs of mRNAs were generally shortened through alternative cleavage and polyadenylation in hypertrophy, and microRNA target genes were generally de-repressed, suggesting coordinated mechanisms to increase mRNA stability and protein production during hypertrophy. Taken together, our results comprehensively delineated gene and mRNA isoform regulation events in cardiac hypertrophy and revealed their relations to those in development, and suggested that modulation of mRNA isoform expression plays an importance role in heart remodeling under pressure overload. PMID:21799842

  6. Enantiomers of 3-methylspermidine selectively modulate deoxyhypusine synthesis and reveal important determinants for spermidine transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyvönen, Mervi T; Khomutov, Maxim; Petit, Marine; Weisell, Janne; Kochetkov, Sergey N; Alhonen, Leena; Vepsäläinen, Jouko; Khomutov, Alex R; Keinänen, Tuomo A

    2015-06-19

    Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) is essential for cell proliferation, becoming functionally active only after post-translational conversion of a specific Lys to hypusine [N(ε)-(4-amino-2-hydroxybutyl)lysine]. Deoxyhypusine synthase (DHS) is the rate-limiting enzyme of this two-step process, and the polyamine spermidine is the only natural donor of the butylamine group for this reaction, which is very conserved-hypusine biosynthesis suffers last when the intracellular spermidine pool is depleted. DHS has a very strict substrate specificity, and only a few spermidine analogs are substrates of the enzyme and can support long-term growth of spermidine-depleted cells. Herein, we compared the biological properties of earlier unknown enantiomers of 3-methylspermidine (3-MeSpd) in deoxyhypusine synthesis, in supporting cell growth and in polyamine transport. Long-term treatment of DU145 cells with α-difluoromethylornithine (inhibitor of polyamine biosynthesis) and (R)-3-MeSpd did not cause depletion of hypusinated eIF5A, and the cells were still able to grow, whereas the combination of α-difluoromethylornithine with a racemate or (S)-3-MeSpd caused cessation of cell growth. Noticeably, DHS preferred the (R)- over the (S)-enantiomer as a substrate. (R)-3-MeSpd competed with [(14)C]-labeled spermidine for cellular uptake less efficiently than the (S)-3-MeSpd (Ki = 141 μM vs 19 μM, respectively). The cells treated with racemic 3-MeSpd accumulated intracellularly mainly (S)-3-MeSpd, but not DHS substrate (R)-3-MeSpd, explaining the inability of the racemate to support long-term growth. The distinct properties of 3-MeSpd enantiomers can be exploited in designing polyamine uptake inhibitors, facilitating drug delivery and modulating deoxyhypusine synthesis.

  7. Microarray analysis reveals genetic pathways modulated by tipifarnib in acute myeloid leukemia

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    Lancet Jeffrey E

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Farnesyl protein transferase inhibitors (FTIs were originally developed to inhibit oncogenic ras, however it is now clear that there are several other potential targets for this drug class. The FTI tipifarnib (ZARNESTRA™, R115777 has recently demonstrated clinical responses in adults with refractory and relapsed acute leukemias. This study was conducted to identify genetic markers and pathways that are regulated by tipifarnib in acute myeloid leukemia (AML. Methods Tipifarnib-mediated gene expression changes in 3 AML cell lines and bone marrow samples from two patients with AML were analyzed on a cDNA microarray containing approximately 7000 human genes. Pathways associated with these expression changes were identified using the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis tool. Results The expression analysis identified a common set of genes that were regulated by tipifarnib in three leukemic cell lines and in leukemic blast cells isolated from two patients who had been treated with tipifarnib. Association of modulated genes with biological functional groups identified several pathways affected by tipifarnib including cell signaling, cytoskeletal organization, immunity, and apoptosis. Gene expression changes were verified in a subset of genes using real time RT-PCR. Additionally, regulation of apoptotic genes was found to correlate with increased Annexin V staining in the THP-1 cell line but not in the HL-60 cell line. Conclusions The genetic networks derived from these studies illuminate some of the biological pathways affected by FTI treatment while providing a proof of principle for identifying candidate genes that might be used as surrogate biomarkers of drug activity.

  8. Genome-wide association and functional follow-up reveals new loci for kidney function.

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    Cristian Pattaro

    Full Text Available Chronic kidney disease (CKD is an important public health problem with a genetic component. We performed genome-wide association studies in up to 130,600 European ancestry participants overall, and stratified for key CKD risk factors. We uncovered 6 new loci in association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, the primary clinical measure of CKD, in or near MPPED2, DDX1, SLC47A1, CDK12, CASP9, and INO80. Morpholino knockdown of mpped2 and casp9 in zebrafish embryos revealed podocyte and tubular abnormalities with altered dextran clearance, suggesting a role for these genes in renal function. By providing new insights into genes that regulate renal function, these results could further our understanding of the pathogenesis of CKD.

  9. Yeast studies reveal moonlighting functions of the ancient actin cytoskeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sattlegger, Evelyn; Chernova, Tatiana A.; Gogoi, Neeku M.; Pillai, Indu V.; Chernoff, Yury O.; Munn, Alan L.

    2014-01-01

    Classic functions of the actin cytoskeleton include control of cell size and shape and the internal organisation of cells. These functions are manifest in cellular processes of fundamental importance throughout biology such as the generation of cell polarity, cell migration, cell adhesion and cell division. However, studies in the unicellular model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker's yeast) are giving insights into other functions in which the actin cytoskeleton plays a critical role. These include endocytosis, control of protein translation and determination of protein 3-dimensional shape (especially conversion of normal cellular proteins into prions). Here we present a concise overview of these new "moonlighting" roles for the actin cytoskeleton and how some of these roles might lie at the heart of important molecular switches. This is an exciting time for researchers interested in the actin cytoskeleton. We show here how studies of actin are leading us into many new and exciting realms at the interface of genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. While many of the pioneering studies have been conducted using yeast, the conservation of the actin cytoskeleton and its component proteins throughout eukaryotes suggests that these new roles for the actin cytoskeleton may not be restricted to yeast cells but rather may reflect new roles for the actin cytoskeleton of all eukaryotes. PMID:25138357

  10. Primer Sets Developed for Functional Genes Reveal Shifts in Functionality of Fungal Community in Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannula, S. Emilia; van Veen, Johannes A.

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity of soil microbes is a hot topic at the moment. However, the molecular tools for the assessment of functional diversity in the fungal community are less developed than tools based on genes encoding the ribosomal operon. Here 20 sets of primers targeting genes involved mainly in carbon cycling were designed and/or validated and the functioning of soil fungal communities along a chronosequence of land abandonment from agriculture was evaluated using them. We hypothesized that changes in fungal community structure during secondary succession would lead to difference in the types of genes present in soils and that these changes would be directional. We expected an increase in genes involved in degradation of recalcitrant organic matter in time since agriculture. Out of the investigated genes, the richness of the genes related to carbon cycling was significantly higher in fields abandoned for longer time. The composition of six of the genes analyzed revealed significant differences between fields abandoned for shorter and longer time. However, all genes revealed significant variance over the fields studied, and this could be related to other parameters than the time since agriculture such as pH, organic matter, and the amount of available nitrogen. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the genes significantly different between fields were not related to the decomposition of more recalcitrant matter but rather involved in degradation of cellulose and hemicellulose. PMID:27965632

  11. Primer Sets Developed for Functional Genes Reveal Shifts in Functionality of Fungal Community in Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannula, S Emilia; van Veen, Johannes A

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity of soil microbes is a hot topic at the moment. However, the molecular tools for the assessment of functional diversity in the fungal community are less developed than tools based on genes encoding the ribosomal operon. Here 20 sets of primers targeting genes involved mainly in carbon cycling were designed and/or validated and the functioning of soil fungal communities along a chronosequence of land abandonment from agriculture was evaluated using them. We hypothesized that changes in fungal community structure during secondary succession would lead to difference in the types of genes present in soils and that these changes would be directional. We expected an increase in genes involved in degradation of recalcitrant organic matter in time since agriculture. Out of the investigated genes, the richness of the genes related to carbon cycling was significantly higher in fields abandoned for longer time. The composition of six of the genes analyzed revealed significant differences between fields abandoned for shorter and longer time. However, all genes revealed significant variance over the fields studied, and this could be related to other parameters than the time since agriculture such as pH, organic matter, and the amount of available nitrogen. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the genes significantly different between fields were not related to the decomposition of more recalcitrant matter but rather involved in degradation of cellulose and hemicellulose.

  12. Primer sets developed for fungal functional genes reveal shifts in functionality of fungal community in soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilia Silja Hannula

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic diversity of soil microbes is a hot topic at the moment. However, the molecular tools for the assessment of functional diversity in the fungal community are less developed than tools based on genes encoding the ribosomal operon. Here 20 sets of primers targeting genes involved mainly in carbon cycling were designed and/or validated and the functioning of soil fungal communities along a chronosequence of land abandonment from agriculture was evaluated using them. We hypothesized that changes in fungal community structure during secondary succession would lead to difference in the types of genes present in soils and that these changes would be directional. We expected an increase in genes involved in degradation of recalcitrant organic matter in time since agriculture. Out of the investigated genes, the richness of the genes related to carbon cycling was significantly higher in fields abandoned for longer time. The composition of six of the genes analyzed revealed significant differences between fields abandoned for shorter and longer time. However, all genes revealed significant variance over the fields studied, and this could be related to other parameters than the time since agriculture such as pH, organic matter and the amount of available nitrogen. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, the genes significantly different between fields were not related to the decomposition of more recalcitrant matter but rather involved in degradation of cellulose and hemicellulose.

  13. Functional proteomics reveal the effect of Salvia miltiorrhiza aqueous extract against vascular atherosclerotic lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Yu-Chiang; Wang, Pei-Wen; Pan, Tai-Long

    2010-06-01

    Salvia miltiorrhiza is a Chinese herb widely used for cardiovascular disorder regimens, yet little is known about the cellular mechanisms that contribute to attenuated growth of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) under oxidative stress such as homocysteine (Hcy) treatment. As anticipated, a low dose (0.015 mg/mL) of S.miltiorrhiza aqueous extract (SMAE) significantly inhibited (>60%) the growth of a rat smooth muscle cell line (A10) under Hcy stimulation and the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) concentration obviously decreased after SMAE treatment in terms of reducing p47(phox) translocation and increasing catalase activity. Signaling profile suggests that SMAE inhibited Hcy-induced A10 cell growth via the PKC/MAPK-dependent pathway. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) coupled with mass spectrometry revealed statistically significant changes in the intensity of 14 proteins in response to Hcy and Hcy/SMAE. Meanwhile, SMAE attenuated carbonyl-modification of specific cytoskeleton and chaperone proteins leading to cell type transformation. Moreover, a network analysis using MetaCore shed more light on the molecular basis associated with SMAE efficacy. SMAE exerts its protective effect through the scavenging of ROS and subsequent modulation of protein carbonylation to inhibit cell proliferation. These signature networks and functional proteomics highlighted herein may facilitate the evaluation of potential therapeutic targets and elucidate novel mechanisms through which protein functions can be regulated by the redox status.

  14. A product of heme catabolism modulates bacterial function and survival.

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    Christopher L Nobles

    Full Text Available Bilirubin is the terminal metabolite in heme catabolism in mammals. After deposition into bile, bilirubin is released in large quantities into the mammalian gastrointestinal (GI tract. We hypothesized that intestinal bilirubin may modulate the function of enteric bacteria. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effect of bilirubin on two enteric pathogens; enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC, a Gram-negative that causes life-threatening intestinal infections, and E. faecalis, a Gram-positive human commensal bacterium known to be an opportunistic pathogen with broad-spectrum antibiotic resistance. We demonstrate that bilirubin can protect EHEC from exogenous and host-generated reactive oxygen species (ROS through the absorption of free radicals. In contrast, E. faecalis was highly susceptible to bilirubin, which causes significant membrane disruption and uncoupling of respiratory metabolism in this bacterium. Interestingly, similar results were observed for other Gram-positive bacteria, including B. cereus and S. aureus. A model is proposed whereby bilirubin places distinct selective pressure on enteric bacteria, with Gram-negative bacteria being protected from ROS (positive outcome and Gram-positive bacteria being susceptible to membrane disruption (negative outcome. This work suggests bilirubin has differential but biologically relevant effects on bacteria and justifies additional efforts to determine the role of this neglected waste catabolite in disease processes, including animal models.

  15. Functional imaging reveals movement preparatory activity in the vegetative state

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    Tristan A Bekinschtein

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The Vegetative State (VS is characterized by the absence of awareness of self or the environment and preserved autonomic functions. The diagnosis relies critically on the lack of consistent signs of purposeful behavior in response to external stimulation. Yet, given that patients with disorders of consciousness often exhibit fragmented movement patterns, voluntary actions may go unnoticed. Here we designed a simple motor paradigm that could potentially detect residual conscious awareness in VS patients with mild to severe brain damage by examining the neural correlates of motor preparation in response to verbal commands. Twenty-four patients who met the diagnostic criteria for VS were recruited for this study. Eleven of these patients showing preserved auditory evoked potentials underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to test for basic speech processing. Five of these patients, who showed word related activity, were included in a second fMRI study aimed at detecting functional changes in premotor cortex elicited by specific verbal instructions to move either their left or their right hand. Despite the lack of overt muscle activity, two patients out of five activated the dorsal premotor cortex contralateral to the instructed hand, consistent with movement preparation. Given that movement preparation in response to a motor command is a sign of purposeful behavior, our results are consistent with residual conscious awareness in these patients. We believe that the identification of positive results with fMRI using this simple task, may complement the clinical assessment by helping attain a more precise diagnosis in patients with disorders of consciousness.

  16. Comparative genomics of Geobacter chemotaxis genes reveals diverse signaling function

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    Antommattei Frances M

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Geobacter species are δ-Proteobacteria and are often the predominant species in a variety of sedimentary environments where Fe(III reduction is important. Their ability to remediate contaminated environments and produce electricity makes them attractive for further study. Cell motility, biofilm formation, and type IV pili all appear important for the growth of Geobacter in changing environments and for electricity production. Recent studies in other bacteria have demonstrated that signaling pathways homologous to the paradigm established for Escherichia coli chemotaxis can regulate type IV pili-dependent motility, the synthesis of flagella and type IV pili, the production of extracellular matrix material, and biofilm formation. The classification of these pathways by comparative genomics improves the ability to understand how Geobacter thrives in natural environments and better their use in microbial fuel cells. Results The genomes of G. sulfurreducens, G. metallireducens, and G. uraniireducens contain multiple (~70 homologs of chemotaxis genes arranged in several major clusters (six, seven, and seven, respectively. Unlike the single gene cluster of E. coli, the Geobacter clusters are not all located near the flagellar genes. The probable functions of some Geobacter clusters are assignable by homology to known pathways; others appear to be unique to the Geobacter sp. and contain genes of unknown function. We identified large numbers of methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein (MCP homologs that have diverse sensing domain architectures and generate a potential for sensing a great variety of environmental signals. We discuss mechanisms for class-specific segregation of the MCPs in the cell membrane, which serve to maintain pathway specificity and diminish crosstalk. Finally, the regulation of gene expression in Geobacter differs from E. coli. The sequences of predicted promoter elements suggest that the alternative sigma factors

  17. Modulation of neutrophil function by the tripeptide feG

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    Davison Joseph S

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neutrophils are critical in the defense against potentially harmful microorganisms, but their excessive and inappropriate activation can contribute significantly to tissue damage and a worsening pathology. Through the release of endocrine factors submandibular glands contribute to achieving a balance in neutrophil function by modulating the state of activation and migratory potential of circulating neutrophils. A putative hormonal candidate for these effects on neutrophils was identified as a heptapeptide named submandibular gland peptide T (SGP-T; sequence = TDIFEGG. Since the tripeptide FEG, derived from SGP-T, and its D-amino acid analogue feG had similar inhibitory effects on inflammatory reactions, we investigated the effects of feG on human and rat neutrophil function. Results With human neutrophils feG had no discernible effect on oxidative burst or phagocytosis, but in picomolar amounts it reduced PAF-induced neutrophil movement and adhesion, and the binding of CD11b by 34% and that of CD16b close to control values. In the rat feG (10-11M reduced the binding of CD11b and CD16 antibodies to PAF-stimulated circulating neutrophils by 35% and 43%, respectively, and at 100 micrograms/kilograms intraperitoneally feG reduced neutrophil in vivo migration by 40%. With ovalbumin-sensitized rats that were challenged with antigen, feG inhibited binding of antibodies against CD16b but not CD11b, on peritoneal leukocytes. Conclusions The inhibitory effect of feG on neutrophil movement may be mediated by alterations in the co-stimulatory molecules CD11b and CD16.

  18. Expression QTL modules as functional components underlying higher-order phenotypes.

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    Lei Bao

    Full Text Available Systems genetics studies often involve the mapping of numerous regulatory relations between genetic loci and expression traits. These regulatory relations form a bipartite network consisting of genetic loci and expression phenotypes. Modular network organizations may arise from the pleiotropic and polygenic regulation of gene expression. Here we analyzed the expression QTL (eQTL networks derived from expression genetic data of yeast and mouse liver and found 65 and 98 modules respectively. Computer simulation result showed that such modules rarely occurred in randomized networks with the same number of nodes and edges and same degree distribution. We also found significant within-module functional coherence. The analysis of genetic overlaps and the evidences from biomedical literature have linked some eQTL modules to physiological phenotypes. Functional coherence within the eQTL modules and genetic overlaps between the modules and physiological phenotypes suggests that eQTL modules may act as functional units underlying the higher-order phenotypes.

  19. Acupuncture Modulates the Functional Connectivity of the Default Mode Network in Stroke Patients

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    Yong Zhang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Abundant evidence from previous fMRI studies on acupuncture has revealed significant modulatory effects at widespread brain regions. However, few reports on the modulation to the default mode network (DMN of stroke patients have been investigated in the field of acupuncture. To study the modulatory effects of acupuncture on the DMN of stroke patients, eight right hemispheric infarction and stable ischemic stroke patients and ten healthy subjects were recruited to undergo resting state fMRI scanning before and after acupuncture stimulation. Functional connectivity analysis was applied with the bilateral posterior cingulate cortices chosen as the seed regions. The main finding demonstrated that the interregional interactions between the ACC and PCC especially enhanced after acupuncture at GB34 in stroke patients, compared with healthy controls. The results indicated that the possible mechanisms of the modulatory effects of acupuncture on the DMN of stroke patients could be interpreted in terms of cognitive ability and motor function recovery.

  20. Task-modulated activation and functional connectivity of the temporal and frontal areas during speech comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Q; Zhang, L; Xu, G; Shu, H; Li, P

    2013-05-01

    There is general consensus in the literature that a distributed network of temporal and frontal brain areas is involved in speech comprehension. However, how active versus passive tasks modulate the activation and the functional connectivity of the critical brain areas is not clearly understood. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify intelligibility and task-related effects in speech comprehension. Participants performed a semantic judgment task on normal and time-reversed sentences, or passively listened to the sentences without making an overt response. The subtraction analysis demonstrated that passive sentence comprehension mainly engaged brain areas in the left anterior and posterior superior temporal sulcus and middle temporal gyrus (aSTS/MTG and pSTS/MTG), whereas active sentence comprehension recruited bilateral frontal regions in addition to the aSTS/MTG and pSTS/MTG regions. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that during passive sentence comprehension, the left aSTS/MTG was functionally connected with the left Heschl's gyrus (HG) and bilateral superior temporal gyrus (STG) but no area was functionally connected with the left pSTS/MTG; during active sentence comprehension, however, both the left aSTS/MTG and pSTS/MTG were functionally connected with bilateral superior temporal and inferior frontal areas. While these results are consistent with the view that the ventral stream of the temporo-frontal network subserves semantic processing, our findings further indicate that both the activation and the functional connectivity of the temporal and frontal areas are modulated by task demands. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Statistical universals reveal the structures and functions of human music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Patrick E; Brown, Steven; Sakai, Emi; Currie, Thomas E

    2015-07-21

    Music has been called "the universal language of mankind." Although contemporary theories of music evolution often invoke various musical universals, the existence of such universals has been disputed for decades and has never been empirically demonstrated. Here we combine a music-classification scheme with statistical analyses, including phylogenetic comparative methods, to examine a well-sampled global set of 304 music recordings. Our analyses reveal no absolute universals but strong support for many statistical universals that are consistent across all nine geographic regions sampled. These universals include 18 musical features that are common individually as well as a network of 10 features that are commonly associated with one another. They span not only features related to pitch and rhythm that are often cited as putative universals but also rarely cited domains including performance style and social context. These cross-cultural structural regularities of human music may relate to roles in facilitating group coordination and cohesion, as exemplified by the universal tendency to sing, play percussion instruments, and dance to simple, repetitive music in groups. Our findings highlight the need for scientists studying music evolution to expand the range of musical cultures and musical features under consideration. The statistical universals we identified represent important candidates for future investigation.

  2. Using structure to inform carbohydrate binding module function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abbott, D. Wade; Lammerts van Bueren, Alicia

    2014-01-01

    Generally, non-catalytic carbohydrate binding module (CBM) specificity has been shown to parallel the catalytic activity of the carbohydrate active enzyme (CAZyme) module it is appended to. With the rapid expansion in metagenomic sequence space for the potential discovery of new CBMs in addition to

  3. Network Physiology reveals relations between network topology and physiological function

    CERN Document Server

    Bashan, Amir; Kantelhardt, Jan W; Havlin, Shlomo; Ivanov, Plamen Ch; 10.1038/ncomms1705

    2012-01-01

    The human organism is an integrated network where complex physiologic systems, each with its own regulatory mechanisms, continuously interact, and where failure of one system can trigger a breakdown of the entire network. Identifying and quantifying dynamical networks of diverse systems with different types of interactions is a challenge. Here, we develop a framework to probe interactions among diverse systems, and we identify a physiologic network. We find that each physiologic state is characterized by a specific network structure, demonstrating a robust interplay between network topology and function. Across physiologic states the network undergoes topological transitions associated with fast reorganization of physiologic interactions on time scales of a few minutes, indicating high network flexibility in response to perturbations. The proposed system-wide integrative approach may facilitate the development of a new field, Network Physiology.

  4. PET imaging reveals brain functional changes in internet gaming disorder

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tian, Mei; Zhang, Ying; Du, Fenglei; Hou, Haifeng; Chao, Fangfang; Zhang, Hong [The Second Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang (China); Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Imaging of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou (China); Chen, Qiaozhen [The Second Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang (China); The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Hangzhou (China)

    2014-07-15

    Internet gaming disorder is an increasing problem worldwide, resulting in critical academic, social, and occupational impairment. However, the neurobiological mechanism of internet gaming disorder remains unknown. The aim of this study is to assess brain dopamine D{sub 2} (D{sub 2})/Serotonin 2A (5-HT{sub 2A}) receptor function and glucose metabolism in the same subjects by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging approach, and investigate whether the correlation exists between D{sub 2} receptor and glucose metabolism. Twelve drug-naive adult males who met criteria for internet gaming disorder and 14 matched controls were studied with PET and {sup 11}C-N-methylspiperone ({sup 11}C-NMSP) to assess the availability of D{sub 2}/5-HT{sub 2A} receptors and with {sup 18}F-fluoro-D-glucose ({sup 18}F-FDG) to assess regional brain glucose metabolism, a marker of brain function. {sup 11}C-NMSP and {sup 18}F-FDG PET imaging data were acquired in the same individuals under both resting and internet gaming task states. In internet gaming disorder subjects, a significant decrease in glucose metabolism was observed in the prefrontal, temporal, and limbic systems. Dysregulation of D{sub 2} receptors was observed in the striatum, and was correlated to years of overuse. A low level of D{sub 2} receptors in the striatum was significantly associated with decreased glucose metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex. For the first time, we report the evidence that D{sub 2} receptor level is significantly associated with glucose metabolism in the same individuals with internet gaming disorder, which indicates that D{sub 2}/5-HT{sub 2A} receptor-mediated dysregulation of the orbitofrontal cortex could underlie a mechanism for loss of control and compulsive behavior in internet gaming disorder subjects. (orig.)

  5. Large Work Function Modulation of Monolayer MoS2 by Ambient Gases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Si Young; Kim, Un Jeong; Chung, JaeGwan; Nam, Honggi; Jeong, Hye Yun; Han, Gang Hee; Kim, Hyun; Oh, Hye Min; Lee, Hyangsook; Kim, Hyochul; Roh, Young-Geun; Kim, Jineun; Hwang, Sung Woo; Park, Yeonsang; Lee, Young Hee

    2016-06-28

    Although two-dimensional monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenides reveal numerous unique features that are inaccessible in bulk materials, their intrinsic properties are often obscured by environmental effects. Among them, work function, which is the energy required to extract an electron from a material to vacuum, is one critical parameter in electronic/optoelectronic devices. Here, we report a large work function modulation in MoS2 via ambient gases. The work function was measured by an in situ Kelvin probe technique and further confirmed by ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy and theoretical calculations. A measured work function of 4.04 eV in vacuum was converted to 4.47 eV with O2 exposure, which is comparable with a large variation in graphene. The homojunction diode by partially passivating a transistor reveals an ideal junction with an ideality factor of almost one and perfect electrical reversibility. The estimated depletion width obtained from photocurrent mapping was ∼200 nm, which is much narrower than bulk semiconductors.

  6. Structural and Functional Studies of the Rap1 C-Terminus Reveal Novel Separation-of-Function Mutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feeser, Elizabeth A.; Wolberger, Cynthia (JHU-MED)

    2010-02-19

    The yeast Rap1 protein plays an important role in transcriptional silencing and in telomere length homeostasis. Rap1 mediates silencing at the HM loci and at telomeres by recruiting the Sir3 and Sir4 proteins to chromatin via a Rap1 C-terminal domain, which also recruits the telomere length regulators, Rif1 and Rif2. We report the 1.85 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure of the Rap1 C-terminus, which adopts an all-helical fold with no structural homologues. The structure was used to engineer surface mutations in Rap1, and the effects of these mutations on silencing and telomere length regulation were assayed in vivo. Our surprising finding was that there is no overlap between mutations affecting mating-type and telomeric silencing, suggesting that Rap1 plays distinct roles in silencing at the silent mating-type loci and telomeres. We also found novel Rap1 phenotypes and new separation-of-function mutants, which provide new tools for studying Rap1 function. Yeast two-hybrid studies were used to determine how specific mutations affect recruitment of Sir3, Rif1, and Rif2. A comparison of the yeast two-hybrid and functional data reveals patterns of protein interactions that correlate with each Rap1 phenotype. We find that Sir3 interactions are important for telomeric silencing, but not mating type silencing, and that Rif1 and Rif2 interactions are important in different subsets of telomeric length mutants. Our results show that the role of Rap1 in silencing differs between the HM loci and the telomeres and offer insight into the interplay between HM silencing, telomeric silencing, and telomere length regulation. These findings suggest a model in which competition and multiple recruitment events modulate silencing and telomere length regulation.

  7. Proteomic profiling of high risk medulloblastoma reveals functional biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staal, Jerome A; Lau, Ling San; Zhang, Huizhen; Ingram, Wendy J; Hallahan, Andrew R; Northcott, Paul A; Pfister, Stefan M; Wechsler-Reya, Robert J; Rusert, Jessica M; Taylor, Michael D; Cho, Yoon-Jae; Packer, Roger J; Brown, Kristy J; Rood, Brian R

    2015-06-10

    Genomic characterization of medulloblastoma has improved molecular risk classification but struggles to define functional biological processes, particularly for the most aggressive subgroups. We present here a novel proteomic approach to this problem using a reference library of stable isotope labeled medulloblastoma-specific proteins as a spike-in standard for accurate quantification of the tumor proteome. Utilizing high-resolution mass spectrometry, we quantified the tumor proteome of group 3 medulloblastoma cells and demonstrate that high-risk MYC amplified tumors can be segregated based on protein expression patterns. We cross-validated the differentially expressed protein candidates using an independent transcriptomic data set and further confirmed them in a separate cohort of medulloblastoma tissue samples to identify the most robust proteogenomic differences. Interestingly, highly expressed proteins associated with MYC-amplified tumors were significantly related to glycolytic metabolic pathways via alternative splicing of pyruvate kinase (PKM) by heterogeneous ribonucleoproteins (HNRNPs). Furthermore, when maintained under hypoxic conditions, these MYC-amplified tumors demonstrated increased viability compared to non-amplified tumors within the same subgroup. Taken together, these findings highlight the power of proteomics as an integrative platform to help prioritize genetic and molecular drivers of cancer biology and behavior.

  8. Functional Tissue Analysis Reveals Successful Cryopreservation of Human Osteoarthritic Synovium

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Marieke; Bennink, Miranda B.; van Lent, Peter L. E. M.; van der Kraan, Peter M.; Koenders, Marije I.; Thurlings, Rogier M.; van de Loo, Fons A. J.

    2016-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease affecting cartilage and is the most common form of arthritis worldwide. One third of OA patients have severe synovitis and less than 10% have no evidence of synovitis. Moreover, synovitis is predictive for more severe disease progression. This offers a target for therapy but more research on the pathophysiological processes in the synovial tissue of these patients is needed. Functional studies performed with synovial tissue will be more approachable when this material, that becomes available by joint replacement surgery, can be stored for later use. We set out to determine the consequences of slow-freezing of human OA synovial tissue. Therefore, we validated a method that can be applied in every routine laboratory and performed a comparative study of five cryoprotective agent (CPA) solutions. To determine possible deleterious cryopreservation-thaw effects on viability, the synovial tissue architecture, metabolic activity, RNA quality, expression of cryopreservation associated stress genes, and expression of OA characteristic disease genes was studied. Furthermore, the biological activity of the cryopreserved tissue was determined by measuring cytokine secretion induced by the TLR ligands lipopolysaccharides and Pam3Cys. Compared to non frozen synovium, no difference in cell and tissue morphology could be identified in the conditions using the CS10, standard and CryoSFM CPA solution for cryopreservation. However, we observed significantly lower preservation of tissue morphology with the Biofreeze and CS2 media. The other viability assays showed trends in the same direction but were not sensitive enough to detect significant differences between conditions. In all assays tested a clearly lower viability was detected in the condition in which synovium was frozen without CPA solution. This detailed analysis showed that OA synovial tissue explants can be cryopreserved while maintaining the morphology, viability and

  9. Pharmacological and kinetic characterization of two functional classes of serotonergic modulation in Aplysia sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, L L; Mercer, A R; Emptage, N J; Carew, T J

    1996-02-01

    1. Modulation of mechanoafferent sensory neurons (SNs) by the neutrotransmitter serotonin (5HT) plays a significant role in behavioral sensitization of several withdrawal reflexes in Aplysia. The modulatory effects of 5HT on these SNs include increased excitability, increased input resistance, action potential broadening, and increased synaptic transmission. Based on a previously described dissociation of some of these modulatory effects, revealed with the 5HT-receptor antagonist, cyproheptadine, we investigated whether a similar dissociation could be found by systematically varying the concentration of the endogenous agonist, 5HT. 2. We first applied a range of 5HT concentrations to isolated pleural/pedal ganglia (containing tail SNs and tail motor neurons, respectively), and measured the magnitude of 5HT-induced modulation of spike broadening and increased excitability. The resulting dose-response curve showed that both forms of modulation increase monotonically as a function of 5HT concentration, but that excitability has a lower threshold for modulation by 5HT than does spike duration. 3. We further characterized the modulatory effects of 5HT on Aplysia SNs by comparing the time course of onset of modulation by 5HT and the time course of recovery after washout. Independent of 5HT concentration, modulation of excitability increases rapidly in the presence of 5HT and recovers rapidly (broadening, which resembles the kinetics of increased excitability and increased input resistance. Higher concentrations of 5HT (2.5 and 5 microM) induce a more slowly developing and prolonged-recovery form of spike broadening (> 9 min). At these higher concentrations, the recovery profile for prolonged spike broadening is significantly different from those observed for both increased excitability and increased input resistance. 4. We next compared the relationship between spike broadening and short-term synaptic facilitation. We found that significant facilitation of synaptic

  10. Modulation of apoptotic pathways of macrophages by surface-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanqin Jiang

    Full Text Available Biomedical applications of carbon nanotubes (CNTs often involve improving their hydrophilicity and dispersion in biological media by modifying them through noncovalent or covalent functionalization. However, the potential adverse effects of surface-functionalized CNTs have not been well characterized. In this study, we functionalized multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs via carboxylation, to produce MWCNTs-COOH, and via poly (ethylene glycol linking, to produce MWCNTs-PEG. We used these functionalized MWCNTs to study the effect of surface functionalization on MWCNTs-induced toxicity to macrophages, and elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action. Our results revealed that MWCNTs-PEG were less cytotoxic and were associated with less apoptotic cell death of macrophages than MWCNTs-COOH. Additionally, MWCNTs-PEG induced less generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS involving less activation of NADPH oxidase compared with MWCNTs-COOH, as evidenced by membrane translocation of p47(phox and p67(phox in macrophages. The less cytotoxic and apoptotic effect of MWCNTs-PEG compared with MWCNTs-COOH resulted from the lower cellular uptake of MWCNTs-PEG, which resulted in less activation of oxidative stress-responsive pathways, such as p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK and nuclear factor (NF-κB. These results demonstrate that surface functionalization of CNTs may alter ROS-mediated cytotoxic and apoptotic response by modulating apoptotic signaling pathways. Our study thus provides new insights into the molecular basis for the surface properties affecting CNTs toxicity.

  11. Genome-wide occupancy profile of mediator and the Srb8-11 module reveals interactions with coding regions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhu, Xuefeng; Wirén, Marianna; Sinha, Indranil

    2006-01-01

    to investigate genome-wide localization of Mediator and the Srb8-11 module in fission yeast. Mediator and the Srb8-11 module display similar binding patterns, and interactions with promoters and upstream activating sequences correlate with increased transcription activity. Unexpectedly, Mediator also interacts...... with the downstream coding region of many genes. These interactions display a negative bias for positions closer to the 5' ends of open reading frames (ORFs) and appear functionally important, because downregulation of transcription in a temperature-sensitive med17 mutant strain correlates with increased Mediator...

  12. Temporal modulation transfer functions in cochlear implantees using a method that limits overall loudness cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Matthew; McKay, Colette M

    2012-01-01

    Temporal modulation transfer functions (TMTFs) were measured for six users of cochlear implants, using different carrier rates and levels. Unlike most previous studies investigating modulation detection, the experimental design limited potential effects of overall loudness cues. Psychometric functions (percent correct discrimination of modulated from unmodulated stimuli versus modulation depth) were obtained. For each modulation depth, each modulated stimulus was loudness balanced to the unmodulated reference stimulus, and level jitter was applied in the discrimination task. The loudness-balance data showed that the modulated stimuli were louder than the unmodulated reference stimuli with the same average current, thus confirming the need to limit loudness cues when measuring modulation detection. TMTFs measured in this way had a low-pass characteristic, with a cut-off frequency (at comfortably loud levels) similar to that for normal-hearing listeners. A reduction in level caused degradation in modulation detection efficiency and a lower-cut-off frequency (i.e. poorer temporal resolution). An increase in carrier rate also led to a degradation in modulation detection efficiency, but only at lower levels or higher modulation frequencies. When detection thresholds were expressed as a proportion of dynamic range, there was no effect of carrier rate for the lowest modulation frequency (50 Hz) at either level. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Temperature-induced protein secretion by Leishmania mexicana modulates macrophage signalling and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassani, Kasra; Antoniak, Elisabeth; Jardim, Armando; Olivier, Martin

    2011-05-03

    Protozoan parasites of genus Leishmania are the causative agents of leishmaniasis. These digenetic microorganisms undergo a marked environmental temperature shift (TS) during transmission from the sandfly vector (ambient temperature, 25-26°C) to the mammalian host (37°C). We have observed that this TS induces a rapid and dramatic increase in protein release from Leishmania mexicana (cutaneous leishmaniasis) within 4 h. Proteomic identification of the TS-induced secreted proteins revealed 72 proteins, the majority of which lack a signal peptide and are thus thought to be secreted via nonconventional mechanisms. Interestingly, this protein release is accompanied by alterations in parasite morphology including an augmentation in the budding of exovesicles from its surface. Here we show that the exoproteome of L. mexicana upon TS induces cleavage and activation of the host protein tyrosine phosphatases, specifically SHP-1 and PTP1-B, in a murine bone-marrow-derived macrophage cell line. Furthermore, translocation of prominent inflammatory transcription factors, namely NF-κB and AP-1 is altered. The exoproteome also caused inhibition of nitric oxide production, a crucial leishmanicidal function of the macrophage. Overall, our results provide strong evidence that within early moments of interaction with the mammalian host, L. mexicana rapidly releases proteins and exovesicles that modulate signalling and function of the macrophage. These modulations can result in attenuation of the inflammatory response and deactivation of the macrophage aiding the parasite in the establishment of infection.

  14. Temperature-induced protein secretion by Leishmania mexicana modulates macrophage signalling and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kasra Hassani

    Full Text Available Protozoan parasites of genus Leishmania are the causative agents of leishmaniasis. These digenetic microorganisms undergo a marked environmental temperature shift (TS during transmission from the sandfly vector (ambient temperature, 25-26°C to the mammalian host (37°C. We have observed that this TS induces a rapid and dramatic increase in protein release from Leishmania mexicana (cutaneous leishmaniasis within 4 h. Proteomic identification of the TS-induced secreted proteins revealed 72 proteins, the majority of which lack a signal peptide and are thus thought to be secreted via nonconventional mechanisms. Interestingly, this protein release is accompanied by alterations in parasite morphology including an augmentation in the budding of exovesicles from its surface. Here we show that the exoproteome of L. mexicana upon TS induces cleavage and activation of the host protein tyrosine phosphatases, specifically SHP-1 and PTP1-B, in a murine bone-marrow-derived macrophage cell line. Furthermore, translocation of prominent inflammatory transcription factors, namely NF-κB and AP-1 is altered. The exoproteome also caused inhibition of nitric oxide production, a crucial leishmanicidal function of the macrophage. Overall, our results provide strong evidence that within early moments of interaction with the mammalian host, L. mexicana rapidly releases proteins and exovesicles that modulate signalling and function of the macrophage. These modulations can result in attenuation of the inflammatory response and deactivation of the macrophage aiding the parasite in the establishment of infection.

  15. Improving functional modules discovery by enriching interaction networks with gene profiles

    KAUST Repository

    Salem, Saeed

    2013-05-01

    Recent advances in proteomic and transcriptomic technologies resulted in the accumulation of vast amount of high-throughput data that span multiple biological processes and characteristics in different organisms. Much of the data come in the form of interaction networks and mRNA expression arrays. An important task in systems biology is functional modules discovery where the goal is to uncover well-connected sub-networks (modules). These discovered modules help to unravel the underlying mechanisms of the observed biological processes. While most of the existing module discovery methods use only the interaction data, in this work we propose, CLARM, which discovers biological modules by incorporating gene profiles data with protein-protein interaction networks. We demonstrate the effectiveness of CLARM on Yeast and Human interaction datasets, and gene expression and molecular function profiles. Experiments on these real datasets show that the CLARM approach is competitive to well established functional module discovery methods.

  16. Casein kinase 1 proteomics reveal prohibitin 2 function in molecular clock.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorna S Kategaya

    Full Text Available Throughout the day, clock proteins synchronize changes in animal physiology (e.g., wakefulness and appetite with external cues (e.g., daylight and food. In vertebrates, both casein kinase 1 delta and epsilon (CK1δ and CK1ε regulate these circadian changes by phosphorylating other core clock proteins. In addition, CK1 can regulate circadian-dependent transcription in a non-catalytic manner, however, the mechanism is unknown. Furthermore, the extent of functional redundancy between these closely related kinases is debated. To further advance knowledge about CK1δ and CK1ε mechanisms of action in the biological clock, we first carried out proteomic analysis of both kinases in human cells. Next, we tested interesting candidates in a cell-based circadian readout which resulted in the discovery of PROHIBITIN 2 (PHB2 as a modulator of period length. Decreasing the expression of PHB2 increases circadian-driven transcription, thus revealing PHB2 acts as an inhibitor in the molecular clock. While stable binding of PHB2 to either kinase was not detected, knocking down CK1ε expression increases PHB2 protein levels and, unexpectedly, knocking down CK1δ decreases PHB2 transcript levels. Thus, isolating CK1 protein complexes led to the identification of PHB2 as an inhibitor of circadian transcription. Furthermore, we show that CK1δ and CK1ε differentially regulate the expression of PHB2.

  17. Casein kinase 1 proteomics reveal prohibitin 2 function in molecular clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kategaya, Lorna S; Hilliard, Aisha; Zhang, Louying; Asara, John M; Ptáček, Louis J; Fu, Ying-Hui

    2012-01-01

    Throughout the day, clock proteins synchronize changes in animal physiology (e.g., wakefulness and appetite) with external cues (e.g., daylight and food). In vertebrates, both casein kinase 1 delta and epsilon (CK1δ and CK1ε) regulate these circadian changes by phosphorylating other core clock proteins. In addition, CK1 can regulate circadian-dependent transcription in a non-catalytic manner, however, the mechanism is unknown. Furthermore, the extent of functional redundancy between these closely related kinases is debated. To further advance knowledge about CK1δ and CK1ε mechanisms of action in the biological clock, we first carried out proteomic analysis of both kinases in human cells. Next, we tested interesting candidates in a cell-based circadian readout which resulted in the discovery of PROHIBITIN 2 (PHB2) as a modulator of period length. Decreasing the expression of PHB2 increases circadian-driven transcription, thus revealing PHB2 acts as an inhibitor in the molecular clock. While stable binding of PHB2 to either kinase was not detected, knocking down CK1ε expression increases PHB2 protein levels and, unexpectedly, knocking down CK1δ decreases PHB2 transcript levels. Thus, isolating CK1 protein complexes led to the identification of PHB2 as an inhibitor of circadian transcription. Furthermore, we show that CK1δ and CK1ε differentially regulate the expression of PHB2.

  18. Regulation of bone mass and osteoclast function depend on the F-actin modulator SWAP-70.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbe, Annette I; Roscher, Anne; Schüler, Christiane; Lutter, Anne-Helen; Glösmann, Martin; Bernhardt, Ricardo; Chopin, Michael; Hempel, Ute; Hofbauer, Lorenz C; Rammelt, Stefan; Egerbacher, Monika; Erben, Reinhold G; Jessberger, Rolf

    2012-10-01

    Bone remodeling involves tightly regulated bone-resorbing osteoclasts and bone-forming osteoblasts. Determining osteoclast function is central to understanding bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopetrosis. Here, we report a novel function of the F-actin binding and regulatory protein SWAP-70 in osteoclast biology. F-actin ring formation, cell morphology, and bone resorption are impaired in Swap-70(-/-) osteoclasts, whereas the expression of osteoclast differentiation markers induced in vitro by macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) remains unaffected. Swap-70(-/-) mice develop osteopetrosis with increased bone mass, abnormally dense bone, and impaired osteoclast function. Ectopic expression of SWAP-70 in Swap-70(-/-) osteoclasts in vitro rescues their deficiencies in bone resorption and F-actin ring formation. Rescue requires a functional pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, known to support membrane localization of SWAP-70, and the F-actin binding domain. Transplantation of SWAP-70-proficient bone marrow into Swap-70(-/-) mice restores osteoclast resorption capacity in vivo. The identification of the role of SWAP-70 in promoting osteoclast function through modulating membrane-proximal F-actin rearrangements reveals a new pathway to control osteoclasts and bone homeostasis.

  19. Echinacea pupurea extracts modulate murine dendritic cell fate and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Jenna M.; Pokorny, Amanda J.; Rhule, Ava; Wenner, Cynthia A.; Kandhi, Vamsikrishna; Cech, Nadja B.; Shepherd, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Echinacea is a top-selling herbal remedy that purportedly acts as an immunostimulant. However, the specific immunomodulatory effects of Echinacea remain to be elucidated. We focused on defining the effects of Echinacea purpurea extracts in dendritic cells (DCs), which generate innate and adaptive immune responses. We hypothesized that E. purpurea extracts would enhance murine bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) activation leading to increased immune responses. The fate and function of DCs from C57Bl/6 mice was evaluated following 48 h exposure to E. purpurea root and leaf extracts. Flow cytometry revealed that the polysaccharide-rich root extract increased the expression of MHC class II, CD86, and CD54 surface biomarkers whereas the alkylamide-rich leaf extract inhibited expression of these molecules. Production of IL-6 and TNF-α increased in a concentration-dependent manner with exposure to the root, but not leaf, extract. In contrast, the leaf but not root extract inhibited the enzymatic activity of cyclooxygenase-2. While both extracts decreased the uptake of ovalbumin by BMDCs, the leaf but not root extract inhibited the antigen-specific activation of naïve CD4+ T cells from OT II/Thy1.1 mice. Collectively, these results suggest that E. purpurea can be immunostimulatory, immunosuppressive, and/or anti-inflammatory depending on the portion of the plant and extraction method. PMID:20149833

  20. Echinacea purpurea extracts modulate murine dendritic cell fate and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Jenna M; Pokorny, Amanda J; Rhule, Ava; Wenner, Cynthia A; Kandhi, Vamsikrishna; Cech, Nadja B; Shepherd, David M

    2010-05-01

    Echinacea is a top-selling herbal remedy that purportedly acts as an immunostimulant. However, the specific immunomodulatory effects of Echinacea remain to be elucidated. We focused on defining the effects of Echinacea purpurea extracts in dendritic cells (DCs), which generate innate and adaptive immune responses. We hypothesized that E. purpurea extracts would enhance murine bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) activation leading to increased immune responses. The fate and function of DCs from C57Bl/6 mice was evaluated following 48h exposure to E. purpurea root and leaf extracts. Flow cytometry revealed that the polysaccharide-rich root extract increased the expression of MHC class II, CD86, and CD54 surface biomarkers whereas the alkylamide-rich leaf extract inhibited expression of these molecules. Production of IL-6 and TNF-alpha increased in a concentration-dependent manner with exposure to the root, but not leaf, extract. In contrast, the leaf but not root extract inhibited the enzymatic activity of cyclooxygenase-2. While both extracts decreased the uptake of ovalbumin by BMDCs, the leaf but not root extract inhibited the antigen-specific activation of naïve CD4(+) T cells from OT II/Thy1.1 mice. Collectively, these results suggest that E. purpurea can be immunostimulatory, immunosuppressive, and/or anti-inflammatory depending on the portion of the plant and extraction method. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Bioinformatic analysis of the neprilysin (M13 family of peptidases reveals complex evolutionary and functional relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pinney John W

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The neprilysin (M13 family of endopeptidases are zinc-metalloenzymes, the majority of which are type II integral membrane proteins. The best characterised of this family is neprilysin, which has important roles in inactivating signalling peptides involved in modulating neuronal activity, blood pressure and the immune system. Other family members include the endothelin converting enzymes (ECE-1 and ECE-2, which are responsible for the final step in the synthesis of potent vasoconstrictor endothelins. The ECEs, as well as neprilysin, are considered valuable therapeutic targets for treating cardiovascular disease. Other members of the M13 family have not been functionally characterised, but are also likely to have biological roles regulating peptide signalling. The recent sequencing of animal genomes has greatly increased the number of M13 family members in protein databases, information which can be used to reveal evolutionary relationships and to gain insight into conserved biological roles. Results The phylogenetic analysis successfully resolved vertebrate M13 peptidases into seven classes, one of which appears to be specific to mammals, and insect genes into five functional classes and a series of expansions, which may include inactive peptidases. Nematode genes primarily resolved into groups containing no other taxa, bar the two nematode genes associated with Drosophila DmeNEP1 and DmeNEP4. This analysis reconstructed only one relationship between chordate and invertebrate clusters, that of the ECE sub-group and the DmeNEP3 related genes. Analysis of amino acid utilisation in the active site of M13 peptidases reveals a basis for their biochemical properties. A relatively invariant S1' subsite gives the majority of M13 peptidases their strong preference for hydrophobic residues in P1' position. The greater variation in the S2' subsite may be instrumental in determining the specificity of M13 peptidases for their substrates

  2. Dynamic range of frontoparietal functional modulation is associated with working memory capacity limitations in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakun, Jonathan G; Johnson, Nathan F

    2017-11-01

    Older adults tend to over-activate regions throughout frontoparietal cortices and exhibit a reduced range of functional modulation during WM task performance compared to younger adults. While recent evidence suggests that reduced functional modulation is associated with poorer task performance, it remains unclear whether reduced range of modulation is indicative of general WM capacity-limitations. In the current study, we examined whether the range of functional modulation observed over multiple levels of WM task difficulty (N-Back) predicts in-scanner task performance and out-of-scanner psychometric estimates of WM capacity. Within our sample (60-77years of age), age was negatively associated with frontoparietal modulation range. Individuals with greater modulation range exhibited more accurate N-Back performance. In addition, despite a lack of significant relationships between N-Back and complex span task performance, range of frontoparietal modulation during the N-Back significantly predicted domain-general estimates of WM capacity. Consistent with previous cross-sectional findings, older individuals with less modulation range exhibited greater activation at the lowest level of task difficulty but less activation at the highest levels of task difficulty. Our results are largely consistent with existing theories of neurocognitive aging (e.g. CRUNCH) but focus attention on dynamic range of functional modulation asa novel marker of WM capacity-limitations in older adults. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Modulation transfer function of a digital dental x-ray system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, S K; Hollender, L

    1994-03-01

    An impulse train method to control aliasing was used to measure the modulation transfer function of a digital dental x-ray system (RVG 32000 ZHR, Trophy Radiologie, Vincennes, France). The detector of this system is composed of an intensifying screen, a fiber optics taper, and a charged couple device chip. The modulation transfer function could not be measured by impulse method such as the line spread function or edge response function because of aliasing from undersampling of the digital system. The system modulation transfer function was difficult to recover at the spatial frequencies smaller than the Nyquist frequency. The modulation transfer function beyond the Nyquist frequencies was impossible to recover in this study.

  4. Functional malignant cell heterogeneity in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors revealed by targeting of PDGF-DD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortez, Eliane; Gladh, Hanna; Braun, Sebastian; Bocci, Matteo; Cordero, Eugenia; Björkström, Niklas K; Miyazaki, Hideki; Michael, Iacovos P; Eriksson, Ulf; Folestad, Erika; Pietras, Kristian

    2016-02-16

    Intratumoral heterogeneity is an inherent feature of most human cancers and has profound implications for cancer therapy. As a result, there is an emergent need to explore previously unmapped mechanisms regulating distinct subpopulations of tumor cells and to understand their contribution to tumor progression and treatment response. Aberrant platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRβ) signaling in cancer has motivated the development of several antagonists currently in clinical use, including imatinib, sunitinib, and sorafenib. The discovery of a novel ligand for PDGFRβ, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-DD, opened the possibility of a previously unidentified signaling pathway involved in tumor development. However, the precise function of PDGF-DD in tumor growth and invasion remains elusive. Here, making use of a newly generated Pdgfd knockout mouse, we reveal a functionally important malignant cell heterogeneity modulated by PDGF-DD signaling in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET). Our analyses demonstrate that tumor growth was delayed in the absence of signaling by PDGF-DD. Surprisingly, ablation of PDGF-DD did not affect the vasculature or stroma of PanNET; instead, we found that PDGF-DD stimulated bulk tumor cell proliferation by induction of paracrine mitogenic signaling between heterogeneous malignant cell clones, some of which expressed PDGFRβ. The presence of a subclonal population of tumor cells characterized by PDGFRβ expression was further validated in a cohort of human PanNET. In conclusion, we demonstrate a previously unrecognized heterogeneity in PanNET characterized by signaling through the PDGF-DD/PDGFRβ axis.

  5. Functional chromatography reveals three natural products that target the same protein with distinct mechanisms of action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, MinJin; Wu, Tongde; Wijeratne, E. M. Kithsiri; Lau, Eric C.; Mason, Damian J.; Mesa, Celestina; Tillotson, Joseph; Zhang, Donna D.; Gunatilaka, A. A. Leslie; La Clair, James J.

    2014-01-01

    Access to lead compounds with defined molecular targets continues to be a barrier to the translation of natural product resources. As a solution, we have developed a system that uses discreet, recombinant proteins as the vehicles for natural product isolation. Here, we describe the use of this functional chromatographic method to identify natural products that bind to the AAA+ chaperone, p97, a promising cancer target. Application of this method to a panel of fungal and plant extracts identified rheoemodin, 1-hydroxydehydroherbarin and phomapyrrolidone A as distinct p97 modulators. Excitingly, each of these molecules displayed a unique mechanism of p97 modulation. This discovery provides strong support for the application of functional chromatography to the discovery of protein modulators that would likely escape traditional high-throughput or phenotypic screening platforms. PMID:25125376

  6. Mining Functional Modules in Heterogeneous Biological Networks Using Multiplex PageRank Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun; Zhao, Patrick X

    2016-01-01

    Identification of functional modules/sub-networks in large-scale biological networks is one of the important research challenges in current bioinformatics and systems biology. Approaches have been developed to identify functional modules in single-class biological networks; however, methods for systematically and interactively mining multiple classes of heterogeneous biological networks are lacking. In this paper, we present a novel algorithm (called mPageRank) that utilizes the Multiplex PageRank approach to mine functional modules from two classes of biological networks. We demonstrate the capabilities of our approach by successfully mining functional biological modules through integrating expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks. We first compared the performance of our method with that of other methods using simulated data. We then applied our method to identify the cell division cycle related functional module and plant signaling defense-related functional module in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our results demonstrated that the mPageRank method is effective for mining sub-networks in both expression-based gene-gene association networks and protein-protein interaction networks, and has the potential to be adapted for the discovery of functional modules/sub-networks in other heterogeneous biological networks. The mPageRank executable program, source code, the datasets and results of the presented two case studies are publicly and freely available at http://plantgrn.noble.org/MPageRank/.

  7. Modulating gene function with peptide nucleic acids (PNA)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Peter E.; Crooke, Stanley T.

    2008-01-01

    A review on peptide nucleic acid (PNA) oligomers as modulators of gene expression ranging from gene silencing at the mRNAor the dsDNA (antigene) level, and redirection of mRNA splicing to gene activation through transcription bubble mimicking. PNA chem., anti-infective agents, cellular delivery, ...

  8. Modulation of working memory function by motivation through loss-aversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawczyk, Daniel C; D'Esposito, Mark

    2013-04-01

    Cognitive performance is affected by motivation. Few studies, however, have investigated the neural mechanisms of the influence of motivation through potential monetary punishment on working memory. We employed functional MRI during a delayed recognition task that manipulated top-down control demands with added monetary incentives to some trials in the form of potential losses of bonus money. Behavioral performance on the task was influenced by loss-threatening incentives in the form of faster and more accurate performance. As shown previously, we found enhancement of activity for relevant stimuli occurs throughout all task periods (e.g., stimulus encoding, maintenance, and response) in both prefrontal and visual association cortex. Further, these activation patterns were enhanced for trials with possible monetary loss relative to nonincentive trials. During the incentive cue, the amygdala and striatum showed significantly greater activation when money was at a possible loss on the trial. We also evaluated patterns of functional connectivity between regions responsive to monetary consequences and prefrontal areas responsive to the task. This analysis revealed greater delay period connectivity between and the left insula and prefrontal cortex with possible monetary loss relative to nonincentive trials. Overall, these results reveal that incentive motivation can modulate performance on working memory tasks through top-down signals via amplification of activity within prefrontal and visual association regions selective to processing the perceptual inputs of the stimuli to be remembered.

  9. Imaging performance of annular apertures. III - Apodization and modulation transfer functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschunko, H. F. A.

    1979-01-01

    Apodization functions with decreasing transmission and their opposite, functions with increasing transmission, are investigated for various central obstruction ratios. The resultant modulation transfer functions are presented for various transmission functions and central obstruction ratios. Conclusions applicable to the improvement of imaging performance are discussed.

  10. Modulating functions method for parameters estimation in the fifth order KdV equation

    KAUST Repository

    Asiri, Sharefa M.

    2017-07-25

    In this work, the modulating functions method is proposed for estimating coefficients in higher-order nonlinear partial differential equation which is the fifth order Kortewegde Vries (KdV) equation. The proposed method transforms the problem into a system of linear algebraic equations of the unknowns. The statistical properties of the modulating functions solution are described in this paper. In addition, guidelines for choosing the number of modulating functions, which is an important design parameter, are provided. The effectiveness and robustness of the proposed method are shown through numerical simulations in both noise-free and noisy cases.

  11. Theoretical model of the modulation transfer function for fiber optic taper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yaoxiang; Tian, Weijian; Bin, XiangLi

    2005-02-01

    Fiber optic taper has been used more and more widely as a relay optical component in the integrated taper assembly image intensified sensors for military and medical imaging application. In this paper, the transmission characteristic of energy in the taper is analyzed, and following the generalized definition of the modulation transfer function for sampled imaging system, a spatial averaged impulse response and a corresponding MTF component that are inherent in the sampling process of taper are deduced, and the mathematical model for evaluating the modulation transfer function of fiber optic taper is built. Finally, the dynamic and static modulation transfer function curves simulated by computer have been exhibited.

  12. Facilitating Structure-Function Studies of CFTR Modulator Sites with Efficiencies in Mutagenesis and Functional Screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinski, Steven V; Ahmadi, Saumel; Hung, Maurita; Bear, Christine E

    2015-12-01

    There are nearly 2000 mutations in the CFTR gene associated with cystic fibrosis disease, and to date, the only approved drug, Kalydeco, has been effective in rescuing the functional expression of a small subset of these mutant proteins with defects in channel activation. However, there is currently an urgent need to assess other mutations for possible rescue by Kalydeco, and further, definition of the binding site of such modulators on CFTR would enhance our understanding of the mechanism of action of such therapeutics. Here, we describe a simple and rapid one-step PCR-based site-directed mutagenesis method to generate mutations in the CFTR gene. This method was used to generate CFTR mutants bearing deletions (p.Gln2_Trp846del, p.Ser700_Asp835del, p.Ile1234_Arg1239del) and truncation with polyhistidine tag insertion (p.Glu1172-3Gly-6-His*), which either recapitulate a disease phenotype or render tools for modulator binding site identification, with subsequent evaluation of drug responses using a high-throughput (384-well) membrane potential-sensitive fluorescence assay of CFTR channel activity within a 1 wk time frame. This proof-of-concept study shows that these methods enable rapid and quantitative comparison of multiple CFTR mutants to emerging drugs, facilitating future large-scale efforts to stratify mutants according to their "theratype" or most promising targeted therapy.

  13. Modulation of α power and functional connectivity during facial affect recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Tzvetan; Miller, Gregory A; Rockstroh, Brigitte; Weisz, Nathan

    2013-04-03

    Research has linked oscillatory activity in the α frequency range, particularly in sensorimotor cortex, to processing of social actions. Results further suggest involvement of sensorimotor α in the processing of facial expressions, including affect. The sensorimotor face area may be critical for perception of emotional face expression, but the role it plays is unclear. The present study sought to clarify how oscillatory brain activity contributes to or reflects processing of facial affect during changes in facial expression. Neuromagnetic oscillatory brain activity was monitored while 30 volunteers viewed videos of human faces that changed their expression from neutral to fearful, neutral, or happy expressions. Induced changes in α power during the different morphs, source analysis, and graph-theoretic metrics served to identify the role of α power modulation and cross-regional coupling by means of phase synchrony during facial affect recognition. Changes from neutral to emotional faces were associated with a 10-15 Hz power increase localized in bilateral sensorimotor areas, together with occipital power decrease, preceding reported emotional expression recognition. Graph-theoretic analysis revealed that, in the course of a trial, the balance between sensorimotor power increase and decrease was associated with decreased and increased transregional connectedness as measured by node degree. Results suggest that modulations in α power facilitate early registration, with sensorimotor cortex including the sensorimotor face area largely functionally decoupled and thereby protected from additional, disruptive input and that subsequent α power decrease together with increased connectedness of sensorimotor areas facilitates successful facial affect recognition.

  14. Heterodyne technique for measuring the amplitude and phase transfer functions of an optical modulator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Romstad, Francis Pascal; Birkedal, Dan; Mørk, Jesper

    2002-01-01

    In this letter, we propose a technique based on heterodyne detection for accurately and simultaneously measuring the amplitude and phase transfer functions of an optical modulator. The technique is used to characterize an InGaAsp multiple quantum-well electroabsorption modulator. From...

  15. Nuclear Technology. Course 30: Mechanical Inspection. Module 30-2, Pump Functional Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasel, Ed; Espy, John

    This second in a series of eight modules for a course titled Mechanical Inspection describes typical pump functional tests which are performed after pump installation and prior to release of the plant for unrestricted power operation. The module follows a typical format that includes the following sections: (1) introduction, (2) module…

  16. Interspecies activity correlations reveal functional correspondence between monkey and human brain areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantini, Dante; Hasson, Uri; Betti, Viviana; Perrucci, Mauro G; Romani, Gian Luca; Corbetta, Maurizio; Orban, Guy A; Vanduffel, Wim

    2012-02-05

    Evolution-driven functional changes in the primate brain are typically assessed by aligning monkey and human activation maps using cortical surface expansion models. These models use putative homologous areas as registration landmarks, assuming they are functionally correspondent. For cases in which functional changes have occurred in an area, this assumption prohibits to reveal whether other areas may have assumed lost functions. Here we describe a method to examine functional correspondences across species. Without making spatial assumptions, we assessed similarities in sensory-driven functional magnetic resonance imaging responses between monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human brain areas by temporal correlation. Using natural vision data, we revealed regions for which functional processing has shifted to topologically divergent locations during evolution. We conclude that substantial evolution-driven functional reorganizations have occurred, not always consistent with cortical expansion processes. This framework for evaluating changes in functional architecture is crucial to building more accurate evolutionary models.

  17. The aging memory: Modulating epigenetic modifications to improve cognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Rosalina

    2016-09-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is a major concern in society. Here, I discuss recent evidence that shows an age-related modulation of gene transcription by epigenetic modifications. Epigenetic modifications, such as histone acetylation, is unbalanced in aging, with an increase in histone deacetylation, that limits the expression of plasticity-related genes. By modifying the balance towards histone acetylation, histone deacetylase inhibitors present a new pharmacological approach to ameliorate age-related cognitive deficits.

  18. Individual preferences modulate incentive values: evidence from functional MRI

    OpenAIRE

    Bosch Volker; Dieckmann Anja; Pedroni Andreas F; Koeneke Susan; Jäncke Lutz

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background In most studies on human reward processing, reward intensity has been manipulated on an objective scale (e.g., varying monetary value). Everyday experience, however, teaches us that objectively equivalent rewards may differ substantially in their subjective incentive values. One factor influencing incentive value in humans is branding. The current study explores the hypothesis that individual brand preferences modulate activity in reward areas similarly to objectively meas...

  19. Individual preferences modulate incentive values: Evidence from functional MRI

    OpenAIRE

    Bosch Volker; Dieckmann Anja; Pedroni Andreas F; Koeneke Susan; Jäncke Lutz

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Background In most studies on human reward processing, reward intensity has been manipulated on an objective scale (e.g., varying monetary value). Everyday experience, however, teaches us that objectively equivalent rewards may differ substantially in their subjective incentive values. One factor influencing incentive value in humans is branding. The current study explores the hypothesis that individual brand preferences modulate activity in reward areas similarly to objectively meas...

  20. Galanin: a hypothalamic-hypophysiotropic hormone modulating reproductive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, F J; Merchenthaler, I; Ching, M; Wisniewski, M G; Negro-Vilar, A

    1991-01-01

    Galanin (GAL) is widely distributed in the peripheral and the central nervous systems. In the brain, the highest GAL concentrations are observed within the hypothalamus and, particularly, in nerve terminals of the median eminence. This location, as well as GAL actions on prolactin, growth hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and LH-releasing hormone (LHRH) secretion, suggest the possibility that GAL may act as a putative hypothalamic-hypophysiotropic hormone. To establish this, GAL and LHRH levels were measured in hypophyseal portal plasma samples using specific radioimmunoassays. Rat galanin (rGAL) concentrations in portal blood were approximately 7-fold higher than those observed in peripheral plasma in male and female (estrus, diestrus) rats, indicating an active secretory process of rGAL into the portal vasculature. Frequent (10 min) sampling revealed that rGAL and LHRH were secreted into the portal circulation in a pulsatile manner with a pulse frequency of one pulse per hour. Interestingly, both hormone series depicted a high degree of coincident episodes. In fact, the probability of random coincidence, calculated by the algorithm HYPERGEO, was less than 0.01. Moreover, the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold, when given systemically, was taken up by GAL neurons in the hypothalamus, including a subset of neurons expressing rGAL and LHRH, strengthening the notion of the existence of a GAL neuronal system connected to the hypophyseal portal circulation. These observations reinforce the concept that GAL regulates pituitary hormone secretion. To analyze this in further detail, the effects of rGAL on LH secretion were evaluated under basal and stimulated conditions. rGAL induced a small but dose-dependent increase in LH secretion from cultured, dispersed pituitary cells. Interestingly, rGAL enhanced the ability of LHRH to stimulate LH release. The tight link between GAL and LHRH neuronal systems is strengthened by the observation that during the estrous cycle of the rat

  1. The structure of a Streptomyces avermitilis α-L-rhamnosidase reveals a novel carbohydrate-binding module CBM67 within the six-domain arrangement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, Zui; Jackson, Adam; Michikawa, Mari; Maehara, Tomoko; Momma, Mitsuru; Henrissat, Bernard; Gilbert, Harry J; Kaneko, Satoshi

    2013-04-26

    α-L-rhamnosidases hydrolyze α-linked L-rhamnosides from oligosaccharides or polysaccharides. We determined the crystal structure of the glycoside hydrolase family 78 Streptomyces avermitilis α-L-rhamnosidase (SaRha78A) in its free and L-rhamnose complexed forms, which revealed the presence of six domains N, D, E, F, A, and C. In the ligand complex, L-rhamnose was bound in the proposed active site of the catalytic module, revealing the likely catalytic mechanism of SaRha78A. Glu(636) is predicted to donate protons to the glycosidic oxygen, and Glu(895) is the likely catalytic general base, activating the nucleophilic water, indicating that the enzyme operates through an inverting mechanism. Replacement of Glu(636) and Glu(895) resulted in significant loss of α-rhamnosidase activity. Domain D also bound L-rhamnose in a calcium-dependent manner, with a KD of 135 μm. Domain D is thus a non-catalytic carbohydrate binding module (designated SaCBM67). Mutagenesis and structural data identified the amino acids in SaCBM67 that target the features of L-rhamnose that distinguishes it from the other major sugars present in plant cell walls. Inactivation of SaCBM67 caused a substantial reduction in the activity of SaRha78A against the polysaccharide composite gum arabic, but not against aryl rhamnosides, indicating that SaCBM67 contributes to enzyme function against insoluble substrates.

  2. Queen Pheromone Modulates Brain Dopamine Function in Worker Honey Bees

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kyle T. Beggs; Kelly A. Glendining; Nicola M. Marechal; Vanina Vergoz; Ikumi Nakamura; Keith N. Slessor; Alison R. Mercer

    2007-01-01

    .... But how does this pheromone operate at the cellular level? This study reveals that QMP has profound effects on dopamine pathways in the brain, pathways that play a central role in behavioral regulation and motor control...

  3. AMIGO2 modulates T cell functions and its deficiency in mice ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhilin; Khan, Mohd Moin; Kuja-Panula, Juha; Wang, Hongyun; Chen, Yu; Guo, Deyin; Chen, Zhi Jane; Lahesmaa, Riitta; Rauvala, Heikki; Tian, Li

    2017-05-01

    The immune function of AMIGO2 is currently unknown. Here, we revealed novel roles of AMIGO2 in modulating T-cell functions and EAE using Amigo2-knockout (AMG2KO) mice. Amigo2 was abundantly expressed by murine T helper (Th) cells. Its deficiency impaired transplanted T-cell infiltration into the secondary lymphoid organs and dampened Th-cell activation, but promoted splenic Th-cell proliferation and abundancy therein. AMG2KO Th cells had respectively elevated T-bet in Th1- and GATA-3 in Th2-lineage during early Th-cell differentiation, accompanied with increased IFN-γ and IL-10 but decreased IL-17A production. AMG2KO mice exhibited ameliorated EAE, dampened spinal T-cell accumulation, decreased serum IL-17A levels and enhanced splenic IL-10 production. Adoptive transfer of encephalitogenic AMG2KO T cells induced milder EAE and dampened spinal Th-cell accumulation and Tnf expression. Mechanistically, Amigo2-overexpression in 293T cells dampened NF-kB transcriptional activity, while Amigo2-deficiency enhanced Akt but suppressed GSK-3β phosphorylation and promoted nuclear translocations of NF-kB and NFAT1 in Th-cells. Collectively, our data demonstrate that AMIGO2 is important in regulating T-cell functions and EAE, and may be harnessed as a potential therapeutic target for multiple sclerosis.

  4. Fat Modulates the Relationship between Sarcopenia and Physical Function in Nonobese Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin L. Marcus

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available It is intuitive to think that sarcopenia should be associated with declines in physical function though recent evidence questions this assertion. This study investigated the relationship between absolute and relative sarcopenia, with physical performance in 202 nonobese (mean BMI =26.6 kg/ht2 community-dwelling older (mean age = 73.8±5.9 years adults. While absolute sarcopenia (appendicular skeletal mass (ASM/ht2 was either not associated, or weakly associated with physical performance, relative sarcopenia (ASM/kg demonstrated moderate (r=0.31 to r=0.51, P<0.01 relationships with performance outcomes in both males and females. Knee extension strength (r=0.27 and leg extension power (r=0.41 were both related to absolute sarcopenia (P<0.001 in females and not in males. Strength and power were associated with relative sarcopenia in both sexes (from r=0.47 to r=0.67, P<0.001. The ratio of lean mass to total body mass, that is, relative sarcopenia, is an important consideration relative to physical function in older adults even in the absence of obesity. Stratifying these individuals into equal tertiles of total body fat revealed a trend of diminished regression coefficients across each incrementally higher fat grouping for performance measures, providing further evidence that total body fat modulates the relationship between sarcopenia and physical function.

  5. Genetic Disruption of 2-Arachidonoylglycerol Synthesis Reveals a Key Role for Endocannabinoid Signaling in Anxiety Modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian C. Shonesy

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Endocannabinoid (eCB signaling has been heavily implicated in the modulation of anxiety and depressive behaviors and emotional learning. However, the role of the most-abundant endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG in the physiological regulation of affective behaviors is not well understood. Here, we show that genetic deletion of the 2-AG synthetic enzyme diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα in mice reduces brain, but not circulating, 2-AG levels. DAGLα deletion also results in anxiety-like and sex-specific anhedonic phenotypes associated with impaired activity-dependent eCB retrograde signaling at amygdala glutamatergic synapses. Importantly, acute pharmacological normalization of 2-AG levels reverses both phenotypes of DAGLα-deficient mice. These data suggest 2-AG deficiency could contribute to the pathogenesis of affective disorders and that pharmacological normalization of 2-AG signaling could represent an approach for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

  6. Auditory steady-state responses reveal amplitude modulation gap detection thresholds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Bernhard; Pantev, Christo

    2004-05-01

    Auditory evoked magnetic fields were recorded from the left hemisphere of healthy subjects using a 37-channel magnetometer while stimulating the right ear with 40-Hz amplitude modulated (AM) tone-bursts with 500-Hz carrier frequency in order to study the time-courses of amplitude and phase of auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs). The stimulus duration of 300 ms and the duration of the silent periods (3-300 ms) between succeeding stimuli were chosen to address the question whether the time-course of the ASSR can reflect both temporal integration and temporal resolution in the central auditory processing. Long lasting perturbations of the ASSR were found after gaps in the AM sound, even for gaps of short duration. These were interpreted as evidences for an auditory reset mechanism. Concomitant psycho-acoustical tests corroborated that gap durations perturbing the ASSR were in the same range as the threshold for AM gap detection. Magnetic source localizations estimated the ASSR sources in the primary auditory cortex, suggesting that the processing of temporal structures in the sound is performed at or below the cortical level.

  7. A central pacemaker that underlies the production of seasonal and sexually dimorphic social signals: functional aspects revealed by glutamate stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Laura; Sierra, Felipe; Silva, Ana; Macadar, Omar

    2011-02-01

    The cyclic enrichment of behavioral repertoires is a common event in seasonal breeders. Breeding males Brachyhypopomus gauderio produce electric organ discharge (EOD) rate modulations called chirps while females respond with interruptions. The electromotor system is commanded by a pacemaker nucleus (PN) which sets the basal rate and produces the rate modulations. We focused on identifying functional, seasonal and sexual differences in this nucleus in correlation to these differences in behavior. The in vivo response to glutamate injection in the PN was seasonal, sexually dimorphic and site specific. Non-breeding adults and breeding females injected in dorsal and ventral sites generated EOD rate increases and interruptions, respectively. Reproductive males added a conspicuous communication signal to this repertoire. They chirped repetitively when we injected glutamate in a very restricted area of the ventral-rostral nucleus, surprisingly one with a low number of relay cell somata. This study shows that the PN is functionally organized in regions in a caudal-rostral axis, besides the previously documented dorsal-ventral division. Functional regions are revealed by seasonal changes that annually provide this nucleus with the cellular mechanisms that allow the bursting activity underlying chirp production, only in males.

  8. Stability of a Bi-Additive Functional Equation in Banach Modules Over a C⋆-Algebra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Won-Gil Park

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We solve the bi-additive functional equation f(x+y,z−w+f(x−y,z+w=2f(x,z−2f(y,w and prove that every bi-additive Borel function is bilinear. And we investigate the stability of a bi-additive functional equation in Banach modules over a unital C⋆-algebra.

  9. GO-2D: identifying 2-dimensional cellular-localized functional modules in Gene Ontology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Da

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rapid progress in high-throughput biotechnologies (e.g. microarrays and exponential accumulation of gene functional knowledge make it promising for systematic understanding of complex human diseases at functional modules level. Based on Gene Ontology, a large number of automatic tools have been developed for the functional analysis and biological interpretation of the high-throughput microarray data. Results Different from the existing tools such as Onto-Express and FatiGO, we develop a tool named GO-2D for identifying 2-dimensional functional modules based on combined GO categories. For example, it refines biological process categories by sorting their genes into different cellular component categories, and then extracts those combined categories enriched with the interesting genes (e.g., the differentially expressed genes for identifying the cellular-localized functional modules. Applications of GO-2D to the analyses of two human cancer datasets show that very specific disease-relevant processes can be identified by using cellular location information. Conclusion For studying complex human diseases, GO-2D can extract functionally compact and detailed modules such as the cellular-localized ones, characterizing disease-relevant modules in terms of both biological processes and cellular locations. The application results clearly demonstrate that 2-dimensional approach complementary to current 1-dimensional approach is powerful for finding modules highly relevant to diseases.

  10. γ-Secretase modulator (GSM) photoaffinity probes reveal distinct allosteric binding sites on presenilin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozdnyakov, Nikolay; Murrey, Heather E; Crump, Christina J; Pettersson, Martin; Ballard, T Eric; Am Ende, Christopher W; Ahn, Kwangwook; Li, Yue-Ming; Bales, Kelly R; Johnson, Douglas S

    2013-04-05

    γ-Secretase is an intramembrane aspartyl protease that cleaves the amyloid precursor protein to produce neurotoxic β-amyloid peptides (i.e. Aβ42) that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. Small molecule γ-secretase modulators (GSMs) have emerged as potential disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer disease because they reduce the formation of Aβ42 while not blocking the processing of γ-secretase substrates. We developed clickable GSM photoaffinity probes with the goal of identifying the target of various classes of GSMs and to better understand their mechanism of action. Here, we demonstrate that the photoaffinity probe E2012-BPyne specifically labels the N-terminal fragment of presenilin-1 (PS1-NTF) in cell membranes as well as in live cells and primary neuronal cultures. The labeling is competed in the presence of the parent imidazole GSM E2012, but not with acid GSM-1, allosteric GSI BMS-708163, or substrate docking site peptide inhibitor pep11, providing evidence that these compounds have distinct binding sites. Surprisingly, we found that the cross-linking of E2012-BPyne to PS1-NTF is significantly enhanced in the presence of the active site-directed GSI L-685,458 (L458). In contrast, L458 does not affect the labeling of the acid GSM photoprobe GSM-5. We also observed that E2012-BPyne specifically labels PS1-NTF (active γ-secretase) but not full-length PS1 (inactive γ-secretase) in ANP.24 cells. Taken together, our results support the hypothesis that multiple binding sites within the γ-secretase complex exist, each of which may contribute to different modes of modulatory action. Furthermore, the enhancement of PS1-NTF labeling by E2012-BPyne in the presence of L458 suggests a degree of cooperativity between the active site of γ-secretase and the modulatory binding site of certain GSMs.

  11. Genotypes and pathogenicity of cellulitis isolates reveal traits that modulate APEC virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolle Lima Barbieri

    Full Text Available We characterized 144 Escherichia coli isolates from severe cellulitis lesions in broiler chickens from South Brazil. Analysis of susceptibility to 15 antimicrobials revealed frequencies of resistance of less than 30% for most antimicrobials except tetracycline (70% and sulphonamides (60%. The genotyping of 34 virulence-associated genes revealed that all the isolates harbored virulence factors related to adhesion, iron acquisition and serum resistance, which are characteristic of the avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC pathotype. ColV plasmid-associated genes (cvi/cva, iroN, iss, iucD, sitD, traT, tsh were especially frequent among the isolates (from 66.6% to 89.6%. According to the Clermont method of ECOR phylogenetic typing, isolates belonged to group D (47.2%, to group A (27.8%, to group B2 (17.4% and to group B1 (7.6%; the group B2 isolates contained the highest number of virulence-associated genes. Clonal relationship analysis using the ARDRA method revealed a similarity level of 57% or higher among isolates, but no endemic clone. The virulence of the isolates was confirmed in vivo in one-day-old chicks. Most isolates (72.9% killed all infected chicks within 7 days, and 65 isolates (38.1% killed most of them within 24 hours. In order to analyze differences in virulence among the APEC isolates, we created a pathogenicity score by combining the times of death with the clinical symptoms noted. By looking for significant associations between the presence of virulence-associated genes and the pathogenicity score, we found that the presence of genes for invasins ibeA and gimB and for group II capsule KpsMTII increased virulence, while the presence of pic decreased virulence. The fact that ibeA, gimB and KpsMTII are characteristic of neonatal meningitis E. coli (NMEC suggests that genes of NMEC in APEC increase virulence of strains.

  12. Functional Domains of Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) Modulate INS-VNTR Transcription in Human Thymic Epithelial Cells*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Avis E.; Chen, Chiachen; Breslin, Mary B.; Lan, Michael S.

    2016-01-01

    INS-VNTR (insulin-variable number of tandem repeats) and AIRE (autoimmune regulator) have been associated with the modulation of insulin gene expression in thymus, which is essential to induce either insulin tolerance or the development of insulin autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. We sought to analyze whether each functional domain of AIRE is critical for the activation of INS-VNTR in human thymic epithelial cells. Twelve missense or nonsense mutations in AIRE and two chimeric AIRE constructs were generated. A luciferase reporter assay and a pulldown assay using biotinylated INS-class I VNTR probe were performed to examine the transactivation and binding activities of WT, mutant, and chimeric AIREs on the INS-VNTR promoter. Confocal microscopy analysis was performed for WT or mutant AIRE cellular localization. We found that all of the AIRE mutations resulted in loss of transcriptional activation of INS-VNTR except mutant P252L. Using WT/mutant AIRE heterozygous forms to modulate the INS-VNTR target revealed five mutations (R257X, G228W, C311fsX376, L397fsX478, and R433fsX502) that functioned in a dominant negative fashion. The LXXLL-3 motif is identified for the first time to be essential for DNA binding to INS-VNTR, whereas the intact PHD1, PHD2, LXXLL-3, and LXXLL-4 motifs were important for successful transcriptional activation. AIRE nuclear localization in the human thymic epithelial cell line was disrupted by mutations in the homogenously staining region domain and the R257X mutation in the PHD1 domain. This study supports the notion that AIRE mutation could specifically affect human insulin gene expression in thymic epithelial cells through INS-VNTR and subsequently induce either insulin tolerance or autoimmunity. PMID:27048654

  13. Functional Domains of Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) Modulate INS-VNTR Transcription in Human Thymic Epithelial Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Avis E; Chen, Chiachen; Breslin, Mary B; Lan, Michael S

    2016-05-20

    INS-VNTR (insulin-variable number of tandem repeats) and AIRE (autoimmune regulator) have been associated with the modulation of insulin gene expression in thymus, which is essential to induce either insulin tolerance or the development of insulin autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. We sought to analyze whether each functional domain of AIRE is critical for the activation of INS-VNTR in human thymic epithelial cells. Twelve missense or nonsense mutations in AIRE and two chimeric AIRE constructs were generated. A luciferase reporter assay and a pulldown assay using biotinylated INS-class I VNTR probe were performed to examine the transactivation and binding activities of WT, mutant, and chimeric AIREs on the INS-VNTR promoter. Confocal microscopy analysis was performed for WT or mutant AIRE cellular localization. We found that all of the AIRE mutations resulted in loss of transcriptional activation of INS-VNTR except mutant P252L. Using WT/mutant AIRE heterozygous forms to modulate the INS-VNTR target revealed five mutations (R257X, G228W, C311fsX376, L397fsX478, and R433fsX502) that functioned in a dominant negative fashion. The LXXLL-3 motif is identified for the first time to be essential for DNA binding to INS-VNTR, whereas the intact PHD1, PHD2, LXXLL-3, and LXXLL-4 motifs were important for successful transcriptional activation. AIRE nuclear localization in the human thymic epithelial cell line was disrupted by mutations in the homogenously staining region domain and the R257X mutation in the PHD1 domain. This study supports the notion that AIRE mutation could specifically affect human insulin gene expression in thymic epithelial cells through INS-VNTR and subsequently induce either insulin tolerance or autoimmunity.

  14. Single Channel Recordings Reveal Differential β2 Subunit Modulations Between Mammalian and Drosophila BKCa(β2) Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Ling; Guo, Xiying; Weng, Anxi; Xiao, Feng; Zeng, Wenping; Zhang, Yan; Ding, Jiuping; Hou, Panpan

    2016-01-01

    Large-conductance Ca2+- and voltage-activated potassium (BK) channels are widely expressed in tissues. As a voltage and calcium sensor, BK channels play significant roles in regulating the action potential frequency, neurotransmitter release, and smooth muscle contraction. After associating with the auxiliary β2 subunit, mammalian BK(β2) channels (mouse or human Slo1/β2) exhibit enhanced activation and complete inactivation. However, how the β2 subunit modulates the Drosophila Slo1 channel remains elusive. In this study, by comparing the different functional effects on heterogeneous BK(β2) channel, we found that Drosophila Slo1/β2 channel exhibits “paralyzed”-like and incomplete inactivation as well as slow activation. Further, we determined three different modulations between mammalian and Drosophila BK(β2) channels: 1) dSlo1/β2 doesn’t have complete inactivation. 2) β2(K33,R34,K35) delays the dSlo1/Δ3-β2 channel activation. 3) dSlo1/β2 channel has enhanced pre-inactivation than mSlo1/β2 channel. The results in our study provide insights into the different modulations of β2 subunit between mammalian and Drosophila Slo1/β2 channels and structural basis underlie the activation and pre-inactivation of other BK(β) complexes. PMID:27755549

  15. Functional modulation of AMP-activated protein kinase by cereblon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kwang Min; Jo, Sooyeon; Kim, Hyunyoung; Lee, Jongwon; Park, Chul-Seung

    2011-03-01

    Mutations in cereblon (CRBN), a substrate binding component of the E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, cause a form of mental retardation in humans. However, the cellular proteins that interact with CRBN remain largely unknown. Here, we report that CRBN directly interacts with the α1 subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK α1) and inhibits the activation of AMPK activation. The ectopic expression of CRBN reduces phosphorylation of AMPK α1 and, thus, inhibits the enzyme in a nutrient-independent manner. Moreover, AMPK α1 can be potently activated by suppressing endogenous CRBN using CRBN-specific small hairpin RNAs. Thus, CRBN may act as a negative modulator of the AMPK signaling pathway in vivo.

  16. Learning and cognitive flexibility: frontostriatal function and monoaminergic modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehagia, Angie A; Murray, Graham K; Robbins, Trevor W

    2010-04-01

    Learning in a constant environment, and adapting flexibly to a changing one, through changes in reinforcement contingencies or valence-free cues, depends on overlapping circuitry that interconnects the prefrontal cortex (PFC) with the striatum and is subject to several forms of neurochemical modulation. We present evidence from recent studies in animals employing electrophysiological, pharmacological and lesion techniques, and neuroimaging, neuropsychological and pharmacological investigations of healthy humans and clinical patients. Dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in the medial striatum and PFC is critical for basic reinforcement learning and the integration of negative feedback during reversal learning, whilst orbitofrontal 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) likely mediates this type of low level flexibility, perhaps by reducing interference from salient stimuli. The role of prefrontal noradrenaline (NA) in higher order flexibility indexed through attentional set-shifting has recently received significant empirical support, and similar avenues appear promising in the field of task switching.

  17. Cadmium modulates adipocyte functions in metallothionein-null mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kawakami, Takashige; Nishiyama, Kaori; Kadota, Yoshito; Sato, Masao; Inoue, Masahisa; Suzuki, Shinya, E-mail: suzukis@ph.bunri-u.ac.jp

    2013-11-01

    Our previous study has demonstrated that exposure to cadmium (Cd), a toxic heavy metal, causes a reduction of adipocyte size and the modulation of adipokine expression. To further investigate the significance of the Cd action, we studied the effect of Cd on the white adipose tissue (WAT) of metallothionein null (MT{sup −/−}) mice, which cannot form atoxic Cd–MT complexes and are used for evaluating Cd as free ions, and wild type (MT{sup +/+}) mice. Cd administration more significantly reduced the adipocyte size of MT{sup −/−} mice than that of MT{sup +/+} mice. Cd exposure also induced macrophage recruitment to WAT with an increase in the expression level of Ccl2 (MCP-1) in the MT{sup −/−} mice. The in vitro exposure of Cd to adipocytes induce triglyceride release into culture medium, decrease in the expression levels of genes involved in fatty acid synthesis and lipid hydrolysis at 24 h, and at 48 h increase in phosphorylation of the lipid-droplet-associated protein perilipin, which facilitates the degradation of stored lipids in adipocytes. Therefore, the reduction in adipocyte size by Cd may arise from an imbalance between lipid synthesis and lipolysis. In addition, the expression levels of leptin, adiponectin and resistin decreased in adipocytes. Taken together, exposure to Cd may induce unusually small adipocytes and modulate the expression of adipokines differently from the case of physiologically small adipocytes, and may accelerate the risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. - Highlights: • Cd causes a marked reduction in adipocyte size in MT-null mice. • Cd enhances macrophage migration into adipose tissue and disrupt adipokine secretion. • MT gene alleviates Cd-induced adipocyte dysfunctions. • Cd enhances the degradation of stored lipids in adipocytes, mediated by perilipin. • Cd induces unusually small adipocytes and the abnormal expression of adipokines.

  18. Semantic integration to identify overlapping functional modules in protein interaction networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramanathan Murali

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The systematic analysis of protein-protein interactions can enable a better understanding of cellular organization, processes and functions. Functional modules can be identified from the protein interaction networks derived from experimental data sets. However, these analyses are challenging because of the presence of unreliable interactions and the complex connectivity of the network. The integration of protein-protein interactions with the data from other sources can be leveraged for improving the effectiveness of functional module detection algorithms. Results We have developed novel metrics, called semantic similarity and semantic interactivity, which use Gene Ontology (GO annotations to measure the reliability of protein-protein interactions. The protein interaction networks can be converted into a weighted graph representation by assigning the reliability values to each interaction as a weight. We presented a flow-based modularization algorithm to efficiently identify overlapping modules in the weighted interaction networks. The experimental results show that the semantic similarity and semantic interactivity of interacting pairs were positively correlated with functional co-occurrence. The effectiveness of the algorithm for identifying modules was evaluated using functional categories from the MIPS database. We demonstrated that our algorithm had higher accuracy compared to other competing approaches. Conclusion The integration of protein interaction networks with GO annotation data and the capability of detecting overlapping modules substantially improve the accuracy of module identification.

  19. Revealing Ozgur's Thoughts of a Quadratic Function with a Clinical Interview: Concepts and Their Underlying Reasons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozaltun Celik, Aytug; Bukova Guzel, Esra

    2017-01-01

    The quadratic function is an important concept for calculus but the students at high school have many difficulties related to this concept. It is important that the teaching of the quadratic function is realized considering the students' thinking. In this context, the aim of this study conducted through a qualitative case study is to reveal the…

  20. Growing functional modules from a seed protein via integration of protein interaction and gene expression data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrakopoulou Konstantina

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nowadays modern biology aims at unravelling the strands of complex biological structures such as the protein-protein interaction (PPI networks. A key concept in the organization of PPI networks is the existence of dense subnetworks (functional modules in them. In recent approaches clustering algorithms were applied at these networks and the resulting subnetworks were evaluated by estimating the coverage of well-established protein complexes they contained. However, most of these algorithms elaborate on an unweighted graph structure which in turn fails to elevate those interactions that would contribute to the construction of biologically more valid and coherent functional modules. Results In the current study, we present a method that corroborates the integration of protein interaction and microarray data via the discovery of biologically valid functional modules. Initially the gene expression information is overlaid as weights onto the PPI network and the enriched PPI graph allows us to exploit its topological aspects, while simultaneously highlights enhanced functional association in specific pairs of proteins. Then we present an algorithm that unveils the functional modules of the weighted graph by expanding a kernel protein set, which originates from a given 'seed' protein used as starting-point. Conclusion The integrated data and the concept of our approach provide reliable functional modules. We give proofs based on yeast data that our method manages to give accurate results in terms both of structural coherency, as well as functional consistency.

  1. Can probiotics modulate human disease by impacting intestinal barrier function?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bron, Peter A.; Kleerebezem, Michiel; Brummer, Robert Jan; Cani, Patrice D.; Mercenier, Annick; MacDonald, Thomas T.; Garcia-Ródenas, Clara L.; Wells, Jerry M.

    2017-01-01

    Intestinal barrier integrity is a prerequisite for homeostasis of mucosal function, which is balanced to maximise absorptive capacity, while maintaining efficient defensive reactions against chemical and microbial challenges. Evidence is mounting that disruption of epithelial barrier integrity is

  2. Modulation of proprioceptive feedback during functional electrical stimulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mark Schram; Grey, Michael James

    2013-01-01

    Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is sometimes used as a therapeutic modality in motor rehabilitation to augment voluntary motor drive to effect movement that would otherwise not be possible through voluntary activation alone. Effective motor rehabilitation should require that the central...

  3. Modulation of the pupil function of microscope objective lens for multifocal multi-photon microscopy using a spatial light modulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Naoya; Okazaki, Shigetoshi; Takamoto, Hisayoshi; Inoue, Takashi; Terakawa, Susumu

    2014-02-01

    We propose a method for high precision modulation of the pupil function of a microscope objective lens to improve the performance of multifocal multi-photon microscopy (MMM). To modulate the pupil function, we adopt a spatial light modulator (SLM) and place it at the conjugate position of the objective lens. The SLM can generate an arbitrary number of spots to excite the multiple fluorescence spots (MFS) at the desired positions and intensities by applying an appropriate computer-generated hologram (CGH). This flexibility allows us to control the MFS according to the photobleaching level of a fluorescent protein and phototoxicity of a specimen. However, when a large number of excitation spots are generated, the intensity distribution of the MFS is significantly different from the one originally designed due to misalignment of the optical setup and characteristics of the SLM. As a result, the image of a specimen obtained using laser scanning for the MFS has block noise segments because the SLM could not generate a uniform MFS. To improve the intensity distribution of the MFS, we adaptively redesigned the CGH based on the observed MFS. We experimentally demonstrate an improvement in the uniformity of a 10 × 10 MFS grid using a dye solution. The simplicity of the proposed method will allow it to be applied for calibration of MMM before observing living tissue. After the MMM calibration, we performed laser scanning with two-photon excitation to observe a real specimen without detecting block noise segments.

  4. Modulation of p53's transcriptional function by small molecules

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    p53 tumour suppressor is a transcriptional factor which induces apoptosis or growth arrest in response to stress thus eliminating damaged cells. p53 function is frequently abrogated in tumours either via inactivation mutations in the TP53 gene or by elevated activity of p53 negative regulators HDM2 and HDMX. Therefore application of small molecules that reactivate p53 function is a promising strategy for anti-cancer therapy. In addition, small molecules can serve as valuable research tool to ...

  5. Individual preferences modulate incentive values: Evidence from functional MRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koeneke, Susan; Pedroni, Andreas F; Dieckmann, Anja; Bosch, Volker; Jäncke, Lutz

    2008-01-01

    Background In most studies on human reward processing, reward intensity has been manipulated on an objective scale (e.g., varying monetary value). Everyday experience, however, teaches us that objectively equivalent rewards may differ substantially in their subjective incentive values. One factor influencing incentive value in humans is branding. The current study explores the hypothesis that individual brand preferences modulate activity in reward areas similarly to objectively measurable differences in reward intensity. Methods A wheel-of-fortune game comprising an anticipation phase and a subsequent outcome evaluation phase was implemented. Inside a 3 Tesla MRI scanner, 19 participants played for chocolate bars of three different brands that differed in subjective attractiveness. Results Parametrical analysis of the obtained fMRI data demonstrated that the level of activity in anatomically distinct neural networks was linearly associated with the subjective preference hierarchy of the brands played for. During the anticipation phases, preference-dependent neural activity has been registered in premotor areas, insular cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and in the midbrain. During the outcome phases, neural activity in the caudate nucleus, precuneus, lingual gyrus, cerebellum, and in the pallidum was influenced by individual preference. Conclusion Our results suggest a graded effect of differently preferred brands onto the incentive value of objectively equivalent rewards. Regarding the anticipation phase, the results reflect an intensified state of wanting that facilitates action preparation when the participants play for their favorite brand. This mechanism may underlie approach behavior in real-life choice situations. PMID:19032746

  6. Individual preferences modulate incentive values: Evidence from functional MRI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bosch Volker

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In most studies on human reward processing, reward intensity has been manipulated on an objective scale (e.g., varying monetary value. Everyday experience, however, teaches us that objectively equivalent rewards may differ substantially in their subjective incentive values. One factor influencing incentive value in humans is branding. The current study explores the hypothesis that individual brand preferences modulate activity in reward areas similarly to objectively measurable differences in reward intensity. Methods A wheel-of-fortune game comprising an anticipation phase and a subsequent outcome evaluation phase was implemented. Inside a 3 Tesla MRI scanner, 19 participants played for chocolate bars of three different brands that differed in subjective attractiveness. Results Parametrical analysis of the obtained fMRI data demonstrated that the level of activity in anatomically distinct neural networks was linearly associated with the subjective preference hierarchy of the brands played for. During the anticipation phases, preference-dependent neural activity has been registered in premotor areas, insular cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and in the midbrain. During the outcome phases, neural activity in the caudate nucleus, precuneus, lingual gyrus, cerebellum, and in the pallidum was influenced by individual preference. Conclusion Our results suggest a graded effect of differently preferred brands onto the incentive value of objectively equivalent rewards. Regarding the anticipation phase, the results reflect an intensified state of wanting that facilitates action preparation when the participants play for their favorite brand. This mechanism may underlie approach behavior in real-life choice situations.

  7. H,K-ATPase Protein Localization and Kir4.1 Function Reveal Concordance of 3 Axes During Early Determination of Left-Right Asymmetry

    OpenAIRE

    Aw, Sherry; Adams, Dany S.; Qiu, Dayong; Levin, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Consistent laterality is a fascinating problem, and study of the Xenopus embryo has led to molecular characterization of extremely early steps in left-right patterning: bioelectrical signals produced by ion pumps functioning upstream of asymmetric gene expression. Here, we reveal a number of novel aspects of the H+/K+-ATPase module in chick and frog embryos. Maternal H+/K+-ATPase subunits are asymmetrically localized along the left-right, dorso-ventral, and animal-vegetal axes during the firs...

  8. Inflammation modulates human HDL composition and function in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inflammation may directly impair HDL functions, in particular reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), but limited data support this concept in humans. Our study was designed to investigate this relationship. We employed low-dose human endotoxemia to assess the effects of inflammation on HDL and RCT-rel...

  9. Task modulates functional connectivity networks in free viewing behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidkhani, Hossein; Nikolaev, Andrey R; Meghanathan, Radha Nila; Pezeshk, Hamid; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali; van Leeuwen, Cees

    2017-08-03

    In free visual exploration, eye-movement is immediately followed by dynamic reconfiguration of brain functional connectivity. We studied the task-dependency of this process in a combined visual search-change detection experiment. Participants viewed two (nearly) same displays in succession. First time they had to find and remember multiple targets among distractors, so the ongoing task involved memory encoding. Second time they had to determine if a target had changed in orientation, so the ongoing task involved memory retrieval. From multichannel EEG recorded during 200 ms intervals time-locked to fixation onsets, we estimated the functional connectivity using a weighted phase lag index at the frequencies of theta, alpha, and beta bands, and derived global and local measures of the functional connectivity graphs. We found differences between both memory task conditions for several network measures, such as mean path length, radius, diameter, closeness and eccentricity, mainly in the alpha band. Both the local and the global measures indicated that encoding involved a more segregated mode of operation than retrieval. These differences arose immediately after fixation onset and persisted for the entire duration of the lambda complex, an evoked potential commonly associated with early visual perception. We concluded that encoding and retrieval differentially shape network configurations involved in early visual perception, affecting the way the visual input is processed at each fixation. These findings demonstrate that task requirements dynamically control the functional connectivity networks involved in early visual perception. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Assessing upper limb function in nonambulant SMA patients: development of a new module.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzone, Elena; Bianco, Flaviana; Martinelli, Diego; Glanzman, Allan M; Messina, Sonia; De Sanctis, Roberto; Main, Marion; Eagle, Michelle; Florence, Julaine; Krosschell, Kristin; Vasco, Gessica; Pelliccioni, Marco; Lombardo, Marilena; Pane, Marika; Finkel, Richard; Muntoni, Francesco; Bertini, Enrico; Mercuri, Eugenio

    2011-06-01

    We report the development of a module specifically designed for assessing upper limb function in nonambulant SMA patients, including young children and those with severe contractures. The application of the module to a preschool cohort of 40 children (age 30-48 months) showed that all the items could be completed by 30 months. The module was also used in 45 nonambulant SMA patients (age 30 months to 27 years). Their scores were more variable than in the preschool cohort, ranging from 0 to 18. The magnitude of scores was not related to age (r=-0.19). The upper limb scores had a good correlation with the Hammersmith Functional Motor Scale, r=0.75, but the upper limb function did not always strictly follow the overall gross motor function. These findings suggest that even some of the very weak nonambulant children possess upper limb skills that can be measured.

  11. [The assessment of modulated radiofrequence electromagnetic radiation on cognitive function in rats of different ages].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priakhin, E A; Triapitsyna, G A; Andreev, S S; Kolomiets, I A; Polevik, N D; Akleev, A V

    2007-01-01

    The modulated radiofrequence electromagnetic radiation influence on cognitive function of male uninbred Wister rat exposed at the age of sexual maturation (2 months) and at the age of morphofunctional maturity (3.5 months) was examined. Animals were subjected to pulse electromagnetic radiation (925 MHz) modulated as a GSM standard with the power density 1.2 mW/cm2 for 10 minutes every day for 12 days. At day 8 of exposure the cognitive function were examined with the Morris water maze. In the result of investigation it was determines that modulated radiofrequence electromagnetic radiation at the sexual maturation age did not affect the spatial learning and improve the visual orientation performance. Modulated radiofrequence electromagnetic exposure of animals at the sex maturity age did not affect the visual performance and improve the spatial performance of male rats.

  12. Identification of functional modules in a PPI network by clique percolation clustering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shihua; Ning, Xuemei; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2006-12-01

    Large-scale experiments and data integration have provided the opportunity to systematically analyze and comprehensively understand the topology of biological networks and biochemical processes in cells. Modular architecture which encompasses groups of genes/proteins involved in elementary biological functional units is a basic form of the organization of interacting proteins. Here we apply a graph clustering algorithm based on clique percolation clustering to detect overlapping network modules of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. Our analysis of the yeast Sacchromyces cerevisiae suggests that most of the detected modules correspond to one or more experimentally functional modules and half of these annotated modules match well with experimentally determined protein complexes. Our method of analysis can of course be applied to protein-protein interaction data for any species and even other biological networks.

  13. Discovering the cellular-localized functional modules and modular interactions in response to liver cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhu Jing; Guo Zheng; Yang Da; Zhang Min; Wang Jing; Wang Chenguang

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we firstly identify the functional modules enriched with differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and characterized by biological processes in specific cellular locations, based on gene ontology (GO) and microarray data. Then, we further define and filter disease relevant signature modules according to the ranking of the disease discriminating abilities of the pre-selected functional modules. At last, we analyze the potential way by which they cooperate towards human disease. Application of the proposed method to the analysis of a liver cancer dataset shows that, using the same false discovery rate (FDR) threshold, we can find more biologically meaningful and detailed processes by using the cellular localization information. Some biological evidences support the relevancy of our biological modules to the disease mechanism.

  14. Functional roles of a tetraloop/receptor interacting module in a cyclic di-GMP riboswitch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujita, Yuki; Tanaka, Takahiro; Furuta, Hiroyuki; Ikawa, Yoshiya

    2012-02-01

    Riboswitches are a class of structural RNAs that regulate transcription and translation through specific recognition of small molecules. Riboswitches are attractive not only as drug targets for novel antibiotics but also as modular tools for controlling gene expression. Sequence comparison of a class of riboswitches that sense cyclic di-GMP (type-I c-di-GMP riboswitches) revealed that this type of riboswitch frequently shows a GAAA loop/receptor interaction between P1 and P3 elements. In the crystal structures of a type-I c-di-GMP riboswitch from Vibrio cholerae (the Vc2 riboswitch), the GNRA loop/receptor interaction assembled P2 and P3 stems to organize a ligand-binding pocket. In this study, the functional importance of the GAAA loop-receptor interaction in the Vc2 riboswitch was examined. A series of variant Vc2 riboswitches with mutations in the GAAA loop/receptor interaction were assayed for their switching abilities. In mutants with mutations in the P2 GAAA loop, expression of the reporter gene was reduced to approximately 40% - 60% of that in the wild-type. However, mutants in which the P3 receptor motif was substituted with base pairs were as active as the wild-type. These results suggested that the GAAA loop/receptor interaction does not simply establish the RNA 3D structure but docking of P2 GAAA loop reduces the flexibility of the GAAA receptor motif in the P3 element. This mechanism was supported by a variant riboswitch bearing a theophylline aptamer module in P3 the structural rigidity of which could be modulated by the small molecule theophylline.

  15. Genomic Heterogeneity of Osteosarcoma - Shift from Single Candidates to Functional Modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maugg, Doris; Eckstein, Gertrud; Baumhoer, Daniel; Nathrath, Michaela; Korsching, Eberhard

    2015-01-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS), a bone tumor, exhibit a complex karyotype. On the genomic level a highly variable degree of alterations in nearly all chromosomal regions and between individual tumors is observable. This hampers the identification of common drivers in OS biology. To identify the common molecular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of OS, we follow the hypothesis that all the copy number-associated differences between the patients are intercepted on the level of the functional modules. The implementation is based on a network approach utilizing copy number associated genes in OS, paired expression data and protein interaction data. The resulting functional modules of tightly connected genes were interpreted regarding their biological functions in OS and their potential prognostic significance. We identified an osteosarcoma network assembling well-known and lesser-known candidates. The derived network shows a significant connectivity and modularity suggesting that the genes affected by the heterogeneous genetic alterations share the same biological context. The network modules participate in several critical aspects of cancer biology like DNA damage response, cell growth, and cell motility which is in line with the hypothesis of specifically deregulated but functional modules in cancer. Further, we could deduce genes with possible prognostic significance in OS for further investigation (e.g. EZR, CDKN2A, MAP3K5). Several of those module genes were located on chromosome 6q. The given systems biological approach provides evidence that heterogeneity on the genomic and expression level is ordered by the biological system on the level of the functional modules. Different genomic aberrations are pointing to the same cellular network vicinity to form vital, but already neoplastically altered, functional modules maintaining OS. This observation, exemplarily now shown for OS, has been under discussion already for a longer time, but often in a hypothetical manner, and

  16. Sexual hormones modulate compensatory renal growth and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo J. Azurmendi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The role played by sexual hormones and vasoactive substances in the compensatory renal growth (CRG that follows uninephrectomy (uNx is still controversial. Intact and gonadectomized adult Wistar rats of both sexes, with and without uNx, performed at 90 days age, were studied at age 150 days. Daily urine volume, electrolyte excretion and kallikrein activity (UKa were determined. Afterwards, glomerular filtration rate and blood pressure were measured, the kidneys weighed and DNA, protein and RNA studied to determine nuclei content and cell size. When the remnant kidney weight at age 150 days was compared with the weight of the kidney removed at the time of uNx, male uNx rats showed the greatest CRG (50% while growth in the other uNx groups was 25%, 15% and 19% in orchidectomized, female and ovariectomized rats, respectively. The small CRG observed in the uNx female rats was accompanied by the lowest glomerular filtration value, 0.56 ± 0.02 ml/min/g kwt compared, with the other uNx groups, p < 0.05. Cell size (protein or RNA/DNA was similar for all the groups except for uNx orchidectomized rats. In this group the cytoplasmatic protein or RNA content was lower than in the other groups while DNA (nuclei content was similar. Some degree of hyperplasia was determined by DNA content in the uNx groups. Male sexual hormones positively influenced CRG and its absence modulated cell size. Female sexual hormones, instead, did not appear to stimulate CRG. The kallikrein kinin system may not be involved in CRG.

  17. An Analysis of the Cost and Performance of Photovoltaic Systems as a Function of Module Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horowitz, Kelsey A.W. [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Fu, Ran [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Silverman, Tim [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Woodhouse, Mike [National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Sun, Xingshu [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Alam, Mohammed A. [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)

    2017-04-07

    We investigate the potential effects of module area on the cost and performance of photovoltaic systems. Applying a bottom-up methodology, we analyzed the costs associated with mc-Si and thin-film modules and systems as a function of module area. We calculate a potential for savings of up to $0.04/W, $0.10/W, and $0.13/W in module manufacturing costs for mc-Si, CdTe, and CIGS respectively, with large area modules. We also find that an additional $0.05/W savings in balance-of-systems costs may be achieved. However, these savings are dependent on the ability to maintain efficiency and manufacturing yield as area scales. Lifetime energy yield must also be maintained to realize reductions in the levelized cost of energy. We explore the possible effects of module size on efficiency and energy production, and find that more research is required to understand these issues for each technology. Sensitivity of the $/W cost savings to module efficiency and manufacturing yield is presented. We also discuss non-cost barriers to adoption of large area modules.

  18. A binaural advantage in the subjective modulation transfer function with simple impulse responses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thompson, Eric Robert; Dau, Torsten

    2008-01-01

    into account that humans listen with two ears. There can be large interaural phase differences in the modulation transfer functions, which can create detectable interaural level difference fluctuations. Measurements were made to determine whether these interaural modulation phase differences can be used...... to enhance the detectability of sinusoidal intensity modulations imposed on a broadband noise carrier and then convolved with simple, dichotic impulse responses. The results show that there can be a significant advantage to listening with two ears over listening with just one. Some further investigations...... were made to determine whether this advantage in signal detection can also be used as an advantage for speech intelligibility....

  19. Mining Functional Modules by Multiview-NMF of Phenome-Genome Association

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, YaoGong; Xu, YingJie; Fan, Xin; Hong, Yuxiang; Liu, Jiahui; He, Zhicheng; Huang, Yalou; Xie, Maoqiang

    2017-01-01

    Background: Mining gene modules from genomic data is an important step to detect gene members of pathways or other relations such as protein-protein interactions. In this work, we explore the plausibility of detecting gene modules by factorizing gene-phenotype associations from a phenotype ontology rather than the conventionally used gene expression data. In particular, the hierarchical structure of ontology has not been sufficiently utilized in clustering genes while functionally related gen...

  20. Modeling the allosteric modulation of CCR5 function by Maraviroc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagane, Bernard; Garcia-Perez, Javier; Kellenberger, Esther

    2013-01-01

    Maraviroc is a non-peptidic, low molecular weight CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) ligand that has recently been marketed for the treatment of HIV infected individuals. This review discusses recent molecular modeling studies of CCR5 by homology to CXC chemokine receptor 4, their contribution to the understanding of the allosteric mode of action of the inhibitor and their potential for the development of future drugs with improved efficiency and preservation of CCR5 biological functions.

  1. Dynamic functional connectivity reveals altered variability in functional connectivity among patients with major depressive disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tornador, Cristian; Falcón, Carles; López‐Solà, Marina; Hernández‐Ribas, Rosa; Pujol, Jesús; Menchón, José M.; Ritter, Petra; Cardoner, Narcis; Soriano‐Mas, Carles; Deco, Gustavo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Resting‐state fMRI (RS‐fMRI) has become a useful tool to investigate the connectivity structure of mental health disorders. In the case of major depressive disorder (MDD), recent studies regarding the RS‐fMRI have found abnormal connectivity in several regions of the brain, particularly in the default mode network (DMN). Thus, the relevance of the DMN to self‐referential thoughts and ruminations has made the use of the resting‐state approach particularly important for MDD. The majority of such research has relied on the grand averaged functional connectivity measures based on the temporal correlations between the BOLD time series of various brain regions. We, in our study, investigated the variations in the functional connectivity over time at global and local level using RS‐fMRI BOLD time series of 27 MDD patients and 27 healthy control subjects. We found that global synchronization and temporal stability were significantly increased in the MDD patients. Furthermore, the participants with MDD showed significantly increased overall average (static) functional connectivity (sFC) but decreased variability of functional connectivity (vFC) within specific networks. Static FC increased to predominance among the regions pertaining to the default mode network (DMN), while the decreased variability of FC was observed in the connections between the DMN and the frontoparietal network. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2918–2930, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27120982

  2. Primer Sets Developed for Functional Genes Reveal Shifts in Functionality of Fungal Community in Soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hannula, S.E.; van Veen, J.A.

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity of soil microbes is a hot topic at the moment. However, the molecular tools for the assessment of functional diversity in the fungal community are less developed than tools based on genes encoding the ribosomal operon. Here 20 sets of primers targeting genes involved mainly in

  3. Respiratory modulation of human autonomic function on Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckberg, Dwain L; Cooke, William H; Diedrich, André; Biaggioni, Italo; Buckey, Jay C; Pawelczyk, James A; Ertl, Andrew C; Cox, James F; Kuusela, Tom A; Tahvanainen, Kari U O; Mano, Tadaaki; Iwase, Satoshi; Baisch, Friedhelm J; Levine, Benjamin D; Adams-Huet, Beverley; Robertson, David; Blomqvist, C Gunnar

    2016-10-01

    We studied healthy supine astronauts on Earth with electrocardiogram, non-invasive arterial pressure, respiratory carbon dioxide concentrations, breathing depth and sympathetic nerve recordings. The null hypotheses were that heart beat interval fluctuations at usual breathing frequencies are baroreflex mediated, that they persist during apnoea, and that autonomic responses to apnoea result from changes of chemoreceptor, baroreceptor or lung stretch receptor inputs. R-R interval fluctuations at usual breathing frequencies are unlikely to be baroreflex mediated, and disappear during apnoea. The subjects' responses to apnoea could not be attributed to changes of central chemoreceptor activity (hypocapnia prevailed); altered arterial baroreceptor input (vagal baroreflex gain declined and muscle sympathetic nerve burst areas, frequencies and probabilities increased, even as arterial pressure climbed to new levels); or altered pulmonary stretch receptor activity (major breathing frequency and tidal volume changes did not alter vagal tone or sympathetic activity). Apnoea responses of healthy subjects may result from changes of central respiratory motoneurone activity. We studied eight healthy, supine astronauts on Earth, who followed a simple protocol: they breathed at fixed or random frequencies, hyperventilated and then stopped breathing, as a means to modulate and expose to view important, but obscure central neurophysiological mechanisms. Our recordings included the electrocardiogram, finger photoplethysmographic arterial pressure, tidal volume, respiratory carbon dioxide concentrations and peroneal nerve muscle sympathetic activity. Arterial pressure, vagal tone and muscle sympathetic outflow were comparable during spontaneous and controlled-frequency breathing. Compared with spontaneous, 0.1 and 0.05 Hz breathing, however, breathing at usual frequencies (∼0.25 Hz) lowered arterial baroreflex gain, and provoked smaller arterial pressure and R-R interval

  4. Fish oil supplementation modulates immune function in healthy infants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damsgaard, C.T.; Lauritzen, L.; Kjaer, T.M.R.;

    2007-01-01

    (n-3) PUFA influence immune function in adults and may also affect immune maturation during development. This randomized trial is, to our knowledge, the first to investigate whether fish oil supplementation in late infancy modifies immune responses. The study was a 2 x 2 intervention in 64 healthy...... Danish infants, who received cow's milk or infant formula alone or with fish oil (FO) (3.4 +/- 1.1 mL/d) from 9 to 12 mo of age. Before and after the intervention, fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membranes, plasma IgE, C-reactive protein, and soluble IL-2 receptor concentrations were measured. TNF...

  5. FOXO3 modulates endothelial gene expression and function by classical and alternative mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czymai, Tobias; Viemann, Dorothee; Sticht, Carsten; Molema, Grietje; Goebeler, Matthias; Schmidt, Marc

    2010-04-02

    FOXO transcription factors represent targets of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B survival pathway controlling important biological processes, such as cell cycle progression, apoptosis, vascular remodeling, stress responses, and metabolism. Recent studies suggested the existence of alternative mechanisms of FOXO-dependent gene expression beyond classical binding to a FOXO-responsive DNA-binding element (FRE). Here we analyzed the relative contribution of those mechanisms to vascular function by comparing the transcriptional and cellular responses to conditional activation of FOXO3 and a corresponding FRE-binding mutant in human primary endothelial cells. We demonstrate that FOXO3 controls expression of vascular remodeling genes in an FRE-dependent manner. In contrast, FOXO3-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis occurs independently of FRE binding, albeit FRE-dependent gene expression augments the proapoptotic response. These findings are supported by bioinformatical analysis, which revealed a statistical overrepresentation of cell cycle regulators and apoptosis-related genes in the group of co-regulated genes. Molecular analysis of FOXO3-induced endothelial apoptosis excluded modulators of the extrinsic death receptor pathway and demonstrated important roles for the BCL-2 family members BIM and NOXA in this process. Although NOXA essentially contributed to FRE-dependent apoptosis, BIM was effectively induced in the absence of FRE-binding, and small interfering RNA-mediated BIM depletion could rescue apoptosis induced by both FOXO3 mutants. These data suggest BIM as a critical cell type-specific mediator of FOXO3-induced endothelial apoptosis, whereas NOXA functions as an amplifying factor. Our study provides the first comprehensive analysis of alternatively regulated FOXO3 targets in relevant primary cells and underscores the importance of such genes for endothelial function and integrity.

  6. Modulation of lipoprotein receptor functions by intracellular adaptor proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolt, Peggy C; Bock, Hans H

    2006-10-01

    Members of the low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor gene family are critically involved in a wide range of physiological processes including lipid and vitamin homeostasis, cellular migration, neurodevelopment, and synaptic plasticity, to name a few. Lipoprotein receptors exert these diverse biological functions by acting as cellular uptake receptors or by inducing intracellular signaling cascades. It was discovered that a short sequence in the intracellular region of all lipoprotein receptors, Asn-Pro-X-Tyr (NPXY) is important for mediating either endocytosis or signal transduction events, and that this motif serves as a binding site for phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain containing scaffold proteins. These molecular adaptors connect the transmembrane receptors with the endocytosis machinery and regulate cellular trafficking, or function as assembly sites for dynamic multi-protein signaling complexes. Whereas the LDL receptor represents the archetype of an endocytic lipoprotein receptor, the structurally closely related apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (apoER2) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) receptor activate a kinase-dependent intracellular signaling cascade after binding to the neuronal signaling molecule Reelin. This review focuses on two related PTB domain containing adaptor proteins that mediate these divergent lipoprotein receptor responses, ARH (autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia protein) and Dab1 (disabled-1), and discusses the structural and molecular basis of this different behaviour.

  7. Myocyte repolarization modulates myocardial function in aging dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorrentino, Andrea; Signore, Sergio; Qanud, Khaled; Borghetti, Giulia; Meo, Marianna; Cannata, Antonio; Zhou, Yu; Wybieralska, Ewa; Luciani, Marco; Kannappan, Ramaswamy; Zhang, Eric; Matsuda, Alex; Webster, Andrew; Cimini, Maria; Kertowidjojo, Elizabeth; D'Alessandro, David A; Wunimenghe, Oriyanhan; Michler, Robert E; Royer, Christopher; Goichberg, Polina; Leri, Annarosa; Barrett, Edward G; Anversa, Piero; Hintze, Thomas H; Rota, Marcello

    2016-04-01

    Studies of myocardial aging are complex and the mechanisms involved in the deterioration of ventricular performance and decreased functional reserve of the old heart remain to be properly defined. We have studied a colony of beagle dogs from 3 to 14 yr of age kept under a highly regulated environment to define the effects of aging on the myocardium. Ventricular, myocardial, and myocyte function, together with anatomical and structural properties of the organ and cardiomyocytes, were evaluated. Ventricular hypertrophy was not observed with aging and the structural composition of the myocardium was modestly affected. Alterations in the myocyte compartment were identified in aged dogs, and these factors negatively interfere with the contractile reserve typical of the young heart. The duration of the action potential is prolonged in old cardiomyocytes contributing to the slower electrical recovery of the myocardium. Also, the remodeled repolarization of cardiomyocytes with aging provides inotropic support to the senescent muscle but compromises its contractile reserve, rendering the old heart ineffective under conditions of high hemodynamic demand. The defects in the electrical and mechanical properties of cardiomyocytes with aging suggest that this cell population is an important determinant of the cardiac senescent phenotype. Collectively, the delayed electrical repolarization of aging cardiomyocytes may be viewed as a critical variable of the aging myopathy and its propensity to evolve into ventricular decompensation under stressful conditions.

  8. Predictability of Genetic Interactions from Functional Gene Modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan H. Young

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Characterizing genetic interactions is crucial to understanding cellular and organismal response to gene-level perturbations. Such knowledge can inform the selection of candidate disease therapy targets, yet experimentally determining whether genes interact is technically nontrivial and time-consuming. High-fidelity prediction of different classes of genetic interactions in multiple organisms would substantially alleviate this experimental burden. Under the hypothesis that functionally related genes tend to share common genetic interaction partners, we evaluate a computational approach to predict genetic interactions in Homo sapiens, Drosophila melanogaster, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. By leveraging knowledge of functional relationships between genes, we cross-validate predictions on known genetic interactions and observe high predictive power of multiple classes of genetic interactions in all three organisms. Additionally, our method suggests high-confidence candidate interaction pairs that can be directly experimentally tested. A web application is provided for users to query genes for predicted novel genetic interaction partners. Finally, by subsampling the known yeast genetic interaction network, we found that novel genetic interactions are predictable even when knowledge of currently known interactions is minimal.

  9. Nanoscale Structural Plasticity of the Active Zone Matrix Modulates Presynaptic Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glebov, Oleg O; Jackson, Rachel E; Winterflood, Christian M; Owen, Dylan M; Barker, Ellen A; Doherty, Patrick; Ewers, Helge; Burrone, Juan

    2017-03-14

    The active zone (AZ) matrix of presynaptic terminals coordinates the recruitment of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and synaptic vesicles to orchestrate neurotransmitter release. However, the spatial organization of the AZ and how it controls vesicle fusion remain poorly understood. Here, we employ super-resolution microscopy and ratiometric imaging to visualize the AZ structure on the nanoscale, revealing segregation between the AZ matrix, VGCCs, and putative release sites. Long-term blockade of neuronal activity leads to reversible AZ matrix unclustering and presynaptic actin depolymerization, allowing for enrichment of AZ machinery. Conversely, patterned optogenetic stimulation of postsynaptic neurons retrogradely enhanced AZ clustering. In individual synapses, AZ clustering was inversely correlated with local VGCC recruitment and vesicle cycling. Acute actin depolymerization led to rapid (5 min) nanoscale AZ matrix unclustering. We propose a model whereby neuronal activity modulates presynaptic function in a homeostatic manner by altering the clustering state of the AZ matrix. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Cardiac effects of 3-iodothyronamine: a new aminergic system modulating cardiac function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiellini, Grazia; Frascarelli, Sabina; Ghelardoni, Sandra; Carnicelli, Vittoria; Tobias, Sandra C; DeBarber, Andrea; Brogioni, Simona; Ronca-Testoni, Simonetta; Cerbai, Elisabetta; Grandy, David K; Scanlan, Thomas S; Zucchi, Riccardo

    2007-05-01

    3-Iodothyronamine T1AM is a novel endogenous thyroid hormone derivative that activates the G protein-coupled receptor known as trace anime-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). In the isolated working rat heart and in rat cardiomyocytes, T1AM produced a reversible, dose-dependent negative inotropic effect (e.g., 27+/-5, 51+/-3, and 65+/-2% decrease in cardiac output at 19, 25, and 38 microM concentration, respectively). An independent negative chronotropic effect was also observed. The hemodynamic effects of T1AM were remarkably increased in the presence of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein, whereas they were attenuated in the presence of the tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor vanadate. No effect was produced by inhibitors of protein kinase A, protein kinase C, calcium-calmodulin kinase II, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, or MAP kinases. Tissue cAMP levels were unchanged. In rat ventricular tissue, Western blot experiments with antiphosphotyrosine antibodies showed reduced phosphorylation of microsomal and cytosolic proteins after perfusion with synthetic T1AM; reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction experiments revealed the presence of transcripts for at least 5 TAAR subtypes; specific and saturable binding of [125I]T1AM was observed, with a dissociation constant in the low micromolar range (5 microM); and endogenous T1AM was detectable by tandem mass spectrometry. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence for the existence of a novel aminergic system modulating cardiac function.

  11. Structural Insights into the Assembly and Function of the SAGA Deubiquitinating Module

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samara, Nadine L.; Datta, Ajit B.; Berndsen, Christopher E.; Zhang, Xiangbin; Yao, Tingting; Cohen, Robert E.; Wolberger, Cynthia (CSU); (JHU-MED)

    2010-08-18

    SAGA is a transcriptional coactivator complex that is conserved across eukaryotes and performs multiple functions during transcriptional activation and elongation. One role is deubiquitination of histone H2B, and this activity resides in a distinct subcomplex called the deubiquitinating module (DUBm), which contains the ubiquitin-specific protease Ubp8, bound to Sgf11, Sus1, and Sgf73. The deubiquitinating activity depends on the presence of all four DUBm proteins. We report here the 1.90 angstrom resolution crystal structure of the DUBm bound to ubiquitin aldehyde, as well as the 2.45 angstrom resolution structure of the uncomplexed DUBm. The structure reveals an arrangement of protein domains that gives rise to a highly interconnected complex, which is stabilized by eight structural zinc atoms that are critical for enzymatic activity. The structure suggests a model for how interactions with the other DUBm proteins activate Ubp8 and allows us to speculate about how the DUBm binds to monoubiquitinated histone H2B in nucleosomes.

  12. Hijacking mitochondria: bacterial toxins that modulate mitochondrial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jhih-Hang; Tong, Janette; Gabriel, Kipros

    2012-05-01

    Bacterial infection has enormous global social and economic impacts stemming from effects on human health and agriculture. Although there are still many unanswered questions, decades of research has uncovered many of the pathogenic mechanisms at play. It is now clear that bacterial pathogens produce a plethora of proteins known as "toxins" and "effectors" that target a variety of physiological host processes during the course of infection. One of the targets of host targeted bacterial toxins and effectors are the mitochondria. The mitochondrial organelles are major players in many biological functions, including energy conversion to ATP and cell death pathways, which inherently makes them targets for bacterial proteins. We present a summary of the toxins targeted to mitochondria and for those that have been studied in finer detail, we also summarize what we know about the mechanisms of targeting and finally their action at the organelle.

  13. Fish oil supplementation modulates immune function in healthy infants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damsgaard, Camilla Trab; Lauritzen, Lotte; Kjær, Tanja M.R.

    2007-01-01

    (n-3) PUFA influence immune function in adults and may also affect immune maturation during development. This randomized trial is, to our knowledge, the first to investigate whether fish oil supplementation in late infancy modifies immune responses. The study was a 2 3 2 intervention in 64 healthy......-a, INF-g, and IL-10 concentrations in whole-blood cultures, stimulated for 22 h with LPS1phytohemaglutinin (PHA) or Lactobacillus paracasei, were also determined. IgA was measured in feces when infants were 10 mo of age. FO supplementation effectively raised erythrocyte (n-3) PUFA (P , 0.001), increased......, this study suggests a faster immune maturation with FO supplementation with no apparent reduction in immune activation. The implications for later health need further investigation. J...

  14. Selective oestrogen receptor modulators differentially potentiate brain mitochondrial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, R W; Yao, J; To, J; Hamilton, R T; Cadenas, E; Brinton, R D

    2012-01-01

    The mitochondrial energy-transducing capacity of the brain is important for long-term neurological health and is influenced by endocrine hormone responsiveness. The present study aimed to determine the role of oestrogen receptor (ER) subtypes in regulating mitochondrial function using selective agonists for ERα (propylpyrazoletriol; PPT) and ERβ (diarylpropionitrile; DPN). Ovariectomised female rats were treated with 17β-oestradiol (E(2) ), PPT, DPN or vehicle control. Both ER selective agonists significantly increased the mitochondrial respiratory control ratio and cytochrome oxidase (COX) activity relative to vehicle. Western blots of purified whole brain mitochondria detected ERα and, to a greater extent, ERβ localisation. Pre-treatment with DPN, an ERβ agonist, significantly increased ERβ association with mitochondria. In the hippocampus, DPN activated mitochondrial DNA-encoded COX I expression, whereas PPT was ineffective, indicating that mechanistically ERβ, and not ERα, activated mitochondrial transcriptional machinery. Both selective ER agonists increased protein expression of nuclear DNA-encoded COX IV, suggesting that activation of ERβ or ERα is sufficient. Selective ER agonists up-regulated a panel of bioenergetic enzymes and antioxidant defence proteins. Up-regulated proteins included pyruvate dehydrogenase, ATP synthase, manganese superoxide dismutase and peroxiredoxin V. In vitro, whole cell metabolism was assessed in live primary cultured hippocampal neurones and mixed glia. The results of analyses conducted in vitro were consistent with data obtained in vivo. Furthermore, lipid peroxides, accumulated as a result of hormone deprivation, were significantly reduced by E(2) , PPT and DPN. These findings suggest that the activation of both ERα and ERβ is differentially required to potentiate mitochondrial function in brain. As active components in hormone therapy, synthetically designed oestrogens as well as natural phyto-oestrogen cocktails

  15. Oct4 targets regulatory nodes to modulate stem cell function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pearl A Campbell

    Full Text Available Stem cells are characterized by two defining features, the ability to self-renew and to differentiate into highly specialized cell types. The POU homeodomain transcription factor Oct4 (Pou5f1 is an essential mediator of the embryonic stem cell state and has been implicated in lineage specific differentiation, adult stem cell identity, and cancer. Recent description of the regulatory networks which maintain 'ES' have highlighted a dual role for Oct4 in the transcriptional activation of genes required to maintain self-renewal and pluripotency while concomitantly repressing genes which facilitate lineage specific differentiation. However, the molecular mechanism by which Oct4 mediates differential activation or repression at these loci to either maintain stem cell identity or facilitate the emergence of alternate transcriptional programs required for the realization of lineage remains to be elucidated. To further investigate Oct4 function, we employed gene expression profiling together with a robust statistical analysis to identify genes highly correlated to Oct4. Gene Ontology analysis to categorize overrepresented genes has led to the identification of themes which may prove essential to stem cell identity, including chromatin structure, nuclear architecture, cell cycle control, DNA repair, and apoptosis. Our experiments have identified previously unappreciated roles for Oct4 for firstly, regulating chromatin structure in a state consistent with self-renewal and pluripotency, and secondly, facilitating the expression of genes that keeps the cell poised to respond to cues that lead to differentiation. Together, these data define the mechanism by which Oct4 orchestrates cellular regulatory pathways to enforce the stem cell state and provides important insight into stem cell function and cancer.

  16. Functional Analysis of GLRX5 Mutants Reveals Distinct Functionalities of GLRX5 Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Gang; Wang, Yongwei; Anderson, Gregory J; Camaschella, Clara; Chang, Yanzhong; Nie, Guangjun

    2016-01-01

    Glutaredoxin 5 (GLRX5) is a 156 amino acid mitochondrial protein that plays an essential role in mitochondrial iron-sulfur cluster transfer. Mutations in this protein were reported to result in sideroblastic anemia and variant nonketotic hyperglycinemia in human. Recently, we have characterized a Chinese congenital sideroblastic anemia patient who has two compound heterozygous missense mutations (c. 301 A>C and c. 443 T>C) in his GLRX5 gene. Herein, we developed a GLRX5 knockout K562 cell line and studied the biochemical functions of the identified pathogenic mutations and other conserved amino acids with predicted essential functions. We observed that the K101Q mutation (due to c. 301 A>C mutation) may prevent the binding of [Fe-S] to GLRX5 protein, while L148S (due to c. 443 T>C mutation) may interfere with [Fe-S] transfer from GLRX5 to iron regulatory protein 1 (IRP1), mitochondrial aconitase (m-aconitase) and ferrochelatase. We also demonstrated that L148S is functionally complementary to the K51del mutant with respect to Fe/S-ferrochelatase, Fe/S-IRP1, Fe/S-succinate dehydrogenase, and Fe/S-m-aconitase biosynthesis and lipoylation of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the mutations of highly conserved amino acid residues in GLRX5 protein can have different effects on downstream Fe/S proteins. Collectively, our current work demonstrates that GLRX5 protein is multifunctional in [Fe-S] protein synthesis and maturation and defects of the different amino acids of the protein will lead to distinct effects on downstream Fe/S biosynthesis.

  17. Functional interactome of Aquaporin 1 sub-family reveals new physiological functions in Arabidopsis Thaliana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Ragab Abdel Gawwad

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Aquaporins are channel proteins found in plasma membranes and intercellular membranes of different cellular compartments, facilitate the water flux, solutes and gases across the cellular plasma membranes. The present study highlights the sub-family plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP predicting the 3-D structure and analyzing the functional interactome of it homologs. PIP1 homologs integrate with many proteins with different plant physiological roles in Arabidopsis thaliana including; PIP1A and PIP1B: facilitate the transport of water, diffusion of amino acids and/or peptides from the vacuolar compartment to the cytoplasm, play a role in the control of cell turgor and cell expansion and involved in root water uptake respectively. In addition we found that PIP1B plays a defensive role against Pseudomonas syringae infection through the interaction with the plasma membrane Rps2 protein. Another substantial function of PIP1C via the interaction with PIP2E is the response to nematode infection. Generally, PIP1 sub-family interactome controlling many physiological processes in plant cell like; osmoregulation in plants under high osmotic stress such as under a high salt, response to nematode, facilitate the transport of water across cell membrane and regulation of floral initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

  18. Functional dissection of the proton pumping modules of mitochondrial complex I.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Dröse

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial complex I, the largest and most complicated proton pump of the respiratory chain, links the electron transfer from NADH to ubiquinone to the pumping of four protons from the matrix into the intermembrane space. In humans, defects in complex I are involved in a wide range of degenerative disorders. Recent progress in the X-ray structural analysis of prokaryotic and eukaryotic complex I confirmed that the redox reactions are confined entirely to the hydrophilic peripheral arm of the L-shaped molecule and take place at a remarkable distance from the membrane domain. While this clearly implies that the proton pumping within the membrane arm of complex I is driven indirectly via long-range conformational coupling, the molecular mechanism and the number, identity, and localization of the pump-sites remains unclear. Here, we report that upon deletion of the gene for a small accessory subunit of the Yarrowia complex I, a stable subcomplex (nb8mΔ is formed that lacks the distal part of the membrane domain as revealed by single particle analysis. The analysis of the subunit composition of holo and subcomplex by three complementary proteomic approaches revealed that two (ND4 and ND5 of the three subunits with homology to bacterial Mrp-type Na(+/H(+ antiporters that have been discussed as prime candidates for harbouring the proton pumps were missing in nb8mΔ. Nevertheless, nb8mΔ still pumps protons at half the stoichiometry of the complete enzyme. Our results provide evidence that the membrane arm of complex I harbours two functionally distinct pump modules that are connected in series by the long helical transmission element recently identified by X-ray structural analysis.

  19. Event related desynchronization-modulated functional electrical stimulation system for stroke rehabilitation: A feasibility study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahashi Mitsuru

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We developed an electroencephalogram-based brain computer interface system to modulate functional electrical stimulation (FES to the affected tibialis anterior muscle in a stroke patient. The intensity of FES current increased in a stepwise manner when the event-related desynchronization (ERD reflecting motor intent was continuously detected from the primary cortical motor area. Methods We tested the feasibility of the ERD-modulated FES system in comparison with FES without ERD modulation. The stroke patient who presented with severe hemiparesis attempted to perform dorsiflexion of the paralyzed ankle during which FES was applied either with or without ERD modulation. Results After 20 minutes of training, the range of movement at the ankle joint and the electromyography amplitude of the affected tibialis anterior muscle were significantly increased following the ERD-modulated FES compared with the FES alone. Conclusions The proposed rehabilitation technique using ERD-modulated FES for stroke patients was feasible. The system holds potentials to improve the limb function and to benefit stroke patients.

  20. Construction of multi-functional open modulized Matlab simulation toolbox for imaging ladar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Long; Zhao, Yuan; Tang, Meng; He, Jiang; Zhang, Yong

    2011-06-01

    Ladar system simulation is to simulate the ladar models using computer simulation technology in order to predict the performance of the ladar system. This paper presents the developments of laser imaging radar simulation for domestic and overseas studies and the studies of computer simulation on ladar system with different application requests. The LadarSim and FOI-LadarSIM simulation facilities of Utah State University and Swedish Defence Research Agency are introduced in details. This paper presents the low level of simulation scale, un-unified design and applications of domestic researches in imaging ladar system simulation, which are mostly to achieve simple function simulation based on ranging equations for ladar systems. Design of laser imaging radar simulation with open and modularized structure is proposed to design unified modules for ladar system, laser emitter, atmosphere models, target models, signal receiver, parameters setting and system controller. Unified Matlab toolbox and standard control modules have been built with regulated input and output of the functions, and the communication protocols between hardware modules. A simulation based on ICCD gain-modulated imaging ladar system for a space shuttle is made based on the toolbox. The simulation result shows that the models and parameter settings of the Matlab toolbox are able to simulate the actual detection process precisely. The unified control module and pre-defined parameter settings simplify the simulation of imaging ladar detection. Its open structures enable the toolbox to be modified for specialized requests. The modulization gives simulations flexibility.

  1. Signal Quality Enhancement of Directly- Modulated VCSELs Using a Micro-Ring Resonator Transfer Function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    An, Yi; Muller, M.; Estaran Tolosa, Jose Manuel

    2013-01-01

    A micro-ring resonator transfer function is used to enhance the quality of signals generated using directly modulated VCSELs. The scheme is demonstrated up to 25 Gbit/s with a 17.6-GHz VCSEL, with up to 10 dB sensitivity improvement.......A micro-ring resonator transfer function is used to enhance the quality of signals generated using directly modulated VCSELs. The scheme is demonstrated up to 25 Gbit/s with a 17.6-GHz VCSEL, with up to 10 dB sensitivity improvement....

  2. Carbon monoxide: from toxin to endogenous modulator of cardiovascular functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.A. Johnson

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Carbon monoxide (CO is a pollutant commonly recognized for its toxicological attributes, including CNS and cardiovascular effects. But CO is also formed endogenously in mammalian tissues. Endogenously formed CO normally arises from heme degradation in a reaction catalyzed by heme oxygenase. While inhibitors of endogenous CO production can raise arterial pressure, heme loading can enhance CO production and lead to vasodepression. Both central and peripheral tissues possess heme oxygenases and generate CO from heme, but the inability of heme substrate to cross the blood brain barrier suggests the CNS heme-heme oxygenase-CO system may be independent of the periphery. In the CNS, CO apparently acts in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS promoting changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission and lowering blood pressure. At the periphery, the heme-heme oxygenase-CO system can affect cardiovascular functions in a two-fold manner; specifically: 1 heme-derived CO generated within vascular smooth muscle (VSM can promote vasodilation, but 2 its actions on the endothelium apparently can promote vasoconstriction. Thus, it seems reasonable that the CNS-, VSM- and endothelial-dependent actions of the heme-heme oxygenase-CO system may all affect cardiac output and vascular resistance, and subsequently blood pressure.

  3. Fish oil supplementation modulates immune function in healthy infants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damsgaard, C.T.; Lauritzen, L.; Kjaer, T.M.R.

    2007-01-01

    Danish infants, who received cow's milk or infant formula alone or with fish oil (FO) (3.4 +/- 1.1 mL/d) from 9 to 12 mo of age. Before and after the intervention, fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membranes, plasma IgE, C-reactive protein, and soluble IL-2 receptor concentrations were measured. TNF......(n-3) PUFA influence immune function in adults and may also affect immune maturation during development. This randomized trial is, to our knowledge, the first to investigate whether fish oil supplementation in late infancy modifies immune responses. The study was a 2 x 2 intervention in 64 healthy.......02). Feeding milk rather than formula did not affect cytokine production, but plasma soluble IL-2 receptor concentration was greater in the formula group than in the cow's milk group (P = 0.03). Since the capacity to produce INF-gamma has been proposed as a maturation marker for the immune system in early life...

  4. Fish oil supplementation modulates immune function in healthy infants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damsgaard, Camilla Trab; Lauritzen, Lotte; Kjær, Tanja M.R.

    2007-01-01

    Danish infants, who received cow's milk or infant formula alone or with fish oil (FO) (3.4 6 1.1 mL/d) from 9 to 12 mo of age. Before and after the intervention, fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membranes, plasma IgE, C-reactive protein, and soluble IL-2 receptor concentrations were measured. TNF......(n-3) PUFA influence immune function in adults and may also affect immune maturation during development. This randomized trial is, to our knowledge, the first to investigate whether fish oil supplementation in late infancy modifies immune responses. The study was a 2 3 2 intervention in 64 healthy.......02). Feeding milk rather than formula did not affect cytokine production, but plasma soluble IL-2 receptor concentration was greater in the formula group than in the cow's milk group (P ¼ 0.03). Since the capacity to produce INF-g has been proposed as a maturation marker for the immune system in early life...

  5. A functional screen reveals an extensive layer of transcriptional and splicing control underlying RAS/MAPK signaling in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dariel Ashton-Beaucage

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The small GTPase RAS is among the most prevalent oncogenes. The evolutionarily conserved RAF-MEK-MAPK module that lies downstream of RAS is one of the main conduits through which RAS transmits proliferative signals in normal and cancer cells. Genetic and biochemical studies conducted over the last two decades uncovered a small set of factors regulating RAS/MAPK signaling. Interestingly, most of these were found to control RAF activation, thus suggesting a central regulatory role for this event. Whether additional factors are required at this level or further downstream remains an open question. To obtain a comprehensive view of the elements functionally linked to the RAS/MAPK cascade, we used a quantitative assay in Drosophila S2 cells to conduct a genome-wide RNAi screen for factors impacting RAS-mediated MAPK activation. The screen led to the identification of 101 validated hits, including most of the previously known factors associated to this pathway. Epistasis experiments were then carried out on individual candidates to determine their position relative to core pathway components. While this revealed several new factors acting at different steps along the pathway--including a new protein complex modulating RAF activation--we found that most hits unexpectedly work downstream of MEK and specifically influence MAPK expression. These hits mainly consist of constitutive splicing factors and thereby suggest that splicing plays a specific role in establishing MAPK levels. We further characterized two representative members of this group and surprisingly found that they act by regulating mapk alternative splicing. This study provides an unprecedented assessment of the factors modulating RAS/MAPK signaling in Drosophila. In addition, it suggests that pathway output does not solely rely on classical signaling events, such as those controlling RAF activation, but also on the regulation of MAPK levels. Finally, it indicates that core splicing

  6. A Functional Screen Reveals an Extensive Layer of Transcriptional and Splicing Control Underlying RAS/MAPK Signaling in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashton-Beaucage, Dariel; Udell, Christian M.; Gendron, Patrick; Sahmi, Malha; Lefrançois, Martin; Baril, Caroline; Guenier, Anne-Sophie; Duchaine, Jean; Lamarre, Daniel; Lemieux, Sébastien; Therrien, Marc

    2014-01-01

    The small GTPase RAS is among the most prevalent oncogenes. The evolutionarily conserved RAF-MEK-MAPK module that lies downstream of RAS is one of the main conduits through which RAS transmits proliferative signals in normal and cancer cells. Genetic and biochemical studies conducted over the last two decades uncovered a small set of factors regulating RAS/MAPK signaling. Interestingly, most of these were found to control RAF activation, thus suggesting a central regulatory role for this event. Whether additional factors are required at this level or further downstream remains an open question. To obtain a comprehensive view of the elements functionally linked to the RAS/MAPK cascade, we used a quantitative assay in Drosophila S2 cells to conduct a genome-wide RNAi screen for factors impacting RAS-mediated MAPK activation. The screen led to the identification of 101 validated hits, including most of the previously known factors associated to this pathway. Epistasis experiments were then carried out on individual candidates to determine their position relative to core pathway components. While this revealed several new factors acting at different steps along the pathway—including a new protein complex modulating RAF activation—we found that most hits unexpectedly work downstream of MEK and specifically influence MAPK expression. These hits mainly consist of constitutive splicing factors and thereby suggest that splicing plays a specific role in establishing MAPK levels. We further characterized two representative members of this group and surprisingly found that they act by regulating mapk alternative splicing. This study provides an unprecedented assessment of the factors modulating RAS/MAPK signaling in Drosophila. In addition, it suggests that pathway output does not solely rely on classical signaling events, such as those controlling RAF activation, but also on the regulation of MAPK levels. Finally, it indicates that core splicing components can also

  7. Carbofuran Modulating Functions of Acetylcholinesterase from Rat Brain In Vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Kumar Gupta

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Carbofuran, a potential environmental xenobiotic, has the ability to cross blood brain barrier and to adversely influence brain functions. In the present study, the impact of carbofuran on the biophysical and biochemical properties of rat brain AChE has been evaluated in vitro. This enzyme was membrane-bound which could be solubilised using Triton-X100 (0.2%, v/v, a nonionic detergent, in the extraction buffer (50 mM phosphate, pH 7.4. The enzyme was highly stable up to one month when stored at -20°C and exhibited optimum activity at pH 7.4 and 37°C. AChE displayed a direct relationship between activity and varying substrate concentrations (acetylthiocholine iodide (ATI by following Michaelis-Menten curve. The Km and Vmax values as computed from the Lineweaver-Burk double reciprocal plot of the data were found to be 0.07 mM and 0.066 µmole/mL/min, respectively. The enzyme exhibited IC50 value for carbofuran equal to 6.0 nM. The steady-state kinetic studies to determine mode of action of carbofuran on rat brain AChE displayed it to be noncompetitive in nature with Ki value equal to 5 nm. These experiments suggested that rat brain AChE was very sensitive to carbofuran and this enzyme might serve as a significant biomarker of carbofuran induced neurotoxicity.

  8. Complex interplay between the P-glycoprotein multidrug efflux pump and the membrane: its role in modulating protein function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frances Jane Sharom

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Multidrug resistance in cancer is linked to expression of the P-glycoprotein multidrug transporter (Pgp, ABCB1, which exports many structurally diverse compounds from cells. Substrates first partition into the bilayer and then interact with a large flexible binding pocket within the transporter’s transmembrane regions. Pgp has been described as a hydrophobic vacuum cleaner or an outwardly-directed drug/lipid flippase. Recent X-ray crystal structures have shed some light on the nature of the drug-binding pocket and suggested routes by which substrates can enter it from the membrane. Detergents have profound effects on Pgp function, and several appear to be substrates. Biochemical and biophysical studies in vitro, some using purified reconstituted protein, have explored the effects of the membrane environment. They have demonstrated that Pgp is involved in a complex relationship with its lipid environment, which modulates the behaviour of its substrates, as well as various functions of the protein, including ATP hydrolysis, drug binding and drug transport. Membrane lipid composition and fluidity, phospholipid headgroup and acyl chain length all influence Pgp function. Recent studies focusing on thermodynamics and kinetics have revealed some important principles governing Pgp-lipid and substrate-lipid interactions, and how these affect drug binding and transport. In some cells, Pgp is associated with cholesterol-rich microdomains which may modulate its functions. The relationship between Pgp and cholesterol remains an open question; however it clearly affects several aspects of its function in addition to substrate-membrane partitioning. The action of Pgp modulators appears to depend on their membrane permeability, and membrane fluidizers and surfactants reverse drug resistance, likely via an indirect mechanism. A detailed understanding of how the membrane affects Pgp substrates and Pgp’s catalytic cycle may lead to new strategies to combat

  9. Temporal modulation transfer functions obtained using sinusoidal carriers with normally hearing and hearing-impaired listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, B C; Glasberg, B R

    2001-08-01

    Temporal modulation transfer functions were obtained using sinusoidal carriers for four normally hearing subjects and three subjects with mild to moderate cochlear hearing loss. Carrier frequencies were 1000, 2000 and 5000 Hz, and modulation frequencies ranged from 10 to 640 Hz in one-octave steps. The normally hearing subjects were tested using levels of 30 and 80 dB SPL. For the higher level, modulation detection thresholds varied only slightly with modulation frequency for frequencies up to 80 Hz, but decreased for high modulation frequencies. The decrease can be attributed to the detection of spectral sidebands. For the lower level, thresholds varied little with modulation frequency for all three carrier frequencies. The absence of a decrease in the threshold for large modulation frequencies can be explained by the low sensation level of the spectral sidebands. The hearing-impaired subjects were tested at 80 dB SPL, except for two cases where the absolute threshold at the carrier frequency was greater than 70 dB SPL; in these cases a level of 90 dB was used. The results were consistent with the idea that spectral sidebands were less detectable for the hearing-impaired than for the normally hearing subjects. For the two lower carrier frequencies, there were no large decreases in threshold with increasing modulation frequency, and where decreases did occur, this happened only between 320 and 640 Hz. For the 5000-Hz carrier, thresholds were roughly constant for modulation frequencies from 10 to 80 or 160 Hz, and then increased monotonically, becoming unmeasurable at 640 Hz. The results for this carrier may reflect "pure" effects of temporal resolution, without any influence from the detection of spectral sidebands. The results suggest that temporal resolution for deterministic stimuli is similar for normally hearing and hearing-impaired listeners.

  10. In actio optophysiological analyses reveal functional diversification of dopaminergic neurons in the nematode C. elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng; Fujie, Yukako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Kimura, Koutarou D.

    2016-05-01

    Many neuronal groups such as dopamine-releasing (dopaminergic) neurons are functionally divergent, although the details of such divergence are not well understood. Dopamine in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans modulates various neural functions and is released from four left-right pairs of neurons. The terminal identities of these dopaminergic neurons are regulated by the same genetic program, and previous studies have suggested that they are functionally redundant. In this study, however, we show functional divergence within the dopaminergic neurons of C. elegans. Because dopaminergic neurons of the animals were supposedly activated by mechanical stimulus upon entry into a lawn of their food bacteria, we developed a novel integrated microscope system that can auto-track a freely-moving (in actio) C. elegans to individually monitor and stimulate the neuronal activities of multiple neurons. We found that only head-dorsal pair of dopaminergic neurons (CEPD), but not head-ventral or posterior pairs, were preferentially activated upon food entry. In addition, the optogenetic activation of CEPD neurons alone exhibited effects similar to those observed upon food entry. Thus, our results demonstrated functional divergence in the genetically similar dopaminergic neurons, which may provide a new entry point toward understanding functional diversity of neurons beyond genetic terminal identification.

  11. In actio optophysiological analyses reveal functional diversification of dopaminergic neurons in the nematode C. elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanimoto, Yuki; Zheng, Ying Grace; Fei, Xianfeng; Fujie, Yukako; Hashimoto, Koichi; Kimura, Koutarou D.

    2016-01-01

    Many neuronal groups such as dopamine-releasing (dopaminergic) neurons are functionally divergent, although the details of such divergence are not well understood. Dopamine in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans modulates various neural functions and is released from four left-right pairs of neurons. The terminal identities of these dopaminergic neurons are regulated by the same genetic program, and previous studies have suggested that they are functionally redundant. In this study, however, we show functional divergence within the dopaminergic neurons of C. elegans. Because dopaminergic neurons of the animals were supposedly activated by mechanical stimulus upon entry into a lawn of their food bacteria, we developed a novel integrated microscope system that can auto-track a freely-moving (in actio) C. elegans to individually monitor and stimulate the neuronal activities of multiple neurons. We found that only head-dorsal pair of dopaminergic neurons (CEPD), but not head-ventral or posterior pairs, were preferentially activated upon food entry. In addition, the optogenetic activation of CEPD neurons alone exhibited effects similar to those observed upon food entry. Thus, our results demonstrated functional divergence in the genetically similar dopaminergic neurons, which may provide a new entry point toward understanding functional diversity of neurons beyond genetic terminal identification. PMID:27193056

  12. Insulin modulates cocaine-sensitive monoamine transporter function and impulsive behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoffelmeer, Anton N M; Drukarch, Benjamin; De Vries, Taco J; Hogenboom, François; Schetters, Dustin; Pattij, Tommy

    2011-01-26

    Because insulin acutely enhances the function of dopamine transporters, the tyrosine kinase receptors activated by this hormone may modulate transporter-dependent neurochemical and behavioral effects of psychoactive drugs. In this respect, we examined the effects of insulin on exocytotic monoamine release and the efficacy of the monoamine transporter blocker cocaine in rat nucleus accumbens. Whereas insulin reduced electrically evoked exocytotic [(3)H]dopamine release in nucleus accumbens slices, the hormone potentiated the release-enhancing effect of cocaine thereon. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 abolished these effects, indicating the involvement of insulin receptors. Similar insulin effects were observed on the release of [(3)H]norepinephrine in nucleus accumbens slices, but not on that of [(3)H]serotonin, and were also apparent in medial prefrontal cortex slices. As might then be expected, insulin also potentiated the dopamine and norepinephrine release-enhancing effects of the selective monoamine uptake inhibitors GBR12909 and desmethylimipramine, respectively. In subsequent behavioral experiments, we investigated the role of insulin in motor impulsivity that depends on monoamine neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens. Intracranial administration of insulin in the nucleus accumbens alone reduced premature responses in the five-choice serial reaction time task and enhanced the stimulatory effect of peripheral cocaine administration on impulsivity, resembling the observed neurochemical effects of the hormone. In contrast, cocaine-induced locomotor activity remained unchanged by intra-accumbal insulin application. These data reveal that insulin presynaptically regulates cocaine-sensitive monoamine transporter function in the nucleus accumbens and, as a consequence, impulsivity. Therefore, insulin signaling proteins may represent targets for the treatment of inhibitory control deficits such as addictive behaviors.

  13. Association between periodontal disease and inflammatory arthritis reveals modulatory functions by melanocortin receptor type 3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Melendez, Trinidad; Madeira, Mila F M; Norling, Lucy V; Alsam, Asil; Curtis, Michael A; da Silva, Tarcília A; Perretti, Mauro

    2014-08-01

    Because there is clinical evidence for an association between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to develop suitable experimental models to explore pathogenic mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities. The K/BxN serum model of inflammatory arthritis was applied using distinct protocols, and modulation of joint disruption afforded by dexamethasone and calcitonin was established in comparison to the melanocortin (MC) receptor agonist DTrp(8)-γ-melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH; DTrp). Wild-type and MC receptor type 3 (MC3)-null mice of different ages were also used. There was significant association between severity of joint disease, induced with distinct protocols and volumes of the arthritogenic K/BxN serum, and periodontal bone damage. Therapeutic treatment with 10 μg dexamethasone, 30 ng elcatonin, and 20 μg DTrp per mouse revealed unique and distinctive pharmacological properties, with only DTrp protecting both joint and periodontal tissue. Further analyses in nonarthritic animals revealed higher susceptibility to periodontal bone loss in Mc3r(-/-) compared with wild-type mice, with significant exacerbation at 14 weeks of age. These data reveal novel protective properties of endogenous MC3 on periodontal status in health and disease and indicate that MC3 activation could lead to the development of a new genus of anti-arthritic bone-sparing therapeutics. Copyright © 2014 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Metagenomic analysis reveals significant changes of microbial compositions and protective functions during drinking water treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Yuanqing; Ma, Liping; Yang, Ying; Ju, Feng; Zhang, Xu-Xiang; Wu, Wei-Min; Zhang, Tong

    2013-12-19

    The metagenomic approach was applied to characterize variations of microbial structure and functions in raw (RW) and treated water (TW) in a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) at Pearl River Delta, China. Microbial structure was significantly influenced by the treatment processes, shifting from Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria in RW to Alphaproteobacteria in TW. Further functional analysis indicated the basic metabolic functions of microorganisms in TW did not vary considerably. However, protective functions, i.e. glutathione synthesis genes in 'oxidative stress' and 'detoxification' subsystems, significantly increased, revealing the surviving bacteria may have higher chlorine resistance. Similar results were also found in glutathione metabolism pathway, which identified the major reaction for glutathione synthesis and supported more genes for glutathione metabolism existed in TW. This metagenomic study largely enhanced our knowledge about the influences of treatment processes, especially chlorination, on bacterial community structure and protective functions (e.g. glutathione metabolism) in ecosystems of DWTPs.

  15. Human-mouse comparative genomics: successes and failures to reveal functional regions of the human genome

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pennacchio, Len A.; Baroukh, Nadine; Rubin, Edward M.

    2003-05-15

    Deciphering the genetic code embedded within the human genome remains a significant challenge despite the human genome consortium's recent success at defining its linear sequence (Lander et al. 2001; Venter et al. 2001). While useful strategies exist to identify a large percentage of protein encoding regions, efforts to accurately define functional sequences in the remaining {approx}97 percent of the genome lag. Our primary interest has been to utilize the evolutionary relationship and the universal nature of genomic sequence information in vertebrates to reveal functional elements in the human genome. This has been achieved through the combined use of vertebrate comparative genomics to pinpoint highly conserved sequences as candidates for biological activity and transgenic mouse studies to address the functionality of defined human DNA fragments. Accordingly, we describe strategies and insights into functional sequences in the human genome through the use of comparative genomics coupled wit h functional studies in the mouse.

  16. A large scale survey reveals that chromosomal copy-number alterations significantly affect gene modules involved in cancer initiation and progression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cigudosa Juan C

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent observations point towards the existence of a large number of neighborhoods composed of functionally-related gene modules that lie together in the genome. This local component in the distribution of the functionality across chromosomes is probably affecting the own chromosomal architecture by limiting the possibilities in which genes can be arranged and distributed across the genome. As a direct consequence of this fact it is therefore presumable that diseases such as cancer, harboring DNA copy number alterations (CNAs, will have a symptomatology strongly dependent on modules of functionally-related genes rather than on a unique "important" gene. Methods We carried out a systematic analysis of more than 140,000 observations of CNAs in cancers and searched by enrichments in gene functional modules associated to high frequencies of loss or gains. Results The analysis of CNAs in cancers clearly demonstrates the existence of a significant pattern of loss of gene modules functionally related to cancer initiation and progression along with the amplification of modules of genes related to unspecific defense against xenobiotics (probably chemotherapeutical agents. With the extension of this analysis to an Array-CGH dataset (glioblastomas from The Cancer Genome Atlas we demonstrate the validity of this approach to investigate the functional impact of CNAs. Conclusions The presented results indicate promising clinical and therapeutic implications. Our findings also directly point out to the necessity of adopting a function-centric, rather a gene-centric, view in the understanding of phenotypes or diseases harboring CNAs.

  17. The Symbiosis Interactome: a computational approach reveals novel components, functional interactions and modules in Sinorhizobium meliloti

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodriguez-Llorente Ignacio

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rhizobium-Legume symbiosis is an attractive biological process that has been studied for decades because of its importance in agriculture. However, this system has undergone extensive study and although many of the major factors underpinning the process have been discovered using traditional methods, much remains to be discovered. Results Here we present an analysis of the 'Symbiosis Interactome' using novel computational methods in order to address the complex dynamic interactions between proteins involved in the symbiosis of the model bacteria Sinorhizobium meliloti with its plant hosts. Our study constitutes the first large-scale analysis attempting to reconstruct this complex biological process, and to identify novel proteins involved in establishing symbiosis. We identified 263 novel proteins potentially associated with the Symbiosis Interactome. The topology of the Symbiosis Interactome was used to guide experimental techniques attempting to validate novel proteins involved in different stages of symbiosis. The contribution of a set of novel proteins was tested analyzing the symbiotic properties of several S. meliloti mutants. We found mutants with altered symbiotic phenotypes suggesting novel proteins that provide key complementary roles for symbiosis. Conclusion Our 'systems-based model' represents a novel framework for studying host-microbe interactions, provides a theoretical basis for further experimental validations, and can also be applied to the study of other complex processes such as diseases.

  18. Computational Modeling Reveals that Signaling Lipids Modulate the Orientation of K-Ras4A at the Membrane Reflecting Protein Topology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhen-Lu; Buck, Matthias

    2017-04-04

    The structural, dynamical, and functional characterization of the small GTPase K-Ras has become a research area of intense focus due to its high occurrence in human cancers. Ras proteins are only fully functional when they interact with the plasma membrane. Here we present all-atom molecular dynamics simulations (totaling 5.8 μs) to investigate the K-Ras4A protein at membranes that contain anionic lipids (phosphatidyl serine or phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate). We find that similarly to the homologous and highly studied K-Ras4B, K-Ras4A prefers a few distinct orientations at the membrane. Remarkably, the protein surface charge and certain lipids can strongly modulate the orientation preference. In a novel analysis, we reveal that the electrostatic interaction (attraction but also repulsion) between the protein's charged residues and anionic lipids determines the K-Ras4A orientation, but that this is also influenced by the topology of the protein, reflecting the geometry of its surfaces. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Joint independent component analysis of structural and functional images reveals complex patterns of functional reorganisation in stroke aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Specht, Karsten; Zahn, Roland; Willmes, Klaus; Weis, Susanne; Holtel, Christiane; Krause, Bernd J; Herzog, Hans; Huber, Walter

    2009-10-01

    Previous functional activation studies in patients with aphasia have mostly relied on standard group comparisons of aphasic patients with healthy controls, which are biased towards regions showing the most consistent effects and disregard variability within groups. Groups of aphasic patients, however, show considerable variability with respect to lesion localisation and extent. Here, we use a novel method, joint independent component analysis (jICA), which allowed us to investigate abnormal patterns of functional activation with O(15)-PET during lexical decision in aphasic patients after middle cerebral artery stroke and to directly relate them to lesion information from structural MRI. Our results demonstrate that with jICA we could detect a network of compensatory increases in activity within bilateral anterior inferior temporal areas (BA20), which was not revealed by standard group comparisons. In addition, both types of analyses, jICA and group comparison, showed increased activity in the right posterior superior temporal gyrus in aphasic patients. Further, whereas standard analyses revealed no decreases in activation, jICA identified that left perisylvian lesions were associated with decreased activation of left posterior inferior frontal cortex, damaged in most patients, and extralesional remote decreases of activity within polar parts of the inferior temporal gyrus (BA38/20) and the occipital cortex (BA19). Taken together, our results demonstrate that jICA may be superior in revealing complex patterns of functional reorganisation in aphasia.

  20. Identifying functional modules in protein-protein interaction networks: An integrated exact approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dittrich, M.; Klau, G.W.; Rosenwald, A.; Dandekar, T.; et al, not CWI

    2008-01-01

    Motivation: With the exponential growth of expression and protein-protein interaction (PPI) data, the frontier of research in system biology shifts more and more to the integrated analysis of these large datasets. Of particular interest is the identification of functional modules in PPI networks, sh

  1. Comparison of approaches and artefacts in the measurement of detector modulation transfer functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boothroyd, Chris; Kasama, Takeshi; Dunin-Borkowski, Rafal E.

    2013-01-01

    In order to investigate the reproducibility of measurements of transmission electron microscope detector modulation transfer functions (MTFs) we measure the MTF of a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera using five different methods. MTFs derived from a sharp edge, a circular aperture and electron h...

  2. Temporal modulation transfer functions for listeners with real and simulated hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desloge, Joseph G; Reed, Charlotte M; Braida, Louis D; Perez, Zachary D; Delhorne, Lorraine A

    2011-06-01

    A functional simulation of hearing loss was evaluated in its ability to reproduce the temporal modulation transfer functions (TMTFs) for nine listeners with mild to profound sensorineural hearing loss. Each hearing loss was simulated in a group of three age-matched normal-hearing listeners through spectrally shaped masking noise or a combination of masking noise and multiband expansion. TMTFs were measured for both groups of listeners using a broadband noise carrier as a function of modulation rate in the range 2 to 1024 Hz. The TMTFs were fit with a lowpass filter function that provided estimates of overall modulation-depth sensitivity and modulation cutoff frequency. Although the simulations were capable of accurately reproducing the threshold elevations of the hearing-impaired listeners, they were not successful in reproducing the TMTFs. On average, the simulations resulted in lower sensitivity and higher cutoff frequency than were observed in the TMTFs of the hearing-impaired listeners. Discrepancies in performance between listeners with real and simulated hearing loss are possibly related to inaccuracies in the simulation of recruitment. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America

  3. Therapeutic modulation of endogenous gene function by agents with designed DNA-sequence specificities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uil, T.G.; Haisma, H.J.; Rots, Marianne

    2003-01-01

    Designer molecules that can specifically target pre-determined DNA sequences provide a means to modulate endogenous gene function. Different classes of sequence-specific DNA-binding agents have been developed, including triplex-forming molecules, synthetic polyamides and designer zinc finger protein

  4. Ocean wave-radar modulation transfer functions from the West Coast experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, J. W.; Plant, W. J.; Keller, W. C.; Jones, W. L.

    1980-01-01

    Short gravity-capillary waves, the equilibrium, or the steady state excitations of the ocean surface are modulated by longer ocean waves. These short waves are the predominant microwave scatterers on the ocean surface under many viewing conditions so that the modulation is readily measured with CW Doppler radar used as a two-scale wave probe. Modulation transfer functions (the ratio of the cross spectrum of the line-of-sight orbital speed and backscattered microwave power to the autospectrum of the line-of-sight orbital speed) were measured at 9.375 and 1.5 GHz (Bragg wavelengths of 2.3 and 13 cm) for winds up to 10 m/s and ocean wave periods from 2-18 s. The measurements were compared with the relaxation-time model; the principal result is that a source of modulation other than straining by the horizontal component of orbital speed, possibly the wave-induced airflow, is responsible for most of the modulation by waves of typical ocean wave period (10 s). The modulations are large; for unit coherence, spectra of radar images of deep-water waves should be proportional to the quotient of the slope spectra of the ocean waves by the ocean wave frequency.

  5. Functional redundancy patterns reveal non-random assembly rules in a species-rich marine assemblage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Guillemot

    Full Text Available The relationship between species and the functional diversity of assemblages is fundamental in ecology because it contains key information on functional redundancy, and functionally redundant ecosystems are thought to be more resilient, resistant and stable. However, this relationship is poorly understood and undocumented for species-rich coastal marine ecosystems. Here, we used underwater visual censuses to examine the patterns of functional redundancy for one of the most diverse vertebrate assemblages, the coral reef fishes of New Caledonia, South Pacific. First, we found that the relationship between functional and species diversity displayed a non-asymptotic power-shaped curve, implying that rare functions and species mainly occur in highly diverse assemblages. Second, we showed that the distribution of species amongst possible functions was significantly different from a random distribution up to a threshold of ∼90 species/transect. Redundancy patterns for each function further revealed that some functions displayed fast rates of increase in redundancy at low species diversity, whereas others were only becoming redundant past a certain threshold. This suggested non-random assembly rules and the existence of some primordial functions that would need to be fulfilled in priority so that coral reef fish assemblages can gain a basic ecological structure. Last, we found little effect of habitat on the shape of the functional-species diversity relationship and on the redundancy of functions, although habitat is known to largely determine assemblage characteristics such as species composition, biomass, and abundance. Our study shows that low functional redundancy is characteristic of this highly diverse fish assemblage, and, therefore, that even species-rich ecosystems such as coral reefs may be vulnerable to the removal of a few keystone species.

  6. Functional Connectivity Estimated from Resting-State fMRI Reveals Selective Alterations in Male Adolescents with Pure Conduct Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feng-Mei Lu

    Full Text Available Conduct disorder (CD is characterized by a persistent pattern of antisocial behavior and aggression in childhood and adolescence. Previous task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies have revealed widespread brain regional abnormalities in adolescents with CD. However, whether the resting-state networks (RSNs are altered in adolescents with CD remains unknown. In this study, resting-state fMRI data were first acquired from eighteen male adolescents with pure CD and eighteen age- and gender-matched typically developing (TD individuals. Independent component analysis (ICA was implemented to extract nine representative RSNs, and the generated RSNs were then compared to show the differences between the CD and TD groups. Interestingly, it was observed from the brain mapping results that compared with the TD group, the CD group manifested decreased functional connectivity in four representative RSNs: the anterior default mode network (left middle frontal gyrus, which is considered to be correlated with impaired social cognition, the somatosensory network (bilateral supplementary motor area and right postcentral gyrus, the lateral visual network (left superior occipital gyrus, and the medial visual network (right fusiform, left lingual gyrus and right calcarine, which are expected to be relevant to the perceptual systems responsible for perceptual dysfunction in male adolescents with CD. Importantly, the novel findings suggested that male adolescents with pure CD were identified to have dysfunctions in both low-level perceptual networks (the somatosensory network and visual network and a high-order cognitive network (the default mode network. Revealing the changes in the functional connectivity of these RSNs enhances our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of emotion and social cognition and the regulation of perception in adolescents with CD.

  7. Functional Connectivity Estimated from Resting-State fMRI Reveals Selective Alterations in Male Adolescents with Pure Conduct Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Feng-Mei; Zhou, Jian-Song; Zhang, Jiang; Xiang, Yu-Tao; Zhang, Jian; Liu, Qi; Wang, Xiao-Ping; Yuan, Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Conduct disorder (CD) is characterized by a persistent pattern of antisocial behavior and aggression in childhood and adolescence. Previous task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have revealed widespread brain regional abnormalities in adolescents with CD. However, whether the resting-state networks (RSNs) are altered in adolescents with CD remains unknown. In this study, resting-state fMRI data were first acquired from eighteen male adolescents with pure CD and eighteen age- and gender-matched typically developing (TD) individuals. Independent component analysis (ICA) was implemented to extract nine representative RSNs, and the generated RSNs were then compared to show the differences between the CD and TD groups. Interestingly, it was observed from the brain mapping results that compared with the TD group, the CD group manifested decreased functional connectivity in four representative RSNs: the anterior default mode network (left middle frontal gyrus), which is considered to be correlated with impaired social cognition, the somatosensory network (bilateral supplementary motor area and right postcentral gyrus), the lateral visual network (left superior occipital gyrus), and the medial visual network (right fusiform, left lingual gyrus and right calcarine), which are expected to be relevant to the perceptual systems responsible for perceptual dysfunction in male adolescents with CD. Importantly, the novel findings suggested that male adolescents with pure CD were identified to have dysfunctions in both low-level perceptual networks (the somatosensory network and visual network) and a high-order cognitive network (the default mode network). Revealing the changes in the functional connectivity of these RSNs enhances our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the modulation of emotion and social cognition and the regulation of perception in adolescents with CD.

  8. Identification of Risk Pathways and Functional Modules for Coronary Artery Disease Based on Genome-wide SNP Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Zhao

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Coronary artery disease (CAD is a complex human disease, involving multiple genes and their nonlinear interactions, which often act in a modular fashion. Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP profiling provides an effective technique to unravel these underlying genetic interplays or their functional involvements for CAD. This study aimed to identify the susceptible pathways and modules for CAD based on SNP omics. First, the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC SNP datasets of CAD and control samples were used to assess the joint effect of multiple genetic variants at the pathway level, using logistic kernel machine regression model. Then, an expanded genetic network was constructed by integrating statistical gene–gene interactions involved in these susceptible pathways with their protein–protein interaction (PPI knowledge. Finally, risk functional modules were identified by decomposition of the network. Of 276 KEGG pathways analyzed, 6 pathways were found to have a significant effect on CAD. Other than glycerolipid metabolism, glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis, and cardiac muscle contraction pathways, three pathways related to other diseases were also revealed, including Alzheimer’s disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and Huntington’s disease. A genetic epistatic network of 95 genes was further constructed using the abovementioned integrative approach. Of 10 functional modules derived from the network, 6 have been annotated to phospholipase C activity and cell adhesion molecule binding, which also have known functional involvement in Alzheimer’s disease. These findings indicate an overlap of the underlying molecular mechanisms between CAD and Alzheimer’s disease, thus providing new insights into the molecular basis for CAD and its molecular relationships with other diseases.

  9. Central nervous system control of gastrointestinal motility and secretion and modulation of gastrointestinal functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, Kirsteen N; Travagli, R Alberto

    2014-10-01

    Although the gastrointestinal (GI) tract possesses intrinsic neural plexuses that allow a significant degree of autonomy over GI functions, the central nervous system (CNS) provides extrinsic neural inputs that regulate, modulate, and control these functions. While the intestines are capable of functioning in the absence of extrinsic inputs, the stomach and esophagus are much more dependent upon extrinsic neural inputs, particularly from parasympathetic and sympathetic pathways. The sympathetic nervous system exerts a predominantly inhibitory effect upon GI muscle and provides a tonic inhibitory influence over mucosal secretion while, at the same time, regulates GI blood flow via neurally mediated vasoconstriction. The parasympathetic nervous system, in contrast, exerts both excitatory and inhibitory control over gastric and intestinal tone and motility. Although GI functions are controlled by the autonomic nervous system and occur, by and large, independently of conscious perception, it is clear that the higher CNS centers influence homeostatic control as well as cognitive and behavioral functions. This review will describe the basic neural circuitry of extrinsic inputs to the GI tract as well as the major CNS nuclei that innervate and modulate the activity of these pathways. The role of CNS-centered reflexes in the regulation of GI functions will be discussed as will modulation of these reflexes under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Finally, future directions within the field will be discussed in terms of important questions that remain to be resolved and advances in technology that may help provide these answers.

  10. Identification of a novel role for dematin in regulating red cell membrane function by modulating spectrin-actin interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koshino, Ichiro; Mohandas, Narla; Takakuwa, Yuichi

    2012-10-12

    The membrane skeleton plays a central role in maintaining the elasticity and stability of the erythrocyte membrane, two biophysical features critical for optimal functioning and survival of red cells. Many constituent proteins of the membrane skeleton are phosphorylated by various kinases, and phosphorylation of β-spectrin by casein kinase and of protein 4.1R by PKC has been documented to modulate erythrocyte membrane mechanical stability. In this study, we show that activation of endogenous PKA by cAMP decreases membrane mechanical stability and that this effect is mediated primarily by phosphorylation of dematin. Co-sedimentation assay showed that dematin facilitated interaction between spectrin and F-actin, and phosphorylation of dematin by PKA markedly diminished this activity. Quartz crystal microbalance measurement revealed that purified dematin specifically bound the tail region of the spectrin dimer in a saturable manner with a submicromolar affinity. Pulldown assay using recombinant spectrin fragments showed that dematin, but not phospho-dematin, bound to the tail region of the spectrin dimer. These findings imply that dematin contributes to the maintenance of erythrocyte membrane mechanical stability by facilitating spectrin-actin interaction and that phosphorylation of dematin by PKA can modulate these effects. In this study, we have uncovered a novel functional role for dematin in regulating erythrocyte membrane function.

  11. Functional biogeography of ocean microbes revealed through non-negative matrix factorization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingpeng Jiang

    Full Text Available The direct "metagenomic" sequencing of genomic material from complex assemblages of bacteria, archaea, viruses and microeukaryotes has yielded new insights into the structure of microbial communities. For example, analysis of metagenomic data has revealed the existence of previously unknown microbial taxa whose spatial distributions are limited by environmental conditions, ecological competition, and dispersal mechanisms. However, differences in genotypes that might lead biologists to designate two microbes as taxonomically distinct need not necessarily imply differences in ecological function. Hence, there is a growing need for large-scale analysis of the distribution of microbial function across habitats. Here, we present a framework for investigating the biogeography of microbial function by analyzing the distribution of protein families inferred from environmental sequence data across a global collection of sites. We map over 6,000,000 protein sequences from unassembled reads from the Global Ocean Survey dataset to [Formula: see text] protein families, generating a protein family relative abundance matrix that describes the distribution of each protein family across sites. We then use non-negative matrix factorization (NMF to approximate these protein family profiles as linear combinations of a small number of ecological components. Each component has a characteristic functional profile and site profile. Our approach identifies common functional signatures within several of the components. We use our method as a filter to estimate functional distance between sites, and find that an NMF-filtered measure of functional distance is more strongly correlated with environmental distance than a comparable PCA-filtered measure. We also find that functional distance is more strongly correlated with environmental distance than with geographic distance, in agreement with prior studies. We identify similar protein functions in several components and

  12. The Chlamydomonas Genome Reveals the Evolution of Key Animal and Plant Functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merchant, Sabeeha S

    2007-04-09

    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga whose lineage diverged from land plants over 1 billion years ago. It is a model system for studying chloroplast-based photosynthesis, as well as the structure, assembly, and function of eukaryotic flagella (cilia), which were inherited from the common ancestor of plants and animals, but lost in land plants. We sequenced the 120-megabase nuclear genome of Chlamydomonas and performed comparative phylogenomic analyses, identifying genes encoding uncharacterized proteins that are likely associated with the function and biogenesis of chloroplasts or eukaryotic flagella. Analyses of the Chlamydomonas genome advance our understanding of the ancestral eukaryotic cell, reveal previously unknown genes associated with photosynthetic and flagellar functions, and establish links between ciliopathy and the composition and function of flagella.

  13. Launch and Functional Considerations Guiding the Scaling and Design of Rigid Inflatable Habitat Modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, L.

    2002-01-01

    The Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) has a long history of projects that involve design of space structures, including habitats for low-Earth orbit (LEO) and planetary applications. Most of these facilities and component systems are planned to comply with size, geometry and mass restrictions imposed by the Space Shuttle Orbiter's payload and lift/landing abort restrictions. These constraints limit launch elements to approximately 15 ft. diameter, 40 ft. long cylindrical dimensions weighing no more than approximately 25 metric tons. It is clear that future success of commercial space programs such as tourism will hinge upon the availability of bigger and more efficient Earth to LEO launch vehicles which can greatly reduce transportation and operational costs. This will enable development and utilization of larger habitat modules and other infrastructure elements which can be deployed with fewer launches and on-orbit assembly procedures. The sizing of these new heavy lift launchers should be scaled to optimize habitat functionality and efficiency, just as the habitat designs must consider optimization of launch vehicle economy. SICSA's planning studies address these vehicle and habitat optimization priorities as parallel and interdependent considerations. The allowable diameter of habitat modules established by launch vehicle capacity dictates functionally acceptable internal configuration options. Analyses of these options relative to practical dimensions for Earth-to-orbit launch vehicle scaling were conducted for two general schemes. The "bologna slice" configuration stacks the floors within a predominately cylindrical or spherical envelope, producing circular areas. The "banana split" approach divides a cylindrical module longitudinally, creating floors that are generally rectangular in shape. The assessments established minimum sizes for reasonable utility and efficiency. The bologna slice option. This configuration is only acceptable

  14. Thermodynamic and functional characteristics of deep-sea enzymes revealed by pressure effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmae, Eiji; Miyashita, Yurina; Kato, Chiaki

    2013-09-01

    Hydrostatic pressure analysis is an ideal approach for studying protein dynamics and hydration. The development of full ocean depth submersibles and high pressure biological techniques allows us to investigate enzymes from deep-sea organisms at the molecular level. The aim of this review was to overview the thermodynamic and functional characteristics of deep-sea enzymes as revealed by pressure axis analysis after giving a brief introduction to the thermodynamic principles underlying the effects of pressure on the structural stability and function of enzymes.

  15. Rats' urinary metabolomes reveal the potential roles of functional foods and exercise in obesity management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farag, Mohamed A; Ammar, N M; Kholeif, T E; Metwally, N S; El-Sheikh, N M; Wessjohann, Ludger A; Abdel-Hamid, A Z

    2017-03-22

    The complexity of the metabolic changes in obese individuals still presents a challenge for the understanding of obesity-related metabolic disruptions and for obesity management. In this study, a gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) based metabolomics approach targeting urine metabolism has been applied to assess the potential roles of functional foods and exercise for obesity management in rats. Male albino rats diagnosed as obese via histopathology and biochemical assays were administered functional foods in common use for obesity management including pomegranate, grapefruit, and red cabbage juice extracts in parallel with swimming exercise. Urine samples were collected from these rats, and likewise from healthy control animals, for metabolite analysis using (GC-MS) coupled to multivariate data analysis. The results revealed a significant elevation in oxalate and phosphate levels in obese rat urine concurrent with lower lactate levels as compared to the control group. Furthermore, and to pinpoint the bioactive agents in the administered functional foods, ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled to high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) was employed for secondary metabolite profiling. The different phenolic classes found in the examined functional foods, viz. ellagitannins in pomegranate, flavanones in grapefruit and flavonols in red cabbage, are likely to mediate their anti-obesity effects. The results indicate that these functional foods and exercise were quite effective in reverting obesity-related metabolic disruptions back to normal status, as revealed by orthogonal partial least squares-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA).

  16. Systematic probing of the bacterial RNA structurome to reveal new functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ignatova, Zoya; Narberhaus, Franz

    2017-02-01

    RNA folds into intricate structures. Recent discoveries using next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches have revealed unprecedented structural complexity with a pivotal role in regulating RNA function and stability. Here, we present new discoveries from the transcriptome-wide determination of RNA structuromes in bacteria and discuss emerging concepts in the role of mRNA structures in regulating transcription, translation and degradation. We also provide critical viewpoints on the use of NGS approaches for elucidating of RNA structuromes at the systems level.

  17. First-harmonic sensitivity functions for a linearised diffusion model of ultrasound-modulated optical tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Samuel; Arridge, Simon R.; Leung, Terence S.

    2015-03-01

    Ultrasound-modulated optical tomography is an emerging biomedical imaging modality which uses the spatially localised acoustically-driven modulation of coherent light as a probe of the structure and optical properties of biological tissues. In this work we model the first-harmonic flux generated by the coupled physics using a simple linearised diffusion-style forward model. We derive analytical expressions for the sensitivity of this measurement type with respect to the optical absorption and scattering coefficients. These correlation measurement density functions can be employed as part of an image-reconstruction procedure capable of reconstructing quantitative images of the optical properties of a medium under investigation.

  18. The endocannabinoid system: an emotional buffer in the modulation of memory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morena, Maria; Campolongo, Patrizia

    2014-07-01

    Extensive evidence indicates that endocannabinoids modulate cognitive processes in animal models and human subjects. However, the results of endocannabinoid system manipulations on cognition have been contradictory. As for anxiety behavior, a duality has indeed emerged with regard to cannabinoid effects on memory for emotional experiences. Here we summarize findings describing cannabinoid effects on memory acquisition, consolidation, retrieval and extinction. Additionally, we review findings showing how the endocannabinoid system modulates memory function differentially, depending on the level of stress and arousal associated with the experimental context. Based on the evidence reviewed here, we propose that the endocannabinoid system is an emotional buffer that moderates the effects of environmental context and stress on cognitive processes.

  19. Functional brain asymmetry, attentional modulation, and interhemispheric transfer in boys with Tourette syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plessen, Kerstin J; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate

    2007-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that children with Tourette syndrome (TS) would exhibit aberrant brain lateralization compared to a healthy control (HC) group in an attention-modulation version of a verbal dichotic listening task using consonant-vowel syllables. The modulation of attention to focus...... by exploring the correlations between CC size and left ear score in the forced-left condition. Twenty boys with TS were compared with 20 age- and handedness-matched healthy boys. Results indicated similar performance in the TS and HC groups for lateralization of hemispheric function. TS subjects were also able...

  20. Structure of the SthK carboxy-terminal region reveals a gating mechanism for cyclic nucleotide-modulated ion channels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Divya Kesters

    Full Text Available Cyclic nucleotide-sensitive ion channels are molecular pores that open in response to cAMP or cGMP, which are universal second messengers. Binding of a cyclic nucleotide to the carboxyterminal cyclic nucleotide binding domain (CNBD of these channels is thought to cause a conformational change that promotes channel opening. The C-linker domain, which connects the channel pore to this CNBD, plays an important role in coupling ligand binding to channel opening. Current structural insight into this mechanism mainly derives from X-ray crystal structures of the C-linker/CNBD from hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-modulated (HCN channels. However, these structures reveal little to no conformational changes upon comparison of the ligand-bound and unbound form. In this study, we take advantage of a recently identified prokaryote ion channel, SthK, which has functional properties that strongly resemble cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG channels and is activated by cAMP, but not by cGMP. We determined X-ray crystal structures of the C-linker/CNBD of SthK in the presence of cAMP or cGMP. We observe that the structure in complex with cGMP, which is an antagonist, is similar to previously determined HCN channel structures. In contrast, the structure in complex with cAMP, which is an agonist, is in a more open conformation. We observe that the CNBD makes an outward swinging movement, which is accompanied by an opening of the C-linker. This conformation mirrors the open gate structures of the Kv1.2 channel or MthK channel, which suggests that the cAMP-bound C-linker/CNBD from SthK represents an activated conformation. These results provide a structural framework for better understanding cyclic nucleotide modulation of ion channels, including HCN and CNG channels.

  1. Development of Calculation Module for Intake Retention Functions based on Occupational Intakes of Radionuclides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noh, Siwan; Kwon, Tae-Eun; Lee, Jai-Ki [Hanyang Univ., Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jong-Il; Kim, Jang-Lyul [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-10-15

    In internal dosimetry, intake retention and excretion functions are essential to estimate intake activity using bioassay sample such as whole body counter, lung counter, and urine sample. Even though ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection)provides the functions in some ICRP publications, it is needed to calculate the functions because the functions from the publications are provided for very limited time. Thus, some computer program are generally used to calculate intake retention and excretion functions and estimate intake activity. OIR (Occupational Intakes of Radionuclides) will be published soon by ICRP, which totally replaces existing internal dosimetry models and relevant data including intake retention and excretion functions. Thus, the calculation tool for the functions is needed based on OIR. In this study, we developed calculation module for intake retention and excretion functions based on OIR using C++ programming language with Intel Math Kernel Library. In this study, we developed the intake retention and excretion function calculation module based on OIR using C++ programing language.

  2. δ-Catenin, a Wnt/β-catenin modulator, reveals inducible mutagenesis promoting cancer cell survival adaptation and metabolic reprogramming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nopparat, J; Zhang, J; Lu, J-P; Chen, Y-H; Zheng, D; Neufer, P D; Fan, J M; Hong, H; Boykin, C; Lu, Q

    2015-03-19

    Mutations of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway has essential roles in development and cancer. Although β-catenin and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene mutations are well established and are known to drive tumorigenesis, discoveries of mutations in other components of the pathway lagged, which hinders the understanding of cancer mechanisms. Here we report that δ-catenin (gene designation: CTNND2), a primarily neural member of the β-catenin superfamily that promotes canonical Wnt/β-catenin/LEF-1-mediated transcription, displays exonic mutations in human prostate cancer and promotes cancer cell survival adaptation and metabolic reprogramming. When overexpressed in cells derived from prostate tumor xenografts, δ-catenin gene invariably gives rise to mutations, leading to sequence disruptions predicting functional alterations. Ectopic δ-catenin gene integrating into host chromosomes is locus nonselective. δ-Catenin mutations promote tumor development in mouse prostate with probasin promoter (ARR2PB)-driven, prostate-specific expression of Myc oncogene, whereas mutant cells empower survival advantage upon overgrowth and glucose deprivation. Reprogramming energy utilization accompanies the downregulation of glucose transporter-1 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage while preserving tumor type 2 pyruvate kinase expression. δ-Catenin mutations increase β-catenin translocation to the nucleus and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) expression. Therefore, introducing δ-catenin mutations is an important milestone in prostate cancer metabolic adaptation by modulating β-catenin and HIF-1α signaling under glucose shortage to amplify its tumor-promoting potential.

  3. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer imaging reveals that chemokine-binding modulates heterodimers of CXCR4 and CCR5 receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nilgun Isik

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dimerization has emerged as an important feature of chemokine G-protein-coupled receptors. CXCR4 and CCR5 regulate leukocyte chemotaxis and also serve as a co-receptor for HIV entry. Both receptors are recruited to the immunological synapse during T-cell activation. However, it is not clear whether they form heterodimers and whether ligand binding modulates the dimer formation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a sensitive Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET imaging method, we investigated the formation of CCR5 and CXCR4 heterodimers on the plasma membrane of live cells. We found that CCR5 and CXCR4 exist as constitutive heterodimers and ligands of CCR5 and CXCR4 promote different conformational changes within these preexisting heterodimers. Ligands of CCR5, in contrast to a ligand of CXCR4, induced a clear increase in FRET efficiency, indicating that selective ligands promote and stabilize a distinct conformation of the heterodimers. We also found that mutations at C-terminus of CCR5 reduced its ability to form heterodimers with CXCR4. In addition, ligands induce different conformational transitions of heterodimers of CXCR4 and CCR5 or CCR5(STA and CCR5(Delta4. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, our data suggest a model in which CXCR4 and CCR5 spontaneously form heterodimers and ligand-binding to CXCR4 or CCR5 causes different conformational changes affecting heterodimerization, indicating the complexity of regulation of dimerization/function of these chemokine receptors by ligand binding.

  4. System identification of two-dimensional continuous-time systems using wavelets as modulating functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadabadi, Mahdiye Sadat; Shafiee, Masoud; Karrari, Mehdi

    2008-07-01

    In this paper, parameter identification of two-dimensional continuous-time systems via two-dimensional modulating functions is proposed. In the proposed method, trigonometric functions and sine-cosine wavelets are used as modulating functions. By this, a partial differential equation on the finite-time intervals is converted into an algebraic equation linear in parameters. The parameters of the system can then be estimated using the least square algorithms. The underlying computations utilize a two-dimensional fast Fourier transform algorithm, without the need for estimating the unknown initial or boundary conditions, at the beginning of each finite-time interval. Numerical simulations are presented to show the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

  5. Tailor the functionalities of metasurfaces: From perfect absorption to phase modulation

    CERN Document Server

    Qu, Che; Hao, Jiaming; Qiu, Meng; Li, Xin; Xiao, Shiyi; Miao, Ziqi; Dai, Ning; He, Qiong; Sun, Shulin; Zhou, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Metasurfaces in metal/insulator/metal configuration have recently been widely used in photonics research, with applications ranging from perfect absorption to phase modulation, but why and when such structures can realize what kind of functionalities are not yet fully understood. Here, based on a coupled-mode theory analysis, we establish a complete phase diagram in which the optical properties of such systems are fully controlled by two simple parameters (i.e., the intrinsic and radiation losses), which are in turn dictated by the geometrical/material parameters of the underlying structures. Such a phase diagram can greatly facilitate the design of appropriate metasurfaces with tailored functionalities (e.g., perfect absorption, phase modulator, electric/magnetic reflector, etc.), demonstrated by our experiments and simulations in the Terahertz regime. In particular, our experiments show that, through appropriate structural/material tuning, the device can be switched across the functionality phase boundaries...

  6. Effects of task orientation on subsequent source memory as revealed by functional MRI*****

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiuyan Guo; Lei Zhu; Li Zheng; Jianqi Li; Qianfeng Wang; Zhiliang Yang

    2013-01-01

    Episodic memories are composed of various interrelated elements, including those specific to items of central interest and those pertaining to related features, such as the color, shape, size, spatial location, temporal order, and media or modalities of presentation. Memory about a core item (such as a word, object, or picture) is cal ed item memory while memory about the context or related fea-tures of a core item is defined as source memory. What determines which sources within an episode are successful y remembered is of particular interest to researchers. Behavioral evidence suggests that the orientation of a memory task influences whether the related source of the item wil be re-membered later. This study explored changes in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex while par-ticipants completed two tasks:an item-oriented task and a source-oriented task. We used functional MRI to investigate the neural mechanisms by which task orientation influences source encoding. We found that subsequent source memory effects in the right prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were modulated by task orientation, whereas task orientation modulated item memory effects in the prefrontal cortex. These findings highlight the possibility that the hippocampus contributes to the intentional encoding of item-source associations, whereas the prefrontal cortex is biased toward processing information to which attention is directed.

  7. Genome-wide functional profiling reveals genes required for tolerance to benzene metabolites in yeast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew North

    Full Text Available Benzene is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and is widely used in industry. Exposure to benzene causes a number of serious health problems, including blood disorders and leukemia. Benzene undergoes complex metabolism in humans, making mechanistic determination of benzene toxicity difficult. We used a functional genomics approach to identify the genes that modulate the cellular toxicity of three of the phenolic metabolites of benzene, hydroquinone (HQ, catechol (CAT and 1,2,4-benzenetriol (BT, in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Benzene metabolites generate oxidative and cytoskeletal stress, and tolerance requires correct regulation of iron homeostasis and the vacuolar ATPase. We have identified a conserved bZIP transcription factor, Yap3p, as important for a HQ-specific response pathway, as well as two genes that encode putative NAD(PH:quinone oxidoreductases, PST2 and YCP4. Many of the yeast genes identified have human orthologs that may modulate human benzene toxicity in a similar manner and could play a role in benzene exposure-related disease.

  8. Effects of task orientation on subsequent source memory as revealed by functional MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiuyan; Zhu, Lei; Zheng, Li; Li, Jianqi; Wang, Qianfeng; Yang, Zhiliang

    2013-09-15

    Episodic memories are composed of various interrelated elements, including those specific to items of central interest and those pertaining to related features, such as the color, shape, size, spatial location, temporal order, and media or modalities of presentation. Memory about a core item (such as a word, object, or picture) is called item memory while memory about the context or related fea-tures of a core item is defined as source memory. What determines which sources within an episode are successfully remembered is of particular interest to researchers. Behavioral evidence suggests that the orientation of a memory task influences whether the related source of the item will be re-membered later. This study explored changes in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex while par-ticipants completed two tasks: an item-oriented task and a source-oriented task. We used functional MRI to investigate the neural mechanisms by which task orientation influences source encoding. We found that subsequent source memory effects in the right prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were modulated by task orientation, whereas task orientation modulated item memory effects in the prefrontal cortex. These findings highlight the possibility that the hippocampus contributes to the intentional encoding of item-source associations, whereas the prefrontal cortex is biased toward processing information to which attention is directed.

  9. A novel functional module detection algorithm for protein-protein interaction networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Aidong

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The sparse connectivity of protein-protein interaction data sets makes identification of functional modules challenging. The purpose of this study is to critically evaluate a novel clustering technique for clustering and detecting functional modules in protein-protein interaction networks, termed STM. Results STM selects representative proteins for each cluster and iteratively refines clusters based on a combination of the signal transduced and graph topology. STM is found to be effective at detecting clusters with a diverse range of interaction structures that are significant on measures of biological relevance. The STM approach is compared to six competing approaches including the maximum clique, quasi-clique, minimum cut, betweeness cut and Markov Clustering (MCL algorithms. The clusters obtained by each technique are compared for enrichment of biological function. STM generates larger clusters and the clusters identified have p-values that are approximately 125-fold better than the other methods on biological function. An important strength of STM is that the percentage of proteins that are discarded to create clusters is much lower than the other approaches. Conclusion STM outperforms competing approaches and is capable of effectively detecting both densely and sparsely connected, biologically relevant functional modules with fewer discards.

  10. Functional traits reveal processes driving natural afforestation at large spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Norman W H; Wiser, Susan K; Richardson, Sarah J; Thorsen, Michael J; Holdaway, Robert J; Dray, Stéphane; Thomson, Fiona J; Carswell, Fiona E

    2013-01-01

    An understanding of the processes governing natural afforestation over large spatial scales is vital for enhancing forest carbon sequestration. Models of tree species occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation could potentially identify the primary variables determining natural afforestation. However, inferring processes governing afforestation using tree species occurrence is potentially problematic, since it is impossible to know whether observed occurrences are due to recruitment or persistence of existing trees following disturbance. Plant functional traits have the potential to reveal the processes by which key environmental and land cover variables influence afforestation. We used 10,061 survey plots to identify the primary environmental and land cover variables influencing tree occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation in New Zealand. We also examined how these variables influenced diversity of functional traits linked to plant ecological strategy and dispersal ability. Mean annual temperature was the most important environmental predictor of tree occurrence. Local woody cover and distance to forest were the most important land cover variables. Relationships between these variables and ecological strategy traits revealed a trade-off between ability to compete for light and colonize sites that were marginal for tree occurrence. Biotically dispersed species occurred less frequently with declining temperature and local woody cover, suggesting that abiotic stress limited their establishment and that biotic dispersal did not increase ability to colonize non-woody vegetation. Functional diversity for ecological strategy traits declined with declining temperature and woody cover and increasing distance to forest. Functional diversity for dispersal traits showed the opposite trend. This suggests that low temperatures and woody cover and high distance to forest may limit tree species establishment through filtering on ecological strategy traits, but not on

  11. Functional traits reveal processes driving natural afforestation at large spatial scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norman W H Mason

    Full Text Available An understanding of the processes governing natural afforestation over large spatial scales is vital for enhancing forest carbon sequestration. Models of tree species occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation could potentially identify the primary variables determining natural afforestation. However, inferring processes governing afforestation using tree species occurrence is potentially problematic, since it is impossible to know whether observed occurrences are due to recruitment or persistence of existing trees following disturbance. Plant functional traits have the potential to reveal the processes by which key environmental and land cover variables influence afforestation. We used 10,061 survey plots to identify the primary environmental and land cover variables influencing tree occurrence probability in non-forest vegetation in New Zealand. We also examined how these variables influenced diversity of functional traits linked to plant ecological strategy and dispersal ability. Mean annual temperature was the most important environmental predictor of tree occurrence. Local woody cover and distance to forest were the most important land cover variables. Relationships between these variables and ecological strategy traits revealed a trade-off between ability to compete for light and colonize sites that were marginal for tree occurrence. Biotically dispersed species occurred less frequently with declining temperature and local woody cover, suggesting that abiotic stress limited their establishment and that biotic dispersal did not increase ability to colonize non-woody vegetation. Functional diversity for ecological strategy traits declined with declining temperature and woody cover and increasing distance to forest. Functional diversity for dispersal traits showed the opposite trend. This suggests that low temperatures and woody cover and high distance to forest may limit tree species establishment through filtering on ecological

  12. Frequency modulation reveals the phasing of orbital eccentricity during Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event II and the Eocene hyperthermals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurin, Jiří; Meyers, Stephen R.; Galeotti, Simone; Lanci, Luca

    2016-05-01

    Major advances in our understanding of paleoclimate change derive from a precise reconstruction of the periods, amplitudes and phases of the 'Milankovitch cycles' of precession, obliquity and eccentricity. While numerous quantitative approaches exist for the identification of these astronomical cycles in stratigraphic data, limitations in radioisotopic dating, and instability of the theoretical astronomical solutions beyond ∼50 Myr ago, can challenge identification of the phase relationships needed to constrain climate response and anchor floating astrochronologies. Here we demonstrate that interference patterns accompanying frequency modulation (FM) of short eccentricity provide a robust basis for identifying the phase of long eccentricity forcing in stratigraphic data. One- and two-dimensional models of sedimentary distortion of the astronomical signal are used to evaluate the veracity of the FM method, and indicate that pristine eccentricity FM can be readily distinguished in paleo-records. Apart from paleoclimatic implications, the FM approach provides a quantitative technique for testing and calibrating theoretical astronomical solutions, and for refining chronologies for the deep past. We present two case studies that use the FM approach to evaluate major carbon-cycle perturbations of the Eocene and Late Cretaceous. Interference patterns in the short-eccentricity band reveal that Eocene hyperthermals ETM2 ('Elmo'), H2, I1 and ETM3 (X; ∼52-54 Myr ago) were associated with maxima in the 405-kyr cycle of orbital eccentricity. The same eccentricity configuration favored regional anoxic episodes in the Mediterranean during the Middle and Late Cenomanian (∼94.5-97 Myr ago). The initial phase of the global Oceanic Anoxic Event II (OAE II; ∼93.9-94.5 Myr ago) coincides with maximum and falling 405-kyr eccentricity, and the recovery phase occurs during minimum and rising 405-kyr eccentricity. On a Myr scale, the event overlaps with a node in eccentricity

  13. Stability for Function Trade-Offs in the Enolase Superfamily 'Catalytic Module'

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagatani, R.A.; Gonzalez, A.; Shoichet, B.K.; Brinen, L.S.; Babbitt, P.C.; /UC, San Francisco /SLAC, SSRL

    2007-07-12

    Enzyme catalysis reflects a dynamic interplay between charged and polar active site residues that facilitate function, stabilize transition states, and maintain overall protein stability. Previous studies show that substituting neutral for charged residues in the active site often significantly stabilizes a protein, suggesting a stability trade-off for functionality. In the enolase superfamily, a set of conserved active site residues (the ''catalytic module'') has repeatedly been used in nature in the evolution of many different enzymes for the performance of unique overall reactions involving a chemically diverse set of substrates. This catalytic module provides a robust solution for catalysis that delivers the common underlying partial reaction that supports all of the different overall chemical reactions of the superfamily. As this module has been so broadly conserved in the evolution of new functions, we sought to investigate the extent to which it follows the stability-function trade-off. Alanine substitutions were made for individual residues, groups of residues, and the entire catalytic module of o-succinylbenzoate synthase (OSBS), a member of the enolase superfamily from Escherichia coli. Of six individual residue substitutions, four (K131A, D161A, E190A, and D213A) substantially increased protein stability (by 0.46-4.23 kcal/mol), broadly consistent with prediction of a stability-activity trade-off. The residue most conserved across the superfamily, E190, is by far the most destabilizing. When the individual substitutions were combined into groups (as they are structurally and functionally organized), nonadditive stability effects emerged, supporting previous observations that residues within the module interact as two functional groups within a larger catalytic system. Thus, whereas the multiple-mutant enzymes D161A/E190A/D213A and K131A/K133A/D161A/E190A/D213A/K235A (termed 3KDED) are stabilized relative to the wild-type enzyme (by 1

  14. Novel functional view of the crocidolite asbestos-treated A549 human lung epithelial transcriptome reveals an intricate network of pathways with opposing functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stevens John R

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although exposure to asbestos is now regulated, patients continue to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, fibrosis and lung carcinoma because of the long latent period between exposure and clinical disease. Asbestosis is observed in approximately 200,000 patients annually and asbestos-related deaths are estimated at 4,000 annually1. Although advances have been made using single gene/gene product or pathway studies, the complexity of the response to asbestos and the many unanswered questions suggested the need for a systems biology approach. The objective of this study was to generate a comprehensive view of the transcriptional changes induced by crocidolite asbestos in A549 human lung epithelial cells. Results A statistically robust, comprehensive data set documenting the crocidolite-induced changes in the A549 transcriptome was collected. A systems biology approach involving global observations from gene ontological analyses coupled with functional network analyses was used to explore the effects of crocidolite in the context of known molecular interactions. The analyses uniquely document a transcriptome with function-based networks in cell death, cancer, cell cycle, cellular growth, proliferation, and gene expression. These functional modules show signs of a complex interplay between signaling pathways consisting of both novel and previously described asbestos-related genes/gene products. These networks allowed for the identification of novel, putative crocidolite-related genes, leading to several new hypotheses regarding genes that are important for the asbestos response. The global analysis revealed a transcriptome that bears signatures of both apoptosis/cell death and cell survival/proliferation. Conclusion Our analyses demonstrate the power of combining a statistically robust, comprehensive dataset and a functional network genomics approach to 1 identify and explore relationships between genes of known importance

  15. Metatranscriptomic analysis of diverse microbial communities reveals core metabolic pathways and microbiome-specific functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yue; Xiong, Xuejian; Danska, Jayne; Parkinson, John

    2016-01-12

    Metatranscriptomics is emerging as a powerful technology for the functional characterization of complex microbial communities (microbiomes). Use of unbiased RNA-sequencing can reveal both the taxonomic composition and active biochemical functions of a complex microbial community. However, the lack of established reference genomes, computational tools and pipelines make analysis and interpretation of these datasets challenging. Systematic studies that compare data across microbiomes are needed to demonstrate the ability of such pipelines to deliver biologically meaningful insights on microbiome function. Here, we apply a standardized analytical pipeline to perform a comparative analysis of metatranscriptomic data from diverse microbial communities derived from mouse large intestine, cow rumen, kimchi culture, deep-sea thermal vent and permafrost. Sequence similarity searches allowed annotation of 19 to 76% of putative messenger RNA (mRNA) reads, with the highest frequency in the kimchi dataset due to its relatively low complexity and availability of closely related reference genomes. Metatranscriptomic datasets exhibited distinct taxonomic and functional signatures. From a metabolic perspective, we identified a common core of enzymes involved in amino acid, energy and nucleotide metabolism and also identified microbiome-specific pathways such as phosphonate metabolism (deep sea) and glycan degradation pathways (cow rumen). Integrating taxonomic and functional annotations within a novel visualization framework revealed the contribution of different taxa to metabolic pathways, allowing the identification of taxa that contribute unique functions. The application of a single, standard pipeline confirms that the rich taxonomic and functional diversity observed across microbiomes is not simply an artefact of different analysis pipelines but instead reflects distinct environmental influences. At the same time, our findings show how microbiome complexity and availability of

  16. Dietary Fatty Acids and Temperature Modulate Mitochondrial Function and Longevity in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rand, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Fluctuations in temperature and resource availability are conditions many organisms contend with in nature. Specific dietary nutrients such as fatty acids play an essential role in reproduction, cold adaptation, and metabolism in a variety of organisms. The present study characterizes how temperature and diet interact to modulate Drosophila physiology and life span. Flies were raised on media containing specific saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fatty acids supplements at low concentrations and were placed in varied thermal environments. We found that dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids improve chill coma recovery and modulate mitochondrial function. Additionally, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid food supplements were detrimental to life span regardless of temperature, and antioxidants were able to partially rescue this effect. This study provides insight into environmental modulation of Drosophila physiology and life span. PMID:25910846

  17. Profiling of FSHR negative allosteric modulators on LH/CGR reveals biased antagonism with implications in steroidogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayoub, Mohammed Akli; Yvinec, Romain; Jégot, Gwenhaël; Dias, James A; Poli, Sonia-Maria; Poupon, Anne; Crépieux, Pascale; Reiter, Eric

    2016-11-15

    Biased signaling has recently emerged as an interesting means to modulate the function of many G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Previous studies reported two negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), ADX68692 and ADX68693, with differential effects on FSHR-mediated steroidogenesis and ovulation. In this study, we attempted to pharmacologically profile these NAMs on the closely related luteinizing hormone/chorionic gonadotropin hormone receptor (LH/CGR) with regards to its canonical Gs/cAMP pathway as well as to β-arrestin recruitment in HEK293 cells. The NAMs' effects on cAMP, progesterone and testosterone production were also assessed in murine Leydig tumor cell line (mLTC-1) as well as rat primary Leydig cells. We found that both NAMs strongly antagonized LH/CGR signaling in the different cell models used with ADX68693 being more potent than ADX68692 to inhibit hCG-induced cAMP production in HEK293, mLTC-1 and rat primary Leydig cells as well as β-arrestin 2 recruitment in HEK293 cells. Interestingly, differential antagonism of the two NAMs on hCG-promoted steroidogenesis in mLTC-1 and rat primary Leydig cells was observed. Indeed, a significant inhibition of testosterone production by the two NAMs was observed in both cell types, whereas progesterone production was only inhibited by ADX68693 in rat primary Leydig cells. In addition, while ADX68693 totally abolished testosterone production, ADX68692 had only a partial effect in both mLTC-1 and rat primary Leydig cells. These observations suggest biased effects of the two NAMs on LH/CGR-dependent pathways controlling steroidogenesis. Interestingly, the pharmacological profiles of the two NAMs with respect to steroidogenesis were found to differ from that previously shown on FSHR. This illustrates the complexity of signaling pathways controlling FSHR- and LH/CGR-mediated steroidogenesis, suggesting differential implication of cAMP and β-arrestins mediated by

  18. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ari J S Ferreira

    Full Text Available Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  19. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    KAUST Repository

    Ferreira, Ari J S

    2014-06-12

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world\\'s oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  20. Genetic diversity of coastal bottlenose dolphins revealed by structurally and functionally diverse hemoglobins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, Nicole; Stevens, Robert D; Wells, Randall S; Holn, Aleta; Dhungana, Suraj; Taboy, Celine H; Crumbliss, Alvin L; Henkens, Robert; Bonaventura, Celia

    2007-08-15

    Studies of structure-function relationships in the respiratory proteins of marine mammals revealed unexpected variations in the number and types of hemoglobins (Hbs) present in coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. We obtained blood samples from free-ranging coastal bottlenose dolphins as a component of capture-release studies. We found that the oxygen-binding functions of bottlenose dolphin blood are poised between effector-saturated and unsaturated levels, enabling exercise-dependent shifts in oxygen transfer functions. Isolated bottlenose dolphin Hbs showed elevated pH sensitivities (Bohr effects) and appreciably lower oxygen affinities than adult human Hb in the absence of allosteric effectors. These properties may be an adaptive modification that enhances oxygen delivery during diving episodes when oxygen tensions and effector levels are low. The Hbs of individual dolphins showed similar oxygen affinities, responses to effectors, and expression of heme-heme interaction in oxygen binding, but differed in their redox potentials and rates of autoxidation. The heterogeneity suggested by these functional variations in Hbs of individual dolphins was born out by variations in the molecular weights and numbers of their alpha and beta globin chains. Although coastal bottlenose dolphins were expected to have a single type of Hb, the mass differences observed revealed considerable genetic diversity. There were multiple Hb forms in some individuals and differences in Hb patterns among individuals within the same community.

  1. Extracellular Acidification Acts as a Key Modulator of Neutrophil Apoptosis and Functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannan Cao

    Full Text Available In human pathological conditions, the acidification of local environment is a frequent feature, such as tumor and inflammation. As the pH of microenvironment alters, the functions of immune cells are about to change. It makes the extracellular acidification a key modulator of innate immunity. Here we detected the impact of extracellular acidification on neutrophil apoptosis and functions, including cell death, respiratory burst, migration and phagocytosis. As a result, we found that under the acid environment, neutrophil apoptosis delayed, respiratory burst inhibited, polarization augmented, chemotaxis differed, endocytosis enhanced and bacteria killing suppressed. These findings suggested that extracellular acidification acts as a key regulator of neutrophil apoptosis and functions.

  2. Tissue Doppler echocardiography reveals impaired cardiac function in patients with reversible ischaemia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoffmann, Søren; Mogelvang, Rasmus; Sogaard, Peter

    2011-01-01

    AIMS: To determine if echocardiographic tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) performed at rest detects reduced myocardial function in patients with reversible ischaemia. METHODS AND RESULTS: Eighty-four patients with angina pectoris, no previous history of ischaemic heart disease and normal left ventricu......AIMS: To determine if echocardiographic tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) performed at rest detects reduced myocardial function in patients with reversible ischaemia. METHODS AND RESULTS: Eighty-four patients with angina pectoris, no previous history of ischaemic heart disease and normal left...... velocities could be demonstrated in patients with a false-positive SPECT compared with controls. CONCLUSION: In patients with stable angina pectoris, preserved ejection fraction, and reversible ischaemia assessed by SPECT, echocardiographic colour TDI performed at rest reveals impaired cardiac function...

  3. Neurodegenerative disease mutations in TREM2 reveal a functional surface and distinct loss-of-function mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kober, Daniel L.; Alexander-Brett, Jennifer M.; Karch, Celeste M.; Cruchaga, Carlos; Colonna, Marco; Holtzman, Michael J.; Brett, Thomas J. (WU-MED)

    2016-12-20

    Genetic variations in the myeloid immune receptor TREM2 are linked to several neurodegenerative diseases. To determine how TREM2 variants contribute to these diseases, we performed structural and functional studies of wild-type and variant proteins. Our 3.1 Å TREM2 crystal structure revealed that mutations found in Nasu-Hakola disease are buried whereas Alzheimer’s disease risk variants are found on the surface, suggesting that these mutations have distinct effects on TREM2 function. Biophysical and cellular methods indicate that Nasu-Hakola mutations impact protein stability and decrease folded TREM2 surface expression, whereas Alzheimer’s risk variants impact binding to a TREM2 ligand. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s risk variants appear to epitope map a functional surface on TREM2 that is unique within the larger TREM family. These findings provide a guide to structural and functional differences among genetic variants of TREM2, indicating that therapies targeting the TREM2 pathway should be tailored to these genetic and functional differences with patient-specific medicine approaches for neurodegenerative disorders.

  4. Co-expression module analysis reveals biological processes, genomic gain, and regulatory mechanisms associated with breast cancer progression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derow Catherine K

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene expression signatures are typically identified by correlating gene expression patterns to a disease phenotype of interest. However, individual gene-based signatures usually suffer from low reproducibility and interpretability. Results We have developed a novel algorithm Iterative Clique Enumeration (ICE for identifying relatively independent maximal cliques as co-expression modules and a module-based approach to the analysis of gene expression data. Applying this approach on a public breast cancer dataset identified 19 modules whose expression levels were significantly correlated with tumor grade. The correlations were reproducible for 17 modules in an independent breast cancer dataset, and the reproducibility was considerably higher than that based on individual genes or modules identified by other algorithms. Sixteen out of the 17 modules showed significant enrichment in certain Gene Ontology (GO categories. Specifically, modules related to cell proliferation and immune response were up-regulated in high-grade tumors while those related to cell adhesion was down-regulated. Further analyses showed that transcription factors NYFB, E2F1/E2F3, NRF1, and ELK1 were responsible for the up-regulation of the cell proliferation modules. IRF family and ETS family proteins were responsible for the up-regulation of the immune response modules. Moreover, inhibition of the PPARA signaling pathway may also play an important role in tumor progression. The module without GO enrichment was found to be associated with a potential genomic gain in 8q21-23 in high-grade tumors. The 17-module signature of breast tumor progression clustered patients into subgroups with significantly different relapse-free survival times. Namely, patients with lower cell proliferation and higher cell adhesion levels had significantly lower risk of recurrence, both for all patients (p = 0.004 and for those with grade 2 tumors (p = 0.017. Conclusions The ICE

  5. Modulation of phenotypic and functional maturation of murine dendritic cells (DCs) by purified Achyranthes bidentata polysaccharide (ABP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yaxuan; Meng, Jingjuan; Chen, Wenna; Liu, Jingling; Li, Xuan; Li, Weiwei; Lu, Changlong; Shan, Fengping

    2011-08-01

    There are a large number of interactions at molecular and cellular levels between the plant polysaccharides and immune system. Plant polysaccharides present an interesting effects as immunomodulators, particularly in the induction of the cells both in innate and adaptive immune systems. Activation of DCs could improve antitumoral responses usually diminished in cancer patients, and natural adjuvants provide a possibility of inducing this activation. ABP is a purified polysaccharide isolated from Achyranthes bidentata, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The aim of this study is to investigate modulation of phenotypic and functional maturation of murine DCs by ABP. Both phenotypic and functional activities were assessed with use of conventional scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) for the morphology of the DC, transmitted electron microscopy (TEM) for intracellular lysosomes inside the DC, cellular immunohistochemistry for phagocytosis by the DCs, flow cytometry (FCM) for the changes in key surface molecules, bio-assay for the activity of acidic phosphatases (ACP), and ELISA for the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-12. In fact, we found that purified ABP induced phenotypic maturation revealed by increased expression of CD86, CD40, and MHC II. Functional experiments showed the down-regulation of ACP inside DCs (which occurs when phagocytosis of DCs is decreased, and antigen presentation increased with maturation). Finally, ABP increased the production of IL-12. These data reveal that ABP promotes effective activation of murine DCs. This adjuvant-like activity may have therapeutic applications in clinical settings where immune responses need boosting. It is therefore concluded that ABP can exert positive modulation to murine DCs.

  6. Structural fragment clustering reveals novel structural and functional motifs in α-helical transmembrane proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vassilev Boris

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A large proportion of an organism's genome encodes for membrane proteins. Membrane proteins are important for many cellular processes, and several diseases can be linked to mutations in them. With the tremendous growth of sequence data, there is an increasing need to reliably identify membrane proteins from sequence, to functionally annotate them, and to correctly predict their topology. Results We introduce a technique called structural fragment clustering, which learns sequential motifs from 3D structural fragments. From over 500,000 fragments, we obtain 213 statistically significant, non-redundant, and novel motifs that are highly specific to α-helical transmembrane proteins. From these 213 motifs, 58 of them were assigned to function and checked in the scientific literature for a biological assessment. Seventy percent of the motifs are found in co-factor, ligand, and ion binding sites, 30% at protein interaction interfaces, and 12% bind specific lipids such as glycerol or cardiolipins. The vast majority of motifs (94% appear across evolutionarily unrelated families, highlighting the modularity of functional design in membrane proteins. We describe three novel motifs in detail: (1 a dimer interface motif found in voltage-gated chloride channels, (2 a proton transfer motif found in heme-copper oxidases, and (3 a convergently evolved interface helix motif found in an aspartate symporter, a serine protease, and cytochrome b. Conclusions Our findings suggest that functional modules exist in membrane proteins, and that they occur in completely different evolutionary contexts and cover different binding sites. Structural fragment clustering allows us to link sequence motifs to function through clusters of structural fragments. The sequence motifs can be applied to identify and characterize membrane proteins in novel genomes.

  7. Functional differentiation of cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation in a biophysical model of olfactory bulb granule cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoshi; Linster, Christiane; Cleland, Thomas A

    2015-12-01

    Olfactory bulb granule cells are modulated by both acetylcholine (ACh) and norepinephrine (NE), but the effects of these neuromodulators have not been clearly distinguished. We used detailed biophysical simulations of granule cells, both alone and embedded in a microcircuit with mitral cells, to measure and distinguish the effects of ACh and NE on cellular and microcircuit function. Cholinergic and noradrenergic modulatory effects on granule cells were based on data obtained from slice experiments; specifically, ACh reduced the conductance densities of the potassium M current and the calcium-dependent potassium current, whereas NE nonmonotonically regulated the conductance density of an ohmic potassium current. We report that the effects of ACh and NE on granule cell physiology are distinct and functionally complementary to one another. ACh strongly regulates granule cell firing rates and afterpotentials, whereas NE bidirectionally regulates subthreshold membrane potentials. When combined, NE can regulate the ACh-induced expression of afterdepolarizing potentials and persistent firing. In a microcircuit simulation developed to investigate the effects of granule cell neuromodulation on mitral cell firing properties, ACh increased spike synchronization among mitral cells, whereas NE modulated the signal-to-noise ratio. Coapplication of ACh and NE both functionally improved the signal-to-noise ratio and enhanced spike synchronization among mitral cells. In summary, our computational results support distinct and complementary roles for ACh and NE in modulating olfactory bulb circuitry and suggest that NE may play a role in the regulation of cholinergic function.

  8. Functional differentiation of cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation in a biophysical model of olfactory bulb granule cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linster, Christiane

    2015-01-01

    Olfactory bulb granule cells are modulated by both acetylcholine (ACh) and norepinephrine (NE), but the effects of these neuromodulators have not been clearly distinguished. We used detailed biophysical simulations of granule cells, both alone and embedded in a microcircuit with mitral cells, to measure and distinguish the effects of ACh and NE on cellular and microcircuit function. Cholinergic and noradrenergic modulatory effects on granule cells were based on data obtained from slice experiments; specifically, ACh reduced the conductance densities of the potassium M current and the calcium-dependent potassium current, whereas NE nonmonotonically regulated the conductance density of an ohmic potassium current. We report that the effects of ACh and NE on granule cell physiology are distinct and functionally complementary to one another. ACh strongly regulates granule cell firing rates and afterpotentials, whereas NE bidirectionally regulates subthreshold membrane potentials. When combined, NE can regulate the ACh-induced expression of afterdepolarizing potentials and persistent firing. In a microcircuit simulation developed to investigate the effects of granule cell neuromodulation on mitral cell firing properties, ACh increased spike synchronization among mitral cells, whereas NE modulated the signal-to-noise ratio. Coapplication of ACh and NE both functionally improved the signal-to-noise ratio and enhanced spike synchronization among mitral cells. In summary, our computational results support distinct and complementary roles for ACh and NE in modulating olfactory bulb circuitry and suggest that NE may play a role in the regulation of cholinergic function. PMID:26334007

  9. Functional brain asymmetry, attentional modulation, and interhemispheric transfer in boys with Tourette syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plessen, Kerstin J; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate; Hammar, Asa; Lundervold, Astri; Peterson, Bradley S; Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2007-03-02

    We tested the hypothesis that children with Tourette syndrome (TS) would exhibit aberrant brain lateralization compared to a healthy control (HC) group in an attention-modulation version of a verbal dichotic listening task using consonant-vowel syllables. The modulation of attention to focus on the right ear stimulus in the dichotic listening situation is thought to involve the same prefrontal attentional and executive functions that are involved in the suppression of tics, whereas, performance when focusing attention on the left ear stimulus additionally involves a callosal transfer of information. In light of presumed disturbances in transfer of information across the corpus callosum, we hypothesized that children with TS would, however, have difficulty modulating the functional lateralization that ensues through a shift of attention to the left side. This hypothesis was tested by exploring the correlations between CC size and left ear score in the forced-left condition. Twenty boys with TS were compared with 20 age- and handedness-matched healthy boys. Results indicated similar performance in the TS and HC groups for lateralization of hemispheric function. TS subjects were also able to shift attention normally when instructed to focus on the right ear stimulus. When instructed to focus attention on the left ear stimulus, however, performance deteriorated in the TS group. Correlations with CC area further supported the hypothesized presence of deviant callosal functioning in the TS group.

  10. Thyroid, brain and mood modulation in affective disorder: insights from molecular research and functional brain imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, M; London, E D; Silverman, D H; Rasgon, N; Kirchheiner, J; Whybrow, P C

    2003-11-01

    The efficacy resulting from adjunctive use of supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine has emerged as a promising approach to therapy and prophylaxis for refractory mood disorders. Most patients with mood disorders who receive treatment with supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine have normal peripheral thyroid hormone levels, and also respond differently to the hormone and tolerate it better than healthy individuals and patients with primary thyroid diseases. Progress in molecular and functional brain imaging techniques has provided a new understanding of these phenomena, illuminating the relationship between thyroid function, mood modulation and behavior. Thyroid hormones are widely distributed in the brain and have a multitude of effects on the central nervous system. Notably many of the limbic system structures where thyroid hormone receptors are prevalent have been implicated in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. The influence of the thyroid system on neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin and norepinephrine), which putatively play a major role in the regulation of mood and behavior, may contribute to the mechanisms of mood modulation. Recent functional brain imaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) with [ (18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucose demonstrated that thyroid hormone treatment with levothyroxine affects regional brain metabolism in patients with hypothyroidism and bipolar disorder. Theses studies confirm that thyroid hormones are active in modulating metabolic function in the mature adult brain, and provide intriging neuroanatomic clues that may guide future research.

  11. A fast iterative-clique percolation method for identifying functional modules in protein interaction networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Penggang SUN; Lin GAO

    2009-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that biological systems are composed of interacting, separable, functional modules-groups of vertices within which connections are dense but between which they are sparse. Identifying these modules is likely through capturing the biologically mean-ingful interactions. In recent years, many algorithms have been developed for detecting such structures. These al-gorithms, however, are computationally demanding, which limits their applications. In this paper, we propose a fast iterative-clique percolation method (ICPM) for identifying overlapping functional modules in protein-protein interac-tion (PPI) networks. Our method is based on clique percola-tion method (CPM), and it not only considers the degree of nodes to minimize the search space (the vertices in k-cliques must have the degree of k - 1 at least), but also converts k-cliques to (k - 1)-cliques. It finds k-cliques by append-ing one node to (k - 1)-cliques. By testing our method on PPI networks, our analysis of the yeast PPI network suggeststhat most of these modules have well-supported biological significance.

  12. Specific polyunsaturated fatty acids modulate lipid delivery and oocyte development in C. elegans revealed by molecular-selective label-free imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei-Wen; Yi, Yung-Hsiang; Chien, Cheng-Hao; Hsiung, Kuei-Ching; Ma, Tian-Hsiang; Lin, Yi-Chun; Lo, Szecheng J.; Chang, Ta-Chau

    2016-08-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) exhibit critical functions in biological systems and their importance during animal oocyte maturation has been increasingly recognized. However, the detailed mechanism of lipid transportation for oocyte development remains largely unknown. In this study, the transportation of yolk lipoprotein (lipid carrier) and the rate of lipid delivery into oocytes in live C. elegans were examined for the first time by using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy. The accumulation of secreted yolk lipoprotein in the pseudocoelom of live C. elegans can be detected by CARS microscopy at both protein (~1665 cm‑1) and lipid (~2845 cm‑1) Raman bands. In addition, an image analysis protocol was established to quantitatively measure the levels of secreted yolk lipoprotein aberrantly accumulated in PUFA-deficient fat mutants (fat-1, fat-2, fat-3, fat-4) and PUFA-supplemented fat-2 worms (the PUFA add-back experiments). Our results revealed that the omega-6 PUFAs, not omega-3 PUFAs, play a critical role in modulating lipid/yolk level in the oocytes and regulating reproductive efficiency of C. elegans. This work demonstrates the value of using CARS microscopy as a molecular-selective label-free imaging technique for the study of PUFA regulation and oocyte development in C. elegans.

  13. The modulation of brain functional connectivity with manual acupuncture in healthy subjects: An electroencephalograph case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Guo-Sheng; Wang, Jiang; Han, Chun-Xiao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xi-Le; Li, Nuo

    2013-02-01

    Manual acupuncture is widely used for pain relief and stress control. Previous studies on acupuncture have shown its modulatory effects on the functional connectivity associated with one or a few preselected brain regions. To investigate how manual acupuncture modulates the organization of functional networks at a whole-brain level, we acupuncture at ST36 of a right leg to obtain electroencephalograph (EEG) signals. By coherence estimation, we determine the synchronizations between all pairwise combinations of EEG channels in three acupuncture states. The resulting synchronization matrices are converted into functional networks by applying a threshold, and the clustering coefficients and path lengths are computed as a function of threshold. The results show that acupuncture can increase functional connections and synchronizations between different brain areas. For a wide range of thresholds, the clustering coefficient during acupuncture and post-acupuncture period is higher than that during the pre-acupuncture control period, whereas the characteristic path length is shorter. We provide further support for the presence of “small-world" network characteristics in functional networks by using acupuncture. These preliminary results highlight the beneficial modulations of functional connectivity by manual acupuncture, which could contribute to the understanding of the effects of acupuncture on the entire brain, as well as the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying acupuncture. Moreover, the proposed method may be a useful approach to the further investigation of the complexity of patterns of interrelations between EEG channels.

  14. A kinetic analysis of the auxin transcriptome reveals cell wall remodeling proteins that modulate lateral root development in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Daniel R; Olex, Amy L; Lundy, Stacey R; Turkett, William H; Fetrow, Jacquelyn S; Muday, Gloria K

    2013-09-01

    To identify gene products that participate in auxin-dependent lateral root formation, a high temporal resolution, genome-wide transcript abundance analysis was performed with auxin-treated Arabidopsis thaliana roots. Data analysis identified 1246 transcripts that were consistently regulated by indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), partitioning into 60 clusters with distinct response kinetics. We identified rapidly induced clusters containing auxin-response functional annotations and clusters exhibiting delayed induction linked to cell division temporally correlated with lateral root induction. Several clusters were enriched with genes encoding proteins involved in cell wall modification, opening the possibility for understanding mechanistic details of cell structural changes that result in root formation following auxin treatment. Mutants with insertions in 72 genes annotated with a cell wall remodeling function were examined for alterations in IAA-regulated root growth and development. This reverse-genetic screen yielded eight mutants with root phenotypes. Detailed characterization of seedlings with mutations in cellulase3/glycosylhydrolase9b3 and leucine rich extensin2, genes not normally linked to auxin response, revealed defects in the early and late stages of lateral root development, respectively. The genes identified here using kinetic insight into expression changes lay the foundation for mechanistic understanding of auxin-mediated cell wall remodeling as an essential feature of lateral root development.

  15. Dynamic functional connectivity analysis reveals transient states of dysconnectivity in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Damaraju

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder characterized by functional dysconnectivity or abnormal integration between distant brain regions. Recent functional imaging studies have implicated large-scale thalamo-cortical connectivity as being disrupted in patients. However, observed connectivity differences in schizophrenia have been inconsistent between studies, with reports of hyperconnectivity and hypoconnectivity between the same brain regions. Using resting state eyes-closed functional imaging and independent component analysis on a multi-site data that included 151 schizophrenia patients and 163 age- and gender matched healthy controls, we decomposed the functional brain data into 100 components and identified 47 as functionally relevant intrinsic connectivity networks. We subsequently evaluated group differences in functional network connectivity, both in a static sense, computed as the pairwise Pearson correlations between the full network time courses (5.4 minutes in length, and a dynamic sense, computed using sliding windows (44 s in length and k-means clustering to characterize five discrete functional connectivity states. Static connectivity analysis revealed that compared to healthy controls, patients show significantly stronger connectivity, i.e., hyperconnectivity, between the thalamus and sensory networks (auditory, motor and visual, as well as reduced connectivity (hypoconnectivity between sensory networks from all modalities. Dynamic analysis suggests that (1, on average, schizophrenia patients spend much less time than healthy controls in states typified by strong, large-scale connectivity, and (2, that abnormal connectivity patterns are more pronounced during these connectivity states. In particular, states exhibiting cortical–subcortical antagonism (anti-correlations and strong positive connectivity between sensory networks are those that show the group differences of thalamic hyperconnectivity and sensory hypoconnectivity

  16. Master stability functions reveal diffusion-driven instabilities in multi-layer networks

    CERN Document Server

    Brechtel, Andreas; Ritterskamp, Daniel; Drossel, Barbara; Gross, Thilo

    2016-01-01

    Many systems in science and technology can be described as multilayer networks, which are known to exhibit phenomena such as catastrophic failure cascades and pattern-forming instabilities. A particular class of multilayer networks describes systems where different interacting copies of a local network exist in different spatial locations, including for instance regulatory and metabolic networks of identical cells and interacting habitats of ecological populations. Here, we show that such systems can be analyzed by a master stability function (MSF) approach, which reveals conditions for diffusion-driven instabilities (DDIs). We demonstrate the methodology on the example of state-of-the-art meta-foodweb models, where it reveals diffusion-driven instabilities that lead to localized dynamics and spatial patterns. This type of approach can be applied to a variety of systems from nature, science and engineering to aid the understanding and design of complex self-organizing systems.

  17. Laterality of brain areas associated with arithmetic calculations revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yun-ting; ZHANG Quan; ZHANG Jing; LI Wei

    2005-01-01

    Background Asymmetry of bilateral cerebral function, i.e. laterality, is an important phenomenon in many brain actions: arithmetic calculation may be one of these phenomena. In this study, first, laterality of brain areas associated with arithmetic calculations was revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Second, the relationship among laterality, handedness, and types of arithmetic task was assessed. Third, we postulate possible reasons for laterality.Methods Using a block-designed experiment, twenty-five right-handed and seven left-handed healthy volunteers carried out simple calculations, complex calculations and proximity judgments. T1WI and GRE-EPI fMRI were performed with a GE 1.5T whole body MRI scanner. Statistical parametric mapping (SPM99) was used to process data and localize functional areas. Numbers of activated voxels were recorded to calculate laterality index for evaluating the laterality of functional brain areas.Results For both groups, the activation of functional areas in the frontal lobe showed a tendency towards the nonpredominant hand side, but the functional areas in the inferior parietal lobule had left laterality. During simple and complex calculations, the laterality indices of the prefrontal cortex and premotor area were higher in the right-handed group than that in the left-handed group, whereas the laterality of the inferior parietal lobule had no such significant difference. In both groups, when the difficulty of the task increased, the laterality of the prefrontal cortex, premotor area, and inferior parietal lobule decreased, but the laterality of posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus increased.Conclusions The laterality of the functional brain areas associated with arithmetic calculations can be detected with fMRI. The laterality of the functional areas was related to handedness and task difficulty.

  18. Functional Connectivity Modulation by Acupuncture in Patients with Bell’s Palsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunpeng Bian

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Bell’s palsy (BP, an acute unilateral facial paralysis, is frequently treated with acupuncture in many countries. However, the mechanism of treatment is not clear so far. In order to explore the potential mechanism, 22 healthy volunteers and 17 BP patients with different clinical duration were recruited. The resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans were conducted before and after acupuncture at LI4 (Hegu, respectively. By comparing BP-induced functional connectivity (FC changes with acupuncture-induced FC changes in the patients, the abnormal increased FC that could be reduced by acupuncture was selected. The FC strength of the selected FC at various stages was analyzed subsequently. Our results show that FC modulation of acupuncture is specific and consistent with the tendency of recovery. Therefore, we propose that FC modulation by acupuncture may be beneficial to recovery from the disease.

  19. Targeted capture and resequencing of 1040 genes reveal environmentally driven functional variation in grey wolves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweizer, Rena M; Robinson, Jacqueline; Harrigan, Ryan; Silva, Pedro; Galverni, Marco; Musiani, Marco; Green, Richard E; Novembre, John; Wayne, Robert K

    2016-01-01

    In an era of ever-increasing amounts of whole-genome sequence data for individuals and populations, the utility of traditional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) array-based genome scans is uncertain. We previously performed a SNP array-based genome scan to identify candidate genes under selection in six distinct grey wolf (Canis lupus) ecotypes. Using this information, we designed a targeted capture array for 1040 genes, including all exons and flanking regions, as well as 5000 1-kb nongenic neutral regions, and resequenced these regions in 107 wolves. Selection tests revealed striking patterns of variation within candidate genes relative to noncandidate regions and identified potentially functional variants related to local adaptation. We found 27% and 47% of candidate genes from the previous SNP array study had functional changes that were outliers in sweed and bayenv analyses, respectively. This result verifies the use of genomewide SNP surveys to tag genes that contain functional variants between populations. We highlight nonsynonymous variants in APOB, LIPG and USH2A that occur in functional domains of these proteins, and that demonstrate high correlation with precipitation seasonality and vegetation. We find Arctic and High Arctic wolf ecotypes have higher numbers of genes under selection, which highlight their conservation value and heightened threat due to climate change. This study demonstrates that combining genomewide genotyping arrays with large-scale resequencing and environmental data provides a powerful approach to discern candidate functional variants in natural populations. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Efficient α, β-motif finder for identification of phenotype-related functional modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmidt Matthew C

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial communities in their natural environments exhibit phenotypes that can directly cause particular diseases, convert biomass or wastewater to energy, or degrade various environmental contaminants. Understanding how these communities realize specific phenotypic traits (e.g., carbon fixation, hydrogen production is critical for addressing health, bioremediation, or bioenergy problems. Results In this paper, we describe a graph-theoretical method for in silico prediction of the cellular subsystems that are related to the expression of a target phenotype. The proposed (α, β-motif finder approach allows for identification of these phenotype-related subsystems that, in addition to metabolic subsystems, could include their regulators, sensors, transporters, and even uncharacterized proteins. By comparing dozens of genome-scale networks of functionally associated proteins, our method efficiently identifies those statistically significant functional modules that are in at least α networks of phenotype-expressing organisms but appear in no more than β networks of organisms that do not exhibit the target phenotype. It has been shown via various experiments that the enumerated modules are indeed related to phenotype-expression when tested with different target phenotypes like hydrogen production, motility, aerobic respiration, and acid-tolerance. Conclusion Thus, we have proposed a methodology that can identify potential statistically significant phenotype-related functional modules. The functional module is modeled as an (α, β-clique, where α and β are two criteria introduced in this work. We also propose a novel network model, called the two-typed, divided network. The new network model and the criteria make the problem tractable even while very large networks are being compared. The code can be downloaded from http://www.freescience.org/cs/ABClique/

  1. Norepinephrine versus dopamine and their interaction in modulating synaptic function in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Bo; Li, Yan-Chun; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2016-06-15

    Among the neuromodulators that regulate prefrontal cortical circuit function, the catecholamine transmitters norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) stand out as powerful players in working memory and attention. Perturbation of either NE or DA signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and drug addiction. Although the precise mechanisms employed by NE and DA to cooperatively control prefrontal functions are not fully understood, emerging research indicates that both transmitters regulate electrical and biochemical aspects of neuronal function by modulating convergent ionic and synaptic signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This review summarizes previous studies that investigated the effects of both NE and DA on excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the prefrontal cortical circuitry. Specifically, we focus on the functional interaction between NE and DA in prefrontal cortical local circuitry, synaptic integration, signaling pathways, and receptor properties. Although it is clear that both NE and DA innervate the PFC extensively and modulate synaptic function by activating distinctly different receptor subtypes and signaling pathways, it remains unclear how these two systems coordinate their actions to optimize PFC function for appropriate behavior. Throughout this review, we provide perspectives and highlight several critical topics for future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Noradrenergic System. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Structure-function insights of membrane and soluble proteins revealed by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreaden, Tina M; Devarajan, Bharanidharan; Barry, Bridgette A; Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg

    2013-01-01

    Electron crystallography is emerging as an important method in solving protein structures. While it has found extensive applications in the understanding of membrane protein structure and function at a wide range of resolutions, from revealing oligomeric arrangements to atomic models, electron crystallography has also provided invaluable information on the soluble α/β-tubulin which could not be obtained by any other method to date. Examples of critical insights from selected structures of membrane proteins as well as α/β-tubulin are described here, demonstrating the vast potential of electron crystallography that is first beginning to unfold.

  3. Speech processing asymmetry revealed by dichotic listening and functional brain imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hugdahl, Kenneth; Westerhausen, René

    2016-12-01

    In this article, we review research in our laboratory from the last 25 to 30 years on the neuronal basis for laterality of speech perception focusing on the upper, posterior parts of the temporal lobes, and its functional and structural connections to other brain regions. We review both behavioral and brain imaging data, with a focus on dichotic listening experiments, and using a variety of imaging modalities. The data have come in most parts from healthy individuals and from studies on normally functioning brain, although we also review a few selected clinical examples. We first review and discuss the structural model for the explanation of the right-ear advantage (REA) and left hemisphere asymmetry for auditory language processing. A common theme across many studies have been our interest in the interaction between bottom-up, stimulus-driven, and top-down, instruction-driven, aspects of hemispheric asymmetry, and how perceptual factors interact with cognitive factors to shape asymmetry of auditory language information processing. In summary, our research have shown laterality for the initial processing of consonant-vowel syllables, first observed as a behavioral REA when subjects are required to report which syllable of a dichotic syllable-pair they perceive. In subsequent work we have corroborated the REA with brain imaging, and have shown that the REA is modulated through both bottom-up manipulations of stimulus properties, like sound intensity, and top-down manipulations of cognitive properties, like attention focus.

  4. Sex, hormones and neurogenesis in the hippocampus: hormonal modulation of neurogenesis and potential functional implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galea, L A M; Wainwright, S R; Roes, M M; Duarte-Guterman, P; Chow, C; Hamson, D K

    2013-11-01

    The hippocampus is an area of the brain that undergoes dramatic plasticity in response to experience and hormone exposure. The hippocampus retains the ability to produce new neurones in most mammalian species and is a structure that is targeted in a number of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, many of which are influenced by both sex and sex hormone exposure. Intriguingly, gonadal and adrenal hormones affect the structure and function of the hippocampus differently in males and females. Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus is regulated by both gonadal and adrenal hormones in a sex- and experience-dependent way. Sex differences in the effects of steroid hormones to modulate hippocampal plasticity should not be completely unexpected because the physiology of males and females is different, with the most notable difference being that females gestate and nurse the offspring. Furthermore, reproductive experience (i.e. pregnancy and mothering) results in permanent changes to the maternal brain, including the hippocampus. This review outlines the ability of gonadal and stress hormones to modulate multiple aspects of neurogenesis (cell proliferation and cell survival) in both male and female rodents. The function of adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus is linked to spatial memory and depression, and the present review provides early evidence of the functional links between the hormonal modulation of neurogenesis that may contribute to the regulation of cognition and stress.

  5. NCS-1 associates with adenosine A2A receptors and modulates receptor function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gemma eNavarro

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Modulation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR signalling by local changes in intracellular calcium concentration is an established function of Calmodulin which is known to interact with many GPCRs. Less is known about the functional role of the closely related neuronal EF-hand Ca2+-sensor proteins that frequently associate with calmodulin targets with different functional outcome. In the present study we aimed to investigate if a target of calmodulin – the A2A adenosine receptor, is able to associate with two other neuronal calcium binding proteins, namely NCS-1 and caldendrin. Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer and co-immunoprecipitation experiments we show the existence of A2A - NCS-1 complexes in living cells whereas caldendrin did not associate with A2A receptors under the conditions tested. Interestingly, NCS-1 binding modulated downstream A2A receptor intracellular signalling in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Taken together this study provides further evidence that neuronal Ca2+-sensor proteins play an important role in modulation of GPCR signalling.

  6. Quantitative protein localization signatures reveal an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loo, Lit-Hsin; Laksameethanasan, Danai; Tung, Yi-Ling

    2014-03-01

    Protein subcellular localization is a major determinant of protein function. However, this important protein feature is often described in terms of discrete and qualitative categories of subcellular compartments, and therefore it has limited applications in quantitative protein function analyses. Here, we present Protein Localization Analysis and Search Tools (PLAST), an automated analysis framework for constructing and comparing quantitative signatures of protein subcellular localization patterns based on microscopy images. PLAST produces human-interpretable protein localization maps that quantitatively describe the similarities in the localization patterns of proteins and major subcellular compartments, without requiring manual assignment or supervised learning of these compartments. Using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system, we show that PLAST is more accurate than existing, qualitative protein localization annotations in identifying known co-localized proteins. Furthermore, we demonstrate that PLAST can reveal protein localization-function relationships that are not obvious from these annotations. First, we identified proteins that have similar localization patterns and participate in closely-related biological processes, but do not necessarily form stable complexes with each other or localize at the same organelles. Second, we found an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins during evolution. Surprisingly, as proteins with common ancestors evolve, they tend to develop more diverged subcellular localization patterns, but still occupy similar numbers of compartments. This suggests that divergence of protein localization might be more frequently due to the development of more specific localization patterns over ancestral compartments than the occupation of new compartments. PLAST enables systematic and quantitative analyses of protein localization-function relationships, and will be useful to elucidate protein

  7. Quantitative protein localization signatures reveal an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lit-Hsin Loo

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Protein subcellular localization is a major determinant of protein function. However, this important protein feature is often described in terms of discrete and qualitative categories of subcellular compartments, and therefore it has limited applications in quantitative protein function analyses. Here, we present Protein Localization Analysis and Search Tools (PLAST, an automated analysis framework for constructing and comparing quantitative signatures of protein subcellular localization patterns based on microscopy images. PLAST produces human-interpretable protein localization maps that quantitatively describe the similarities in the localization patterns of proteins and major subcellular compartments, without requiring manual assignment or supervised learning of these compartments. Using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system, we show that PLAST is more accurate than existing, qualitative protein localization annotations in identifying known co-localized proteins. Furthermore, we demonstrate that PLAST can reveal protein localization-function relationships that are not obvious from these annotations. First, we identified proteins that have similar localization patterns and participate in closely-related biological processes, but do not necessarily form stable complexes with each other or localize at the same organelles. Second, we found an association between spatial and functional divergences of proteins during evolution. Surprisingly, as proteins with common ancestors evolve, they tend to develop more diverged subcellular localization patterns, but still occupy similar numbers of compartments. This suggests that divergence of protein localization might be more frequently due to the development of more specific localization patterns over ancestral compartments than the occupation of new compartments. PLAST enables systematic and quantitative analyses of protein localization-function relationships, and will be useful to

  8. Attention-dependent modulation of cortical taste circuits revealed by Granger causality with signal-dependent noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Luo

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We show, for the first time, that in cortical areas, for example the insular, orbitofrontal, and lateral prefrontal cortex, there is signal-dependent noise in the fMRI blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD time series, with the variance of the noise increasing approximately linearly with the square of the signal. Classical Granger causal models are based on autoregressive models with time invariant covariance structure, and thus do not take this signal-dependent noise into account. To address this limitation, here we describe a Granger causal model with signal-dependent noise, and a novel, likelihood ratio test for causal inferences. We apply this approach to the data from an fMRI study to investigate the source of the top-down attentional control of taste intensity and taste pleasantness processing. The Granger causality with signal-dependent noise analysis reveals effects not identified by classical Granger causal analysis. In particular, there is a top-down effect from the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex to the insular taste cortex during attention to intensity but not to pleasantness, and there is a top-down effect from the anterior and posterior lateral prefrontal cortex to the orbitofrontal cortex during attention to pleasantness but not to intensity. In addition, there is stronger forward effective connectivity from the insular taste cortex to the orbitofrontal cortex during attention to pleasantness than during attention to intensity. These findings indicate the importance of explicitly modeling signal-dependent noise in functional neuroimaging, and reveal some of the processes involved in a biased activation theory of selective attention.

  9. Salivary gland proteome analysis reveals modulation of anopheline unique proteins in insensitive acetylcholinesterase resistant Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie Cornelie

    Full Text Available Insensitive acetylcholinesterase resistance due to a mutation in the acetylcholinesterase (ace encoding ace-1 gene confers cross-resistance to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides in Anopheles gambiae populations from Central and West Africa. This mutation is associated with a strong genetic cost revealed through alterations of some life history traits but little is known about the physiological and behavioural changes in insects bearing the ace-1(R allele. Comparative analysis of the salivary gland contents between An. gambiae susceptible and ace-1(R resistant strains was carried out to charaterize factors that could be involved in modifications of blood meal process, trophic behaviour or pathogen interaction in the insecticide-resistant mosquitoes. Differential analysis of the salivary gland protein profiles revealed differences in abundance for several proteins, two of them showing major differences between the two strains. These two proteins identified as saglin and TRIO are salivary gland-1 related proteins, a family unique to anopheline mosquitoes, one of them playing a crucial role in salivary gland invasion by Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites. Differential expression of two other proteins previously identified in the Anopheles sialome was also observed. The differentially regulated proteins are involved in pathogen invasion, blood feeding process, and protection against oxidation, relevant steps in the outcome of malaria infection. Further functional studies and insect behaviour experiments would confirm the impact of the modification of the sialome composition on blood feeding and pathogen transmission abilities of the resistant mosquitoes. The data supports the hypothesis of alterations linked to insecticide resistance in the biology of the primary vector of human malaria in Africa.

  10. Functional splicing network reveals extensive regulatory potential of the core spliceosomal machinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papasaikas, Panagiotis; Tejedor, J Ramón; Vigevani, Luisa; Valcárcel, Juan

    2015-01-08

    Pre-mRNA splicing relies on the poorly understood dynamic interplay between >150 protein components of the spliceosome. The steps at which splicing can be regulated remain largely unknown. We systematically analyzed the effect of knocking down the components of the splicing machinery on alternative splicing events relevant for cell proliferation and apoptosis and used this information to reconstruct a network of functional interactions. The network accurately captures known physical and functional associations and identifies new ones, revealing remarkable regulatory potential of core spliceosomal components, related to the order and duration of their recruitment during spliceosome assembly. In contrast with standard models of regulation at early steps of splice site recognition, factors involved in catalytic activation of the spliceosome display regulatory properties. The network also sheds light on the antagonism between hnRNP C and U2AF, and on targets of antitumor drugs, and can be widely used to identify mechanisms of splicing regulation.

  11. Conditional Epistatic Interaction Maps Reveal Global Functional Rewiring of Genome Integrity Pathways in Escherichia coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashwani Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available As antibiotic resistance is increasingly becoming a public health concern, an improved understanding of the bacterial DNA damage response (DDR, which is commonly targeted by antibiotics, could be of tremendous therapeutic value. Although the genetic components of the bacterial DDR have been studied extensively in isolation, how the underlying biological pathways interact functionally remains unclear. Here, we address this by performing systematic, unbiased, quantitative synthetic genetic interaction (GI screens and uncover widespread changes in the GI network of the entire genomic integrity apparatus of Escherichia coli under standard and DNA-damaging growth conditions. The GI patterns of untreated cultures implicated two previously uncharacterized proteins (YhbQ and YqgF as nucleases, whereas reorganization of the GI network after DNA damage revealed DDR roles for both annotated and uncharacterized genes. Analyses of pan-bacterial conservation patterns suggest that DDR mechanisms and functional relationships are near universal, highlighting a modular and highly adaptive genomic stress response.

  12. Deletion analysis of AGD1 reveals domains crucial for plasma membrane recruitment and function in root hair polarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Cheol-Min; Naramoto, Satoshi; Sparks, J Alan; Khan, Bibi Rafeiza; Nakashima, Jin; Fukuda, Hiroo; Blancaflor, Elison B

    2017-06-23

    AGD1, a plant ACAP-type ADP-ribosylation factor-GTPase activating protein (ARF-GAP), functions in specifying root hair polarity in Arabidopsis thaliana To better understand how AGD1 modulates root hair growth, we generated full-length and domain-deleted AGD1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) constructs, and followed their localization during root hair development. AGD1-GFP localized to the cytoplasm and was recruited to specific regions of the root hair plasma membrane (PM). Distinct PM AGD1-GFP signal was first detected along the site of root hair bulge formation. The construct continued to mark the PM at the root hair apical dome, but only during periods of reduced growth. During rapid tip growth, AGD1-GFP labeled the PM of the lateral flanks and dissipated from the apical-most PM. Deletion analysis and a single domain GFP fusion revealed that the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain is the minimal unit required for recruitment of AGD1 to the PM. Our results indicate that differential recruitment of AGD1 to specific PM domains is an essential component of the membrane trafficking machinery that facilitates root hair developmental phase transitions and responses to changes in the root microenvironment. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Extinction of cocaine self-administration reveals functionally and temporally distinct dopaminergic signals in the nucleus accumbens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Garret D; Wightman, R Mark; Carelli, Regina M

    2005-05-19

    While Pavlovian and operant conditioning influence drug-seeking behavior, the role of rapid dopamine signaling in modulating these processes is unknown. During self-administration of cocaine, two dopaminergic signals, measured with 100 ms resolution, occurred immediately before and after the lever press (termed pre- and post-response dopamine transients). Extinction of self-administration revealed that these two signals were functionally distinct. Pre-response transients, which could reflect the motivation to obtain the drug, did not decline during extinction. Remarkably, post-response dopamine transients attenuated as extinction progressed, suggesting that they encode the learned association between environmental cues and cocaine. A third type of dopamine transient, not time locked to overt stimuli, decreased in frequency during extinction and correlated with calculated cocaine concentrations. These results show that dopamine release transients involved in different aspects of cocaine self-administration are highly plastic--differentially governed by motivation, learned associations linked with environmental stimuli, and the pharmacological actions of cocaine.

  14. Measurement of the amplitude and phase transfer functions of an optical modulator using a heterodyne technique

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Romstad, Francis Pascal; Birkedal, Dan; Mørk, Jesper

    2001-01-01

    We present a new technique that measures the full amplitude and phase transfer curves of the modulator as a function of the applied bias, from which the small signal α-parameter can be calculated. The technique measures the amplitude and phase transfer functions simultaneously and directly......, compared to techniques where a time-consuming data analysis is necessary to calculate the a-parameter and an additional measurement is necessary to estimate the phase. Additionally, the chirp profile for all operation points can be calculated....

  15. Cancer bioinformatics: detection of chromatin states,SNP-containing motifs, and functional enrichment modules

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiaobo Zhou

    2013-01-01

    In this editorial preface,I briefly review cancer bioinformatics and introduce the four articles in this special issue highlighting important applications of the field:detection of chromatin states; detection of SNP-containing motifs and association with transcription factor-binding sites; improvements in functional enrichment modules; and gene association studies on aging and cancer.We expect this issue to provide bioinformatics scientists,cancer biologists,and clinical doctors with a better understanding of how cancer bioinformatics can be used to identify candidate biomarkers and targets and to conduct functional analysis.

  16. Reconfigurable optical interleaver modules with tunable wavelength transfer matrix function using polymer photonics lightwave circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Changming; Niu, Xiaoyan; Han, Chao; Shi, Zuosen; Wang, Xinbin; Sun, Xiaoqiang; Wang, Fei; Cui, Zhanchen; Zhang, Daming

    2014-08-25

    A transparent reconfigurable optical interleaver module composed of cascaded AWGs-based wavelength-channel-selector/interleaver monolithically integrated with multimode interference (MMI) variable optical attenuators (VOAs) and Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) switch arrays was designed and fabricated using polymer photonic lightwave circuits. Highly fluorinated photopolymer and grafting modified organic-inorganic hybrid material were synthesized as the waveguide core and caldding, respectively. Thermo-optic (TO) tunable wavelength transfer matrix (WTM) function of the module can be achieved for optical routing network. The one-chip transmission loss is ~ 6 dB and crosstalk is less than ~25 dB for transverse-magnetic (TM) mode. The crosstalk and extinction ratio of the MMI VOAs were measured as -15.2 dB and 17.5 dB with driving current 8 mA, respectively. The modulation depth of the TO switches is obtained as ~18.2 dB with 2.2 V bias. Proposed novel interleaver module could be well suited for DWDM optical communication systems.

  17. Thermodynamic Characterization of a Triheme Cytochrome Family from Geobacter sulfurreducens Reveals Mechanistic and Functional Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgado, Leonor; Bruix, Marta; Pessanha, Miguel; Londer, Yuri Y.; Salgueiro, Carlos A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract A family of five periplasmic triheme cytochromes (PpcA-E) was identified in Geobacter sulfurreducens, where they play a crucial role by driving electron transfer from the cytoplasm to the cell exterior and assisting the reduction of extracellular acceptors. The thermodynamic characterization of PpcA using NMR and visible spectroscopies was previously achieved under experimental conditions identical to those used for the triheme cytochrome c7 from Desulfuromonas acetoxidans. Under such conditions, attempts to obtain NMR data were complicated by the relatively fast intermolecular electron exchange. This work reports the detailed thermodynamic characterization of PpcB, PpcD, and PpcE under optimal experimental conditions. The thermodynamic characterization of PpcA was redone under these new conditions to allow a proper comparison of the redox properties with those of other members of this family. The heme reduction potentials of the four proteins are negative, differ from each other, and cover different functional ranges. These reduction potentials are strongly modulated by heme-heme interactions and by interactions with protonated groups (the redox-Bohr effect) establishing different cooperative networks for each protein, which indicates that they are designed to perform different functions in the cell. PpcA and PpcD appear to be optimized to interact with specific redox partners involving e−/H+ transfer via different mechanisms. Although no evidence of preferential electron transfer pathway or e−/H+ coupling was found for PpcB and PpcE, the difference in their working potential ranges suggests that they may also have different physiological redox partners. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to characterize homologous cytochromes from the same microorganism and provide evidence of their different mechanistic and functional properties. These findings provide an explanation for the coexistence of five periplasmic triheme cytochromes in G

  18. Comparative analysis of ABCB1 reveals novel structural and functional conservation between monocots and dicots

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    Amandeep Kaur Dhaliwal

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Phytohormone auxin plays a critical role in modulating plant architecture by creating a gradient regulated via its transporters such as ATP-binding cassette (ABC B1. Except for Arabidopsis and maize, where it was shown to interrupt auxin transport, ABCB1’s presence, structure and function in crop species is not known. Here we describe the structural and putative functional organization of ABCB1 among monocots relative to that of dicots. Identified from various plant species following specific and stringent criteria, ZmABCB1’s ‘true’ orthologs sequence identity ranged from 56-90% at the DNA and 75-91% at the predicted amino acid (aa level. Relative to ZmABCB1, the size of genomic copies ranged from -27 to +1.5% and aa from -7.7 to +0.6%. With the average gene size being similar (5.8 kb in monocots and 5.7 kb in dicots, dicots have about triple the number of introns with an average size of 194 bp (total 1743 bp compared to 556 bp (total 1667 bp in monocots. The intron-exon junctions across species were however conserved. N-termini of the predicted proteins were highly variable: in monocots due to mismatches and small deletions of 1-13 aa compared to large, species-specific deletions of up to 77 aa in dicots. The species- family-, and group- specific conserved motifs were identified in the N-terminus and linker regions of protein, possibly responsible for the specific functions. The near-identical conserved motifs of Nucleotide Binding Domains (NBDs in two halves of the protein showed subtle aa changes possibly favoring ATP binding to the N-terminus. Predicted 3-D protein structures showed remarkable similarity with each other and for the residues involved in auxin binding.

  19. A motility function for the paraflagellar rod of Leishmania parasites revealed by PFR-2 gene knockouts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santrich, C; Moore, L; Sherwin, T; Bastin, P; Brokaw, C; Gull, K; LeBowitz, J H

    1997-12-01

    We demonstrate a functional role for the paraflagellar rod (PFR) in motility of Leishmania mexicana. The PFR is a complex cytoskeletal structure running parallel to the axoneme in the flagella of kinetoplastid protozoa. The PFR is composed of a latticework of protein filaments whose major constituents are two related proteins (PFR-1 and PFR-2 in Leishmania). The molecular details of their assembly into PFR filaments are unknown as is the biological function of the PFR. As an approach to understanding the structure and function of the PFR in Leishmania, we made L. mexicana null mutants of PFR-2. PFR-2 minus parasites grow and divide normally in culture and still express the PFR-1 protein. They lack most of the PFR structure demonstrating that the PFR-2 protein is an essential constituent of the PFR. Detailed ultrastructural analysis of the PFR-2 null mutant reveals the presence of a residual inner substructure of the PFR which contains PFR-1 protein, indicating that PFR-1 can polymerize in the absence of PFR-2. The PFR-2 null mutant displays pronounced changes in flagellar beat waveform and forward swimming velocity, compared to wild type parasites consistent with decreased internal elastic bending resistance in PFR-lacking flagella, and indicating a functional role for the PFR in the motility of Leishmania.

  20. Separable roles of UFO during floral development revealed by conditional restoration of gene function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laufs, Patrick; Coen, Enrico; Kronenberger, Jocelyne; Traas, Jan; Doonan, John

    2003-02-01

    The UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO) gene is required for several aspects of floral development in Arabidopsis including specification of organ identity in the second and third whorls and the proper pattern of primordium initiation in the inner three whorls. UFO is expressed in a dynamic pattern during the early phases of flower development. Here we dissect the role of UFO by ubiquitously expressing it in ufo loss-of-function flowers at different developmental stages and for various durations using an ethanol-inducible expression system. The previously known functions of UFO could be separated and related to its expression at specific stages of development. We show that a 24- to 48-hour period of UFO expression from floral stage 2, before any floral organs are visible, is sufficient to restore normal petal and stamen development. The earliest requirement for UFO is during stage 2, when the endogenous UFO gene is transiently expressed in the centre of the wild-type flower and is required to specify the initiation patterns of petal, stamen and carpel primordia. Petal and stamen identity is determined during stages 2 or 3, when UFO is normally expressed in the presumptive second and third whorl. Although endogenous UFO expression is absent from the stamen whorl from stage 4 onwards, stamen identity can be restored by UFO activation up to stage 6. We also observed floral phenotypes not observed in loss-of-function or constitutive gain-of-function backgrounds, revealing additional roles of UFO in outgrowth of petal primordia.

  1. Cryptic biodiversity effects: importance of functional redundancy revealed through addition of food web complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philpott, Stacy M; Pardee, Gabriella L; Gonthier, David J

    2012-05-01

    Interactions between predators and the degree of functional redundancy among multiple predator species may determine whether herbivores experience increased or decreased predation risk. Specialist parasites can modify predator behavior, yet rarely have cascading effects on multiple predator species and prey been evaluated. We examined influences of specialist phorid parasites (Pseudacteon spp.) on three predatory ant species and herbivores in a coffee agroecosystem. Specifically, we examined whether changes in ant richness affected fruit damage by the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) and whether phorids altered multi-predator effects. Each ant species reduced borer damage, and without phorids, increasing predator richness did not further decrease borer damage. However, with phorids, activity of one ant species was reduced, indicating that the presence of multiple ant species was necessary to limit borer damage. In addition, phorid presence revealed synergistic effects of multiple ant species, not observed without the presence of this parasite. Thus, a trait-mediated cascade resulting from a parasite-induced predator behavioral change revealed the importance of functional redundancy, predator diversity, and food web complexity for control of this important pest.

  2. X-ray modulation transfer functions of photostimulable phosphor image plates and scanners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seely, John F; Holland, Glenn E; Hudson, Lawrence T; Henins, Albert

    2008-11-01

    The modulation transfer functions of two types of photostimulable phosphor image plates were determined in the 10 keV to 50 keV x-ray energy range using a resolution test pattern with up to 10 line pairs per mm (LP/mm) and a wavelength dispersive x-ray spectrometer. Techniques were developed for correcting for the partial transmittance of the high energy x rays through the lead bars of the resolution test pattern, and the modulation transfer function (MTF) was determined from the measured change in contrast with LP/mm values. The MTF was convolved with the slit function of the image plate scanner, and the resulting point spread functions (PSFs) were in good agreement with the observed shapes and widths of x-ray spectral lines and with the PSF derived from edge spread functions. The shapes and the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) values of the PSF curves of the Fuji Superior Resolution (SR) and Fuji Maximum Sensitivity (MS) image plate detectors, consisting of the image plate and the scanner, determined by the three methods gave consistent results: The SR PSF is Gaussian with 0.13 mm FWHM, and the MS PSF is Lorentzian with 0.19 mm FWHM. These techniques result in the accurate determination of the spatial resolution achievable using image plate and scanner combinations and enable the optimization of spatial resolution for x-ray spectroscopy and radiography.

  3. Modulation of multidrug resistance 1 expression and function in retinoblastoma cells by curcumin

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    Seethalakshmi Sreenivasan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To determine the possible interaction of curcumin with P-glycoprotein (P-gp expression and function by in vitro and in silico studies. Materials and Methods: In this study, curcumin was compared for its potential to modulate the expression and function of P-gp in Y79 RB cells by western blot, RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and functional assay. Further, in silico molecular modeling and docking simulations were performed to deduce the inhibitory binding mode of curcumin. Results: Western blot and RT-PCR analysis decreased the expression of P-gp in a dose-dependent manner. The effect of curcumin on P-gp function was demonstrated by Rhodamine 123 (Rh123 accumulation and efflux study. Curcumin increased the accumulation of Rh123 and decreased its efflux in retinoblastoma (RB cells. In addition, curcumin inhibited verapamil stimulated ATPase activity and photoaffinity labeling study showed no effect on the binding of 8-azido-ATP-biotin, indicating its interaction at the substrate binding site. Moreover, molecular docking studies concurrently infer the binding of curcumin into the substrate binding site of P-gp with a binding energy of -7.66 kcal/mol. Conclusion: These findings indicate that curcumin suppresses the MDR1 expression and function, and therefore may be useful as modulators of multidrug resistance in RB tumor.

  4. Modulation of the effective work function of TiN metal gate for PMOS application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Han Kai; Ma Xueli; Yang Hong; Wang Wenwu

    2013-01-01

    It is important to find a way to modulate the work function of TiN metal gate towards the valence band edge of Si,which can meet the lower threshold voltage requirement of p-type metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistor.In this work,effects of TiN thickness,post-deposition annealing (PDA),oxygen incorporation and N concentration variation on the work function of TiN metal gate in MOS structures are systematically investigated.It can be found that the work function positively shifts at the initial stage as the thickness of the TiN layer increases and stabilizes at such a thickness.PDA at N2 ambience with a trace of O2 can also cause a positive shift in the work function of TiN metal gate.The same tendency can be observed when oxygen is incorporated into TiN.Finally,increasing the N concentration in TiN can also positively shift the work function.All these measures are effective in modulating the TiN metal gate so that it is more suitable for PMOS application.

  5. Evolutionary, structural and functional relationships revealed by comparative analysis of syntenic genes in Rhizobiales

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    Medrano-Soto Arturo

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative genomics has provided valuable insights into the nature of gene sequence variation and chromosomal organization of closely related bacterial species. However, questions about the biological significance of gene order conservation, or synteny, remain open. Moreover, few comprehensive studies have been reported for rhizobial genomes. Results We analyzed the genomic sequences of four fast growing Rhizobiales (Sinorhizobium meliloti, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Mesorhizobium loti and Brucella melitensis. We made a comprehensive gene classification to define chromosomal orthologs, genes with homologs in other replicons such as plasmids, and those which were species-specific. About two thousand genes were predicted to be orthologs in each chromosome and about 80% of these were syntenic. A striking gene colinearity was found in pairs of organisms and a large fraction of the microsyntenic regions and operons were similar. Syntenic products showed higher identity levels than non-syntenic ones, suggesting a resistance to sequence variation due to functional constraints; also, an unusually high fraction of syntenic products contained membranal segments. Syntenic genes encode a high proportion of essential cell functions, presented a high level of functional relationships and a very low horizontal gene transfer rate. The sequence variability of the proteins can be considered the species signature in response to specific niche adaptation. Comparatively, an analysis with genomes of Enterobacteriales showed a different gene organization but gave similar results in the synteny conservation, essential role of syntenic genes and higher functional linkage among the genes of the microsyntenic regions. Conclusion Syntenic bacterial genes represent a commonly evolved group. They not only reveal the core chromosomal segments present in the last common ancestor and determine the metabolic characteristics shared by these microorganisms

  6. FOXO3a regulates BNIP3 and modulates mitochondrial calcium, dynamics, and function in cardiac stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaanine, Antoine H; Kohlbrenner, Erik; Gamb, Scott I; Guenzel, Adam J; Klaus, Katherine; Fayyaz, Ahmed U; Nair, K Sreekumaran; Hajjar, Roger J; Redfield, Margaret M

    2016-12-01

    The forkhead box O3a (FOXO3a) transcription factor has been shown to regulate glucose metabolism, muscle atrophy, and cell death in postmitotic cells. Its role in regulation of mitochondrial and myocardial function is not well studied. Based on previous work, we hypothesized that FOXO3a, through BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19-kDa protein-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), modulates mitochondrial morphology and function in heart failure (HF). We modulated the FOXO3a-BNIP3 pathway in normal and phenylephrine (PE)-stressed adult cardiomyocytes (ACM) in vitro and developed a cardiotropic adeno-associated virus serotype 9 encoding dominant-negative FOXO3a (AAV9.dn-FX3a) for gene delivery in a rat model of HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We found that FOXO3a upregulates BNIP3 expression in normal and PE-stressed ACM, with subsequent increases in mitochondrial Ca(2+), leading to decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial fragmentation, and apoptosis. Whereas dn-FX3a attenuated the increase in BNIP3 expression and its consequences in PE-stressed ACM, AAV9.dn-FX3a delivery in an experimental model of HFpEF decreased BNIP3 expression, reversed adverse left ventricular remodeling, and improved left ventricular systolic and, particularly, diastolic function, with improvements in mitochondrial structure and function. Moreover, AAV9.dn-FX3a restored phospholamban phosphorylation at S16 and enhanced dynamin-related protein 1 phosphorylation at S637. Furthermore, FOXO3a upregulates maladaptive genes involved in mitochondrial apoptosis, autophagy, and cardiac atrophy. We conclude that FOXO3a activation in cardiac stress is maladaptive, in that it modulates Ca(2+) cycling, Ca(2+) homeostasis, and mitochondrial dynamics and function. Our results suggest an important role of FOXO3a in HF, making it an attractive potential therapeutic target. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  7. Prostaglandin E2 Does Not Modulate CCR7 Expression and Functionality after Differentiation of Blood Monocytes into Macrophages

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    Marc-André Allaire

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Previously, we demonstrated that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 induces C-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7 expression on human monocytes, which stimulates their subsequent migration in response to the CCR7 natural ligands CCL19 and CCL21. In this study, we determined whether PGE2 affects CCR7 expression on macrophages. Flow cytometric analysis and chemotaxis assays were performed on Mono Mac-1-derived macrophage (MDMM-1 as well as unpolarized monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs to determine the CCR7 expression and functionality in the presence of PGE2. Data revealed that a MDMM-1 exhibited markedly downregulated CCR7 expression and functionality that were partially restored by treatment with PGE2. In MDMs, we observed a drastic downregulation of CCR7 expression and functionality that were unaffected following PGE2 treatment. Our data indicate that monocyte differentiation induces the loss of CCR7 expression and that PGE2 is unable to modulate CCR7 expression and functionality as shown previously in monocytes.

  8. Quantitative secretome analysis reveals the interactions between epithelia and tumor cells by in vitro modulating colon cancer microenvironment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xiao; Yang, Pengbo; Chen, Bing; Jin, Xuewen; Liu, Yuling; Zhao, Xia; Liang, Shufang

    2013-08-26

    In tumor microenvironment, interactions among multiple cell types are critical for cancer progression. Secreted proteins are responsible for crosstalk among these cells within tumor microenvironment. To elucidate the interactions of tumor and epithelia, we co-cultured colon cancer cell line HT29 with normal human colon mucosal epithelial cell line NCM460 to mimic tumor microenvironment in vitro and investigated the differential expression pattern of secretome. A quantitative proteomics approach based on stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) and LC-mass spectrometry was used for secretome analysis. Totally 45 proteins were altered over 2-fold in co-cultured cellular supernatants between equal amounts of NCM460 and HT29 cells, compared with mono-cultured conditions. These differential secreted proteins involve in multiple tumor-associated biological functions. The secretion level and acting pattern of acrogranin, IGFBP6 and vimentin were changed along with different co-cultured cell number ratios between NCM460 and HT29 cells, simulating early, middle or advanced stage of colon cancer. Therefore, a quantitative secretome profiling based on a co-culture system can track secreted protein changes and their associated biological roles between tumor and epithelia, which gives a new insight on communications between tumor and epithelia as well as cancer biotherapy by inhibiting cell interactions. Tumor microenvironment is a complex system and comprised of cancer cells and host stromal cells. The growth and progression of tumor have been recognized were affected by multidirectional interactions of secreted proteins (secretome), which were produced by the cells within tumor microenvironment. Focus on general secreted molecules of living cells via proteomic tools, is promising for investigating cell communication. Stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) is a metabolic labeling strategy for quantitative analysis, which is gaining

  9. Proteomic profiling of SupT1 cells reveal modulation of host proteins by HIV-1 Nef variants.

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    Reshu Saxena

    Full Text Available Nef is an accessory viral protein that promotes HIV-1 replication, facilitating alterations in cellular pathways via multiple protein-protein interactions. The advent of proteomics has expanded the focus on better identification of novel molecular pathways regulating disease progression. In this study, nef was sequenced from randomly selected patients, however, sequence variability identified did not elicited any specific mutation that could have segregated HIV-1 patients in different stages of disease progression. To explore the difference in Nef functionality based on sequence variability we used proteomics approach. Proteomic profiling was done to compare the effect of Nef variants in host cell protein expression. 2DGE in control and Nef transfected SupT1 cells demonstrated several differentially expressed proteins. Fourteen protein spots were detected with more than 1.5 fold difference. Significant down regulation was seen in six unique protein spots in the Nef treated cells. Proteins were identified as Cyclophilin A, EIF5A-1 isoform B, Rho GDI 1 isoform a, VDAC1, OTUB1 and α-enolase isoform 1 (ENO1 through LC-MS/MS. The differential expression of the 6 proteins was analyzed by Real time PCR, Western blotting and Immunofluorescence studies with two Nef variants (RP14 and RP01 in SupT1 cells. There was contrasting difference between the effect of these Nef variants upon the expression of these six proteins. Downregulation of α-enolase (ENO1, VDAC1 and OTUB1 was more significant by Nef RP01 whereas Cyclophilin A and RhoGDI were found to be more downregulated by Nef RP14. This difference in Nef variants upon host protein expression was also studied through a site directed mutant of Nef RP01 (55AAAAAAA61 and the effect was found to be reversed. Deciphering the role of these proteins mediated by Nef variants will open a new avenue of research in understanding Nef mediated pathogenesis. Overall study determines modulation of cellular protein

  10. STAT3-Interacting Proteins as Modulators of Transcription Factor Function: Implications to Targeted Cancer Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Jennifer E; Frank, David A

    2016-04-19

    The oncogenic transcription factor STAT3 is inappropriately activated in multiple hematopoietic and solid malignancies, in which it drives the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, and angiogenesis. Thus far, strategies to inhibit the function of STAT3 have focused on blocking the function of its activating kinases or sequestering its DNA binding ability. A less well-explored aspect of STAT3 function is its interaction with other proteins, which can modulate the oncogenic activity of STAT3 via its subcellular localization, DNA binding ability, and recruitment of transcriptional machinery. Herein we summarize what is currently known about STAT3-interacting proteins and describe the utility of a proteomics-based approach for successfully identifying and characterizing novel STAT3-interacting proteins that affect STAT3 transcriptional activity and oncogenic function.

  11. Role of the hippocampus on learning and memory functioning and pain modulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Haimei Wang

    2008-01-01

    The hippocampus, an important part of the limbic system, is considered to be an important region of the brain for learning and memory functioning. Recent studies have demonstrated that synaptic plasticity is thought to be the basis of learning and memory functioning. A series of studies report that similar synaptic plasticity also exists in the spinal cord in the conduction pathway of pain sensation, which may contribute to hyperalgesia, abnormal pain, and analgesia. The synaptic plasticity of learning and memory functioning and that of the pain conduction pathway have similar mechanisms, which are related to the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor. The hippocampus also has a role in pain modulation. As pain signals can reach the hippocampus, the precise correlation between synaptic plasticity of the pain pathway and that of learning and memory functioning deserves further investigation. The role of the hippocampus in processing pain information requires to be identified.

  12. Functional insights into modulation of BKCa channel activity to alter myometrial contractility

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    Ramón A Lorca

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The large-conductance voltage- and Ca2+-activated K+ channel (BKCa is an important regulator of membrane excitability in a wide variety of cells and tissues. In myometrial smooth muscle, activation of BKCa plays essential roles in buffering contractility to maintain uterine quiescence during pregnancy and in the transition to a more contractile state at the onset of labor. Multiple mechanisms of modulation have been described to alter BKCa channel activity, expression, and cellular localization. In the myometrium, BKCa is regulated by alternative splicing, protein targeting to the plasma membrane, compartmentation in membrane microdomains, and posttranslational modifications. In addition, interaction with auxiliary proteins (i.e., β1- and β2-subunits, association with G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways, such as those activated by adrenergic and oxytocin receptors, and hormonal regulation provide further mechanisms of variable modulation of BKCa channel function in myometrial smooth muscle. Here, we provide an overview of these mechanisms of BKCa channel modulation and provide a context for them in relation to myometrial function.

  13. Decreased Modulation of EEG Oscillations in High-Functioning Autism during a Motor Control Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewen, Joshua B.; Lakshmanan, Balaji M.; Pillai, Ajay S.; McAuliffe, Danielle; Nettles, Carrie; Hallett, Mark; Crone, Nathan E.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2016-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are thought to result in part from altered cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance; this pathophysiology may impact the generation of oscillations on electroencephalogram (EEG). We investigated premotor-parietal cortical physiology associated with praxis, which has strong theoretical and empirical associations with ASD symptomatology. Twenty five children with high-functioning ASD (HFA) and 33 controls performed a praxis task involving the pantomiming of tool use, while EEG was recorded. We assessed task-related modulation of signal power in alpha and beta frequency bands. Compared with controls, subjects with HFA showed 27% less left central (motor/premotor) beta (18–22 Hz) event-related desynchronization (ERD; p = 0.030), as well as 24% less left parietal alpha (7–13 Hz) ERD (p = 0.046). Within the HFA group, blunting of central ERD attenuation was associated with impairments in clinical measures of praxis imitation (r = −0.4; p = 0.04) and increased autism severity (r = 0.48; p = 0.016). The modulation of central beta activity is associated, among other things, with motor imagery, which may be necessary for imitation. Impaired imitation has been associated with core features of ASD. Altered modulation of oscillatory activity may be mechanistically involved in those aspects of motor network function that relate to the core symptoms of ASD. PMID:27199719

  14. Decreased Modulation of EEG Oscillations in High-Functioning Autism During a Motor Control Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua Benjamin Ewen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASD are thought to result in part from altered cortical excitatory-inhibitory balance; this pathophysiology may impact the generation of oscillations on EEG. We investigated premotor-parietal cortical physiology associated with praxis, which has strong theoretical and empirical associations with ASD symptomatology. 25 children with high-functioning ASD (HFA and 33 controls performed a praxis task involving the pantomiming of tool use, while EEG was recorded. We assessed task-related modulation of signal power in alpha and beta frequency bands. Compared with controls, subjects with HFA showed 27% less left central (motor/premotor beta (18-22 Hz event-related desynchronization (ERD (p = 0.030, as well as 24% less left parietal alpha (7-13 Hz ERD (p = 0.046. Within the HFA group, blunting of central ERD attenuation was associated with impairments in clinical measures of praxis imitation (r = -0.4; p = 0.04 and increased autism severity (r = 0.48; p = 0.016. The modulation of central beta activity is associated, among other things, with motor imagery, which may be necessary for imitation. Impaired imitation has been associated with core features of ASD. Altered modulation of oscillatory activity may be mechanistically involved in those aspects of motor network function that relate to the core symptoms of ASD.

  15. Impaired modulation of the otolithic function in acute unilateral cerebellar infarction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Seo Young; Lee, Seung-Han; Kim, Hyo Jung; Kim, Ji-Soo

    2014-06-01

    To define the cerebellar contribution in modulating the otolithic signals, we investigated the otolithic function in 27 patients with acute unilateral cerebellar infarctions in the territory of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA, n = 17, 63%), combined PICA and superior cerebellar artery (SCA) (n = 7, 30%), SCA (n = 2, 7%), and anterior inferior cerebellar artery (n = 1, 4%) from 2010 to 2012. The patients had evaluation of the ocular tilt reaction [head tilt, ocular torsion (OT), and skew deviation], tilt of the subjective visual vertical (SVV), cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs) in response to air conducted tone bursts, and ocular VEMPs induced by tapping the head at AFz. The evaluation was completed within 2 weeks after symptom onset. Patients often showed OT or SVV tilt (15/27, 55.6%) that was either ipsi- (n = 6) or contraversive (n = 9). Overall, there were no differences in the amplitudes and latencies of cervical and ocular VEMPs between the ipsi- and contralesional sides. However, individual analyses revealed frequent abnormalities of cervical (11/27, 41%) and/or ocular (9/27, 33%) VEMPs. While 11 (73%) of the 15 patients with the OTR/SVV tilt showed abnormalities of cervical (n = 9) and/or ocular (n = 7) VEMP responses, only three (25%) of the 12 patients without the OTR/SVV tilt had abnormal cervical (n = 2) and/or ocular (n = 2) VEMPs (73% vs. 25%, Fisher's exact test, p = 0.021). The concordance rate in the results of cervical and ocular VEMPs was marginally significant (19/27, 70%, p = 0.052, binominal). Unilateral cerebellar lesions may generate otolithic imbalances, as evidenced by the OTR/SVV tilt and asymmetric ocular or cervical VEMP responses, but without directionality according to the lesion side. Patients with the OTR/SVV tilt had abnormal VEMPs more often than those without.

  16. Analysis of hepatocellular carcinoma and metastatic hepatic carcinoma via functional modules in a protein-protein interaction network

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    Jun Pan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: This study aims to identify protein clusters with potential functional relevance in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC and metastatic hepatic carcinoma using network analysis. Materials and Methods: We used human protein interaction data to build a protein-protein interaction network with Cytoscape and then derived functional clusters using MCODE. Combining the gene expression profiles, we calculated the functional scores for the clusters and selected statistically significant clusters. Meanwhile, Gene Ontology was used to assess the functionality of these clusters. Finally, a support vector machine was trained on the gold standard data sets. Results: The differentially expressed genes of HCC were mainly involved in metabolic and signaling processes. We acquired 13 significant modules from the gene expression profiles. The area under the curve value based on the differentially expressed modules were 98.31%, which outweighed the classification with DEGs. Conclusions: Differentially expressed modules are valuable to screen biomarkers combined with functional modules.

  17. GDNF Overexpression from the Native Locus Reveals its Role in the Nigrostriatal Dopaminergic System Function.

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    Anmol Kumar

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic system is the principal lesion in Parkinson's disease. Because glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF promotes survival of dopamine neurons in vitro and in vivo, intracranial delivery of GDNF has been attempted for Parkinson's disease treatment but with variable success. For improving GDNF-based therapies, knowledge on physiological role of endogenous GDNF at the sites of its expression is important. However, due to limitations of existing genetic model systems, such knowledge is scarce. Here, we report that prevention of transcription of Gdnf 3'UTR in Gdnf endogenous locus yields GDNF hypermorphic mice with increased, but spatially unchanged GDNF expression, enabling analysis of postnatal GDNF function. We found that increased level of GDNF in the central nervous system increases the number of adult dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the number of dopaminergic terminals in the dorsal striatum. At the functional level, GDNF levels increased striatal tissue dopamine levels and augmented striatal dopamine release and re-uptake. In a proteasome inhibitor lactacystin-induced model of Parkinson's disease GDNF hypermorphic mice were protected from the reduction in striatal dopamine and failure of dopaminergic system function. Importantly, adverse phenotypic effects associated with spatially unregulated GDNF applications were not observed. Enhanced GDNF levels up-regulated striatal dopamine transporter activity by at least five fold resulting in enhanced susceptibility to 6-OHDA, a toxin transported into dopamine neurons by DAT. Further, we report how GDNF levels regulate kidney development and identify microRNAs miR-9, miR-96, miR-133, and miR-146a as negative regulators of GDNF expression via interaction with Gdnf 3'UTR in vitro. Our results reveal the role of GDNF in nigrostriatal dopamine system postnatal development and adult function, and highlight the importance of

  18. GDNF Overexpression from the Native Locus Reveals its Role in the Nigrostriatal Dopaminergic System Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anmol; Kopra, Jaakko; Varendi, Kärt; Porokuokka, Lauriina L; Panhelainen, Anne; Kuure, Satu; Marshall, Pepin; Karalija, Nina; Härma, Mari-Anne; Vilenius, Carolina; Lilleväli, Kersti; Tekko, Triin; Mijatovic, Jelena; Pulkkinen, Nita; Jakobson, Madis; Jakobson, Maili; Ola, Roxana; Palm, Erik; Lindahl, Maria; Strömberg, Ingrid; Võikar, Vootele; Piepponen, T Petteri; Saarma, Mart; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle

    2015-12-01

    Degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic system is the principal lesion in Parkinson's disease. Because glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) promotes survival of dopamine neurons in vitro and in vivo, intracranial delivery of GDNF has been attempted for Parkinson's disease treatment but with variable success. For improving GDNF-based therapies, knowledge on physiological role of endogenous GDNF at the sites of its expression is important. However, due to limitations of existing genetic model systems, such knowledge is scarce. Here, we report that prevention of transcription of Gdnf 3'UTR in Gdnf endogenous locus yields GDNF hypermorphic mice with increased, but spatially unchanged GDNF expression, enabling analysis of postnatal GDNF function. We found that increased level of GDNF in the central nervous system increases the number of adult dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the number of dopaminergic terminals in the dorsal striatum. At the functional level, GDNF levels increased striatal tissue dopamine levels and augmented striatal dopamine release and re-uptake. In a proteasome inhibitor lactacystin-induced model of Parkinson's disease GDNF hypermorphic mice were protected from the reduction in striatal dopamine and failure of dopaminergic system function. Importantly, adverse phenotypic effects associated with spatially unregulated GDNF applications were not observed. Enhanced GDNF levels up-regulated striatal dopamine transporter activity by at least five fold resulting in enhanced susceptibility to 6-OHDA, a toxin transported into dopamine neurons by DAT. Further, we report how GDNF levels regulate kidney development and identify microRNAs miR-9, miR-96, miR-133, and miR-146a as negative regulators of GDNF expression via interaction with Gdnf 3'UTR in vitro. Our results reveal the role of GDNF in nigrostriatal dopamine system postnatal development and adult function, and highlight the importance of correct spatial

  19. Comparative expression profiling reveals gene functions in female meiosis and gametophyte development in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Lihua; He, Jiangman; Cai, Hanyang; Lin, Haiyan; Li, Yanqiang; Liu, Renyi; Yang, Zhenbiao; Qin, Yuan

    2014-11-01

    Megasporogenesis is essential for female fertility, and requires the accomplishment of meiosis and the formation of functional megaspores. The inaccessibility and low abundance of female meiocytes make it particularly difficult to elucidate the molecular basis underlying megasporogenesis. We used high-throughput tag-sequencing analysis to identify genes expressed in female meiocytes (FMs) by comparing gene expression profiles from wild-type ovules undergoing megasporogenesis with those from the spl mutant ovules, which lack megasporogenesis. A total of 862 genes were identified as FMs, with levels that are consistently reduced in spl ovules in two biological replicates. Fluorescence-assisted cell sorting followed by RNA-seq analysis of DMC1:GFP-labeled female meiocytes confirmed that 90% of the FMs are indeed detected in the female meiocyte protoplast profiling. We performed reverse genetic analysis of 120 candidate genes and identified four FM genes with a function in female meiosis progression in Arabidopsis. We further revealed that KLU, a putative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, is involved in chromosome pairing during female meiosis, most likely by affecting the normal expression pattern of DMC1 in ovules during female meiosis. Our studies provide valuable information for functional genomic analyses of plant germline development as well as insights into meiosis. © 2014 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. A fibrolytic potential in the human ileum mucosal microbiota revealed by functional metagenomic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patrascu, Orlane; Béguet-Crespel, Fabienne; Marinelli, Ludovica; Le Chatelier, Emmanuelle; Abraham, Anne-Laure; Leclerc, Marion; Klopp, Christophe; Terrapon, Nicolas; Henrissat, Bernard; Blottière, Hervé M.; Doré, Joël; Béra-Maillet, Christel

    2017-01-01

    The digestion of dietary fibers is a major function of the human intestinal microbiota. So far this function has been attributed to the microorganisms inhabiting the colon, and many studies have focused on this distal part of the gastrointestinal tract using easily accessible fecal material. However, microbial fermentations, supported by the presence of short-chain fatty acids, are suspected to occur in the upper small intestine, particularly in the ileum. Using a fosmid library from the human ileal mucosa, we screened 20,000 clones for their activities against carboxymethylcellulose and xylans chosen as models of the major plant cell wall (PCW) polysaccharides from dietary fibres. Eleven positive clones revealed a broad range of CAZyme encoding genes from Bacteroides and Clostridiales species, as well as Polysaccharide Utilization Loci (PULs). The functional glycoside hydrolase genes were identified, and oligosaccharide break-down products examined from different polysaccharides including mixed-linkage β-glucans. CAZymes and PULs were also examined for their prevalence in human gut microbiome. Several clusters of genes of low prevalence in fecal microbiome suggested they belong to unidentified strains rather specifically established upstream the colon, in the ileum. Thus, the ileal mucosa-associated microbiota encompasses the enzymatic potential for PCW polysaccharide degradation in the small intestine. PMID:28091525

  1. Insights into the modulation of dopamine transporter function by amphetamine, orphenadrine and cocaine binding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Hongying Cheng

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Human dopamine transporter (hDAT regulates dopaminergic signaling in the central nervous system by maintaining the synaptic concentration of dopamine (DA at physiological levels, upon reuptake of DA into presynaptic terminals. DA translocation involves the co-transport of two sodium ions and the channeling of a chloride ion, and it is achieved via alternating access between outward-facing and inward-facing states of DAT. hDAT is a target for addictive drugs such as cocaine, amphetamine (AMPH and therapeutic antidepressants. Our recent quantitative systems pharmacology study suggested that orphenadrine (ORPH, an anticholinergic agent and anti-PD drug, might be repurposable as a DAT drug. Previous studies have shown that DAT-substrates like AMPH or -blockers like cocaine modulate the function of DAT in different ways. However, the molecular mechanisms of modulation remained elusive due to the lack of structural data on DAT. The newly resolved DAT structure from Drosophila melanogaster opens the way to a deeper understanding of the mechanism and time evolution of DAT-drug/ligand interactions. Using a combination of homology modeling, docking analysis, molecular dynamics simulations and molecular biology experiments, we performed a comparative study of the binding properties of DA, AMPH, ORPH and cocaine, and their modulation of hDAT function. Simulations demonstrate that binding DA or AMPH drives a structural transition towards a functional form predisposed to translocate the ligand. In contrast, ORPH appears to inhibit DAT function by arresting it in the outward-facing open conformation. The analysis shows that cocaine and ORPH competitively bind DAT, with the binding pose and affinity dependent on the conformational state of DAT. Further assays show that the effect of ORPH on DAT uptake and endocytosis is comparable to that of cocaine.

  2. Allosteric modulation of GABA(B) receptor function in human frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olianas, Maria C; Ambu, Rossano; Garau, Luciana; Onali, Pierluigi

    2005-01-01

    In the present study, the effects of different allosteric modulators on the functional activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)B receptors in membranes of post-mortem human frontal cortex were examined. Western blot analysis indicated that the tissue preparations expressed both GABA(B1) and GABA(B2) subunits of the GABA(B) receptor heterodimer. In [35S]-GTPgammaS binding assays, Ca2+ ion (1 mM) enhanced the potency of the agonists GABA and 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid (3-APA) and that of the antagonist CGP55845, but not that of the GABA(B) receptor agonist (-)-baclofen. CGP7930 (2,6-di-t-Bu-4-(3-hydroxy-2,2-dimethyl-propyl)-phenol), a positive allosteric modulator of GABA(B) receptors, potentiated both GABA(B) receptor-mediated stimulation of [35S]-GTPgammaS binding and inhibition of forskolin (FSK)-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity. Chelation of Ca2+ ion by EGTA reduced the CGP7930 enhancement of GABA potency in stimulating [35S]-GTPgammaS binding by two-fold. Fendiline, also reported to act as a positive allosteric modulator of GABA(B) receptors, failed to enhance GABA stimulation of [35S]-GTPgammaS binding but inhibited the potentiating effect of CGP7930. The inhibitory effect was mimicked by the phenothiazine antipsychotic trifluoperazine (TFP), but not by other compounds, such as verapamil or diphenydramine (DPN). These data demonstrate that the function of GABA(B) receptors of human frontal cortex is positively modulated by Ca2+ ion and CGP7930, which interact synergistically. Conversely, fendiline and trifluoperazine negatively affect the allosteric regulation by CGP7930.

  3. Proteomic profiling of fibroblasts reveals a modulating effect of extracellular calumenin on the organization of the actin cytoskeleton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten Østergaard; Hansen, Gry Aune; Vorum, Henrik

    2006-01-01

    cytoskeleton and is involved in cytokinesis. Labeling of S phase fibroblasts with bromo-2'deoxy-uridine indicates that calumenin added to the medium also modulates the cell cycle. Our study thus indicates that calumenin possesses a paracrine role on the cells in its vicinity and therefore may be involved...... in the pathophysiology of thrombosis or in wound healing....

  4. Modulation of spontaneous locomotor and respiratory drives to hindlimb motoneurons temporally related to sympathetic drives as revealed by Mayer waves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wienecke, Jacob; Denton, Manuel Enríquez; Stecina, Katinka;

    2015-01-01

    In this study we investigated how the networks mediating respiratory and locomotor drives to lumbar motoneurons interact and how this interaction is modulated in relation to periodic variations in blood pressure (Mayer waves). Seven decerebrate cats, under neuromuscular blockade, were used to stu...

  5. Mass spectrometry reveals thioredoxin-1 as a new partner of ADAM17 that can modulate its sheddase activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aragao, A.Z.B.; Simabuco, F.M.; Smetana, J.H.C. [Laboratorio Nacional de Biociencias - LNBIO, Campinas, SP (Brazil); Yokoo, S.; Paes Leme, A.F. [Laboratorio Nacional de Luz Sincrotron (LNLS), Campinas, SP (Brazil); Rodrigues, E.; Mercadante, A.Z. [Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), SP (Brazil)

    2012-07-01

    Full text: ADAMs are a family of membrane-associated metalloproteinases with a complex multi-domain structure: a metalloproteinase domain, a disintegrin domain, a cysteine-rich region, an epidermal growth factor-like repeat, a transmembrane domain and a cytoplasmic tail. These proteases are responsible for shedding the ectodomains of cell surface proteins, modulating regulatory mechanisms. Many ADAMs are highly associated with tumorigenesis and tumor progression. The aim of this study is identify novel binding partners that can modulate ADAM17 activation via cytoplasmatic domain. We performed the cloning and overexpression of the ADAM17 cytoplasmic tail in HEK-293 cell line and the ligands were determined by LC-MS/MS after proteins immunoprecipitation (IP) with anti-FLAG M2 Affinity Gel (Sigma). Thioredoxin-1 (Trx-1) and others ligands were identified at least in two independent experiments, and this binding is independent of phosphorylation. The IP of Trx-1 was confirmed by Western blot, furthermore Trx-1 immunolocalized with full length ADAM17-HA and cytoplasmic tail-FLAG recombinant proteins in HEK293 and HeLa cells. Trx-1 is part of the system peroxiredoxin/thioredoxin/thioredoxin reductase, one of the mechanisms by which cells maintain the reduced cellular environment, inactivating the reactive oxygen species (ROS). We investigate whether ADAM17 activity is modulate by Trx-1 on AP reporter assay that was performed using HEK293 and SCC-9 cells transfected stably with HB-EGF-AP in co-transfection with transient recombinant Trx-1-HA. The results indicate that Trx-1 can modulate negatively the activity or maturation of ADAM17 in presence of PMA, which is known to increase ROS. In summary, this study identifies Trx-1 and suggest that this protein can modulate ADAM17 activity in normal and tumorigenic cells lines. (author)

  6. Modulation of the input-output function by GABAA receptor-mediated currents in rat oculomotor nucleus motoneurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Torrelo, Julio; Torres, Blas; Carrascal, Livia

    2014-11-15

    The neuronal input-output function depends on recruitment threshold and gain of the firing frequency-current (f-I) relationship. These two parameters are positively correlated in ocular motoneurons (MNs) recorded in alert preparation and inhibitory inputs could contribute to this correlation. Phasic inhibition mediated by γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) occurs when a high concentration of GABA at the synaptic cleft activates postsynaptic GABAA receptors, allowing neuronal information transfer. In some neuronal populations, low concentrations of GABA activate non-synaptic GABAA receptors and generate a tonic inhibition, which modulates cell excitability. This study determined how ambient GABA concentrations modulate the input-output relationship of rat oculomotor nucleus MNs. Superfusion of brain slices with GABA (100 μm) produced a GABAA receptor-mediated current that reduced the input resistance, increased the recruitment threshold and shifted the f-I relationship rightward without any change in gain. These modifications did not depend on MN size. In absence of exogenous GABA, gabazine (20 μm; antagonist of GABAA receptors) abolished spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents and revealed a tonic current in MNs. Gabazine increased input resistance and decreased recruitment threshold mainly in larger MNs. The f-I relationship shifted to the left, without any change in gain. Gabazine effects were chiefly due to MN tonic inhibition because tonic current amplitude was five-fold greater than phasic. This study demonstrates a tonic inhibition in ocular MNs that modulates cell excitability depending on cell size. We suggest that GABAA tonic inhibition acting concurrently with glutamate receptors activation could reproduce the positive covariation between threshold and gain reported in alert preparation.

  7. Presence and function of dopamine transporter (DAT in stallion sperm: dopamine modulates sperm motility and acrosomal integrity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier A Urra

    Full Text Available Dopamine is a catecholamine with multiple physiological functions, playing a key role in nervous system; however its participation in reproductive processes and sperm physiology is controversial. High dopamine concentrations have been reported in different portions of the feminine and masculine reproductive tract, although the role fulfilled by this catecholamine in reproductive physiology is as yet unknown. We have previously shown that dopamine type 2 receptor is functional in boar sperm, suggesting that dopamine acts as a physiological modulator of sperm viability, capacitation and motility. In the present study, using immunodetection methods, we revealed the presence of several proteins important for the dopamine uptake and signalling in mammalian sperm, specifically monoamine transporters as dopamine (DAT, serotonin (SERT and norepinephrine (NET transporters in equine sperm. We also demonstrated for the first time in equine sperm a functional dopamine transporter using 4-[4-(Dimethylaminostyryl]-N-methylpyridinium iodide (ASP(+, as substrate. In addition, we also showed that dopamine (1 mM treatment in vitro, does not affect sperm viability but decreases total and progressive sperm motility. This effect is reversed by blocking the dopamine transporter with the selective inhibitor vanoxerine (GBR12909 and non-selective inhibitors of dopamine reuptake such as nomifensine and bupropion. The effect of dopamine in sperm physiology was evaluated and we demonstrated that acrosome integrity and thyrosine phosphorylation in equine sperm is significantly reduced at high concentrations of this catecholamine. In summary, our results revealed the presence of monoamine transporter DAT, NET and SERT in equine sperm, and that the dopamine uptake by DAT can regulate sperm function, specifically acrosomal integrity and sperm motility.

  8. Presence and function of dopamine transporter (DAT) in stallion sperm: dopamine modulates sperm motility and acrosomal integrity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urra, Javier A; Villaroel-Espíndola, Franz; Covarrubias, Alejandra A; Rodríguez-Gil, Joan Enric; Ramírez-Reveco, Alfredo; Concha, Ilona I

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine is a catecholamine with multiple physiological functions, playing a key role in nervous system; however its participation in reproductive processes and sperm physiology is controversial. High dopamine concentrations have been reported in different portions of the feminine and masculine reproductive tract, although the role fulfilled by this catecholamine in reproductive physiology is as yet unknown. We have previously shown that dopamine type 2 receptor is functional in boar sperm, suggesting that dopamine acts as a physiological modulator of sperm viability, capacitation and motility. In the present study, using immunodetection methods, we revealed the presence of several proteins important for the dopamine uptake and signalling in mammalian sperm, specifically monoamine transporters as dopamine (DAT), serotonin (SERT) and norepinephrine (NET) transporters in equine sperm. We also demonstrated for the first time in equine sperm a functional dopamine transporter using 4-[4-(Dimethylamino)styryl]-N-methylpyridinium iodide (ASP(+)), as substrate. In addition, we also showed that dopamine (1 mM) treatment in vitro, does not affect sperm viability but decreases total and progressive sperm motility. This effect is reversed by blocking the dopamine transporter with the selective inhibitor vanoxerine (GBR12909) and non-selective inhibitors of dopamine reuptake such as nomifensine and bupropion. The effect of dopamine in sperm physiology was evaluated and we demonstrated that acrosome integrity and thyrosine phosphorylation in equine sperm is significantly reduced at high concentrations of this catecholamine. In summary, our results revealed the presence of monoamine transporter DAT, NET and SERT in equine sperm, and that the dopamine uptake by DAT can regulate sperm function, specifically acrosomal integrity and sperm motility.

  9. Transcriptome analysis of tomato flower pedicel tissues reveals abscission zone-specific modulation of key meristem activity genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Wang

    Full Text Available Tomato flower abscises at the anatomically distinct abscission zone that separates the pedicel into basal and apical portions. During abscission, cell separation occurs only at the abscission zone indicating distinctive molecular regulation in its cells. We conducted a transcriptome analysis of tomato pedicel tissues during ethylene promoted abscission. We found that the abscission zone was the most active site with the largest set of differentially expressed genes when compared with basal and apical portions. Gene Ontology analyses revealed enriched transcription regulation and hydrolase activities in the abscission zone. We also demonstrate coordinated responses of hormone and cell wall related genes. Besides, a number of ESTs representing homologs of key Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem activity genes were found to be preferentially expressed in the abscission zone, including WUSCHEL (WUS, KNAT6, LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN PROTEIN 1(LBD1, and BELL-like homeodomain protein 1 (BLH1, as well as tomato axillary meristem genes BLIND (Bl and LATERAL SUPPRESSOR (Ls. More interestingly, the homologs of WUS and the potential functional partner OVATE FAMILIY PROTEIN (OFP were subsequently down regulated during abscission while Bl and AGL12 were continuously and specifically induced in the abscission zone. The expression patterns of meristem activity genes corroborate the idea that cells of the abscission zone confer meristem-like nature and coincide with the course of abscission and post-abscission cell differentiation. Our data therefore propose a possible regulatory scheme in tomato involving meristem genes that may be required not only for the abscission zone development, but also for abscission.

  10. Transcriptome analysis of tomato flower pedicel tissues reveals abscission zone-specific modulation of key meristem activity genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiang; Liu, Danmei; Li, Aili; Sun, Xiuli; Zhang, Rongzhi; Wu, Liang; Liang, Yanchun; Mao, Long

    2013-01-01

    Tomato flower abscises at the anatomically distinct abscission zone that separates the pedicel into basal and apical portions. During abscission, cell separation occurs only at the abscission zone indicating distinctive molecular regulation in its cells. We conducted a transcriptome analysis of tomato pedicel tissues during ethylene promoted abscission. We found that the abscission zone was the most active site with the largest set of differentially expressed genes when compared with basal and apical portions. Gene Ontology analyses revealed enriched transcription regulation and hydrolase activities in the abscission zone. We also demonstrate coordinated responses of hormone and cell wall related genes. Besides, a number of ESTs representing homologs of key Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem activity genes were found to be preferentially expressed in the abscission zone, including WUSCHEL (WUS), KNAT6, LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN PROTEIN 1(LBD1), and BELL-like homeodomain protein 1 (BLH1), as well as tomato axillary meristem genes BLIND (Bl) and LATERAL SUPPRESSOR (Ls). More interestingly, the homologs of WUS and the potential functional partner OVATE FAMILIY PROTEIN (OFP) were subsequently down regulated during abscission while Bl and AGL12 were continuously and specifically induced in the abscission zone. The expression patterns of meristem activity genes corroborate the idea that cells of the abscission zone confer meristem-like nature and coincide with the course of abscission and post-abscission cell differentiation. Our data therefore propose a possible regulatory scheme in tomato involving meristem genes that may be required not only for the abscission zone development, but also for abscission.

  11. Bovine lactoferrin improves bone status of ovariectomized mice via immune function modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malet, Arnaud; Bournaud, Elsa; Lan, Annaïg; Mikogami, Takashi; Tomé, Daniel; Blais, Anne

    2011-05-01

    We have previously shown that bovine lactoferrin (bLF) supplementation can have a beneficial effect on postmenopausal bone loss by modulating bone formation and resorption. A direct effect of bLF on bone metabolism is support by its presence in mice blood. Moreover we know that LF plays a key role in innate immunity and recent studies have shown its ability to modulate adaptive immunity. In particular bLF ingestion prevents recruitment and activation of immune cells at inflammatory sites. We propose that LF through its ability to modulate maturation and differentiation of leucocytes can participate to abolish the deregulation induced by estrogen deficiency on T cells. This study evaluated the effects of bovine lactoferrin on immune function in ovariectomized mice. We investigated whether bLF ingestion could prevent bone loss via modulation of immune function. Three-month-old female C3H mice were either ovariectomized or sham-operated and fed for 1, 2 or 4 months with a control diet (AIN-93M) or the same diet including 10g bLF/kg diet. Bone mineral density was determined using a Lunar Piximus densitometer. The immune parameters were assessed by flow cytometry. In addition, Real-Time PCR was performed to quantify TNFα expression and plasma cytokines were measured at 4 months with Luminex. Ovariectomy induced significant changes on bone parameters and increased recruitment of macrophages, dendritic cells, and B and T cells associated with T lymphocyte activation in bone marrow. Compared to the control diet, ingestion of bLF-enriched diet for 2 months prevented T cell activation and restored dendritic and B cell populations in the bone micro-environment in ovariectomized mice. Furthermore, TNFα expression in bone was decreased by bLF supplementation after 2 and 4 months. Similarly, a decreased plasma level of TNFα was observed concomitantly to an increase of IL-10 level. In conclusion, these experiments suggest that bLF can mediate the prevention of lymphocyte

  12. In vivo labelling of functional ribosomes reveals spatial regulation during starvation in Podospora anserina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silar Philippe

    2000-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To date, in eukaryotes, ribosomal protein expression is known to be regulated at the transcriptional and/or translational levels. But other forms of regulation may be possible. Results Here, we report the successful tagging of functional ribosomal particles with a S7-GFP chimaeric protein, making it possible to observe in vivo ribosome dynamics in the filamentous fungus Podospora anserina. Microscopic observations revealed a novel kind of ribosomal protein regulation during the passage between cell growth and stationary phases, with a transient accumulation of ribosomal proteins and/or ribosome subunits in the nucleus, possibly the nucleolus, being observed at the beginning of stationary phase. Conclusion Nuclear sequestration can be another level of ribosomal protein regulation in eukaryotic cells.This may contribute to the regulation of cell growth and division.

  13. Adhesion protein networks reveal functions proximal and distal to cell-matrix contacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byron, Adam; Frame, Margaret C

    2016-04-01

    Cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix is generally mediated by integrin receptors, which bind to intracellular adhesion proteins that form multi-molecular scaffolding and signalling complexes. The networks of proteins, and their interactions, are dynamic, mechanosensitive and extremely complex. Recent efforts to characterise adhesions using a variety of technologies, including imaging, proteomics and bioinformatics, have provided new insights into their composition, organisation and how they are regulated, and have also begun to reveal unexpected roles for so-called adhesion proteins in other cellular compartments (for example, the nucleus or centrosomes) in diseases such as cancer. We believe this is opening a new chapter on understanding the wider functions of adhesion proteins, both proximal and distal to cell-matrix contacts.

  14. Structure of Prokaryotic Polyamine Deacetylase Reveals Evolutionary Functional Relationships with Eukaryotic Histone Deacetylases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P Lombardi; H Angell; D Whittington; E Flynn; K Rajashankar; D Christianson

    2011-12-31

    Polyamines are a ubiquitous class of polycationic small molecules that can influence gene expression by binding to nucleic acids. Reversible polyamine acetylation regulates nucleic acid binding and is required for normal cell cycle progression and proliferation. Here, we report the structures of Mycoplana ramosa acetylpolyamine amidohydrolase (APAH) complexed with a transition state analogue and a hydroxamate inhibitor and an inactive mutant complexed with two acetylpolyamine substrates. The structure of APAH is the first of a histone deacetylase-like oligomer and reveals that an 18-residue insert in the L2 loop promotes dimerization and the formation of an 18 {angstrom} long 'L'-shaped active site tunnel at the dimer interface, accessible only to narrow and flexible substrates. The importance of dimerization for polyamine deacetylase function leads to the suggestion that a comparable dimeric or double-domain histone deacetylase could catalyze polyamine deacetylation reactions in eukaryotes.

  15. X-ray CT Scanning Reveals Long-Term Copper Pollution Effects on Functional Soil Structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Møldrup, Per; Homstrup, Martin

    Soil structure plays the main role in the ability of the soil to fulfill essential soil functions such as the root growth, rate of water infiltration and retention, transport of gaseous and chemicals/pollutants through the soil. Soil structure is a dynamic soil property and affected by various...... factors such as soil type, land use, and soil contamination. In this study, we quantified the soil structure using X-ray CT scanning and revealed the effect of a long history of Copper (Cu) pollution on it. A fallow field at Hygum Denmark provides this opportunity as it had a long history of Copper...... columns, macroporosity showed a significant decrease along the column depth. The results suggest that Cu contamination has a strong impact on soil structure and hence on all soil physical and biological processes....

  16. Negative regulators of insulin signaling revealed in a genome-wide functional screen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shih-Min A Huang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Type 2 diabetes develops due to a combination of insulin resistance and beta-cell failure and current therapeutics aim at both of these underlying causes. Several negative regulators of insulin signaling are known and are the subject of drug discovery efforts. We sought to identify novel contributors to insulin resistance and hence potentially novel targets for therapeutic intervention. METHODOLOGY: An arrayed cDNA library encoding 18,441 human transcripts was screened for inhibitors of insulin signaling and revealed known inhibitors and numerous potential novel regulators. The novel hits included proteins of various functional classes such as kinases, phosphatases, transcription factors, and GTPase associated proteins. A series of secondary assays confirmed the relevance of the primary screen hits to insulin signaling and provided further insight into their modes of action. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Among the novel hits was PALD (KIAA1274, paladin, a previously uncharacterized protein that when overexpressed led to inhibition of insulin's ability to down regulate a FOXO1A-driven reporter gene, reduced upstream insulin-stimulated AKT phosphorylation, and decreased insulin receptor (IR abundance. Conversely, knockdown of PALD gene expression resulted in increased IR abundance, enhanced insulin-stimulated AKT phosphorylation, and an improvement in insulin's ability to suppress FOXO1A-driven reporter gene activity. The present data demonstrate that the application of arrayed genome-wide screening technologies to insulin signaling is fruitful and is likely to reveal novel drug targets for insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.

  17. Metagenomes from high-temperature chemotrophic systems reveal geochemical controls on microbial community structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inskeep, William P; Rusch, Douglas B; Jay, Zackary J; Herrgard, Markus J; Kozubal, Mark A; Richardson, Toby H; Macur, Richard E; Hamamura, Natsuko; Jennings, Ryan deM; Fouke, Bruce W; Reysenbach, Anna-Louise; Roberto, Frank; Young, Mark; Schwartz, Ariel; Boyd, Eric S; Badger, Jonathan H; Mathur, Eric J; Ortmann, Alice C; Bateson, Mary; Geesey, Gill; Frazier, Marvin

    2010-03-19

    The Yellowstone caldera contains the most numerous and diverse geothermal systems on Earth, yielding an extensive array of unique high-temperature environments that host a variety of deeply-rooted and understudied Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. The combination of extreme temperature and chemical conditions encountered in geothermal environments often results in considerably less microbial diversity than other terrestrial habitats and offers a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of indigenous microbial communities and for establishing linkages between putative metabolisms and element cycling. Metagenome sequence (14-15,000 Sanger reads per site) was obtained for five high-temperature (>65 degrees C) chemotrophic microbial communities sampled from geothermal springs (or pools) in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) that exhibit a wide range in geochemistry including pH, dissolved sulfide, dissolved oxygen and ferrous iron. Metagenome data revealed significant differences in the predominant phyla associated with each of these geochemical environments. Novel members of the Sulfolobales are dominant in low pH environments, while other Crenarchaeota including distantly-related Thermoproteales and Desulfurococcales populations dominate in suboxic sulfidic sediments. Several novel archaeal groups are well represented in an acidic (pH 3) Fe-oxyhydroxide mat, where a higher O2 influx is accompanied with an increase in archaeal diversity. The presence or absence of genes and pathways important in S oxidation-reduction, H2-oxidation, and aerobic respiration (terminal oxidation) provide insight regarding the metabolic strategies of indigenous organisms present in geothermal systems. Multiple-pathway and protein-specific functional analysis of metagenome sequence data corroborated results from phylogenetic analyses and clearly demonstrate major differences in metabolic potential across sites. The distribution of functional genes involved in electron

  18. Metagenomes from high-temperature chemotrophic systems reveal geochemical controls on microbial community structure and function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frank Roberto

    2010-03-01

    The Yellowstone caldera contains the most numerous and diverse geothermal systems on Earth, yielding an extensive array of unique high-temperature environments that host numerous deeply-rooted and understudied Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. The combination of extreme temperature and chemical conditions encountered in geothermal environments often results in considerably less microbial diversity than other terrestrial habitats and offers a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of indigenous microbial communities and for establishing linkages between putative metabolisms and element cycling. Metagenome sequence (14-15,000 Sanger reads per site) was obtained for five high-temperature (> 65 oC) chemotrophic microbial communities sampled from geothermal springs (or pools) in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) that exhibit a wide range in geochemistry including pH, dissolved sulfide, dissolved O2 and ferrous Fe. Metagenome data revealed significant differences in the predominant phyla associated with each of these geochemical environments. Novel members of the Sulfolobales are dominant in low pH environments, while other Crenarchaeota including distantly-related Thermoproteales and Desulfurococcales populations dominate in suboxic sulfidic sediments. Several novel archaeal groups are well represented in an acidic (pH 3) Fe-oxyhydroxide mat, where a higher O2 influx is accompanied with an increase in archaeal diversity. The presence or absence of genes and pathways important in S oxidation-reduction, H2-oxidation, and aerobic respiration (terminal oxidation) provide insight regarding the metabolic strategies of indigenous organisms present in geothermal systems. Multiple-pathway and protein-specific functional analysis of metagenome sequence data corroborated results from phylogenetic analyses and clearly demonstrate major differences in metabolic potential across sites. The distribution of functional genes involved in electron transport is

  19. Metagenomes from high-temperature chemotrophic systems reveal geochemical controls on microbial community structure and function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P Inskeep

    Full Text Available The Yellowstone caldera contains the most numerous and diverse geothermal systems on Earth, yielding an extensive array of unique high-temperature environments that host a variety of deeply-rooted and understudied Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. The combination of extreme temperature and chemical conditions encountered in geothermal environments often results in considerably less microbial diversity than other terrestrial habitats and offers a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of indigenous microbial communities and for establishing linkages between putative metabolisms and element cycling. Metagenome sequence (14-15,000 Sanger reads per site was obtained for five high-temperature (>65 degrees C chemotrophic microbial communities sampled from geothermal springs (or pools in Yellowstone National Park (YNP that exhibit a wide range in geochemistry including pH, dissolved sulfide, dissolved oxygen and ferrous iron. Metagenome data revealed significant differences in the predominant phyla associated with each of these geochemical environments. Novel members of the Sulfolobales are dominant in low pH environments, while other Crenarchaeota including distantly-related Thermoproteales and Desulfurococcales populations dominate in suboxic sulfidic sediments. Several novel archaeal groups are well represented in an acidic (pH 3 Fe-oxyhydroxide mat, where a higher O2 influx is accompanied with an increase in archaeal diversity. The presence or absence of genes and pathways important in S oxidation-reduction, H2-oxidation, and aerobic respiration (terminal oxidation provide insight regarding the metabolic strategies of indigenous organisms present in geothermal systems. Multiple-pathway and protein-specific functional analysis of metagenome sequence data corroborated results from phylogenetic analyses and clearly demonstrate major differences in metabolic potential across sites. The distribution of functional genes involved in

  20. Cell array-based intracellular localization screening reveals novel functional features of human chromosome 21 proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kahlem Pascal

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Chr21 results in Down's syndrome, a complex developmental and neurodegenerative disease. Molecular analysis of Down's syndrome, however, poses a particular challenge, because the aneuploid region of Chr21 contains many genes of unknown function. Subcellular localization of human Chr21 proteins may contribute to further understanding of the functions and regulatory mechanisms of the genes that code for these proteins. Following this idea, we used a transfected-cell array technique to perform a rapid and cost-effective analysis of the intracellular distribution of Chr 21 proteins. Results We chose 89 genes that were distributed over the majority of 21q, ranging from RBM11 (14.5 Mb to MCM3AP (46.6 Mb, with part of them expressed aberrantly in the Down's syndrome mouse model. Open reading frames of these genes were cloned into a mammalian expression vector with an amino-terminal His6 tag. All of the constructs were arrayed on glass slides and reverse transfected into HEK293T cells for protein expression. Co-localization detection using a set of organelle markers was carried out for each Chr21 protein. Here, we report the subcellular localization properties of 52 proteins. For 34 of these proteins, their localization is described for the first time. Furthermore, the alteration in cell morphology and growth as a result of protein over-expression for claudin-8 and claudin-14 genes has been characterized. Conclusion The cell array-based protein expression and detection approach is a cost-effective platform for large-scale functional analyses, including protein subcellular localization and cell phenotype screening. The results from this study reveal novel functional features of human Chr21 proteins, which should contribute to further understanding of the molecular pathology of Down's syndrome.

  1. Cluster analysis reveals a binary effect of storage on boar sperm motility function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Heiko; Petrunkina, Anna M; Harrison, Robin A P; Waberski, Dagmar

    2014-06-01

    Storage of liquid-preserved boar spermatozoa is associated with a loss of fertilising ability of the preserved spermatozoa, which standard semen parameters barely reflect. Monitoring responses to molecular effectors of sperm function (e.g. bicarbonate) has proven to be a more sensitive approach to investigating storage effects. Bicarbonate not only initiates capacitation in spermatozoa, but also induces motility activation. This occurs at ejaculation, but also happens throughout passage through the oviduct. In the present study we tested whether the specific response of boar sperm subpopulations to bicarbonate, as assessed by motility activation, is altered with the duration of storage in vitro. Three ejaculates from each of seven boars were diluted in Beltsville thawing solution and stored at 17°C. Only minor changes in the parameters of diluted semen were revealed over a period of 72h storage. For assessment of bicarbonate responses, subsamples of diluted spermatozoa were centrifuged through a discontinuous Percoll gradient after 12, 24 and 72h storage. Subsequently, spermatozoa were incubated in two Ca2+-free variants of Tyrode's medium either without (TyrControl) or with (TyrBic) 15mM bicarbonate, and computer-aided sperm analysis motility measurements were made. Cluster analysis of imaging data from motile spermatozoa revealed the presence of five major sperm subpopulations with distinct motility characteristics, differing between TyrBic and TyrControl at any given time (Psperm motility function descriptors to storage: although the quantitative descriptor (percentage of motile spermatozoa) declines in washed semen samples, the qualitative descriptor (percentage of spermatozoa stimulated into fast linear motion by bicarbonate) is sustained independent of the duration of storage.

  2. Age-related decline in brain resources modulates genetic effects on cognitive functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulman Lindenberger

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Individual differences in cognitive performance increase from early to late adulthood, likely reflecting influences of a multitude of factors. We hypothesize that losses in neurochemical and anatomical brain resources in normal aging modulate the effects of common genetic variations on cognitive functioning. Our hypothesis is based on the assumption that the function relating brain resources to cognition is nonlinear, so that genetic differences exert increasingly large effects on cognition as resources recede from high to medium levels in the course of aging.Direct empirical support for this hypothesis comes from a study by Nagel et al. (2008, who reported that the effects of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT gene on cognitive performance are magnified in old age and interacted with the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF gene. We conclude that common genetic polymorphisms contribute to the increasing heterogeneity of cognitive functioning in old age. Extensions of the hypothesis to other polymorphisms are discussed.

  3. Age-Related Decline in Brain Resources Modulates Genetic Effects on Cognitive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindenberger, Ulman; Nagel, Irene E.; Chicherio, Christian; Li, Shu-Chen; Heekeren, Hauke R.; Bäckman, Lars

    2008-01-01

    Individual differences in cognitive performance increase from early to late adulthood, likely reflecting influences of a multitude of factors. We hypothesize that losses in neurochemical and anatomical brain resources in normal aging modulate the effects of common genetic variations on cognitive functioning. Our hypothesis is based on the assumption that the function relating brain resources to cognition is nonlinear, so that genetic differences exert increasingly large effects on cognition as resources recede from high to medium levels in the course of aging. Direct empirical support for this hypothesis comes from a study by Nagel et al. (2008), who reported that the effects of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene on cognitive performance are magnified in old age and interacted with the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) gene. We conclude that common genetic polymorphisms contribute to the increasing heterogeneity of cognitive functioning in old age. Extensions of the hypothesis to other polymorphisms are discussed. (150 of 150 words) PMID:19225597

  4. Personal experience with narrated events modulates functional connectivity within visual and motor systems during story comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Ho Ming; Mar, Raymond A; Xu, Yisheng; Liu, Siyuan; Wagage, Suraji; Braun, Allen R

    2015-04-01

    Past experience of everyday life activities, which forms the basis of our knowledge about the world, greatly affects how we understand stories. Yet, little is known about how this influence is instantiated in the human brain. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how past experience facilitates functional connectivity during the comprehension of stories rich in perceptual and motor details. We found that comprehenders' past experience with the scenes and actions described in the narratives selectively modulated functional connectivity between lower- and higher-level areas within the neural systems for visual and motor processing, respectively. These intramodal interactions may play an important role in integrating personal knowledge about a narrated situation with an evolving discourse representation. This study provides empirical evidence consistent with the idea that regions related to visual and motor processing are involved in the reenactment of experience as proposed by theories of embodied cognition.

  5. Interactions between odorant functional group and hydrocarbon structure influence activity in glomerular response modules in the rat olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brett A; Farahbod, Haleh; Leon, Michael

    2005-03-07

    To investigate the effect of odorant hydrocarbon structure on spatial representations in the olfactory bulb systematically, we exposed rats to odorant chemicals possessing one of four different oxygen-containing functional groups on one of five different hydrocarbon backbones. We also used several hydrocarbon odorants lacking other functional groups. Hydrocarbon structural categories included straight-chained, branched, double-bonded, alicyclic, and aromatic features. Activity throughout the entire glomerular layer was measured as uptake of [(14)C]2-deoxyglucose and was mapped into anatomically standardized data matrices for statistical comparisons across different animals. Patterns evoked by straight-chained aliphatic odorants confirmed an association of activity in particular glomerular response modules with particular functional groups. However, the amount of activity in these same modules also was affected significantly by differences in hydrocarbon structure. Thus, the molecular features recognized by receptors projecting to these response modules appear to involve both functional group and hydrocarbon structural elements. In addition, particular benzyl and cyclohexyl odorants evoked activity in dorsal modules previously associated with the ketone functional group, which represents an exception to the rule of one feature per response module that had emerged from our previous studies. These dorsal modules also responded to nitrogen-containing aromatic compounds involving pyridine and pyrazine rings. The unexpected overlap in modular responses to ketones and odorants seemingly unrelated to ketones may reflect some covert shared molecular feature, the existence of odorant sensory neurons with multiple specificities, or a mosaic of sensory neuron projections to these particular modules.

  6. Cholesterol lowering modulates T cell function in vivo and in vitro.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuang-Yuh Chyu

    Full Text Available The lipid milleu exacerbates the inflammatory response in atherosclerosis but its effect on T cell mediated immune response has not been fully elucidated. We hypothesized that lipid lowering would modulate T cell mediated immune function.T cells isolated from human PBMC or splenic T cells from apoE-/- mouse had higher proliferative response to T cell receptor (TCR ligation in medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS compared to medium with 10% delipidated FBS. The differences in proliferation were associated with changes in lipid rafts, cellular cholesterol content, IL-10 secretion and subsequent activation of signaling molecule activated by TCR ligation. Immune biomarkers were also assessed in vivo using male apoE-/- mice fed atherogenic diet (AD starting at 7 weeks of age. At 25 weeks of age, a sub-group was switched to normal diet (ND whereas the rest remained on AD until euthanasia at 29 weeks of age. Dietary change resulted in a lower circulating level of cholesterol, reduced plaque size and inflammatory phenotype of plaques. These changes were associated with reduced intracellular IL-10 and IL-12 expression in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.Our results show that lipid lowering reduces T cell proliferation and function, supporting the notion that lipid lowering modulates T cell function in vivo and in vitro.

  7. Non-Invasive Electrical Brain Stimulation Montages for Modulation of Human Motor Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curado, Marco; Fritsch, Brita; Reis, Janine

    2016-02-04

    Non-invasive electrical brain stimulation (NEBS) is used to modulate brain function and behavior, both for research and clinical purposes. In particular, NEBS can be applied transcranially either as direct current stimulation (tDCS) or alternating current stimulation (tACS). These stimulation types exert time-, dose- and in the case of tDCS polarity-specific effects on motor function and skill learning in healthy subjects. Lately, tDCS has been used to augment the therapy of motor disabilities in patients with stroke or movement disorders. This article provides a step-by-step protocol for targeting the primary motor cortex with tDCS and transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS), a specific form of tACS using an electrical current applied randomly within a pre-defined frequency range. The setup of two different stimulation montages is explained. In both montages the emitting electrode (the anode for tDCS) is placed on the primary motor cortex of interest. For unilateral motor cortex stimulation the receiving electrode is placed on the contralateral forehead while for bilateral motor cortex stimulation the receiving electrode is placed on the opposite primary motor cortex. The advantages and disadvantages of each montage for the modulation of cortical excitability and motor function including learning are discussed, as well as safety, tolerability and blinding aspects.

  8. SLAM family receptors and the SLAM-associated protein (SAP) modulate T cell functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detre, Cynthia; Keszei, Marton; Romero, Xavier; Tsokos, George C; Terhorst, Cox

    2010-06-01

    One or more of the signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM) family (SLAMF) of cell surface receptors, which consists of nine transmembrane proteins, i.e., SLAMF1-9, are expressed on most hematopoietic cells. While most SLAMF receptors serve as self-ligands, SLAMF2 and SLAMF4 use each other as counter structures. Six of the receptors carry one or more copies of a unique intracellular tyrosine-based switch motif, which has high affinity for the single SH2-domain signaling molecules SLAM-associated protein and EAT-2. Whereas SLAMF receptors are costimulatory molecules on the surface of CD4+, CD8+, and natural killer (NK) T cells, they also involved in early phases of lineage commitment during hematopoiesis. SLAMF receptors regulate T lymphocyte development and function and modulate lytic activity, cytokine production, and major histocompatibility complex-independent cell inhibition of NK cells. Furthermore, they modulate B cell activation and memory generation, neutrophil, dendritic cell, macrophage and eosinophil function, and platelet aggregation. In this review, we will discuss the role of SLAM receptors and their adapters in T cell function, and we will examine the role of these receptors and their adapters in X-linked lymphoproliferative disease and their contribution to disease susceptibility in systemic lupus erythematosus.

  9. Psychological stress as a modulator of functional recovery following spinal cord injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sioui eMaldonado Bouchard

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available There is strong evidence indicating that the social environment triggers changes to the psychological stress response and glucocorticoid receptor function. Considerable literature links the subsequent changes in stress resiliency to physical health. Here, converging evidence for the modulatory role of chronic psychological stress in the recovery process following spinal cord injury (SCI is presented. Despite the considerable advances in spinal cord injury research, we are still unable to identify the causes of variability in patients’ recovery following injury. We propose that individuals’ past and present life experiences (in the form of stress exposure may significantly modulate patients’ outcome post SCI. We propose a theoretical model to explain the negative impact of chronic psychological stress on physical and psychological recovery. The stress experienced in life prior to SCI and also as a result of the traumatic injury, could compromise glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity and function, and contribute to high levels of inflammation and apoptosis post SCI, decreasing the tissue remaining at the injury site and undermining recovery of function. Both stress induced glucocorticoid resistance and stress induced epigenetic changes to the glucocorticoid receptor can modulate the NF-кB regulated inflammatory pathways and the Bcl-2 regulated apoptosis pathways. This model not only contributes to the theoretical understanding of the recovery process following injury, but also provides concrete testable hypotheses for future studies.

  10. Pili-like proteins of Akkermansia muciniphila modulate host immune responses and gut barrier function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reunanen, Justus; Meijerink, Marjolein; Pietilä, Taija E.; Kainulainen, Veera; Klievink, Judith; Huuskonen, Laura; Aalvink, Steven; Skurnik, Mikael; Boeren, Sjef; Satokari, Reetta; Mercenier, Annick; Palva, Airi; Smidt, Hauke; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara

    2017-01-01

    Gut barrier function is key in maintaining a balanced response between the host and its microbiome. The microbiota can modulate changes in gut barrier as well as metabolic and inflammatory responses. This highly complex system involves numerous microbiota-derived factors. The gut symbiont Akkermansia muciniphila is positively correlated with a lean phenotype, reduced body weight gain, amelioration of metabolic responses and restoration of gut barrier function by modulation of mucus layer thickness. However, the molecular mechanisms behind its metabolic and immunological regulatory properties are unexplored. Herein, we identify a highly abundant outer membrane pili-like protein of A. muciniphila MucT that is directly involved in immune regulation and enhancement of trans-epithelial resistance. The purified Amuc_1100 protein and enrichments containing all its associated proteins induced production of specific cytokines through activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4. This mainly leads to high levels of IL-10 similar to those induced by the other beneficial immune suppressive microorganisms such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii A2-165 and Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1. Together these results indicate that outer membrane protein composition and particularly the newly identified highly abundant pili-like protein Amuc_1100 of A. muciniphila are involved in host immunological homeostasis at the gut mucosa, and improvement of gut barrier function. PMID:28249045

  11. Modulation of spontaneous locomotor and respiratory drives to hindlimb motoneurons temporally related to sympathetic drives as revealed by Mayer waves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wienecke, Jacob; Denton, Manuel Enríquez; Stecina, Katinka

    2015-01-01

    In this study we investigated how the networks mediating respiratory and locomotor drives to lumbar motoneurons interact and how this interaction is modulated in relation to periodic variations in blood pressure (Mayer waves). Seven decerebrate cats, under neuromuscular blockade, were used to study...... central respiratory drive potentials (CRDPs, usually enhanced by added CO2) and spontaneously occurring locomotor drive potentials (LDPs) in hindlimb motoneurons, together with hindlimb and phrenic nerve discharges. In four of the cats both drives and their voltage-dependent amplification were absent...... or modest, but in the other three, one or other of these drives was common and the voltage-dependent amplification was frequently strong. Moreover, in these three cats the blood pressure showed marked periodic variation (Mayer waves), with a slow rate (periods 9-104 s, mean 39 ± 17 SD). Profound modulation...

  12. Elucidation of the mechanism of the regulatory function of the Ig1 module of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiselyov, Vladislav; Kochoyan, Artur; Poulsen, Flemming;

    2006-01-01

    The extracellular part of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor (FGFR) consists of up to three Ig modules (Ig1-Ig3), in which the Ig2 and Ig3 modules determine affinity and specificity for FGF and heparin. The FGFR isoforms lacking the Ig1 module have higher affinity for FGF and heparin than...... the triple Ig-module isoforms, suggesting that the Ig1 module is involved in the regulation of the FGFR-ligand interaction. We show here by surface plasmon resonance and NMR analyses that the Ig1 module binds to the Ig2 module, and identify by NMR the binding sites involved in the Ig1-Ig2 interaction....... The identified binding site in the Ig2 module was found to be in the area of the FGF-Ig2 and Ig2-heparin contact sites, thus providing direct structural evidence that the Ig1 module functions as a competitive autoinhibitor of the FGFR-ligand interaction. Furthermore, the Ig1 binding site of the Ig2 module...

  13. Equal modulation of endothelial cell function by four distinct tissue-specific mesenchymal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ruei-Zeng; Moreno-Luna, Rafael; Zhou, Bin; Pu, William T; Melero-Martin, Juan M

    2012-09-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can generate multiple end-stage mesenchymal cell types and constitute a promising population of cells for regenerative therapies. Additionally, there is increasing evidence supporting other trophic activities of MSCs, including the ability to enable formation of vasculature in vivo. Although MSCs were originally isolated from the bone marrow, the presence of these cells in the stromal vascular fraction of multiple adult tissues has been recently recognized. However, it is unknown whether the capacity to modulate vasculogenesis is ubiquitous to all MSCs regardless of their tissue of origin. Here, we demonstrated that tissue-resident MSCs isolated from four distinct tissues have equal capacity to modulate endothelial cell function, including formation of vascular networks in vivo. MSCs were isolated from four murine tissues, including bone marrow, white adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and myocardium. In culture, all four MSC populations secreted a plethora of pro-angiogenic factors that unequivocally induced proliferation, migration, and tube formation of endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs). In vivo, co-implantation of MSCs with ECFCs into mice generated an extensive network of blood vessels with ECFCs specifically lining the lumens and MSCs occupying perivascular positions. Importantly, there were no differences among all four MSCs evaluated. Our studies suggest that the capacity to modulate the formation of vasculature is a ubiquitous property of all MSCs, irrespective of their original anatomical location. These results validate multiple tissues as potential sources of MSCs for future cell-based vascular therapies.

  14. Ag nanocluster/DNA hybrids: functional modules for the detection of nitroaromatic and RDX explosives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enkin, Natalie; Sharon, Etery; Golub, Eyal; Willner, Itamar

    2014-08-13

    Luminescent Ag nanoclusters (NCs) stabilized by nucleic acids are implemented as optical labels for the detection of the explosives picric acid, trinitrotoluene (TNT), and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX). The sensing modules consist of two parts, a nucleic acid with the nucleic acid-stabilized Ag NCs and a nucleic acid functionalized with electron-donating units, including L-DOPA, L-tyrosine and 6-hydroxy-L-DOPA, self-assembled on a nucleic acid scaffold. The formation of donor-acceptor complexes between the nitro-substituted explosives, exhibiting electron-acceptor properties, and the electron-donating sites, associated with the sensing modules, concentrates the explosives in close proximity to the Ag NCs. This leads to the electron-transfer quenching of the luminescence of the Ag NCs by the explosive molecule. The quenching of the luminescence of the Ag NCs provides a readout signal for the sensing process. The sensitivities of the analytical platforms are controlled by the electron-donating properties of the donor substituents, and 6-hydroxy-L-DOPA was found to be the most sensitive donor. Picric acid, TNT, and RDX are analyzed with detection limits corresponding to 5.2 × 10(-12) M, 1.0 × 10(-12) M, and 3.0 × 10(-12) M, respectively, using the 6-hydroxy-L-DOPA-modified Ag NCs sensing module.

  15. Security camera resolution measurements: Horizontal TV lines versus modulation transfer function measurements.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birch, Gabriel Carisle [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Griffin, John Clark [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2015-01-01

    The horizontal television lines (HTVL) metric has been the primary quantity used by division 6000 related to camera resolution for high consequence security systems. This document shows HTVL measurements are fundamen- tally insufficient as a metric to determine camera resolution, and propose a quantitative, standards based methodology by measuring the camera system modulation transfer function (MTF), the most common and accepted metric of res- olution in the optical science community. Because HTVL calculations are easily misinterpreted or poorly defined, we present several scenarios in which HTVL is frequently reported, and discuss their problems. The MTF metric is discussed, and scenarios are presented with calculations showing the application of such a metric.

  16. Modulation Transfer Function of a Gaussian Beam Based on the Generalized Modified Atmospheric Spectrum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao Gao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper investigates the modulation transfer function of a Gaussian beam propagating through a horizontal path in weak-fluctuation non-Kolmogorov turbulence. Mathematical expressions are obtained based on the generalized modified atmospheric spectrum, which includes the spectral power law value of non-Kolmogorov turbulence, the finite inner and outer scales of turbulence, and other optical parameters of the Gaussian beam. The numerical results indicate that the atmospheric turbulence would produce less negative effects on the wireless optical communication system with an increase in the inner scale of turbulence. Additionally, the increased outer scale of turbulence makes a Gaussian beam influenced more seriously by the atmospheric turbulence.

  17. Modulating Function-Based Method for Parameter and Source Estimation of Partial Differential Equations

    KAUST Repository

    Asiri, Sharefa M.

    2017-10-08

    Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) are commonly used to model complex systems that arise for example in biology, engineering, chemistry, and elsewhere. The parameters (or coefficients) and the source of PDE models are often unknown and are estimated from available measurements. Despite its importance, solving the estimation problem is mathematically and numerically challenging and especially when the measurements are corrupted by noise, which is often the case. Various methods have been proposed to solve estimation problems in PDEs which can be classified into optimization methods and recursive methods. The optimization methods are usually heavy computationally, especially when the number of unknowns is large. In addition, they are sensitive to the initial guess and stop condition, and they suffer from the lack of robustness to noise. Recursive methods, such as observer-based approaches, are limited by their dependence on some structural properties such as observability and identifiability which might be lost when approximating the PDE numerically. Moreover, most of these methods provide asymptotic estimates which might not be useful for control applications for example. An alternative non-asymptotic approach with less computational burden has been proposed in engineering fields based on the so-called modulating functions. In this dissertation, we propose to mathematically and numerically analyze the modulating functions based approaches. We also propose to extend these approaches to different situations. The contributions of this thesis are as follows. (i) Provide a mathematical analysis of the modulating function-based method (MFBM) which includes: its well-posedness, statistical properties, and estimation errors. (ii) Provide a numerical analysis of the MFBM through some estimation problems, and study the sensitivity of the method to the modulating functions\\' parameters. (iii) Propose an effective algorithm for selecting the method\\'s design parameters

  18. Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Imaging Reveals that Chemokine-Binding Modulates Heterodimers of CXCR4 and CCR5 Receptors

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Dimerization has emerged as an important feature of chemokine G-protein-coupled receptors. CXCR4 and CCR5 regulate leukocyte chemotaxis and also serve as a co-receptor for HIV entry. Both receptors are recruited to the immunological synapse during T-cell activation. However, it is not clear whether they form heterodimers and whether ligand binding modulates the dimer formation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a sensitive Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) imaging ...

  19. A direct screen for c-di-GMP modulators reveals a Salmonella Typhimurium periplasmic ʟ-arginine-sensing pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Erez; Petersen, Erik; Kulasekara, Bridget R; Miller, Samuel I

    2015-06-01

    Cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP) is a bacterial second messenger that transduces internal and external signals and regulates bacterial motility and biofilm formation. Some organisms encode more than 100 c-di-GMP-modulating enzymes, but only for a few has a signal been defined that modulates their activity. We developed and applied a high-throughput, real-time flow cytometry method that uses a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based biosensor of free c-di-GMP to screen for signals that modulate its concentration within Salmonella Typhimurium. We identified multiple compounds, including glucose, N-acetyl-d-glucosamine, salicylic acid, and ʟ-arginine, that modulated the FRET signal and therefore the free c-di-GMP concentration. By screening a library of mutants, we identified proteins required for the c-di-GMP response to each compound. Furthermore, low micromolar concentrations of ʟ-arginine induced a rapid translation-independent increase in c-di-GMP concentrations and c-di-GMP-dependent cellulose synthesis, responses that required the regulatory periplasmic domain of the diguanylate cyclase STM1987. ʟ-Arginine signaling also required the periplasmic putative ʟ-arginine-binding protein ArtI, implying that ʟ-arginine sensing occurred in the periplasm. Among the 20 commonly used amino acids, S. Typhimurium specifically responded to ʟ-arginine with an increase in c-di-GMP, suggesting that ʟ-arginine may serve as a signal during S. Typhimurium infection. Our results demonstrate that a second-messenger biosensor can be used to identify environmental signals and define pathways that alter microbial behavior.

  20. Analysis of Candida albicans mutants defective in the Cdk8 module of mediator reveal links between metabolism and biofilm formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allia K Lindsay

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Candida albicans biofilm formation is a key virulence trait that involves hyphal growth and adhesin expression. Pyocyanin (PYO, a phenazine secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, inhibits both C. albicans biofilm formation and development of wrinkled colonies. Using a genetic screen, we identified two mutants, ssn3Δ/Δ and ssn8Δ/Δ, which continued to wrinkle in the presence of PYO. Ssn8 is a cyclin-like protein and Ssn3 is similar to cyclin-dependent kinases; both proteins are part of the heterotetrameric Cdk8 module that forms a complex with the transcriptional co-regulator, Mediator. Ssn3 kinase activity was also required for PYO sensitivity as a kinase dead mutant maintained a wrinkled colony morphology in the presence of PYO. Furthermore, similar phenotypes were observed in mutants lacking the other two components of the Cdk8 module-Srb8 and Srb9. Through metabolomics analyses and biochemical assays, we showed that a compromised Cdk8 module led to increases in glucose consumption, glycolysis-related transcripts, oxidative metabolism and ATP levels even in the presence of PYO. In the mutant, inhibition of respiration to levels comparable to the PYO-treated wild type inhibited wrinkled colony development. Several lines of evidence suggest that PYO does not act through Cdk8. Lastly, the ssn3 mutant was a hyperbiofilm former, and maintained higher biofilm formation in the presence of PYO than the wild type. Together these data provide novel insights into the role of the Cdk8 module of Mediator in regulation of C. albicans physiology and the links between respiratory activity and both wrinkled colony and biofilm development.

  1. Transcriptome and metabolite profiling reveals that prolonged drought modulates the phenylpropanoid and terpenoid pathway in white grapes (Vitis vinifera L.)

    OpenAIRE

    Savoi, Stefania; Wong, Darren C. J.; Arapitsas, Panagiotis; Miculan, Mara; Bucchetti, Barbara; Peterlunger, Enrico; Fait, Aaron; Mattivi, Fulvio; Castellarin, Simone D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Secondary metabolism contributes to the adaptation of a plant to its environment. In wine grapes, fruit secondary metabolism largely determines wine quality. Climate change is predicted to exacerbate drought events in several viticultural areas, potentially affecting the wine quality. In red grapes, water deficit modulates flavonoid accumulation, leading to major quantitative and compositional changes in the profile of the anthocyanin pigments; in white grapes, the effect of water ...

  2. DREADD Modulation of Transplanted DA Neurons Reveals a Novel Parkinsonian Dyskinesia Mechanism Mediated by the Serotonin 5-HT6 Receptor

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    Summary Transplantation of DA neurons is actively pursued as a restorative therapy in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Pioneering clinical trials using transplants of fetal DA neuroblasts have given promising results, although a number of patients have developed graft-induced dyskinesias (GIDs), and the mechanism underlying this troublesome side effect is still unknown. Here we have used a new model where the activity of the transplanted DA neurons can be selectively modulated using a bimodal chemog...

  3. Optogenetic versus electrical stimulation of dopamine terminals in the nucleus accumbens reveals local modulation of presynaptic release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchior, James R; Ferris, Mark J; Stuber, Garret D; Riddle, David R; Jones, Sara R

    2015-09-01

    The nucleus accumbens is highly heterogeneous, integrating regionally distinct afferent projections and accumbal interneurons, resulting in diverse local microenvironments. Dopamine (DA) neuron terminals similarly express a heterogeneous collection of terminal receptors that modulate DA signaling. Cyclic voltammetry is often used to probe DA terminal dynamics in brain slice preparations; however, this method traditionally requires electrical stimulation to induce DA release. Electrical stimulation excites all of the neuronal processes in the stimulation field, potentially introducing simultaneous, multi-synaptic modulation of DA terminal release. We used optogenetics to selectively stimulate DA terminals and used voltammetry to compare DA responses from electrical and optical stimulation of the same area of tissue around a recording electrode. We found that with multiple pulse stimulation trains, optically stimulated DA release increasingly exceeded that of electrical stimulation. Furthermore, electrical stimulation produced inhibition of DA release across longer duration stimulations. The GABAB antagonist, CGP 55845, increased electrically stimulated DA release significantly more than light stimulated release. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, dihydro-β-erythroidine hydrobromide, inhibited single pulse electrically stimulated DA release while having no effect on optically stimulated DA release. Our results demonstrate that electrical stimulation introduces local multi-synaptic modulation of DA release that is absent with optogenetically targeted stimulation. The nucleus accumbens is highly heterogeneous, integrating regionally distinct afferent projections and accumbal interneurons, resulting in diverse microenvironments. Local electrical stimulation excites all of the neuronal processes in the stimulation field, potentially modulating the dopamine signal - measured using cyclic voltammetry. Optogenetically targeting light stimulation to dopamine

  4. Structure reveals function of the dual variable domain immunoglobulin (DVD-Ig™) molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakob, Clarissa G; Edalji, Rohinton; Judge, Russell A; DiGiammarino, Enrico; Li, Yingchun; Gu, Jijie; Ghayur, Tariq

    2013-01-01

    Several bispecific antibody-based formats have been developed over the past 25 years in an effort to produce a new generation of immunotherapeutics that target two or more disease mechanisms simultaneously. One such format, the dual-variable domain immunoglobulin (DVD-Ig™), combines the target binding domains of two monoclonal antibodies via flexible naturally occurring linkers, which yields a tetravalent IgG - like molecule. We report the structure of an interleukin (IL)12-IL18 DVD-Ig™ Fab (DFab) fragment with IL18 bound to the inner variable domain (VD) that reveals the remarkable flexibility of the DVD-Ig™ molecule and how the DVD-Ig™ format can function to bind four antigens simultaneously. An understanding of how the inner variable domain retains function is of critical importance for designing DVD-Ig™ molecules, and for better understanding of the flexibility of immunoglobulin variable domains and linkers, which may aid in the design of improved bi- and multi-specific biologics in general.

  5. Metagenomic analysis reveals that modern microbialites and polar microbial mats have similar taxonomic and functional potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Allen White III

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Within the subarctic climate of Clinton Creek, Yukon, Canada, lies an abandoned and flooded open-pit asbestos mine that harbors rapidly growing microbialites. To understand their formation we completed a metagenomic community profile of the microbialites and their surrounding sediments. Assembled metagenomic data revealed that bacteria within the phylum Proteobacteria numerically dominated this system, although the relative abundances of taxa within the phylum varied among environments. Bacteria belonging to Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the microbialites and sediments, respectively. The microbialites were also home to many other groups associated with microbialite formation including filamentous cyanobacteria and dissimilatory sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria, consistent with the idea of a shared global microbialite microbiome. Other members were present that are typically not associated with microbialites including Gemmatimonadetes and iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria, which participate in carbon metabolism and iron cycling. Compared to the sediments, the microbialite microbiome has significantly more genes associated with photosynthetic processes (e.g., photosystem II reaction centers, carotenoid and chlorophyll biosynthesis and carbon fixation (e.g., CO dehydrogenase. The Clinton Creek microbialite communities had strikingly similar functional potentials to non-lithifying microbial mats from the Canadian High Arctic and Antarctica, but are functionally distinct, from non-lithifying mats or biofilms from Yellowstone. Clinton Creek microbialites also share metabolic genes (R2 0.900. These metagenomic profiles from an anthropogenic microbialite-forming ecosystem provide context to microbialite formation on a human-relevant timescale.

  6. Metagenomic analysis reveals that modern microbialites and polar microbial mats have similar taxonomic and functional potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Richard Allen; Power, Ian M; Dipple, Gregory M; Southam, Gordon; Suttle, Curtis A

    2015-01-01

    Within the subarctic climate of Clinton Creek, Yukon, Canada, lies an abandoned and flooded open-pit asbestos mine that harbors rapidly growing microbialites. To understand their formation we completed a metagenomic community profile of the microbialites and their surrounding sediments. Assembled metagenomic data revealed that bacteria within the phylum Proteobacteria numerically dominated this system, although the relative abundances of taxa within the phylum varied among environments. Bacteria belonging to Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the microbialites and sediments, respectively. The microbialites were also home to many other groups associated with microbialite formation including filamentous cyanobacteria and dissimilatory sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria, consistent with the idea of a shared global microbialite microbiome. Other members were present that are typically not associated with microbialites including Gemmatimonadetes and iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria, which participate in carbon metabolism and iron cycling. Compared to the sediments, the microbialite microbiome has significantly more genes associated with photosynthetic processes (e.g., photosystem II reaction centers, carotenoid, and chlorophyll biosynthesis) and carbon fixation (e.g., CO dehydrogenase). The Clinton Creek microbialite communities had strikingly similar functional potentials to non-lithifying microbial mats from the Canadian High Arctic and Antarctica, but are functionally distinct, from non-lithifying mats or biofilms from Yellowstone. Clinton Creek microbialites also share metabolic genes (R (2) Mexico, but are more similar to polar Arctic mats (R (2) > 0.900). These metagenomic profiles from an anthropogenic microbialite-forming ecosystem provide context to microbialite formation on a human-relevant timescale.

  7. Yeast mitochondrial protein-protein interactions reveal diverse complexes and disease-relevant functional relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Ke; Musso, Gabriel; Vlasblom, James; Jessulat, Matthew; Deineko, Viktor; Negroni, Jacopo; Mosca, Roberto; Malty, Ramy; Nguyen-Tran, Diem-Hang; Aoki, Hiroyuki; Minic, Zoran; Freywald, Tanya; Phanse, Sadhna; Xiang, Qian; Freywald, Andrew; Aloy, Patrick; Zhang, Zhaolei; Babu, Mohan

    2015-02-06

    Although detailed, focused, and mechanistic analyses of associations among mitochondrial proteins (MPs) have identified their importance in varied biological processes, a systematic understanding of how MPs function in concert both with one another and with extra-mitochondrial proteins remains incomplete. Consequently, many questions regarding the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the development of human disease remain unanswered. To address this, we compiled all existing mitochondrial physical interaction data for over 1200 experimentally defined yeast MPs and, through bioinformatic analysis, identified hundreds of heteromeric MP complexes having extensive associations both within and outside the mitochondria. We provide support for these complexes through structure prediction analysis, morphological comparisons of deletion strains, and protein co-immunoprecipitation. The integration of these MP complexes with reported genetic interaction data reveals substantial crosstalk between MPs and non-MPs and identifies novel factors in endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial organization, membrane structure, and mitochondrial lipid homeostasis. More than one-third of these MP complexes are conserved in humans, with many containing members linked to clinical pathologies, enabling us to identify genes with putative disease function through guilt-by-association. Although still remaining incomplete, existing mitochondrial interaction data suggests that the relevant molecular machinery is modular, yet highly integrated with non-mitochondrial processes.

  8. Principal Component Analysis reveals correlation of cavities evolution and functional motions in proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desdouits, Nathan; Nilges, Michael; Blondel, Arnaud

    2015-02-01

    Protein conformation has been recognized as the key feature determining biological function, as it determines the position of the essential groups specifically interacting with substrates. Hence, the shape of the cavities or grooves at the protein surface appears to drive those functions. However, only a few studies describe the geometrical evolution of protein cavities during molecular dynamics simulations (MD), usually with a crude representation. To unveil the dynamics of cavity geometry evolution, we developed an approach combining cavity detection and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). This approach was applied to four systems subjected to MD (lysozyme, sperm whale myoglobin, Dengue envelope protein and EF-CaM complex). PCA on cavities allows us to perform efficient analysis and classification of the geometry diversity explored by a cavity. Additionally, it reveals correlations between the evolutions of the cavities and structures, and can even suggest how to modify the protein conformation to induce a given cavity geometry. It also helps to perform fast and consensual clustering of conformations according to cavity geometry. Finally, using this approach, we show that both carbon monoxide (CO) location and transfer among the different xenon sites of myoglobin are correlated with few cavity evolution modes of high amplitude. This correlation illustrates the link between ligand diffusion and the dynamic network of internal cavities.

  9. Metagenomics Reveals Microbial Community Composition And Function With Depth In Arctic Permafrost Cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, J.; Tas, N.; Wu, Y.; Ulrich, C.; Kneafsey, T. J.; Torn, M. S.; Hubbard, S. S.; Chakraborty, R.; Graham, D. E.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic is one of the most climatically sensitive regions on Earth and current surveys show that permafrost degradation is widespread in arctic soils. Biogeochemical feedbacks of permafrost thaw are expected to be dominated by the release of currently stored carbon back into the atmosphere as CO2 and CH4. Understanding the dynamics of C release from permafrost requires assessment of microbial functions from different soil compartments. To this end, as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment in the Arctic, we collected two replicate permafrost cores (1m and 3m deep) from a transitional polygon near Barrow, AK. At this location, permafrost starts from 0.5m in depth and is characterized by variable ice content and higher pH than surface soils. Prior to sectioning, the cores were CT-scanned to determine the physical heterogeneity throughout the cores. In addition to detailed geochemical characterization, we used Illumina MiSeq technology to sequence 16SrRNA genes throughout the depths of the cores at 1 cm intervals. Selected depths were also chosen for metagenome sequencing of total DNA (including phylogenetic and functional genes) using the Illumina HiSeq platform. The 16S rRNA gene sequence data revealed that the microbial community composition and diversity changed dramatically with depth. The microbial diversity decreased sharply below the first few centimeters of the permafrost and then gradually increased in deeper layers. Based on the metagenome sequence data, the permafrost microbial communities were found to contain members with a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. The surface active layers had more representatives of Verrucomicrobia (potential methane oxidizers) whereas the deep permafrost layers were dominated by several different species of Actinobacteria. The latter are known to have a diverse metabolic capability and are able to adapt to stress by entering a dormant yet

  10. Functional magnetic resonance adaptation reveals the involvement of the dorsomedial stream in hand orientation for grasping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaco, Simona; Cavina-Pratesi, Cristiana; Sedda, Anna; Fattori, Patrizia; Galletti, Claudio; Culham, Jody C

    2011-11-01

    Reach-to-grasp actions require coordination of different segments of the upper limbs. Previous studies have examined the neural substrates of arm transport and hand grip components of such actions; however, a third component has been largely neglected: the orientation of the wrist and hand appropriately for the object. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging adaptation (fMRA) to investigate human brain areas involved in processing hand orientation during grasping movements. Participants used the dominant right hand to grasp a rod with the four fingers opposing the thumb or to reach and touch the rod with the knuckles without visual feedback. In a control condition, participants passively viewed the rod. Trials in a slow event-related design consisted of two sequential stimuli in which the rod orientation changed (requiring a change in wrist posture while grasping but not reaching or looking) or remained the same. We found reduced activation, that is, adaptation, in superior parieto-occipital cortex (SPOC) when the object was repeatedly grasped with the same orientation. In contrast, there was no adaptation when reaching or looking at an object in the same orientation, suggesting that hand orientation, rather than object orientation, was the critical factor. These results agree with recent neurophysiological research showing that a parieto-occipital area of macaque (V6A) is modulated by hand orientation during reach-to-grasp movements. We suggest that the human dorsomedial stream, like that in the macaque, plays a key role in processing hand orientation in reach-to-grasp movements.

  11. Origin of heart rate variability and turbulence: an appraisal of autonomic modulation of cardiovascular function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico eLombardi

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of autonomic modulation of sinus node by non-invasive techniques has provided relevant clinical information in patients with several cardiac and non-cardiac diseases and has facilitated the appraisal of neural regulatory mechanisms in normal and diseased subjects. The finding that even during resting conditions the heart period changes on a beat to beat basis and that after a premature ventricular beat there are small variations in RR interval whose measurements may be utilised to evaluate the autonomic modulation of sinus node, has provided unprecedented clinical and pathophysiological information. Heart rate variability (HRV and Heart Rate Turbulence (HRT have been extensively utilised in the clinical setting. To explain the negative predictive value of a reduced HRV it was determined that overall HRV was largely dependent on vagal mechanisms and that a reduction in HRV could reflect an increased sympathetic and a reduced vagal modulation of sinus node; i.e. an autonomic alteration favouring cardiac electrical instability. This initial interpretation was challenged by several findings indicating a greater complexity of the relationship between neural input and sinus node responsiveness as well as the possible interference with non-neural mechanisms.Under controlled conditions, however, the computation of low and high frequency components and of their ratio seems capable of providing adequate information on sympatho-vagal balance in normal subjects as well as in most patients with a preserved left ventricular function, thus providing a unique tool to investigate neural control mechanisms. Analysis on non-linear dynamics of HRV has also been utilised to describe the fractal like characteristic of the variability signal and proven effective to identify patients at risk for sudden cardiac death. A reduction on HRT parameters reflecting reduced baroreflex sensitivity as a likely result of a reduced vagal and of an increased sympathetic

  12. Revealing the functional neuroanatomy of intrinsic alertness using fMRI: methodological peculiarities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Clemens

    Full Text Available Clinical observations and neuroimaging data revealed a right-hemisphere fronto-parietal-thalamic-brainstem network for intrinsic alertness, and additional left fronto-parietal activity during phasic alertness. The primary objective of this fMRI study was to map the functional neuroanatomy of intrinsic alertness as precisely as possible in healthy participants, using a novel assessment paradigm already employed in clinical settings. Both the paradigm and the experimental design were optimized to specifically assess intrinsic alertness, while at the same time controlling for sensory-motor processing. The present results suggest that the processing of intrinsic alertness is accompanied by increased activity within the brainstem, thalamus, anterior cingulate gyrus, right insula, and right parietal cortex. Additionally, we found increased activation in the left hemisphere around the middle frontal gyrus (BA 9, the insula, the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. Our results further suggest that rather minute aspects of the experimental design may induce aspects of phasic alertness, which in turn might lead to additional brain activation in left-frontal areas not normally involved in intrinsic alertness. Accordingly, left BA 9 activation may be related to co-activation of the phasic alertness network due to the switch between rest and task conditions functioning as an external warning cue triggering the phasic alertness network. Furthermore, activation of the intrinsic alertness network during fixation blocks due to enhanced expectancy shortly before the switch to the task block might, when subtracted from the task block, lead to diminished activation in the typical right hemisphere intrinsic alertness network. Thus, we cautiously suggest that--as a methodological artifact--left frontal activations might show up due to phasic alertness involvement and intrinsic alertness activations might be weakened due to contrasting with fixation blocks

  13. Prokaryotic caspase homologs: phylogenetic patterns and functional characteristics reveal considerable diversity.

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    Johannes Asplund-Samuelsson

    Full Text Available Caspases accomplish initiation and execution of apoptosis, a programmed cell death process specific to metazoans. The existence of prokaryotic caspase homologs, termed metacaspases, has been known for slightly more than a decade. Despite their potential connection to the evolution of programmed cell death in eukaryotes, the phylogenetic distribution and functions of these prokaryotic metacaspase sequences are largely uncharted, while a few experiments imply involvement in programmed cell death. Aiming at providing a more detailed picture of prokaryotic caspase homologs, we applied a computational approach based on Hidden Markov Model search profiles to identify and functionally characterize putative metacaspases in bacterial and archaeal genomes. Out of the total of 1463 analyzed genomes, merely 267 (18% were identified to contain putative metacaspases, but their taxonomic distribution included most prokaryotic phyla and a few archaea (Euryarchaeota. Metacaspases were particularly abundant in Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria and Cyanobacteria, which harbor many morphologically and developmentally complex organisms, and a distinct correlation was found between abundance and phenotypic complexity in Cyanobacteria. Notably, Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, known to undergo genetically regulated autolysis, lacked metacaspases. Pfam domain architecture analysis combined with operon identification revealed rich and varied configurations among the metacaspase sequences. These imply roles in programmed cell death, but also e.g. in signaling, various enzymatic activities and protein modification. Together our data show a wide and scattered distribution of caspase homologs in prokaryotes with structurally and functionally diverse sub-groups, and with a potentially intriguing evolutionary role. These features will help delineate future characterizations of death pathways in prokaryotes.

  14. Transcription profiling reveals stage- and function-dependent expression patterns in the filarial nematode Brugia malayi

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    Li Ben-Wen

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brugia malayi is a nematode parasite that causes lymphatic filariasis, a disfiguring and disabiling tropical disease. Although a first draft genome sequence was released in 2007, very little is understood about transcription programs that govern developmental changes required for the parasite’s development and survival in its mammalian and insect hosts. Results We used a microarray with probes that represent some 85% of predicted genes to generate gene expression profiles for seven parasite life cycle stages/sexes. Approximately 41% of transcripts with detectable expression signals were differentially expressed across lifecycle stages. Twenty-six percent of transcripts were exclusively expressed in a single parasite stage, and 27% were expressed in all stages studied. K-means clustering of differentially expressed transcripts revealed five major transcription patterns that were associated with parasite lifecycle stages or gender. Examination of known stage-associated transcripts validated these data sets and suggested that newly identified stage or gender-associated transcripts may exercise biological functions in development and reproduction. The results also indicate that genes with similar transcription patterns were often involved in similar functions or cellular processes. For example, nuclear receptor family gene transcripts were upregulated in gene expression pattern four (female-enriched while protein kinase gene family transcripts were upregulated in expression pattern five (male-enriched. We also used pair-wise comparisons to identify transcriptional changes between life cycle stages and sexes. Conclusions Analysis of gene expression patterns of lifecycle in B. malayi has provided novel insights into the biology of filarial parasites. Proteins encoded by stage-associated and/or stage-specific transcripts are likely to be critically important for key parasite functions such as establishment and maintenance of

  15. Revealing the functional neuroanatomy of intrinsic alertness using fMRI: methodological peculiarities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemens, Benjamin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Sack, Alexander T; Sack, Alexander; Heinecke, Armin; Willmes, Klaus; Sturm, Walter

    2011-01-01

    Clinical observations and neuroimaging data revealed a right-hemisphere fronto-parietal-thalamic-brainstem network for intrinsic alertness, and additional left fronto-parietal activity during phasic alertness. The primary objective of this fMRI study was to map the functional neuroanatomy of intrinsic alertness as precisely as possible in healthy participants, using a novel assessment paradigm already employed in clinical settings. Both the paradigm and the experimental design were optimized to specifically assess intrinsic alertness, while at the same time controlling for sensory-motor processing. The present results suggest that the processing of intrinsic alertness is accompanied by increased activity within the brainstem, thalamus, anterior cingulate gyrus, right insula, and right parietal cortex. Additionally, we found increased activation in the left hemisphere around the middle frontal gyrus (BA 9), the insula, the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. Our results further suggest that rather minute aspects of the experimental design may induce aspects of phasic alertness, which in turn might lead to additional brain activation in left-frontal areas not normally involved in intrinsic alertness. Accordingly, left BA 9 activation may be related to co-activation of the phasic alertness network due to the switch between rest and task conditions functioning as an external warning cue triggering the phasic alertness network. Furthermore, activation of the intrinsic alertness network during fixation blocks due to enhanced expectancy shortly before the switch to the task block might, when subtracted from the task block, lead to diminished activation in the typical right hemisphere intrinsic alertness network. Thus, we cautiously suggest that--as a methodological artifact--left frontal activations might show up due to phasic alertness involvement and intrinsic alertness activations might be weakened due to contrasting with fixation blocks, when assessing the

  16. DENSE: efficient and prior knowledge-driven discovery of phenotype-associated protein functional modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrix Willam

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Identifying cellular subsystems that are involved in the expression of a target phenotype has been a very active research area for the past several years. In this paper, cellular subsystem refers to a group of genes (or proteins that interact and carry out a common function in the cell. Most studies identify genes associated with a phenotype on the basis of some statistical bias, others have extended these statistical methods to analyze functional modules and biological pathways for phenotype-relatedness. However, a biologist might often have a specific question in mind while performing such analysis and most of the resulting subsystems obtained by the existing methods might be largely irrelevant to the question in hand. Arguably, it would be valuable to incorporate biologist's knowledge about the phenotype into the algorithm. This way, it is anticipated that the resulting subsytems would not only be related to the target phenotype but also contain information that the biologist is likely to be interested in. Results In this paper we introduce a fast and theoretically guranteed method called DENSE (Dense and ENriched Subgraph Enumeration that can take in as input a biologist's prior knowledge as a set of query proteins and identify all the dense functional modules in a biological network that contain some part of the query vertices. The density (in terms of the number of network egdes and the enrichment (the number of query proteins in the resulting functional module can be manipulated via two parameters γ and μ, respectively. Conclusion This algorithm has been applied to the protein functional association network of Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824, a hydrogen producing, acid-tolerant organism. The algorithm was able to verify relationships known to exist in literature and also some previously unknown relationships including those with regulatory and signaling functions. Additionally, we were also able to hypothesize

  17. Functions and requirements for Project W-236B, Initial Pretreatment Module: Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swanson, L.M.

    1994-11-22

    Hanford Site tank waste supernatants will be pretreated to separate the low-level and high-level fractions. The low-level waste fraction, containing the bulk of the chemical constituents, must be processed into a vitrified waste product which will be disposed of onsite, in a safe, environmentally sound, and cost effective manner. The high-level waste fraction separated during supernatant pretreatment (primarily cesium) will be recombined with an additional high-level waste fraction generated from pretreatment of the tank waste sludges and solids. This combined high-level waste fraction will be immobilized as glass and disposed in a geological repository. The purpose of this document is to establish the functional requirements baseline for Project W-236B, Initial Pretreatment Module, by defining the level 5 and 6 functions and requirements for the project. A functional analysis approach has been used to break down the program functions and associated physical requirements that each function must meet. As the systems engineering process evolves, the design requirements document will replace this preliminary functions and requirements document. The design requirements document (DRD) will identify key decisions and associated uncertainties that impact the project. A revision of this document to a DRD is not expected to change the performance requirements or open issues. However, additional requirements and issues may be identified.

  18. Serine Phosphorylation of SLP76 Is Dispensable for T Cell Development but Modulates Helper T Cell Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navas, Victor H.; Cuche, Céline; Alcover, Andres

    2017-01-01

    The adapter protein SLP76 is a key orchestrator of T cell receptor (TCR) signal transduction. We previously identified a negative feedback loop that modulates T cell activation, involving phosphorylation of Ser376 of SLP76 by the hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 (HPK1). However, the physiological relevance of this regulatory mechanism was still unknown. To address this question, we generated a SLP76-S376A-expressing knock-in mouse strain and investigated the effects of Ser376 mutation on T cell development and function. We report here that SLP76-S376A-expressing mice exhibit normal thymocyte development and no detectable phenotypic alterations in mature T cell subsets or other lymphoid and myeloid cell lineages. Biochemical analyses revealed that mutant T cells were hypersensitive to TCR stimulation. Indeed, phosphorylation of several signaling proteins, including SLP76 itself, phospholipase Cγ1 and the protein kinases AKT and ERK1/2, was increased. These modifications correlated with increased Th1-type and decreased Th2-type cytokine production by SLP76-S376A T cells, but did not result in significant changes of proliferative capacity nor activation-induced cell death susceptibility. Hence, our results reveal that SLP76-Ser376 phosphorylation does not mediate all HPK1-dependent regulatory effects in T cells but it fine-tunes helper T cell responses. PMID:28107427

  19. Autistic fluid intelligence: Increased reliance on visual functional connectivity with diminished modulation of coupling by task difficulty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simard, Isabelle; Luck, David; Mottron, Laurent; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Soulières, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Different test types lead to different intelligence estimates in autism, as illustrated by the fact that autistic individuals obtain higher scores on the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RSPM) test than they do on the Wechsler IQ, in contrast to relatively similar performance on both tests in non-autistic individuals. However, the cerebral processes underlying these differences are not well understood. This study investigated whether activity in the fluid "reasoning" network, which includes frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital regions, is differently modulated by task complexity in autistic and non-autistic individuals during the RSPM. In this purpose, we used fMRI to study autistic and non-autistic participants solving the 60 RSPM problems focussing on regions and networks involved in reasoning complexity. As complexity increased, activity in the left superior occipital gyrus and the left middle occipital gyrus increased for autistic participants, whereas non-autistic participants showed increased activity in the left middle frontal gyrus and bilateral precuneus. Using psychophysiological interaction analyses (PPI), we then verified in which regions did functional connectivity increase as a function of reasoning complexity. PPI analyses revealed greater connectivity in autistic, compared to non-autistic participants, between the left inferior occipital gyrus and areas in the left superior frontal gyrus, right superior parietal lobe, right middle occipital gyrus and right inferior temporal gyrus. We also observed generally less modulation of the reasoning network as complexity increased in autistic participants. These results suggest that autistic individuals, when confronted with increasing task complexity, rely mainly on visuospatial processes when solving more complex matrices. In addition to the now well-established enhanced activity observed in visual areas in a range of tasks, these results suggest that the enhanced reliance on visual perception has a

  20. Autistic fluid intelligence: Increased reliance on visual functional connectivity with diminished modulation of coupling by task difficulty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Simard

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Different test types lead to different intelligence estimates in autism, as illustrated by the fact that autistic individuals obtain higher scores on the Raven's Progressive Matrices (RSPM test than they do on the Wechsler IQ, in contrast to relatively similar performance on both tests in non-autistic individuals. However, the cerebral processes underlying these differences are not well understood. This study investigated whether activity in the fluid “reasoning” network, which includes frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital regions, is differently modulated by task complexity in autistic and non-autistic individuals during the RSPM. In this purpose, we used fMRI to study autistic and non-autistic participants solving the 60 RSPM problems focussing on regions and networks involved in reasoning complexity. As complexity increased, activity in the left superior occipital gyrus and the left middle occipital gyrus increased for autistic participants, whereas non-autistic participants showed increased activity in the left middle frontal gyrus and bilateral precuneus. Using psychophysiological interaction analyses (PPI, we then verified in which regions did functional connectivity increase as a function of reasoning complexity. PPI analyses revealed greater connectivity in autistic, compared to non-autistic participants, between the left inferior occipital gyrus and areas in the left superior frontal gyrus, right superior parietal lobe, right middle occipital gyrus and right inferior temporal gyrus. We also observed generally less modulation of the reasoning network as complexity increased in autistic participants. These results suggest that autistic individuals, when confronted with increasing task complexity, rely mainly on visuospatial processes when solving more complex matrices. In addition to the now well-established enhanced activity observed in visual areas in a range of tasks, these results suggest that the enhanced reliance on visual

  1. Reduced fractional anisotropy of corpus callosum modulates inter-hemispheric resting state functional connectivity in migraine patients without aura.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Kai; Qin, Wei; Liu, Peng; Zhao, Ling; Yu, Dahua; Zhao, Limei; Dong, Minghao; Liu, Jixin; Yang, Xuejuan; von Deneen, Karen M; Liang, Fanrong; Tian, Jie

    2012-01-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study revealed reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the corpus callosum (CC) in migraine patients without aura. Abnormalities in white matter integrity, particularly in the CC, may affect inter-hemispheric resting state functional connectivity (RSFC). Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the alterations in functional interactions between the cerebral hemispheres during resting state in migraine patients without aura, and even less about how the inter-hemispheric RSFC are affected by the abnormalities of the CC. Twenty-one migraine patients without aura and 21 healthy controls participated in this study, age-, sex-, and education-matched. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was employed to investigate the white matter alterations of the CC. Meanwhile, voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) was used to compare the inter-hemispheric RSFC differences between the patients and controls. TBSS analysis revealed reduced FA values in the genu and the splenium of CC in patient group. VMHC analysis showed decreased inter-hemispheric RSFC of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in migraine patients without aura relative to that of the controls. Furthermore, in migraine patients without aura, the reduced FA values of the genu of CC correlated with the decreased inter-hemispheric RSFC of the ACC. Our findings demonstrated that the migraine patients without aura showed reduced FA values of the genu of CC and decreased inter-hemispheric RSFC of the ACC. The correlation between the above structural and functional changes suggested that the reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) of CC modulates inter-hemispheric VMHC in migraine patients without aura. Our results demonstrated that the VMHC alterations of ACC can reflect the FA changes of the genu of CC in migraine patients without aura.

  2. Proteomic profiling reveals dopaminergic regulation of progenitor cell functions of goldfish radial glial cells in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Lei; Martyniuk, Christopher J; Esau, Crystal; Da Fonte, Dillon F; Trudeau, Vance L

    2016-07-20

    Radial glial cells (RGCs) are stem-like cells found in the developing and adult central nervous system. They function as both a scaffold to guide neuron migration and as progenitor cells that support neurogenesis. Our previous study revealed a close anatomical relationship between dopamine neurons and RGCs in the telencephalon of female goldfish. In this study, label-free proteomics was used to identify the proteins in a primary RGC culture and to determine the proteome response to the selective dopamine D1 receptor agonist SKF 38393 (10μM), in order to better understand dopaminergic regulation of RGCs. A total of 689 unique proteins were identified in the RGCs and these were classified into biological and pathological pathways. Proteins such as nucleolin (6.9-fold) and ependymin related protein 1 (4.9-fold) were increased in abundance while proteins triosephosphate isomerase (10-fold) and phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (5-fold) were decreased in abundance. Pathway analysis revealed that proteins that consistently changed in abundance across biological replicates were related to small molecules such as ATP, lipids and steroids, hormones, glucose, cyclic AMP and Ca(2+). Sub-network enrichment analysis suggested that estrogen receptor signaling, among other transcription factors, is regulated by D1 receptor activation. This suggests that these signaling pathways are correlated to dopaminergic regulation of radial glial cell functions. Most proteins down-regulated by SKF 38393 were involved in cell cycle/proliferation, growth, death, and survival, which suggests that dopamine inhibits the progenitor-related processes of radial glial cells. Examples of differently expressed proteins including triosephosphate isomerase, nucleolin, phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase and capping protein (actin filament) muscle Z-line beta were validated by qPCR and western blot, which were consistent with MS/MS data in the direction of change. This is the first study to characterize the RGC

  3. Neuropeptides function in a homeostatic manner to modulate excitation-inhibition imbalance in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stawicki, Tamara M; Takayanagi-Kiya, Seika; Zhou, Keming; Jin, Yishi

    2013-05-01

    Neuropeptides play crucial roles in modulating neuronal networks, including changing intrinsic properties of neurons and synaptic efficacy. We previously reported a Caenorhabditis elegans mutant, acr-2(gf), that displays spontaneous convulsions as the result of a gain-of-function mutation in a neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit. The ACR-2 channel is expressed in the cholinergic motor neurons, and acr-2(gf) causes cholinergic overexcitation accompanied by reduced GABAergic inhibition in the locomotor circuit. Here we show that neuropeptides play a homeostatic role that compensates for this excitation-inhibition imbalance in the locomotor circuit. Loss of function in genes required for neuropeptide processing or release of dense core vesicles specifically modulate the convulsion frequency of acr-2(gf). The proprotein convertase EGL-3 is required in the cholinergic motor neurons to restrain convulsions. Electrophysiological recordings of neuromuscular junctions show that loss of egl-3 in acr-2(gf) causes a further reduction of GABAergic inhibition. We identify two neuropeptide encoding genes, flp-1 and flp-18, that together counteract the excitation-inhibition imbalance in acr-2(gf) mutants. We further find that acr-2(gf) causes an increased expression of flp-18 in the ventral cord cholinergic motor neurons and that overexpression of flp-18 reduces the convulsion of acr-2(gf) mutants. The effects of these peptides are in part mediated by two G-protein coupled receptors, NPR-1 and NPR-5. Our data suggest that the chronic overexcitation of the cholinergic motor neurons imposed by acr-2(gf) leads to an increased production of FMRFamide neuropeptides, which act to decrease the activity level of the locomotor circuit, thereby homeostatically modulating the excitation and inhibition imbalance.

  4. Neuropeptides function in a homeostatic manner to modulate excitation-inhibition imbalance in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara M Stawicki

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Neuropeptides play crucial roles in modulating neuronal networks, including changing intrinsic properties of neurons and synaptic efficacy. We previously reported a Caenorhabditis elegans mutant, acr-2(gf, that displays spontaneous convulsions as the result of a gain-of-function mutation in a neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit. The ACR-2 channel is expressed in the cholinergic motor neurons, and acr-2(gf causes cholinergic overexcitation accompanied by reduced GABAergic inhibition in the locomotor circuit. Here we show that neuropeptides play a homeostatic role that compensates for this excitation-inhibition imbalance in the locomotor circuit. Loss of function in genes required for neuropeptide processing or release of dense core vesicles specifically modulate the convulsion frequency of acr-2(gf. The proprotein convertase EGL-3 is required in the cholinergic motor neurons to restrain convulsions. Electrophysiological recordings of neuromuscular junctions show that loss of egl-3 in acr-2(gf causes a further reduction of GABAergic inhibition. We identify two neuropeptide encoding genes, flp-1 and flp-18, that together counteract the excitation-inhibition imbalance in acr-2(gf mutants. We further find that acr-2(gf causes an increased expression of flp-18 in the ventral cord cholinergic motor neurons and that overexpression of flp-18 reduces the convulsion of acr-2(gf mutants. The effects of these peptides are in part mediated by two G-protein coupled receptors, NPR-1 and NPR-5. Our data suggest that the chronic overexcitation of the cholinergic motor neurons imposed by acr-2(gf leads to an increased production of FMRFamide neuropeptides, which act to decrease the activity level of the locomotor circuit, thereby homeostatically modulating the excitation and inhibition imbalance.

  5. Crystal structure analysis reveals functional flexibility in the selenocysteine-specific tRNA from mouse.

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    Oleg M Ganichkin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selenocysteine tRNAs (tRNA(Sec exhibit a number of unique identity elements that are recognized specifically by proteins of the selenocysteine biosynthetic pathways and decoding machineries. Presently, these identity elements and the mechanisms by which they are interpreted by tRNA(Sec-interacting factors are incompletely understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We applied rational mutagenesis to obtain well diffracting crystals of murine tRNA(Sec. tRNA(Sec lacking the single-stranded 3'-acceptor end ((ΔGCCARNA(Sec yielded a crystal structure at 2.0 Å resolution. The global structure of (ΔGCCARNA(Sec resembles the structure of human tRNA(Sec determined at 3.1 Å resolution. Structural comparisons revealed flexible regions in tRNA(Sec used for induced fit binding to selenophosphate synthetase. Water molecules located in the present structure were involved in the stabilization of two alternative conformations of the anticodon stem-loop. Modeling of a 2'-O-methylated ribose at position U34 of the anticodon loop as found in a sub-population of tRNA(Secin vivo showed how this modification favors an anticodon loop conformation that is functional during decoding on the ribosome. Soaking of crystals in Mn(2+-containing buffer revealed eight potential divalent metal ion binding sites but the located metal ions did not significantly stabilize specific structural features of tRNA(Sec. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We provide the most highly resolved structure of a tRNA(Sec molecule to date and assessed the influence of water molecules and metal ions on the molecule's conformation and dynamics. Our results suggest how conformational changes of tRNA(Sec support its interaction with proteins.

  6. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and single cell genomics reveal functional response of active Oceanospirillales to Gulf oil spill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Borglin, Sharon; Chain, Patrick S. G.; Dubinsky, Eric A.; Fortney, Julian L.; Han, James; Holman, Hoi-Ying N.; Hultman, Jenni; Lamendella, Regina; Mackelprang, Rachel; Malfatti, Stephanie; Tom, Lauren M.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Woyke, Tanja; Zhou, Jizhong; Rubin, Edward M.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2012-06-12

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a deep-sea hydrocarbon plume that caused a shift in the indigenous microbial community composition with unknown ecological consequences. Early in the spill history, a bloom of uncultured, thus uncharacterized, members of the Oceanospirillales was previously detected, but their role in oil disposition was unknown. Here our aim was to determine the functional role of the Oceanospirillales and other active members of the indigenous microbial community using deep sequencing of community DNA and RNA, as well as single-cell genomics. Shotgun metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing revealed that genes for motility, chemotaxis and aliphatic hydrocarbon degradation were significantly enriched and expressed in the hydrocarbon plume samples compared with uncontaminated seawater collected from plume depth. In contrast, although genes coding for degradation of more recalcitrant compounds, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, total xylenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, were identified in the metagenomes, they were expressed at low levels, or not at all based on analysis of the metatranscriptomes. Isolation and sequencing of two Oceanospirillales single cells revealed that both cells possessed genes coding for n-alkane and cycloalkane degradation. Specifically, the near-complete pathway for cyclohexane oxidation in the Oceanospirillales single cells was elucidated and supported by both metagenome and metatranscriptome data. The draft genome also included genes for chemotaxis, motility and nutrient acquisition strategies that were also identified in the metagenomes and metatranscriptomes. These data point towards a rapid response of members of the Oceanospirillales to aliphatic hydrocarbons in the deep sea.

  7. Functional Connectivity Reveals Which Language the “Control Regions” Control during Bilingual Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Le; Emmorey, Karen; Feng, Xiaoxia; Lu, Chunming; Ding, Guosheng

    2016-01-01

    Bilingual studies have revealed critical roles for the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and the left caudate nucleus (Lcaudate) in controlling language processing, but how these regions manage activation of a bilingual’s two languages remains an open question. We addressed this question by identifying the functional connectivity (FC) of these control regions during a picture-naming task by bimodal bilinguals who were fluent in both a spoken and a signed language. To quantify language control processes, we measured the FC of the dACC and Lcaudate with a region specific to each language modality: left superior temporal gyrus (LSTG) for speech and left pre/postcentral gyrus (LPCG) for sign. Picture-naming occurred in either a single- or dual-language context. The results showed that in a single-language context, the dACC exhibited increased FC with the target language region, but not with the non-target language region. During the dual-language context when both languages were alternately the target language, the dACC showed strong FC to the LPCG, the region specific to the less proficient (signed) language. By contrast, the Lcaudate revealed a strong connectivity to the LPCG in the single-language context and to the LSTG (the region specific to spoken language) in the dual-language context. Our findings suggest that the dACC monitors and supports the processing of the target language, and that the Lcaudate controls the selection of the less accessible language. The results support the hypothesis that language control processes adapt to task demands that vary due to different interactional contexts. PMID:27965563

  8. Functional connectivity reveals which language the “control regions” control during bilingual production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Le Li

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Bilingual studies have revealed critical roles for the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC and the left caudate nucleus (Lcaudate in controlling language processing, but how these regions manage activation of a bilingual’s two languages remains an open question. We addressed this question by identifying the functional connectivity (FC of these control regions during a picture-naming task by bimodal bilinguals who were fluent in both a spoken and a signed language. To quantify language control processes, we measured the FC of the dACC and Lcaudate with a region specific to each language modality: left superior temporal gyrus (LSTG for speech and left pre/postcentral gyrus (LPCG for sign. Picture-naming occurred in either a single- or dual-language context. The results showed that in a single-language context, the dACC exhibited increased FC with the target language region, but not with the non-target language region. During the dual-language context when both languages were alternately the target language, the dACC showed strong FC to the LPCG, the regions specific to the less proficient (signed language. By contrast, the Lcaudate revealed strong connectivity to the LPCG in the single-language context and to the LSTG (the region specific to spoken language in the dual-language context. Our findings suggest that the dACC monitors and supports the processing of the target language, and that the Lcaudate controls the selection of the less accessible language. The results support the hypothesis that language control processes adapt to task demands that vary due to different interactional contexts.

  9. Preservation of tissue microstructure and functionality during freezing by modulation of cytoskeletal structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Seungman; Seawright, Angela; Park, Sinwook; Craig Dutton, J; Grinnell, Frederick; Han, Bumsoo

    2015-05-01

    Cryopreservation is one of the key enabling technologies for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, which can provide reliable long-term storage of engineered tissues (ETs) without losing their functionality. However, it is still extremely difficult to design and develop cryopreservation protocols guaranteeing the post-thaw tissue functionality. One of the major challenges in cryopreservation is associated with the difficulty of identifying effective and less toxic cryoprotective agents (CPAs) to guarantee the post-thaw tissue functionality. In this study, thus, a hypothesis was tested that the modulation of the cytoskeletal structure of cells embedded in the extracellular matrix (ECM) can mitigate the freezing-induced changes of the functionality and can reduce the amount of CPA necessary to preserve the functionality of ETs during cryopreservation. In order to test this hypothesis, we prepared dermal equivalents by seeding fibroblasts in type I collagen matrices resulting in three different cytoskeletal structures. These ETs were exposed to various freeze/thaw (F/T) conditions with and without CPAs. The freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interactions and subsequent functional properties of the ETs were assessed. The results showed that the cytoskeletal structure and the use of CPA were strongly correlated to the preservation of the post-thaw functional properties. As the cytoskeletal structure became stronger via stress fiber formation, the ET's functionality was preserved better. It also reduced the necessary CPA concentration to preserve the post-thaw functionality. However, if the extent of the freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interaction was too excessive, the cytoskeletal structure was completely destroyed and the beneficial effects became minimal.

  10. Modulation of spontaneous locomotor and respiratory drives to hindlimb motoneurons temporally related to sympathetic drives as revealed by Mayer waves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katinka eStecina

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study we investigated how the networks mediating respiratory and locomotor drives to lumbar motoneurons interact and how this interaction is modulated in relation to periodic variations in blood pressure (Mayer waves. Seven decerebrate cats, under neuromuscular blockade, were used to study central respiratory drive potentials (CRDPs, usually enhanced by added CO2 and spontaneously occurring locomotor drive potentials (LDPs in hindlimb motoneurons, together with hindlimb and phrenic nerve discharges. In four of the cats both drives and their voltage-dependent amplification were absent or modest, but in the other three, one or other of these drives was common and the voltage-dependent amplification was frequently strong. Moreover, in these three cats the blood pressure showed marked periodic variation (Mayer waves, with a slow rate (periods 9 - 104 s, mean 39 ± 17 SD. Profound modulation, synchronized with the Mayer waves was seen in the occurrence and/or in the amplification of the CRDPs or LDPs. In one animal, where CRDPs were present in most cells and the amplification was strong, the CRDP consistently triggered sustained plateaux at one phase of the Mayer wave cycle. In the other two animals, LDPs were common, and the occurrence of the locomotor drive was gated by the Mayer wave cycle, sometimes in alternation with the respiratory drive. Other interactions between the two drives involved respiration providing leading events, including co-activation of flexors and extensors during post-inspiration or a locomotor drive gated or sometimes entrained by respiration. We conclude that the respiratory drive in hindlimb motoneurons is transmitted via elements of the locomotor central pattern generator. The rapid modulation related to Mayer waves suggests the existence of a more direct and specific descending modulatory control than has previously been demonstrated.

  11. Oxytocin and vasopressin modulation of the neural correlates of motivation and emotion: results from functional MRI studies in awake rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Febo, Marcelo; Ferris, Craig F

    2014-09-11

    Oxytocin and vasopressin modulate a range of species typical behavioral functions that include social recognition, maternal-infant attachment, and modulation of memory, offensive aggression, defensive fear reactions, and reward seeking. We have employed novel functional magnetic resonance mapping techniques in awake rats to explore the roles of these neuropeptides in the maternal and non-maternal brain. Results from the functional neuroimaging studies that are summarized here have directly and indirectly confirmed and supported previous findings. Oxytocin is released within the lactating rat brain during suckling stimulation and activates specific subcortical networks in the maternal brain. Both vasopressin and oxytocin modulate brain regions involved unconditioned fear, processing of social stimuli and the expression of agonistic behaviors. Across studies there are relatively consistent brain networks associated with internal motivational drives and emotional states that are modulated by oxytocin and vasopressin. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin and Social Behav.

  12. Neural Substrates of Dopamine D2 Receptor Modulated Executive Functions in the Monkey Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, M Victoria; Miller, Earl K

    2015-09-01

    Dopamine D2 receptors (D2R) play a major role in cognition, mood and motor movements. Their blockade by antipsychotic drugs reduces hallucinatory and delusional behaviors in schizophrenia, but often fails to alleviate affective and cognitive dysfunctions. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) expresses D2R and is altered in schizophrenia. We investigated how D2R modulate behavior and PFC function in monkeys. Two monkeys learned new and performed highly familiar visuomotor associations, where each cue was associated with a saccade to a right or left target. We recorded neural spikes and local field potentials from multiple electrodes while injecting the D2R antagonist eticlopride in the lateral PFC. Blocking prefrontal D2R impaired associative learning and cognitive flexibility, reduced motivation, but left the performance of familiar associations intact. Eticlopride reduced saccade-direction selectivity of prefrontal neurons, leading to a decrease in neural information about the associations, and an increase in alpha oscillations. These results, together with our recent study using a D1R antagonist, suggest that D1R and D2R in the primate lateral PFC cooperate to modulate several executive functions. Our findings help to gain insight into why antipsychotic drugs, with strong antagonistic actions on D2R, fail to ameliorate cognitive and emotional deficits in schizophrenia.

  13. Comparison of approaches and artefacts in the measurement of detector modulation transfer functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boothroyd, C.B., E-mail: ChrisBoothroyd@cantab.net [Ernst Ruska-Centre and Peter Grünberg Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich (Germany); Kasama, T. [Center for Electron Nanoscopy, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kongens Lyngby (Denmark); Dunin-Borkowski, R.E. [Ernst Ruska-Centre and Peter Grünberg Institute, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich (Germany)

    2013-06-15

    In order to investigate the reproducibility of measurements of transmission electron microscope detector modulation transfer functions (MTFs) we measure the MTF of a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera using five different methods. MTFs derived from a sharp edge, a circular aperture and electron holographic interference fringes are found to agree closely with one other. The difficulty of obtaining accurate measurements of MTFs and the potential of using focused electron probes to make direct measurements of MTFs is discussed. We highlight the sensitivity of image contrast after deconvolution to small differences in the measured MTF. - Highlights: ► The modulation transfer function (MTF) of a CCD camera is measured using five different methods. ► Only methods that involve the use of a sharp aperture or holographic interference fringes work well. ► The use of a focused spot promises to be the best method in the future if it can be focused small enough. ► Apparently small errors in the measurement of the MTF can have a large effect on deconvoluted images. ► MTFs must be measured accurately if images are to be compared quantitatively with simulations.

  14. Analogy of transistor function with modulating photonic band gap in electromagnetically induced grating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhiguo; Ullah, Zakir; Gao, Mengqin; Zhang, Dan; Zhang, Yiqi; Gao, Hong; Zhang, Yanpeng

    2015-09-09

    Optical transistor is a device used to amplify and switch optical signals. Many researchers focus on replacing current computer components with optical equivalents, resulting in an optical digital computer system processing binary data. Electronic transistor is the fundamental building block of modern electronic devices. To replace electronic components with optical ones, an equivalent optical transistor is required. Here we compare the behavior of an optical transistor with the reflection from a photonic band gap structure in an electromagnetically induced transparency medium. A control signal is used to modulate the photonic band gap structure. Power variation of the control signal is used to provide an analogy between the reflection behavior caused by modulating the photonic band gap structure and the shifting of Q-point (Operation point) as well as amplification function of optical transistor. By means of the control signal, the switching function of optical transistor has also been realized. Such experimental schemes could have potential applications in making optical diode and optical transistor used in quantum information processing.

  15. Proteomic profiling of fibroblasts reveals a modulating effect of extracellular calumenin on the organization of the actin cytoskeleton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten Østergaard; Hansen, Gry Aune; Vorum, Henrik

    2006-01-01

    cytoskeleton and is involved in cytokinesis. Labeling of S phase fibroblasts with bromo-2'deoxy-uridine indicates that calumenin added to the medium also modulates the cell cycle. Our study thus indicates that calumenin possesses a paracrine role on the cells in its vicinity and therefore may be involved...... in the pathophysiology of thrombosis or in wound healing....... but not in normal vasculature. In order to study the possible effects of calumenin extracellularly we used proteomic profiling of fibroblasts cultured in absence as well as in presence of calumenin. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) we show that normal fibroblasts...

  16. Average modulation transfer function of line-array fiber-optic image bundles

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui Wang(王慧); Yang Xiang(向阳); Bingxi Yu(禹秉熙)

    2004-01-01

    The image quality evaluation in fiber-optic image bundles was addressed by the modulation transfer function(MTF).With the definition of the contrast transfer function(CTF),the MTF model of line-array fiber-optic image bundles was established and analyzed numerically.The average MTF was carefully evaluated by considering the influence of phase match on the MTF between input pattern and fiber-optic image bundles.In this paper,the average MTF is mean arithmetical value on the MTFs of eight different phases.The results show that,for certain fiber diameter and spatial frequency,the relationship between the core diameter and the average MTF is inverse proportion; for certain fiber cladding thickness,the relationship between the core diameter and the average MTF is also inverse proportion.And at Nyquist frequency,the MTF value is near 0.5.

  17. Functionally Graded Interfaces: Role and Origin of Internal Electric Field and Modulated Electrical Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurya, Deepam; Zhou, Yuan; Chen, Bo; Kang, Min-Gyu; Nguyen, Peter; Hudait, Mantu K; Priya, Shashank

    2015-10-14

    We report the tunable electrical response in functionally graded interfaces in lead-free ferroelectric thin films. Multilayer thin film graded heterostructures were synthesized on platinized silicon substrate with oxide layers of varying thickness. Interestingly, the graded heterostructure thin films exhibited shift of the hysteresis loops on electric field and polarization axes depending upon the direction of an applied bias. A diode-like characteristics was observed in current-voltage behavior under forward and reverse bias. This modulated electrical behavior was attributed to the perturbed dynamics of charge carriers under internal bias (self-bias) generated due to the increased skewness of the potential wells. The cyclic sweeping of voltage further demonstrated memristor-like current-voltage behavior in functionally graded heterostructure devices. The presence of an internal bias assisted the generation of photocurrent by facilitating the separation of photogenerated charges. These novel findings provide opportunity to design new circuit components for the next generation of microelectronic device architectures.

  18. Demethoxycurcumin modulates human P-glycoprotein function via uncompetitive inhibition of ATPase hydrolysis activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Yu-Ning; Hsieh, Yow-Wen; Hung, Chin-Chuan; Lin, Hui-Yi

    2015-01-28

    Curcuminoids are major components of Curcuma longa L., which is widely used as spice in food. This study aimed at identifying whether curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin could modulate efflux function of human P-glycoprotein and be used as chemosensitizers in cancer treatments. Without altering P-glycoprotein expression levels and conformation, the purified curcuminoids significantly inhibited P-glycoprotein efflux function. In rhodamine 123 efflux and calcein-AM accumulation assays, demethoxycurcumin demonstrated the highest inhibition potency (inhibitory IC50 = 1.56 ± 0.13 μM) among the purified curcuminoids, as well as in the fold of reversal assays. Demethoxycurcumin inhibited P-glycoprotein-mediated ATP hydrolysis under concentrations of P-glycoprotein. These results suggested that demethoxycurcumin may be a potential additive natural product in combination with chemotherapeutic agents in drug-resistant cancers.

  19. Transcriptional profiling of the pea shoot apical meristem reveals processes underlying its function and maintenance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Singh Mohan B

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the importance of the shoot apical meristem (SAM in plant development and organ formation, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling its function is limited. Genomic tools have the potential to unravel the molecular mysteries of the SAM, and legume systems are increasingly being used in plant-development studies owing to their unique characteristics such as nitrogen fixation, secondary metabolism, and pod development. Garden pea (Pisum sativum is a well-established classic model species for genetics studies that has been used since the Mendel era. In addition, the availability of a plethora of developmental mutants makes pea an ideal crop legume for genomics studies. This study aims to utilise genomics tools in isolating genes that play potential roles in the regulation of SAM activity. Results In order to identify genes that are differentially expressed in the SAM, we generated 2735 ESTs from three cDNA libraries derived from freshly micro-dissected SAMs from 10-day-old garden peas (Pisum sativum cv Torsdag. Custom-designed oligonucleotide arrays were used to compare the transcriptional profiles of pea SAMs and non-meristematic tissues. A total of 184 and 175 transcripts were significantly up- or down-regulated in the pea SAM, respectively. As expected, close to 61% of the transcripts down-regulated in the SAM were found in the public database, whereas sequences from the same source only comprised 12% of the genes that were expressed at higher levels in the SAM. This highlights the under-representation of transcripts from the meristematic tissues in the current public pea protein database, and demonstrates the utility of our SAM EST collection as an essential genetic resource for revealing further information on the regulation of this developmental process. In addition to unknowns, many of the up-regulated transcripts are known to encode products associated with cell division and proliferation

  20. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals use distinct mechanisms of action to modulate endocrine system function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henley, Derek V; Korach, Kenneth S

    2006-06-01

    The term endocrine-disrupting chemicals is used to define a structurally diverse class of synthetic and natural compounds that possess the ability to alter various components of the endocrine system and potentially induce adverse health effects in exposed individuals and populations. Research on these compounds has revealed that they use a variety of both nuclear receptor-mediated and non-receptor-mediated mechanisms to modulate different components of the endocrine system. This review will describe in vitro and in vivo studies that highlight the spectrum of unique mechanisms of action and biological effects of four endocrine-disrupting chemicals--diethylstilbestrol, genistein, di(n-butyl)phthalate, and methoxyacetic acid--to illustrate the diverse and complex nature of this class of compounds.

  1. Sarcolemmal ATP-sensitive potassium channels modulate skeletal muscle function under low-intensity workloads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zhiyong; Sierra, Ana; Burnett, Colin M-L; Chen, Biyi; Subbotina, Ekaterina; Koganti, Siva Rama Krishna; Gao, Zhan; Wu, Yuejin; Anderson, Mark E; Song, Long-Sheng; Goldhamer, David J; Coetzee, William A; Hodgson-Zingman, Denice M; Zingman, Leonid V

    2014-01-01

    ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels have the unique ability to adjust membrane excitability and functions in accordance with the metabolic status of the cell. Skeletal muscles are primary sites of activity-related energy consumption and have KATP channels expressed in very high density. Previously, we demonstrated that transgenic mice with skeletal muscle-specific disruption of KATP channel function consume more energy than wild-type littermates. However, how KATP channel activation modulates skeletal muscle resting and action potentials under physiological conditions, particularly low-intensity workloads, and how this can be translated to muscle energy expenditure are yet to be determined. Here, we developed a technique that allows evaluation of skeletal muscle excitability in situ, with minimal disruption of the physiological environment. Isometric twitching of the tibialis anterior muscle at 1 Hz was used as a model of low-intensity physical activity in mice with normal and genetically disrupted KATP channel function. This workload was sufficient to induce KATP channel opening, resulting in membrane hyperpolarization as well as reduction in action potential overshoot and duration. Loss of KATP channel function resulted in increased calcium release and aggravated activity-induced heat production. Thus, this study identifies low-intensity workload as a trigger for opening skeletal muscle KATP channels and establishes that this coupling is important for regulation of myocyte function and thermogenesis. These mechanisms may provide a foundation for novel strategies to combat metabolic derangements when energy conservation or dissipation is required.

  2. PYK10 myrosinase reveals a functional coordination between endoplasmic reticulum bodies and glucosinolates in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Ryohei T; Piślewska-Bednarek, Mariola; Yamada, Kenji; Edger, Patrick P; Miyahara, Mado; Kondo, Maki; Böttcher, Christoph; Mori, Masashi; Nishimura, Mikio; Schulze-Lefert, Paul; Hara-Nishimura, Ikuko; Bednarek, Paweł

    2017-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum body (ER body) is an organelle derived from the ER that occurs in only three families of the order Brassicales and is suggested to be involved in plant defense. ER bodies in Arabidopsis thaliana contain large amounts of β-glucosidases, but the physiological functions of ER bodies and these enzymes remain largely unclear. Here we show that PYK10, the most abundant β-glucosidase in A. thaliana root ER bodies, hydrolyzes indole glucosinolates (IGs) in addition to the previously reported in vitro substrate scopolin. We found a striking co-expression between ER body-related genes (including PYK10), glucosinolate biosynthetic genes and the genes for so-called specifier proteins affecting the terminal products of myrosinase-mediated glucosinolate metabolism, indicating that these systems have been integrated into a common transcriptional network. Consistent with this, comparative metabolite profiling utilizing a number of A. thaliana relatives within Brassicaceae identified a clear phylogenetic co-occurrence between ER bodies and IGs, but not between ER bodies and scopolin. Collectively, our findings suggest a functional link between ER bodies and glucosinolate metabolism in planta. In addition, in silico three-dimensional modeling, combined with phylogenomic analysis, suggests that PYK10 represents a clade of 16 myrosinases that arose independently from the other well-documented class of six thioglucoside glucohydrolases. These findings provide deeper insights into how glucosinolates are metabolized in cruciferous plants and reveal variation of the myrosinase-glucosinolate system within individual plants. © 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Structures of mesophilic and extremophilic citrate synthases reveal rigidity and flexibility for function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Stephen A; Crennell, Susan J; Danson, Michael J

    2014-10-01

    Citrate synthase (CS) catalyses the entry of carbon into the citric acid cycle and is highly-conserved structurally across the tree of life. Crystal structures of dimeric CSs are known in both "open" and "closed" forms, which differ by a substantial domain motion that closes the substrate-binding clefts. We explore both the static rigidity and the dynamic flexibility of CS structures from mesophilic and extremophilic organisms from all three evolutionary domains. The computational expense of this wide-ranging exploration is kept to a minimum by the use of rigidity analysis and rapid all-atom simulations of flexible motion, combining geometric simulation and elastic network modeling. CS structures from thermophiles display increased structural rigidity compared with the mesophilic enzyme. A CS structure from a psychrophile, stabilized by strong ionic interactions, appears to display likewise increased rigidity in conventional rigidity analysis; however, a novel modified analysis, taking into account the weakening of the hydrophobic effect at low temperatures, shows a more appropriate decreased rigidity. These rigidity variations do not, however, affect the character of the flexible dynamics, which are well conserved across all the structures studied. Simulation trajectories not only duplicate the crystallographically observed symmetric open-to-closed transitions, but also identify motions describing a previously unidentified antisymmetric functional motion. This antisymmetric motion would not be directly observed in crystallography but is revealed as an intrinsic property of the CS structure by modeling of flexible motion. This suggests that the functional motion closing the binding clefts in CS may be independent rather than symmetric and cooperative.

  4. Mutation of Growth Arrest Specific 8 Reveals a Role in Motile Cilia Function and Human Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley R Lewis

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Ciliopathies are genetic disorders arising from dysfunction of microtubule-based cellular appendages called cilia. Different cilia types possess distinct stereotypic microtubule doublet arrangements with non-motile or 'primary' cilia having a 9+0 and motile cilia have a 9+2 array of microtubule doublets. Primary cilia are critical sensory and signaling centers needed for normal mammalian development. Defects in their structure/function result in a spectrum of clinical and developmental pathologies including abnormal neural tube and limb patterning. Altered patterning phenotypes in the limb and neural tube are due to perturbations in the hedgehog (Hh signaling pathway. Motile cilia are important in fluid movement and defects in motility result in chronic respiratory infections, altered left-right asymmetry, and infertility. These features are the hallmarks of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, OMIM 244400. While mutations in several genes are associated with PCD in patients and animal models, the genetic lesion in many cases is unknown. We assessed the in vivo functions of Growth Arrest Specific 8 (GAS8. GAS8 shares strong sequence similarity with the Chlamydomonas Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (NDRC protein 4 (DRC4 where it is needed for proper flagella motility. In mammalian cells, the GAS8 protein localizes not only to the microtubule axoneme of motile cilia, but also to the base of non-motile cilia. Gas8 was recently implicated in the Hh signaling pathway as a regulator of Smoothened trafficking into the cilium. Here, we generate the first mouse with a Gas8 mutation and show that it causes severe PCD phenotypes; however, there were no overt Hh pathway phenotypes. In addition, we identified two human patients with missense variants in Gas8. Rescue experiments in Chlamydomonas revealed a subtle defect in swim velocity compared to controls. Further experiments using CRISPR/Cas9 homology driven repair (HDR to generate one of these human missense

  5. Function of cancer associated genes revealed by modern univariate and multivariate association tests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malka Gorfine

    Full Text Available Copy number variation (CNV plays a role in pathogenesis of many human diseases, especially cancer. Several whole genome CNV association studies have been performed for the purpose of identifying cancer associated CNVs. Here we undertook a novel approach to whole genome CNV analysis, with the goal being identification of associations between CNV of different genes (CNV-CNV across 60 human cancer cell lines. We hypothesize that these associations point to the roles of the associated genes in cancer, and can be indicators of their position in gene networks of cancer-driving processes. Recent studies show that gene associations are often non-linear and non-monotone. In order to obtain a more complete picture of all CNV associations, we performed omnibus univariate analysis by utilizing dCov, MIC, and HHG association tests, which are capable of detecting any type of association, including non-monotone relationships. For comparison we used Spearman and Pearson association tests, which detect only linear or monotone relationships. Application of dCov, MIC and HHG tests resulted in identification of twice as many associations compared to those found by Spearman and Pearson alone. Interestingly, most of the new associations were detected by the HHG test. Next, we utilized dCov's and HHG's ability to perform multivariate analysis. We tested for association between genes of unknown function and known cancer-related pathways. Our results indicate that multivariate analysis is much more effective than univariate analysis for the purpose of ascribing biological roles to genes of unknown function. We conclude that a combination of multivariate and univariate omnibus association tests can reveal significant information about gene networks of disease-driving processes. These methods can be applied to any large gene or pathway dataset, allowing more comprehensive analysis of biological processes.

  6. Biphenyl Modulates the Expression and Function of Respiratory Oxidases in the Polychlorinated-Biphenyls Degrader Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes KF707

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    Federica Sandri

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes KF707 is a soil bacterium which is known for its capacity to aerobically degrade harmful organic compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs using biphenyl as co-metabolite. Here we provide the first genetic and functional analysis of the KF707 respiratory terminal oxidases in cells grown with two different carbon sources: glucose and biphenyl. We identified five terminal oxidases in KF707: two c(caa3 type oxidases (Caa3 and Ccaa3, two cbb3 type oxidases (Cbb31 and Cbb32, and one bd type cyanide-insensitive quinol oxidase (CIO. While the activity and expression of both Cbb31 and Cbb32 oxidases was prevalent in glucose grown cells as compared to the other oxidases, the activity and expression of the Caa3 oxidase increased considerably only when biphenyl was used as carbon source in contrast to the Cbb32 oxidase which was repressed. Further, the respiratory activity and expression of CIO was up-regulated in a Cbb31 deletion strain as compared to W.T. whereas the CIO up-regulation was not present in Cbb32 and C(caa3 deletion mutants. These results, together, reveal that both function and expression of cbb3 and caa3 type oxidases in KF707 are modulated by biphenyl which is the co-metabolite needed for the activation of the PCBs-degradation pathway.

  7. Tomato GOLDEN2-LIKE transcription factors reveal molecular gradients that function during fruit development and ripening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Cuong V; Vrebalov, Julia T; Gapper, Nigel E; Zheng, Yi; Zhong, Silin; Fei, Zhangjun; Giovannoni, James J

    2014-02-01

    Fruit ripening is the summation of changes rendering fleshy fruit tissues attractive and palatable to seed dispersing organisms. For example, sugar content is influenced by plastid numbers and photosynthetic activity in unripe fruit and later by starch and sugar catabolism during ripening. Tomato fruit are sinks of photosynthate, yet unripe green fruit contribute significantly to the sugars that ultimately accumulate in the ripe fruit. Plastid numbers and chlorophyll content are influenced by numerous environmental and genetic factors and are positively correlated with photosynthesis and photosynthate accumulation. GOLDEN2-LIKE (GLK) transcription factors regulate plastid and chlorophyll levels. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), like most plants, contains two GLKs (i.e., GLK1 and GLK2/UNIFORM). Mutant and transgene analysis demonstrated that these genes encode functionally similar peptides, though differential expression renders GLK1 more important in leaves, while GLK2 is predominant in fruit. A latitudinal gradient of GLK2 expression influences the typical uneven coloration of green and ripe wild-type fruit. Transcriptome profiling revealed a broader fruit gene expression gradient throughout development. The gradient influenced general ripening activities beyond plastid development and was consistent with the easily observed yet poorly studied ripening gradient present in tomato and many fleshy fruits.

  8. Proteomic analysis reveals a novel function of the kinase Sat4p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria.

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    Uta Gey

    Full Text Available The Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinase Sat4p has been originally identified as a protein involved in salt tolerance and stabilization of plasma membrane transporters, implicating a cytoplasmic localization. Our study revealed an additional mitochondrial (mt localization, suggesting a dual function for Sat4p. While no mt related phenotype was observed in the absence of Sat4p, its overexpression resulted in significant changes of a specific mitochondrial subproteome. As shown by a comparative two dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE approach combined with mass spectrometry, particularly two groups of proteins were affected: the iron-sulfur containing aconitase-type proteins (Aco1p, Lys4p and the lipoamide-containing subproteome (Lat1p, Kgd2p and Gcv3p. The lipoylation sites of all three proteins could be assigned by nanoLC-MS/MS to Lys75 (Lat1p, Lys114 (Kgd2p and Lys102 (Gcv3p, respectively. Sat4p overexpression resulted in accumulation of the delipoylated protein variants and in reduced levels of aconitase-type proteins, accompanied by a decrease in the activities of the respective enzyme complexes. We propose a regulatory role of Sat4p in the late steps of the maturation of a specific subset of mitochondrial iron-sulfur cluster proteins, including Aco1p and lipoate synthase Lip5p. Impairment of the latter enzyme may account for the observed lipoylation defects.

  9. Histone-DNA contacts in structure/function relationships of nucleosomes as revealed by crosslinking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Usachenko, S.I. [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Bradbury, E.M. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). Life Science Div.]|[Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    1998-12-31

    The magnitude of the problem of understanding the structure/function relationships of eukaryotic chromosomes can be appreciated from the fact that the human diploid genome contains more than 2 meters of DNA packaged into 46 chromosomes, each at metaphase being several microns in length. Each chromatid of a chromosome contains a single DNA molecule several centimeters in length. In addition to the DNA, chromosomes contain an equal weight of histones and an equal weight of non-histone chromosomal proteins. These histones are the major chromosomal structural proteins. The non-histone chromosomal proteins are involved in the DNA processes of transcription and replication, in chromosome organization and in nuclear architecture. Polytene chromosomes with their bands and interbands and puffs of active genetic loci provide visual evidence for long range order as do the bands and interbands of mammalian metaphase chromosomes. The gentle removal of histones and all but the most tightly bound 2--3% of non-histone proteins from metaphase chromosomes revealed by electron microscopy a residual protein scaffold constraining a halo of DNA loops extending out from the scaffold.

  10. Context differences reveal insulator and activator functions of a Su(Hw binding region.

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    Alexey A Soshnev

    Full Text Available Insulators are DNA elements that divide chromosomes into independent transcriptional domains. The Drosophila genome contains hundreds of binding sites for the Suppressor of Hairy-wing [Su(Hw] insulator protein, corresponding to locations of the retroviral gypsy insulator and non-gypsy binding regions (BRs. The first non-gypsy BR identified, 1A-2, resides in cytological region 1A. Using a quantitative transgene system, we show that 1A-2 is a composite insulator containing enhancer blocking and facilitator elements. We discovered that 1A-2 separates the yellow (y gene from a previously unannotated, non-coding RNA gene, named yar for y-achaete (ac intergenic RNA. The role of 1A-2 was elucidated using homologous recombination to excise these sequences from the natural location, representing the first deletion of any Su(Hw BR in the genome. Loss of 1A-2 reduced yar RNA accumulation, without affecting mRNA levels from the neighboring y and ac genes. These data indicate that within the 1A region, 1A-2 acts an activator of yar transcription. Taken together, these studies reveal that the properties of 1A-2 are context-dependent, as this element has both insulator and enhancer activities. These findings imply that the function of non-gypsy Su(Hw BRs depends on the genomic environment, predicting that Su(Hw BRs represent a diverse collection of genomic regulatory elements.

  11. Structure of the Spt16 Middle Domain Reveals Functional Features of the Histone Chaperone FACT*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemble, David J.; Whitby, Frank G.; Robinson, Howard; McCullough, Laura L.; Formosa, Tim; Hill, Christopher P.

    2013-01-01

    The histone chaperone FACT is an essential and abundant heterodimer found in all eukaryotes. Here we report a crystal structure of the middle domain of the large subunit of FACT (Spt16-M) to reveal a double pleckstrin homology architecture. This structure was found previously in the Pob3-M domain of the small subunit of FACT and in the related histone chaperone Rtt106, although Spt16-M is distinguished from these structures by the presence of an extended α-helix and a C-terminal addition. Consistent with our finding that the double pleckstrin homology structure is common to these three histone chaperones and reports that Pob3 and Rtt106 double pleckstrin homology domains bind histones H3-H4, we also find that Spt16-M binds H3-H4 with low micromolar affinity. Our structure provides a framework for interpreting a large body of genetic data regarding the physiological functions of FACT, including the identification of potential interaction surfaces for binding histones or other proteins. PMID:23417676

  12. Structure-function characterization reveals new catalytic diversity in the galactose oxidase and glyoxal oxidase family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, DeLu Tyler; Urresti, Saioa; Lafond, Mickael; Johnston, Esther M; Derikvand, Fatemeh; Ciano, Luisa; Berrin, Jean-Guy; Henrissat, Bernard; Walton, Paul H; Davies, Gideon J; Brumer, Harry

    2015-12-18

    Alcohol oxidases, including carbohydrate oxidases, have a long history of research that has generated fundamental biological understanding and biotechnological applications. Despite a long history of study, the galactose 6-oxidase/glyoxal oxidase family of mononuclear copper-radical oxidases, Auxiliary Activity Family 5 (AA5), is currently represented by only very few characterized members. Here we report the recombinant production and detailed structure-function analyses of two homologues from the phytopathogenic fungi Colletotrichum graminicola and C. gloeosporioides, CgrAlcOx and CglAlcOx, respectively, to explore the wider biocatalytic potential in AA5. EPR spectroscopy and crystallographic analysis confirm a common active-site structure vis-à-vis the archetypal galactose 6-oxidase from Fusarium graminearum. Strikingly, however, CgrAlcOx and CglAlcOx are essentially incapable of oxidizing galactose and galactosides, but instead efficiently catalyse the oxidation of diverse aliphatic alcohols. The results highlight the significant potential of prospecting the evolutionary diversity of AA5 to reveal novel enzyme specificities, thereby informing both biology and applications.

  13. X-ray CT Scanning Reveals Long-Term Copper Pollution Effects on Functional Soil Structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naveed, Muhammad; Møldrup, Per; Homstrup, Martin

    Soil structure plays the main role in the ability of the soil to fulfill essential soil functions such as the root growth, rate of water infiltration and retention, transport of gaseous and chemicals/pollutants through the soil. Soil structure is a dynamic soil property and affected by various...... factors such as soil type, land use, and soil contamination. In this study, we quantified the soil structure using X-ray CT scanning and revealed the effect of a long history of Copper (Cu) pollution on it. A fallow field at Hygum Denmark provides this opportunity as it had a long history of Copper...... sulphate contamination in a gradient with Cu content varies from 21 mg kg-1 to 3837 mg kg-1. Total 20 intact soil columns (diameter of 10 cm and height of 8 cm) were sampled at five locations along the Cu-gradient from a depth of 5 to 15 cm below surface level. The soil columns were scanned at a voxel...

  14. Characterization of the Drosophila Atlastin Interactome Reveals VCP as a Functionally Related Interactor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Niamh C.O'Sullivan; Nina Dr(a)ger; Cahir J.O'Kane

    2013-01-01

    At least 25 genes,many involved in trafficking,localisation or shaping of membrane organelles,have been identified as causative genes for the neurodegenerative disorder hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP).One of the most commonly mutated HSP genes,atlastin-1,encodes a dynamin-like GTPase that mediates homotypic fusion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes.However,the molecular mechanisms of atlastin-l-related membrane fusion and axonopathy remain unclear.To better understand its mode of action,we used affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry to identify protein interactors of atlastin in Drosophila.Analysis of 72 identified proteins revealed that the atlastin interactome contains many proteins involved in protein processing and transport,in addition to proteins with roles in mRNA binding,metabolism and mitochondrial proteins.The highest confidence interactor from mass spectrometry analysis,the ubiquitin-selective AAA-ATPase valosin-containing protein (VCP),was validated as an atlastin-interacting protein,and VCP and atlastin showed overlapping subcellular distributions.Furthermore,VCP acted as a genetic modifier of atlastin:loss of VCP partially suppressed an eye phenotype caused by atlastin overexpression,whereas overexpression of VCP enhanced this phenotype.These interactions between atlastin and VCP suggest a functional relationship between these two proteins,and point to potential shared mechanisms between HSP and other forms of neurodegeneration.

  15. The Biological Function of the Prion Protein: A Cell Surface Scaffold of Signaling Modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linden, Rafael

    2017-01-01

    The prion glycoprotein (PrPC) is mostly located at the cell surface, tethered to the plasma membrane through a glycosyl-phosphatydil inositol (GPI) anchor. Misfolding of PrPC is associated with the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), whereas its normal conformer serves as a receptor for oligomers of the β-amyloid peptide, which play a major role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). PrPC is highly expressed in both the nervous and immune systems, as well as in other organs, but its functions are controversial. Extensive experimental work disclosed multiple physiological roles of PrPC at the molecular, cellular and systemic levels, affecting the homeostasis of copper, neuroprotection, stem cell renewal and memory mechanisms, among others. Often each such process has been heralded as the bona fide function of PrPC, despite restricted attention paid to a selected phenotypic trait, associated with either modulation of gene expression or to the engagement of PrPC with a single ligand. In contrast, the GPI-anchored prion protein was shown to bind several extracellular and transmembrane ligands, which are required to endow that protein with the ability to play various roles in transmembrane signal transduction. In addition, differing sets of those ligands are available in cell type- and context-dependent scenarios. To account for such properties, we proposed that PrPC serves as a dynamic platform for the assembly of signaling modules at the cell surface, with widespread consequences for both physiology and behavior. The current review advances the hypothesis that the biological function of the prion protein is that of a cell surface scaffold protein, based on the striking similarities of its functional properties with those of scaffold proteins involved in the organization of intracellular signal transduction pathways. Those properties are: the ability to recruit spatially restricted sets of binding molecules involved in specific signaling

  16. The generalized equivalent uniform dose function as a basis for intensity-modulated treatment planning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choi Beong; Deasy, Joseph O. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis, MO (United States)]. E-mail: deasy@castor.wustl.edu

    2002-10-21

    The efficiency of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning depends critically on the presence or absence of multiple local minima in the feasible search space. We analyse the convexity of the generalized equivalent uniform dose equation (Niemierko A 1999 Med. Phys. 26 1100) when used either in the objective function or in the constraints. The practical importance of this analysis is that convex objective functions minimized over convex feasibility spaces do not have multiple local minima; likewise for concave objective functions maximized over convex feasibility spaces. Both of these situations are referred to as 'convex problems' and computationally efficient local search methods can be used for their solution. We also show that the Poisson-based tumour control probability objective function is strictly concave (if one neglects inter-patient heterogeneity), and hence it implies a single local minimum if maximized over a convex feasibility space. Even when including inter-patient heterogeneity, multiple local minima, although theoretically possible, are expected to be of minimal concern. The generalized equivalent uniform dose function (EUD{sub a}) is proved to be convex or concave depending on its only parameter a: when a is equal to or greater than 1, minimizing EUD{sub a} on a convex feasibility space leads to a single minimum; when a is less than 1, maximizing EUD{sub a} on a convex feasibility space leads to a single minimum. We also study a recently proposed practical, yet difficult, IMRT treatment planning formulation: unconstrained optimization of the objective function proposed by Wu et al (2002 Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 52 224-35), which is expressed in terms of the EUD{sub a} for the target and normal tissues. This formulation may theoretically lead to multiple local minima. We propose a procedure for improving resulting solutions based on the convexity properties of the underlying objective function terms

  17. The generalized equivalent uniform dose function as a basis for intensity-modulated treatment planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Beong; Deasy, Joseph O.

    2002-10-01

    The efficiency of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning depends critically on the presence or absence of multiple local minima in the feasible search space. We analyse the convexity of the generalized equivalent uniform dose equation (Niemierko A 1999 Med. Phys. 26 1100) when used either in the objective function or in the constraints. The practical importance of this analysis is that convex objective functions minimized over convex feasibility spaces do not have multiple local minima; likewise for concave objective functions maximized over convex feasibility spaces. Both of these situations are referred to as 'convex problems' and computationally efficient local search methods can be used for their solution. We also show that the Poisson-based tumour control probability objective function is strictly concave (if one neglects inter-patient heterogeneity), and hence it implies a single local minimum if maximized over a convex feasibility space. Even when including inter-patient heterogeneity, multiple local minima, although theoretically possible, are expected to be of minimal concern. The generalized equivalent uniform dose function (EUDa) is proved to be convex or concave depending on its only parameter a: when a is equal to or greater than 1, minimizing EUDa on a convex feasibility space leads to a single minimum; when a is less than 1, maximizing EUDa on a convex feasibility space leads to a single minimum. We also study a recently proposed practical, yet difficult, IMRT treatment planning formulation: unconstrained optimization of the objective function proposed by Wu et al (2002 Int. J. Radiat. Oncol. Biol. Phys. 52 224-35), which is expressed in terms of the EUDa for the target and normal tissues. This formulation may theoretically lead to multiple local minima. We propose a procedure for improving resulting solutions based on the convexity properties of the underlying objective function terms.

  18. Roles of estrogen and progesterone in modulating renal nerve function in the rat kidney

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.B. Graceli

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The maintenance of extracellular Na+ and Cl- concentrations in mammals depends, at least in part, on renal function. It has been shown that neural and endocrine mechanisms regulate extracellular fluid volume and transport of electrolytes along nephrons. Studies of sex hormones and renal nerves suggested that sex hormones modulate renal function, although this relationship is not well understood in the kidney. To better understand the role of these hormones on the effects that renal nerves have on Na+ and Cl- reabsorption, we studied the effects of renal denervation and oophorectomy in female rats. Oophorectomized (OVX rats received 17β-estradiol benzoate (OVE, 2.0 mg·kg-1·day-1, sc and progesterone (OVP, 1.7 mg·kg-1·day-1, sc. We assessed Na+ and Cl- fractional excretion (FENa+ and FECl- , respectively and renal and plasma catecholamine release concentrations. FENa+ , FECl- , water intake, urinary flow, and renal and plasma catecholamine release levels increased in OVX vs control rats. These effects were reversed by 17β-estradiol benzoate but not by progesterone. Renal denervation did not alter FENa+ , FECl- , water intake, or urinary flow values vs controls. However, the renal catecholamine release level was decreased in the OVP (236.6±36.1 ng/g and denervated rat groups (D: 102.1±15.7; ODE: 108.7±23.2; ODP: 101.1±22.1 ng/g. Furthermore, combining OVX + D (OD: 111.9±25.4 decreased renal catecholamine release levels compared to either treatment alone. OVE normalized and OVP reduced renal catecholamine release levels, and the effects on plasma catecholamine release levels were reversed by ODE and ODP replacement in OD. These data suggest that progesterone may influence catecholamine release levels by renal innervation and that there are complex interactions among renal nerves, estrogen, and progesterone in the modulation of renal