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Sample records for gene nt4-ant-shepherdin induce

  1. Clostridium botulinum strains producing BoNT/F4 or BoNT/F5.

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    Raphael, Brian H; Bradshaw, Marite; Kalb, Suzanne R; Joseph, Lavin A; Lúquez, Carolina; Barr, John R; Johnson, Eric A; Maslanka, Susan E

    2014-05-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin type F (BoNT/F) may be produced by Clostridium botulinum alone or in combination with another toxin type such as BoNT/A or BoNT/B. Type F neurotoxin gene sequences have been further classified into seven toxin subtypes. Recently, the genome sequence of one strain of C. botulinum (Af84) was shown to contain three neurotoxin genes (bont/F4, bont/F5, and bont/A2). In this study, eight strains containing bont/F4 and seven strains containing bont/F5 were examined. Culture supernatants produced by these strains were incubated with BoNT/F-specific peptide substrates. Cleavage products of these peptides were subjected to mass spectral analysis, allowing detection of the BoNT/F subtypes present in the culture supernatants. PCR analysis demonstrated that a plasmid-specific marker (PL-6) was observed only among strains containing bont/F5. Among these strains, Southern hybridization revealed the presence of an approximately 242-kb plasmid harboring bont/F5. Genome sequencing of four of these strains revealed that the genomic backgrounds of strains harboring either bont/F4 or bont/F5 are diverse. None of the strains analyzed in this study were shown to produce BoNT/F4 and BoNT/F5 simultaneously, suggesting that strain Af84 is unusual. Finally, these data support a role for the mobility of a bont/F5-carrying plasmid among strains of diverse genomic backgrounds.

  2. Involvement of the putative Ca²⁺-permeable mechanosensitive channels, NtMCA1 and NtMCA2, in Ca²⁺ uptake, Ca²⁺-dependent cell proliferation and mechanical stress-induced gene expression in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) BY-2 cells.

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    Kurusu, Takamitsu; Yamanaka, Takuya; Nakano, Masataka; Takiguchi, Akiko; Ogasawara, Yoko; Hayashi, Teruyuki; Iida, Kazuko; Hanamata, Shigeru; Shinozaki, Kazuo; Iida, Hidetoshi; Kuchitsu, Kazuyuki

    2012-07-01

    To gain insight into the cellular functions of the mid1-complementing activity (MCA) family proteins, encoding putative Ca²⁺-permeable mechanosensitive channels, we isolated two MCA homologs of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) BY-2 cells, named NtMCA1 and NtMCA2. NtMCA1 and NtMCA2 partially complemented the lethality and Ca²⁺ uptake defects of yeast mutants lacking mechanosensitive Ca²⁺ channel components. Furthermore, in yeast cells overexpressing NtMCA1 and NtMCA2, the hypo-osmotic shock-induced Ca²⁺ influx was enhanced. Overexpression of NtMCA1 or NtMCA2 in BY-2 cells enhanced Ca²⁺ uptake, and significantly alleviated growth inhibition under Ca²⁺ limitation. NtMCA1-overexpressing BY-2 cells showed higher sensitivity to hypo-osmotic shock than control cells, and induced the expression of the touch-inducible gene, NtERF4. We found that both NtMCA1-GFP and NtMCA2-GFP were localized at the plasma membrane and its interface with the cell wall, Hechtian strands, and at the cell plate and perinuclear vesicles of dividing cells. NtMCA2 transcript levels fluctuated during the cell cycle and were highest at the G1 phase. These results suggest that NtMCA1 and NtMCA2 play roles in Ca²⁺-dependent cell proliferation and mechanical stress-induced gene expression in BY-2 cells, by regulating the Ca²⁺ influx through the plasma membrane.

  3. Transcriptional coactivator NT-PGC-1α promotes gluconeogenic gene expression and enhances hepatic gluconeogenesis.

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    Chang, Ji Suk; Jun, Hee-Jin; Park, Minsung

    2016-10-01

    The transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α plays a central role in hepatic gluconeogenesis. We previously reported that alternative splicing of the PGC-1α gene produces an additional transcript encoding the truncated protein NT-PGC-1α NT-PGC-1α is co-expressed with PGC-1α and highly induced by fasting in the liver. NT-PGC-1α regulates tissue-specific metabolism, but its role in the liver has not been investigated. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the role of hepatic NT-PGC-1α in the regulation of gluconeogenesis. Adenovirus-mediated expression of NT-PGC-1α in primary hepatocytes strongly stimulated the expression of key gluconeogenic enzyme genes (PEPCK and G6Pase), leading to increased glucose production. To further understand NT-PGC-1α function in hepatic gluconeogenesis in vivo, we took advantage of a previously reported FL-PGC-1α -/- mouse line that lacks full-length PGC-1α (FL-PGC-1α) but retains a slightly shorter and functionally equivalent form of NT-PGC-1α (NT-PGC-1α 254 ). In FL-PGC-1α -/- mice, NT-PGC-1α 254 was induced by fasting in the liver and recruited to the promoters of PEPCK and G6Pase genes. The enrichment of NT-PGC-1α 254 at the promoters was closely associated with fasting-induced increase in PEPCK and G6Pase gene expression and efficient production of glucose from pyruvate during a pyruvate tolerance test in FL-PGC-1α -/- mice. Moreover, FL-PGC-1α -/- primary hepatocytes showed a significant increase in gluconeogenic gene expression and glucose production after treatment with dexamethasone and forskolin, suggesting that NT-PGC-1α 254 is sufficient to stimulate the gluconeogenic program in the absence of FL-PGC-1α Collectively, our findings highlight the role of hepatic NT-PGC-1α in stimulating gluconeogenic gene expression and glucose production. © 2016 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.

  4. Hypertension-Related Gene Polymorphisms of G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 4 Are Associated with NT-proBNP Concentration in Normotensive Healthy Adults

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    Junichi Yatabe

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available G protein-coupled receptor kinase 4 (GRK4 with activating polymorphisms desensitize the natriuric renal tubular D1 dopamine receptor, and these GRK4 polymorphisms are strongly associated with salt sensitivity and hypertension. Meanwhile, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP may be useful in detecting slight volume expansion. However, relations between hypertension-related gene polymorphisms including GRK4 and cardiovascular indices such as NT-proBNP are not clear, especially in healthy subjects. Therefore, various hypertension-related polymorphisms and cardiovascular indices were analyzed in 97 normotensive, healthy Japanese adults. NT-proBNP levels were significantly higher in subjects with two or more GRK4 polymorphic alleles. Other hypertension-related gene polymorphisms, such as those of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system genes, did not correlate with NT-proBNP. There was no significant association between any of the hypertension-related gene polymorphisms and central systolic blood pressure, cardioankle vascular index, augmentation index, plasma aldosterone concentration, or an oxidative stress marker, urinary 8-OHdG. Normotensive individuals with GRK4 polymorphisms show increased serum NT-proBNP concentration and may be at a greater risk of developing hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

  5. Purine restriction induces pronounced translational upregulation of the NT1 adenosine/pyrimidine nucleoside transporter in Leishmania major.

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    Ortiz, Diana; Valdés, Raquel; Sanchez, Marco A; Hayenga, Johanna; Elya, Carolyn; Detke, Siegfried; Landfear, Scott M

    2010-10-01

    Leishmania and other parasitic protozoa are unable to synthesize purines de novo and are reliant upon purine nucleoside and nucleobase transporters to import preformed purines from their hosts. To study the roles of the four purine permeases NT1-NT4 in Leishmania major, null mutants in each transporter gene were prepared and the effect of each gene deletion on purine uptake was monitored. Deletion of the NT3 purine nucleobase transporter gene or both NT3 and the NT2 nucleoside transporter gene resulted in pronounced upregulation of adenosine and uridine uptake mediated by the NT1 permease and also induced up to a 200-fold enhancement in the level of the NT1 protein but not mRNA. A similar level of upregulation of NT1 was achieved in wild-type promastigotes that were transferred to medium deficient in purines. Pulse labelling and treatment of cells with the translation inhibitor cycloheximide revealed that control of NT1 expression occurs primarily at the level of translation and not protein turnover. These observations imply the existence of a translational control mechanism that enhances the ability of Leishmania parasites to import essential purines when they are present at limiting concentrations. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Differential effects of BDNF and neurotrophin 4 (NT4) on endocytic sorting of TrkB receptors.

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    Proenca, Catia C; Song, Minseok; Lee, Francis S

    2016-08-01

    Neurotrophins are a family of growth factors playing key roles in the survival, development, and function of neurons. The neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and NT4 both bind to and activate TrkB receptors, however, they mediate distinct neuronal functions. The molecular mechanism of how TrkB activation by BDNF and NT4 leads to diverse outcomes is unknown. Here, we report that BDNF and NT4 lead to differential endocytic sorting of TrkB receptors resulting in diverse biological functions in cultured cortical neurons. Fluorescent microscopy and surface biotinylation experiments showed that both neurotrophins stimulate internalization of TrkB with similar kinetics. Exposure to BDNF for 2-3 h reduced the surface pool of TrkB receptors to half, whereas a longer treatment (4-5 h) with NT4 was necessary to achieve a similar level of down-regulation. Although BDNF and NT4 induced TrkB phosphorylation with similar intensities, BDNF induced more rapid ubiquitination and degradation of TrkB than NT4. Interestingly, TrkB receptor ubiquitination by these ligands have substantially different pH sensitivities, resulting in varying degrees of receptor ubiquitination at lower pH levels. Consequently, NT4 was capable of maintaining longer sustained downstream signaling activation that correlated with reduced TrkB ubiquitination at endosomal pH. Thus, by leading to altered endocytic trafficking itineraries for TrkB receptors, BDNF and NT4 elicit differential TrkB signaling in terms of duration, intensity, and specificity, which may contribute to their functional differences in vivo. The neurotrophins, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-4 (NT4), both bind to and activate TrkB receptors, however, they mediate distinct neuronal functions. Here, we propose that BDNF and NT4 lead to differential endocytic sorting of TrkB receptors resulting in diverse biological functions. BDNF induces more rapid ubiquitination and degradation of TrkB than NT4

  7. Overexpression of NtPR-Q Up-Regulates Multiple Defense-Related Genes in Nicotiana tabacum and Enhances Plant Resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum

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    Yuanman Tang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Various classes of plant pathogenesis-related proteins have been identified in the past several decades. PR-Q, a member of the PR3 family encoding chitinases, has played an important role in regulating plant resistance and preventing pathogen infection. In this paper, we functionally characterized NtPR-Q in tobacco plants and found that the overexpression of NtPR-Q in tobacco Yunyan87 resulted in higher resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum inoculation. Surprisingly, overexpression of NtPR-Q led to the activation of many defense-related genes, such as salicylic acid (SA-responsive genes NtPR1a/c, NtPR2 and NtCHN50, JA-responsive gene NtPR1b and ET production-associated genes NtACC Oxidase and NtEFE26. Consistent with the role of NtPR-Q in multiple stress responses, NtPR-Q transcripts were induced by the exogenous hormones SA, ethylene and methyl jasmonate, which could enhance the resistance of tobacco to R. solanacearum. Collectively, our results suggested that NtPR-Q overexpression led to the up-regulation of defense-related genes and enhanced plant resistance to R. solanacearum infection.

  8. Purine Restriction Induces Pronounced Translational Upregulation of the NT1 Adenosine/Pyrimidine Nucleoside Transporter in Leishmania major

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    Ortiz, Diana; Valdés, Raquel; Sanchez, Marco A.; Hayenga, Johanna; Elya, Carolyn; Detke, Siegfried; Landfear, Scott M.

    2010-01-01

    Leishmania and other parasitic protozoa are unable to synthesize purines de novo and are reliant upon purine nucleoside and nucleobase transporters to import preformed purines from their hosts. To study the roles of the four purine permeases NT1-NT4 in Leishmania major, null mutants in each transporter gene were prepared and the effect of each gene deletion on purine uptake was monitored. Deletion of the NT3 purine nucleobase transporter gene or both NT3 and the NT2 nucleoside transporter gen...

  9. Scaling proprioceptor gene transcription by retrograde NT3 signaling.

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    Jun Lee

    Full Text Available Cell-type specific intrinsic programs instruct neuronal subpopulations before target-derived factors influence later neuronal maturation. Retrograde neurotrophin signaling controls neuronal survival and maturation of dorsal root ganglion (DRG sensory neurons, but how these potent signaling pathways intersect with transcriptional programs established at earlier developmental stages remains poorly understood. Here we determine the consequences of genetic alternation of NT3 signaling on genome-wide transcription programs in proprioceptors, an important sensory neuron subpopulation involved in motor reflex behavior. We find that the expression of many proprioceptor-enriched genes is dramatically altered by genetic NT3 elimination, independent of survival-related activities. Combinatorial analysis of gene expression profiles with proprioceptors isolated from mice expressing surplus muscular NT3 identifies an anticorrelated gene set with transcriptional levels scaled in opposite directions. Voluntary running experiments in adult mice further demonstrate the maintenance of transcriptional adjustability of genes expressed by DRG neurons, pointing to life-long gene expression plasticity in sensory neurons.

  10. Changes in Air CO2 Concentration Differentially Alter Transcript Levels of NtAQP1 and NtPIP2;1 Aquaporin Genes in Tobacco Leaves

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    Francesca Secchi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The aquaporin specific control on water versus carbon pathways in leaves is pivotal in controlling gas exchange and leaf hydraulics. We investigated whether Nicotiana tabacum aquaporin 1 (NtAQP1 and Nicotiana tabacum plasma membrane intrinsic protein 2;1 (NtPIP2;1 gene expression varies in tobacco leaves subjected to treatments with different CO2 concentrations (ranging from 0 to 800 ppm, inducing changes in photosynthesis, stomatal regulation and water evaporation from the leaf. Changes in air CO2 concentration ([CO2] affected net photosynthesis (Pn and leaf substomatal [CO2] (Ci. Pn was slightly negative at 0 ppm air CO2; it was one-third that of ambient controls at 200 ppm, and not different from controls at 800 ppm. Leaves fed with 800 ppm [CO2] showed one-third reduced stomatal conductance (gs and transpiration (E, and their gs was in turn slightly lower than in 200 ppm– and in 0 ppm–treated leaves. The 800 ppm air [CO2] strongly impaired both NtAQP1 and NtPIP2;1 gene expression, whereas 0 ppm air [CO2], a concentration below any in vivo possible conditions and specifically chosen to maximize the gene expression alteration, increased only the NtAQP1 transcript level. We propose that NtAQP1 expression, an aquaporin devoted to CO2 transport, positively responds to CO2 scarcity in the air in the whole range 0–800 ppm. On the contrary, expression of NtPIP2;1, an aquaporin not devoted to CO2 transport, is related to water balance in the leaf, and changes in parallel with gs. These observations fit in a model where upregulation of leaf aquaporins is activated at low Ci, while downregulation occurs when high Ci saturates photosynthesis and causes stomatal closure.

  11. Three enzymatically active neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum strain Af84: BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5.

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    Kalb, Suzanne R; Baudys, Jakub; Smith, Theresa J; Smith, Leonard A; Barr, John R

    2014-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by various species of clostridia and are potent neurotoxins which cause the disease botulism, by cleaving proteins needed for successful nerve transmission. There are currently seven confirmed serotypes of BoNTs, labeled A-G, and toxin-producing clostridia typically only produce one serotype of BoNT. There are a few strains (bivalent strains) which are known to produce more than one serotype of BoNT, producing either both BoNT/A and /B, BoNT/A and /F, or BoNT/B and /F, designated as Ab, Ba, Af, or Bf. Recently, it was reported that Clostridium botulinum strain Af84 has three neurotoxin gene clusters: bont/A2, bont/F4, and bont/F5. This was the first report of a clostridial organism containing more than two neurotoxin gene clusters. Using a mass spectrometry based proteomics approach, we report here that all three neurotoxins, BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5, are produced by C. botulinum Af84. Label free MS(E) quantification of the three toxins indicated that toxin composition is 88% BoNT/A2, 1% BoNT/F4, and 11% BoNT/F5. The enzymatic activity of all three neurotoxins was assessed by examining the enzymatic activity of the neurotoxins upon peptide substrates, which mimic the toxins' natural targets, and monitoring cleavage of the substrates by mass spectrometry. We determined that all three neurotoxins are enzymatically active. This is the first report of three enzymatically active neurotoxins produced in a single strain of Clostridium botulinum.

  12. Overexpression of NtWRKY50 Increases Resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum and Alters Salicylic Acid and Jasmonic Acid Production in Tobacco.

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    Liu, Qiuping; Liu, Ying; Tang, Yuanman; Chen, Juanni; Ding, Wei

    2017-01-01

    WRKY transcription factors (TFs) modulate plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Here, we characterized a WRKY IIc TF, NtWRKY50, isolated from tobacco ( Nicotiana tabacum ) plants. The results showed that NtWRKY50 is a nuclear-localized protein and that its gene transcript is induced in tobacco when inoculated with the pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum . Overexpression of NtWRKY50 enhanced bacterial resistance, which correlated with enhanced SA and JA/ET signaling genes. However, silencing of the NtWRKY50 gene had no obvious effects on plant disease resistance, implying functional redundancy of NtWRKY50 with other TFs. In addition, it was found that NtWRKY50 can be induced by various biotic or abiotic stresses, such as Potato virus Y, Rhizoctonia solani, Phytophthora parasitica , hydrogen peroxide, heat, cold, and wounding as well as the hormones salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET). Importantly, additional analysis suggests that NtWRKY50 overexpression markedly promotes SA levels but prevents pathogen-induced JA production. These data indicate that NtWRKY50 overexpression leads to altered SA and JA content, increased expression of defense-related genes and enhanced plant resistance to R. solanacearum. These probably due to increased activity of endogenous NtWRKY50 gene or could be gain-of-function phenotypes by altering the profile of genes affected by NtWRKY50 .

  13. Regulation of Brown and White Adipocyte Transcriptome by the Transcriptional Coactivator NT-PGC-1α.

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    Jihyun Kim

    Full Text Available The β3-adrenergic receptor (AR signaling pathway is a major component of adaptive thermogenesis in brown and white adipose tissue during cold acclimation. The β3-AR signaling highly induces the expression of transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α and its splice variant N-terminal (NT-PGC-1α, which in turn activate the transcription program of adaptive thermogenesis by co-activating a number of transcription factors. We previously reported that NT-PGC-1α is able to increase mitochondrial number and activity in cultured brown adipocytes by promoting the expression of mitochondrial and thermogenic genes. In the present study, we performed genome-wide profiling of NT-PGC-1α-responsive genes in brown adipocytes to identify genes potentially regulated by NT-PGC-1α. Canonical pathway analysis revealed that a number of genes upregulated by NT-PGC-1α are highly enriched in mitochondrial pathways including fatty acid transport and β-oxidation, TCA cycle and electron transport system, thus reinforcing the crucial role of NT-PGC-1α in the enhancement of mitochondrial function. Moreover, canonical pathway analysis of NT-PGC-1α-responsive genes identified several metabolic pathways including glycolysis and fatty acid synthesis. In order to validate the identified genes in vivo, we utilized the FL-PGC-1α-/- mouse that is deficient in full-length PGC-1α (FL-PGC-1α but expresses a slightly shorter and functionally equivalent form of NT-PGC-1α (NT-PGC-1α254. The β3-AR-induced increase of NT-PGC-1α254 in FL-PGC-1α-/- brown and white adipose tissue was closely associated with elevated expression of genes involved in thermogenesis, mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, glycolysis and fatty acid synthesis. Increased adipose tissue thermogenesis by β3-AR activation resulted in attenuation of adipose tissue expansion in FL-PGC-1α-/- adipose tissue under the high-fat diet condition. Together, the data strengthen our previous findings that NT-PGC-1

  14. Ectopic Overexpression of a Novel R2R3-MYB, NtMYB2 from Chinese Narcissus Represses Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Tobacco

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    Muhammad Anwar

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available R2R3 MYB transcription factors play key functions in the regulation of secondary metabolites. In the present study, a R2R3 MYB transcriptional factor NtMYB2 was identified from Chinese narcissus (Narcissus tazetta L. var. Chinensis Roem and functionally characterized. NtMYB2 belongs to subgroup 4 of the R2R3 MYB transcription factor family that are related to repressor MYBs involved in the regulation of anthocyanin and flavonoids. Transient expression confirmed that NtMYB2 strongly reduced the red pigmentation induced by MYB- anthocyanin activators in agro-infiltrated tobacco leaves. Ectopic expression of NtMYB2 in tobacco significantly reduced the pigmentation and altered the floral phenotypes in transgenic tobacco flowers. Gene expression analysis suggested that NtMYB2 repressed the transcript levels of structural genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway, especially the UFGT gene. NtMYB2 gene is expressed in all examined narcissus tissues; the levels of transcription in petals and corona is higher than other tissues and the transcription level at the bud stage was highest. These results show that NtMYB2 is involved in the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway and may act as a repressor by down regulating the transcripts of key enzyme genes in Chinese narcissus.

  15. Ectopic Overexpression of a Novel R2R3-MYB, NtMYB2 from Chinese Narcissus Represses Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Tobacco.

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    Anwar, Muhammad; Wang, Guiqing; Wu, Jiacheng; Waheed, Saquib; Allan, Andrew C; Zeng, Lihui

    2018-03-28

    R2R3 MYB transcription factors play key functions in the regulation of secondary metabolites. In the present study, a R2R3 MYB transcriptional factor NtMYB2 was identified from Chinese narcissus ( Narcissus tazetta L. var. Chinensis Roem) and functionally characterized. NtMYB2 belongs to subgroup 4 of the R2R3 MYB transcription factor family that are related to repressor MYBs involved in the regulation of anthocyanin and flavonoids. Transient expression confirmed that NtMYB2 strongly reduced the red pigmentation induced by MYB- anthocyanin activators in agro-infiltrated tobacco leaves. Ectopic expression of NtMYB2 in tobacco significantly reduced the pigmentation and altered the floral phenotypes in transgenic tobacco flowers. Gene expression analysis suggested that NtMYB2 repressed the transcript levels of structural genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway, especially the UFGT gene. NtMYB2 gene is expressed in all examined narcissus tissues; the levels of transcription in petals and corona is higher than other tissues and the transcription level at the bud stage was highest. These results show that NtMYB2 is involved in the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway and may act as a repressor by down regulating the transcripts of key enzyme genes in Chinese narcissus.

  16. Tobacco Transcription Factor NtWRKY12 Interacts With TGA2.2 in vitro and in vivo

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    Marcel evan Verk

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The promoter of the salicylic acid-inducible PR-1a gene of Nicotiana tabacum contains binding sites for transcription factor NtWRKY12 (WK-box at position -564 and TGA factors (as-1-like element at position -592. Transactivation experiments in Arabidopsis protoplasts derived from wild type, npr1-1, tga256 and tga2356 mutant plants revealed that NtWRKY12 alone was able to induce a PR-1a::β-glucuronidase (GUS reporter gene to high levels, independent of co-expressed tobacco NtNPR1, TGA2.1, TGA2.2 or endogenous Arabidopsis NPR1, TGA2/3/5/6. By in vitro pull-down assays with GST and Strep fusion proteins and by Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer assays with protein-CFP and protein-YFP fusions in transfected protoplasts, it was shown that NtWRKY12 and TGA2.2 could interact in vitro and in vivo. Interaction of NtWRKY12 with TGA1a or TGA2.1 was not detectable by these techniques. A possible mechanism for the role of NtWRKY12 and TGA2.2 in PR-1a gene expression is discussed.

  17. The NtAMI1 gene functions in cell division of tobacco BY-2 cells in the presence of indole-3-acetamide.

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    Nemoto, Keiichirou; Hara, Masamitsu; Suzuki, Masashi; Seki, Hikaru; Muranaka, Toshiya; Mano, Yoshihiro

    2009-01-22

    Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) Bright Yellow-2 (BY-2) cells can be grown in medium containing indole-3-acetamide (IAM). Based on this finding, the NtAMI1 gene, whose product is functionally equivalent to the AtAMI1 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana and the aux2 gene of Agrobacterium rhizogenes, was isolated from BY-2 cells. Overexpression of the NtAMI1 gene allowed BY-2 cells to proliferate at lower concentrations of IAM, whereas suppression of the NtAMI1 gene by RNA interference (RNAi) caused severe growth inhibition in the medium containing IAM. These results suggest that IAM is incorporated into plant cells and converted to the auxin, indole-3-acetic acid, by NtAMI1.

  18. Isolation and characterization of an auxin-inducible glutathione S-transferase gene of Arabidopsis thaliana

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    Kop, D.A.M. van der; Schuyer, M.; Scheres, B.J.G.; Zaal, B.J. van der; Hooykaas, P.J.J.

    1996-01-01

    Genes homologous to the auxin-inducible Nt103 glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene of tobacco, were isolated from a genomic library of Arabidopsis thaliana. We isolated a λ clone containing an auxin-inducible gene, At103-1a, and part of a constitutively expressed gene, At103-1b. The coding regions

  19. An ant-plant mutualism through the lens of cGMP-dependent kinase genes.

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    Malé, Pierre-Jean G; Turner, Kyle M; Doha, Manjima; Anreiter, Ina; Allen, Aaron M; Sokolowski, Marla B; Frederickson, Megan E

    2017-09-13

    In plant-animal mutualisms, how an animal forages often determines how much benefit its plant partner receives. In many animals, foraging behaviour changes in response to foraging gene expression or activation of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) that foraging encodes. Here, we show that this highly conserved molecular mechanism affects the outcome of a plant-animal mutualism. We studied the two PKG genes of Allomerus octoarticulatus, an Amazonian ant that defends the ant-plant Cordia nodosa against herbivores. Some ant colonies are better 'bodyguards' than others. Working in the field in Peru, we found that colonies fed with a PKG activator recruited more workers to attack herbivores than control colonies. This resulted in less herbivore damage. PKG gene expression in ant workers correlated with whether an ant colony discovered an herbivore and how much damage herbivores inflicted on leaves in a complex way; natural variation in expression levels of the two genes had significant interaction effects on ant behaviour and herbivory. Our results suggest a molecular basis for ant protection of plants in this mutualism. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. Investigation into Regeneration Mechanism of Hydroalcoholic Lavender (Lavandula officianalis Extract through the Evaluation of NT3 Gene Expression after Sciatic Nerve Compression in Rats

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    Fereshteh Naderi Allaf

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: Retrograde transport to the alpha motoneurons causes spinal degeneration. The neurotrophic factor (NT3 increases the number of myelinated axons in the dorsal root, leads to differentiation and survival of sensory neurons, parasympathetic motoneurons and prevents cell death. Lavender is a plant in the family Lamiaceae which is reported to have antioxidant, antispasmodic, diuretic, anti-asthmatic, refrigerant, and antipyretic effects. This study examined NT3 gene expression changes after sciatic nerve compression in rats, in the presence of Lavandula officinalis extract. Materials and Methods: Lavender Soxhlet hydroalcoholic extraction was prepared. 36 male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 3 groups including control, compression and treatment (compression group + hydroalcoholic extract of Lavender injections 75mg/kg groups. In controls the muscle was opened without damage to gain access to the sciatic nerve. In compression and treatment groups, the sciatic nerve (right leg was compressed. The extract was injected intraperitoneally in two occasions. A biopsy was taken from the spinal cord segments L4-L6 on day 28, total RNA was extracted and cDNA was synthesized and NT3 gene expression changes were analyzed by ANOVA test by using SPSS software. Results: The results showed that NT3 gene expression had a significant reduction in compression group compared to the control group (p<0.001 and it had a significant increase in treatment group compared with the compression group (p<0.001. Conclusion: A significant increase in gene expression shows that Lavandula officinalis hydroalcoholic extract improves nerve regeneration via NT3 gene expression.

  1. Microorganisms transported by ants induce changes in floral nectar composition of an ant-pollinated plant.

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    de Vega, Clara; Herrera, Carlos M

    2013-04-01

    Interactions between plants and ants abound in nature and have significant consequences for ecosystem functioning. Recently, it has been suggested that nectar-foraging ants transport microorganisms to flowers; more specifically, they transport yeasts, which can potentially consume sugars and alter nectar composition. Therefore, ants could indirectly change nectar sugar profile, an important floral feature involved in the plant-pollinator mutualism. But this novel role for ants has never been tested. We here investigate the effects of nectarivorous ants and their associated yeasts on the floral nectar sugar composition of an ant-pollinated plant. Differences in the nectar sugar composition of ant-excluded and ant-visited flowers were examined in 278 samples by using high-performance liquid-chromatography. The importance of the genetic identity and density of ant-transported basidiomycetous and ascomycetous yeasts on the variation of nectar traits was also evaluated. Ant visitation had significant effects on nectar sugar composition. The nectar of ant-visited flowers contained significantly more fructose, more glucose, and less sucrose than the nectar of ant-excluded flowers, but these effects were context dependent. Nectar changes were correlated with the density of yeast cells in nectar. The magnitude of the effects of ant-transported ascomycetes was much higher than that of basiodiomycetes. Ants and their associated yeasts induce changes in nectar sugar traits, reducing the chemical control of the plant over this important floral trait. The potential relevance of this new role for ants as indirect nectar modifiers is a rich topic for future research into the ecology of ant-flower interactions.

  2. The AINTEGUMENTA genes, MdANT1 and MdANT2, are associated with the regulation of cell production during fruit growth in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.).

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    Dash, Madhumita; Malladi, Anish

    2012-06-25

    Fruit growth in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) is mediated by cell production and expansion. Genes involved in regulating these processes and thereby fruit growth, are not well characterized. We hypothesized that the apple homolog(s) of AINTEGUMENTA (ANT), an APETALA2-repeat containing transcription factor, regulates cell production during fruit growth in apple. Two ANT genes, MdANT1 and MdANT2, were isolated from apple and their expression was studied during multiple stages of fruit development. MdANT1 and MdANT2 expression was high during early fruit growth coincident with the period of cell production, rapidly declined during exit from cell production, and remained low during the rest of fruit development. The effects of increase in carbohydrate availability during fruit growth were characterized. Increase in carbohydrate availability enhanced fruit growth largely through an increase in cell production. Expression of MdANT1 and MdANT2 increased sharply by up to around 5-fold in response to an increase in carbohydrate availability. Expression of the ANT genes was compared across two apple genotypes, 'Gala' and 'Golden Delicious Smoothee' (GS), which differ in the extent of fruit growth, largely due to differences in cell production. In comparison to 'Gala', the larger fruit-size genotype, GS, displayed higher levels and a longer duration of MdANT1 and MdANT2 expression. Expression of the ANTs and cell cycle genes in the fruit core and cortex tissues isolated using laser capture microdissection was studied. During early fruit growth, expression of the MdANTs was higher within the cortex, the tissue that constitutes the majority of the fruit. Additionally, MdANT1 and MdANT2 expression was positively correlated with that of A- and B-type CYCLINS, B-type CYCLIN-DEPENDENT-KINASES (CDKBs) and MdDEL1. Multiple lines of evidence from this study suggest that MdANT1 and MdANT2 regulate cell production during fruit growth in apple. ANTs may coordinate the expression of

  3. The Study of Effects of Aqueous and Alcoholic Extracts of Portulaca oleracea Leaves on NT3 Gene Expression in Degeneration of Alpha Neurons after Sciatic Nerve Compression in Rats

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    Shokoufe Hejazi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: The injuries of peripheral nervous system cause the death of a number of motor cells of the spinal cord. Neurotrophins family genes such as NT3 involve in neuronal survive after nerve injury and their expression changes after it. With due attention to the expansion of portulaca pleracea in the world study was conducted to determine the effects of alcoholic and aqueous extracts of Potulaca oleracea on the NT3 gene expression after sciatic nerve compression in rat. Materials and Methods: This study was performed on 88 male wistar rats that randomly were divided in 13 groups of 6 each. They consisted of control group, 4 compression groups (The sciatic nerve was compressed with locker pincer and 8 treatment groups: compression + treatment with dose of 75 mg/kg of alcoholic and aqueous extract of Portulaca oleracea on days 1 and 7 (never compression was done on the first day. In all groups, Total RNA was extracted from the lumbar spinal cord segment in 1, 7, 14, 28 days and cDNA was synthesized, then NT3 expression changes were compared in groups. Results: There was a significant increase in NT3 gene expression in the compression group compared to control (p<0.001. The NT3 gene expression shows significant increase (p<0.05 in the treatment groups with alcoholic extract (except 1& 28 days. Also, there was no significant difference in gene expression between treatment group with acqueous extract and compression group in 1 and 7 days. A significant decrease was seen in the treatment groups with aqueous extract of purslane compared to compression (p<0.05. The NT3 gene expression shows significant increase in the treatment groups with alcoholic extract compared to treatment groups with aqueous extract in all days (p<0.05. Conclusion: The results reveal the Portulaca oleracea leaves extracts increase the NT3 gene expression after sciatic nerve injury. This effect is more in alcoholic extract than aqueous extract.

  4. The nT1 translocation separates vulval regulatory elements from the egl-18 and elt-6 GATA factor genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Kyunghee; Bernstein, Yelena; Sundaram, Meera V

    2004-03-01

    egl-18 and elt-6 are partially redundant, adjacent genes encoding GATA factors essential for viability, seam cell development, and vulval development in Caenorhabditis elegans. The nT1 reciprocal translocation causes a strong Vulvaless phenotype, and an nT1 breakpoint was previously mapped to the left arm of LGIV, where egl-18/elt-6 are located. Here we present evidence that the nT1 vulval phenotype is due to a disruption of egl-18/elt-6 function specifically in the vulva. egl-18 mutations do not complement nT1 for vulval defects, and the nT1 breakpoint on LGIV is located within approximately 800 bp upstream of a potential transcriptional start site of egl-18. In addition, we have identified a approximately 350-bp cis-regulatory region sufficient for vulval expression just upstream of the nT1 breakpoint. By examining the fusion state and division patterns of the cells in the developing vulva of nT1 mutants, we demonstrate that egl-18/elt-6 prevent fusion and promote cell proliferation at multiple steps of vulval development.

  5. Best management practices and work plan for installation of and monitoring at temporary weirs and flumes at NT-3, NT-4, and NT-5 Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-02-01

    This Best Management Practices (BMP) and Work Plan has been developed in order to maintain compliance with applicable regulatory requirements by documenting the practices that are required during the installation and maintenance of temporary weirs and flumes at the NT-3, NT-4, and NT-5 tributaries, subsequent collection of water discharge data, and removal of the weirs and flumes. The practices included in this BMP comply with the Clean Water Act and the intent of Sect. 70-8-104(b) of the Tennessee Code Annotated: Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission Proclamation 94-16 to prevent the destruction of the habitat of state-listed wildlife species that are designated as open-quotes in need of management.close quotes

  6. NR4A nuclear receptors mediate carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A gene expression by the rexinoid HX600

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishizawa, Michiyasu [Division of Biochemistry, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi-kamicho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610 (Japan); Kagechika, Hiroyuki [Graduate School of Biomedical Science, Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 2-3-10 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0062 (Japan); Makishima, Makoto, E-mail: makishima.makoto@nihon-u.ac.jp [Division of Biochemistry, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi-kamicho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610 (Japan)

    2012-02-24

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The function of RXR heterodimers with NR4 receptors remains unknown. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The RXR ligand HX600 induces expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A). Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer HX600-induced CPT1A expression is mediated by the NR4 receptors, Nur77 and NURR1. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer CPT1A induction by HX600 is not mediated by de novo protein synthesis. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer CPT1A could be a target of the Nur77-RXR and NURR1-RXR heterodimers. -- Abstract: Retinoid X receptors (RXRs) are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily and can be activated by 9-cis retinoic acid (9CRA). RXRs form homodimers and heterodimers with other nuclear receptors such as the retinoic acid receptor and NR4 subfamily nuclear receptors, Nur77 and NURR1. Potential physiological roles of the Nur77-RXR and NURR1-RXR heterodimers have not been elucidated. In this study, we identified a gene regulated by these heterodimers utilizing HX600, a selective RXR agonist for Nur77-RXR and NURR1-RXR. While 9CRA induced many genes, including RAR-target genes, HX600 effectively induced only carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A) in human teratocarcinoma NT2/D1 cells, which express RXR{alpha}, Nur77 and NURR1. HX600 also increased CPT1A expression in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells and hepatocyte-derived HepG2 cells. Although HX600 induced CPT1A less effectively than 9CRA, overexpression of Nur77 or NURR1 increased the HX600 response to levels similar to 9CRA in NT2/D1 and HEK293 cells. A dominant-negative form of Nur77 or NURR1 repressed the induction of CPT1A by HX600. A protein synthesis inhibitor did not alter HX600-dependent CPT1A induction. Thus, the rexinoid HX600 directly induces expression of CPT1A through a Nur77 or NURR1-mediated mechanism. CPT1A, a gene involved in fatty acid {beta}-oxidation, could be a target of RXR-NR4 receptor heterodimers.

  7. Heat-induced symmetry breaking in ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae escape behavior.

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    Yuan-Kai Chung

    Full Text Available The collective egress of social insects is important in dangerous situations such as natural disasters or enemy attacks. Some studies have described the phenomenon of symmetry breaking in ants, with two exits induced by a repellent. However, whether symmetry breaking occurs under high temperature conditions, which are a common abiotic stress, remains unknown. In our study, we deposited a group of Polyrhachis dives ants on a heated platform and counted the number of escaping ants with two identical exits. We discovered that ants asymmetrically escaped through two exits when the temperature of the heated platform was >32.75°C. The degree of asymmetry increased linearly with the temperature of the platform. Furthermore, the higher the temperature of heated platform was, the more ants escaped from the heated platform. However, the number of escaping ants decreased for 3 min when the temperature was higher than the critical thermal limit (39.46°C, which is the threshold for ants to endure high temperature without a loss of performance. Moreover, the ants tended to form small groups to escape from the thermal stress. A preparatory formation of ant grouping was observed before they reached the exit, indicating that the ants actively clustered rather than accidentally gathered at the exits to escape. We suggest that a combination of individual and grouping ants may help to optimize the likelihood of survival during evacuation.

  8. Differential regulation of the foraging gene associated with task behaviors in harvester ants

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    Kleeman Lindsay

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The division of labor in social insect colonies involves transitions by workers from one task to another and is critical to the organization and ecological success of colonies. The differential regulation of genetic pathways is likely to be a key mechanism involved in plasticity of social insect task behavior. One of the few pathways implicated in social organization involves the cGMP-activated protein kinase gene, foraging, a gene associated with foraging behavior in social insect species. The association of the foraging gene with behavior is conserved across diverse species, but the observed expression patterns and proposed functions of this gene vary across taxa. We compared the protein sequence of foraging across social insects and explored whether the differential regulation of this gene is associated with task behaviors in the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis. Results Phylogenetic analysis of the coding region of the foraging gene reveals considerable conservation in protein sequence across insects, particularly among hymenopteran species. The absence of amino acid variation in key active and binding sites suggests that differences in behaviors associated with this gene among species may be the result of changes in gene expression rather than gene divergence. Using real time qPCR analyses with a harvester ant ortholog to foraging (Pofor, we found that the brains of harvester ant foragers have a daily fluctuation in expression of foraging with mRNA levels peaking at midday. In contrast, young workers inside the nest have low levels of Pofor mRNA with no evidence of daily fluctuations in expression. As a result, the association of foraging expression with task behavior within a species changes depending on the time of day the individuals are sampled. Conclusions The amino acid protein sequence of foraging is highly conserved across social insects. Differences in foraging behaviors associated with this gene among

  9. Expression of Aluminum-Induced Genes in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants Can Ameliorate Aluminum Stress and/or Oxidative Stress1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezaki, Bunichi; Gardner, Richard C.; Ezaki, Yuka; Matsumoto, Hideaki

    2000-01-01

    To examine the biological role of Al-stress-induced genes, nine genes derived from Arabidopsis, tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) were expressed in Arabidopsis ecotype Landsberg. Lines containing eight of these genes were phenotypically normal and were tested in root elongation assays for their sensitivity to Al, Cd, Cu, Na, Zn, and to oxidative stresses. An Arabidopsis blue-copper-binding protein gene (AtBCB), a tobacco glutathione S-transferase gene (parB), a tobacco peroxidase gene (NtPox), and a tobacco GDP-dissociation inhibitor gene (NtGDI1) conferred a degree of resistance to Al. Two of these genes, AtBCB and parB, and a peroxidase gene from Arabidopsis (AtPox) also showed increased resistance to oxidative stress induced by diamide, while parB conferred resistance to Cu and Na. Al content of Al-treated root tips was reduced in the four Al-resistant plant lines compared with wild-type Ler-0, as judged by morin staining. All four Al-resistant lines also showed reduced staining of roots with 2′,7′-dichloro fluorescein diacetate (H2DCFDA), an indicator of oxidative stress. We conclude that Al-induced genes can serve to protect against Al toxicity, and also provide genetic evidence for a link between Al stress and oxidative stress in plants. PMID:10712528

  10. Genetic clusters and sex-biased gene flow in a unicolonial Formica ant

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    Chapuisat Michel

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Animal societies are diverse, ranging from small family-based groups to extraordinarily large social networks in which many unrelated individuals interact. At the extreme of this continuum, some ant species form unicolonial populations in which workers and queens can move among multiple interconnected nests without eliciting aggression. Although unicoloniality has been mostly studied in invasive ants, it also occurs in some native non-invasive species. Unicoloniality is commonly associated with very high queen number, which may result in levels of relatedness among nestmates being so low as to raise the question of the maintenance of altruism by kin selection in such systems. However, the actual relatedness among cooperating individuals critically depends on effective dispersal and the ensuing pattern of genetic structuring. In order to better understand the evolution of unicoloniality in native non-invasive ants, we investigated the fine-scale population genetic structure and gene flow in three unicolonial populations of the wood ant F. paralugubris. Results The analysis of geo-referenced microsatellite genotypes and mitochondrial haplotypes revealed the presence of cryptic clusters of genetically-differentiated nests in the three populations of F. paralugubris. Because of this spatial genetic heterogeneity, members of the same clusters were moderately but significantly related. The comparison of nuclear (microsatellite and mitochondrial differentiation indicated that effective gene flow was male-biased in all populations. Conclusion The three unicolonial populations exhibited male-biased and mostly local gene flow. The high number of queens per nest, exchanges among neighbouring nests and restricted long-distance gene flow resulted in large clusters of genetically similar nests. The positive relatedness among clustermates suggests that kin selection may still contribute to the maintenance of altruism in unicolonial

  11. Dicer-like 3 produces transposable element-associated 24-nt siRNAs that control agricultural traits in rice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Liya; Gu, Lianfeng; Song, Xianwei; Cui, Xiekui; Lu, Zhike; Zhou, Ming; Wang, Lulu; Hu, Fengyi; Zhai, Jixian; Meyers, Blake C.; Cao, Xiaofeng

    2014-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) and repetitive sequences make up over 35% of the rice (Oryza sativa) genome. The host regulates the activity of different TEs by different epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone H3K9 methylation, and histone H3K4 demethylation. TEs can also affect the expression of host genes. For example, miniature inverted repeat TEs (MITEs), dispersed high copy-number DNA TEs, can influence the expression of nearby genes. In plants, 24-nt small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are mainly derived from repeats and TEs. However, the extent to which TEs, particularly MITEs associated with 24-nt siRNAs, affect gene expression remains elusive. Here, we show that the rice Dicer-like 3 homolog OsDCL3a is primarily responsible for 24-nt siRNA processing. Impairing OsDCL3a expression by RNA interference caused phenotypes affecting important agricultural traits; these phenotypes include dwarfism, larger flag leaf angle, and fewer secondary branches. We used small RNA deep sequencing to identify 535,054 24-nt siRNA clusters. Of these clusters, ∼82% were OsDCL3a-dependent and showed significant enrichment of MITEs. Reduction of OsDCL3a function reduced the 24-nt siRNAs predominantly from MITEs and elevated expression of nearby genes. OsDCL3a directly targets genes involved in gibberellin and brassinosteroid homeostasis; OsDCL3a deficiency may affect these genes, thus causing the phenotypes of dwarfism and enlarged flag leaf angle. Our work identifies OsDCL3a-dependent 24-nt siRNAs derived from MITEs as broadly functioning regulators for fine-tuning gene expression, which may reflect a conserved epigenetic mechanism in higher plants with genomes rich in dispersed repeats or TEs. PMID:24554078

  12. Tobacco arabinogalactan protein NtEPc can promote banana (Musa AAA) somatic embryogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, H; Xu, L; Li, Z; Li, J; Jin, Z; Chang, S

    2014-12-01

    Banana is an important tropical fruit worldwide. Parthenocarpy and female sterility made it impossible to improve banana varieties through common hybridization. Genetic transformation for banana improvement is imperative. But the low rate that banana embryogenic callus was induced made the transformation cannot be performed in many laboratories. Finding ways to promote banana somatic embryogenesis is critical for banana genetic transformation. After tobacco arabinogalactan protein gene NtEPc was transformed into Escherichia coli (DE3), the recombinant protein was purified and filter-sterilized. A series of the sterilized protein was added into tissue culture medium. It was found that the number of banana immature male flowers developing embryogenic calli increased significantly in the presence of NtEPc protein compared with the effect of the control medium. Among the treatments, explants cultured on medium containing 10 mg/l of NtEPc protein had the highest chance to develop embryogenic calli. The percentage of lines that developed embryogenic calli on this medium was about 12.5 %. These demonstrated that NtEPc protein can be used to promote banana embryogenesis. This is the first paper that reported that foreign arabinogalactan protein (AGP) could be used to improve banana somatic embryogenesis.

  13. Botulinum neurotoxin type A induces TLR2-mediated inflammatory responses in macrophages.

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    Yun Jeong Kim

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A is the most potent protein toxin and causes fatal flaccid muscle paralysis by blocking neurotransmission. Application of BoNT/A has been extended to the fields of therapeutics and biodefense. Nevertheless, the global response of host immune cells to authentic BoNT/A has not been reported. Employing microarray analysis, we performed global transcriptional profiling of RAW264.7 cells, a murine alveolar macrophage cell line. We identified 70 genes that were modulated following 1 nM BoNT/A treatment. The altered genes were mainly involved in signal transduction, immunity and defense, protein metabolism and modification, neuronal activities, intracellular protein trafficking, and muscle contraction. Microarray data were validated with real-time RT-PCR for seven selected genes including tlr2, tnf, inos, ccl4, slpi, stx11, and irg1. Proinflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα were induced in a dose-dependent manner in BoNT/A-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Increased expression of these factors was inhibited by monoclonal anti-Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2 and inhibitors specific to intracellular proteins such as c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK. BoNT/A also suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced NO and TNFα production from RAW264.7 macrophages at the transcription level by blocking activation of JNK, ERK, and p38 MAPK. As confirmed by TLR2-/- knock out experiments, these results suggest that BoNT/A induces global gene expression changes in host immune cells and that host responses to BoNT/A proceed through a TLR2-dependent pathway, which is modulated by JNK, ERK, and p38 MAPK.

  14. Níveis NT-Pro-BNP e resposta ao exercício em pacientes com fluxo lento coronariano NT-Pro-BNP levels and their response to exercise in patients with slow coronary flow

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    Mustafa Yurtdaş

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available FUNDAMENTO: Os peptídeos natriuréticos são liberados pelo coração em resposta ao estresse da parede. OBJETIVO: As concentrações de NT-Pro-BNP em pacientes com Fluxo Lento Coronariano (FLC foram avaliadas antes e depois do teste de exercício e comparados com os valores dos controles saudáveis. MÉTODOS: A população do estudo foi de 34 pacientes com FLC [22 homens (64,7%, com idade 51,0 ± 6,2 anos], e 34 indivíduos normais com artérias coronarianas normais [21 homens (61,8%, com idade 53,2 ± 6,6 anos]. As taxas de fluxo coronariano dos pacientes e controles foram determinadas pelo escore TIMI Trombólise no Infarto do Miocárdio (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction. As amostras de sangue foram coletadas em repouso e após o teste ergométrico. RESULTADOS: As concentrações basais de NT-Pro-BNP nos pacientes com FLC foram superiores às dos indivíduos-controle (NT-Pro-BNP: 49,7 ± 14,2 pg/mL vs. 25,3 ± 4,6 pg/mL p BACKGROUND: Natriuretic peptides are released by the heart in response to wall stress. OBJECTIVE: The NT-Pro-BNP concentrations in slow coronary flow (SCF patients were assessed before and after the exercise test and compared with the values of healthy controls. METHODS: The study population was 34 patients with SCF [22 males (64.7%, aged 51.0±6.2 years], and 34 normal subjects with normal coronary arteries [21 males (61.8%, aged 53.2±6.6 years]. Coronary flow rates of all patients and control subjects were documented as Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI frame count. Blood samples were drawn at rest and after the exercise testing. RESULTS: The baseline NT-Pro-BNP concentrations of the SCF patients were higher than those of the control subjects (NT-Pro-BNP: 49.7±14.2 pg/mL vs. 25.3±4.6 pg/mL p<0.0001, respectively, and this difference increased after exercise test between the groups (NT-Pro-BNP: 69.5±18.6 pg/mL vs. 30.9±6.4 pg/mL p<0.0001. In SCF group after exercise, NT-Pro-BNP concentration in 15

  15. Níveis NT-Pro-BNP e resposta ao exercício em pacientes com fluxo lento coronariano NT-Pro-BNP levels and their response to exercise in patients with slow coronary flow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Yurtdaş

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available FUNDAMENTO: Os peptídeos natriuréticos são liberados pelo coração em resposta ao estresse da parede. OBJETIVO: As concentrações de NT-Pro-BNP em pacientes com Fluxo Lento Coronariano (FLC foram avaliadas antes e depois do teste de exercício e comparados com os valores dos controles saudáveis. MÉTODOS: A população do estudo foi de 34 pacientes com FLC [22 homens (64,7%, com idade 51,0 ± 6,2 anos], e 34 indivíduos normais com artérias coronarianas normais [21 homens (61,8%, com idade 53,2 ± 6,6 anos]. As taxas de fluxo coronariano dos pacientes e controles foram determinadas pelo escore TIMI Trombólise no Infarto do Miocárdio (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction. As amostras de sangue foram coletadas em repouso e após o teste ergométrico. RESULTADOS: As concentrações basais de NT-Pro-BNP nos pacientes com FLC foram superiores às dos indivíduos-controle (NT-Pro-BNP: 49,7 ± 14,2 pg/mL vs. 25,3 ± 4,6 pg/mL p BACKGROUND: Natriuretic peptides are released by the heart in response to wall stress. OBJECTIVE: The NT-Pro-BNP concentrations in slow coronary flow (SCF patients were assessed before and after the exercise test and compared with the values of healthy controls. METHODS: The study population was 34 patients with SCF [22 males (64.7%, aged 51.0±6.2 years], and 34 normal subjects with normal coronary arteries [21 males (61.8%, aged 53.2±6.6 years]. Coronary flow rates of all patients and control subjects were documented as Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI frame count. Blood samples were drawn at rest and after the exercise testing. RESULTS: The baseline NT-Pro-BNP concentrations of the SCF patients were higher than those of the control subjects (NT-Pro-BNP: 49.7±14.2 pg/mL vs. 25.3±4.6 pg/mL p<0.0001, respectively, and this difference increased after exercise test between the groups (NT-Pro-BNP: 69.5±18.6 pg/mL vs. 30.9±6.4 pg/mL p<0.0001. In SCF group after exercise, NT-Pro-BNP concentration in 15

  16. Genetic transformation of tobacco NT1 cells with Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, Kristin J; Gonzales, Barbara J; Mason, Hugh S

    2006-01-01

    This protocol is used to produce stably transformed tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) NT1 cell lines, using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated DNA delivery of a binary vector containing a gene encoding hepatitis B surface antigen and a gene encoding the kanamycin selection marker. The NT1 cultures, at the appropriate stage of growth, are inoculated with A. tumefaciens containing the binary vector. A 3-day cocultivation period follows, after which the cultures are rinsed and placed on solid selective medium. Transformed colonies ('calli') appear in approximately 4 weeks; they are subcultured until adequate material is obtained for analysis of antigen production. 'Elite' lines are selected based on antigen expression and growth characteristics. The time required for the procedure from preparation of the plant cell materials to callus development is approximately 5 weeks. Growth of selected calli to sufficient quantities for antigen screening may require 4-6 weeks beyond the initial selection. Creation of the plasmid constructs, transformation of the A. tumefaciens line, and ELISA and Bradford assays to assess protein production require additional time.

  17. Absence of p53 gene mutations in mice colon pre-cancerous stage induced by o-nitrotoluene

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    Nahed A Hussien

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion: The results from the present study indicate that point mutations in the p53 gene, in the coding region (exons 5-8 and outside it (exons 10, 11, are not involved in the development of the colon precancerous stage induced by o-nt in mice.

  18. Phosphatidylinositol (4,5)bisphosphate inhibits K+-efflux channel activity in NT1 tobacco cultured cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaohong; Shor, Oded; Diminshtein, Sofia; Yu, Ling; Im, Yang Ju; Perera, Imara; Lomax, Aaron; Boss, Wendy F; Moran, Nava

    2009-02-01

    In the animal world, the regulation of ion channels by phosphoinositides (PIs) has been investigated extensively, demonstrating a wide range of channels controlled by phosphatidylinositol (4,5)bisphosphate (PtdInsP2). To understand PI regulation of plant ion channels, we examined the in planta effect of PtdInsP2 on the K+-efflux channel of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), NtORK (outward-rectifying K channel). We applied a patch clamp in the whole-cell configuration (with fixed "cytosolic" Ca2+ concentration and pH) to protoplasts isolated from cultured tobacco cells with genetically manipulated plasma membrane levels of PtdInsP2 and cellular inositol (1,4,5)trisphosphate: "Low PIs" had depressed levels of these PIs, and "High PIs" had elevated levels relative to controls. In all of these cells, K channel activity, reflected in the net, steady-state outward K+ currents (IK), was inversely related to the plasma membrane PtdInsP2 level. Consistent with this, short-term manipulations decreasing PtdInsP2 levels in the High PIs, such as pretreatment with the phytohormone abscisic acid (25 microM) or neutralizing the bath solution from pH 5.6 to pH 7, increased IK (i.e. NtORK activity). Moreover, increasing PtdInsP2 levels in controls or in abscisic acid-treated high-PI cells, using the specific PI-phospholipase C inhibitor U73122 (2.5-4 microM), decreased NtORK activity. In all cases, IK decreases stemmed largely from decreased maximum attainable NtORK channel conductance and partly from shifted voltage dependence of channel gating to more positive potentials, making it more difficult to activate the channels. These results are consistent with NtORK inhibition by the negatively charged PtdInsP2 in the internal plasma membrane leaflet. Such effects are likely to underlie PI signaling in intact plant cells.

  19. Genome evolution in an ancient bacteria-ant symbiosis: parallel gene loss among Blochmannia spanning the origin of the ant tribe Camponotini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura E. Williams

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Stable associations between bacterial endosymbionts and insect hosts provide opportunities to explore genome evolution in the context of established mutualisms and assess the roles of selection and genetic drift across host lineages and habitats. Blochmannia, obligate endosymbionts of ants of the tribe Camponotini, have coevolved with their ant hosts for ∼40 MY. To investigate early events in Blochmannia genome evolution across this ant host tribe, we sequenced Blochmannia from two divergent host lineages, Colobopsis obliquus and Polyrhachis turneri, and compared them with four published genomes from Blochmannia of Camponotus sensu stricto. Reconstructed gene content of the last common ancestor (LCA of these six Blochmannia genomes is reduced (690 protein coding genes, consistent with rapid gene loss soon after establishment of the symbiosis. Differential gene loss among Blochmannia lineages has affected cellular functions and metabolic pathways, including DNA replication and repair, vitamin biosynthesis and membrane proteins. Blochmannia of P. turneri (i.e., B. turneri encodes an intact DnaA chromosomal replication initiation protein, demonstrating that loss of dnaA was not essential for establishment of the symbiosis. Based on gene content, B. obliquus and B. turneri are unable to provision hosts with riboflavin. Of the six sequenced Blochmannia, B. obliquus is the earliest diverging lineage (i.e., the sister group of other Blochmannia sampled and encodes the fewest protein-coding genes and the most pseudogenes. We identified 55 genes involved in parallel gene loss, including glutamine synthetase, which may participate in nitrogen recycling. Pathways for biosynthesis of coenzyme A, terpenoids and riboflavin were lost in multiple lineages, suggesting relaxed selection on the pathway after inactivation of one component. Analysis of Illumina read datasets did not detect evidence of plasmids encoding missing functions, nor the presence of

  20. Limited gene dispersal and spatial genetic structure as stabilizing factors in an ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malé, P-J G; Leroy, C; Humblot, P; Dejean, A; Quilichini, A; Orivel, J

    2016-12-01

    Comparative studies of the population genetics of closely associated species are necessary to properly understand the evolution of these relationships because gene flow between populations affects the partners' evolutionary potential at the local scale. As a consequence (at least for antagonistic interactions), asymmetries in the strength of the genetic structures of the partner populations can result in one partner having a co-evolutionary advantage. Here, we assess the population genetic structure of partners engaged in a species-specific and obligatory mutualism: the Neotropical ant-plant, Hirtella physophora, and its ant associate, Allomerus decemarticulatus. Although the ant cannot complete its life cycle elsewhere than on H. physophora and the plant cannot live for long without the protection provided by A. decemarticulatus, these species also have antagonistic interactions: the ants have been shown to benefit from castrating their host plant and the plant is able to retaliate against too virulent ant colonies. We found similar short dispersal distances for both partners, resulting in the local transmission of the association and, thus, inbred populations in which too virulent castrating ants face the risk of local extinction due to the absence of H. physophora offspring. On the other hand, we show that the plant populations probably experienced greater gene flow than did the ant populations, thus enhancing the evolutionary potential of the plants. We conclude that such levels of spatial structure in the partners' populations can increase the stability of the mutualistic relationship. Indeed, the local transmission of the association enables partial alignments of the partners' interests, and population connectivity allows the plant retaliation mechanisms to be locally adapted to the castration behaviour of their symbionts. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Induced pluripotency with endogenous and inducible genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duinsbergen, Dirk; Eriksson, Malin; Hoen, Peter A.C. 't; Frisen, Jonas; Mikkers, Harald

    2008-01-01

    The recent discovery that two partly overlapping sets of four genes induce nuclear reprogramming of mouse and even human cells has opened up new possibilities for cell replacement therapies. Although the combination of genes that induce pluripotency differs to some extent, Oct4 and Sox2 appear to be a prerequisite. The introduction of four genes, several of which been linked with cancer, using retroviral approaches is however unlikely to be suitable for future clinical applications. Towards developing a safer reprogramming protocol, we investigated whether cell types that express one of the most critical reprogramming genes endogenously are predisposed to reprogramming. We show here that three of the original four pluripotency transcription factors (Oct4, Klf4 and c-Myc or MYCER TAM ) induced reprogramming of mouse neural stem (NS) cells exploiting endogenous SoxB1 protein levels in these cells. The reprogrammed neural stem cells differentiated into cells of each germ layer in vitro and in vivo, and contributed to mouse development in vivo. Thus a combinatorial approach taking advantage of endogenously expressed genes and inducible transgenes may contribute to the development of improved reprogramming protocols

  2. Muscle Contraction Induces Acute Hydroxymethylation of the Exercise-Responsive Gene Nr4a3

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pattamaprapanont, Pattarawan; Garde, Christian; Fabre, Odile

    2016-01-01

    stimulated over time is required to determine whether contraction-induced demethylation is preceded by changes in the hydroxymethylcytosine level. Here, we established an acute skeletal muscle contraction model to mimic the effects of acute exercise on gene expression. We used this model to investigate...... promoters. Exercise induces dynamic DNA demethylation at gene promoters; however, the contribution of the demethylation precursor hydroxymethylcytosine is unknown. Given the evanescent nature of hydroxymethylcytosine, a muscle contraction model that allows for the collection of samples that are repeatedly...... the effect of muscle contraction on DNA demethylation and hydroxymethylation. First, we performed an acute exercise study in healthy humans to identify an exercise-responsive gene that we could study in culture. We identified the nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 3 (Nr4a3) gene with the highest...

  3. Random mutagenesis of BoNT/E Hc nanobody to construct a secondary phage-display library.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahi, B; Mousavi Gargari, S L; Rasooli, I; Rajabi Bazl, M; Hoseinpoor, R

    2014-08-01

    To construct secondary mutant phage-display library of recombinant single variable domain (VHH) against botulinum neurotoxin E by error-prone PCR. The gene coding for specific VHH derived from the camel immunized with binding domain of botulinum neurotoxin E (BoNT/E) was amplified by error-prone PCR. Several biopanning rounds were used to screen the phage-displaying BoNT/E Hc nanobodies. The final nanobody, SHMR4, with increased affinity recognized BoNT/E toxin with no cross-reactivity with other antigens especially with related BoNT toxins. The constructed nanobody could be a suitable candidate for VHH-based biosensor production to detect the Clostridium botulinum type E. Diagnosis and treatment of botulinum neurotoxins are important. Generation of high-affinity antibodies based on the construction of secondary libraries using affinity maturation step leads to the development of reagents for precise diagnosis and therapy. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  4. Effects of dam-induced landscape fragmentation on amazonian ant-plant mutualistic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emer, Carine; Venticinque, Eduardo Martins; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto

    2013-08-01

    Mutualistic networks are critical to biological diversity maintenance; however, their structures and functionality may be threatened by a swiftly changing world. In the Amazon, the increasing number of dams poses a large threat to biological diversity because they greatly alter and fragment the surrounding landscape. Tight coevolutionary interactions typical of tropical forests, such as the ant-myrmecophyte mutualism, where the myrmecophyte plants provide domatia nesting space to their symbiotic ants, may be jeopardized by the landscape changes caused by dams. We analyzed 31 ant-myrmecophyte mutualistic networks in undisturbed and disturbed sites surrounding Balbina, the largest Central Amazonian dam. We tested how ant-myrmecophyte networks differ among dam-induced islands, lake edges, and undisturbed forests in terms of species richness, composition, structure, and robustness (number of species remaining in the network after partner extinctions). We also tested how landscape configuration in terms of area, isolation, shape, and neighborhood alters the structure of the ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands. Ant-myrmecophytic networks were highly compartmentalized in undisturbed forests, and the compartments had few strongly connected mutualistic partners. In contrast, networks at lake edges and on islands were not compartmentalized and were negatively affected by island area and isolation in terms of species richness, density, and composition. Habitat loss and fragmentation led to coextinction cascades that contributed to the elimination of entire ant-plant compartments. Furthermore, many myrmecophytic plants in disturbed sites lost their mutualistic ant partners or were colonized by opportunistic, nonspecialized ants. Robustness of ant-myrmecophyte networks on islands was lower than robustness near lake edges and in undisturbed forest and was particularly susceptible to the extinction of plants. Beyond the immediate habitat loss caused by the building of large dams

  5. ER-mediated stress induces mitochondrial-dependent caspases activation in NT2 neuron-like cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arduino, Daniela M; Esteves, A Raquel; Domingues, A Filipa; Pereira, Claudia M F; Cardoso, Sandra M; Oliveira, Catarina R

    2009-11-30

    Recent studies have revealed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) disturbance is involved in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders, contributing to the activation of the ER stress-mediated apoptotic pathway. Therefore, we investigated here the molecular mechanisms underlying the ER-mitochondria axis, focusing on calcium as a potential mediator of cell death signals. Using NT2 cells treated with brefeldin A or tunicamycin, we observed that ER stress induces changes in the mitochondrial function, impairing mitochondrial membrane potential and distressing mitochondrial respiratory chain complex Moreover, stress stimuli at ER level evoked calcium fluxes between ER and mitochondria. Under these conditions, ER stress activated the unfolded protein response by an overexpression of GRP78, and also caspase-4 and-2, both involved upstream of caspase-9. Our findings show that ER and mitochondria interconnection plays a prominent role in the induction of neuronal cell death under particular stress circumstances.

  6. Gustatory papillae and taste bud development and maintenance in the absence of TrkB ligands BDNF and NT-4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Akira; Nosrat, Christopher A

    2009-09-01

    Taste buds and the peripheral nerves innervating them are two important components of the peripheral gustatory system. They require appropriate connections for the taste system to function. Neurotrophic factors play crucial roles in the innervation of peripheral sensory organs and tissues. Both brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) null-mutated and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) null-mutated mice exhibit peripheral gustatory deficits. BDNF and NT-4 bind to a common high affinity tyrosine kinase receptor, TrkB (NTRK-2), and a common p75 neurotrophin receptor (NGFR). We are currently using a transgenic mouse model to study peripheral taste system development and innervation in the absence of both TrkB ligands. We show that taste cell progenitors express taste cell markers during early stages of taste bud development in both BDNF(-/-)xNT-4(-/-) and wild-type mice. At early embryonic stages, taste bud progenitors express Troma-1, Shh, and Sox2 in all mice. At later stages, lack of innervation becomes a prominent feature in BDNF(-/-)xNT-4(-/-) mice leading to a decreasing number of fungiform papillae and morphologically degenerating taste cells. A total loss of vallate taste cells also occurs in postnatal transgenic mice. Our data indicate an initial independence but a later permissive and essential role for innervation in taste bud development and maintenance.

  7. Frequency of canine nt230(del4) MDR1 mutation in prone pure breeds, their crosses and mongrels in Israel - insights from a worldwide comparative perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekel, Yaron; Machluf, Yossy; Stoler, Aviad; Aderet, Arava; Baumel, Daniel; Kellerman, Efrat; Plotsky, Yoram; Noked Partouche, Oshrat; Elhalal, Gal; Ben-Shlomo, Izhar; Bercovich, Dani

    2017-11-13

    Sensitivity to macrocyclic lactones, which are commonly used in veterinary clinics, was first found in Rough Collies, and was attributed in 2001 to a 4 bp deletion in the MDR1 gene. The list of affected breeds currently includes 13 breeds. Researchers from different countries and continents examined the allelic frequencies of the nt230(del4) MDR1 mutation, emphasizing the clinical importance of this test not only to mutation-prone dogs, but also to their crosses and mongrels, since treatment of a deletion carrier with these compounds may lead to its death. In this study, the allelic frequencies of nt230(del4) MDR1 mutation in affected breeds, their crosses, unrelated pure breeds and mongrels are reported for the state of Israel (n = 1416 dogs). The Israeli data were compared with reports from the US, Europe, UK, Australia and Japan. The allelic frequencies of nt230(del4) MDR1 mutation in Israel for Australian, Swiss and German Shepherds (31%, 17% and 2.4%, respectively) are similar to the corresponding frequencies worldwide, much higher for Border Collies (4.8%), twice lower for Rough Collies (28%, compared to 55% or more elsewhere), and ~1% for mongrels. The frequencies for crosses of Australian Shepherd and Border Collies in Israel are 4 and 1.6 times lower, respectively, compared to the frequencies for the respective pure breeds. This work, that for the first time presents the frequency of nt230(del4) MDR1 mutation in Israel, along with a worldwide survey, has implications for clinicians, owners and breeders of sheepdogs and their crosses and supports the need for extra care in treatment and in future breeding. Of note, the relative proportion of affected breeds, in the overall tested dogs, might be higher than their actual proportion in Israel due to directed samples collection by veterinarians for clinical purposes, as these are mainly limited to certain affected breeds or dogs that resemble them.

  8. A class V chitinase from Arabidopsis thaliana: gene responses, enzymatic properties, and crystallographic analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ohnuma, Takayuki; Numata, Tomoyuki; Osawa, Takuo

    2011-01-01

    Expression of a class V chitinase gene (At4g19810, AtChiC) in Arabidopsis thaliana was examined by quantitative real-time PCR and by analyzing microarray data available at Genevestigator. The gene expression was induced by the plant stress-related hormones abscisic acid (ABA) and jasmonic acid (JA......, the amino acid residues responsible for substrate binding were found to be well conserved when compared with those of the class V chitinase from Nicotiana tabacum (NtChiV). All of the structural and functional properties of AtChiC are quite similar to those obtained for NtChiV, and seem to be common...

  9. NT-proBNP concentrations in mountain marathoners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banfi, Giuseppe; Lippi, Giuseppe; Susta, Daniele; Barassi, Alessandra; D'Eril, Gianvico Melzi; Dogliotti, Giada; Corsi, Massimiliano M

    2010-05-01

    The 76 amino acid N-terminal proB-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is proposed for evaluating and monitoring heart pathologies characterized by myocardial wall stress. Strenuous exercise might generate transitory ischemia, myocardial stress, and diastolic left ventricular dysfunction, possibly inducing an increase of some biochemical parameter concentrations. An alert has been claimed owing to biochemical and instrumental signs of heart dysfunction in recreational athletes during marathon races. We studied the behaviour of NT-proBNP in 15 mountain marathoners before and after a race. The concentrations of the parameter were lower than that observed in controls at rest and were similar to that observed in professional soccer and rugby players. The concentrations significantly increased after the race. NT-proBNP is low at rest in professional athletes, and the increase after physical exercise is physiological. The marathoners, even when performing races in a high-altitude environment, show NT-proBNP concentrations similar to those of athletes from other sports disciplines, characterized by low levels of effort and by a mix of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. The increase of NT-proBNP is linked to strenuous physical exercise and to heavy heart effort, testified also by an increase of troponin I. However, the role of the NT-proBNP could be important to screen recreational and professional marathoners to avoid possible heart problems and sudden cardiac death in subjects with occult heart disease. The results of the present study are relevant to the design and evaluation of training programs for improving strength and function of professional marathoners.

  10. Workers select mates for queens: a possible mechanism of gene flow restriction between supercolonies of the invasive Argentine ant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunamura, Eiriki; Hoshizaki, Sugihiko; Sakamoto, Hironori; Fujii, Takeshi; Nishisue, Koji; Suzuki, Shun; Terayama, Mamoru; Ishikawa, Yukio; Tatsuki, Sadahiro

    2011-05-01

    Some invasive ants form large networks of mutually non-aggressive nests, i.e., supercolonies. The Argentine ant Linepithema humile forms much larger supercolonies in introduced ranges than in its native range. In both cases, it has been shown that little gene flow occurs between supercolonies of this species, though the mechanism of gene flow restriction is unknown. In this species, queens do not undertake nuptial flight, and males have to travel to foreign nests and cope with workers before gaining access to alien queens. In this study, we hypothesized that male Argentine ants receive interference from workers of alien supercolonies. To test this hypothesis, we conducted behavioral and chemical experiments using ants from two supercolonies in Japan. Workers attacked males from alien supercolonies but not those from their own supercolonies. The level of aggression against alien males was similar to that against alien workers. The frequency of severe aggression against alien males increased as the number of recipient workers increased. Cuticular hydrocarbon profiles, which serve as cues for nestmate recognition, of workers and males from the same supercolony were very similar. Workers are likely to distinguish alien males from males of their own supercolony using the profiles. It is predicted that males are subject to considerable aggression from workers when they intrude into the nests of alien supercolonies. This may be a mechanism underlying the restricted gene flow between supercolonies of Argentine ants. The Argentine ant may possess a distinctive reproductive system, where workers participate in selecting mates for their queens. We argue that the aggression of workers against alien males is a novel form of reproductive interference.

  11. Cloning and sequencing of wsp encoding gene fragments reveals a diversity of co-infecting Wolbachia strains in Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Borm, S.; Wenseleers, T.; Billen, J.

    2003-01-01

    Acromyrmex insinuator hosted two additional infections. The multiple Wolbachia strains may influence the expression of reproductive conflicts in leafcutter ants, but the expected turnover of infections may make the cumulative effects on host ant reproduction complex. The additional Wolbachia infections......By sequencing part of the wsp gene of a series of clones, we detected an unusually high diversity of nine Wolbachia strains in queens of three species of leafcutter ants. Up to four strains co-occurred in a single ant. Most strains occurred in two clusters (InvA and InvB), but the social parasite...

  12. Transcriptome characterisation of the ant Formica exsecta with new insights into the evolution of desaturase genes in social hymenoptera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélène Badouin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Despite the recent sequencing of seven ant genomes, no genomic data are available for the genus Formica, an important group for the study of eusocial traits. We sequenced the transcriptome of the ant Formica exsecta with the 454 FLX Titanium technology from a pooled sample of workers from 70 Finnish colonies. RESULTS: About 1,000,000 reads were obtained from a normalised cDNA library. We compared the assemblers MIRA3.0 and Newbler2.6 and showed that the latter performed better on this dataset due to a new option which is dedicated to improve contig formation in low depth portions of the assemblies. The 29,579 contigs represent 27 Mb. 50% showed similarity with known proteins and 25% could be assigned a category of gene ontology. We found more than 13,000 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms. The Δ9 desaturase gene family is an important multigene family involved in chemical communication in insects. We found six Δ9 desaturases in this Formica exsecta transcriptome dataset that were used to reconstruct a maximum-likelihood phylogeny of insect desaturases and to test for signatures of positive selection in this multigene family in ant lineages. We found differences with previous phylogenies of this gene family in ants, and found two clades potentially under positive selection. CONCLUSION: This first transcriptome reference sequence of Formica exsecta provided sequence and polymorphism data that will allow researchers working on Formica ants to develop studies to tackle the genetic basis of eusocial phenotypes. In addition, this study provided some general guidelines for de novo transcriptome assembly that should be useful for future transcriptome sequencing projects. Finally, we found potential signatures of positive selection in some clades of the Δ9 desaturase gene family in ants, which suggest the potential role of sequence divergence and adaptive evolution in shaping the large diversity of chemical cues in social insects.

  13. Respuestas faciales ante imágenes de advertencia de tabaco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Muñoz

    Full Text Available Resumen En 2003, la Comisión Europea propuso una serie de advertencias visuales para ser incluidas en los embalajes de tabaco, con el objetivo de motivar a los fumadores a dejar de fumar y promover actitudes negativas hacia el tabaco. El objetivo de este estudio fue evaluar el impacto de las advertencias sanitarias mediante autoinformes y medidas psicofisiológicas. Cincuenta sujetos sanos (19-23 años visionaron un conjunto de treinta y seis imágenes de diferente contenido emocional y veinticuatro del banco de imágenes preventivas propuestas por la Comisión Europea. Se registró la actividad eléctrica de los músculos cigomático mayor y corrugador mientras los sujetos visionaban estas imágenes. A continuación, los participantes evaluaban las imágenes en las dimensiones de agradabilidad y activación. Los resultados muestran una mayor actividad eléctrica del musculo corrugador ante la presentación de imágenes desagradables comparadas con advertencias desagradables incluidas en los paquetes de tabaco. Estos resultados sugieren que la campaña preventiva podría beneficiarse de imágenes preventivas más impactantes, promoviendo así la activación del sistema motivacional evitativo/defensivo.

  14. Assessment of RNAi-induced silencing in banana (Musa spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Tuong Vi T; Windelinckx, Saskia; Henry, Isabelle M; De Coninck, Barbara; Cammue, Bruno P A; Swennen, Rony; Remy, Serge

    2014-09-18

    In plants, RNA- based gene silencing mediated by small RNAs functions at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level to negatively regulate target genes, repetitive sequences, viral RNAs and/or transposon elements. Post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) or the RNA interference (RNAi) approach has been achieved in a wide range of plant species for inhibiting the expression of target genes by generating double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). However, to our knowledge, successful RNAi-application to knock-down endogenous genes has not been reported in the important staple food crop banana. Using embryogenic cell suspension (ECS) transformed with ß-glucuronidase (GUS) as a model system, we assessed silencing of gusAINT using three intron-spliced hairpin RNA (ihpRNA) constructs containing gusAINT sequences of 299-nt, 26-nt and 19-nt, respectively. Their silencing potential was analysed in 2 different experimental set-ups. In the first, Agrobacterium-mediated co-transformation of banana ECS with a gusAINT containing vector and an ihpRNA construct resulted in a significantly reduced GUS enzyme activity 6-8 days after co-cultivation with either the 299-nt and 19-nt ihpRNA vectors. In the second approach, these ihpRNA constructs were transferred to stable GUS-expressing ECS and their silencing potential was evaluated in the regenerated in vitro plants. In comparison to control plants, transgenic plants transformed with the 299-nt gusAINT targeting sequence showed a 4.5 fold down-regulated gusA mRNA expression level, while GUS enzyme activity was reduced by 9 fold. Histochemical staining of plant tissues confirmed these findings. Northern blotting used to detect the expression of siRNA in the 299-nt ihpRNA vector transgenic in vitro plants revealed a negative relationship between siRNA expression and GUS enzyme activity. In contrast, no reduction in GUS activity or GUS mRNA expression occurred in the regenerated lines transformed with either of the two gusAINT oligo target

  15. Sezary syndrome cells unlike normal circulating T lymphocytes fail to migrate following engagement of NT1 receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magazin, Marilyn; Poszepczynska-Guigné, Ewa; Bagot, Martine; Boumsell, Laurence; Pruvost, Christelle; Chalon, Pascale; Culouscou, Jean-Michel; Ferrara, Pascual; Bensussan, Armand

    2004-01-01

    Circulating malignant Sezary cells are a clonal proliferation of CD4+CD45RO+ T lymphocytes primarily involving the skin. To study the biology of these malignant T lymphocytes, we tested their ability to migrate in chemotaxis assays. Previously, we had shown that the neuropeptide neurotensin (NT) binds to freshly isolated Sezary malignant cells and induces through NT1 receptors the cell migration of the cutaneous T cell lymphoma cell line Cou-L. Here, we report that peripheral blood Sezary cells as well as the Sezary cell line Pno fail to migrate in response to neurotensin although they are capable of migrating to the chemokine stromal-cell-derived factor 1 alpha. This is in contrast with normal circulating CD4+ or CD8+ lymphocytes, which respond to both types of chemoattractants except after ex vivo short-time anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody activation, which abrogates the neurotensin-induced lymphocyte migration. Furthermore, we demonstrate that neurotensin-responsive T lymphocytes express the functional NT1 receptor responsible for chemotaxis. In these cells, but not in Sezary cells, neurotensin induces recruitment of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, and redistribution of phosphorylated cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase focal adhesion kinase and filamentous actin. Taken together, these results, which show functional distinctions between normal circulating lymphocytes and Sezary syndrome cells, contribute to further understanding of the physiopathology of these atypical cells.

  16. Presynaptic protein synthesis required for NT-3-induced long-term synaptic modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Je H

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurotrophins elicit both acute and long-term modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Previously, we demonstrated that the long-term synaptic modulation requires the endocytosis of neurotrophin-receptor complex, the activation of PI3K and Akt, and mTOR mediated protein synthesis. However, it is unclear whether the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins depends on protein synthesis in pre- or post-synaptic cells. Results Here we have developed an inducible protein translation blocker, in which the kinase domain of protein kinase R (PKR is fused with bacterial gyrase B domain (GyrB-PKR, which could be dimerized upon treatment with a cell permeable drug, coumermycin. By genetically targeting GyrB-PKR to specific cell types, we show that NT-3 induced long-term synaptic modulation requires presynaptic, but not postsynaptic protein synthesis. Conclusions Our results provide mechanistic insights into the cell-specific requirement for protein synthesis in the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins. The GyrB-PKR system may be useful tool to study protein synthesis in a cell-specific manner.

  17. Phosphatidylinositol (4,5)Bisphosphate Inhibits K+-Efflux Channel Activity in NT1 Tobacco Cultured Cells1[W][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiaohong; Shor, Oded; Diminshtein, Sofia; Yu, Ling; Im, Yang Ju; Perera, Imara; Lomax, Aaron; Boss, Wendy F.; Moran, Nava

    2009-01-01

    In the animal world, the regulation of ion channels by phosphoinositides (PIs) has been investigated extensively, demonstrating a wide range of channels controlled by phosphatidylinositol (4,5)bisphosphate (PtdInsP2). To understand PI regulation of plant ion channels, we examined the in planta effect of PtdInsP2 on the K+-efflux channel of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), NtORK (outward-rectifying K channel). We applied a patch clamp in the whole-cell configuration (with fixed “cytosolic” Ca2+ concentration and pH) to protoplasts isolated from cultured tobacco cells with genetically manipulated plasma membrane levels of PtdInsP2 and cellular inositol (1,4,5)trisphosphate: “Low PIs” had depressed levels of these PIs, and “High PIs” had elevated levels relative to controls. In all of these cells, K channel activity, reflected in the net, steady-state outward K+ currents (IK), was inversely related to the plasma membrane PtdInsP2 level. Consistent with this, short-term manipulations decreasing PtdInsP2 levels in the High PIs, such as pretreatment with the phytohormone abscisic acid (25 μm) or neutralizing the bath solution from pH 5.6 to pH 7, increased IK (i.e. NtORK activity). Moreover, increasing PtdInsP2 levels in controls or in abscisic acid-treated high-PI cells, using the specific PI-phospholipase C inhibitor U73122 (2.5–4 μm), decreased NtORK activity. In all cases, IK decreases stemmed largely from decreased maximum attainable NtORK channel conductance and partly from shifted voltage dependence of channel gating to more positive potentials, making it more difficult to activate the channels. These results are consistent with NtORK inhibition by the negatively charged PtdInsP2 in the internal plasma membrane leaflet. Such effects are likely to underlie PI signaling in intact plant cells. PMID:19052153

  18. Mating of the stichotrichous ciliate Oxytricha trifallax induces production of a class of 27 nt small RNAs derived from the parental macronucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan M Zahler

    Full Text Available Ciliated protozoans possess two types of nuclei; a transcriptionally silent micronucleus, which serves as the germ line nucleus, and a transcriptionally active macronucleus, which serves as the somatic nucleus. The macronucleus is derived from a new diploid micronucleus after mating, with epigenetic information contributed by the parental macronucleus serving to guide the formation of the new macronucleus. In the stichotrichous ciliate Oxytricha trifallax, the macronuclear DNA is highly processed to yield gene-sized nanochromosomes with telomeres at each end. Here we report that soon after mating of Oxytricha trifallax, abundant 27 nt small RNAs are produced that are not present prior to mating. We performed next generation sequencing of Oxytricha small RNAs from vegetative and mating cells. Using sequence comparisons between macronuclear and micronuclear versions of genes, we found that the 27 nt RNA class derives from the parental macronucleus, not the developing macronucleus. These small RNAs are produced equally from both strands of macronuclear nanochromosomes, but in a highly non-uniform distribution along the length of the nanochromosome, and with a particular depletion in the 30 nt telomere-proximal positions. This production of small RNAs from the parental macronucleus during macronuclear development stands in contrast to the mechanism of epigenetic control in the distantly related ciliate Tetrahymena. In that species, 28-29 nt scanRNAs are produced from the micronucleus and these micronuclear-derived RNAs serve as epigenetic controllers of macronuclear development. Unlike the Tetrahymena scanRNAs, the Oxytricha macronuclear-derived 27 mers are not modified by 2'O-methylation at their 3' ends. We propose models for the role of these "27macRNAs" in macronuclear development.

  19. Neurotrophin-4 in the brain of adult Nothobranchius furzeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angelo, L; Avallone, L; Cellerino, A; de Girolamo, P; Paolucci, M; Varricchio, E; Lucini, C

    2016-09-01

    Neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) is a member of the well-known family of neurotrophins that regulate the development of neuronal networks by participating in neuronal survival and differentiation, the growth of neuronal processes, synaptic development and plasticity, as well as myelination. NT-4 interacts with two distinct receptors: TrkB, high affinity receptor and p75 low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)). In the present survey, we identified the gene encoding NT-4 in the teleost Nothobranchius furzeri, a model species for aging research. The identified gene shows a similarity of about 72% with medaka, the closest related species. The neuroanatomical localization of NT-4 mRNA is obtained by using an LNA probe. NT-4 mRNA expression is observed in neurons and glial cells of the forebrain and hindbrain, with very low signal found in the midbrain. This survey confirms that NT-4 is expressed in the brain of N. furzeri during adulthood, suggesting that it could also be implicated in the maintenance and regulation of neuronal functions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Görüntü Eşleme ve Genetik Algoritmalar Kullanarak Görüntü içinde Görüntü Arama

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehmet Karakoc

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Bu çalışmada esas alınan problem, görüntü içinde görüntü aramayı etkin bir şekilde gerçekleştirebilmektir. Bu amaçla görüntü işleme kapsamında yer alan görüntü eşleme teknikleri ile arama algoritmaları birlikte kullanılmıştır. Görüntü eşleme için Yapay Sinir Ağları ile görüntünün ortalama renk değeri, görüntüdeki renk değerlerinin standart sapması, korelasyon ve görüntü kenar parametreleri gibi özellikler; görüntü arama için Genetik Algoritmalar kullanılmıştır. Bu çalışmada, akıllı arama algoritmaları, hızlı görüntü eşleme yöntemleri ve paralel programlama tekniklerine dayanan bütünleşik bir yöntem önerilmiş ve kullanılmıştır. Önerilen yöntem çok sayıda düşük ve yüksek çözünürlüklü referans ve şablon görüntü üzerinde test edilmiştir. Elde edilen sonuçlar önerilen yöntemin eşleşen görüntüleri elde etmede başarılı olduğunu ve toplam arama süresini azalttığını göstermiştir.

  1. A Combination of NT-4/5 and GDNF Is Favorable for Cultured Human Nigral Neural Progenitor Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Di Santo, Stefano; Meyer, Morten; Ducray, Angélique D

    2018-01-01

    by suboptimal integration and low survival of grafts. Pretreatment of donor tissue may offer a strategy to improve properties of transplanted DAergic neurons and thereby clinical outcome. We have previously shown that a combination of neurotrophin-4/5 (NT-4/5) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor...

  2. Learning from Clostridium novyi-NT: How to defeat cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Side effects associated with conventional anticancer therapies have prompted the new idea of solid tumor treatment strategy. One of them is using bacteria explored as potential antitumor agents over more than one century. Notably, the ideal therapy is a specifical target to tumors with limited toxicity. Here, we take “Clostridium novyi” for the search keyword in the PubMed from 2000 to 2015 and describe that C. novyi-NT spores act as “Trojan horse” for bacteriolytic therapy. This therapy is based on the fact that the live and attenuated obligate anaerobic bacteria are capable of binary fission selectively in anoxic areas of solid tumors and direct tumoricidal effects. Our succinct review mainly concentrates on the potential mechanisms of combination bacteriolytic therapy, an effective and safe tumor therapy with the help of C. novyi-NT. Importantly, C. novyi-NT spores were shown to induce solid tumor regression and exhibit the property to initiate an immune response. Therefore, C. novyi-NT spores should be an effective and safe tumor therapy.

  3. Isolation and expression analysis of a tobacco AINTEGUMENTA ortholog (NtANTL).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieu, Ivo; Bots, Marc; Mariani, Celestina; Weterings, Koen A P

    2005-05-01

    The Arabidopsis AINTEGUMENTA (ANT) protein is essential for proper ovule development, but functions in cell proliferation and organ growth throughout the plant. Here we report the isolation of a full-length cDNA clone from tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) that encodes a protein with high similarity to ANT and is preferentially expressed in the pistil. In situ hybridization analysis on the tobacco ovary shows that the expression pattern of the corresponding gene is different from that of ANT in Arabidopsis.

  4. Evolutionary constraints shape caste-specific gene expression across 15 ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandin, Claire; Mikheyev, Alexander S; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Helanterä, Heikki

    2017-05-01

    Development of polymorphic phenotypes from similar genomes requires gene expression differences. However, little is known about how morph-specific gene expression patterns vary on a broad phylogenetic scale. We hypothesize that evolution of morph-specific gene expression, and consequently morph-specific phenotypic evolution, may be constrained by gene essentiality and the amount of pleiotropic constraints. Here, we use comparative transcriptomics of queen and worker morphs, that is, castes, from 15 ant species to understand the constraints of morph-biased gene expression. In particular, we investigate how measures of evolutionary constraints at the sequence level (expression level, connectivity, and number of gene ontology [GO] terms) correlate with morph-biased expression. Our results show that genes indeed vary in their potential to become morph-biased. The existence of genes that are constrained in becoming caste-biased potentially limits the evolutionary decoupling of the caste phenotypes, that is, it might result in "caste load" occasioning from antagonistic fitness variation, similarly to sexually antagonistic fitness variation between males and females. On the other hand, we suggest that genes under low constraints are released from antagonistic variation and thus more likely to be co-opted for morph specific use. Overall, our results suggest that the factors that affect sequence evolutionary rates and evolution of plastic expression may largely overlap. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Jasmonate mediates salt-induced nicotine biosynthesis in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaodong Chen

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Jasmonate (JA, as an important signal, plays a key role in multiple processes of plant growth, development and stress response. Nicotine and related pyridine alkaloids in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. are essential secondary metabolites. Whether environmental factors control nicotine biosynthesis and the underlying mechanism remains previously unreported. Here, we applied physiological and biochemical approaches to investigate how salt stress affects nicotine biosynthesis in tobacco. We found that salt stress induced the biosynthesis of JA, which subsequently triggered the activation of JA-responsive gene expression and, ultimately, nicotine synthesis. Bioinformatics analysis revealed the existence of many NtMYC2a-recognized G-box motifs in the promoter regions of NtLOX, NtAOS, NtAOC and NtOPR genes. Applying exogenous JA increased nicotine content, while suppressing JA biosynthesis reduced nicotine biosynthesis. Salt treatment could not efficiently induce nicotine biosynthesis in transgenic anti-COI1 tobacco plants. These results demonstrate that JA acts as the essential signal which triggers nicotine biosynthesis in tobacco after salt stress.

  6. Changes in rat spinal cord gene expression after inflammatory hyperalgesia of the joint and manual therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhlen, Rachel L; Singh, Vineet K; Pazdernik, Vanessa K; Towns, Lex C; Snider, Eric J; Sargentini, Neil J; Degenhardt, Brian F

    2014-10-01

    Mobilization of a joint affects local tissue directly but may also have other effects that are mediated through the central nervous system. To identify differential gene expression in the spinal cords of rats with or without inflammatory joint injury after manual therapy or no treatment. Rats were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: no injury and no touch (NI/NT), injury and no touch (I/NT), no injury and manual therapy (NI/MT), and injury and manual therapy (I/MT). We induced acute inflammatory joint injury in the rats by injecting carrageenan into an ankle. Rats in the no-injury groups did not receive carrageenan injection. One day after injury, rats received manual therapy to the knee of the injured limb. Rats in the no-touch groups were anesthetized without receiving manual therapy. Spinal cords were harvested 30 minutes after therapy or no touch, and spinal cord gene expression was analyzed by microarray for 3 comparisons: NI/NT vs I/NT, I/MT vs I/NT, and NI/NT vs NI/MT. Three rats were assigned to each group. Of 38,875 expressed sequence tags, 755 were differentially expressed in the NI/NT vs I/NT comparison. For the other comparisons, no expressed sequence tags were differentially expressed. Cluster analysis revealed that the differentially expressed sequence tags were over-represented in several categories, including ion homeostasis (enrichment score, 2.29), transmembrane (enrichment score, 1.55), and disulfide bond (enrichment score, 2.04). An inflammatory injury to the ankle of rats caused differential expression of genes in the spinal cord. Consistent with other studies, genes involved in ion transport were among those affected. However, manual therapy to the knees of injured limbs or to rats without injury did not alter gene expression in the spinal cord. Thus, evidence for central nervous system mediation of manual therapy was not observed. © 2014 The American Osteopathic Association.

  7. Gene cloning and induced expression pattern of IRF4 and IRF10 in the Asian swamp eel (Monopterus albus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    XU, Qiao-Qing; YANG, Dai-Qin; TUO, Rui; WAN, Jing; CHANG, Ming-Xian; NIE, Pin

    2014-01-01

    The Asian swamp eel (Monopterus albus) is one of the most economically important freshwater fish in East Asia, but data on the immune genes of M. albus are scarce compared to other commercially important fish. A better understanding of the eel’s immune responses may help in developing strategies for disease management, potentially improving yields and mitigating losses. In mammals, interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) play a vital role in both the innate and adaptive immune system; though among teleosts IRF4 and IRF10 have seldom been studied. In this study, we characterized IRF4 and IRF10 from M. albus (maIRF4 and maIRF10) and found that maIRF4 cDNA consists of 1 716 nucleotides encoding a 451 amino acid (aa) protein, while maIRF10 consists of 1 744 nucleotides including an open reading frame (ORF) of 1 236 nt encoding 411 aa. The maIRF10 gene was constitutively expressed at high levels in a variety of tissues, while maIRF4 showed a very limited expression pattern. Expression of maIRF4 and maIRF10 in head kidney, and spleen tissues was significantly up-regulated from 12 h to 48 h post-stimulation with polyinosinic: polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and a common pathogenic bacteria Aeromonas hydrophila. These results suggest that IRF4 and IRF10 play roles in immune responses to both viral and bacterial infections in M. albus. PMID:25297077

  8. Gene-Transformation-Induced Changes in Chemical Functional Group Features and Molecular Structure Conformation in Alfalfa Plants Co-Expressing Lc-bHLH and C1-MYB Transcriptive Flavanoid Regulatory Genes: Effects of Single-Gene and Two-Gene Insertion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heendeniya, Ravindra G; Yu, Peiqiang

    2017-03-20

    Alfalfa ( Medicago sativa L.) genotypes transformed with Lc-bHLH and Lc transcription genes were developed with the intention of stimulating proanthocyanidin synthesis in the aerial parts of the plant. To our knowledge, there are no studies on the effect of single-gene and two-gene transformation on chemical functional groups and molecular structure changes in these plants. The objective of this study was to use advanced molecular spectroscopy with multivariate chemometrics to determine chemical functional group intensity and molecular structure changes in alfalfa plants when co-expressing Lc-bHLH and C1-MYB transcriptive flavanoid regulatory genes in comparison with non-transgenic (NT) and AC Grazeland (ACGL) genotypes. The results showed that compared to NT genotype, the presence of double genes ( Lc and C1 ) increased ratios of both the area and peak height of protein structural Amide I/II and the height ratio of α-helix to β-sheet. In carbohydrate-related spectral analysis, the double gene-transformed alfalfa genotypes exhibited lower peak heights at 1370, 1240, 1153, and 1020 cm -1 compared to the NT genotype. Furthermore, the effect of double gene transformation on carbohydrate molecular structure was clearly revealed in the principal component analysis of the spectra. In conclusion, single or double transformation of Lc and C1 genes resulted in changing functional groups and molecular structure related to proteins and carbohydrates compared to the NT alfalfa genotype. The current study provided molecular structural information on the transgenic alfalfa plants and provided an insight into the impact of transgenes on protein and carbohydrate properties and their molecular structure's changes.

  9. A hybrid gene selection approach for microarray data classification using cellular learning automata and ant colony optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vafaee Sharbaf, Fatemeh; Mosafer, Sara; Moattar, Mohammad Hossein

    2016-06-01

    This paper proposes an approach for gene selection in microarray data. The proposed approach consists of a primary filter approach using Fisher criterion which reduces the initial genes and hence the search space and time complexity. Then, a wrapper approach which is based on cellular learning automata (CLA) optimized with ant colony method (ACO) is used to find the set of features which improve the classification accuracy. CLA is applied due to its capability to learn and model complicated relationships. The selected features from the last phase are evaluated using ROC curve and the most effective while smallest feature subset is determined. The classifiers which are evaluated in the proposed framework are K-nearest neighbor; support vector machine and naïve Bayes. The proposed approach is evaluated on 4 microarray datasets. The evaluations confirm that the proposed approach can find the smallest subset of genes while approaching the maximum accuracy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Overexpression of snapdragon Delila (Del) gene in tobacco enhances anthocyanin accumulation and abiotic stress tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naing, Aung Htay; Park, Kyeung Il; Ai, Trinh Ngoc; Chung, Mi Young; Han, Jeung Sul; Kang, Young-Wha; Lim, Ki Byung; Kim, Chang Kil

    2017-03-23

    Rosea1 (Ros1) and Delila (Del) co-expression controls anthocyanin accumulation in snapdragon flowers, while their overexpression in tomato strongly induces anthocyanin accumulation. However, little data exist on how Del expression alone influences anthocyanin accumulation. In tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi'), Del expression enhanced leaf and flower anthocyanin production through regulating NtCHS, NtCHI, NtF3H, NtDFR, and NtANS transcript levels. Transgenic lines displayed different anthocyanin colors (e.g., pale red: T 0 -P, red: T 0 -R, and strong red: T 0 -S), resulting from varying levels of biosynthetic gene transcripts. Under salt stress, the T 2 generation had higher total polyphenol content, radical (DPPH, ABTS) scavenging activities, antioxidant-related gene expression, as well as overall greater salt and drought tolerance than wild type (WT). We propose that Del overexpression elevates transcript levels of anthocyanin biosynthetic and antioxidant-related genes, leading to enhanced anthocyanin production and antioxidant activity. The resultant increase of anthocyanin and antioxidant activity improves abiotic stress tolerance.

  11. Antioxidant enzyme gene delivery to protect from HIV-1 gp120-induced neuronal apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, L; Louboutin, J-P; Reyes, B A S; Van Bockstaele, E J; Strayer, D S

    2006-12-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection in the central nervous system (CNS) may lead to neuronal loss and progressively deteriorating CNS function: HIV-1 gene products, especially gp120, induce free radical-mediated apoptosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), are among the potential mediators of these effects. Neurons readily form ROS after gp120 exposure, and so might be protected from ROS-mediated injury by antioxidant enzymes such as Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and/or glutathione peroxidase (GPx1). Both enzymes detoxify oxygen free radicals. As they are highly efficient gene delivery vehicles for neurons, recombinant SV40-derived vectors were used for these studies. Cultured mature neurons derived from NT2 cells and primary fetal neurons were transduced with rSV40 vectors carrying human SOD1 and/or GPx1 cDNAs, then exposed to gp120. Apoptosis was measured by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Transduction efficiency of both neuron populations was >95%, as assayed by immunostaining. Transgene expression was also ascertained by Western blotting and direct assays of enzyme activity. Gp120 induced apoptosis in a high percentage of unprotected NT2-N. Transduction with SV(SOD1) and SV(GPx1) before gp120 challenge reduced neuronal apoptosis by >90%. Even greater protection was seen in cells treated with both vectors in sequence. Given singly or in combination, they protect neuronal cells from HIV-1-gp120 induced apoptosis. We tested whether rSV40 s can deliver antioxidant enzymes to the CNS in vivo: intracerebral injection of SV(SOD1) or SV(GPx1) into the caudate putamen of rat brain yielded excellent transgene expression in neurons. In vivo transduction using SV(SOD1) also protected neurons from subsequent gp120-induced apoptosis after injection of both into the caudate putamen of rat brain. Thus, SOD1 and GPx1 can be delivered by SV40 vectors in vitro or in vivo. This approach may merit consideration for

  12. Pharmacogenetic characterization of naturally occurring germline NT5C1A variants to chemotherapeutic nucleoside analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saliba, Jason; Zabriskie, Ryan; Ghosh, Rajarshi; Powell, Bradford C; Hicks, Stephanie; Kimmel, Marek; Meng, Qingchang; Ritter, Deborah I; Wheeler, David A; Gibbs, Richard A; Tsai, Francis T F; Plon, Sharon E

    2016-01-01

    Background Mutations or alteration in expression of the 5’ nucleotidase gene family can confer altered responses to treatment with nucleoside analogs. While investigating leukemia susceptibility genes, we discovered a very rare p.L254P NT5C1A missense variant in the substrate recognition motif. Given the paucity of cellular drug response data from NT5C1A germline variation, we characterized p.L254P and eight rare variants of NT5C1A from genomic databases. Methods Through lentiviral infection, we created HEK293 cell lines that stably overexpress wildtype NT5C1A, p.L254P, or eight NT5C1A variants reported in the NHLBI Exome Variant server (one truncating and seven missense). IC50 values were determined by cytotoxicity assays after exposure to chemotherapeutic nucleoside analogs (Cladribine, Gemcitabine, 5-Fluorouracil). In addition, we used structure-based homology modeling to generate a 3D model for the C-terminal region of NT5C1A. Results The p.R180X (truncating), p.A214T, and p.L254P missense changes were the only variants that significantly impaired protein function across all nucleotide analogs tested (>5-fold difference versus WT; p<.05). Several of the remaining variants individually displayed differential effects (both more and less resistant) across the analogs tested. The homology model provided a structural framework to understand the impact of NT5C1A mutants on catalysis and drug processing. The model predicted active site residues within NT5C1A motif III and we experimentally confirmed that p.K314 (not p.K320) is required for NT5C1A activity. Conclusion We characterized germline variation and predicted protein structures of NT5C1A. Individual missense changes showed substantial variation in response to the different nucleoside analogs tested, which may impact patients’ responses to treatment. PMID:26906009

  13. Expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, neurotrophin-3, and neurotrophin-4 in the nucleus accumbens during heroin dependency and withdrawal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yixin; Xia, Baijuan; Li, Rongrong; Yin, Dan; Wang, Yanlin; Liang, Wenmei

    2017-08-02

    Neurotrophins, brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4), have been implicated in the modulation of heroin dependency. This study was designed to explore the expression alterations of BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4 in the context of heroin dependence and withdrawal in the rat nucleus accumbens (NAc). Heroin dependence was induced by a progressive intraperitoneal treatment of heroin. The results showed that the expression levels of BDNF and NT-4 were significantly decreased in the NAc of rats with heroin addiction in comparison with the control group, whereas there was a significant increase in BDNF and NT-4 expressions in the groups of rats with both naloxone-induced and spontaneous withdrawal. Moreover, NT-3 expression was markedly increased in the NAc of rats with heroin addiction and spontaneous withdrawal in comparison with the control group, but decreased in the NAc of rats with naloxone-induced withdrawal. These results indicated that chronic administration of heroin results in the alterations of BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4 expressions in the rat NAc. BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4 may play a critical role in the development of heroin dependency and withdrawal.

  14. Nuclear transfer alters placental gene expression and associated histone modifications of the placental-specific imprinted gene pleckstrin homology-like domain, family A, member 2 (PHLDA2) in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Daniel R; Gaspar, Roberta C; da Rocha, Carlos V; Sangalli, Juliano R; de Bem, Tiago H C; Corrêa, Carolina A P; Penteado, João C T; Meirelles, Flavio V; Lopes, Flavia L

    2017-03-01

    Abnormal placental development is frequent in nuclear transfer (NT) pregnancies and is likely to be associated with altered epigenetic reprogramming. In the present study, fetal and placental measurements were taken on Day 60 of gestation in cows with pregnancies produced by AI, IVF and NT. Placentas were collected and subjected to histological evaluation, the expression of genes important in trophoblast differentiation and expression of the placental imprinted gene pleckstrin homology-like domain, family A, member 2 (PHLDA2), as well as chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) for histone marks within the promoter of PHLDA2. Fewer binucleated cells were observed in NT cotyledons, followed by IVF and AI cotyledons (P<0.05). Expression of heart and neural crest derivatives expressed 1 (HAND1), placental lactogen (PL), pregnancy-associated glycoprotein 9 (PAG-9) and PHLDA2 was elevated in NT cotyledons compared with AI cotyledons. Expression of PHLDA2 was higher in IVF than AI samples (P<0.05). ChIP revealed an increase in the permissive mark dimethylation of lysine 4 on histone H3 (H3K4me2), surprisingly associated with the silent allele of PHLDA2, and a decrease in the inhibitory mark H3K9me2 in NT samples. Thus, genes critical for placental development were altered in NT placentas, including an imprinted gene. Allele-specific changes in the permissive histone mark in the PHLDA2 promoter indicate misregulation of imprinting in clones. Abnormal trophoblast differentiation could have resulted in lower numbers of binucleated cells following NT. These results suggest that the altered expression of imprinted genes associated with NT are also caused by changes in histone modifications.

  15. Expressed sequence tags from Atta laevigata and identification of candidate genes for the control of pest leaf-cutting ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrique-Silva Flávio

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leafcutters are the highest evolved within Neotropical ants in the tribe Attini and model systems for studying caste formation, labor division and symbiosis with microorganisms. Some species of leafcutters are agricultural pests controlled by chemicals which affect other animals and accumulate in the environment. Aiming to provide genetic basis for the study of leafcutters and for the development of more specific and environmentally friendly methods for the control of pest leafcutters, we generated expressed sequence tag data from Atta laevigata, one of the pest ants with broad geographic distribution in South America. Results The analysis of the expressed sequence tags allowed us to characterize 2,006 unique sequences in Atta laevigata. Sixteen of these genes had a high number of transcripts and are likely positively selected for high level of gene expression, being responsible for three basic biological functions: energy conservation through redox reactions in mitochondria; cytoskeleton and muscle structuring; regulation of gene expression and metabolism. Based on leafcutters lifestyle and reports of genes involved in key processes of other social insects, we identified 146 sequences potential targets for controlling pest leafcutters. The targets are responsible for antixenobiosis, development and longevity, immunity, resistance to pathogens, pheromone function, cell signaling, behavior, polysaccharide metabolism and arginine kynase activity. Conclusion The generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags from Atta laevigata have provided important genetic basis for future studies on the biology of leaf-cutting ants and may contribute to the development of a more specific and environmentally friendly method for the control of agricultural pest leafcutters.

  16. Expressed sequence tags from Atta laevigata and identification of candidate genes for the control of pest leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodovalho, Cynara M; Ferro, Milene; Fonseca, Fernando Pp; Antonio, Erik A; Guilherme, Ivan R; Henrique-Silva, Flávio; Bacci, Maurício

    2011-06-17

    Leafcutters are the highest evolved within Neotropical ants in the tribe Attini and model systems for studying caste formation, labor division and symbiosis with microorganisms. Some species of leafcutters are agricultural pests controlled by chemicals which affect other animals and accumulate in the environment. Aiming to provide genetic basis for the study of leafcutters and for the development of more specific and environmentally friendly methods for the control of pest leafcutters, we generated expressed sequence tag data from Atta laevigata, one of the pest ants with broad geographic distribution in South America. The analysis of the expressed sequence tags allowed us to characterize 2,006 unique sequences in Atta laevigata. Sixteen of these genes had a high number of transcripts and are likely positively selected for high level of gene expression, being responsible for three basic biological functions: energy conservation through redox reactions in mitochondria; cytoskeleton and muscle structuring; regulation of gene expression and metabolism. Based on leafcutters lifestyle and reports of genes involved in key processes of other social insects, we identified 146 sequences potential targets for controlling pest leafcutters. The targets are responsible for antixenobiosis, development and longevity, immunity, resistance to pathogens, pheromone function, cell signaling, behavior, polysaccharide metabolism and arginine kynase activity. The generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags from Atta laevigata have provided important genetic basis for future studies on the biology of leaf-cutting ants and may contribute to the development of a more specific and environmentally friendly method for the control of agricultural pest leafcutters.

  17. Structural evolution of the 4/1 genes and proteins in non-vascular and lower vascular plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozov, Sergey Y; Milyutina, Irina A; Bobrova, Vera K; Ryazantsev, Dmitry Y; Erokhina, Tatiana N; Zavriev, Sergey K; Agranovsky, Alexey A; Solovyev, Andrey G; Troitsky, Alexey V

    2015-12-01

    The 4/1 protein of unknown function is encoded by a single-copy gene in most higher plants. The 4/1 protein of Nicotiana tabacum (Nt-4/1 protein) has been shown to be alpha-helical and predominantly expressed in conductive tissues. Here, we report the analysis of 4/1 genes and the encoded proteins of lower land plants. Sequences of a number of 4/1 genes from liverworts, lycophytes, ferns and gymnosperms were determined and analyzed together with sequences available in databases. Most of the vascular plants were found to encode Magnoliophyta-like 4/1 proteins exhibiting previously described gene structure and protein properties. Identification of the 4/1-like proteins in hornworts, liverworts and charophyte algae (sister lineage to all land plants) but not in mosses suggests that 4/1 proteins are likely important for plant development but not required for a primary metabolic function of plant cell. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  18. Mutation spectrum of β-globin gene in thalassemia patients at Hasan Sadikin Hospital - West Java Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maskoen, Ani Melani; Rahayu, Nurul S; Reniarti, Lelani; Susanah, Susi; Laksono, Bremmy; Fauziah, Prima Nanda; Zada, Almira; Hidayat, Dadang S

    2017-12-30

    Thalassemia is the most common hereditary haemolytic anemia in Southeast Asia, in which Indonesia is among countries that are at a high risk for thalassemia. It has been reported that mutation in the beta-globin gene is responsible in severe Thalassemia. However, the spectrum of beta-globin gene mutations in Indonesian population varies in different regions . Thus, this study aimed to identify the most prevalent mutation of Thalassemia patients from the Hasan Sadikin Hospital, Bandung, using this as a reference hospital for Thalassemia in West Java. The three most prevalent mutations of beta globin (IVS1nt5, Cd26 (HbE), and IVS1nt1), were conducted in the beginning of this study. Mutations of 291 samples were detected by PCR-RFLP in the Molecular Genetic Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung. The prevalence of the beta globin gene mutation types were 47.4% IVS1nt5 homozygote, 9.9% compound heterozygote IVS1nt5/HbE, 5.4% compound heterozygote IVS1nt5/IVS1nt1, 1.4% compound heterozygote HbE/IVS1nt1, 1% HbE homozygote, 14.4% Compound heterzygote IVS1nt5/… (no paired mutation), 2.06% compound heterozygote HbE/… (no paired mutation), 1.3% compound heterozygote IVS1nt1/… (no paired mutation), and 7 samples were unidentified. The thalassemia mutation IVS1nt5 homozygote is the most common mutation found in Thalassemia patients at Hasan Sadikin Hospital, Bandung. The samples with unidentified results might carry mutations other than the three that are observed in the present study.

  19. Effect of RNAi p21 gene on uncoupling of EL-4 cells induced by X-irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ju Guizhi; Yan Fengqin; Fu Shibo; Shen Bo; Sun Shilong; Yang Ying; Li Pengwu

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effect of RNAi p21 gene on uncoupling of EL-4 cells induced by X-irradiation. Methods: Construction of RNAi p21 plasmid of pSileneer3.1-H1 neo-p21 was performed. Lipofectamine transfection assay was used to transfer the p21siBNA into EL-4 cells. Fluorescent staining and flow cytometry (FCM) analysis were employed for measurement of protein expression. Fluorescent staining of propidium iodide (PI) and FCM were used for measurement of potyploid cells. Results: In dose-effect experiment it was found that the expression of P21 protein of EL-4 cells increased significantly 24 h after X- irradiation with different doses compared with sham-inadiated control. In time course experiment it was found that the expression of P21 protein of EL-4 cells increased significantly at 8 h to 72 h after 4.0 Gy X-irradiation compared with sham-irradiated control. The results showed that the number of polyploid cells in EL-4 cells was not changed markedly after X-irradiation with doses of 0.5-6.0 Gy. After RNA interference with p21 gene, the expression of P21 protein of EL-4 cells decreased significantly 24 h and 48 h after 4.0 Gy X-irradiation in transfection of plasmid of pSilencer3.1-H1 neo-p21 compared with transfection of plasmid of pSilencer3.1-H1 nco control. And at the same time, the number of polyploid cells in EL-4 cells was increased significantly in transfection of plasmid of pSilencer3.1-H1 neo-p21 compared with transfection of plasmid of pSilencer3.1-H1 nco control. Conclusions: Uncoupling could be induced by X-irradiation in EL-4 cells following BNAi p21 gene, suggesting that P21 protein may play an important role in uncoupling induced by X-rays. (authors)

  20. Technical advances in trigger-induced RNA interference gene silencing in the parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Mohamed I; Foda, Bardees M; Suresh, Susmitha; Singh, Upinder

    2016-03-01

    Entamoeba histolytica has a robust endogenous RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. There are abundant 27 nucleotide (nt) anti-sense small RNAs (AS sRNAs) that target genes for silencing and the genome encodes many genes involved in the RNAi pathway such as Argonaute proteins. Importantly, an E. histolytica gene with numerous AS sRNAs can function as a "trigger" to induce silencing of a gene that is fused to the trigger. Thus, the amebic RNAi pathway regulates gene expression relevant to amebic biology and has additionally been harnessed as a tool for genetic manipulation. In this study we have further improved the trigger-induced gene silencing method. We demonstrate that rather than using the full-length gene, a short portion of the coding region fused to a trigger is sufficient to induce silencing; the first 537 bp of the E. histolytica rhomboid gene (EhROM1) fused in-frame to the trigger was sufficient to silence EhROM1. We also demonstrated that the trigger method could silence two amebic genes concomitantly; fusion of the coding regions of EhROM1 and transcription factor, EhMyb, in-frame to a trigger gene resulted in both genes being silenced. Alternatively, two genes can be silenced sequentially: EhROM1-silenced parasites with no drug selection plasmid were transfected with trigger-EhMyb, resulting in parasites with both EhROM1 and EhMyb silenced. With all approaches tested, the trigger-mediated silencing was substantive and silencing was maintained despite loss of the G418 selectable marker. All gene silencing was associated with generation of AS sRNAs to the silenced gene. We tested the reversibility of the trigger system using inhibitors of histone modifications but found that the silencing was highly stable. This work represents a technical advance in the trigger gene silencing method in E. histolytica. Approaches that readily silence multiple genes add significantly to the genetic toolkit available to the ameba research community. Copyright © 2016

  1. Manganese Superoxide Dismutase Gene Expression Is Induced by Nanog and Oct4, Essential Pluripotent Stem Cells’ Transcription Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solari, Claudia; Vázquez Echegaray, Camila; Cosentino, María Soledad; Petrone, María Victoria; Waisman, Ariel; Luzzani, Carlos; Francia, Marcos; Villodre, Emilly; Lenz, Guido; Miriuka, Santiago; Barañao, Lino; Guberman, Alejandra

    2015-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells possess complex systems that protect them from oxidative stress and ensure genomic stability, vital for their role in development. Even though it has been reported that antioxidant activity diminishes along stem cell differentiation, little is known about the transcriptional regulation of the involved genes. The reported modulation of some of these genes led us to hypothesize that some of them could be regulated by the transcription factors critical for self-renewal and pluripotency in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this work, we studied the expression profile of multiple genes involved in antioxidant defense systems in both ESCs and iPSCs. We found that Manganese superoxide dismutase gene (Mn-Sod/Sod2) was repressed during diverse differentiation protocols showing an expression pattern similar to Nanog gene. Moreover, Sod2 promoter activity was induced by Oct4 and Nanog when we performed a transactivation assay using two different reporter constructions. Finally, we studied Sod2 gene regulation by modulating the expression of Oct4 and Nanog in ESCs by shRNAs and found that downregulation of any of them reduced Sod2 expression. Our results indicate that pluripotency transcription factors positively modulate Sod2 gene transcription. PMID:26642061

  2. Prospecting for viral natural enemies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valles, Steven M; Porter, Sanford D; Calcaterra, Luis A

    2018-01-01

    Metagenomics and next generation sequencing were employed to discover new virus natural enemies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren in its native range (i.e., Formosa, Argentina) with the ultimate goal of testing and releasing new viral pathogens into U.S. S. invicta populations to provide natural, sustainable control of this ant. RNA was purified from worker ants from 182 S. invicta colonies, which was pooled into 4 groups according to location. A library was created from each group and sequenced using Illumina Miseq technology. After a series of winnowing methods to remove S. invicta genes, known S. invicta virus genes, and all other non-virus gene sequences, 61,944 unique singletons were identified with virus identity. These were assembled de novo yielding 171 contiguous sequences with significant identity to non-plant virus genes. Fifteen contiguous sequences exhibited very high expression rates and were detected in all four gene libraries. One contig (Contig_29) exhibited the highest expression level overall and across all four gene libraries. Random amplification of cDNA ends analyses expanded this contiguous sequence yielding a complete virus genome, which we have provisionally named Solenopsis invicta virus 5 (SINV-5). SINV-5 is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus with genome characteristics consistent with insect-infecting viruses from the family Dicistroviridae. Moreover, the replicative genome strand of SINV-5 was detected in worker ants indicating that S. invicta serves as host for the virus. Many additional sequences were identified that are likely of viral origin. These sequences await further investigation to determine their origins and relationship with S. invicta. This study expands knowledge of the RNA virome diversity found within S. invicta populations.

  3. IFNγ induces oxidative stress, DNA damage and tumor cell senescence via TGFβ/SMAD signaling-dependent induction of Nox4 and suppression of ANT2

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hubáčková, Soňa; Kučerová, Alena; Michlits, Georg; Kyjacová, Lenka; Reiniš, Milan; Korolov, Oleksandr; Bartek, Jiří; Hodný, Zdeněk

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 35, č. 10 (2016), s. 1236-1249 ISSN 0950-9232 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-17658S; GA MZd NT14461; GA AV ČR(CZ) L200521301 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : IFNγ * DNA damage * TGFβ/SMAD signaling * Nox4 Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 7.519, year: 2016

  4. Permeability of the blood-brain barrier to the neurotensin8-13 analog NT1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, W A; Wustrow, D J; Cody, W L; Davis, M D; Kastin, A J

    1995-10-09

    Neurotensin (NT) has been suggested to be a neuropeptide with therapeutic potential. We used multiple-time regression analysis to measure the unidirectional influx constant (Ki) of a tritiated analog of NT8-13, NT1, with improved metabolic stability. The Ki of [3H]NT1 across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) was 5.12(10(-4)) ml/g-min and was decreased 66% by unlabeled NT1 system. The amount of NT1 crossing the BBB, 0.087% of the injected dose per gram of brain, is consistent with its exerting central effects after peripheral administration. The stable [3H]NT1 crossed the BBB in intact form as assessed by HPLC and completely crossed the endothelial cells that comprise the BBB as assessed by the capillary depletion method. The presence of a transport system could be important for the development of NT analogs.

  5. Genome-Wide Identification, Evolutionary and Expression Analyses of the GALACTINOL SYNTHASE Gene Family in Rapeseed and Tobacco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonghai Fan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Galactinol synthase (GolS is a key enzyme in raffinose family oligosaccharide (RFO biosynthesis. The finding that GolS accumulates in plants exposed to abiotic stresses indicates RFOs function in environmental adaptation. However, the evolutionary relationships and biological functions of GolS family in rapeseed (Brassica napus and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum remain unclear. In this study, we identified 20 BnGolS and 9 NtGolS genes. Subcellular localization predictions showed that most of the proteins are localized to the cytoplasm. Phylogenetic analysis identified a lost event of an ancient GolS copy in the Solanaceae and an ancient duplication event leading to evolution of GolS4/7 in the Brassicaceae. The three-dimensional structures of two GolS proteins were conserved, with an important DxD motif for binding to UDP-galactose (uridine diphosphate-galactose and inositol. Expression profile analysis indicated that BnGolS and NtGolS genes were expressed in most tissues and highly expressed in one or two specific tissues. Hormone treatments strongly induced the expression of most BnGolS genes and homologous genes in the same subfamilies exhibited divergent-induced expression. Our study provides a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of GolS genes among the Brassicaceae and Solanaceae as well as an insight into the biological function of GolS genes in hormone response in plants.

  6. Specitic gene alterations in radiation-induced tumorigenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahn, Joo Mee; Kang, Chang Mo; Lee, Seung Sook; Cho, Chul Koo; Bae, Sang Woo; Lee, Su Jae; Lee, Yun Sil [Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2004-07-01

    To identify a set of genes involved in the development of radiation-induced tumorigenesis, we used DNA microarrays consisting of 1,176 mouse genes and compared expression profiles of radioresistant cells, designated NIH3T3-R1 and -R4. These cells were tumorigenic in a nude mouse grafting system, as compared to the parental NIH3T3 cells. Expressions of MDM2, CDK6 and CDC25B were found to increase more than 3-fold. Entactin protein levels were downregulated in NIH3T3-R1 and -R4 cells. Changes in expression genes were confirmed by reverse transcription-PCR or western blotting. When these genes were transfected to NIH3T3 cells, the CDC25B and MDM2 overexpressing NIH3T3 cells showed radioresistance, while 2 CDK6 overexpressing cells did not. In the case of entactin overexpressing NIH3T3-R1 or R-4 cells were still radioresistant. Furthermore, the CDC25B and MDM2 overexpressing cells grafted to nude mice, were tumorigenic. NIH3T3-R1 and R4 cells showed increased radiation-induced apoptosis, accompanied by faster growth rate, rather than and earlier radiation-induced G2/M phase arrest, suggesting that the radioresistance of NIH3T3-R1 and R4 cells was due to faster growth rate, rather than induction of apoptosis. In the case of MDM2 and CDC25B overexpressing cells, similar phenomena, such as increased apoptosis and faster growth rate, were shown. The above results, therefore, demonstrate involvement of CDC25B and MDM2 overexpression in radiation-induced tumorigenesis and provide novel targets for detection of radiation-induced carcinogenesis.

  7. Life prediction and mechanical reliability of NT551 silicon nitride

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Mark Jay

    The inert strength and fatigue performance of a diesel engine exhaust valve made from silicon nitride (Si3N4) ceramic were assessed. The Si3N4 characterized in this study was manufactured by Saint Gobain/Norton Industrial Ceramics and was designated as NT551. The evaluation was made utilizing a probabilistic life prediction algorithm that combined censored test specimen strength data with a Weibull distribution function and the stress field of the ceramic valve obtained from finite element analysis. The major assumptions of the life prediction algorithm are that the bulk ceramic material is isotropic and homogeneous and that the strength-limiting flaws are uniformly distributed. The results from mechanical testing indicated that NT551 was not a homogeneous ceramic and that its strength were functions of temperature, loading rate, and machining orientation. Fractographic analysis identified four different failure modes; 2 were identified as inhomogeneities that were located throughout the bulk of NT551 and were due to processing operations. The fractographic analysis concluded that the strength degradation of NT551 observed from the temperature and loading rate test parameters was due to a change of state that occurred in its secondary phase. Pristine and engine-tested valves made from NT551 were loaded to failure and the inert strengths were obtained. Fractographic analysis of the valves identified the same four failure mechanisms as found with the test specimens. The fatigue performance and the inert strength of the Si3N 4 valves were assessed from censored and uncensored test specimen strength data, respectively. The inert strength failure probability predictions were compared to the inert strength of the Si3N4 valves. The inert strength failure probability predictions were more conservative than the strength of the valves. The lack of correlation between predicted and actual valve strength was due to the nonuniform distribution of inhomogeneities present in NT

  8. Prospecting for viral natural enemies of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta in Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven M Valles

    Full Text Available Metagenomics and next generation sequencing were employed to discover new virus natural enemies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren in its native range (i.e., Formosa, Argentina with the ultimate goal of testing and releasing new viral pathogens into U.S. S. invicta populations to provide natural, sustainable control of this ant. RNA was purified from worker ants from 182 S. invicta colonies, which was pooled into 4 groups according to location. A library was created from each group and sequenced using Illumina Miseq technology. After a series of winnowing methods to remove S. invicta genes, known S. invicta virus genes, and all other non-virus gene sequences, 61,944 unique singletons were identified with virus identity. These were assembled de novo yielding 171 contiguous sequences with significant identity to non-plant virus genes. Fifteen contiguous sequences exhibited very high expression rates and were detected in all four gene libraries. One contig (Contig_29 exhibited the highest expression level overall and across all four gene libraries. Random amplification of cDNA ends analyses expanded this contiguous sequence yielding a complete virus genome, which we have provisionally named Solenopsis invicta virus 5 (SINV-5. SINV-5 is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus with genome characteristics consistent with insect-infecting viruses from the family Dicistroviridae. Moreover, the replicative genome strand of SINV-5 was detected in worker ants indicating that S. invicta serves as host for the virus. Many additional sequences were identified that are likely of viral origin. These sequences await further investigation to determine their origins and relationship with S. invicta. This study expands knowledge of the RNA virome diversity found within S. invicta populations.

  9. Identification of Potentially Neuroprotective Genes Upregulated by Neurotrophin Treatment of CA3 Neurons in the Injured Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Saafan Z.; Motamedi, Shahab; Royo, Nicolas C.; LeBold, David

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Specific neurotrophic factors mediate histological and/or functional improvement in animal models of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In previous work, several lines of evidence indicated that the mammalian neurotrophin NT-4/5 is neuroprotective for hippocampal CA3 pyramidal neurons after experimental TBI. We hypothesized that NT-4/5 neuroprotection is mediated by changes in the expression of specific sets of genes, and that NT-4/5-regulated genes are potential therapeutic targets for blocking delayed neuronal death after TBI. In this study, we performed transcription profiling analysis of CA3 neurons to identify genes regulated by lateral fluid percussion injury, or by treatment with the trkB ligands NT-4/5 or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The results indicate extensive overlap between genes upregulated by neurotrophins and genes upregulated by injury, suggesting that the mechanism behind neurotrophin neuroprotection may mimic the brain's endogenous protective response. A subset of genes selected for further study in vitro exhibited neuroprotection against glutamate excitotoxicity. The neuroprotective genes identified in this study were upregulated at 30 h post-injury, and are thus expected to act during a clinically useful time frame of hours to days after injury. Modulation of these factors and pathways by genetic manipulation or small molecules may confer hippocampal neuroprotection in vivo in preclinical models of TBI. PMID:21083427

  10. Neurotensin is an antagonist of the human neurotensin NT2 receptor expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vita, N; Oury-Donat, F; Chalon, P; Guillemot, M; Kaghad, M; Bachy, A; Thurneyssen, O; Garcia, S; Poinot-Chazel, C; Casellas, P; Keane, P; Le Fur, G; Maffrand, J P; Soubrie, P; Caput, D; Ferrara, P

    1998-11-06

    The human levocabastine-sensitive neurotensin NT2 receptor was cloned from a cortex cDNA library and stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells in order to study its binding and signalling characteristics. The receptor binds neurotensin as well as several other ligands already described for neurotensin NT1 receptor. It also binds levocabastine, a histamine H1 receptor antagonist that is not recognised by neurotensin NT1 receptor. Neurotensin binding to recombinant neurotensin NT2 receptor expressed in CHO cells does not elicit a biological response as determined by second messenger measurements. Levocabastine, and the peptides neuromedin N and xenin were also ineffective on neurotensin NT2 receptor activation. Experiments with the neurotensin NT1 receptor antagonists SR48692 and SR142948A, resulted in the unanticipated discovery that both molecules are potent agonists on neurotensin NT2 receptor. Both compounds, following binding to neurotensin NT2 receptor, enhance inositol phosphates (IP) formation with a subsequent [Ca2+]i mobilisation; induce arachidonic acid release; and stimulate mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity. Interestingly, these activities are antagonised by neurotensin and levocabastine in a concentration-dependent manner. These activities suggest that the human neurotensin NT2 receptor may be of physiological importance and that a natural agonist for the receptor may exist.

  11. Formalin-inactivated EV71 vaccine candidate induced cross-neutralizing antibody against subgenotypes B1, B4, B5 and C4A in adult volunteers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai-Hsiang Chou

    Full Text Available Enterovirus 71 (EV71 has caused several epidemics of hand, foot and mouth diseases (HFMD in Asia. No effective EV71 vaccine is available. A randomized and open-label phase I clinical study registered with ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT01268787, aims to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of a formalin-inactivated EV71 vaccine candidate (EV71vac at 5- and 10-µg doses. In this study we report the cross-neutralizing antibody responses from each volunteer against different subgenotypes of EV71 and CVA16.Sixty eligible healthy adults were recruited and vaccinated. Blood samples were obtained on day 0, 21 and 42 and tested against B1, B4, B5, C2, C4A, C4B and CVA16 for cross-neutralizing antibody responses.The immunogenicity of both 5- and 10- µg doses were found to be very similar. Approximately 45% of the participants had 4-fold increase in Nt, but there was no further increase in Nt after the second dose. EV71vac induced very strong cross-neutralizing antibody responses in >85% of volunteers without pre-existing Nt against subgenotype B1, B5 and C4A. EV71vac elicited weak cross-neutralizing antibody responses (∼20% of participants against a C4B and Coxsackie virus A16. Over 90% of vaccinated volunteers did not develop cross-neutralizing antibody responses (Nt<8 against a C2 strain. EV71vac can boost and significantly enhance the neutralizing antibody responses in volunteers who already had pre-vaccination antibodies against EV71 and/or CVA16.EV71vac is efficient in eliciting cross-neutralizing antibody responses against EV71 subgenotypes B1, B4, B5, and C4A, and provides the rationale for its evaluation in phase II clinical trials.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01268787.

  12. NT2 derived neuronal and astrocytic network signalling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J Hill

    Full Text Available A major focus of stem cell research is the generation of neurons that may then be implanted to treat neurodegenerative diseases. However, a picture is emerging where astrocytes are partners to neurons in sustaining and modulating brain function. We therefore investigated the functional properties of NT2 derived astrocytes and neurons using electrophysiological and calcium imaging approaches. NT2 neurons (NT2Ns expressed sodium dependent action potentials, as well as responses to depolarisation and the neurotransmitter glutamate. NT2Ns exhibited spontaneous and coordinated calcium elevations in clusters and in extended processes, indicating local and long distance signalling. Tetrodotoxin sensitive network activity could also be evoked by electrical stimulation. Similarly, NT2 astrocytes (NT2As exhibited morphology and functional properties consistent with this glial cell type. NT2As responded to neuronal activity and to exogenously applied neurotransmitters with calcium elevations, and in contrast to neurons, also exhibited spontaneous rhythmic calcium oscillations. NT2As also generated propagating calcium waves that were gap junction and purinergic signalling dependent. Our results show that NT2 derived astrocytes exhibit appropriate functionality and that NT2N networks interact with NT2A networks in co-culture. These findings underline the utility of such cultures to investigate human brain cell type signalling under controlled conditions. Furthermore, since stem cell derived neuron function and survival is of great importance therapeutically, our findings suggest that the presence of complementary astrocytes may be valuable in supporting stem cell derived neuronal networks. Indeed, this also supports the intriguing possibility of selective therapeutic replacement of astrocytes in diseases where these cells are either lost or lose functionality.

  13. NT-proBNP, Cardiometabolic Risk Factors, and Nutritional Status in Hemodialysis Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Ducros

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. We aimed to evaluate the association between NT-proBNP and malnutrition in HD patients while taking into account the four established categories of parameters for diagnosis of protein energy wasting (PEW. Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed in Afro-Caribbean dialysis patients. One component in each of the 4 categories for the wasting syndrome was retained: serum albumin ≤ 38 g/L, BMI ≤ 23 Kg/m2, serum creatinine ≤ 818 µmol/L, and normalized protein catabolic rate (nPCR ≤ 0.8 g/kg/day. NT-proBNP was assessed using a chemiluminescence immunoassay. Two multivariate logistic regression models were performed to determine the parameters associated with high NT-proBNP concentrations. Results. In 207 HD patients, 16.9% had PEW (at least three components. LVEF lower than 60% was found in 13.8% of patients. NT-proBNP levels ranged from 125 to 33144 pg/mL. In model 1, high levels of NT-proBNP (≥6243 pg/mL were independently associated with PEW OR 14.2 (3.25–62.4, male gender 2.80 (1.22–6.57, hsCRP > 5 mg/L 3.90 (1.77–8.57, and dialysis vintage > 3 years 3.84 (1.35–10.8. In model 2, LVEF OR was 0.93 (0.88–0.98. NT-proBNP concentrations were significantly higher when the PEW component number was higher. Conclusion. In dialysis patients, high NT-proBNP levels must draw attention to cardiac function but also to nutritional status.

  14. Rise and fall of NT-proBNP in aortic valve intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hultkvist, Henrik; Holm, Jonas; Svedjeholm, Rolf; Vánky, Farkas

    2018-01-01

    To describe the dynamics of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) from preoperative evaluation to 6-month follow-up in patients undergoing aortic valve intervention, and to evaluate NT-proBNP with regard to 1-year mortality. At preoperative evaluation, we prospectively included 462 patients accepted for aortic valve intervention. The median time to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR; n=336) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI; n=126) was 4 months. NT-proBNP was measured at enrolment for preoperative evaluation, on the day of surgery, postoperatively on day 1, day 3 and at the 6-month follow-up. Subgroups of patients undergoing SAVR with aortic regurgitation and aortic stenosis with and without coronary artery bypass were also analysed. NT-proBNP remained stable in all subgroups during the preoperative waiting period, but displayed a substantial transient early postoperative increase with a peak on day 3 except in the TAVI group, which peaked on day 1. At the 6-month follow-up, NT-proBNP had decreased to or below the preoperative level in all groups. In the SAVR group, NT-proBNP preoperatively and on postoperative days 1 and 3 revealed significant discriminatory power with regard to 1-year mortality (area under the curve (AUC)=0.79, P=0.0001; AUC=0.71, P=0.03; and AUC=0.79, P=0.002, respectively). This was not found in the TAVI group, which had higher levels of NT-proBNP both preoperatively and at the 6-month follow-up compared with the SAVR group. The dynamic profile of NT-proBNP differed between patients undergoing TAVI and SAVR. NT-proBNP in the perioperative course was associated with increased risk of 1-year mortality in SAVR but not in TAVI.

  15. Partial incompatibility between ants and symbiotic fungi in two sympatric species of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bot, A N; Rehner, S A; Boomsma, J J

    2001-10-01

    We investigate the nature and duration of incompatibility between certain combinations of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants and symbiotic fungi, taken from sympatric colonies of the same or a related species. Ant-fungus incompatibility appeared to be largely independent of the ant species involved, but could be explained partly by genetic differences among the fungus cultivars. Following current theoretical considerations, we develop a hypothesis, originally proposed by S. A. Frank, that the observed incompatibilities are ultimately due to competitive interactions between genetically different fungal lineages, and we predict that the ants should have evolved mechanisms to prevent such competition between cultivars within a single garden. This requires that the ants are able to recognize unfamiliar fungi, and we show that this is indeed the case. Amplified fragment length polymorphism genotyping further shows that the two sympatric Acromyrmex species share each other's major lineages of cultivar, confirming that horizontal transfer does occasionally take place. We argue and provide some evidence that chemical substances produced by the fungus garden may mediate recognition of alien fungi by the ants. We show that incompatibility between ants and transplanted, genetically different cultivars is indeed due to active killing of the novel cultivar by the ants. This incompatibility disappears when ants are force-fed the novel cultivar for about a week, a result that is consistent with our hypothesis of recognition induced by the resident fungus and eventual replacement of incompatibility compounds during force-feeding.

  16. Ant- and Ant-Colony-Inspired ALife Visual Art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, Gary; Machado, Penousal

    2015-01-01

    Ant- and ant-colony-inspired ALife art is characterized by the artistic exploration of the emerging collective behavior of computational agents, developed using ants as a metaphor. We present a chronology that documents the emergence and history of such visual art, contextualize ant- and ant-colony-inspired art within generative art practices, and consider how it relates to other ALife art. We survey many of the algorithms that artists have used in this genre, address some of their aims, and explore the relationships between ant- and ant-colony-inspired art and research on ant and ant colony behavior.

  17. Botulinum toxin (BoNT) and back pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porta, Mauro; Maggioni, G

    2004-02-01

    Myofascial pain syndrome is defined as subacute or chronic pain with sensory, motor and autonomic symptoms referred from active trigger points with associated painful dysfunctions. Authors present the usefulness of botulinum toxin A or B (BoNT/A or BoNT/B) injected into target muscles since the toxin is capable of controlling not only the muscular spasm but mostly the pain by alternative mechanisms of action, which are discussed. Posology of BoNT, technical aspects and results are presented. BoNT represents an interesting and useful tool for an adequate management of patients with myofascial pain.

  18. Neurotensin receptor 1 gene activation by the Tcf/beta-catenin pathway is an early event in human colonic adenomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souazé, Frédérique; Viardot-Foucault, Véronique; Roullet, Nicolas; Toy-Miou-Leong, Mireille; Gompel, Anne; Bruyneel, Erik; Comperat, Eva; Faux, Maree C; Mareel, Marc; Rostène, William; Fléjou, Jean-François; Gespach, Christian; Forgez, Patricia

    2006-04-01

    Alterations in the Wnt/APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) signalling pathway, resulting in beta-catenin/T cell factor (Tcf)-dependent transcriptional gene activation, are frequently detected in familial and sporadic colon cancers. The neuropeptide neurotensin (NT) is widely distributed in the gastrointestinal tract. Its proliferative and survival effects are mediated by a G-protein coupled receptor, the NT1 receptor. NT1 receptor is not expressed in normal colon epithelial cells, but is over expressed in a number of cancer cells and tissues suggesting a link to the outgrowth of human colon cancer. Our results demonstrate that the upregulation of NT1 receptor occurring in colon cancer is the result of Wnt/APC signalling pathway activation. We first established the functionality of the Tcf response element within the NT1 receptor promoter. Consequently, we observed the activation of NT1 receptor gene by agents causing beta-catenin cytosolic accumulation, as well as a strong decline of endogenous receptor when wt-APC was restored. At the cellular level, the re-establishment of wt-APC phenotype resulted in the impaired functionality of NT1 receptor, like the breakdown in NT-induced intracellular calcium mobilization and the loss of NT pro-invasive effect. We corroborated the Wnt/APC signalling pathway on the NT1 receptor promoter activation with human colon carcinogenesis, and showed that NT1 receptor gene activation was perfectly correlated with nuclear or cytoplasmic beta-catenin localization while NT1 receptor was absent when beta-catenin was localized at the cell-cell junction in early adenomas of patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer and loss of heterozygosity tumours. In this report we establish a novel link in vitro between the Tcf/beta-catenin pathway and NT1 receptor promoter activation.

  19. Concurrent synthesis and release of nod-gene-inducing flavonoids from alfalfa roots

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maxwell, C.A.; Phillips, D.A.

    1990-01-01

    Flavonoid signals from alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) induce transcription of nodulation (nod) genes in Rhizobium meliloti. Alfalfa roots release three major nod-gene inducers: 4',7-dihydroxyflavanone, 4',7-dihydroxyflavone, and 4,4'-dihydroxy-2'-methoxychalcone. The objective of the present study was to define temporal relationships between synthesis and exudation for those flavonoids. Requirements for concurrent flavonoid biosynthesis were assessed by treating roots of intact alfalfa seedlings with [U- 14 C]-L-phenylalanine in the presence or absence of the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase inhibitor L-2-aminoxy-3-phenylpropionic acid (AOPP). In the absence of AOPP, each of the three flavonoids in exudates contained 14 C. In the presence of AOPP, 14 C labeling and release of all the exuded nod-gene inducers were reduced significantly. AOPP inhibited labeling and release of the strongest nod-gene inducer, methoxychalcone, by more than 90%. The release process responsible for exudation of nod-gene inducers appears to be specific rather than a general phenomenon such as a sloughing off of cells during root growth

  20. ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Duim, René; Ren, Carina Bregnholm; Jóhannesson, Gunnar Thór

    2017-01-01

    Ten years ago actor-network theory (ANT) entered this journal. To illustrate how the relational ontology and sensibilities of ANT lend themselves to particular kinds of research, we first interrogate the main controversies as a way to open up and discuss the main premises of ANT. These debates...... concern the status and agency of objects and non-humans, ANT’s denial of the explanatory power of social structures, and the political implications of ANT. Second we present ANT’s relevance for tourism studies and discuss what ANT ‘does’ in practice. After summarizing a decade of relations between ANT...... and tourism, we conclude by tracing three future trajectories of how we have ‘moved away with’ ANT into new areas of discovery....

  1. END OF NICE 95 AND NICE NT SERVICES

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    You are concerned by this article if you still use a computer running NICE 95 or NICE NT. As recommended by the Desktop Forum, NICE 95 and NT services will be stopped according to the following schedule: 31st January 2003: NICE 95/NT will be frozen. Applications will still be able to run, but the helpdesk will not address any NICE 95/NT problems anymore. It will not be possible to reinstall NICE 95/NT anymore. Disk images of the original Windows 95 and Windows NT CDs are available on the network, but it will be up to the user to create those CDs, reinstall the machine(s), as well as to locate and install: the required applications, the device drivers for special hardware, the necessary security patches, an anti-virus software (Operational Circular Nº5 of CERN's Computing Rules requires that Windows PCs are regularly checked for viruses). The original Windows 95 and Windows NT CD images can be obtained from http://cern.ch/win/services/installation/CDImages (please enter your NICE username and pa...

  2. End of NICE 95 and NICE NT services

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

    You are concerned by this article if you still use a computer running NICE 95 or NICE NT. As recommended by the Desktop Forum, NICE 95 and NT services will be stopped according to the following schedule: 31st January 2003: NICE 95/NT will be frozen. Applications will still be able to run, but the helpdesk will not address any NICE 95/NT problems anymore. It will not be possible to reinstall NICE 95/NT anymore. Disk images of the original Windows 95 and Windows NT CDs are available on the network, but it will be up to the user to create those CDs, reinstall the machine(s), as well as to locate and install: - the required applications, - the device drivers for special hardware, - the necessary security patches, - an anti-virus software (Operational Circular N 5 of CERN's Computing Rules (http://cern.ch/ComputingRules) requires that Windows PCs are regularly checked for viruses). The original Windows 95 and Windows NT CD images can be obtained from http://cern.ch/win/services/installation/CDImages (please...

  3. End of NICE 95 and NICE NT services

    CERN Document Server

    2003-01-01

    You are concerned by this article if you still use a computer running NICE 95 or NICE NT. As recommended by the Desktop Forum, NICE 95 and NT services will be stopped according to the following schedule: 31st January 2003: NICE 95/NT will be frozen. Applications will still be able to run, but the helpdesk will not address any NICE 95/NT problems anymore. It will not be possible to reinstall NICE 95/NT anymore. Disk images of the original Windows 95 and Windows NT CDs are available on the network, but it will be up to the user to create those CDs, reinstall the machine(s), as well as to locate and install: - the required applications, - the device drivers for special hardware, - the necessary security patches, - an anti-virus software (Operational Circular N 5 of CERN's Computing Rules (http://cern.ch/ComputingRules) requires that Windows PCs are regularly checked for viruses). The original Windows 95 and Windows NT CD images can be obtained from http://cern.ch/win/services/installation/CDImages (please ...

  4. Sperm storage induces an immunity cost in ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baer, Boris; Armitage, Sophie A O; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2006-01-01

    Ant queens are among the most long-lived insects known. They mate early in adult life and maintain millions of viable sperm in their sperm storage organ until they die many years later. Because they never re-mate, the reproductive success of queens is ultimately sperm-limited, but it is not known...... what selective forces determine the upper limit to sperm storage. Here we show that sperm storage carries a significant cost of reduced immunity during colony founding. Newly mated queens of the leaf-cutting ant Atta colombica upregulate their immune response shortly after completing their nest burrow...

  5. Hybridization in East African swarm-raiding army ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, Daniel Jc; Peters, Marcell K; Schöning, Caspar

    2011-01-01

    Hybridization can have complex effects on evolutionary dynamics in ants because of the combination of haplodiploid sex-determination and eusociality. While hybrid non-reproductive workers have been found in a range of species, examples of gene-flow via hybrid queens and males are rare. We studied...... hybridization in East African army ants (Dorylus subgenus Anomma) using morphology, mitochondrial DNA sequences, and nuclear microsatellites....

  6. A novel neuron-enriched protein SDIM1 is down regulated in Alzheimer's brains and attenuates cell death induced by DNAJB4 over-expression in neuro-progenitor cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Joy X

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular changes in multiple biological processes contribute to the development of chronic neurodegeneration such as late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD. To discover how these changes are reflected at the level of gene expression, we used a subtractive transcription-based amplification of mRNA procedure to identify novel genes that have altered expression levels in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD patients. Among the genes altered in expression level in AD brains was a transcript encoding a novel protein, SDIM1, that contains 146 amino acids, including a typical signal peptide and two transmembrane domains. Here we examined its biochemical properties and putative roles in neuroprotection/neurodegeneration. Results QRT-PCR analysis of additional AD and control post-mortem human brains showed that the SDIM1 transcript was indeed significantly down regulated in all AD brains. SDIM1 is more abundant in NT2 neurons than astrocytes and present throughout the cytoplasm and neural processes, but not in the nuclei. In NT2 neurons, it is highly responsive to stress conditions mimicking insults that may cause neurodegeneration in AD brains. For example, SDIM1 was significantly down regulated 2 h after oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD, though had recovered 16 h later, and also appeared significantly up regulated compared to untreated NT2 neurons. Overexpression of SDIM1 in neuro-progenitor cells improved cells' ability to survive after injurious insults and its downregulation accelerated cell death induced by OGD. Yeast two-hybrid screening and co-immunoprecipitation approaches revealed, both in vitro and in vivo, an interaction between SDIM1 and DNAJB4, a heat shock protein hsp40 homolog, recently known as an enhancer of apoptosis that also interacts with the mu opioid receptor in human brain. Overexpression of DNAJB4 alone significantly reduced cell viability and SDIM1 co-overexpression was capable of attenuating the cell death

  7. Genome-wide identification, subcellular localization and gene expression analysis of the members of CESA gene family in common tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zong-Chang; Kong, Yingzhen

    2017-06-20

    Cellulose-synthase proteins (CESAs) are membrane localized proteins and they form protein complexes to produce cellulose in the plasma membrane. CESA proteins play very important roles in cell wall construction during plant growth and development. In this study, a total of 21 NtCESA gene sequences were identified by using PF03552 conserved protein sequence and 10 AtCESA protein sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana to blast against the common tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) genome database with TBLASTN protocol. We analyzed the physical and chemical properties of protein sequences based on some software or on-line analysis tools. The results showed that there were no significant variances in terms of the physical and chemical properties of the 21 NtCESA proteins. First, phylogenetic tree analysis showed that 21 NtCESA genes and 10 AtCESA genes were clustered into five groups, and the gene structures were similar among the genes that are clustered into the same group. Second, in all of the 21 NtCESA proteins the conserved zinc finger domain was identified in the N-terminus, transmembrane domains were identified in the C-terminus and the DDD-QXXRW conserved domains were also identified. Third, gene expression analysis results indicated that most NtCESA genes were expressed in roots and leaves of seedling or mature tissues of tobacco, seeds and callus tissues. The genes that clustered into the same group share similar expression patterns. Importantly, NtCESA proteins that are involved in secondary cell wall cellulose synthesis have two extra transmembrane domains compared with that involved in primary cell wall cellulose biosynthesis. In addition, subcellular localization results showed that NtCESA9 and NtCESA14 were two plasma membrane anchored proteins. This study will lay a foundation for further functional characterization of these NtCESA genes.

  8. Molecular variation at a candidate gene implicated in the regulation of fire ant social behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dietrich Gotzek

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The fire ant Solenopsis invicta and its close relatives display an important social polymorphism involving differences in colony queen number. Colonies are headed by either a single reproductive queen (monogyne form or multiple queens (polygyne form. This variation in social organization is associated with variation at the gene Gp-9, with monogyne colonies harboring only B-like allelic variants and polygyne colonies always containing b-like variants as well. We describe naturally occurring variation at Gp-9 in fire ants based on 185 full-length sequences, 136 of which were obtained from S. invicta collected over much of its native range. While there is little overall differentiation between most of the numerous alleles observed, a surprising amount is found in the coding regions of the gene, with such substitutions usually causing amino acid replacements. This elevated coding-region variation may result from a lack of negative selection acting to constrain amino acid replacements over much of the protein, different mutation rates or biases in coding and non-coding sequences, negative selection acting with greater strength on non-coding than coding regions, and/or positive selection acting on the protein. Formal selection analyses provide evidence that the latter force played an important role in the basal b-like lineages coincident with the emergence of polygyny. While our data set reveals considerable paraphyly and polyphyly of S. invicta sequences with respect to those of other fire ant species, the b-like alleles of the socially polymorphic species are monophyletic. An expanded analysis of colonies containing alleles of this clade confirmed the invariant link between their presence and expression of polygyny. Finally, our discovery of several unique alleles bearing various combinations of b-like and B-like codons allows us to conclude that no single b-like residue is completely predictive of polygyne behavior and, thus, potentially causally

  9. A Novel WRKY transcription factor is required for induction of PR-1a gene expression by salicylic acid and bacterial elicitors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Verk, Marcel C|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/327618671; Pappaioannou, Dimitri; Neeleman, Lyda; Bol, John F; Linthorst, Huub J M

    PR-1a is a salicylic acid-inducible defense gene of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). One-hybrid screens identified a novel tobacco WRKY transcription factor (NtWRKY12) with specific binding sites in the PR-1a promoter at positions -564 (box WK(1)) and -859 (box WK(2)). NtWRKY12 belongs to the class of

  10. A Virus-Induced Assay for Functional Dissection and Analysis of Monocot and Dicot Flowering Time Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Cheng; Chen, Weiwei; Shen, Jiajia; Cheng, Linming; Akande, Femi; Zhang, Ke; Yuan, Chen; Li, Chunyang; Zhang, Pengcheng; Shi, Nongnong; Cheng, Qi; Liu, Yule; Jackson, Stephen; Hong, Yiguo

    2017-06-01

    Virus-induced flowering (VIF) uses virus vectors to express Flowering Locus T ( FT ) to induce flowering in plants. This approach has recently attracted wide interest for its practical applications in accelerating breeding in crops and woody fruit trees. However, the insight into VIF and its potential as a powerful tool for dissecting florigenic proteins remained to be elucidated. Here, we describe the mechanism and further applications of Potato virus X (PVX)-based VIF in the short-day Nicotiana tabacum cultivar Maryland Mammoth. Ectopic delivery of Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana ) AtFT by PVX/AtFT did not induce the expression of the endogenous FT ortholog NtFT4 ; however, it was sufficient to trigger flowering in Maryland Mammoth plants grown under noninductive long-day conditions. Infected tobacco plants developed no systemic symptoms, and the PVX-based VIF did not cause transgenerational flowering. We showed that the PVX-based VIF is a much more rapid method to examine the impacts of single amino acid mutations on AtFT for floral induction than making individual transgenic Arabidopsis lines for each mutation. We also used the PVX-based VIF to demonstrate that adding a His- or FLAG-tag to the N or C terminus of AtFT could affect its florigenic activity and that this system can be applied to assay the function of FT genes from heterologous species, including tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) SFT and rice ( Oryza sativa ) Hd3a Thus, the PVX-based VIF represents a simple and efficient system to identify individual amino acids that are essential for FT-mediated floral induction and to test the ability of mono- and dicotyledonous FT genes and FT fusion proteins to induce flowering. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  11. Nuclear waste for NT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, Brendan

    2005-01-01

    The Northern Territory may be powerless to block the dumping of low-level nuclear waste in the Territory under legislation introduced into Parliament by Minister for Education Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson, in October. Despite strong opposition to the dumping of nuclear waste in the NT, the Australian Government will be able to send waste to one of the three nominated Commonwealth-owned Defence sites within the NT under the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2005 and the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management (Related Amendment) Bill 2005. The Bills veto recently drafted NT legislation designed to scuttle the plans. Low-level nuclear waste is stored at more than 100 sites around Australia, including hospitals, factories, universities and defence facilities. Medical isotopes produced at Lucas Heights and provided for medical procedures are the source of much of this waste, including some 16 cubic metres currently held at Darwin Hospital. Dr Nelson stressed that the Government would take all die necessary steps to comply with safety and regulatory precautions, including handling waste in line with relevant environmental, nuclear safety and proliferation safeguards

  12. Colony-level behavioural variation correlates with differences in expression of the foraging gene in red imported fire ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockoven, Alison A; Coates, Craig J; Eubanks, Micky D

    2017-11-01

    Among social insects, colony-level variation is likely to be widespread and has significant ecological consequences. Very few studies, however, have documented how genetic factors relate to behaviour at the colony level. Differences in expression of the foraging gene have been associated with differences in foraging and activity of a wide variety of organisms. We quantified expression of the red imported fire ant foraging gene (sifor) in workers from 21 colonies collected across the natural range of Texas fire ant populations, but maintained under standardized, environmentally controlled conditions. Colonies varied significantly in their behaviour. The most active colonies had up to 10 times more active foragers than the least active colony and more than 16 times as many workers outside the nest. Expression differences among colonies correlated with this colony-level behavioural variation. Colonies with higher sifor expression in foragers had, on average, significantly higher foraging activity, exploratory activity and recruitment to nectar than colonies with lower expression. Expression of sifor was also strongly correlated with worker task (foraging vs. working in the interior of the nest). These results provide insight into the genetic and physiological processes underlying collective differences in social behaviour. Quantifying variation in expression of the foraging gene may provide an important tool for understanding and predicting the ecological consequences of colony-level behavioural variation. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Cloning and Characterizing Genes Involved in Monoterpene Induced Mammary Tumor Regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-10-01

    AD GRANT NUMBER DAMDI7-94-J-4041 TITLE: Cloning and Characterizing Genes Involved in Monoterpene Induced Mammary Tumor Regression PRINCIPAL...October 1996 Annual (1 Sep 95 - 31 Aug 96) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Cloning and Characterizing Genes Involved in Monoterpene Induced... Monoterpene -induced/repressed genes were identified in regressing rat mammary carcinomas treated with dietary limonene using a newly developed method

  14. GLI1 is involved in cell cycle regulation and proliferation of NT2 embryonal carcinoma stem cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vestergaard, Janni; Lind-Thomsen, Allan; Pedersen, Mikkel W.

    2008-01-01

    of altered HH signaling are interpreted by specific cell types. We have investigated the role of the HH transcription factor glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1 (GLI1) in the human Ntera2=D1 (NT2) embryonal carcinoma stem cell line. The study revealed that expression of GLI1 and its direct transcriptional......1 phase cyclins. In conclusion, our results suggest that GLI1 is involved in cell cycle and proliferation control in the embryonal carcinoma stem cell line NT2....... target Patched (PTCH) is downregulated in the early stages of retinoic acid-induced neuronal differentiation of NT2 cells. To identify transcriptional targets of the HH transcription factor GLI1 in NT2 cells, we performed global expression profiling following GLI1 RNA interference (RNAi). Of the similar...

  15. Differential regulation of axon outgrowth and reinnervation by neurotrophin-3 and neurotrophin-4 in the hippocampal formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hechler, Daniel; Boato, Francesco; Nitsch, Robert; Hendrix, Sven

    2010-08-01

    In this study, we investigated the hypothesis whether neurotrophins have a differential influence on neurite growth from the entorhinal cortex depending on the presence or absence of hippocampal target tissue. We investigated organotypic brain slices derived from the entorhinal-hippocampal system to analyze the effects of endogenous and recombinant neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) on neurite outgrowth and reinnervation. In the reinnervation assay, entorhinal cortex explants of transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) were co-cultured with wild-type hippocampi under the influence of recombinant NT-3 and NT-4 (500 ng/ml). Both recombinant NT-3 and NT-4 significantly increased the growth of EGFP+ nerve fibers into the target tissue. Consistently, reinnervation of the hippocampi of NT-4(-/-) and NT-3(+/-)NT-4(-/-) mice was substantially reduced. In contrast, the outgrowth assay did not exhibit reduction in axon outgrowth of NT-4(-/-) or NT-3(+/-)NT-4(-/-) cortex explants, while the application of recombinant NT-3 (500 ng/ml) induced a significant increase in the neurite extension of cortex explants. Recombinant NT-4 had no effect. In summary, only recombinant NT-3 stimulates axon outgrowth from cortex explants, while both endogenous and recombinant NT-3 and NT-4 synergistically promote reinnervation of the denervated hippocampus. These results suggest that endogenous and exogenous NT-3 and NT-4 differentially influence neurite growth depending on the presence or absence of target tissue.

  16. X-ray diffraction studies on merohedrally twinned Δ1-62NtNBCe1-A crystals of the sodium/bicarbonate cotransporter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Harindarpal S; Dutcher, Lauren; Boron, Walter F; Patel, Samir; Guay-Woodford, Lisa M

    2013-07-01

    NBCe1-A membrane-embedded macromolecules that cotransport sodium and bicarbonate ions across the bilayer serve to maintain acid-base homeostasis throughout the body. Defects result in a number of renal and eye disorders, including type-II renal tubular acidosis and cataracts. Here, crystals of a human truncated mutant of the cytoplasmic N-terminal domain of NBCe1 (Δ1-62NtNBCe1-A) are reported that diffract X-rays to 2.4 Å resolution. The crystal symmetry of Δ1-62NtNBCe1-A is of space group P31 with pseudo-P3121 symmetry and it has a hemihedral twin fraction of 33.0%. The crystals may provide insight into the pathogenic processes observed in a subset of patients with truncating and point mutations in the gene encoding NBCe1.

  17. In vitro non-viral murine pro-neurotrophin 3 gene transfer into rat bone marrow stromal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darabi, Shahram; Tiraihi, Taki; Delshad, AliReza; Sadeghizadeh, Majid; Khalil, Wisam; Taheri, Taher

    2017-04-15

    Neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) is an important factor for promoting prenatal neural development, as well as regeneration, axogenesis and plasticity in postnatal life. Therapy with NT-3 was reported to improve the condition of patients suffering from degenerative diseases and traumatic injuries, however, the disadvantage of NT-3 protein delivery is its short half-life, thus our alternative approach is the use of NT-3 gene therapy. In this study, the bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) were isolated from adult rats, cultured for 4 passages and transfected with either pEGFP-N1 or a constructed vector containing murine proNT-3 (pSecTag2/HygroB-murine proNT-3) using Lipofectamine 2000 followed by Hygromycin B (200mg/kg). The transfection efficiency of the transiently transfected BMSCs was evaluated using the green fluorescence protein containing vector (pEGFP-N1). A quantitative evaluation of the NT-3 expression of mRNA using real time qRT-PCR shows that there was double fold increase in NT-3 gene expression compared with non-transfected BMSCs, also, the culture supernatant yielded double fold increase in NT-3 using ELISA technique, the data were supported by immunoblotting technique. This suggests that the use of this transfection technique can be useful for gene therapy in different neurological disorders with neurodegenerative or traumatic origins. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. ORF Alignment: NT_033777 [GENIUS II[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available NT_033777 gi|28571958 >1bor0 1 53 282 342 4e-04 ... ref|NP_083045.3| synoviolin 1 [Mu...s musculus] gb|AAH42199.1| Synoviolin 1 [Mus ... musculus] gb|AAH80722.1| Synoviolin 1 [Mus musculus]... ... gb|AAH57917.1| Synoviolin 1 [Mus musculus] ... Length = 61 ... Query: 280 EELRQSDNICIICREDMV

  19. Cloning of the Lycopene β-cyclase Gene in Nicotiana tabacum and Its Overexpression Confers Salt and Drought Tolerance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanmei Shi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Carotenoids are important pigments in plants that play crucial roles in plant growth and in plant responses to environmental stress. Lycopene β cyclase (β-LCY functions at the branch point of the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway, catalyzing the cyclization of lycopene. Here, a β-LCY gene from Nicotiana tabacum, designated as Ntβ-LCY1, was cloned and functionally characterized. Robust expression of Ntβ-LCY1 was found in leaves, and Ntβ-LCY1 expression was obviously induced by salt, drought, and exogenous abscisic acid treatments. Strong accumulation of carotenoids and expression of carotenoid biosynthesis genes resulted from Ntβ-LCY1 overexpression. Additionally, compared to wild-type plants, transgenic plants with overexpression showed enhanced tolerance to salt and drought stress with higher abscisic acid levels and lower levels of malondialdehyde and reactive oxygen species. Conversely, transgenic RNA interference plants had a clear albino phenotype in leaves, and some plants did not survive beyond the early developmental stages. The suppression of Ntβ-LCY1 expression led to lower expression levels of genes in the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway and to reduced accumulation of carotenoids, chlorophyll, and abscisic acid. These results indicate that Ntβ-LCY1 is not only a likely cyclization enzyme involved in carotenoid accumulation but also confers salt and drought stress tolerance in Nicotiana tabacum.

  20. Ectopic Expression of the Coleus R2R3 MYB-Type Proanthocyanidin Regulator Gene SsMYB3 Alters the Flower Color in Transgenic Tobacco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qinlong Zhu

    Full Text Available Proanthocyanidins (PAs play an important role in plant disease defense and have beneficial effects on human health. We isolated and characterized a novel R2R3 MYB-type PA-regulator SsMYB3 from a well-known ornamental plant, coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides, to study the molecular regulation of PAs and to engineer PAs biosynthesis. The expression level of SsMYB3 was correlated with condensed tannins contents in various coleus tissues and was induced by wounding and light. A complementation test in the Arabidopsis tt2 mutant showed that SsMYB3 could restore the PA-deficient seed coat phenotype and activated expression of the PA-specific gene ANR and two related genes, DFR and ANS. In yeast two-hybrid assays, SsMYB3 interacted with the Arabidopsis AtTT8 and AtTTG1 to reform the ternary transcriptional complex, and also interacted with two tobacco bHLH proteins (NtAn1a and NtJAF13-1 and a WD40 protein, NtAn11-1. Ectopic overexpression of SsMYB3 in transgenic tobacco led to almost-white flowers by greatly reducing anthocyanin levels and enhancing accumulation of condensed tannins. This overexpression of SsMYB3 upregulated the key PA genes (NtLAR and NtANR and late anthocyanin structural genes (NtDFR and NtANS, but downregulated the expression of the final anthocyanin gene NtUFGT. The formative SsMYB3-complex represses anthocyanin accumulation by directly suppressing the expression of the final anthocyanin structural gene NtUFGT, through competitive inhibition or destabilization of the endogenous NtAn2-complex formation. These results suggested that SsMYB3 may form a transcription activation complex to regulate PA biosynthesis in the Arabidopsis tt2 mutant and transgenic tobacco. Our findings suggest that SsMYB3 is involved in the regulation of PA biosynthesis in coleus and has the potential as a molecular tool for manipulating biosynthesis of PAs in fruits and other crops using metabolic engineering.

  1. Differential RNAi responses of Nicotiana benthamiana individuals transformed with a hairpin-inducing construct during Plum pox virus challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montes, Christian; Castro, Álvaro; Barba, Paola; Rubio, Julia; Sánchez, Evelyn; Carvajal, Denisse; Aguirre, Carlos; Tapia, Eduardo; DelÍ Orto, Paola; Decroocq, Veronique; Prieto, Humberto

    2014-10-01

    Gene silencing and large-scale small RNA analysis can be used to develop RNA interference (RNAi)-based resistance strategies for Plum pox virus (PPV), a high impact disease of Prunus spp. In this study, a pPPViRNA hairpin-inducing vector harboring two silencing motif-rich regions of the PPV coat protein (CP) gene was evaluated in transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana (NB) plants. Wild-type NB plants infected with a chimeric PPV virus (PPV::GFP) exhibited affected leaves with mosaic chlorosis congruent to GFP fluorescence at 21 day post-inoculation; transgenic lines depicted a range of phenotypes from fully resistant to susceptible. ELISA values and GFP fluorescence intensities were used to select transgenic-resistant (TG-R) and transgenic-susceptible (TG-S) lines for further characterization of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) by large-scale small RNA sequencing. In infected TG-S and untransformed (WT) plants, the observed siRNAs were nearly exclusively 21- and 22-nt siRNAs that targeted the whole PPV::GFP genome; 24-nt siRNAs were absent in these individuals. Challenged TG-R plants accumulated a full set of 21- to 24-nt siRNAs that were primarily associated with the selected motif-rich regions, indicating that a trans-acting siRNAs process prevented viral multiplication. BLAST analysis identified 13 common siRNA clusters targeting the CP gene. 21-nt siRNA sequences were associated with the 22-nt siRNAs and the scarce 23- and 24-nt molecules in TG-S plants and with most of the observed 22-, 23-, and 24-nt siRNAs in TG-R individuals. These results validate the use of a multi-hot spot silencing vector against PPV and elucidate the molecules by which hairpin-inducing vectors initiate RNAi in vivo.

  2. Ribosomal protein NtRPL17 interacts with kinesin-12 family protein NtKRP and functions in the regulation of embryo/seed size and radicle growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Shujuan; Wu, Jingjing; Liu, Yuan; Huang, Xiaorong; Li, Fen; Wang, Zhaodan; Sun, Meng-Xiang

    2017-11-28

    We previously reported that a novel motor protein belonging to the kinesin-12 family, NtKRP, displays critical roles in regulating embryo and seed size establishment. However, it remains unknown exactly how NtKRP contributes to this developmental process. Here, we report that a 60S ribosomal protein NtRPL17 directly interacts with NtKRP. The phenotypes of NtRPL17 RNAi lines show notable embryo and seed size reduction. Structural observations of the NtRPL17-silenced embryos/seeds reveal that the embryo size reduction is due to a decrease in cell number. In these embryos, cell division cycle progression is delayed at the G2/M transition. These phenotypes are similar to that in NtKRP-silenced embryos/seeds, indicating that NtKRP and NtRPL17 function as partners in the same regulatory pathway during seed development and specifically regulate cell cycle progression to control embryo/seed size. This work reveals that NtRPL17, as a widely distributed ribosomal protein, plays a critical role in seed development and provides a new clue in the regulation of seed size. Confirmation of the interaction between NtKRP and NtRPL17 and their co-function in the control of the cell cycle also suggests that the mechanism might be conserved in both plants and animals. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  3. Expression patterns of a circadian clock gene are associated with age-related polyethism in harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingram Krista K

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent advances in sociogenomics allow for comparative analyses of molecular mechanisms regulating the development of social behavior. In eusocial insects, one key aspect of their sociality, the division of labor, has received the most attention. Age-related polyethism, a derived form of division of labor in ants and bees where colony tasks are allocated among distinct behavioral phenotypes, has traditionally been assumed to be a product of convergent evolution. Previous work has shown that the circadian clock is associated with the development of behavior and division of labor in honeybee societies. We cloned the ortholog of the clock gene, period, from a harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex occidentalis and examined circadian rhythms and daily activity patterns in a species that represents an evolutionary origin of eusociality independent of the honeybee. Results Using real time qPCR analyses, we determined that harvester ants have a daily cyclic expression of period and this rhythm is endogenous (free-running under dark-dark conditions. Cyclic expression of period is task-specific; foragers have strong daily fluctuations but nest workers inside the nest do not. These patterns correspond to differences in behavior as activity levels of foragers show a diurnal pattern while nest workers tend to exhibit continuous locomotor activity at lower levels. In addition, we found that foragers collected in the early fall (relative warm, long days exhibit a delay in the nightly peak of period expression relative to foragers collected in the early spring (relative cold, short days. Conclusion The association of period mRNA expression levels with harvester ant task behaviors suggests that the development of circadian rhythms is associated with the behavioral development of ants. Thus, the circadian clock pathway may represent a conserved 'genetic toolkit' that has facilitated the parallel evolution of age-related polyethism and task allocation in

  4. Light-dependent expression of flg22-induced defense genes in Arabidopsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satoshi eSano

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Chloroplasts have been reported to generate retrograde immune signals that activate defense gene expression in the nucleus. However, the roles of light and photosynthesis in plant immunity remain largely elusive. In this study, we evaluated the effects of light on the expression of defense genes induced by flg22, a peptide derived from bacterial flagellins which acts as a potent elicitor in plants. Whole-transcriptome analysis of flg22-treated Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings under light and dark conditions for 30 min revealed that a number of (30% genes strongly induced by flg22 (>4.0 require light for their rapid expression, whereas flg22-repressed genes include a significant number of genes that are down-regulated by light. Furthermore, light is responsible for the flg22-induced accumulation of salicylic acid, indicating that light is indispensable for basal defense responses in plants. To elucidate the role of photosynthesis in defense, we further examined flg22-induced defense gene expression in the presence of specific inhibitors of photosynthetic electron transport: 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU and 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-benzoquinone (DBMIB. Light-dependent expression of defense genes was largely suppressed by DBMIB, but only partially suppressed by DCMU. These findings suggest that photosynthetic electron flow plays a role in controling the light-dependent expression of flg22-inducible defense genes.

  5. End of NICE 95 and NICE NT services (Reminder)

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

    You are concerned by this article if you still use a computer running NICE 95 or NICE NT. As recommended by the Desktop Forum, NICE 95 and NT services are progressively phased out according to the following schedule: Since 31st January 2003: NICE 95/NT have been frozen. Applications are still able to run, but the helpdesk does not address any NICE 95/NT problems anymore. It is not possible to reinstall NICE 95/NT anymore. Disk images of the original Windows 95 and Windows NT CDs are available on the network, but it is up to the user to create those CDs, reinstall the machine(s), as well as to locate and install: - the required applications, - the device drivers for special hardware, - the necessary security patches, - an anti-virus software (Operational Circular N 5 of CERN's Computing Rules (http://cern.ch/ComputingRules) requires that Windows PCs are regularly checked for viruses). The original Windows 95 and Windows NT CD images can be obtained from http://cern.ch/win/services/installation/CDImages (ple...

  6. Evaluating the Frequency of aac(6')-IIa, ant(2″)-I, intl1, and intl2 Genes in Aminoglycosides Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolates Obtained from Hospitalized Patients in Yazd, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokhtari, Hesam; Eslami, Gilda; Zandi, Hengameh; Dehghan-Banadkouki, Amin; Vakili, Mahmood

    2018-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) is an opportunistic pathogen that could be resistant to many antimicrobial agents. Resistance genes can be carried among gram-negative bacteria by integrons. Enzymatic inactivation is the most important mechanism of resistance to aminoglycosides. In this study, the frequencies of two important resistance gene aac(6')-II a and ant(2″)-I, and genes coding integrase I and II, in K. pneumoniae isolates resistant to aminoglycosides were evaluated. In this cross-sectional study, an attempt was made to assess the antibiotic susceptibility of 130 K. pneumoniae isolates obtained from different samples of patients hospitalized in training hospitals of Yazd evaluated by disk diffusion method. The frequencies of aac(6')-II a, ant(2″)-I, intl1 , and intl2 genes were determined by PCR method. Data were analyzed by chi-square method using SPSS software (Ver. 16). our results showed that resistance to gentamicin, tobramycin, kanamycin, and amikacin were 34.6, 33.8, 43.8, and 14.6%, respectively. The frequencies of aac (6')-II a, ant(2″)-I, intl1 , and intl2 genes were 44.6, 27.7, 90, and 0%, respectively. This study showed there are high frequencies of genes coding aminoglycosides resistance in K. pneumoniae isolates. Hence, it is very important to monitor and inhibit the spread of antibiotic resistance genes.

  7. NT-pro-BNP is associated with inducible myocardial ischemia in mildly symptomatic type 2 diabetic patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiersma, Jacobijne J; van der Zee, P Marc; van Straalen, Jan P; Fischer, Johan C; van Eck-Smit, Berthe L F; Tijssen, Jan G P; Trip, Mieke D; Piek, Jan J; Verberne, Hein J

    2010-11-19

    Baseline levels of N-terminal fragment of the brain natriuretic peptide prohormone (NT-pro-BNP) are associated with myocardial ischemia in non-diabetic patients with stable angina pectoris. A total of 281 patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 and stable angina pectoris underwent myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS). Myocardial ischemia on MPS was present in 140 (50%) patients. These ischemic patients had significantly higher NT-pro-BNP levels compared with patients without ischemia: 183 pg/ml (64-324 pg/ml) vs. 88 pg/ml (34-207 pg/ml), respectively (ppro-BNP ≥180 pg/ml was an independent predictor of the presence of myocardial ischemia (OR 2.36, 95%CI 1.40-3.97, p=0.001). Possible confounding factors such as age and creatinine clearance were of no influence on the predictive value in this specific patient population. These findings strengthen the idea that NT-pro-BNP may be of value in the early detection of diabetic patients with hemodynamic significant coronary artery disease. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Anti-vascular agent Combretastatin A-4-P modulates Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 and gene expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Currie Margaret J

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A functional vascular network is essential for the survival, growth and spread of solid tumours, making blood vessels a key target for therapeutic strategies. Combretastatin A-4 phosphate (CA-4-P is a tubulin-depolymerising agent in Phase II clinical trials as a vascular disrupting agent. Not much is known of the molecular effect of CA-4-P under tumour conditions. The tumour microenvironment differs markedly from that in normal tissue, specifically with respect to oxygenation (hypoxia. Gene regulation under tumour conditions is governed by hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1, controlling angiogenic and metastatic pathways. Methods We investigated the effect of CA-4-P on factors of the upstream and downstream signalling pathway of HIF-1 in vitro. Results CA-4-P treatment under hypoxia tended to reduce HIF-1 accumulation in a concentration-dependent manner, an effect which was more prominent in endothelial cells than in cancer cell lines. Conversely, CA-4-P increased HIF-1 accumulation under aerobic conditions in vitro. At these concentrations of CA-4-P under aerobic conditions, nuclear factor κB was activated via the small GTPase RhoA, and expression of the HIF-1 downstream angiogenic effector gene, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A, was increased. Conclusion Our findings advance the understanding of signal transduction pathways involved in the actions of the anti-vascular agent CA-4-P.

  9. [Association between eye absent homolog 4 gene polymorphisms and occupational noise-induced hearing loss].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Q Y; Xu, X R; Jiao, J; Zheng, Y X; He, L H; Yu, S F; Gu, G Z; Chen, G S; Zhou, W H; Wu, H; Li, Y H; Zhang, H L; Zhang, Z R

    2017-01-06

    Objective: To identify the association between genetic polymorphisms in the eye absent homolog 4 (EYA4) gene and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Method: A nested case control study was conducted based on a cohort of noise-exposed subjects. In total, 292 cases were selected from a steel factory from 6 297 subjects during Jan 1, 2006 to Dec 12, 2015,who had an average hearing threshold of more than 40 dB(A); 584 matched control subjects for each case were designated on the basis of matched criteria including same gender, age (±5 years) and duration of exposure to noise (±2 years). What's more, the control group had an average hearing threshold of less than 35 dB(A) in high frequency and less than 25 dB(A) in speech frequency. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the EYA4 gene were genotyped using a SNPscan TM multiplex SNP genotyping kit. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium tests were performed using a χ 2 test for goodness-of-fit for each SNP among the control group, and the effects of genotypes of the EYA4 gene on NIHL were analyzed by logistic regression. The haplotypes were established and their frequencies in the two groups were assessed using Haploview 4.2 and Phase 2.1 software, and interactive effects between haplotypes and cumulative noise exposure were analyzed. Results: The average age of the subjects was (40.1±8.4) years and the average number of noise-exposed working years was 20.3 (8.4, 27.3) years. The range of noise exposure levels and the cumulative noise exposure were 80.2- 98.8 dB (A) and 86.6- 111.2 dB(A) · year, respectively. After adjustment for covariates including height, blood pressure, drinking status and smoking status, in the noise intensity>85 dB (A) group, subjects carrying the rs3813346 TT genotype had a higher NIHL risk than those carrying the GG genotype, and the adjusted OR (95% CI ) value was 2.12 (1.21- 3.69). In the cumulative noise exposure>98 dB (A) · year group, compared with haplotype TGC, haplotype CGT showed a

  10. Lithium ions induce prestalk-associated gene expression and inhibit prespore gene expression in Dictyostelium discoideum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, Dorien J.M.; Lookeren Campagne, Michiel M. van; Haastert, Peter J.M. van; Spek, Wouter; Schaap, Pauline

    1989-01-01

    We investigated the effect of Li+ on two types of cyclic AMP-regulated gene expression and on basal and cyclic AMP-stimulated inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (Ins(1,4,5)P3) levels. Li+ effectively inhibits cyclic AMP-induced prespore gene expression, half-maximal inhibition occurring at about 2mM-LiCl.

  11. NT-proBNP

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Charlotte; Mellemkjær, Søren; Hilberg, Ole

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a serious complication to interstitial lung disease (ILD) and has a poor prognosis. PH is often diagnosed by screening with echocardiography followed by right heart catheterisation. A previous study has shown that a value of NT-pro-brain natriuretic...

  12. Strength and fatigue of NT551 silicon nitride and NT551 diesel exhaust valves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrews, M.J.; Werezczak, A.A.; Kirkland, T.P.; Breder, K.

    2000-02-01

    The content of this report is excerpted from Mark Andrew's Ph.D. Thesis (Andrews, 1999), which was funded by a DOE/OTT High Temperature Materials Laboratory Graduate Fellowship. It involves the characterization of NT551 and valves fabricated with it. The motivations behind using silicon nitride (Si{sub 3}N{sub 4}) as an exhaust valve for a diesel engine are presented in this section. There are several economic factors that have encouraged the design and implementation of ceramic components for internal combustion (IC) engines. The reasons for selecting the diesel engine valve for this are also presented.

  13. Serum NT-proCNP levels increased after initiation of GH treatment in patients with achondroplasia/hypochondroplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubota, Takuo; Wang, Wei; Miura, Kohji; Nakayama, Hirofumi; Yamamoto, Keiko; Fujiwara, Makoto; Ohata, Yasuhisa; Tachibana, Makiko; Kitaoka, Taichi; Takakuwa, Satoshi; Miyoshi, Yoko; Namba, Noriyuki; Ozono, Keiichi

    2016-06-01

    Serum amino-terminal propeptide of C-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proCNP) levels have been proposed as a biomarker of linear growth in healthy children. The usefulness of NT-proCNP in patients with achondroplasia (ACH)/hypochondroplasia (HCH) remains to be elucidated. The objective was to study whether serum NT-proCNP level is a good biomarker for growth in ACH/HCH and other patients of short stature. This was a longitudinal cohort study. Sixteen children with ACH (aged 0·4-4·3 years), six children with HCH (2·7-6·3 years), 23 children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) (2·2-9·0 years), eight short children with GH deficiency (GHD) (2·9-6·8 years) and five short children born small for gestational age (SGA) (2·0-6·6 years). Patients with ACH/HCH received GH treatment for 1 year. Serum NT-proCNP levels and height were measured. NT-proCNP levels positively correlated with height velocity in these short children (P < 0·05, r = 0·27). NT-proCNP levels inversely correlated with age in children with ISS alone (P < 0·01, r = -0·55). Serum NT-proCNP levels in patients with ACH/HCH were increased 3 months following the initiation of GH treatment (P < 0·05). Height SDS gain during GH treatment for 1 year was positively correlated with the changes in NT-proCNP levels after the initiation of GH (P < 0·01, r = 0·72). Serum NT-proCNP levels may be a good biomarker to indicate the effect of GH treatment on growth in patients with ACH/HCH at least in the first year and height velocity in short stature patients. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Phylogenomics and Divergence Dating of Fungus-Farming Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae of the Genera Sericomyrmex and Apterostigma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Ješovnik

    Full Text Available Fungus-farming ("attine" ants are model systems for studies of symbiosis, coevolution, and advanced eusociality. A New World clade of nearly 300 species in 15 genera, all attine ants cultivate fungal symbionts for food. In order to better understand the evolution of ant agriculture, we sequenced, assembled, and analyzed transcriptomes of four different attine ant species in two genera: three species in the higher-attine genus Sericomyrmex and a single lower-attine ant species, Apterostigma megacephala, representing the first genomic data for either genus. These data were combined with published genomes of nine other ant species and the honey bee Apis mellifera for phylogenomic and divergence-dating analyses. The resulting phylogeny confirms relationships inferred in previous studies of fungus-farming ants. Divergence-dating analyses recovered slightly older dates than most prior analyses, estimating that attine ants originated 53.6-66.7 million of years ago, and recovered a very long branch subtending a very recent, rapid radiation of the genus Sericomyrmex. This result is further confirmed by a separate analysis of the three Sericomyrmex species, which reveals that 92.71% of orthologs have 99% - 100% pairwise-identical nucleotide sequences. We searched the transcriptomes for genes of interest, most importantly argininosuccinate synthase and argininosuccinate lyase, which are functional in other ants but which are known to have been lost in seven previously studied attine ant species. Loss of the ability to produce the amino acid arginine has been hypothesized to contribute to the obligate dependence of attine ants upon their cultivated fungi, but the point in fungus-farming ant evolution at which these losses occurred has remained unknown. We did not find these genes in any of the sequenced transcriptomes. Although expected for Sericomyrmex species, the absence of arginine anabolic genes in the lower-attine ant Apterostigma megacephala strongly

  15. A PU.1 suppressive target gene, metallothionein 1G, inhibits retinoic acid-induced NB4 cell differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi Hirako

    Full Text Available We recently revealed that myeloid master regulator SPI1/PU.1 directly represses metallothionein (MT 1G through its epigenetic activity of PU.1, but the functions of MT1G in myeloid differentiation remain unknown. To clarify this, we established MT1G-overexpressing acute promyelocytic leukemia NB4 (NB4MTOE cells, and investigated whether MT1G functionally contributes to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA-induced NB4 cell differentiation. Real-time PCR analyses demonstrated that the inductions of CD11b and CD11c and reductions in myeloperoxidase and c-myc by ATRA were significantly attenuated in NB4MTOE cells. Morphological examination revealed that the percentages of differentiated cells induced by ATRA were reduced in NB4MTOE cells. Since G1 arrest is a hallmark of ATRA-induced NB4 cell differentiation, we observed a decrease in G1 accumulation, as well as decreases in p21WAF1/CIP1 and cyclin D1 inductions, by ATRA in NB4MTOE cells. Nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT reduction assays revealed that the proportions of NBT-positive cells were decreased in NB4MTOE cells in the presence of ATRA. Microarray analyses showed that the changes in expression of several myeloid differentiation-related genes (GATA2, azurocidin 1, pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase 1, matrix metallopeptidase -8, S100 calcium-binding protein A12, neutrophil cytosolic factor 2 and oncostatin M induced by ATRA were disturbed in NB4MTOE cells. Collectively, overexpression of MT1G inhibits the proper differentiation of myeloid cells.

  16. Physiological characteristics and metabolomics of transgenic wheat containing the maize C4 phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) gene under high temperature stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xueli; Xu, Weigang; Zhang, Jianzhou; Guo, Rui; Zhao, Mingzhong; Hu, Lin; Wang, Huiwei; Dong, Haibin; Li, Yan

    2017-03-01

    In this paper, two transgenic wheat lines, PC27 and PC51, containing the maize PEPC gene and its wild-type (WT) were used as experimental material to study the effects of high temperature on their photosynthetic physiological characteristics and metabolome. The results showed that transgenic wheat lines had higher photosynthetic rate (P n ) than WT under non-stress treatment (NT) and high temperature stress treatment (HT), and more significantly under HT. The change trends of F v /F m , Ф PSII , and q P were similar to P n , whereas that of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) was the opposite. Compared with WT, no differences in chlorophyll content between the transgenic wheat and WT were observed under NT, but two transgenic lines had relatively higher contents than WT under HT. The change trends of Chlorophyll a/b radio, the decreased values of F m , W k , and V j , and the activity of the antioxidant enzyme were consistent with the chlorophyll content. Compared with WT, transgenic wheat lines exhibited lower rate of superoxide anion production, H 2 O 2 and malondialdehyde content under HT, and no significant differences were observed under NT. The expression pattern of the ZmPEPC gene and wheat endogenous photosynthesis-related genes were in agreement with that of P n . Compared with WT, about 13 different metabolites including one organic acid, six amino acids, four sugars, and two polyols were identified under NT; 25 different metabolites including six organic acids, 12 amino acids, four sugars, and three polyols were identified under HT. Collectively, our results indicate that ZmPEPC gene can enhance photochemical and antioxidant enzyme activity, upregulate the expression of photosynthesis-related genes, delay degradation of chlorophyll, change contents of proline and other metabolites in wheat, and ultimately improves its heat tolerance.

  17. Identification of distinct genes associated with seawater aspiration-induced acute lung injury by gene expression profile analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Pan, Lei; Zhang, Minlong; Bo, Liyan; Li, Congcong; Liu, Qingqing; Wang, Li; Jin, Faguang

    2016-01-01

    Seawater aspiration-induced acute lung injury (ALI) is a syndrome associated with a high mortality rate, which is characterized by severe hypoxemia, pulmonary edema and inflammation. The present study is the first, to the best of our knowledge, to analyze gene expression profiles from a rat model of seawater aspiration-induced ALI. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were instilled with seawater (4 ml/kg) in the seawater aspiration-induced ALI group (S group) or with distilled water (4 ml/kg) in the distilled water negative control group (D group). In the blank control group (C group) the rats' tracheae were exposed without instillation. Subsequently, lung samples were examined by histopathology; total protein concentration was detected in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF); lung wet/dry weight ratios were determined; and transcript expression was detected by gene sequencing analysis. The results demonstrated that histopathological alterations, pulmonary edema and total protein concentrations in BALF were increased in the S group compared with in the D group. Analysis of differential gene expression identified up and downregulated genes in the S group compared with in the D and C groups. A gene ontology analysis of the differential gene expression revealed enrichment of genes in the functional pathways associated with neutrophil chemotaxis, immune and defense responses, and cytokine activity. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis revealed that the cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction pathway was one of the most important pathways involved in seawater aspiration-induced ALI. In conclusion, activation of the cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction pathway may have an essential role in the progression of seawater aspiration-induced ALI, and the downregulation of tumor necrosis factor superfamily member 10 may enhance inflammation. Furthermore, IL-6 may be considered a biomarker in seawater aspiration-induced ALI. PMID:27509884

  18. Hypoxic induction of the regulator of G-protein signalling 4 gene is mediated by the hypoxia-inducible factor pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam W Z Olechnowicz

    Full Text Available The transcriptional response to hypoxia is largely dependent on the Hypoxia Inducible Factors (HIF-1 and HIF-2 in mammalian cells. Many target genes have been characterised for these heterodimeric transcription factors, yet there is evidence that the full range of HIF-regulated genes has not yet been described. We constructed a TetON overexpression system in the rat pheochromocytoma PC-12 cell line to search for novel HIF and hypoxia responsive genes. The Rgs4 gene encodes the Regulator of G-Protein Signalling 4 (RGS4 protein, an inhibitor of signalling from G-protein coupled receptors, and dysregulation of Rgs4 is linked to disease states such as schizophrenia and cardiomyopathy. Rgs4 was found to be responsive to HIF-2α overexpression, hypoxic treatment, and hypoxia mimetic drugs in PC-12 cells. Similar responses were observed in human neuroblastoma cell lines SK-N-SH and SK-N-BE(2C, but not in endothelial cells, where Rgs4 transcript is readily detected but does not respond to hypoxia. Furthermore, this regulation was found to be dependent on transcription, and occurs in a manner consistent with direct HIF transactivation of Rgs4 transcription. However, no HIF binding site was detectable within 32 kb of the human Rgs4 gene locus, leading to the possibility of regulation by long-distance genomic interactions. Further research into Rgs4 regulation by hypoxia and HIF may result in better understanding of disease states such as schizophrenia, and also shed light on the other roles of HIF yet to be discovered.

  19. Hypoxic Induction of the Regulator of G-Protein Signalling 4 Gene Is Mediated by the Hypoxia-Inducible Factor Pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olechnowicz, Sam W. Z.; Fedele, Anthony O.; Peet, Daniel J.

    2012-01-01

    The transcriptional response to hypoxia is largely dependent on the Hypoxia Inducible Factors (HIF-1 and HIF-2) in mammalian cells. Many target genes have been characterised for these heterodimeric transcription factors, yet there is evidence that the full range of HIF-regulated genes has not yet been described. We constructed a TetON overexpression system in the rat pheochromocytoma PC-12 cell line to search for novel HIF and hypoxia responsive genes. The Rgs4 gene encodes the Regulator of G-Protein Signalling 4 (RGS4) protein, an inhibitor of signalling from G-protein coupled receptors, and dysregulation of Rgs4 is linked to disease states such as schizophrenia and cardiomyopathy. Rgs4 was found to be responsive to HIF-2α overexpression, hypoxic treatment, and hypoxia mimetic drugs in PC-12 cells. Similar responses were observed in human neuroblastoma cell lines SK-N-SH and SK-N-BE(2)C, but not in endothelial cells, where Rgs4 transcript is readily detected but does not respond to hypoxia. Furthermore, this regulation was found to be dependent on transcription, and occurs in a manner consistent with direct HIF transactivation of Rgs4 transcription. However, no HIF binding site was detectable within 32 kb of the human Rgs4 gene locus, leading to the possibility of regulation by long-distance genomic interactions. Further research into Rgs4 regulation by hypoxia and HIF may result in better understanding of disease states such as schizophrenia, and also shed light on the other roles of HIF yet to be discovered. PMID:22970249

  20. Polymorphisms in the B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) gene are associated with NT-proBNP levels but not with diabetic nephropathy or mortality in type 1 diabetic patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lajer, Maria Stenkil; Tarnow, Lise; Jorsal, Anders

    2007-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Circulating N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels are elevated in patients with diabetic nephropathy and independently predict excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Therefore, we investigated the association between two polymorphisms -381T/C and 1551G....../A of the BNP gene, plasma NT-proBNP levels and mortality prognosis in 380 type 1 diabetic patients with and without diabetic nephropathy. METHODS: In a prospective observational follow-up study, 197 type 1 diabetic patients with diabetic nephropathy {121 men, age [mean (SD)] 41 +/- 9.5 years, duration...... of diabetes 28 +/- 8.0 years, glomerular filtration rate 67 +/- 28 ml/min/1.73 m2}, and a matched control group of 183 patients with longstanding type 1 diabetes and persistent normoalbuminuria (111 men, age 43 +/- 10.0 years, duration of diabetes 27 +/- 8.3 years) were followed for 12.6 (0.0-12.9) years...

  1. Sincronización de Células de Tabaco (Nicotiana tabacum) NT-1 Synchronization of tobacco cells (Nicotiana tabacum) NT-1

    OpenAIRE

    León F Ruiz; Ana E Higareda; Marco A Pardo

    2010-01-01

    Se ha evaluado la capacidad sincronizante de afidicolina e hidroxiurea en cultivos de células de tabaco (Nicotiana tabacum) NT-1. Los cultivos sincronizados son poderosas herramientas en estudios moleculares y bioquímicos relacionados al ciclo celular y comúnmente se utilizan químicos para bloquear el ciclo celular. La línea celular de tabaco (Nicotiana tabacum) NT-1 proviene de la línea celular TBY-2, caracterizándose NT-1 por su menor velocidad de crecimiento y tamaño celular heterogéneo. L...

  2. NT-ProBNP levels, water and sodium homeostasis in healthy men: effects of 7 days of dry immersion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navasiolava, Nastassia M; Pajot, Aurelie; Gallois, Yves; Pastushkova, Ludmila Kh; Kulchitsky, Vladimir A; Gauquelin-Koch, Guillemette; Kozlovskaya, Inesa B; Heer, Martina; Hand, Olga; Larina, Irina M; Custaud, Marc-Antoine

    2011-09-01

    Immersion is a useful tool for studying fluid-volume homeostasis. Natriuretic peptides play a vital role in renal, humoral, and cardiovascular regulation under changing environmental conditions. We hypothesized that dry immersion would rapidly induce a new steady state for water and sodium metabolism, and that serum NT-proBNP levels, a proxy measure for brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), would decrease during long-term dry immersion and increase during recovery. Eight healthy young men were studied before, during, and after 7 days of dry immersion. Body weight, water balance, and plasma volume changes were evaluated. Plasma and serum samples were analyzed for active renin, NT-proBNP, aldosterone, electrolytes, osmolality, total protein, and creatinine. Urine samples were analyzed to determine levels of electrolytes, osmolality, creatinine, and free cortisol. A stand test was performed before and after dry immersion to evaluate cardiovascular deconditioning. Long-term dry immersion induced acute changes in water and sodium homeostasis on day 1, followed by a new steady state. Plasma volume decreased significantly during dry immersion. The serum levels of NT-proBNP increased significantly in recovery (10 ± 3 ng/L before dry immersion vs. 26 ± 5 ng/L on the fourth recovery day). Heart rate in the standing position was significantly greater after immersion. Results suggest that chronic dry immersion rapidly induced a new level of water-electrolyte homeostasis. The increase in NT-proBNP levels during the recovery period may be related to greater cardiac work and might reflect the degree of cardiovascular deconditioning.

  3. Tacrolimus increases Nox4 expression in human renal fibroblasts and induces fibrosis-related genes by aberrant TGF-beta receptor signalling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg Kern

    Full Text Available Chronic nephrotoxicity of immunosuppressives is one of the main limiting factors in the long-term outcome of kidney transplants, leading to tissue fibrosis and ultimate organ failure. The cytokine TGF-β is considered a key factor in this process. In the human renal fibroblast cell line TK-173, the macrolide calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus (FK-506 induced TGF-β-like effects, manifested by increased expression of NAD(PH-oxidase 4 (Nox4, transgelin, tropomyosin 1, and procollagen α1(V mRNA after three days. The macrolide mTOR inhibitor rapamycin had similar effects, while cyclosporine A did not induce fibrose-related genes. Concentration dependence curves were sigmoid, where mRNA expression was induced already at low nanomolar levels of tacrolimus, and reached saturation at 100-300 nM. The effects were independent of extracellular TGF-β as confirmed by the use of neutralizing antibodies, and thus most likely caused by aberrant TGF-β receptor signaling, where binding of tacrolimus to the regulatory FKBP12 protein results in a "leaky" TGF-β receptor. The myofibroblast marker α-smooth muscle actin was neither induced by tacrolimus nor by TGF-β1, indicating an incomplete activation of TK-173 fibroblasts under culture conditions. Tacrolimus- and TGF-β1-induced Nox4 protein upregulation was confirmed by Western blotting, and was accompanied by a rise in intracellular H2O2 concentration. Si-RNA mediated knock-down of Nox4 expression prevented up-regulation of procollagen α1(V mRNA in tacrolimus-treated cells, but induced procollagen α1(V expression in control cells. Nox4 knock-down had no significant effect on the other genes tested. TGF-β is a key molecule in fibrosis, and the constant activation of aberrant receptor signaling by tacrolimus might contribute to the long-term development of interstitial kidney fibrosis in immunosuppressed patients. Nox4 levels possibly play a regulatory role in these processes.

  4. Phage T4 SegB protein is a homing endonuclease required for the preferred inheritance of T4 tRNA gene region occurring in co-infection with a related phage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brok-Volchanskaya, Vera S; Kadyrov, Farid A; Sivogrivov, Dmitry E; Kolosov, Peter M; Sokolov, Andrey S; Shlyapnikov, Michael G; Kryukov, Valentine M; Granovsky, Igor E

    2008-04-01

    Homing endonucleases initiate nonreciprocal transfer of DNA segments containing their own genes and the flanking sequences by cleaving the recipient DNA. Bacteriophage T4 segB gene, which is located in a cluster of tRNA genes, encodes a protein of unknown function, homologous to homing endonucleases of the GIY-YIG family. We demonstrate that SegB protein is a site-specific endonuclease, which produces mostly 3' 2-nt protruding ends at its DNA cleavage site. Analysis of SegB cleavage sites suggests that SegB recognizes a 27-bp sequence. It contains 11-bp conserved sequence, which corresponds to a conserved motif of tRNA TpsiC stem-loop, whereas the remainder of the recognition site is rather degenerate. T4-related phages T2L, RB1 and RB3 contain tRNA gene regions that are homologous to that of phage T4 but lack segB gene and several tRNA genes. In co-infections of phages T4 and T2L, segB gene is inherited with nearly 100% of efficiency. The preferred inheritance depends absolutely on the segB gene integrity and is accompanied by the loss of the T2L tRNA gene region markers. We suggest that SegB is a homing endonuclease that functions to ensure spreading of its own gene and the surrounding tRNA genes among T4-related phages.

  5. Respuestas psicofisiológicas ante estímulos asociados al tabaco: Diferencias entre fumadores y no fumadores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Gantiva

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Las respuestas emocionales y motivacionales son fundamentales para explicar el inicio y mantenimiento del consumo de tabaco; sin embargo, las diferencias en fumadores y no fumadores de las respuestas psicofisiológicas que sirven como marcadores neurofisiológicos de procesos emocionales y motivacionales presentan resultados contradictorios. El objetivo de esta investigación fue identificar las diferencias en las respuestas psicofisiológicas ante estímulos asociados al tabaco en fumadores y no fumadores. Para esto se registró el reflejo de sobresalto y la respuesta galvánica de la piel mientras observaban imágenes apetitivas, neutrales, aversivas y asociadas al tabaco. Los resultados muestran que los fumadores inhiben el reflejo de sobresalto ante las imágenes asociadas al tabaco de forma similar que ante las imágenes apetitivas; así mismo, se encontró en los fumadores una mayor inhibición del reflejo de sobresalto ante las imágenes de tabaco. No se encontraron diferencias en la respuesta galvánica de la piel. Estos resultados sugieren que los fumadores activan el sistema motivacional apetitivo ante los estímulos asociados al tabaco.

  6. Interplanetary Shocks Inducing Magnetospheric Supersubstorms (SML < ‑2500 nT): Unusual Auroral Morphologies and Energy Flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajra, Rajkumar; Tsurutani, Bruce T.

    2018-05-01

    We present case studies of two interplanetary shock-induced supersubstorms (SSSs) with extremely high intensities (peak SML ‑4418 and ‑2668 nT) and long durations (∼1.7 and ∼3.1 hr). The events occurred on 2005 January 21 and 2010 April 5, respectively. It is shown that these SSSs have a different auroral evolution than a nominal Akasofu-type substorm. The auroras associated with the SSSs did not have the standard midnight onset and following expansion. Instead, at the time of the SML index peak, the midnight sector was generally devoid of intense auroras, while the most intense auroras were located in the premidnight and postmidnight magnetic local times. Precursor energy input through magnetic reconnection was insufficient to balance the large ionospheric energy dissipation during the SSSs. It is argued that besides the release of stored magnetotail energy during the SSSs, these were powered by additional direct driving through both dayside magnetic reconnection and solar wind ram energy.

  7. A dual function for 4-methoxybenzaldehyde in Petasites fragrans? Pollinator-attractant and ant-repellent

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pattrick, J. G.; Shepherd, T.; Hoppitt, W.; Plowman, Nichola S.; Willmer, P.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 5 (2017), s. 623-627 ISSN 1872-8855 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Petasites fragrans * ant-repellent floral volatiles * 4-methoxybenzaldehyde Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 1.441, year: 2016 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11829-017-9519-3

  8. NT-proBNP in unstable coronary artery disease--experiences from the FAST, GUSTO IV and FRISC II trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jernberg, Tomas; James, Stefan; Lindahl, Bertil; Stridsberg, Mats; Venge, Per; Wallentin, Lars

    2004-03-15

    Risk stratification is important in patients with unstable coronary artery disease (CAD), i.e. unstable angina or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction. This article focuses on the emerging role of N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and the results from the FAST, GUSTO IV and FRISC II trials. In the FAST study, NT-proBNP was measured on admission in 755 patients admitted because of symptoms suggestive of unstable CAD. Follow up was performed after 40 months. The GUSTO IV and the FRISC II-trials included patients with unstable CAD and NT-proBNP was analyzed in 6806 and 2019 patients, with follow up after 1 and 2 years, respectively. In the FAST study, patients in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th NT-proBNP quartile had a relative risk of subsequent death of 4.2 (1.6-11.1), 10.7 (4.2-26.8) and 26.6 (10.8-65.5), respectively. In the GUSTO IV trial, increasing quartiles of NT-proBNP were related to short and long term mortality which at 1 year was; 1.8%, 3.9%, 7.7% and 19.2% (P<0.001), respectively. In multivariable analyses including well-known predictors of outcome, NT-proBNP level was independently associated to mortality in all three studies. In the FRISC II trial, the NT-proBNP level, especially if combined with a marker of inflammation, identified those with the greatest benefit from an early invasive strategy. NT-proBNP is strongly associated with mortality in patients with suspected or confirmed unstable CAD and, combined with a marker of inflammation, seems helpful in identifying those with greatest benefit from an early invasive strategy.

  9. Efficacy of combining ING4 and TRAIL genes in cancer-targeting gene virotherapy strategy: first evidence in preclinical hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galal El-Shemi, A; Mohammed Ashshi, A; Oh, E; Jung, B-K; Basalamah, M; Alsaegh, A; Yun, C-O

    2018-01-01

    Current treatments of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are ineffective and unsatisfactory in many aspects. Cancer-targeting gene virotherapy using oncolytic adenoviruses (OAds) armed with anticancer genes has shown efficacy and safety in clinical trials. Nowadays, both inhibitor of growth 4 (ING4), as a multimodal tumor suppressor gene, and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), as a potent apoptosis-inducing gene, are experiencing a renaissance in cancer gene therapy. Herein we investigated the antitumor activity and safety of mono- and combined therapy with OAds armed with ING4 (Ad-ΔB/ING4) and TRAIL (Ad-ΔB/TRAIL) gene, respectively, on preclinical models of human HCC. OAd-mediated expression of ING4 or TRAIL transgene was confirmed. Ad-ΔB/TRAIL and/or Ad-ΔB/ING4 exhibited potent killing effect on human HCC cells (HuH7 and Hep3B) but not on normal liver cells. Most importantly, systemic therapy with Ad-ΔB/ING4 plus Ad-ΔB/TRAIL elicited more eradicative effect on an orthotopic mouse model of human HCC than their monotherapy, without causing obvious overlapping toxicity. Mechanistically, Ad-ΔB/ING4 and Ad-ΔB/TRAIL were remarkably cooperated to induce antitumor apoptosis and immune response, and to repress tumor angiogenesis. This is the first study showing that concomitant therapy with Ad-ΔB/ING4 and Ad-ΔB/TRAIL may provide a potential strategy for HCC therapy and merits further investigations to realize its possible clinical translation.

  10. The Role of S P2, SP3 AND SP4 in The Transcriptional Regulation of The Promoter of Nuclear Encoded Mitochondrial Genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaid, A.; Salem, Gh.

    2012-01-01

    The GC-box is an important transcriptional regulatory element present in the promoters of many mammalian genes, and is found in most, if not all, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) promoters. In the present study we examine the effects of three Spl family members (Sp2, Sp3, and Sp4) on the adenine nucleotide translocase 2, cytochrome cl, Fl-ATPase β-subunit, and the mitochondria transcription factor (mtTFA) promoters in Drosophila SL2 cell line. Sp3, like Spl, strongly activates transcription all four promoters. SP4 stimulates, moderately, but Sp2 had no effect. In addition, Sp3 can, like Spl, inhibit transcription from the proximal promoter of the ANT2 gene through binding to the Cbox GC element. By contrast, Sp4 and Sp2 do not repress promoter activity. Furthermore, since Sp4 and Sp2 bind to the Cbox repression element on the ANT2 promoter, but do not repress transcription, inhibition of transcription cannot be explained by steric hindrance of pre-initiation complex assembly. These data suggest that different Spl family members differentially affect transcription from the OXPHOS promoters.

  11. Genomic Analysis Reveals Contrasting PIFq Contribution to Diurnal Rhythmic Gene Expression in PIF-Induced and -Repressed Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Guiomar; Soy, Judit; Monte, Elena

    2016-01-01

    Members of the PIF quartet (PIFq; PIF1, PIF3, PIF4, and PIF5) collectively contribute to induce growth in Arabidopsis seedlings under short day (SD) conditions, specifically promoting elongation at dawn. Their action involves the direct regulation of growth-related and hormone-associated genes. However, a comprehensive definition of the PIFq-regulated transcriptome under SD is still lacking. We have recently shown that SD and free-running (LL) conditions correspond to "growth" and "no growth" conditions, respectively, correlating with greater abundance of PIF protein in SD. Here, we present a genomic analysis whereby we first define SD-regulated genes at dawn compared to LL in the wild type, followed by identification of those SD-regulated genes whose expression depends on the presence of PIFq. By using this sequential strategy, we have identified 349 PIF/SD-regulated genes, approximately 55% induced and 42% repressed by both SD and PIFq. Comparison with available databases indicates that PIF/SD-induced and PIF/SD-repressed sets are differently phased at dawn and mid-morning, respectively. In addition, we found that whereas rhythmicity of the PIF/SD-induced gene set is lost in LL, most PIF/SD-repressed genes keep their rhythmicity in LL, suggesting differential regulation of both gene sets by the circadian clock. Moreover, we also uncovered distinct overrepresented functions in the induced and repressed gene sets, in accord with previous studies in other examined PIF-regulated processes. Interestingly, promoter analyses showed that, whereas PIF/SD-induced genes are enriched in direct PIF targets, PIF/SD-repressed genes are mostly indirectly regulated by the PIFs and might be more enriched in ABA-regulated genes.

  12. Sandwich-Type Electrochemiluminescence Sensor for Detection of NT-proBNP by Using High Efficiency Quench Strategy of Fe3O4@PDA toward Ru(bpy)32+ Coordinated with Silver Oxalate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Li; Li, Xiaojian; Zhu, Wenjuan; Wang, Yaoguang; Du, Bin; Cao, Wei; Wei, Qin; Pang, Xuehui

    2017-12-22

    Heart failure (HF) is a burgeoning public health problem trigged by a heart circulation disorder. N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) has been acknowledged as a prognostic biomarker for cardiac disease. Herein, a sandwich-type electrochemiluminescence (ECL) immunosensor was introduced for sensitive detection of NT-proBNP. Gold nanoparticle modified graphene oxide-Ru(bpy) 3 2+ /Ag 2 C 2 O 4 was used as a luminophore and a desirable platform for immobilization of the captured antibodies. The more stable immobilization of plentiful Ru(bpy) 3 2+ could be implemented by direct covalent bonding chelation with Ag 2 C 2 O 4 . More importantly, significant quenching can be achieved by introducing polydopamine (PDA) coated Fe 3 O 4 onto the electrode via sandwich immunoreactions. The quenching mechanism mainly showed that the excited states of Ru(bpy) 3 2+ could be annihilated by quinone units in PDA via energy transfer. The ECL quenching efficiency was logarithmically related to the concentration of the NT-proBNP in the range from 0.0005 ng/mL to 100.0 ng/mL with a detection limit of 0.28 pg/mL. Furthermore, this specific immunosensor presented good stability and repeatability as well as selectivity, which offers a guiding significance in both fundamental and clinical diagnosis of NT-proBNP.

  13. Differential ontogenetic patterns of levocabastine-sensitive neurotensin NT2 receptors and of NT1 receptors in the rat brain revealed by in situ hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lépée-Lorgeoux, I; Betancur, C; Rostène, W; Pélaprat, D

    1999-03-12

    The postnatal ontogeny of the levocabastine-sensitive neurotensin receptor (NT2) mRNA was studied by in situ hybridization in the rat brain and compared with the distribution of the levocabastine-insensitive NT1 receptor. NT2 receptor mRNA was absent at birth from all brain structures except the ependymal cell layer lining the ventricles. The development of NT2 receptor mRNA followed three ontogenetic patterns. The first pattern, involving the majority of the cerebral gray matter, was characterized by a continuous increase from postnatal day 5 (P5) to P30. The second one, involving regions rich in myelinated fibers such as the corpus callosum and lacunosum moleculare layer of the hippocampus, exhibited a pronounced increase between P5 and P10, peaked at P15 and was followed by a plateau or a slight decrease. The third pattern was observed in the ependymal cell layer lining the olfactory and lateral ventricles, where the high labeling already present at birth continued to increase during development. These different developmental patterns could reflect the variety of cells expressing NT2 receptor mRNA, including neurons, protoplasmic astrocytes in gray matter, fibrous astrocytes present in myelinated fibers tracts, and ependymal cells. In contrast, NT1 receptor mRNA, which seems to be associated only with neurons, was highly and transiently expressed during the perinatal period in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and striatal neuroepithelium. Other regions, notably the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra compacta, exhibited a gradual increase in NT1 receptor signal, reaching adult levels by P21. Both the differential localization and ontogenetic profiles of NT1 and NT2 receptor mRNAs suggest different involvement of these two receptors in brain functions and development. Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

  14. Dual-cyclical nucleic acid strand-displacement polymerization based signal amplification system for highly sensitive determination of p53 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jianguo; Wu, Zai-Sheng; Li, Hongling; Wang, Zhenmeng; Le, Jingqing; Zheng, Tingting; Jia, Lee

    2016-12-15

    In the present study, we proposed a novel dual-cyclical nucleic acid strand-displacement polymerization (dual-CNDP) based signal amplification system for highly sensitive determination of tumor suppressor genes. The system primarily consisted of a signaling hairpin probe (SHP), a label-free hairpin probe (LHP) and an initiating primer (IP). The presence of target DNA was able to induce one CNDP through continuous process of ligation, polymerization and nicking, leading to extensively accumulation of two nicked triggers (NT1 and NT2). Intriguingly, the NT1 could directly hybridize SHP, while the NT2 could act as the target analog to induce another CNDP. The resulting dual-CNDP contributed the striking signal amplification, and only a very weak blank noise existed since the ligation template of target was not involved. In this case, the target could be detected in a wide linear range (5 orders of magnitude), and a low detection limit (78 fM) was obtained, which is superior to most of the existing fluorescent methods. Moreover, the dual-CNDP sensing system provided a high selectivity towards target DNA against mismatched target and was successfully applied to analysis of target gene extracted from cancer cells or in human serum-contained samples, indicating its great potential for practical applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Evaluation of NT-proBNP concentrations during exercise in asymptomatic patients with severe high-gradient aortic stenosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrowolski, Piotr; Lech, Agnieszka; Klisiewicz, Anna; Hoffman, Piotr

    2016-08-11

    INTRODUCTION The effect of asymptomatic severe aortic stenosis (ASAS) on N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels ar rest and during exercise, as well as their relevance for clinical practice remain controversial.  OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis of whether the evaluation of NT-proBNP concentrations during exercise provides additional information about the severity of aortic stenosis and left ventricular remodeling in patients with ASAS. PATIENTS AND METHODS A total of 50 patients with ASAS (mean age, 38.4 ±18.1 years) and 21 healthy subjects (mean age, 43.4 ±10.6 years) were enrolled. Rest and exercise echocardiography was performed to evaluate maximum velocity (Vmax), mean aortic gradient (AG), and aortic valve area (AVA). The left ventricular mass index (LVMI) was calculated. NT-proBNP concentrations at rest and during exercise were assessed, and the difference between the 2 values was calculated (ΔNT-proBNP). RESULTS NT-proBNP and ΔNT-proBNP levels at rest and during exercise were significantly higher in the ASAS group compared with the control group. In the ASAS group, NT-proBNP levels at rest significantly correlated with LVMI (r = 0.432; P <0.0001), AVA (r = -0.408; P <0.0001), Vmax (r = 0.375; P = 0.002), and mean AG (r = 0.257; P = 0.03). NT-proBNP levels during exercise significantly correlated with LVMI (r = 0.432; P <0.0001), mean AG (r = 0.401; P = 0.001), and AVA (r = -0.375; P = 0.001). In the multivariate logistic regression model, the factors independently associated with NT-proBNP both at rest and during exercise were age, AVA, and LVMI. CONCLUSIONS NT-proBNP levels at rest provide valuable information for identifying patients with more advanced left ventricular hypertrophy secondary to severe aortic stenosis. NT-proBNP levels during exercise do not provide new information on the severity of AS.

  16. Discovery of defense- and neuropeptides in social ants by genome-mining.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian W Gruber

    Full Text Available Natural peptides of great number and diversity occur in all organisms, but analyzing their peptidome is often difficult. With natural product drug discovery in mind, we devised a genome-mining approach to identify defense- and neuropeptides in the genomes of social ants from Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ant, Camponotus floridanus (carpenter ant and Harpegnathos saltator (basal genus. Numerous peptide-encoding genes of defense peptides, in particular defensins, and neuropeptides or regulatory peptide hormones, such as allatostatins and tachykinins, were identified and analyzed. Most interestingly we annotated genes that encode oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (inotocins and their putative receptors. This is the first piece of evidence for the existence of this nonapeptide hormone system in ants (Formicidae and supports recent findings in Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle and Nasonia vitripennis (parasitoid wasp, and therefore its confinement to some basal holometabolous insects. By contrast, the absence of the inotocin hormone system in Apis mellifera (honeybee, another closely-related member of the eusocial Hymenoptera clade, establishes the basis for future studies on the molecular evolution and physiological function of oxytocin/vasopressin-related peptides (vasotocin nonapeptide family and their receptors in social insects. Particularly the identification of ant inotocin and defensin peptide sequences will provide a basis for future pharmacological characterization in the quest for potent and selective lead compounds of therapeutic value.

  17. Linear flow dynamics near a T/NT interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Miguel; Silva, Carlos

    2011-11-01

    The characteristics of a suddenly-inserted T/NT interface separating a homogeneous and isotropic shear-free turbulence region from a non-turbulent flow region are investigated using rapid distortion theory (RDT), taking full account of viscous effects. Profiles of the velocity variances, TKE, viscous dissipation rate, turbulence length scales, and pressure statistics are derived, showing very good agreement with DNS. The normalized inviscid flow statistics at the T/NT interface do not depend on the form of the assumed TKE spectrum. In the non-turbulent region, where the flow is irrotational (except within a thin viscous boundary layer), the dissipation rate decays as z-6, where z is distance from the T/NT interface. The mean pressure exhibits a decrease towards the turbulence due to the associated velocity fluctuations, consistent with the generation of a mean entrainment velocity. The vorticity variance and dissipation rate display large maxima at the T/NT interface due to the existing inviscid discontinuities of the tangential velocity, and these maxima are quantitatively related to the thickness of the viscous boundary layer (VBL). At equilibrium, RDT suggests that the thickness of the T/NT interface scales on the Kolmogorov microscale. We acknowledge the financial support of FCT under Project PTDC/EME-MFE/099636/2008.

  18. NT-pro-BNP is an independent predictor of mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, M; Gorst-Rasmussen, A; Schmidt, E B; Jorgensen, K A; Christensen, J H

    2009-04-01

    Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have an increased mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD). N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) is an independent predictor of mortality in patients with ischemic heart disease and congestive heart failure. Previous data have shown markedly elevated levels of NT-pro-BNP in patients with ESRD, while the prognostic value of elevated levels of NT-pro-BNP in patients with ESRD is largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to examine if the level of NT-pro-BNP predicts mortality in patients with ERSD and CVD. We prospectively followed 206 patients with ESRD and documented CVD. Levels of NT-pro-BNP were measured at baseline, and patients were followed for 2 years or until they reached the predefined endpoint of all-cause mortality. During follow-up, the total mortality was 44% (90/206). Patients who died were followed for a median of 314 days (interquartile range 179 - 530). Using Cox regression analysis, age, female sex, systolic blood pressure, dialysis efficiency and plasma levels of NT-pro-BNP were independent prognostic risk factors of mortality. In receiver operating characteristic curve analysis a cut off value for NT-pro-BNP was determined. Patients with values of NT-pro-BNP above 12.200 pg/ml had a 3 times higher risk of death than patients below the cut-off value (HR 3.05 95% CI 1.96 - 4.77, p pro-BNP, NT-pro-BNP is still an independent predictor of mortality and might add prognostic information in patients with ESRD and documented CVD.

  19. Towards a molecular understanding of symbiont function: Identification of a fungal gene for the degradation of xylan in the fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lange Lene

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leaf-cutting ants live in symbiosis with a fungus that they rear for food by providing it with live plant material. Until recently the fungus' main inferred function was to make otherwise inaccessible cell wall degradation products available to the ants, but new studies have shed doubt on this idea. To provide evidence for the cell wall degrading capacity of the attine ant symbiont, we designed PCR primers from conserved regions of known xylanase genes, to be used in PCR with genomic DNA from the symbiont as template. We also measured xylanase, cellulase and proteinase activities in the fungus gardens in order to investigate the dynamics of degradation activities. Results We cloned a xylanase gene from the mutualistic fungus of Acromyrmex echinatior, determined its protein sequence, and inserted it in a yeast expression vector to confirm its substrate specificity. Our results show that the fungus has a functional xylanase gene. We also show by lab experiments in vivo that the activity of fungal xylanase and cellulase is not evenly distributed, but concentrated in the lower layer of fungus gardens, with only modest activity in the middle layer where gongylidia are produced and intermediate activity in the newly established top layer. This vertical distribution appears to be negatively correlated with the concentration of glucose, which indicates a directly regulating role of glucose, as has been found in other fungi and has been previously suggested for the ant fungal symbiont. Conclusion The mutualistic fungus of Acromyrmex echinatior has a functional xylanase gene and is thus presumably able to at least partially degrade the cell walls of leaves. This finding supports a saprotrophic origin of the fungal symbiont. The observed distribution of enzyme activity leads us to propose that leaf-substrate degradation in fungus gardens is a multi-step process comparable to normal biodegradation of organic matter in soil ecosystems

  20. Detection of NT-pro BNP using fluorescent protein modified by streptavidin as a label in immunochromatographic assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haixia Li

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A novel fluorescent immunochromatographic assay for the detection of NT-proBNP in human serum has been developed. Based on a sandwich-type immunoassay format, analytes in samples were captured by one monoclonal antibody labeled with fluorescent protein and “sandwiched” by another monoclonal antibody immobilized on the nitrocellulose membrane, the fluorescence and concentration of analytes were measured and then calculated by fluoroanalyzer. The fluorescent protein is a fusion protein and was prepared through the application of Streptavidin gene SA, β subunit cpcB of Phycocyanin, lyase alr0617, and phycoerythrobilin synthetase gene ho1, pebA, pebB for covalent binding. It is characterized with higher stability, good solubility in water and it is not easy to quench fluorescence. Take the advantages of fluorescent protein, the immunochromatographic assay exhibited a wide linear range for NT-proBNP from 200 pg ml−1 to 26,000 pg ml−1, with a detection limit of 47 pg ml−1 under optimal conditions. Compared with chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA, 131 human serum samples were analyzed and the correlation coefficient of the developed immunoassay was 0.978. These results demonstrated that fluorescent immunochromatographic assay is a more rapid, sensitive, specific method and could be developed into a platform for more biomarkers determination in clinical practice. Keywords: NT-pro BNP, Fluorescent protein, Immunochromatographic assay

  1. Functional analysis of rice HOMEOBOX4 (Oshox4) gene reveals a negative function in gibberellin responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Mingqiu; Hu, Yongfeng; Ma, Qian; Zhao, Yu; Zhou, Dao-Xiu

    2008-02-01

    The homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) putative transcription factor genes are divided into 4 families. In this work, we studied the function of a rice HD-Zip I gene, H OME O BO X4 (Oshox4). Oshox4 transcripts were detected in leaf and floral organ primordia but excluded from the shoot apical meristem and the protein was nuclear localized. Over-expression of Oshox4 in rice induced a semi-dwarf phenotype that could not be complemented by applied GA3. The over-expression plants accumulated elevated levels of bioactive GA, while the GA catabolic gene GA2ox3 was upregulated in the transgenic plants. In addition, over-expression of Oshox4 blocked GA-dependent alpha-amylase production. However, down-regulation of Oshox4 in RNAi transgenic plants induced no phenotypic alteration. Interestingly, the expression of YAB1 that is involved in the negative feedback regulation of the GA biosynthesis was upregulated in the Oshox4 over-expressing plants. One-hybrid assays showed that Oshox4 could interact with YAB1 promoter in yeast. In addition, Oshox4 expression was upregulated by GA. These data together suggest that Oshox4 may be involved in the negative regulation of GA signalling and may play a role to fine tune GA responses in rice.

  2. Plant defences against ants provide a pathway to social parasitism in butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricelli, Dario; Barbero, Francesca; Occhipinti, Andrea; Bertea, Cinzia M.; Bonelli, Simona; Casacci, Luca P.; Zebelo, Simon A.; Crocoll, Christoph; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Maffei, Massimo E.; Thomas, Jeremy A.; Balletto, Emilio

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the chemical cues and gene expressions that mediate herbivore–host-plant and parasite–host interactions can elucidate the ecological costs and benefits accruing to different partners in tight-knit community modules, and may reveal unexpected complexities. We investigated the exploitation of sequential hosts by the phytophagous–predaceous butterfly Maculinea arion, whose larvae initially feed on Origanum vulgare flowerheads before switching to parasitize Myrmica ant colonies for their main period of growth. Gravid female butterflies were attracted to Origanum plants that emitted high levels of the monoterpenoid volatile carvacrol, a condition that occurred when ants disturbed their roots: we also found that Origanum expressed four genes involved in monoterpene formation when ants were present, accompanied by a significant induction of jasmonates. When exposed to carvacrol, Myrmica workers upregulated five genes whose products bind and detoxify this biocide, and their colonies were more tolerant of it than other common ant genera, consistent with an observed ability to occupy the competitor-free spaces surrounding Origanum. A cost is potential colony destruction by Ma. arion, which in turn may benefit infested Origanum plants by relieving their roots of further damage. Our results suggest a new pathway, whereby social parasites can detect successive resources by employing plant volatiles to simultaneously select their initial plant food and a suitable sequential host. PMID:26156773

  3. NR4A1 (Nur77 mediates thyrotropin-releasing hormone-induced stimulation of transcription of the thyrotropin β gene: analysis of TRH knockout mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuyo Nakajima

    Full Text Available Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH is a major stimulator of thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH synthesis in the anterior pituitary, though precisely how TRH stimulates the TSHβ gene remains unclear. Analysis of TRH-deficient mice differing in thyroid hormone status demonstrated that TRH was critical for the basal activity and responsiveness to thyroid hormone of the TSHβ gene. cDNA microarray and K-means cluster analyses with pituitaries from wild-type mice, TRH-deficient mice and TRH-deficient mice with thyroid hormone replacement revealed that the largest and most consistent decrease in expression in the absence of TRH and on supplementation with thyroid hormone was shown by the TSHβ gene, and the NR4A1 gene belonged to the same cluster as and showed a similar expression profile to the TSHβ gene. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that NR4A1 was expressed not only in ACTH- and FSH- producing cells but also in thyrotrophs and the expression was remarkably reduced in TRH-deficient pituitary. Furthermore, experiments in vitro demonstrated that incubation with TRH in GH4C1 cells increased the endogenous NR4A1 mRNA level by approximately 50-fold within one hour, and this stimulation was inhibited by inhibitors for PKC and ERK1/2. Western blot analysis confirmed that TRH increased NR4A1 expression within 2 h. A series of deletions of the promoter demonstrated that the region between bp -138 and +37 of the TSHβ gene was responsible for the TRH-induced stimulation, and Chip analysis revealed that NR4A1 was recruited to this region. Conversely, knockdown of NR4A1 by siRNA led to a significant reduction in TRH-induced TSHβ promoter activity. Furthermore, TRH stimulated NR4A1 promoter activity through the TRH receptor. These findings demonstrated that 1 TRH is a highly specific regulator of the TSHβ gene, and 2 TRH mediated induction of the TSHβ gene, at least in part by sequential stimulation of the NR4A1-TSHβ genes through a PKC and

  4. Transduction of Oct6 or Oct9 gene concomitant with Myc family gene induced osteoblast-like phenotypic conversion in normal human fibroblasts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mizoshiri, N.; Kishida, T.; Yamamoto, K.; Shirai, T.; Terauchi, R.; Tsuchida, S.; Mori, Y.; Ejima, A.; Sato, Y.; Arai, Y.; Fujiwara, H.; Yamamoto, T.; Kanamura, N.; Mazda, O.; Kubo, T.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Osteoblasts play essential roles in bone formation and regeneration, while they have low proliferation potential. Recently we established a procedure to directly convert human fibroblasts into osteoblasts (dOBs). Transduction of Runx2 (R), Osterix (X), Oct3/4 (O) and L-myc (L) genes followed by culturing under osteogenic conditions induced normal human fibroblasts to express osteoblast-specific genes and produce calcified bone matrix both in vitro and in vivo Intriguingly, a combination of only two factors, Oct3/4 and L-myc, significantly induced osteoblast-like phenotype in fibroblasts, but the mechanisms underlying the direct conversion remains to be unveiled. Materials and Methods: We examined which Oct family genes and Myc family genes are capable of inducing osteoblast-like phenotypic conversion. Results: As result Oct3/4, Oct6 and Oct9, among other Oct family members, had the capability, while N-myc was the most effective Myc family gene. The Oct9 plus N-myc was the best combination to induce direct conversion of human fibroblasts into osteoblast-like cells. Discussion: The present findings may greatly contribute to the elucidation of the roles of the Oct and Myc proteins in osteoblast direct reprogramming. The results may also lead to establishment of novel regenerative therapy for various bone resorption diseases. - Highlights: • Introducing L-myc in a combination with either Oct3/4, Oct6 or Oct9 enables the conversion of fibroblasts to osteoblasts. • A combination of L-myc with Oct3/4 or Oct9 can induce the cells to a phenotype closer to normal osteoblasts. • N-myc was considered the most appropriate Myc family gene for induction of osteoblast-like phenotype in fibroblasts. • The combination of Oct9 plus N-myc has the strongest capability of inducing osteoblast-like phenotype.

  5. Transduction of Oct6 or Oct9 gene concomitant with Myc family gene induced osteoblast-like phenotypic conversion in normal human fibroblasts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mizoshiri, N. [Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Department of Orthopaedics, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Kishida, T. [Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Yamamoto, K. [Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Department of Dental Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Shirai, T.; Terauchi, R.; Tsuchida, S. [Department of Orthopaedics, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Mori, Y. [Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Department of Orthopaedics, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Ejima, A. [Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Sato, Y. [Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Department of Dental Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Arai, Y.; Fujiwara, H. [Department of Orthopaedics, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Yamamoto, T.; Kanamura, N. [Department of Dental Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Mazda, O., E-mail: mazda@koto.kpu-m.ac.jp [Department of Immunology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan); Kubo, T. [Department of Orthopaedics, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto (Japan)

    2015-11-27

    Introduction: Osteoblasts play essential roles in bone formation and regeneration, while they have low proliferation potential. Recently we established a procedure to directly convert human fibroblasts into osteoblasts (dOBs). Transduction of Runx2 (R), Osterix (X), Oct3/4 (O) and L-myc (L) genes followed by culturing under osteogenic conditions induced normal human fibroblasts to express osteoblast-specific genes and produce calcified bone matrix both in vitro and in vivo Intriguingly, a combination of only two factors, Oct3/4 and L-myc, significantly induced osteoblast-like phenotype in fibroblasts, but the mechanisms underlying the direct conversion remains to be unveiled. Materials and Methods: We examined which Oct family genes and Myc family genes are capable of inducing osteoblast-like phenotypic conversion. Results: As result Oct3/4, Oct6 and Oct9, among other Oct family members, had the capability, while N-myc was the most effective Myc family gene. The Oct9 plus N-myc was the best combination to induce direct conversion of human fibroblasts into osteoblast-like cells. Discussion: The present findings may greatly contribute to the elucidation of the roles of the Oct and Myc proteins in osteoblast direct reprogramming. The results may also lead to establishment of novel regenerative therapy for various bone resorption diseases. - Highlights: • Introducing L-myc in a combination with either Oct3/4, Oct6 or Oct9 enables the conversion of fibroblasts to osteoblasts. • A combination of L-myc with Oct3/4 or Oct9 can induce the cells to a phenotype closer to normal osteoblasts. • N-myc was considered the most appropriate Myc family gene for induction of osteoblast-like phenotype in fibroblasts. • The combination of Oct9 plus N-myc has the strongest capability of inducing osteoblast-like phenotype.

  6. Best management practices plan for installation of and monitoring at temporary Weirs at NT-4, Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-06-01

    The purpose of the installation of temporary weirs at NT-4 is to collect empirical surface water discharge data for the tributary during baseflow conditions and following rainfall events, during the spring and summer of 1997 in support of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge Reservation Waste Management Alternatives Evaluation project. The duration of surface-water monitoring activities is not planned to exceed 6 months. A minimum of four temporary weirs will be installed along the length of NT-4 in the locations indicated on Attachment A. The design specifications and locations for the weirs will be provided by the DOE prime contractor for the Oak Ridge Reservation Waste Management Alternatives Evaluation project. The weirs will be fabricated by the Y-12 labor forces of Lockheed Martin Energy Systems (LMES). The Environmental Compliance Organization (ECO) of LMES will perform data collection in addition to weir installation, inspection, maintenance, and removal. Flow meters that collect data at five minute intervals will be installed on each weir and visual measurements using staff gauges mounted on each weir will also be performed

  7. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M. [Department of Environmental Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Kwok, E.S.C. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Buchholz, B.A., E-mail: buchholz2@llnl.gov [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States); Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Rust, M.K. [Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Eastmond, D.A. [Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Vogel, J.S. [Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551 (United States)

    2015-10-15

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of {sup 14}C-sucrose, {sup 14}C-hydramethylnon, and {sup 14}C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  8. Insecticide transfer efficiency and lethal load in Argentine ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hooper-Bui, L.M.; Kwok, E.S.C.; Buchholz, B.A.; Rust, M.K.; Eastmond, D.A.; Vogel, J.S.

    2015-01-01

    Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 14 C-sucrose, 14 C-hydramethylnon, and 14 C-fipronil was shared between single donor and recipient ants. Dead workers and queens contained significantly more hydramethylnon (122.7 and 22.4 amol/μg ant, respectively) than did live workers and queens (96.3 and 10.4 amol/μg ant, respectively). Dead workers had significantly more fipronil (420.3 amol/μg ant) than did live workers (208.5 amol/μg ant), but dead and live queens had equal fipronil levels (59.5 and 54.3 amol/μg ant, respectively). The distribution of fipronil differed within the bodies of dead and live queens; the highest amounts of fipronil were recovered in the thorax of dead queens whereas live queens had the highest levels in the head. Resurgence of polygynous ant colonies treated with hydramethylnon baits may be explained by queen survival resulting from sublethal doses due to a slowing of trophallaxis throughout the colony. Bait strategies and dose levels for controlling insect pests need to be based on the specific toxicant properties and trophic strategies for targeting the entire colony.

  9. An Engineered orco Mutation Produces Aberrant Social Behavior and Defective Neural Development in Ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Hua; Opachaloemphan, Comzit; Mancini, Giacomo; Yang, Huan; Gallitto, Matthew; Mlejnek, Jakub; Leibholz, Alexandra; Haight, Kevin; Ghaninia, Majid; Huo, Lucy; Perry, Michael; Slone, Jesse; Zhou, Xiaofan; Traficante, Maria; Penick, Clint A; Dolezal, Kelly; Gokhale, Kaustubh; Stevens, Kelsey; Fetter-Pruneda, Ingrid; Bonasio, Roberto; Zwiebel, Laurence J; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Reinberg, Danny; Desplan, Claude

    2017-08-10

    Ants exhibit cooperative behaviors and advanced forms of sociality that depend on pheromone-mediated communication. Odorant receptor neurons (ORNs) express specific odorant receptors (ORs) encoded by a dramatically expanded gene family in ants. In most eusocial insects, only the queen can transmit genetic information, restricting genetic studies. In contrast, workers in Harpegnathos saltator ants can be converted into gamergates (pseudoqueens) that can found entire colonies. This feature facilitated CRISPR-Cas9 generation of germline mutations in orco, the gene that encodes the obligate co-receptor of all ORs. orco mutations should significantly impact olfaction. We demonstrate striking functions of Orco in odorant perception, reproductive physiology, and social behavior plasticity. Surprisingly, unlike in other insects, loss of OR functionality also dramatically impairs development of the antennal lobe to which ORNs project. Therefore, the development of genetics in Harpegnathos establishes this ant species as a model organism to study the complexity of eusociality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Is N.D. and N.T. v. Spain the new Hirsi?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pijnenburg, Annick

    2017-01-01

    On 3 October the Third Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights published its judgment N.D. and N.T. v. Spain, which concerns Spain’s pushback policy in Melilla. It found a violation of Article 4 of Protocol 4 (prohibition of collective expulsions of aliens) and of Article 13 (right to an

  11. [Antimicrobial susceptibility and drug-resistance genes of Yersinia spp. of retailed poultry in 4 provinces of China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Z X; Zou, M Y; Xu, J; Guan, W Y; Li, Y; Liu, D R; Zhang, S S; Hao, Q; Yan, S F; Wang, W; Yu, D M; Li, F Q

    2018-04-06

    Objective: To monitor the antimicrobial resistance and drug-resistance genes of Yersinia enterocolitis , Y. intermedia and Y. frederiksenii recovered from retailed fresh poultry of 4 provinces of China. Methods: The susceptibility of 25 isolated Yersinia spp. to 14 classes and 25 kinds of antibiotics was determined by broth microdilution method according to CLSI (Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute). The antibiotic resistance genes were predicted with antibiotic resistance genes database (ARDB) using whole genome sequences of Yersinia spp. Results: In all 22 Y. enterocolitis tested, 63.7% (14 isolates), 22.8% (5 isolates), 4.6% and 4.6% of 1 isolates exhibited the resistance to cefoxitin, ampicillin-sulbactam, nitrofurantoin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, respectively. All the 25 isolates were multi-drug resistant to more than 3 antibiotics, while 64.0% of isolates were resistant to more than 4 antibiotics. A few Y. enterocolitis isolates of this study were intermediate to ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin. Most Yersinia spp. isolates contained antibiotic resistance genes mdtG, ksgA, bacA, blaA, rosAB and acrB , and 5 isolates recovered from fresh chicken also contained dfrA 1, catB 2 and ant 3 ia . Conclusion: The multi-drug resistant Yersinia spp. isolated from retailed fresh poultry is very serious in the 4 provinces of China, and their contained many kinds of drug-resistance genes.

  12. Ant-cave structured MnCO3/Mn3O4 microcubes by biopolymer-assisted facile synthesis for high-performance pseudocapacitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandra Sekhar, S.; Nagaraju, Goli; Yu, Jae Su

    2018-03-01

    Porous and ant-cave structured MnCO3/Mn3O4 microcubes (MCs) were facilely synthesized via a biopolymer-assisted hydrothermal approach. Herein, chitosan was used as a natural biopolymer, which greatly controls the surface morphology and size of the prepared composite. The amino and hydroxyl group-functionalized chitosan engraves the outer surface of MCs during the hydrothermal process, which designs the interesting morphology of nanopath ways on the surface of MCs. When used as an electrode material for pseudocapacitors, the ant-cave structured MnCO3/Mn3O4 MCs showed superior energy storage values compared to the material prepared without chitosan in aqueous electrolyte solution. Precisely, the prepared ant-cave structured MnCO3/Mn3O4 MCs exhibited a maximum specific capacitance of 116.2 F/g at a current density of 0.7 A/g with an excellent cycling stability of 73.86% after 2000 cycles. Such facile and low-cost synthesis of pseudocapacitive materials with porous nanopaths is favorable for the fabrication of high-performance energy storage devices.

  13. Ant-plant mutualism: a dietary by-product of a tropical ant's macronutrient requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arcila Hernández, Lina M; Sanders, Jon G; Miller, Gabriel A; Ravenscraft, Alison; Frederickson, Megan E

    2017-12-01

    Many arboreal ants depend on myrmecophytic plants for both food and shelter; in return, these ants defend their host plants against herbivores, which are often insects. Ant-plant and other mutualisms do not necessarily involve the exchange of costly rewards or services; they may instead result from by-product benefits, or positive outcomes that do not entail a cost for one or both partners. Here, we examined whether the plant-ant Allomerus octoarticulatus pays a short-term cost to defend their host plants against herbivores, or whether plant defense is a by-product benefit of ant foraging for insect prey. Because the food offered by ant-plants is usually nitrogen-poor, arboreal ants may balance their diets by consuming insect prey or associating with microbial symbionts to acquire nitrogen, potentially shifting the costs and benefits of plant defense for the ant partner. To determine the effect of ant diet on an ant-plant mutualism, we compared the behavior, morphology, fitness, stable isotope signatures, and gaster microbiomes of A. octoarticulatus ants nesting in Cordia nodosa trees maintained for nearly a year with or without insect herbivores. At the end of the experiment, ants from herbivore exclosures preferred protein-rich baits more than ants in the control (i.e., herbivores present) treatment. Furthermore, workers in the control treatment were heavier than in the herbivore-exclusion treatment, and worker mass predicted reproductive output, suggesting that foraging for insect prey directly increased ant colony fitness. The gaster microbiome of ants was not significantly affected by the herbivore exclusion treatment. We conclude that the defensive behavior of some phytoecious ants is a by-product of their need for external protein sources; thus, the consumption of insect herbivores by ants benefits both the ant colony and the host plant. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. The evolution of genome size in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spagna Joseph C

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the economic and ecological importance of ants, genomic tools for this family (Formicidae remain woefully scarce. Knowledge of genome size, for example, is a useful and necessary prerequisite for the development of many genomic resources, yet it has been reported for only one ant species (Solenopsis invicta, and the two published estimates for this species differ by 146.7 Mb (0.15 pg. Results Here, we report the genome size for 40 species of ants distributed across 10 of the 20 currently recognized subfamilies, thus making Formicidae the 4th most surveyed insect family and elevating the Hymenoptera to the 5th most surveyed insect order. Our analysis spans much of the ant phylogeny, from the less derived Amblyoponinae and Ponerinae to the more derived Myrmicinae, Formicinae and Dolichoderinae. We include a number of interesting and important taxa, including the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile, Neotropical army ants (genera Eciton and Labidus, trapjaw ants (Odontomachus, fungus-growing ants (Apterostigma, Atta and Sericomyrmex, harvester ants (Messor, Pheidole and Pogonomyrmex, carpenter ants (Camponotus, a fire ant (Solenopsis, and a bulldog ant (Myrmecia. Our results show that ants possess small genomes relative to most other insects, yet genome size varies three-fold across this insect family. Moreover, our data suggest that two whole-genome duplications may have occurred in the ancestors of the modern Ectatomma and Apterostigma. Although some previous studies of other taxa have revealed a relationship between genome size and body size, our phylogenetically-controlled analysis of this correlation did not reveal a significant relationship. Conclusion This is the first analysis of genome size in ants (Formicidae and the first across multiple species of social insects. We show that genome size is a variable trait that can evolve gradually over long time spans, as well as rapidly, through processes that may

  15. The influence of BANXIAXIEXIN decoction and its analogous preparations on neurotensin (NT) in rat models with reflux esophagitis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Xiaoni; Gao Yanqing; Si Yinchu; Niu Xin

    2003-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the mechanism of BANXIAXIEXIN TANG Decoction and its analogous preparations in treatment of reflux esophagitis. Methods: 60 rat models with duodenogastroesophageal reflux were divided into 4 equal numbered groups; control group, BANXIAXIEXIN TANG group, SHENGJIANGXIEXIN TANG group, GANCAOXIEXIN TANG group. The contents of NT in hypothalamus, ileum and plasma were measured by radioimmunoassay in all these models and the relationship between NT concentration and degree of esophageal mucosa injury in the control group was analysed. Results: BANXIAXIEXIN Decoction and its analogous preparations could reduce the degree of the esophageal mucosa injury significantly (p<0.01). Compared with the control group: the hypothalamus content of NT in SHENGJIANGXIEXIN TANG group was significantly lowered (p<0.05), the ileum content of NT in BANXIAXIEXIN TANG group was significantly lowered (p<0.01), the plasma contents of NT in both groups were significantly lowered (p<0.05) as well. There was positive correlation (r=0.442, p<0.01) between content of NT in ileum and degree of the esophageal mucosa injury in control group. Conclusion: NT may play an important role in the development reflux esophagitis. Regulating the synthesis and secretion of NT may be one of the mechanisms of BANXIAXIEXIN Decoction and its analogus preparations in treatment of reflux esophagitis

  16. Particulated articular cartilage: CAIS and DeNovo NT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, Jack; Cole, Brian J; Sherman, Seth; Karas, Vasili

    2012-03-01

    Cartilage Autograft Implantation System (CAIS; DePuy/Mitek, Raynham, MA) and DeNovo Natural Tissue (NT; ISTO, St. Louis, MO) are novel treatment options for focal articular cartilage defects in the knee. These methods involve the implantation of particulated articular cartilage from either autograft or juvenile allograft donor, respectively. In the laboratory and in animal models, both CAIS and DeNovo NT have demonstrated the ability of the transplanted cartilage cells to "escape" from the extracellular matrix, migrate, multiply, and form a new hyaline-like cartilage tissue matrix that integrates with the surrounding host tissue. In clinical practice, the technique for both CAIS and DeNovo NT is straightforward, requiring only a single surgery to affect cartilage repair. Clinical experience is limited, with short-term studies demonstrating both procedures to be safe, feasible, and effective, with improvements in subjective patient scores, and with magnetic resonance imaging evidence of good defect fill. While these treatment options appear promising, prospective randomized controlled studies are necessary to refine the indications and contraindications for both CAIS and DeNovo NT.

  17. 4-phenylbutyrate Mitigates Fluoride-Induced Cytotoxicity in ALC Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maiko Suzuki

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Chronic fluoride over-exposure during pre-eruptive enamel development can cause dental fluorosis. Severe dental fluorosis is characterized by porous, soft enamel that is vulnerable to erosion and decay. The prevalence of dental fluorosis among the population in the USA, India and China is increasing. Other than avoiding excessive intake, treatments to prevent dental fluorosis remain unknown. We previously reported that high-dose fluoride induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress and oxidative stress in ameloblasts. Cell stress induces gene repression, mitochondrial damage and apoptosis. An aromatic fatty acid, 4-phenylbutyrate (4PBA is a chemical chaperone that interacts with misfolded proteins to prevent ER stress. We hypothesized that 4PBA ameliorates fluoride-induced ER stress in ameloblasts. To determine whether 4PBA protects ameloblasts from fluoride toxicity, we analyzed gene expression of Tgf-β1, Bcl2/Bax ratio and cytochrome-c release in vitro. In vivo, we measured fluorosis levels, enamel hardness and fluoride concentration. Fluoride treated Ameloblast-lineage cells (ALC had decreased Tgf-β1 expression and this was reversed by 4PBA treatment. The anti-apoptotic Blc2/Bax ratio was significantly increased in ALC cells treated with fluoride/4PBA compared to fluoride treatment alone. Fluoride treatment induced cytochrome-c release from mitochondria into the cytosol and this was inhibited by 4PBA treatment. These results suggest that 4PBA mitigates fluoride-induced gene suppression, apoptosis and mitochondrial damage in vitro. In vivo, C57BL/6J mice were provided fluoridated water for six weeks with either fluoride free control-chow or 4PBA-containing chow (7 g/kg 4PBA. With few exceptions, enamel microhardness, fluorosis levels, and fluoride concentrations of bone and urine did not differ significantly between fluoride treated animals fed with control-chow or 4PBA-chow. Although 4PBA mitigated high-dose fluoride toxicity in vitro, a diet

  18. 4-phenylbutyrate Mitigates Fluoride-Induced Cytotoxicity in ALC Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Maiko; Everett, Eric T; Whitford, Gary M; Bartlett, John D

    2017-01-01

    Chronic fluoride over-exposure during pre-eruptive enamel development can cause dental fluorosis. Severe dental fluorosis is characterized by porous, soft enamel that is vulnerable to erosion and decay. The prevalence of dental fluorosis among the population in the USA, India and China is increasing. Other than avoiding excessive intake, treatments to prevent dental fluorosis remain unknown. We previously reported that high-dose fluoride induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress in ameloblasts. Cell stress induces gene repression, mitochondrial damage and apoptosis. An aromatic fatty acid, 4-phenylbutyrate (4PBA) is a chemical chaperone that interacts with misfolded proteins to prevent ER stress. We hypothesized that 4PBA ameliorates fluoride-induced ER stress in ameloblasts. To determine whether 4PBA protects ameloblasts from fluoride toxicity, we analyzed gene expression of Tgf -β 1, Bcl2 / Bax ratio and cytochrome-c release in vitro . In vivo , we measured fluorosis levels, enamel hardness and fluoride concentration. Fluoride treated Ameloblast-lineage cells (ALC) had decreased Tgf -β 1 expression and this was reversed by 4PBA treatment. The anti-apoptotic Blc2 / Bax ratio was significantly increased in ALC cells treated with fluoride/4PBA compared to fluoride treatment alone. Fluoride treatment induced cytochrome-c release from mitochondria into the cytosol and this was inhibited by 4PBA treatment. These results suggest that 4PBA mitigates fluoride-induced gene suppression, apoptosis and mitochondrial damage in vitro . In vivo , C57BL/6J mice were provided fluoridated water for six weeks with either fluoride free control-chow or 4PBA-containing chow (7 g/kg 4PBA). With few exceptions, enamel microhardness, fluorosis levels, and fluoride concentrations of bone and urine did not differ significantly between fluoride treated animals fed with control-chow or 4PBA-chow. Although 4PBA mitigated high-dose fluoride toxicity in vitro , a diet rich

  19. A CoGeNT confirmation of the DAMA signal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foot, R.

    2010-01-01

    The CoGeNT Collaboration has recently reported a rising low energy spectrum in their ultra low noise Germanium detector. This is particularly interesting as the energy range probed by CoGeNT overlaps with the energy region in which DAMA has observed their annual modulation signal. We show that the mirror dark matter candidate can simultaneously explain both the DAMA annual modulation signal and the rising low energy spectrum observed by CoGeNT. This constitutes a model dependent confirmation of the DAMA signal and adds weight to the mirror dark matter paradigm.

  20. Ant Larval Demand Reduces Aphid Colony Growth Rates in an Ant-Aphid Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M. Cook

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Ants often form mutualistic interactions with aphids, soliciting honeydew in return for protective services. Under certain circumstances, however, ants will prey upon aphids. In addition, in the presence of ants aphids may increase the quantity or quality of honeydew produced, which is costly. Through these mechanisms, ant attendance can reduce aphid colony growth rates. However, it is unknown whether demand from within the ant colony can affect the ant-aphid interaction. In a factorial experiment, we tested whether the presence of larvae in Lasius niger ant colonies affected the growth rate of Aphis fabae colonies. Other explanatory variables tested were the origin of ant colonies (two separate colonies were used and previous diet (sugar only or sugar and protein. We found that the presence of larvae in the ant colony significantly reduced the growth rate of aphid colonies. Previous diet and colony origin did not affect aphid colony growth rates. Our results suggest that ant colonies balance the flow of two separate resources from aphid colonies- renewable sugars or a protein-rich meal, depending on demand from ant larvae within the nest. Aphid payoffs from the ant-aphid interaction may change on a seasonal basis, as the demand from larvae within the ant colony waxes and wanes.

  1. Oecophylla smaragdina food conversion efficiency: prospects for ant farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim

    2011-01-01

    can be combined with the use of the ants in biological control programmes in tropical plantations where pest insects are converted into ant biomass. To assess the cost-benefits of ant farming based on artificial feeding, food consumption and food conversion efficiency (ECI) of Oecophylla smaragdina......Oecophylla ants are sold at high prices on several commercial markets as a human delicacy, as pet food or as traditional medicine. Currently markets are supplied by ants collected from the wild; however, an increasing interest in ant farming exists as all harvest is easily sold and as ant farming...... selling prices these efficiencies led to rates of return from 1.52 to 4.56, respectively, if: (i) protein is supplied from commercial products; or (ii) alternatively supplied from free sources such as insects and kitchen waste. These results suggest that Oecophylla ant farming may become highly profitable...

  2. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2010-12-31

    Leaf-cutting (attine) ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets contain proteins that are produced by the fungal symbiont to pass unharmed through the digestive system of the ants, so they can enhance new fungus garden growth. We tested this hypothesis by using proteomics methods to determine the gene sequences of fecal proteins in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants. Seven (21%) of the 33 identified proteins were pectinolytic enzymes that originated from the fungal symbiont and which were still active in the fecal droplets produced by the ants. We show that these enzymes are found in the fecal material only when the ants had access to fungus garden food, and we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to show that the expression of six of these enzyme genes was substantially upregulated in the fungal gongylidia. These unique structures serve as food for the ants and are produced only by the evolutionarily advanced garden symbionts of higher attine ants, but not by the fungi reared by the basal lineages of this ant clade. Pectinolytic enzymes produced in the gongylidia of the fungal symbiont are ingested but not digested by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants so that they end up in the fecal fluid and become mixed with new garden substrate. Substantial quantities of pectinolytic enzymes are typically found in pathogenic fungi that attack live plant tissue, where they are known to breach the cell walls to allow the fungal mycelium access to the cell contents. As the leaf-cutting ant symbionts are derived from fungal clades that decompose dead plant material, our results suggest that their pectinolytic enzymes represent secondarily evolved adaptations that are convergent to those normally found in phytopathogens.

  3. Leaf-cutting ant fungi produce cell wall degrading pectinase complexes reminiscent of phytopathogenic fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leaf-cutting (attine ants use their own fecal material to manure fungus gardens, which consist of leaf material overgrown by hyphal threads of the basidiomycete fungus Leucocoprinus gongylophorus that lives in symbiosis with the ants. Previous studies have suggested that the fecal droplets contain proteins that are produced by the fungal symbiont to pass unharmed through the digestive system of the ants, so they can enhance new fungus garden growth. Results We tested this hypothesis by using proteomics methods to determine the gene sequences of fecal proteins in Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants. Seven (21% of the 33 identified proteins were pectinolytic enzymes that originated from the fungal symbiont and which were still active in the fecal droplets produced by the ants. We show that these enzymes are found in the fecal material only when the ants had access to fungus garden food, and we used quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to show that the expression of six of these enzyme genes was substantially upregulated in the fungal gongylidia. These unique structures serve as food for the ants and are produced only by the evolutionarily advanced garden symbionts of higher attine ants, but not by the fungi reared by the basal lineages of this ant clade. Conclusions Pectinolytic enzymes produced in the gongylidia of the fungal symbiont are ingested but not digested by Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants so that they end up in the fecal fluid and become mixed with new garden substrate. Substantial quantities of pectinolytic enzymes are typically found in pathogenic fungi that attack live plant tissue, where they are known to breach the cell walls to allow the fungal mycelium access to the cell contents. As the leaf-cutting ant symbionts are derived from fungal clades that decompose dead plant material, our results suggest that their pectinolytic enzymes represent secondarily evolved adaptations that are convergent to

  4. High-level inducible Smad4-reexpression in the cervical cancer cell line C4-II is associated with a gene expression profile that predicts a preferential role of Smad4 in extracellular matrix composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klein-Scory, Susanne; Zapatka, Marc; Eilert-Micus, Christina; Hoppe, Sabine; Schwarz, Elisabeth; Schmiegel, Wolff; Hahn, Stephan A; Schwarte-Waldhoff, Irmgard

    2007-01-01

    Smad4 is a tumour suppressor frequently inactivated in pancreatic and colorectal cancers. We have recently reported loss of Smad4 in every fourth carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Smad4 transmits signals from the TGF-β superfamily of cytokines and functions as a versatile transcriptional co-modulator. The prevailing view suggests that the tumour suppressor function of Smad4 primarily resides in its capability to mediate TGF-β growth inhibitory responses. However, accumulating evidence indicates, that the acquisition of TGF-β resistance and loss of Smad4 may be independent events in the carcinogenic process. Through inducible reexpression of Smad4 in cervical cancer cells we wished to shed more light on this issue and to identify target genes implicated in Smad4 dependent tumor suppression. Smad4-deficient human C4-II cervical carcinoma cells were used to establish inducible Smad4 reexpression using the commercial Tet-on™ system (Clontech). The impact of Smad4 reexpression on cell growth was analysed in vitro and in vivo. Transcriptional responses were assessed through profiling on cDNA macroarrays (Clontech) and validated through Northern blotting. Clones were obtained that express Smad4 at widely varying levels from approximately physiological to 50-fold overexpression. Smad4-mediated tumour suppression in vivo was apparent at physiological expression levels as well as in Smad4 overexpressing clones. Smad4 reexpression in a dose-dependent manner was associated with transcriptional induction of the extracellular matrix-associated genes, BigH3, fibronectin and PAI-1, in response to TGF-β. Smad4-dependent regulation of these secreted Smad4 targets is not restricted to cervical carcinoma cells and was confirmed in pancreatic carcinoma cells reexpressing Smad4 after retroviral transduction and in a stable Smad4 knockdown model. On the other hand, the classical cell cycle-associated TGF-β target genes, c-myc, p21 and p15, remained unaltered. Our results show that

  5. Herbal Supplement Ameliorates Cardiac Hypertrophy in Rats with CCl4-Induced Liver Cirrhosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping-Chun Li

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We used the carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 induced liver cirrhosis model to test the molecular mechanism of action involved in cirrhosis-associated cardiac hypertrophy and the effectiveness of Ocimum gratissimum extract (OGE and silymarin against cardiac hypertrophy. We treated male wistar rats with CCl4 and either OGE (0.02 g/kg B.W. or 0.04 g/kg B.W. or silymarin (0.2 g/kg B.W.. Cardiac eccentric hypertrophy was induced by CCl4 along with cirrhosis and increased expression of cardiac hypertrophy related genes NFAT, TAGA4, and NBP, and the interleukin-6 (IL-6 signaling pathway related genes MEK5, ERK5, JAK, and STAT3. OGE or silymarin co-treatment attenuated CCl4-induced cardiac abnormalities, and lowered expression of genes which were elevated by this hepatotoxin. Our results suggest that the IL-6 signaling pathway may be related to CCl4-induced cardiac hypertrophy. OGE and silymarin were able to lower liver fibrosis, which reduces the chance of cardiac hypertrophy perhaps by lowering the expressions of IL-6 signaling pathway related genes. We conclude that treatment of cirrhosis using herbal supplements is a viable option for protecting cardiac tissues against cirrhosis-related cardiac hypertrophy.

  6. Prenatal Clinical Assessment of NT-proBNP as a Diagnostic Tool for Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension and Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pawel Sadlecki

    Full Text Available Common complications of pregnancy include preeclampsia (PE, gestational hypertension (GH and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM. Hypertensive disorders (PE/GH and GDM may result in greater maternal, fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Women with PE/GH, one of the most common causes of heart burden in an obstetrical setting, present with elevated serum levels of BNP and NT-proBNP. The aim of this study was to shed more light on the role of NT-proBNP in pathophysiology of PE, GH and GDM. The study included 156 pregnant women with singleton pregnancies. A total of 26 women developed arterial hypertension during pregnancy, 14 were diagnosed with PE, and GDM was detected in 81 patients. The control group included 35 women with uncomplicated pregnancies, normal arterial blood pressure and normal glucose concentrations. Patients with GH presented with significantly higher serum concentrations of NT-proBNPthan normotensive women (65.5 vs. 37.4 pg/ml; p = 0.0136. Serum levels of NT-proBNP in patients with PE were the highest of all the analyzed subsets, being significantly higher than in women without this condition (89.00 vs. 37.4pg/ml,p = 0,0136. However, women with and without GDM did not differ significantly in terms of their serum NT-proBNPconcentrations. Serum NT-proBNP (pg/ml (p = 0.0001 and BMI (p<0.0001 turned out to be independent predictors of GH on multivariate logistic regression analysis.Moreover, serum NT-proBNP (pg/ml was identified as an independent indicator of PE (p = 0.0016. A significant inverse correlation was found between birth weight and maternal serum NT-proBNP concentrations. In our opinion, NT-proBNP can be a useful clinical marker of GH and PE. Determination of NT-proBNP levels may be helpful in identification of patients with PE and GH and in their qualification for intensive treatment; this in turn, may be reflected by better neonatal outcomes.

  7. Inducement of radionuclides targeting therapy by gene transfection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo Quanyong

    2001-01-01

    The author presents an overview of gene transfection methods to genetically induce tumor cells to express enhanced levels of cell surface antigens and receptors to intake radiolabeled antibody and peptide targeting and thus increase their therapeutic effect in radiotherapy. The current research include inducement of radioimmunotherapy through CEA gene transfection, inducement of iodine-131 therapy by sodium iodide symporter gene transfection and inducement of MIBG therapy by noradrenaline transporter gene transfection. These studies raise the prospect that gene-therapy techniques could be used to enable the treatment of a wide range of tumors with radiopharmaceuticals of established clinical acceptability

  8. No sex in fungus-farming ants or their crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himler, Anna G; Caldera, Eric J; Baer, Boris C; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2009-07-22

    Asexual reproduction imposes evolutionary handicaps on asexual species, rendering them prone to extinction, because asexual reproduction generates novel genotypes and purges deleterious mutations at lower rates than sexual reproduction. Here, we report the first case of complete asexuality in ants, the fungus-growing ant Mycocepurus smithii, where queens reproduce asexually but workers are sterile, which is doubly enigmatic because the clonal colonies of M. smithii also depend on clonal fungi for food. Degenerate female mating anatomy, extensive field and laboratory surveys, and DNA fingerprinting implicate complete asexuality in this widespread ant species. Maternally inherited bacteria (e.g. Wolbachia, Cardinium) and the fungal cultivars can be ruled out as agents inducing asexuality. M. smithii societies of clonal females provide a unique system to test theories of parent-offspring conflict and reproductive policing in social insects. Asexuality of both ant farmer and fungal crop challenges traditional views proposing that sexual farmer ants outpace coevolving sexual crop pathogens, and thus compensate for vulnerabilities of their asexual crops. Either the double asexuality of both farmer and crop may permit the host to fully exploit advantages of asexuality for unknown reasons or frequent switching between crops (symbiont reassociation) generates novel ant-fungus combinations, which may compensate for any evolutionary handicaps of asexuality in M. smithii.

  9. The diversity of microorganisms associated with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boomsma Jacobus J

    2002-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Molecular biological techniques are dramatically changing our view of microbial diversity in almost any environment that has so far been investigated. This study presents a systematic survey of the microbial diversity associated with a population of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants. In contrast to previous studies on social insects, which targeted specific groups of symbionts occurring in the gut (termites, Tetraponera ants or in specialised cells (Camponotus ants the objective of our present study was to do a total screening of all possible micro-organisms that can be found inside the bodies of these leafcutter ants. Results We amplified, cloned and sequenced SSU rRNA encoding gene fragments from 9 microbial groups known to have insect-associated representatives, and show that: (1 representatives of 5 out of 9 tested groups are present, (2 mostly several strains per group are present, adding up to a total of 33 different taxa. We present the microbial taxa associated with Acromymex ants in a phylogenetic context (using sequences from GenBank to assess and illustrate to which known microorganisms they are closely related. The observed microbial diversity is discussed in the light of present knowledge on the evolutionary history of Acromyrmex leafcutter ants and their known mutualistic and parasitic symbionts. Conclusions The major merits of the screening approach documented here is its high sensitivity and specificity, which allowed us to identify several microorganisms that are promising candidates for further study of their interactions with Acromyrmex leafcutter ants or their gardens.

  10. Acute Vhl gene inactivation induces cardiac HIF-dependent erythropoietin gene expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Miró-Murillo

    Full Text Available Von Hippel Lindau (Vhl gene inactivation results in embryonic lethality. The consequences of its inactivation in adult mice, and of the ensuing activation of the hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs, have been explored mainly in a tissue-specific manner. This mid-gestation lethality can be also circumvented by using a floxed Vhl allele in combination with an ubiquitous tamoxifen-inducible recombinase Cre-ER(T2. Here, we characterize a widespread reduction in Vhl gene expression in Vhl(floxed-UBC-Cre-ER(T2 adult mice after dietary tamoxifen administration, a convenient route of administration that has yet to be fully characterized for global gene inactivation. Vhl gene inactivation rapidly resulted in a marked splenomegaly and skin erythema, accompanied by renal and hepatic induction of the erythropoietin (Epo gene, indicative of the in vivo activation of the oxygen sensing HIF pathway. We show that acute Vhl gene inactivation also induced Epo gene expression in the heart, revealing cardiac tissue to be an extra-renal source of EPO. Indeed, primary cardiomyocytes and HL-1 cardiac cells both induce Epo gene expression when exposed to low O(2 tension in a HIF-dependent manner. Thus, as well as demonstrating the potential of dietary tamoxifen administration for gene inactivation studies in UBC-Cre-ER(T2 mouse lines, this data provides evidence of a cardiac oxygen-sensing VHL/HIF/EPO pathway in adult mice.

  11. Fire Ant Bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Favorite Name: Category: Share: Yes No, Keep Private Fire Ant Bites Share | Fire ants are aggressive, venomous insects that have pinching ... across the United States, even into Puerto Rico. Fire ant stings usually occur on the feet or ...

  12. NT-pro-BNP is associated with inducible myocardial ischemia in mildly symptomatic type 2 diabetic patients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiersma, Jacobijne J.; van der Zee, P. Marc; van Straalen, Jan P.; Fischer, Johan C.; van Eck-Smit, Berthe L. F.; Tijssen, Jan G. P.; Trip, Mieke D.; Piek, Jan J.; Verberne, Hein J.

    2010-01-01

    Baseline levels of N-terminal fragment of the brain natriuretic peptide prohormone (NT-pro-BNP) are associated with myocardial ischemia in non-diabetic patients with stable angina pectoris. A total of 281 patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 and stable angina pectoris underwent myocardial

  13. Wind-induced ventilation of the giant nests of the leaf-cutting ant Atta vollenweideri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleineidam, Christoph; Ernst, Roman; Roces, Flavio

    2001-06-01

    To understand the significance of elaborate nest architecture for the control of nest climate, we investigated the mechanisms governing nest ventilation in a large field nest of Atta vollenweideri. Surface wind, drawing air from the central tunnels of the nest mound, was observed to be the main driving force for nest ventilation during summer. This mechanism of wind-induced ventilation has so far not been described for social insect colonies. Thermal convection, another possible force driving ventilation, contributed very little. According to their predominant airflow direction, two functionally distinct tunnel groups were identified: outflow tunnels in the upper, central region, and inflow tunnels in the lower, peripheral region of the nest mound. The function of the tunnels was independent of wind direction. Outflow of air through the central tunnels was followed by a delayed inflow through the peripheral tunnels. Leaf-cutting ants design the tunnel openings on the top of the nest with turrets which may reinforce wind-induced nest ventilation.

  14. Down-Regulation of Gene Expression by RNA-Induced Gene Silencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travella, Silvia; Keller, Beat

    Down-regulation of endogenous genes via post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) is a key to the characterization of gene function in plants. Many RNA-based silencing mechanisms such as post-transcriptional gene silencing, co-suppression, quelling, and RNA interference (RNAi) have been discovered among species of different kingdoms (plants, fungi, and animals). One of the most interesting discoveries was RNAi, a sequence-specific gene-silencing mechanism initiated by the introduction of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), homologous in sequence to the silenced gene, which triggers degradation of mRNA. Infection of plants with modified viruses can also induce RNA silencing and is referred to as virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). In contrast to insertional mutagenesis, these emerging new reverse genetic approaches represent a powerful tool for exploring gene function and for manipulating gene expression experimentally in cereal species such as barley and wheat. We examined how RNAi and VIGS have been used to assess gene function in barley and wheat, including molecular mechanisms involved in the process and available methodological elements, such as vectors, inoculation procedures, and analysis of silenced phenotypes.

  15. Factor IX gene haplotypes in Amerindians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, R F; Araújo, A G; Zago, M A; Guerreiro, J F; Figueiredo, M S

    1997-02-01

    We have determined the haplotypes of the factor IX gene for 95 Indians from 5 Brazilian Amazon tribes: Wayampí, Wayana-Apalaí, Kayapó, Arára, and Yanomámi. Eight polymorphisms linked to the factor IX gene were investigated: MseI (at 5', nt -698), BamHI (at 5', nt -561), DdeI (intron 1), BamHI (intron 2), XmnI (intron 3), TaqI (intron 4), MspI (intron 4), and HhaI (at 3', approximately 8 kb). The results of the haplotype distribution and the allele frequencies for each of the factor IX gene polymorphisms in Amerindians were similar to the results reported for Asian populations but differed from results for other ethnic groups. Only five haplotypes were identified within the entire Amerindian study population, and the haplotype distribution was significantly different among the five tribes, with one (Arára) to four (Wayampí) haplotypes being found per tribe. These findings indicate a significant heterogeneity among the Indian tribes and contrast with the homogeneous distribution of the beta-globin gene cluster haplotypes but agree with our recent findings on the distribution of alpha-globin gene cluster haplotypes and the allele frequencies for six VNTRs in the same Amerindian tribes. Our data represent the first study of factor IX-associated polymorphisms in Amerindian populations and emphasizes the applicability of these genetic markers for population and human evolution studies.

  16. The characterization of six auxin-induced tomato GH3 genes uncovers a member, SlGH3.4, strongly responsive to arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Dehua; Chen, Xiao; Chen, Aiqun; Wang, Huimin; Liu, Jianjian; Liu, Junli; Gu, Mian; Sun, Shubin; Xu, Guohua

    2015-04-01

    In plants, the GH3 gene family is widely considered to be involved in a broad range of plant physiological processes, through modulation of hormonal homeostasis. Multiple GH3 genes have been functionally characterized in several plant species; however, to date, limited works to study the GH3 genes in tomato have been reported. Here, we characterize the expression and regulatory profiles of six tomato GH3 genes, SlGH3.2, SlGH3.3, SlGH3.4, SlGH3.7, SlGH3.9 and SlGH3.15, in response to different phytohormone applications and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal colonization. All six GH3 genes showed inducible responses to external IAA, and three members were significantly up-regulated in response to AM symbiosis. In particular, SlGH3.4, the transcripts of which were barely detectable under normal growth conditions, was strongly activated in the IAA-treated and AM fungal-colonized roots. A comparison of the SlGH3.4 expression in wild-type plants and M161, a mutant with a defect in AM symbiosis, confirmed that SlGH3.4 expression is highly correlated to mycorrhizal colonization. Histochemical staining demonstrated that a 2,258 bp SlGH3.4 promoter fragment could drive β-glucuronidase (GUS) expression strongly in root tips, steles and cortical cells of IAA-treated roots, but predominantly in the fungal-colonized cells of mycorrhizal roots. A truncated 654 bp promoter failed to direct GUS expression in IAA-treated roots, but maintained the symbiosis-induced activity in mycorrhizal roots. In summary, our results suggest that a mycorrhizal signaling pathway that is at least partially independent of the auxin signaling pathway has evolved for the co-regulation of the auxin- and mycorrhiza-activated GH3 genes in plants. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Aversive learning of odor-heat associations in ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmedt, Lucie; Baracchi, David; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Giurfa, Martin; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2017-12-15

    Ants have recently emerged as useful models for the study of olfactory learning. In this framework, the development of a protocol for the appetitive conditioning of the maxilla-labium extension response (MaLER) provided the possibility of studying Pavlovian odor-food learning in a controlled environment. Here we extend these studies by introducing the first Pavlovian aversive learning protocol for harnessed ants in the laboratory. We worked with carpenter ants Camponotus aethiops and first determined the capacity of different temperatures applied to the body surface to elicit the typical aversive mandible opening response (MOR). We determined that 75°C is the optimal temperature to induce MOR and chose the hind legs as the stimulated body region because of their high sensitivity. We then studied the ability of ants to learn and remember odor-heat associations using 75°C as the unconditioned stimulus. We studied learning and short-term retention after absolute (one odor paired with heat) and differential conditioning (a punished odor versus an unpunished odor). Our results show that ants successfully learn the odor-heat association under a differential-conditioning regime and thus exhibit a conditioned MOR to the punished odor. Yet, their performance under an absolute-conditioning regime is poor. These results demonstrate that ants are capable of aversive learning and confirm previous findings about the different attentional resources solicited by differential and absolute conditioning in general. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. Molecular structure and diversity of PBAN/Pyrokinin family peptides in ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Man-Yeon eChoi

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Neuropeptides are the largest group of insect hormones. They are produced in the central and peripheral nervous systems and affect insect development, reproduction, feeding and behavior. A variety of neuropeptide families have been identified in insects. One of these families is the PBAN/pyrokinin family defined by a common FXPRLamide or similar amino acid fragment at the C-terminal end. These peptides, found in all insects studied thus far, have been conserved throughout evolution. The most well studied physiological function is regulation of moth sex pheromone biosynthesis through the Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neurohormone (PBAN, although several developmental functions have also been reported. Over the past years we have extended knowledge of the PBAN/pyrokinin family of peptides to ants, focusing mainly on the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. The fire ant is one of the most studied social insects and over the last 60 years a great deal has been learned about many aspects of this ant, including the behaviors and chemistry of pheromone communication. However, virtually nothing is known about the regulation of these pheromone systems. Recently, we demonstrated the presence of PBAN/pyrokinin immunoreactive neurons in the fire ant, and identified and characterized PBAN and additional neuropeptides. We have mapped the fire ant PBAN gene structure and determined the tissue expression level in the central nervous system of the ant. We review here our research to date on the molecular structure and diversity of ant PBAN/pyrokinin peptides in preparation for determining the function of the neuropeptides in ants and other social insects.

  19. On the DAMA and CoGeNT Modulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frandsen, Mads Toudal; Kahlhoefer, Felix; March-Russell, John

    2011-01-01

    DAMA observes an annual modulation in their event rate, as might be expected from dark matter scatterings, while CoGeNT has reported evidence for a similar modulation. The simplest interpretation of these findings in terms of dark matter-nucleus scatterings is excluded by other direct detection...... constraints, while inelasticity enhances the annual modulation fraction of the signal, bringing the CoGeNT and CDMS results into better agreement....

  20. Ant aggression and evolutionary stability in plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oña, L; Lachmann, M

    2011-03-01

    Mutualistic partners derive a benefit from their interaction, but this benefit can come at a cost. This is the case for plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualistic associations. In exchange for protection from herbivores provided by the resident ants, plants supply various kinds of resources or nests to the ants. Most ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms are horizontally transmitted, and therefore, partners share an interest in growth but not in reproduction. This lack of alignment in fitness interests between plants and ants drives a conflict between them: ants can attack pollinators that cross-fertilize the host plants. Using a mathematical model, we define a threshold in ant aggressiveness determining pollinator survival or elimination on the host plant. In our model we observed that, all else being equal, facultative interactions result in pollinator extinction for lower levels of ant aggressiveness than obligatory interactions. We propose that the capacity to discriminate pollinators from herbivores should not often evolve in ants, and when it does it will be when the plants exhibit limited dispersal in an environment that is not seed saturated so that each seed produced can effectively generate a new offspring or if ants acquire an extra benefit from pollination (e.g. if ants eat fruit). We suggest specific mutualism examples where these hypotheses can be tested empirically. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2010 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Nucleotide Pool Depletion Induces G-Quadruplex-Dependent Perturbation of Gene Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charikleia Papadopoulou

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Nucleotide pool imbalance has been proposed to drive genetic instability in cancer. Here, we show that slowing replication forks by depleting nucleotide pools with hydroxyurea (HU can also give rise to both transient and permanent epigenetic instability of a reporter locus, BU-1, in DT40 cells. HU induces stochastic formation of Bu-1low variants in dividing cells, which have lost the H3K4me3 present in untreated cells. This instability is potentiated by an intragenic G quadruplex, which also promotes local H2Ax phosphorylation and transient heterochromatinization. Genome-wide, gene expression changes induced by HU significantly overlap with those resulting from loss of the G4-helicases FANCJ, WRN, and BLM. Thus, the effects of global replication stress induced by nucleotide pool depletion can be focused by local replication impediments caused by G quadruplex formation to induce epigenetic instability and changes in gene expression, a mechanism that may contribute to selectable transcriptional changes in cancer.

  2. Species-specific ant brain manipulation by a specialized fungal parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bekker, Charissa; Quevillon, Lauren E; Smith, Philip B; Fleming, Kimberly R; Ghosh, Debashis; Patterson, Andrew D; Hughes, David P

    2014-08-29

    A compelling demonstration of adaptation by natural selection is the ability of parasites to manipulate host behavior. One dramatic example involves fungal species from the genus Ophiocordyceps that control their ant hosts by inducing a biting behavior. Intensive sampling across the globe of ants that died after being manipulated by Ophiocordyceps suggests that this phenomenon is highly species-specific. We advance our understanding of this system by reconstructing host manipulation by Ophiocordyceps parasites under controlled laboratory conditions and combining this with field observations of infection rates and a metabolomics survey. We report on a newly discovered species of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis sensu lato from North America that we use to address the species-specificity of Ophiocordyceps-induced manipulation of ant behavior. We show that the fungus can kill all ant species tested, but only manipulates the behavior of those it infects in nature. To investigate if this could be explained at the molecular level, we used ex vivo culturing assays to measure the metabolites that are secreted by the fungus to mediate fungus-ant tissue interactions. We show the fungus reacts heterogeneously to brains of different ant species by secreting a different array of metabolites. By determining which ion peaks are significantly enriched when the fungus is grown alongside brains of its naturally occurring host, we discovered candidate compounds that could be involved in behavioral manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l.. Two of these candidates are known to be involved in neurological diseases and cancer. The integrative work presented here shows that ant brain manipulation by O. unilateralis s.l. is species-specific seemingly because the fungus produces a specific array of compounds as a reaction to the presence of the host brain it has evolved to manipulate. These studies have resulted in the discovery of candidate compounds involved in establishing behavioral manipulation

  3. Co-evolution of enzyme function in the attine ant-fungus symbiosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Fine Licht, Henrik Hjarvard; Schiøtt, Morten; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    Introduction: Fungus-growing ants cultivate specialized fungi in the tribe Leucocoprineae (Lepiotaceae: Basidiomycota) inside their nests. The conspicuous leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta build huge nests displacing several cubic meters of soil, whereas lower attine genera such as Cyphomyrmex ...... garden. This system can be viewed as ant induced crop optimization similar to human agricultural practices....... have small nests with a fungus garden the size of a table-tennis ball. Only the leaf-cutting ants are specialized on using fresh leaves as substrate for their fungus gardens, whereas the more basal attine genera use substrates such as dry plant material (leaf litter and small twigs) and also insect...... feces and insect carcasses. This diverse array of fungal substrates across the attine lineage implies that the symbiotic fungus needs different enzymes to break down the plant material that the ants provide or different efficiencies of enzyme function. Methods: (1.) We made a literature survey...

  4. Transduction of Oct6 or Oct9 gene concomitant with Myc family gene induced osteoblast-like phenotypic conversion in normal human fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizoshiri, N; Kishida, T; Yamamoto, K; Shirai, T; Terauchi, R; Tsuchida, S; Mori, Y; Ejima, A; Sato, Y; Arai, Y; Fujiwara, H; Yamamoto, T; Kanamura, N; Mazda, O; Kubo, T

    2015-11-27

    Osteoblasts play essential roles in bone formation and regeneration, while they have low proliferation potential. Recently we established a procedure to directly convert human fibroblasts into osteoblasts (dOBs). Transduction of Runx2 (R), Osterix (X), Oct3/4 (O) and L-myc (L) genes followed by culturing under osteogenic conditions induced normal human fibroblasts to express osteoblast-specific genes and produce calcified bone matrix both in vitro and in vivo Intriguingly, a combination of only two factors, Oct3/4 and L-myc, significantly induced osteoblast-like phenotype in fibroblasts, but the mechanisms underlying the direct conversion remains to be unveiled. We examined which Oct family genes and Myc family genes are capable of inducing osteoblast-like phenotypic conversion. As result Oct3/4, Oct6 and Oct9, among other Oct family members, had the capability, while N-myc was the most effective Myc family gene. The Oct9 plus N-myc was the best combination to induce direct conversion of human fibroblasts into osteoblast-like cells. The present findings may greatly contribute to the elucidation of the roles of the Oct and Myc proteins in osteoblast direct reprogramming. The results may also lead to establishment of novel regenerative therapy for various bone resorption diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Overexpression and amplification of the c-myc gene in mouse tumors induced by chemical and radiations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niwa, Ohtsura; Enoki, Yoshitaka; Yokoro, Kenjiro

    1989-03-01

    We examined expression of the c-myc gene by the dot blot hybridization of total cellular RNA from mouse primary tumors induced by chemicals and radiations. Expression of the c-myc gene was found to be elevated in 69 cases among 177 independently induced tumors of 12 different types. DNA from tumors overexpressing the myc gene was analyzed by Southern blotting. No case of rearrangement was detected. However, amplification of the c-myc gene was found in 7 cases of primary sarcomas. These included 4 cases out of 24 methylcholanthrene-induced sarcomas and 3 cases out of 7 /alpha/-tocopherol-induced sacromas. We also analyzed 8 cases of sarcomas induced by radiations, but could not find changes in the gene structure of the c-myc gene. Thus, our data indicate tumor type specificity and agent specificity of c-myc gene amplification. (author).

  6. Growth and gene expression are predominantly controlled by distinct regions of the human IL-4 receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J J; McReynolds, L J; Keegan, A; Wang, L H; Garfein, E; Rothman, P; Nelms, K; Paul, W E

    1996-02-01

    IL-4 causes hematopoietic cells to proliferate and express a series of genes, including CD23. We examined whether IL-4-mediated growth, as measured by 4PS phosphorylation, and gene induction were similarly controlled. Studies of M12.4.1 cells expressing human IL-4R truncation mutants indicated that the region between amino acids 557-657 is necessary for full gene expression, which correlated with Stat6 DNA binding activity. This region was not required for 4PS phosphorylation. Tyrosine-to-phenylalanine mutations in the interval between amino acids 557-657 revealed that as long as one tyrosine remained unmutated, CD23 was fully induced. When all three tyrosines were mutated, the receptor was unable to induce CD23. The results indicate that growth regulation and gene expression are principally controlled by distinct regions of IL-4R.

  7. Study on radiation-inducible genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lim, Sang Yong; Kim, Dong Ho; Joe, Min Ho; Park, Hae Jun; Song, Hyu Npa

    2012-01-15

    Radiation-inducible genes of E. coli, which is a model strain for bacterial study, and Salmonella, which is a typical strain for pathogenic bacteria were compared through omic analysis. Heat shock response genes and prophage genes were induced by radiation in Salmonella, not in E. coli. Among prophage genes tested, STM2628 showed the highest activation by radiation, and approximately 1 kb promoter region was turned out to be necessary for radiation response. To screen an artificial promoter showing activation by 2 Gy, the high-throughput screening method using fluorescent MUG substrate was established. The use of bacteria as anticancer agents has attracted interest. In this study, we tried to develop tumor targeting bacteria in which the radiation-inducible promoter activate a transgene encoding a cytotoxic protein. To do this, a tumor-targeting hfq Salmonella mutant strain was constructed, and we found that its virulence decreased. For outward secretion of anticancer protein produced inside bacteria, the signal peptide of SspH1 was determined and the signal peptide was proven to be able to secrete an anticancer protein. Tumor xenograft mouse model was secured, which can be used for efficiency evaluation of bacterial tumor therapy.

  8. Study on radiation-inducible genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lim, Sang Yong; Kim, Dong Ho; Joe, Min Ho; Park, Hae Jun; Song, Hyu Npa

    2012-01-01

    Radiation-inducible genes of E. coli, which is a model strain for bacterial study, and Salmonella, which is a typical strain for pathogenic bacteria were compared through omic analysis. Heat shock response genes and prophage genes were induced by radiation in Salmonella, not in E. coli. Among prophage genes tested, STM2628 showed the highest activation by radiation, and approximately 1 kb promoter region was turned out to be necessary for radiation response. To screen an artificial promoter showing activation by 2 Gy, the high-throughput screening method using fluorescent MUG substrate was established. The use of bacteria as anticancer agents has attracted interest. In this study, we tried to develop tumor targeting bacteria in which the radiation-inducible promoter activate a transgene encoding a cytotoxic protein. To do this, a tumor-targeting hfq Salmonella mutant strain was constructed, and we found that its virulence decreased. For outward secretion of anticancer protein produced inside bacteria, the signal peptide of SspH1 was determined and the signal peptide was proven to be able to secrete an anticancer protein. Tumor xenograft mouse model was secured, which can be used for efficiency evaluation of bacterial tumor therapy

  9. AntStar: Enhancing Optimization Problems by Integrating an Ant System and A⁎ Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Faisal

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nature-inspired techniques have become valuable to many intelligent systems in different fields of technology and science. Among these techniques, Ant Systems (AS have become a valuable technique for intelligent systems in different fields. AS is a computational system inspired by the foraging behavior of ants and intended to solve practical optimization problems. In this paper, we introduce the AntStar algorithm, which is swarm intelligence based. AntStar enhances the optimization and performance of an AS by integrating the AS and A⁎ algorithm. Applying the AntStar algorithm to the single-source shortest-path problem has been done to ensure the efficiency of the proposed AntStar algorithm. The experimental result of the proposed algorithm illustrated the robustness and accuracy of the AntStar algorithm.

  10. A queen pheromone induces workers to kill sexual larvae in colonies of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klobuchar, Emily; Deslippe, Richard

    2002-05-01

    We conducted five bioassays to study how queens control the execution of sexual larvae by workers in colonies of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. In each assay, subset colonies were made from many large polygyne colonies, and the 20 sexual larvae they contained were monitored over time. Sexual larvae mostly survived in queenless colonies, but were mostly killed in colonies with a single dealated queen, regardless of whether or not the queen was fertilized. The larvae were also killed when fresh corpses of queens were added to queenless colonies. Whereas acetone extracts of queens did not produce a significant increase in killings, extracts in buffered saline induced workers to execute most sexual larvae, indicating successful extraction of an execution pheromone. We identified the probable storage location of the chemical as the poison sac, and found both fresh (1 day) and old (21 day) extracts of poison sacs to be equally effective in inducing executions. The pheromone is stable at room temperature, perhaps because venom alkaloids also present in the extracts keep the pheromone from degrading. It is apparently either proteinaceous or associated with a proteinaceous molecule, a novel finding, as no queen pheromone of a proteinaceous nature has been previously demonstrated in ants.

  11. Runtime analysis of the 1-ANT ant colony optimizer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doerr, Benjamin; Neumann, Frank; Sudholt, Dirk

    2011-01-01

    The runtime analysis of randomized search heuristics is a growing field where, in the last two decades, many rigorous results have been obtained. First runtime analyses of ant colony optimization (ACO) have been conducted only recently. In these studies simple ACO algorithms such as the 1-ANT...... that give us a more detailed impression of the 1-ANT’s performance. Furthermore, the experiments also deal with the question whether using many ant solutions in one iteration can decrease the total runtime....

  12. Relationship between CCR and NT-proBNP in Chinese HF patients, and their correlations with severity of HF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhigang; Wang, Bo; Wang, Yunliang; Qian, Xueqing; Zheng, Wei; Wei, Meng

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the relationship between creatinine clearance rate (CCR) and the level of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in heart failure (HF) patients and their correlations with HF severity. Two hundred and one Chinese patients were grouped according to the New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification as NYHA 1-2 and 3-4 groups and 135 cases out of heart failure patients as control group. The following variables were compared among these three groups: age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, hypertension, diabetes, NT-proBNP, creatinine (Cr), uric acid (UA), left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD), and CCR. The biomarkers of NT-proBNP, Cr, UA, LVEDD, and CCR varied significantly in the three groups, and these variables were positively correlated with the NHYA classification. The levels of NT-proBNP and CCR were closely related to the occurrence of HF and were independent risk factors for HF. At the same time, there was a significant negative correlation between the levels of NT-proBNP and CCR. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve suggested that the NT-proBNP and CCR have high accuracy for diagnosis of HF and have clinical diagnostic value. NT-proBNP and CCR may be important biomarkers in evaluating the severity of HF.

  13. Promoter characteristics of two cyp19 genes differentially expressed in the brain and ovary of teleost fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tchoudakova, A; Kishida, M; Wood, E; Callard, G V

    2001-11-01

    Teleost fish are characterized by exceptionally high levels of neural estrogen biosynthesis when compared with the brains of other vertebrates or to the ovaries of the same fish. Two P450arom mRNAs which derive from separate gene loci (cyp19a and cyp19b) are differentially expressed in brain (b>a) and ovary (a>b) and have a different developmental program (b>a) and estrogen upregulation (b only). A polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based genomic walking strategy was used to isolate the 5'-flanking regions of the goldfish (Carassius auratus) cyp19 genes. Sequence analysis of the cyp19b gene approximately 1.8 kb upstream of the transcription start site revealed a TATA box at nucleotide (nt) -30, two estrogen responsive elements (EREs; nt -351 and -211) and a consensus binding site (NBRE) for nerve growth factor inducible-B protein (NGFI-B/Nur77) at -286, which includes another ERE half-site. Also present were a sequence at nt -399 (CCCTCCT) required for neural specificity of the zebrafish GATA-2 gene, and 16 copies of an SRY/SOX binding motif. The 5'-flanking region ( approximately 1.0 kb) of the cyp19a gene had TATA (nt -48) and CAAT (nt -71) boxes, a steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) binding site (nt -265), eight copies of the SRY/SOX motif, and two copies of a recognition site for binding the arylhydrocarbon receptor (AhR)/AhR nuclear translocator factor (ARNT) heterodimer. Both genes had elements previously identified in the brain specific exon I promoter of the mouse aromatase gene. Cyp19a- and -b/luciferase constructs showed basal promoter activity in aromatase-expressing rodent pituitary (GH3) cells, but differences (a>b) did not reflect expression in fish pituitary in vivo (b>a), implying a lack of appropriate cell factors. Consistent with the onset of cyp19b expression in zebrafish embryos, microinjection of a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter plasmid into fertilized eggs revealed labeling in neural tissues at 30-48 h post-fertilization (hpf), most

  14. Using SNP genetic markers to elucidate the linkage of the Co-34/Phg-3 anthracnose and angular leaf spot resistance gene cluster with the Ur-14 resistance gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Ouro Negro common bean cultivar contains the Co-34/Phg-3 gene cluster that confers resistance to the anthracnose (ANT) and angular leaf spot (ALS) pathogens. These genes are tightly linked on chromosome 4. Ouro Negro also has the Ur-14 rust resistance gene, reportedly in the vicinity of Co- 34; ...

  15. HYDRAULICS AND MIXING EVALUATIONS FOR NT-21/41 TANKS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, S.; Barnes, O.

    2014-11-17

    The hydraulic results demonstrate that pump head pressure of 20 psi recirculates about 5.6 liters/min flowrate through the existing 0.131-inch orifice when a valve connected to NT-41 is closed. In case of the valve open to NT-41, the solution flowrates to HB-Line tanks, NT-21 and NT-41, are found to be about 0.5 lpm and 5.2 lpm, respectively. The modeling calculations for the mixing operations of miscible fluids contained in the HB-Line tank NT-21 were performed by taking a three-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach. The CFD modeling results were benchmarked against the literature results and the previous SRNL test results to validate the model. Final performance calculations were performed for the nominal case by using the validated model to quantify the mixing time for the HB-Line tank. The results demonstrate that when a pump recirculates a solution volume of 5.7 liters every minute out of the 72-liter tank contents containing two acid solutions of 2.7 M and 0 M concentrations (i.e., water), a minimum mixing time of 1.5 hours is adequate for the tank contents to get the tank contents adequately mixed. In addition, the sensitivity results for the tank contents of 8 M existing solution and 1.5 M incoming species show that the mixing time takes about 2 hours to get the solutions mixed.

  16. Effects of nickel treatment on H3K4 trimethylation and gene expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kam-Meng Tchou-Wong

    Full Text Available Occupational exposure to nickel compounds has been associated with lung and nasal cancers. We have previously shown that exposure of the human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells to NiCl(2 for 24 hr significantly increased global levels of trimethylated H3K4 (H3K4me3, a transcriptional activating mark that maps to the promoters of transcribed genes. To further understand the potential epigenetic mechanism(s underlying nickel carcinogenesis, we performed genome-wide mapping of H3K4me3 by chromatin immunoprecipitation and direct genome sequencing (ChIP-seq and correlated with transcriptome genome-wide mapping of RNA transcripts by massive parallel sequencing of cDNA (RNA-seq. The effect of NiCl(2 treatment on H3K4me3 peaks within 5,000 bp of transcription start sites (TSSs on a set of genes highly induced by nickel in both A549 cells and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analyzed. Nickel exposure increased the level of H3K4 trimethylation in both the promoters and coding regions of several genes including CA9 and NDRG1 that were increased in expression in A549 cells. We have also compared the extent of the H3K4 trimethylation in the absence and presence of formaldehyde crosslinking and observed that crosslinking of chromatin was required to observe H3K4 trimethylation in the coding regions immediately downstream of TSSs of some nickel-induced genes including ADM and IGFBP3. This is the first genome-wide mapping of trimethylated H3K4 in the promoter and coding regions of genes induced after exposure to NiCl(2. This study may provide insights into the epigenetic mechanism(s underlying the carcinogenicity of nickel compounds.

  17. Interactions between Bmp-4 and Msx-1 act to restrict gene expression to odontogenic mesenchyme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, A S; Al Khamis, A; Sharpe, P T

    1998-08-01

    Tooth development is regulated by a reciprocal series of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Bmp4 has been identified as a candidate signalling molecule in these interactions, initially as an epithelial signal and then later at the bud stage as a mesenchymal signal (Vainio et al. [1993] Cell 75:45-58). A target gene for Bmp4 signalling is the homeobox gene Msx-1, identified by the ability of recombinant Bmp4 protein to induce expression in mesenchyme. There is, however, no evidence that Bmp4 is the endogenous inducer of Msx-1 expression. Msx-1 and Bmp-4 show dynamic, interactive patterns of expression in oral epithelium and ectomesenchyme during the early stages of tooth development. In this study, we compare the temporal and spatial expression of these two genes to determine whether the changing expression patterns of these genes are consistent with interactions between the two molecules. We show that changes in Bmp-4 expression precede changes in Msx-1 expression. At embryonic day (E)10.5-E11.0, expression patterns are consistent with BMP4 from the epithelium, inducing or maintaining Msx-1 in underlying mesenchyme. At E11.5, Bmp-4 expression shifts from epithelium to mesenchyme and is rapidly followed by localised up-regulation of Msx-1 expression at the sites of Bmp-4 expression. Using cultured explants of developing mandibles, we confirm that exogenous BMP4 is capable of replacing the endogenous source in epithelium and inducing Msx-1 gene expression in mesenchyme. By using noggin, a BMP inhibitor, we show that endogenous Msx-1 expression can be inhibited at E10.5 and E11.5, providing the first evidence that endogenous Bmp-4 from the epithelium is responsible for regulating the early spatial expression of Msx-1. We also show that the mesenchymal shift in Bmp-4 is responsible for up-regulating Msx-1 specifically at the sites of future tooth formation. Thus, we establish that a reciprocal series of interactions act to restrict expression of both genes to future

  18. Foxtail millet NF-Y families: genome-wide survey and evolution analyses identified two functional genes important in abiotic stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Juan eFeng

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available It was reported that Nuclear Factor Y (NF-Y genes were involved in abiotic stress in plants. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica, an elite stress tolerant crop, provided an impetus for the investigation of the NF-Y families in abiotic responses. In the present study, a total of 39 NF-Y genes were identified in foxtail millet. Synteny analyses suggested that foxtail millet NF-Y genes had experienced rapid expansion and strong purifying selection during the process of plant evolution. De novo transcriptome assembly of foxtail millet revealed 11 drought up-regulated NF-Y genes. SiNF-YA1 and SiNF-YB8 were highly activated in leaves and/or roots by drought and salt stresses. Abscisic acid (ABA and H2O2 played positive roles in the induction of SiNF-YA1 and SiNF-YB8 under stress treatments. Transient luciferase (LUC expression assays revealed that SiNF-YA1 and SiNF-YB8 could activate the LUC gene driven by the tobacco (Nicotiana tobacam NtERD10, NtLEA5, NtCAT, NtSOD or NtPOD promoter under normal or stress conditions. Overexpression of SiNF-YA1 enhanced drought and salt tolerance by activating stress-related genes NtERD10 and NtCAT1 and by maintaining relatively stable relative water content (RWC and contents of chlorophyll, superoxide dismutase (SOD, peroxidase (POD, catalase (CAT and malondialdehyde (MDA in transgenic lines under stresses. SiNF-YB8 regulated expression of NtSOD, NtPOD, NtLEA5 and NtERD10 and conferred relatively high RWC and chlorophyll contents and low MDA content, resulting in drought and osmotic tolerance in transgenic lines under stresses. Therefore, SiNF-YA1 and SiNF-YB8 could activate stress-related genes and improve physiological traits, resulting in tolerance to abiotic stresses in plants. All these results will facilitate functional characterization of foxtail millet NF-Ys in future studies.

  19. Pheromone disruption of Argentine ant trail integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suckling, D.M.; Peck, R.W.; Manning, L.M.; Stringer, L.D.; Cappadonna, J.; El-Sayed, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Disruption of Argentine ant trail following and reduced ability to forage (measured by bait location success) was achieved after presentation of an oversupply of trail pheromone, (Z)-9-hexadecenal. Experiments tested single pheromone point sources and dispersion of a formulation in small field plots. Ant walking behavior was recorded and digitized by using video tracking, before and after presentation of trail pheromone. Ants showed changes in three parameters within seconds of treatment: (1) Ants on trails normally showed a unimodal frequency distribution of walking track angles, but this pattern disappeared after presentation of the trail pheromone; (2) ants showed initial high trail integrity on a range of untreated substrates from painted walls to wooden or concrete floors, but this was significantly reduced following presentation of a point source of pheromone; (3) the number of ants in the pheromone-treated area increased over time, as recruitment apparently exceeded departures. To test trail disruption in small outdoor plots, the trail pheromone was formulated with carnuba wax-coated quartz laboratory sand (1 g quartz sand/0.2 g wax/1 mg pheromone). The pheromone formulation, with a half-life of 30 h, was applied by rotary spreader at four rates (0, 2.5, 7.5, and 25 mg pheromone/m2) to 1- and 4-m2 plots in Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. Ant counts at bait cards in treated plots were significantly reduced compared to controls on the day of treatment, and there was a significant reduction in ant foraging for 2 days. These results show that trail pheromone disruption of Argentine ants is possible, but a much more durable formulation is needed before nest-level impacts can be expected. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  20. The N-terminal neurotensin fragment, NT1-11, inhibits cortisol secretion by human adrenocortical cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sicard, Flavie; Contesse, Vincent; Lefebvre, Hervé; Ait-Ali, Djida; Gras, Marjorie; Cartier, Dorthe; Decker, Annick; Chartrel, Nicolas; Anouar, Youssef; Vaudry, Hubert; Delarue, Catherine

    2006-08-01

    Neurotensin (NT) modulates corticosteroid secretion from the mammalian adrenal gland. The objective of this study was to investigate the possible involvement of NT in the control of cortisol secretion in the human adrenal gland. In vitro studies were conducted on cultured human adrenocortical cells. This study was conducted in a university research laboratory. Adrenal explants from patients undergoing expanded nephrectomy for kidney cancer were studied. Cortisol secretion from cultured adrenocortical cells was measured. NT1-11, the N-terminal fragment of NT, dose-dependently inhibited basal and ACTH-stimulated cortisol production by human adrenocortical cells in primary culture. In contrast, NT had no influence on cortisol output at concentrations up to 10(-6) m. HPLC and RT-PCR analyses failed to detect any significant amounts of NT and NT mRNA, respectively, in adrenal extracts. Molecular and pharmacological studies were performed to determine the type of NT receptor involved in the corticostatic effect of NT1-11. RT-PCR analysis revealed the expression of NT receptor type (NTR) 3 mRNA but not NTR1 and NTR2 mRNAs in the human adrenal tissue. However, the pharmacological profile of the adrenal NT1-11 receptor was different from that of NTR3, indicating that this receptor type is not involved in the action of NT1-11 on corticosteroidogenesis. Our results indicate that NT1-11 may act as an endocrine factor to inhibit cortisol secretion through activation of a receptor distinct from the classical NTR1, NTR2, and NTR3.

  1. The role of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4-alpha in perfluorooctanoic acid- and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid-induced hepatocellular dysfunction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beggs, Kevin M., E-mail: kbeggs2@kumc.edu [Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, 4052 HLSIC, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States); McGreal, Steven R., E-mail: smcgreal@kumc.edu [Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, 4052 HLSIC, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States); McCarthy, Alex [Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, 4052 HLSIC, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States); Gunewardena, Sumedha, E-mail: sgunewardena@kumc.edu [Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, 2027 HLSIC, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States); Lampe, Jed N., E-mail: jlampe@kumc.edu [Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, 4052 HLSIC, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States); Lau, Christoper, E-mail: lau.christopher@epa.gov [Developmental Toxicology Branch, Toxicity Assessment Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 (United States); Apte, Udayan, E-mail: uapte@kumc.edu [Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, 4052 HLSIC, Kansas City, KS 66160 (United States)

    2016-08-01

    Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), chemicals present in a multitude of consumer products, are persistent organic pollutants. Both compounds induce hepatotoxic effects in rodents, including steatosis, hepatomegaly and liver cancer. The mechanisms of PFOA- and PFOS-induced hepatic dysfunction are not completely understood. We present evidence that PFOA and PFOS induce their hepatic effects via targeting hepatocyte nuclear factor 4-alpha (HNF4α). Human hepatocytes treated with PFOA and PFOS at a concentration relevant to occupational exposure caused a decrease in HNF4α protein without affecting HNF4α mRNA or causing cell death. RNA sequencing analysis combined with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis of global gene expression changes in human hepatocytes treated with PFOA or PFOS indicated alterations in the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism and tumorigenesis, several of which are regulated by HNF4α. Further investigation of specific HNF4α target gene expression revealed that PFOA and PFOS could promote cellular dedifferentiation and increase cell proliferation by down regulating positive targets (differentiation genes such as CYP7A1) and inducing negative targets of HNF4α (pro-mitogenic genes such as CCND1). Furthermore, in silico docking simulations indicated that PFOA and PFOS could directly interact with HNF4α in a similar manner to endogenous fatty acids. Collectively, these results highlight HNF4α degradation as novel mechanism of PFOA and PFOS-mediated steatosis and tumorigenesis in human livers. - Highlights: • PFOA and PFOS cause decreased HNF4α protein expression in human hepatocytes. • PFOA and PFOS promote changes associated with lipid metabolism and carcinogenesis. • PFOA and PFOS induced changes in gene expression associated with cellular dedifferentiation. • PFOA and PFOS induce expression of Nanog, a transcription factor involved in stem cell development.

  2. Strength and Fatigue of NT551 Silicon Nitride and NT551 Diesel Exhaust Valves

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrews, M.J.; Wereszczak, A.A.; Kirkland, T.P.; Breder, K.

    2000-02-01

    The content of this report is excerpted from Mark Andrew's Ph.D. Thesis (Andrews, 1999), which was funded by a DOEYOTT High Temperature Materials Laboratory Graduate Fellowship. It involves the characterization of NT551 and valves fabricated with it. Greater detail of the described issues may be found in that reference or through communications with Andrew Wereszczak.

  3. Comparing 2-nt 3' overhangs against blunt-ended siRNAs: a systems biology based study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Preetam; Dullea, Robert; Fischer, James E; Turi, Tom G; Sarver, Ronald W; Zhang, Chaoyang; Basu, Kalyan; Das, Sajal K; Poland, Bradley W

    2009-07-07

    In this study, we formulate a computational reaction model following a chemical kinetic theory approach to predict the binding rate constant for the siRNA-RISC complex formation reaction. The model allowed us to study the potency difference between 2-nt 3' overhangs against blunt-ended siRNA molecules in an RNA interference (RNAi) system. The rate constant predicted by this model was fed into a stochastic simulation of the RNAi system (using the Gillespie stochastic simulator) to study the overall potency effect. We observed that the stochasticity in the transcription/translation machinery has no observable effects in the RNAi pathway. Sustained gene silencing using siRNAs can be achieved only if there is a way to replenish the dsRNA molecules in the cell. Initial findings show about 1.5 times more blunt-ended molecules will be required to keep the mRNA at the same reduced level compared to the 2-nt overhang siRNAs. However, the mRNA levels jump back to saturation after a longer time when blunt-ended siRNAs are used. We found that the siRNA-RISC complex formation reaction rate was 2 times slower when blunt-ended molecules were used pointing to the fact that the presence of the 2-nt overhangs has a greater effect on the reaction in which the bound RISC complex cleaves the mRNA.

  4. Macrophage activation and differentiation signals regulate schlafen-4 gene expression: evidence for Schlafen-4 as a modulator of myelopoiesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy J van Zuylen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ten mouse and six human members of the Schlafen (Slfn gene family all contain an AAA domain. Little is known of their function, but previous studies suggest roles in immune cell development. In this report, we assessed Slfn regulation and function in macrophages, which are key cellular regulators of innate immunity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Multiple members of the Slfn family were up-regulated in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM by the Toll-like Receptor (TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS, the TLR3 agonist Poly(I∶C, and in disease-affected joints in the collagen-induced model of rheumatoid arthritis. Of these, the most inducible was Slfn4. TLR agonists that signal exclusively through the MyD88 adaptor protein had more modest effects on Slfn4 mRNA levels, thus implicating MyD88-independent signalling and autocrine interferon (IFN-β in inducible expression. This was supported by the substantial reduction in basal and LPS-induced Slfn4 mRNA expression in IFNAR-1⁻/⁻ BMM. LPS causes growth arrest in macrophages, and other Slfn family genes have been implicated in growth control. Slfn4 mRNA levels were repressed during macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1-mediated differentiation of bone marrow progenitors into BMM. To determine the role of Slfn4 in vivo, we over-expressed the gene specifically in macrophages in mice using a csf1r promoter-driven binary expression system. Transgenic over-expression of Slfn4 in myeloid cells did not alter macrophage colony formation or proliferation in vitro. Monocyte numbers, as well as inflammatory macrophages recruited to the peritoneal cavity, were reduced in transgenic mice that specifically over-expressed Slfn4, while macrophage numbers and hematopoietic activity were increased in the livers and spleens. CONCLUSIONS: Slfn4 mRNA levels were up-regulated during macrophage activation but down-regulated during differentiation. Constitutive Slfn4 expression in the

  5. 1200 nt rat liver mRNA identified by differential hybridization exhibits coordinate regulation with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanaka, R.D.; Clarke, C.F.; Fogelman, A.M.; Edwards, P.A.

    1986-01-01

    Differential hybridization has been used to identify genes in rat liver that encode transcripts which are increased by the drugs cholestyramine and mevinolin and are decreased by dietary cholesterol. This approach should prove useful in isolating and identifying coordinately regulated genes involved in the isoprene biosynthetic pathway. Rat liver poly (A) + RNA was isolated from animals fed diets supplemented with either cholestyramine and mevinolin or with cholesterol. Radiolabeled cDNAs generated from these two RNA preparations were used to screen a rat cDNAs library. A preliminary screen of 10,000 recombinants has led to the identification of a clone with an insert of 1200 bp that hybridizes to a mRNA species of about 1200 nt. The level of this RNA species in rat liver is elevated by the drugs cholestyramine and mevinolin and is decreased by cholesterol feeding. This RNA species is also decreased by mevalonate administration to rats. The regulation of this 1200 nt mRNA species mirrors that of HMG CoA reductase and HMG CoA synthase. It seems very likely that this 1200 nt mRNA encodes a polypeptide which is involved in the isoprene biosynthetic pathway

  6. Evolutionarily advanced ant farmers rear polyploid fungal crops

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kooij, Pepijn Wilhelmus; Aanen, D.K.; Schiøtt, Morten

    2015-01-01

    to be lowly and facultatively polyploid (just over two haplotypes on average), whereas Atta and Acromyrmex symbionts are highly and obligatorily polyploid (ca. 5-7 haplotypes on average). This stepwise transition appears analogous to ploidy variation in plants and fungi domesticated by humans and in fungi...... the number of nuclei per fungal cell for 42 symbionts reared by 14 species of Panamanian fungus-growing ants. This showed that domesticated symbionts of higher attine ants are polykaryotic with 7-17 nuclei per cell, whereas nonspecialized crops of lower attines are dikaryotic similar to most free...... domesticated by termites and plants, where gene or genome duplications were typically associated with selection for higher productivity, but allopolyploid chimerism was incompatible with sexual reproduction....

  7. BoNT-A related changes of cortical activity in patients suffering from severe hand paralysis with arm spasticity following ischemic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veverka, Tomáš; Hluštík, Petr; Tomášová, Zuzana; Hok, Pavel; Otruba, Pavel; Král, Michal; Tüdös, Zbyněk; Zapletalová, Jana; Herzig, Roman; Krobot, Alois; Kaňovský, Petr

    2012-08-15

    Investigations were performed to localize and analyze the botulinum toxin (BoNT-A) related changes of cerebral cortex activation in chronic stroke patients suffering from severe hand paralysis with arm spasticity. Effects on task- related cerebral activation were evaluated by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). 14 patients (5 males, 9 females, mean age 55.3 years) suffering from upper limb post-stroke spasticity were investigated. The change of arm spasticity was assessed by using the modified Ashworth scale (MAS). FMRI sessions were performed before (W0), four weeks (W4) and 11 weeks (W11) after BoNT-A application. Patients were scanned while performing imaginary movement with the impaired hand. Group fMRI analysis included patient age as a covariate. BoNT-A treatment was effective in alleviation of arm spasticity. Mean MAS was at Week 0: 2.5 (SD 0.53), at Week 4: 1.45 (SD 0.38), at Week 11: 2.32 (SD 0.44). Task-related fMRI prior to the treatment showed extensive activation of bilateral frontoparietal sensorimotor cortical areas, anterior cingulate gyrus, pallidum, thalamus and cerebellum. Effective BoNT-A treatment (W4) resulted in partial reduction of active network volume in most of the observed areas, whereas BoNT-free data (W11) revealed further volume reduction in the sensorimotor network. On direct comparison, significant activation decreases associated with BoNT-A treatment were located in areas outside the classical sensorimotor system, namely, ipsilesional lateral occipital cortex, supramarginal gyrus and precuneus cortex. On comparison of W4 and W11, no activation increases were found, instead, activation further decreased in ipsilesional insular cortex, contralesional superior frontal gyrus and bilateral frontal pole. Whole brain activation patterns during BoNT-A treatment of post-stroke arm spasticity and further follow up document predominantly gradual changes both within and outside the classical sensorimotor system. Copyright © 2012

  8. Combined application of neutrophin-3 gene and neural stem cells is ameliorative to delay of denervated skeletal muscular atrophy after tibial nerve transection in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Sen; Xu, Jianguang; Hu, Shaonan; Xu, Lei; Zhang, Changqing; Wang, Yang; Gu, Yudong

    2011-01-01

    Examination of the therapeutic efficacy of neural stem cells (NSCs) has recently become the focus of much investigation. In this study we present an insight of the effects of combined application with neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and NSCs that derived from rat embryo spinal cord on delaying denervated skeletal muscular atrophy after tibial nerve was severed. NT-3 gene was amplified by PCR and subcloned into lentiviral vector pWPXL-MOD to construct a lentiviral expression vector pWPXL-MOD-NT-3. A positive clone expressing NT-3 (named NSCs-NT-3) was obtained and used for differentiation in vitro and transplantation. Sixty adult rats, whose tibial nerves were sectioned, were divided into two groups: one grafted with NSCs-NT-3 (experimental group, n = 30) and the other with NSCs transfected by pWPXL-MOD (control group, n = 30). The cell survival and differentiation, NT-3 gene expression, and effect of delaying denervated skeletal muscular atrophy were examined through immunohistostaining, RT-PCR, Western blot, electrophysiological analysis, and mean cross-sectional area (CSA) of gastrocnemius, respectively. The results show that the NT-3 gene, which is comprised of 777 bp, was cloned and significantly different expression were detected between NSCs and NSCs-NT-3 in vitro. Quantitative analysis of the choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunopositive cells revealed a significant increase in experimental group compared to the control group 4 weeks after implantation (p ChAT immunopositive cells were detected near the engrafted region only in experimental group. Furthermore, the effect in delaying denervated skeletal muscular atrophy is indicated in the EMG examination and mean CSA of gastrocnemius. These findings suggest that the neural stem cells expressing NT-3 endogenously would be a better graft candidate for the delay of denervated skeletal muscular atrophy.

  9. Functionalized nanoparticles for AMF-induced gene and drug delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Souvik

    The properties and broad applications of nano-magnetic colloids have generated much interest in recent years. Specially, Fe3O4 nanoparticles have attracted a great deal of attention since their magnetic properties can be used for hyperthermia treatment or drug targeting. For example, enhanced levels of intracellular gene delivery can be achieved using Fe3O4 nano-vectors in the presence of an external magnetic field, a process known as 'magnetofection'. The low cytotoxicity, tunable particle size, ease of surface functionalization, and ability to generate thermal energy using an external alternating magnetic field (AMF) are properties have propelled Fe3O4 research to the forefront of nanoparticle research. The strategy of nanoparticle-mediated, AMF-induced heat generation has been used to effect intracellular hyperthermia. One application of this 'magnetic hyperthermia' is heat activated local delivery of a therapeutic effector (e.g.; drug or polynucleotide). This thesis describes the development of a magnetic nano-vector for AMF-induced, heat-activated pDNA and small molecule delivery. The use of heat-inducible vectors, such as heat shock protein ( hsp) genes, is a promising mode of gene therapy that would restrict gene expression to a local region by focusing a heat stimulus only at a target region. We thus aimed to design an Fe3O4 nanoparticle-mediated gene transfer vehicle for AMF-induced localized gene expression. We opted to use 'click' oximation techniques to assemble the magnetic gene transfer vector. Chapter 2 describes the synthesis, characterization, and transfection studies of the oxime ether lipid-based nano-magnetic vectors MLP and dMLP. The synthesis and characterization of a novel series of quaternary ammonium aminooxy reagents (2.1--2.4) is described. These cationic aminooxy compounds were loaded onto nanoparticles for ligation with carbonyl groups and also to impart a net positive charge on the nanoparticle surface. Our studies indicated that the

  10. Human coronavirus 229E encodes a single ORF4 protein between the spike and the envelope genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berkhout Ben

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genome of coronaviruses contains structural and non-structural genes, including several so-called accessory genes. All group 1b coronaviruses encode a single accessory protein between the spike and envelope genes, except for human coronavirus (HCoV 229E. The prototype virus has a split gene, encoding the putative ORF4a and ORF4b proteins. To determine whether primary HCoV-229E isolates exhibit this unusual genome organization, we analyzed the ORF4a/b region of five current clinical isolates from The Netherlands and three early isolates collected at the Common Cold Unit (CCU in Salisbury, UK. Results All Dutch isolates were identical in the ORF4a/b region at amino acid level. All CCU isolates are only 98% identical to the Dutch isolates at the nucleotide level, but more closely related to the prototype HCoV-229E (>98%. Remarkably, our analyses revealed that the laboratory adapted, prototype HCoV-229E has a 2-nucleotide deletion in the ORF4a/b region, whereas all clinical isolates carry a single ORF, 660 nt in size, encoding a single protein of 219 amino acids, which is a homologue of the ORF3 proteins encoded by HCoV-NL63 and PEDV. Conclusion Thus, the genome organization of the group 1b coronaviruses HCoV-NL63, PEDV and HCoV-229E is identical. It is possible that extensive culturing of the HCoV-229E laboratory strain resulted in truncation of ORF4. This may indicate that the protein is not essential in cell culture, but the highly conserved amino acid sequence of the ORF4 protein among clinical isolates suggests that the protein plays an important role in vivo.

  11. Population Development of Several Species of Ants on the Cocoa Trees in South Sulawesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatahuddin Fatahuddin

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Several species of ants with different behavior have been found in cocoa plantations and their behavior is important to be considered because it might be correlated with the degree of protection of cocoa plant from cocoa pests. The aim of this research is to manipulate and to develop ants population in environment, so they are able to establish permanently in cocoa trees. This research was conducted in Papakaju Regions Luwu Regency in Juli to November 2009. In this study, 10 cocoa trees with ants were sampled (each species of ant in 10 cocoa trees. A control of 10 tree samples without ant was also taken. In order to assess the abundance of ant population, it was grouped based on scoring, which score 1 for less than 20 ants, score 2 for 21–50 ants, score 3 for 51–200 ants, score 4 for 201–1000 ants, and score 5 for more than 1000 per tree. The results indicated that average of population score of the three ants species reached the highest population for the Oecophylla. smaragdina with average score 4.85 (>1000 ants, Dolichoderus thoracicus, with average score 3.90 (> 200 ants and Crematogaster. difformis with average score 3.10 (>200 ants. This research indicated that three species of ants, Oecophylla smaragdina (weaver ant, Dolichoderus thoracicus (cocoa black ant and Crematogaster difformis (cracking ant. in farmer cocoa plantations in South Sulawesi giving better performance against major pests of cocoa in particular cocoa pod borer (CPB. Key words: Ant Population, Oecophylla smaragdina, Dolichoderus thoracicus, Crematogaster difformis, artificial nest, cocoa.

  12. Cloning and Characterization of Genes that Inhibit TRAIL-Induced Apoptosis of Breast Cancer Cells

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Shu, Hong-Bing

    2003-01-01

    ...). However, some cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis (3, 4, 6-13). The purpose of this proposed study is to clone and characterize such inhibitory genes of TRAIL-induced apoptosis...

  13. Characterization of actinobacteria associated with three ant-plant mutualisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanshew, Alissa S; McDonald, Bradon R; Díaz Díaz, Carol; Djiéto-Lordon, Champlain; Blatrix, Rumsaïs; Currie, Cameron R

    2015-01-01

    Ant-plant mutualisms are conspicuous and ecologically important components of tropical ecosystems that remain largely unexplored in terms of insect-associated microbial communities. Recent work has revealed that ants in some ant-plant systems cultivate fungi (Chaetothyriales) within their domatia, which are fed to larvae. Using Pseudomyrmex penetrator/Tachigali sp. from French Guiana and Petalomyrmex phylax/Leonardoxa africana and Crematogaster margaritae/Keetia hispida, both from Cameroon, as models, we tested the hypothesis that ant-plant-fungus mutualisms co-occur with culturable Actinobacteria. Using selective media, we isolated 861 putative Actinobacteria from the three systems. All C. margaritae/K. hispida samples had culturable Actinobacteria with a mean of 10.0 colony forming units (CFUs) per sample, while 26 % of P. penetrator/Tachigali samples (mean CFUs 1.3) and 67 % of P. phylax/L. africana samples (mean CFUs 3.6) yielded Actinobacteria. The largest number of CFUs was obtained from P. penetrator workers, P. phylax alates, and C. margaritae pupae. 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of four main clades of Streptomyces and one clade of Nocardioides within these three ant-plant mutualisms. Streptomyces with antifungal properties were isolated from all three systems, suggesting that they could serve as protective symbionts, as found in other insects. In addition, a number of isolates from a clade of Streptomyces associated with P. phylax/L. africana and C. margaritae/K. hispida were capable of degrading cellulose, suggesting that Streptomyces in these systems may serve a nutritional role. Repeated isolation of particular clades of Actinobacteria from two geographically distant locations supports these isolates as residents in ant-plant-fungi niches.

  14. Predaceous ants, beach replenishment, and nest placement by sea turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterer, James K; Wood, Lawrence D; Johnson, Chris; Krahe, Holly; Fitchett, Stephanie

    2007-10-01

    Ants known for attacking and killing hatchling birds and reptiles include the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren), tropical fire ant [Solenopsis geminata (Fabr.)], and little fire ant [Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger)]. We tested whether sea turtle nest placement influenced exposure to predaceous ants. In 2000 and 2001, we surveyed ants along a Florida beach where green turtles (Chelonia mydas L.), leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea Vandelli), and loggerheads (Caretta caretta L.) nest. Part of the beach was artificially replenished between our two surveys. As a result, mean beach width experienced by nesting turtles differed greatly between the two nesting seasons. We surveyed 1,548 sea turtle nests (2000: 909 nests; 2001: 639 nests) and found 22 ant species. S. invicta was by far the most common species (on 431 nests); S. geminata and W. auropunctata were uncommon (on 3 and 16 nests, respectively). In 2000, 62.5% of nests had ants present (35.9% with S. invicta), but in 2001, only 30.5% of the nests had ants present (16.4% with S. invicta). Turtle nests closer to dune vegetation had significantly greater exposure to ants. Differences in ant presence on turtle nests between years and among turtle species were closely related to differences in nest placement relative to dune vegetation. Beach replenishment significantly lowered exposure of nests to ants because on the wider beaches turtles nested farther from the dune vegetation. Selective pressures on nesting sea turtles are altered both by the presence of predaceous ants and the practice of beach replenishment.

  15. MIR@NT@N: a framework integrating transcription factors, microRNAs and their targets to identify sub-network motifs in a meta-regulation network model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wasserman Wyeth W

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To understand biological processes and diseases, it is crucial to unravel the concerted interplay of transcription factors (TFs, microRNAs (miRNAs and their targets within regulatory networks and fundamental sub-networks. An integrative computational resource generating a comprehensive view of these regulatory molecular interactions at a genome-wide scale would be of great interest to biologists, but is not available to date. Results To identify and analyze molecular interaction networks, we developed MIR@NT@N, an integrative approach based on a meta-regulation network model and a large-scale database. MIR@NT@N uses a graph-based approach to predict novel molecular actors across multiple regulatory processes (i.e. TFs acting on protein-coding or miRNA genes, or miRNAs acting on messenger RNAs. Exploiting these predictions, the user can generate networks and further analyze them to identify sub-networks, including motifs such as feedback and feedforward loops (FBL and FFL. In addition, networks can be built from lists of molecular actors with an a priori role in a given biological process to predict novel and unanticipated interactions. Analyses can be contextualized and filtered by integrating additional information such as microarray expression data. All results, including generated graphs, can be visualized, saved and exported into various formats. MIR@NT@N performances have been evaluated using published data and then applied to the regulatory program underlying epithelium to mesenchyme transition (EMT, an evolutionary-conserved process which is implicated in embryonic development and disease. Conclusions MIR@NT@N is an effective computational approach to identify novel molecular regulations and to predict gene regulatory networks and sub-networks including conserved motifs within a given biological context. Taking advantage of the M@IA environment, MIR@NT@N is a user-friendly web resource freely available at http

  16. Selective elimination of senescent cells by mitochondrial targeting is regulated by ANT2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hubackova, Sona; Davidova, Eliska; Rohlenova, Katerina

    2018-01-01

    and development of age-related diseases. We found that the anticancer agent mitochondria-targeted tamoxifen (MitoTam), unlike conventional anticancer agents, kills cancer cells without inducing senescence in vitro and in vivo. Surprisingly, it also selectively eliminates both malignant and non-cancerous senescent...... cells. In naturally aged mice treated with MitoTam for 4 weeks, we observed a significant decrease of senescence markers in all tested organs compared to non-treated animals. Mechanistically, we found that the susceptibility of senescent cells to MitoTam is linked to a very low expression level...... of adenine nucleotide translocase-2 (ANT2), inherent to the senescent phenotype. Restoration of ANT2 in senescent cells resulted in resistance to MitoTam, while its downregulation in non-senescent cells promoted their MitoTam-triggered elimination. Our study documents a novel, translationally intriguing role...

  17. Harnessing ant defence at fruits reduces bruchid seed predation in a symbiotic ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Elizabeth G

    2014-06-22

    In horizontally transmitted mutualisms, mutualists disperse separately and reassemble in each generation with partners genetically unrelated to those in the previous generation. Because of this, there should be no selection on either partner to enhance the other's reproductive output directly. In symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms, myrmecophytic plants host defensive ant colonies, and ants defend the plants from herbivores. Plants and ants disperse separately, and, although ant defence can indirectly increase plant reproduction by reducing folivory, it is unclear whether ants can also directly increase plant reproduction by defending seeds. The neotropical tree Cordia alliodora hosts colonies of Azteca pittieri ants. The trees produce domatia where ants nest at stem nodes and also at the node between the peduncle and the rachides of the infloresence. Unlike the stem domatia, these reproductive domatia senesce after the tree fruits each year. In this study, I show that the tree's resident ant colony moves into these ephemeral reproductive domatia, where they tend honeydew-producing scale insects and patrol the nearby developing fruits. The presence of ants significantly reduced pre-dispersal seed predation by Amblycerus bruchid beetles, thereby directly increasing plant reproductive output.

  18. Oral Gene Application Using Chitosan-DNA Nanoparticles Induces Transferable Tolerance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ensminger, Stephan M.; Spriewald, Bernd M.

    2012-01-01

    Oral tolerance is a promising approach to induce unresponsiveness to various antigens. The development of tolerogenic vaccines could be exploited in modulating the immune response in autoimmune disease and allograft rejection. In this study, we investigated a nonviral gene transfer strategy for inducing oral tolerance via antigen-encoding chitosan-DNA nanoparticles (NP). Oral application of ovalbumin (OVA)-encoding chitosan-DNA NP (OVA-NP) suppressed the OVA-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response and anti-OVA antibody formation, as well as spleen cell proliferation following OVA stimulation. Cytokine expression patterns following OVA stimulation in vitro showed a shift from a Th1 toward a Th2/Th3 response. The OVA-NP-induced tolerance was transferable from donor to naïve recipient mice via adoptive spleen cell transfer and was mediated by CD4+CD25+ T cells. These findings indicate that nonviral oral gene transfer can induce regulatory T cells for antigen-specific immune modulation. PMID:22933401

  19. Expressions of interferon-inducible genes IFIT1 and IFIT4 mRNA in PBMCs of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Chunyan; Chen Xingguo; Wang Zizheng

    2009-01-01

    To investigate the expression levels of interferon-inducible genes (IFIT1, IFIT4) in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and the relations between these genes expression levels and disease activity, the expression levels of IFIT1 and IFIT4 mRNA in the 95 patients with SLE and 48 normal controls were detected by Sybr green dye based real-time quantitative PCR method, and these genes expression levels were compared with anti-double strand DNA antibody. The associations between the expression levels of IFIT1, IFIT4 mRNA, anti-double strand DNA antibody and SLEDAI scores in patients with SLE were analyzed. The results showed that the expression levels of IFIT1, IFIT4 mRNA in the SLE patients were significantly higher than those of the normal controls (P<0.01). The expression levels of IFIT1, IFIT4 mRNA in the active SLE patients were higher than those of the inactive SLE patients (P<0.05). The real time expression levels of IFIT1 and IFIT4 mRNA showed positive correlations with each other (P<0.05) in patients with SLE. There was positively correlation between the expression levels of IFIT1, IFIT4 mRNA and the anti-double strand DNA antibody (P<0.05). The expression levels of IFIT1, IFIT4 mRNA in patients with SLE were significantly higher than those of the normal controls, and positively associated with SLEDAI scores, so they were helpful in evaluating SLE disease activity and severity. To inhibit the expressions of IFIT1, IFIT4 mRNA may provide a novel target for SLE treatment. (authors)

  20. Comparison of Abbott AxSYM and Roche Elecsys 2010 for measurement of BNP and NT-proBNP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Tzu-I; Chen, Hui-Hou; Kao, Jau-Tsuen

    2006-07-15

    B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) are small cardiac hormones released from the heart. They can be used as an important aid to diagnose congestive heart failure (CHF). We compared the performances of the Abbott AxSYM and Roche Elecsys 2010 for the measurement of BNP and NT-proBNP. The first method uses a microparticle enzyme-linked immunoassay, whereas the other uses chemiluminescent immunometric assay. The CVs using pooled sera ranged from 3.7% to 12.7% for the AxSYM and 0.9% to 2.2% for the Elecsys 2010. The Passing and Bablok regression was Elecsys 2010 NT-proBNP=7.23xAxSYM BNP+2.53. The BNP in EDTA plasma was more stable than in serum. The immunoreactivity difference of NT-proBNP in serum or EDTA plasma was within 10% when stored at 4 degrees Celsius or 25 degrees Celsius for 72 h. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were different for both assays, and the areas under the curves were 0.704 and 0.841 for the AxSYM and Elecsys 2010 method, respectively. Both assays were not entirely specific for heart failure. The precision and stability for NT-proBNP was better than for BNP in serum. It is important to use method-appropriate reference ranges (or cutoff) for the BNP and NT-proBNP, respectively, in the assessment of CHF.

  1. "Ant-egg" cataract revisited

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemmensen, Kåre; Enghild, Jan J; Ivarsen, Anders

    2017-01-01

    -ray scans and electron microscopy. The purpose of this study was to further characterize "ant-egg" cataract using modern technology and display the history of the "ant-eggs" after cataract extraction. METHODS: "Ant-eggs" were examined using Heidelberg SPECTRALIS Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT...

  2. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longino, John T; Branstetter, Michael G; Colwell, Robert K

    2014-01-01

    In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica) and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature) and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.

  3. How ants drop out: ant abundance on tropical mountains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Longino

    Full Text Available In tropical wet forests, ants are a large proportion of the animal biomass, but the factors determining abundance are not well understood. We characterized ant abundance in the litter layer of 41 mature wet forest sites spread throughout Central America (Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and examined the impact of elevation (as a proxy for temperature and community species richness. Sites were intentionally chosen to minimize variation in precipitation and seasonality. From sea level to 1500 m ant abundance very gradually declined, community richness declined more rapidly than abundance, and the local frequency of the locally most common species increased. These results suggest that within this elevational zone, density compensation is acting, maintaining high ant abundance as richness declines. In contrast, in sites above 1500 m, ant abundance dropped abruptly to much lower levels. Among these high montane sites, community richness explained much more of the variation in abundance than elevation, and there was no evidence of density compensation. The relative stability of abundance below 1500 m may be caused by opposing effects of temperature on productivity and metabolism. Lower temperatures may decrease productivity and thus the amount of food available for consumers, but slower metabolisms of consumers may allow maintenance of higher biomass at lower resource supply rates. Ant communities at these lower elevations may be highly interactive, the result of continuous habitat presence over geological time. High montane sites may be ephemeral in geological time, resulting in non-interactive communities dominated by historical and stochastic processes. Abundance in these sites may be determined by the number of species that manage to colonize and/or avoid extinction on mountaintops.

  4. Pest repelling properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini-review sh......-review shows that four out of five tested ant species deposit pheromones that repel herbivorous prey from their host plants.......Ants control pests via predation and physical deterrence; however, ant communication is based on chemical cues which may serve as warning signals to potential prey and other intruders. The presence of ant pheromones may, thus, be sufficient to repel pests from ant territories. This mini...

  5. Nectar Theft and Floral Ant-Repellence: A Link between Nectar Volume and Ant-Repellent Traits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballantyne, Gavin; Willmer, Pat

    2012-01-01

    As flower visitors, ants rarely benefit a plant. They are poor pollinators, and can also disrupt pollination by deterring other flower visitors, or by stealing nectar. Some plant species therefore possess floral ant-repelling traits. But why do particular species have such traits when others do not? In a dry forest in Costa Rica, of 49 plant species around a third were ant-repellent at very close proximity to a common generalist ant species, usually via repellent pollen. Repellence was positively correlated with the presence of large nectar volumes. Repellent traits affected ant species differently, some influencing the behaviour of just a few species and others producing more generalised ant-repellence. Our results suggest that ant-repellent floral traits may often not be pleiotropic, but instead could have been selected for as a defence against ant thieves in plant species that invest in large volumes of nectar. This conclusion highlights to the importance of research into the cost of nectar production in future studies into ant-flower interactions. PMID:22952793

  6. Nutritional and fatty acid profiles of sun-dried edible black ants (Polyrhachis vicina Roger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duo Li

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Determination of the nutritional composition of sun-dried edible black ants (Polyrhachis vicina Roger cultivated in Zhejiang and Guizhou Provinces, China, was carried out. The Zhejiang and Guizhou ants contained 31.5% and 41.5% protein, 15.7% and 15.9% lipid, and 25.4% and 26.4% fibre respectively. Monounsaturated fatty acids were the most predominant fatty acids (71.472.7% of total fatty acids found in both ant samples, followed by saturated fatty acids (23.825.5% and polyunsaturated fatty acids (3.13.7%. A significant amount of n-3 fatty acids was detected: 87.4 mg/100g and 145.6 mg/100g in Zhejiang and Guizhou ants respectively. Phosphorus, iron and calcium were the main minerals found in the ant samples. A small amount of selenium was also found.

  7. Pest repellent properties of ant pheromones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2012-01-01

    of ant pheromones may be sufficient to repel pest insects from ant territories. The study of ant semiochemicals is in its infancy, yet, evidence for their potential use in pest management is starting to build up. Pheromones from four of five tested ant species have been shown to deter herbivorous insect...... prey and competing ant species are also deterred by ant deposits, whereas ant symbionts may be attracted to them. Based on these promising initial findings, it seems advisable to further elucidate the signaling properties of ant pheromones and to test and develop their use in future pest management....

  8. Gene expression profiling distinguishes between spontaneous and radiation-induced rat mammary carcinomas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Imaoka, Tatsuhiko; Nishimura, Mayumi; Kakinuma, Shizuko; Shimada, Yoshiya; Yamashita, Satoshi; Ushijima, Toshikazu

    2008-01-01

    The ability to distinguish between spontaneous and radiation-induced cancers in humans is expected to improve the resolution of estimated risk from low dose radiation. Mammary carcinomas were obtained from Sprague-Dawley rats that were either untreated (n=45) or acutely γ-irradiated (1 Gy; n=20) at seven weeks of age. Gene expression profiles of three spontaneous and four radiation-induced carcinomas, as well as those of normal mammary glands, were analyzed by microarrays. Differential expression of identified genes of interest was then verified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Cluster analysis of global gene expression suggested that spontaneous carcinomas were distinguished from a heterogeneous population of radiation-induced carcinomas, though most gene expressions were common. We identified 50 genes that had different expression levels between spontaneous and radiogenic carcinomas. We then selected 18 genes for confirmation of the microarray data by qPCR analysis and obtained the following results: high expression of Plg, Pgr and Wnt4 was characteristic to all spontaneous carcinomas; Tnfsf11, Fgf10, Agtr1a, S100A9 and Pou3f3 showed high expression in a subset of radiation-induced carcinomas; and increased Gp2, Areg and Igf2 expression, as well as decreased expression of Ca3 and noncoding RNA Mg1, were common to all carcinomas. Thus, gene expression analysis distinguished between spontaneous and radiogenic carcinomas, suggesting possible differences in their carcinogenic mechanism. (author)

  9. H3K27me3 and H3K4me3 chromatin environment at super-induced dehydration stress memory genes of Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ning; Fromm, Michael; Avramova, Zoya

    2014-03-01

    Pre-exposure to a stress may alter the plant's cellular, biochemical, and/or transcriptional responses during future encounters as a 'memory' from the previous stress. Genes increasing transcription in response to a first dehydration stress, but producing much higher transcript levels in a subsequent stress, represent the super-induced 'transcription memory' genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. The chromatin environment (histone H3 tri-methylations of Lys 4 and Lys 27, H3K4me3, and H3K27me3) studied at five dehydration stress memory genes revealed existence of distinct memory-response subclasses that responded differently to CLF deficiency and displayed different transcriptional activities during the watered recovery periods. Among the most important findings is the novel aspect of the H3K27me3 function observed at specific dehydration stress memory genes. In contrast to its well-known role as a chromatin repressive mechanism at developmentally regulated genes, H3K27me3 did not prevent transcription from the dehydration stress-responding genes. The high H3K27me3 levels present during transcriptionally inactive states did not interfere with the transition to active transcription and with H3K4me3 accumulation. H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 marks function independently and are not mutually exclusive at the dehydration stress-responding memory genes.

  10. Improving the Interpretability of Classification Rules Discovered by an Ant Colony Algorithm: Extended Results

    OpenAIRE

    Otero, Fernando E.B.; Freitas, Alex A.

    2016-01-01

    The vast majority of Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) algorithms for inducing classification rules use an ACO-based procedure to create a rule in an one-at-a-time fashion. An improved search strategy has been proposed in the cAnt-MinerPB algorithm, where an ACO-based procedure is used to create a complete list of rules (ordered rules)-i.e., the ACO search is guided by the quality of a list of rules, instead of an individual rule. In this paper we propose an extension of the cAnt-MinerPB algorith...

  11. The value of T/NT in FDG imaging with a coincidence camera for diagnosis of pulmonary nodules and mass lesions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun Da; Zhan Hongwei; Xu Wei; Ye Xiaojuan; Liu Qichang

    2004-01-01

    Objectives: To assess the value of T/NT in FDG imaging with a coincidence camera for diagnosis of pulmonary nodules and mass lesions. Methods: 18F-FDG imaging were performed in 57 patients with a mean age of 62.18 (range from 33 83 years old) for diagnosis of pulmonary nodules and mass lesions using a gamma camera with 1 inch crystal in coincidence mode (Siemens E.comduet). 175 296 MBq (5 8 mci) of 18F-FDG was given by iv on an empty stomach at least for 6 hours, and a whole body imaging without brain and legs was performed after 40 60 minutes. The count rate of target ROI and no-target ROI (T/NT) were calculated as a semiquantative analysis to differentiate malignant from inflammatory lesions. The result was compared with CT, MRI, and/or pathology. Results: The mean value of T/NT in malignant lesions (N=45) in lungs is 4.32 (range 1.61 10.62). But it is 1.52 (range 1.37 1.95) in inflammatory lesions (N=17) in lungs, and 4.09 (range 2.2 7.01) in lung tuberculosis lesions (N=5). In 45 malignant, the value of T/NT is less than 2.0 in only 3 lesions. So the overlapping of T/NT value is very little between malignant and inflammatory lesions. But there is full overlapping of T/NT value between malignant and tuberculosis lesions. Conclusions: Focal pulmonary nodules and mass lesions are commonly encountered in clinical practice, and PET with 18F-FDG has proved to be an accurate noninvasive test for identifying pulmonary malignant lesions. The technique of semiquantity with T/NT is useful to differentiate malignant from inflammatory lesions. But it is invalidate for distinguishing malignant from tuberculosis lesions. (authors)

  12. A Single Streptomyces Symbiont Makes Multiple Antifungals to Support the Fungus Farming Ant Acromyrmex octospinosus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seipke, Ryan F.; Barke, Jörg; Brearley, Charles; Hill, Lionel; Yu, Douglas W.; Goss, Rebecca J. M.; Hutchings, Matthew I.

    2011-01-01

    Attine ants are dependent on a cultivated fungus for food and use antibiotics produced by symbiotic Actinobacteria as weedkillers in their fungus gardens. Actinobacterial species belonging to the genera Pseudonocardia, Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis have been isolated from attine ant nests and shown to confer protection against a range of microfungal weeds. In previous work on the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus we isolated a Streptomyces strain that produces candicidin, consistent with another report that attine ants use Streptomyces-produced candicidin in their fungiculture. Here we report the genome analysis of this Streptomyces strain and identify multiple antibiotic biosynthetic pathways. We demonstrate, using gene disruptions and mass spectrometry, that this single strain has the capacity to make candicidin and multiple antimycin compounds. Although antimycins have been known for >60 years we report the sequence of the biosynthetic gene cluster for the first time. Crucially, disrupting the candicidin and antimycin gene clusters in the same strain had no effect on bioactivity against a co-evolved nest pathogen called Escovopsis that has been identified in ∼30% of attine ant nests. Since the Streptomyces strain has strong bioactivity against Escovopsis we conclude that it must make additional antifungal(s) to inhibit Escovopsis. However, candicidin and antimycins likely offer protection against other microfungal weeds that infect the attine fungal gardens. Thus, we propose that the selection of this biosynthetically prolific strain from the natural environment provides A. octospinosus with broad spectrum activity against Escovopsis and other microfungal weeds. PMID:21857911

  13. A single Streptomyces symbiont makes multiple antifungals to support the fungus farming ant Acromyrmex octospinosus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan F Seipke

    Full Text Available Attine ants are dependent on a cultivated fungus for food and use antibiotics produced by symbiotic Actinobacteria as weedkillers in their fungus gardens. Actinobacterial species belonging to the genera Pseudonocardia, Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis have been isolated from attine ant nests and shown to confer protection against a range of microfungal weeds. In previous work on the higher attine Acromyrmex octospinosus we isolated a Streptomyces strain that produces candicidin, consistent with another report that attine ants use Streptomyces-produced candicidin in their fungiculture. Here we report the genome analysis of this Streptomyces strain and identify multiple antibiotic biosynthetic pathways. We demonstrate, using gene disruptions and mass spectrometry, that this single strain has the capacity to make candicidin and multiple antimycin compounds. Although antimycins have been known for >60 years we report the sequence of the biosynthetic gene cluster for the first time. Crucially, disrupting the candicidin and antimycin gene clusters in the same strain had no effect on bioactivity against a co-evolved nest pathogen called Escovopsis that has been identified in ∼30% of attine ant nests. Since the Streptomyces strain has strong bioactivity against Escovopsis we conclude that it must make additional antifungal(s to inhibit Escovopsis. However, candicidin and antimycins likely offer protection against other microfungal weeds that infect the attine fungal gardens. Thus, we propose that the selection of this biosynthetically prolific strain from the natural environment provides A. octospinosus with broad spectrum activity against Escovopsis and other microfungal weeds.

  14. The Genome Sequence of the Leaf-Cutter Ant Atta cephalotes Reveals Insights into Its Obligate Symbiotic Lifestyle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suen, Garret; Holt, Carson; Abouheif, Ehab; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Bouffard, Pascal; Caldera, Eric J.; Cash, Elizabeth; Cavanaugh, Amy; Denas, Olgert; Elhaik, Eran; Favé, Marie-Julie; Gadau, Jürgen; Gibson, Joshua D.; Graur, Dan; Grubbs, Kirk J.; Hagen, Darren E.; Harkins, Timothy T.; Helmkampf, Martin; Hu, Hao; Johnson, Brian R.; Kim, Jay; Marsh, Sarah E.; Moeller, Joseph A.; Muñoz-Torres, Mónica C.; Murphy, Marguerite C.; Naughton, Meredith C.; Nigam, Surabhi; Overson, Rick; Rajakumar, Rajendhran; Reese, Justin T.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Smith, Chris R.; Tao, Shu; Tsutsui, Neil D.; Viljakainen, Lumi; Wissler, Lothar; Yandell, Mark D.; Zimmer, Fabian; Taylor, James; Slater, Steven C.; Clifton, Sandra W.; Warren, Wesley C.; Elsik, Christine G.; Smith, Christopher D.; Weinstock, George M.; Gerardo, Nicole M.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2011-01-01

    Leaf-cutter ants are one of the most important herbivorous insects in the Neotropics, harvesting vast quantities of fresh leaf material. The ants use leaves to cultivate a fungus that serves as the colony's primary food source. This obligate ant-fungus mutualism is one of the few occurrences of farming by non-humans and likely facilitated the formation of their massive colonies. Mature leaf-cutter ant colonies contain millions of workers ranging in size from small garden tenders to large soldiers, resulting in one of the most complex polymorphic caste systems within ants. To begin uncovering the genomic underpinnings of this system, we sequenced the genome of Atta cephalotes using 454 pyrosequencing. One prediction from this ant's lifestyle is that it has undergone genetic modifications that reflect its obligate dependence on the fungus for nutrients. Analysis of this genome sequence is consistent with this hypothesis, as we find evidence for reductions in genes related to nutrient acquisition. These include extensive reductions in serine proteases (which are likely unnecessary because proteolysis is not a primary mechanism used to process nutrients obtained from the fungus), a loss of genes involved in arginine biosynthesis (suggesting that this amino acid is obtained from the fungus), and the absence of a hexamerin (which sequesters amino acids during larval development in other insects). Following recent reports of genome sequences from other insects that engage in symbioses with beneficial microbes, the A. cephalotes genome provides new insights into the symbiotic lifestyle of this ant and advances our understanding of host–microbe symbioses. PMID:21347285

  15. The genome sequence of the leaf-cutter ant Atta cephalotes reveals insights into its obligate symbiotic lifestyle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garret Suen

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Leaf-cutter ants are one of the most important herbivorous insects in the Neotropics, harvesting vast quantities of fresh leaf material. The ants use leaves to cultivate a fungus that serves as the colony's primary food source. This obligate ant-fungus mutualism is one of the few occurrences of farming by non-humans and likely facilitated the formation of their massive colonies. Mature leaf-cutter ant colonies contain millions of workers ranging in size from small garden tenders to large soldiers, resulting in one of the most complex polymorphic caste systems within ants. To begin uncovering the genomic underpinnings of this system, we sequenced the genome of Atta cephalotes using 454 pyrosequencing. One prediction from this ant's lifestyle is that it has undergone genetic modifications that reflect its obligate dependence on the fungus for nutrients. Analysis of this genome sequence is consistent with this hypothesis, as we find evidence for reductions in genes related to nutrient acquisition. These include extensive reductions in serine proteases (which are likely unnecessary because proteolysis is not a primary mechanism used to process nutrients obtained from the fungus, a loss of genes involved in arginine biosynthesis (suggesting that this amino acid is obtained from the fungus, and the absence of a hexamerin (which sequesters amino acids during larval development in other insects. Following recent reports of genome sequences from other insects that engage in symbioses with beneficial microbes, the A. cephalotes genome provides new insights into the symbiotic lifestyle of this ant and advances our understanding of host-microbe symbioses.

  16. Screening of hypoxia-inducible genes in sporadic ALS.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Cronin, Simon

    2008-10-01

    Genetic variations in two hypoxia-inducible angiogenic genes, VEGF and ANG, have been linked with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS). Common variations in these genes may reduce the levels or functioning of their products. VEGF and ANG belong to a larger group of angiogenic genes that are up-regulated under hypoxic conditions. We hypothesized that common genetic variation across other members of this group may also predispose to sporadic ALS. To screen other hypoxia-inducible angiogenic genes for association with SALS, we selected 112 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (tgSNPs) that captured the common genetic variation across 16 VEGF-like and eight ANG-like hypoxia-inducible genes. Screening for association was performed in 270 Irish individuals with typical SALS and 272 ethnically matched unrelated controls. SNPs showing association in the Irish phase were genotyped in a replication sample of 281 Swedish sporadic ALS patients and 286 Swedish controls. Seven markers showed association in the Irish. The one modest replication signal observed in the Swedish replication sample, at rs3801158 in the gene inhibin beta A, was for the opposite allele vs. the Irish cohort. We failed to detect association of common variation across 24 candidate hypoxia-inducible angiogenic genes with SALS.

  17. Serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in depressed patients with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wysokiński, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) are neurotrophins-proteins that induce the survival, development, and function of neurons. Their role in the development of schizophrenia and mood disorders is widely studied. This study was aimed to determine whether depression affects levels of BDNF and NT-3 in patients with schizophrenia. Data for 53 Caucasian adult hospitalized patients with chronic paranoid schizophrenia was compared with 27 healthy subjects. Clinical symptoms were assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and positive, negative and general sub-scores, the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), and the Clinical Global Impressions scale (CGI). Patients were defined as depressed (SHZ-DEP) with scores CDSS > 6 and HDRS > 7, otherwise they were included into the non-depressed group (SHZ-nonDEP). In total, 17 patients (32.1%) with schizophrenia met criteria for depression. SHZ-DEP patients had higher scores in HDRS, CDSS, PANSS total, PANSS negative, PANSS general and CGI (p BDNF or NT-3 levels between patients with schizophrenia and controls. BDNF levels were lower in SHZ-DEP compared to SHZ-nonDEP: 18.82 ± 5.95 versus 22.10 ± 5.31 ng/mL, p = 0.045. NT-3 levels were higher in SHZ-DEP compared to SHZ-nonDEP: 133.31 ± 222.19 versus 56.04 ± 201.28 pg/mL, p = 0.033. There were no differences in neurotrophin levels between patients with schizophrenia and controls. We found lower BDNF and higher NT-3 serum levels in depressed patients with schizophrenia.

  18. Co-ordinate decrease in the expression of the mitochondrial genome and nuclear genes for mitochondrial proteins in the lactation-induced mitochondrial hypotrophy of rat brown fat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, I; Giralt, M; Viñas, O; Iglesias, R; Mampel, T; Villarroya, F

    1995-01-01

    The relative abundance of the mitochondrial-encoded mRNAs for cytochrome c oxidase subunit II and NADH dehydrogenase subunit I was lower in brown adipose tissue (BAT) from lactating rats than in virgin controls. This decrease was in parallel with a significant decrease in mitochondrial 16 S rRNA levels and in the relative content of mitochondrial DNA in the tissue. BAT from lactating rats showed lowered mRNA expression of the nuclear-encoded genes for the mitochondrial uncoupling protein, subunit IV of cytochrome c oxidase and the adenine nucleotide translocase isoforms ANT1 and ANT2, whereas mRNA levels for the ATP synthase beta-subunit were unchanged. However, the relative content of this last protein was lower in BAT mitochondria from lactating rats than in virgin controls. It is concluded that lactation-induced mitochondrial hypotrophy in BAT is associated with a co-ordinate decrease in the expression of the mitochondrial genome and nuclear genes for mitochondrial proteins. This decrease is caused by regulatory events acting at different levels, including pre- and post-transcriptional regulation. BAT appears to be a useful model with which to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in the co-ordination of the expression of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes during mitochondrial biogenesis. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:8948428

  19. Distinct functional characteristics of levocabastine sensitive rat neurotensin NT2 receptor expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, M; Yamada, M; Lombet, A; Forgez, P; Rostène, W

    1998-01-01

    Neurotensin has been shown to produce pharmacological effects both in brain and periphery. Several of these effects are mediated by a high-affinity neurotensin NT1 receptor. On the other hand, a low-affinity levocabastine-sensitive neurotensin NT2 receptor was molecularly cloned from rodent brain recently. In this study, in contrast to NT1 receptor, levocabastine (a histamine H1 receptor antagonist) and SR48692 (an antagonist for NT1 receptor) strongly stimulated intracellular Ca2+ mobilization in transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing rat NT2 receptor, thus acting as potent NT2 receptor. Furthermore, despite of their affinities for NT2 receptor, the Ca2+ responses to potent NT1 agonists, neurotensin or JMV449 ([Lys8-(CH2NH)-Lys9]Pro-Tyr-Ile-Leu, a peptidase resistant analogue of neurotensin) were much smaller than that observed with SR48692. These findings suggest that NT1 and NT2 receptors present distinct functional characteristics and that SR48692 may act as a potent agonist for NT2 receptor.

  20. A Virtual Astronomical Research Machine in No Time (VARMiNT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaver, John

    2012-05-01

    We present early results of using virtual machine software to help make astronomical research computing accessible to a wider range of individuals. Our Virtual Astronomical Research Machine in No Time (VARMiNT) is an Ubuntu Linux virtual machine with free, open-source software already installed and configured (and in many cases documented). The purpose of VARMiNT is to provide a ready-to-go astronomical research computing environment that can be freely shared between researchers, or between amateur and professional, teacher and student, etc., and to circumvent the often-difficult task of configuring a suitable computing environment from scratch. Thus we hope that VARMiNT will make it easier for individuals to engage in research computing even if they have no ready access to the facilities of a research institution. We describe our current version of VARMiNT and some of the ways it is being used at the University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley, a two-year teaching campus of the University of Wisconsin System, as a means to enhance student independent study research projects and to facilitate collaborations with researchers at other locations. We also outline some future plans and prospects.

  1. Expression analysis of vitellogenins in the workers of the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chloe Hawkings

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Vitellogenin has been proposed to regulate division of labor and social organization in social insects. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta harbors four distinct, adjacent vitellogenin genes (Vg1, Vg2, Vg3, and Vg4. Contrary to honey bees that have a single Vg ortholog as well as potentially fertile nurses, and to other ant species that lay trophic eggs, S. invicta workers completely lack ovaries or the ability to lay eggs. This provides a unique model to investigate whether Vg duplication in S. invicta was followed by subfunctionalization to acquire non-reproductive functions and whether Vg was co-opted to regulate behavior within the worker caste. To investigate these questions, we compared the expression patterns of S. invicta Vg genes among workers from different morphological subcastes or performing different tasks. RT-qPCRs revealed higher relative expression of Vg1 in major workers compared to both medium and minor workers, and of Vg2 in major workers when compared to minor workers. Relative expression of Vg1 was also higher in carbohydrate foragers when compared to nurses and protein foragers. By contrast, the level of expression of Vg2, Vg3, and Vg4 were not significantly different among the workers performing the specific tasks. Additionally, we analyzed the relationship between the expression of the Vg genes and S-hydroprene, a juvenile hormone analog. No changes in Vg expression were recorded in workers 12 h after application of the analog. Our results suggest that in S. invicta the Vg gene underwent subfunctionalization after duplication to new functions based on the expression bias observed in these data. This may suggest an alternative and still unknown function for Vg in the workers that needs to be investigated further.

  2. Cyclic Equibiaxial Tensile Strain Alters Gene Expression of Chondrocytes via Histone Deacetylase 4 Shuttling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chongwei Chen

    Full Text Available This paper aims to investigate whether equibiaxial tensile strain alters chondrocyte gene expression via controlling subcellular localization of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4.Murine chondrocytes transfected with GFP-HDAC4 were subjected to 3 h cyclic equibiaxial tensile strain (CTS, 6% strain at 0.25 Hz by a Flexcell® FX-5000™ Tension System. Fluorescence microscope and western blot were used to observe subcellular location of HDAC4. The gene expression was analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. The concentration of Glycosaminoglycans in culture medium was quantified by bimethylmethylene blue dye; Collagen II protein was evaluated by western blot. Cells phenotype was identified by immunohistochemistry. Cell viability was evaluated by live-dead cell detect kit. Okadaic acid, an inhibitor of HDAC4 nuclear relocation, was used to further validate whether HDAC4 nuclear relocation plays a role in gene expression in response to tension stimulation.87.5% of HDAC4 was located in the cytoplasm in chondrocytes under no loading condition, but it was relocated to the nucleus after CTS. RT-PCR analysis showed that levels of mRNA for aggrecan, collagen II, LK1 and SOX9 were all increased in chondrocytes subjected to CTS as compared to no loading control chondrocytes; in contrast, the levels of type X collagen, MMP-13, IHH and Runx2 gene expression were decreased in the chondrocytes subjected to CTS as compared to control chondrocytes. Meanwhile, CTS contributed to elevation of glycosaminoglycans and collagen II protein, but did not change collagen I production. When Okadaic acid blocked HDAC4 relocation from the cytoplasm to nucleus, the changes of the chondrocytes induced by CTS were abrogated. There was no chondrocyte dead detected in this study in response to CTS.CTS is able to induce HDAC4 relocation from cytoplasm to nucleus. Thus, CTS alters chondrocytes gene expression in association with the relocation of HDAC4 induced by CTS.

  3. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α plays roles in Epstein-Barr virus's natural life cycle and tumorigenesis by inducing lytic infection through direct binding to the immediate-early BZLF1 gene promoter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Kraus

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available When confronted with poor oxygenation, cells adapt by activating survival signaling pathways, including the oxygen-sensitive transcriptional regulators called hypoxia-inducible factor alphas (HIF-αs. We report here that HIF-1α also regulates the life cycle of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV. Incubation of EBV-positive gastric carcinoma AGS-Akata and SNU-719 and Burkitt lymphoma Sal and KemIII cell lines with a prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor, L-mimosine or deferoxamine, or the NEDDylation inhibitor MLN4924 promoted rapid and sustained accumulation of both HIF-1α and lytic EBV antigens. ShRNA knockdown of HIF-1α significantly reduced deferoxamine-mediated lytic reactivation. HIF-1α directly bound the promoter of the EBV primary latent-lytic switch BZLF1 gene, Zp, activating transcription via a consensus hypoxia-response element (HRE located at nt -83 through -76 relative to the transcription initiation site. HIF-1α did not activate transcription from the other EBV immediate-early gene, BRLF1. Importantly, expression of HIF-1α induced EBV lytic-gene expression in cells harboring wild-type EBV, but not in cells infected with variants containing base-pair substitution mutations within this HRE. Human oral keratinocyte (NOK and gingival epithelial (hGET cells induced to differentiate by incubation with either methyl cellulose or growth in organotypic culture accumulated both HIF-1α and Blimp-1α, another cellular factor implicated in lytic reactivation. HIF-1α activity also accumulated along with Blimp-1α during B-cell differentiation into plasma cells. Furthermore, most BZLF1-expressing cells observed in lymphomas induced by EBV in NSG mice with a humanized immune system were located distal to blood vessels in hypoxic regions of the tumors. Thus, we conclude that HIF-1α plays central roles in both EBV's natural life cycle and EBV-associated tumorigenesis. We propose that drugs that induce HIF-1α protein accumulation are good candidates for

  4. Transcriptome Sequencing of Chemically Induced Aquilaria sinensis to Identify Genes Related to Agarwood Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Wei; Wu, Hongqing; He, Xin; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Weimin; Li, Haohua; Fan, Yunfei; Tan, Guohui; Liu, Taomei; Gao, Xiaoxia

    2016-01-01

    Agarwood is a traditional Chinese medicine used as a clinical sedative, carminative, and antiemetic drug. Agarwood is formed in Aquilaria sinensis when A. sinensis trees are threatened by external physical, chemical injury or endophytic fungal irritation. However, the mechanism of agarwood formation via chemical induction remains unclear. In this study, we characterized the transcriptome of different parts of a chemically induced A. sinensis trunk sample with agarwood. The Illumina sequencing platform was used to identify the genes involved in agarwood formation. A five-year-old Aquilaria sinensis treated by formic acid was selected. The white wood part (B1 sample), the transition part between agarwood and white wood (W2 sample), the agarwood part (J3 sample), and the rotten wood part (F5 sample) were collected for transcriptome sequencing. Accordingly, 54,685,634 clean reads, which were assembled into 83,467 unigenes, were obtained with a Q20 value of 97.5%. A total of 50,565 unigenes were annotated using the Nr, Nt, SWISS-PROT, KEGG, COG, and GO databases. In particular, 171,331,352 unigenes were annotated by various pathways, including the sesquiterpenoid (ko00909) and plant-pathogen interaction (ko03040) pathways. These pathways were related to sesquiterpenoid biosynthesis and defensive responses to chemical stimulation. The transcriptome data of the different parts of the chemically induced A. sinensis trunk provide a rich source of materials for discovering and identifying the genes involved in sesquiterpenoid production and in defensive responses to chemical stimulation. This study is the first to use de novo sequencing and transcriptome assembly for different parts of chemically induced A. sinensis. Results demonstrate that the sesquiterpenoid biosynthesis pathway and WRKY transcription factor play important roles in agarwood formation via chemical induction. The comparative analysis of the transcriptome data of agarwood and A. sinensis lays the foundation

  5. Innate immune genes including a mucin-like gene, mul-1, induced by ionizing radiation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Takafumi; Takanami, Takako; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Wada, Seiichi; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Higashitani, Atsushi

    2012-10-01

    The effect of radiation on the intestine has been studied for more than one hundred years. It remains unclear, however, whether this organ uses specific defensive mechanisms against ionizing radiation. The infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA14) in Caenorhabditis elegans induces up-regulation of innate immune response genes. Here, we found that exposure to ionizing radiation also induces certain innate immune response genes such as F49F1.6 (termed mul-1), clec-4, clec-67, lys-1 and lys-2 in the intestine. Moreover, pre-treatment with ionizing radiation before seeding on PA14 lawn plate significantly increased survival rate in the nematode. We also studied transcription pathway of the mul-1 in response to ionizing radiation. Induction of mul-1 gene was highly dependent on the ELT-2 transcription factor and p38 MAPK. Moreover, the insulin/IGF-1 signal pathway works to enhance induction of this gene. The mul-1 gene showed a different induction pattern from the DNA damage response gene, ced-13, which implies that the expression of this gene might be triggered as an indirect effect of radiation. Silencing of the mul-1 gene led to growth retardation after treatment with ionizing radiation. We describe the cross-tolerance between the response to radiation exposure and the innate immune system.

  6. Genetic evidence for landscape effects on dispersal in the army ant Eciton burchellii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soare, Thomas W; Kumar, Anjali; Naish, Kerry A; O'Donnell, Sean

    2014-01-01

    Inhibited dispersal, leading to reduced gene flow, threatens populations with inbreeding depression and local extinction. Fragmentation may be especially detrimental to social insects because inhibited gene flow has important consequences for cooperation and competition within and among colonies. Army ants have winged males and permanently wingless queens; these traits imply male-biased dispersal. However, army ant colonies are obligately nomadic and have the potential to traverse landscapes. Eciton burchellii, the most regularly nomadic army ant, is a forest interior species: colony raiding activities are limited in the absence of forest cover. To examine whether nomadism and landscape (forest clearing and elevation) affect population genetic structure in a montane E. burchellii population, we reconstructed queen and male genotypes from 25 colonies at seven polymorphic microsatellite loci. Pairwise genetic distances among individuals were compared to pairwise geographical and resistance distances using regressions with permutations, partial Mantel tests and random forests analyses. Although there was no significant spatial genetic structure in queens or males in montane forest, dispersal may be male-biased. We found significant isolation by landscape resistance for queens based on land cover (forest clearing), but not on elevation. Summed colony emigrations over the lifetime of the queen may contribute to gene flow in this species and forest clearing impedes these movements and subsequent gene dispersal. Further forest cover removal may increasingly inhibit Eciton burchellii colony dispersal. We recommend maintaining habitat connectivity in tropical forests to promote population persistence for this keystone species. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Investigating Gene Function in Cereal Rust Fungi by Plant-Mediated Virus-Induced Gene Silencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panwar, Vinay; Bakkeren, Guus

    2017-01-01

    Cereal rust fungi are destructive pathogens, threatening grain production worldwide. Targeted breeding for resistance utilizing host resistance genes has been effective. However, breakdown of resistance occurs frequently and continued efforts are needed to understand how these fungi overcome resistance and to expand the range of available resistance genes. Whole genome sequencing, transcriptomic and proteomic studies followed by genome-wide computational and comparative analyses have identified large repertoire of genes in rust fungi among which are candidates predicted to code for pathogenicity and virulence factors. Some of these genes represent defence triggering avirulence effectors. However, functions of most genes still needs to be assessed to understand the biology of these obligate biotrophic pathogens. Since genetic manipulations such as gene deletion and genetic transformation are not yet feasible in rust fungi, performing functional gene studies is challenging. Recently, Host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) has emerged as a useful tool to characterize gene function in rust fungi while infecting and growing in host plants. We utilized Barley stripe mosaic virus-mediated virus induced gene silencing (BSMV-VIGS) to induce HIGS of candidate rust fungal genes in the wheat host to determine their role in plant-fungal interactions. Here, we describe the methods for using BSMV-VIGS in wheat for functional genomics study in cereal rust fungi.

  8. Polymorphisms in adenosine receptor genes are associated with infarct size in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Z; Diamond, M A; Chen, J-M; Holly, T A; Bonow, R O; Dasgupta, A; Hyslop, T; Purzycki, A; Wagner, J; McNamara, D M; Kukulski, T; Wos, S; Velazquez, E J; Ardlie, K; Feldman, A M

    2007-10-01

    The goal of this experiment was to identify the presence of genetic variants in the adenosine receptor genes and assess their relationship to infarct size in a population of patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. Adenosine receptors play an important role in protecting the heart during ischemia and in mediating the effects of ischemic preconditioning. We sequenced DNA samples from 273 individuals with ischemic cardiomyopathy and from 203 normal controls to identify the presence of genetic variants in the adenosine receptor genes. Subsequently, we analyzed the relationship between the identified genetic variants and infarct size, left ventricular size, and left ventricular function. Three variants in the 3'-untranslated region of the A(1)-adenosine gene (nt 1689 C/A, nt 2206 Tdel, nt 2683del36) and an informative polymorphism in the coding region of the A3-adenosine gene (nt 1509 A/C I248L) were associated with changes in infarct size. These results suggest that genetic variants in the adenosine receptor genes may predict the heart's response to ischemia or injury and might also influence an individual's response to adenosine therapy.

  9. Probing dark matter streams with CoGeNT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natarajan, Aravind; Savage, Christopher; Freese, Katherine

    2011-01-01

    We examine the future sensitivity of CoGeNT to the presence of dark matter streams and find that consideration of streams in the data may lead to differences in the interpretation of the results. We show the allowed particle mass and cross section for different halo parameters, assuming spin-independent elastic scattering. As an example, we choose a stream with the same velocity profile as that of the Sagittarius stream (and in the Solar neighborhood) and find that, with an exposure of ∼10 kg yr, the CoGeNT results can be expected to exclude the standard-halo-model-only halo in favor of a standard halo model+stream halo at the 95% (99.7%) confidence level, provided the stream contributes 3% (5%) of the local dark matter density. The presence of a significant stream component may result in incorrect estimates of the particle mass and cross section unless the presence of the stream is taken into account. We conclude that the CoGeNT experiment is sensitive to streams and care should be taken to include the possibility of streams when analyzing experimental results.

  10. Laccase detoxification mediates the nutritional alliance between leaf-cutting ants and fungus-garden symbionts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Fine Licht, Henrik H; Schiøtt, Morten; Rogowska-Wrzesinska, Adelina; Nygaard, Sanne; Roepstorff, Peter; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-01-08

    Leaf-cutting ants combine large-scale herbivory with fungus farming to sustain advanced societies. Their stratified colonies are major evolutionary achievements and serious agricultural pests, but the crucial adaptations that allowed this mutualism to become the prime herbivorous component of neotropical ecosystems has remained elusive. Here we show how coevolutionary adaptation of a specific enzyme in the fungal symbiont has helped leaf-cutting ants overcome plant defensive phenolic compounds. We identify nine putative laccase-coding genes in the fungal genome of Leucocoprinus gongylophorus cultivated by the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. One of these laccases (LgLcc1) is highly expressed in the specialized hyphal tips (gongylidia) that the ants preferentially eat, and we confirm that these ingested laccase molecules pass through the ant guts and remain active when defecated on the leaf pulp that the ants add to their gardens. This accurate deposition ensures that laccase activity is highest where new leaf material enters the fungus garden, but where fungal mycelium is too sparse to produce extracellular enzymes in sufficient quantities to detoxify phenolic compounds. Phylogenetic analysis of LgLcc1 ortholog sequences from symbiotic and free-living fungi revealed significant positive selection in the ancestral lineage that gave rise to the gongylidia-producing symbionts of leaf-cutting ants and their non-leaf-cutting ant sister group. Our results are consistent with fungal preadaptation and subsequent modification of a particular laccase enzyme for the detoxification of secondary plant compounds during the transition to active herbivory in the ancestor of leaf-cutting ants between 8 and 12 Mya.

  11. Plant lock and ant key: pairwise coevolution of an exclusion filter in an ant-plant mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brouat, C; Garcia, N; Andary, C; McKey, D

    2001-10-22

    Although observations suggest pairwise coevolution in specific ant-plant symbioses, coevolutionary processes have rarely been demonstrated. We report on, what is to the authors' knowledge, the strongest evidence yet for reciprocal adaptation of morphological characters in a species-specific ant-plant mutualism. The plant character is the prostoma, which is a small unlignified organ at the apex of the domatia in which symbiotic ants excavate an entrance hole. Each myrmecophyte in the genus Leonardoxa has evolved a prostoma with a different shape. By performing precise measurements on the prostomata of three related myrmecophytes, on their specific associated ants and on the entrance holes excavated by symbiotic ants at the prostomata, we showed that correspondence of the plant and ant traits forms a morphological and behavioural filter. We have strong evidence for coevolution between the dimensions and shape of the symbiotic ants and the prostoma in one of the three ant-Leonardoxa associations.

  12. ORF Alignment: NT_033778 [GENIUS II[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available de-binding protein [Periplaneta americana] ... pir||JQ0708 lipopolysaccharide-binding protein precurs... NT_033778 gi|24762680 >1qddA 8 141 113 253 1e-15 ... dbj|BAA00616.1| lipopolysacchari

  13. Beyond ANT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Till

    2017-01-01

    Actor-Network-Theory (ANT) offers an ‘infra-language’ of the social that allows one to trace social relations very dynamically, while at the same time dissolving human agency, thus providing a flat and de-centred way into sociology. However, ANT struggles with its theoretical design that may lead...... us to reduce agency to causation and to conceptualize actor-networks as homogeneous ontologies of force. This article proposes to regard ANT’s inability to conceptualize reflexivity and the interrelatedness of different ontologies as the fundamental problem of the theory. Drawing on Günther......, it offers an ‘infra-language’ of reflexive relations while maintaining ANT’s de-centred approach. This would enable us to conceptualize actor-networks as non-homogeneous, dynamic and connecting different societal rationales while maintaining the main strengths of ANT....

  14. Reliability of the Nidek NT-1000 non contact tonometer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van de Velde, T; Zeyen, T

    1995-01-01

    In this prospective study, we compared the intraocular pressure (IOP) readings of 100 patients measured with the Goldmann applanation tonometer and the Nidek NT-1000 pneumotonometer. The correlation coefficient between the Goldmann and Nidek readings was 0.86. On the average the pneumotonometer overestimated the intraocular pressure with 0.43 mm Hg. The Nidek NT-1000 non contact tonometer can be used for screening purposes provided an appropriately low IOP value is used to indicate the need for further assessment with the Goldman applanation tonometer.

  15. Dynamics of an ant-plant-pollinator model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Nathaniel Holland, J.

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we consider plant-pollinator-ant systems in which plant-pollinator interaction and plant-ant interaction are both mutualistic, but there also exists interference of pollinators by ants. The plant-pollinator interaction can be described by a Beddington-DeAngelis formula, so we extend the formula to characterize plant-pollinator mutualisms, including the interference by ants, and form a plant-pollinator-ant model. Using dynamical systems theory, we show uniform persistence of the model. Moreover, we demonstrate conditions under which boundary equilibria are globally asymptotically stable. The dynamics exhibit mechanisms by which the three species could coexist when ants interfere with pollinators. We define a threshold in ant interference. When ant interference is strong, it can drive plant-pollinator mutualisms to extinction. Furthermore, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for their persistence, then sufficiently strong ant interference could lead to their own extinction as well. Yet, when ant interference is weak, plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms can promote the persistence of one another.

  16. Using Ants as bioindicators: Multiscale Issues in Ant Community Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Andersen

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecological patterns and processes are characteristically scale dependent, and research findings often cannot be translated easily from one scale to another. Conservation biology is challenged by a lack of congruence between the spatial scales of ecological research (typically involving small plots and land management (typically involving whole landscapes. Here, I discuss spatial scaling issues as they relate to an understanding of ant communities and, consequently, their use as bioindicators in land management. Our perceptions of fundamental patterns and processes in ant communities depend on scale: taxa that are behaviorally dominant at one scale are not necessarily so at others, functional groups recognized at one scale are often inappropriate for others, and the role of competition in community structure depends on the scale of analysis. Patterns of species richness and composition, and the ability of total richness to be estimated by surrogates, are all also scale dependent. Ant community ecology has a tradition of detailed studies in small plots, but the use of ants as bioindicators requires a predictive understanding of community structure and dynamics at a range of spatial scales. Such an appreciation of ant communities and their most effective use as bioindicators is best served by studies integrating results from plot-scale research with the broad-scale paradigms of biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary biology.

  17. Human native lipoprotein-induced de novo DNA methylation is associated with repression of inflammatory genes in THP-1 macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangel-Salazar, Rubén; Wickström-Lindholm, Marie; Aguilar-Salinas, Carlos A; Alvarado-Caudillo, Yolanda; Døssing, Kristina B V; Esteller, Manel; Labourier, Emmanuel; Lund, Gertrud; Nielsen, Finn C; Rodríguez-Ríos, Dalia; Solís-Martínez, Martha O; Wrobel, Katarzyna; Wrobel, Kazimierz; Zaina, Silvio

    2011-11-25

    We previously showed that a VLDL- and LDL-rich mix of human native lipoproteins induces a set of repressive epigenetic marks, i.e. de novo DNA methylation, histone 4 hypoacetylation and histone 4 lysine 20 (H4K20) hypermethylation in THP-1 macrophages. Here, we: 1) ask what gene expression changes accompany these epigenetic responses; 2) test the involvement of candidate factors mediating the latter. We exploited genome expression arrays to identify target genes for lipoprotein-induced silencing, in addition to RNAi and expression studies to test the involvement of candidate mediating factors. The study was conducted in human THP-1 macrophages. Native lipoprotein-induced de novo DNA methylation was associated with a general repression of various critical genes for macrophage function, including pro-inflammatory genes. Lipoproteins showed differential effects on epigenetic marks, as de novo DNA methylation was induced by VLDL and to a lesser extent by LDL, but not by HDL, and VLDL induced H4K20 hypermethylation, while HDL caused H4 deacetylation. The analysis of candidate factors mediating VLDL-induced DNA hypermethylation revealed that this response was: 1) surprisingly, mediated exclusively by the canonical maintenance DNA methyltransferase DNMT1, and 2) independent of the Dicer/micro-RNA pathway. Our work provides novel insights into epigenetic gene regulation by native lipoproteins. Furthermore, we provide an example of DNMT1 acting as a de novo DNA methyltransferase independently of canonical de novo enzymes, and show proof of principle that de novo DNA methylation can occur independently of a functional Dicer/micro-RNA pathway in mammals.

  18. Ecosystem services delivered by weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from the pres......Weaver ants (Oecopgylla spp.) are increasingly being utilized as efficient biocontrol agents in a number of tropical tree crops, as they prey on pest insects and increase yields. However, recent studies and a review of the literature reveal that a number of other services may derive from...... the presence of these ants. First of all, the chemical footprint left by the high density of ants in managed host trees may results in additional benefits. (i) Ant deposits may lead to improved fruit quality, e.g. increased sugar content, (ii) ant deposits may deter important pests (chemical deterrence) from...... crops, and lastly, (iii) ant waste products deposited ias anal spots contain urea that may be taken up by plant leaves and in this way fertilize ant-plants. On top of chemical services, weaver ants have been shown to reduce plant disease incidence via competitive exclusion of other ant species because...

  19. ORF Alignment: NT_033779 [GENIUS II[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available n-like protein CL3 [Periplaneta americana] ... Length = 128 ... Query: 1 ... MVLDNQEDKLLTTTFLKSMGLSFTQSWHH... NT_033779 gi|21357645 >1qddA 26 143 127 254 1e-07 ... dbj|BAA82266.1| Cockroach lecti

  20. Las pruebas intradérmicas de evaluación de competencia celular Estudio comparativo entre antígenos clásicos y otros antígenos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Guzmán

    1982-12-01

    Full Text Available Se presenta un estudio comparativo en la respuesta de hipersensibilidad demorada frente a 4 antígenos universalmente recomendados. Tuberculina (TU. Candidina (CA, Streptokinasa/Streptodornasa (SK/SD y virus de Parotiditis (PA con otros antígenos de uso menos común tal como Antígeno-Respiratorio-Mixto (ARM y lisado de Staphylococcus aureus 80/81 (LS. De igual manera se estudió la respuesta al Dinitroclorobenceno (DNCB. La población probada fue de 49 personas normales con edades entre 18-23 años. Los resultados mostraron que la reactividad para ARM es de 91,8%, para LS 91.8%. para Candidina 75%. para TU (10U 24.4%. pare SK/SD de solo 6.8% y para Parotiditis 6,1%. Los estudios con DNCB permiten aconsejar su uso solo en casos muy especiales. El trabajo presentado sugiere una normalización en la lectura y el uso de 4 antígenos con la más alta frecuencia de positividad dentro del grupo probado así: ARM, LS, CA, y TU.

  1. Detección del antígeno Tn en tumores epiteliales con la lectina de Vicia villosa isolectina B4.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina Limpias

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Antecedentes. Los epítopes T, Tn y sTn, se expresan en un alto porcentaje de tumores epiteliales y pueden detectarse con anticuerpos monoclonales y lectinas. Objetivo. Evaluar diferencias de expresión del antígeno Tn en cortes histológicos de epitelios no neoplásicos y tumores epiteliales mediante isolectina B4 de Vicia villosa. Material y métodos. Se evaluaron semicuantitativamente localización, intensidad y porcentaje de expresión del antígeno en carcinomas in-situ e infiltrantes y epitelios no neoplásicos de cérvix, seno y urotelio, mediante isolectina B4. Resultados La expresión de Tn en cérvix predominó en membrana de células no neoplásicas y citoplasma de células tumorales; su intensidad fue mayor en carcinomas in-situ e infiltrantes comparado con epitelio no neoplásico aunque en este el porcentaje de expresión fue mayor. En seno, la expresión de Tn fue predominantemente citoplasmática con intensidad similar, el porcentaje de expresión fué mayor en carcinomas ductales in-situ e infiltrantes. En urotelio no neoplásico y tumoral la expresión de Tn predominó en citoplasma; la intensidad y el porcentaje de expresión fueron mayores en neoplasias no invasivas de bajo y alto grado, mientras que en urotelio no neoplásico fue baja y no hubo tendencia definida en tumores infiltrantes. Conclusiones. La detección del antígeno Tn mediante la lectina VVB4 mostró una mayor extensión de marcación en carcinomas ductales de seno en relación con el epitelio no neoplásico, pero no mostró una tendencia definida entre el tejido normal, ni diferentes etapas del desarrollo de los tumores de cérvix y urotelio. Estos hallazgos pueden atribuirse a la heterogeneidad de los procesos carcinogénicos o a que la especificidad de la lectina VVB4 no está restringida a este antígeno.

  2. Ant-lepidopteran associations along African forest edges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Azémar, Frédéric; Libert, Michel; Compin, Arthur; Hérault, Bruno; Orivel, Jérôme; Bouyer, Thierry; Corbara, Bruno

    2017-02-01

    Working along forest edges, we aimed to determine how some caterpillars can co-exist with territorially dominant arboreal ants (TDAAs) in tropical Africa. We recorded caterpillars from 22 lepidopteran species living in the presence of five TDAA species. Among the defoliator and/or nectarivorous caterpillars that live on tree foliage, the Pyralidae and Nymphalidae use their silk to protect themselves from ant attacks. The Notodontidae and lycaenid Polyommatinae and Theclinae live in direct contact with ants; the Theclinae even reward ants with abundant secretions from their Newcomer gland. Lichen feeders (lycaenid; Poritiinae), protected by long bristles, also live among ants. Some lycaenid Miletinae caterpillars feed on ant-attended membracids, including in the shelters where the ants attend them; Lachnocnema caterpillars use their forelegs to obtain trophallaxis from their host ants. Caterpillars from other species live inside weaver ant nests. Those of the genus Euliphyra (Miletinae) feed on ant prey and brood and can obtain trophallaxis, while those from an Eberidae species only prey on host ant eggs. Eublemma albifascia (Erebidae) caterpillars use their thoracic legs to obtain trophallaxis and trophic eggs from ants. Through transfer bioassays of last instars, we noted that herbivorous caterpillars living in contact with ants were always accepted by alien conspecific ants; this is likely due to an intrinsic appeasing odor. Yet, caterpillars living in ant shelters or ant nests probably acquire cues from their host colonies because they were considered aliens and killed. We conclude that co-evolution with ants occurred similarly in the Heterocera and Rhopalocera.

  3. Construction of PR39 recombinant AAV under control of the HRE promoter and the effect of recombinant AAV on gene therapy of ischemic heart disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Lijun; Hao, Yuewen; Nie, Xiaowei; Zhang, Xuexin; Yang, Guangxiao; Wang, Quanying

    2012-11-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the PR39 recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) controlled by the hypoxia-responsive element (HRE) on gene therapy of ischemic heart disease. The minimal HRE was artificially synthesized and the AAV vector controlled by HRE was introduced with NT4-TAT-His-PR39 to investigate the expression of AAV-PR39 in hypoxic vascular endothelial cells (VEC) of human umbilical vein (CRL-1730 cell line) and the angiogenesis-promoting effect in pigs with acute myocardial infraction (AMI). The minimal HRE/CMV was designed and artificially synthesized using the PCR method and cloned with the T vector cloning method. The pSS-HRE-CMV-NT4-6His-PR39-PolyA-AAV plasmid was constructed. Using the calcium phosphate precipitation method, HEK-293 cells were co-transfected with three plasmids to produce the recombinant virus. An equal volume of pSS-HRE-CMV-NT4-6His-PR39-PolyAAAV and enterovirus (EV, blank virus) was transfected into CRL-1730 cell lines, respectively. The immunohistochemical method was used to assay the expression of 6xHis in CRL-1730 cell lines and the expression of PR39 under hypoxia. Eighteen AMI miniature pigs were randomized into the experimental group (HRE-AAV-PR39 group), control group 1 (physical saline group) and control group 2 (EV group). The area of ischemia was assessed with conventional MRI and myocardium perfusion MRI. Pigs were sacrificed at preset time-points to obtain samples of ischemic myocardium. Morphological and pathological data were collected. According to data in the literature and databases, the minimal HRE was designed and synthesized with the PCR method. A large number of HREs were connected to modified pSSHGAAV (pSSV9int-/XbaI) vector followed by insertion of the NT4-6His-PR39 gene segment and, thus, the recombinant plasmid pSS-HRE-CMV-NT4-6His-PR39-PolyA-AAV was successfully constructed. The expression of 6xHis in CRL-1730 cells under the regulation of HRE was assayed using the

  4. The association between disease activity and NT-proBNP in 238 patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a 10-year longitudinal study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provan, Sella A; Angel, Kristin; Ødegård, Sigrid; Mowinckel, Petter; Atar, Dan; Kvien, Tore K

    2008-01-01

    Introduction Disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, of which N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is a predictor. Our objective was to examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between markers of inflammation, measures of RA disease activity, medication used in the treatment of RA, and NT-proBNP levels (dependent variable). Methods Two hundred thirty-eight patients with RA of less than 4 years in duration were followed longitudinally with three comprehensive assessments of clinical and radiographic data over a 10-year period. Serum samples were frozen and later batch-analyzed for NT-proBNP levels and other biomarkers. Bivariate, multivariate, and repeated analyses were performed. Results C-reactive protein (CRP) levels at baseline were cross-sectionally associated with NT-proBNP levels after adjustment for age and gender (r2 adjusted = 0.23; P < 0.05). At the 10-year follow-up, risk factors for cardiovascular disease were recorded. Duration of RA and CRP levels were independently associated with NT-proBNP in the final model that was adjusted for gender, age, and creatinine levels (r2 adjusted = 0.38; P < 0.001). In the longitudinal analyses, which adjusted for age, gender, and time of follow-up, we found that repeated measures of CRP predicted NT-proBNP levels (P < 0.001). Conclusion CRP levels are linearly associated with levels of NT-proBNP in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of patients with RA. The independent associations of NT-proBNP levels and markers of disease activity with clinical cardiovascular endpoints need to be further investigated. PMID:18573197

  5. Sincronización de Células de Tabaco (Nicotiana tabacum) NT-1

    OpenAIRE

    Ruiz, León F; Higareda, Ana E; Pardo, Marco A

    2010-01-01

    Se ha evaluado la capacidad sincronizante de afidicolina e hidroxiurea en cultivos de células de tabaco (Nicotiana tabacum) NT-1. Los cultivos sincronizados son poderosas herramientas en estudios moleculares y bioquímicos relacionados al ciclo celular y comúnmente se utilizan químicos para bloquear el ciclo celular. La línea celular de tabaco (Nicotiana tabacum) NT-1 proviene de la línea celular TBY-2, caracterizándose NT-1 por su menor velocidad de crecimiento y tamaño celular heterogéneo. L...

  6. Neurotensin receptor 1 gene (NTSR1 polymorphism is associated with working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent molecular genetics studies showed significant associations between dopamine-related genes (including genes for dopamine receptors, transporters, and degradation and working memory, but little is known about the role of genes for dopamine modulation, such as those related to neurotensin (NT, in working memory. A recent animal study has suggested that NT antagonist administration impaired working memory in a learning task. The current study examined associations between NT genes and working memory among humans. METHODS: Four hundred and sixty healthy undergraduate students were assessed with a 2-back working memory paradigm. 5 SNPs in the NTSR1 gene were genotyped. 5 ANOVA tests were conducted to examine whether and how working memory differed by NTSR1 genotype, with each SNP variant as the independent variable and the average accuracy on the working memory task as the dependent variable. RESULTS: ANOVA results suggested that two SNPs in the NTSR1 gene (rs4334545 and rs6090453 were significantly associated with working memory. These results survived corrections for multiple comparisons. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrated that NTSR1 SNP polymorphisms were significantly associated with variance in working memory performance among healthy adults. This result extended previous rodent studies showing that the NT deficiency impairs the working memory function. Future research should replicate our findings and extend to an examination of other dopamine modulators.

  7. The metapleural gland of ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yek, Sze Huei; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2011-01-01

    The metapleural gland (MG) is a complex glandular structure unique to ants, suggesting a critical role in their origin and ecological success. We synthesize the current understanding of the adaptive function, morphology, evolutionary history, and chemical properties of the MG. Two functions......-compressible invagination of the integument and the secretion is thought to ooze out passively through the non-closable opening of the MG or is groomed off by the legs and applied to target surfaces. MG loss has occurred repeatedly among the ants, particularly in the subfamilies Formicinae and Myrmicinae, and the MG...... is more commonly absent in males than in workers. MG chemistry has been characterized mostly in derived ant lineages with unique biologies (e.g. leafcutter ants, fire ants), currently precluding any inferences about MG chemistry at the origin of the ants. A synthetic approach integrating functional...

  8. UVB-induced gene expression in the skin of Xiphophorus maculatus Jp 163 B☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Kuan; Boswell, Mikki; Walter, Dylan J.; Downs, Kevin P.; Gaston-Pravia, Kimberly; Garcia, Tzintzuni; Shen, Yingjia; Mitchell, David L.; Walter, Ronald B.

    2014-01-01

    Xiphophorus fish and interspecies hybrids represent long-standing models to study the genetics underlying spontaneous and induced tumorigenesis. The recent release of the Xiphophorus maculatus genome sequence will allow global genetic regulation studies of genes involved in the inherited susceptibility to UVB-induced melanoma within select backcross hybrids. As a first step toward this goal, we report results of an RNA-Seq approach to identify genes and pathways showing modulated transcription within the skin of X. maculatus Jp 163 B upon UVB exposure. X. maculatus Jp 163 B were exposed to various doses of UVB followed by RNA-Seq analysis at each dose to investigate overall gene expression in each sample. A total of 357 genes with a minimum expression change of 4-fold (p-adj fish skin to UVB exposure. PMID:24556253

  9. Higher level of NT-proCNP in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with meningitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasiuk, Ryszard; Lipowski, Dariusz; Szlufik, Stanislaw; Peplinska, Krystyna; Mikaszewska-Sokolewicz, Malgorzata

    2016-02-12

    Aminoterminal pro-C type natriuretic peptide (NT-proCNP) as an active form of CNP, has been recently proven to be a potential marker of sepsis and to be linked to inflammatory diseases. So far, there are no studies describing the level of NT-proCNP in meningitis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of NT-proCNP in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in patients with meningitis and to compare it with the serum level of CRP and procalcitonin (PCT) in this group of patients. The results were compared to serum levels of CRP, PCT and CSF levels of cytosis, protein and lactate. NT-proCNP levels were statistically significant between the control group and the meningitis groups (p=0.02; R=0.3). We also noted a correlation between the level of NT-proCNP in the CSF of all of the study groups (controls and meningitis patients) and the CSF levels of cytosis (p0.05; R=0.11). These results suggest that NT-proCNP could be a potential marker of meningitis, but it cannot be used to distinguish between the types of meningitis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Restoration of u.v.-induced excision repair in Xeroderma D cells transfected with the denV gene of bacteriophage T4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arrand, J.E.; Squires, S.; Bone, N.M.; Johnson, R.T.

    1987-01-01

    The heritable DNA repair defect in human Xeroderma D cells, resulting in failure to incise at u.v. light-induced pyrimidine dimers, has been partially but stably corrected by transfection of immortalised cells with the denV pyrimidine dimer glycosylase gene of bacteriophage T4. Transfectants selected either for a dominant marker on the mammalian vector carrying the prokaryotic gene or for dominant marker plus resistance to killing by u.v. light, were shown to express the denV gene to varying degrees. denV expression results in significant phenotypic change in the initially repair-deficient, u.v.-hypersensitive cells. Increased resistance to u.v. light and more rapid recovery of replicative DNA synthesis following u.v. irradiation were correlated with improved repair DNA synthesis and with a novel dimer incision capability present in denV transfected Xeroderma cells but not as evident in transfected normal cells. Most transfectants contain a single integrated copy of the denV gene; increase in denV copy number does not result in either increased gene expression or enhanced survival to u.v. light. Results show that expression of a heterologous prokaryotic repair gene can partially compensate for the genetic defect in a human Xeroderma D cell. (author)

  11. Relative effects of temperature, light, and humidity on clinging behavior of metacercariae-infected ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Botnevik, C.F.; Malagocka, Joanna; Jensen, Annette Bruun

    2016-01-01

    The lancet fluke, Dicrocoelium dendriticum, is perhaps the best-known example of parasite manipulation of host behavior, which is manifested by a radically changed behavior that leaves infected ants attached to vegetation at times when transmission to an herbivore host is optimal. Despite...... the publicity surrounding this parasite, curiously little is known about factors inducing and maintaining behavioral changes in its ant intermediate host. This study examined the importance of 3 environmental factors on the clinging behavior of red wood ants, Formica polyctena , infected with D. dendriticum...... . This behavior, hypothesized to involve cramping of the mandibular muscles in a state of tetany, was observed in naturally infected F. polyctena under controlled temperature, light, and humidity conditions. We found that low temperature significantly stimulated and maintained tetany in infected ants while light...

  12. DNA methylation changes in genes frequently mutated in sporadic colorectal cancer and in the DNA repair and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway genes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Farkas, S. A.; Vymetálková, Veronika; Vodičková, Ludmila; Vodička, Pavel; Torbjörn, K. N.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 2 (2014), s. 179-191 ISSN 1750-1911 R&D Projects: GA ČR GPP304/11/P715; GA ČR(CZ) GAP304/12/1585; GA MZd NT14329 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : CpG * DNA repair genes * sporadic colorectal cancer Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.649, year: 2014

  13. Identification of novel light-induced genes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piontkivska Helen

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transmission of information about the photic environment to the circadian clock involves a complex array of neurotransmitters, receptors, and second messenger systems. Exposure of an animal to light during the subjective night initiates rapid transcription of a number of immediate-early genes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. Some of these genes have known roles in entraining the circadian clock, while others have unknown functions. Using laser capture microscopy, microarray analysis, and quantitative real-time PCR, we performed a comprehensive screen for changes in gene expression immediately following a 30 minute light pulse in suprachiasmatic nucleus of mice. Results The results of the microarray screen successfully identified previously known light-induced genes as well as several novel genes that may be important in the circadian clock. Newly identified light-induced genes include early growth response 2, proviral integration site 3, growth-arrest and DNA-damage-inducible 45 beta, and TCDD-inducible poly(ADP-ribose polymerase. Comparative analysis of promoter sequences revealed the presence of evolutionarily conserved CRE and associated TATA box elements in most of the light-induced genes, while other core clock genes generally lack this combination of promoter elements. Conclusion The photic signalling cascade in the suprachiasmatic nucleus activates an array of immediate-early genes, most of which have unknown functions in the circadian clock. Detected evolutionary conservation of CRE and TATA box elements in promoters of light-induced genes suggest that the functional role of these elements has likely remained the same over evolutionary time across mammalian orders.

  14. Myrmica Ants and Their Butterfly Parasites with Special Focus on the Acoustic Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Barbero

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available About 10,000 arthropod species live as ants' social parasites and have evolved a number of mechanisms allowing them to penetrate and survive inside the ant nests. Myrmica colonies, in particular, are exploited by numerous social parasites, and the presence of their overwintering brood, as well as of their polygyny, contributes to make them more vulnerable to infestation. Butterflies of the genus Maculinea are among the most investigated Myrmica inquilines. These lycaenids are known for their very complex biological cycles. Maculinea species are obligated parasites that depend on a particular food plant and on a specific Myrmica species for their survival. Maculinea larvae are adopted by Myrmica ants, which are induced to take them into their nests by chemical mimicry. Then the parasite spends the following 11–23 months inside the ants' nest. Mimicking the acoustic emission of the queen ants, Maculinea parasites not only manage to become integrated, but attain highest rank within the colony. Here we review the biology of Maculinea/Myrmica system with a special focus on some recent breakthrough concerning their acoustical patterns.

  15. Deep sequencing uncovers commonality in small RNA profiles between transgene-induced and naturally occurring RNA silencing of chalcone synthase-A gene in petunia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasai, Megumi; Matsumura, Hideo; Yoshida, Kentaro; Terauchi, Ryohei; Taneda, Akito; Kanazawa, Akira

    2013-01-30

    Introduction of a transgene that transcribes RNA homologous to an endogenous gene in the plant genome can induce silencing of both genes, a phenomenon termed cosuppression. Cosuppression was first discovered in transgenic petunia plants transformed with the CHS-A gene encoding chalcone synthase, in which nonpigmented sectors in flowers or completely white flowers are produced. Some of the flower-color patterns observed in transgenic petunias having CHS-A cosuppression resemble those in existing nontransgenic varieties. Although the mechanism by which white sectors are generated in nontransgenic petunia is known to be due to RNA silencing of the CHS-A gene as in cosuppression, whether the same trigger(s) and/or pattern of RNA degradation are involved in these phenomena has not been known. Here, we addressed this question using deep-sequencing and bioinformatic analyses of small RNAs. We analyzed short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) produced in nonpigmented sectors of petal tissues in transgenic petunia plants that have CHS-A cosuppression and a nontransgenic petunia variety Red Star, that has naturally occurring CHS-A RNA silencing. In both silencing systems, 21-nt and 22-nt siRNAs were the most and the second-most abundant size classes, respectively. CHS-A siRNA production was confined to exon 2, indicating that RNA degradation through the RNA silencing pathway occurred in this exon. Common siRNAs were detected in cosuppression and naturally occurring RNA silencing, and their ranks based on the number of siRNAs in these plants were correlated with each other. Noticeably, highly abundant siRNAs were common in these systems. Phased siRNAs were detected in multiple phases at multiple sites, and some of the ends of the regions that produced phased siRNAs were conserved. The features of siRNA production found to be common to cosuppression and naturally occurring silencing of the CHS-A gene indicate mechanistic similarities between these silencing systems especially in the

  16. Induced remanent magnetization of social insects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wajnberg, E.; Cernicchiaro, G.; Acosta-Avalos, D.; El-Jaick, L.J.; Esquivel, D.M.S. E-mail: darci@cbpf.br

    2001-05-01

    The induced remanent magnetization (IRM) of honeybees Apis mellifera and ants as Pachycondyla marginata, a migratory species, and Solenopsis sp., a fire ant, was obtained using a SQUID magnetometer from 10 to 300 K. An anomalous sharp change of the remanent magnetization is observed at 67{+-}0.2 K for migratory ants. The IRM at room temperature indicates the presence of at least 10 times lower concentration of magnetic material in the whole fire ant as compared to the migratory ant abdomen (0.22{+-}0.33x10{sup -6} emu/ant, and 2.8{+-}1.2x10{sup -6} emu/abdomen, respectively). Our results in honeybee abdomen (4.6{+-}0.9x10{sup -6} emu/abdomen) agree with other reported values. IRM at room temperature in ants and honeybees indicates the presence of single domain (SD) or aggregates of magnetite nanoparticles. The loss of remanence from 77 to 300 K can be related to the stable-superparamagnetic (SPM) transition of small particles (less than ca. 30 nm). From these values and considering their estimated volumes an upper limit 10{sup 10} SPM and 10{sup 9} SD or aggregate particles are obtained in these insects.

  17. Induced remanent magnetization of social insects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wajnberg, E.; Cernicchiaro, G.; Acosta-Avalos, D.; El-Jaick, L.J.; Esquivel, D.M.S.

    2001-01-01

    The induced remanent magnetization (IRM) of honeybees Apis mellifera and ants as Pachycondyla marginata, a migratory species, and Solenopsis sp., a fire ant, was obtained using a SQUID magnetometer from 10 to 300 K. An anomalous sharp change of the remanent magnetization is observed at 67±0.2 K for migratory ants. The IRM at room temperature indicates the presence of at least 10 times lower concentration of magnetic material in the whole fire ant as compared to the migratory ant abdomen (0.22±0.33x10 -6 emu/ant, and 2.8±1.2x10 -6 emu/abdomen, respectively). Our results in honeybee abdomen (4.6±0.9x10 -6 emu/abdomen) agree with other reported values. IRM at room temperature in ants and honeybees indicates the presence of single domain (SD) or aggregates of magnetite nanoparticles. The loss of remanence from 77 to 300 K can be related to the stable-superparamagnetic (SPM) transition of small particles (less than ca. 30 nm). From these values and considering their estimated volumes an upper limit 10 10 SPM and 10 9 SD or aggregate particles are obtained in these insects

  18. The dynamics of plant cell-wall polysaccharide decomposition in leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel E Moller

    Full Text Available The degradation of live plant biomass in fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants is poorly characterised but fundamental for understanding the mutual advantages and efficiency of this obligate nutritional symbiosis. Controversies about the extent to which the garden-symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus degrades cellulose have hampered our understanding of the selection forces that induced large scale herbivory and of the ensuing ecological footprint of these ants. Here we use a recently established technique, based on polysaccharide microarrays probed with antibodies and carbohydrate binding modules, to map the occurrence of cell wall polymers in consecutive sections of the fungus garden of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior. We show that pectin, xyloglucan and some xylan epitopes are degraded, whereas more highly substituted xylan and cellulose epitopes remain as residuals in the waste material that the ants remove from their fungus garden. These results demonstrate that biomass entering leaf-cutting ant fungus gardens is only partially utilized and explain why disproportionally large amounts of plant material are needed to sustain colony growth. They also explain why substantial communities of microbial and invertebrate symbionts have evolved associations with the dump material from leaf-cutting ant nests, to exploit decomposition niches that the ant garden-fungus does not utilize. Our approach thus provides detailed insight into the nutritional benefits and shortcomings associated with fungus-farming in ants.

  19. Induced overexpression of protein kinase D1 stimulates mitogenic signaling in human pancreatic carcinoma PANC-1 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisfalvi, Krisztina; Hurd, Cliff; Guha, Sushovan; Rozengurt, Enrique

    2010-05-01

    Neurotensin (NT) stimulates protein kinase D1 (PKD1), extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK), and DNA synthesis in the human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line PANC-1. To determine the effect of PKD1 overexpression on these biological responses, we generated inducible stable PANC-1 clones that express wild-type (WT) or kinase-dead (K618N) forms of PKD1 in response to the ecdysone analog ponasterone-A (PonA). NT potently stimulated c-Jun Ser(63) phosphorylation in both wild type and clonal derivatives of PANC-1 cells. PonA-induced expression of WT, but not K618N PKD1, rapidly blocked NT-mediated c-Jun Ser(63) phosphorylation either at the level of or upstream of MKK4, a dual-specificity kinase that leads to JNK activation. This is the first demonstration that PKD1 suppresses NT-induced JNK/cJun activation in PANC-1 cells. In contrast, PKD1 overexpression markedly increased the duration of NT-induced ERK activation in these cells. The reciprocal influence of PKD1 signaling on pro-mitogenicERK and pro-apopotic JNK/c-Jun pathways prompted us to examine whether PKD1 overexpression promotes DNA synthesis and proliferation of PANC-1 cells. Our results show that PKD1 overexpression increased DNA synthesis and cell numbers of PANC-1 cells cultured in regular dishes or in polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate [Poly-(HEMA)]-coated dishes to eliminate cell adhesion (anchorage-independent growth). Furthermore, PKD1 overexpression markedly enhanced DNA synthesis induced by NT (1-10 nM). These results indicate that PKD1 mediates mitogenic signaling in PANC-1 and suggests that this enzyme could be a novel target for the development of therapeutic drugs that restrict the proliferation of these cells.

  20. Glycoprotein gene truncation in avian metapneumovirus subtype C isolates from the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velayudhan, Binu T; Yu, Qingzhong; Estevez, Carlos N; Nagaraja, Kakambi V; Halvorson, David A

    2008-10-01

    The length of the published glycoprotein (G) gene sequences of avian metapneumovirus subtype-C (aMPV-C) isolated from domestic turkeys and wild birds in the United States (1996-2003) remains controversial. To explore the G gene size variation in aMPV-C by the year of isolation and cell culture passage levels, we examined 21 turkey isolates of aMPV-C at different cell culture passages. The early domestic turkey isolates of aMPV-C (aMPV/CO/1996, aMPV/MN/1a-b, and 2a-b/97) had a G gene of 1,798 nucleotides (nt) that coded for a predicted protein of 585 amino acids (aa) and showed >97% nt similarity with that of aMPV-C isolated from Canada geese. This large G gene got truncated upon serial passages in Vero cell cultures by deletion of 1,015 nt near the end of the open reading frame. The recent domestic turkey isolates of aMPV-C lacked the large G gene but instead had a small G gene of 783 nt, irrespective of cell culture passage levels. In some cultures, both large and small genes were detected, indicating the existence of a mixed population of the virus. Apparently, serial passage of aMPV-C in cell cultures and natural passage in turkeys in the field led to truncation of the G gene, which may be a mechanism of virus evolution for survival in a new host or environment.

  1. Foliar uptake of nitrogen from ant fecal droplets: an overlooked service to ant plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinkalski, Christian Alexander Stidsen; Jensen, Karl-Martin Vagn; Damgaard, Christian Frølund

    2018-01-01

    and subsequently deposited fecal droplets on the seedlings, coffee leaves showed increased levels of 15N and total N compared to control plants without ants. This was evident for both exposed leaves and leaves covered in plastic bags (i.e. not directly exposed to ants). Thus, N from ant excretions was absorbed...

  2. Chronic intermittent hypoxia exerts CNS region-specific effects on rat microglial inflammatory and TLR4 gene expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie M C Smith

    Full Text Available Intermittent hypoxia (IH during sleep is a hallmark of sleep apnea, causing significant neuronal apoptosis, and cognitive and behavioral deficits in CNS regions underlying memory processing and executive functions. IH-induced neuroinflammation is thought to contribute to cognitive deficits after IH. In the present studies, we tested the hypothesis that IH would differentially induce inflammatory factor gene expression in microglia in a CNS region-dependent manner, and that the effects of IH would differ temporally. To test this hypothesis, adult rats were exposed to intermittent hypoxia (2 min intervals of 10.5% O2 for 8 hours/day during their respective sleep cycles for 1, 3 or 14 days. Cortex, medulla and spinal cord tissues were dissected, microglia were immunomagnetically isolated and mRNA levels of the inflammatory genes iNOS, COX-2, TNFα, IL-1β and IL-6 and the innate immune receptor TLR4 were compared to levels in normoxia. Inflammatory gene expression was also assessed in tissue homogenates (containing all CNS cells. We found that microglia from different CNS regions responded to IH differently. Cortical microglia had longer lasting inflammatory gene expression whereas spinal microglial gene expression was rapid and transient. We also observed that inflammatory gene expression in microglia frequently differed from that in tissue homogenates from the same region, indicating that cells other than microglia also contribute to IH-induced neuroinflammation. Lastly, microglial TLR4 mRNA levels were strongly upregulated by IH in a region- and time-dependent manner, and the increase in TLR4 expression appeared to coincide with timing of peak inflammatory gene expression, suggesting that TLR4 may play a role in IH-induced neuroinflammation. Together, these data indicate that microglial-specific neuroinflammation may play distinct roles in the effects of intermittent hypoxia in different CNS regions.

  3. NT-proBNP on Cobas h 232 in point-of-care testing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gils, Charlotte; Ramanathan, R.; Breindahl, T.

    2015-01-01

    Background. NT-proBNP may be useful for ruling out heart failure in primary health care. In this study we examined the analytical quality of NT-proBNP in primary health care on the Cobas h 232 point-of-care instrument compared with measurements performed in a hospital laboratory. Materials...... and methods. Blood samples requested for NT-proBNP were collected in primary health care (n = 95) and in a hospital laboratory (n = 107). NT-proBNP was measured on-site on Cobas h 232 instruments both in primary health care centres and at the hospital laboratory and all samples were also analyzed...... with a comparison method at the hospital. Precision, trueness, accuracy, and lot-variation were determined at different concentration levels and evaluated according to acceptance criteria. Furthermore user-friendliness was assessed by questionnaires. Results. For Cobas h 232 repeatability CV was 8...

  4. ORF Alignment: NT_033777 [GENIUS II[Archive

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available NT_033777 gi|24648160 >1mc2A 1 134 1 122 2e-29 ... gb|AAB20876.1| ammodytin L=myotoxi...c phospholipase A2 homologue [Vipera ... ammodytes=European viper, Peptide, 123 aa] ... Length

  5. The genome of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior suggests key adaptations to advanced social life and fungus farming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Sanne; Zhang, Guojie; Schiøtt, Morten

    2011-01-01

    ant-derived contribution to the fecal fluid, which otherwise consists of "garden manuring" fungal enzymes that are unaffected by ant digestion. The second is multiple mating of queens and ejaculate competition, which may be associated with a greatly expanded nardilysin-like peptidase gene family...

  6. Attention impairments and ADHD symptoms in adult narcoleptic patients with and without hypocretin deficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filardi, Marco; Pizza, Fabio; Tonetti, Lorenzo; Antelmi, Elena; Natale, Vincenzo; Plazzi, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    Attentional complaints are common in narcolepsy patients and can overlap with daytime sleepiness features. Few studies attempted to characterize attentional domains in narcolepsy leading to controversial results. We aimed to assess the impact of hypocretin deficiency on attentional functioning by comparing performances on the attention network test (ANT) of narcoleptic patients with hypocretin deficiency (narcolepsy type 1-NT1) versus patients without hypocretin deficiency (narcolepsy type 2-NT2) and healthy controls. We also addressed frequency and severity of psychopathological symptoms and their influence on performances on ANT. Twenty-one NT1 patients, fifteen NT2 patients and twenty-two healthy controls underwent the ANT, which allows assessing three separate attentional processes (alerting, orienting and executive control), and a psychometric assessment including questionnaires on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression symptoms. NT1 and NT2 patients presented with slower reaction times compared to controls. NT1 patients exhibited an impairment of alerting network relative to NT2 and healthy controls, while orienting and executive control networks efficiency were comparable between groups. NT1 and NT2 displayed higher severity of ADHD inattentive domain than controls, NT1 patients also displayed higher severity of ADHD hyperactive domain and depressive symptoms. In NT1, ADHD and depressive symptoms were positively correlated. Despite a shared slowing of reaction times in both NT1 and NT2, a selective impairment of alerting network was present only in hypocretin deficient patients. Clinicians should carefully consider attentional deficits and psychopathological symptoms, including ADHD symptoms, in the clinical assessment and management of patients with narcolepsy.

  7. Attention impairments and ADHD symptoms in adult narcoleptic patients with and without hypocretin deficiency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Filardi

    Full Text Available Attentional complaints are common in narcolepsy patients and can overlap with daytime sleepiness features. Few studies attempted to characterize attentional domains in narcolepsy leading to controversial results. We aimed to assess the impact of hypocretin deficiency on attentional functioning by comparing performances on the attention network test (ANT of narcoleptic patients with hypocretin deficiency (narcolepsy type 1-NT1 versus patients without hypocretin deficiency (narcolepsy type 2-NT2 and healthy controls. We also addressed frequency and severity of psychopathological symptoms and their influence on performances on ANT.Twenty-one NT1 patients, fifteen NT2 patients and twenty-two healthy controls underwent the ANT, which allows assessing three separate attentional processes (alerting, orienting and executive control, and a psychometric assessment including questionnaires on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression symptoms.NT1 and NT2 patients presented with slower reaction times compared to controls. NT1 patients exhibited an impairment of alerting network relative to NT2 and healthy controls, while orienting and executive control networks efficiency were comparable between groups. NT1 and NT2 displayed higher severity of ADHD inattentive domain than controls, NT1 patients also displayed higher severity of ADHD hyperactive domain and depressive symptoms. In NT1, ADHD and depressive symptoms were positively correlated.Despite a shared slowing of reaction times in both NT1 and NT2, a selective impairment of alerting network was present only in hypocretin deficient patients. Clinicians should carefully consider attentional deficits and psychopathological symptoms, including ADHD symptoms, in the clinical assessment and management of patients with narcolepsy.

  8. Novel fungal disease in complex leaf-cutting ant societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hughes, David Peter; Evans, Harry C.; Hywel-Jones, Nigel

    2009-01-01

    1. The leaf-cutting ants practise an advanced system of mycophagy where they grow a fungus as a food source. As a consequence of parasite threats to their crops, they have evolved a system of morphological, behavioural, and chemical defences, particularly against fungal pathogens (mycopathogens). 2....... Specific fungal diseases of the leaf-cutting ants themselves have not been described, possibly because broad spectrum anti-fungal defences against mycopathogens have reduced their susceptibility to entomopathogens. 3. Using morphological and molecular tools, the present study documents three rare infection...... events of Acromyrmex and Atta leaf-cutting ants by Ophiocordyceps fungi, agenus of entomopathogens that is normally highly specific in its host choice. 4. As leaf-cutting ants have been intensively studied, the absence of prior records of Ophiocordyceps suggests that these infections may be a novel event...

  9. Npas4 regulates excitatory-inhibitory balance within neural circuits through cell-type-specific gene programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Ivo; Mardinly, Alan R; Gabel, Harrison W; Bazinet, Jeremy E; Couch, Cameron H; Tzeng, Christopher P; Harmin, David A; Greenberg, Michael E

    2014-05-22

    The nervous system adapts to experience by inducing a transcriptional program that controls important aspects of synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity are well characterized in excitatory neurons, the mechanisms that regulate this process in inhibitory neurons are only poorly understood. Here, we describe a transcriptional program that is induced by neuronal activity in inhibitory neurons. We find that, while neuronal activity induces expression of early-response transcription factors such as Npas4 in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons, Npas4 activates distinct programs of late-response genes in inhibitory and excitatory neurons. These late-response genes differentially regulate synaptic input to these two types of neurons, promoting inhibition onto excitatory neurons while inducing excitation onto inhibitory neurons. These findings suggest that the functional outcomes of activity-induced transcriptional responses are adapted in a cell-type-specific manner to achieve a circuit-wide homeostatic response. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. X-ray diffraction studies on merohedrally twinned Δ1–62NtNBCe1-A crystals of the sodium/bicarbonate cotransporter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gill, Harindarpal S.; Dutcher, Lauren; Boron, Walter F.; Patel, Samir; Guay-Woodford, Lisa M.

    2013-01-01

    A truncated mutant missing the first 62 residues of the N-terminal, cytoplasmic domain of the sodium-bicarbonate NBCe1-A cotransporter crystallizes in space group P3 1 with pseudo-P3 1 21 symmetry and a hemihedral twin fraction of 33.0%. Twinned fractions and twin-pair statistics over binned resolutions confirm that the calculated twin fraction is associated with hemihedral twinning and not to non-crystallographic symmetry. NBCe1-A membrane-embedded macromolecules that cotransport sodium and bicarbonate ions across the bilayer serve to maintain acid–base homeostasis throughout the body. Defects result in a number of renal and eye disorders, including type-II renal tubular acidosis and cataracts. Here, crystals of a human truncated mutant of the cytoplasmic N-terminal domain of NBCe1 (Δ1–62NtNBCe1-A) are reported that diffract X-rays to 2.4 Å resolution. The crystal symmetry of Δ1–62NtNBCe1-A is of space group P3 1 with pseudo-P3 1 21 symmetry and it has a hemihedral twin fraction of 33.0%. The crystals may provide insight into the pathogenic processes observed in a subset of patients with truncating and point mutations in the gene encoding NBCe1

  11. Ant-caterpillar antagonism at the community level: interhabitat variation of tritrophic interactions in a neotropical savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendoya, Sebastián F; Oliveira, Paulo S

    2015-03-01

    host plant use by lepidopterans. The magnitude of ant-induced effects on caterpillar occurrence across the cerrado landscape may depend on how ants use plants locally and how they respond to liquid food on plants at different habitats. This study enhances the relevance of plant-ant and ant-herbivore interactions in cerrado and highlights the importance of a tritrophic perspective in this ant-rich environment. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  12. Human native lipoprotein-induced de novo DNA methylation is associated with repression of inflammatory genes in THP-1 macrophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rangel-Salazar Rubén

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We previously showed that a VLDL- and LDL-rich mix of human native lipoproteins induces a set of repressive epigenetic marks, i.e. de novo DNA methylation, histone 4 hypoacetylation and histone 4 lysine 20 (H4K20 hypermethylation in THP-1 macrophages. Here, we: 1 ask what gene expression changes accompany these epigenetic responses; 2 test the involvement of candidate factors mediating the latter. We exploited genome expression arrays to identify target genes for lipoprotein-induced silencing, in addition to RNAi and expression studies to test the involvement of candidate mediating factors. The study was conducted in human THP-1 macrophages. Results Native lipoprotein-induced de novo DNA methylation was associated with a general repression of various critical genes for macrophage function, including pro-inflammatory genes. Lipoproteins showed differential effects on epigenetic marks, as de novo DNA methylation was induced by VLDL and to a lesser extent by LDL, but not by HDL, and VLDL induced H4K20 hypermethylation, while HDL caused H4 deacetylation. The analysis of candidate factors mediating VLDL-induced DNA hypermethylation revealed that this response was: 1 surprisingly, mediated exclusively by the canonical maintenance DNA methyltransferase DNMT1, and 2 independent of the Dicer/micro-RNA pathway. Conclusions Our work provides novel insights into epigenetic gene regulation by native lipoproteins. Furthermore, we provide an example of DNMT1 acting as a de novo DNA methyltransferase independently of canonical de novo enzymes, and show proof of principle that de novo DNA methylation can occur independently of a functional Dicer/micro-RNA pathway in mammals.

  13. Sex allocation in fungus-growing ants: worker or queen control without symbiont-induced female bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dijkstra, Michiel B.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan

    2008-01-01

    The fungal cultivars of fungus-growing ants are vertically transmitted by queens but not males. Selection would therefore favor cultivars that bias the ants' sex ratio towards gynes, beyond the gyne bias that is optimal for workers and queens. We measured sex allocation in 190 colonies of six...... sympatric fungus-growing ant species. As predicted from relatedness, female bias was greater in four singly mated Sericomyrmex and Trachymyrmex species than in two multiply mated Acromyrmex species. Colonies tended to raise mainly a single sex, which could be partly explained by variation in queen number......, colony fecundity, and fungal garden volume for Acromyrmex and Sericomyrmex, but not for Trachymyrmex. Year of collection, worker number and mating frequency of Acromyrmex queens did not affect the colony sex ratios. We used a novel sensitivity analysis to compare the population sex allocation ratios...

  14. Voluntary Ethanol Consumption Induced by Social Isolation Reverses the Increase of α4/δ GABAA Receptor Gene Expression and Function in the Hippocampus of C57BL/6J Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanna, Enrico; Talani, Giuseppe; Obili, Nicola; Mascia, Maria Paola; Mostallino, Maria Cristina; Secci, Pietro Paolo; Pisu, Maria Giuseppina; Biggio, Francesca; Utzeri, Cinzia; Olla, Pierluigi; Biggio, Giovanni; Follesa, Paolo

    2011-01-01

    Post-weaning social isolation (SI) is a model of prolonged mild stress characterized by behavioral and neurochemical alterations. We used SI in C57BL/6J mice to investigate the effects of ethanol (EtOH) in the free-choice drinking paradigm on gene expression and function of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs) and the role of neuroactive steroids in the actions of EtOH in the hippocampus. SI stress induced a marked reduction in hippocampal 3α-hydroxy-5α-pregnan-20-one (3α,5α-TH PROG) and was associated with molecular and functional changes of the GABAAR. The gene expression of the α4 and δ subunits was increased in the hippocampus of SI C57BL/6J mice; the expression of the γ2 subunit was decreased whereas that of the α1 did not change. Patch-clamp recordings in dentate gyrus (DG) granule cells obtained from SI C57BL/6J mice revealed a greater enhancement of tonic currents induced by α-(4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo[5,4-c] pyridin-3-ol (THIP) compared to that in control C57BL/6J mice. These neurochemical, molecular and functional changes observed in SI C57BL/6J mice were associated with an increased EtOH intake and EtOH preference. Nevertheless, the increase in EtOH consumption did not restore the reduction in hippocampal 3α,5α-TH PROG induced by SI. EtOH self-administration blocked the changes in gene expression of the α4 subunit but not those of the δ and γ2 subunits induced by SI. In addition, EtOH self-administration did not block the SI-induced changes in GABAAR-mediated tonic inhibition in hippocampal granule cells but increased the frequency of basal GABAergic sIPSCs in DG granule cells. We conclude that self-administration of EtOH selectively abolishes the increase of α4 subunit but not other neurochemical, molecular, and functional modifications induced by SI prolonged mild stress. PMID:21347217

  15. ACTIVATION OF GENES CONTROLLING THE IMMUNE SIGNALING PATHWAYS: DIFFERENTIAL INDIVIDUAL SENSITIVITY OF HUMAN BLOOD CELLS FOR INTERFERON PREPARATIONS AND IFN INDUCERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. Sokolova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We have studied dose effects of several Interferon (IFN inducers, i.e., Genfaxon (beta-1 IFN, Cycloferon and Immunomax upon expression of six genes controlling the signaling in immune pathways (TLR3, TLR4, RIG1, IRF3, IPS, B2M, by means of real-time RT-PCR, being tested with blood cells from three humans. It is revealed that individual cell samples showed different sensitivity to these drugs, probably, due to constitutive levels of TLR3 and TLR4 gene expression and possible connections with their immune pathology. Genfaxon at a dose of 104 ME produced potent stimulation of TLR3, TLR4, IRF3 and B2M genes in two persons. Immunomax, at a dose 0,5 unit, exhibited same effect in one case only (with Epstein-Barr virus infection. Cycloferon stimulated gene expression at much lower levels than Genfaxon in any cases. We have shown a reverse correlation between sensitivity of the cells to Immunomax, and constitutive TLR3 and TLR4 expression. The stimulatory effects of Immunomax were maximal in a person with very low TLR3/4 gene expression. Immunomax boosted the genes from several signaling pathways, including TLR3, TLR4, but genes of RIG/IPS pathway showed higher activation. Cycloferon induced gene transcription of IRF3 and B2M-receptor to higher degree, than expression of TLR3 and TLR4 genes. Hence, our data concerning Genfaxon, Immunomax and Cycloferon confirm their IFN-inducing effects upon human blood cells. The RT-PCR-based evaluation of gene expression related to signaling immune pathways in blood cell populations will enable rapid and highly specific quantitation of IFN and IFN-inducer drugs activities, thus avoiding their biological testing in long-term cell cultures. 

  16. Salinity stress induces the production of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones and regulates novel classes of responsive genes involved in signal transduction in Aquilaria sinensis calli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohui; Gao, Bowen; Liu, Xiao; Dong, Xianjuan; Zhang, Zhongxiu; Fan, Huiyan; Zhang, Le; Wang, Juan; Shi, Shepo; Tu, Pengfei

    2016-05-26

    Agarwood, is a resinous portion derived from Aquilaria sinensis, has been widely used in traditional medicine and incense. 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones are principal components responsible for the quality of agarwood. However, the molecular basis of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones biosynthesis and regulation remains almost unknown. Our research indicated that salt stress induced production of several of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones in A. sinensis calli. Transcriptome analysis of A. sinensis calli treated with NaCl is required to further facilitate the multiple signal pathways in response to salt stress and to understand the mechanism of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones biosynthesis. Forty one 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones were identified from NaCl-treated A. sinensis calli. 93 041 unigenes with an average length of 1562 nt were generated from the control and salt-treated calli by Illmunina sequencing after assembly, and the unigenes were annotated by comparing with the public databases including NR, Swiss-Prot, KEGG, COG, and GO database. In total, 18 069 differentially expressed transcripts were identified by the transcriptome comparisons on the control calli and calli induced by 24 h or 120 h salinity stress. Numerous genes involved in signal transduction pathways including the genes responsible for hormone signal transduction, receptor-like kinases, MAPK cascades, Ca(2+) signal transduction, and transcription factors showed clear differences between the control calli and NaCl-treated calli. Furthermore, our data suggested that the genes annotated as chalcone synthases and O-methyltransferases may contribute to the biosynthesis of 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones. Salinity stress could induce the production of 41 2-(2-phenylethyl)chromones in A. sinensis calli. We conducted the first deep-sequencing transcriptome profiling of A. sinensis under salt stress and observed a large number of differentially expressed genes in response to salinity stress. Moreover, salt stress induced

  17. Translational control is a major contributor to hypoxia induced gene expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beucken, Twan van den; Magagnin, Michael G.; Jutten, Barry; Seigneuric, Renaud; Lambin, Philippe; Koritzinsky, Marianne; Wouters, Bradly G.

    2011-01-01

    Background and purpose: Hypoxia is a common feature of solid tumors that is associated with an aggressive phenotype, resistance to therapy and poor prognosis. Major contributors to these adverse effects are the transcriptional program activated by the HIF family of transcription factors as well as the translational response mediated by PERK-dependent phosphorylation of eIF2α and inhibition of mTORC1 activity. In this study we determined the relative contribution of both transcriptional and translational responses to changes in hypoxia induced gene expression. Material and methods: Total and efficiently translated (polysomal) mRNA was isolated from DU145 prostate carcinoma cells that were exposed for up to 24 h of hypoxia ( 2 ). Changes in transcription and translation were assessed using affymetrix microarray technology. Results: Our data reveal an unexpectedly large contribution of translation control on both induced and repressed gene expression at all hypoxic time points, particularly during acute hypoxia (2-4 h). Gene ontology analysis revealed that gene classes like transcription and signal transduction are stimulated by translational control whereas expression of genes involved in cell growth and protein metabolism are repressed during hypoxic conditions by translational control. Conclusions: Our data indicate that translation influences gene expression during hypoxia on a scale comparable to that of transcription.

  18. Serpentine soils affect heavy metal tolerance but not genetic diversity in a common Mediterranean ant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frizzi, Filippo; Masoni, Alberto; Çelikkol, Mine; Palchetti, Enrico; Ciofi, Claudio; Chelazzi, Guido; Santini, Giacomo

    2017-08-01

    Natural habitats with serpentine soils are rich in heavy metal ions, which may significantly affect ecological communities. Exposure to metal pollutants results, for instance, in a reduction of population genetic diversity and a diffused higher tolerance towards heavy metals. In this study, we investigated whether chronic exposure to metals in serpentine soils affect accumulation patterns, tolerance towards metal pollutants, and genetic diversity in ants. In particular, we studied colonies of the common Mediterranean ant, Crematogaster scutellaris, along a contamination gradient consisting of two differently contaminated forests and a reference soil with no geogenic contamination. We first evaluated the metal content in both soil and ants' body. Then, we tested for tolerance towards metal pollutants by evaluating the mortality of ants fed with nickel (Ni) solutions of increasing concentrations. Finally, differences in genetic diversity among ants from different areas were assessed using eight microsatellite loci. Interestingly, a higher tolerance to nickel solutions was found in ants sampled in sites with intermediate levels of heavy metals. This may occur, because ants inhabiting strongly contaminated areas tend to accumulate higher amounts of contaminants. Additional ingestion of toxicants beyond the saturation threshold would lead to death. There was no difference in the genetic diversity among ant colonies sampled in different sites. This was probably the result of queen mediated gene flow during nuptial flights across uncontaminated and contaminated areas of limited geographical extent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Thymosin beta 4 protects cardiomyocytes from oxidative stress by targeting anti-oxidative enzymes and anti-apoptotic genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuanyu Wei

    Full Text Available Thymosin beta-4 (Tβ4 is a ubiquitous protein with many properties relating to cell proliferation and differentiation that promotes wound healing and modulates inflammatory mediators. The mechanism by which Tβ4 modulates cardiac protection under oxidative stress is not known. The purpose of this study is to dissect the cardioprotective mechanism of Tβ4 on H(2O(2 induced cardiac damage.Rat neonatal cardiomyocytes with or without Tβ4 pretreatment were exposed to H(2O(2 and expression of antioxidant, apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory genes was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR and western blotting. ROS levels were estimated by DCF-DA using fluorescent microscopy and fluorimetry. Selected antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic genes were silenced by siRNA transfections in neonatal cardiomyocytes and effect of Tβ4 on H(2O(2-induced cardiac damage was evaluated.Pre-treatment of Tβ4 resulted in reduction of the intracellular ROS levels induced by H(2O(2 in cardiomyocytes. Tβ4 pretreatment also resulted in an increase in the expression of antiapoptotic proteins and reduction of Bax/BCl(2 ratio in the cardiomyocytes. Pretreatment with Tβ4 resulted in stimulating the expression of antioxidant enzymes copper/zinc SOD and catalase in cardiomyocytes at both transcription and translation levels. Tβ4 treatment resulted in the increased expression of anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory genes. Silencing of Cu/Zn SOD and catalase gene resulted in apoptotic cell death in the cardiomyocytes which was prevented by treatment with Tβ4.This is the first report that demonstrates the effect of Tβ4 on cardiomyocytes and its capability to selectively upregulate anti-oxidative enzymes, anti-inflammatory genes, and antiapoptotic enzymes in the neonatal cardiomyocytes thus preventing cell death thereby protecting the myocardium. Tβ4 treatment resulted in decreased oxidative stress and inflammation in the myocardium under oxidative stress.

  20. CAR expression and inducibility of CYP2B genes in liver of rats treated with PB-like inducers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pustylnyak, Vladimir O.; Gulyaeva, Lyudmila F.; Lyakhovich, Vyacheslav V.

    2005-01-01

    The expression of the CAR gene and inducibility of CYP2B protein in the liver of male Wistar rats treated with phenobarbital (PB) and triphenyldioxane (TPD) were investigated. To clarify the role of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation in these processes, rats were treated with inhibitors of Ca 2+ /calmodulin-dependent kinase II (W 7 ) or protein phosphatases PP1 and PP2A (OA) before induction. Constitutive expression of the CAR gene in livers of untreated rats was detected by multiplex RT-PCR. Treatment with W 7 resulted in a 2.8-fold induction of CAR gene expression, whereas OA led to a 2.4-fold decrease of the mRNA level. The same results were obtained for CYP2B genes expression, which were increased by W 7 treatment (two-fold) and decreased by OA (2.3-fold). PB-induction did not lead to significant alteration in the level of CAR gene expression, although CYP2B genes expression was enhanced two-fold over control values. TPD caused a two-fold increase of both CAR and CYP2B mRNA levels. Both inducers reduced the effects of inhibitors on CAR gene expression. Results of EMSA showed that PB, TPD or W 7 alone induced formation of complexes of NR1 with nuclear proteins. Appearance of the complexes correlated with an increase in CYP2B expression, and their intensities were modulated by the protein kinase inhibitors. Thus, our results demonstrate that constitutive expressions of CAR as well as CYP2B during induction are regulated by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation processes

  1. Introduction of an NT-proBNP assay to an acute admission unit--a 2-year audit.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Murtagh, Gillian

    2012-02-01

    BACKGROUND: The differential diagnosis of dyspnoea is difficult due to the low predictive value of clinical and laboratory parameters. The elevated levels of NT-proBNP in congestive heart failure may improve diagnostic accuracy. We have evaluated the effect of the introduction of an NT-proBNP assay on hospital length of stay (LOS) and mortality. METHODS: There were 11,853 AMAU patient episodes in the 22 months study period (March 2005-Dec 2006). An NT-proBNP assay was requested in 657 (5.5%) of these. Comparison between categorical variables such as diagnosis, NT-proBNP testing, LOS, and in-hospital mortality was made using Chi-square tests. Literature review suggested that an NT-proBNP cut-off >or=5000 ng\\/L should predict acute in-patient mortality. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between such an elevated NT-proBNP level and outcomes. RESULTS: Of the 396 patients with NT-proBNP <5000 ng\\/L, 8.1% died compared with 22.5% of the 178 patients dying with values >or=5000 ng\\/L (p<0.0001). An NT-proBNP >or=5000 ng\\/L was predictive of both LOS >or=9 days (odds ratios (OR) 1.54 (95% CI 1.06, 2.24: p=0.02) and LOS >or=14 days (OR=1.87 (95% CI 1.29, 2.71: p=0.0009). NT-proBNP requests increased over time, from 2.6% to 8.2% of all patients; the result fell in the diagnostic range for CHF in 60% of requests. CONCLUSION: The introduction of an NT-proBNP was reflected in an appropriate but rapidly increasing pattern of requests from clinicians. High NT-proBNP levels predicted in-hospital mortality and longer LOS in an acute medical population.

  2. An aspirin-triggered lipoxin A4 stable analog displays a unique topical anti-inflammatory profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schottelius, Arndt J; Giesen, Claudia; Asadullah, Khusru; Fierro, Iolanda M; Colgan, Sean P; Bauman, John; Guilford, William; Perez, Hector D; Parkinson, John F

    2002-12-15

    Lipoxins and 15-epi-lipoxins are counter-regulatory lipid mediators that modulate leukocyte trafficking and promote the resolution of inflammation. To assess the potential of lipoxins as novel anti-inflammatory agents, a stable 15-epi-lipoxin A(4) analog, 15-epi-16-p-fluorophenoxy-lipoxin A(4) methyl ester (ATLa), was synthesized by total organic synthesis and examined for efficacy relative to a potent leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) receptor antagonist (LTB(4)R-Ant) and the clinically used topical glucocorticoid methylprednisolone aceponate. In vitro, ATLa was 100-fold more potent than LTB(4)R-Ant for inhibiting neutrophil chemotaxis and trans-epithelial cell migration induced by fMLP, but was approximately 10-fold less potent than the LTB(4)R-Ant in blocking responses to LTB(4). A broad panel of cutaneous inflammation models that display pathological aspects of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and allergic contact dermatitis was used to directly compare the topical efficacy of ATLa with that of LTB(4)R-Ant and methylprednisolone aceponate. ATLa was efficacious in all models tested: LTB(4)/Iloprost-, calcium ionophore-, croton oil-, and mezerein-induced inflammation and trimellitic anhydride-induced allergic delayed-type hypersensitivity. ATLa was efficacious in mouse and guinea pig skin inflammation models, exhibiting dose-dependent effects on edema, neutrophil or eosinophil infiltration, and epidermal hyperproliferation. We conclude that the LXA(4) and aspirin-triggered LXA(4) pathways play key anti-inflammatory roles in vivo. Moreover, these results suggest that ATLa and related LXA(4) analogs may have broad therapeutic potential in inflammatory disorders and could provide an alternative to corticosteroids in certain clinical settings.

  3. Odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile as back-seat drivers of localized ant decline in urban habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Salyer

    Full Text Available Invasive species and habitat disturbance threaten biodiversity worldwide by modifying ecosystem performance and displacing native organisms. Similar homogenization impacts manifest locally when urbanization forces native species to relocate or reinvade perpetually altered habitat. This study investigated correlations between ant richness and abundance in response to urbanization and the nearby presence of invasive ant species, odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile, within its native region. Surveying localized ant composition within natural, semi-natural, and urban habitat supported efforts to determine whether T. sessile appear to be primary (drivers threats as instigators or secondary (passengers threats as inheritors of indigenous ant decline. Sampling 180 sites, evenly split between all habitats with and without T. sessile present, yielded 45 total species. Although urbanization and T. sessile presence factors were significantly linked to ant decline, their interaction correlated to the greatest reduction of total ant richness (74% and abundance (81%. Total richness appeared to decrease from 27 species to 18 when natural habitat is urbanized and from 18 species to 7 with T. sessile present in urban plots. Odorous house ant presence minimally influenced ant communities within natural and semi-natural habitat, highlighting the importance of habitat alteration and T. sessile presence interactions. Results suggest urbanization releases T. sessile from unknown constraints by decreasing ant richness and competition. Within urban environment, T. sessile are pre-adapted to quickly exploit new resources and grow to supercolony strength wherein T. sessile drive adjacent biodiversity loss. Odorous house ants act as passengers and drivers of ecological change throughout different phases of urban 'invasion'. This progression through surviving habitat alteration, exploiting new resources, thriving, and further reducing interspecific competition supports a

  4. INCREASED PRODUCTION OF NERVE GROWTH FACTOR, NEUROTROPHIN-3, AND NEUROTROPHIN-4 IN A PENICILLIUM CHRYSOGENUM -INDUCED ALLERGIC ASTHMA MODEL IN MICE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increased levels of neurotrophins (nerve growth factor [NGF], brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF], neurotrophin [NT]-3, and/or NT-4) have been associated with asthmatics and in animal models of allergic asthma. In our mouse model for fungal allergic asthma, repeated pulmona...

  5. Genetic regulation of colony social organization in fire ants: an integrative overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotzek, Dietrich; Ross, Kenneth G

    2007-09-01

    Expression of colony social organization in fire ants appears to be under the control of a single Mendelian factor of large effect. Variation in colony queen number in Solenopsis invicta and its relatives is associated with allelic variation at the gene Gp-9, but not with variation at other unlinked genes; workers regulate queen identity and number on the basis of Gp-9 genotypic compatibility. Nongenetic factors, such as prior social experience, queen reproductive status, and local environment, have negligible effects on queen numbers which illustrates the nearly complete penetrance of Gp-9. As predicted, queen number can be manipulated experimentally by altering worker Gp-9 genotype frequencies. The Gp-9 allele lineage associated with polygyny in South American fire ants has been retained across multiple speciation events, which may signal the action of balancing selection to maintain social polymorphism in these species. Moreover, positive selection is implicated in driving the molecular evolution of Gp-9 in association with the origin of polygyny. The identity of the product of Gp-9 as an odorant-binding protein suggests plausible scenarios for its direct involvement in the regulation of queen number via a role in chemical communication. While these and other lines of evidence show that Gp-9 represents a legitimate candidate gene of major effect, studies aimed at determining (i) the biochemical pathways in which GP-9 functions; (ii) the phenotypic effects of molecular variation at Gp-9 and other pathway genes; and (iii) the potential involvement of genes in linkage disequilibrium with Gp-9 are needed to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying social organization in fire ants. Information that reveals the links between molecular variation, individual phenotype, and colony-level behaviors, combined with behavioral models that incorporate details of the chemical communication involved in regulating queen number, will yield a novel integrated view of the

  6. Behavioral mechanisms and morphological symptoms of zombie ants dying from fungal infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Himaman Winanda

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasites that manipulate host behavior can provide prominent examples of extended phenotypes: parasite genomes controlling host behavior. Here we focus on one of the most dramatic examples of behavioral manipulation, the death grip of ants infected by Ophiocordyceps fungi. We studied the interaction between O. unilateralis s.l. and its host ant Camponotus leonardi in a Thai rainforest, where infected ants descend from their canopy nests down to understory vegetation to bite into abaxial leaf veins before dying. Host mortality is concentrated in patches (graveyards where ants die on sapling leaves ca. 25 cm above the soil surface where conditions for parasite development are optimal. Here we address whether the sequence of ant behaviors leading to the final death grip can also be interpreted as parasite adaptations and describe some of the morphological changes inside the heads of infected workers that mediate the expression of the death grip phenotype. Results We found that infected ants behave as zombies and display predictable stereotypical behaviors of random rather than directional walking, and of repeated convulsions that make them fall down and thus precludes returning to the canopy. Transitions from erratic wandering to death grips on a leaf vein were abrupt and synchronized around solar noon. We show that the mandibles of ants penetrate deeply into vein tissue and that this is accompanied by extensive atrophy of the mandibular muscles. This lock-jaw means the ant will remain attached to the leaf after death. We further present histological data to show that a high density of single celled stages of the parasite within the head capsule of dying ants are likely to be responsible for this muscular atrophy. Conclusions Extended phenotypes in ants induced by fungal infections are a complex example of behavioral manipulation requiring coordinated changes of host behavior and morphology. Future work should address the

  7. TDP2 suppresses chromosomal translocations induced by DNA topoisomerase II during gene transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Herreros, Fernando; Zagnoli-Vieira, Guido; Ntai, Ioanna; Martínez-Macías, María Isabel; Anderson, Rhona M; Herrero-Ruíz, Andrés; Caldecott, Keith W

    2017-08-10

    DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induced by abortive topoisomerase II (TOP2) activity are a potential source of genome instability and chromosome translocation. TOP2-induced DNA double-strand breaks are rejoined in part by tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 2 (TDP2)-dependent non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), but whether this process suppresses or promotes TOP2-induced translocations is unclear. Here, we show that TDP2 rejoins DSBs induced during transcription-dependent TOP2 activity in breast cancer cells and at the translocation 'hotspot', MLL. Moreover, we find that TDP2 suppresses chromosome rearrangements induced by TOP2 and reduces TOP2-induced chromosome translocations that arise during gene transcription. Interestingly, however, we implicate TDP2-dependent NHEJ in the formation of a rare subclass of translocations associated previously with therapy-related leukemia and characterized by junction sequences with 4-bp of perfect homology. Collectively, these data highlight the threat posed by TOP2-induced DSBs during transcription and demonstrate the importance of TDP2-dependent non-homologous end-joining in protecting both gene transcription and genome stability.DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induced by topoisomerase II (TOP2) are rejoined by TDP2-dependent non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) but whether this promotes or suppresses translocations is not clear. Here the authors show that TDP2 suppresses chromosome translocations from DSBs introduced during gene transcription.

  8. Microsatellite primers for fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen, Palle; Gertsch, P J; Boomsma, JJ

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  9. Microsatellite Primers for Fungus-Growing Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villesen Fredsted, Palle; Gertsch, Pia J.; Boomsma, Jacobus Jan (Koos)

    2002-01-01

    We isolated five polymorphic microsatellite loci from a library of two thousand recombinant clones of two fungus-growing ant species, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Trachymyrmex cf. zeteki. Amplification and heterozygosity were tested in five species of higher attine ants using both the newly...... developed primers and earlier published primers that were developed for fungus-growing ants. A total of 20 variable microsatellite loci, developed for six different species of fungus-growing ants, are now available for studying the population genetics and colony kin-structure of these ants....

  10. Measurement of intraocular pressure using the NT-4000: a new non-contact tonometer equipped with pulse synchronous measurement function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaoeda, Kiyoshi; Shirakashi, Motohiro; Fukushima, Atsushi; Funaki, Shigeo; Funaki, Haruko; Ofuchi, Nobutaka; Nakatsue, Tomoko; Abe, Haruki

    2005-06-01

    NT-4000 (Nidek Co. Ltd., Gamagori, Japan) is a new non-contact tonometer (NCT) equipped with pulse synchronous measurement function that can measure intraocular pressure (IOP) synchronized with the ocular pulse. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of NT-4000 in normal subjects and in patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. This study included 175 eyes of 175 subjects. Firstly, the IOP was measured using NT-4000 without the pulse synchronous measurement function (NTn). Secondly, the IOP at peak, middle, and trough phases of the pulse signal were measured using NT-4000 with the pulse synchronous measurement function (NTp, NTm, NTt, respectively). Additionally, the IOP was measured with Goldmann applanation tonometer (GT). The coefficient of variation (CV) of three readings in the NCT measurements was used to evaluate the intra-session reproducibility. Statistical comparisons were performed using Wilcoxon signed rank test and one-way analysis of variance with Scheffe's test. Linear regression analysis was used to calculate correlation coefficients. P values less than 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. The CV of NTn, NTp, NTm, and NTt were 6.4%, 5.5%, 4.9%, and 5.2%, respectively. The CV of NTp, NTm, and NTt were significantly smaller than that of NTn (P = 0.007, P < 0.001, P < 0.001, respectively). NTp was significantly higher than NTt (P = 0.038). GT was significantly correlated with NTn, NTp, NTm, and NTt (r = 0.898, P < 0.001; r = 0.912, P < 0.001; r = 0.908, P < 0.001; r = 0.900, P < 0.001, respectively). NT-4000 can detect the fluctuation of IOP associated with the ocular pulse.

  11. Ant Colony Optimization for Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Ast, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The very basis of this thesis is the collective behavior of ants in colonies. Ants are an excellent example of how rather simple behavior on a local level can lead to complex behavior on a global level that is beneficial for the individuals. The key in the self-organization of ants is communication

  12. STAT4 gene polymorphism and risk of chronic hepatitis B-induced hepatocellular carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xiangqian; Jiang, Kai; Liang, Bin; Huang, Xiaoqiang

    2015-01-01

    STAT4 is a latent cytosolic factor that encodes a transcription factor transmitting signals stimulated by cytokines. Previous studies with different study designs in diverse ethnic populations have assessed the influence of STAT4 rs7574865 polymorphism on HBV-induced HCC risk. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects in a larger sample. The individual reports published up to Dec. 30, 2013 were systematically identified by searching the PubMed and Embase databases. To combine the OR and corresponding 95% CI, we used the fixed effects model during meta-analysis. Based on eight independent populations with a total of 5,719 cases and 6,525 controls, we found a slightly reduced risk of HBV-induced HCC in individuals with the minor T allele compared with individuals with the common G allele (T versus G: OR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.82-0.91, P(Het) = 0.974). Similar reductions were also indicated in all subgroups. The combined data indicate that STAT4 rs7574865 polymorphism may be associated with significantly reduced risk of HBV-induced HCC in Asian.

  13. Ozone-induced gene expression occurs via ethylene-dependent and -independent signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimmig, Bernhard; Gonzalez-Perez, Maria N; Leubner-Metzger, Gerhard; Vögeli-Lange, Regina; Meins, Fred; Hain, Rüdiger; Penuelas, Josep; Heidenreich, Bernd; Langebartels, Christian; Ernst, Dieter; Sandermann, Heinrich

    2003-03-01

    Recent studies suggest that ethylene is involved in signalling ozone-induced gene expression. We show here that application of ozone increased glucuronidase (GUS) expression of chimeric reporter genes regulated by the promoters of the tobacco class I beta-1,3-glucanases (GLB and Gln2) and the grapevine resveratrol synthase (Vst1) genes in transgenic tobacco leaves. 5'-deletion analysis of the class I beta-1,3-glucanase promoter revealed that ozone-induced gene regulation is mainly mediated by the distal enhancer region containing the positively acting ethylene-responsive element (ERE). In addition, application of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), an inhibitor of ethylene action, blocked ozone-induced class I beta-1,3-glucanase promoter activity. Enhancer activity and ethylene-responsiveness depended on the integrity of the GCC boxes, cis-acting elements present in the ERE of the class I beta-1,3-glucanase and the basic-type pathogenesis-related PR-1 protein (PRB-1b) gene promoters. The minimal PRB-1b promoter containing only the ERE with intact GCC boxes, was sufficient to confer 10-fold ozone inducibility to a GUS-reporter gene, while a substitution mutation in the GCC box abolished ozone responsiveness. The ERE region of the class I beta-1,3-glucanase promoter containing two intact GCC boxes confered strong ozone inducibility to a minimal cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S RNA promoter, whereas two single-base substitution in the GCC boxes resulted in a complete loss of ozone inducibility. Taken together, these datastrongly suggest that ethylene is signalling ozone-induced expression of class I beta-l,3-glucanase and PRB-1b genes. Promoter analysis of the stilbene synthase Vst1 gene unravelled different regions for ozone and ethylene-responsiveness. Application of 1-MCP blocked ethylene-induced Vst1 induction, but ozone induction was not affected. This shows that ozone-induced gene expression occurs via at least two different signalling mechanisms and suggests an

  14. Elevated NT-proBNP is associated with unfavorably altered plasma fibrin clot properties in atrial fibrillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matusik, Paweł T; Matusik, Patrycja S; Kornacewicz-Jach, Zdzisława; Małecka, Barbara; Ząbek, Andrzej; Undas, Anetta

    2017-09-15

    Dense fibrin clot formation and hypofibrinolysis have been reported in atrial fibrillation (AF). It is unclear which factors affect fibrin clot properties in AF. We investigated plasma fibrin clot permeability (K s ), clot lysis time (CLT), endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) as well as other coagulation and fibrinolysis parameters along with N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in 160 AF patients (median age, 70.5years). Previous stroke (n=15; 9.4%) was associated with decreased K s (P=0.04) and longer CLT (P=0.005), together with higher antiplasmin (P=0.03) and lower tissue-type plasminogen activator (P=0.01). Lower K s (P=0.04) and tendency towards longer CLT (P=0.10) were observed in patients with a left atrium diameter>40mm. Patients with a CHA 2 DS 2 -VASc score of 3 or more (82.5%) were characterized by higher thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor antigen (P=0.009). K s was inversely correlated with log NT-proBNP (r=-0.34, PCLT was positively correlated with log NT-proBNP (R=0.61, PCLT (the top quartile,≥109min). In AF patients prothrombotic fibrin clot properties assessed ex vivo are determined by PAI-1 and NT-proBNP and this phenotype is associated with prior ischemic stroke. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Sick ants become unsociable

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bos, Nicky Peter Maria; Lefevre, T.; Jensen, A.B.

    2012-01-01

    Parasites represent a severe threat to social insects, which form high-density colonies of related individuals, and selection should favour host traits that reduce infection risk. Here, using a carpenter ant (Camponotus aethiops) and a generalist insect pathogenic fungus (Metarhizium brunneum), we...... show that infected ants radically change their behaviour over time to reduce the risk of colony infection. Infected individuals (i) performed less social interactions than their uninfected counterparts, (ii) did not interact with brood anymore and (iii) spent most of their time outside the nest from...... day 3 post-infection until death. Furthermore, infected ants displayed an increased aggressiveness towards non-nestmates. Finally, infected ants did not alter their cuticular chemical profile, suggesting that infected individuals do not signal their physiological status to nestmates. Our results...

  16. Neurospora crassa glucose - repressible gene -1(Grg-1) promoter controls the expression of neurospora tyrosinase gene in a clock-controlled manner

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tarawneh, A. K

    1997-01-01

    In this study sphareroplastes of white Neurospora crassa mutant auxotroph for aromatic am no acids a rom 9 q a-2 inv, was transformed by the pKF-Tyr7-wt DNA construct. This construct contains the promoter of neurospora crassa glucose-repressible gene-1 (G rg-1) usp stream of Neurospora tyrosinase gene. The co transformation of this mutant with pKF-Tyr-7-wt cincture's and the pKAL-1, a plasmid which contains the Neurospora q a-2+ gene transform it to photophor. The transform ant contains the tyrosinase gene which catalyzes the unique step in the synthesis of the black pigment melanin. The activity of the tyrosinase in this transform ant was followed by measuring the absorbance of the dark coloured pigment at 332 nm. The maximum of the tyrosinase activity was shown at 16.36 and 56 hours after the shift of the transformed mycelia from constant light (L L) to constant dark (Dd). The rate of the enzyme activity was changed according to ci radian cycle of 20 hours. This G rg 1/tyrosinase construct provides a good system to study to study the temporal control of gene expression and the interaction between the different environmental c uses that affects gene expression. (author). 20 refs., 4 figs

  17. Overexpression of snapdragon Delila (Del) gene in tobacco enhances anthocyanin accumulation and abiotic stress tolerance

    OpenAIRE

    Naing, Aung Htay; Park, Kyeung Il; Ai, Trinh Ngoc; Chung, Mi Young; Han, Jeung Sul; Kang, Young-Wha; Lim, Ki Byung; Kim, Chang Kil

    2017-01-01

    Background Rosea1 (Ros1) and Delila (Del) co-expression controls anthocyanin accumulation in snapdragon flowers, while their overexpression in tomato strongly induces anthocyanin accumulation. However, little data exist on how Del expression alone influences anthocyanin accumulation. Results In tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum ?Xanthi?), Del expression enhanced leaf and flower anthocyanin production through regulating NtCHS, NtCHI, NtF3H, NtDFR, and NtANS transcript levels. Transgenic lines display...

  18. Overexpression of PaFT gene in the wild orchid Phalaenopsis amabilis (L.) Blume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarti, Endang; Mercuriani, Ixora S.; Rizal, Rinaldi; Slamet, Agus; Utami, Bekti S.; Bestari, Ida A.; Aziz-Purwantoro, Moeljopawiro, S.; Jang, Soenghoe; Machida, Y.; Machida, C.

    2015-09-01

    To shorten vegetative stage and induce transition from vegetative to reproductive stage in orchids, we overexpressed Phalaenopsis amabilis Flowering LocusT (PaFT) gene under the control of Ubiquitin promoter into protocorm of Indonesian Wild Orchid Phalaenopsis amabilis (L.) Blume. The dynamic expression of vegetative gene Phalaenopsis Homeobox1 (POH1) and flowering time gene PaFT has been analyzed. Accumulation of mRNA was detected in shoot and leaves of both transgenic and non transgenic plants by using Reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) with specific gene primers for POH1 and PaFT in 24 months old plants. To analyze the POH1 and PaFT genes, three pairs of degenerate primers PaFT degF1R1, F2R2 and F3R3 that amplified 531 bp PaFT cDNA were used. We detected 700 bp PaFTcDNA from leaves and shoots of transgenic plants, but not in NT plants. POH1 mRNA was detected in plants. PaFT protein consists of Phospatidyl Ethanolamine-Binding Protein (PEBP) in interval base 73-483 and CETS family protein at base 7-519, which are important motif for transmembrane protein. We inserted Ubipro::PaFT/pGAS101 into P. amabilis protocorm using Agrobacterium. Analysis of transgenic plants showed that PaFTmRNA was accumulated in leaves of 12 months after sowing, although it is not detected in non transgeic plants. Compare to the wild type (NT plants), ectopic expression of PaFT shows alter phenotype as follows: 31% normal, 19% with short-wavy leaves, 5% form rosette leaves and 45% produced multishoots. Analysis of protein profiles of trasgenic plants showed that a putative PaFT protein (MW 19,7 kDa) was produced in 1eaves and shoots.This means that at 12 months, POH1 gene expression gradually decreased/negatively regulated, the expression of PaFT gene was activated, although there is no flower initiation yet. Some environmental factors might play a role to induce inflorescens. This experiment is in progress.

  19. BCR-ABL fusion genes are inducible by X-irradiation in vitro

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ito, Takashi; Seyama, Toshio; Mizuno, Terumi; Hayashi, Tomonori; Nakamura, Nori; Akiyama, Mitoshi; Dohi, Kiyohiko.

    1992-01-01

    The Philadelphia chromosome consists of a reciprocal translocation between the ABL oncogene at chromosome 9q34 and the BCR gene at chromosome 22q resulting in the expression of chimeric BCR-ABL mRNAs specific to chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). The presence of the fusion genes can be detected with high specificity and sensitivity by means of reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction. Using this assay, it was possible to detect BCR-ABL fusion genes induced among HL60 cells after 100 Gy of X-irradiation in vitro. A total of five fusion gene transcripts were obtained. These fusion genes contained not only CML-specific BCR-ABL rearrangements, but also other forms of BCR-ABL fusions. These latter genes had junctions of BCR exon 4/ABL exon 2 intervened by a segment of DNA of unknown origin, BCR exon 5/ABL exon 2, and BCR exon 4/ABL exon 2. The results appear to be the first evidence for the induction of the BCR-ABL fusion gene by X-irradiation. In terms of leukemogenesis, it is suggested that only those cells bearing certain CML-related BCR-ABL fusion genes are positively selected by virtue of a growth advantage in vivo. (author)

  20. Interactive effects of soil-dwelling ants, ant mounds and simulated grazing on local plant community composition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, G.F.; Olff, H.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between aboveground vertebrate herbivores and subterranean yellow meadow ants (Lasius flavus) can drive plant community patterns in grassland ecosystems. Here, we study the relative importance of the presence of ants (L. flavus) and ant mounds under different simulated grazing regimes

  1. Hsf1p and Msn2/4p cooperate in the expression of Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes HSP26 and HSP104 in a gene- and stress type-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorós, M; Estruch, F

    2001-03-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae possesses several transcription factors involved in the transcriptional activation of stress-induced genes. Among them, the heat shock factor (Hsf1p) and the zinc finger proteins of the general stress response (Msn2p and Msn4p) have been shown to play a major role in stress protection. Some heat shock protein (HSP) genes contain both heat shock elements (HSEs) and stress response elements (STREs), suggesting the involvement of both transcription factors in their regulation. Analysis of the stress-induced expression of two of these genes, HSP26 and HSP104, reveals that the contribution of Hsf1p and Msn2/4p is different depending on the gene and the stress condition.

  2. Roadside Survey of Ants on Oahu, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Reina L.; Grace, J. Kenneth; Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2018-01-01

    Hawaii is home to over 60 ant species, including five of the six most damaging invasive ants. Although there have been many surveys of ants in Hawaii, the last island-wide hand-collection survey of ants on Oahu was conducted in 1988–1994. In 2012, a timed hand-collection of ants was made at 44 sites in a systematic, roadside survey throughout Oahu. Ants were identified and species distribution in relation to elevation, precipitation and soil type was analyzed. To assess possible convenience sampling bias, 15 additional sites were sampled further from roads to compare with the samples near roads. Twenty-four species of ants were found and mapped; Pheidole megacephala (F.), Ochetellus glaber (Mayr), and Technomyrmex difficilis Forel were the most frequently encountered ants. For six ant species, a logistic regression was performed with elevation, average annual precipitation, and soil order as explanatory variables. O. glaber was found in areas with lower precipitation around Oahu. Paratrechina longicornis (Latrielle) and Tetramorium simillimum (Smith, F.) were found more often in lower elevations and in areas with the Mollisol soil order. Elevation, precipitation, and soil type were not significant sources of variation for P. megacephala, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, and T. difficilis. P. megacephala was associated with fewer mean numbers of ants where it occurred. Ant assemblages near and far from roads did not significantly differ. Many species of ants remain established on Oahu, and recent invaders are spreading throughout the island. Mapping ant distributions contributes to continued documentation and understanding of these pests. PMID:29439503

  3. The Fifteenth International Conference on the Science and Application of Nanotubes (NT14)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    cronin, stephen

    2015-01-06

    The Fifteenth International Conference on the Science and Application of Nanotubes (NT14) was held at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California on June 2-6, 2014. NT14 upheld the NT tradition of presenting the latest results in the science and applications of nanotubes and related materials in plenary sessions. Emphasis was given to convivial poster sessions and student participation. Over 225 participants attended the conference, including students, post-docs, faculty, and members from industry. A total of 45 talks were presented, as well as 157 posters.

  4. Role in pathogenesis of two endo-beta-1,4-xylanase genes from the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Gómez, E; Ruíz-Roldán, M C; Di Pietro, A; Roncero, M I G; Hera, C

    2002-04-01

    A gene, xyl4, whose predicted amino acid sequence shows significant homology with family 11 xylanases, was identified from the tomato vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici. Expression of xyl4 is induced on oat spelt xylan as the carbon source, subject to carbon catabolite repression and preferentially expressed at alkaline ambient pH. Transcript levels of xyl4 on an inducing carbon source are differentially regulated by the nature and concentration of the nitrogen source. As shown by RT-PCR, xyl4 is expressed by F. oxysporum during the entire cycle of infection on tomato plants. Targeted inactivation of xyl4 and of xyl3, a previously identified gene of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici encoding a family 10 xylanase, had no detectable effect on virulence on tomato plants, demonstrating that both genes are not essential for pathogenicity.

  5. The natural scorpion peptide, BmK NT1 activates voltage-gated sodium channels and produces neurotoxicity in primary cultured cerebellar granule cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Xiaohan; He, Yuwei; Qiao, Jinping; Zhang, Chunlei; Cao, Zhengyu

    2016-01-01

    The scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat neuronal diseases such as neuropathic pain, paralysis and epilepsy for thousands of years. Studies have demonstrated that scorpion venom is the primary active component. Although scorpion venom can effectively attenuate pain in the clinic, it also produces neurotoxic response. In this study, toxicity guided purification led to identify a mammalian toxin termed BmK NT1 comprising of 65 amino acid residues and an amidated C-terminus, a mature peptide encoded by the nucleotide sequence (GenBank No. AF464898). In contract to the recombinant product of the same nucleotide sequence, BmK AGAP, which displayed analgesic and anti-tumor effect, intravenous injection (i.v.) of BmK NT1 produced acute toxicity in mice with an LD50 value of 1.36 mg/kg. In primary cultured cerebellar granule cells, BmK NT1 produced a concentration-dependent cell death with an IC50 value of 0.65 μM (0.41-1.03 μM, 95% Confidence Intervals, 95% CI) which was abolished by TTX, a voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) blocker. We also demonstrated that BmK NT1 produced modest sodium influx in cerebellar granule cell cultures with an EC50 value of 2.19 μM (0.76-6.40 μM, 95% CI), an effect similar to VGSC agonist, veratridine. The sodium influx response was abolished by TTX suggesting that BmK NT1-induced sodium influx is solely through activation of VGSC. Considered these data together, we demonstrated that BmK NT1 activated VGSC and produced neurotoxicity in cerebellar granule cell cultures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Variations in mismatch repair genes and colorectal cancer risk and clinical outcome

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vymetálková, Veronika; Pardini, B.; Rosa, F.; Di Gaetano, C.; Novotný, J.; Levý, M.; Buchler, T.; Slyšková, Jana; Vodičková, Ludmila; Naccarati, Alessio; Vodička, Pavel

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 29, č. 4 (2014), s. 259-265 ISSN 0267-8357 R&D Projects: GA ČR GPP304/11/P715; GA ČR GAP304/10/1286; GA MZd NT12025 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : colorectal cancer , , * mismatch repair genes * miRNA Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.793, year: 2014

  7. ABCB4 mediates diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in laboratory opossums.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Jeannie; Mahaney, Michael C; Kushwaha, Rampratap S; VandeBerg, Jane F; VandeBerg, John L

    2010-10-01

    High-responding opossums are susceptible to developing hypercholesterolemia on a high-cholesterol diet, but low-responding opossums are resistant. The observation of low biliary cholesterol and low biliary phospholipids in high responders suggested that the ABCB4 gene affects response to dietary cholesterol. Two missense mutations (Arg29Gly and Ile235Leu) were found in the ABCB4 gene of high responders. High responders (ATHH strain) were bred with low responders (ATHE or ATHL strain) to produce F1 and F2 progeny in two different genetic crosses (KUSH6 and JCX) to determine the effect of ABCB4 allelic variants on plasma cholesterol concentrations after a dietary challenge. Pedigree-based genetic association analyses consistently implicated a variant in ABCB4 or a closely linked locus as a major, but not the sole, genetic contributor to variation in the plasma cholesterol response to dietary cholesterol. High responders, but not low responders, developed liver injury as indicated by elevated plasma biomarkers of liver function, probably reflecting damage to the canalicular membrane by bile salts because of impaired phospholipid secretion. Our results implicate ABCB4 as a major determinant of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in high-responding opossums and suggest that other genes interact with ABCB4 to regulate lipemic response to dietary cholesterol.

  8. Dealing with water deficit in Atta ant colonies: large ants scout for water while small ants transport it

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Carlos Da-Silva

    2012-07-01

    Leafcutter ants (Atta sexdens rubropilosa (Forel 1908 have an elaborate social organization, complete with caste divisions. Activities carried out by specialist groups contribute to the overall success and survival of the colony when it is confronted with environmental challenges such as dehydration. Ants detect variations in humidity inside the nest and react by activating several types of behavior that enhance water uptake and decrease water loss, but it is not clear whether or not a single caste collects water regardless of the cost of bringing this resource back to the colony. Accordingly, we investigated water collection activities in three colonies of Atta sexdens rubropilosa experimentally exposed to water stress. Specifically, we analyzed whether or not the same ant caste foraged for water, regardless of the absolute energetic cost (distance of transporting this resource back to the colony. Our experimental design offered water sources at 0 m, 1 m and 10 m from the nest. We studied the body size of ants near the water sources from the initial offer of water (time  =  0 to 120 min, and tested for specialization. We observed a reduction in the average size and variance of ants that corroborated the specialization hypothesis. Although the temporal course of specialization changed with distance, the final outcome was similar among distances. Thus, we conclude that, for this species, a specialist (our use of the word “specialist” does not mean exclusive task force is responsible for collecting water, regardless of the cost of transporting water back to the colony.

  9. Cyatta abscondita: taxonomy, evolution, and natural history of a new fungus-farming ant genus from Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Sosa-Calvo

    Full Text Available Cyatta abscondita, a new genus and species of fungus-farming ant from Brazil, is described based on morphological study of more than 20 workers, two dealate gynes, one male, and two larvae. Ecological field data are summarized, including natural history, nest architecture, and foraging behavior. Phylogenetic analyses of DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes indicate that Cyatta abscondita is the distant sister taxon of the genus Kalathomyrmex, and that together they comprise the sister group of the remaining neoattine ants, an informal clade that includes the conspicuous and well-known leaf-cutter ants. Morphologically, Cyatta abscondita shares very few obvious character states with Kalathomyrmex. It does, however, possess a number of striking morphological features unique within the fungus-farming tribe Attini. It also shares morphological character states with taxa that span the ancestral node of the Attini. The morphology, behavior, and other biological characters of Cyatta abscondita are potentially informative about plesiomorphic character states within the fungus-farming ants and about the early evolution of ant agriculture.

  10. Ultra-Sensitive NT-proBNP Quantification for Early Detection of Risk Factors Leading to Heart Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keum-Soo Song

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Cardiovascular diseases such as acute myocardial infarction and heart failure accounted for the death of 17.5 million people (31% of all global deaths in 2015. Monitoring the level of circulating N-terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP is crucial for the detection of people at risk of heart failure. In this article, we describe a novel ultra-sensitive NT-proBNP test (us-NT-proBNP that allows the quantification of circulating NT-proBNP in 30 min at 25 °C in the linear detection range of 7.0–600 pg/mL. It is a first report on the application of a fluorescence bead labeled detection antibody, DNA-guided detection method, and glass fiber membrane platform for the quantification of NT-proBNP in clinical samples. Limit of blank, limit of detection, and limit of quantification were 2.0 pg/mL, 3.7 pg/mL, and 7 pg/mL, respectively. The coefficient of variation was found to be less than 10% in the entire detection range of 7–600 pg/mL. The test demonstrated specificity for NT-proBNP without interferences from bilirubin, intra-lipid, biotin, and hemoglobin. The serial dilution test for plasma samples containing various NT-proBNP levels showed the linear decrement in concentration with the regression coefficient of 0.980–0.998. These results indicate that us-NT-proBNP test does not suffer from the interference of the plasma components for the measurement of NT-proBNP in clinical samples.

  11. Gene expression of membrane transporters: Importance for prognosis and progression of ovarian carcinoma

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Elsnerová, K.; Mohelniková; Duchonová, B.; Čeřovská, E.; Ehrlichová, M.; Gut, I.; Rob, L.; Skapa, P.; Hruda, M.; Bartáková, A.; Bouda, J.; Vodička, Pavel; Souček, P.; Václavíková, R.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 35, č. 4 (2016), s. 2159-2170 ISSN 1021-335X R&D Projects: GA MZd(CZ) NT14056; GA MŠk(CZ) LD14050 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : epithelial ovarian cancer * ABC transporters * SLC transporters * gene expression * prognosis Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.662, year: 2016

  12. Regulation of radiation-induced apoptosis by early growth response-1 gene in solid tumors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed, M.

    2003-01-01

    Ionizing radiation exposure is associated with activation of certain immediate-early genes that function as transcription factors. These include members of jun or fos and early growth response (EGR) gene families. In particular, the functional role of EGR-1 in radiation-induced signaling is pivotal since the promoter of EGR-1 contains radiation-inducible CArG DNA sequences. The Egr-1 gene belongs to a family of Egr genes that includes EGR-2, EGR-3, EGR-4, EGR-α and the tumor suppressor, Wilms' tumor gene product, WT1. The Egr-1 gene product, EGR-1, is a nuclear protein that contains three zinc fingers of the C 2 H 2 subtype. The EGR-1 GC-rich consensus target sequence, 5'-GCGT/GGGGCG-3' or 5'-TCCT/ACCTCCTCC-3', has been identified in the promoter regions of transcription factors, growth factors, receptors, cell cycle regulators and pro-apoptotic genes. The gene targets mediated by Egr-1 in response to ionizing radiation include TNF-α , p53, Rb and Bax, all these are effectors of apoptosis. Based on these targets, Egr-1 is a pivotal gene that initiates early signal transduction events in response to ionizing radiation leading to either growth arrest or cell death in tumor cells. There are two potential application of Egr-1 gene in therapy of cancer. First, the Egr-1 promoter contains information for appropriate spatial and temporal expression in-vivo that can be regulated by ionizing radiation to control transcription of genes that have pro-apoptotic and suicidal function. Secondly, EGR-1 protein can eliminate 'induced-radiation resistance' by inhibiting the functions of radiation-induced pro-survival genes (NFκB activity and bcl-2 expression) and activate pro-apoptotic genes (such as bax) to confer a significant radio-sensitizing effect. Together, the reported findings from my laboratory demonstrate clearly that EGR-1 is an early central gene that confers radiation sensitivity and its pro-apoptotic functions are synergized by abrogation of induced radiation

  13. Unusual animal-plant interaction: Feeding of Schomburgkia tibicinis (Orchidaceae) by ants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rico-Gray, V.; Barber, J.T.; Thien, L.B.; Ellgaard, E.G.; Toney, J.J.

    1989-01-01

    The hollow pseudobulbs of Schomburgkia tibicinis (Orchidaceae; Central America) serve as domatia for many species of ants. The ants pack many of the pseudobulbs with debris including dead insects, plant material, and sand. Ants were fed 14 C-labelled D-glucose in honey, killed, and placed in the pseudobulbs for up to eight weeks. Samples of plant tissue were harvested and tested for radioactivity after 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. The labelled material had moved into various parts of the plant and demonstrated direct nutrient uptake

  14. Combining NT3-overexpressing MSCs and PLGA microcarriers for brain tissue engineering: A potential tool for treatment of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradian, Hanieh; Keshvari, Hamid; Fasehee, Hamidreza; Dinarvand, Rassoul; Faghihi, Shahab

    2017-07-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that characterized by destruction of substantia nigrostriatal pathway due to the loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons. Regardless of substantial efforts for treatment of PD in recent years, an effective therapeutic strategy is still missing. In a multidisciplinary approach, bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are genetically engineered to overexpress neurotrophin-3 (nt-3 gene) that protect central nervous system tissues and stimulates neuronal-like differentiation of BMSCs. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microcarriers are designed as an injectable scaffold and synthesized via double emulsion method. The surface of PLGA microcarriers are functionalized by collagen as a bioadhesive agent for improved cell attachment. The results demonstrate effective overexpression of NT-3. The expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in transfected BMSCs reveal that NT-3 promotes the intracellular signaling pathway of DA neuron differentiation. It is also shown that transfected BMSCs are successfully attached to the surface of microcarriers. The presence of dopamine in peripheral media of cell/microcarrier complex reveals that BMSCs are successfully differentiated into dopaminergic neuron. Our approach that sustains presence of growth factor can be suggested as a novel complementary therapeutic strategy for treatment of Parkinson disease. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Are ant feces nutrients for plants? A metabolomics approach to elucidate the nutritional effects on plants hosting weaver ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vidkjær, Nanna Hjort; Wollenweber, Bernd; Gislum, René

    2015-01-01

    Weaver ants (genus Oecophylla) are tropical carnivorous ant species living in high numbers in the canopies of trees. The ants excrete copious amounts of fecal matter on leaf surfaces, and these feces may provide nutrients to host trees. This hypothesis is supported by studies of ant......-plant interactions involving other ant species that have demonstrated the transfer of nutrients from ants to plants. In this 7-months study, a GC–MS-based metabolomics approach along with an analysis of total nitrogen and carbon levels was used to study metabolic changes in ant-hosting Coffea arabica plants compared...... with control plants. The results showed elevated levels of total nitrogen, amino acids, fatty acids, caffeine, and secondary metabolites of the phenylpropanoid pathway in leaves from ant-hosting plants. Minor effects were observed for sugars, whereas little or no effect was observed for organic acids, despite...

  16. Low doses of neutrons induce changes in gene expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woloschak, G.E.; Chang-Liu, C.M.; Panozzo, J.; Libertin, C.R.

    1993-01-01

    Studies were designed to identify genes induced following low-dose neutron but not following γ-ray exposure in fibroblasts. Our past work had shown differences in the expression of β-protein kinase C and c-fos genes, both being induced following γ-ray but not neutron exposure. We have identified two genes that are induced following neutron, but not γ-ray, exposure: Rp-8 (a gene induced by apoptosis) and the long terminal repeat (LTR) of the human immunodeficiency (HIV). Rp-8 mRNA induction was demonstrated in Syrian hamster embryo fibroblasts and was found to be induced in cells exposed to neutrons administered at low (0.5 cGy/min) and at high dose rate (12 cGy/min). The induction of transcription from the LTR of HIV was demonstrated in HeLa cells bearing a transfected construct of the chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) gene driven by the HIV-LTR promoter. Measures of CAT activity and CAT transcripts following irradiation demonstrated an unresponsiveness to γ rays over a broad range of doses. Twofold induction of the HIV-LTR was detected following neutron exposure (48 cGy) administered at low (0.5 cGy/min) but not high (12 cGy/min) dose rates. Ultraviolet-mediated HIV-LTR induction was inhibited by low-dose-rate neutron exposure

  17. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    This s pecial feature results from the symposium 'Ants 2016: ant interactions with their biotic environments' held in Munich in May 2016 and deals with the interactions between ants and other insects, plants, microbes and fungi, studied at micro- and macroevolutionary levels with a wide range of approaches, from field ecology to next-generation sequencing, chemical ecology and molecular genetics. In this paper, we review key aspects of these biotic interactions to provide background information for the papers of this s pecial feature After listing the major types of biotic interactions that ants engage in, we present a brief overview of ant/ant communication, ant/plant interactions, ant/fungus symbioses, and recent insights about ants and their endosymbionts. Using a large molecular clock-dated Formicidae phylogeny, we map the evolutionary origins of different ant clades' interactions with plants, fungi and hemiptera. Ants' biotic interactions provide ideal systems to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions about mutualism, coevolution, adaptation and animal communication. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. The development of the conditionally replication-competent adenovirus: replacement of E4 orf1-4 region by exogenous gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Jae-Kook; Lee, Mi-Hyang; Seo, Hae-Hyun; Kim, Seok-Ki; Lee, Kang-Huyn; Kim, In-Hoo; Lee, Sang-Jin

    2010-05-01

    Tumor or tissue specific replicative adenovirus armed with a therapeutic gene has shown a promising anti-cancer therapeutic modality. However, because the genomic packaging capacity is constrained, only a few places inside it are available for transgene insertion. In the present study, we introduce a novel strategy utilizing the early E4 region for the insertion of therapeutic gene(s). We constructed the conditionally replication-competent adenovirus (CRAd), Ad5E4(mRFP) by: (i) replacing the E4/E1a promoter by the prostate-specific enhancer element; (ii) inserting mRFP inside the E4orf1-4 deletion region; and (iii) sub-cloning enhanced green fluorescent protein controlled by cytomegalovirus promoter in the left end of the viral genome. Subsequently, we evaluated its replication abilities and killing activities in vitro, as well as its in vivo anti-tumor efficacy in CWR22rv xenografts. When infected with Ad5E4(mRFP), the number and intensity of the mRFP gene products increased in a prostate cancer cell-specific manner as designed, suggesting that the mRFP gene and E4orfs other than E4orf1-4 were well synthesized from one transcript via alternative splicing as the recombinant adenovirus replicated. As expected from the confirmed virus replication capability, Ad5E4(mRFP) induced cell lysis as potent as the wild-type adenovirus and effectively suppressed tumor growth when tested in the CWR22rv xenografts in nude mice. Furthermore, Ad5E4(endo/angio) harboring an endostatin-angiostatin gene in E4orf1-4 was able to enhance CRAd by replacing mRFP with a therapeutic gene. The approach employed in the present study for the insertion of a therapeutic transgene in CRAd should facilitate the construction of CRAd containing multiple therapeutic genes in the viral genome that may have the potential to serve as highly potent cancer therapeutic reagents. Copyright (c) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Prognostic threshold levels of NT-proBNP testing in primary care

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenberg, J.; Schou, M.; Gustafsson, F.

    2008-01-01

    AIMS: Chronic heart failure (HF) is a common condition with a poor prognosis. As delayed diagnosis and treatment of HF patients in primary care can be detrimental, risk-stratified waiting lists for echocardiography might optimize resource utilization. We investigated whether a prognostic threshold...... level of the cardiac peptide, NT-proBNP, could be identified. METHODS AND RESULTS: From 2003-2005, 5875 primary care patients with suspected HF (median age 73 years) had NT-proBNP analysed in the Copenhagen area. Eighteen percent died and 20% had a cardiovascular (CV) hospitalization (median follow....../mL) was associated with an 80% (95% CI: 20-190, P = 0.01) increased mortality risk after adjustment for age, sex, previous hospitalization, CV diseases, and chronic diseases. CONCLUSION: We identified prognostic threshold levels for mortality and CV hospitalization for NT-proBNP in primary care patients suspected...

  20. Adaptation of respiratory chain biogenesis to cytochrome c oxidase deficiency caused by SURF1 gene mutations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kovářová, Nikola; Vrbacká-Čížková, Alena; Pecina, Petr; Stránecký, V.; Pronicka, E.; Kmoch, S.; Houštěk, Josef

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 1822, č. 7 (2012), s. 1114-1124 ISSN 0925-4439 R&D Projects: GA MZd(CZ) NS9759; GA MZd(CZ) NT12370; GA ČR(CZ) GD305/08/H037 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : mitochondrial disorder * SURF1 gene * Leigh syndrome * gene expression * oxidative phosphorylation * cytochrome c oxidase Subject RIV: FG - Pediatrics Impact factor: 4.910, year: 2012

  1. A membrane-bound matrix-metalloproteinase from Nicotiana tabacum cv. BY-2 is induced by bacterial pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wahner Verena

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant matrix metalloproteinases (MMP are conserved proteolytic enzymes found in a wide range of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plant species. Acting on the plant extracellular matrix, they play crucial roles in many aspects of plant physiology including growth, development and the response to stresses such as pathogen attack. Results We have identified the first tobacco MMP, designated NtMMP1, and have isolated the corresponding cDNA sequence from the tobacco suspension cell line BY-2. The overall domain structure of NtMMP1 is similar to known MMP sequences, although certain features suggest it may be constitutively active rather than dependent on proteolytic processing. The protein appears to be expressed in two forms with different molecular masses, both of which are enzymatically active as determined by casein zymography. Exchanging the catalytic domain of NtMMP1 with green fluorescent protein (GFP facilitated subcellular localization by confocal laser scanning microscopy, showing the protein is normally inserted into the plasma membrane. The NtMMP1 gene is expressed constitutively at a low level but can be induced by exposure to bacterial pathogens. Conclusion Our biochemical analysis of NtMMP1 together with bioinformatic data on the primary sequence indicate that NtMMP1 is a constitutively-active protease. Given its induction in response to bacterial pathogens and its localization in the plasma membrane, we propose a role in pathogen defense at the cell periphery.

  2. Molecular phylogenetic study of a myrmecophyte symbiosis: did Leonardoxa/ ant associations diversify via cospeciation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenuil, A; McKey, D B

    1996-10-01

    The Leonardoxa africana (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae) complex is a group of four closely related taxa (L1 to L4) exhibiting various grades of specificity and specialization in mutualistic associations with ants. Each of the two most specialized species, Leonardoxa taxon 3 (L3) and L. africana sensu stricto (L4), interacts with a specific species of formicine ant, respectively Aphomomyrmex after and Petalomyrmex phylax, which nests in specialized swollen twigs. These two monotypic genera are the sole African members of the tribe Myrmelachistini, and their occurrence in closely related plants suggested thehypothesis that the two associations L4/Petalomyrmex and L3/Aphomomyrmex are derived by cospeciation from an ancestral association. Phylogenies based on DNA sequences were reconstructed for the ants and compared with phylogenies available for the plants in order to test for this hypothesis of cospeciation. The resulting topologies suggest either that the association with myrmelachistine ants arose several times or that a plant species (L2) and an ant population split off from an ancestral association. Furthermore, dates of speciation events appear to differ between ants and corresponding plants. An estimate of at least 4 million years was obtained for the separation of Aphomomyrmex and Petalomyrmex, whereas biological, biogeographic, and molecular-genetic data suggest a much more recent divergence for the plants. Thus, we reject the hypothesis of cospeciation and conclude that Aphomomyrmex and Petalomyrmex independently colonized different taxa of Leonardoxa. This striking instance of parallel evolution supports the notion that specific ant-plant associations originated by ecological fitting of preadapted partners. We discuss alternative evolutionary scenarios that are consistent with molecular data.

  3. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, Rachelle Martha Marie; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A.

    2013-01-01

    guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit......The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated...... parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few...

  4. A cellular automata model for ant trails

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In this study, the unidirectional ant traffic flow with U-turn in an ant trail was inves- tigated using ... the literature, it was considered in the model that (i) ant colony consists of two kinds of ants, good- ... ponents without a central controller [8].

  5. Effect of genes controlling radiation sensitivity on chemically induced mutations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prakash, L.

    1976-01-01

    The effect of 16 different genes (rad) conferring radiation sensitivity on chemically induced reversion in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was determined. The site of reversion used was a well-defined chain initiation mutant mapping in the structural gene coding for iso-1-cytochrome c. High doses of EMS and HNO 2 resulted in decreased reversion of cyc1-131 in rad6, rad9 and rad15 strains compared to the normal RAD + strains. In addition, rad52 greatly decreased EMS reversion of cyc1-131 but had no effect on HNO 2 -induced reversion; rad18, on the other hand, increased HNO 2 -induced reversion but did not alter EMS-induced reversion. When NQO was used as the mutagen, every rad gene tested, except for rad18, had an effect on reversion; rad6, rad9, rad15, rad17, rad18, rad22, rev1, rev2, and rev3 lowered NQO reversion while rad1, rad2, rad3, rad4, rad10, rad12, and rad16 increased it compared to the RAD + strain. The effect of rad genes on chemical mutagenesis is discussed in terms of their effect on uv mutagenesis. It is concluded that although the nature of the repair pathways may differ for uv- and chemically-induced mutations in yeast, a functional repair system is required for the induction of mutation by the chemical agents NQO, EMS, and HNO 2

  6. Using pleometrosis (multiple queens) and pupae transplantation to boost weaver ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) colony growth in ant nurseries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Hans Joachim; Nielsen, Mogens Gissel; Peng, Renkang

    2011-01-01

    Weaver ants (Oecophylla spp.) are increasingly being used for biocontrol and are targeted for future production of insect protein in ant farms. An efficient production of live ant colonies may facilitate the utilization of these ants but the production of mature colonies is hampered by the long...... and no transplantation. Thus, in ant nurseries the use of multiple queens during nest founding as well as transplantation of pupae from foreign colonies may be utilised to decrease the time it takes to produce a colony ready for implementation....

  7. Ant-plants and fungi: a new threeway symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defossez, Emmanuel; Selosse, Marc-André; Dubois, Marie-Pierre; Mondolot, Laurence; Faccio, Antonella; Djieto-Lordon, Champlain; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2009-06-01

    Symbioses between plants and fungi, fungi and ants, and ants and plants all play important roles in ecosystems. Symbioses involving all three partners appear to be rare. Here, we describe a novel tripartite symbiosis in which ants and a fungus inhabit domatia of an ant-plant, and present evidence that such interactions are widespread. We investigated 139 individuals of the African ant-plant Leonardoxa africana for occurrence of fungus. Behaviour of mutualist ants toward the fungus within domatia was observed using a video camera fitted with an endoscope. Fungi were identified by sequencing a fragment of their ribosomal DNA. Fungi were always present in domatia occupied by mutualist ants but never in domatia occupied by opportunistic or parasitic ants. Ants appear to favour the propagation, removal and maintenance of the fungus. Similar fungi were associated with other ant-plants in Cameroon. All belong to the ascomycete order Chaetothyriales; those from L. africana formed a monophyletic clade. These new plant-ant-fungus associations seem to be specific, as demonstrated within Leonardoxa and as suggested by fungal phyletic identities. Such tripartite associations are widespread in African ant-plants but have long been overlooked. Taking fungal partners into account will greatly enhance our understanding of symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms.

  8. Anti-pathogen protection versus survival costs mediated by an ectosymbiont in an ant host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Matthias; Grasse, Anna V.; Tragust, Simon; Cremer, Sylvia

    2015-01-01

    The fitness effects of symbionts on their hosts can be context-dependent, with usually benign symbionts causing detrimental effects when their hosts are stressed, or typically parasitic symbionts providing protection towards their hosts (e.g. against pathogen infection). Here, we studied the novel association between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and its fungal ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum for potential costs and benefits. We tested ants with different Laboulbenia levels for their survival and immunity under resource limitation and exposure to the obligate killing entomopathogen Metarhizium brunneum. While survival of L. neglectus workers under starvation was significantly decreased with increasing Laboulbenia levels, host survival under Metarhizium exposure increased with higher levels of the ectosymbiont, suggesting a symbiont-mediated anti-pathogen protection, which seems to be driven mechanistically by both improved sanitary behaviours and an upregulated immune system. Ants with high Laboulbenia levels showed significantly longer self-grooming and elevated expression of immune genes relevant for wound repair and antifungal responses (β-1,3-glucan binding protein, Prophenoloxidase), compared with ants carrying low Laboulbenia levels. This suggests that the ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum weakens its ant host by either direct resource exploitation or the costs of an upregulated behavioural and immunological response, which, however, provides a prophylactic protection upon later exposure to pathogens. PMID:25473011

  9. Dopamine receptors genes polymorphisms in Parkinson patients with levodopa-induced dyskinesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pozhidaev, Ivan V; Alifirova, V. M.; Freidin, Maxim B.; Zhukova, I.A.; Fedorenko, Olga Yu; Osmanova, Diana Z; Mironova, Y.S.; Wilffert, Berend; Ivanova, Svetlana A.; Loonen, Antonius

    2017-01-01

    Dopamine receptors genes polymorphisms in Parkinson patients with levodopa-induced dyskinesia I. Pozhidaev(1), V.M. Alifirova(2), M.B. Freidin(3), I.A. Zhukova(2), O.Y. Fedorenko(1), D.Z. Osmanova(1), Y.S. Mironova(2), B. Wilffert(4), S.A. Ivanova(1), A.J.M. Loonen(5) (1)Mental Health Research

  10. Food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Flores, Rocío Vianey; Aguirre, Armando; Anjos, Diego V.; Neves, Frederico S.; Campos, Ricardo I.; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-02-01

    In this study, we conducted a series of experiments in a population of Vachellia constricta (Fabaceae) in the arid Tehuacan-Cuicatláan valley, Mexico, in order to evaluate if the food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions. Using an experiment with artificial nectaries, we observed that ants foraging on food sources with higher concentration of sugar are quicker in finding and attacking potential herbivorous insects. More specifically, we found that the same ant species may increase their defence effectiveness according to the quality of food available. These findings indicate that ant effectiveness in plant protection is context-dependent and may vary according to specific individual characteristics of plants. In addition, we showed that competitively superior ant species tend to dominate plants in periods with high nectar activity, emphasizing the role of the dominance hierarchy structuring ant-plant interactions. However, when high sugar food sources were experimentally available ad libitum, the nocturnal and competitively superior ant species, Camponotus atriceps, did not dominate the artificial nectaries during the day possibly due to limitation of its thermal tolerance. Therefore, temporal niche partitioning may be allowing the coexistence of two dominant ant species (Camponotus rubritorax during the day and C. atriceps at night) on V. constricta. Our findings indicate that the quality of the food source, and temporal shifts in ant dominance are key factors which structure the biotic plant defences in an arid environment.

  11. Nine novel microsatellite markers for the army ant Simopelta pergandei (subfamily Ponerinae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kronauer, D.J.C.; Boomsma, J.J.; Pierce, N.E.

    2011-01-01

    Simopelta (subfamily Ponerinae) army ants are specialized predators of other ants in New World tropical forests. Although they show a striking convergence in overall life-history with the well known army ants of the subfamilies Aenictinae, Dorylinae, and Ecitoninae, the genus has been little...... studied. We developed and characterized nine novel microsatellite loci for S. pergandei with 2-8 observed alleles (mean: 5.2) and expected heterozygosities between 0.16 and 0.87 (mean: 0.68). Three of these loci reliably cross-amplified in a second species, S. pentadentata, with 4-8 alleles (mean: 8.......0) and expected heterozygosities between 0.32 and 0.85 (mean: 0.65). These genetic markers will be useful in studying the sociobiology and molecular ecology of Simopelta army ants and in elucidating convergent evolutionary trajectories that have culminated in the army ant lifestyle...

  12. Persistence of pollination mutualisms in the presence of ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator-ant systems in which the plant-pollinator interaction is mutualistic but ants have both positive and negative effects on plants. The ants also interfere with pollinators by preventing them from accessing plants. While a Beddington-DeAngelis (BD) formula can describe the plant-pollinator interaction, the formula is extended in this paper to characterize the pollination mutualism under the ant interference. Then, a plant-pollinator-ant system with the extended BD functional response is discussed, and global dynamics of the model demonstrate the mechanisms by which pollination mutualism can persist in the presence of ants. When the ant interference is strong, it can result in extinction of pollinators. Moreover, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for survival, the strong interference could drive pollinators into extinction, which consequently lead to extinction of the ants themselves. When the ant interference is weak, a cooperation between plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms could occur, which promotes survival of both ants and pollinators, especially in the case that ants (respectively, pollinators) cannot survive in the absence of pollinators (respectively, ants). Even when the level of ant interference remains invariant, varying ants' negative effect on plants can result in survival/extinction of both ants and pollinators. Therefore, our results provide an explanation for the persistence of pollination mutualism when there exist ants.

  13. A new fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) bait base carrier for moist conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafle, Lekhnath; Wu, Wen-Jer; Shih, Cheng-Jen

    2010-10-01

    A new water-resistant fire ant bait (T-bait; cypermethrin 0.128%) consisting of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) as a carrier was developed and evaluated against a standard commercial bait (Advion; indoxacarb 0.045%) under both laboratory and field conditions. When applying the normal T-bait or Advion in the laboratory, 100% of Solenopsis invicta Buren worker ants were killed within 4 days. However, when the T-bait and Advion were wetted, 70.6 and 39.7% of the ants were killed respectively. Under field conditions, dry T-bait and dry Advion had almost the same efficacy against ant colonies. However, when T-bait and Advion came in contact with water, the former's ability to kill S. invicta colonies in the field was only marginally reduced, while Advion lost virtually all of its activity. In addition, DDGS was also shown to be compatible with a number of other insecticides, such as d-allethrin, permethrin and pyrethrin. Based on its properties of remaining attractive to the fire ants when wetted, combined with its ant-killing abilities both in the laboratory and in the field, T-bait is an efficient fire ant bait, especially under moist conditions.

  14. Impact of MicroRNA Levels, Target-Site Complementarity, and Cooperativity on Competing Endogenous RNA-Regulated Gene Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denzler, Rémy; McGeary, Sean E; Title, Alexandra C; Agarwal, Vikram; Bartel, David P; Stoffel, Markus

    2016-11-03

    Expression changes of competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) have been proposed to influence microRNA (miRNA) activity and thereby regulate other transcripts containing miRNA-binding sites. Here, we find that although miRNA levels define the extent of repression, they have little effect on the magnitude of the ceRNA expression change required to observe derepression. Canonical 6-nt sites, which typically mediate modest repression, can nonetheless compete for miRNA binding, with potency ∼20% of that observed for canonical 8-nt sites. In aggregate, low-affinity/background sites also contribute to competition. Sites with extensive additional complementarity can appear as more potent, but only because they induce miRNA degradation. Cooperative binding of proximal sites for the same or different miRNAs does increase potency. These results provide quantitative insights into the stoichiometric relationship between miRNAs and target abundance, target-site spacing, and affinity requirements for ceRNA-mediated gene regulation, and the unusual circumstances in which ceRNA-mediated gene regulation might be observed. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Insecticidal activity and expression of cytochrome P450 family 4 genes in Aedes albopictus after exposure to pyrethroid mosquito coils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avicor, Silas W; Wajidi, Mustafa F F; El-Garj, Fatma M A; Jaal, Zairi; Yahaya, Zary S

    2014-10-01

    Mosquito coils are insecticides commonly used for protection against mosquitoes due to their toxic effects on mosquito populations. These effects on mosquitoes could induce the expression of metabolic enzymes in exposed populations as a counteractive measure. Cytochrome P450 family 4 (CYP4) are metabolic enzymes associated with a wide range of biological activities including insecticide resistance. In this study, the efficacies of three commercial mosquito coils with different pyrethroid active ingredients were assessed and their potential to induce the expression of CYP4 genes in Aedes albopictus analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR. Coils containing 0.3 % D-allethrin and 0.005 % metofluthrin exacted profound toxic effects on Ae. albopictus, inducing high mortalities (≥90 %) compared to the 0.2 % D-allethrin reference coil. CYP4H42 and CYP4H43 expressions were significantly higher in 0.3 % D-allethrin treated mosquitoes compared to the other treated populations. Short-term (KT50) exposure to mosquito coils induced significantly higher expression of both genes in 0.005 % metofluthrin exposed mosquitoes. These results suggest the evaluated products provided better protection than the reference coil; however, they also induced the expression of metabolic genes which could impact negatively on personal protection against mosquito.

  16. NT-proBNP as Marker of Ventricular Dilatation and Pulmonary Regurgitation After Surgical Correction of Tetralogy of Fallot: A MRI Validation Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolino, Annalisa; Hussain, Tarique; Pavon, Antonio; Velasco, Maria Nieves; Uribe, Sergio; Ordoñez, Antonio; Valverde, Israel

    2017-02-01

    The goal of this study is to evaluate whether NT-proBNP plasma levels may help as a screening biomarker for monitoring right ventricular dilatation, pulmonary regurgitation and the onset of heart failure in patients with repaired Tetralogy of Fallot. Our single-centre observational prospective study involved 43 patients (15.1 years, SD = 8) with corrected Tetralogy of Fallot. Data collection included: clinical parameters (electrocardiogram, chest X-ray, NYHA scale, time since last surgery), biochemistry (NT-proBNP levels) and MRI values (ventricular volumetry, pulmonary flow assessment). Mean time since last surgery was 13.5 years (SD = 7.8). There was a statistically significant correlation between the NT-proBNP levels (187.4 pg/ml, SD = 154.9) and right ventricular dilatation for both the right ventricular end-diastolic volume (124.9 ml/m 2 , SD = 31.2) (Pearson = 0.19, p Tetralogy of Fallot, NT-proBNP levels correlate with right ventricular dilatation and the degree of pulmonary regurgitation. Ambulatory determination of NT-proBNP might be an easy, readily available and cost-effective alternative for MRI follow-up evaluation of these patients.

  17. Riding with the ants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duarte, A. P. M.; Attili-Angelis, D.; Baron, N. C.; Groenewald, Johannes Z.; Crous, Pedro W.; Pagnocca, F. C.

    Isolates of Teratosphaeriaceae have frequently been found in the integument of attine ants, proving to be common and diverse in this microenvironment. The LSU phylogeny of the ant-isolated strains studied revealed that they cluster in two main lineages. The first was associated with the genus

  18. DOSE-DEPENDENT INCREASE IN THE PRODUCTION OF NERVE GROWTH FACTOR, NEUROTROPHIN-3, AND NEUROTROPHIN-4 IN A PENICILLIUM CHRYSOGENUM-INDUCED ALLERGIC ASTHMA MODEL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increased levels of neurotrophins (nerve growth factor [NGF], brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF], neurotrophin [NT]-3, and/or NT-4) have been associated with asthma as well as in animal models of allergic asthma. In our mouse model for fungal allergic asthma, repeated ...

  19. Is there an additional benefit of serial NT-proBNP measurements in patients with stable chronic heart failure receiving individually optimized therapy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franke, Jennifer; Frankenstein, Lutz; Schellberg, Dieter; Bajrovic, Amer; Wolter, Jan Sebastian; Ehlermann, Philipp; Doesch, Andreas O; Nelles, Manfred; Katus, Hugo A; Zugck, Christian

    2011-12-01

    The role of serial NT-proBNP measurements in patients suffering from chronic systolic heart failure (CHF) who already receive individually optimized pharmacotherapy is still unresolved. NT-proBNP was assessed at baseline and at 6 months follow-up in 504 stable CHF patients treated with individually optimized pharmacotherapy. After assessment of clinical stability at 6 months, patients were followed up for at least 1 year. The combined primary endpoint was defined as death, hospitalization due to cardiac reasons or heart transplantation in 1-year follow-up. We stratified our patients according to two principles: first, a percent change of value (CV) between the first and second measurement of NT-proBNP and secondly, the transformed logarithm of NT-proBNP measured at 6 months. During the follow-up period of 1 year, 50 patients (9.9%) reached the combined primary endpoint. Stratification according to percentage CV was less accurate in predicting endpoint-free survival compared to a classification in categories of lnNT-proBNP measured at 6 months (ROC AUC = 0.615; 95% CI 0.525-0.70 vs. ROC AUC = 0.790; 95% CI 0.721-0.856, respectively). When entered into proportional hazard regression analysis, lnNT-proBNP measured at 6 months remained an independent predictor of the combined primary endpoint with an associated HR of 2.53 (95% CI 1.385-4.280). To date, this is the largest analysis of serial NT-proBNP measurements in patients with CHF receiving individually optimized medical therapy. These data suggest that a single NT-proBNP measurement after 6 months in stable clinical conditions may have higher predictive value than stratification of change in serial measurements.

  20. The importance of ants in cave ecology, with new records and behavioral observations of ants in Arizona caves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The importance of ants as elements in cave ecology has been mostly unrecognized. A global list of ant species recorded from caves, compiled from a review of existing literature, is presented. This paper also reviews what is currently known about ants occurring in Arizona (USA caves. The diversity and distribution represented in these records suggests ants are relatively common cave visitors (trogloxenes. A general utilization of caves by ants within both temperate and tropical latitudes may be inferred from this combined evidence. Observations of ant behavior in Arizona caves demonstrate a low level and sporadic, but persistent, use of these habitats and their contained resources by individual ant colonies. Documentation of Neivamyrmex sp. preying on cave-inhabiting arthropods is reported here for the first time. Observations of hypogeic army ants in caves suggests they may not penetrate to great vertical depth in search of prey, but can be persistent occupants in relatively shallow, horizontal sections of caves where they may prey on endemic cave animals. First cave records for ten ant species are reported from Arizona caves. These include two species of Neivamyrmex (N. nigrescens Cresson and Neivamyrmex sp.; Formicidae: Dorylinae, four myrmicines (Pheidole portalensis Wilson, Pheidole cf. porcula Wheeler, Solenopsis aurea Wheeler and Stenamma sp. Westwood, one dolichoderine (Forelius keiferi Wheeler and three formicines (Lasius arizonicus Wheeler, L. sitiens Wilson, and Camponotus sp. Mayr.

  1. Small-molecule quinolinol inhibitor identified provides protection against BoNT/A in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Padma Singh

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs, etiological agents of the life threatening neuroparalytic disease botulism, are the most toxic substances currently known. The potential for the use as bioweapon makes the development of small-molecule inhibitor against these deadly toxins is a top priority. Currently, there are no approved pharmacological treatments for BoNT intoxication. Although an effective vaccine/immunotherapy is available for immuno-prophylaxis but this cannot reverse the effects of toxin inside neurons. A small-molecule pharmacological intervention, especially one that would be effective against the light chain protease, would be highly desirable. Similarity search was carried out from ChemBridge and NSC libraries to the hit (7-(phenyl(8-quinolinylaminomethyl-8-quinolinol; NSC 84096 to mine its analogs. Several hits obtained were screened for in silico inhibition using AutoDock 4.1 and 19 new molecules selected based on binding energy and Ki. Among these, eleven quinolinol derivatives potently inhibited in vitro endopeptidase activity of botulinum neurotoxin type A light chain (rBoNT/A-LC on synaptosomes isolated from rat brain which simulate the in vivo system. Five of these inhibitor molecules exhibited IC(50 values ranging from 3.0 nM to 10.0 µM. NSC 84087 is the most potent inhibitor reported so far, found to be a promising lead for therapeutic development, as it exhibits no toxicity, and is able to protect animals from pre and post challenge of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A.

  2. Forage collection, substrate preparation, and diet composition in fungus-growing ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Licht, H.H.D.; Boomsma, J.J.

    2010-01-01

    , whereas most of the other attine species use dry and partly degraded plant material such as leaf litter and caterpillar frass, but systematic comparative studies of actual resource acquisition across the attine ants have not been done. 3. Here we review 179 literature records of diet composition across...... the extant genera of fungus-growing ants. The records confirm the dependence of leaf-cutting ants on fresh vegetation but find that flowers, dry plant debris, seeds (husks), and insect frass are used by all genera, whereas other substrates such as nectar and insect carcasses are only used by some. 4. Diet...

  3. Recolonization patterns of ants in a rehabilitated lignite mine in central Italy: Potential for the use of Mediterranean ants as indicators of restoration processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ottonetti, L.; Tucci, L.; Santini, G. [University of Florence, Florence (Italy)

    2006-03-15

    Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) assemblages were sampled with pitfall traps in three different habitats associated with a rehabilitated mine district and in undisturbed forests in Tuscany, Italy. The four habitats were (1) open fields (3-4 years old); (2) a middle-age mixed plantation (10 years); (3) an old-age mixed plantation (20 years); and (4) an oak woodland (40 years) not directly affected by mining activities. The aim of the study was to analyze ant recolonization patterns in order to provide insights on the use of Mediterranean ant fauna as indicators of restoration processes. Species richness and diversity were not significantly different among the four habitats. However, multivariate analyses showed that the assemblages in the different habitats were clearly differentiated, with similarity relationships reflecting a successional gradient among rehabilitated sites. The observed patterns of functional group changes along the gradient broadly accord with those of previous studies in other biogeographic regions. These were (1) a decrease of dominant Dolichoderinae and opportunists; (2) an increase in the proportion of cold-climate specialists; and (3) the appearance of the Cryptic species in the oldest plantations, with a maximum of abundance in the woodland. In conclusion, the results of our study supported the use of Mediterranean ants as a suitable tool for biomonitoring of restoration processes, and in particular, the functional group approach proved a valuable framework to better interpret local trends in terms of global ecological patterns. Further research is, however, needed in order to obtain a reliable classification of Mediterranean ant functional groups.

  4. NT-proBNP and diastolic left ventricular function in patients with Marfan syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Gehle

    2016-09-01

    Conclusions: MFS patients presenting with normal ejection fraction show disturbed diastolic function and higher NT-proBNP levels, which is partly explained by aortic Z-score. Assessment of diastolic function and NT-proBNP levels may therefore detect early abnormalities and guide surveillance and prevention management of patients with MFS.

  5. NT-proBNP (N-Terminal pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide)-Guided Therapy in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: PRIMA II Randomized Controlled Trial (Can NT-ProBNP-Guided Therapy During Hospital Admission for Acute Decompensated Heart Failure Reduce Mortality and Readmissions?).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stienen, Susan; Salah, Khibar; Moons, Arno H; Bakx, Adrianus L; van Pol, Petra; Kortz, R A Mikael; Ferreira, João Pedro; Marques, Irene; Schroeder-Tanka, Jutta M; Keijer, Jan T; Bayés-Genis, Antoni; Tijssen, Jan G P; Pinto, Yigal M; Kok, Wouter E

    2018-04-17

    The concept of natriuretic peptide guidance has been extensively studied in patients with chronic heart failure (HF), with only limited success. The effect of NT-proBNP (N-terminal probrain natriuretic peptide)-guided therapy in patients with acute decompensated HF using a relative NT-proBNP target has not been investigated. This study aimed to assess whether NT-proBNP-guided therapy of patients with acute decompensated HF using a relative NT-proBNP target would lead to improved outcomes compared with conventional therapy. We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial to study the impact of in-hospital guidance for acute decompensated HF treatment by a predefined NT-proBNP target (>30% reduction from admission to discharge) versus conventional treatment. Patients with acute decompensated HF with NT-proBNP levels >1700 ng/L were eligible. After achieving clinical stability, 405 patients were randomized to either NT-proBNP-guided or conventional treatment (1:1). The primary end point was dual: a composite of all-cause mortality and HF readmissions in 180 days and the number of days alive out of the hospital in 180 days. Secondary end points were all-cause mortality within 180 days, HF readmissions within 180 days, and a composite of all-cause mortality and HF readmissions within 90 days. Significantly more patients in the NT-proBNP-guided therapy group were discharged with an NT-proBNP reduction of >30% (80% versus 64%, P =0.001). Nonetheless, NT-proBNP-guided therapy did not significantly improve the combined event rate for all-cause mortality and HF readmissions (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.72-1.37; P =0.99) or the median number of days alive outside of the hospital (178 versus 179 days for NT-proBNP versus conventional patients, P =0.39). Guided therapy also did not significantly improve any of the secondary end points. The PRIMA II trial (Can NT-ProBNP-Guided Therapy During Hospital Admission for Acute Decompensated Heart Failure

  6. The majority of inducible DNA repair genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis are induced independently of RecA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rand, Lucinda; Hinds, Jason; Springer, Burkhard; Sander, Peter; Buxton, Roger S; Davis, Elaine O

    2003-11-01

    In many species of bacteria most inducible DNA repair genes are regulated by LexA homologues and are dependent on RecA for induction. We have shown previously by analysing the induction of recA that two mechanisms for the induction of gene expression following DNA damage exist in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Whereas one of these depends on RecA and LexA in the classical way, the other mechanism is independent of both of these proteins and induction occurs in the absence of RecA. Here we investigate the generality of each of these mechanisms by analysing the global response to DNA damage in both wild-type M. tuberculosis and a recA deletion strain of M. tuberculosis using microarrays. This revealed that the majority of the genes that were induced remained inducible in the recA mutant stain. Of particular note most of the inducible genes with known or predicted functions in DNA repair did not depend on recA for induction. Amongst these are genes involved in nucleotide excision repair, base excision repair, damage reversal and recombination. Thus, it appears that this novel mechanism of gene regulation is important for DNA repair in M. tuberculosis.

  7. Rhoptry-associated protein (rap-1) genes in the sheep pathogen Babesia sp. Xinjiang: Multiple transcribed copies differing by 3' end repeated sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Qingli; Marchand, Jordan; Yang, Congshan; Bonsergent, Claire; Guan, Guiquan; Yin, Hong; Malandrin, Laurence

    2015-07-30

    Sheep babesiosis occurs mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. The sheep parasite Babesia sp. Xinjiang is widespread in China, and our goal is to characterize rap-1 (rhoptry-associated protein 1) gene diversity and expression as a first step of a long term goal aiming at developing a recombinant subunit vaccine. Seven different rap-1a genes were amplified in Babesia sp. Xinjiang, using degenerate primers designed from conserved motifs. Rap-1b and rap-1c gene types could not be identified. In all seven rap-1a genes, the 5' regions exhibited identical sequences over 936 nt, and the 3' regions differed at 28 positions over 147 nt, defining two types of genes designated α and β. The remaining 3' part varied from 72 to 360 nt in length, depending on the gene. This region consists of a succession of two to ten 36 nt repeats, which explains the size differences. Even if the nucleotide sequences varied, 6 repeats encoded the same stretch of amino acids. Transcription of at least four α and two β genes was demonstrated by standard RT-PCR. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Ant-plant-homopteran mutualism: how the third partner affects the interaction between a plant-specialist ant and its myrmecophyte host

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaume, L.; McKey, D.; Terrin, S.

    1998-01-01

    By estimating relative costs and benefits, we explored the role of the homopteran partner in the protection mutualism between the myrmecophyte Leonardoxa africana T3, the ant Aphomomyrmex afer, and sap-sucking homopterans tended by ants in the tree's swollen hollow twigs. The ants obtain nest sites and food from their host-plant (food is obtained either directly by extrafloral nectar or indirectly via homopterans). Aphomomyrmex workers patrol the young leaves of L. africana T3 and protect them against phytophagous insects. Because ants tended, either solely or primarily, coccids in some trees and pseudococcids in others, we were able to study whether the nature of the interaction was dependent on the identity of the third partner. First, the type of homopteran affects the benefits to the tree of maintaining a large ant colony. Larger colony size (relative to tree size) confers greater protection against herbivory; this relationship is more pronounced for trees whose ants tend pseudococcids than for those in which ants tend coccids. Second, for trees (and associated ant colonies) of comparable size, homopteran biomass was much larger in trees harbouring coccids than in trees with pseudococcids. Thus, the cost to the tree of maintaining ants may be greater when ants are associated with coccids. The net benefits to the plant of maintaining ants appear to be much greater with pseudococcids as the third partner. To explore how the type of homopteran affects functioning of the system, we attempted to determine which of the resources (nest sites, extrafloral nectar, and homopterans) is likely to limit ant colony size. In trees where ants tended coccids, ant-colony biomass was strongly dependent on the number of extrafloral nectaries. In contrast, in trees whose ants tended only pseudococcids, colony biomass was not related to the number of nectaries and was most strongly determined by the volume of available nest sites. We present hypotheses to explain how the type of

  9. NT-proBNP in cardiac surgery: a new tool for the management of our patients?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Guillermo; Forés, Gloria; Rodríguez-Abella, R Hugo; Cuerpo, Gregorio; Vallejo, José Luis; Romero, Carlos; Pinto, Angel

    2005-06-01

    Our aim was to determine NT-proBNP levels in patients undergoing cardiac surgery and if those levels are related to any of the baseline clinical characteristics of patients before surgery or any of the outcomes or events after surgery. Prospective, analytic study including 83 consecutive patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Preoperatory and postoperatory data were collected. NT-proBNP levels were measured before surgery, the day of surgery, twice the following day and every 24 h until a total of nine determinations. Venous blood was obtained by direct venipuncture and collected into serum separator tubes. Samples were centrifuged within 20 min from sampling and stored for a maximum of 12 h at 2-8 degrees C before the separation of serum. Serum was stored frozen at -40 degrees C and thawed only once at the time of analysis. Mean age was 65+/-11.8 years. An Euroscore 6 was found in 30% of patients. NYHA classification was as follows: I:27.7%; II:47%; III:25.3%. Preoperative atrial fibrilation occurred in 20.5% of patients. After surgery 18.1% of patients required inotropes. Only one death was recorded. A great variability was found in preoperative NT-proBNP levels; 759.9 (S.D.:1371.1); CI 95%: 464.9 to 1054.9 pg/ml, with a wide range (6.39-8854). Median was 366.5 pg/ml. Preoperative NT-proBNP levels were unrelated to the type of surgery (CABG vs. others), sex, age and any of the cardiovascular risk factors. NT-proBNP levels were higher in high risk patients (Euroscore 6); (P=0.021), worse NYHA class (P=0.020) and patients with preoperative atrial fibrilation (m 1767 (2205) vs m 621 (1017); P=0.001). After surgery NT-proBNP levels started increasing the following day until the fourth day (P=0.03), decreasing afterwards (P=0.019). These levels were significantly higher in patients requiring inotropes after surgery (P<0.001). We did not find any relationship between NT-proBNP levels and complications rate (P=0.59). Preoperative NT-proBNP levels depend on preoperative

  10. Development of radiation-inducible promoters for use in nitric oxide synthase gene therapy of cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirst, D.G.; Worthington, J.; Adams, C.; Robson, T.; Scott, S.D.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: The free radical nitric oxide (NO) at nM concentrations performs multiple signaling roles that are essential for survival. These processes are regulated via the enzymes nNOS and eNOS, but another isoform, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is capable of generating much higher concentrations (mM) over longer periods, resulting in the generation of very toxic species such as peroxynitrite. At high concentrations NO has many of the characteristics of an ideal anticancer molecule: it is cytotoxic (pro-apoptotic via peroxynitrite), it is a potent chemical radiosensitizer, it is anti-angiogenic and anti-metastatic. Thus, we see iNOS gene therapy as a strategy for targeting the generation of high concentrations of NO to tumours for therapeutic benefit. iNOS gene therapy should be used in combination with radiotherapy; so it is logical that the use of a radiation-inducible promoter should be part of the targeting strategy. We have tested several candidate promoters in vitro and in vivo. The WAF1 promoter has many of the properties desirable for therapeutic use including: rapid 3-4 fold induction at X-ray doses of 2 and 4Gy and no significant leakiness. WAF1 also has the advantage of being inducible by hypoxia and by the final product, NO. We have also tested the synthetic CArG promoter and demonstrated that, in addition to a high level of radiation inducibility, it is also inducible by NO. We have also been able to demonstrate potent radiosensitization (SER 2.0-2.5) in tumour cells in vitro and in vivo using iNOS gene transfer with constitutive or radiation-inducible promoters. We have also tested the use of iNOS gene therapy in combination with cisplatin and shown significant enhancement

  11. Co-expression Network Approach to Studying the Effects of Botulinum Neurotoxin-A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukund, Kavitha; Ward, Samuel R; Lieber, Richard L; Subramaniam, Shankar

    2017-10-16

    Botulinum Neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) is a potent neurotoxin with several clinical applications.The goal of this study was to utilize co-expression network theory to analyze temporal transcriptional data from skeletal muscle after BoNT-A treatment. Expression data for 2000 genes (extracted using a ranking heuristic) served as the basis for this analysis. Using weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we identified 19 co-expressed modules, further hierarchically clustered into 5 groups. Quantifying average expression and co-expression patterns across these groups revealed temporal aspects of muscle's response to BoNT-A. Functional analysis revealed enrichment of group 1 with metabolism; group 5 with contradictory functions of atrophy and cellular recovery; and groups 2 and 3 with extracellular matrix (ECM) and non-fast fiber isoforms. Topological positioning of two highly ranked, significantly expressed genes- Dclk1 and Ostalpha within group 5 suggested possible mechanistic roles in recovery from BoNT-A induced atrophy. Phenotypic correlations of groups with titin and myosin protein content further emphasized the effect of BoNT-A on the sarcomeric contraction machinery in early phase of chemodenervation. In summary, our approach revealed a hierarchical functional response to BoNT-A induced paralysis with early metabolic and later ECM responses and identified putative biomarkers associated with chemodenervation. Additionally, our results provide an unbiased validation of the response documented in our previous workBotulinum Neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) is a potent neurotoxin with several clinical applications.The goal of this study was to utilize co-expression network theory to analyze temporal transcriptional data from skeletal muscle after BoNT-A treatment. Expression data for 2000 genes (extracted using a ranking heuristic) served as the basis for this analysis. Using weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we identified 19 co-expressed modules

  12. Cannabidivarin (CBDV suppresses pentylenetetrazole (PTZ-induced increases in epilepsy-related gene expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoki Amada

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available To date, anticonvulsant effects of the plant cannabinoid, cannabidivarin (CBDV, have been reported in several animal models of seizure. However, these behaviourally observed anticonvulsant effects have not been confirmed at the molecular level. To examine changes to epilepsy-related gene expression following chemical convulsant treatment and their subsequent control by phytocannabinoid administration, we behaviourally evaluated effects of CBDV (400 mg/kg, p.o. on acute, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ: 95 mg/kg, i.p.-induced seizures, quantified expression levels of several epilepsy-related genes (Fos, Casp 3, Ccl3, Ccl4, Npy, Arc, Penk, Camk2a, Bdnf and Egr1 by qPCR using hippocampal, neocortical and prefrontal cortical tissue samples before examining correlations between expression changes and seizure severity. PTZ treatment alone produced generalised seizures (median: 5.00 and significantly increased expression of Fos, Egr1, Arc, Ccl4 and Bdnf. Consistent with previous findings, CBDV significantly decreased PTZ-induced seizure severity (median: 3.25 and increased latency to the first sign of seizure. Furthermore, there were correlations between reductions of seizure severity and mRNA expression of Fos, Egr1, Arc, Ccl4 and Bdnf in the majority of brain regions in the CBDV+PTZ treated group. When CBDV treated animals were grouped into CBDV responders (criterion: seizure severity ≤3.25 and non-responders (criterion: seizure severity >3.25, PTZ-induced increases of Fos, Egr1, Arc, Ccl4 and Bdnf expression were suppressed in CBDV responders. These results provide the first molecular confirmation of behaviourally observed effects of the non-psychoactive, anticonvulsant cannabinoid, CBDV, upon chemically-induced seizures and serve to underscore its suitability for clinical development.

  13. Inflammation and pancreatic cancer: molecular and functional interactions between S100A8, S100A9, NT-S100A8 and TGFβ1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, Daniela; Bozzato, Dania; Padoan, Andrea; Moz, Stefania; Zambon, Carlo-Federico; Fogar, Paola; Greco, Eliana; Scorzeto, Michele; Simonato, Francesca; Navaglia, Filippo; Fassan, Matteo; Pelloso, Michela; Dupont, Sirio; Pedrazzoli, Sergio; Fassina, Ambrogio; Plebani, Mario

    2014-03-26

    In order to gain further insight on the crosstalk between pancreatic cancer (PDAC) and stromal cells, we investigated interactions occurring between TGFβ1 and the inflammatory proteins S100A8, S100A9 and NT-S100A8, a PDAC-associated S100A8 derived peptide, in cell signaling, intracellular calcium (Cai2+) and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). NF-κB, Akt and mTOR pathways, Cai2+ and EMT were studied in well (Capan1 and BxPC3) and poorly differentiated (Panc1 and MiaPaCa2) cell lines. NT-S100A8, one of the low molecular weight N-terminal peptides from S100A8 to be released by PDAC-derived proteases, shared many effects on NF-κB, Akt and mTOR signaling with S100A8, but mainly with TGFβ1. The chief effects of S100A8, S100A9 and NT-S100A8 were to inhibit NF-κB and stimulate mTOR; the molecules inhibited Akt in Smad4-expressing, while stimulated Akt in Smad4 negative cells. By restoring Smad4 expression in BxPC3 and silencing it in MiaPaCa2, S100A8 and NT-S100A8 were shown to inhibit NF-κB and Akt in the presence of an intact TGFβ1 canonical signaling pathway. TGFβ1 counteracted S100A8, S100A9 and NT-S100A8 effects in Smad4 expressing, not in Smad4 negative cells, while it synergized with NT-S100A8 in altering Cai2+ and stimulating PDAC cell growth. The effects of TGFβ1 on both EMT (increased Twist and decreased N-Cadherin expression) and Cai2+ were antagonized by S100A9, which formed heterodimers with TGFβ1 (MALDI-TOF/MS and co-immuno-precipitation). The effects of S100A8 and S100A9 on PDAC cell signaling appear to be cell-type and context dependent. NT-S100A8 mimics the effects of TGFβ1 on cell signaling, and the formation of complexes between TGFβ1 with S100A9 appears to be the molecular mechanism underlying the reciprocal antagonism of these molecules on cell signaling, Cai2+ and EMT.

  14. The distribution of weaver ant pheromones on host trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Offenberg, Joachim

    2007-01-01

    The visible anal spots deposited by Oecophylla smaragdina ants have been suggested to deter ant prey, affect interspecific competition and facilitate mutualists and parasites in tracking down Oecophylla ants. I measured the density of anal spots on host trees with and without ants and tested for ...... to leaves. Also there was a positive correlation between spot density and the likelihood of being detected by ants. Anal spots may thus function as reliable cues to interacting species and be an important factor in shaping the community around Oecophylla colonies.......The visible anal spots deposited by Oecophylla smaragdina ants have been suggested to deter ant prey, affect interspecific competition and facilitate mutualists and parasites in tracking down Oecophylla ants. I measured the density of anal spots on host trees with and without ants and tested...... for correlations between spot density, ant activity and the likelihood of being detected by an ant. Spots were only found on trees with ants. On ant-trees, spots were distributed throughout the trees but with higher densities in areas with high ant activity and pheromone densities were higher on twigs compared...

  15. Characterization of RAD4 gene required for ultraviolet-induced excision repair of Saccharomyces cerevisiae propagated in Escherichia coli without inactivation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, I.S.; Kim, J.B.; Lee, K.N.; Park, S.D.

    1990-01-01

    The previously isolated RAD4 gene designated as pPC1 from the genomic library of Saccharomyces cerevisiae appeared to propagate in Escherichia coli and yet retained its complementing activity of rad4 mutants without inactivation. The subcloned RAD4 gene was found to be localized within a 2.5 kb DNA fragment flanking Bg/II and BamHI sites in the insert DNA, and was shown to have the same restriction map as a yeast chromosomal DNA, as determined by Southern hybridization. Tetrad analysis and pulse-field chromosome mapping have revealed that the cloned RAD4 gene can be mapped and integrated into the yeast chromosome V, the actual site of this gene. DNA-tRNA hybridization has shown that the isolated RAD4 gene did not contain a suppressor tRNA gene. These results have indicated that the pPC1 is a functional RAD4 gene playing a unique role involved in the nucleotide excision repair of yeast without any genetic change during amplification in E. coli. (author)

  16. Polymorphisms in microRNA genes as predictors of clinical outcomes in colorectal cancer patients

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pardini, B.; Rosa, F.; Naccarati, A.; Vymetálková, Veronika; Ye, Y.; Wu, X.; Gaetano, C.; Buchler, T.; Novotný, J.; Matullo, G.; Vodička, Pavel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 36, č. 1 (2015), s. 82-86 ISSN 0143-3334 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP304/12/1585; GA MZd NT14329 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : excision-repair genes * expression profiles * binding sites * risk * colon * adenocarcinoma * challenges * management * targets Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.874, year: 2015

  17. Elicitor-induced transcription factors for metabolic reprogramming of secondary metabolism in Medicago truncatula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dixon Richard A

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Exposure of Medicago truncatula cell suspension cultures to pathogen or wound signals leads to accumulation of various classes of flavonoid and/or triterpene defense molecules, orchestrated via a complex signalling network in which transcription factors (TFs are essential components. Results In this study, we analyzed TFs responding to yeast elicitor (YE or methyl jasmonate (MJ. From 502 differentially expressed TFs, WRKY and AP2/EREBP gene families were over-represented among YE-induced genes whereas Basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH family members were more over-represented among the MJ-induced genes. Jasmonate ZIM-domain (JAZ transcriptional regulators were highly induced by MJ treatment. To investigate potential involvement of WRKY TFs in signalling, we expressed four Medicago WRKY genes in tobacco. Levels of soluble and wall bound phenolic compounds and lignin were increased in all cases. WRKY W109669 also induced tobacco endo-1,3-β-glucanase (NtPR2 and enhanced the systemic defense response to tobacco mosaic virus in transgenic tobacco plants. Conclusion These results confirm that Medicago WRKY TFs have broad roles in orchestrating metabolic responses to biotic stress, and that they also represent potentially valuable reagents for engineering metabolic changes that impact pathogen resistance.

  18. Agonist properties of a stable hexapeptide analog of neurotensin, N alpha MeArg-Lys-Pro-Trp-tLeu-Leu (NT1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akunne, H C; Demattos, S B; Whetzel, S Z; Wustrow, D J; Davis, D M; Wise, L D; Cody, W L; Pugsley, T A; Heffner, T G

    1995-04-18

    The major signal transduction pathway for neurotensin (NT) receptors is the G-protein-dependent stimulation of phospholipase C, leading to the mobilization of intracellular free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) and the stimulation of cyclic GMP. We investigated the functional actions of an analog of NT(8-13), N alpha MeArg-Lys-Pro-Trp-tLeu-Leu (NT1), and other NT related analogs by quantitative measurement of the cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration in HT-29 (human colonic adenocarcinoma) cells using the Ca(2+)-sensitive dye fura-2/AM and by effects on cyclic GMP levels in rat cerebellar slices. The NT receptor binding affinities for these analogs to HT-29 cell membranes and newborn (10-day-old) mouse brain membranes were also investigated. Data obtained from HT-29 cell and mouse brain membrane preparations showed saturable single high-affinity sites and binding densities (Bmax) of 130.2 and 87.5 fmol/mg protein, respectively. The respective KD values were 0.47 and 0.39 nM, and the Hill coefficients were 0.99 and 0.92. The low-affinity levocabastine-sensitive site was not present (K1 > 10,000) in either membrane preparation. Although the correlation of binding between HT-29 cell membranes and mouse brain membranes was quite significant (r = 0.92), some of the reference agents had lower binding affinities in the HT-29 cell membranes. The metabolically stable compound NT1 plus other NT analogs and related peptides [NT, NT(8-13), xenopsin, neuromedin N, NT(9-13), kinetensin and (D-Trp11)-NT] increased intracellular Ca2+ levels in HT-29 cells, indicating NT receptor agonist properties. The effect of NT1 in mobilizing [Ca2+]i blocked by SR 48692, a non-peptide NT antagonist. Receptor binding affinities of NT analogs to HT-29 cell membranes were positively correlated with potencies for mobilizing intracellular calcium in the same cells. In addition, NT1 increased cyclic GMP levels in rat cerebellar slices, confirming the latter findings of its NT agonist action. These results substantiate

  19. Relative effects of disturbance on red imported fire ants and native ant species in a longleaf pine ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stuble, Katharine L.; Kirkman, L. Katherine; Carroll, C. Ronald

    2011-01-01

    and cases in which non-native species become established in intact (lacking extensive anthropogenic soil disturbance) communities and subsequently diminish the abundance and richness of native species is challenging on the basis of observation alone. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta......), an invasive species that occurs throughout much of the southeastern United States, is such an example. Rather than competitively displacing native species, fire ants may become established only in disturbed areas in which native species richness and abundance are already reduced. We used insecticide to reduce......, the abundance of native ants increased to levels comparable to those in control plots after 1 year. Our findings suggest that factors other than large reductions in ant abundance and species density (number of species per unit area) may affect the establishment of fire ants and that the response of native ants...

  20. Lack of death receptor 4 (DR4) expression through gene promoter methylation in gastric carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyung Hwa; Lim, Sang Woo; Kim, Ho Gun; Kim, Dong Yi; Ryu, Seong Yeob; Joo, Jae Kyun; Kim, Jung Chul; Lee, Jae Hyuk

    2009-07-01

    To determine the underlying mechanism for the differential expression, the extent of promoter methylation in tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-related genes acting downstream of TRAIL was examined in early and advanced gastric carcinomas. The extent of promoter methylation in the DR4, DR5, DcR1, DcR2, and CASP8 genes was quantified using bisulfite modification and methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. The promoters for DcR1, DcR2, and CASP8 were largely unmethylated in early gastric carcinoma, advanced gastric carcinoma, and controls, with no significant difference among them. Protein levels of DR4, DcR1, and DcR2 as revealed by immunohistochemistry correlated with the extent of the respective promoter methylation (P < 0.05 in all cases). Hypomethylation, rather than hypermethylation, of the DR4 promoter was noted in invasive gastric malignancies, with statistical significance (P = 0.003). The promoter methylation status of TRAIL receptors in gastric carcinoma may have clinical implications for improving therapeutic strategies in patients with gastric carcinoma.

  1. Overexpression of MpCYS4, a phytocystatin gene from Malus prunifolia (Willd.) Borkh., delays natural and stress-induced leaf senescence in apple.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Yanxiao; Yang, Yingli; Li, Chao; Liang, Bowen; Li, Mingjun; Ma, Fengwang

    2017-06-01

    Phytocystatins are a well-characterized class of naturally occurring protease inhibitors that prevent the catalysis of papain-like cysteine proteases. The action of cystatins in stress tolerance has been studied intensively, but relatively little is known about their functions in plants during leaf senescence. Here, we examined the potential roles of the apple cystatin, MpCYS4, in leaf photosynthesis as well as the concentrations and composition of leaf proteins when plants encounter natural or stress-induced senescence. Overexpression of this gene in apple rootstock M26 effectively slowed the senescence-related declines in photosynthetic activity and chlorophyll concentrations and prevented the action of cysteine proteinases during the process of degrading proteins (e.g., Rubisco) in senescing leaves. Moreover, MpCYS4 alleviated the associated oxidative damage and enhanced the capacity of plants to eliminate reactive oxygen species by activating antioxidant enzymes such as ascorbate peroxidase, peroxidase, and catalase. Consequently, plant cells were protected against damage from free radicals during leaf senescence. Based on these results, we conclude that MpCYS4 functions in delaying natural and stress-induced senescence of apple leaves. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M. M.; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A.; Jones, Tappey H.; Nash, David R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2013-01-01

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies. PMID:24019482

  3. Chemically armed mercenary ants protect fungus-farming societies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Liberti, Joanito; Illum, Anders A; Jones, Tappey H; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2013-09-24

    The ants are extraordinary in having evolved many lineages that exploit closely related ant societies as social parasites, but social parasitism by distantly related ants is rare. Here we document the interaction dynamics among a Sericomyrmex fungus-growing ant host, a permanently associated parasitic guest ant of the genus Megalomyrmex, and a raiding agro-predator of the genus Gnamptogenys. We show experimentally that the guest ants protect their host colonies against agro-predator raids using alkaloid venom that is much more potent than the biting defenses of the host ants. Relatively few guest ants are sufficient to kill raiders that invariably exterminate host nests without a cohabiting guest ant colony. We also show that the odor of guest ants discourages raider scouts from recruiting nestmates to host colonies. Our results imply that Sericomyrmex fungus-growers obtain a net benefit from their costly guest ants behaving as a functional soldier caste to meet lethal threats from agro-predator raiders. The fundamentally different life histories of the agro-predators and guest ants appear to facilitate their coexistence in a negative frequency-dependent manner. Because a guest ant colony is committed for life to a single host colony, the guests would harm their own interests by not defending the host that they continue to exploit. This conditional mutualism is analogous to chronic sickle cell anemia enhancing the resistance to malaria and to episodes in human history when mercenary city defenders offered either net benefits or imposed net costs, depending on the level of threat from invading armies.

  4. Transactivation of the proximal promoter of human oxytocin gene by TR4 orphan receptor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, C.-P.; Lee, Y.-F.; Chang, C.; Lee, H.-J.

    2006-01-01

    The human testicular receptor 4 (TR4) shares structural homology with members of the nuclear receptor superfamily. Some other members of this superfamily were able to regulate the transcriptional activity of the human oxytocin (OXT) promoter by binding to the first DR0 regulatory site. However, little investigation was conducted systematically in the study of the second dDR4 site of OXT proximal promoter, and the relationship between the first and the second sites of OXT promoter. Here, we demonstrated for the first time that TR4 could increase the proximal promoter activity of the human OXT gene via DR0, dDR4, and OXT (both DR0 and dDR4) elements, respectively. TR4 might induce OXT gene expression through the OXT element in a dose-dependent manner. However, there is no synergistic effect between DR0 and dDR4 elements during TR4 transactivation. Taken together, these results suggested that TR4 should be one of important regulators of OXT gene expression

  5. Monoculture of leafcutter ant gardens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich G Mueller

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Leafcutter ants depend on the cultivation of symbiotic Attamyces fungi for food, which are thought to be grown by the ants in single-strain, clonal monoculture throughout the hundreds to thousands of gardens within a leafcutter nest. Monoculture eliminates cultivar-cultivar competition that would select for competitive fungal traits that are detrimental to the ants, whereas polyculture of several fungi could increase nutritional diversity and disease resistance of genetically variable gardens.Using three experimental approaches, we assessed cultivar diversity within nests of Atta leafcutter ants, which are most likely among all fungus-growing ants to cultivate distinct cultivar genotypes per nest because of the nests' enormous sizes (up to 5000 gardens and extended lifespans (10-20 years. In Atta texana and in A. cephalotes, we resampled nests over a 5-year period to test for persistence of resident cultivar genotypes within each nest, and we tested for genetic differences between fungi from different nest sectors accessed through excavation. In A. texana, we also determined the number of Attamyces cells carried as a starter inoculum by a dispersing queens (minimally several thousand Attamyces cells, and we tested for genetic differences between Attamyces carried by sister queens dispersing from the same nest. Except for mutational variation arising during clonal Attamyces propagation, DNA fingerprinting revealed no evidence for fungal polyculture and no genotype turnover during the 5-year surveys.Atta leafcutter ants can achieve stable, fungal monoculture over many years. Mutational variation emerging within an Attamyces monoculture could provide genetic diversity for symbiont choice (gardening biases of the ants favoring specific mutational variants, an analog of artificial selection.

  6. ABCB4 mediates diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in laboratory opossums[S

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Jeannie; Mahaney, Michael C.; Kushwaha, Rampratap S.; VandeBerg, Jane F.; VandeBerg, John L.

    2010-01-01

    High-responding opossums are susceptible to developing hypercholesterolemia on a high-cholesterol diet, but low-responding opossums are resistant. The observation of low biliary cholesterol and low biliary phospholipids in high responders suggested that the ABCB4 gene affects response to dietary cholesterol. Two missense mutations (Arg29Gly and Ile235Leu) were found in the ABCB4 gene of high responders. High responders (ATHH strain) were bred with low responders (ATHE or ATHL strain) to produce F1 and F2 progeny in two different genetic crosses (KUSH6 and JCX) to determine the effect of ABCB4 allelic variants on plasma cholesterol concentrations after a dietary challenge. Pedigree-based genetic association analyses consistently implicated a variant in ABCB4 or a closely linked locus as a major, but not the sole, genetic contributor to variation in the plasma cholesterol response to dietary cholesterol. High responders, but not low responders, developed liver injury as indicated by elevated plasma biomarkers of liver function, probably reflecting damage to the canalicular membrane by bile salts because of impaired phospholipid secretion. Our results implicate ABCB4 as a major determinant of diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in high-responding opossums and suggest that other genes interact with ABCB4 to regulate lipemic response to dietary cholesterol. PMID:20488799

  7. Functional Characterization of 4´OMT and 7OMT Genes in BIA Biosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tugba eGurkok

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Alkaloids are diverse group of secondary metabolites generally found in plants. Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L., the only commercial source of morphinan alkaloids, has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times. It produces benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIA including the narcotic analgesic morphine, the muscle relaxant papaverine, and the anti-cancer agent noscapine. Though BIAs play crucial roles in many biological mechanisms their steps in biosynthesis and the responsible genes remain to be revealed. In this study, expressions of 3-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine 4´-O-methyltransferase (4´OMT and reticuline 7-O-methyltransferase (7OMT genes were subjected tomanipulation to functionally characterize their roles in BIA biosynthesis. Measurements of alkaloid accumulation were performed in leaf, stem and capsule tissues accordingly. Suppression of 4´OMT expression caused reduction in the total alkaloid content in stem tissue whereas total alkaloid content was significantly induced in the capsule. Silencing of the 7OMT gene also caused repression in total alkaloid content in the stem. On the other hand, over-expression of 4´OMT and 7OMT resulted in higher morphine accumulation in the stem but suppressed amount in the capsule. Moreover, differential expression in several BIA synthesis genes (CNMT, TYDC, 6OMT, SAT, COR, 4´OMT and 7OMT were observed upon manipulation of 4´OMT and 7OMT expression. Upon silencing and overexpression applications, tissue specific effects of these genes were identified. Manipulation of 4´OMT and 7OMT genes caused differentiated accumulation of BIAs including morphine and noscapine in capsule and stem tissues.

  8. Resistance exercise induces region-specific adaptations in anterior pituitary gland structure and function in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraemer, William J; Flanagan, Shawn D; Volek, Jeff S; Nindl, Bradley C; Vingren, Jakob L; Dunn-Lewis, Courtenay; Comstock, Brett A; Hooper, David R; Szivak, Tunde K; Looney, David P; Maresh, Carl M; Hymer, Wesley C

    2013-12-01

    The anterior pituitary gland (AP) increases growth hormone (GH) secretion in response to resistance exercise (RE), but the nature of AP adaptations to RE is unknown. To that end, we examined the effects of RE on regional AP somatotroph GH release, structure, and relative quantity. Thirty-six Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to one of four groups: 1) no training or acute exercise (NT-NEX); 2) no training with acute exercise (NT-EX); 3) resistance training without acute exercise (RT-NEX); 4) resistance training with acute exercise (RT-EX). RE incorporated 10, 1 m-weighted ladder climbs at an 85° angle. RT groups trained 3 days/wk for 7 wk, progressively. After death, trunk blood was collected, and each AP was divided into quadrants (ventral-dorsal and left-right). We measured: 1) trunk plasma GH; 2) somatotroph GH release; 3) somatotroph size; 4) somatotroph secretory content; and 5) percent of AP cells identified as somatotrophs. Trunk GH differed by group (NT-NEX, 8.9 ± 2.4 μg/l; RT-NEX, 9.2 ± 3.5 μg/l; NT-EX, 15.6 ± 3.4 μg/l; RT-EX, 23.4 ± 4.6 μg/l). RT-EX demonstrated greater somatotroph GH release than all other groups, predominantly in ventral regions (P pituitary gland. RE training appears to induce dynamic adaptations in somatotroph structure and function.

  9. Anti-pathogen protection versus survival costs mediated by an ectosymbiont in an ant host.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konrad, Matthias; Grasse, Anna V; Tragust, Simon; Cremer, Sylvia

    2015-01-22

    The fitness effects of symbionts on their hosts can be context-dependent, with usually benign symbionts causing detrimental effects when their hosts are stressed, or typically parasitic symbionts providing protection towards their hosts (e.g. against pathogen infection). Here, we studied the novel association between the invasive garden ant Lasius neglectus and its fungal ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum for potential costs and benefits. We tested ants with different Laboulbenia levels for their survival and immunity under resource limitation and exposure to the obligate killing entomopathogen Metarhizium brunneum. While survival of L. neglectus workers under starvation was significantly decreased with increasing Laboulbenia levels, host survival under Metarhizium exposure increased with higher levels of the ectosymbiont, suggesting a symbiont-mediated anti-pathogen protection, which seems to be driven mechanistically by both improved sanitary behaviours and an upregulated immune system. Ants with high Laboulbenia levels showed significantly longer self-grooming and elevated expression of immune genes relevant for wound repair and antifungal responses (β-1,3-glucan binding protein, Prophenoloxidase), compared with ants carrying low Laboulbenia levels. This suggests that the ectosymbiont Laboulbenia formicarum weakens its ant host by either direct resource exploitation or the costs of an upregulated behavioural and immunological response, which, however, provides a prophylactic protection upon later exposure to pathogens. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Altered Gene Expression Profile in Mouse Bladder Cancers Induced by Hydroxybutyl(butylnitrosamine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruisheng Yao

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available A variety of genetic alterations and gene expression changes are involved in the pathogenesis of bladder tumor. To explore these changes, oligonucleotide array analysis was performed on RNA obtained from carcinogen-induced mouse bladder tumors and normal mouse bladder epithelia using Affymetrix (Santa Clara, CA MGU74Av2 GeneChips. Analysis yielded 1164 known genes that were changed in the tumors. Certain of the upregulated genes included EGFR-Ras signaling genes, transcription factors, cell cycle-related genes, and intracellular signaling cascade genes. However, downregulated genes include mitogen-activated protein kinases, cell cycle checkpoint genes, Rab subfamily genes, Rho subfamily genes, and SH2 and SH3 domains-related genes. These genes are involved in a broad range of different pathways including control of cell proliferation, differentiation, cell cycle, signal transduction, and apoptosis. Using the pathway visualization tool GenMAPP, we found that several genes, including TbR-l, STAT1, Smad1, Smad2, Jun, NFκB, and so on, in the TGF-β signaling pathway and p115 RhoGEF, RhoGDl3, MEKK4A/MEKK4B, P13KA, and JNK in the G13 signaling pathway were differentially expressed in the tumors. In summary, we have determined the expression profiles of genes differentially expressed during mouse bladder tumorigenesis. Our results suggest that activation of the EGFR-Ras pathway, uncontrolled cell cycle, aberrant transcription factors, and G13 and TGF-β pathways are involved, and the cross-talk between these pathways seems to play important roles in mouse bladder tumorigenesis.

  11. Image Guidance and Assessment of Radiation Induced Gene Therapy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pelizzari, Charles

    2004-01-01

    Image guidance and assessment techniques are being developed for combined radiation/gene therapy, which utilizes a radiation-inducible gene promoter to cause expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha...

  12. Dynamic modeling of the manipulator RD5NT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Monteiro Aguiar

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the development of a dynamicmathematical model for the DIDACTA ITALIARD5NT manipulator. The model is intendedto be used in the development of strategies ofposition-trajectory control. The choice modelingtype aims at identifying the physical parametersof the manipulator.

  13. The distribution and diversity of insular ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roura-Pascual, Núria; Sanders, Nate; Hui, Cang

    2016-01-01

    Aim: To examine the relationship between island characteristics (area, distance to the nearest continent, climate and human population size) and ant species richness, as well as the factors underlying global geographical clustering of native and exotic ant composition on islands. Location: One...... hundred and two islands from 20 island groups around the world. Methods: We used spatial linear models that consider the spatial structure of islands to examine patterns of ant species richness. We also performed modularity analyses to identify clusters of islands hosting a similar suite of species...... and constructed conditional inference trees to assess the characteristics of islands that explain the formation of these island-ant groups. Results: Island area was the best predictor of ant species richness. However, distance to the nearest continent was an important predictor of native ant species richness...

  14. Antígona y la muerte

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez Alcolea, Simona Micaela

    2012-01-01

    La ponencia analiza la muerte de Antígona en la obra de Sófocles. Se propone que su suicidio es un acto consciente de voluntad preanunciado a lo largo de toda la obra y no una medida desesperada. Con ese fin se exploran las posibles motivaciones de Antígona para poner fin a su vida. En el análisis se proponen tres respuestas (no necesariamente excluyentes): -Antígona responde a la ética homérica. Está en lucha con Creón, y su suicidio es su golpe de gracia al poder del rey. -Antígona...

  15. From Ant Trails to Pedestrian Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Schadschneider

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a model for the simulation of pedestrian dynamics inspired by the behaviour of ants in ant trails. Ants communicate by producing a pheromone that can be smelled by other ants. In this model, pedestrians produce a virtual pheromone that influences the motion of others. In this way all interactions are strictly local, and so even large crowds can be simulated very efficiently. Nevertheless, the model is able to reproduce the collective effects observed empirically, eg the formation of lanes in counterflow. As an application, we reproduce a surprising result found in experiments of evacuation from an aircraft.

  16. Suicide gene reveals the myocardial neovascularization role of mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing CXCR4 (MSC(CXCR4.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jialiang Liang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Our previous studies indicated that MSC(CXCR4 improved cardiac function after myocardial infarction (MI. This study was aimed to investigate the specific role of MSC(CXCR4 in neovascularization of infarcted myocardium using a suicide gene approach. METHODS: MSCs were transduced with either lentivirus-null vector/GFP (MSC(Null as control or vector encoding for overexpressing CXCR4/GFP. The MSC derived-endothelial cell (EC differentiation was assessed by a tube formation assay, Dil-ac-LDL uptake, EC marker expression, and VE-cadherin promoter activity assay. Gene expression was analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR or Western blot. The suicide gene approach was under the control of VE-cadherin promoter. In vivo studies: Cell patches containing MSC(Null or MSC(CXCR4 were transduced with suicide gene and implanted into the myocardium of MI rat. Rats received either ganciclovir (GCV or vehicle after cell implantation. After one month, the cardiac functional changes and neovascularization were assessed by echocardiography, histological analysis, and micro-CT imaging. RESULTS: The expression of VEGF-A and HIF-1α was significantly higher in MSC(CXCR4 as compared to MSC(Null under hypoxia. Additionally, MSC(CXCR4 enhanced new vessel formation and EC differentiation, as well as STAT3 phosphorylation under hypoxia. STAT3 participated in the transcription of VE-cadherin in MSC(CXCR4 under hypoxia, which was inhibited by WP1066 (a STAT3 inhibitor. In addition, GCV specifically induced death of ECs with suicide gene activation. In vivo studies: MSC(CXCR4 implantation promoted cardiac functional restoration, reduced infarct size, improved cardiac remodeling, and enhanced neovascularization in ischemic heart tissue. New vessels derived from MSC(CXCR4 were observed at the injured heart margins and communicated with native coronary arteries. However, the derived vessel networks were reduced by GCV, reversing improvement of cardiac function. CONCLUSION: The

  17. Comparative physical mapping of 18S rDNA in the karyotypes of six leafcutter ant species of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex (Formicidae: Myrmicinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Gisele Amaro; Barros, Luísa Antônia Campos; de Aguiar, Hilton Jeferson Alves Cardoso; das Graças Pompolo, Silvia

    2017-10-01

    Leafcutter ants of the Atta and Acromyrmex genera are important plagues in different cultures. Cytogenetic data on chromosome number, morphology, and chromosomal banding pattern are only available for 17 species of leafcutter ants. Molecular cytogenetic data for the detection of ribosomal genes by the FISH technique are scarce, and only 15 Neotropical ant species have been studied. This study aimed to physically map the 18S ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) of six leafcutter ants belonging to the genera Atta and Acromyrmex using FISH. The results were compared with data on the fluorochrome CMA 3 currently available for these species. All analyzed species presented the 18S rDNA on one pair of chromosomes. In Acromyrmex subterraneus molestans and Ac. aspersus, FISH signals were observed in the terminal region of the short arm of the largest subtelocentric pair, while in Atta bisphaerica, A. laevigata, and A. sexdens, FISH signals were observed in the interstitial region of the long arm of the fourth metacentric pair. In Acromyrmex striatus, 18S rDNA was located in the interstitial region of the second metacentric pair. The karyotypic formula for Ac. aspersus was 2n = 38 (8m + 10sm + 16st + 4a), representing the first report in this species. The observed 18S rDNA regions in A. laevigata, A. sexdens, A. bisphaerica, Ac. aspersus, and Ac. subterraneus molestans corresponded to the CMA 3 + bands, while in Ac. striatus, several GC-rich bands and one pair of 18S rDNA bands were observed. No differential bands were visible using the DAPI fluorochrome. Karyotype uniformity with previously studied Atta spp. was also observed at the level of molecular cytogenetics using 18S rDNA FISH. A difference in the size of the chromosomal pair carrying the 18S rDNA gene was observed in Ac. striatus (2n = 22) and Atta spp. (2n = 22) highlighting the dissimilarity between these species. The results from the present study contribute to the description of 18S rDNA clusters

  18. Targeted removal of ant colonies in ecological experiments, using hot water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschinkel, Walter R; King, Joshua R

    2007-01-01

    Ecological experiments on fire ants cannot, or should not, use poison baits to eliminate the fire ants because such baits are not specific to fire ants, or even to ants. Hot water is an extremely effective and specific killing agent for fire ant colonies, but producing large amounts of hot water in the field, and making the production apparatus mobile have been problematical. The construction and use of a charcoal-fired kiln made from a 55-gal. oil drum lined with a sand-fireclay mixture is described. An automobile heater fan powered from a 12-v battery provided a draft. Dual bilge pumps pumped water from a large tank through a long coil of copper tubing within the kiln to produce 4 to 5 l. of hot water per min. The hot water was collected in 20 l. buckets and poured into fire ant nests previously opened by piercing with a stick. The entire assembly was transported in and operated from the back of a pickup truck. Five experimental plots containing 32 to 38 colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), were treated with hot water over a period of two years. All colonies on the treatment plots were treated twice with hot water early in 2004, reducing their numbers to zero. However new colonies were formed, and mature colonies expanded into the plots. A third treatment was made in the spring of 2005, after which fire ant populations were suppressed for over a year. Whereas the 5 control plots contained a total of 166 mostly large colonies, the 5 treatment plots contained no live colonies at all. Averaged over a two-year period, a 70% reduction in total number of colonies was achieved (P ants.

  19. Icariin Is A PPARα Activator Inducing Lipid Metabolic Gene Expression in Mice

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    Yuan-Fu Lu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Icariin is effective in the treatment of hyperlipidemia. To understand the effect of icariin on lipid metabolism, effects of icariin on PPARα and its target genes were investigated. Mice were treated orally with icariin at doses of 0, 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg, or clofibrate (500 mg/kg for five days. Liver total RNA was isolated and the expressions of PPARα and lipid metabolism genes were examined. PPARα and its marker genes Cyp4a10 and Cyp4a14 were induced 2-4 fold by icariin, and 4-8 fold by clofibrate. The fatty acid (FA binding and co-activator proteins Fabp1, Fabp4 and Acsl1 were increased 2-fold. The mRNAs of mitochondrial FA β-oxidation enzymes (Cpt1a, Acat1, Acad1 and Hmgcs2 were increased 2-3 fold. The mRNAs of proximal β-oxidation enzymes (Acox1, Ech1, and Ehhadh were also increased by icariin and clofibrate. The expression of mRNAs for sterol regulatory element-binding factor-1 (Srebf1 and FA synthetase (Fasn were unaltered by icariin. The lipid lysis genes Lipe and Pnpla2 were increased by icariin and clofibrate. These results indicate that icariin is a novel PPARα agonist, activates lipid metabolism gene expressions in liver, which could be a basis for its lipid-lowering effects and its beneficial effects against diabetes.

  20. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Charlotte; Agrawal, Anurag A.; Hajek, Ann E.

    2010-01-01

    Social insects defend their own colonies and some species also protect their mutualist partners. In mutualisms with aphids, ants typically feed on honeydew produced by aphids and, in turn guard and shelter aphid colonies from insect natural enemies. Here we report that Formica podzolica ants tending milkweed aphids, Aphis asclepiadis, protect aphid colonies from lethal fungal infections caused by an obligate aphid pathogen, Pandora neoaphidis. In field experiments, bodies of fungal-killed aphids were quickly removed from ant-tended aphid colonies. Ant workers were also able to detect infective conidia on the cuticle of living aphids and responded by either removing or grooming these aphids. Our results extend the long-standing view of ants as mutualists and protectors of aphids by demonstrating focused sanitizing and quarantining behaviour that may lead to reduced disease transmission in aphid colonies. PMID:19923138

  1. Collective search by ants in microgravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie M. Countryman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The problem of collective search is a tradeoff between searching thoroughly and covering as much area as possible. This tradeoff depends on the density of searchers. Solutions to the problem of collective search are currently of much interest in robotics and in the study of distributed algorithms, for example to design ways that without central control robots can use local information to perform search and rescue operations. Ant colonies operate without central control. Because they can perceive only local, mostly chemical and tactile cues, they must search collectively to find resources and to monitor the colony's environment. Examining how ants in diverse environments solve the problem of collective search can elucidate how evolution has led to diverse forms of collective behavior. An experiment on the International Space Station in January 2014 examined how ants (Tetramorium caespitum perform collective search in microgravity. In the ISS experiment, the ants explored a small arena in which a barrier was lowered to increase the area and thus lower ant density. In microgravity, relative to ground controls, ants explored the area less thoroughly and took more convoluted paths. It appears that the difficulty of holding on to the surface interfered with the ants’ ability to search collectively. Ants frequently lost contact with the surface, but showed a remarkable ability to regain contact with the surface.

  2. Tetracycline inducible gene manipulation in serotonergic neurons.

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    Tillmann Weber

    Full Text Available The serotonergic (5-HT neuronal system has important and diverse physiological functions throughout development and adulthood. Its dysregulation during development or later in adulthood has been implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders. Transgenic animal models designed to study the contribution of serotonergic susceptibility genes to a pathological phenotype should ideally allow to study candidate gene overexpression or gene knockout selectively in serotonergic neurons at any desired time during life. For this purpose, conditional expression systems such as the tet-system are preferable. Here, we generated a transactivator (tTA mouse line (TPH2-tTA that allows temporal and spatial control of tetracycline (Ptet controlled transgene expression as well as gene deletion in 5-HT neurons. The tTA cDNA was inserted into a 196 kb PAC containing a genomic mouse Tph2 fragment (177 kb by homologous recombination in E. coli. For functional analysis of Ptet-controlled transgene expression, TPH2-tTA mice were crossed to a Ptet-regulated lacZ reporter line (Ptet-nLacZ. In adult double-transgenic TPH2-tTA/Ptet-nLacZ mice, TPH2-tTA founder line L62-20 showed strong serotonergic β-galactosidase expression which could be completely suppressed with doxycycline (Dox. Furthermore, Ptet-regulated gene expression could be reversibly activated or inactivated when Dox was either withdrawn or added to the system. For functional analysis of Ptet-controlled, Cre-mediated gene deletion, TPH2-tTA mice (L62-20 were crossed to double transgenic Ptet-Cre/R26R reporter mice to generate TPH2-tTA/Ptet-Cre/R26R mice. Without Dox, 5-HT specific recombination started at E12.5. With permanent Dox administration, Ptet-controlled Cre-mediated recombination was absent. Dox withdrawal either postnatally or during adulthood induced efficient recombination in serotonergic neurons of all raphe nuclei, respectively. In the enteric nervous system, recombination could not be detected. We

  3. Targeted sequencing reveals low-frequency variants in EPHA genes as markers of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy.

    OpenAIRE

    Apellániz-Ruiz, Maria; Tejero, Héctor; Inglada-Pérez, Lucía; Sánchez-Barroso, Lara; Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, Gerardo; Calvo, Isabel; Castelo, Beatriz; Redondo, Andrés; García-Donás, Jesus; Romero-Laorden, Nuria; Sereno, Maria; Merino, María; Currás-Freixes, Maria; Montero-Conde, Cristina; Mancikova, Veronika

    2017-01-01

    PURPOSE: Neuropathy is the dose limiting toxicity of paclitaxel and a major cause for decreased quality of life. Genetic factors have been shown to contribute to paclitaxel neuropathy susceptibility; however, the major causes for inter-individual differences remain unexplained. In this study we identified genetic markers associated with paclitaxel-induced neuropathy through massive sequencing of candidate genes. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We sequenced the coding region of 4 EPHA genes, 5 genes invo...

  4. Changes in gene expression linked to methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Tao; Tong, Liqiong; Barrett, Tanya; Yuan, Jie; Hatzidimitriou, George; McCann, Una D; Becker, Kevin G; Donovan, David M; Ricaurte, George A

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of these studies was to examine the role of gene expression in methamphetamine (METH)-induced dopamine (DA) neurotoxicity. First, the effects of the mRNA synthesis inhibitor, actinomycin-D, and the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, were examined. Both agents afforded complete protection against METH-induced DA neurotoxicity and did so independently of effects on core temperature, DA transporter function, or METH brain levels, suggesting that gene transcription and mRNA translation play a role in METH neurotoxicity. Next, microarray technology, in combination with an experimental approach designed to facilitate recognition of relevant gene expression patterns, was used to identify gene products linked to METH-induced DA neurotoxicity. This led to the identification of several genes in the ventral midbrain associated with the neurotoxic process, including genes for energy metabolism [cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COX1), reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide ubiquinone oxidoreductase chain 2, and phosphoglycerate mutase B], ion regulation (members of sodium/hydrogen exchanger and sodium/bile acid cotransporter family), signal transduction (adenylyl cyclase III), and cell differentiation and degeneration (N-myc downstream-regulated gene 3 and tau protein). Of these differentially expressed genes, we elected to further examine the increase in COX1 expression, because of data implicating energy utilization in METH neurotoxicity and the known role of COX1 in energy metabolism. On the basis of time course studies, Northern blot analyses, in situ hybridization results, and temperature studies, we now report that increased COX1 expression in the ventral midbrain is linked to METH-induced DA neuronal injury. The precise role of COX1 and other genes in METH neurotoxicity remains to be elucidated.

  5. Expression of neurotensin and NT1 receptor in human breast cancer: a potential role in tumor progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souazé, Frédérique; Dupouy, Sandra; Viardot-Foucault, Véronique; Bruyneel, Erik; Attoub, Samir; Gespach, Christian; Gompel, Anne; Forgez, Patricia

    2006-06-15

    Emerging evidence supports neurotensin as a trophic and antiapoptotic factor, mediating its control via the high-affinity neurotensin receptor (NT1 receptor) in several human solid tumors. In a series of 51 patients with invasive ductal breast cancers, 34% of all tumors were positive for neurotensin and 91% positive for NT1 receptor. We found a coexpression of neurotensin and NT1 receptor in a large proportion (30%) of ductal breast tumors, suggesting a contribution of the neurotensinergic signaling cascade within breast cancer progression. Functionally expressed NT1 receptor, in the highly malignant MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell line, coordinated a series of transforming functions, including cellular migration, invasion, induction of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 transcripts, and MMP-9 gelatinase activity. Disruption of NT1 receptor signaling by silencing RNA or use of a specific NT1 receptor antagonist, SR48692, caused the reversion of these transforming functions and tumor growth of MDA-MB-231 cells xenografted in nude mice. Our findings support the contribution of neurotensin in human breast cancer progression and point out the utility to develop therapeutic molecules targeting neurotensin or NT1 receptor signaling cascade. These strategies would increase the range of therapeutic approaches and be beneficial for specific patients.

  6. Pericarpial nectary-visiting ants do not provide fruit protection against pre-dispersal seed predators regardless of ant species composition and resource availability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Andre Sanz-Veiga

    Full Text Available Extrafloral nectaries can occur in both vegetative and reproductive plant structures. In many Rubiaceae species in the Brazilian Cerrado, after corolla abscission, the floral nectary continues to secret nectar throughout fruit development originating post-floral pericarpial nectaries which commonly attract many ant species. The occurrence of such nectar secreting structures might be strategic for fruit protection against seed predators, as plants are expected to invest higher on more valuable and vulnerable parts. Here, we performed ant exclusion experiments to investigate whether the interaction with ants mediated by the pericarpial nectaries of Tocoyena formosa affects plant reproductive success by reducing the number of pre-dispersal seed predators. We also assessed whether ant protection was dependent on ant species composition and resource availability. Although most of the plants were visited by large and aggressive ant species, such as Ectatomma tuberculatum and species of the genus Camponotus, ants did not protect fruits against seed predators. Furthermore, the result of the interaction was neither related to ant species composition nor to the availability of resources. We suggest that these results may be related to the nature and behavior of the most important seed predators, like Hemicolpus abdominalis weevil which the exoskeleton toughness prevent it from being predated by most ant species. On the other hand, not explored factors, such as reward quality, local ant abundance, ant colony characteristics and/or the presence of alternative energetic sources could also account for variations in ant frequency, composition, and finally ant protective effects, highlighting the conditionality of facultative plant-ant mutualisms.

  7. Ectopic Expression of the Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor Gene, MaAN2, Induces Anthocyanin Accumulation in Tobacco

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    Kaili Chen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Anthocyanins are responsible for the different colors of ornamental plants. Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum, a monocot plant with bulbous flowers, is popular for its fascinating blue color. In the present study, we functionally characterized an R2R3-MYB transcription factor gene MaAN2 from M. armeniacum. Our results indicated that MaAN2 participates in controlling anthocyanin biosynthesis. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis suggested that MaAN2 belonged to the R2R3-MYB family AN2 subgroup. The anthocyanin accumulation of grape hyacinth flowers was positively correlated with the expression of MaAN2. And the transcriptional expression of MaAN2 was also consistent with that of M. armeniacum dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (MaDFR and M. armeniacum anthocyanidin synthase (MaANS in flowers. A dual luciferase transient expression assay indicated that when MaAN2 was co-inflitrated with Arabidopsis thaliana TRANSPARENT TESTA8 (AtTT8, it strongly activated the promoters of MaDFR and MaANS, but not the promoters of M. armeniacum chalcone synthase (MaCHS, M. armeniacum chalcone isomerase (MaCHI, and M. armeniacum flavanone 3-hydroxylase (MaF3H. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay confirmed that MaAN2 interacted with AtTT8 in vivo. The ectopic expression of MaAN2 in Nicotiana tabacum resulted in obvious red coloration of the leaves and much redder flowers. Almost all anthocyanin biosynthetic genes were remarkably upregulated in the leaves and flowers of the transgenic tobacco, and NtAn1a and NtAn1b (two basic helix–loop–helix anthocyanin regulatory genes were highly expressed in the transformed leaves, compared to the empty vector transformants. Collectively, our results suggest that MaAN2 plays a role in anthocyanin biosynthesis.

  8. JC virus induces altered patterns of cellular gene expression: Interferon-inducible genes as major transcriptional targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verma, Saguna; Ziegler, Katja; Ananthula, Praveen; Co, Juliene K.G.; Frisque, Richard J.; Yanagihara, Richard; Nerurkar, Vivek R.

    2006-01-01

    Human polyomavirus JC (JCV) infects 80% of the population worldwide. Primary infection, typically occurring during childhood, is asymptomatic in immunocompetent individuals and results in lifelong latency and persistent infection. However, among the severely immunocompromised, JCV may cause a fatal demyelinating disease, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Virus-host interactions influencing persistence and pathogenicity are not well understood, although significant regulation of JCV activity is thought to occur at the level of transcription. Regulation of the JCV early and late promoters during the lytic cycle is a complex event that requires participation of both viral and cellular factors. We have used cDNA microarray technology to analyze global alterations in gene expression in JCV-permissive primary human fetal glial cells (PHFG). Expression of more than 400 cellular genes was altered, including many that influence cell proliferation, cell communication and interferon (IFN)-mediated host defense responses. Genes in the latter category included signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), interferon stimulating gene 56 (ISG56), myxovirus resistance 1 (MxA), 2'5'-oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS), and cig5. The expression of these genes was further confirmed in JCV-infected PHFG cells and the human glioblastoma cell line U87MG to ensure the specificity of JCV in inducing this strong antiviral response. Results obtained by real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analyses supported the microarray data and provide temporal information related to virus-induced changes in the IFN response pathway. Our data indicate that the induction of an antiviral response may be one of the cellular factors regulating/controlling JCV replication in immunocompetent hosts and therefore constraining the development of PML

  9. GATA4-mediated cardiac hypertrophy induced by D-myo-inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Zhiming; Zhu Shanjun; Liu Daoyan; Yu Zengping; Yang Yongjian; Giet, Markus van der; Tepel, Martin

    2005-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of D-myo-inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate on cardiac hypertrophy. D-myo-inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate augmented cardiac hypertrophy as evidenced by its effects on DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, and expression of immediate-early genes c-myc and c-fos, β-myosin heavy chain, and α-actin. The administration of D-myo-inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate increased the expression of nuclear factor of activated T-cells and cardiac-restricted zinc finger transcription factor (GATA4). Real-time quantitative RT-PCR showed that D-myo-inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate-induced GATA4 mRNA was significantly enhanced even in the presence of the calcineurin inhibitor, cyclosporine A. The effect of D-myo-inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate was blocked after inhibition of inositol-trisphosphate receptors but not after inhibition of c-Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK) or p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. The study shows that D-myo-inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate-induced cardiac hypertrophy is mediated by GATA4 but independent from the calcineurin pathway

  10. Identifying Candidate Reprogramming Genes in Mouse Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Fang; Li, Jingyu; Zhang, Heng; Yang, Xu; An, Tiezhu

    2017-08-01

    Factor-based induced reprogramming approaches have tremendous potential for human regenerative medicine, but the efficiencies of these approaches are still low. In this study, we analyzed the global transcriptional profiles of mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (miPSCs) and mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) from seven different labs and present here the first successful clustering according to cell type, not by lab of origin. We identified 2131 different expression genes (DEs) as candidate pluripotency-associated genes by comparing mESCs/miPSCs with somatic cells and 720 DEs between miPSCs and mESCs. Interestingly, there was a significant overlap between the two DE sets. Therefore, we defined the overlap DEs as "consensus DEs" including 313 miPSC-specific genes expressed at a higher level in miPSCs versus mESCs and 184 mESC-specific genes in total and reasoned that these may contribute to the differences in pluripotency between mESCs and miPSCs. A classification of "consensus DEs" according to their different expression levels between somatic cells and mESCs/miPSCs shows that 86% of the miPSC-specific genes are more highly expressed in somatic cells, while 73% of mESC-specific genes are highly expressed in mESCs/miPSCs, indicating that the miPSCs have not efficiently silenced the expression pattern of the somatic cells from which they are derived and failed to completely induce the genes with high expression levels in mESCs. We further revealed a strong correlation between oocyte-enriched factors and insufficiently induced mESC-specific genes and identified 11 hub genes via network analysis. In light of these findings, we postulated that these key hub genes might not only drive somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) reprogramming but also augment the efficiency and quality of miPSC reprogramming.

  11. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

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    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants (Formicidae represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  12. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R.; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M.; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:26805882

  13. Emergent oscillations assist obstacle negotiation during ant cooperative transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelblum, Aviram; Pinkoviezky, Itai; Fonio, Ehud; Gov, Nir S.; Feinerman, Ofer

    2016-01-01

    Collective motion by animal groups is affected by internal interactions, external constraints, and the influx of information. A quantitative understanding of how these different factors give rise to different modes of collective motion is, at present, lacking. Here, we study how ants that cooperatively transport a large food item react to an obstacle blocking their path. Combining experiments with a statistical physics model of mechanically coupled active agents, we show that the constraint induces a deterministic collective oscillatory mode that facilitates obstacle circumvention. We provide direct experimental evidence, backed by theory, that this motion is an emergent group effect that does not require any behavioral changes at the individual level. We trace these relaxation oscillations to the interplay between two forces; informed ants pull the load toward the nest whereas uninformed ants contribute to the motion’s persistence along the tangential direction. The model’s predictions that oscillations appear above a critical system size, that the group can spontaneously transition into its ordered phase, and that the system can exhibit complete rotations are all verified experimentally. We expect that similar oscillatory modes emerge in collective motion scenarios where the structure of the environment imposes conflicts between individually held information and the group’s tendency for cohesiveness. PMID:27930304

  14. Effect of neurotrophin-3 precursor on glutamate-induced calcium homeostasis deregulation in rat cerebellum granule cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safina, Dina R; Surin, Alexander M; Pinelis, Vsevolod G; Kostrov, Sergey V

    2015-12-01

    Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) belongs to the family of highly conserved dimeric growth factors that controls the differentiation and activity of various neuronal populations. Mammals contain both the mature (NT-3) and the precursor (pro-NT-3) forms of neurotrophin. Members of the neurotrophin family are involved in the regulation of calcium homeostasis in neurons; however, the role of NT-3 and pro-NT-3 in this process remains unclear. The current study explores the effects of NT-3 and pro-NT-3 on disturbed calcium homeostasis and decline of mitochondrial potential induced by a neurotoxic concentration of glutamate (Glu; 100 µM) in the primary culture of rat cerebellar granule cells. In this Glu excitotoxicity model, mature NT-3 had no effect on the induced changes in Ca²⁺ homeostasis. In contrast, pro-NT-3 decreased the period of delayed calcium deregulation (DCD) and concurrent strong mitochondrial depolarization. According to the amplitude of the increase in the intracellular free Ca²⁺ concentration ([Ca²⁺]i ) and Fura-2 fluorescence quenching by Mn²⁺ within the first 20 sec of exposure to Glu, pro-NT-3 had no effect on the initial rate of Ca²⁺ entry into neurons. During the lag period preceding DCD, the mean amplitude of [Ca²⁺]i rise was 1.2-fold greater in the presence of pro-NT-3 than in the presence of Glu alone (1.67 ±  0.07 and 1.39 ± 0.04, respectively, P < 0.05). The Glu-induced changes in Са²⁺ homeostasis in the presence of pro-NT-3 likely are due to the decreased