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Sample records for models provide insight

  1. Parameter sensitivity analysis of stochastic models provides insights into cardiac calcium sparks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Young-Seon; Liu, Ona Z; Hwang, Hyun Seok; Knollmann, Bjorn C; Sobie, Eric A

    2013-03-05

    We present a parameter sensitivity analysis method that is appropriate for stochastic models, and we demonstrate how this analysis generates experimentally testable predictions about the factors that influence local Ca(2+) release in heart cells. The method involves randomly varying all parameters, running a single simulation with each set of parameters, running simulations with hundreds of model variants, then statistically relating the parameters to the simulation results using regression methods. We tested this method on a stochastic model, containing 18 parameters, of the cardiac Ca(2+) spark. Results show that multivariable linear regression can successfully relate parameters to continuous model outputs such as Ca(2+) spark amplitude and duration, and multivariable logistic regression can provide insight into how parameters affect Ca(2+) spark triggering (a probabilistic process that is all-or-none in a single simulation). Benchmark studies demonstrate that this method is less computationally intensive than standard methods by a factor of 16. Importantly, predictions were tested experimentally by measuring Ca(2+) sparks in mice with knockout of the sarcoplasmic reticulum protein triadin. These mice exhibit multiple changes in Ca(2+) release unit structures, and the regression model both accurately predicts changes in Ca(2+) spark amplitude (30% decrease in model, 29% decrease in experiments) and provides an intuitive and quantitative understanding of how much each alteration contributes to the result. This approach is therefore an effective, efficient, and predictive method for analyzing stochastic mathematical models to gain biological insight.

  2. Quantitative Hydraulic Models Of Early Land Plants Provide Insight Into Middle Paleozoic Terrestrial Paleoenvironmental Conditions

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    Wilson, J. P.; Fischer, W. W.

    2010-12-01

    Fossil plants provide useful proxies of Earth’s climate because plants are closely connected, through physiology and morphology, to the environments in which they lived. Recent advances in quantitative hydraulic models of plant water transport provide new insight into the history of climate by allowing fossils to speak directly to environmental conditions based on preserved internal anatomy. We report results of a quantitative hydraulic model applied to one of the earliest terrestrial plants preserved in three dimensions, the ~396 million-year-old vascular plant Asteroxylon mackei. This model combines equations describing the rate of fluid flow through plant tissues with detailed observations of plant anatomy; this allows quantitative estimates of two critical aspects of plant function. First and foremost, results from these models quantify the supply of water to evaporative surfaces; second, results describe the ability of plant vascular systems to resist tensile damage from extreme environmental events, such as drought or frost. This approach permits quantitative comparisons of functional aspects of Asteroxylon with other extinct and extant plants, informs the quality of plant-based environmental proxies, and provides concrete data that can be input into climate models. Results indicate that despite their small size, water transport cells in Asteroxylon could supply a large volume of water to the plant's leaves--even greater than cells from some later-evolved seed plants. The smallest Asteroxylon tracheids have conductivities exceeding 0.015 m^2 / MPa * s, whereas Paleozoic conifer tracheids do not reach this threshold until they are three times wider. However, this increase in conductivity came at the cost of little to no adaptations for transport safety, placing the plant’s vegetative organs in jeopardy during drought events. Analysis of the thickness-to-span ratio of Asteroxylon’s tracheids suggests that environmental conditions of reduced relative

  3. An integrated Biophysical CGE model to provide Sustainable Development Goal insights

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    Sanchez, Marko; Cicowiez, Martin; Howells, Mark; Zepeda, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    Future projected changes in the energy system will inevitably result in changes to the level of appropriation of environmental resources, particularly land and water, and this will have wider implications for environmental sustainability, and may affect other sectors of the economy. An integrated climate, land, energy and water (CLEW) system will provide useful insights, particularly with regard to the environmental sustainability. However, it will require adequate integration with other tools to detect economic impacts and broaden the scope for policy analysis. A computable general equilibrium (CGE) model is a well suited tool to channel impacts, as detected in a CLEW analysis, onto all sectors of the economy, and evaluate trade-offs and synergies, including those of possible policy responses. This paper will show an application of such integration in a single-country CGE model with the following key characteristics. Climate is partly exogenous (as proxied by temperature and rainfall) and partly endogenous (as proxied by emissions generated by different sectors) and has an impact on endogenous variables such as land productivity and labor productivity. Land is a factor of production used in agricultural and forestry activities which can be of various types if land use alternatives (e.g., deforestation) are to be considered. Energy is an input to the production process of all economic sectors and a consumption good for households. Because it is possible to allow for substitution among different energy sources (e.g. renewable vs non-renewable) in the generation of electricity, the production process of energy products can consider the use of natural resources such as oil and water. Water, data permitting, can be considered as an input into the production process of agricultural sectors, which is particularly relevant in case of irrigation. It can also be considered as a determinant of total factor productivity in hydro-power generation. The integration of a CLEW

  4. Mouse xenograft modeling of human adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia provides mechanistic insights into adult LIC biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Aditi; Castleton, Anna Z.; Schwab, Claire; Samuel, Edward; Sivakumaran, Janani; Beaton, Brendan; Zareian, Nahid; Zhang, Christie Yu; Rai, Lena; Enver, Tariq; Moorman, Anthony V.; Fielding, Adele K.

    2014-01-01

    The distinct nature of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in adults, evidenced by inferior treatment outcome and different genetic landscape, mandates specific studies of disease-initiating mechanisms. In this study, we used NOD/LtSz-scid IL2Rγ nullc (NSG) mouse xenotransplantation approaches to elucidate leukemia-initiating cell (LIC) biology in primary adult precursor B (pre-B) ALL to optimize disease modeling. In contrast with xenografting studies of pediatric ALL, we found that modification of the NSG host environment using preconditioning total body irradiation (TBI) was indispensable for efficient engraftment of adult non-t(4;11) pre-B ALL, whereas t(4;11) pre-B ALL was successfully reconstituted without this adaptation. Furthermore, TBI-based xenotransplantation of non-t(4;11) pre-B ALL enabled detection of a high frequency of LICs (<1:6900) and permitted frank leukemic engraftment from a remission sample containing drug-resistant minimal residual disease. Investigation of TBI-sensitive stromal-derived factor-1/chemokine receptor type 4 signaling revealed greater functional dependence of non-t(4;11) pre-B ALL on this niche-based interaction, providing a possible basis for the differential engraftment behavior. Thus, our studies establish the optimal conditions for experimental modeling of human adult pre-B ALL and demonstrate the critical protumorogenic role of microenvironment-derived SDF-1 in regulating adult pre-B LIC activity that may present a therapeutic opportunity. PMID:24825861

  5. An Extended, Boolean Model of the Septation Initiation Network in S.Pombe Provides Insights into Its Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chasapi, Anastasia; Wachowicz, Paulina; Niknejad, Anne; Collin, Philippe; Krapp, Andrea; Cano, Elena; Simanis, Viesturs; Xenarios, Ioannis

    2015-01-01

    Cytokinesis in fission yeast is controlled by the Septation Initiation Network (SIN), a protein kinase signaling network using the spindle pole body as scaffold. In order to describe the qualitative behavior of the system and predict unknown mutant behaviors we decided to adopt a Boolean modeling approach. In this paper, we report the construction of an extended, Boolean model of the SIN, comprising most SIN components and regulators as individual, experimentally testable nodes. The model uses CDK activity levels as control nodes for the simulation of SIN related events in different stages of the cell cycle. The model was optimized using single knock-out experiments of known phenotypic effect as a training set, and was able to correctly predict a double knock-out test set. Moreover, the model has made in silico predictions that have been validated in vivo, providing new insights into the regulation and hierarchical organization of the SIN.

  6. Simplified three-dimensional model provides anatomical insights in lizards' caudal autotomy as printed illustration

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    JOANA D.C.G. DE AMORIM

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Lizards' caudal autotomy is a complex and vastly employed antipredator mechanism, with thorough anatomic adaptations involved. Due to its diminished size and intricate structures, vertebral anatomy is hard to be clearly conveyed to students and researchers of other areas. Three-dimensional models are prodigious tools in unveiling anatomical nuances. Some of the techniques used to create them can produce irregular and complicated forms, which despite being very accurate, lack didactical uniformity and simplicity. Since both are considered fundamental characteristics for comprehension, a simplified model could be the key to improve learning. The model here presented depicts the caudal osteology of Tropidurus itambere, and was designed to be concise, in order to be easily assimilated, yet complete, not to compromise the informative aspect. The creation process requires only basic skills in manipulating polygons in 3D modeling softwares, in addition to the appropriate knowledge of the structure to be modeled. As reference for the modeling, we used microscopic observation and a photograph database of the caudal structures. This way, no advanced laboratory equipment was needed and all biological materials were preserved for future research. Therefore, we propose a wider usage of simplified 3D models both in the classroom and as illustrations for scientific publications.

  7. Large-scale modeling provides insights into Arabidopsis's acclimation to changing light and temperature conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Töpfer, Nadine; Niokoloski, Zoran

    2013-09-01

    Classical flux balance analysis predicts steady-state flux distributions that maximize a given objective function. A recent study, Schuetz et al., (1) demonstrated that competing objectives constrain the metabolic fluxes in E. coli. For plants, with multiple cell types, fulfilling different functions, the objectives remain elusive and, therefore, hinder the prediction of actual fluxes, particularly for changing environments. In our study, we presented a novel approach to predict flux capacities for a large collection of metabolic pathways under eight different temperature and light conditions. (2) By integrating time-series transcriptomics data to constrain the flux boundaries of the metabolic model, we captured the time- and condition-specific state of the network. Although based on a single time-series experiment, the comparison of these capacities to a novel null model for transcript distribution allowed us to define a measure for differential behavior that accounts for the underlying network structure and the complex interplay of metabolic pathways.

  8. Directed evolution of a model primordial enzyme provides insights into the development of the genetic code.

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    Manuel M Müller

    Full Text Available The contemporary proteinogenic repertoire contains 20 amino acids with diverse functional groups and side chain geometries. Primordial proteins, in contrast, were presumably constructed from a subset of these building blocks. Subsequent expansion of the proteinogenic alphabet would have enhanced their capabilities, fostering the metabolic prowess and organismal fitness of early living systems. While the addition of amino acids bearing innovative functional groups directly enhances the chemical repertoire of proteomes, the inclusion of chemically redundant monomers is difficult to rationalize. Here, we studied how a simplified chorismate mutase evolves upon expanding its amino acid alphabet from nine to potentially 20 letters. Continuous evolution provided an enhanced enzyme variant that has only two point mutations, both of which extend the alphabet and jointly improve protein stability by >4 kcal/mol and catalytic activity tenfold. The same, seemingly innocuous substitutions (Ile→Thr, Leu→Val occurred in several independent evolutionary trajectories. The increase in fitness they confer indicates that building blocks with very similar side chain structures are highly beneficial for fine-tuning protein structure and function.

  9. Supplementary Material for: Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Phelan, Jody

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Protein structure and interaction modelling are used to understand the functional effects of putative mutations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to resistance. Methods To investigate the potential utility of these approaches, we analysed the genomes of 144 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) collection sourced from 20 countries in four continents. A genome-wide approach was applied to 127 isolates to identify polymorphisms associated with minimum inhibitory concentrations for first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. In addition, the effect of identified candidate mutations on protein stability and interactions was assessed quantitatively with well-established computational methods. Results The analysis revealed that mutations in the genes rpoB (rifampicin), katG (isoniazid), inhA-promoter (isoniazid), rpsL (streptomycin) and embB (ethambutol) were responsible for the majority of resistance observed. A subset of the mutations identified in rpoB and katG were predicted to affect protein stability. Further, a strong direct correlation was observed between the minimum inhibitory concentration values and the distance of the mutated residues in the three-dimensional structures of rpoB and katG to their respective drugs binding sites. Conclusions Using the TDR resource, we demonstrate the usefulness of whole genome association and convergent evolution approaches to detect known and potentially novel mutations associated with drug resistance. Further, protein structural modelling could provide a means of predicting the impact of polymorphisms on drug efficacy in the absence of phenotypic data. These approaches could ultimately lead to novel

  10. Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Phelan, Jody

    2016-03-23

    Background Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Protein structure and interaction modelling are used to understand the functional effects of putative mutations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to resistance. Methods To investigate the potential utility of these approaches, we analysed the genomes of 144 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) collection sourced from 20 countries in four continents. A genome-wide approach was applied to 127 isolates to identify polymorphisms associated with minimum inhibitory concentrations for first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. In addition, the effect of identified candidate mutations on protein stability and interactions was assessed quantitatively with well-established computational methods. Results The analysis revealed that mutations in the genes rpoB (rifampicin), katG (isoniazid), inhA-promoter (isoniazid), rpsL (streptomycin) and embB (ethambutol) were responsible for the majority of resistance observed. A subset of the mutations identified in rpoB and katG were predicted to affect protein stability. Further, a strong direct correlation was observed between the minimum inhibitory concentration values and the distance of the mutated residues in the three-dimensional structures of rpoB and katG to their respective drugs binding sites. Conclusions Using the TDR resource, we demonstrate the usefulness of whole genome association and convergent evolution approaches to detect known and potentially novel mutations associated with drug resistance. Further, protein structural modelling could provide a means of predicting the impact of polymorphisms on drug efficacy in the absence of phenotypic data. These approaches could ultimately lead to novel resistance

  11. Novel murine infection models provide deep insights into the "menage a trois" of Campylobacter jejuni, microbiota and host innate immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Bereswill

    gnotobiotic and "humanized" mice represent excellent novel C. jejuni-infection and -inflammation models and provide deep insights into the immunological and molecular interplays between C. jejuni, microbiota and innate immunity in human campylobacteriosis.

  12. A Novel Zebrafish Model to Provide Mechanistic Insights into the Inflammatory Events in Carrageenan-Induced Abdominal Edema

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shi-Ying; Feng, Chien-Wei; Hung, Han-Chun; Chakraborty, Chiranjib; Chen, Chun-Hong; Chen, Wu-Fu; Jean, Yen-Hsuan; Wang, Hui-Min David; Sung, Chun-Sung; Sun, Yu-Min; Wu, Chang-Yi; Liu, Wangta; Hsiao, Chung-Der; Wen, Zhi-Hong

    2014-01-01

    A suitable small animal model may help in the screening and evaluation of new drugs, especially those from natural products, which can be administered at lower dosages, fulfilling an urgent worldwide need. In this study, we explore whether zebrafish could be a model organism for carrageenan-induced abdominal edema. The research results showed that intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of 1.5% λ-carrageenan in a volume of 20 µL significantly increased abdominal edema in adult zebrafish. Levels of the proinflammatory proteins tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were increased in carrageenan-injected adult zebrafish during the development of abdominal edema. An associated enhancement was also observed in the leukocyte marker, myeloperoxidase (MPO). To support these results, we further observed that i.p. methylprednisolone (MP; 1 µg), a positive control, significantly inhibited carrageenan-induced inflammation 24 h after carrageenan administration. Furthermore, i.p. pretreatment with either an anti-TNF-α antibody (1∶5 dilution in a volume of 20 µL) or the iNOS-selective inhibitor aminoguanidine (AG; 1 µg) inhibited carrageenan-induced abdominal edema in adult zebrafish. This new animal model is uncomplicated, easy to develop, and involves a straightforward inducement of inflammatory edema for the evaluation of small volumes of drugs or test compounds. PMID:25141004

  13. A novel zebrafish model to provide mechanistic insights into the inflammatory events in carrageenan-induced abdominal edema.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-Ying Huang

    Full Text Available A suitable small animal model may help in the screening and evaluation of new drugs, especially those from natural products, which can be administered at lower dosages, fulfilling an urgent worldwide need. In this study, we explore whether zebrafish could be a model organism for carrageenan-induced abdominal edema. The research results showed that intraperitoneal (i.p. administration of 1.5% λ-carrageenan in a volume of 20 µL significantly increased abdominal edema in adult zebrafish. Levels of the proinflammatory proteins tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS were increased in carrageenan-injected adult zebrafish during the development of abdominal edema. An associated enhancement was also observed in the leukocyte marker, myeloperoxidase (MPO. To support these results, we further observed that i.p. methylprednisolone (MP; 1 µg, a positive control, significantly inhibited carrageenan-induced inflammation 24 h after carrageenan administration. Furthermore, i.p. pretreatment with either an anti-TNF-α antibody (1∶5 dilution in a volume of 20 µL or the iNOS-selective inhibitor aminoguanidine (AG; 1 µg inhibited carrageenan-induced abdominal edema in adult zebrafish. This new animal model is uncomplicated, easy to develop, and involves a straightforward inducement of inflammatory edema for the evaluation of small volumes of drugs or test compounds.

  14. Amniotic fluid metabolomics and biochemistry analysis provides novel insights into the diet-regulated foetal growth in a pig model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Jin; Jiang, Fei; Zhang, Jiao; Xu, Qingsong; Chen, Daiwen; Yu, Bing; Mao, Xiangbing; Yu, Jie; Luo, Yuheng; He, Jun

    2017-01-01

    Foetal loss and intrauterine growth restriction are major problems in mammals, but there are few effective ways in preventing it. Intriguingly, chitosan oligosaccharide (COS), a biomaterial derived from chitosan, can promote foetal survival and growth. Therefore, we have investigated how COS affects foetal survival and growth in a pig model. Fifty-two sows were divided into two treatment groups (n = 26) and fed either solely a control diet or a control diet that includes 100 mg/kg COS. Amniotic fluid and foetus samples from six sows that were of average body weight in each group were collected on gestation day 35. We applied a 1H NMR-based metabolomics approach combined with biochemistry analysis to track the changes that occurred in the amniotic fluid of pregnant sows after COS intervention. Maternal COS inclusion had enhanced (P < 0.05) the foetal survival rate and size at 35 days. COS supplementation had both increased (P < 0.05) SOD, CAT and T-AOC activities and elevated (P < 0.05) IL-10, IgG and IgM concentrations in the amniotic fluid. Moreover, COS had affected (P < 0.05) the amniotic fluid’s lysine, citrate, glucose and hypoxanthine levels. Overall, COS inclusion induced amniotic fluid antioxidant status and metabolic profiles modifications characterising improvements in foetal survival and growth in a pig model. PMID:28300194

  15. Satellites provide new insights into polar geophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laxon, Seymour; McAdoo, David

    A revolution in polar geophysics is under way thanks to altimeter data, which the ERS satellites have been collecting since 1991. Geophysical surveys in the polar regions have long been hampered by inaccessibility, particularly in areas that are covered yearround by sea ice or land ice. As a result the major remaining uncertainties in global tectonic models of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic tend to lie in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. In fact, major tectonic plate boundaries have been hypothesized, but not confirmed, for both regions. In the Arctic, a divergent plate boundary associated with the Mesozoic opening of the Canada Basin has been proposed [e.g., Lawver et al., 1990] while in the Antarctic a divergent boundary, active during the late Cretaceous in the Amundsen Sea, has been hypothesized [Cande et al., 1995; Stock and Molnar, 1987]. Due to the acute sparseness of seafloor surveys in these areas, however, no one has been able to prove that these plate boundaries actually existed, nor has anyone been able to locate extinct remnants of the boundaries. High-resolution marine gravity fields (Figures 1 and 2) derived from satellite altimeter data are now redressing this problem of sparse surveys.

  16. Modeling for Insights

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacob J. Jacobson; Gretchen Matthern

    2007-04-01

    System Dynamics is a computer-aided approach to evaluating the interrelationships of different components and activities within complex systems. Recently, System Dynamics models have been developed in areas such as policy design, biological and medical modeling, energy and the environmental analysis, and in various other areas in the natural and social sciences. The real power of System Dynamic modeling is gaining insights into total system behavior as time, and system parameters are adjusted and the effects are visualized in real time. System Dynamic models allow decision makers and stakeholders to explore long-term behavior and performance of complex systems, especially in the context of dynamic processes and changing scenarios without having to wait decades to obtain field data or risk failure if a poor management or design approach is used. The Idaho National Laboratory recently has been developing a System Dynamic model of the US Nuclear Fuel Cycle. The model is intended to be used to identify and understand interactions throughout the entire nuclear fuel cycle and suggest sustainable development strategies. This paper describes the basic framework of the current model and presents examples of useful insights gained from the model thus far with respect to sustainable development of nuclear power.

  17. Genomic analyses provide insights into the history of tomato breeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tao; Zhu, Guangtao; Zhang, Junhong; Xu, Xiangyang; Yu, Qinghui; Zheng, Zheng; Zhang, Zhonghua; Lun, Yaoyao; Li, Shuai; Wang, Xiaoxuan; Huang, Zejun; Li, Junming; Zhang, Chunzhi; Wang, Taotao; Zhang, Yuyang; Wang, Aoxue; Zhang, Yancong; Lin, Kui; Li, Chuanyou; Xiong, Guosheng; Xue, Yongbiao; Mazzucato, Andrea; Causse, Mathilde; Fei, Zhangjun; Giovannoni, James J; Chetelat, Roger T; Zamir, Dani; Städler, Thomas; Li, Jingfu; Ye, Zhibiao; Du, Yongchen; Huang, Sanwen

    2014-11-01

    The histories of crop domestication and breeding are recorded in genomes. Although tomato is a model species for plant biology and breeding, the nature of human selection that altered its genome remains largely unknown. Here we report a comprehensive analysis of tomato evolution based on the genome sequences of 360 accessions. We provide evidence that domestication and improvement focused on two independent sets of quantitative trait loci (QTLs), resulting in modern tomato fruit ∼100 times larger than its ancestor. Furthermore, we discovered a major genomic signature for modern processing tomatoes, identified the causative variants that confer pink fruit color and precisely visualized the linkage drag associated with wild introgressions. This study outlines the accomplishments as well as the costs of historical selection and provides molecular insights toward further improvement.

  18. Fed manufacturing surveys provide insight into national economy

    OpenAIRE

    Kerr, Emily; Pia M. Orrenius; Wang, Jack; Canas, Jesus

    2014-01-01

    Regional Federal Reserve Banks’ manufacturing surveys provide important insight into national economic conditions. The Dallas Fed’s Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey performs well forecasting the ISM manufacturing index and U.S. industrial production.

  19. Small teleost fish provide new insights into human skeletal diseases.

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    Witten, P E; Harris, M P; Huysseune, A; Winkler, C

    2017-01-01

    Small teleost fish such as zebrafish and medaka are increasingly studied as models for human skeletal diseases. Efficient new genome editing tools combined with advances in the analysis of skeletal phenotypes provide new insights into fundamental processes of skeletal development. The skeleton among vertebrates is a highly conserved organ system, but teleost fish and mammals have evolved unique traits or have lost particular skeletal elements in each lineage. Several unique features of the skeleton relate to the extremely small size of early fish embryos and the small size of adult fish used as models. A detailed analysis of the plethora of interesting skeletal phenotypes in zebrafish and medaka pushes available skeletal imaging techniques to their respective limits and promotes the development of new imaging techniques. Impressive numbers of zebrafish and medaka mutants with interesting skeletal phenotypes have been characterized, complemented by transgenic zebrafish and medaka lines. The advent of efficient genome editing tools, such as TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9, allows to introduce targeted deficiencies in genes of model teleosts to generate skeletal phenotypes that resemble human skeletal diseases. This review will also discuss other attractive aspects of the teleost skeleton. This includes the capacity for lifelong tooth replacement and for the regeneration of dermal skeletal elements, such as scales and fin rays, which further increases the value of zebrafish and medaka models for skeletal research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Computer modelling integrated with micro-CT and material testing provides additional insight to evaluate bone treatments: Application to a beta-glycan derived whey protein mice model.

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    Sreenivasan, D; Tu, P T; Dickinson, M; Watson, M; Blais, A; Das, R; Cornish, J; Fernandez, J

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of a whey protein diet on computationally predicted mechanical strength of murine bones in both trabecular and cortical regions of the femur. There was no significant influence on mechanical strength in cortical bone observed with increasing whey protein treatment, consistent with cortical tissue mineral density (TMD) and bone volume changes observed. Trabecular bone showed a significant decline in strength with increasing whey protein treatment when nanoindentation derived Young׳s moduli were used in the model. When microindentation, micro-CT phantom density or normalised Young׳s moduli were included in the model a non-significant decline in strength was exhibited. These results for trabecular bone were consistent with both trabecular bone mineral density (BMD) and micro-CT indices obtained independently. The secondary aim of this study was to characterise the influence of different sources of Young׳s moduli on computational prediction. This study aimed to quantify the predicted mechanical strength in 3D from these sources and evaluate if trends and conclusions remained consistent. For cortical bone, predicted mechanical strength behaviour was consistent across all sources of Young׳s moduli. There was no difference in treatment trend observed when Young׳s moduli were normalised. In contrast, trabecular strength due to whey protein treatment significantly reduced when material properties from nanoindentation were introduced. Other material property sources were not significant but emphasised the strength trend over normalised material properties. This shows strength at the trabecular level was attributed to both changes in bone architecture and material properties.

  1. Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Tamoxifen and its Metabolites in Women of Different CYP2D6 Phenotypes Provides New Insight into the Tamoxifen Mass Balance

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    Dickschen, Kristin; Willmann, Stefan; Thelen, Kirstin; Lippert, Jörg; Hempel, Georg; Eissing, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Tamoxifen is a first-line endocrine agent in the mechanism-based treatment of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) mammary carcinoma and applied to breast cancer patients all over the world. Endoxifen is a secondary and highly active metabolite of tamoxifen that is formed among others by the polymorphic cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6). It is widely accepted that CYP2D6 poor metabolizers exert a pronounced decrease in endoxifen steady-state plasma concentrations compared to CYP2D6 extensive metabolizers. Nevertheless, an in-depth understanding of the chain of cause and effect between CYP2D6 genotype, endoxifen steady-state plasma concentration, and subsequent tamoxifen treatment benefit still remains to be evolved. In this study, physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK)-modeling was applied to mechanistically investigate the impact of CYP2D6 phenotype on endoxifen formation in female breast cancer patients undergoing tamoxifen therapy. A PBPK-model of tamoxifen and its pharmacologically important metabolites N-desmethyltamoxifen (NDM-TAM), 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OH-TAM), and endoxifen was developed and validated. This model is able to simulate the pharmacokinetics (PK) after single and repeated oral tamoxifen doses in female breast cancer patients in dependence of the CYP2D6 phenotype. A detailed model-based analysis of the mass balance offered support for a recent hypothesis stating a more prominent role for endoxifen formation from 4-OH-TAM. In the future this model provides a good basis to further investigate the linkage of PK, mode of action, and treatment outcome in dependence of factors such as phenotype, ethnicity, or co-treatment with CYP2D6 inhibitors. PMID:22661948

  2. Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling of tamoxifen and its metabolites in women of different CYP2D6 phenotypes provides new insight into the tamoxifen mass balance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin eDickschen

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Tamoxifen is a first-line endocrine agent in the mechanism-based treatment of estrogen receptor positive (ER+ mammary carcinoma and applied to breast cancer patients all over the world. Endoxifen is a secondary and highly active metabolite of tamoxifen that is formed among others by the polymorphic cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6. It is widely accepted that CYP2D6 poor metabolizers (PM exert a pronounced decrease in endoxifen steady-state plasma concentrations compared to CYP2D6 extensive metabolizers (EM. Nevertheless, an in-depth understanding of the chain of cause and effect between CYP2D6 genotype, endoxifen steady-state plasma concentration, and subsequent tamoxifen treatment benefit still remains to be evolved.In this context, physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK-modeling provides a useful tool to mechanistically investigate the impact of CYP2D6 phenotype on endoxifen formation in female breast cancer patients undergoing tamoxifen therapy.It has long been thought that only a minor percentage of endoxifen is formed via 4-hydroxytamoxifen. However, the current investigation supports very recently published data that postulates a contribution of 4-hydroxytamoxifen above 20 % to total endoxifen formation. The developed PBPK-model describes tamoxifen PK in rats and humans. Moreover, tamoxifen metabolism in dependence of CYP2D6 phenotype in populations of European female individuals is well described, thus providing a good basis to further investigate the linkage of PK, mode of action, and treatment outcome in dependence of factors such as phenotype, ethnicity or co-treatment with CYP2D6 inhibitors.

  3. Network models provide insights into how oriens–lacunosum-moleculare and bistratified cell interactions influence the power of local hippocampal CA1 theta oscillations

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    Katie A Ferguson

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal theta is a 4-12 Hz rhythm associated with episodic memory, and although it has been studied extensively, the cellular mechanisms underlying its generation are unclear. The complex interactions between different interneuron types, such as those between oriens--lacunosum-moleculare (OLM interneurons and bistratified cells (BiCs, make their contribution to network rhythms difficult to determine experimentally. We created network models that are tied to experimental work at both cellular and network levels to explore how these interneuron interactions affect the power of local oscillations. Our cellular models were constrained with properties from patch clamp recordings in the CA1 region of an intact hippocampus preparation in vitro. Our network models are composed of three different types of interneurons: parvalbumin-positive (PV+ basket and axo-axonic cells (BC/AACs, PV+ BiCs, and somatostatin-positive OLM cells. Also included is a spatially extended pyramidal cell model to allow for a simplified local field potential representation, as well as experimentally-constrained, theta frequency synaptic inputs to the interneurons. The network size, connectivity, and synaptic properties were constrained with experimental data. To determine how the interactions between OLM cells and BiCs could affect local theta power, we explored a number of OLM-BiC connections and connection strengths.We found that our models operate in regimes in which OLM cells minimally or strongly affected the power of network theta oscillations due to balances that, respectively, allow compensatory effects or not. Inactivation of OLM cells could result in no change or even an increase in theta power. We predict that the dis-inhibitory effect of OLM cells to BiCs to pyramidal cell interactions plays a critical role in the power of network theta oscillations. Our network models reveal a dynamic interplay between different classes of interneurons in influencing local theta

  4. Using pore-scale imaging and modeling to provide new insights in multi-phase flow, transport and reaction phenomena in porous media (Invited)

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    Bijeljic, B.; Andrew, M. G.; Menke, H. P.; Blunt, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    Advances in X ray imaging techniques made it possible not only to accurately describe solid and fluid(s) distributions in the pore space but also to study dynamics of multi-phase flow and reactive transport in-situ. This has opened up a range of new opportunities to better understand fundamental physics at the pore scale by experiment, and test and validate theoretical models in order to develop predictive tools at the pore scale and use it for upscaling. Firstly, we illustrate this concept by describing a new methodology for predicting non-Fickian transport in millimeter-sized three-dimensional micro-CT images of a beadpack, a sandstone, and a carbonate, representing porous media with an increasing degree of pore-scale complexity. The key strategy is to retain the full information on flow and transport signature of a porous medium by using probability distribution functions (PDFs) of voxel velocities for flow, and both PDFs of particle displacements and PDFs of particle transit times between voxels for transport. For this purpose, direct-simulation flow and transport model is used to analyse the relationship between pore structure, velocity, and the dynamics of the evolving plume. The model predictions for PDFs of particle displacements obtained by the model are in excellent agreement with those measured on similar cores in nuclear magnetic resonance experiments. A key determinant for non-Fickian transport is the spread in velocity distribution in the pore space. Further, we present micro-CT imaging of capillary trapping of scCO2 at reservoir conditions in a range of carbonates and sandstones having different pore structure and demonstrate that substantial quantities of scCO2 can be trapped in the pore space. Higher residual scCO2 saturations are found in sandstones compared to carbonates. The trapped ganglia exhibit different distribution of size, related to the inherent structure of pore space. Pore structures with large, open pores that are well connected lead

  5. Model peptides provide new insights into the role of histidine residues as potential ligands in human cellular copper acquisition via Ctr1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Kathryn L; Putterman, Allison B; White, Daniel R; Thiele, Dennis J; Franz, Katherine J

    2011-03-30

    Cellular acquisition of copper in eukaryotes is primarily accomplished through the Ctr family of copper transport proteins. In both humans and yeast, methionine-rich "Mets" motifs in the amino-terminal extracellular domain of Ctr1 are thought to be responsible for recruitment of copper at the cell surface. Unlike yeast, mammalian Ctr1 also contains extracellular histidine-rich motifs, although a role for these regions in copper uptake has not been explored in detail. Herein, synthetic model peptides containing the first 14 residues of the extracellular domain of human Ctr1 (MDHSHHMGMSYMDS) have been prepared and evaluated for their apparent binding affinity to both Cu(I) and Cu(II). These studies reveal a high affinity Cu(II) binding site (log K = 11.0 ± 0.3 at pH 7.4) at the amino-terminus of the peptide as well as a high affinity Cu(I) site (log K = 10.2 ± 0.2 at pH 7.4) that utilizes adjacent HH residues along with an additional His or Met ligand. These model studies suggest that the histidine domains may play a direct role in copper acquisition from serum copper-binding proteins and in facilitating the reduction of Cu(II) to the active Ctr1 substrate, Cu(I). We tested this hypothesis by expressing a Ctr1 mutant lacking only extracellular histidine residues in Ctr1-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Results from live cell studies support the hypothesis that extracellular amino-terminal His residues directly participate in the copper transport function of Ctr1.

  6. The synthesis map is a multidimensional educational tool that provides insight into students' mental models and promotes students' synthetic knowledge generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Ryan A; Brame, Cynthia J

    2015-01-01

    Concept mapping was developed as a method of displaying and organizing hierarchical knowledge structures. Using the new, multidimensional presentation software Prezi, we have developed a new teaching technique designed to engage higher-level skills in the cognitive domain. This tool, synthesis mapping, is a natural evolution of concept mapping, which utilizes embedding to layer information within concepts. Prezi's zooming user interface lets the author of the presentation use both depth as well as distance to show connections between data, ideas, and concepts. Students in the class Biology of Cancer created synthesis maps to illustrate their knowledge of tumorigenesis. Students used multiple organizational schemes to build their maps. We present an analysis of student work, placing special emphasis on organization within student maps and how the organization of knowledge structures in student maps can reveal strengths and weaknesses in student understanding or instruction. We also provide a discussion of best practices for instructors who would like to implement synthesis mapping in their classrooms. © 2015 R. A. Ortega and C. J. Brame et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  7. Adamtsl2 deletion results in bronchial fibrillin microfibril accumulation and bronchial epithelial dysplasia – a novel mouse model providing insights into geleophysic dysplasia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dirk Hubmacher

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in the secreted glycoprotein ADAMTSL2 cause recessive geleophysic dysplasia (GD in humans and Musladin–Lueke syndrome (MLS in dogs. GD is a severe, often lethal, condition presenting with short stature, brachydactyly, stiff skin, joint contractures, tracheal-bronchial stenosis and cardiac valve anomalies, whereas MLS is non-lethal and characterized by short stature and severe skin fibrosis. Although most mutations in fibrillin-1 (FBN1 cause Marfan syndrome (MFS, a microfibril disorder leading to transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ dysregulation, domain-specific FBN1 mutations result in dominant GD. ADAMTSL2 has been previously shown to bind FBN1 and latent TGFβ-binding protein-1 (LTBP1. Here, we investigated mice with targeted Adamtsl2 inactivation as a new model for GD (Adamtsl2−/− mice. An intragenic lacZ reporter in these mice showed that ADAMTSL2 was produced exclusively by bronchial smooth muscle cells during embryonic lung development. Adamtsl2−/− mice, which died at birth, had severe bronchial epithelial dysplasia with abnormal glycogen-rich inclusions in bronchial epithelium resembling the cellular anomalies described previously in GD. An increase in microfibrils in the bronchial wall was associated with increased FBN2 and microfibril-associated glycoprotein-1 (MAGP1 staining, whereas LTBP1 staining was increased in bronchial epithelium. ADAMTSL2 was shown to bind directly to FBN2 with an affinity comparable to FBN1. The observed extracellular matrix (ECM alterations were associated with increased bronchial epithelial TGFβ signaling at 17.5 days of gestation; however, treatment with TGFβ-neutralizing antibody did not correct the epithelial dysplasia. These investigations reveal a new function of ADAMTSL2 in modulating microfibril formation, and a previously unsuspected association with FBN2. Our studies suggest that the bronchial epithelial dysplasia accompanying microfibril dysregulation in Adamtsl2−/− mice

  8. Comparative genomics provide insights into evolution of trichoderma nutrition style.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Bin-Bin; Qin, Qi-Long; Shi, Mei; Chen, Lei-Lei; Shu, Yan-Li; Luo, Yan; Wang, Xiao-Wei; Rong, Jin-Cheng; Gong, Zhi-Ting; Li, Dan; Sun, Cai-Yun; Liu, Gui-Ming; Dong, Xiao-Wei; Pang, Xiu-Hua; Huang, Feng; Liu, Weifeng; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Zhang, Yu-Zhong; Song, Xiao-Yan

    2014-02-01

    Saprotrophy on plant biomass is a recently developed nutrition strategy for Trichoderma. However, the physiology and evolution of this new nutrition strategy is still elusive. We report the deep sequencing and analysis of the genome of Trichoderma longibrachiatum, an efficient cellulase producer. The 31.7-Mb genome, smallest among the sequenced Trichoderma species, encodes fewer nutrition-related genes than saprotrophic T. reesei (Tr), including glycoside hydrolases and nonribosomal peptide synthetase-polyketide synthase. Homology and phylogenetic analyses suggest that a large number of nutrition-related genes, including GH18 chitinases, β-1,3/1,6-glucanases, cellulolytic enzymes, and hemicellulolytic enzymes, were lost in the common ancestor of T. longibrachiatum (Tl) and Tr. dN/dS (ω) calculation indicates that all the nutrition-related genes analyzed are under purifying selection. Cellulolytic enzymes, the key enzymes for saprotrophy on plant biomass, are under stronger purifying selection pressure in Tl and Tr than in mycoparasitic species, suggesting that development of the nutrition strategy of saprotrophy on plant biomass has increased the selection pressure. In addition, aspartic proteases, serine proteases, and metalloproteases are subject to stronger purifying selection pressure in Tl and Tr, suggesting that these enzymes may also play important roles in the nutrition. This study provides insights into the physiology and evolution of the nutrition strategy of Trichoderma.

  9. Marsupial Genome Sequences: Providing Insight into Evolution and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janine E. Deakin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Marsupials (metatherians, with their position in vertebrate phylogeny and their unique biological features, have been studied for many years by a dedicated group of researchers, but it has only been since the sequencing of the first marsupial genome that their value has been more widely recognised. We now have genome sequences for three distantly related marsupial species (the grey short-tailed opossum, the tammar wallaby, and Tasmanian devil, with the promise of many more genomes to be sequenced in the near future, making this a particularly exciting time in marsupial genomics. The emergence of a transmissible cancer, which is obliterating the Tasmanian devil population, has increased the importance of obtaining and analysing marsupial genome sequence for understanding such diseases as well as for conservation efforts. In addition, these genome sequences have facilitated studies aimed at answering questions regarding gene and genome evolution and provided insight into the evolution of epigenetic mechanisms. Here I highlight the major advances in our understanding of evolution and disease, facilitated by marsupial genome projects, and speculate on the future contributions to be made by such sequences.

  10. The complex jujube genome provides insights into fruit tree biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meng-Jun; Zhao, Jin; Cai, Qing-Le; Liu, Guo-Cheng; Wang, Jiu-Rui; Zhao, Zhi-Hui; Liu, Ping; Dai, Li; Yan, Guijun; Wang, Wen-Jiang; Li, Xian-Song; Chen, Yan; Sun, Yu-Dong; Liu, Zhi-Guo; Lin, Min-Juan; Xiao, Jing; Chen, Ying-Ying; Li, Xiao-Feng; Wu, Bin; Ma, Yong; Jian, Jian-Bo; Yang, Wei; Yuan, Zan; Sun, Xue-Chao; Wei, Yan-Li; Yu, Li-Li; Zhang, Chi; Liao, Sheng-Guang; He, Rong-Jun; Guang, Xuan-Min; Wang, Zhuo; Zhang, Yue-Yang; Luo, Long-Hai

    2014-10-28

    The jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.), a member of family Rhamnaceae, is a major dry fruit and a traditional herbal medicine for more than one billion people. Here we present a high-quality sequence for the complex jujube genome, the first genome sequence of Rhamnaceae, using an integrated strategy. The final assembly spans 437.65 Mb (98.6% of the estimated) with 321.45 Mb anchored to the 12 pseudo-chromosomes and contains 32,808 genes. The jujube genome has undergone frequent inter-chromosome fusions and segmental duplications, but no recent whole-genome duplication. Further analyses of the jujube-specific genes and transcriptome data from 15 tissues reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying some specific properties of the jujube. Its high vitamin C content can be attributed to a unique high level expression of genes involved in both biosynthesis and regeneration. Our study provides insights into jujube-specific biology and valuable genomic resources for the improvement of Rhamnaceae plants and other fruit trees.

  11. Can tobacco dependence provide insights into other drug addictions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiFranza, Joseph R

    2016-10-27

    Within the field of addiction research, individuals tend to operate within silos of knowledge focused on specific drug classes. The discovery that tobacco dependence develops in a progression of stages and that the latency to the onset of withdrawal symptoms after the last use of tobacco changes over time have provided insights into how tobacco dependence develops that might be applied to the study of other drugs.As physical dependence on tobacco develops, it progresses through previously unrecognized clinical stages of wanting, craving and needing. The latency to withdrawal is a measure of the asymptomatic phase of withdrawal, extending from the last use of tobacco to the emergence of withdrawal symptoms. Symptomatic withdrawal is characterized by a wanting phase, a craving phase, and a needing phase. The intensity of the desire to smoke that is triggered by withdrawal correlates with brain activity in addiction circuits. With repeated tobacco use, the latency to withdrawal shrinks from as long as several weeks to as short as several minutes. The shortening of the asymptomatic phase of withdrawal drives an escalation of smoking, first in terms of the number of smoking days/month until daily smoking commences, then in terms of cigarettes smoked/day.The discoveries of the stages of physical dependence and the latency to withdrawal raises the question, does physical dependence develop in stages with other drugs? Is the latency to withdrawal for other substances measured in weeks at the onset of dependence? Does it shorten over time? The research methods that uncovered how tobacco dependence emerges might be fruitfully applied to the investigation of other addictions.

  12. Social network analysis provides insights into African swine fever epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichoti, Jacqueline Kasiiti; Davies, Jocelyn; Kitala, Philip M; Githigia, Samuel M; Okoth, Edward; Maru, Yiheyis; Bukachi, Salome A; Bishop, Richard P

    2016-04-01

    Pig movements play a significant role in the spread of economically important infectious diseases such as the African swine fever. Characterization of movement networks between pig farms and through other types of farm and household enterprises that are involved in pig value chains can provide useful information on the role that different participants in the networks play in pathogen transmission. Analysis of social networks that underpin these pig movements can reveal pathways that are important in the transmission of disease, trade in commodities, the dissemination of information and the influence of behavioural norms. We assessed pig movements among pig keeping households within West Kenya and East Uganda and across the shared Kenya-Uganda border in the study region, to gain insight into within-country and trans-boundary pig movements. Villages were sampled using a randomized cluster design. Data were collected through interviews in 2012 and 2013 from 683 smallholder pig-keeping households in 34 villages. NodeXL software was used to describe pig movement networks at village level. The pig movement and trade networks were localized and based on close social networks involving family ties, friendships and relationships with neighbours. Pig movement network modularity ranged from 0.2 to 0.5 and exhibited good community structure within the network implying an easy flow of knowledge and adoption of new attitudes and beliefs, but also promoting an enhanced rate of disease transmission. The average path length of 5 defined using NodeXL, indicated that disease could easily reach every node in a cluster. Cross-border boar service between Uganda and Kenya was also recorded. Unmonitored trade in both directions was prevalent. While most pig transactions in the absence of disease, were at a small scale (10km. The close social relationships between actors in pig movement networks indicate the potential for possible interventions to develop shared norms and mutually accepted

  13. Noise provides new insights on contrast sensitivity function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ge Chen

    Full Text Available Sensitivity to luminance difference, or contrast sensitivity, is critical for animals to survive in and interact with the external world. The contrast sensitivity function (CSF, which measures visual sensitivity to spatial patterns over a wide range of spatial frequencies, provides a comprehensive characterization of the visual system. Despite its popularity and significance in both basic research and clinical practice, it hasn't been clear what determines the CSF and how the factors underlying the CSF change in different conditions. In the current study, we applied the external noise method and perceptual template model to a wide range of external noise and spatial frequency (SF conditions, and evaluated how the various sources of observer inefficiency changed with SF and determined the limiting factors underlying the CSF. We found that only internal additive noise and template gain changed significantly with SF, while the transducer non-linearity and coefficient for multiplicative noise were constant. The 12-parameter model provided a very good account of all the data in the 200 tested conditions (86.5%, 86.2%, 89.5%, and 96.4% for the four subjects, respectively. Our results suggest a re-consideration of the popular spatial vision model that employs the CSF as the front-end filter and constant internal additive noise across spatial frequencies. The study will also be of interest to scientists and clinicians engaged in characterizing spatial vision deficits and/or developing rehabilitation methods to restore spatial vision in clinical populations.

  14. Sparse regularization techniques provide novel insights into outcome integration processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohr, Holger; Wolfensteller, Uta; Frimmel, Steffi; Ruge, Hannes

    2015-01-01

    By exploiting information that is contained in the spatial arrangement of neural activations, multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) can detect distributed brain activations which are not accessible by standard univariate analysis. Recent methodological advances in MVPA regularization techniques have made it feasible to produce sparse discriminative whole-brain maps with highly specific patterns. Furthermore, the most recent refinement, the Graph Net, explicitly takes the 3D-structure of fMRI data into account. Here, these advanced classification methods were applied to a large fMRI sample (N=70) in order to gain novel insights into the functional localization of outcome integration processes. While the beneficial effect of differential outcomes is well-studied in trial-and-error learning, outcome integration in the context of instruction-based learning has remained largely unexplored. In order to examine neural processes associated with outcome integration in the context of instruction-based learning, two groups of subjects underwent functional imaging while being presented with either differential or ambiguous outcomes following the execution of varying stimulus-response instructions. While no significant univariate group differences were found in the resulting fMRI dataset, L1-regularized (sparse) classifiers performed significantly above chance and also clearly outperformed the standard L2-regularized (dense) Support Vector Machine on this whole-brain between-subject classification task. Moreover, additional L2-regularization via the Elastic Net and spatial regularization by the Graph Net improved interpretability of discriminative weight maps but were accompanied by reduced classification accuracies. Most importantly, classification based on sparse regularization facilitated the identification of highly specific regions differentially engaged under ambiguous and differential outcome conditions, comprising several prefrontal regions previously associated with

  15. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Tanaka

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1 covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes, and 2 open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds. Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1 covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs, and 2 open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment

  16. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kohei; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests

  17. Isothermal microcalorimetry provides new insight into terrestrial carbon cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Anke M; Coucheney, Elsa; Nunan, Naoise

    2014-04-15

    Energy is continuously transformed in environmental systems through the metabolic activities of living organisms, but little is known about the relationship between the two. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that microbial energetics are controlled by microbial community composition in terrestrial ecosystems. We determined the functional diversity profiles of the soil biota (i.e., multiple substrate-induced respiration and microbial energetics) in soils from an arable ecosystem with contrasting long-term management regimes (54 years). These two functional profiling methods were then related to the soils' microbial community composition. Using isothermal microcalorimetry, we show that direct measures of energetics provide a functional link between energy flows and the composition of below-ground microbial communities at a high taxonomic level (Mantel R = 0.4602, P = 0.006). In contrast, this link was not apparent when carbon dioxide (CO2) was used as an aggregate measure of microbial metabolism (Mantel R = 0.2291, P = 0.11). Our work advocates that the microbial energetics approach provides complementary information to soil respiration for investigating the involvement of microbial communities in below-ground carbon dynamics. Empirical data of our proposed microbial energetics approach can feed into carbon-climate based ecosystem feedback modeling with the suggested conceptual ecological model as a base.

  18. Animal NLRs provide structural insights into plant NLR function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentham, Adam; Burdett, Hayden; Anderson, Peter A; Williams, Simon J; Kobe, Bostjan

    2017-03-01

    The plant immune system employs intracellular NLRs (nucleotide binding [NB], leucine-rich repeat [LRR]/nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain [NOD]-like receptors) to detect effector proteins secreted into the plant cell by potential pathogens. Activated plant NLRs trigger a range of immune responses, collectively known as the hypersensitive response (HR), which culminates in death of the infected cell. Plant NLRs show structural and functional resemblance to animal NLRs involved in inflammatory and innate immune responses. Therefore, knowledge of the activation and regulation of animal NLRs can help us understand the mechanism of action of plant NLRs, and vice versa. This review provides an overview of the innate immune pathways in plants and animals, focusing on the available structural and biochemical information available for both plant and animal NLRs. We highlight the gap in knowledge between the animal and plant systems, in particular the lack of structural information for plant NLRs, with crystal structures only available for the N-terminal domains of plant NLRs and an integrated decoy domain, in contrast to the more complete structures available for animal NLRs. We assess the similarities and differences between plant and animal NLRs, and use the structural information on the animal NLR pair NAIP/NLRC4 to derive a plausible model for plant NLR activation. Signalling by cooperative assembly formation (SCAF) appears to operate in most innate immunity pathways, including plant and animal NLRs. Our proposed model of plant NLR activation includes three key steps: (1) initially, the NLR exists in an inactive auto-inhibited state; (2) a combination of binding by activating elicitor and ATP leads to a structural rearrangement of the NLR; and (3) signalling occurs through cooperative assembly of the resistosome. Further studies, structural and biochemical in particular, will be required to provide additional evidence for the different features of this model and

  19. Numerical Experiments Providing New Insights into Plasma Focus Fusion Devices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sing Lee

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent extensive and systematic numerical experiments have uncovered new insights into plasma focus fusion devices including the following: (1 a plasma current limitation effect, as device static inductance is reduced towards very small values; (2 scaling laws of neutron yield and soft x-ray yield as functions of storage energies and currents; (3 a global scaling law for neutron yield as a function of storage energy combining experimental and numerical data showing that scaling deterioration has probably been interpreted as neutron ‘saturation’; and (4 a fundamental cause of neutron ‘saturation’. The ground-breaking insights thus gained may completely change the directions of plasma focus fusion research.

  20. Metaproteomics provides functional insight into activated sludge wastewater treatment.

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    Paul Wilmes

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Through identification of highly expressed proteins from a mixed culture activated sludge system this study provides functional evidence of microbial transformations important for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactor was successfully operated for different levels of EBPR, removing around 25, 40 and 55 mg/l P. The microbial communities were dominated by the uncultured polyphosphate-accumulating organism "Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis". When EBPR failed, the sludge was dominated by tetrad-forming alpha-Proteobacteria. Representative and reproducible 2D gel protein separations were obtained for all sludge samples. 638 protein spots were matched across gels generated from the phosphate removing sludges. 111 of these were excised and 46 proteins were identified using recently available sludge metagenomic sequences. Many of these closely match proteins from "Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis" and could be directly linked to the EBPR process. They included enzymes involved in energy generation, polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogen synthesis, glyoxylate/TCA cycle, fatty acid beta oxidation, fatty acid synthesis and phosphate transport. Several proteins involved in cellular stress response were detected. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Importantly, this study provides direct evidence linking the metabolic activities of "Accumulibacter" to the chemical transformations observed in EBPR. Finally, the results are discussed in relation to current EBPR metabolic models.

  1. Metaproteomics Provides Functional Insight into Activated Sludge Wastewater Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmes, Paul; Wexler, Margaret; Bond, Philip L.

    2008-01-01

    Background Through identification of highly expressed proteins from a mixed culture activated sludge system this study provides functional evidence of microbial transformations important for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR). Methodology/Principal Findings A laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactor was successfully operated for different levels of EBPR, removing around 25, 40 and 55 mg/l P. The microbial communities were dominated by the uncultured polyphosphate-accumulating organism “Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis”. When EBPR failed, the sludge was dominated by tetrad-forming α-Proteobacteria. Representative and reproducible 2D gel protein separations were obtained for all sludge samples. 638 protein spots were matched across gels generated from the phosphate removing sludges. 111 of these were excised and 46 proteins were identified using recently available sludge metagenomic sequences. Many of these closely match proteins from “Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis” and could be directly linked to the EBPR process. They included enzymes involved in energy generation, polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogen synthesis, glyoxylate/TCA cycle, fatty acid β oxidation, fatty acid synthesis and phosphate transport. Several proteins involved in cellular stress response were detected. Conclusions/Significance Importantly, this study provides direct evidence linking the metabolic activities of “Accumulibacter” to the chemical transformations observed in EBPR. Finally, the results are discussed in relation to current EBPR metabolic models. PMID:18392150

  2. Insights into early pig domestication provided by ancient DNA analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caliebe, Amke; Nebel, Almut; Makarewicz, Cheryl; Krawczak, Michael; Krause-Kyora, Ben

    2017-01-01

    Pigs (Sus scrofa) were first domesticated between 8,500 and 8,000 cal BC in the Near East, from where they were subsequently brought into Europe by agriculturalists. Soon after the arrival of the first domestic pigs in northern Europe (~4500 BC), farmers are thought to have started to incorporate local wild boars into their swine herds. This husbandry strategy ultimately resulted in the domestication of European wild boars. Here, we set out to provide a more precise geographic and temporal framework of the early management of suid populations in northern Europe, drawing upon mitochondrial DNA haplotype data from 116 Neolithic Sus specimens. We developed a quantitative mathematical model tracing the haplotypes of the domestic pigs back to their most likely geographic origin. Our modelling results suggest that, between 5000 and 4000 BC, almost all matrilines in the north originated from domesticated animals from the south of central Europe. In the following period (4000–3000 BC), an estimated 78–100% of domesticates in the north were of northern matrilineal origin, largely from local wild boars. These findings point towards a dramatic change in suid management strategies taking place throughout south-central and northern Europe after 4000 BC. PMID:28300151

  3. Modelling marine protected areas: insights and hurdles

    OpenAIRE

    Elizabeth A Fulton; Bax, Nicholas J.; Bustamante, Rodrigo H.; Jeffrey M. Dambacher; Dichmont, Catherine; Dunstan, Piers K.; Hayes, Keith R.; Hobday, Alistair J.; Pitcher, Roland; Plagányi, Éva E.; Punt, André E; Savina-rolland, Marie; Anthony D M Smith; David C. Smith

    2015-01-01

    Models provide useful insights into conservation and resource management issues and solutions. Their use to date has highlighted conditions under which no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) may help us to achieve the goals of ecosystem-based management by reducing pressures, and where they might fail to achieve desired goals. For example, static reserve designs are unlikely to achieve desired objectives when applied to mobile species or when compromised by climate-related ecosystem restructur...

  4. The relationship between consumer insight and provider-consumer agreement regarding consumer's quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasson-Ohayon, Ilanit; Roe, David; Kravetz, Shlomo; Levy-Frank, Itamar; Meir, Taly

    2011-10-01

    This study examined the relationship between insight and mental health consumers and providers agreement regarding consumers rated quality of life (QoL). Seventy mental health consumers and their 23 care providers filled-out parallel questionnaires designed to measure consumer QoL. Consumers' insight was also assessed. For most QoL domains, agreement between consumers and providers was higher for persons with high insight. For the Psychological well being dimension a negative correlation was uncovered for persons with low insight indicating disagreement between consumer and provider. These findings are discussed within the context of the literature on insight and agreement between consumer and provider as related to the therapeutic alliance.

  5. NIH scientists provide new insight into rare kidney cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    NIH scientists have discovered a unique feature of a rare, hereditary form of kidney cancer that may provide a better understanding of its progression and metastasis, possibly laying the foundation for the development of new targeted therapies.

  6. Athena: Providing Insight into the History of the Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Gloria A.

    2010-01-01

    The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics has provided a Request for Proposal which calls for a manned mission to a Near-Earth Object. It is the goal of Team COLBERT to respond to their request by providing a reusable system that can be implemented as a solid stepping stone for future manned trips to Mars and beyond. Despite Team COLBERT consisting of only students in Aerospace Engineering, in order to achieve this feat, the team must employ the use of Systems Engineering. Tools and processes from Systems Engineering will provide quantitative and semi-quantitative tools for making design decisions and evaluating items such as budgets and schedules. This paper will provide an in-depth look at some of the Systems Engineering processes employed and will step through the design process of a Human Asteroid Exploration System.

  7. Elephant Transcriptome Provides Insights into the Evolution of Eutherian Placentation

    OpenAIRE

    Hou, Zhuo-Cheng; Sterner, Kirstin N.; Romero, Roberto; Than, Nandor Gabor; Gonzalez, Juan M.; Weckle, Amy; Xing, Jun; Benirschke, Kurt; Goodman, Morris; Wildman, Derek E.

    2012-01-01

    The chorioallantoic placenta connects mother and fetus in eutherian pregnancies. In order to understand the evolution of the placenta and provide further understanding of placenta biology, we sequenced the transcriptome of a term placenta of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and compared these data with RNA sequence and microarray data from other eutherian placentas including human, mouse, and cow. We characterized the composition of 55,910 expressed sequence tag (i.e., cDNA) contigs u...

  8. DNA markers provide insight about common lime in historicalplantings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ole Kim; Thomsen, Pernille; Rasmussen, Christine Waage

    2014-01-01

    nurseries in the Netherlands and Germany. It also provides evidence that it is possible to obtain the same genetic material as originally planted when common lime trees are to be replaced in historical plantings. Furthermore, the utility of DNA markers in the management of plant material in parks......As part of the restoration process of an avenue of common lime (Tilia × europaea) from 1760 in the Royal Danish Gardens, all remaining trees were genotyped with DNA markers before they were felled. As such, information about the nature of the plant material (clonal versus non-clonal) and mode...

  9. The African coelacanth genome provides insights into tetrapod evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amemiya, Chris T; Alföldi, Jessica; Lee, Alison P; Fan, Shaohua; Philippe, Hervé; Maccallum, Iain; Braasch, Ingo; Manousaki, Tereza; Schneider, Igor; Rohner, Nicolas; Organ, Chris; Chalopin, Domitille; Smith, Jeramiah J; Robinson, Mark; Dorrington, Rosemary A; Gerdol, Marco; Aken, Bronwen; Biscotti, Maria Assunta; Barucca, Marco; Baurain, Denis; Berlin, Aaron M; Blatch, Gregory L; Buonocore, Francesco; Burmester, Thorsten; Campbell, Michael S; Canapa, Adriana; Cannon, John P; Christoffels, Alan; De Moro, Gianluca; Edkins, Adrienne L; Fan, Lin; Fausto, Anna Maria; Feiner, Nathalie; Forconi, Mariko; Gamieldien, Junaid; Gnerre, Sante; Gnirke, Andreas; Goldstone, Jared V; Haerty, Wilfried; Hahn, Mark E; Hesse, Uljana; Hoffmann, Steve; Johnson, Jeremy; Karchner, Sibel I; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Lara, Marcia; Levin, Joshua Z; Litman, Gary W; Mauceli, Evan; Miyake, Tsutomu; Mueller, M Gail; Nelson, David R; Nitsche, Anne; Olmo, Ettore; Ota, Tatsuya; Pallavicini, Alberto; Panji, Sumir; Picone, Barbara; Ponting, Chris P; Prohaska, Sonja J; Przybylski, Dariusz; Saha, Nil Ratan; Ravi, Vydianathan; Ribeiro, Filipe J; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Scapigliati, Giuseppe; Searle, Stephen M J; Sharpe, Ted; Simakov, Oleg; Stadler, Peter F; Stegeman, John J; Sumiyama, Kenta; Tabbaa, Diana; Tafer, Hakim; Turner-Maier, Jason; van Heusden, Peter; White, Simon; Williams, Louise; Yandell, Mark; Brinkmann, Henner; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Tabin, Clifford J; Shubin, Neil; Schartl, Manfred; Jaffe, David B; Postlethwait, John H; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Di Palma, Federica; Lander, Eric S; Meyer, Axel; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin

    2013-04-18

    The discovery of a living coelacanth specimen in 1938 was remarkable, as this lineage of lobe-finned fish was thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago. The modern coelacanth looks remarkably similar to many of its ancient relatives, and its evolutionary proximity to our own fish ancestors provides a glimpse of the fish that first walked on land. Here we report the genome sequence of the African coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae. Through a phylogenomic analysis, we conclude that the lungfish, and not the coelacanth, is the closest living relative of tetrapods. Coelacanth protein-coding genes are significantly more slowly evolving than those of tetrapods, unlike other genomic features. Analyses of changes in genes and regulatory elements during the vertebrate adaptation to land highlight genes involved in immunity, nitrogen excretion and the development of fins, tail, ear, eye, brain and olfaction. Functional assays of enhancers involved in the fin-to-limb transition and in the emergence of extra-embryonic tissues show the importance of the coelacanth genome as a blueprint for understanding tetrapod evolution.

  10. The Atlantic salmon genome provides insights into rediploidization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lien, Sigbjørn; Koop, Ben F; Sandve, Simen R; Miller, Jason R; Kent, Matthew P; Nome, Torfinn; Hvidsten, Torgeir R; Leong, Jong S; Minkley, David R; Zimin, Aleksey; Grammes, Fabian; Grove, Harald; Gjuvsland, Arne; Walenz, Brian; Hermansen, Russell A; von Schalburg, Kris; Rondeau, Eric B; Di Genova, Alex; Samy, Jeevan K A; Olav Vik, Jon; Vigeland, Magnus D; Caler, Lis; Grimholt, Unni; Jentoft, Sissel; Våge, Dag Inge; de Jong, Pieter; Moen, Thomas; Baranski, Matthew; Palti, Yniv; Smith, Douglas R; Yorke, James A; Nederbragt, Alexander J; Tooming-Klunderud, Ave; Jakobsen, Kjetill S; Jiang, Xuanting; Fan, Dingding; Hu, Yan; Liberles, David A; Vidal, Rodrigo; Iturra, Patricia; Jones, Steven J M; Jonassen, Inge; Maass, Alejandro; Omholt, Stig W; Davidson, William S

    2016-04-18

    The whole-genome duplication 80 million years ago of the common ancestor of salmonids (salmonid-specific fourth vertebrate whole-genome duplication, Ss4R) provides unique opportunities to learn about the evolutionary fate of a duplicated vertebrate genome in 70 extant lineages. Here we present a high-quality genome assembly for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), and show that large genomic reorganizations, coinciding with bursts of transposon-mediated repeat expansions, were crucial for the post-Ss4R rediploidization process. Comparisons of duplicate gene expression patterns across a wide range of tissues with orthologous genes from a pre-Ss4R outgroup unexpectedly demonstrate far more instances of neofunctionalization than subfunctionalization. Surprisingly, we find that genes that were retained as duplicates after the teleost-specific whole-genome duplication 320 million years ago were not more likely to be retained after the Ss4R, and that the duplicate retention was not influenced to a great extent by the nature of the predicted protein interactions of the gene products. Finally, we demonstrate that the Atlantic salmon assembly can serve as a reference sequence for the study of other salmonids for a range of purposes.

  11. Fractal image perception provides novel insights into hierarchical cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, M J; Fischmeister, F P; Puig-Waldmüller, E; Oh, J; Geissler, A; Robinson, S; Fitch, W T; Beisteiner, R

    2014-08-01

    Hierarchical structures play a central role in many aspects of human cognition, prominently including both language and music. In this study we addressed hierarchy in the visual domain, using a novel paradigm based on fractal images. Fractals are self-similar patterns generated by repeating the same simple rule at multiple hierarchical levels. Our hypothesis was that the brain uses different resources for processing hierarchies depending on whether it applies a "fractal" or a "non-fractal" cognitive strategy. We analyzed the neural circuits activated by these complex hierarchical patterns in an event-related fMRI study of 40 healthy subjects. Brain activation was compared across three different tasks: a similarity task, and two hierarchical tasks in which subjects were asked to recognize the repetition of a rule operating transformations either within an existing hierarchical level, or generating new hierarchical levels. Similar hierarchical images were generated by both rules and target images were identical. We found that when processing visual hierarchies, engagement in both hierarchical tasks activated the visual dorsal stream (occipito-parietal cortex, intraparietal sulcus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). In addition, the level-generating task specifically activated circuits related to the integration of spatial and categorical information, and with the integration of items in contexts (posterior cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex, and medial, ventral and anterior regions of temporal cortex). These findings provide interesting new clues about the cognitive mechanisms involved in the generation of new hierarchical levels as required for fractals.

  12. Elephant transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of eutherian placentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Zhuo-Cheng; Sterner, Kirstin N; Romero, Roberto; Than, Nandor Gabor; Gonzalez, Juan M; Weckle, Amy; Xing, Jun; Benirschke, Kurt; Goodman, Morris; Wildman, Derek E

    2012-01-01

    The chorioallantoic placenta connects mother and fetus in eutherian pregnancies. In order to understand the evolution of the placenta and provide further understanding of placenta biology, we sequenced the transcriptome of a term placenta of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and compared these data with RNA sequence and microarray data from other eutherian placentas including human, mouse, and cow. We characterized the composition of 55,910 expressed sequence tag (i.e., cDNA) contigs using our custom annotation pipeline. A Markov algorithm was used to cluster orthologs of human, mouse, cow, and elephant placenta transcripts. We found 2,963 genes are commonly expressed in the placentas of these eutherian mammals. Gene ontology categories previously suggested to be important for placenta function (e.g., estrogen receptor signaling pathway, cell motion and migration, and adherens junctions) were significantly enriched in these eutherian placenta-expressed genes. Genes duplicated in different lineages and also specifically expressed in the placenta contribute to the great diversity observed in mammalian placenta anatomy. We identified 1,365 human lineage-specific, 1,235 mouse lineage-specific, 436 cow lineage-specific, and 904 elephant-specific placenta-expressed (PE) genes. The most enriched clusters of human-specific PE genes are signal/glycoprotein and immunoglobulin, and humans possess a deeply invasive human hemochorial placenta that comes into direct contact with maternal immune cells. Inference of phylogenetically conserved and derived transcripts demonstrates the power of comparative transcriptomics to trace placenta evolution and variation across mammals and identified candidate genes that may be important in the normal function of the human placenta, and their dysfunction may be related to human pregnancy complications.

  13. The genome of Laccaria bicolor provides insights into

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, F [UMR, France; Aerts, A. [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Ahren, D [Lund University, Sweden; Brun, A [UMR, France; Danchin, E [Architecture et Fonction des Macromolecules Biologiques, UMR 6098 CNRS and Unive; Duchaussoy, F [UMR, France; Gibon, J [UMR, France; Kohler, A [UMR, France; Lindquist, E [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Pereda, V [UMR, France; Salamov, A. [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Shapiro, HJ [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Wuyts, J [UMR, France; Blaudez, D. [Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France; Buee, M [UMR, France; Brokstein, P [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Canbeck, B [Lund University, Sweden; Cohen, D [UMR, France; Courty, PE [UMR, France; Coutinho, PM [Architecture et Fonction des Macromolecules Biologiques, UMR 6098 CNRS and Unive; Delaruelle, C [UMR, France; Detter, J C [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Deveau, A [UMR, France; DiFazio, Stephen P [West Virginia University; Duplessis, S [UMR, France; Fraissinet-Tachet, L [Universite de Lyon, France; Lucic, E [UMR, France; Frey-Klett, P [UMR, France; Fourrey, C [UMR, France; Feussner, I [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Gay, G [Universite de Lyon, France; Grimwood, Jane [Stanford University; Hoegger, P J [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Jain, P [University of Alabama, Huntsville; Kilaru, S [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Labbe, J [UMR, France; Lin, Y C [Ghent University, Belgium; Legue, V [UMR, France; Le Tacon, F [UMR, France; Marmeisse, R [Universite de Lyon, France; Melayah, D [Universite de Lyon, France; Montanini, B [UMR, France; Muratet, M [University of Alabama, Huntsville; Nehls, U [Eberhard-Karls-Universitat, Tubingen, Germany; Niculita-Hirzel, H [University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Oudot-Le Secq, M P [UMR, France; Peter, M [UMR, France; Quesneville, H [Unite de Recherches en Genomique-Info,Evry Cedex; Rajashekar, B [Lund University, Sweden; Reich, M [UMR, France; Rouhler, N [UMR, France; Schmutz, Jeremy [Stanford University; Yin, Tongming [ORNL; Tuskan, Gerald A [ORNL; Chalot, M [UMR, France; Henrissat, B [Architecture et Fonction des Macromolecules Biologiques, UMR 6098 CNRS and Unive; Kues, U [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Lucas, S [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Van de Peer, Y [Ghent University, Belgium; Podila, G [University of Alabama, Huntsville; Polle, A [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Pukkila, P J [University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Richardson, P M [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Rouze, P [Ghent University, Belgium; Sanders, I R [University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Stajich, J E [University of California, Berkeley; Tunlid, A [Lund University, Sweden; Grigoriev, I. [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute

    2008-01-01

    Mycorrhizal symbioses the union of roots and soil fungi are universal in terrestrial ecosystems and may have been fundamental to land colonization by plants1,2. Boreal, temperate and montane forests all depend on ectomycorrhizae1. Identification of the primary factors that regulate symbiotic development and metabolic activity will therefore open the door to understanding the role of ectomycorrhizae in plant development and physiology, allowing the full ecological significance of this symbiosis to be explored. Here we report the genome sequence of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor (Fig. 1) and highlight gene sets involved in rhizosphere colonization and symbiosis. This 65-megabase genome assembly contains 20,000 predicted protein-encoding genes and a very large number of transposons and repeated sequences. We detected unexpected genomic features, most notably a battery of effector-type small secreted proteins (SSPs) with unknown function, several of which are only expressed in symbiotic tissues. The most highly expressed SSP accumulates in the proliferating hyphae colonizing the host root. The ectomycorrhizae-specific SSPs probably have a decisive role in the establishment of the symbiosis. The unexpected observation that the genome of L. bicolor lacks carbohydrate-active enzymes involved in degradation of plant cell walls, but maintains the ability to degrade non-plant cell wall polysaccharides, reveals the dual saprotrophic and biotrophic lifestyle of the mycorrhizal fungus that enables it to grow within both soil and living plant roots. The predicted gene inventory of the L. bicolor genome, therefore, points to previously unknown mechanisms of symbiosis operating in biotrophic mycorrhizal fungi. The availability of this genome provides an unparalleled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the processes by which symbionts interact with plants within their ecosystem to perform vital functions in the carbon and nitrogen cycles that are

  14. The genome of Laccaria bicolor provides insights into mycorrhizal symbiosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, F.; Aerts, A.; Ahren, D.; Brun, A.; Danchin, E. G. J.; Duchaussoy, F.; Gibon, J.; Kohler, A.; Lindquist, E.; Peresa, V.; Salamov, A.; Shapiro, H. J.; Wuyts, J.; Blaudez, D.; Buee, M.; Brokstein, P.; Canback, B.; Cohen, D.; Courty, P. E.; Coutinho, P. M.; Delaruelle, C.; Detter, J. C.; Deveau, A.; DiFazio, S.; Duplessis, S.; Fraissinet-Tachet, L.; Lucic, E.; Frey-Klett, P.; Fourrey, C.; Feussner, I.; Gay, G.; Grimwood, J.; Hoegger, P. J.; Jain, P.; Kilaru, S.; Labbe, J.; Lin, Y. C.; Legue, V.; Le Tacon, F.; Marmeisse, R.; Melayah, D.; Montanini, B.; Muratet, M.; Nehls, U.; Niculita-Hirzel, H.; Secq, M. P. Oudot-Le; Peter, M.; Quesneville, H.; Rajashekar, B.; Reich, M.; Rouhier, N.; Schmutz, J.; Yin, T.; Chalot, M.; Henrissat, B.; Kues, U.; Lucas, S.; Van de Peer, Y.; Podila, G. K.; Polle, A.; Pukkila, P. J.; Richardson, P. M.; Rouze, P.; Sanders, I. R.; Stajich, J. E.; Tunlid, A.; Tuskan, G.; Grigoriev, I. V.

    2007-08-10

    Mycorrhizal symbioses the union of roots and soil fungi are universal in terrestrial ecosystems and may have been fundamental to land colonization by plants 1, 2. Boreal, temperate and montane forests all depend on ectomycorrhizae1. Identification of the primary factors that regulate symbiotic development and metabolic activity will therefore open the door to understanding the role of ectomycorrhizae in plant development and physiology, allowing the full ecological significance of this symbiosis to be explored. Here we report the genome sequence of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor (Fig. 1) and highlight gene sets involved in rhizosphere colonization and symbiosis. This 65-megabase genome assembly contains 20,000 predicted protein-encoding genes and a very large number of transposons and repeated sequences. We detected unexpected genomic features, most notably a battery of effector-type small secreted proteins (SSPs) with unknown function, several of which are only expressed in symbiotic tissues. The most highly expressed SSP accumulates in the proliferating hyphae colonizing the host root. The ectomycorrhizae-specific SSPs probably have a decisive role in the establishment of the symbiosis. The unexpected observation that the genome of L. bicolor lacks carbohydrate-active enzymes involved in degradation of plant cell walls, but maintains the ability to degrade non-plant cell wall polysaccharides, reveals the dual saprotrophic and biotrophic lifestyle of the mycorrhizal fungus that enables it to grow within both soil and living plant roots. The predicted gene inventory of the L. bicolor genome, therefore, points to previously unknown mechanisms of symbiosis operating in biotrophic mycorrhizal fungi. The availability of this genome provides an unparalleled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the processes by which symbionts interact with plants within their ecosystem to perform vital functions in the carbon and nitrogen cycles that are

  15. Fusion transcriptome profiling provides insights into alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Zhongqiu; Babiceanu, Mihaela; Kumar, Shailesh; Jia, Yuemeng; Qin, Fujun; Barr, Frederic G; Li, Hui

    2016-11-15

    Gene fusions and fusion products were thought to be unique features of neoplasia. However, more and more studies have identified fusion RNAs in normal physiology. Through RNA sequencing of 27 human noncancer tissues, a large number of fusion RNAs were found. By analyzing fusion transcriptome, we observed close clusterings between samples of same or similar tissues, supporting the feasibility of using fusion RNA profiling to reveal connections between biological samples. To put the concept into use, we selected alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), a myogenic pediatric cancer whose exact cell of origin is not clear. PAX3-FOXO1 (paired box gene 3 fused with forkhead box O1) fusion RNA, which is considered a hallmark of ARMS, was recently found during normal muscle cell differentiation. We performed and analyzed RNA sequencing from various time points during myogenesis and uncovered many chimeric fusion RNAs. Interestingly, we found that the fusion RNA profile of RH30, an ARMS cell line, is most similar to the myogenesis time point when PAX3-FOXO1 is expressed. In contrast, full transcriptome clustering analysis failed to uncover this connection. Strikingly, all of the 18 chimeric RNAs in RH30 cells could be detected at the same myogenic time point(s). In addition, the seven chimeric RNAs that follow the exact transient expression pattern as PAX3-FOXO1 are specific to rhabdomyosarcoma cells. Further testing with clinical samples also confirmed their specificity to rhabdomyosarcoma. These results provide further support for the link between at least some ARMSs and the PAX3-FOXO1-expressing myogenic cells and demonstrate that fusion RNA profiling can be used to investigate the etiology of fusion-gene-associated cancers.

  16. Structure of the Hantavirus Nucleoprotein Provides Insights into the Mechanism of RNA Encapsidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olal, Daniel; Daumke, Oliver

    2016-03-08

    Hantaviruses are etiological agents of life-threatening hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. The nucleoprotein (N) of hantavirus is essential for viral transcription and replication, thus representing an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. We have determined the crystal structure of hantavirus N to 3.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a two-lobed, mostly α-helical structure that is distantly related to that of orthobunyavirus Ns. A basic RNA binding pocket is located at the intersection between the two lobes. We provide evidence that oligomerization is mediated by amino- and C-terminal arms that bind to the adjacent monomers. Based on these findings, we suggest a model for the oligomeric ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex. Our structure provides mechanistic insights into RNA encapsidation in the genus Hantavirus and constitutes a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at combating hantavirus infections.

  17. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D; Brun, Yves V

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era.

  18. Modelling marine protected areas: insights and hurdles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, Elizabeth A; Bax, Nicholas J; Bustamante, Rodrigo H; Dambacher, Jeffrey M; Dichmont, Catherine; Dunstan, Piers K; Hayes, Keith R; Hobday, Alistair J; Pitcher, Roland; Plagányi, Éva E; Punt, André E; Savina-Rolland, Marie; Smith, Anthony D M; Smith, David C

    2015-11-05

    Models provide useful insights into conservation and resource management issues and solutions. Their use to date has highlighted conditions under which no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) may help us to achieve the goals of ecosystem-based management by reducing pressures, and where they might fail to achieve desired goals. For example, static reserve designs are unlikely to achieve desired objectives when applied to mobile species or when compromised by climate-related ecosystem restructuring and range shifts. Modelling tools allow planners to explore a range of options, such as basing MPAs on the presence of dynamic oceanic features, and to evaluate the potential future impacts of alternative interventions compared with 'no-action' counterfactuals, under a range of environmental and development scenarios. The modelling environment allows the analyst to test if indicators and management strategies are robust to uncertainties in how the ecosystem (and the broader human-ecosystem combination) operates, including the direct and indirect ecological effects of protection. Moreover, modelling results can be presented at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and relative to ecological, economic and social objectives. This helps to reveal potential 'surprises', such as regime shifts, trophic cascades and bottlenecks in human responses. Using illustrative examples, this paper briefly covers the history of the use of simulation models for evaluating MPA options, and discusses their utility and limitations for informing protected area management in the marine realm. © 2015 The Author(s).

  19. New insights in permafrost modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tubini, Niccolò; Serafin, Francesco; Gruber, Stephan; Casulli, Vincenzo; Rigon, Riccardo

    2017-04-01

    Simulating freezing soil has ignored for long time in mainstream surface hydrology. However, it has indubitably a large influence on soil infiltrability and an even larger influence on the soil energy budget, and, over large spatial scales, a considerable feedback on climate. The topic is difficult because it involves concepts of disequilibrium Thermodynamics and also because, once solved the theoretical problem, integration of the resulting partial differential equations in a robust manner, is not trivial at all. In this abstract, we are presenting a new algorithm to estimate the water and energy budget in freezing soils. The first step is a derivation of a new equation for freezing soil mass budget (called generalized Richards equation) based on the freezing equals drying hypothesis (Miller 1965). The second step is the re-derivation of the energy budget. Finally there is the application of new techniques based on the double nested Newton algorithm (Casulli and Zanolli, 2010) to integrate the coupled equations. Some examples of the freezing dynamics and comparison with the Dall'Amico et al. (2011) algorithm are also shown. References Casulli, V., & Zanolli,P. (2010). A nested newton-type algorithm for finite colume methods solving Richards' equation in mixed form. SIAM J. SCI. Comput., 32(4), 2225-2273. Dall'Amico, M., Endrizzi, S., Gruber, S., & Rigon, R. (2011). A robust and energy-conserving model of freezing variably-saturated soil. The Cryosphere, 5(2), 469-484. http://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-469-2011 Miller, R.: Phase equilibria and soil freezing, in: Permafrost: Proceedings of the Second International Conference. Washington DC: National Academy of Science-National Research Council, 287, 193-197, 1965.

  20. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R.

    2016-01-01

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients. PMID:27725636

  1. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R. (Sanofi Aventis); (UMASS, Amherst)

    2016-10-26

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients.

  2. A mathematical model of tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway provides insights into the effects of vitamin B-6 deficiency, tryptophan loading, and induction of tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase on tryptophan metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rios-Avila, Luisa; Nijhout, H Frederik; Reed, Michael C; Sitren, Harry S; Gregory, Jesse F

    2013-09-01

    Vitamin B-6 deficiency is associated with impaired tryptophan metabolism because of the coenzyme role of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) for kynureninase and kynurenine aminotransferase. To investigate the underlying mechanism, we developed a mathematical model of tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway. The model includes mammalian data on enzyme kinetics and tryptophan transport from the intestinal lumen to liver, muscle, and brain. Regulatory mechanisms and inhibition of relevant enzymes were included. We simulated the effects of graded reduction in cellular PLP concentration, tryptophan loads and induction of tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) on metabolite profiles and urinary excretion. The model predictions matched experimental data and provided clarification of the response of metabolites in various extents of vitamin B-6 deficiency. We found that moderate deficiency yielded increased 3-hydroxykynurenine and a decrease in kynurenic acid and anthranilic acid. More severe deficiency also yielded an increase in kynurenine and xanthurenic acid and more pronounced effects on the other metabolites. Tryptophan load simulations with and without vitamin B-6 deficiency showed altered metabolite concentrations consistent with published data. Induction of TDO caused an increase in all metabolites, and TDO induction together with a simulated vitamin B-6 deficiency, as has been reported in oral contraceptive users, yielded increases in kynurenine, 3-hydroxykynurenine, and xanthurenic acid and decreases in kynurenic acid and anthranilic acid. These results show that the model successfully simulated tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway and can be used to complement experimental investigations.

  3. Combining 3D structure with glycan array data provides insight into the origin of glycan specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Oliver C; Tessier, Matthew B; Meche, Lawrence; Mahal, Lara K; Foley, Bethany L; Woods, Robert J

    2016-07-01

    Defining how a glycan-binding protein (GBP) specifically selects its cognate glycan from among the ensemble of glycans within the cellular glycome is an area of intense study. Powerful insight into recognition mechanisms can be gained from 3D structures of GBPs complexed to glycans; however, such structures remain difficult to obtain experimentally. Here an automated 3D structure generation technique, called computational carbohydrate grafting, is combined with the wealth of specificity information available from glycan array screening. Integration of the array data with modeling and crystallography allows generation of putative co-complex structures that can be objectively assessed and iteratively altered until a high level of agreement with experiment is achieved. Given an accurate model of the co-complexes, grafting is also able to discern which binding determinants are active when multiple potential determinants are present within a glycan. In some cases, induced fit in the protein or glycan was necessary to explain the observed specificity, while in other examples a revised definition of the minimal binding determinants was required. When applied to a collection of 10 GBP-glycan complexes, for which crystallographic and array data have been reported, grafting provided a structural rationalization for the binding specificity of >90% of 1223 arrayed glycans. A webtool that enables researchers to perform computational carbohydrate grafting is available at www.glycam.org/gr (accessed 03 March 2016).

  4. The Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC): Providing Analysis and Insights on Clean Technology Manufacturing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Nicholi S [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2017-09-28

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC) provides objective analysis and up-to-date data on global supply chains and manufacturing of clean energy technologies. Policymakers and industry leaders seek CEMAC insights to inform choices to promote economic growth and the transition to a clean energy economy.

  5. Segmentation studies provide insights to better understanding attitudes towards science and technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cormick, Craig; Romanach, Lygia Malzoni

    2014-03-01

    Values-based studies of people's attitudes towards science and technology not only provide great insights into what drives different attitudes to issues like climate change and genetically modified foods, but allow for segmenting the general public by homogeneous values. Such segmentations both provide better predictions of people's attitudes to new technologies or contentious science issues than age, sex, or other standard demographics, and allow a better matching of different messages with different community values.

  6. Crystal structure of Manduca sexta prophenoloxidase provides insights into the mechanism of type 3 copper enzymes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Yongchao; Wang, Yang; Jiang, Haobo; Deng, Junpeng; (OKLU)

    2010-02-22

    Arthropod phenoloxidase (PO) generates quinones and other toxic compounds to sequester and kill pathogens during innate immune responses. It is also involved in wound healing and other physiological processes. Insect PO is activated from its inactive precursor, prophenoloxidase (PPO), by specific proteolysis via a serine protease cascade. Here, we report the crystal structure of PPO from a lepidopteran insect at a resolution of 1.97 {angstrom}, which is the initial structure for a PPO from the type 3 copper protein family. Manduca sexta PPO is a heterodimer consisting of 2 homologous polypeptide chains, PPO1 and PPO2. The active site of each subunit contains a canonical type 3 di-nuclear copper center, with each copper ion coordinated with 3 structurally conserved histidines. The acidic residue Glu-395 located at the active site of PPO2 may serve as a general base for deprotonation of monophenolic substrates, which is key to the ortho-hydroxylase activity of PO. The structure provides unique insights into the mechanism by which type 3 copper proteins differ in their enzymatic activities, albeit sharing a common active center. A drastic change in electrostatic surface induced on cleavage at Arg-51 allows us to propose a model for localized PPO activation in insects.

  7. Structure-function analysis of peroxidasin provides insight into the mechanism of collagen IV crosslinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lázár, Enikő; Péterfi, Zalán; Sirokmány, Gábor; Kovács, Hajnal A; Klement, Eva; Medzihradszky, Katalin F; Geiszt, Miklós

    2015-06-01

    Basement membranes provide structural support and convey regulatory signals to cells in diverse tissues. Assembly of collagen IV into a sheet-like network is a fundamental mechanism during the formation of basement membranes. Peroxidasin (PXDN) was recently described to catalyze crosslinking of collagen IV through the formation of sulfilimine bonds. Despite the significance of this pathway in tissue genesis, our understanding of PXDN function is far from complete. In this work we demonstrate that collagen IV crosslinking is a physiological function of mammalian PXDN. Moreover, we carried out structure-function analysis of PXDN to gain a better insight into its role in collagen IV synthesis. We identify conserved cysteines in PXDN that mediate the oligomerization of the protein into a trimeric complex. We also demonstrate that oligomerization is not an absolute requirement for enzymatic activity, but optimal collagen IV coupling is only catalyzed by the PXDN trimers. Localization experiments of different PXDN mutants in two different cell models revealed that PXDN oligomers, but not monomers, adhere on the cell surface in "hot spots," which represent previously unknown locations of collagen IV crosslinking.

  8. Systematic characterization of the peroxidase gene family provides new insights into fungal pathogenicity in Magnaporthe oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mir, Albely Afifa; Park, Sook-Young; Abu Sadat, Md; Kim, Seongbeom; Choi, Jaeyoung; Jeon, Junhyun; Lee, Yong-Hwan

    2015-07-02

    Fungal pathogens have evolved antioxidant defense against reactive oxygen species produced as a part of host innate immunity. Recent studies proposed peroxidases as components of antioxidant defense system. However, the role of fungal peroxidases during interaction with host plants has not been explored at the genomic level. Here, we systematically identified peroxidase genes and analyzed their impact on fungal pathogenesis in a model plant pathogenic fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. Phylogeny reconstruction placed 27 putative peroxidase genes into 15 clades. Expression profiles showed that majority of them are responsive to in planta condition and in vitro H2O2. Our analysis of individual deletion mutants for seven selected genes including MoPRX1 revealed that these genes contribute to fungal development and/or pathogenesis. We identified significant and positive correlations among sensitivity to H2O2, peroxidase activity and fungal pathogenicity. In-depth analysis of MoPRX1 demonstrated that it is a functional ortholog of thioredoxin peroxidase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is required for detoxification of the oxidative burst within host cells. Transcriptional profiling of other peroxidases in ΔMoprx1 suggested interwoven nature of the peroxidase-mediated antioxidant defense system. The results from this study provide insight into the infection strategy built on evolutionarily conserved peroxidases in the rice blast fungus.

  9. Canine CNGA3 Gene Mutations Provide Novel Insights into Human Achromatopsia-Associated Channelopathies and Treatment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoto Tanaka

    Full Text Available Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG ion channels are key mediators underlying signal transduction in retinal and olfactory receptors. Genetic defects in CNGA3 and CNGB3, encoding two structurally related subunits of cone CNG channels, lead to achromatopsia (ACHM. ACHM is a congenital, autosomal recessive retinal disorder that manifests by cone photoreceptor dysfunction, severely reduced visual acuity, impaired or complete color blindness and photophobia. Here, we report the first canine models for CNGA3-associated channelopathy caused by R424W or V644del mutations in the canine CNGA3 ortholog that accurately mimic the clinical and molecular features of human CNGA3-associated ACHM. These two spontaneous mutations exposed CNGA3 residues essential for the preservation of channel function and biogenesis. The CNGA3-R424W results in complete loss of cone function in vivo and channel activity confirmed by in vitro electrophysiology. Structural modeling and molecular dynamics (MD simulations revealed R424-E306 salt bridge formation and its disruption with the R424W mutant. Reversal of charges in a CNGA3-R424E-E306R double mutant channel rescued cGMP-activated currents uncovering new insights into channel gating. The CNGA3-V644del affects the C-terminal leucine zipper (CLZ domain destabilizing intersubunit interactions of the coiled-coil complex in the MD simulations; the in vitro experiments showed incompetent trimeric CNGA3 subunit assembly consistent with abnormal biogenesis of in vivo channels. These newly characterized large animal models not only provide a valuable system for studying cone-specific CNG channel function in health and disease, but also represent prime candidates for proof-of-concept studies of CNGA3 gene replacement therapy for ACHM patients.

  10. Canine CNGA3 Gene Mutations Provide Novel Insights into Human Achromatopsia-Associated Channelopathies and Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Naoto; Dutrow, Emily V; Miyadera, Keiko; Delemotte, Lucie; MacDermaid, Christopher M; Reinstein, Shelby L; Crumley, William R; Dixon, Christopher J; Casal, Margret L; Klein, Michael L; Aguirre, Gustavo D; Tanaka, Jacqueline C; Guziewicz, Karina E

    2015-01-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels are key mediators underlying signal transduction in retinal and olfactory receptors. Genetic defects in CNGA3 and CNGB3, encoding two structurally related subunits of cone CNG channels, lead to achromatopsia (ACHM). ACHM is a congenital, autosomal recessive retinal disorder that manifests by cone photoreceptor dysfunction, severely reduced visual acuity, impaired or complete color blindness and photophobia. Here, we report the first canine models for CNGA3-associated channelopathy caused by R424W or V644del mutations in the canine CNGA3 ortholog that accurately mimic the clinical and molecular features of human CNGA3-associated ACHM. These two spontaneous mutations exposed CNGA3 residues essential for the preservation of channel function and biogenesis. The CNGA3-R424W results in complete loss of cone function in vivo and channel activity confirmed by in vitro electrophysiology. Structural modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations revealed R424-E306 salt bridge formation and its disruption with the R424W mutant. Reversal of charges in a CNGA3-R424E-E306R double mutant channel rescued cGMP-activated currents uncovering new insights into channel gating. The CNGA3-V644del affects the C-terminal leucine zipper (CLZ) domain destabilizing intersubunit interactions of the coiled-coil complex in the MD simulations; the in vitro experiments showed incompetent trimeric CNGA3 subunit assembly consistent with abnormal biogenesis of in vivo channels. These newly characterized large animal models not only provide a valuable system for studying cone-specific CNG channel function in health and disease, but also represent prime candidates for proof-of-concept studies of CNGA3 gene replacement therapy for ACHM patients.

  11. Quantitative model validation techniques: new insights

    CERN Document Server

    Ling, You

    2012-01-01

    This paper develops new insights into quantitative methods for the validation of computational model prediction. Four types of methods are investigated, namely classical and Bayesian hypothesis testing, a reliability-based method, and an area metric-based method. Traditional Bayesian hypothesis testing is extended based on interval hypotheses on distribution parameters and equality hypotheses on probability distributions, in order to validate models with deterministic/stochastic output for given inputs. Two types of validation experiments are considered - fully characterized (all the model/experimental inputs are measured and reported as point values) and partially characterized (some of the model/experimental inputs are not measured or are reported as intervals). Bayesian hypothesis testing can minimize the risk in model selection by properly choosing the model acceptance threshold, and its results can be used in model averaging to avoid Type I/II errors. It is shown that Bayesian interval hypothesis testing...

  12. Insights into the mechanisms of absence seizure generation provided by EEG with Functional MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick William Carney

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Absence seizures are brief epileptic events characterized by loss of awareness with subtle motor features. They may be very frequent, and impact on attention, learning and memory. A number of pathophysiological models have been developed to explain the mechanism of absence seizure generation which rely heavily on observations from animal studies. Studying the structural and functional relationships between large-scale brain networks in humans is only practical with non-invasive whole brain techniques. EEG with functional MRI (EEG-fMRI is one such technique that provides an opportunity to explore the interactions between brain structures involved in AS generation. A number of fMRI techniques including event-related analysis, time course analysis and functional connectivity have identified a common network of structures involved in AS seizures. This network comprises the thalamus, midline and lateral parietal cortex (the default mode network [DMN], caudate nuclei and the reticular structures of the pons. The main component displaying an increase in BOLD signal relative to the resting state, in group studies, is the thalamus while the most consistent cortical change is reduced BOLD signal in the DMN. Time course analysis shows that, rather than some structures being activated or inactivated during AS, there appears to be increase in activity across components of the network preceding or following the electro-clinical onset of the seizure. The earliest change in BOLD signal occurs in the DMN, prior to the onset of epileptiform events. This region also shows altered functional connectivity in patients with absence seizures. Hence it appears that engagement of this network is central to absence seizures. In this review we will explore the insights EEG-fMRI studies into the mechanisms of AS and considers how the DMN is likely to be the major large scale brain network central to both seizure generation and the seizure manifestations.

  13. Transcriptional profiling of a yeast colony provides new insight into the heterogeneity of multicellular fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traven, Ana; Jänicke, Amrei; Harrison, Paul; Swaminathan, Angavai; Seemann, Torsten; Beilharz, Traude H

    2012-01-01

    Understanding multicellular fungal structures is important for designing better strategies against human fungal pathogens. For example, the ability to form multicellular biofilms is a key virulence property of the yeast Candida albicans. C. albicans biofilms form on indwelling medical devices and are drug resistant, causing serious infections in hospital settings. Multicellular fungal communities are heterogeneous, consisting of cells experiencing different environments. Heterogeneity is likely important for the phenotypic characteristics of communities, yet it is poorly understood. Here we used colonies of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model fungal multicellular structure. We fractionated the outside colony layers from the cells in the center by FACS, using a Cit1-GFP marker expressed exclusively on the outside. Transcriptomics analysis of the two subpopulations revealed that the outside colony layers are actively growing by fermentative metabolism, while the cells residing on the inside are in a resting state and experience changes to mitochondrial activity. Our data shows several parallels with C. albicans biofilms providing insight into the contributions of heterogeneity to biofilm phenotypes. Hallmarks of C. albicans biofilms - the expression of ribosome and translation functions and activation of glycolysis and ergosterol biosynthesis occur on the outside of colonies, while expression of genes associates with sulfur assimilation is observed in the colony center. Cell wall restructuring occurs in biofilms, and cell wall functions are enriched in both fractions: the outside cells display enrichment of cell wall biosynthesis enzymes and cell wall proteins, while the inside cells express cell wall degrading enzymes. Our study also suggests that noncoding transcription and posttranscriptional mRNA regulation play important roles during growth of yeast in colonies, setting the scene for investigating these pathways in the development of multicellular

  14. Transcriptional profiling of a yeast colony provides new insight into the heterogeneity of multicellular fungal communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Traven

    Full Text Available Understanding multicellular fungal structures is important for designing better strategies against human fungal pathogens. For example, the ability to form multicellular biofilms is a key virulence property of the yeast Candida albicans. C. albicans biofilms form on indwelling medical devices and are drug resistant, causing serious infections in hospital settings. Multicellular fungal communities are heterogeneous, consisting of cells experiencing different environments. Heterogeneity is likely important for the phenotypic characteristics of communities, yet it is poorly understood. Here we used colonies of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model fungal multicellular structure. We fractionated the outside colony layers from the cells in the center by FACS, using a Cit1-GFP marker expressed exclusively on the outside. Transcriptomics analysis of the two subpopulations revealed that the outside colony layers are actively growing by fermentative metabolism, while the cells residing on the inside are in a resting state and experience changes to mitochondrial activity. Our data shows several parallels with C. albicans biofilms providing insight into the contributions of heterogeneity to biofilm phenotypes. Hallmarks of C. albicans biofilms - the expression of ribosome and translation functions and activation of glycolysis and ergosterol biosynthesis occur on the outside of colonies, while expression of genes associates with sulfur assimilation is observed in the colony center. Cell wall restructuring occurs in biofilms, and cell wall functions are enriched in both fractions: the outside cells display enrichment of cell wall biosynthesis enzymes and cell wall proteins, while the inside cells express cell wall degrading enzymes. Our study also suggests that noncoding transcription and posttranscriptional mRNA regulation play important roles during growth of yeast in colonies, setting the scene for investigating these pathways in the development

  15. Development of Model for Providing Feasible Scholarship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry Dhika

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The current work focuses on the development of a model to determine a feasible scholarship recipient on the basis of the naiv¨e Bayes’ method using very simple and limited attributes. Those attributes are the applicants academic year, represented by their semester, academic performance, represented by their GPa, socioeconomic ability, which represented the economic capability to attend a higher education institution, and their level of social involvement. To establish and evaluate the model performance, empirical data are collected, and the data of 100 students are divided into 80 student data for the model training and the remaining of 20 student data are for the model testing. The results suggest that the model is capable to provide recommendations for the potential scholarship recipient at the level of accuracy of 95%.

  16. Dynamic statistical models of biological cognition: insights from communications theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Rodrick

    2014-10-01

    Maturana's cognitive perspective on the living state, Dretske's insight on how information theory constrains cognition, the Atlan/Cohen cognitive paradigm, and models of intelligence without representation, permit construction of a spectrum of dynamic necessary conditions statistical models of signal transduction, regulation, and metabolism at and across the many scales and levels of organisation of an organism and its context. Nonequilibrium critical phenomena analogous to physical phase transitions, driven by crosstalk, will be ubiquitous, representing not only signal switching, but the recruitment of underlying cognitive modules into tunable dynamic coalitions that address changing patterns of need and opportunity at all scales and levels of organisation. The models proposed here, while certainly providing much conceptual insight, should be most useful in the analysis of empirical data, much as are fitted regression equations.

  17. Complexes of Thermotoga maritima S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase provide insights into substrate specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bale, Shridhar; Baba, Kavita; McCloskey, Diane E.; Pegg, Anthony E.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2010-06-25

    The polyamines putrescine, spermidine and spermine are ubiquitous aliphatic cations and are essential for cellular growth and differentiation. S-Adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (AdoMetDC) is a critical pyruvoyl-dependent enzyme in the polyamine-biosynthetic pathway. The crystal structures of AdoMetDC from humans and plants and of the AdoMetDC proenzyme from Thermotoga maritima have been obtained previously. Here, the crystal structures of activated T. maritima AdoMetDC (TmAdoMetDC) and of its complexes with S-adenosylmethionine methyl ester and 5{prime}-deoxy-5{prime}-dimethylthioadenosine are reported. The results demonstrate for the first time that TmAdoMetDC autoprocesses without the need for additional factors and that the enzyme contains two complete active sites, both of which use residues from both chains of the homodimer. The complexes provide insights into the substrate specificity and ligand binding of AdoMetDC in prokaryotes. The conservation of the ligand-binding mode and the active-site residues between human and T. maritima AdoMetDC provides insight into the evolution of AdoMetDC.

  18. Modeling of Horizontal Well Performance to Provide Insight in Coning Control Modélisation des performances de forages horizontaux pour comprendre les phénomènes de formation de cônes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Folefac A. N.

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses the relatively new topic of performance and characterization of horizontal wells in numerical simulation models. The productivity index of a well grid block is obtained by the use of conformal mapping techniques to transform complex flow geometries to simple ones for which analytical expressions can be derived. The techniques have already been reported in the literature with regard to the whole reservoir. Therefore we report in this paper only those aspects that relate to simulation grid blocks, namely, the conditions under which such an expression can be used to represent flow in a horizontal well block. It is shown that the grid block width to length ratio should not exceed 10 if the existing analytical expressions are to be used. A single horizontal well model has been proposed. Here a horizontal well continuum is represented by a discretised model consisting of a horizontal cylindrical grid system. The conversion of an existing single well simulator to this model is outlined. In order to demonstrate the potential advantages of horizontal wells in thin oil zone recovery, a number of case studies are presented to show the sensitivity of well length to aquifer control. Results obtained show that the recovery of oil from thin oil zones can be efficiently carried out if the well length is of the order of 70% or more of the reservoir length. An attempt to recover the oil by a conventional vertical well will lead to early water break-through and poor sweep efficiency. Cet article traite d'un sujet relativement nouveau, les performances et les caractéristiques des forages horizontaux dans les modèles de simulation numérique. On obtient l'indice de productivité d'un bloc de maillage de puits en utilisant des techniques de projection conforme pour transformer les géométries d'écoulement complexes en systèmes simples pour lesquels on peut calculer une expression analytique. Ces techniques ont déjà été exposées dans la

  19. Global transcriptional response to mammalian temperature provides new insight into Francisella tularensis pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanks Robert MQ

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background After infecting a mammalian host, the facultative intracellular bacterium, Francisella tularensis, encounters an elevated environmental temperature. We hypothesized that this temperature change may regulate genes essential for infection. Results Microarray analysis of F. tularensis LVS shifted from 26°C (environmental to 37°C (mammalian showed ~11% of this bacterium's genes were differentially-regulated. Importantly, 40% of the protein-coding genes that were induced at 37°C have been previously implicated in virulence or intracellular growth of Francisella in other studies, associating the bacterial response to this temperature shift with pathogenesis. Forty-four percent of the genes induced at 37°C encode proteins of unknown function, suggesting novel Francisella virulence traits are regulated by mammalian temperature. To explore this possibility, we generated two mutants of loci induced at 37°C [FTL_1581 and FTL_1664 (deoB]. The FTL_1581 mutant was attenuated in a chicken embryo infection model, which was likely attributable to a defect in survival within macrophages. FTL_1581 encodes a novel hypothetical protein that we suggest naming temperature-induced, virulence-associated locus A, tivA. Interestingly, the deoB mutant showed diminished entry into mammalian cells compared to wild-type LVS, including primary human macrophages and dendritic cells, the macrophage-like RAW 264.7 line, and non-phagocytic HEK-293 cells. This is the first study identifying a Francisella gene that contributes to uptake into both phagocytic and non-phagocytic host cells. Conclusion Our results provide new insight into mechanisms of Francisella virulence regulation and pathogenesis. F. tularensis LVS undergoes considerable gene expression changes in response to mammalian body temperature. This temperature shift is important for the regulation of genes that are critical for the pathogenesis of Francisella. Importantly, the compilation of

  20. Quantitative proteomics and bioinformatic analysis provide new insight into protein function during avian eggshell biomineralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marie, Pauline; Labas, Valérie; Brionne, Aurélien; Harichaux, Grégoire; Hennequet-Antier, Christelle; Nys, Yves; Gautron, Joël

    2015-01-15

    are associated with distinct populations of matrix proteins that are secreted into the acellular uterine fluid as modulators of the process. The recent development of high-throughput methods has led to the identification of many proteins in the shell, but little is known concerning their role in shell formation. In order to determine precisely the importance of particular proteins relative to eggshell mineralization, this project used qualitative and quantitative proteomics of the uterine fluid constituents, coupled with bioinformatic analysis, to predict the functional role of proteins secreted at each of the three main stages of shell calcification. Besides its relevance to food production and to hen reproduction, eggshell calcification is furthermore a relevant model for studying calcium carbonate biomineralization on a two-dimensional membrane support. Better understanding of this process will provide insight into the fabrication of ceramics at ambient pressure and temperature. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. The challenge of training for family medicine across different contexts: Insights from providing training in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Sandars

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Physicians with expertise in providing training for family medicine, at both undergraduate level and postgraduate level, are frequently invited to run training workshops in countries with developing systems of family medicine but this approach is often a challenge for the incoming external trainers. There are general challenges in working across different contexts, especially cultural factors, the different approaches to training, including the aims, methods, and assessment, and additional organizational factors, influenced by the wider sociopolitical environment of the host country. Practical responses to these challenges are discussed, with relevance to both external trainers and those responsible for requesting training. This commentary contains insights from the experiences of the authors in providing training for family medicine in China.

  2. The HapMap Resource is Providing New Insights into Ourselves and its Application to Pharmacogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Ratain, Mark J; Dolan, M Eileen

    2008-01-01

    The exploration of quantitative variation in complex traits such as gene expression and drug response in human populations has become one of the major priorities for medical genetics. The International HapMap Project provides a key resource of genotypic data on human lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from four major world populations of European, African, Chinese and Japanese ancestry for researchers to associate with various phenotypic data to find genes affecting health, disease and response to drugs. Recent progress in dissecting genetic contribution to natural variation in gene expression within and among human populations and variation in drug response are two examples in which researchers have utilized the HapMap resource. The HapMap Project provides new insights into the human genome and has applicability to pharmacogenomics studies leading to personalized medicine.

  3. Drosophila Cappuccino alleles provide insight into formin mechanism and role in oogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Haneul; Roth-Johnson, Elizabeth A; Bor, Batbileg; Quinlan, Margot E

    2015-05-15

    During Drosophila development, the formin actin nucleator Cappuccino (Capu) helps build a cytoplasmic actin mesh throughout the oocyte. Loss of Capu leads to female sterility, presumably because polarity determinants fail to localize properly in the absence of the mesh. To gain deeper insight into how Capu builds this actin mesh, we systematically characterized seven capu alleles, which have missense mutations in Capu's formin homology 2 (FH2) domain. We report that all seven alleles have deleterious effects on fly fertility and the actin mesh in vivo but have strikingly different effects on Capu's biochemical activity in vitro. Using a combination of bulk and single- filament actin-assembly assays, we find that the alleles differentially affect Capu's ability to nucleate and processively elongate actin filaments. We also identify a unique "loop" in the lasso region of Capu's FH2 domain. Removing this loop enhances Capu's nucleation, elongation, and F-actin-bundling activities in vitro. Together our results on the loop and the seven missense mutations provides mechanistic insight into formin function in general and Capu's role in the Drosophila oocyte in particular.

  4. Quantitative measures of walking and strength provide insight into brain corticospinal tract pathology in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, Nora E; Keller, Jennifer; Calabresi, Peter A; Zackowski, Kathleen M

    2017-01-01

    At least 85% of individuals with multiple sclerosis report walking dysfunction as their primary complaint. Walking and strength measures are common clinical measures to mark increasing disability or improvement with rehabilitation. Previous studies have shown an association between strength or walking ability and spinal cord MRI measures, and strength measures with brainstem corticospinal tract magnetization transfer ratio. However, the relationship between walking performance and brain corticospinal tract magnetization transfer imaging measures and the contribution of clinical measurements of walking and strength to the underlying integrity of the corticospinal tract has not been explored in multiple sclerosis. The objectives of this study were explore the relationship of quantitative measures of walking and strength to whole-brain corticospinal tract-specific MRI measures and to determine the contribution of quantitative measures of function in addition to basic clinical measures (age, gender, symptom duration and Expanded Disability Status Scale) to structural imaging measures of the corticospinal tract. We hypothesized that quantitative walking and strength measures would be related to brain corticospinal tract-specific measures, and would provide insight into the heterogeneity of brain pathology. Twenty-nine individuals with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (mean(SD) age 48.7 (11.5) years; symptom duration 11.9(8.7); 17 females; median[range] Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0 [1.0-6.5]) and 29 age and gender-matched healthy controls (age 50.8(11.6) years; 20 females) participated in clinical tests of strength and walking (Timed Up and Go, Timed 25 Foot Walk, Two Minute Walk Test ) as well as 3 T imaging including diffusion tensor imaging and magnetization transfer imaging. Individuals with multiple sclerosis were weaker (p = 0.0024) and walked slower (p = 0.0013) compared to controls. Quantitative measures of walking and strength were

  5. A Renaissance in Nepovirus Research Provides New Insights Into Their Molecular Interface With Hosts and Vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, M; Schmitt-Keichinger, C; Sanfaçon, H

    2017-01-01

    Nepoviruses supplied seminal landmarks to the historical trail of plant virology. Among the first agriculturally relevant viruses recognized in the late 1920s and among the first plant viruses officially classified in the early 1970s, nepoviruses also comprise the first species for which a soil-borne ectoparasitic nematode vector was identified. Early research on nepoviruses shed light on the genome structure and expression, biological properties of the two genomic RNAs, and mode of transmission. In recent years, research on nepoviruses enjoyed an extraordinary renaissance. This resurgence provided new insights into the molecular interface between viruses and their plant hosts, and between viruses and dagger nematode vectors to advance our understanding of some of the major steps of the infectious cycle. Here we examine these recent findings, highlight ongoing work, and offer some perspectives for future research. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Genomic analyses of primitive, wild and cultivated citrus provide insights into asexual reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xia; Xu, Yuantao; Zhang, Siqi; Cao, Li; Huang, Yue; Cheng, Junfeng; Wu, Guizhi; Tian, Shilin; Chen, Chunli; Liu, Yan; Yu, Huiwen; Yang, Xiaoming; Lan, Hong; Wang, Nan; Wang, Lun; Xu, Jidi; Jiang, Xiaolin; Xie, Zongzhou; Tan, Meilian; Larkin, Robert M; Chen, Ling-Ling; Ma, Bin-Guang; Ruan, Yijun; Deng, Xiuxin; Xu, Qiang

    2017-05-01

    The emergence of apomixis-the transition from sexual to asexual reproduction-is a prominent feature of modern citrus. Here we de novo sequenced and comprehensively studied the genomes of four representative citrus species. Additionally, we sequenced 100 accessions of primitive, wild and cultivated citrus. Comparative population analysis suggested that genomic regions harboring energy- and reproduction-associated genes are probably under selection in cultivated citrus. We also narrowed the genetic locus responsible for citrus polyembryony, a form of apomixis, to an 80-kb region containing 11 candidate genes. One of these, CitRWP, is expressed at higher levels in ovules of polyembryonic cultivars. We found a miniature inverted-repeat transposable element insertion in the promoter region of CitRWP that cosegregated with polyembryony. This study provides new insights into citrus apomixis and constitutes a promising resource for the mining of agriculturally important genes.

  7. A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Gang; Chiappe, Luis M; Ji, Shu-An; Habib, Michael; Turner, Alan H; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Liu, Xueling; Han, Lizhuo

    2014-07-15

    Microraptorines are a group of predatory dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs with aerodynamic capacity. These close relatives of birds are essential for testing hypotheses explaining the origin and early evolution of avian flight. Here we describe a new 'four-winged' microraptorine, Changyuraptor yangi, from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. With tail feathers that are nearly 30 cm long, roughly 30% the length of the skeleton, the new fossil possesses the longest known feathers for any non-avian dinosaur. Furthermore, it is the largest theropod with long, pennaceous feathers attached to the lower hind limbs (that is, 'hindwings'). The lengthy feathered tail of the new fossil provides insight into the flight performance of microraptorines and how they may have maintained aerial competency at larger body sizes. We demonstrate how the low-aspect-ratio tail of the new fossil would have acted as a pitch control structure reducing descent speed and thus playing a key role in landing.

  8. Comparative analysis of bat genomes provides insight into the evolution of flight and immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guojie; Cowled, Christopher; Shi, Zhengli; Huang, Zhiyong; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A; Fang, Xiaodong; Wynne, James W; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Baker, Michelle L; Zhao, Wei; Tachedjian, Mary; Zhu, Yabing; Zhou, Peng; Jiang, Xuanting; Ng, Justin; Yang, Lan; Wu, Lijun; Xiao, Jin; Feng, Yue; Chen, Yuanxin; Sun, Xiaoqing; Zhang, Yong; Marsh, Glenn A; Crameri, Gary; Broder, Christopher C; Frey, Kenneth G; Wang, Lin-Fa; Wang, Jun

    2013-01-25

    Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight and are notorious reservoir hosts for some of the world's most highly pathogenic viruses, including Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). To identify genetic changes associated with the development of bat-specific traits, we performed whole-genome sequencing and comparative analyses of two distantly related species, fruit bat Pteropus alecto and insectivorous bat Myotis davidii. We discovered an unexpected concentration of positively selected genes in the DNA damage checkpoint and nuclear factor κB pathways that may be related to the origin of flight, as well as expansion and contraction of important gene families. Comparison of bat genomes with other mammalian species has provided new insights into bat biology and evolution.

  9. The Lingula genome provides insights into brachiopod evolution and the origin of phosphate biomineralization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yi-Jyun; Takeuchi, Takeshi; Koyanagi, Ryo; Yamada, Lixy; Kanda, Miyuki; Khalturina, Mariia; Fujie, Manabu; Yamasaki, Shin-ichi; Endo, Kazuyoshi; Satoh, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of lingulid brachiopods and their calcium phosphate shells have been obscure. Here we decode the 425-Mb genome of Lingula anatina to gain insights into brachiopod evolution. Comprehensive phylogenomic analyses place Lingula close to molluscs, but distant from annelids. The Lingula gene number has increased to ∼34,000 by extensive expansion of gene families. Although Lingula and vertebrates have superficially similar hard tissue components, our genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses show that Lingula lacks genes involved in bone formation, indicating an independent origin of their phosphate biominerals. Several genes involved in Lingula shell formation are shared by molluscs. However, Lingula has independently undergone domain combinations to produce shell matrix collagens with EGF domains and carries lineage-specific shell matrix proteins. Gene family expansion, domain shuffling and co-option of genes appear to be the genomic background of Lingula's unique biomineralization. This Lingula genome provides resources for further studies of lophotrochozoan evolution. PMID:26383154

  10. Feathered non-avian dinosaurs from North America provide insight into wing origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François; Erickson, Gregory M; DeBuhr, Christopher L; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu; Eberth, David A; Hadfield, Frank

    2012-10-26

    Previously described feathered dinosaurs reveal a fascinating record of feather evolution, although substantial phylogenetic gaps remain. Here we report the occurrence of feathers in ornithomimosaurs, a clade of non-maniraptoran theropods for which fossilized feathers were previously unknown. The Ornithomimus specimens, recovered from Upper Cretaceous deposits of Alberta, Canada, provide new insights into dinosaur plumage and the origin of the avian wing. Individuals from different growth stages reveal the presence of a filamentous feather covering throughout life and winglike structures on the forelimbs of adults. The appearance of winglike structures in older animals indicates that they may have evolved in association with reproductive behaviors. These specimens show that primordial wings originated earlier than previously thought, among non-maniraptoran theropods.

  11. Comparative Analysis of Bat Genomes Provides Insight into the Evolution of Flight and Immunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Guojie; Cowled, Christopher; Shi, Zhengli

    2013-01-01

    Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight and are notorious reservoir hosts for some of the world's most highly pathogenic viruses, including Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). To identify genetic changes associated with the development of bat-specific......Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight and are notorious reservoir hosts for some of the world's most highly pathogenic viruses, including Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). To identify genetic changes associated with the development of bat...... that may be related to the origin of flight, as well as expansion and contraction of important gene families. Comparison of bat genomes with other mammalian species has provided new insights into bat biology and evolution....

  12. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sidhu, Navdeep S. [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany); University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Schreiber, Kathrin [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany); Pröpper, Kevin [University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Becker, Stefan [Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Usón, Isabel [Instituto de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (IBMB–CSIC), Barcelona Science Park, Baldiri Reixach 15, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats (ICREA), (Spain); Sheldrick, George M. [University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph, E-mail: rkraetz@gwdg.de; Steinfeld, Robert, E-mail: rkraetz@gwdg.de [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany)

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  13. Whole Genome Analysis of Leptospira licerasiae Provides Insight into Leptospiral Evolution and Pathogenicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selengut, Jeremy D.; Harkins, Derek M.; Patra, Kailash P.; Moreno, Angelo; Lehmann, Jason S.; Purushe, Janaki; Sanka, Ravi; Torres, Michael; Webster, Nicholas J.; Vinetz, Joseph M.; Matthias, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    The whole genome analysis of two strains of the first intermediately pathogenic leptospiral species to be sequenced (Leptospira licerasiae strains VAR010 and MMD0835) provides insight into their pathogenic potential and deepens our understanding of leptospiral evolution. Comparative analysis of eight leptospiral genomes shows the existence of a core leptospiral genome comprising 1547 genes and 452 conserved genes restricted to infectious species (including L. licerasiae) that are likely to be pathogenicity-related. Comparisons of the functional content of the genomes suggests that L. licerasiae retains several proteins related to nitrogen, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism which might help to explain why these Leptospira grow well in artificial media compared with pathogenic species. L. licerasiae strains VAR010T and MMD0835 possess two prophage elements. While one element is circular and shares homology with LE1 of L. biflexa, the second is cryptic and homologous to a previously identified but unnamed region in L. interrogans serovars Copenhageni and Lai. We also report a unique O-antigen locus in L. licerasiae comprised of a 6-gene cluster that is unexpectedly short compared with L. interrogans in which analogous regions may include >90 such genes. Sequence homology searches suggest that these genes were acquired by lateral gene transfer (LGT). Furthermore, seven putative genomic islands ranging in size from 5 to 36 kb are present also suggestive of antecedent LGT. How Leptospira become naturally competent remains to be determined, but considering the phylogenetic origins of the genes comprising the O-antigen cluster and other putative laterally transferred genes, L. licerasiae must be able to exchange genetic material with non-invasive environmental bacteria. The data presented here demonstrate that L. licerasiae is genetically more closely related to pathogenic than to saprophytic Leptospira and provide insight into the genomic bases for its infectiousness

  14. Cost Calculation Model for Logistics Service Providers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltán Bokor

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The exact calculation of logistics costs has become a real challenge in logistics and supply chain management. It is essential to gain reliable and accurate costing information to attain efficient resource allocation within the logistics service provider companies. Traditional costing approaches, however, may not be sufficient to reach this aim in case of complex and heterogeneous logistics service structures. So this paper intends to explore the ways of improving the cost calculation regimes of logistics service providers and show how to adopt the multi-level full cost allocation technique in logistics practice. After determining the methodological framework, a sample cost calculation scheme is developed and tested by using estimated input data. Based on the theoretical findings and the experiences of the pilot project it can be concluded that the improved costing model contributes to making logistics costing more accurate and transparent. Moreover, the relations between costs and performances also become more visible, which enhances the effectiveness of logistics planning and controlling significantly

  15. The Microbial Signature Provides Insight into the Mechanistic Basis of Coral Success across Reef Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leggat, William; Bongaerts, Pim

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT For ecosystems vulnerable to environmental change, understanding the spatiotemporal stability of functionally crucial symbioses is fundamental to determining the mechanisms by which these ecosystems may persist. The coral Pachyseris speciosa is a successful environmental generalist that succeeds in diverse reef habitats. The generalist nature of this coral suggests it may have the capacity to form functionally significant microbial partnerships to facilitate access to a range of nutritional sources within different habitats. Here, we propose that coral is a metaorganism hosting three functionally distinct microbial interactions: a ubiquitous core microbiome of very few symbiotic host-selected bacteria, a microbiome of spatially and/or regionally explicit core microbes filling functional niches (100,000 phylotypes). We find that this coral hosts upwards of 170,000 distinct phylotypes and provide evidence for the persistence of a select group of bacteria in corals across environmental habitats of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. We further show that a higher number of bacteria are consistently associated with corals on mesophotic reefs than on shallow reefs. An increase in microbial diversity with depth suggests reliance by this coral on bacteria for nutrient acquisition on reefs exposed to nutrient upwelling. Understanding the complex microbial communities of host organisms across broad biotic and abiotic environments as functionally distinct microbiomes can provide insight into those interactions that are ubiquitous niche symbioses and those that provide competitive advantage within the hosts’ environment. PMID:27460792

  16. The Microbial Signature Provides Insight into the Mechanistic Basis of Coral Success across Reef Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Hernandez-Agreda

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available For ecosystems vulnerable to environmental change, understanding the spatiotemporal stability of functionally crucial symbioses is fundamental to determining the mechanisms by which these ecosystems may persist. The coral Pachyseris speciosa is a successful environmental generalist that succeeds in diverse reef habitats. The generalist nature of this coral suggests it may have the capacity to form functionally significant microbial partnerships to facilitate access to a range of nutritional sources within different habitats. Here, we propose that coral is a metaorganism hosting three functionally distinct microbial interactions: a ubiquitous core microbiome of very few symbiotic host-selected bacteria, a microbiome of spatially and/or regionally explicit core microbes filling functional niches (100,000 phylotypes. We find that this coral hosts upwards of 170,000 distinct phylotypes and provide evidence for the persistence of a select group of bacteria in corals across environmental habitats of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. We further show that a higher number of bacteria are consistently associated with corals on mesophotic reefs than on shallow reefs. An increase in microbial diversity with depth suggests reliance by this coral on bacteria for nutrient acquisition on reefs exposed to nutrient upwelling. Understanding the complex microbial communities of host organisms across broad biotic and abiotic environments as functionally distinct microbiomes can provide insight into those interactions that are ubiquitous niche symbioses and those that provide competitive advantage within the hosts’ environment.

  17. Hyper-dry conditions provide new insights into the cause of extreme floods after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody, John A.; Ebel, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    A catastrophic wildfire in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, Colorado provided a unique opportunity to investigate soil conditions immediately after a wildfire and before alteration by rainfall. Measurements of near-surface (θ; and matric suction, ψ), rainfall, and wind velocity were started 8 days after the wildfire began. These measurements established that hyper-dryconditions (θ 3 cm-3; ψ > ~ 3 x 105 cm) existed and provided an in-situ retention curve for these conditions. These conditions exacerbate the effects of water repellency (natural and fire-induced) and limit the effectiveness of capillarity and gravity driven infiltration into fire-affected soils. The important consequence is that given hyper-dryconditions, the critical rewetting process before the first rain is restricted to the diffusion–adsorption of water-vapor. This process typically has a time scale of days to weeks (especially when the hydrologic effects of the ash layer are included) that is longer than the typical time scale (minutes to hours) of some rainstorms, such that under hyper-dryconditions essentially no rain infiltrates. The existence of hyper-dryconditions provides insight into why, frequently during the first rain storm after a wildfire, nearly all rainfall becomes runoff causing extremefloods and debris flows.

  18. New technologies provide insights into genetic basis of psychiatric disorders and explain their co-morbidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudan, Igor

    2010-06-01

    The completion of Human Genome Project and the "HapMap" project was followed by translational activities from companies within the private sector. This led to the introduction of genome-wide scans based on hundreds of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphysms (SNP). These scans were based on common genetic variants in human populations. This new and powerful technology was then applied to the existing DNA-based datasets with information on psychiatric disorders. As a result, an unprecedented amount of novel scientific insights related to the underlying biology and genetics of psychiatric disorders was obtained. The dominant design of these studies, so called "genome-wide association studies" (GWAS), used statistical methods which minimized the risk of false positive reports and provided much greater power to detect genotype-phenotype associations. All findings were entirely data-driven rather than hypothesis-driven, which often made it difficult for researchers to understand or interpret the findings. Interestingly, this work in genetics is indicating how non-specific some genes are for psychiatric disorders, having associations in common for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. This suggests that the earlier stages of psychiatric disorders may be multi-valent and that early detection, coupled with a clearer understanding of the environmental factors, may allow prevention. At the present time, the rich "harvest" from GWAS still has very limited power to predict the variation in psychiatric disease status at individual level, typically explaining less than 5% of the total risk variance. The most recent studies of common genetic variation implicated the role of major histocompatibility complex in schizophrenia and other disorders. They also provided molecular evidence for a substantial polygenic component to the risk of psychiatric diseases, involving thousands of common alleles of very small effect. The studies of structural genetic variation, such as copy

  19. Transcriptome Analysis of Manganese-deficient Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Provides Insight on the Chlorophyll Biosynthesis Pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lockhart, Ainsley; Zvenigorodsky, Natasha; Pedraza, Mary Ann; Lindquist, Erika

    2011-08-11

    The biosynthesis of chlorophyll and other tetrapyrroles is a vital but poorly understood process. Recent genomic advances with the unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have created opportunity to more closely examine the mechanisms of the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway via transcriptome analysis. Manganese is a nutrient of interest for complex reactions because of its multiple stable oxidation states and role in molecular oxygen coordination. C. reinhardtii was cultured in Manganese-deplete Tris-acetate-phosphate (TAP) media for 24 hours and used to create cDNA libraries for sequencing using Illumina TruSeq technology. Transcriptome analysis provided intriguing insight on possible regulatory mechanisms in the pathway. Evidence supports similarities of GTR (Glutamyl-tRNA synthase) to its Chlorella vulgaris homolog in terms of Mn requirements. Data was also suggestive of Mn-related compensatory up-regulation for pathway proteins CHLH1 (Manganese Chelatase), GUN4 (Magnesium chelatase activating protein), and POR1 (Light-dependent protochlorophyllide reductase). Intriguingly, data suggests possible reciprocal expression of oxygen dependent CPX1 (coproporphyrinogen III oxidase) and oxygen independent CPX2. Further analysis using RT-PCR could provide compelling evidence for several novel regulatory mechanisms in the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway.

  20. Dynamic transcriptional profiling provides insights into tuberous root development in Rehmannia glutinosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng eSun

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Rehmannia glutinosa, a herb of the Scrophulariaceae family, is widely cultivated in the Northern part of China. The tuberous root has well known medicinal properties; however, yield and quality are threatened by abiotic and biotic stresses. Understanding the molecular process of tuberous root development may help identify novel targets for its control. In the present study, we used Illumina sequencing and de novo assembly strategies to obtain a reference transcriptome that is relevant to tuberous root development. We then conducted RNA-seq quantification analysis to determine gene expression profiles of the adventitious root (AR, thickening adventitious root (TAR, and the developing tuberous root (DTR. Expression profiling identified a total of 6,974 differentially expressed unigenes during root developmental. Bioinformatics analysis and gene expression profiling revealed changes in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, starch and sucrose metabolism, and plant hormone biosynthesis during root development. Moreover, we identified and allocated putative functions to the genes involved in tuberous root development, including genes related to major carbohydrate metabolism, hormone metabolism, and transcription regulation. The present study provides the initial description of gene expression profiles of AR, TAR, and DTR, which facilitates identification of genes of interest. Moreover, our work provides insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying tuberous root development and may assist in the design and development of improved breeding schemes for different R. glutinosa varieties through genetic manipulation.

  1. Comprehensive population-based genome sequencing provides insight into hematopoietic regulatory mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Michael H.; Nandakumar, Satish K.; Ulirsch, Jacob C.; Zekavat, Seyedeh M.; Buenrostro, Jason D.; Natarajan, Pradeep; Salem, Rany M.; Chiarle, Roberto; Mitt, Mario; Kals, Mart; Pärn, Kalle; Fischer, Krista; Milani, Lili; Mägi, Reedik; Palta, Priit; Gabriel, Stacey B.; Metspalu, Andres; Lander, Eric S.; Kathiresan, Sekar; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Esko, Tõnu; Sankaran, Vijay G.

    2017-01-01

    Genetic variants affecting hematopoiesis can influence commonly measured blood cell traits. To identify factors that affect hematopoiesis, we performed association studies for blood cell traits in the population-based Estonian Biobank using high-coverage whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in 2,284 samples and SNP genotyping in an additional 14,904 samples. Using up to 7,134 samples with available phenotype data, our analyses identified 17 associations across 14 blood cell traits. Integration of WGS-based fine-mapping and complementary epigenomic datasets provided evidence for causal mechanisms at several loci, including at a previously undiscovered basophil count-associated locus near the master hematopoietic transcription factor CEBPA. The fine-mapped variant at this basophil count association near CEBPA overlapped an enhancer active in common myeloid progenitors and influenced its activity. In situ perturbation of this enhancer by CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells demonstrated that it is necessary for and specifically regulates CEBPA expression during basophil differentiation. We additionally identified basophil count-associated variation at another more pleiotropic myeloid enhancer near GATA2, highlighting regulatory mechanisms for ordered expression of master hematopoietic regulators during lineage specification. Our study illustrates how population-based genetic studies can provide key insights into poorly understood cell differentiation processes of considerable physiologic relevance. PMID:28031487

  2. Dissecting the genetics of complex inheritance: linkage disequilibrium mapping provides insight into Crohn disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elding, Heather; Lau, Winston; Swallow, Dallas M; Maniatis, Nikolas

    2011-12-09

    Family studies for Crohn disease (CD) report extensive linkage on chromosome 16q and pinpoint NOD2 as a possible causative locus. However, linkage is also observed in families that do not bear the most frequent NOD2 causative mutations, but no other signals on 16q have been found so far in published genome-wide association studies. Our aim is to identify this missing genetic contribution. We apply a powerful genetic mapping approach to the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases genome-wide association data on CD. This method takes into account the underlying structure of linkage disequilibrium (LD) by using genetic distances from LD maps and provides a location for the causal agent. We find genetic heterogeneity within the NOD2 locus and also show an independent and unsuspected involvement of the neighboring gene, CYLD. We find associations with the IRF8 region and the region containing CDH1 and CDH3, as well as substantial phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity for CD itself. The genes are known to be involved in inflammation and immune dysregulation. These findings provide insight into the genetics of CD and suggest promising directions for understanding disease heterogeneity. The application of this method thus paves the way for understanding complex inheritance in general, leading to the dissection of different pathways and ultimately, personalized treatment. Copyright © 2011 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The charophycean green algae provide insights into the early origins of plant cell walls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sørensen, Iben; Pettolino, Filomena A; Bacic, Antony; Ralph, John; Lu, Fachuang; O'Neill, Malcolm A; Fei, Zhangzhun; Rose, Jocelyn K C; Domozych, David S; Willats, William G T

    2011-10-01

    Numerous evolutionary innovations were required to enable freshwater green algae to colonize terrestrial habitats and thereby initiate the evolution of land plants (embryophytes). These adaptations probably included changes in cell-wall composition and architecture that were to become essential for embryophyte development and radiation. However, it is not known to what extent the polymers that are characteristic of embryophyte cell walls, including pectins, hemicelluloses, glycoproteins and lignin, evolved in response to the demands of the terrestrial environment or whether they pre-existed in their algal ancestors. Here we show that members of the advanced charophycean green algae (CGA), including the Charales, Coleochaetales and Zygnematales, but not basal CGA (Klebsormidiales and Chlorokybales), have cell walls that are comparable in several respects to the primary walls of embryophytes. Moreover, we provide both chemical and immunocytochemical evidence that selected Coleochaete species have cell walls that contain small amounts of lignin or lignin-like polymers derived from radical coupling of hydroxycinnamyl alcohols. Thus, the ability to synthesize many of the components that characterize extant embryophyte walls evolved during divergence within CGA. Our study provides new insight into the evolutionary window during which the structurally complex walls of embryophytes originated, and the significance of the advanced CGA during these events. © 2011 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Structures of parasite calreticulins provide insights into their flexibility and dual carbohydrate/peptide-binding properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Christophe; Cioci, Gianluca; Iannello, Marina; Laffly, Emmanuelle; Chouquet, Anne; Ferreira, Arturo; Thielens, Nicole M.; Gaboriaud, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Calreticulin (CRT) is a multifaceted protein, initially discovered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein, that is essential in calcium metabolism. Various implications in cancer, early development and immunology have been discovered more recently for CRT, as well as its role as a dominant ‘eat-me’ prophagocytic signal. Intriguingly, cell-surface exposure/secretion of CRT is among the infective strategies used by parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Taenia solium, Leishmania donovani and Schistosoma mansoni. Because of the inherent flexibility of CRTs, their analysis by X-ray crystallography requires the design of recombinant constructs suitable for crystallization, and thus only the structures of two very similar mammalian CRT lectin domains are known. With the X-ray structures of two distant parasite CRTs, insights into species structural determinants that might be harnessed to fight against the parasites without affecting the functions of the host CRT are now provided. Moreover, although the hypothesis that CRT can exhibit both open and closed conformations has been proposed in relation to its chaperone function, only the open conformation has so far been observed in crystal structures. The first evidence is now provided of a complex conformational transition with the junction reoriented towards P-domain closure. SAXS experiments also provided additional information about the flexibility of T. cruzi CRT in solution, thus complementing crystallographic data on the open conformation. Finally, regarding the conserved lectin-domain structure and chaperone function, evidence is provided of its dual carbohydrate/protein specificity and a new scheme is proposed to interpret such unusual substrate-binding properties. These fascinating features are fully consistent with previous experimental observations, as discussed considering the broad spectrum of CRT sequence conservations and differences. PMID:27840680

  5. Comparison of the Internal Dynamics of Metalloproteases Provides New Insights on Their Function and Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrique F Carvalho

    Full Text Available Metalloproteases have evolved in a vast number of biological systems, being one of the most diverse types of proteases and presenting a wide range of folds and catalytic metal ions. Given the increasing understanding of protein internal dynamics and its role in enzyme function, we are interested in assessing how the structural heterogeneity of metalloproteases translates into their dynamics. Therefore, the dynamical profile of the clan MA type protein thermolysin, derived from an Elastic Network Model of protein structure, was evaluated against those obtained from a set of experimental structures and molecular dynamics simulation trajectories. A close correspondence was obtained between modes derived from the coarse-grained model and the subspace of functionally-relevant motions observed experimentally, the later being shown to be encoded in the internal dynamics of the protein. This prompted the use of dynamics-based comparison methods that employ such coarse-grained models in a representative set of clan members, allowing for its quantitative description in terms of structural and dynamical variability. Although members show structural similarity, they nonetheless present distinct dynamical profiles, with no apparent correlation between structural and dynamical relatedness. However, previously unnoticed dynamical similarity was found between the relevant members Carboxypeptidase Pfu, Leishmanolysin, and Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A, despite sharing no structural similarity. Inspection of the respective alignments shows that dynamical similarity has a functional basis, namely the need for maintaining proper intermolecular interactions with the respective substrates. These results suggest that distinct selective pressure mechanisms act on metalloproteases at structural and dynamical levels through the course of their evolution. This work shows how new insights on metalloprotease function and evolution can be assessed with comparison schemes that

  6. Neanderthal brain size at birth provides insights into the evolution of human life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce de León, Marcia S; Golovanova, Lubov; Doronichev, Vladimir; Romanova, Galina; Akazawa, Takeru; Kondo, Osamu; Ishida, Hajime; Zollikofer, Christoph P E

    2008-09-16

    From birth to adulthood, the human brain expands by a factor of 3.3, compared with 2.5 in chimpanzees [DeSilva J and Lesnik J (2006) Chimpanzee neonatal brain size: Implications for brain growth in Homo erectus. J Hum Evol 51: 207-212]. How the required extra amount of human brain growth is achieved and what its implications are for human life history and cognitive development are still a matter of debate. Likewise, because comparative fossil evidence is scarce, when and how the modern human pattern of brain growth arose during evolution is largely unknown. Virtual reconstructions of a Neanderthal neonate from Mezmaiskaya Cave (Russia) and of two Neanderthal infant skeletons from Dederiyeh Cave (Syria) now provide new comparative insights: Neanderthal brain size at birth was similar to that in recent Homo sapiens and most likely subject to similar obstetric constraints. Neanderthal brain growth rates during early infancy were higher, however. This pattern of growth resulted in larger adult brain sizes but not in earlier completion of brain growth. Because large brains growing at high rates require large, late-maturing, mothers [Leigh SR and Blomquist GE (2007) in Campbell CJ et al. Primates in perspective; pp 396-407], it is likely that Neanderthal life history was similarly slow, or even slower-paced, than in recent H. sapiens.

  7. Peeping at TOMs-Diverse Entry Gates to Mitochondria Provide Insights into the Evolution of Eukaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mani, Jan; Meisinger, Chris; Schneider, André

    2016-02-01

    Mitochondria are essential for eukaryotic life and more than 95% of their proteins are imported as precursors from the cytosol. The targeting signals for this posttranslational import are conserved in all eukaryotes. However, this conservation does not hold true for the protein translocase of the mitochondrial outer membrane that serves as entry gate for essentially all precursor proteins. Only two of its subunits, Tom40 and Tom22, are conserved and thus likely were present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor. Tom7 is found in representatives of all supergroups except the Excavates. This suggests that it was added to the core of the translocase after the Excavates segregated from all other eukaryotes. A comparative analysis of the biochemically and functionally characterized outer membrane translocases of yeast, plants, and trypanosomes, which represent three eukaryotic supergroups, shows that the receptors that recognize the conserved import signals differ strongly between the different systems. They present a remarkable example of convergent evolution at the molecular level. The structural diversity of the functionally conserved import receptors therefore provides insight into the early evolutionary history of mitochondria. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Native Sheep Provides Insights into Rapid Adaptations to Extreme Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ji; Li, Wen-Rong; Lv, Feng-Hua; He, San-Gang; Tian, Shi-Lin; Peng, Wei-Feng; Sun, Ya-Wei; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Tu, Xiao-Long; Zhang, Min; Xie, Xing-Long; Wang, Yu-Tao; Li, Jin-Quan; Liu, Yong-Gang; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Guang-Jian; Lu, Hong-Feng; Kantanen, Juha; Han, Jian-Lin; Li, Meng-Hua; Liu, Ming-Jun

    2016-10-01

    Global climate change has a significant effect on extreme environments and a profound influence on species survival. However, little is known of the genome-wide pattern of livestock adaptations to extreme environments over a short time frame following domestication. Sheep (Ovis aries) have become well adapted to a diverse range of agroecological zones, including certain extreme environments (e.g., plateaus and deserts), during their post-domestication (approximately 8-9 kya) migration and differentiation. Here, we generated whole-genome sequences from 77 native sheep, with an average effective sequencing depth of ∼5× for 75 samples and ∼42× for 2 samples. Comparative genomic analyses among sheep in contrasting environments, that is, plateau (>4,000 m above sea level) versus lowland (1500 m) versus low-altitude region (600 mm), and arid zone (400 mm), detected a novel set of candidate genes as well as pathways and GO categories that are putatively associated with hypoxia responses at high altitudes and water reabsorption in arid environments. In addition, candidate genes and GO terms functionally related to energy metabolism and body size variations were identified. This study offers novel insights into rapid genomic adaptations to extreme environments in sheep and other animals, and provides a valuable resource for future research on livestock breeding in response to climate change.

  9. Structural and mutational analysis of the nonribosomal peptide synthetase heterocyclization domain provides insight into catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloudoff, Kristjan; Fage, Christopher D; Marahiel, Mohamed A; Schmeing, T Martin

    2017-01-03

    Nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) are a family of multidomain, multimodule enzymes that synthesize structurally and functionally diverse peptides, many of which are of great therapeutic or commercial value. The central chemical step of peptide synthesis is amide bond formation, which is typically catalyzed by the condensation (C) domain. In many NRPS modules, the C domain is replaced by the heterocyclization (Cy) domain, a homologous domain that performs two consecutive reactions by using hitherto unknown catalytic mechanisms. It first catalyzes amide bond formation, and then the intramolecular cyclodehydration between a Cys, Ser, or Thr side chain and the backbone carbonyl carbon to form a thiazoline, oxazoline, or methyloxazoline ring. The rings are important for the form and function of the peptide product. We present the crystal structure of an NRPS Cy domain, Cy2 of bacillamide synthetase, at a resolution of 2.3 Å. Despite sharing the same fold, the active sites of C and Cy domains have important differences. The structure allowed us to probe the roles of active-site residues by using mutational analyses in a peptide synthesis assay with intact bacillamide synthetase. The drastically different effects of these mutants, interpreted by using our structural and bioinformatic results, provide insight into the catalytic mechanisms of the Cy domain and implicate a previously unexamined Asp-Thr dyad in catalysis of the cyclodehydration reaction.

  10. Comparative transcriptome analysis of chemosensory genes in two sister leaf beetles provides insights into chemosensory speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bin; Zhang, Wei; Nie, Rui-E; Li, Wen-Zhu; Segraves, Kari A; Yang, Xing-Ke; Xue, Huai-Jun

    2016-12-01

    Divergence in chemosensory traits has been posited as an important component of chemosensory speciation in insects. In particular, chemosensory genes expressed in the peripheral sensory neurons are likely to influence insect behaviors such as preference for food, oviposition sites, and mates. Despite their key role in insect behavior and potentially speciation, the underlying genetic basis for divergence in chemosensory traits remains largely unexplored. One way to ascertain the role of chemosensory genes in speciation is to make comparisons of these genes across closely related species to detect the genetic signatures of divergence. Here, we used high throughput transcriptome analysis to compare chemosensory genes of the sister leaf beetles species Pyrrhalta maculicollis and P. aenescens, whose sexual isolation and host plant preference are mediated by divergent chemical signals. Although there was low overall divergence between transcriptome profiles, there were a number of genes that were differentially expressed between the species. Furthermore, we also detected two chemosensory genes under positive selection, one of which that was also differentially expressed between the species, suggesting a possible role for these genes in chemical-based premating reproductive isolation and host use. Combined with the available chemical and ecological work in this system, further studies of the divergent chemosensory genes presented here will provide insight into the process of chemosensory speciation among Pyrrhalta beetles.

  11. Analysis of the FGF gene family provides insights into aquatic adaptation in cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Kiwoong; Lee, Kyeong Won; Chung, Oksung; Yim, Hyung-Soon; Cha, Sun-Shin; Lee, Sae-Won; Jun, JeHoon; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; Magalhães, João Pedro de; Lee, Jung-Hyun; Jeong, Jae-Yeon

    2017-01-01

    Cetacean body structure and physiology exhibit dramatic adaptations to their aquatic environment. Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are a family of essential factors that regulate animal development and physiology; however, their role in cetacean evolution is not clearly understood. Here, we sequenced the fin whale genome and analysed FGFs from 8 cetaceans. FGF22, a hair follicle-enriched gene, exhibited pseudogenization, indicating that the function of this gene is no longer necessary in cetaceans that have lost most of their body hair. An evolutionary analysis revealed signatures of positive selection for FGF3 and FGF11, genes related to ear and tooth development and hypoxia, respectively. We found a D203G substitution in cetacean FGF9, which was predicted to affect FGF9 homodimerization, suggesting that this gene plays a role in the acquisition of rigid flippers for efficient manoeuvring. Cetaceans utilize low bone density as a buoyancy control mechanism, but the underlying genes are not known. We found that the expression of FGF23, a gene associated with reduced bone density, is greatly increased in the cetacean liver under hypoxic conditions, thus implicating FGF23 in low bone density in cetaceans. Altogether, our results provide novel insights into the roles of FGFs in cetacean adaptation to the aquatic environment. PMID:28074842

  12. The sacred lotus genome provides insights into the evolution of flowering plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yun; Fan, Guangyi; Liu, Yiman; Sun, Fengming; Shi, Chengcheng; Liu, Xin; Peng, Jing; Chen, Wenbin; Huang, Xinfang; Cheng, Shifeng; Liu, Yuping; Liang, Xinming; Zhu, Honglian; Bian, Chao; Zhong, Lan; Lv, Tian; Dong, Hongxia; Liu, Weiqing; Zhong, Xiao; Chen, Jing; Quan, Zhiwu; Wang, Zhihong; Tan, Benzhong; Lin, Chufa; Mu, Feng; Xu, Xun; Ding, Yi; Guo, An-Yuan; Wang, Jun; Ke, Weidong

    2013-11-01

    Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is an ornamental plant that is also used for food and medicine. This basal eudicot species is especially important from an evolutionary perspective, as it occupies a critical phylogenetic position in flowering plants. Here we report the draft genome of a wild strain of sacred lotus. The assembled genome is 792 Mb, which is approximately 85-90% of genome size estimates. We annotated 392 Mb of repeat sequences and 36,385 protein-coding genes within the genome. Using these sequence data, we constructed a phylogenetic tree and confirmed the basal location of sacred lotus within eudicots. Importantly, we found evidence for a relatively recent whole-genome duplication event; any indication of the ancient paleo-hexaploid event was, however, absent. Genomic analysis revealed evidence of positive selection within 28 embryo-defective genes and one annexin gene that may be related to the long-term viability of sacred lotus seed. We also identified a significant expansion of starch synthase genes, which probably elevated starch levels within the rhizome of sacred lotus. Sequencing this strain of sacred lotus thus provided important insights into the evolution of flowering plant and revealed genetic mechanisms that influence seed dormancy and starch synthesis.

  13. Crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insights into its product specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weiwei; Wang, Wenhe; Liu, Zihe; Xie, Yongchao; Wang, Hao; Mu, Yajuan; Huang, Yao; Feng, Yue

    2016-09-16

    Specifier proteins are important components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, which mediate plant defense against herbivory and pathogen attacks. Upon tissue disruption, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to instable aglucones by myrosinases, and then aglucones will rearrange to form defensive isothiocyanates. Specifier proteins can redirect this reaction to form other products, such as simple nitriles, epithionitriles and organic thiocyanates instead of isothiocyanates based on the side chain structure of glucosinolate and the type of the specifier proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism underlying the different product spectrums of various specifier proteins was not fully understood. Here in this study, we solved the crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtESP) at 2.3 Å resolution. Structural comparisons with the previously solved structure of thiocyanate forming protein, TFP from Thlaspi arvense (TaTFP) reveal that AtESP shows a dimerization pattern different from TaTFP. Moreover, AtESP harbors a slightly larger active site pocket than TaTFP and several residues around the active site are different between the two proteins, which might account for the different product spectrums of the two proteins. Together, our structural study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms of specifier proteins and shed light on the basis of their different product spectrums.

  14. Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutledge, Gavin G.; Böhme, Ulrike; Sanders, Mandy; Reid, Adam J.; Cotton, James A.; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A.; Apinjoh, Tobias O.; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Manske, Magnus; Barnwell, John W.; Renaud, François; Ollomo, Benjamin; Prugnolle, Franck; Anstey, Nicholas M.; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N.; McCarthy, James S.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; Otto, Thomas D.

    2017-01-01

    Elucidation of the evolutionary history and interrelatedness of Plasmodium species that infect humans has been hampered by a lack of genetic information for three human-infective species: P. malariae and two P. ovale species (P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri)1. These species are prevalent across most regions in which malaria is endemic2,3 and are often undetectable by light microscopy4, rendering their study in human populations difficult5. The exact evolutionary relationship of these species to the other human-infective species has been contested6,7. Using a new reference genome for P. malariae and a manually curated draft P. o. curtisi genome, we are now able to accurately place these species within the Plasmodium phylogeny. Sequencing of a P. malariae relative that infects chimpanzees reveals similar signatures of selection in the P. malariae lineage to another Plasmodium lineage shown to be capable of colonization of both human and chimpanzee hosts. Molecular dating suggests that these host adaptations occurred over similar evolutionary timescales. In addition to the core genome that is conserved between species, differences in gene content can be linked to their specific biology. The genome suggests that P. malariae expresses a family of heterodimeric proteins on its surface that have structural similarities to a protein crucial for invasion of red blood cells. The data presented here provide insight into the evolution of the Plasmodium genus as a whole. PMID:28117441

  15. Evolution of Digestive Enzymes and RNASE1 Provides Insights into Dietary Switch of Cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengfei; Xu, Shixia; Du, Kexing; Huang, Fang; Chen, Zhuo; Zhou, Kaiya; Ren, Wenhua; Yang, Guang

    2016-01-01

    Although cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins) have multi-chambered stomachs, feeding habits of modern cetaceans have dramatically changed from herbivorous to carnivorous. However, the genetic basis underlying this dietary switch remains unexplored. Here, we present the first systematic investigation of 10 digestive enzymes genes (i.e., CYP7A1, CTRC, LIPC, LIPF, PNLIP, PGC, PRSS1, SI, SLC5A1, and TMPRSS15) of representative cetaceans, and the evolutionary trajectory of RNASE1 in cetartiodactylans. Positive selections were detected with proteinases (i.e., CTRC, PRSS1, and TMPRSS15) and lipases (i.e., CYP7A1, LIPF, and PNLIP) suggesting that cetaceans have evolved an enhanced digestion capacity for proteins and lipids, the major nutritional components of their prey (fishes and invertebrates). In addition, it was found that RNASE1 gene duplicated after the cetartiodactylan speciation and two independent gene duplication events took place in Camelidae and Ruminantia. Positive selection was detected with RNASE1 of Camelidae and Bovidae, suggesting enhanced digestive efficiency in the ruminants. Remarkably, even though the ancestors of cetaceans were terrestrial artiodactyls that are herbivorous, modern cetaceans lost the pancreatic RNASE1 copy with digestive function, which is in accordance with the dietary change from herbivorous to carnivorous. In sum, this is the first study that provides new insights into the evolutionary mechanism of dietary switch in cetaceans. PMID:27651393

  16. New insight into the Solar System's transition disk phase provided by the unusual meteorite Isheyevo

    CERN Document Server

    Morris, Melissa A; Knauth, L Paul

    2014-01-01

    Many aspects of planet formation are controlled by the amount of gas remaining in the natal protoplanetary disk (PPDs). Infrared observations show that PPDs undergo a transition stage at several Myr, during which gas densities are reduced. Our Solar System would have experienced such a stage. However, there is currently no data that provides insight into this crucial time in our PPD's evolution. We show that the Isheyevo meteorite contains the first definitive evidence for a transition disk stage in our Solar System. Isheyevo belongs to a class of metal-rich meteorites whose components have been dated at almost 5 Myr after the first solids in the Solar System, and exhibits unique sedimentary layers that imply formation through gentle sedimentation. We show that such layering can occur via gentle sweep-up of material found in the impact plume resulting from the collision of two planetesimals. Such sweep-up requires gas densities consistent with observed transition disks. As such, Isheyevo presents the first ev...

  17. Obsessive compulsive disorder networks: positron emission tomography and neuropsychology provide new insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Millet

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Deep brain stimulation has shed new light on the central role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD. We explored this structure from a functional perspective, synchronizing neuroimaging and cognitive measures. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This case-control cross-sectional study compared 15 OCD patients without comorbidities and not currently on serotonin reuptake inhibitors or cognitive behavioural therapy with 15 healthy controls (matched for age, sex and education level on resting-state (18FDG-PET scans and a neuropsychological battery assessing executive functions. We looked for correlations between metabolic modifications and impaired neuropsychological scores. Modifications in glucose metabolism were found in frontal regions (orbitofrontal cortex and dorsolateral cortices, the cingulate gyrus, insula and parietal gyrus. Neuropsychological differences between patients and controls, which were subtle, were correlated with the metabolism of the prefrontal, parietal, and temporal cortices. CONCLUSION: As expected, we confirmed previous reports of a PFC dysfunction in OCD patients, and established a correlation with cognitive deficits. Other regions outside the prefrontal cortex, including the dorsoparietal cortex and the insula, also appeared to be implicated in the pathophysiology of OCD, providing fresh insights on the complexity of OCD syndromes.

  18. The genome of Ganoderma lucidum provides insights into triterpenes biosynthesis and wood degradation [corrected].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongbo Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi or Ling Zhi is one of the most famous Traditional Chinese Medicines and has been widely used in the treatment of various human diseases in Asia countries. It is also a fungus with strong wood degradation ability with potential in bioenergy production. However, genes, pathways and mechanisms of these functions are still unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The genome of G. lucidum was sequenced and assembled into a 39.9 megabases (Mb draft genome, which encoded 12,080 protein-coding genes and ∼83% of them were similar to public sequences. We performed comprehensive annotation for G. lucidum genes and made comparisons with genes in other fungi genomes. Genes in the biosynthesis of the main G. lucidum active ingredients, ganoderic acids (GAs, were characterized. Among the GAs synthases, we identified a fusion gene, the N and C terminal of which are homologous to two different enzymes. Moreover, the fusion gene was only found in basidiomycetes. As a white rot fungus with wood degradation ability, abundant carbohydrate-active enzymes and ligninolytic enzymes were identified in the G. lucidum genome and were compared with other fungi. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The genome sequence and well annotation of G. lucidum will provide new insights in function analyses including its medicinal mechanism. The characterization of genes in the triterpene biosynthesis and wood degradation will facilitate bio-engineering research in the production of its active ingredients and bioenergy.

  19. Kynurenine pathway metabolomics predicts and provides mechanistic insight into multiple sclerosis progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Chai K.; Bilgin, Ayse; Lovejoy, David B.; Tan, Vanessa; Bustamante, Sonia; Taylor, Bruce V.; Bessede, Alban; Brew, Bruce J.; Guillemin, Gilles J.

    2017-01-01

    Activation of the kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan metabolism results from chronic inflammation and is known to exacerbate progression of neurodegenerative disease. To gain insights into the links between inflammation, the KP and multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis, we investigated the KP metabolomics profile of MS patients. Most significantly, we found aberrant levels of two key KP metabolites, kynurenic acid (KA) and quinolinic acid (QA). The balance between these metabolites is important as it determines overall excitotoxic activity at the N-methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor. We also identified that serum KP metabolic signatures in patients can discriminate clinical MS subtypes with high sensitivity and specificity. A C5.0 Decision Tree classification model discriminated the clinical subtypes of MS with a sensitivity of 91%. After validation in another independent cohort, sensitivity was maintained at 85%. Collectively, our studies suggest that abnormalities in the KP may be associated with the switch from early-mild stage MS to debilitating progressive forms of MS and that analysis of KP metabolites in MS patient serum may have application as MS disease biomarkers. PMID:28155867

  20. New insights in portfolio selection modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Zareei, Abalfazl

    2016-01-01

    Recent advancements in the field of network theory commence a new line of developments in portfolio selection techniques that stands on the ground of perceiving financial market as a network with assets as nodes and links accounting for various types of relationships among financial assets. In the first chapter, we model the shock propagation mechanism among assets via network theory and provide an approach to construct well-diversified portfolios that are resilient to shock propagation and c...

  1. Phylogenetic analyses provide insights into the historical biogeography and evolution of Brachyrhaphis fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingley, Spencer J; Reina, Ruth G; Bermingham, Eldredge; Johnson, Jerald B

    2015-08-01

    The livebearing fish genus Brachyrhaphis (Poeciliidae) has become an increasingly important model in evolution and ecology research, yet the phylogeny of this group is not well understood, nor has it been examined thoroughly using modern phylogenetic methods. Here, we present the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of Brachyrhaphis by using four molecular markers (3mtDNA, 1nucDNA) to infer relationships among species in this genus. We tested the validity of this genus as a monophyletic group using extensive outgroup sampling based on recent phylogenetic hypotheses of Poeciliidae. We also tested the validity of recently described species of Brachyrhaphis that are part of the B. episcopi complex in Panama. Finally, we examined the impact of historical events on diversification of Brachyrhaphis, and made predictions regarding the role of different ecological environments on evolutionary diversification where known historical events apparently fail to explain speciation. Based on our results, we reject the monophyly of Brachyrhaphis, and question the validity of two recently described species (B. hessfeldi and B. roswithae). Historical biogeography of Brachyrhaphis generally agrees with patterns found in other freshwater taxa in Lower Central America, which show that geological barriers frequently predict speciation. Specifically, we find evidence in support of an 'island' model of Lower Central American formation, which posits that the nascent isthmus was partitioned by several marine connections before linking North and South America. In some cases where historic events (e.g., vicariance) fail to explain allopatric species breaks in Brachyrhaphis, ecological processes (e.g., divergent predation environments) offer additional insight into our understanding of phylogenetic diversification in this group.

  2. Comprehensive mapping of the Helicobacter pylori NikR regulon provides new insights in bacterial nickel responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannini, Andrea; Pinatel, Eva; Costantini, Paolo Emidio; Pelliciari, Simone; Roncarati, Davide; Puccio, Simone; De Bellis, Gianluca; Peano, Clelia; Danielli, Alberto

    2017-01-01

    Nickel homeostasis is important for pathogenic and ureolytic bacteria, which use this metal ion as enzymatic cofactor. For example, in the human pathogen Helicobacter pylori an optimal balance between nickel uptake and incorporation in metallo-enzymes is fundamental for colonization of the host. Nickel is also used as cofactor to modulate DNA binding of the NikR regulator, which controls transcription of genes involved in nickel trafficking or infection in many bacteria. Accordingly, there is much interest in a systematic characterization of NikR regulation. Herein we use H. pylori as a model to integrate RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data demonstrating that NikR not only regulates metal-ion transporters but also virulence factors, non-coding RNAs, as well as toxin-antitoxin systems in response to nickel stimulation. Altogether, results provide new insights into the pathobiology of H. pylori and contribute to understand the responses to nickel in other bacteria. PMID:28393877

  3. Temporal and spatial regulation of mRNA export: Single particle RNA-imaging provides new tools and insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, Stephanie; Derrer, Carina Patrizia; Lari, Azra; Weis, Karsten; Montpetit, Ben

    2017-02-01

    The transport of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) from the nucleus to cytoplasm is an essential step in the gene expression program of all eukaryotes. Recent technological advances in the areas of RNA-labeling, microscopy, and sequencing are leading to novel insights about mRNA biogenesis and export. This includes quantitative single molecule imaging (SMI) of RNA molecules in live cells, which is providing knowledge of the spatial and temporal dynamics of the export process. As this information becomes available, it leads to new questions, the reinterpretation of previous findings, and revised models of mRNA export. In this review, we will briefly highlight some of these recent findings and discuss how live cell SMI approaches may be used to further our current understanding of mRNA export and gene expression. © 2017 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Insights into pre-reversal paleosecular variation from stochastic models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peqini, Klaudio; Duka, Bejo; De Santis, Angelo

    2015-09-01

    To provide insights on the paleosecular variation of the geomagnetic field and the mechanism of reversals, long time series of the dipolar magnetic moment are generated by two different stochastic models, known as the “domino” model and the inhomogeneous Lebovitz disk dynamo model, with initial values taken from the from paleomagnetic data. The former model considers mutual interactions of N macrospins embedded in a uniformly rotating medium, where random forcing and dissipation act on each macrospin. With an appropriate set of the model’s parameters values, the series generated by this model have similar statistical behaviour to the time series of the SHA.DIF.14K model. The latter model is an extension of the classical two-disk Rikitake model, considering N dynamo elements with appropriate interactions between them. We varied the parameters set of both models aiming at generating suitable time series with behaviour similar to the long time series of recent secular variation (SV). Such series are then extended to the near future, obtaining reversals in both cases of models. The analysis of the time series generated by simulating the models show that the reversals appears after a persistent period of low intensity geomagnetic field, as it is occurring in the present times.

  5. Insights into pre-reversal paleosecular variation from stochastic models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaudio ePeqini

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available To provide insights on the paleosecular variation of the geomagnetic field and the mechanism of reversals, long time series of the dipolar magnetic moment are generated by two different stochastic models, known as the domino model and the inhomogeneous Lebovitz disk dynamo model, with initial values taken from the from paleomagnetic data. The former model considers mutual interactions of N macrospins embedded in a uniformly rotating medium, where random forcing and dissipation act on each macrospin. With an appropriate set of the model’s parameters values, the series generated by this model have similar statistical behaviour to the time series of the SHA.DIF.14K model. The latter model is an extension of the classical two-disk Rikitake model, considering N dynamo elements with appropriate interactions between them.We varied the parameters set of both models aiming at generating suitable time series with behaviour similar to the long time series of recent secular variation (SV. Such series are then extended to the near future, obtaining reversals in both cases of models. The analysis of the time series generated by simulating the models show that the reversals appears after a persistent period of low intensity geomagnetic field, as it is occurring in the present times.

  6. New insight on petroleum system modeling of Ghadames basin, Libya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bora, Deepender; Dubey, Siddharth

    2015-12-01

    Underdown and Redfern (2008) performed a detailed petroleum system modeling of the Ghadames basin along an E-W section. However, hydrocarbon generation, migration and accumulation changes significantly across the basin due to complex geological history. Therefore, a single section can't be considered representative for the whole basin. This study aims at bridging this gap by performing petroleum system modeling along a N-S section and provides new insights on source rock maturation, generation and migration of the hydrocarbons using 2D basin modeling. This study in conjunction with earlier work provides a 3D context of petroleum system modeling in the Ghadames basin. Hydrocarbon generation from the lower Silurian Tanezzuft formation and the Upper Devonian Aouinet Ouenine started during the late Carboniferous. However, high subsidence rate during middle to late Cretaceous and elevated heat flow in Cenozoic had maximum impact on source rock transformation and hydrocarbon generation whereas large-scale uplift and erosion during Alpine orogeny has significant impact on migration and accumulation. Visible migration observed along faults, which reactivated during Austrian unconformity. Peak hydrocarbon expulsion reached during Oligocene for both the Tanezzuft and the Aouinet Ouenine source rocks. Based on modeling results, capillary entry pressure driven downward expulsion of hydrocarbons from the lower Silurian Tanezzuft formation to the underlying Bir Tlacsin formation observed during middle Cretaceous. Kinetic modeling has helped to model hydrocarbon composition and distribution of generated hydrocarbons from both the source rocks. Application of source to reservoir tracking technology suggest some accumulations at shallow stratigraphic level has received hydrocarbons from both the Tanezzuft and Aouinet Ouenine source rocks, implying charge mixing. Five petroleum systems identified based on source to reservoir correlation technology in Petromod*. This Study builds

  7. Comparative Genome Analysis Provides Insights into the Pathogenicity of Flavobacterium psychrophilum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Daniel; Christiansen, Rói Hammershaimb; Dalsgaard, Inger; Madsen, Lone; Espejo, Romilio

    2016-01-01

    phenotypic properties may provide new insights to the mechanisms of pathogenicity in F. psychrophilum. PMID:27071075

  8. Proteomic analysis of FUS interacting proteins provides insights into FUS function and its role in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamelgarn, Marisa; Chen, Jing; Kuang, Lisha; Arenas, Alexandra; Zhai, Jianjun; Zhu, Haining; Gal, Jozsef

    2016-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Mutations in the Fused in Sarcoma/Translocated in Liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) gene cause a subset of familial ALS cases and are also implicated in sporadic ALS. FUS is typically localized to the nucleus. The ALS-related FUS mutations cause cytoplasmic mis-localization and the formation of stress granule-like structures. Abnormal cytoplasmic FUS localization was also found in a subset of frontotemporal dementia (FTLD) cases without FUS mutations. To better understand the function of FUS, we performed wild-type and mutant FUS pull-downs followed by proteomic identification of the interacting proteins. The FUS interacting partners we identified are involved in multiple pathways, including chromosomal organization, transcription, RNA splicing, RNA transport, localized translation, and stress response. FUS interacted with hnRNPA1 and Matrin-3, RNA binding proteins whose mutations were also reported to cause familial ALS, suggesting that hnRNPA1 and Matrin-3 may play common pathogenic roles with FUS. The FUS interactions displayed varied RNA dependence. Numerous FUS interacting partners that we identified are components of exosomes. We found that FUS itself was present in exosomes, suggesting that the secretion of FUS might contribute to the cell-to-cell spreading of FUS pathology. FUS interacting proteins were sequestered into the cytoplasmic mutant FUS inclusions that could lead to their mis-regulation or loss of function, contributing to ALS pathogenesis. Our results provide insights into the physiological functions of FUS as well as important pathways where mutant FUS can interfere with cellular processes and potentially contribute to the pathogenesis of ALS.

  9. 3D-structured illumination microscopy provides novel insight into architecture of human centrosomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina F. Sonnen

    2012-08-01

    Centrioles are essential for the formation of cilia and flagella. They also form the core of the centrosome, which organizes microtubule arrays important for cell shape, polarity, motility and division. Here, we have used super-resolution 3D-structured illumination microscopy to analyse the spatial relationship of 18 centriole and pericentriolar matrix (PCM components of human centrosomes at different cell cycle stages. During mitosis, PCM proteins formed extended networks with interspersed γ-Tubulin. During interphase, most proteins were arranged at specific distances from the walls of centrioles, resulting in ring staining, often with discernible density masses. Through use of site-specific antibodies, we found the C-terminus of Cep152 to be closer to centrioles than the N-terminus, illustrating the power of 3D-SIM to study protein disposition. Appendage proteins showed rings with multiple density masses, and the number of these masses was strongly reduced during mitosis. At the proximal end of centrioles, Sas-6 formed a dot at the site of daughter centriole assembly, consistent with its role in cartwheel formation. Plk4 and STIL co-localized with Sas-6, but Cep135 was associated mostly with mother centrioles. Remarkably, Plk4 formed a dot on the surface of the mother centriole before Sas-6 staining became detectable, indicating that Plk4 constitutes an early marker for the site of nascent centriole formation. Our study provides novel insights into the architecture of human centrosomes and illustrates the power of super-resolution microscopy in revealing the relative localization of centriole and PCM proteins in unprecedented detail.

  10. Genome-wide analysis of Pax8 binding provides new insights into thyroid functions

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    Ruiz-Llorente Sergio

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transcription factor Pax8 is essential for the differentiation of thyroid cells. However, there are few data on genes transcriptionally regulated by Pax8 other than thyroid-related genes. To better understand the role of Pax8 in the biology of thyroid cells, we obtained transcriptional profiles of Pax8-silenced PCCl3 thyroid cells using whole genome expression arrays and integrated these signals with global cis-regulatory sequencing studies performed by ChIP-Seq analysis Results Exhaustive analysis of Pax8 immunoprecipitated peaks demonstrated preferential binding to intragenic regions and CpG-enriched islands, which suggests a role of Pax8 in transcriptional regulation of orphan CpG regions. In addition, ChIP-Seq allowed us to identify Pax8 partners, including proteins involved in tertiary DNA structure (CTCF and chromatin remodeling (Sp1, and these direct transcriptional interactions were confirmed in vivo. Moreover, both factors modulate Pax8-dependent transcriptional activation of the sodium iodide symporter (Nis gene promoter. We ultimately combined putative and novel Pax8 binding sites with actual target gene expression regulation to define Pax8-dependent genes. Functional classification suggests that Pax8-regulated genes may be directly involved in important processes of thyroid cell function such as cell proliferation and differentiation, apoptosis, cell polarity, motion and adhesion, and a plethora of DNA/protein-related processes. Conclusion Our study provides novel insights into the role of Pax8 in thyroid biology, exerted through transcriptional regulation of important genes involved in critical thyrocyte processes. In addition, we found new transcriptional partners of Pax8, which functionally cooperate with Pax8 in the regulation of thyroid gene transcription. Besides, our data demonstrate preferential location of Pax8 in non-promoter CpG regions. These data point to an orphan CpG island-mediated mechanism

  11. Multiple kisspeptin receptors in early osteichthyans provide new insights into the evolution of this receptor family.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérémy Pasquier

    Full Text Available Deorphanization of GPR54 receptor a decade ago led to the characterization of the kisspeptin receptor (Kissr in mammals and the discovery of its major role in the brain control of reproduction. While a single gene encodes for Kissr in eutherian mammals including human, other vertebrates present a variable number of Kissr genes, from none in birds, one or two in teleosts, to three in an amphibian, xenopus. In order to get more insight into the evolution of Kissr gene family, we investigated the presence of Kissr in osteichthyans of key-phylogenetical positions: the coelacanth, a representative of early sarcopterygians, the spotted gar, a non-teleost actinopterygian, and the European eel, a member of an early group of teleosts (elopomorphs. We report the occurrence of three Kissr for the first time in a teleost, the eel. As measured by quantitative RT-PCR, the three eel Kissr were differentially expressed in the brain-pituitary-gonadal axis, and differentially regulated in experimentally matured eels, as compared to prepubertal controls. Subfunctionalisation, as shown by these differences in tissue distribution and regulation, may have represented significant evolutionary constraints for the conservation of multiple Kissr paralogs in this species. Furthermore, we identified four Kissr in both coelacanth and spotted gar genomes, providing the first evidence for the presence of four Kissr in vertebrates. Phylogenetic and syntenic analyses supported the existence of four Kissr paralogs in osteichthyans and allowed to propose a clarified nomenclature of Kissr (Kissr-1 to -4 based on these paralogs. Syntenic analysis suggested that the four Kissr paralogs arose through the two rounds of whole genome duplication (1R and 2R in early vertebrates, followed by multiple gene loss events in the actinopterygian and sarcopterygian lineages. Due to gene loss there was no impact of the teleost-specific whole genome duplication (3R on the number of Kissr paralogs

  12. Perigone Lobe Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insights into Rafflesia cantleyi Flower Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Xin-Wei; Mat-Isa, Mohd-Noor; Mohd-Elias, Nur-Atiqah; Aizat-Juhari, Mohd Afiq; Goh, Hoe-Han; Dear, Paul H.; Chow, Keng-See; Haji Adam, Jumaat; Mohamed, Rahmah; Firdaus-Raih, Mohd; Wan, Kiew-Lian

    2016-01-01

    Rafflesia is a biologically enigmatic species that is very rare in occurrence and possesses an extraordinary morphology. This parasitic plant produces a gigantic flower up to one metre in diameter with no leaves, stem or roots. However, little is known about the floral biology of this species especially at the molecular level. In an effort to address this issue, we have generated and characterised the transcriptome of the Rafflesia cantleyi flower, and performed a comparison with the transcriptome of its floral bud to predict genes that are expressed and regulated during flower development. Approximately 40 million sequencing reads were generated and assembled de novo into 18,053 transcripts with an average length of 641 bp. Of these, more than 79% of the transcripts had significant matches to annotated sequences in the public protein database. A total of 11,756 and 7,891 transcripts were assigned to Gene Ontology categories and clusters of orthologous groups respectively. In addition, 6,019 transcripts could be mapped to 129 pathways in Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes Pathway database. Digital abundance analysis identified 52 transcripts with very high expression in the flower transcriptome of R. cantleyi. Subsequently, analysis of differential expression between developing flower and the floral bud revealed a set of 105 transcripts with potential role in flower development. Our work presents a deep transcriptome resource analysis for the developing flower of R. cantleyi. Genes potentially involved in the growth and development of the R. cantleyi flower were identified and provide insights into biological processes that occur during flower development. PMID:27977777

  13. Macroscale patterns in body size of intertidal crustaceans provide insights on climate change effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaramillo, Eduardo; Dugan, Jenifer E; Hubbard, David M; Contreras, Heraldo; Duarte, Cristian; Acuña, Emilio; Schoeman, David S

    2017-01-01

    Predicting responses of coastal ecosystems to altered sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with global climate change, requires knowledge of demographic responses of individual species. Body size is an excellent metric because it scales strongly with growth and fecundity for many ectotherms. These attributes can underpin demographic as well as community and ecosystem level processes, providing valuable insights for responses of vulnerable coastal ecosystems to changing climate. We investigated contemporary macroscale patterns in body size among widely distributed crustaceans that comprise the majority of intertidal abundance and biomass of sandy beach ecosystems of the eastern Pacific coasts of Chile and California, USA. We focused on ecologically important species representing different tidal zones, trophic guilds and developmental modes, including a high-shore macroalga-consuming talitrid amphipod (Orchestoidea tuberculata), two mid-shore scavenging cirolanid isopods (Excirolana braziliensis and E. hirsuticauda), and a low-shore suspension-feeding hippid crab (Emerita analoga) with an amphitropical distribution. Significant latitudinal patterns in body sizes were observed for all species in Chile (21° - 42°S), with similar but steeper patterns in Emerita analoga, in California (32°- 41°N). Sea surface temperature was a strong predictor of body size (-4% to -35% °C-1) in all species. Beach characteristics were subsidiary predictors of body size. Alterations in ocean temperatures of even a few degrees associated with global climate change are likely to affect body sizes of important intertidal ectotherms, with consequences for population demography, life history, community structure, trophic interactions, food-webs, and indirect effects such as ecosystem function. The consistency of results for body size and temperature across species with different life histories, feeding modes, ecological roles, and microhabitats inhabiting a single widespread coastal

  14. Gene expression profiling provides insights into pathways of oxaliplatin-related sinusoidal obstruction syndrome in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubbia-Brandt, Laura; Tauzin, Sébastien; Brezault, Catherine; Delucinge-Vivier, Céline; Descombes, Patrick; Dousset, Bertand; Majno, Pietro E; Mentha, Gilles; Terris, Benoit

    2011-04-01

    Sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (SOS; formerly veno-occlusive disease) is a well-established complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, pyrrolizidine alkaloid intoxication, and widely used chemotherapeutic agents such as oxaliplatin. It is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Pathogenesis of SOS in humans is poorly understood. To explore its molecular mechanisms, we used Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 microarrays to investigate the gene expression profile of 11 human livers with oxaliplatin-related SOS and compared it to 12 matched controls. Hierarchical clustering analysis showed that profiles from SOS and controls formed distinct clusters. To identify functional networks and gene ontologies, data were analyzed by the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis Tool. A total of 913 genes were differentially expressed in SOS: 613 being upregulated and 300 downregulated. Reverse transcriptase-PCR results showed excellent concordance with microarray data. Pathway analysis showed major gene upregulation in six pathways in SOS compared with controls: acute phase response (notably interleukin 6), coagulation system (Serpine1, THBD, and VWF), hepatic fibrosis/hepatic stellate cell activation (COL3a1, COL3a2, PDGF-A, TIMP1, and MMP2), and oxidative stress. Angiogenic factors (VEGF-C) and hypoxic factors (HIF1A) were upregulated. The most significant increase was seen in CCL20 mRNA. In conclusion, oxaliplatin-related SOS can be readily distinguished according to morphologic characteristics but also by a molecular signature. Global gene analysis provides new insights into mechanisms underlying chemotherapy-related hepatotoxicity in humans and potential targets relating to its diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. Activation of VEGF and coagulation (vWF) pathways could partially explain at a molecular level the clinical observations that bevacizumab and aspirin have a preventive effect in SOS.

  15. Comparative proteomic analysis provides new insights into cadmium accumulation in rice grain under cadmium stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xue, Dawei, E-mail: dwxue@hznu.edu.cn [College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006 (China); Jiang, Hua [State Key Laboratory Breeding Base for Zhejiang Sustainable Pest and Disease Control, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Science, Hangzhou 310021 (China); Deng, Xiangxiong; Zhang, Xiaoqin [College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); Wang, Hua [State Key Laboratory Breeding Base for Zhejiang Sustainable Pest and Disease Control, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Science, Hangzhou 310021 (China); Xu, Xiangbin [College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); Hu, Jiang; Zeng, Dali [State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006 (China); Guo, Longbiao, E-mail: guolongbiao@caas.cn [State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006 (China); Qian, Qian, E-mail: qianqian188@hotmail.com [College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006 (China)

    2014-09-15

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • Cd is the most toxic heavy metal and is a major pollutant in rice grains. • The mechanism of Cd accumulation in rice grains has not been well demonstrated. • Proteomics analysis is carried out and the verification is implemented by QPCR. • Proteins associated with ROS and photosynthesis showed large variation in expression. - Abstract: Rice is one of the most important staple crops. During the growth season, rice plants are inevitably subjected to numerous stresses, among which heavy metal stress represented by cadmium contamination not only hindering the yield of rice but also affecting the food safety by Cd accumulating in rice grains. The mechanism of Cd accumulation in rice grains has not been well elucidated. In this study, we compare the proteomic difference between two genotypes with different Cd accumulation ability in grains. Verification of differentially expressed protein-encoding genes was analyzing by quantitative PCR (QPCR) and reanalysis of microarray expression data. Forty-seven proteins in total were successfully identified through proteomic screening. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis showed Cd accumulation triggered stress-related pathways in the cells, and strongly affecting metabolic pathways. Many proteins associated with nutrient reservoir and starch-related enzyme were identified in this study suggesting that a considerably damage on grain quality was caused. The results also implied stress response was initiated by the abnormal cells and the transmission of signals may mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Our research will provide new insights into Cd accumulation in rice grain under Cd stress.

  16. Quantitative proteomic analysis provides novel insights into cold stress responses in petunia seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei eZhang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Low temperature is a major adverse environmental factor that impairs petunia growth and development. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of cold stress adaptation of petunia plants, a quantitative proteomic analysis using iTRAQ technology was performed to detect the effects of cold stress on protein expression profiles in petunia seedlings which had been subjected to 2°C for 5d. Of the 2,430 proteins whose levels were quantitated, a total of 117 proteins were discovered to be differentially expressed under low temperature stress in comparison to unstressed controls. As an initial study, 44 proteins including well known and novel cold-responsive proteins were successfully annotated. By integrating the results of two independent Gene Ontology (GO enrichment analyses, seven common GO terms were found of which oxidation-reduction process was the most notable for the cold-responsive proteins. By using the subcellular localization tool Plant-mPLoc predictor, as much as 40.2% of the cold-responsive protein group was found to be located within chloroplasts, suggesting that the chloroplast proteome is particularly affected by cold stress. Gene expression analyses of 11 cold-responsive proteins by real time PCR demonstrated that the mRNA levels were not strongly correlated with the respective protein levels. Further activity assay of anti-oxidative enzymes showed different alterations in cold treated petunia seedlings. Our investigation has highlighted the role of antioxidation mechanisms and also epigenetic factors in the regulation of cold stress responses. Our work has provided novel insights into the plant response to cold stress and should facilitate further studies regarding the molecular mechanisms which determine how plant cells cope with environmental perturbation.

  17. Characterization of the arginolytic microflora provides insights into pH homeostasis in human oral biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xuelian; Schulte, Renee M; Burne, Robert A; Nascimento, Marcelle M

    2015-01-01

    A selected group of oral bacteria commonly associated with dental health is capable of producing alkali via the arginine deiminase system (ADS), which has a profound impact on the pH of human oral biofilms. An increased risk for dental caries has been associated with reduced ADS activity of the bacteria in oral biofilms. Arginolytic bacterial strains from dental plaque samples of caries-free and caries-active adults were isolated and characterized to investigate the basis for differences in plaque ADS activity between individuals. Fifty-six ADS-positive bacterial strains were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and their ADS activity levels were compared under standard growth conditions. The spectrum of bacterial ADS activity ranged from 45.2 to 688.0 units (mg protein)(-1). Although Streptococcus sanguinis was the most prevalent species, other Streptococcus sp. were also represented. Biochemical assays carried out using 27 ADS-positive strains under conditions known to induce or repress ADS gene expression showed substantial variation in arginolytic activity in response to pH, oxygen and the availability of carbohydrate or arginine. This study reveals that the basis for the wide spectrum of arginolytic expression observed among clinical strains is, at least in part, attributable to differences in the regulation of the ADS within and between species. The results provide insights into the microbiological basis for intersubject differences in ADS activity in oral biofilms and enhance our understanding of dental caries as an ecologically driven disease in which arginine metabolism moderates plaque pH and promotes dental health.

  18. Potential Biomarkers Found by Protein Profiling May Provide Insight for the Macrovascular Pathogenesis of Diabetes Mellitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C. S. Cho

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus (DM is an alarming threat to health of mankind, yet its pathogenesis is unclear. The purpose of this study was to find potential biomarkers to serve as indicators for the pathogenesis of DM in a time course manner. Based on our previous findings that oxidative stress occurred at week 8, aorta lysate and sera of 102 streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic and 85 control male Sprague-Dawley rats were obtained at the 4th, 8th and 12th week after STZ injection. The protein profiles were studied employing surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry technology in attomole sensitivity range. In the aorta, a multiple biomarker panel was discovered at the 4th week. At the 8th week, 4 biomarkers were found, while at the 12th week, 3 biomarkers were identified. In the sera, a triplet of 3 peaks and 2 biomarkers were all discovered to have 100% classification accuracy rate to differentiate the DM and control groups at all time intervals. Besides, 2 biomarkers were also found to have high classification value at week 12. Comparing the aorta and sera from DM and non-DM rats, a bundle of potential biomarkers with significant changes in peak intensities and high classification values were found. Two of the serum biomarkers matched with islet amyloid polypeptide and resistin in the SWISS-PROT knowledgebase. Validation has been conducted using immunoassay kits. These potential biomarkers may provide valuable insight on the pathogenesis of DM and macrovascular complications.

  19. Mitochondrial Genome and Nuclear Markers Provide New Insight into the Evolutionary History of Macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Juan; Yu, Jianqiu; Li, Jing; Li, Peng; Fan, Zhenxin; Niu, Lili; Deng, Jiabo; Yue, Bisong; Li, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary history of macaques, genus Macaca, has been under debate due to the short times of divergence. In this study, maternal, paternal, and biparental genetic systems were applied to infer phylogenetic relationships among macaques and to trace ancient hybridization events in their evolutionary history. Using a PCR display method, 17 newly phylogenetically informative Alu insertions were identified from M. assamensis. We combined presence/absence analysis of 84 Alu elements with mitochondrial genomes as well as nuclear sequences (five autosomal genes, two Y chromosomal genes, and one X chromosomal fragment) to reconstruct a robust macaque phylogeny. Topologies generated from different inherited markers were similar supporting six well defined species groups and a close relationship of M. assamensis and M. thibetana, but differed in the placing of M. arctoides. Both Alu elements and nuclear genes supported that M. arctoides was close to the sinica group, whereas the mitochondrial data clustered it into the fascicularis/mulatta lineage. Our results reveal that a sex-biased hybridization most likely occurred in the evolutionary history of M. arctoides, and suggest an introgressive pattern of male-mediated gene flow from the ancestors of M. arctoides to the M. mulatta population followed by nuclear swamping. According to the estimation of divergence dates, the hybridization occurred around 0.88~1.77 mya (nuclear data) or 1.38~2.56 mya (mitochondrial data). In general, our study indicates that a combination of various molecular markers could help explain complicated evolutionary relationships. Our results have provided new insights into the evolutionary history of macaques and emphasize that hybridization might play an important role in macaque evolution.

  20. Characterisation of full-length cDNA sequences provides insights into the Eimeria tenellatranscriptome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amiruddin Nadzirah

    2012-01-01

    . tenella second generation merozoites and provides new insights into the E. tenella transcriptome. The data generated will be useful for the development and validation of diagnostic and control strategies for coccidiosis and will be of value in annotation of the E. tenella genome sequence.

  1. Fluid mechanics in dentinal microtubules provides mechanistic insights into the difference between hot and cold dental pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Min; Luo, Zheng Yuan; Bai, Bo Feng; Xu, Feng; Lu, Tian Jian

    2011-03-23

    Dental thermal pain is a significant health problem in daily life and dentistry. There is a long-standing question regarding the phenomenon that cold stimulation evokes sharper and more shooting pain sensations than hot stimulation. This phenomenon, however, outlives the well-known hydrodynamic theory used to explain dental thermal pain mechanism. Here, we present a mathematical model based on the hypothesis that hot or cold stimulation-induced different directions of dentinal fluid flow and the corresponding odontoblast movements in dentinal microtubules contribute to different dental pain responses. We coupled a computational fluid dynamics model, describing the fluid mechanics in dentinal microtubules, with a modified Hodgkin-Huxley model, describing the discharge behavior of intradental neuron. The simulated results agreed well with existing experimental measurements. We thence demonstrated theoretically that intradental mechano-sensitive nociceptors are not "equally sensitive" to inward (into the pulp) and outward (away from the pulp) fluid flows, providing mechanistic insights into the difference between hot and cold dental pain. The model developed here could enable better diagnosis in endodontics which requires an understanding of pulpal histology, neurology and physiology, as well as their dynamic response to the thermal stimulation used in dental practices.

  2. Multiple Problem-Solving Strategies Provide Insight into Students' Understanding of Open-Ended Linear Programming Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sole, Marla A.

    2016-01-01

    Open-ended questions that can be solved using different strategies help students learn and integrate content, and provide teachers with greater insights into students' unique capabilities and levels of understanding. This article provides a problem that was modified to allow for multiple approaches. Students tended to employ high-powered, complex,…

  3. Hmong Cosmology: Proposed Model, Preliminary Insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent K. Her

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Is there an underlying structure to Hmong cosmology? What are its components? And how might these interrelate? In this paper, I will show that the Hmong cosmos consists of three separate realms and that these are connected together by the cycle of the human soul. Using zaaj qhuabke, I will trace the journey of the deceased and look at how ritual movement is expressive of human agency, narrative experience and community history. My insights are based on primary fieldwork research carried out for a doctoral dissertation on Hmong funeral rites in the Midwest.

  4. Drosophila Cappuccino alleles provide insight into formin mechanism and role in oogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Yoo, Haneul; Roth-Johnson, Elizabeth A.; Bor, Batbileg; Quinlan, Margot E.

    2015-01-01

    During Drosophila development, the formin actin nucleator Cappuccino (Capu) helps build a cytoplasmic actin mesh throughout the oocyte. Loss of Capu leads to female sterility, presumably because polarity determinants fail to localize properly in the absence of the mesh. To gain deeper insight into how Capu builds this actin mesh, we systematically characterized seven capu alleles, which have missense mutations in Capu's formin homology 2 (FH2) domain. We report that all seven alleles have del...

  5. Genomic and proteomic analyses of the fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora provide insights into nematode-trap formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinkui Yang

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Nematode-trapping fungi are "carnivorous" and attack their hosts using specialized trapping devices. The morphological development of these traps is the key indicator of their switch from saprophytic to predacious lifestyles. Here, the genome of the nematode-trapping fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora Fres. (ATCC24927 was reported. The genome contains 40.07 Mb assembled sequence with 11,479 predicted genes. Comparative analysis showed that A. oligospora shared many more genes with pathogenic fungi than with non-pathogenic fungi. Specifically, compared to several sequenced ascomycete fungi, the A. oligospora genome has a larger number of pathogenicity-related genes in the subtilisin, cellulase, cellobiohydrolase, and pectinesterase gene families. Searching against the pathogen-host interaction gene database identified 398 homologous genes involved in pathogenicity in other fungi. The analysis of repetitive sequences provided evidence for repeat-induced point mutations in A. oligospora. Proteomic and quantitative PCR (qPCR analyses revealed that 90 genes were significantly up-regulated at the early stage of trap-formation by nematode extracts and most of these genes were involved in translation, amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, cell wall and membrane biogenesis. Based on the combined genomic, proteomic and qPCR data, a model for the formation of nematode trapping device in this fungus was proposed. In this model, multiple fungal signal transduction pathways are activated by its nematode prey to further regulate downstream genes associated with diverse cellular processes such as energy metabolism, biosynthesis of the cell wall and adhesive proteins, cell division, glycerol accumulation and peroxisome biogenesis. This study will facilitate the identification of pathogenicity-related genes and provide a broad foundation for understanding the molecular and evolutionary mechanisms underlying fungi-nematodes interactions.

  6. Variation in breeding phenology provides insights into drivers of long-term population change in harbour seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordes, Line S; Thompson, Paul M

    2013-08-07

    Phenological trends provide important indicators of environmental change and population dynamics. However, the use of untested population-level measures can lead to incorrect conclusions about phenological trends, particularly when changes in population structure or density are ignored. We used individual-based estimates of birth date and lactation duration of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to investigate energetic consequences of changes in pupping phenology. Using generalized linear mixed models, we first demonstrate annual variation in pupping phenology. Second, we show a negative relationship between lactation duration and the timing of pupping, indicating that females who pup early nurse their pups longer, thereby highlighting lactation duration as a useful proxy of female condition and resource availability. Third, individual-based data were used to derive a population-level proxy that demonstrated an advance in pupping date over the last 25 years, co-incident with a reduction in population abundance that resulted from fisheries-related shootings. These findings demonstrate that phenological studies examining the impacts of climate change on mammal populations must carefully control for changes in population density and highlight how joint investigations of phenological and demographic change provide insights into the drivers of population declines.

  7. Metabolomic Analysis Provides Insights on Paraquat-Induced Parkinson-Like Symptoms in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukla, Arvind Kumar; Ratnasekhar, Ch; Pragya, Prakash; Chaouhan, Hitesh Singh; Patel, Devendra Kumar; Chowdhuri, Debapratim Kar; Mudiam, Mohana Krishna Reddy

    2016-01-01

    Paraquat (PQ) exposure causes degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in an exposed organism while altered metabolism has a role in various neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, the study presented here was conceived to depict the role of altered metabolism in PQ-induced Parkinson-like symptoms and to explore Drosophila as a potential model organism for such studies. Metabolic profile was generated in control and in flies that were fed PQ (5, 10, and 20 mM) in the diet for 12 and 24 h concurrent with assessment of indices of oxidative stress, dopaminergic neurodegeneration, and behavioral alteration. PQ was found to significantly alter 24 metabolites belonging to different biological pathways along with significant alterations in the above indices. In addition, PQ attenuated brain dopamine content in the exposed organism. The study demonstrates that PQ-induced alteration in the metabolites leads to oxidative stress and neurodegeneration in the exposed organism along with movement disorder, a phenotype typical of Parkinson-like symptoms. The study is relevant in the context of Drosophila and humans because similar alteration in the metabolic pathways has been observed in both PQ-exposed Drosophila and in postmortem samples of patients with Parkinsonism. Furthermore, this study provides advocacy towards the applicability of Drosophila as an alternate model organism for pre-screening of environmental chemicals for their neurodegenerative potential with altered metabolism.

  8. A Near-Atomic Structure of the Dark Apoptosome Provides Insight into Assembly and Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Tat Cheung; Akey, Ildikó V; Yuan, Shujun; Yu, Zhiheng; Ludtke, Steven J; Akey, Christopher W

    2017-01-03

    In Drosophila, the Apaf-1-related killer (Dark) forms an apoptosome that activates procaspases. To investigate function, we have determined a near-atomic structure of Dark double rings using cryo-electron microscopy. We then built a nearly complete model of the apoptosome that includes 7- and 8-blade β-propellers. We find that the preference for dATP during Dark assembly may be governed by Ser325, which is in close proximity to the 2' carbon of the deoxyribose ring. Interestingly, β-propellers in V-shaped domains of the Dark apoptosome are more widely separated, relative to these features in the Apaf-1 apoptosome. This wider spacing may be responsible for the lack of cytochrome c binding to β-propellers in the Dark apoptosome. Our structure also highlights the roles of two loss-of-function mutations that may block Dark assembly. Finally, the improved model provides a framework to understand apical procaspase activation in the intrinsic cell death pathway.

  9. Battling Carpal Tunnel Syndrome through Ergonomics: A Case Study of Texas A&M's Library Provides Insights and Answers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Joyce K.

    1995-01-01

    Current library automation practices and new technologies have forced library managers to seek some means of reducing carpal tunnel syndrome, and a case study of Texas A&M's library provides insights. Highlights include identifying and assessing the injuries, adjusting work surfaces, testing and selecting new keyboards, and developing adjustable…

  10. Inferences from the historical distribution of wild and domesticated maize provide ecological and evolutionary insight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B Hufford

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The species Zea mays includes both domesticated maize (ssp. mays and its closest wild relatives known as the teosintes. While genetic and archaeological studies have provided a well-established history of Z. mays evolution, there is currently minimal description of its current and past distribution. Here, we implemented species distribution modeling using paleoclimatic models of the last interglacial (LI; ∼135,000 BP and the last glacial maximum (LGM; ∼21,000 BP to hindcast the distribution of Zea mays subspecies over time and to revisit current knowledge of its phylogeography and evolutionary history. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a large occurrence data set and the distribution modeling MaxEnt algorithm, we obtained robust present and past species distributions of the two widely distributed teosinte subspecies (ssps. parviglumis and mexicana revealing almost perfect complementarity, stable through time, of their occupied distributions. We also investigated the present distributions of primitive maize landraces, which overlapped but were broader than those of the teosintes. Our data reinforced the idea that little historical gene flow has occurred between teosinte subspecies, but maize has served as a genetic bridge between them. We observed an expansion of teosinte habitat from the LI, consistent with population genetic data. Finally, we identified locations potentially serving as refugia for the teosintes throughout epochs of climate change and sites that should be targeted in future collections. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The restricted and highly contrasting ecological niches of the wild teosintes differ substantially from domesticated maize. Variables determining the distributions of these taxa can inform future considerations of local adaptation and the impacts of climate change. Our assessment of the changing distributions of Zea mays taxa over time offers a unique glimpse into the history of maize, highlighting a

  11. Cholinergic modulation of cognitive processing: insights drawn from computational models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehren L Newman

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine plays an important role in cognitive function, as shown by pharmacological manipulations that impact working memory, attention, episodic memory and spatial memory function. Acetylcholine also shows striking modulatory influences on the cellular physiology of hippocampal and cortical neurons. Modeling of neural circuits provides a framework for understanding how the cognitive functions may arise from the influence of acetylcholine on neural and network dynamics. We review the influences of cholinergic manipulations on behavioral performance in working memory, attention, episodic memory and spatial memory tasks, the physiological effects of acetylcholine on neural and circuit dynamics, and the computational models that provide insight into the functional relationships between the physiology and behavior. Specifically, we discuss the important role of acetylcholine in governing mechanisms of active maintenance in working memory tasks and in regulating network dynamics important for effective processing of stimuli in attention and episodic memory tasks. We also propose that theta rhythm play a crucial role as an intermediary between the physiological influences of acetylcholine and behavior in episodic and spatial memory tasks. We conclude with a synthesis of the existing modeling work and highlight future directions that are likely to be rewarding given the existing state of the literature for both empiricists and modelers.

  12. Multiple kisspeptin receptors in early Osteichthyans provide new insights into the evolution of this receptor family

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pasquier, J.; Lafont, A._G.; Jeng, S.-R.

    2012-01-01

    Deorphanization of GPR54 receptor a decade ago led to the characterization of the kisspeptin receptor (Kissr) in mammals and the discovery of its major role in the brain control of reproduction. While a single gene encodes for Kissr in eutherian mammals including human, other vertebrates present...... a variable number of Kissr genes, from none in birds, one or two in teleosts, to three in an amphibian, xenopus. In order to get more insight into the evolution of Kissr gene family, we investigated the presence of Kissr in osteichthyans of key-phylogenetical positions: the coelacanth, a representative...

  13. Model year 2010 Honda insight level-1 testing report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rask, E.; Bocci, D.; Duoba, M.; Lohse-Busch, H. (Energy Systems)

    2011-03-22

    As a part of the US Department of Energy's Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA), a model year 2010 Honda Insight was procured by eTec (Phoenix, AZ) and sent to ANL's Advanced Powertrain Research Facility for the purposes of vehicle-level testing in support of the Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA). Data was acquired during testing using non-intrusive sensors, vehicle network information, and facilities equipment (emissions and dynamometer data). Standard drive cycles, performance cycles, steady-state cycles and A/C usage cycles were tested. Much of this data is openly available for download in ANL's Downloadable Dynamometer Database (D3). The major results are shown here in this report. Given the preliminary nature of this assessment, the majority of the testing was done over standard regulatory cycles and seeks to obtain a general overview of how the vehicle performs. These cycles include the US FTP cycle (Urban) and Highway Fuel Economy Test cycle as well as the US06, a more aggressive supplemental regulatory cycle. Data collection for this testing was kept at a fairly high level and includes emissions and fuel measurements from an exhaust emissions bench, high-voltage and accessory current and voltage from a DC power analyzer, and CAN bus data such as engine speed, engine load, and electric machine operation when available. The following sections will seek to explain some of the basic operating characteristics of the MY2010 Insight and provide insight into unique features of its operation and design.

  14. Pathogenesis of ANCA-associated vasculitis : recent insights from animal models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Timmeren, Mirjan M.; Heeringa, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Purpose of review To provide an update on animal models of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-mediated vasculitis and highlight recent insights gained from studies in these models pertaining to immunopathogenesis. Recent findings Animal models support the pathogenic potential of myeloper

  15. Pathway analysis of GWAS provides new insights into genetic susceptibility to 3 inflammatory diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hariklia Eleftherohorinou

    Full Text Available Although the introduction of genome-wide association studies (GWAS have greatly increased the number of genes associated with common diseases, only a small proportion of the predicted genetic contribution has so far been elucidated. Studying the cumulative variation of polymorphisms in multiple genes acting in functional pathways may provide a complementary approach to the more common single SNP association approach in understanding genetic determinants of common disease. We developed a novel pathway-based method to assess the combined contribution of multiple genetic variants acting within canonical biological pathways and applied it to data from 14,000 UK individuals with 7 common diseases. We tested inflammatory pathways for association with Crohn's disease (CD, rheumatoid arthritis (RA and type 1 diabetes (T1D with 4 non-inflammatory diseases as controls. Using a variable selection algorithm, we identified variants responsible for the pathway association and evaluated their use for disease prediction using a 10 fold cross-validation framework in order to calculate out-of-sample area under the Receiver Operating Curve (AUC. The generalisability of these predictive models was tested on an independent birth cohort from Northern Finland. Multiple canonical inflammatory pathways showed highly significant associations (p 10(-3-10(-20 with CD, T1D and RA. Variable selection identified on average a set of 205 SNPs (149 genes for T1D, 350 SNPs (189 genes for RA and 493 SNPs (277 genes for CD. The pattern of polymorphisms at these SNPS were found to be highly predictive of T1D (91% AUC and RA (85% AUC, and weakly predictive of CD (60% AUC. The predictive ability of the T1D model (without any parameter refitting had good predictive ability (79% AUC in the Finnish cohort. Our analysis suggests that genetic contribution to common inflammatory diseases operates through multiple genes interacting in functional pathways.

  16. APP physiological and pathophysiological functions:insights from animal models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qinxi Guo; Zilai Wang; Hongmei Li; Mary Wiese; Hui Zheng

    2012-01-01

    The amyloid precursor protein (APP) has been under intensive study in recent years,mainly due to its critical role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD).β-Amyloid (Aβ) peptides generated from APP proteolytic cleavage can aggregate,leading to plaque formation in human AD brains.Point mutations of APP affecting Aβ production are found to be causal for hereditary early onset familial AD.It is very likely that elucidating the physiological properties of APP will greatly facilitate the understanding of its role in AD pathogenesis.A number of APP loss- and gainof-function models have been established in model organisms including Caenorhabditis elegans,Drosophila,zebrafish and mouse.These in vivo models provide us valuable insights into APP physiological functions.In addition,several knock-in mouse models expressing mutant APP at a physiological level are available to allow us to study AD pathogenesis without APP overexpression.This article will review the current physiological and pathophysiological animal models of APP.

  17. The amphioxus genome provides unique insight into the evolution of immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dishaw, Larry J; Haire, Robert N; Litman, Gary W

    2012-03-01

    Immune systems evolve as essential strategies to maintain homeostasis with the environment, prevent microbial assault and recycle damaged host tissues. The immune system is composed of two components, innate and adaptive immunity. The former is common to all animals while the latter consists of a vertebrate-specific system that relies on somatically derived lymphocytes and is associated with near limitless genetic diversity as well as long-term memory. Deuterostome invertebrates provide a view of immune repertoires in phyla that immediately predate the origins of vertebrates. Genomic studies in amphioxus, a cephalochordate, have revealed homologs of genes encoding most innate immune receptors found in vertebrates; however, many of the gene families have undergone dramatic expansions, greatly increasing the innate immune repertoire. In addition, domain-swapping accounts for the innovation of new predicted pathways of receptor function. In both amphioxus and Ciona, a urochordate, the VCBPs (variable region containing chitin-binding proteins), which consist of immunoglobulin V (variable) and chitin binding domains, mediate recognition through the V domains. The V domains of VCBPs in amphioxus exhibit high levels of allelic complexity that presumably relate to functional specificity. Various features of the amphioxus immune repertoire reflect novel selective pressures, which likely have resulted in innovative strategies. Functional genomic studies underscore the value of amphioxus as a model for studying innate immunity and may help reveal how unique relationships between innate immune receptors and both pathogens and symbionts factored in the evolution of adaptive immune systems.

  18. European sea bass genome and its variation provide insights into adaptation to euryhalinity and speciation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tine, Mbaye; Kuhl, Heiner; Gagnaire, Pierre-Alexandre; Louro, Bruno; Desmarais, Erick; Martins, Rute S.T.; Hecht, Jochen; Knaust, Florian; Belkhir, Khalid; Klages, Sven; Dieterich, Roland; Stueber, Kurt; Piferrer, Francesc; Guinand, Bruno; Bierne, Nicolas; Volckaert, Filip A. M.; Bargelloni, Luca; Power, Deborah M.; Bonhomme, François; Canario, Adelino V. M.; Reinhardt, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) is a temperate-zone euryhaline teleost of prime importance for aquaculture and fisheries. This species is subdivided into two naturally hybridizing lineages, one inhabiting the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean and the other the Mediterranean and Black seas. Here we provide a high-quality chromosome-scale assembly of its genome that shows a high degree of synteny with the more highly derived teleosts. We find expansions of gene families specifically associated with ion and water regulation, highlighting adaptation to variation in salinity. We further generate a genome-wide variation map through RAD-sequencing of Atlantic and Mediterranean populations. We show that variation in local recombination rates strongly influences the genomic landscape of diversity within and differentiation between lineages. Comparing predictions of alternative demographic models to the joint allele-frequency spectrum indicates that genomic islands of differentiation between sea bass lineages were generated by varying rates of introgression across the genome following a period of geographical isolation. PMID:25534655

  19. Plasmodium cynomolgi genome sequences provide insight into Plasmodium vivax and the monkey malaria clade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Sullivan, Steven A; Kawai, Satoru; Nakamura, Shota; Kim, Hyunjae R; Goto, Naohisa; Arisue, Nobuko; Palacpac, Nirianne M Q; Honma, Hajime; Yagi, Masanori; Tougan, Takahiro; Katakai, Yuko; Kaneko, Osamu; Mita, Toshihiro; Kita, Kiyoshi; Yasutomi, Yasuhiro; Sutton, Patrick L; Shakhbatyan, Rimma; Horii, Toshihiro; Yasunaga, Teruo; Barnwell, John W; Escalante, Ananias A; Carlton, Jane M; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2012-09-01

    P. cynomolgi, a malaria-causing parasite of Asian Old World monkeys, is the sister taxon of P. vivax, the most prevalent malaria-causing species in humans outside of Africa. Because P. cynomolgi shares many phenotypic, biological and genetic characteristics with P. vivax, we generated draft genome sequences for three P. cynomolgi strains and performed genomic analysis comparing them with the P. vivax genome, as well as with the genome of a third previously sequenced simian parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi. Here, we show that genomes of the monkey malaria clade can be characterized by copy-number variants (CNVs) in multigene families involved in evasion of the human immune system and invasion of host erythrocytes. We identify genome-wide SNPs, microsatellites and CNVs in the P. cynomolgi genome, providing a map of genetic variation that can be used to map parasite traits and study parasite populations. The sequencing of the P. cynomolgi genome is a critical step in developing a model system for P. vivax research and in counteracting the neglect of P. vivax.

  20. Bioinformatics analyses provide insight into distant homology of the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gacesa, Ranko; Dunlap, Walter C; Long, Paul F

    2015-11-01

    An essential requirement for the evolution of early eukaryotic life was the development of effective means to protect against metabolic oxidative stress and exposure to environmental toxicants. In present-day mammals, the master transcription factor Nrf2 regulates basal level homeostasis and inducible expression of numerous detoxifying and antioxidant genes. To examine early evolution of the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway, we present bioinformatics analyses of distant homology of mammalian Keap1 and Nrf2 proteins across the Kingdoms of Life. Software written for this analysis is made freely available on-line. Furthermore, utilizing protein modeling and virtual screening methods, we demonstrate potential for Nrf2 activation by competitive inhibition of its binding to Keap1, specifically by UV-protective fungal mycosporines and marine mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs). We contend that coevolution of Nrf2-activating secondary metabolites by fungi and other extant microbiota may provide prospective compound leads for the design of new therapeutics to target activation of the human Keap1-Nrf2 pathway for treating degenerative diseases of ageing.

  1. Analyses of pig genomes provide insight into porcine demography and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groenen, Martien A. M.; Archibald, Alan L.; Uenishi, Hirohide; Tuggle, Christopher K.; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro; Rothschild, Max F.; Rogel-Gaillard, Claire; Park, Chankyu; Milan, Denis; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Li, Shengting; Larkin, Denis M.; Kim, Heebal; Frantz, Laurent A. F.; Caccamo, Mario; Ahn, Hyeonju; Aken, Bronwen L.; Anselmo, Anna; Anthon, Christian; Auvil, Loretta; Badaoui, Bouabid; Beattie, Craig W.; Bendixen, Christian; Berman, Daniel; Blecha, Frank; Blomberg, Jonas; Bolund, Lars; Bosse, Mirte; Botti, Sara; Bujie, Zhan; Bystrom, Megan; Capitanu, Boris; Silva, Denise Carvalho; Chardon, Patrick; Chen, Celine; Cheng, Ryan; Choi, Sang-Haeng; Chow, William; Clark, Richard C.; Clee, Christopher; Crooijmans, Richard P. M. A.; Dawson, Harry D.; Dehais, Patrice; De Sapio, Fioravante; Dibbits, Bert; Drou, Nizar; Du, Zhi-Qiang; Eversole, Kellye; Fadista, João; Fairley, Susan; Faraut, Thomas; Faulkner, Geoffrey J.; Fowler, Katie E.; Fredholm, Merete; Fritz, Eric; Gilbert, James G. R.; Giuffra, Elisabetta; Gorodkin, Jan; Griffin, Darren K.; Harrow, Jennifer L.; Hayward, Alexander; Howe, Kerstin; Hu, Zhi-Liang; Humphray, Sean J.; Hunt, Toby; Hornshøj, Henrik; Jeon, Jin-Tae; Jern, Patric; Jones, Matthew; Jurka, Jerzy; Kanamori, Hiroyuki; Kapetanovic, Ronan; Kim, Jaebum; Kim, Jae-Hwan; Kim, Kyu-Won; Kim, Tae-Hun; Larson, Greger; Lee, Kyooyeol; Lee, Kyung-Tai; Leggett, Richard; Lewin, Harris A.; Li, Yingrui; Liu, Wansheng; Loveland, Jane E.; Lu, Yao; Lunney, Joan K.; Ma, Jian; Madsen, Ole; Mann, Katherine; Matthews, Lucy; McLaren, Stuart; Morozumi, Takeya; Murtaugh, Michael P.; Narayan, Jitendra; Nguyen, Dinh Truong; Ni, Peixiang; Oh, Song-Jung; Onteru, Suneel; Panitz, Frank; Park, Eung-Woo; Park, Hong-Seog; Pascal, Geraldine; Paudel, Yogesh; Perez-Enciso, Miguel; Ramirez-Gonzalez, Ricardo; Reecy, James M.; Zas, Sandra Rodriguez; Rohrer, Gary A.; Rund, Lauretta; Sang, Yongming; Schachtschneider, Kyle; Schraiber, Joshua G.; Schwartz, John; Scobie, Linda; Scott, Carol; Searle, Stephen; Servin, Bertrand; Southey, Bruce R.; Sperber, Goran; Stadler, Peter; Sweedler, Jonathan V.; Tafer, Hakim; Thomsen, Bo; Wali, Rashmi; Wang, Jian; Wang, Jun; White, Simon; Xu, Xun; Yerle, Martine; Zhang, Guojie; Zhang, Jianguo; Zhang, Jie; Zhao, Shuhong; Rogers, Jane; Churcher, Carol; Schook, Lawrence B.

    2013-01-01

    For 10,000 years pigs and humans have shared a close and complex relationship. From domestication to modern breeding practices, humans have shaped the genomes of domestic pigs. Here we present the assembly and analysis of the genome sequence of a female domestic Duroc pig (Sus scrofa) and a comparison with the genomes of wild and domestic pigs from Europe and Asia. Wild pigs emerged in South East Asia and subsequently spread across Eurasia. Our results reveal a deep phylogenetic split between European and Asian wild boars ~1 million years ago, and a selective sweep analysis indicates selection on genes involved in RNA processing and regulation. Genes associated with immune response and olfaction exhibit fast evolution. Pigs have the largest repertoire of functional olfactory receptor genes, reflecting the importance of smell in this scavenging animal. The pig genome sequence provides an important resource for further improvements of this important livestock species, and our identification of many putative disease-causing variants extends the potential of the pig as a biomedical model. PMID:23151582

  2. In vivo cell biology in zebrafish - providing insights into vertebrate development and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vacaru, Ana M; Unlu, Gokhan; Spitzner, Marie; Mione, Marina; Knapik, Ela W; Sadler, Kirsten C

    2014-02-01

    Over the past decades, studies using zebrafish have significantly advanced our understanding of the cellular basis for development and human diseases. Zebrafish have rapidly developing transparent embryos that allow comprehensive imaging of embryogenesis combined with powerful genetic approaches. However, forward genetic screens in zebrafish have generated unanticipated findings that are mirrored by human genetic studies: disruption of genes implicated in basic cellular processes, such as protein secretion or cytoskeletal dynamics, causes discrete developmental or disease phenotypes. This is surprising because many processes that were assumed to be fundamental to the function and survival of all cell types appear instead to be regulated by cell-specific mechanisms. Such discoveries are facilitated by experiments in whole animals, where zebrafish provides an ideal model for visualization and manipulation of organelles and cellular processes in a live vertebrate. Here, we review well-characterized mutants and newly developed tools that underscore this notion. We focus on the secretory pathway and microtubule-based trafficking as illustrative examples of how studying cell biology in vivo using zebrafish has broadened our understanding of the role fundamental cellular processes play in embryogenesis and disease.

  3. Genome-Wide Analysis of Gene Expression Provides New Insights into Cold Responses in Thellungiella salsuginea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangshan Wang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Low temperature is one of the major environmental stresses that affects plant growth and development, and leads to decrease in crop yield and quality. Thellungiella salsuginea (salt cress exhibits high tolerance to chilling, is an appropriate model to investigate the molecular mechanisms of cold tolerance. Here, we compared transcription changes in the roots and leaves of T. salsuginea under cold stress using RNA-seq. We identified 2,782 and 1,430 differentially expressed genes (DEGs in leaves and roots upon cold treatment, respectively. The expression levels of some genes were validated by quantitative real-time-PCR (qRT-PCR. Among these DEGs, 159 (11.1% genes in roots and 232 (8.3% genes in leaves were annotated as various types of transcription factors. We found that five aquaporin genes (three TIPs, one PIPs, and one NIPs responded to cold treatment. In addition, the expression of COR47, ICE1, and CBF1 genes of DREB1/CBF-dependent cold signaling pathway genes altered in response to low temperature. KEGG pathway analysis indicated that these cold regulated genes were enriched in metabolism, photosynthesis, circadian rhythm, and transcriptional regulation. Our findings provided a complete picture of the regulatory network of cold stress response in T. salsuginea. These cold-responsive genes could be targeted for detail functional study and utilization in crop cold tolerance improvement.

  4. Solitary mammals provide an animal model for autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reser, Jared Edward

    2014-02-01

    Species of solitary mammals are known to exhibit specialized, neurological adaptations that prepare them to focus working memory on food procurement and survival rather than on social interaction. Solitary and nonmonogamous mammals, which do not form strong social bonds, have been documented to exhibit behaviors and biomarkers that are similar to endophenotypes in autism. Both individuals on the autism spectrum and certain solitary mammals have been reported to be low on measures of affiliative need, bodily expressiveness, bonding and attachment, direct and shared gazing, emotional engagement, conspecific recognition, partner preference, separation distress, and social approach behavior. Solitary mammals also exhibit certain biomarkers that are characteristic of autism, including diminished oxytocin and vasopressin signaling, dysregulation of the endogenous opioid system, increased Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activity to social encounters, and reduced HPA activity to separation and isolation. The extent of these similarities suggests that solitary mammals may offer a useful model of autism spectrum disorders and an opportunity for investigating genetic and epigenetic etiological factors. If the brain in autism can be shown to exhibit distinct homologous or homoplastic similarities to the brains of solitary animals, it will reveal that they may be central to the phenotype and should be targeted for further investigation. Research of the neurological, cellular, and molecular basis of these specializations in other mammals may provide insight for behavioral analysis, communication intervention, and psychopharmacology for autism.

  5. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-05-06

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk.

  6. The elite cross-country skier provides unique insights into human exercise physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmberg, H-C

    2015-12-01

    Successful cross-country skiing, one of the most demanding of endurance sports, involves considerable physiological challenges posed by the combined upper- and lower-body effort of varying intensity and duration, on hilly terrain, often at moderate altitude and in a cold environment. Over the years, this unique sport has helped physiologists gain novel insights into the limits of human performance and regulatory capacity. There is a long-standing tradition of researchers in this field working together with coaches and athletes to improve training routines, monitor progress, and refine skiing techniques. This review summarizes research on elite cross-country skiers, with special emphasis on the studies initiated by Professor Bengt Saltin. He often employed exercise as a means to learn more about the human body, successfully engaging elite endurance athletes to improve our understanding of the demands, characteristics, and specific effects associated with different types of exercise.

  7. Corvid Caching : Insights From a Cognitive Model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Vaart, Elske; Verbrugge, Rineke; Hemelrijk, Charlotte K.

    2011-01-01

    Caching and recovery of food by corvids is well-studied, but some ambiguous results remain. To help clarify these, we built a computational cognitive model. It is inspired by similar models built for humans, and it assumes that memory strength depends on frequency and recency of use. We compared our

  8. De Novo Sequencing and Analysis of Lemongrass Transcriptome Provide First Insights into the Essential Oil Biosynthesis of Aromatic Grasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meena, Seema; Kumar, Sarma R.; Venkata Rao, D. K.; Dwivedi, Varun; Shilpashree, H. B.; Rastogi, Shubhra; Shasany, Ajit K.; Nagegowda, Dinesh A.

    2016-01-01

    Aromatic grasses of the genus Cymbopogon (Poaceae family) represent unique group of plants that produce diverse composition of monoterpene rich essential oils, which have great value in flavor, fragrance, cosmetic, and aromatherapy industries. Despite the commercial importance of these natural aromatic oils, their biosynthesis at the molecular level remains unexplored. As the first step toward understanding the essential oil biosynthesis, we performed de novo transcriptome assembly and analysis of C. flexuosus (lemongrass) by employing Illumina sequencing. Mining of transcriptome data and subsequent phylogenetic analysis led to identification of terpene synthases, pyrophosphatases, alcohol dehydrogenases, aldo-keto reductases, carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases, alcohol acetyltransferases, and aldehyde dehydrogenases, which are potentially involved in essential oil biosynthesis. Comparative essential oil profiling and mRNA expression analysis in three Cymbopogon species (C. flexuosus, aldehyde type; C. martinii, alcohol type; and C. winterianus, intermediate type) with varying essential oil composition indicated the involvement of identified candidate genes in the formation of alcohols, aldehydes, and acetates. Molecular modeling and docking further supported the role of identified protein sequences in aroma formation in Cymbopogon. Also, simple sequence repeats were found in the transcriptome with many linked to terpene pathway genes including the genes potentially involved in aroma biosynthesis. This work provides the first insights into the essential oil biosynthesis of aromatic grasses, and the identified candidate genes and markers can be a great resource for biotechnological and molecular breeding approaches to modulate the essential oil composition. PMID:27516768

  9. De novo Sequencing and Analysis of Lemongrass Transcriptome Provides First Insights into the Essential Oil Biosynthesis of Aromatic Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seema Meena

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Aromatic grasses of the genus Cymbopogon (Poaceae family represent unique group of plants that produce diverse composition of monoterpene rich essential oils, which have great value in flavour, fragrance, cosmetic and aromatherapy industries. Despite the commercial importance of these natural aromatic oils, their biosynthesis at the molecular level remains unexplored. As the first step towards understanding the essential oil biosynthesis, we performed de novo transcriptome assembly and analysis of C. flexuosus (lemongrass by employing Illumina sequencing. Mining of transcriptome data and subsequent phylogenetic analysis led to identification of terpene synthases (TPS, pyrophosphatases (PPase, alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH, aldo-keto reductases (AKR, carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCD, alcohol acetyltransferases (AAT and aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH, which are potentially involved in essential oil biosynthesis. Comparative essential oil profiling and mRNA expression analysis in three Cymbopogon species (C. flexuosus, aldehyde type; C. martinii, alcohol type; and C. winterianus, intermediate type with varying essential oil composition indicated the involvement of identified candidate genes in the formation of alcohols, aldehydes and acetates. Molecular modeling and docking further supported the role of identified enzymes in aroma formation in Cymbopogon. Also, simple sequence repeats (SSRs were found in the transcriptome with many linked to terpene pathway genes including the genes potentially involved in aroma biosynthesis. This work provides the first insights into the essential oil biosynthesis of aromatic grasses, and the identified candidate genes and markers can be a great resource for biotechnological and molecular breeding approaches to modulate the essential oil composition.

  10. Structure of the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 (TSC2) N Terminus Provides Insight into Complex Assembly and Tuberous Sclerosis Pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zech, Reinhard; Kiontke, Stephan; Mueller, Uwe; Oeckinghaus, Andrea; Kümmel, Daniel

    2016-09-16

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is caused by mutations in the TSC1 and TSC2 tumor suppressor genes. The gene products hamartin and tuberin form the TSC complex that acts as GTPase-activating protein for Rheb and negatively regulates the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Tuberin contains a RapGAP homology domain responsible for inactivation of Rheb, but functions of other protein domains remain elusive. Here we show that the TSC2 N terminus interacts with the TSC1 C terminus to mediate complex formation. The structure of the TSC2 N-terminal domain from Chaetomium thermophilum and a homology model of the human tuberin N terminus are presented. We characterize the molecular requirements for TSC1-TSC2 interactions and analyze pathological point mutations in tuberin. Many mutations are structural and produce improperly folded protein, explaining their effect in pathology, but we identify one point mutant that abrogates complex formation without affecting protein structure. We provide the first structural information on TSC2/tuberin with novel insight into the molecular function.

  11. Comparative transcriptional profiling provides insights into the evolution and development of the zygomorphic flower of Vicia sativa (Papilionoideae.

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    Zhipeng Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Vicia sativa (the common vetch possesses a predominant zygomorphic flower and belongs to the subfamily Papilionoideae, which is related to Arabidopsis thaliana in the eurosid II clade of the core eudicots. Each vetch flower consists of 21 concentrically arranged organs: the outermost five sepals, then five petals and ten stamens, and a single carpel in the center. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We explored the floral transcriptome to examine a genome-scale genetic model of the zygomorphic flower of vetch. mRNA was obtained from an equal mixture of six floral organs, leaves and roots. De novo assembly of the vetch transcriptome using Illumina paired-end technology produced 71,553 unigenes with an average length of 511 bp. We then compared the expression changes in the 71,553 unigenes in the eight independent organs through RNA-Seq Quantification analysis. We predominantly analyzed gene expression patterns specific to each floral organ and combinations of floral organs that corresponded to the traditional ABC model domains. Comparative analyses were performed in the floral transcriptomes of vetch and Arabidopsis, and genomes of vetch and Medicago truncatula. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our comparative analysis of vetch and Arabidopsis showed that the vetch flowers conform to a strict ABC model. We analyzed the evolution and expression of the TCP gene family in vetch at a whole-genome level, and several unigenes specific to three different vetch petals, which might offer some clues toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying floral zygomorphy. Our results provide the first insights into the genome-scale molecular regulatory network that controls the evolution and development of the zygomorphic flower in Papilionoideae.

  12. Transcriptome analysis of Nautilus and pygmy squid developing eye provides insights in lens and eye evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousounis, Konstantinos; Ogura, Atsushi; Tsonis, Panagiotis A

    2013-01-01

    Coleoid cephalopods like squids have a camera-type eye similar to vertebrates. On the other hand, Nautilus (Nautiloids) has a pinhole eye that lacks lens and cornea. Since pygmy squid and Nautilus are closely related species they are excellent model organisms to study eye evolution. Having being able to collect Nautilus embryos, we employed next-generation RNA sequencing using Nautilus and pygmy squid developing eyes. Their transcriptomes were compared and analyzed. Enrichment analysis of Gene Ontology revealed that contigs related to nucleic acid binding were largely up-regulated in squid, while the ones related to metabolic processes and extracellular matrix-related genes were up-regulated in Nautilus. These differences are most likely correlated with the complexity of tissue organization in these species. Moreover, when the analysis focused on the eye-related contigs several interesting patterns emerged. First, contigs from both species related to eye tissue differentiation and morphogenesis as well as to cilia showed best hits with their Human counterparts, while contigs related to rabdomeric photoreceptors showed the best hit with their Drosophila counterparts. This bolsters the idea that eye morphogenesis genes have been generally conserved in evolution, and compliments other studies showing that genes involved in photoreceptor differentiation clearly follow the diversification of invertebrate (rabdomeric) and vertebrate (ciliated) photoreceptors. Interestingly some contigs showed as good a hit with Drosophila and Human homologues in Nautilus and squid samples. One of them, capt/CAP1, is known to be preferentially expressed in Drosophila developing eye and in vertebrate lens. Importantly our analysis also provided evidence of gene duplication and diversification of their function in both species. One of these genes is the Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1/Nf1), which in mice has been implicated in lens formation, suggesting a hitherto unsuspected role in the evolution

  13. Mathematical model insights into arsenic detoxification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nijhout H Frederik

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Arsenic in drinking water, a major health hazard to millions of people in South and East Asia and in other parts of the world, is ingested primarily as trivalent inorganic arsenic (iAs, which then undergoes hepatic methylation to methylarsonic acid (MMAs and a second methylation to dimethylarsinic acid (DMAs. Although MMAs and DMAs are also known to be toxic, DMAs is more easily excreted in the urine and therefore methylation has generally been considered a detoxification pathway. A collaborative modeling project between epidemiologists, biologists, and mathematicians has the purpose of explaining existing data on methylation in human studies in Bangladesh and also testing, by mathematical modeling, effects of nutritional supplements that could increase As methylation. Methods We develop a whole body mathematical model of arsenic metabolism including arsenic absorption, storage, methylation, and excretion. The parameters for arsenic methylation in the liver were taken from the biochemical literature. The transport parameters between compartments are largely unknown, so we adjust them so that the model accurately predicts the urine excretion rates of time for the iAs, MMAs, and DMAs in single dose experiments on human subjects. Results We test the model by showing that, with no changes in parameters, it predicts accurately the time courses of urinary excretion in mutiple dose experiments conducted on human subjects. Our main purpose is to use the model to study and interpret the data on the effects of folate supplementation on arsenic methylation and excretion in clinical trials in Bangladesh. Folate supplementation of folate-deficient individuals resulted in a 14% decrease in arsenicals in the blood. This is confirmed by the model and the model predicts that arsenicals in the liver will decrease by 19% and arsenicals in other body stores by 26% in these same individuals. In addition, the model predicts that arsenic

  14. Structure of a bimodular botulinum neurotoxin complex provides insights into its oral toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwangkook Lee

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are produced by Clostridium botulinum and cause the fatal disease botulism, a flaccid paralysis of the muscle. BoNTs are released together with several auxiliary proteins as progenitor toxin complexes (PTCs to become highly potent oral poisons. Here, we report the structure of a ∼760 kDa 14-subunit large PTC of serotype A (L-PTC/A and reveal insight into its absorption mechanism. Using a combination of X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and functional studies, we found that L-PTC/A consists of two structurally and functionally independent sub-complexes. A hetero-dimeric 290 kDa complex protects BoNT, while a hetero-dodecameric 470 kDa complex facilitates its absorption in the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. BoNT absorption is mediated by nine glycan-binding sites on the dodecameric sub-complex that forms multivalent interactions with carbohydrate receptors on intestinal epithelial cells. We identified monosaccharides that blocked oral BoNT intoxication in mice, which suggests a new strategy for the development of preventive countermeasures for BoNTs based on carbohydrate receptor mimicry.

  15. A neurophylogenetic approach provides new insight to the evolution of Scaphopoda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner-Rooney, Lauren H; Schrödl, Michael; Lodde-Bensch, Eva; Lindberg, David R; Heß, Martin; Brennan, Gerard P; Sigwart, Julia D

    2015-01-01

    The position of scaphopods in molluscan phylogeny remains singularly contentious, with several sister relationships supported by morphological and phylogenomic data: Scaphopoda + Bivalvia (Diasoma), Scaphopoda + Cephalopoda (Variopoda), and Scaphopoda + Gastropoda. Nervous system architecture has contributed significant insights to reconstructing phylogeny in the Mollusca and other invertebrate groups, but a modern neurophylogenetic approach has not been applied to molluscs, hampered by a lack of clearly defined homologous characters that can be unequivocally compared across the radical body plan disparity among the living clades. We present the first three-dimensional reconstruction of the anterior nervous system of a scaphopod, Rhabdus rectius, using histological tomography. We also describe a new putative sensory organ, a paired and pigmented sensory mantle slit. This structure is restricted to our study species and not a general feature of scaphopods, but it forms an integral part of the description of the nervous system in R. rectius. It also highlights the potential utility of neuro-anatomical characters for multiple levels of phylogenetic inference beyond this study. This potential has not previously been exploited for the thorny problem of molluscan phylogeny. The neuroanatomy of scaphopods demonstrates a highly derived architecture that shares a number of key characters with the cephalopod nervous system, and supports a Scaphopoda + Cephalopoda grouping.

  16. Comparative Analysis of Proteomes and Functionomes Provides Insights into Origins of Cellular Diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arshan Nasir

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Reconstructing the evolutionary history of modern species is a difficult problem complicated by the conceptual and technical limitations of phylogenetic tree building methods. Here, we propose a comparative proteomic and functionomic inferential framework for genome evolution that allows resolving the tripartite division of cells and sketching their history. Evolutionary inferences were derived from the spread of conserved molecular features, such as molecular structures and functions, in the proteomes and functionomes of contemporary organisms. Patterns of use and reuse of these traits yielded significant insights into the origins of cellular diversification. Results uncovered an unprecedented strong evolutionary association between Bacteria and Eukarya while revealing marked evolutionary reductive tendencies in the archaeal genomic repertoires. The effects of nonvertical evolutionary processes (e.g., HGT, convergent evolution were found to be limited while reductive evolution and molecular innovation appeared to be prevalent during the evolution of cells. Our study revealed a strong vertical trace in the history of proteins and associated molecular functions, which was reliably recovered using the comparative genomics approach. The trace supported the existence of a stem line of descent and the very early appearance of Archaea as a diversified superkingdom, but failed to uncover a hidden canonical pattern in which Bacteria was the first superkingdom to deploy superkingdom-specific structures and functions.

  17. Structural studies of Pseudomonas and Chromobacterium ω-aminotransferases provide insights into their differing substrate specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sayer, Christopher; Isupov, Michail N.; Westlake, Aaron; Littlechild, Jennifer A., E-mail: j.a.littlechild@exeter.ac.uk [University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QD (United Kingdom)

    2013-04-01

    The X-ray structures of two ω-aminotransferases from P. aeruginosa and C. violaceum in complex with an inhibitor offer the first detailed insight into the structural basis of the substrate specificity of these industrially important enzymes. The crystal structures and inhibitor complexes of two industrially important ω-aminotransferase enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum have been determined in order to understand the differences in their substrate specificity. The two enzymes share 30% sequence identity and use the same amino acceptor, pyruvate; however, the Pseudomonas enzyme shows activity towards the amino donor β-alanine, whilst the Chromobacterium enzyme does not. Both enzymes show activity towards S-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), with the Chromobacterium enzyme having a broader substrate range. The crystal structure of the P. aeruginosa enzyme has been solved in the holo form and with the inhibitor gabaculine bound. The C. violaceum enzyme has been solved in the apo and holo forms and with gabaculine bound. The structures of the holo forms of both enzymes are quite similar. There is little conformational difference observed between the inhibitor complex and the holoenzyme for the P. aeruginosa aminotransferase. In comparison, the crystal structure of the C. violaceum gabaculine complex shows significant structural rearrangements from the structures of both the apo and holo forms of the enzyme. It appears that the different rigidity of the protein scaffold contributes to the substrate specificity observed for the two ω-aminotransferases.

  18. Comprehensive transcriptome analysis provides new insights into nutritional strategies and phylogenetic relationships of chrysophytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Beisser

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Chrysophytes are protist model species in ecology and ecophysiology and important grazers of bacteria-sized microorganisms and primary producers. However, they have not yet been investigated in detail at the molecular level, and no genomic and only little transcriptomic information is available. Chrysophytes exhibit different trophic modes: while phototrophic chrysophytes perform only photosynthesis, mixotrophs can gain carbon from bacterial food as well as from photosynthesis, and heterotrophs solely feed on bacteria-sized microorganisms. Recent phylogenies and megasystematics demonstrate an immense complexity of eukaryotic diversity with numerous transitions between phototrophic and heterotrophic organisms. The question we aim to answer is how the diverse nutritional strategies, accompanied or brought about by a reduction of the plasmid and size reduction in heterotrophic strains, affect physiology and molecular processes. Results We sequenced the mRNA of 18 chrysophyte strains on the Illumina HiSeq platform and analysed the transcriptomes to determine relations between the trophic mode (mixotrophic vs. heterotrophic and gene expression. We observed an enrichment of genes for photosynthesis, porphyrin and chlorophyll metabolism for phototrophic and mixotrophic strains that can perform photosynthesis. Genes involved in nutrient absorption, environmental information processing and various transporters (e.g., monosaccharide, peptide, lipid transporters were present or highly expressed only in heterotrophic strains that have to sense, digest and absorb bacterial food. We furthermore present a transcriptome-based alignment-free phylogeny construction approach using transcripts assembled from short reads to determine the evolutionary relationships between the strains and the possible influence of nutritional strategies on the reconstructed phylogeny. We discuss the resulting phylogenies in comparison to those from established approaches

  19. Cancer immunotherapy : insights from transgenic animal models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLaughlin, PMJ; Kroesen, BJ; Harmsen, MC; de Leij, LFMH

    2001-01-01

    A wide range of strategies in cancer immunotherapy has been developed in the last decade, some of which are currently being used in clinical settings. The development of these immunotherapeutical strategies has been facilitated by the generation of relevant transgenic animal models. Since the

  20. Cancer immunotherapy : insights from transgenic animal models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLaughlin, PMJ; Kroesen, BJ; Harmsen, MC; de Leij, LFMH

    2001-01-01

    A wide range of strategies in cancer immunotherapy has been developed in the last decade, some of which are currently being used in clinical settings. The development of these immunotherapeutical strategies has been facilitated by the generation of relevant transgenic animal models. Since the differ

  1. Comparative molecular epidemiology provides new insights into Zucchini yellow mosaic virus occurrence in France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecoq, H; Wipf-Scheibel, C; Nozeran, K; Millot, P; Desbiez, C

    2014-06-24

    Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV, genus Potyvirus) causes important crop losses in cucurbits worldwide. In France, ZYMV epidemics are sporadic but occasionally very severe. This contrasts with Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, genus Potyvirus) which causes regular and early epidemics. Factors influencing ZYMV epidemiology are still poorly understood. In order to gain new insights on the ecology and epidemiology of this virus, a 5-year multilocation trial was conducted in which ZYMV spread and populations were studied in each of the 20 plot/year combinations and compared with WMV. Search for ZYMV alternative hosts was conducted by testing weeds growing naturally around one plot and also by checking ZYMV natural infections in selected ornamental species. Although similar ZYMV populations were observed occasionally in the same plot in two successive years suggesting the occurrence of overwintering hosts nearby, only two Lamium amplexicaule plants were found to be infected by ZYMV of 3459 weed samples that were tested. The scarcity of ZYMV reservoirs contrasts with the frequent detection of WMV in the same samples. Since ZYMV and WMV have many aphid vectors in common and are transmitted with similar efficiencies, the differences observed in ZYMV and WMV reservoir abundances could be a major explanatory factor for the differences observed in the typology of ZYMV and WMV epidemics in France. Other potential ZYMV alternative hosts have been identified in ornamental species including begonia. Although possible in a few cases, exchanges of populations between different plots located from 500 m to 4 km apart seem uncommon. Therefore, the potential dissemination range of ZYMV by its aphid vectors seems to be rather limited in a fragmented landscape. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The Manifest Association Structure of the Single-Factor Model: Insights from Partial Correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgueiro, Maria de Fatima; Smith, Peter W. F.; McDonald, John W.

    2008-01-01

    The association structure between manifest variables arising from the single-factor model is investigated using partial correlations. The additional insights to the practitioner provided by partial correlations for detecting a single-factor model are discussed. The parameter space for the partial correlations is presented, as are the patterns of…

  3. Barley Brassinosteroid Mutants Provide an Insight into Phytohormonal Homeostasis in Plant Reaction to Drought Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruszka, Damian; Janeczko, Anna; Dziurka, Michal; Pociecha, Ewa; Oklestkova, Jana; Szarejko, Iwona

    2016-01-01

    Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a class of steroid phytohormones, which regulate various processes of morphogenesis and physiology—from seed development to regulation of flowering and senescence. An accumulating body of evidence indicates that BRs take part in regulation of physiological reactions to various stress conditions, including drought. Many of the physiological functions of BRs are regulated by a complicated, and not fully elucidated network of interactions with metabolic pathways of other phytohormones. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterize phytohormonal homeostasis in barley (Hordeum vulgare) in reaction to drought and validate role of BRs in regulation of this process. Material of this study included the barley cultivar “Bowman” and five Near-Isogenic Lines (NILs) representing characterized semi-dwarf mutants of several genes encoding enzymes participating in BR biosynthesis and signaling. Analysis of endogenous BRs concentrations in these NILs confirmed that their phenotypes result from abnormalities in BR metabolism. In general, concentrations of 18 compounds, representing various classes of phytohormones, including brassinosteroids, auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, abscisic acid, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid were analyzed under control and drought conditions in the “Bowman” cultivar and the BR-deficient NILs. Drought induced a significant increase in accumulation of the biologically active form of BRs—castasterone in all analyzed genotypes. Another biologically active form of BRs—24-epi-brassinolide—was identified in one, BR-insensitive NIL under normal condition, but its accumulation was drought-induced in all analyzed genotypes. Analysis of concentration profiles of several compounds representing gibberellins allowed an insight into the BR-dependent regulation of gibberellin biosynthesis. The concentration of the gibberellic acid GA7 was significantly lower in all NILs when compared with the “Bowman” cultivar

  4. Terrane accretion: Insights from numerical modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Katharina; Gerya, Taras

    2016-04-01

    The oceanic crust is not homogenous, but contains significantly thicker crust than norm, i.e. extinct arcs, spreading ridges, detached continental fragments, volcanic piles or oceanic swells. These (crustal) fragments may collide with continental crust and form accretionary complexes, contributing to its growth. We analyse this process using a thermo-mechanical computer model (i2vis) of an ocean-continent subduction zone. In this model the oceanic plate can bend spontaneously under the control of visco-plastic rheologies. It moreover incorporates effects such as mineralogical phase changes, fluid release and consumption, partial melting and melt extraction. Based on our 2-D experiments we suggest that the lithospheric buoyancy of the downgoing slab and the rheological strength of crustal material may result in a variety of accretionary processes. In addition to terrane subduction, we are able to identify three distinct modes of terrane accretion: frontal accretion, basal accretion and underplating plateaus. We show that crustal fragments may dock onto continental crust and cease subduction, be scrapped off the downgoing plate, or subduct to greater depth prior to slab break off and subsequent exhumation. Direct consequences of these processes include slab break off, subduction zone transference, structural reworking, formation of high-pressure terranes, partial melting and crustal growth.

  5. Military Medics' Insight Into Providing Women's Health Care in Deployed Settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Candy; Corrigan, Robert; Reese, Sharon; Almonte, Angelica; Simpson, Danielle; Wilson, Amber

    2016-11-01

    To gain better understanding of the military medics' (Navy Independent Duty Corpsman, Air Force Independent Duty Medical Technician, and Army Health Care Specialist, experiences providing health care for women in the deployed or ship setting. The researchers used an exploratory, descriptive design informed by ethnography. A total of 86 individuals participated in the focus group and individual interviews. Three themes were identified: Training Fidelity, Advocate Leader, and The Challenges of Providing Patient Care. Experience in austere settings has convinced a number of medics they need additional women's health care topics in every facet of their training. They further suggested such training should be provided in stepwise fashion, beginning with initial, technical training courses and continuing through medical skills sustainment platforms. They were especially interested in basic women's health concerns. Topics suggested included vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, and birth control management. Although the advancement of women in the military continues to make strides-it is clear the availability of quality women's health care that women feel comfortable accessing may be its defining limitation. Medics are an excellent conduit for reinforcing these healthy messages and providing first-line treatment to deployed military women. Reprint & Copyright © 2016 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  6. The impact of the business cycle on service providers : Insights from international tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekimpe, Marnik; Peers, Yuri; van Heerde, H.J.

    2016-01-01

    For service providers, it is essential to understand how their business is affected by the macroeconomy. This is especially pressing for the tourism sector, the world’s largest export service, because the number of incoming visitors is likely to be strongly determined by the business cycles in the c

  7. Stable Isotopes Provide Insight into Population Structure and Segregation in Eastern North Atlantic Sperm Whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borrell, Asuncion; Velasquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M.;

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly h...

  8. Apollo 17 Lunar Sounder Data provide Insight into Aitken Crater's Subsurface Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Bonnie L.

    2007-01-01

    In preparation for the forthcoming avalanche of data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), we conducted a pilot study to demonstrate integration of multiple geophysical data sets. We applied methods of data integration that are used by the commercial mineral exploration industry to enhance the value of historical data sets and to provide a roadmap for future efforts.

  9. The impact of the business cycle on service providers : Insights from international tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekimpe, Marnik; Peers, Yuri; van Heerde, H.J.

    2016-01-01

    For service providers, it is essential to understand how their business is affected by the macroeconomy. This is especially pressing for the tourism sector, the world’s largest export service, because the number of incoming visitors is likely to be strongly determined by the business cycles in the c

  10. Human evolutionary history and contemporary evolutionary theory provide insight when assessing cultural group selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin; Kissel, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Richerson et al. provide a much needed roadmap for assessing cultural group selection (CGS) theory and for applying it to understanding variation between contemporary human groups. However, the current proposal lacks connection to relevant evidence from the human evolutionary record and requires a better integration with contemporary evolutionary theory. The article also misapplies the F st statistic.

  11. A new chicken genome assembly provides insight into avian genome structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The importance of the Gallus gallus (chicken) as a model organism and agricultural animal merits a continuation of sequence assembly improvement efforts. We present a new version of the chicken genome assembly (Gallus_gallus-5.0; GCA_000002315.3) built from combined long single molecule sequencing t...

  12. The HapMap Resource is Providing New Insights into Ourselves and its Application to Pharmacogenomics

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    The exploration of quantitative variation in complex traits such as gene expression and drug response in human populations has become one of the major priorities for medical genetics. The International HapMap Project provides a key resource of genotypic data on human lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from four major world populations of European, African, Chinese and Japanese ancestry for researchers to associate with various phenotypic data to find genes affecting health, disease and respons...

  13. Mudskipper genomes provide insights into the terrestrial adaptation of amphibious fishes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    You, Xinxin; Bian, Chao; Zan, Qijie

    2014-01-01

    of innate immune system genes in the mudskippers that may provide defence against terrestrial pathogens. Several genes of the ammonia excretion pathway in the gills have experienced positive selection, suggesting their important roles in mudskippers' tolerance to environmental ammonia. Some vision......Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that have developed morphological and physiological adaptations to match their unique lifestyles. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of four representative mudskippers to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations. We discover an expansion...

  14. Genetic Aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Insights from Animal Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati eBanerjee

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASD are a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that display a triad of core behavioral deficits including restricted interests, often accompanied by repetitive behavior, deficits in language and communication, and an inability to engage in reciprocal social interactions. ASD is among the most heritable disorders but is not a simple disorder with a singular pathology and has a rather complex etiology. It is interesting to note that perturbations in synaptic growth, development and stability underlie a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including ASD, schizophrenia, epilepsy and intellectual disability. Biological characterization of an increasing repertoire of synaptic mutants in various model organisms indicates synaptic dysfunction as causal in the pathophysiology of ASD. Our understanding of the genes and genetic pathways that contribute towards the formation, stabilization and maintenance of functional synapses coupled with an in-depth phenotypic analysis of the cellular and behavioral characteristics is therefore essential to unraveling the pathogenesis of these disorders. In this review, we discuss the genetic aspects of ASD emphasizing on the well conserved set of genes and genetic pathways implicated in this disorder, many of which contribute to synapse assembly and maintenance across species. We also review how fundamental research using animal models is providing key insights into the various facets of human ASD.

  15. Comprehensive Transcriptome Analyses of the Fructose-Fed Syrian Golden Hamster Liver Provides Novel Insights into Lipid Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ziyang; Xiong, Chaoliang; Mo, Suo; Tian, Haiying; Yu, Mengqian; Mao, Tingting; Chen, Qian; Luo, Haitao; Li, Quanzhen; Lu, Jianxin; Zhao, Yi; Li, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Dyslipidemia has been widely proven to contribute to cardiovascular diseases and other metabolic disorders, especially in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The overproduction of VLDL is a significant characteristic of dyslipidemia, indicating the dysfunction of hepatic lipid metabolism, from triglyceride synthesis to transport. The fructose-fed Syrian golden hamster is an established animal model for the study of VLDL assembly with insulin resistance, however, it remains unknown how VLDL production is regulated at the transcriptional level due to the absence of a complete hamster genome. Here, we performed deep sequencing and constructed an mRNA-miRNA-lncRNA interaction network of Syrian golden hamster liver in order to reveal the global transcription profile and find potential RNA molecular regulation of VLDL production. We identified 4,450 novel multi-exon hamster lncRNAs and 755 miRNAs expressed in liver. Additionally, 146 differentially expressed coding genes, 27 differentially expressed lncRNA genes, as well as 16 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified. We then constructed an mRNA-miRNA-lncRNA interaction network that may potentially regulate VLDL production, and interestingly found several microRNA-centered regulatory networks. In order to verify our interpretation, miR-486 was selected for further experiments. Overexpression or down-regulation of miR-486 in fructose-fed hamsters resulted in altered hepatic expression of proteins involved in VLDL production, and in modulated levels of circulating VLDL. Our findings implicated that miR-486 is a potential regulator of circulating VLDL levels. These results provide new insights and a valuable resource for further study of the molecular mechanisms of VLDL secretion.

  16. Stable isotopes provide new insights into vestimentiferan physiological ecology at Gulf of Mexico cold seeps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Erin Leigh; Macko, Stephen A; Lee, Raymond W; Fisher, Charles R

    2011-02-01

    On the otherwise low-biomass seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) continental slope, natural oil and gas seeps are oases of local primary production that support lush animal communities. Hundreds of seep communities have been documented on the continental slope, and nutrition derived from seeps could be an important link in the overall GoM food web. Here, we present a uniquely large and cohesive data set of δ(13)C, δ(15)N, and δ(34)S compositions of the vestimentiferan tubeworms Escarpia laminata and Lamellibrachia sp. 1, which dominate biomass at GoM seeps and provide habitat for hundreds of other species. Our sampling design encompassed an entire region of the GoM lower slope, allowing us for the first time to assess spatial variability in isotope compositions and to robustly address long-standing hypotheses about how vestimentiferans acquire and cycle nutrients over their long lifespan (200+ years). Tissue δ(13)C values provided strong evidence that larger adult vestimentiferans use their buried roots to take up dissolved inorganic carbon from sediment pore water, while very small individuals use their plume to take up carbon dioxide from the seawater. δ(34)S values were extremely variable among individuals of the same species within one location (<1 m(2) area), indicating high variability in the inorganic sulfur pools on a very small spatial scale. This finding supports the hypothesis that vestimentiferans use their roots to cycle sulfate and sulfide between their symbionts and free-living consortia of sulfate-reducing archaea in the sediment. Finally, consistent differences in δ(15)N between two cooccurring vestimentiferan species provided the first strong evidence for partitioning of inorganic resources, which has significant implications for the ecology and evolution of this taxonomic group.

  17. Whole-Genome Enrichment Provides Deep Insights into Vibrio cholerae Metagenome from an African River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezzulli, L; Grande, C; Tassistro, G; Brettar, I; Höfle, M G; Pereira, R P A; Mushi, D; Pallavicini, A; Vassallo, P; Pruzzo, C

    2017-04-01

    The detection and typing of Vibrio cholerae in natural aquatic environments encounter major methodological challenges related to the fact that the bacterium is often present in environmental matrices at very low abundance in nonculturable state. This study applied, for the first time to our knowledge, a whole-genome enrichment (WGE) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach for direct genotyping and metagenomic analysis of low abundant V. cholerae DNA (cholerae metagenomic DNA via hybridization. An enriched V. cholerae metagenome library was generated and sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq platform. Up to 1.8 × 10(7) bp (4.5× mean read depth) were found to map against V. cholerae reference genome sequences representing an increase of about 2500 times in target DNA coverage compared to theoretical calculations of performance for shotgun metagenomics. Analysis of metagenomic data revealed the presence of several V. cholerae virulence and virulence associated genes in river water including major virulence regions (e.g. CTX prophage and Vibrio pathogenicity island-1) and genetic markers of epidemic strains (e.g. O1-antigen biosynthesis gene cluster) that were not detectable by standard culture and molecular techniques. Overall, besides providing a powerful tool for direct genotyping of V. cholerae in complex environmental matrices, this study provides a 'proof of concept' on the methodological gap that might currently preclude a more comprehensive understanding of toxigenic V. cholerae emergence from natural aquatic environments.

  18. Lactone-bound structures of cyclohexanone monooxygenase provide insight into the stereochemistry of catalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yachnin, Brahm J; McEvoy, Michelle B; MacCuish, Roderick J D; Morley, Krista L; Lau, Peter C K; Berghuis, Albert M

    2014-12-19

    The Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) are microbial enzymes that catalyze the synthetically useful Baeyer-Villiger oxidation reaction. The available BVMO crystal structures all lack a substrate or product bound in a position that would determine the substrate specificity and stereospecificity of the enzyme. Here, we report two crystal structures of cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO) with its product, ε-caprolactone, bound: the CHMO(Tight) and CHMO(Loose) structures. The CHMO(Tight) structure represents the enzyme state in which substrate acceptance and stereospecificity is determined, providing a foundation for engineering BVMOs with altered substrate spectra and/or stereospecificity. The CHMO(Loose) structure is the first structure where the product is solvent accessible. This structure represents the enzyme state upon binding and release of the substrate and product. In addition, the role of the invariant Arg329 in chaperoning the substrate/product during the catalytic cycle is highlighted. Overall, these data provide a structural framework for the engineering of BVMOs with altered substrate spectra and/or stereospecificity.

  19. The channel catfish genome sequence provides insights into the evolution of scale formation in teleosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhanjiang; Liu, Shikai; Yao, Jun; Bao, Lisui; Zhang, Jiaren; Li, Yun; Jiang, Chen; Sun, Luyang; Wang, Ruijia; Zhang, Yu; Zhou, Tao; Zeng, Qifan; Fu, Qiang; Gao, Sen; Li, Ning; Koren, Sergey; Jiang, Yanliang; Zimin, Aleksey; Xu, Peng; Phillippy, Adam M.; Geng, Xin; Song, Lin; Sun, Fanyue; Li, Chao; Wang, Xiaozhu; Chen, Ailu; Jin, Yulin; Yuan, Zihao; Yang, Yujia; Tan, Suxu; Peatman, Eric; Lu, Jianguo; Qin, Zhenkui; Dunham, Rex; Li, Zhaoxia; Sonstegard, Tad; Feng, Jianbin; Danzmann, Roy G.; Schroeder, Steven; Scheffler, Brian; Duke, Mary V.; Ballard, Linda; Kucuktas, Huseyin; Kaltenboeck, Ludmilla; Liu, Haixia; Armbruster, Jonathan; Xie, Yangjie; Kirby, Mona L.; Tian, Yi; Flanagan, Mary Elizabeth; Mu, Weijie; Waldbieser, Geoffrey C.

    2016-01-01

    Catfish represent 12% of teleost or 6.3% of all vertebrate species, and are of enormous economic value. Here we report a high-quality reference genome sequence of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), the major aquaculture species in the US. The reference genome sequence was validated by genetic mapping of 54,000 SNPs, and annotated with 26,661 predicted protein-coding genes. Through comparative analysis of genomes and transcriptomes of scaled and scaleless fish and scale regeneration experiments, we address the genomic basis for the most striking physical characteristic of catfish, the evolutionary loss of scales and provide evidence that lack of secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins accounts for the evolutionary loss of scales in catfish. The channel catfish reference genome sequence, along with two additional genome sequences and transcriptomes of scaled catfishes, provide crucial resources for evolutionary and biological studies. This work also demonstrates the power of comparative subtraction of candidate genes for traits of structural significance. PMID:27249958

  20. Stable isotopes provide new insights into vestimentiferan physiological ecology at Gulf of Mexico cold seeps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Erin Leigh; Macko, Stephen A.; Lee, Raymond W.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2011-02-01

    On the otherwise low-biomass seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) continental slope, natural oil and gas seeps are oases of local primary production that support lush animal communities. Hundreds of seep communities have been documented on the continental slope, and nutrition derived from seeps could be an important link in the overall GoM food web. Here, we present a uniquely large and cohesive data set of δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S compositions of the vestimentiferan tubeworms Escarpia laminata and Lamellibrachia sp. 1, which dominate biomass at GoM seeps and provide habitat for hundreds of other species. Our sampling design encompassed an entire region of the GoM lower slope, allowing us for the first time to assess spatial variability in isotope compositions and to robustly address long-standing hypotheses about how vestimentiferans acquire and cycle nutrients over their long lifespan (200+ years). Tissue δ13C values provided strong evidence that larger adult vestimentiferans use their buried roots to take up dissolved inorganic carbon from sediment pore water, while very small individuals use their plume to take up carbon dioxide from the seawater. δ34S values were extremely variable among individuals of the same species within one location (evolution of this taxonomic group.

  1. Analyzing Arabidopsis thaliana root proteome provides insights into the molecular bases of enantioselective imazethapyr toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Haifeng; Lu, Haiping; Ding, Haiyan; Lavoie, Michel; Li, Yali; Liu, Weiping; Fu, Zhengwei

    2015-07-01

    Imazethapyr (IM) is a widely used chiral herbicide that inhibits the synthesis of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). IM is thought to exert its toxic effects on amino acid synthesis mainly through inhibition of acetolactate synthase activity, but little is known about the potential effects of IM on other key biochemical pathways. Here, we exposed the model plant Arabidospsis thaliana to trace S- and R-IM enantiomer concentrations and examined IM toxicity effects on the root proteome using iTRAQ. Conventional analyses of root carbohydrates, organic acids, and enzyme activities were also performed. We discovered several previously unknown key biochemical pathways targeted by IM in Arabidospsis. 1,322 and 987 proteins were differentially expressed in response to R- and S-IM treatments, respectively. Bioinformatics and physiological analyses suggested that IM reduced the BCAA tissue content not only by strongly suppressing BCAA synthesis but also by increasing BCAA catabolism. IM also affected sugar and starch metabolism, changed the composition of root cell walls, increased citrate production and exudation, and affected the microbial community structure of the rhizosphere. The present study shed new light on the multiple toxicity mechanisms of a selective herbicide on a model plant.

  2. Time-resolved neutron scattering provides new insight into protein substrate processing by a AAA+ unfoldase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Ziad; Martel, Anne; Moulin, Martine; Kim, Henry S.; Härtlein, Michael; Franzetti, Bruno; Gabel, Frank

    2017-01-01

    We present a combination of small-angle neutron scattering, deuterium labelling and contrast variation, temperature activation and fluorescence spectroscopy as a novel approach to obtain time-resolved, structural data individually from macromolecular complexes and their substrates during active biochemical reactions. The approach allowed us to monitor the mechanical unfolding of a green fluorescent protein model substrate by the archaeal AAA+ PAN unfoldase on the sub-minute time scale. Concomitant with the unfolding of its substrate, the PAN complex underwent an energy-dependent transition from a relaxed to a contracted conformation, followed by a slower expansion to its initial state at the end of the reaction. The results support a model in which AAA ATPases unfold their substrates in a reversible power stroke mechanism involving several subunits and demonstrate the general utility of this time-resolved approach for studying the structural molecular kinetics of multiple protein remodelling complexes and their substrates on the sub-minute time scale. PMID:28102317

  3. Constrictor: Flux Balance Analysis Constraint Modification Provides Insight for Design of Biochemical Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Keesha; Chatterjee, Anushree

    2014-03-01

    The use of in silico methods has become standard practice to correlate the structure of a biochemical network to the expression of a desired phenotype. Flux balance analysis (FBA) is one of the most prevalent techniques for modeling metabolism. FBA models have been successfully applied to obtain growth predictions, theoretical product yields from heterologous pathways, and genome engineering targets. We take inspiration from high-throughput recombineering techniques, which show that combinatorial exploration can reveal optimal mutants, and apply the advantages of computational techniques to analyze these combinations. We introduce Constrictor, an in silico tool for FBA that allows gene mutations to be analyzed in a combinatorial fashion, by applying simulated constraints accounting for regulation of gene expression. We apply this algorithm to study ethylene production in E. coli through the addition of the heterologous ethylene-forming enzyme from P. syringae. Targeting individual reactions as well as sets of reactions results in theoretical ethylene yields that are as much 65% greater than yields calculated using typical FBA. Constrictor is an adaptable technique that can be used to generate and analyze disparate populations of in silico mutants & select gene expression levels.

  4. Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme: insights from members, administrators and health care providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barimah, Kofi Bobi; Mensah, Joseph

    2013-08-01

    The Ghana National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was established as part of a poverty reduction strategy to make health care more affordable to Ghanaians. It is envisaged that it will eventually replace the existing cash-and-carry system. This paper examines the views of NHIS administrators, members/enrollees, and health care providers on how the Scheme operates in practice. It is part of a larger evaluation project on Ghana's NHIS, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Development Network as part of a two-year global research. We rely primarily on qualitative data from focus group discussion in the Brong Ahafo and the Upper East regions respectively. Our findings suggest that the NHIS has improved access to affordable health care services and prescription drugs to many people in Ghana. However, there are concerns about fraud and corruption that must be addressed if the Scheme is to be financially viable.

  5. Molecular developmental mechanism in polypterid fish provides insight into the origin of vertebrate lungs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatsumi, Norifumi; Kobayashi, Ritsuko; Yano, Tohru; Noda, Masatsugu; Fujimura, Koji; Okada, Norihiro; Okabe, Masataka

    2016-07-28

    The lung is an important organ for air breathing in tetrapods and originated well before the terrestrialization of vertebrates. Therefore, to better understand lung evolution, we investigated lung development in the extant basal actinopterygian fish Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus). First, we histologically confirmed that lung development in this species is very similar to that of tetrapods. We also found that the mesenchymal expression patterns of three genes that are known to play important roles in early lung development in tetrapods (Fgf10, Tbx4, and Tbx5) were quite similar to those of tetrapods. Moreover, we found a Tbx4 core lung mesenchyme-specific enhancer (C-LME) in the genomes of bichir and coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and experimentally confirmed that these were functional in tetrapods. These findings provide the first molecular evidence that the developmental program for lung was already established in the common ancestor of actinopterygians and sarcopterygians.

  6. Molecular developmental mechanism in polypterid fish provides insight into the origin of vertebrate lungs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatsumi, Norifumi; Kobayashi, Ritsuko; Yano, Tohru; Noda, Masatsugu; Fujimura, Koji; Okada, Norihiro; Okabe, Masataka

    2016-01-01

    The lung is an important organ for air breathing in tetrapods and originated well before the terrestrialization of vertebrates. Therefore, to better understand lung evolution, we investigated lung development in the extant basal actinopterygian fish Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus). First, we histologically confirmed that lung development in this species is very similar to that of tetrapods. We also found that the mesenchymal expression patterns of three genes that are known to play important roles in early lung development in tetrapods (Fgf10, Tbx4, and Tbx5) were quite similar to those of tetrapods. Moreover, we found a Tbx4 core lung mesenchyme-specific enhancer (C-LME) in the genomes of bichir and coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and experimentally confirmed that these were functional in tetrapods. These findings provide the first molecular evidence that the developmental program for lung was already established in the common ancestor of actinopterygians and sarcopterygians. PMID:27466206

  7. Genetic fingerprinting of plankton community provides new insights into aquatic ecology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YAN Qingyun; YU Yuhe; FENG Weisong

    2006-01-01

    Over the past two decades, molecular techniques have been widely used in ecological study and molecular ecology has been one of the most important branches of ecology. Meanwhile, genetic fingerprinting analyses have significantly enhanced our knowledge of the diversity and evolutionary relations of the planktonic organisms. Compared with conventional approaches in ecological study ( e. g.morphological classification), genetic fingerprinting techniques are simpler and much more effective. This review provides an overview of the principles, advantages and limitations of the commonly used DNA fingerprinting techniques in plankton research. The aim of this overview is to assess where we have been, where we are now and what the future holds for solving aquatic ecological problems with molecular-level information.

  8. The Opisthorchis viverrini genome provides insights into life in the bile duct.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Neil D; Nagarajan, Niranjan; Lin, Suling Joyce; Korhonen, Pasi K; Jex, Aaron R; Hall, Ross S; Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Kaewkong, Worasak; Bertrand, Denis; Gao, Song; Seet, Qihui; Wongkham, Sopit; Teh, Bin Tean; Wongkham, Chaisiri; Intapan, Pewpan Maleewong; Maleewong, Wanchai; Yang, Xinhua; Hu, Min; Wang, Zuo; Hofmann, Andreas; Sternberg, Paul W; Tan, Patrick; Wang, Jun; Gasser, Robin B

    2014-07-09

    Opisthorchiasis is a neglected, tropical disease caused by the carcinogenic Asian liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini. This hepatobiliary disease is linked to malignant cancer (cholangiocarcinoma, CCA) and affects millions of people in Asia. No vaccine is available, and only one drug (praziquantel) is used against the parasite. Little is known about O. viverrini biology and the diseases that it causes. Here we characterize the draft genome (634.5 Mb) and transcriptomes of O. viverrini, elucidate how this fluke survives in the hostile environment within the bile duct and show that metabolic pathways in the parasite are highly adapted to a lipid-rich diet from bile and/or cholangiocytes. We also provide additional evidence that O. viverrini and other flukes secrete proteins that directly modulate host cell proliferation. Our molecular resources now underpin profound explorations of opisthorchiasis/CCA and the design of new interventions.

  9. Molecular taxonomy provides new insights into anopheles species of the neotropical arribalzagia series.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovan F Gómez

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2 sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs. Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors.

  10. Proteomic analysis of scallop hepatopancreatic extract provides insights into marine polysaccharide digestion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Qianqian; Jiao, Wenqian; Zhang, Keke; Bao, Zhenmin; Wang, Shi; Liu, Weizhi

    2016-01-01

    Marine polysaccharides are used in a variety of applications, and the enzymes that degrade these polysaccharides are of increasing interest. The main food source of herbivorous marine mollusks is seaweed, and several polysaccharide-degrading enzymes have been extracted from mollusk digestive glands (hepatopancreases). Here, we used a comprehensive proteomic approach to examine the hepatopancreatic proteins of the Zhikong scallop (Chlamys farreri). We identified 435 proteins, the majority of which were lysosomal enzymes and carbohydrate and protein metabolism enzymes. However, several new enzymes related to polysaccharide metabolism were also identified. Phylogenetic and structural analyses of these enzymes suggest that these polysaccharide-degrading enzymes may have a variety of potential substrate specificities. Taken together, our study characterizes several novel polysaccharide-degrading enzymes in the scallop hepatopancreas and provides an enhanced view of these enzymes and a greater understanding of marine polysaccharide digestion. PMID:27982037

  11. The ASCO Oncology Composite Provider Utilization File: New Data, New Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Thomas R; Towle, Elaine L; Barr, Thomas R; Towle, Elaine L

    2016-01-01

    As we seek to understand the changing practice environment in oncology, the need for accurate information about demand for services, distribution of the delivery system in this sector of the health economy, and other practice trends is apparent. In this article, we present analysis of the sector using one of the public use files from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in combination with other publicly available data. Medicare data are particularly useful for this analysis because cancer is associated with aging and Medicare is the primary payer in the United States for patients older than age 65. As a result, nearly all oncologists who serve adult populations are represented in these data. By combining publicly available datasets into what we call the ASCO Provider Utilization File,we can investigate a wide range of supply, demand, and practice issues. We calculate the average work performed per physician, observe regional differences in work production,and quantify the downside risk and upside potential associated with the provision of chemotherapy drugs. Comparing the supply of oncologists by state with physician work relative value units and with estimates of cancer incidence by state reveals intriguing differences in the distribution of physicians and the demand for oncology services. In addition, our analysis demonstrates significant downside practice risk associated with the provision of drug therapy to Medicare beneficiaries. The economic risk associated with the purchase and delivery of chemotherapy is of particular concern as pressure for value increases. This article provides a description of a new dataset and interesting observations from these data.

  12. Functional reconstitution of Haemonchus contortus acetylcholine receptors in Xenopus oocytes provides mechanistic insights into levamisole resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulin, T; Fauvin, A; Charvet, CL; Cortet, J; Cabaret, J; Bessereau, J-L; Neveu, C

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The cholinergic agonist levamisole is widely used to treat parasitic nematode infestations. This anthelmintic drug paralyses worms by activating a class of levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptors (L-AChRs) expressed in nematode muscle cells. However, levamisole efficacy has been compromised by the emergence of drug-resistant parasites, especially in gastrointestinal nematodes such as Haemonchus contortus. We report here the first functional reconstitution and pharmacological characterization of H. contortus L-AChRs in a heterologous expression system. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH In the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, five AChR subunit and three ancillary protein genes are necessary in vivo and in vitro to synthesize L-AChRs. We have cloned the H. contortus orthologues of these genes and expressed them in Xenopus oocytes. We reconstituted two types of H. contortus L-AChRs with distinct pharmacologies by combining different receptor subunits. KEY RESULTS The Hco-ACR-8 subunit plays a pivotal role in selective sensitivity to levamisole. As observed with C. elegans L-AChRs, expression of H. contortus receptors requires the ancillary proteins Hco-RIC-3, Hco-UNC-50 and Hco-UNC-74. Using this experimental system, we demonstrated that a truncated Hco-UNC-63 L-AChR subunit, which was specifically detected in a levamisole-resistant H. contortus isolate, but not in levamisole-sensitive strains, hampers the normal function of L-AChRs, when co-expressed with its full-length counterpart. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS We provide the first functional evidence for a putative molecular mechanism involved in levamisole resistance in any parasitic nematode. This expression system will provide a means to analyse molecular polymorphisms associated with drug resistance at the electrophysiological level. PMID:21486278

  13. Spatiotemporal Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insights into Bicolor Tepal Development in Lilium “Tiny Padhye”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Leifeng; Yang, Panpan; Feng, Yayan; Xu, Hua; Cao, Yuwei; Tang, Yuchao; Yuan, Suxia; Liu, Xinyan; Ming, Jun

    2017-01-01

    The bicolor Asiatic hybrid lily cultivar “Tiny Padhye” is an attractive variety because of its unique color pattern. During its bicolor tepal development, the upper tepals undergo a rapid color change from green to white, while the tepal bases change from green to purple. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes remain largely uncharacterized. To systematically investigate the dynamics of the lily bicolor tepal transcriptome during development, we generated 15 RNA-seq libraries from the upper tepals (S2-U) and basal tepals (S1-D, S2-D, S3-D, and S4-D) of Lilium “Tiny Padhye.” Utilizing the Illumina platform, a total of 295,787 unigenes were obtained from 713.12 million high-quality paired-end reads. A total of 16,182 unigenes were identified as differentially expressed genes during tepal development. Using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis, candidate genes involved in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway (61 unigenes), and chlorophyll metabolic pathway (106 unigenes) were identified. Further analyses showed that most anthocyanin biosynthesis genes were transcribed coordinately in the tepal bases, but not in the upper tepals, suggesting that the bicolor trait of “Tiny Padhye” tepals is caused by the transcriptional regulation of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes. Meanwhile, the high expression level of chlorophyll degradation genes and low expression level of chlorophyll biosynthetic genes resulted in the absence of chlorophylls from “Tiny Padhye” tepals after flowering. Transcription factors putatively involved in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway and chlorophyll metabolism in lilies were identified using a weighted gene co-expression network analysis and their possible roles in lily bicolor tepal development were discussed. In conclusion, these extensive transcriptome data provide a platform for elucidating the molecular mechanisms of bicolor tepals in lilies and provide a basis for similar research in other

  14. Ancient DNA provides new insight into the maternal lineages and domestication of Chinese donkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Lu; Zhu, Songbiao; Ning, Chao; Cai, Dawei; Wang, Kai; Chen, Quanjia; Hu, Songmei; Yang, Junkai; Shao, Jing; Zhu, Hong; Zhou, Hui

    2014-11-30

    The donkey (Equus asinus) is an important domestic animal that provides a reliable source of protein and method of transportation for many human populations. However, the process of domestication and the dispersal routes of the Chinese donkey are still unclear, as donkey remains are sparse in the archaeological record and often confused with horse remains. To explore the maternal origins and dispersal route of Chinese donkeys, both mitochondrial DNA D-loop and cytochrome b gene fragments of 21 suspected donkey remains from four archaeological sites in China were amplified and sequenced. Molecular methods of species identification show that 17 specimens were donkeys and three samples had the maternal genetic signature of horses. One sample that dates to about 20,000 years before present failed to amplify. In this study, the phylogenetic analysis reveals that ancient Chinese donkeys have high mitochondrial DNA diversity and two distinct mitochondrial maternal lineages, known as the Somali and Nubian lineages. These results indicate that the maternal origin of Chinese domestic donkeys was probably related to the African wild ass, which includes the Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus) and the Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis). Combined with historical records, the results of this study implied that domestic donkeys spread into west and north China before the emergence of the Han dynasty. The number of Chinese domestic donkeys had increased primarily to meet demand for the expansion of trade, and they were likely used as commodities or for shipping goods along the Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty, when the Silk Road reached its golden age. This study is the first to provide valuable ancient animal DNA evidence for early trade between African and Asian populations. The ancient DNA analysis of Chinese donkeys also sheds light on the dynamic process of the maternal origin, domestication, and dispersal route of ancient Chinese donkeys.

  15. The genome of the platyfish, Xiphophorus maculatus, provides insights into evolutionary adaptation and several complex traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schartl, Manfred; Walter, Ronald B; Shen, Yingjia; Garcia, Tzintzuni; Catchen, Julian; Amores, Angel; Braasch, Ingo; Chalopin, Domitille; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Bisazza, Angelo; Minx, Pat; Hillier, LaDeana; Wilson, Richard K; Fuerstenberg, Susan; Boore, Jeffrey; Searle, Steve; Postlethwait, John H; Warren, Wesley C

    2013-05-01

    Several attributes intuitively considered to be typical mammalian features, such as complex behavior, live birth and malignant disease such as cancer, also appeared several times independently in lower vertebrates. The genetic mechanisms underlying the evolution of these elaborate traits are poorly understood. The platyfish, X. maculatus, offers a unique model to better understand the molecular biology of such traits. We report here the sequencing of the platyfish genome. Integrating genome assembly with extensive genetic maps identified an unexpected evolutionary stability of chromosomes in fish, in contrast to in mammals. Genes associated with viviparity show signatures of positive selection, identifying new putative functional domains and rare cases of parallel evolution. We also find that genes implicated in cognition show an unexpectedly high rate of duplicate gene retention after the teleost genome duplication event, suggesting a hypothesis for the evolution of the behavioral complexity in fish, which exceeds that found in amphibians and reptiles.

  16. Recent insights into the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis provide new therapeutic opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickoloff, Brian J; Nestle, Frank O

    2004-06-01

    Chronic and excessive inflammation in skin and joints causes significant morbidity in psoriasis patients. As a prevalent T lymphocyte-mediated disorder, psoriasis, as well as the side effects associated with its treatment, affects patients globally. In this review, recent progress is discussed in the areas of genetics, the immunological synapse, the untangling of the cytokine web and signaling pathways, xenotransplantation models, and the growing use of selectively targeted therapies. Since psoriasis is currently incurable, new management strategies are proposed to replace previous serendipitous approaches. Such strategic transition from serendipity to the use of novel selective agents aimed at defined targets in psoriatic lesions is moving rapidly from research benches to the bedsides of patients with this chronic and debilitating disease.

  17. Metabolomics provide new insights on lung cancer staging and discrimination from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deja, Stanislaw; Porebska, Irena; Kowal, Aneta; Zabek, Adam; Barg, Wojciech; Pawelczyk, Konrad; Stanimirova, Ivana; Daszykowski, Michal; Korzeniewska, Anna; Jankowska, Renata; Mlynarz, Piotr

    2014-11-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are widespread lung diseases. Cigarette smoking is a high risk factor for both the diseases. COPD may increase the risk of developing lung cancer. Thus, it is crucial to be able to distinguish between these two pathological states, especially considering the early stages of lung cancer. Novel diagnostic and monitoring tools are required to properly determine lung cancer progression because this information directly impacts the type of the treatment prescribed. In this study, serum samples collected from 22 COPD and 77 lung cancer (TNM stages I, II, III, and IV) patients were analyzed. Then, a collection of NMR metabolic fingerprints was modeled using discriminant orthogonal partial least squares regression (OPLS-DA) and further interpreted by univariate statistics. The constructed discriminant models helped to successfully distinguish between the metabolic fingerprints of COPD and lung cancer patients (AUC training=0.972, AUC test=0.993), COPD and early lung cancer patients (AUC training=1.000, AUC test=1.000), and COPD and advanced lung cancer patients (AUC training=0.983, AUC test=1.000). Decreased acetate, citrate, and methanol levels together with the increased N-acetylated glycoproteins, leucine, lysine, mannose, choline, and lipid (CH3-(CH2)n-) levels were observed in all lung cancer patients compared with the COPD group. The evaluation of lung cancer progression was also successful using OPLS-DA (AUC training=0.811, AUC test=0.904). Based on the results, the following metabolite biomarkers may prove useful in distinguishing lung cancer states: isoleucine, acetoacetate, and creatine as well as the two NMR signals of N-acetylated glycoproteins and glycerol.

  18. A New Chicken Genome Assembly Provides Insight into Avian Genome Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley C. Warren

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The importance of the Gallus gallus (chicken as a model organism and agricultural animal merits a continuation of sequence assembly improvement efforts. We present a new version of the chicken genome assembly (Gallus_gallus-5.0; GCA_000002315.3, built from combined long single molecule sequencing technology, finished BACs, and improved physical maps. In overall assembled bases, we see a gain of 183 Mb, including 16.4 Mb in placed chromosomes with a corresponding gain in the percentage of intact repeat elements characterized. Of the 1.21 Gb genome, we include three previously missing autosomes, GGA30, 31, and 33, and improve sequence contig length 10-fold over the previous Gallus_gallus-4.0. Despite the significant base representation improvements made, 138 Mb of sequence is not yet located to chromosomes. When annotated for gene content, Gallus_gallus-5.0 shows an increase of 4679 annotated genes (2768 noncoding and 1911 protein-coding over those in Gallus_gallus-4.0. We also revisited the question of what genes are missing in the avian lineage, as assessed by the highest quality avian genome assembly to date, and found that a large fraction of the original set of missing genes are still absent in sequenced bird species. Finally, our new data support a detailed map of MHC-B, encompassing two segments: one with a highly stable gene copy number and another in which the gene copy number is highly variable. The chicken model has been a critical resource for many other fields of study, and this new reference assembly will substantially further these efforts.

  19. Transcriptome Analysis of Thapsia laciniata Rouy Provides Insights into Terpenoid Biosynthesis and Diversity in Apiaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrik Toft Simonsen

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Thapsia laciniata Rouy (Apiaceae produces irregular and regular sesquiterpenoids with thapsane and guaiene carbon skeletons, as found in other Apiaceae species. A transcriptomic analysis utilizing Illumina next-generation sequencing enabled the identification of novel genes involved in the biosynthesis of terpenoids in Thapsia. From 66.78 million HQ paired-end reads obtained from T. laciniata roots, 64.58 million were assembled into 76,565 contigs (N50: 1261 bp. Seventeen contigs were annotated as terpene synthases and five of these were predicted to be sesquiterpene synthases. Of the 67 contigs annotated as cytochromes P450, 18 of these are part of the CYP71 clade that primarily performs hydroxylations of specialized metabolites. Three contigs annotated as aldehyde dehydrogenases grouped phylogenetically with the characterized ALDH1 from Artemisia annua and three contigs annotated as alcohol dehydrogenases grouped with the recently described ADH1 from A. annua. ALDH1 and ADH1 were characterized as part of the artemisinin biosynthesis. We have produced a comprehensive EST dataset for T. laciniata roots, which contains a large sample of the T. laciniata transcriptome. These transcriptome data provide the foundation for future research into the molecular basis for terpenoid biosynthesis in Thapsia and on the evolution of terpenoids in Apiaceae.

  20. Interaction studies between periplasmic cytochromes provide insights into extracellular electron transfer pathways of Geobacter sulfurreducens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Ana P; Nunes, Tiago C; Paquete, Catarina M; Salgueiro, Carlos A

    2017-02-20

    Geobacter bacteria usually prevail among other microorganisms in soils and sediments where Fe(III) reduction has a central role. This reduction is achieved by extracellular electron transfer (EET), where the electrons are exported from the interior of the cell to the surrounding environment. Periplasmic cytochromes play an important role in establishing an interface between inner and outer membrane electron transfer components. In addition, periplasmic cytochromes, in particular nanowire cytochromes that contain at least 12 haem groups, have been proposed to play a role in electron storage in conditions of an environmental lack of electron acceptors. Up to date, no redox partners have been identified in Geobacter sulfurreducens, and concomitantly, the EET and electron storage mechanisms remain unclear. In this work, NMR chemical shift perturbation measurements were used to probe for an interaction between the most abundant periplasmic cytochrome PpcA and the dodecahaem cytochrome GSU1996, one of the proposed nanowire cytochromes in G. sulfurreducens The perturbations on the haem methyl signals of GSU1996 and PpcA showed that the proteins form a transient redox complex in an interface that involves haem groups from two different domains located at the C-terminal of GSU1996. Overall, the present study provides for the first time a clear evidence for an interaction between periplasmic cytochromes that might be relevant for the EET and electron storage pathways in G. sulfurreducens. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  1. Stable Isotopes Provide Insight into Population Structure and Segregation in Eastern North Atlantic Sperm Whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrell, Asunción; Velásquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M.; Kinze, Carl; Lockyer, Christina H.; Vighi, Morgana; Aguilar, Alex

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly highly mobile, shows indication of structuring in the eastern North Atlantic, an ocean basin in which a single population is believed to occur. To do so, we examined stable isotope values in sequential growth layer groups of teeth from individuals sampled in Denmark and NW Spain. In each layer we measured oxygen- isotope ratios (δ18O) in the inorganic component (hydroxyapatite), and nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios (δ15N: δ13C) in the organic component (primarily collagenous). We found significant differences between Denmark and NW Spain in δ15N and δ18O values in the layer deposited at age 3, considered to be the one best representing the baseline of the breeding ground, in δ15N, δ13C and δ18O values in the period up to age 20, and in the ontogenetic variation of δ15N and δ18O values. These differences evidence that diet composition, use of habitat and/or migratory destinations are dissimilar between whales from the two regions and suggest that the North Atlantic population of sperm whales is more structured than traditionally accepted. PMID:24324782

  2. Ancient DNA from Nubian and Somali wild ass provides insights into donkey ancestry and domestication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Birgitta; Marshall, Fiona B; Chen, Shanyuan; Rosenbom, Sónia; Moehlman, Patricia D; Tuross, Noreen; Sabin, Richard C; Peters, Joris; Barich, Barbara; Yohannes, Hagos; Kebede, Fanuel; Teclai, Redae; Beja-Pereira, Albano; Mulligan, Connie J

    2011-01-07

    Genetic data from extant donkeys (Equus asinus) have revealed two distinct mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, suggestive of two separate domestication events in northeast Africa about 5000 years ago. Without distinct phylogeographic structure in domestic donkey haplogroups and with little information on the genetic makeup of the ancestral African wild ass, however, it has been difficult to identify wild ancestors and geographical origins for the domestic mitochondrial clades. Our analysis of ancient archaeological and historic museum samples provides the first genetic information on the historic Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus), Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) and ancient donkey. The results demonstrate that the Nubian wild ass was an ancestor of the first donkey haplogroup. In contrast, the Somali wild ass has considerable mitochondrial divergence from the Nubian wild ass and domestic donkeys. These findings resolve the long-standing issue of the role of the Nubian wild ass in the domestication of the donkey, but raise new questions regarding the second ancestor for the donkey. Our results illustrate the complexity of animal domestication, and have conservation implications for critically endangered Nubian and Somali wild ass.

  3. Neristatin 1 provides critical insight into bryostatin 1 structure-function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kedei, Noemi; Kraft, Matthew B; Keck, Gary E; Herald, Cherry L; Melody, Noeleen; Pettit, George R; Blumberg, Peter M

    2015-04-24

    Bryostatin 1, a complex macrocyclic lactone isolated from Bugula neritina, has been the subject of multiple clinical trials for cancer. Although it functions as an activator of protein kinase C (PKC) in vitro, bryostatin 1 paradoxically antagonizes most responses to the prototypical PKC activator, the phorbol esters. The bottom half of the bryostatin 1 structure has been shown to be sufficient to confer binding to PKC. In contrast, we have previously shown that the top half of the bryostatin 1 structure is necessary for its unique biological behavior to antagonize phorbol ester responses. Neristatin 1 comprises a top half similar to that of bryostatin 1 together with a distinct bottom half that confers PKC binding. We report here that neristatin 1 is bryostatin 1-like, not phorbol ester-like, in its biological activity on U937 promyelocytic leukemia cells. We conclude that the top half of the bryostatin 1 structure is largely sufficient for bryostatin 1-like activity, provided the molecule also possesses an appropriate PKC binding domain.

  4. Neristatin 1 Provides Critical Insight into Bryostatin 1 Structure–Function Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Bryostatin 1, a complex macrocyclic lactone isolated from Bugula neritina, has been the subject of multiple clinical trials for cancer. Although it functions as an activator of protein kinase C (PKC) in vitro, bryostatin 1 paradoxically antagonizes most responses to the prototypical PKC activator, the phorbol esters. The bottom half of the bryostatin 1 structure has been shown to be sufficient to confer binding to PKC. In contrast, we have previously shown that the top half of the bryostatin 1 structure is necessary for its unique biological behavior to antagonize phorbol ester responses. Neristatin 1 comprises a top half similar to that of bryostatin 1 together with a distinct bottom half that confers PKC binding. We report here that neristatin 1 is bryostatin 1-like, not phorbol ester-like, in its biological activity on U937 promyelocytic leukemia cells. We conclude that the top half of the bryostatin 1 structure is largely sufficient for bryostatin 1-like activity, provided the molecule also possesses an appropriate PKC binding domain. PMID:25808573

  5. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC, which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling.

  6. A 4000-species dataset provides new insight into the evolution of ferns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testo, Weston; Sundue, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Ferns are the second-most diverse lineage of vascular plants on Earth, yet the best-sampled time-calibrated phylogeny of the group to date includes fewer than 5% of global diversity and was published seven years ago. We present a time-calibrated phylogeny that includes nearly half of extant fern diversity. Our results are evaluated in the context of previous studies and the fossil record, and we develop new hypotheses about the radiation of leptosporangiate ferns. We used sequence data from six chloroplast regions for nearly 4000 species of ferns to generate the most comprehensive phylogeny of the group ever published. We calibrate the phylogeny with twenty-six fossils and use an array of phylogenetic methods to resolve phylogenetic relationships, estimate divergence times, and infer speciation, extinction, and net diversification rates. We infer a mid-late Silurian origin for ferns (including horsetails) and an early Carboniferous origin for leptosporangiate ferns. Most derived fern families appeared in the Cretaceous and persisted for millions of years before rapidly diversifying in the Cenozoic. We find no evidence of differential rates of diversification among terrestrial and epiphytic species. Our findings challenge previous hypotheses on the evolutionary history of ferns and present a new paradigm for their Cenozoic radiation. We estimate earlier divergences for most fern lineages than were reported in previous studies and provide evidence of extended persistence of major fern lineages prior to rapid diversification in the last fifty million years.

  7. Comparative exome sequencing of metastatic lesions provides insights into the mutational progression of melanoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gartner Jared J

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Metastasis is characterized by spreading of neoplastic cells to an organ other than where they originated and is the predominant cause of death among cancer patients. This holds true for melanoma, whose incidence is increasing more rapidly than any other cancer and once disseminated has few therapeutic options. Here we performed whole exome sequencing of two sets of matched normal and metastatic tumor DNAs. Results Using stringent criteria, we evaluated the similarities and differences between the lesions. We find that in both cases, 96% of the single nucleotide variants are shared between the two metastases indicating that clonal populations gave rise to the distant metastases. Analysis of copy number variation patterns of both metastatic sets revealed a trend similar to that seen with our single nucleotide variants. Analysis of pathway enrichment on tumor sets shows commonly mutated pathways enriched between individual sets of metastases and all metastases combined. Conclusions These data provide a proof-of-concept suggesting that individual metastases may have sufficient similarity for successful targeting of driver mutations.

  8. Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisserant, Emilie; Malbreil, Mathilde; Kuo, Alan; Kohler, Annegret; Symeonidi, Aikaterini; Balestrini, Raffaella; Charron, Philippe; Duensing, Nina; Frei dit Frey, Nicolas; Gianinazzi-Pearson, Vivienne; Gilbert, Luz B.; Handa, Yoshihiro; Herr, Joshua R.; Hijri, Mohamed; Koul, Raman; Kawaguchi, Masayoshi; Krajinski, Franziska; Lammers, Peter J.; Masclaux, Frederic G.; Murat, Claude; Morin, Emmanuelle; Ndikumana, Steve; Pagni, Marco; Petitpierre, Denis; Requena, Natalia; Rosikiewicz, Pawel; Riley, Rohan; Saito, Katsuharu; San Clemente, Hélène; Shapiro, Harris; van Tuinen, Diederik; Bécard, Guillaume; Bonfante, Paola; Paszkowski, Uta; Shachar-Hill, Yair Y.; Tuskan, Gerald A.; Young, J. Peter W.; Sanders, Ian R.; Henrissat, Bernard; Rensing, Stefan A.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Corradi, Nicolas; Roux, Christophe; Martin, Francis

    2013-01-01

    The mutualistic symbiosis involving Glomeromycota, a distinctive phylum of early diverging Fungi, is widely hypothesized to have promoted the evolution of land plants during the middle Paleozoic. These arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) perform vital functions in the phosphorus cycle that are fundamental to sustainable crop plant productivity. The unusual biological features of AMF have long fascinated evolutionary biologists. The coenocytic hyphae host a community of hundreds of nuclei and reproduce clonally through large multinucleated spores. It has been suggested that the AMF maintain a stable assemblage of several different genomes during the life cycle, but this genomic organization has been questioned. Here we introduce the 153-Mb haploid genome of Rhizophagus irregularis and its repertoire of 28,232 genes. The observed low level of genome polymorphism (0.43 SNP per kb) is not consistent with the occurrence of multiple, highly diverged genomes. The expansion of mating-related genes suggests the existence of cryptic sex-related processes. A comparison of gene categories confirms that R. irregularis is close to the Mucoromycotina. The AMF obligate biotrophy is not explained by genome erosion or any related loss of metabolic complexity in central metabolism, but is marked by a lack of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes and of genes involved in toxin and thiamine synthesis. A battery of mycorrhiza-induced secreted proteins is expressed in symbiotic tissues. The present comprehensive repertoire of R. irregularis genes provides a basis for future research on symbiosis-related mechanisms in Glomeromycota. PMID:24277808

  9. Intraspecific Variation in Mitogenomes of Five Crassostrea Species Provides Insight into Oyster Diversification and Speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jianfeng; Hou, Zhanhui; Wang, Haiyan; Sun, Ming-An; Liu, Xiao; Liu, Bin; Guo, Ximing

    2016-04-01

    A large number of Crassostrea oysters are found in Asia-Pacific. While analyses of interspecific variation have helped to establish historical relationships among these species, studies on intraspecific variation are necessary to understand their recent evolutionary history and current forces driving population biology. We resequenced 18 and analyzed 31 mitogenomes of five Crassostrea species from China: Crassostrea gigas, Crassostrea angulata, Crassostrea sikamea, Crassostrea ariakensis, and Crassostrea hongkongensis. Our analysis finds abundant insertions, deletions, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms in all species. Intraspecific variation varies greatly among species with polymorphic sites ranging from 54 to 293 and nucleotide diversity ranging from 0.00106 to 0.00683. In all measurements, C. hongkongensis that has the narrowest geographic distribution exhibits the least sequence diversity; C. ariakensis that has the widest distribution shows the highest diversity, and species with intermediate distribution show intermediate levels of diversity. Low sequence diversity in C. hongkongensis may reflect recent bottlenecks that are probably exacerbated by human transplantation. High diversity in C. ariakensis is likely due to divergence of northern and southern China populations that have been separated without gene flow. The significant differences in mitogenome diversity suggest that the five sister species of Crassostrea have experienced different evolutionary forces since their divergence. The recent divergence of two C. ariakensis populations and the C. gigas/angulata species complex provides evidence for continued diversification and speciation of Crassostrea species along China's coast, which are shaped by unknown mechanisms in a north-south divide.

  10. Genome-wide common and rare variant analysis provides novel insights into clozapine-associated neutropenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, Sophie E; Hamshere, Marian L; Ripke, Stephan; Pardinas, Antonio F; Goldstein, Jacqueline I; Rees, Elliott; Richards, Alexander L; Leonenko, Ganna; Jorskog, L Fredrik; Chambert, Kimberly D; Collier, David A; Genovese, Giulio; Giegling, Ina; Holmans, Peter; Jonasdottir, Adalbjorg; Kirov, George; McCarroll, Steven A; MacCabe, James H; Mantripragada, Kiran; Moran, Jennifer L; Neale, Benjamin M; Stefansson, Hreinn; Rujescu, Dan; Daly, Mark J; Sullivan, Patrick F; Owen, Michael J; O’Donovan, Michael C; Walters, James T R

    2016-01-01

    The antipsychotic clozapine is uniquely effective in the management of schizophrenia, but its use is limited by its potential to induce agranulocytosis. The causes of this, and of its precursor neutropenia, are largely unknown although genetic factors play an important role. We sought risk alleles for clozapine-associated neutropenia in a sample of 66 cases and 5583 clozapine-treated controls, through a genome-wide association study (GWAS), imputed HLA alleles, exome array, and copy number variation analyses. We then combined associated variants in a meta-analysis with data from the Clozapine-Induced Agranulocytosis Consortium (up to 163 cases and 7970 controls). In the largest combined sample to date, we identified a novel association with rs149104283 (OR=4.32, P=1.79×10-8), intronic to transcripts of SLCO1B3 and SLCO1B7, members of a family of hepatic transporter genes previously implicated in adverse drug reactions including simvastatin-induced myopathy and docetaxel-induced neutropenia. Exome array analysis identified gene-wide associations of uncommon non-synonymous variants within UBAP2 and STARD9. We additionally provide independent replication of a previously identified variant in HLA-DQB1 (OR=15.6, P = 0.015, positive predictive value = 35.1%). These results implicate biological pathways through which clozapine may act to cause this serious adverse effect. PMID:27400856

  11. Crystal structure of class III chitinase from pomegranate provides the insight into its metal storage capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masuda, Taro; Zhao, Guanghua; Mikami, Bunzo

    2015-01-01

    Chitinase hydrolyzes the β-1,4-glycosidic bond in chitin. In higher plants, this enzyme has been regarded as a pathogenesis-related protein. Recently, we identified a class III chitinase, which functions as a calcium storage protein in pomegranate (Punica granatum) seed (PSC, pomegranate seed chitinase). Here, we solved a crystal structure of PSC at 1.6 Å resolution. Although its overall structure, including the structure of catalytic site and non-proline cis-peptides, was closely similar to those of other class III chitinases, PSC had some unique structural characteristics. First, there were some metal-binding sites with coordinated water molecules on the surface of PSC. Second, many unconserved aspartate residues were present in the PSC sequence which rendered the surface of PSC negatively charged. This acidic electrostatic property is in contrast to that of hevamine, well-characterized plant class III chitinase, which has rather a positively charged surface. Thus, the crystal structure provides a clue for metal association property of PSC.

  12. Weird mammals provide insights into the evolution of mammalian sex chromosomes and dosage compensation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Jennifer A. Marshall Graves

    2015-12-01

    The deep divergence of mammalian groups 166 and 190 million years ago (MYA) provide genetic variation to explore the evolution of DNA sequence, gene arrangement and regulation of gene expression in mammals. With encouragement from the founder of the field, Mary Lyon, techniques in cytogenetics and molecular biology were progressively adapted to characterize the sex chromosomes of kangaroos and other marsupials, platypus and echidna—and weird rodent species. Comparative gene mapping reveals the process of sex chromosome evolution from their inception 190 MYA (they are autosomal in platypus) to their inevitable end (the Y has disappeared in two rodent lineages). Our X and Y are relatively young, getting their start with the evolution of the sex-determining gene, which triggered progressive degradation of the Y chromosome. Even more recently, sex chromosomes of placental mammals fused with an autosomal region which now makes up most of the Y. Exploration of gene activity patterns over four decades showed that dosage compensation via X-chromosome inactivation is unique to therian mammals, and that this whole chromosome control process is different in marsupials and absent in monotremes and reptiles, and birds. These differences can be exploited to deduce how mammalian sex chromosomes and epigenetic silencing evolved.

  13. Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisserant, Emilie; Malbreil, Mathilde; Kuo, Alan; Kohler, Annegret; Symeonidi, Aikaterini; Balestrini, Raffaella; Charron, Philippe; Duensing, Nina; Frei dit Frey, Nicolas; Gianinazzi-Pearson, Vivienne; Gilbert, Luz B; Handa, Yoshihiro; Herr, Joshua R; Hijri, Mohamed; Koul, Raman; Kawaguchi, Masayoshi; Krajinski, Franziska; Lammers, Peter J; Masclaux, Frederic G; Murat, Claude; Morin, Emmanuelle; Ndikumana, Steve; Pagni, Marco; Petitpierre, Denis; Requena, Natalia; Rosikiewicz, Pawel; Riley, Rohan; Saito, Katsuharu; San Clemente, Hélène; Shapiro, Harris; van Tuinen, Diederik; Bécard, Guillaume; Bonfante, Paola; Paszkowski, Uta; Shachar-Hill, Yair Y; Tuskan, Gerald A; Young, J Peter W; Young, Peter W; Sanders, Ian R; Henrissat, Bernard; Rensing, Stefan A; Grigoriev, Igor V; Corradi, Nicolas; Roux, Christophe; Martin, Francis

    2013-12-10

    The mutualistic symbiosis involving Glomeromycota, a distinctive phylum of early diverging Fungi, is widely hypothesized to have promoted the evolution of land plants during the middle Paleozoic. These arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) perform vital functions in the phosphorus cycle that are fundamental to sustainable crop plant productivity. The unusual biological features of AMF have long fascinated evolutionary biologists. The coenocytic hyphae host a community of hundreds of nuclei and reproduce clonally through large multinucleated spores. It has been suggested that the AMF maintain a stable assemblage of several different genomes during the life cycle, but this genomic organization has been questioned. Here we introduce the 153-Mb haploid genome of Rhizophagus irregularis and its repertoire of 28,232 genes. The observed low level of genome polymorphism (0.43 SNP per kb) is not consistent with the occurrence of multiple, highly diverged genomes. The expansion of mating-related genes suggests the existence of cryptic sex-related processes. A comparison of gene categories confirms that R. irregularis is close to the Mucoromycotina. The AMF obligate biotrophy is not explained by genome erosion or any related loss of metabolic complexity in central metabolism, but is marked by a lack of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes and of genes involved in toxin and thiamine synthesis. A battery of mycorrhiza-induced secreted proteins is expressed in symbiotic tissues. The present comprehensive repertoire of R. irregularis genes provides a basis for future research on symbiosis-related mechanisms in Glomeromycota.

  14. In situ biodeposition measurements on a Modiolus modiolus (horse mussel) reef provide insights into ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Flora E. A.; Last, Kim S.; Harries, Daniel B.; Sanderson, William G.

    2017-01-01

    Horse mussel (Modiolus modiolus) shellfish reefs are a threatened and declining habitat in the North East Atlantic and support high levels of biodiversity. Shellfish can influence the surrounding water column and modify the quality of material that reaches the seabed by filtering water, actively depositing particles and changing the benthic boundary layer due to surface roughness. In the present study M. modiolus biodeposition was measured in a field location for the first time. The results show that M. modiolus enhance sedimentation and contribute to the downward flux of material to the seabed. Approximately 30% of the total sediment deposition was attributed to active filter feeding and overall, the presence of horse mussels enhanced deposition two fold. The results are discussed in terms of the potential for horse mussel reefs to provide ecosystem services to society, through functions such as benthopelagic coupling and sediment stabilisation. Highlighting the societal benefits supplied by marine habitats can help prioritise conservation efforts and feed into the sustainable management of coastal water bodies.

  15. Geographic variation in the structure of oak hybrid zones provides insights into the dynamics of speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Yan-Fei; Liao, Wan-Jin; Petit, Rémy J; Zhang, Da-Yong

    2011-12-01

    Studying geographic variation in the rate of hybridization between closely related species could provide a useful window on the evolution of reproductive isolation. Reinforcement theory predicts greater prezygotic isolation in areas of prolonged contact between recently diverged species than in areas of recent contact, which implies that old contact zones would be dominated by parental phenotypes with few hybrids (bimodal hybrid zones), whereas recent contact zones would be characterized by hybrid swarms (unimodal hybrid zones). Here, we investigate how the hybrid zones of two closely related Chinese oaks, Quercus mongolica and Q. liaotungensis, are structured geographically using both nuclear and chloroplast markers. We found that populations of Q. liaotungensis located around the Changbai Mountains in Northeast China, an inferred glacial refugium, were introgressed by genes from Q. mongolica, suggesting historical contact between the two species in this region. However, these introgressed populations form sharp bimodal hybrid zones with Q. mongolica. In contrast, populations of Q. liaotungensis located in North China, which show no sign of ancient introgression with Q. mongolica, form unimodal hybrid zones with Q. mongolica. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that selection against hybrids has had sufficient time to reinforce the reproductive barriers between Q. liaotungensis and Q. mongolica in Northeast China but not in North China.

  16. Comparative proteomic analyses provide new insights into low phosphorus stress responses in maize leaves.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kewei Zhang

    Full Text Available Phosphorus deficiency limits plant growth and development. To better understand the mechanisms behind how maize responds to phosphate stress, we compared the proteome analysis results of two groups of maize leaves that were treated separately with 1,000 µM (control, +P and 5 µM of KH2PO4 (intervention group, -P for 25 days. In total, 1,342 protein spots were detected on 2-DE maps and 15.43% had changed (P<0.05; ≥1.5-fold significantly in quantity between the +P and -P groups. These proteins are involved in several major metabolic pathways, including photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, secondary metabolism, signal transduction, protein synthesis, cell rescue and cell defense and virulence. The results showed that the reduction in photosynthesis under low phosphorus treatment was due to the down-regulation of the proteins involved in CO2 enrichment, the Calvin cycle and the electron transport system. Electron transport and photosynthesis restrictions resulted in a large accumulation of peroxides. Maize has developed many different reactive oxygen species (ROS scavenging mechanisms to cope with low phosphorus stress, including up-regulating its antioxidant content and antioxidase activity. After being subjected to phosphorus stress over a long period, maize may increase its internal phosphorus utilization efficiency by altering photorespiration, starch synthesis and lipid composition. These results provide important information about how maize responds to low phosphorus stress.

  17. Resiniferatoxin and its analogs provide novel insights into the pharmacology of the vanilloid (capsaicin) receptor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szallasi, A.; Blumberg, P.M. (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (USA))

    1990-01-01

    Capsaicin, the pungent constituent of chili peppers, represents the paradigm for the capsaicinoids or vanilloids, a family of compounds shown to stimulate and then desensitize specific subpopulations of sensory receptors, including C-polymodal nociceptors, A-delta mechanoheat nociceptors and warm receptors of the skin, as well as enteroceptors of thin afferent fibers. An exciting recent advance in the field has been the finding that resiniferatoxin (RTX), a naturally occurring diterpene containing a homovanillic acid ester, a key structural motif of capsaicin, functions as an ultrapotent capsaicin analog. For most of the responses characteristic of capsaicin, RTX is 100-10,000 fold more potent. Structure/activity analysis indicates, however, that RTX and related homovanillyl-diterpene esters display distinct spectra of activity. Specific ({sup 3}H)RTX binding provides the first direct proof for the existence of vanilloid receptors. We expect that the RTX class of vanilloids will promote rapid progress in understanding of vanilloid structure/activity requirements and mechanism.

  18. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-09-25

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus, a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo.

  19. Structural Studies of Neuropilin/Antibody Complexes Provide Insights Into Semaphorin And VEGF Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Appleton, B.A.; Wu, P.; Maloney, J.; Yin, J.; Liang, W.-C.; Stawicki, S.; Mortara, K.; Bowman, K.A.; Elliott, J.Michael.; Desmarais, W.; Koch, A.W.; Wu, Y.; Watts, R.J.; Wiesmann, C.

    2009-06-01

    Neuropilins (Nrps) are co-receptors for class 3 semaphorins and vascular endothelial growth factors and important for the development of the nervous system and the vasculature. The extracellular portion of Nrp is composed of two domains that are essential for semaphorin binding (a1a2), two domains necessary for VEGF binding (b1b2), and one domain critical for receptor dimerization (c). We report several crystal structures of Nrp1 and Nrp2 fragments alone and in complex with antibodies that selectively block either semaphorin or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) binding. In these structures, Nrps adopt an unexpected domain arrangement in which the a2, b1, and b2 domains form a tightly packed core that is only loosely connected to the a1 domain. The locations of the antibody epitopes together with in vitro experiments indicate that VEGF and semaphorin do not directly compete for Nrp binding. Based upon our structural and functional data, we propose possible models for ligand binding to neuropilins.

  20. Genome analysis of Hibiscus syriacus provides insights of polyploidization and indeterminate flowering in woody plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yong-Min; Kim, Seungill; Koo, Namjin; Shin, Ah-Young; Yeom, Seon-In; Seo, Eunyoung; Park, Seong-Jin; Kang, Won-Hee; Kim, Myung-Shin; Park, Jieun; Jang, Insu; Kim, Pan-Gyu; Byeon, Iksu; Kim, Min-Seo; Choi, JinHyuk; Ko, Gunhwan; Hwang, JiHye; Yang, Tae-Jin; Choi, Sang-Bong; Lee, Je Min; Lim, Ki-Byung; Lee, Jungho; Choi, Ik-Young; Park, Beom-Seok; Kwon, Suk-Yoon; Choi, Doil

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Hibiscus syriacus (L.) (rose of Sharon) is one of the most widespread garden shrubs in the world. We report a draft of the H. syriacus genome comprised of a 1.75 Gb assembly that covers 92% of the genome with only 1.7% (33 Mb) gap sequences. Predicted gene modeling detected 87,603 genes, mostly supported by deep RNA sequencing data. To define gene family distribution among relatives of H. syriacus, orthologous gene sets containing 164,660 genes in 21,472 clusters were identified by OrthoMCL analysis of five plant species, including H. syriacus, Arabidopsis thaliana, Gossypium raimondii, Theobroma cacao and Amborella trichopoda. We inferred their evolutionary relationships based on divergence times among Malvaceae plant genes and found that gene families involved in flowering regulation and disease resistance were more highly divergent and expanded in H. syriacus than in its close relatives, G. raimondii (DD) and T. cacao. Clustered gene families and gene collinearity analysis revealed that two recent rounds of whole-genome duplication were followed by diploidization of the H. syriacus genome after speciation. Copy number variation and phylogenetic divergence indicates that WGDs and subsequent diploidization led to unequal duplication and deletion of flowering-related genes in H. syriacus and may affect its unique floral morphology. PMID:28011721

  1. Construction patterns of birds’ nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Adrian M.

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a “twig” nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process. PMID:28265501

  2. Construction patterns of birds’ nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Biddle

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a “twig” nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process.

  3. Structure of an asymmetric ternary protein complex provides insight for membrane interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempsey, Brian R; Rezvanpour, Atoosa; Lee, Ting-Wai; Barber, Kathryn R; Junop, Murray S; Shaw, Gary S

    2012-10-10

    Plasma membrane repair involves the coordinated effort of proteins and the inner phospholipid surface to mend the rupture and return the cell back to homeostasis. Here, we present the three-dimensional structure of a multiprotein complex that includes S100A10, annexin A2, and AHNAK, which along with dysferlin, functions in muscle and cardiac tissue repair. The 3.5 Å resolution X-ray structure shows that a single region from the AHNAK C terminus is recruited by an S100A10-annexin A2 heterotetramer, forming an asymmetric ternary complex. The AHNAK peptide adopts a coil conformation that arches across the heterotetramer contacting both annexin A2 and S100A10 protomers with tight affinity (∼30 nM) and establishing a structural rationale whereby both S100A10 and annexin proteins are needed in AHNAK recruitment. The structure evokes a model whereby AHNAK is targeted to the membrane surface through sandwiching of the binding region between the S100A10/annexin A2 complex and the phospholipid membrane.

  4. Sequencing and Analysis of a Genomic Fragment Provide an Insight into the Dunaliella viridis Genomic Sequence

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Ming SUN; Yuan-Ping TANG; Xiang-Zong MENG; Wen-Wen ZHANG; Shan LI; Zhi-Rui DENG; Zheng-Kai XU; Ren-Tao SONG

    2006-01-01

    Dunaliella is a genus of wall-less unicellular eukaryotic green alga. Its exceptional resistances to salt and various other stresses have made it an ideal model for stress tolerance study. However, very little is known about its genome and genomic sequences. In this study, we sequenced and analyzed a 29,268 bp genomic fragment from Dunaliella viridis. The fragment showed low sequence homology to the GenBank database. At the nucleotide level, only a segment with significant sequence homology to 18S rRNA was found. The fragment contained six putative genes, but only one gene showed significant homology at the protein level to GenBank database. The average GC content of this sequence was 51.1%, which was much lower than that of close related green algae Chlamydomonas (65.7%). Significant segmental duplications were found within this fragment. The duplicated sequences accounted for about 35.7% of the entire region. Large amounts of simple sequence repeats (microsatellites) were found, with strong bias towards (AC)n type (76%). Analysis of other Dunaliella genomic sequences in the GenBank database (total 25,749 bp) was in agreement with these findings. These sequence features made it difficult to sequence Dunaliella genomic sequences. Further investigation should be made to reveal the biological significance of these unique sequence features.

  5. Molecular Imaging Provides Novel Insights on Estrogen Receptor Activity in Mouse Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessia Stell

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Estrogen receptors have long been known to be expressed in several brain areas in addition to those directly involved in the control of reproductive functions. Investigations in humans and in animal models suggest a strong influence of estrogens on limbic and motor functions, yet the complexity and heterogeneity of neural tissue have limited our approaches to the full understanding of estrogen activity in the central nervous system. The aim of this study was to examine the transcriptional activity of estrogen receptors in the brain of male and female mice. Exploiting the ERE-Luc reporter mouse, we set up a novel, bioluminescence-based technique to study brain estrogen receptor transcriptional activity. Here we show, for the first time, that estrogen receptors are similarly active in male and female brains and that the estrous cycle affects estrogen receptor activity in regions of the central nervous system not known to be associated with reproductive functions. Because of its reproducibility and sensitivity, this novel bioluminescence application stands as a candidate as an innovative methodology for the study and development of drugs targeting brain estrogen receptors.

  6. The Ditylenchus destructor genome provides new insights into the evolution of plant parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jinshui; Peng, Donghai; Chen, Ling; Liu, Hualin; Chen, Feng; Xu, Mengci; Ju, Shouyong; Ruan, Lifang; Sun, Ming

    2016-07-27

    Plant-parasitic nematodes were found in 4 of the 12 clades of phylum Nematoda. These nematodes in different clades may have originated independently from their free-living fungivorous ancestors. However, the exact evolutionary process of these parasites is unclear. Here, we sequenced the genome sequence of a migratory plant nematode, Ditylenchus destructor We performed comparative genomics among the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans and all the plant nematodes with genome sequences available. We found that, compared with C. elegans, the core developmental control processes underwent heavy reduction, though most signal transduction pathways were conserved. We also found D. destructor contained more homologies of the key genes in the above processes than the other plant nematodes. We suggest that Ditylenchus spp. may be an intermediate evolutionary history stage from free-living nematodes that feed on fungi to obligate plant-parasitic nematodes. Based on the facts that D. destructor can feed on fungi and has a relatively short life cycle, and that it has similar features to both C. elegans and sedentary plant-parasitic nematodes from clade 12, we propose it as a new model to study the biology, biocontrol of plant nematodes and the interaction between nematodes and plants.

  7. Quantitative analysis of glycerol in dicarboxylic acid-rich cutins provides insights into Arabidopsis cutin structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Weili; Pollard, Mike; Li-Beisson, Yonghua; Ohlrogge, John

    2016-10-01

    Cutin is an extracellular lipid polymer that contributes to protective cuticle barrier functions against biotic and abiotic stresses in land plants. Glycerol has been reported as a component of cutin, contributing up to 14% by weight of total released monomers. Previous studies using partial hydrolysis of cuticle-enriched preparations established the presence of oligomers with glycerol-aliphatic ester links. Furthermore, glycerol-3-phosphate 2-O-acyltransferases (sn-2-GPATs) are essential for cutin biosynthesis. However, precise roles of glycerol in cutin assembly and structure remain uncertain. Here, a stable isotope-dilution assay was developed for the quantitative analysis of glycerol by GC/MS of triacetin with simultaneous determination of aliphatic monomers. To provide clues about the role of glycerol in dicarboxylic acid (DCA)-rich cutins, this methodology was applied to compare wild-type (WT) Arabidopsis cutin with a series of mutants that are defective in cutin synthesis. The molar ratio of glycerol to total DCAs in WT cutins was 2:1. Even when allowing for a small additional contribution from hydroxy fatty acids, this is a substantially higher glycerol to aliphatic monomer ratio than previously reported for any cutin. Glycerol content was strongly reduced in both stem and leaf cutin from all Arabidopsis mutants analyzed (gpat4/gpat8, att1-2 and lacs2-3). In addition, the molar reduction of glycerol was proportional to the molar reduction of total DCAs. These results suggest "glycerol-DCA-glycerol" may be the dominant motif in DCA-rich cutins. The ramifications and caveats for this hypothesis are presented.

  8. Echidna venom gland transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of monotreme venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S W Wong

    Full Text Available Monotremes (echidna and platypus are egg-laying mammals. One of their most unique characteristic is that males have venom/crural glands that are seasonally active. Male platypuses produce venom during the breeding season, delivered via spurs, to aid in competition against other males. Echidnas are not able to erect their spurs, but a milky secretion is produced by the gland during the breeding season. The function and molecular composition of echidna venom is as yet unknown. Hence, we compared the deeply sequenced transcriptome of an in-season echidna crural gland to that of a platypus and searched for putative venom genes to provide clues into the function of echidna venom and the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. We found that the echidna venom gland transcriptome was markedly different from the platypus with no correlation between the top 50 most highly expressed genes. Four peptides found in the venom of the platypus were detected in the echidna transcriptome. However, these genes were not highly expressed in echidna, suggesting that they are the remnants of the evolutionary history of the ancestral venom gland. Gene ontology terms associated with the top 100 most highly expressed genes in echidna, showed functional terms associated with steroidal and fatty acid production, suggesting that echidna "venom" may play a role in scent communication during the breeding season. The loss of the ability to erect the spur and other unknown evolutionary forces acting in the echidna lineage resulted in the gradual decay of venom components and the evolution of a new role for the crural gland.

  9. Echidna venom gland transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of monotreme venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Emily S W; Nicol, Stewart; Warren, Wesley C; Belov, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Monotremes (echidna and platypus) are egg-laying mammals. One of their most unique characteristic is that males have venom/crural glands that are seasonally active. Male platypuses produce venom during the breeding season, delivered via spurs, to aid in competition against other males. Echidnas are not able to erect their spurs, but a milky secretion is produced by the gland during the breeding season. The function and molecular composition of echidna venom is as yet unknown. Hence, we compared the deeply sequenced transcriptome of an in-season echidna crural gland to that of a platypus and searched for putative venom genes to provide clues into the function of echidna venom and the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. We found that the echidna venom gland transcriptome was markedly different from the platypus with no correlation between the top 50 most highly expressed genes. Four peptides found in the venom of the platypus were detected in the echidna transcriptome. However, these genes were not highly expressed in echidna, suggesting that they are the remnants of the evolutionary history of the ancestral venom gland. Gene ontology terms associated with the top 100 most highly expressed genes in echidna, showed functional terms associated with steroidal and fatty acid production, suggesting that echidna "venom" may play a role in scent communication during the breeding season. The loss of the ability to erect the spur and other unknown evolutionary forces acting in the echidna lineage resulted in the gradual decay of venom components and the evolution of a new role for the crural gland.

  10. Wing shape of four new bee fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) provides insights to bee evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.). We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini), and one digger bee (Anthophorini)], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France.

  11. Whole Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insights into Molecular Mechanisms for Molting in Litopenaeus vannamei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yi; Zhang, Xiaojun; Wei, Jiankai; Sun, Xiaoqing; Yuan, Jianbo; Li, Fuhua; Xiang, Jianhai

    2015-01-01

    Molting is one of the most important biological processes in shrimp growth and development. All shrimp undergo cyclic molting periodically to shed and replace their exoskeletons. This process is essential for growth, metamorphosis, and reproduction in shrimp. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying shrimp molting remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated global expression changes in the transcriptomes of the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, the most commonly cultured shrimp species worldwide. The transcriptome of whole L. vannamei was investigated by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) throughout the molting cycle, including the inter-molt (C), pre-molt (D0, D1, D2, D3, D4), and post-molt (P1 and P2) stages, and 93,756 unigenes were identified. Among these genes, we identified 5,117 genes differentially expressed (log2ratio ≥1 and FDR ≤0.001) in adjacent molt stages. The results were compared against the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) non-redundant protein/nucleotide sequence database, Swiss-Prot, PFAM database, the Gene Ontology database, and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database in order to annotate gene descriptions, associate them with gene ontology terms, and assign them to pathways. The expression patterns for genes involved in several molecular events critical for molting, such as hormone regulation, triggering events, implementation phases, skelemin, immune responses were characterized and considered as mechanisms underlying molting in L. vannamei. Comparisons with transcriptomic analyses in other arthropods were also performed. The characterization of major transcriptional changes in genes involved in the molting cycle provides candidates for future investigation of the molecular mechanisms. The data generated in this study will serve as an important transcriptomic resource for the shrimp research community to facilitate gene and genome annotation and to characterize key molecular processes

  12. The Genome of Laccaria Bi color Provides Insights into Mycorrhizal Symbiosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, F [UMR, France; Aerts, A. [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Ahren, D [Lund University, Sweden; Brun, A [UMR, France; Duchaussoy, F [UMR, France; Gibon, J [UMR, France; Kohler, A [UMR, France; Lindquist, E [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Pereda, V [UMR, France; Salamov, A. [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Shapiro, HJ [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Wuyts, J [UMR, France; Blaudez, D [UMR, France; Buee, M [UMR, France; Brokstein, P [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Canbeck, B [Lund University, Sweden; Cohen, D [UMR, France; Courty, PE [UMR, France; Coutinho, PM [Architecture et Fonction des Macromolecules Biologiques, UMR 6098 CNRS and Unive; Danchin, E [Architecture et Fonction des Macromolecules Biologiques, UMR 6098 CNRS and Unive; Delaruelle, C [UMR, France; Detter, J C [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Deveau, A [UMR, France; DiFazio, Stephen P [West Virginia University; Duplessis, S [UMR, France; Fraissinet-Tachet, L [Universite de Lyon, France; Lucic, E [UMR, France; Frey-Klett, P [UMR, France; Fourrey, C [UMR, France; Feussner, I [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Gay, G [Universite de Lyon, France; Grimwood, Jane [Stanford University; Hoegger, P J [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Jain, P [University of Alabama, Huntsville; Kilaru, S [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Labbe, J [UMR, France; Lin, Y C [Ghent University, Belgium; Legue, V [UMR, France; Le Tacon, F [UMR, France; Marmeisse, R [Universite de Lyon, France; Melayah, D [Universite de Lyon, France; Montanini, B [UMR, France; Muratet, M [University of Alabama, Huntsville; Nehls, U [Eberhard-Karls-Universitat, Tubingen, Germany; Niculita-Hirzel, H [University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Oudot-Le Secq, M P [UMR, France; Peter, M [UMR, France; Quesneville, H [Unite de Recherches en Genomique-Info,Evry Cedex; Rajashekar, B [Lund University, Sweden; Reich, M [UMR, France; Rouhler, N [UMR, France; Schmutz, Jeremy [Stanford University; Yin, Tongming [ORNL; Chalot, M [UMR, France; Henrissat, B [Architecture et Fonction des Macromolecules Biologiques, UMR 6098 CNRS and Unive; Kues, U [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Lucas, S [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Van de Peer, Y [Ghent University, Belgium; Podila, G [University of Alabama, Huntsville; Polle, A [Georg-August Universitat Gottingen Germany; Pukkila, P J [University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Richardson, P M [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute; Rouze, P [Ghent University, Belgium; Sanders, I R [University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Stajich, J E [University of California, Berkeley; Tunlid, A [Lund University, Sweden; Tuskan, Gerald A [ORNL; Grigoriev, I. [U.S. Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute

    2008-01-01

    Mycorrhizal symbioses the union of roots and soil fungi are universal in terrestrial ecosystems and may have been fundamental to land colonization by plants1,2. Boreal, temperate and montane forests all depend on ectomycorrhizae1. Identification of the primary factors that regulate symbiotic development and metabolic activity will therefore open the door to understanding the role of ectomycorrhizae in plant development and physiology, allowing the full ecological significance of this symbiosis to be explored. Here we report the genome sequence of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor (Fig. 1) and highlight gene sets involved in rhizosphere colonization and symbiosis. This 65-megabase genome assembly contains 20,000 predicted protein-encoding genes and a very large number of transposons and repeated sequences. We detected unexpected genomic features, most notably a battery of effector-type small secreted proteins (SSPs) with unknown function, several of which are only expressed in symbiotic tissues. The most highly expressed SSP accumulates in the proliferating hyphae colonizing the host root. The ectomycorrhizae-specific SSPs probably have a decisive role in the establishment of the symbiosis. The unexpected observation that the genome of L. bicolor lacks carbohydrate-active enzymes involved in degradation of plant cell walls, but maintains the ability to degrade non-plant cell wall polysaccharides, reveals the dual saprotrophic and biotrophic lifestyle of the mycorrhizal fungus that enables it to grow within both soil and living plant roots. The predicted gene inventory of the L. bicolor genome, therefore, points to previously unknown mechanisms of symbiosis operating in biotrophic mycorrhizal fungi. The availability of this genome provides an unparalleled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the processes by which symbionts interact with plants within their ecosystem to perform vital functions in the carbon and

  13. Temporal-Spatial Transcriptome Analyses Provide Insights into the Development of Petaloid Androecium in Canna indica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueyi Tian

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Canna indica (Zingiberales is one of the most important ornamental species characterized with beautiful petaloid staminodes, which are considered to evolve from stamens. However, the genetic basis for the development of petaloid staminodes remains unclear largely because the genomic sequences are not available. By using RNA-Seq, we sequenced the transcripts in the flower of Canna indica, and quantified the temporal gene expressions in flower primordium and differentiated flower, as well as the spatial gene expressions in petal and petaloid staminode. In total, 118,869 unigenes were assembled, among which 67,299 unigenes were annotated. Quantification analysis identified the differentially expressed genes in the temporal and spatial two comparisons, based on which, Gene Ontology enrichment analysis highlighted the representative terms in each sample, such as specification of organ number in flower primordium, growth in differentiated flower, secondary cell wall biogenesis in petal and cell division in petaloid staminode. Among the 51 analyzed MADS-box unigenes, 37 were up-regulated in differentiated flower compared with those in flower primordium. A-class unigenes were expressed higher in petal than in petaloid staminode, and C-class unigenes were expressed oppositely, whereas B-class unigenes demonstrated close expression levels in these two organs, indicating that petaloid staminode retains stamen identity to some degree. In situ hybridization provided more detailed expression patterns of these unigenes, and revealed the extended expression of B-class to the carpel at later stages when the style turned flat. These results constitute a preliminary basis for the study of flower development in Canna indica and can be applied in further study of the evolution of Zingiberales.

  14. SSR marker variations in Brassica species provide insight into the origin and evolution of Brassica amphidiploids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Ajay Kumar; Singh, Kunwar Harendra; Singh, Lal; Nanjundan, Joghee; Khan, Yasin Jeshima; Singh, Dhiraj

    2018-01-01

    Oilseed Brassica represents an important group of oilseed crops with a long history of evolution and cultivation. To understand the origin and evolution of Brassica amphidiploids, simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to unravel genetic variations in three diploids and three amphidiploid Brassica species of U's triangle along with Eruca sativa as an outlier. Of 124 Brassica-derived SSR loci assayed, 100% cross-transferability was obtained for B. juncea and three subspecies of B. rapa, while lowest cross-transferability (91.93%) was obtained for Eruca sativa. The average % age of cross-transferability across all the seven species was 98.15%. The number of alleles detected at each locus ranged from one to six with an average of 3.41 alleles per primer pair. Neighbor-Joining-based dendrogram divided all the 40 accessions into two main groups composed of B. juncea/B. nigra/B. rapa and B. carinata/B. napus/B. oleracea. C-genome of oilseed Brassica species remained relatively more conserved than A- and B-genome. A- genome present in B. juncea and B. napus seems distinct from each other and hence provides great opportunity for generating diversity through synthesizing amphidiploids from different sources of A- genome. B. juncea had least intra-specific distance indicating narrow genetic base. B. rapa appears to be more primitive species from which other two diploid species might have evolved. The SSR marker set developed in this study will assist in DNA fingerprinting of various Brassica species cultivars, evaluating the genetic diversity in Brassica germplasm, genome mapping and construction of linkage maps, gene tagging and various other genomics-related studies in Brassica species. Further, the evolutionary relationship established among various Brassica species would assist in formulating suitable breeding strategies for widening the genetic base of Brassica amphidiploids by exploiting the genetic diversity present in diploid progenitor gene pools.

  15. Hierarchical partitioning of metazoan protein conservation profiles provides new functional insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Witztum

    Full Text Available The availability of many complete, annotated proteomes enables the systematic study of the relationships between protein conservation and functionality. We explore this question based solely on the presence or absence of protein homologues (a.k.a. conservation profiles. We study 18 metazoans, from two distinct points of view: the human's and the fly's. Using the GOrilla gene ontology (GO analysis tool, we explore functional enrichment of the "universal proteins", those with homologues in all 17 other species, and of the "non-universal proteins". A large number of GO terms are strongly enriched in both human and fly universal proteins. Most of these functions are known to be essential. A smaller number of GO terms, exhibiting markedly different properties, are enriched in both human and fly non-universal proteins. We further explore the non-universal proteins, whose conservation profiles are consistent with the "tree of life" (TOL consistent, as well as the TOL inconsistent proteins. Finally, we applied Quantum Clustering to the conservation profiles of the TOL consistent proteins. Each cluster is strongly associated with one or a small number of specific monophyletic clades in the tree of life. The proteins in many of these clusters exhibit strong functional enrichment associated with the "life style" of the related clades. Most previous approaches for studying function and conservation are "bottom up", studying protein families one by one, and separately assessing the conservation of each. By way of contrast, our approach is "top down". We globally partition the set of all proteins hierarchically, as described above, and then identify protein families enriched within different subdivisions. While supporting previous findings, our approach also provides a tool for discovering novel relations between protein conservation profiles, functionality, and evolutionary history as represented by the tree of life.

  16. Wing shape of four new bee fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila provides insights to bee evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Dehon

    Full Text Available Bees (Anthophila are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.. We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini, and one digger bee (Anthophorini], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen. and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen. reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France.

  17. Haplotype analysis in Huntington desease provides insights into mechanisms of CAG repeat expansion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrew, S.E.; Goldberg, Y.P.; Squitieri, F. [Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is one of 7 disorders now known to be caused by expansion of a trinucleotide repeat. The HD mutation is a polymorphic trinucleotide (CAG) repeat in the 5{prime} region of a novel gene that expands beyond the normal range of 10-35 repeats in persons destined to develop the disease. Haplotype analysis of other dynamic mutation disorders such as myotonic dystrophy and Fragil X have suggested that a rare ancestral expansion event on a normal chromosome is followed by subsequent expansion events, resulting in a pool of chromosomes in the premutation range, which is inherently unstable and prone to further multiple expansion events leading to disease range chromosomes. Haplotype analysis of 67 HD and 84 control chromosomes using 5 polymorphic markers, both intragenic and 5{prime} to the disease mutation, demonstrate that multiple haplotypes underlie HD. However, 94% of the chromosomes can be grouped under two major haplotypes. These two haplotypes are also present in the normal population. A third major haplotype is seen on 38% of normal chromosomes but rarely on HD chromosomes (6%). CAG lengths on the normal chromosomes with the two haplotypes seen in the HD population are higher than those seen on the normal chromosomes with the haplotype rarely seen on HD chromosomes. Furthermore, in populations with a diminished frequency of HD, CAG length on normal chromosomes is significantly less than other populations with higher prevalence rates for HD. These data suggest that CAG length on normal chromosomes may be a significant factor contributing to repeat instability that eventually leads to chromosomes with CAG repeat lengths in the HD range. Haplotypes on the HD chromosomes are identical to those normal chromosomes which have CAG lengths in the high range of normal, suggesting that further expansions of this pool of chromosomes leads to chromosomes with CAG repeat sizes within the disease range, consistent with a multistep model.

  18. Variation Revealed by SNP Genotyping and Morphology Provides Insight into the Origin of the Tomato

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordero, Laura; Pascual, Laura; Diez, María José; Nuez, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, is divided into two widely distributed varieties: the cultivated S. lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, and the weedy S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme. Solanum pimpinellifolium is the most closely related wild species of tomato. The roles of S. pimpinellifolium and S. l. cerasiforme during the domestication of tomato are still under debate. Some authors consider S. l. cerasiforme to be the ancestor, whereas others think that S. l. cerasiforme is an admixture of S. pimpinellifolium and the cultivated S. l. lycopersicum. It is also not clear whether the domestication occurred in the Andean region or in Mesoamerica. We characterized 272 accessions (63 S. pimpinellifolium, 106 S. l. cerasiforme, 95 S. l. lycopersicum and 8 derived from hybridization processes) were morphologically and genetically using the SolCap platform (7,414 SNPs). The two species were distinguished in a PCA analysis and displayed a rich geographic structure. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme and S. l. lycopersicum were also differentiated in the PCA and Structure analyses, which supports maintaining them as different varieties. Solanum pimpinellifolium and the Andean S. l. cerasiforme were more diverse than the non-Andean S. lycopersicum. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme was morphologically and molecularly intermediate between S. pimpinellifolium and tomato. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, with the exception of several Ecuadorian and Mexican accessions, is composed of the products of admixture processes according to the Structure analysis. The non-admixtured S. l. cerasiforme might be similar to the ancestral cultivars from which the cultivated tomato originated, and presents remarkable morphological diversity, including fruits of up to 6 cm in diameter. The data obtained would fit a model in which a pre-domestication took place in the Andean region, with the domestication being completed in Mesoamerica. Subsequently, the Spaniards took plants from

  19. Nematode and arthropod genomes provide new insights into the evolution of class 2 B1 GPCRs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João C R Cardoso

    Full Text Available Nematodes and arthropods are the most speciose animal groups and possess Class 2 B1 G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs. Existing models of invertebrate Class 2 B1 GPCR evolution are mainly centered on Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster and a few other nematode and arthropod representatives. The present study reevaluates the evolution of metazoan Class 2 B1 GPCRs and orthologues by exploring the receptors in several nematode and arthropod genomes and comparing them to the human receptors. Three novel receptor phylogenetic clusters were identified and designated cluster A, cluster B and PDF-R-related cluster. Clusters A and B were identified in several nematode and arthropod genomes but were absent from D. melanogaster and Culicidae genomes, whereas the majority of the members of the PDF-R-related cluster were from nematodes. Cluster A receptors were nematode and arthropod-specific but shared a conserved gene environment with human receptor loci. Cluster B members were orthologous to human GCGR, PTHR and Secretin members with which they probably shared a common origin. PDF-R and PDF-R related clusters were present in representatives of both nematodes and arthropods. The results of comparative analysis of GPCR evolution and diversity in protostomes confirm previous notions that C. elegans and D. melanogaster genomes are not good representatives of nematode and arthropod phyla. We hypothesize that at least four ancestral Class 2 B1 genes emerged early in the metazoan radiation, which after the protostome-deuterostome split underwent distinct selective pressures that resulted in duplication and deletion events that originated the current Class 2 B1 GPCRs in nematode and arthropod genomes.

  20. Lipoprotein Particles in Adolescents and Young Women With PCOS Provide Insights Into Their Cardiovascular Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lodish, M.; Shamburek, R.; Keil, M.; Wesley, R.; Walter, M.; Sampson, M.; Bernstein, S.; Khurana, D.; Lyssikatos, C.; Ten, S.; Dobs, A.; Remaley, A. T.; Stratakis, C. A.

    2015-01-01

    Context: Adult women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, but the evidence for this is controversial in adolescents and young women with PCOS. Measurement of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle number, measured by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a novel technology to assess cardiovascular risk. Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate lipoprotein particle number and size in young women with PCOS and its relationship with insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism. Design: This was a cross-sectional case control study. Setting: The study was conducted at a clinical research center. Participants: Women with PCOS (n = 35) and normal controls (n = 20) participated in the study. Interventions: Blood samples and anthropometric measures were obtained. Main Outcome Measures: LDL particle size and number were measured using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A secondary outcome was to investigate the correlation of LDL particle number with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, waist to hip ratio, hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, and adiponectin. Results: Women with PCOS had higher LDL particle number when compared with healthy controls (935 ± 412 vs 735 ± 264, P = .032); LDL particle number correlated strongly with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (r = 0.37, P = .006) and waist-to-hip (r = 0.57, P = .0003). The higher LDL particle number was driven mainly due to differences in the small LDL particle number (sLDLp), with PCOS patients having more sLDLp (348 ± 305 vs 178 ± 195, P = .015). The sLDLp correlated with the Matsuda index (r = −0.51, P = .0001), homeostasis model assessment index of insulin resistance (r = 0.41, P = .002), and adiponectin (r = −0.46, P = .0004) but not with T. Conclusion: Adolescent and young women with PCOS have an atherogenic lipoprotein profile suggestive of increased cardiovascular risk that appears to be driven by the degree of visceral adiposity

  1. Computational predictions provide insights into the biology of TAL effector target sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grau, Jan; Wolf, Annett; Reschke, Maik; Bonas, Ulla; Posch, Stefan; Boch, Jens

    2013-01-01

    Transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors are injected into host plant cells by Xanthomonas bacteria to function as transcriptional activators for the benefit of the pathogen. The DNA binding domain of TAL effectors is composed of conserved amino acid repeat structures containing repeat-variable diresidues (RVDs) that determine DNA binding specificity. In this paper, we present TALgetter, a new approach for predicting TAL effector target sites based on a statistical model. In contrast to previous approaches, the parameters of TALgetter are estimated from training data computationally. We demonstrate that TALgetter successfully predicts known TAL effector target sites and often yields a greater number of predictions that are consistent with up-regulation in gene expression microarrays than an existing approach, Target Finder of the TALE-NT suite. We study the binding specificities estimated by TALgetter and approve that different RVDs are differently important for transcriptional activation. In subsequent studies, the predictions of TALgetter indicate a previously unreported positional preference of TAL effector target sites relative to the transcription start site. In addition, several TAL effectors are predicted to bind to the TATA-box, which might constitute one general mode of transcriptional activation by TAL effectors. Scrutinizing the predicted target sites of TALgetter, we propose several novel TAL effector virulence targets in rice and sweet orange. TAL-mediated induction of the candidates is supported by gene expression microarrays. Validity of these targets is also supported by functional analogy to known TAL effector targets, by an over-representation of TAL effector targets with similar function, or by a biological function related to pathogen infection. Hence, these predicted TAL effector virulence targets are promising candidates for studying the virulence function of TAL effectors. TALgetter is implemented as part of the open-source Java library

  2. Computational predictions provide insights into the biology of TAL effector target sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Grau

    Full Text Available Transcription activator-like (TAL effectors are injected into host plant cells by Xanthomonas bacteria to function as transcriptional activators for the benefit of the pathogen. The DNA binding domain of TAL effectors is composed of conserved amino acid repeat structures containing repeat-variable diresidues (RVDs that determine DNA binding specificity. In this paper, we present TALgetter, a new approach for predicting TAL effector target sites based on a statistical model. In contrast to previous approaches, the parameters of TALgetter are estimated from training data computationally. We demonstrate that TALgetter successfully predicts known TAL effector target sites and often yields a greater number of predictions that are consistent with up-regulation in gene expression microarrays than an existing approach, Target Finder of the TALE-NT suite. We study the binding specificities estimated by TALgetter and approve that different RVDs are differently important for transcriptional activation. In subsequent studies, the predictions of TALgetter indicate a previously unreported positional preference of TAL effector target sites relative to the transcription start site. In addition, several TAL effectors are predicted to bind to the TATA-box, which might constitute one general mode of transcriptional activation by TAL effectors. Scrutinizing the predicted target sites of TALgetter, we propose several novel TAL effector virulence targets in rice and sweet orange. TAL-mediated induction of the candidates is supported by gene expression microarrays. Validity of these targets is also supported by functional analogy to known TAL effector targets, by an over-representation of TAL effector targets with similar function, or by a biological function related to pathogen infection. Hence, these predicted TAL effector virulence targets are promising candidates for studying the virulence function of TAL effectors. TALgetter is implemented as part of the open

  3. Variation revealed by SNP genotyping and morphology provides insight into the origin of the tomato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanca, Jose; Cañizares, Joaquín; Cordero, Laura; Pascual, Laura; Diez, María José; Nuez, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, is divided into two widely distributed varieties: the cultivated S. lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, and the weedy S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme. Solanum pimpinellifolium is the most closely related wild species of tomato.The roles of S. pimpinellifolium and S. l. cerasiforme during the domestication of tomato are still under debate. Some authors consider S. l. cerasiforme to be the ancestor, whereas others think that S. l. cerasiforme is an admixture of S. pimpinellifolium and the cultivated S. l. lycopersicum. It is also not clear whether the domestication occurred in the Andean region or in Mesoamerica. We characterized 272 accessions (63 S. pimpinellifolium, 106 S. l. cerasiforme, 95 S. l. lycopersicum and 8 derived from hybridization processes) were morphologically and genetically using the SolCap platform (7,414 SNPs). The two species were distinguished in a PCA analysis and displayed a rich geographic structure. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme and S. l. lycopersicum were also differentiated in the PCA and Structure analyses, which supports maintaining them as different varieties. Solanum pimpinellifolium and the Andean S. l. cerasiforme were more diverse than the non-Andean S. lycopersicum. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme was morphologically and molecularly intermediate between S. pimpinellifolium and tomato. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, with the exception of several Ecuadorian and Mexican accessions, is composed of the products of admixture processes according to the Structure analysis. The non-admixtured S. l. cerasiforme might be similar to the ancestral cultivars from which the cultivated tomato originated, and presents remarkable morphological diversity, including fruits of up to 6 cm in diameter. The data obtained would fit a model in which a pre-domestication took place in the Andean region, with the domestication being completed in Mesoamerica. Subsequently, the Spaniards took plants from

  4. Variation revealed by SNP genotyping and morphology provides insight into the origin of the tomato.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Blanca

    Full Text Available Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, is divided into two widely distributed varieties: the cultivated S. lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, and the weedy S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme. Solanum pimpinellifolium is the most closely related wild species of tomato.The roles of S. pimpinellifolium and S. l. cerasiforme during the domestication of tomato are still under debate. Some authors consider S. l. cerasiforme to be the ancestor, whereas others think that S. l. cerasiforme is an admixture of S. pimpinellifolium and the cultivated S. l. lycopersicum. It is also not clear whether the domestication occurred in the Andean region or in Mesoamerica. We characterized 272 accessions (63 S. pimpinellifolium, 106 S. l. cerasiforme, 95 S. l. lycopersicum and 8 derived from hybridization processes were morphologically and genetically using the SolCap platform (7,414 SNPs. The two species were distinguished in a PCA analysis and displayed a rich geographic structure. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme and S. l. lycopersicum were also differentiated in the PCA and Structure analyses, which supports maintaining them as different varieties. Solanum pimpinellifolium and the Andean S. l. cerasiforme were more diverse than the non-Andean S. lycopersicum. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme was morphologically and molecularly intermediate between S. pimpinellifolium and tomato. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, with the exception of several Ecuadorian and Mexican accessions, is composed of the products of admixture processes according to the Structure analysis. The non-admixtured S. l. cerasiforme might be similar to the ancestral cultivars from which the cultivated tomato originated, and presents remarkable morphological diversity, including fruits of up to 6 cm in diameter. The data obtained would fit a model in which a pre-domestication took place in the Andean region, with the domestication being completed in Mesoamerica. Subsequently, the Spaniards took

  5. Fracture development around deep underground excavations: Insights from FDEM modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Lisjak

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Over the past twenty years, there has been a growing interest in the development of numerical models that can realistically capture the progressive failure of rock masses. In particular, the investigation of damage development around underground excavations represents a key issue in several rock engineering applications, including tunnelling, mining, drilling, hydroelectric power generation, and the deep geological disposal of nuclear waste. The goal of this paper is to show the effectiveness of a hybrid finite-discrete element method (FDEM code to simulate the fracturing mechanisms associated with the excavation of underground openings in brittle rock formations. A brief review of the current state-of-the-art modelling approaches is initially provided, including the description of selecting continuum- and discontinuum-based techniques. Then, the influence of a number of factors, including mechanical and in situ stress anisotropy, as well as excavation geometry, on the simulated damage is analysed for three different geomechanical scenarios. Firstly, the fracture nucleation and growth process under isotropic rock mass conditions is simulated for a circular shaft. Secondly, the influence of mechanical anisotropy on the development of an excavation damaged zone (EDZ around a tunnel excavated in a layered rock formation is considered. Finally, the interaction mechanisms between two large caverns of an underground hydroelectric power station are investigated, with particular emphasis on the rock mass response sensitivity to the pillar width and excavation sequence. Overall, the numerical results indicate that FDEM simulations can provide unique geomechanical insights in cases where an explicit consideration of fracture and fragmentation processes is of paramount importance.

  6. The Epigenome of Schistosoma mansoni Provides Insight about How Cercariae Poise Transcription until Infection.

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    David Roquis

    Full Text Available Chromatin structure can control gene expression and can define specific transcription states. For example, bivalent methylation of histone H3K4 and H3K27 is linked to poised transcription in vertebrate embryonic stem cells (ESC. It allows them to rapidly engage specific developmental pathways. We reasoned that non-vertebrate metazoans that encounter a similar developmental constraint (i.e. to quickly start development into a new phenotype might use a similar system. Schistosomes are parasitic platyhelminthes that are characterized by passage through two hosts: a mollusk as intermediate host and humans or rodents as definitive host. During its development, the parasite undergoes drastic changes, most notable immediately after infection of the definitive host, i.e. during the transition from the free-swimming cercariae into adult worms.We used Chromatin Immunoprecipitation followed by massive parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq to analyze genome-wide chromatin structure of S. mansoni on the level of histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K27me3, H3K9me3, and H3K9ac in cercariae, schistosomula and adults (available at http://genome.univ-perp.fr. We saw striking differences in chromatin structure between the developmental stages, but most importantly we found that cercariae possess a specific combination of marks at the transcription start sites (TSS that has similarities to a structure found in ESC. We demonstrate that in cercariae no transcription occurs, and we provide evidences that cercariae do not possess large numbers of canonical stem cells.We describe here a broad view on the epigenome of a metazoan parasite. Most notably, we find bivalent histone H3 methylation in cercariae. Methylation of H3K27 is removed during transformation into schistosomula (and stays absent in adults and transcription is activated. In addition, shifts of H3K9 methylation and acetylation occur towards upstream and downstream of the transcriptional start site (TSS. We conclude

  7. Fish genomes provide novel insights into the evolution of vertebrate secretin receptors and their ligand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, João C R; Félix, Rute C; Trindade, Marlene; Power, Deborah M

    2014-12-01

    The secretin receptor (SCTR) is a member of Class 2 subfamily B1 GPCRs and part of the PAC1/VPAC receptor subfamily. This receptor has long been known in mammals but has only recently been identified in other vertebrates including teleosts, from which it was previously considered to be absent. The ligand for SCTR in mammals is secretin (SCT), an important gastrointestinal peptide, which in teleosts has not yet been isolated, or the gene identified. This study revises the evolutionary model previously proposed for the secretin-GPCRs in metazoan by analysing in detail the fishes, the most successful of the extant vertebrates. All the Actinopterygii genomes analysed and the Chondrichthyes and Sarcopterygii fish possess a SCTR gene that shares conserved sequence, structure and synteny with the tetrapod homologue. Phylogenetic clustering and gene environment comparisons revealed that fish and tetrapod SCTR shared a common origin and diverged early from the PAC1/VPAC subfamily group. In teleosts SCTR duplicated as a result of the fish specific whole genome duplication but in all the teleost genomes analysed, with the exception of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), one of the duplicates was lost. The function of SCTR in teleosts is unknown but quantitative PCR revealed that in both sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) transcript abundance is high in the gastrointestinal tract suggesting it may intervene in similar processes to those in mammals. In contrast, no gene encoding the ligand SCT was identified in the ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) although it was present in the coelacanth (lobe finned fish, Sarcopterygii) and in the elephant shark (holocephalian). The genes in linkage with SCT in tetrapods and coelacanth were also identified in ray-finned fishes supporting the idea that it was lost from their genome. At present SCTR remains an orphan receptor in ray-finned fishes and it will be of interest in the future to establish why SCT was

  8. Oldest isotopically characterized fish otoliths provide insight to Jurassic continental climate of Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, William P.

    1999-03-01

    Large, shallow, epeiric seas and adjacent lagoons such as those described herein likely played a significant role in moderating Jurassic coastal and continental climate. Jurassic (Bathonian) ocean surface temperatures in Scotland have been calculated from δ18O(CaCO3) values of a suite of the oldest well-preserved fish otoliths analyzed to date. Otolith δ18O values range from -4.7‰ to -1.9‰ (Vienna Peedee belemnite, VPDB), while δ13C(CaCO3) values vary from -5.4‰ to +1.5‰ (VPDB), representing the oldest stable isotopic record of paleodiet, paleoecology, and fish migration to date. Using a global ocean δ18O(H2O) value of -1.0‰ (Vienna standard mean ocean water, VSMOW) for an ice-free Jurassic, fish species that migrated from estuarine to open marine water record time-averaged temperatures of 23 °C. Estuarine fish, assuming a similar temperature, record variation in δ18O(H2O) values from -3.7‰ to -2.0‰ (VSMOW). That significant mixing of fresh water and seawater occurred in the Jurassic in Scotland is in general agreement with data presented by others (molluscan fauna, lithostratigraphy, paleogeography, and paleocirculation models). The δ18O values and temperatures derived in this study correspond to the meteorologic and hydrologic parameters of a mid-latitude maritime climate with low seasonality, a mean temperature of 23 °C, and abundant precipitation and humidity. The δ18O(H2O) values calculated from estuarine fish indicate that rainfall must have a δ18O(H2O) value lower than -3.7‰ (VSMOW). Values of δ18O and δ13C suggest an environment hydrologically similar to that observed in the Everglades of south Florida or the estuaries of south Texas, both notable fish nurseries today. However, sea-surface temperatures were lower than those of modern Florida or Texas as evidenced by reduced evaporative enrichment of δ18O(H2O) values.

  9. Comprehensive Care For Joint Replacement Model - Provider Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model - provider data. This data set includes provider data for two quality measures tracked during an episode of care:...

  10. Insights into iron sources and pathways in the Amazon River provided by isotopic and spectroscopic studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulholland, Daniel Santos; Poitrasson, Franck; Boaventura, Geraldo Resende; Allard, Thierry; Vieira, Lucieth Cruz; Santos, Roberto Ventura; Mancini, Luiz; Seyler, Patrick

    2015-02-01

    Cordillera and upland soils, as evidenced by high concentrations of Fe3+-oxides sensu lato measured by EPR. The massive dissolved and colloidal Fe removal is associated with the evolution of the physical and chemical composition of the waters (i.e., ionic strength) during mixing, which influences organo-Fe3+ and Fe3+-oxyhydroxides stability. Several models are discussed to explain Fe non-conservative behavior, including dissociation of organo-Fe complexes and the subsequent formation of solid Fe3+-oxyhydroxides and semiquinone free radicals, as evidenced by EPR spectra demonstrating that organo-Fe signals decrease as Fe3+-oxyhydroxides and free radicals signals increase. As in estuarine regions, the mechanisms involving Fe transfer and loss in the mixing zone has a negligible effect on the bulk water Fe isotopic composition. This result suggests that a tropical basin similar to the Amazon River Basin delivers to the ocean waters with an Fe isotopic composition similar to that of the Earth's continental crust.

  11. Stents: Biomechanics, Biomaterials, and Insights from Computational Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanasiou, Georgia S; Papafaklis, Michail I; Conway, Claire; Michalis, Lampros K; Tzafriri, Rami; Edelman, Elazer R; Fotiadis, Dimitrios I

    2017-04-01

    Coronary stents have revolutionized the treatment of coronary artery disease. Improvement in clinical outcomes requires detailed evaluation of the performance of stent biomechanics and the effectiveness as well as safety of biomaterials aiming at optimization of endovascular devices. Stents need to harmonize the hemodynamic environment and promote beneficial vessel healing processes with decreased thrombogenicity. Stent design variables and expansion properties are critical for vessel scaffolding. Drug-elution from stents, can help inhibit in-stent restenosis, but adds further complexity as drug release kinetics and coating formulations can dominate tissue responses. Biodegradable and bioabsorbable stents go one step further providing complete absorption over time governed by corrosion and erosion mechanisms. The advances in computing power and computational methods have enabled the application of numerical simulations and the in silico evaluation of the performance of stent devices made up of complex alloys and bioerodible materials in a range of dimensions and designs and with the capacity to retain and elute bioactive agents. This review presents the current knowledge on stent biomechanics, stent fatigue as well as drug release and mechanisms governing biodegradability focusing on the insights from computational modeling approaches.

  12. Structural equation modelling of determinants of customer satisfaction of mobile network providers: Case of Kolkata, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shibashish Chakraborty

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The Indian market of mobile network providers is growing rapidly. India is the second largest market of mobile network providers in the world and there is intense competition among existing players. In such a competitive market, customer satisfaction becomes a key issue. The objective of this paper is to develop a customer satisfaction model of mobile network providers in Kolkata. The results indicate that generic requirements (an aggregation of output quality and perceived value, flexibility, and price are the determinants of customer satisfaction. This study offers insights for mobile network providers to understand the determinants of customer satisfaction.

  13. Customer-Provider Strategic Alignment: A Maturity Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luftman, Jerry; Brown, Carol V.; Balaji, S.

    This chapter presents a new model for assessing the maturity of a ­customer-provider relationship from a collaborative service delivery perspective: the Customer-Provider Strategic Alignment Maturity (CPSAM) Model. This model builds on recent research for effectively managing the customer-provider relationship in IT service outsourcing contexts and a validated model for assessing alignment across internal IT service units and their business customers within the same organization. After reviewing relevant literature by service science and information systems researchers, the six overarching components of the maturity model are presented: value measurements, governance, partnership, communications, human resources and skills, and scope and architecture. A key assumption of the model is that all of the components need be addressed to assess and improve customer-provider alignment. Examples of specific metrics for measuring the maturity level of each component over the five levels of maturity are also presented.

  14. Mechanisms of cell death in canine parvovirus-infected cells provide intuitive insights to developing nanotools for medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nykky, Jonna; Tuusa, Jenni E; Kirjavainen, Sanna; Vuento, Matti; Gilbert, Leona

    2010-08-09

    Viruses have great potential as nanotools in medicine for gene transfer, targeted gene delivery, and oncolytic cancer virotherapy. Here we have studied cell death mechanisms of canine parvovirus (CPV) to increase the knowledge on the CPV life cycle in order to facilitate the development of better parvovirus vectors. Morphological studies of CPV-infected Norden laboratory feline kidney (NLFK) cells and canine fibroma cells (A72) displayed characteristic apoptotic events. Apoptosis was further confirmed by activation of caspases and cellular DNA damage. However, results from annexin V-propidium iodide (PI) labeling and membrane polarization assays indicated disruption of the plasma membrane uncommon to apoptosis. These results provide evidence that secondary necrosis followed apoptosis. In addition, two human cancer cell lines were found to be infected by CPV. This necrotic event over apoptotic cell death and infection in human cells provide insightful information when developing CPV as a nanotool for cancer treatments.

  15. Systematic large-scale study of the inheritance mode of Mendelian disorders provides new insight into human diseasome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Dapeng; Wang, Guangyu; Yin, Zuojing; Li, Chuanxing; Cui, Yan; Zhou, Meng

    2014-11-01

    One important piece of information about the human Mendelian disorders is the mode of inheritance. Recent studies of human genetic diseases on a large scale have provided many novel insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms. However, most successful analyses ignored the mode of inheritance of diseases, which severely limits our understanding of human disease mechanisms relating to the mode of inheritance at the large scale. Therefore, we here conducted a systematic large-scale study of the inheritance mode of Mendelian disorders, to bring new insight into human diseases. Our analyses include the comparison between dominant and recessive disease genes on both genomic and proteomic characteristics, Mendelian mutations, protein network properties and disease connections on both the genetic and the population levels. We found that dominant disease genes are more functionally central, topological central and more sensitive to disease outcome. On the basis of these findings, we suggested that dominant diseases should have higher genetic heterogeneity and should have more comprehensive connections with each other compared with recessive diseases, a prediction we confirm by disease network and disease comorbidity.

  16. GSK-3: functional insights from cell biology and animal models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oksana eKaidanovich-Beilin

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 is a widely expressed and highly conserved serine/threonine protein kinase encoded in mammals by two genes that generate two related proteins: GSK-3α and GSK-3β. GSK-3 is active in cells under resting conditions and is primarily regulated through inhibition or diversion of its activity. While GSK-3 is one of the few protein kinases that can be inactivated by phosphorylation, the mechanisms of GSK-3 regulation are more varied and not fully understood. Precise control appears to be achieved by a combination of phosphorylation, localization, and sequestration by a number of GSK-3-binding proteins. GSK-3 lies downstream of several major signaling pathways including the phosphatidylinositol 3’ kinase pathway, the Wnt pathway, Hedgehog signaling and Notch. Specific pools of GSK-3, which differ in intracellular localization, binding partner affinity and relative amount are differentially sensitized to several distinct signaling pathways and these sequestration mechanisms contribute to pathway insulation and signal specificity. Dysregulation of signaling pathways involving GSK-3 is associated with the pathogenesis of numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders and there are data suggesting GSK-3 isoform-selective roles in several of these. Here, we review the current knowledge of GSK-3 regulation and targets and discuss the various animal models that have been employed to dissect the functions of GSK-3 in brain development and function through the use of conventional or conditional knock-out mice as well as transgenic mice. These studies have revealed fundamental roles for these protein kinases in memory, behavior and neuronal fate determination and provide insights into possible therapeutic interventions.

  17. Integration of complex data sources to provide biologic insight into pulmonary vascular disease (2015 Grover Conference Series)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Stephen Y.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The application of complex data sources to pulmonary vascular diseases is an emerging and promising area of investigation. The use of -omics platforms, in silico modeling of gene networks, and linkage of large human cohorts with DNA biobanks are beginning to bear biologic insight into pulmonary hypertension. These approaches to high-throughput molecular phenotyping offer the possibility of discovering new therapeutic targets and identifying variability in response to therapy that can be leveraged to improve clinical care. Optimizing the methods for analyzing complex data sources and accruing large, well-phenotyped human cohorts linked to biologic data remain significant challenges. Here, we discuss two specific types of complex data sources—gene regulatory networks and DNA-linked electronic medical record cohorts—that illustrate the promise, challenges, and current limitations of these approaches to understanding and managing pulmonary vascular disease. PMID:27683602

  18. The integrins of the urochordate Ciona intestinalis provide novel insights into the molecular evolution of the vertebrate integrin family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robertson David L

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Integrins are a functionally significant family of metazoan cell surface adhesion receptors. The receptors are dimers composed of an alpha and a beta chain. Vertebrate genomes encode an expanded set of integrin alpha and beta chains in comparison with protostomes such as drosophila or the nematode worm. The publication of the genome of a basal chordate, Ciona intestinalis, provides a unique opportunity to gain further insight into how and when the expanded integrin supergene family found in vertebrates evolved. Results The Ciona genome encodes eleven α and five β chain genes that are highly homologous to their vertebrate homologues. Eight of the α chains contain an A-domain that lacks the short alpha helical region present in the collagen-binding vertebrate alpha chains. Phylogenetic analyses indicate the eight A-domain containing α chains cluster to form an ascidian-specific clade that is related to but, distinct from, the vertebrate A-domain clade. Two Ciona α chains cluster in laminin-binding clade and the remaining chain clusters in the clade that binds the RGD tripeptide sequence. Of the five Ciona β chains, three form an ascidian-specific clade, one clusters in the vertebrate β1 clade and the remaining Ciona chain is the orthologue of the vertebrate β4 chain. Conclusion The Ciona repertoire of integrin genes provides new insight into the basic set of these receptors available at the beginning of vertebrate evolution. The ascidian and vertebrate α chain A-domain clades originated from a common precursor but radiated separately in each lineage. It would appear that the acquisition of collagen binding capabilities occurred in the chordate lineage after the divergence of ascidians.

  19. Preliminary insights into a model for mafic magma fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Matt; Pioli, Laura; Andronico, Daniele; Cristaldi, Antonio; Scollo, Simona

    2017-04-01

    Fragmentation of mafic magmas remains a poorly understood process despite the common occurrence of low viscosity explosive eruptions. In fact, it has been commonly overlooked based on the assumption that low viscosity magmas have very limited explosivity and low potential to undergo brittle fragmentation. However, it is now known that highly explosive, ash forming eruptions can be relatively frequent at several mafic volcanoes. Three questions arise due to this - What is the specific fragmentation mechanism occuring in these eruptions? What are the primary factors controlling fragmentation efficiency? Can a link between eruption style and fragmentation efficiency be quantified? We addressed these questions by coupling theoretical observations and field analysis of the recent May 2016 eruption at Mount Etna volcano. Within this complex 10-day event three paroxysmal episodes of pulsating basaltic lava jets alternating with small lava flows were recorded from a vent within the Voragine crater. The associated plumes which were produced deposited tephra along narrow axes to the east and south east. Sampling was done on the deposits associated with the first two plumes and the third one. We briefly characterise the May 2016 eruption by assessing plume height, eruption phases, total erupted masses and fallout boundaries and comparing them to previous eruptions. We also analyse the total grainsize distribution (TGSD) of the scoria particles formed in the jets. Conventional methods for obtaining grainsize and total distributions of an eruption are based on mass and provide limited information on fragmentation though. For this reason, the TGSD was assessed by coupling particle analyser data and conventional sieving data to assess both particle size and number of particle distributions with better precision. This allowed for more accurate testing of several existing models describing the shape of the TGSD. Coupled further with observations on eruption dynamics and eruption

  20. A Workforce Design Model: Providing Energy to Organizations in Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halm, Barry J.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the change in performance realized by a professional services organization, which resulted in the Life Giving Workforce Design (LGWD) model through a grounded theory research design. This study produced a workforce design model characterized as an organizational blueprint that provides virtuous…

  1. Using Models to Inform Policy: Insights from Modeling the Complexities of Global Polio Eradication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Kimberly M.

    Drawing on over 20 years of experience modeling risks in complex systems, this talk will challenge SBP participants to develop models that provide timely and useful answers to critical policy questions when decision makers need them. The talk will include reflections on the opportunities and challenges associated with developing integrated models for complex problems and communicating their results effectively. Dr. Thompson will focus the talk largely on collaborative modeling related to global polio eradication and the application of system dynamics tools. After successful global eradication of wild polioviruses, live polioviruses will still present risks that could potentially lead to paralytic polio cases. This talk will present the insights of efforts to use integrated dynamic, probabilistic risk, decision, and economic models to address critical policy questions related to managing global polio risks. Using a dynamic disease transmission model combined with probabilistic model inputs that characterize uncertainty for a stratified world to account for variability, we find that global health leaders will face some difficult choices, but that they can take actions that will manage the risks effectively. The talk will emphasize the need for true collaboration between modelers and subject matter experts, and the importance of working with decision makers as partners to ensure the development of useful models that actually get used.

  2. Novel information on the epitope of an inverse agonist monoclonal antibody provides insight into the structure of the TSH receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Rong Chen

    Full Text Available The TSH receptor (TSHR comprises an extracellular leucine-rich domain (LRD linked by a hinge region to the transmembrane domain (TMD. Insight into the orientation of these components to each other is required for understanding how ligands activate the receptor. We previously identified residue E251 at the LRD-hinge junction as contributing to coupling TSH binding with receptor activation. However, a single residue cannot stabilize the LRD-hinge unit. Therefore, based on the LRD crystal structure we selected for study four other potential LRD-hinge interface charged residues. Alanine substitutions of individual residues K244, E247, K250 and R255 (as well as previously known E251A did not affect TSH binding or function. However, the cumulative mutation of these residues in varying permutations, primarily K250A and R255A when associated with E251A, partially uncoupled TSH binding and function. These data suggest that these three residues, spatially very close to each other at the LRD base, interact with the hinge region. Unexpectedly and most important, monoclonal antibody CS-17, a TSHR inverse agonist whose epitope straddles the LRD-hinge, was found to interact with residues K244 and E247 at the base of the convex LRD surface. These observations, together with the functional data, exclude residues K244 and E247 from the TSHR LRD-hinge interface. Further, for CS-17 accessibility to K244 and E247, the concave surface of the TSHR LRD must be tilted forwards towards the hinge region and plasma membrane. Overall, these data provide insight into the mechanism by which ligands either activate the TSHR or suppress its constitutive activity.

  3. High-density interspecific genetic linkage mapping provides insights into genomic incompatibility between channel catfish and blue catfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, S; Li, Y; Qin, Z; Geng, X; Bao, L; Kaltenboeck, L; Kucuktas, H; Dunham, R; Liu, Z

    2016-02-01

    Catfish is the leading aquaculture species in the United States. The interspecific hybrid catfish produced by mating female channel catfish with male blue catfish outperform both of their parent species in a number of traits. However, mass production of the hybrids has been difficult because of reproductive isolation. Investigations of genome structure and organization of the hybrids provide insights into the genetic basis for maintenance of species divergence in the face of gene flow, thereby helping develop strategies for introgression and efficient production of the hybrids for aquaculture. In this study, we constructed a high-density genetic linkage map using the hybrid catfish system with the catfish 250K SNP array. A total of 26,238 SNPs were mapped to 29 linkage groups, with 12,776 unique marker positions. The linkage map spans approximately 3240 cM with an average intermarker distance of 0.25 cM. A fraction of markers (986 of 12,776) exhibited significant deviation from the expected Mendelian ratio of segregation, and they were clustered in major genomic blocks across 15 LGs, most notably LG9 and LG15. The distorted markers exhibited significant bias for maternal alleles among the backcross progenies, suggesting strong selection against the blue catfish alleles. The clustering of distorted markers within genomic blocks should lend insights into speciation as marked by incompatibilities between the two species. Such findings should also have profound implications for understanding the genomic evolution of closely related species as well as the introgression of hybrid production programs in aquaculture.

  4. The Structure of Allophanate Hydrolase from Granulibacter bethesdensis Provides Insights into Substrate Specificity in the Amidase Signature Family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, Yi [Marquette Univ., Milwaukee, WI (United States); Maurice, Martin [Marquette Univ., Milwaukee, WI (United States)

    2013-01-02

    Allophanate hydrolase (AH) catalyzes the hydrolysis of allophanate, an intermediate in atrazine degradation and urea catabolism pathways, to NH3 and CO2. AH belongs to the amidase signature family, which is characterized by a conserved block of 130 amino acids rich in Gly and Ser and a Ser-cis-Ser-Lys catalytic triad. In this study, the first structures of AH fromGranulibacter bethesdensis were determined, with and without the substrate analogue malonate, to 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. The structures confirm the identity of the catalytic triad residues and reveal an altered dimerization interface that is not conserved in the amidase signature family. The structures also provide insights into previously unrecognized substrate specificity determinants in AH. Two residues, Tyr299 and Arg307, are within hydrogen bonding distance of a carboxylate moiety of malonate. Both Tyr299 and Arg307 were mutated, and the resulting modified enzymes revealed >3 order of magnitude reductions in both catalytic efficiency and substrate stringency. It is proposed that Tyr299 and Arg307 serve to anchor and orient the substrate for attack by the catalytic nucleophile, Ser172. The structure further suggests the presence of a unique C-terminal domain in AH. While this domain is conserved, it does not contribute to catalysis or to the structural integrity of the core domain, suggesting that it may play a role in mediating transient and specific interactions with the urea carboxylase component of urea amidolyase. Analysis of the AH active site architecture offers new insights into common determinants of catalysis and specificity among divergent members of the amidase signature family.

  5. A three-dimensional model of thoughts: insight into depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desseilles, Martin; Chang, Trina; Piguet, Camille; Bertschy, Gilles; Dayer, Alexandre G

    2012-01-01

    Thought processing and mood regulation are closely linked, but existing classifications of mood disorders fail to recognize the complex interplay between these two clinical dimensions. Furthermore, existing classifications fail to account for the possibility that depression might be associated with an increased frequency of self-referential thoughts that could in some circumstances be related to creativity processes. Based on recent evidence from clinical phenomenology, experimental psychology and affective neuroscience, we propose a novel comprehensive theoretical framework that incorporates thought processing and emotional valence. This new taxonomy provides insights into the clinical understanding of the spectrum of mood disorders and accounts for the possibility of increased creativity in altered mood states.

  6. Bring Your Own Device - Providing Reliable Model of Data Access

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stąpór Paweł

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The article presents a model of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD as a model network, which provides the user reliable access to network resources. BYOD is a model dynamically developing, which can be applied in many areas. Research network has been launched in order to carry out the test, in which as a service of BYOD model Work Folders service was used. This service allows the user to synchronize files between the device and the server. An access to the network is completed through the wireless communication by the 802.11n standard. Obtained results are shown and analyzed in this article.

  7. Physical mapping and BAC-end sequence analysis provide initial insights into the flax (Linum usitatissimum L. genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cloutier Sylvie

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Flax (Linum usitatissimum L. is an important source of oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have proven health benefits and utility as an industrial raw material. Flax seeds also contain lignans which are associated with reducing the risk of certain types of cancer. Its bast fibres have broad industrial applications. However, genomic tools needed for molecular breeding were non existent. Hence a project, Total Utilization Flax GENomics (TUFGEN was initiated. We report here the first genome-wide physical map of flax and the generation and analysis of BAC-end sequences (BES from 43,776 clones, providing initial insights into the genome. Results The physical map consists of 416 contigs spanning ~368 Mb, assembled from 32,025 fingerprints, representing roughly 54.5% to 99.4% of the estimated haploid genome (370-675 Mb. The N50 size of the contigs was estimated to be ~1,494 kb. The longest contig was ~5,562 kb comprising 437 clones. There were 96 contigs containing more than 100 clones. Approximately 54.6 Mb representing 8-14.8% of the genome was obtained from 80,337 BES. Annotation revealed that a large part of the genome consists of ribosomal DNA (~13.8%, followed by known transposable elements at 6.1%. Furthermore, ~7.4% of sequence was identified to harbour novel repeat elements. Homology searches against flax-ESTs and NCBI-ESTs suggested that ~5.6% of the transcriptome is unique to flax. A total of 4064 putative genomic SSRs were identified and are being developed as novel markers for their use in molecular breeding. Conclusion The first genome-wide physical map of flax constructed with BAC clones provides a framework for accessing target loci with economic importance for marker development and positional cloning. Analysis of the BES has provided insights into the uniqueness of the flax genome. Compared to other plant genomes, the proportion of rDNA was found to be very high whereas the proportion of known transposable

  8. Insights from Development of Regulatory PSA Model for SMART

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Chang Ju; Cho, Nam Chul [Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Inn Seock [ISSA Technology, Maryland (United States); Lee, Yong Suk [Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2010-10-15

    SMART (System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor) is a first-of-the-kind integral reactor with 330 MW thermal power under active development by Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) for power generation and seawater desalination. SMART employs various design features that are not typically found in other nuclear power plants. Examples include a unique passive residual heat removal system (PRHRS), and enclosure of a pressurizer, eight helical steam generators, and eight canned reactor coolant pumps inside the reactor pressure vessel. This paper presents risk insights on the SMART reactor gained during the development of a regulatory PSA model by Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS)

  9. Mechanisms of cell death in canine parvovirus-infected cells provide intuitive insights to developing nanotools for medicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonna Nykky

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Jonna Nykky, Jenni E Tuusa, Sanna Kirjavainen, Matti Vuento, Leona GilbertNanoscience Center and Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, FinlandAbstract: Viruses have great potential as nanotools in medicine for gene transfer, targeted gene delivery, and oncolytic cancer virotherapy. Here we have studied cell death mechanisms of canine parvovirus (CPV to increase the knowledge on the CPV life cycle in order to facilitate the development of better parvovirus vectors. Morphological studies of CPV-infected Norden laboratory feline kidney (NLFK cells and canine fibroma cells (A72 displayed characteristic apoptotic events. Apoptosis was further confirmed by activation of caspases and cellular DNA damage. However, results from annexin V-propidium iodide (PI labeling and membrane polarization assays indicated disruption of the plasma membrane uncommon to apoptosis. These results provide evidence that secondary necrosis followed apoptosis. In addition, two human cancer cell lines were found to be infected by CPV. This necrotic event over apoptotic cell death and infection in human cells provide insightful information when developing CPV as a nanotool for cancer treatments.Keywords: canine parvovirus, apoptosis, necrosis, nanoparticle, virotherapy

  10. NEW INSIGHT INTO THE SOLAR SYSTEM’S TRANSITION DISK PHASE PROVIDED BY THE METAL-RICH CARBONACEOUS CHONDRITE ISHEYEVO

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morris, Melissa A. [State University of New York, Cortland, NY 13045 (United States); Garvie, Laurence A. J. [Center for Meteorite Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Knauth, L. Paul, E-mail: melissa.morris@cortland.edu [School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States)

    2015-03-10

    Many aspects of planet formation are controlled by the amount of gas remaining in the natal protoplanetary disks (PPDs). Infrared observations show that PPDs undergo a transition stage at several megayears, during which gas densities are reduced. Our Solar System would have experienced such a stage. However, there is currently no data that provides insight into this crucial time in our PPD’s evolution. We show that the Isheyevo meteorite contains the first definitive evidence for a transition disk stage in our Solar System. Isheyevo belongs to a class of metal-rich meteorites whose components have been dated at almost 5 Myr after formation of Ca, Al-rich inclusions, and exhibits unique sedimentary layers that imply formation through gentle sedimentation. We show that such layering can occur via the gentle sweep-up of material found in the impact plume resulting from the collision of two planetesimals. Such sweep-up requires gas densities consistent with observed transition disks (10{sup −12}–10{sup −11} g cm{sup −3}). As such, Isheyevo presents the first evidence of our own transition disk and provides new constraints on the evolution of our solar nebula.

  11. Taxonomic and functional diversity provides insight into microbial pathways and stress responses in the saline Qinghai Lake, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qiuyuan; Briggs, Brandon R; Dong, Hailiang; Jiang, Hongchen; Wu, Geng; Edwardson, Christian; De Vlaminck, Iwijn; Quake, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Microbe-mediated biogeochemical cycles contribute to the global climate system and have sensitive responses and feedbacks to environmental stress caused by climate change. Yet, little is known about the effects of microbial biodiversity (i.e., taxonmic and functional diversity) on biogeochemical cycles in ecosytems that are highly sensitive to climate change. One such sensitive ecosystem is Qinghai Lake, a high-elevation (3196 m) saline (1.4%) lake located on the Tibetan Plateau, China. This study provides baseline information on the microbial taxonomic and functional diversity as well as the associated stress response genes. Illumina metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets were generated from lake water samples collected at two sites (B and E). Autotrophic Cyanobacteria dominated the DNA samples, while heterotrophic Proteobacteria dominated the RNA samples at both sites. Photoheterotrophic Loktanella was also present at both sites. Photosystem II was the most active pathway at site B; while, oxidative phosphorylation was most active at site E. Organisms that expressed photosystem II or oxidative phosphorylation also expressed genes involved in photoprotection and oxidative stress, respectively. Assimilatory pathways associated with the nitrogen cycle were dominant at both sites. Results also indicate a positive relationship between functional diversity and the number of stress response genes. This study provides insight into the stress resilience of microbial metabolic pathways supported by greater taxonomic diversity, which may affect the microbial community response to climate change.

  12. Multilocus sequence analysis provides insights into molecular epidemiology of Chlamydia pecorum infections in Australian sheep, cattle, and koalas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jelocnik, Martina; Frentiu, Francesca D; Timms, Peter; Polkinghorne, Adam

    2013-08-01

    Chlamydia pecorum is a significant pathogen of domestic livestock and wildlife. We have developed a C. pecorum-specific multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) scheme to examine the genetic diversity of and relationships between Australian sheep, cattle, and koala isolates. An MLSA of seven concatenated housekeeping gene fragments was performed using 35 isolates, including 18 livestock isolates (11 Australian sheep, one Australian cow, and six U.S. livestock isolates) and 17 Australian koala isolates. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the koala isolates formed a distinct clade, with limited clustering with C. pecorum isolates from Australian sheep. We identified 11 MLSA sequence types (STs) among Australian C. pecorum isolates, 10 of them novel, with koala and sheep sharing at least one identical ST (designated ST2013Aa). ST23, previously identified in global C. pecorum livestock isolates, was observed here in a subset of Australian bovine and sheep isolates. Most notably, ST23 was found in association with multiple disease states and hosts, providing insights into the transmission of this pathogen between livestock hosts. The complexity of the epidemiology of this disease was further highlighted by the observation that at least two examples of sheep were infected with different C. pecorum STs in the eyes and gastrointestinal tract. We have demonstrated the feasibility of our MLSA scheme for understanding the host relationship that exists between Australian C. pecorum strains and provide the first molecular epidemiological data on infections in Australian livestock hosts.

  13. Insights on PRA Review Practices: Necessity for Model Shaking

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Inn Seock; Jang, Mi suk; Kim, Seoung Rae [NESS, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-05-15

    Probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) is increasingly used as a technique to help ensure design and operational safety of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the nuclear industry. Hence, there is considerable interest in the PRA quality, and as a result, a peer review of the PRA model is typically performed to ensure its technical adequacy as part of the PRA development process or for any other reason (e.g., regulatory requirement). For the PRA model to be used as a valuable vehicle for risk-informed applications, it is essential that the PRA model must yield correct and physically meaningful accident sequences and minimal cutsets for specific plant configurations or conditions relating to the applications. Hence, the existing peer review guidelines need to be updated to reflect these insights so that risk-informed applications could be more actively pursued with confidence.

  14. Insights revealed by rodent models of sugar binge eating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Susan M; Tulloch, Alastair J; Chen, Eunice Y; Avena, Nicole M

    2015-12-01

    Binge eating is seen across the spectrum of eating disorder diagnoses as well as among individuals who do not meet diagnostic criteria. Analyses of the specific types of foods that are frequently binged upon reveal that sugar-rich items feature prominently in binge-type meals, making the effects of binge consumption of sugar an important focus of study. One avenue to do this involves the use of animal models. Foundational and recent studies of animal models of sugar bingeing, both outlined here, lend insight into the various neurotransmitters and neuropeptides that may participate in or be altered by this behavior. Further, several preclinical studies incorporating sugar bingeing paradigms have explored the utility of pharmacological agents that target such neural systems for reducing sugar bingeing in an effort to enhance clinical treatment. Indeed, the translational implications of findings generated using animal models of sugar bingeing are considered here, along with potential avenues for further study.

  15. Electrospray ionization ion mobility mass spectrometry provides novel insights into the pattern and activity of fetal hippocampus gangliosides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarbu, Mirela; Vukelić, Željka; Clemmer, David E; Zamfir, Alina D

    2017-08-01

    Gangliosides (GGs), a particular class of glycosphingolipids ubiquitously found in tissues and body fluids, exhibit the highest expression in the central nervous system, especially in brain. GGs are involved in crucial processes, such as neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, cell adhesion, growth and proliferation. For these reasons, efforts are constantly invested into development and refinement of specific methods for GG analysis. We have recently shown that ion mobility separation (IMS) mass spectrometry (MS) has the capability to provide consistent compositional and structural information on GGs at high sensitivity, resolution and mass accuracy. In the present paper, we have implemented IMS MS for the first time in the study of a highly complex native GG mixture extracted and purified from human fetal hippocampus. As compared to previous studies, where no separation techniques prior to MS were applied, IMS MS technique has not just generated valuable novel information on the GG pattern characteristic for hippocampus in early developmental stage, but also provided data related to the GG molecular involvement in the synaptic functions by the discovery of 25 novel structures modified by CH3COO(-). The detection and identification in fetal hippocampus of a much larger number of GG species than ever reported before was possible due to the ion mobility separation according to the charge state, the carbohydrate chain length and the degree of sialylation. By applying IMS in conjunction with collision induced dissociation (CID) tandem MS (MS/MS), novel GG species modified by CH3COO(-) attachment, discovered here for the first time, were sequenced and structurally investigated in details. The present findings, based on IMS MS, provide a more reliable insight into the expression and role of gangliosides in human hippocampus, with a particular emphasis on their cholinergic activity at this level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de

  16. Trust Your Cloud Service Provider: User Based Crypto Model. Sitanaboina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Lakshmi Parvathi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In Data Storage as a Service (STaaS cloud computing environment, the equipment used for business operations can be leased from a single service provider along with the application, and the related business data can be stored on equipment provided by the same service provider. This type of arrangement can help a company save on hardware and software infrastructure costs, but storing the company’s data on the service provider’s equipment raises the possibility that important business information may be improperly disclosed to others [1]. Some researchers have suggested that user data stored on a service-provider’s equipment must be encrypted [2]. Encrypting data prior to storage is a common method of data protection, and service providers may be able to build firewalls to ensure that the decryption keys associated with encrypted user data are not disclosed to outsiders. However, if the decryption key and the encrypted data are held by the same service provider, it raises the possibility that high-level administrators within the service provider would have access to both the decryption key and the encrypted data, thus presenting a risk for the unauthorized disclosure of the user data. we in this paper provides an unique business model of cryptography where crypto keys are distributed across the user and the trusted third party(TTP with adoption of such a model mainly the CSP insider attack an form of misuse of valuable user data can be treated secured.

  17. Structure of the CED-4-CED-9 Complex Provides Insights into Programmed Cell Death in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan,N.; Chai, J.; Lee, E.; Gu, L.; Liu, Q.; He, J.; Wu, J.; Kokel, D.; Li, H.; et al.

    2005-01-01

    Interplay among four genes-egl-1, ced-9, ced-4 and ced-3-controls the onset of programmed cell death in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Activation of the cell-killing protease CED-3 requires CED-4. However, CED-4 is constitutively inhibited by CED-9 until its release by EGL-1. Here we report the crystal structure of the CED-4-CED-9 complex at 2.6 Angstrom resolution, and a complete reconstitution of the CED-3 activation pathway using homogeneous proteins of CED-4, CED-9 and EGL-1. One molecule of CED-9 binds to an asymmetric dimer of CED-4, but specifically recognizes only one of the two CED-4 molecules. This specific interaction prevents CED-4 from activating CED-3. EGL-1 binding induces pronounced conformational changes in CED-9 that result in the dissociation of the CED-4 dimer from CED-9. The released CED-4 dimer further dimerizes to form a tetramer, which facilitates the autoactivation of CED-3. Together, our studies provide important insights into the regulation of cell death activation in C. elegans.

  18. Novel UDP-GalNAc Derivative Structures Provide Insight into the Donor Specificity of Human Blood Group Glycosyltransferase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Gerd K; Pesnot, Thomas; Palcic, Monica M; Jørgensen, Rene

    2015-12-25

    Two closely related glycosyltransferases are responsible for the final step of the biosynthesis of ABO(H) human blood group A and B antigens. The two enzymes differ by only four amino acid residues, which determine whether the enzymes transfer GalNAc from UDP-GalNAc or Gal from UDP-Gal to the H-antigen acceptor. The enzymes belong to the class of GT-A folded enzymes, grouped as GT6 in the CAZy database, and are characterized by a single domain with a metal dependent retaining reaction mechanism. However, the exact role of the four amino acid residues in the specificity of the enzymes is still unresolved. In this study, we report the first structural information of a dual specificity cis-AB blood group glycosyltransferase in complex with a synthetic UDP-GalNAc derivative. Interestingly, the GalNAc moiety adopts an unusual yet catalytically productive conformation in the binding pocket, which is different from the "tucked under" conformation previously observed for the UDP-Gal donor. In addition, we show that this UDP-GalNAc derivative in complex with the H-antigen acceptor provokes the same unusual binding pocket closure as seen for the corresponding UDP-Gal derivative. Despite this, the two derivatives show vastly different kinetic properties. Our results provide a important structural insight into the donor substrate specificity and utilization in blood group biosynthesis, which can very likely be exploited for the development of new glycosyltransferase inhibitors and probes.

  19. High Content Analysis Provides Mechanistic Insights on the Pathways of Toxicity Induced by Amine-Modified Polystyrene Nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anguissola, Sergio; Garry, David; Salvati, Anna; O'Brien, Peter J.; Dawson, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    The fast-paced development of nanotechnology needs the support of effective safety testing. We have developed a screening platform measuring simultaneously several cellular parameters for exposure to various concentrations of nanoparticles (NPs). Cell lines representative of different organ cell types, including lung, endothelium, liver, kidney, macrophages, glia, and neuronal cells were exposed to 50 nm amine-modified polystyrene (PS-NH2) NPs previously reported to induce apoptosis and to 50 nm sulphonated and carboxyl-modified polystyrene NPs that were reported to be silent. All cell lines apart from Raw 264.7 executed apoptosis in response to PS-NH2 NPs, showing specific sequences of EC50 thresholds; lysosomal acidification was the most sensitive parameter. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and plasma membrane integrity measured by High Content Analysis resulted comparably sensitive to the equivalent OECD-recommended assays, allowing increased output. Analysis of the acidic compartments revealed good cerrelation between size/fluorescence intensity and dose of PS-NH2 NPs applied; moreover steatosis and phospholipidosis were observed, consistent with the lysosomal alterations revealed by Lysotracker green; similar responses were observed when comparing astrocytoma cells with primary astrocytes. We have established a platform providing mechanistic insights on the response to exposure to nanoparticles. Such platform holds great potential for in vitro screening of nanomaterials in highthroughput format. PMID:25238162

  20. The gene expression data of Mycobacterium tuberculosis based on Affymetrix gene chips provide insight into regulatory and hypothetical genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fu-Liu Casey S

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tuberculosis remains a leading infectious disease with global public health threat. Its control and management have been complicated by multi-drug resistance and latent infection, which prompts scientists to find new and more effective drugs. With the completion of the genome sequence of the etiologic bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it is now feasible to search for new drug targets by sieving through a large number of gene products and conduct genome-scale experiments based on microarray technology. However, the full potential of genome-wide microarray analysis in configuring interrelationships among all genes in M. tuberculosis has yet to be realized. To date, it is only possible to assign a function to 52% of proteins predicted in the genome. Results We conducted a functional-genomics study using the high-resolution Affymetrix oligonucleotide GeneChip. Approximately one-half of the genes were found to be always expressed, including more than 100 predicted conserved hypotheticals, in the genome of M. tuberculosis during the log phase of in vitro growth. The gene expression profiles were analyzed and visualized through cluster analysis to epitomize the full details of genomic behavior. Broad patterns derived from genome-wide expression experiments in this study have provided insight into the interrelationships among genes in the basic cellular processes of M. tuberculosis. Conclusion Our results have confirmed several known gene clusters in energy production, information pathways, and lipid metabolism, and also hinted at potential roles of hypothetical and regulatory proteins.

  1. Comparative physiological and transcriptomic analyses provide integrated insight into osmotic, cold, and salt stress tolerance mechanisms in banana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Wei; Ding, Zehong; Tie, Weiwei; Yan, Yan; Liu, Yang; Wu, Chunlai; Liu, Juhua; Wang, Jiashui; Peng, Ming; Xu, Biyu; Jin, Zhiqiang

    2017-01-01

    The growth, development, and production of banana plants are constrained by multiple abiotic stressors. However, it remains elusive for the tolerance mechanisms of banana responding to multiple abiotic stresses. In this study, we found that Fen Jiao (FJ) was more tolerant to osmotic, cold, and salt stresses than BaXi Jiao (BX) by phenotypic and physiological analyses. Comparative transcriptomic analyses highlighted stress tolerance genes that either specifically regulated in FJ or changed more than twofold in FJ relative to BX after treatments. In total, 933, 1644, and 133 stress tolerance genes were identified after osmotic, cold, and salt treatments, respectively. Further integrated analyses found that 30 tolerance genes, including transcription factor, heat shock protein, and E3 ubiquitin protein ligase, could be commonly regulated by osmotic, cold, and salt stresses. Finally, ABA and ROS signaling networks were found to be more active in FJ than in BX under osmotic, cold, and salt treatments, which may contribute to the strong stress tolerances of FJ. Together, this study provides new insights into the tolerance mechanism of banana responding to multiple stresses, thus leading to potential applications in the genetic improvement of multiple abiotic stress tolerances in banana. PMID:28223714

  2. Comparative genomic analysis of the genus Nocardiopsis provides new insights into its genetic mechanisms of environmental adaptability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Wei Li

    Full Text Available The genus Nocardiopsis, a widespread group in phylum Actinobacteria, has received much attention owing to its ecological versatility, pathogenicity, and ability to produce a rich array of bioactive metabolites. Its high environmental adaptability might be attributable to its genome dynamics, which can be estimated through comparative genomic analysis targeting microorganisms with close phylogenetic relationships but different phenotypes. To shed light on speciation, gene content evolution, and environmental adaptation in these unique actinobacteria, we sequenced draft genomes for 16 representative species of the genus and compared them with that of the type species N. dassonvillei subsp. dassonvillei DSM 43111(T. The core genome of 1,993 orthologous and paralogous gene clusters was identified, and the pan-genomic reservoir was found not only to accommodate more than 22,000 genes, but also to be open. The top ten paralogous genes in terms of copy number could be referred to three functional categories: transcription regulators, transporters, and synthases related to bioactive metabolites. Based on phylogenomic reconstruction, we inferred past evolutionary events, such as gene gains and losses, and identified a list of clade-specific genes implicated in environmental adaptation. These results provided insights into the genetic causes of environmental adaptability in this cosmopolitan actinobacterial group and the contributions made by its inherent features, including genome dynamics and the constituents of core and accessory proteins.

  3. Serial explant culture provides novel insights into the potential location and phenotype of corneal endothelial progenitor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walshe, Jennifer; Harkin, Damien G

    2014-10-01

    The routine cultivation of human corneal endothelial cells, with the view to treating patients with endothelial dysfunction, remains a challenging task. While progress in this field has been buoyed by the proposed existence of progenitor cells for the corneal endothelium at the corneal limbus, strategies for exploiting this concept remain unclear. In the course of evaluating methods for growing corneal endothelial cells, we have noted a case where remarkable growth was achieved using a serial explant culture technique. Over the course of 7 months, a single explant of corneal endothelium, acquired from cadaveric human tissue, was sequentially seeded into 7 culture plates and on each occasion produced a confluent cell monolayer. Sample cultures were confirmed as endothelial in origin by positive staining for glypican-4. On each occasion, small cells, closest to the tissue explant, developed into a highly compact layer with an almost homogenous structure. This layer was resistant to removal with trypsin and produced continuous cell outgrowth during multiple culture periods. The small cells gave rise to larger cells with phase-bright cell boundaries and prominent immunostaining for both nestin and telomerase. Nestin and telomerase were also strongly expressed in small cells immediately adjacent to the wound site, following transfer of the explant to another culture plate. These findings are consistent with the theory that progenitor cells for the corneal endothelium reside within the limbus and provide new insights into expected expression patterns for nestin and telomerase within the differentiation pathway.

  4. Scrutiny of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 19 kDa antigen proteoforms provides new insights in the lipoglycoprotein biogenesis paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Julien; Marcoux, Julien; Poncin, Isabelle; Canaan, Stéphane; Herrmann, Jean Louis; Nigou, Jérôme; Burlet-Schiltz, Odile; Rivière, Michel

    2017-01-01

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are essential processes conditioning the biophysical properties and biological activities of the vast majority of mature proteins. However, occurrence of several distinct PTMs on a same protein dramatically increases its molecular diversity. The comprehensive understanding of the functionalities resulting from any particular PTM association requires a highly challenging full structural description of the PTM combinations. Here, we report the in-depth exploration of the natural structural diversity of the M. tuberculosis (Mtb) virulence associated 19 kDa lipoglycoprotein antigen (LpqH) using intact protein high-resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS) coupled to liquid chromatography. Combined top-down and bottom-up HR-MS analyses of the purified Mtb LpqH protein allow, for the first time, to uncover a complex repertoire of about 130 molecular species resulting from the intrinsically heterogeneous combination of lipidation and glycosylation together with some truncations. Direct view on the co-occurring PTMs stoichiometry reveals the presence of functionally distinct LpqH lipidation states and indicates that glycosylation is independent from lipidation. This work allowed the identification of a novel unsuspected phosphorylated form of the unprocessed preprolipoglycoprotein totally absent from the current lipoglycoprotein biogenesis pathway and providing new insights into the biogenesis and functional determinants of the mycobacterial lipoglycoprotein interacting with the host immune PRRs. PMID:28272507

  5. Differential Proteomic Profiles of Pleurotus ostreatus in Response to Lignocellulosic Components Provide Insights into Divergent Adaptive Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Qiuyun; Ma, Fuying; Li, Yan; Yu, Hongbo; Li, Chengyun; Zhang, Xiaoyu

    2017-01-01

    Pleurotus ostreatus is a white rot fungus that grows on lignocellulosic biomass by metabolizing the main constituents. Extracellular enzymes play a key role in this process. During the hydrolysis of lignocellulose, potentially toxic molecules are released from lignin, and the molecules are derived from hemicellulose or cellulose that trigger various responses in fungus, thereby influencing mycelial growth. In order to characterize the mechanism underlying the response of P. ostreatus to lignin, we conducted a comparative proteomic analysis of P. ostreatus grown on different lignocellulose substrates. In this work, the mycelium proteome of P. ostreatus grown in liquid minimal medium with lignin, xylan, and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was analyzed using the complementary two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) approach; 115 proteins were identified, most of which were classified into five types according to their function. Proteins with an antioxidant function that play a role in the stress response were upregulated in response to lignin. Most proteins involving in carbohydrate and energy metabolism were less abundant in lignin. Xylan and CMC may enhanced the process of carbohydrate metabolism by regulating the level of expression of various carbohydrate metabolism-related proteins. The change of protein expression level was related to the adaptability of P. ostreatus to lignocellulose. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying the response of white-rot fungus to lignocellulose.

  6. Structure of Utp21 tandem WD domain provides insight into the organization of the UTPB complex involved in ribosome synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Zhang

    Full Text Available Assembly of the eukaryotic ribosome requires a large number of trans-acting proteins and small nucleolar RNAs that transiently associate with the precursor rRNA to facilitate its modification, processing and binding with ribosomal proteins. UTPB is a large evolutionarily conserved complex in the 90S small subunit processome that mediates early processing of 18S rRNA. UTPB consists of six proteins Utp1/Pwp1, Utp6, Utp12/Dip2, Utp13, Utp18 and Utp21 and has abundant WD domains. Here, we determined the crystal structure of the tandem WD domain of yeast Utp21 at 2.1 Å resolution, revealing two open-clamshell-shaped β-propellers. The bottom faces of both WD domains harbor several conserved patches that potentially function as molecular binding sites. We show that residues 100-190 of Utp18 bind to the tandem WD domain of Utp21. Structural mapping of previous crosslinking data shows that the WD domains of Utp18 and Utp1 are organized on two opposite sides of the Utp21 WD domains. This study reports the first structure of a UTPB component and provides insight into the structural organization of the UTPB complex.

  7. Neuroanatomy of the vestimentiferan tubeworm Lamellibrachia satsuma provides insights into the evolution of the polychaete nervous system.

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    Norio Miyamoto

    Full Text Available Vestimentiferan tubeworms are marine invertebrates that inhabit chemosynthetic environments, and although recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested that vestimentiferan tubeworms are derived from polychaete annelids, they show some morphological features that are different from other polychaetes. For example, vestimentiferans lack a digestive tract and have less body segments and comparative neuroanatomy can provide essential insight into the vestimentiferan body plan and its evolution. In the present study, we investigated the adult nervous system in the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia satsuma using antibodies against synapsin, serotonin, FMRMamide and acetylated α-tubulin. We also examined the expressions of neural marker genes, elav and synaptotagmin to reveal the distribution of neuronal cell bodies. Brain anatomy shows simple organization in Lamellibrachia compared to other polychaetes. This simplification is probably due to the loss of the digestive tract, passing through the body between the brain and the subesophageal ganglion. In contrast, the ventral nerve cord shows a repeated organizational structure as in the other polychaetes, despite the absence of the multiple segmentation of the trunk. These results suggest that the brain anatomy is variable depending on the function and the condition of surrounding tissues, and that the formation of the rope ladder-like nervous system of the ventral nerve cord is independent from segmentation in polychaetes.

  8. Genome of Diaporthe sp. provides insights into the potential inter-phylum transfer of a fungal sesquiterpenoid biosynthetic pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sena Filho, Jose Guedes; Quin, Maureen B; Spakowicz, Daniel J; Shaw, Jeffrey J; Kucera, Kaury; Dunican, Brian; Strobel, Scott A; Schmidt-Dannert, Claudia

    2016-08-01

    Fungi have highly active secondary metabolic pathways which enable them to produce a wealth of sesquiterpenoids that are bioactive. One example is Δ6-protoilludene, the precursor to the cytotoxic illudins, which are pharmaceutically relevant as anticancer therapeutics. To date, this valuable sesquiterpene has only been identified in members of the fungal division Basidiomycota. To explore the untapped potential of fungi belonging to the division Ascomycota in producing Δ6-protoilludene, we isolated a fungal endophyte Diaporthe sp. BR109 and show that it produces a diversity of terpenoids including Δ6-protoilludene. Using a genome sequencing and mining approach 17 putative novel sesquiterpene synthases were identified in Diaporthe sp. BR109. A phylogenetic approach was used to predict which gene encodes Δ6-protoilludene synthase, which was then confirmed experimentally. These analyses reveal that the sesquiterpene synthase and its putative sesquiterpene scaffold modifying cytochrome P450(s) may have been acquired by inter-phylum horizontal gene transfer from Basidiomycota to Ascomycota. Bioinformatic analyses indicate that inter-phylum transfer of these minimal sequiterpenoid secondary metabolic pathways may have occurred in other fungi. This work provides insights into the evolution of fungal sesquiterpenoid secondary metabolic pathways in the production of pharmaceutically relevant bioactive natural products.

  9. High content analysis provides mechanistic insights on the pathways of toxicity induced by amine-modified polystyrene nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anguissola, Sergio; Garry, David; Salvati, Anna; O'Brien, Peter J; Dawson, Kenneth A

    2014-01-01

    The fast-paced development of nanotechnology needs the support of effective safety testing. We have developed a screening platform measuring simultaneously several cellular parameters for exposure to various concentrations of nanoparticles (NPs). Cell lines representative of different organ cell types, including lung, endothelium, liver, kidney, macrophages, glia, and neuronal cells were exposed to 50 nm amine-modified polystyrene (PS-NH2) NPs previously reported to induce apoptosis and to 50 nm sulphonated and carboxyl-modified polystyrene NPs that were reported to be silent. All cell lines apart from Raw 264.7 executed apoptosis in response to PS-NH2 NPs, showing specific sequences of EC50 thresholds; lysosomal acidification was the most sensitive parameter. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and plasma membrane integrity measured by High Content Analysis resulted comparably sensitive to the equivalent OECD-recommended assays, allowing increased output. Analysis of the acidic compartments revealed good cerrelation between size/fluorescence intensity and dose of PS-NH2 NPs applied; moreover steatosis and phospholipidosis were observed, consistent with the lysosomal alterations revealed by Lysotracker green; similar responses were observed when comparing astrocytoma cells with primary astrocytes. We have established a platform providing mechanistic insights on the response to exposure to nanoparticles. Such platform holds great potential for in vitro screening of nanomaterials in highthroughput format.

  10. Genome-wide profiling of AP-1-regulated transcription provides insights into the invasiveness of triple-negative breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chunyan; Qiao, Yichun; Jonsson, Philip; Wang, Jian; Xu, Li; Rouhi, Pegah; Sinha, Indranil; Cao, Yihai; Williams, Cecilia; Dahlman-Wright, Karin

    2014-07-15

    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive clinical subtype accounting for up to 20% of all breast cancers, but its malignant determinants remain largely undefined. Here, we show that in TNBC the overexpression of Fra-1, a component of the transcription factor AP-1, offers prognostic potential. Fra-1 depletion or its heterodimeric partner c-Jun inhibits the proliferative and invasive phenotypes of TNBC cells in vitro. Similarly, RNAi-mediated attenuation of Fra-1 or c-Jun reduced cellular invasion in vivo in a zebrafish tumor xenograft model. Exploring the AP-1 cistrome and the AP-1-regulated transcriptome, we obtained insights into the transcriptional regulatory networks of AP-1 in TNBC cells. Among the direct targets identified for Fra-1/c-Jun involved in proliferation, adhesion, and cell-cell contact, we found that AP-1 repressed the expression of E-cadherin by transcriptional upregulation of ZEB2 to stimulate cell invasion. Overall, this work illuminates the pathways through which TNBC cells acquire invasive and proliferative properties.

  11. A novel approach for multi-domain and multi-gene family identification provides insights into evolutionary dynamics of disease resistance genes in core eudicot plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofberger, Johannes A; Zhou, Beifei; Tang, Haibao; Jones, Jonathan D G; Schranz, M Eric

    2014-11-08

    Recent advances in DNA sequencing techniques resulted in more than forty sequenced plant genomes representing a diverse set of taxa of agricultural, energy, medicinal and ecological importance. However, gene family curation is often only inferred from DNA sequence homology and lacks insights into evolutionary processes contributing to gene family dynamics. In a comparative genomics framework, we integrated multiple lines of evidence provided by gene synteny, sequence homology and protein-based Hidden Markov Modelling to extract homologous super-clusters composed of multi-domain resistance (R)-proteins of the NB-LRR type (for NUCLEOTIDE BINDING/LEUCINE-RICH REPEATS), that are involved in plant innate immunity. To assess the diversity of R-proteins within and between species, we screened twelve eudicot plant genomes including six major crops and found a total of 2,363 NB-LRR genes. Our curated R-proteins set shows a 50% average for tandem duplicates and a 22% fraction of gene copies retained from ancient polyploidy events (ohnologs). We provide evidence for strong positive selection and show significant differences in molecular evolution rates (Ka/Ks-ratio) among tandem- (mean = 1.59), ohnolog (mean = 1.36) and singleton (mean = 1.22) R-gene duplicates. To foster the process of gene-edited plant breeding, we report species-specific presence/absence of all 140 NB-LRR genes present in the model plant Arabidopsis and describe four distinct clusters of NB-LRR "gatekeeper" loci sharing syntenic orthologs across all analyzed genomes. By curating a near-complete set of multi-domain R-protein clusters in an eudicot-wide scale, our analysis offers significant insight into evolutionary dynamics underlying diversification of the plant innate immune system. Furthermore, our methods provide a blueprint for future efforts to identify and more rapidly clone functional NB-LRR genes from any plant species.

  12. Service Model for Multi-Provider IP Service Management

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Cheng-zhi; SONG Han-tao; LIU Li

    2005-01-01

    In order to solve the problems associated with Internet IP services management, a generic service model for multi-provider IP service management is proposed, which is based on a generalization of the bandwidth broker idea introduced in the differentiated services (DiffServ) environment. This model consists of a hierarchy of service brokers, which makes it fit into providing end-to-end Internet services with QoS support. A simple and scalable mechanism is used to communicate with other cooperative domains to enable customers to dynamically setup services connections over multiple DiffServ domains. The simulation results show that the proposed model is real-time, which can deal with many flow requests in a short period of time, so that it is fit for the service management in a reasonably large network.

  13. Whole Genome Sequencing of Mycobacterium africanum Strains from Mali Provides Insights into the Mechanisms of Geographic Restriction.

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    Kathryn Winglee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Mycobacterium africanum, made up of lineages 5 and 6 within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC, causes up to half of all tuberculosis cases in West Africa, but is rarely found outside of this region. The reasons for this geographical restriction remain unknown. Possible reasons include a geographically restricted animal reservoir, a unique preference for hosts of West African ethnicity, and an inability to compete with other lineages outside of West Africa. These latter two hypotheses could be caused by loss of fitness or altered interactions with the host immune system.We sequenced 92 MTC clinical isolates from Mali, including two lineage 5 and 24 lineage 6 strains. Our genome sequencing assembly, alignment, phylogeny and average nucleotide identity analyses enabled us to identify features that typify lineages 5 and 6 and made clear that these lineages do not constitute a distinct species within the MTC. We found that in Mali, lineage 6 and lineage 4 strains have similar levels of diversity and evolve drug resistance through similar mechanisms. In the process, we identified a putative novel streptomycin resistance mutation. In addition, we found evidence of person-to-person transmission of lineage 6 isolates and showed that lineage 6 is not enriched for mutations in virulence-associated genes.This is the largest collection of lineage 5 and 6 whole genome sequences to date, and our assembly and alignment data provide valuable insights into what distinguishes these lineages from other MTC lineages. Lineages 5 and 6 do not appear to be geographically restricted due to an inability to transmit between West African hosts or to an elevated number of mutations in virulence-associated genes. However, lineage-specific mutations, such as mutations in cell wall structure, secretion systems and cofactor biosynthesis, provide alternative mechanisms that may lead to host specificity.

  14. Whole Genome Sequencing of Mycobacterium africanum Strains from Mali Provides Insights into the Mechanisms of Geographic Restriction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiga, Mamoudou; Abeel, Thomas; Shea, Terrance; Desjardins, Christopher A.; Diarra, Bassirou; Baya, Bocar; Sanogo, Moumine; Diallo, Souleymane; Earl, Ashlee M.; Bishai, William R.

    2016-01-01

    Background Mycobacterium africanum, made up of lineages 5 and 6 within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC), causes up to half of all tuberculosis cases in West Africa, but is rarely found outside of this region. The reasons for this geographical restriction remain unknown. Possible reasons include a geographically restricted animal reservoir, a unique preference for hosts of West African ethnicity, and an inability to compete with other lineages outside of West Africa. These latter two hypotheses could be caused by loss of fitness or altered interactions with the host immune system. Methodology/Principal Findings We sequenced 92 MTC clinical isolates from Mali, including two lineage 5 and 24 lineage 6 strains. Our genome sequencing assembly, alignment, phylogeny and average nucleotide identity analyses enabled us to identify features that typify lineages 5 and 6 and made clear that these lineages do not constitute a distinct species within the MTC. We found that in Mali, lineage 6 and lineage 4 strains have similar levels of diversity and evolve drug resistance through similar mechanisms. In the process, we identified a putative novel streptomycin resistance mutation. In addition, we found evidence of person-to-person transmission of lineage 6 isolates and showed that lineage 6 is not enriched for mutations in virulence-associated genes. Conclusions This is the largest collection of lineage 5 and 6 whole genome sequences to date, and our assembly and alignment data provide valuable insights into what distinguishes these lineages from other MTC lineages. Lineages 5 and 6 do not appear to be geographically restricted due to an inability to transmit between West African hosts or to an elevated number of mutations in virulence-associated genes. However, lineage-specific mutations, such as mutations in cell wall structure, secretion systems and cofactor biosynthesis, provide alternative mechanisms that may lead to host specificity. PMID:26751217

  15. Analysis of BAC end sequences in oak, a keystone forest tree species, providing insight into the composition of its genome

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    Le Provost Grégoire

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the key goals of oak genomics research is to identify genes of adaptive significance. This information may help to improve the conservation of adaptive genetic variation and the management of forests to increase their health and productivity. Deep-coverage large-insert genomic libraries are a crucial tool for attaining this objective. We report herein the construction of a BAC library for Quercus robur, its characterization and an analysis of BAC end sequences. Results The EcoRI library generated consisted of 92,160 clones, 7% of which had no insert. Levels of chloroplast and mitochondrial contamination were below 3% and 1%, respectively. Mean clone insert size was estimated at 135 kb. The library represents 12 haploid genome equivalents and, the likelihood of finding a particular oak sequence of interest is greater than 99%. Genome coverage was confirmed by PCR screening of the library with 60 unique genetic loci sampled from the genetic linkage map. In total, about 20,000 high-quality BAC end sequences (BESs were generated by sequencing 15,000 clones. Roughly 5.88% of the combined BAC end sequence length corresponded to known retroelements while ab initio repeat detection methods identified 41 additional repeats. Collectively, characterized and novel repeats account for roughly 8.94% of the genome. Further analysis of the BESs revealed 1,823 putative genes suggesting at least 29,340 genes in the oak genome. BESs were aligned with the genome sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana, Vitis vinifera and Populus trichocarpa. One putative collinear microsyntenic region encoding an alcohol acyl transferase protein was observed between oak and chromosome 2 of V. vinifera. Conclusions This BAC library provides a new resource for genomic studies, including SSR marker development, physical mapping, comparative genomics and genome sequencing. BES analysis provided insight into the structure of the oak genome. These sequences will be

  16. The state of multiple sclerosis: current insight into the patient/health care provider relationship, treatment challenges, and satisfaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tintoré M

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Mar Tintoré,1 Maggie Alexander,2 Kathleen Costello,3 Martin Duddy,4 David E Jones,5 Nancy Law,6 Gilmore O’Neill,7 Antonio Uccelli,8 Robert Weissert,9 Sibyl Wray10 1Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia, Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain; 2European Multiple Sclerosis Platform, Brussels, Belgium; 3National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Denver, CO, USA; 4Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK; 5Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA; 6Nancy Law Consulting LLC, Parker, CO, USA; 7Biogen, Cambridge, MA, USA; 8Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 9Department of Neurology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany; 10Hope Neurology Multiple Sclerosis Center, Knoxville, TN, USA Background: Managing multiple sclerosis (MS treatment presents challenges for both patients and health care professionals. Effective communication between patients with MS and their neurologist is important for improving clinical outcomes and quality of life. Methods: A closed-ended online market research survey was used to assess the current state of MS care from the perspective of both patients with MS (≥18 years of age and neurologists who treat MS from Europe and the US and to gain insight into perceptions of treatment expectations/goals, treatment decisions, treatment challenges, communication, and satisfaction with care, based on current clinical practice. Results: A total of 900 neurologists and 982 patients completed the survey, of whom 46% self-identified as having remitting-relapsing MS, 29% secondary progressive MS, and 11% primary progressive MS. Overall, patients felt satisfied with their disease-modifying therapy (DMT; satisfaction related to comfort in speaking with their neurologist and participation in their DMT decision-making process. Patients who self-identified as having relapsing-remitting MS were more likely to be very satisfied with their treatment

  17. Assessing the ability of sequence-based methods to provide functional insight within membrane integral proteins: a case study analyzing the neurotransmitter/Na+ symporter family

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    Eskandari Sepehr

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Efforts to predict functional sites from globular proteins is increasingly common; however, the most successful of these methods generally require structural insight. Unfortunately, despite several recent technological advances, structural coverage of membrane integral proteins continues to be sparse. ConSequently, sequence-based methods represent an important alternative to illuminate functional roles. In this report, we critically examine the ability of several computational methods to provide functional insight within two specific areas. First, can phylogenomic methods accurately describe the functional diversity across a membrane integral protein family? And second, can sequence-based strategies accurately predict key functional sites? Due to the presence of a recently solved structure and a vast amount of experimental mutagenesis data, the neurotransmitter/Na+ symporter (NSS family is an ideal model system to assess the quality of our predictions. Results The raw NSS sequence dataset contains 181 sequences, which have been aligned by various methods. The resultant phylogenetic trees always contain six major subfamilies are consistent with the functional diversity across the family. Moreover, in well-represented subfamilies, phylogenetic clustering recapitulates several nuanced functional distinctions. Functional sites are predicted using six different methods (phylogenetic motifs, two methods that identify subfamily-specific positions, and three different conservation scores. A canonical set of 34 functional sites identified by Yamashita et al. within the recently solved LeuTAa structure is used to assess the quality of the predictions, most of which are predicted by the bioinformatic methods. Remarkably, the importance of these sites is largely confirmed by experimental mutagenesis. Furthermore, the collective set of functional site predictions qualitatively clusters along the proposed transport pathway, further

  18. Substrate specificity provides insights into the sugar donor recognition mechanism of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT.

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    Xiaofeng Ma

    Full Text Available O-Linked β-N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase (OGT plays an important role in the glycosylation of proteins, which is involved in various cellular events. In human, three isoforms of OGT (short OGT [sOGT]; mitochondrial OGT [mOGT]; and nucleocytoplasmic OGT [ncOGT] share the same catalytic domain, implying that they might adopt a similar catalytic mechanism, including sugar donor recognition. In this work, the sugar-nucleotide tolerance of sOGT was investigated. Among a series of uridine 5'-diphosphate-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc analogs tested using the casein kinase II (CKII peptide as the sugar acceptor, four compounds could be used by sOGT, including UDP-6-deoxy-GlcNAc, UDP-GlcNPr, UDP-6-deoxy-GalNAc and UDP-4-deoxy-GlcNAc. Determined values of Km showed that the substitution of the N-acyl group, deoxy modification of C6/C4-OH or epimerization of C4-OH of the GlcNAc in UDP-GlcNAc decreased its affinity to sOGT. A molecular docking study combined with site-directed mutagenesis indicated that the backbone carbonyl oxygen of Leu653 and the hydroxyl group of Thr560 in sOGT contributed to the recognition of the sugar moiety via hydrogen bonds. The close vicinity between Met501 and the N-acyl group of GlcNPr, as well as the hydrophobic environment near Met501, were responsible for the selective binding of UDP-GlcNPr. These findings illustrate the interaction of OGT and sugar nucleotide donor, providing insights into the OGT catalytic mechanism.

  19. A Flexible Binding Site Architecture Provides New Insights into CcpA Global Regulation in Gram-Positive Bacteria

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    Yunpeng Yang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Catabolite control protein A (CcpA is the master regulator in Gram-positive bacteria that mediates carbon catabolite repression (CCR and carbon catabolite activation (CCA, two fundamental regulatory mechanisms that enable competitive advantages in carbon catabolism. It is generally regarded that CcpA exerts its regulatory role by binding to a typical 14- to 16-nucleotide (nt consensus site that is called a catabolite response element (cre within the target regions. However, here we report a previously unknown noncanonical flexible architecture of the CcpA-binding site in solventogenic clostridia, providing new mechanistic insights into catabolite regulation. This novel CcpA-binding site, named crevar, has a unique architecture that consists of two inverted repeats and an intervening spacer, all of which are variable in nucleotide composition and length, except for a 6-bp core palindromic sequence (TGTAAA/TTTACA. It was found that the length of the intervening spacer of crevar can affect CcpA binding affinity, and moreover, the core palindromic sequence of crevar is the key structure for regulation. Such a variable architecture of crevar shows potential importance for CcpA’s diverse and fine regulation. A total of 103 potential crevar sites were discovered in solventogenic Clostridium acetobutylicum, of which 42 sites were picked out for electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs, and 30 sites were confirmed to be bound by CcpA. These 30 crevar sites are associated with 27 genes involved in many important pathways. Also of significance, the crevar sites are found to be widespread and function in a great number of taxonomically different Gram-positive bacteria, including pathogens, suggesting their global role in Gram-positive bacteria.

  20. A Genomic Island in Salmonella enterica ssp. salamae provides new insights on the genealogy of the locus of enterocyte effacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandry, P Scott; Gladman, Simon; Moore, Sean C; Seemann, Torsten; Crandall, Keith A; Fegan, Narelle

    2012-01-01

    The genomic island encoding the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) is an important virulence factor of the human pathogenic Escherichia coli. LEE typically encodes a type III secretion system (T3SS) and secreted effectors capable of forming attaching and effacing lesions. Although prominent in the pathogenic E. coli such as serotype O157:H7, LEE has also been detected in Citrobacter rodentium, E. albertii, and although not confirmed, it is likely to also be in Shigella boydii. Previous phylogenetic analysis of LEE indicated the genomic island was evolving through stepwise acquisition of various components. This study describes a new LEE region from two strains of Salmonella enterica subspecies salamae serovar Sofia along with a phylogenetic analysis of LEE that provides new insights into the likely evolution of this genomic island. The Salmonella LEE contains 36 of the 41 genes typically observed in LEE within a genomic island of 49, 371 bp that encodes a total of 54 genes. A phylogenetic analysis was performed on the entire T3SS and four T3SS genes (escF, escJ, escN, and escV) to elucidate the genealogy of LEE. Phylogenetic analysis inferred that the previously known LEE islands are members of a single lineage distinct from the new Salmonella LEE lineage. The previously known lineage of LEE diverged between islands found in Citrobacter and those in Escherichia and Shigella. Although recombination and horizontal gene transfer are important factors in the genealogy of most genomic islands, the phylogeny of the T3SS of LEE can be interpreted with a bifurcating tree. It seems likely that the LEE island entered the Enterobacteriaceae through horizontal gene transfer as a single unit, rather than as separate subsections, which was then subjected to the forces of both mutational change and recombination.

  1. Mutant analysis in Arabidopsis provides insight into the molecular mode of action of the auxinic herbicide dicamba.

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    Cynthia Gleason

    Full Text Available Herbicides that mimic the natural auxin indole-3-acetic acid are widely used in weed control. One common auxin-like herbicide is dicamba, but despite its wide use, plant gene responses to dicamba have never been extensively studied. To further understand dicamba's mode of action, we utilized Arabidopsis auxin-insensitive mutants and compared their sensitivity to dicamba and the widely-studied auxinic herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D. The mutant axr4-2, which has disrupted auxin transport into cells, was resistant to 2,4-D but susceptible to dicamba. By comparing dicamba resistance in auxin signalling F-box receptor mutants (tir1-1, afb1, afb2, afb3, and afb5, only tir1-1 and afb5 were resistant to dicamba, and this resistance was additive in the double tir1-1/afb5 mutant. Interestingly, tir1-1 but not afb5 was resistant to 2,4-D. Whole genome analysis of dicamba-induced gene expression showed that 10 hours after application, dicamba stimulated many stress-responsive and signalling genes, including those involved in biosynthesis or signalling of auxin, ethylene, and abscisic acid (ABA, with TIR1 and AFB5 required for the dicamba-responsiveness of some genes. Research into dicamba-regulated gene expression and the selectivity of auxin receptors has provided molecular insight into dicamba-regulated signalling and could help in the development of novel herbicide resistance in crop plants.

  2. Meta-coexpression conservation analysis of microarray data: a "subset" approach provides insight into brain-derived neurotrophic factor regulation

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    Timmusk Tõnis

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alterations in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF gene expression contribute to serious pathologies such as depression, epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer's, Huntington and Parkinson's disease. Therefore, exploring the mechanisms of BDNF regulation represents a great clinical importance. Studying BDNF expression remains difficult due to its multiple neural activity-dependent and tissue-specific promoters. Thus, microarray data could provide insight into the regulation of this complex gene. Conventional microarray co-expression analysis is usually carried out by merging the datasets or by confirming the re-occurrence of significant correlations across datasets. However, co-expression patterns can be different under various conditions that are represented by subsets in a dataset. Therefore, assessing co-expression by measuring correlation coefficient across merged samples of a dataset or by merging datasets might not capture all correlation patterns. Results In our study, we performed meta-coexpression analysis of publicly available microarray data using BDNF as a "guide-gene" introducing a "subset" approach. The key steps of the analysis included: dividing datasets into subsets with biologically meaningful sample content (e.g. tissue, gender or disease state subsets; analyzing co-expression with the BDNF gene in each subset separately; and confirming co- expression links across subsets. Finally, we analyzed conservation in co-expression with BDNF between human, mouse and rat, and sought for conserved over-represented TFBSs in BDNF and BDNF-correlated genes. Correlated genes discovered in this study regulate nervous system development, and are associated with various types of cancer and neurological disorders. Also, several transcription factor identified here have been reported to regulate BDNF expression in vitro and in vivo. Conclusion The study demonstrates the potential of the "subset" approach in co-expression conservation

  3. The state of multiple sclerosis: current insight into the patient/health care provider relationship, treatment challenges, and satisfaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tintoré, Mar; Alexander, Maggie; Costello, Kathleen; Duddy, Martin; Jones, David E; Law, Nancy; O’Neill, Gilmore; Uccelli, Antonio; Weissert, Robert; Wray, Sibyl

    2017-01-01

    Background Managing multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment presents challenges for both patients and health care professionals. Effective communication between patients with MS and their neurologist is important for improving clinical outcomes and quality of life. Methods A closed-ended online market research survey was used to assess the current state of MS care from the perspective of both patients with MS (≥18 years of age) and neurologists who treat MS from Europe and the US and to gain insight into perceptions of treatment expectations/goals, treatment decisions, treatment challenges, communication, and satisfaction with care, based on current clinical practice. Results A total of 900 neurologists and 982 patients completed the survey, of whom 46% self-identified as having remitting-relapsing MS, 29% secondary progressive MS, and 11% primary progressive MS. Overall, patients felt satisfied with their disease-modifying therapy (DMT); satisfaction related to comfort in speaking with their neurologist and participation in their DMT decision-making process. Patients who self-identified as having relapsing-remitting MS were more likely to be very satisfied with their treatment. Top challenges identified by patients in managing their DMT were cost, side effects/tolerability of treatment, and uncertainty if treatment was working. Half of the patients reported skipping doses, but only 68% told their health care provider that they did so. Conclusion Several important differences in perception were identified between patients and neurologists concerning treatment selection, satisfaction, expectations, goals, and comfort discussing symptoms, as well as treatment challenges and skipped doses. The study results emphasize that patient/neurologist communication and patient input into the treatment decision-making process likely influence patient satisfaction with treatment. PMID:28053511

  4. Crystal structure of peroxide stress regulator from Streptococcus pyogenes provides functional insights into the mechanism of oxidative stress sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makthal, Nishanth; Rastegari, Sheila; Sanson, Misu; Ma, Zhen; Olsen, Randall J; Helmann, John D; Musser, James M; Kumaraswami, Muthiah

    2013-06-21

    Regulation of oxidative stress responses by the peroxide stress regulator (PerR) is critical for the in vivo fitness and virulence of group A Streptococcus. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of DNA binding, peroxide sensing, and gene regulation by PerR, we performed biochemical and structural characterization of PerR. Sequence-specific DNA binding by PerR does not require regulatory metal occupancy. However, metal binding promotes higher affinity PerR-DNA interactions. PerR metallated with iron directly senses peroxide stress and dissociates from operator sequences. The crystal structure revealed that PerR exists as a homodimer with two metal-binding sites per subunit as follows: a structural zinc site and a regulatory metal site that is occupied in the crystals by nickel. The regulatory metal-binding site in PerR involves a previously unobserved HXH motif located in its unique N-terminal extension. Mutational analysis of the regulatory site showed that the PerR metal ligands are involved in regulatory metal binding, and integrity of this site is critical for group A Streptococcus virulence. Interestingly, the metal-binding HXH motif is not present in the structurally characterized members of ferric uptake regulator (Fur) family but is fully conserved among PerR from the genus Streptococcus. Thus, it is likely that the PerR orthologs from streptococci share a common mechanism of metal binding, peroxide sensing, and gene regulation that is different from that of well characterized PerR from Bacillus subtilis. Together, our findings provide key insights into the peroxide sensing and regulation of the oxidative stress-adaptive responses by the streptococcal subfamily of PerR.

  5. Comparative genomics reveals two novel RNAi factors in Trypanosoma brucei and provides insight into the core machinery.

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    Rebecca L Barnes

    Full Text Available The introduction ten years ago of RNA interference (RNAi as a tool for molecular exploration in Trypanosoma brucei has led to a surge in our understanding of the pathogenesis and biology of this human parasite. In particular, a genome-wide RNAi screen has recently been combined with next-generation Illumina sequencing to expose catalogues of genes associated with loss of fitness in distinct developmental stages. At present, this technology is restricted to RNAi-positive protozoan parasites, which excludes T. cruzi, Leishmania major, and Plasmodium falciparum. Therefore, elucidating the mechanism of RNAi and identifying the essential components of the pathway is fundamental for improving RNAi efficiency in T. brucei and for transferring the RNAi tool to RNAi-deficient pathogens. Here we used comparative genomics of RNAi-positive and -negative trypanosomatid protozoans to identify the repertoire of factors in T. brucei. In addition to the previously characterized Argonaute 1 (AGO1 protein and the cytoplasmic and nuclear Dicers, TbDCL1 and TbDCL2, respectively, we identified the RNA Interference Factors 4 and 5 (TbRIF4 and TbRIF5. TbRIF4 is a 3'-5' exonuclease of the DnaQ superfamily and plays a critical role in the conversion of duplex siRNAs to the single-stranded form, thus generating a TbAGO1-siRNA complex required for target-specific cleavage. TbRIF5 is essential for cytoplasmic RNAi and appears to act as a TbDCL1 cofactor. The availability of the core RNAi machinery in T. brucei provides a platform to gain mechanistic insights in this ancient eukaryote and to identify the minimal set of components required to reconstitute RNAi in RNAi-deficient parasites.

  6. A comparison of the seasonal movements of tiger sharks and green turtles provides insight into their predator-prey relationship.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Fitzpatrick

    Full Text Available During the reproductive season, sea turtles use a restricted area in the vicinity of their nesting beaches, making them vulnerable to predation. At Raine Island (Australia, the highest density green turtle Chelonia mydas rookery in the world, tiger sharks Galeocerdo cuvier have been observed to feed on green turtles, and it has been suggested that they may specialise on such air-breathing prey. However there is little information with which to examine this hypothesis. We compared the spatial and temporal components of movement behaviour of these two potentially interacting species in order to provide insight into the predator-prey relationship. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that tiger shark movements are more concentrated at Raine Island during the green turtle nesting season than outside the turtle nesting season when turtles are not concentrated at Raine Island. Turtles showed area-restricted search behaviour around Raine Island for ∼3-4 months during the nesting period (November-February. This was followed by direct movement (transit to putative foraging grounds mostly in the Torres Straight where they switched to area-restricted search mode again, and remained resident for the remainder of the deployment (53-304 days. In contrast, tiger sharks displayed high spatial and temporal variation in movement behaviour which was not closely linked to the movement behaviour of green turtles or recognised turtle foraging grounds. On average, tiger sharks were concentrated around Raine Island throughout the year. While information on diet is required to determine whether tiger sharks are turtle specialists our results support the hypothesis that they target this predictable and plentiful prey during turtle nesting season, but they might not focus on this less predictable food source outside the nesting season.

  7. A Genomic Island in Salmonella enterica ssp. salamae provides new insights on the genealogy of the locus of enterocyte effacement.

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    P Scott Chandry

    Full Text Available The genomic island encoding the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE is an important virulence factor of the human pathogenic Escherichia coli. LEE typically encodes a type III secretion system (T3SS and secreted effectors capable of forming attaching and effacing lesions. Although prominent in the pathogenic E. coli such as serotype O157:H7, LEE has also been detected in Citrobacter rodentium, E. albertii, and although not confirmed, it is likely to also be in Shigella boydii. Previous phylogenetic analysis of LEE indicated the genomic island was evolving through stepwise acquisition of various components. This study describes a new LEE region from two strains of Salmonella enterica subspecies salamae serovar Sofia along with a phylogenetic analysis of LEE that provides new insights into the likely evolution of this genomic island. The Salmonella LEE contains 36 of the 41 genes typically observed in LEE within a genomic island of 49, 371 bp that encodes a total of 54 genes. A phylogenetic analysis was performed on the entire T3SS and four T3SS genes (escF, escJ, escN, and escV to elucidate the genealogy of LEE. Phylogenetic analysis inferred that the previously known LEE islands are members of a single lineage distinct from the new Salmonella LEE lineage. The previously known lineage of LEE diverged between islands found in Citrobacter and those in Escherichia and Shigella. Although recombination and horizontal gene transfer are important factors in the genealogy of most genomic islands, the phylogeny of the T3SS of LEE can be interpreted with a bifurcating tree. It seems likely that the LEE island entered the Enterobacteriaceae through horizontal gene transfer as a single unit, rather than as separate subsections, which was then subjected to the forces of both mutational change and recombination.

  8. Structural and mutational analysis of Escherichia coli AlkB provides insight into substrate specificity and DNA damage searching.

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    Paul J Holland

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In Escherichia coli, cytotoxic DNA methyl lesions on the N1 position of purines and N3 position of pyrimidines are primarily repaired by the 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG iron(II dependent dioxygenase, AlkB. AlkB repairs 1-methyladenine (1-meA and 3-methylcytosine (3-meC lesions, but it also repairs 1-methylguanine (1-meG and 3-methylthymine (3-meT at a much less efficient rate. How the AlkB enzyme is able to locate and identify methylated bases in ssDNA has remained an open question. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We determined the crystal structures of the E. coli AlkB protein holoenzyme and the AlkB-ssDNA complex containing a 1-meG lesion. We coupled this to site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and around the active site, and tested the effects of these mutations on the ability of the protein to bind both damaged and undamaged DNA, as well as catalyze repair of a methylated substrate. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A comparison of our substrate-bound AlkB-ssDNA complex with our unliganded holoenzyme reveals conformational changes of residues within the active site that are important for binding damaged bases. Site-directed mutagenesis of these residues reveals novel insight into their roles in DNA damage recognition and repair. Our data support a model that the AlkB protein utilizes at least two distinct conformations in searching and binding methylated bases within DNA: a "searching" mode and "repair" mode. Moreover, we are able to functionally separate these modes through mutagenesis of residues that affect one or the other binding state. Finally, our mutagenesis experiments show that amino acid D135 of AlkB participates in both substrate specificity and catalysis.

  9. Model of Providing Assistive Technologies in Special Education Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lersilp, Suchitporn; Putthinoi, Supawadee; Chakpitak, Nopasit

    2015-05-14

    Most students diagnosed with disabilities in Thai special education schools received assistive technologies, but this did not guarantee the greatest benefits. The purpose of this study was to survey the provision, use and needs of assistive technologies, as well as the perspectives of key informants regarding a model of providing them in special education schools. The participants were selected by the purposive sampling method, and they comprised 120 students with visual, physical, hearing or intellectual disabilities from four special education schools in Chiang Mai, Thailand; and 24 key informants such as parents or caregivers, teachers, school principals and school therapists. The instruments consisted of an assistive technology checklist and a semi-structured interview. Results showed that a category of assistive technologies was provided for students with disabilities, with the highest being "services", followed by "media" and then "facilities". Furthermore, mostly students with physical disabilities were provided with assistive technologies, but those with visual disabilities needed it more. Finally, the model of providing assistive technologies was composed of 5 components: Collaboration; Holistic perspective; Independent management of schools; Learning systems and a production manual for users; and Development of an assistive technology center, driven by 3 major sources such as Government and Private organizations, and Schools.

  10. Preventing clonal evolutionary processes in cancer: Insights from mathematical models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Brenes, Ignacio A; Wodarz, Dominik

    2015-07-21

    Clonal evolutionary processes can drive pathogenesis in human diseases, with cancer being a prominent example. To prevent or treat cancer, mechanisms that can potentially interfere with clonal evolutionary processes need to be understood better. Mathematical modeling is an important research tool that plays an ever-increasing role in cancer research. This paper discusses how mathematical models can be useful to gain insights into mechanisms that can prevent disease initiation, help analyze treatment responses, and aid in the design of treatment strategies to combat the emergence of drug-resistant cells. The discussion will be done in the context of specific examples. Among defense mechanisms, we explore how replicative limits and cellular senescence induced by telomere shortening can influence the emergence and evolution of tumors. Among treatment approaches, we consider the targeted treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. We illustrate how basic evolutionary mathematical models have the potential to make patient-specific predictions about disease and treatment outcome, and argue that evolutionary models could become important clinical tools in the field of personalized medicine.

  11. Neural circuit dysfunction in schizophrenia: Insights from animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurdsson, T

    2016-05-03

    Despite decades of research, the neural circuit abnormalities underlying schizophrenia remain elusive. Although studies on schizophrenia patients have yielded important insights they have not been able to fully reveal the details of how neural circuits are disrupted in the disease, which is essential for understanding its pathophysiology and developing new treatment strategies. Animal models of schizophrenia are likely to play an important role in this effort. Such models allow neural circuit dysfunction to be investigated in detail and the role of risk factors and pathophysiological mechanisms to be experimentally assessed. The goal of this review is to summarize what we have learned from electrophysiological studies that have examined neural circuit function in animal models of schizophrenia. Although these studies have revealed diverse manifestations of neural circuit dysfunction spanning multiple levels of analysis, common themes have nevertheless emerged across different studies and animal models, revealing a core set of neural circuit abnormalities. These include an imbalance between excitation and inhibition, deficits in synaptic plasticity, disruptions in local and long-range synchrony and abnormalities in dopaminergic signaling. The relevance of these findings to the pathophysiology of the disease is discussed, as well as outstanding questions for future research.

  12. Modelling catchment areas for secondary care providers: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Simon; Wardlaw, Jessica; Crouch, Susan; Carolan, Michelle

    2011-09-01

    Hospitals need to understand patient flows in an increasingly competitive health economy. New initiatives like Patient Choice and the Darzi Review further increase this demand. Essential to understanding patient flows are demographic and geographic profiles of health care service providers, known as 'catchment areas' and 'catchment populations'. This information helps Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to review how their populations are accessing services, measure inequalities and commission services; likewise it assists Secondary Care Providers (SCPs) to measure and assess potential gains in market share, redesign services, evaluate admission thresholds and plan financial budgets. Unlike PCTs, SCPs do not operate within fixed geographic boundaries. Traditionally, SCPs have used administrative boundaries or arbitrary drive times to model catchment areas. Neither approach satisfactorily represents current patient flows. Furthermore, these techniques are time-consuming and can be challenging for healthcare managers to exploit. This paper presents three different approaches to define catchment areas, each more detailed than the previous method. The first approach 'First Past the Post' defines catchment areas by allocating a dominant SCP to each Census Output Area (OA). The SCP with the highest proportion of activity within each OA is considered the dominant SCP. The second approach 'Proportional Flow' allocates activity proportionally to each OA. This approach allows for cross-boundary flows to be captured in a catchment area. The third and final approach uses a gravity model to define a catchment area, which incorporates drive or travel time into the analysis. Comparing approaches helps healthcare providers to understand whether using more traditional and simplistic approaches to define catchment areas and populations achieves the same or similar results as complex mathematical modelling. This paper has demonstrated, using a case study of Manchester, that when estimating

  13. Genomics and Comparative Genomic Analyses Provide Insight into the Taxonomy and Pathogenic Potential of Novel Emmonsia Pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ying; Ye, Qiang; Li, Kang; Li, Zongwei; Bo, Xiaochen; Li, Zhen; Xu, Yingchun; Wang, Shengqi; Wang, Peng; Chen, Huipeng; Wang, Junzhi

    2017-01-01

    adaptations of new Emmonsia, but this question warrants further investigation. Overall, our analyses provide a framework from which to further study the evolutionary dynamics of Emmonsia strains and identity the underlying molecular mechanisms that determine the infectious and pathogenic potency of these fungal pathogens, and also provide insight into potential targets for therapeutic intervention of emmonsiosis and further research.

  14. RNA-Seq Analysis Provides the First Insights into the Phylogenetic Relationship and Interspecific Variation between Agropyron cristatum and Wheat

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    Shenghui Zhou

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Agropyron cristatum, which is a wild grass of the tribe Triticeae, grows widely in harsh environments and provides many desirable genetic resources for wheat improvement. However, unclear interspecific phylogeny and genome-wide variation has limited the utilization of A. cristatum in the production of superior wheat varieties. In this study, by sequencing the transcriptome of the representative tetraploid A. cristatum Z559 and the common wheat variety Fukuhokomugi (Fukuho, which are often used as parents in a wide cross, their phylogenetic relationship and interspecific variation were dissected. First, 214,854 transcript sequences were assembled, and 3,457 orthologous genes related to traits of interest were identified in A. cristatum. Second, a total of 72 putative orthologous gene clusters were used to construct phylogenetic relationships among A. cristatum, Triticeae and other genomes. A clear division between A. cristatum and the other Triticeae species was revealed. Third, the sequence similarity of most genes related to traits of interest is greater than 95% between A. cristatum and wheat. Therefore, using the 5% mismatch parameter for A. cristatum, we mapped the transcriptome sequencing data to wheat reference sequences to discover the variations between A. cristatum and wheat and 862,340 high-quality variants were identified. Additionally, compared with the wheat A and B genomes, the P and D genomes displayed an obviously larger variant density and a longer evolutionary distance, suggesting that A. cristatum is more distantly related to the wheat D genome. Finally, by using Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR array (KASPar technology, 37 of 53 (69.8% SNPs were shown to be genuine in Z559, Fukuho, and additional lines with seven different P chromosomes, and function of the genes in which these SNPs are located were also determined. This study provides not only the first insights into the phylogenetic relationships between the P genome and

  15. Comprehensive Profiling of Proteome Changes Provide Insights of Industrial Penicillium chrysogenum During Pilot and Industrial Penicillin G Fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jing-Sheng; Zhao, Yan; Qiao, Bin; Lu, Hua; Chen, Yao; Yuan, Ying-Jin

    2016-07-01

    197 and 198) and CoA ligase at 80 h during the industrial process were around 2-fold of that during the pilot process, indicating that the industrial process with a higher penicillin production per cell might provide available environments to induce over-expression of IPN acyltransferase and accelerate penicillin formation. These results provide new insights into the globally potential responses of P. chrysogenum to variations of environments in different fermentation scales so as to consequently regulate the penicillin production.

  16. Provider practice models in ambulatory oncology practice: analysis of productivity, revenue, and provider and patient satisfaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buswell, Lori A; Ponte, Patricia Reid; Shulman, Lawrence N

    2009-07-01

    Physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants often work in teams to deliver cancer care in ambulatory oncology practices. This is likely to become more prevalent as the demand for oncology services rises, and the number of providers increases only slightly.

  17. A GTPase chimera illustrates an uncoupled nucleotide affinity and release rate, Providing insight into the activation mechanism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guilfoyle, Amy P.; Deshpande, Chandrika N.; Font Sadurni, Josep

    2014-01-01

    for GDP release, or, alternatively, the movement is a consequence of release. To gain additional insight into the sequence of events leading to GDP release, we have created a chimeric protein comprised of Escherichia coli NFeoB and the G5 loop from the human Giα1 protein. The protein chimera retains...

  18. Zebrafish Models of Human Leukemia: Technological Advances and Mechanistic Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Nicholas R; Laroche, Fabrice J F; Gutierrez, Alejandro; Feng, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Insights concerning leukemic pathophysiology have been acquired in various animal models and further efforts to understand the mechanisms underlying leukemic treatment resistance and disease relapse promise to improve therapeutic strategies. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a vertebrate organism with a conserved hematopoietic program and unique experimental strengths suiting it for the investigation of human leukemia. Recent technological advances in zebrafish research including efficient transgenesis, precise genome editing, and straightforward transplantation techniques have led to the generation of a number of leukemia models. The transparency of the zebrafish when coupled with improved lineage-tracing and imaging techniques has revealed exquisite details of leukemic initiation, progression, and regression. With these advantages, the zebrafish represents a unique experimental system for leukemic research and additionally, advances in zebrafish-based high-throughput drug screening promise to hasten the discovery of novel leukemia therapeutics. To date, investigators have accumulated knowledge of the genetic underpinnings critical to leukemic transformation and treatment resistance and without doubt, zebrafish are rapidly expanding our understanding of disease mechanisms and helping to shape therapeutic strategies for improved outcomes in leukemic patients.

  19. Using genetic mouse models to gain insight into glaucoma: Past results and future possibilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Kimberly A; Harder, Jeffrey M; Williams, Pete A; Rausch, Rebecca L; Kiernan, Amy E; Nair, K Saidas; Anderson, Michael G; John, Simon W M; Howell, Gareth R; Libby, Richard T

    2015-12-01

    While all forms of glaucoma are characterized by a specific pattern of retinal ganglion cell death, they are clinically divided into several distinct subclasses, including normal tension glaucoma, primary open angle glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, and secondary glaucoma. For each type of glaucoma there are likely numerous molecular pathways that control susceptibility to the disease. Given this complexity, a single animal model will never precisely model all aspects of all the different types of human glaucoma. Therefore, multiple animal models have been utilized to study glaucoma but more are needed. Because of the powerful genetic tools available to use in the laboratory mouse, it has proven to be a highly useful mammalian system for studying the pathophysiology of human disease. The similarity between human and mouse eyes coupled with the ability to use a combination of advanced cell biological and genetic tools in mice have led to a large increase in the number of studies using mice to model specific glaucoma phenotypes. Over the last decade, numerous new mouse models and genetic tools have emerged, providing important insight into the cell biology and genetics of glaucoma. In this review, we describe available mouse genetic models that can be used to study glaucoma-relevant disease/pathobiology. Furthermore, we discuss how these models have been used to gain insights into ocular hypertension (a major risk factor for glaucoma) and glaucomatous retinal ganglion cell death. Finally, the potential for developing new mouse models and using advanced genetic tools and resources for studying glaucoma are discussed.

  20. Can quantum probability provide a new direction for cognitive modeling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pothos, Emmanuel M; Busemeyer, Jerome R

    2013-06-01

    Classical (Bayesian) probability (CP) theory has led to an influential research tradition for modeling cognitive processes. Cognitive scientists have been trained to work with CP principles for so long that it is hard even to imagine alternative ways to formalize probabilities. However, in physics, quantum probability (QP) theory has been the dominant probabilistic approach for nearly 100 years. Could QP theory provide us with any advantages in cognitive modeling as well? Note first that both CP and QP theory share the fundamental assumption that it is possible to model cognition on the basis of formal, probabilistic principles. But why consider a QP approach? The answers are that (1) there are many well-established empirical findings (e.g., from the influential Tversky, Kahneman research tradition) that are hard to reconcile with CP principles; and (2) these same findings have natural and straightforward explanations with quantum principles. In QP theory, probabilistic assessment is often strongly context- and order-dependent, individual states can be superposition states (that are impossible to associate with specific values), and composite systems can be entangled (they cannot be decomposed into their subsystems). All these characteristics appear perplexing from a classical perspective. However, our thesis is that they provide a more accurate and powerful account of certain cognitive processes. We first introduce QP theory and illustrate its application with psychological examples. We then review empirical findings that motivate the use of quantum theory in cognitive theory, but also discuss ways in which QP and CP theories converge. Finally, we consider the implications of a QP theory approach to cognition for human rationality.

  1. Modeling Potential Surface and Shallow Groundwater Storage Provided by Beaver Ponds Across Watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafen, K.; Wheaton, J. M.; Macfarlane, W.

    2016-12-01

    Damming of streams by North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) has been shown to provide a host of potentially desirable hydraulic and hydrologic impacts. Notably, increases in surface water storage and groundwater storage may alter the timing and delivery of water around individual dams and dam complexes. Anecdotal evidence suggests these changes may be important for increasing and maintaining baseflow and even helping some intermittent streams flow perennially. In the arid west, these impacts could be particularly salient in the face of climate change. However, few studies have examined the hydrologic impacts of beaver dams at scales large enough to provide insight for water management, in part because understanding or modeling these impacts at large spatial scales has been precluded by uncertainty concerning the number of beaver dams a drainage network can support. Using the recently developed Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool (BRAT) to identify possible densities and spatial configurations of beaver dams, we developed a model that predicts the area and volume of surface water storage associated with dams of various sizes, and applied this model at different dam densities across multiple watersheds (HUC12) in northern Utah. We then used model results as inputs to the MODFLOW groundwater model to identify the subsequent changes to shallow groundwater storage. The spatially explicit water storage estimates produced by our approach will be useful in evaluating potential beaver restoration and conservation, and will also provide necessary information for developing hydrologic models to specifically identify the effects beaver dams may have on water delivery and timing.

  2. Phylogeny and ancient DNA of Sus provides insights into neolithic expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Greger; Cucchi, Thomas; Fujita, Masakatsu; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth; Robins, Judith; Anderson, Atholl; Rolett, Barry; Spriggs, Matthew; Dolman, Gaynor; Kim, Tae-Hun; Thuy, Nguyen Thi Dieu; Randi, Ettore; Doherty, Moira; Due, Rokus Awe; Bollt, Robert; Djubiantono, Tony; Griffin, Bion; Intoh, Michiko; Keane, Emile; Kirch, Patrick; Li, Kuang-Ti; Morwood, Michael; Pedriña, Lolita M.; Piper, Philip J.; Rabett, Ryan J.; Shooter, Peter; Van den Bergh, Gert; West, Eric; Wickler, Stephen; Yuan, Jing; Cooper, Alan; Dobney, Keith

    2007-01-01

    Human settlement of Oceania marked the culmination of a global colonization process that began when humans first left Africa at least 90,000 years ago. The precise origins and dispersal routes of the Austronesian peoples and the associated Lapita culture remain contentious, and numerous disparate models of dispersal (based primarily on linguistic, genetic, and archeological data) have been proposed. Here, through the use of mtDNA from 781 modern and ancient Sus specimens, we provide evidence for an early human-mediated translocation of the Sulawesi warty pig (Sus celebensis) to Flores and Timor and two later separate human-mediated dispersals of domestic pig (Sus scrofa) through Island Southeast Asia into Oceania. Of the later dispersal routes, one is unequivocally associated with the Neolithic (Lapita) and later Polynesian migrations and links modern and archeological Javan, Sumatran, Wallacean, and Oceanic pigs with mainland Southeast Asian S. scrofa. Archeological and genetic evidence shows these pigs were certainly introduced to islands east of the Wallace Line, including New Guinea, and that so-called “wild” pigs within this region are most likely feral descendants of domestic pigs introduced by early agriculturalists. The other later pig dispersal links mainland East Asian pigs to western Micronesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. These results provide important data with which to test current models for human dispersal in the region. PMID:17360400

  3. Governance, Government, and the Search for New Provider Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltman, Richard B; Duran, Antonio

    2015-11-03

    A central problem in designing effective models of provider governance in health systems has been to ensure an appropriate balance between the concerns of public sector and/or government decision-makers, on the one hand, and of non-governmental health services actors in civil society and private life, on the other. In tax-funded European health systems up to the 1980s, the state and other public sector decision-makers played a dominant role over health service provision, typically operating hospitals through national or regional governments on a command-and-control basis. In a number of countries, however, this state role has started to change, with governments first stepping out of direct service provision and now de facto pushed to focus more on steering provider organizations rather than on direct public management. In this new approach to provider governance, the state has pulled back into a regulatory role that introduces market-like incentives and management structures, which then apply to both public and private sector providers alike. This article examines some of the main operational complexities in implementing this new governance reality/strategy, specifically from a service provision (as opposed to mostly a financing or even regulatory) perspective. After briefly reviewing some of the key theoretical dilemmas, the paper presents two case studies where this new approach was put into practice: primary care in Sweden and hospitals in Spain. The article concludes that good governance today needs to reflect practical operational realities if it is to have the desired effect on health sector reform outcome.

  4. Governance, Government, and the Search for New Provider Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard B. Saltman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A central problem in designing effective models of provider governance in health systems has been to ensure an appropriate balance between the concerns of public sector and/or government decision-makers, on the one hand, and of non-governmental health services actors in civil society and private life, on the other. In tax-funded European health systems up to the 1980s, the state and other public sector decision-makers played a dominant role over health service provision, typically operating hospitals through national or regional governments on a command-and-control basis. In a number of countries, however, this state role has started to change, with governments first stepping out of direct service provision and now de facto pushed to focus more on steering provider organizations rather than on direct public management. In this new approach to provider governance, the state has pulled back into a regulatory role that introduces market-like incentives and management structures, which then apply to both public and private sector providers alike. This article examines some of the main operational complexities in implementing this new governance reality/strategy, specifically from a service provision (as opposed to mostly a financing or even regulatory perspective. After briefly reviewing some of the key theoretical dilemmas, the paper presents two case studies where this new approach was put into practice: primary care in Sweden and hospitals in Spain. The article concludes that good governance today needs to reflect practical operational realities if it is to have the desired effect on health sector reform outcome.

  5. Building-block architecture of botulinum toxin complex: Conformational changes provide insights into the hemagglutination ability of the complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomonori Suzuki

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium botulinum produces the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT. Previously, we provided evidence for the “building-block” model of botulinum toxin complex (TC. In this model, a single BoNT is associated with a single nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA, yielding M-TC; three HA-70 molecules are attached and form M-TC/HA-70, and one to three “arms” of the HA-33/HA-17 trimer (two HA-33 and one HA-17 further bind to M-TC/HA-70 via HA-17 and HA-70 binding, yielding one-, two-, and three-arm L-TC. Of all TCs, only the three-arm L-TC caused hemagglutination. In this study, we determined the solution structures for the botulinum TCs using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS. The mature three-arm L-TC exhibited the shape of a “bird spreading its wings”, in contrast to the model having three “arms”, as revealed by transmission electron microscopy. SAXS images indicated that one of the three arms of the HA-33/HA-17 trimer bound to both HA-70 and BoNT. Taken together, these findings regarding the conformational changes in the building-block architecture of TC may explain why only three-arm L-TC exhibited hemagglutination.

  6. Mathematical modeling provides kinetic details of the human immune response to vaccination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin eLe

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available With major advances in experimental techniques to track antigen-specific immune responses many basic questions on the kinetics of virus-specific immunity in humans remain unanswered. To gain insights into kinetics of T and B cell responses in human volunteers we combine mathematical models and experimental data from recent studies employing vaccines against yellow fever and smallpox. Yellow fever virus-specific CD8 T cell population expanded slowly with the average doubling time of 2 days peaking 2.5 weeks post immunization. Interestingly, we found that the peak of the yellow fever-specific CD8 T cell response is determined by the rate of T cell proliferation and not by the precursor frequency of antigen-specific cells as has been suggested in several studies in mice. We also found that while the frequency of virus-specific T cells increases slowly, the slow increase can still accurately explain clearance of yellow fever virus in the blood. Our additional mathematical model describes well the kinetics of virus-specific antibody-secreting cell and antibody response to vaccinia virus in vaccinated individuals suggesting that most of antibodies in 3 months post immunization are derived from the population of circulating antibody-secreting cells. Taken together, our analysis provides novel insights into mechanisms by which live vaccines induce immunity to viral infections and highlight challenges of applying methods of mathematical modeling to the current, state-of-the-art yet limited immunological data.

  7. UV damage of collagen: insights from model collagen peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jariashvili, Ketevan; Madhan, Balaraman; Brodsky, Barbara; Kuchava, Ana; Namicheishvili, Louisa; Metreveli, Nunu

    2012-03-01

    Fibrils of Type I collagen in the skin are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light and there have been claims that collagen photo-degradation leads to wrinkles and may contribute to skin cancers. To understand the effects of UV radiation on collagen, Type I collagen solutions were exposed to the UV-C wavelength of 254 nm for defined lengths of time at 4°C. Circular dichroism (CD) experiments show that irradiation of collagen leads to high loss of triple helical content with a new lower thermal stability peak and SDS-gel electrophoresis indicates breakdown of collagen chains. To better define the effects of UV radiation on the collagen triple-helix, the studies were extended to peptides which model the collagen sequence and conformation. CD studies showed irradiation for days led to lower magnitudes of the triple-helix maximum at 225 nm and lower thermal stabilities for two peptides containing multiple Gly-Pro-Hyp triplets. In contrast, the highest radiation exposure led to little change in the T(m) values of (Gly-Pro-Pro)(10) and (Ala-Hyp-Gly)(10) , although (Gly-Pro-Pro)(10) did show a significant decrease in triple helix intensity. Mass spectroscopy indicated preferential cleavage sites within the peptides, and identification of some of the most susceptible sites of cleavage. The effect of radiation on these well defined peptides gives insight into the sequence and conformational specificity of photo-degradation of collagen.

  8. Providing surgical care in Somalia: A model of task shifting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ford Nathan P

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Somalia is one of the most political unstable countries in the world. Ongoing insecurity has forced an inconsistent medical response by the international community, with little data collection. This paper describes the "remote" model of surgical care by Medecins Sans Frontieres, in Guri-El, Somalia. The challenges of providing the necessary prerequisites for safe surgery are discussed as well as the successes and limitations of task shifting in this resource-limited context. Methods In January 2006, MSF opened a project in Guri-El located between Mogadishu and Galcayo. The objectives were to reduce mortality due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth and from violent and non-violent trauma. At the start of the program, expatriate surgeons and anesthesiologists established safe surgical practices and performed surgical procedures. After January 2008, expatriates were evacuated due to insecurity and surgical care has been provided by local Somalian doctors and nurses with periodic supervisory visits from expatriate staff. Results Between October 2006 and December 2009, 2086 operations were performed on 1602 patients. The majority (1049, 65% were male and the median age was 22 (interquartile range, 17-30. 1460 (70% of interventions were emergent. Trauma accounted for 76% (1585 of all surgical pathology; gunshot wounds accounted for 89% (584 of violent injuries. Operative mortality (0.5% of all surgical interventions was not higher when Somalian staff provided care compared to when expatriate surgeons and anesthesiologists. Conclusions The delivery of surgical care in any conflict-settings is difficult, but in situations where international support is limited, the challenges are more extreme. In this model, task shifting, or the provision of services by less trained cadres, was utilized and peri-operative mortality remained low demonstrating that safe surgical practices can be accomplished even without the presence of fully

  9. Chromosome-level genome map provides insights into diverse defense mechanisms in the medicinal fungus Ganoderma sinense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yingjie; Xu, Jiang; Sun, Chao; Zhou, Shiguo; Xu, Haibin; Nelson, David R; Qian, Jun; Song, Jingyuan; Luo, Hongmei; Xiang, Li; Li, Ying; Xu, Zhichao; Ji, Aijia; Wang, Lizhi; Lu, Shanfa; Hayward, Alice; Sun, Wei; Li, Xiwen; Schwartz, David C; Wang, Yitao; Chen, Shilin

    2015-06-05

    Fungi have evolved powerful genomic and chemical defense systems to protect themselves against genetic destabilization and other organisms. However, the precise molecular basis involved in fungal defense remain largely unknown in Basidiomycetes. Here the complete genome sequence, as well as DNA methylation patterns and small RNA transcriptomes, was analyzed to provide a holistic overview of secondary metabolism and defense processes in the model medicinal fungus, Ganoderma sinense. We reported the 48.96 Mb genome sequence of G. sinense, consisting of 12 chromosomes and encoding 15,688 genes. More than thirty gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, as well as a large array of genes responsible for their transport and regulation were highlighted. In addition, components of genome defense mechanisms, namely repeat-induced point mutation (RIP), DNA methylation and small RNA-mediated gene silencing, were revealed in G. sinense. Systematic bioinformatic investigation of the genome and methylome suggested that RIP and DNA methylation combinatorially maintain G. sinense genome stability by inactivating invasive genetic material and transposable elements. The elucidation of the G. sinense genome and epigenome provides an unparalleled opportunity to advance our understanding of secondary metabolism and fungal defense mechanisms.

  10. Structural analysis of the human SYCE2-TEX12 complex provides molecular insights into synaptonemal complex assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Owen R; Maman, Joseph D; Pellegrini, Luca

    2012-07-01

    The successful completion of meiosis is essential for all sexually reproducing organisms. The synaptonemal complex (SC) is a large proteinaceous structure that holds together homologous chromosomes during meiosis, providing the structural framework for meiotic recombination and crossover formation. Errors in SC formation are associated with infertility, recurrent miscarriage and aneuploidy. The current lack of molecular information about the dynamic process of SC assembly severely restricts our understanding of its function in meiosis. Here, we provide the first biochemical and structural analysis of an SC protein component and propose a structural basis for its function in SC assembly. We show that human SC proteins SYCE2 and TEX12 form a highly stable, constitutive complex, and define the regions responsible for their homotypic and heterotypic interactions. Biophysical analysis reveals that the SYCE2-TEX12 complex is an equimolar hetero-octamer, formed from the association of an SYCE2 tetramer and two TEX12 dimers. Electron microscopy shows that biochemically reconstituted SYCE2-TEX12 complexes assemble spontaneously into filamentous structures that resemble the known physical features of the SC central element (CE). Our findings can be combined with existing biological data in a model of chromosome synapsis driven by growth of SYCE2-TEX12 higher-order structures within the CE of the SC.

  11. Genome-Wide Association Identifies Nine Common Variants Associated With Fasting Proinsulin Levels and Provides New Insights Into the Pathophysiology of Type 2 Diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strawbridge, Rona J.; Dupuis, Josee; Prokopenko, Inga; Barker, Adam; Ahlqvist, Emma; Rybin, Denis; Petrie, John R.; Travers, Mary E.; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Dimas, Antigone S.; Nica, Alexandra; Wheeler, Eleanor; Chen, Han; Voight, Benjamin F.; Taneera, Jalal; Kanoni, Stavroula; Peden, John F.; Turrini, Fabiola; Gustafsson, Stefan; Zabena, Carina; Almgren, Peter; Barker, David J. P.; Barnes, Daniel; Dennison, Elaine M.; Eriksson, Johan G.; Eriksson, Per; Eury, Elodie; Folkersen, Lasse; Fox, Caroline S.; Frayling, Timothy M.; Goel, Anuj; Gu, Harvest F.; Horikoshi, Momoko; Isomaa, Bo; Jackson, Anne U.; Jameson, Karen A.; Kajantie, Eero; Kerr-Conte, Julie; Kuulasmaa, Teemu; Kuusisto, Johanna; Loos, Ruth J. F.; Luan, Jian'an; Makrilakis, Konstantinos; Manning, Alisa K.; Teresa Martinez-Larrad, Maria; Narisu, Narisu; Mannila, Maria Nastase; Ohrvik, John; Osmond, Clive; Pascoe, Laura; Payne, Felicity; Sayer, Avan A.; Sennblad, Bengt; Silveira, Angela; Stancakova, Alena; Stirrups, Kathy; Swift, Amy J.; Syvanen, Ann-Christine; Tuomi, Tiinamaija; van 't Hooft, Ferdinand M.; Walker, Mark; Weedon, Michael N.; Xie, Weijia; Zethelius, Bjorn; Ongen, Halit; Malarstig, Anders; Hopewell, Jemma C.; Saleheen, Danish; Chambers, John; Parish, Sarah; Danesh, John; Kooner, Jaspal; Ostenson, Claes-Goran; Lind, Lars; Cooper, Cyrus C.; Serrano-Rios, Manuel; Ferrannini, Ele; Forsen, Tom J.; Clarke, Robert; Franzosi, Maria Grazia; Seedorf, Udo; Watkins, Hugh; Froguel, Philippe; Johnson, Paul; Deloukas, Panos; Collins, Francis S.; Laakso, Markku; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T.; Boehnke, Michael; McCarthy, Mark I.; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Groop, Leif; Pattou, Francois; Gloyn, Anna L.; Dedoussis, George V.; Lyssenko, Valeriya; Meigs, James B.; Barroso, Ines; Watanabe, Richard M.; Ingelsson, Erik; Langenberg, Claudia; Hamsten, Anders; Florez, Jose C.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE-Proinsulin is a precursor of mature insulin and C-peptide. Higher circulating proinsulin levels are associated with impaired beta-cell function, raised glucose levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Studies of the insulin processing pathway could provide new insights about

  12. Genome-wide association identifies nine common variants associated with fasting proinsulin levels and provides new insights into the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strawbridge, R.J.; Dupuis, J.; Prokopenko, I.; Barker, A.; Ahlqvist, E.; Rybin, D.; Petrie, J.R.; Travers, M.E.; Bouatia-Naji, N.; Dimas, A.S.; Nica, A.; Wheeler, E.; Chen, H.; Voight, B.F.; Taneera, J.; Kanoni, S.; Peden, J.F.; Turrini, F.; Gustafsson, S.; Zabena, C.; Almgren, P.; Barker, D.J.; Barnes, D.; Dennison, E.M.; Eriksson, J.G.; Eriksson, P.; Eury, E.; Folkersen, L.; Fox, C.S.; Frayling, T.M.; Goel, A.; Gu, H.F.; Horikoshi, M.; Isomaa, B.; Jackson, A.U.; Jameson, K.A.; Kajantie, E.; Kerr-Conte, J.; Kuulasmaa, T.; Kuusisto, J.; Loos, R.J.; Luan, J.; Makrilakis, K.; Manning, A.K.; Martinez-Larrad, M.T.; Narisu, N.; Nastase Mannila, M.; Ohrvik, J.; Osmond, C.; Pascoe, L.; Payne, F.; Sayer, A.A.; Sennblad, B.; Silveira, A.; Stancakova, A.; Stirrups, K.; Swift, A.J.; Syvanen, A.C.; Tuomi, T.; Hooft, F. van 't; Walker, M.; Weedon, M.N.; Xie, W.; Zethelius, B.; Ongen, H.; Malarstig, A.; Hopewell, J.C.; Saleheen, D.; Chambers, J.; Parish, S.; Danesh, J.; Kooner, J.; Ostenson, C.G.; Lind, L.; Cooper, C.C.; Serrano-Rios, M.; Ferrannini, E.; Forsen, T.J.; Clarke, R.; Franzosi, M.G.; Seedorf, U.; Watkins, H.; Froguel, P.; Johnson, P.; Deloukas, P.; Collins, F.S.; Laakso, M.; Dermitzakis, E.T.; Boehnke, M.; McCarthy, M.I.; Wareham, N.J.; Groop, L.; Pattou, F.; Gloyn, A.L.; Dedoussis, G.V.; Lyssenko, V.; Meigs, J.B.; Barroso, I.; Watanabe, R.M.; Heijer, M. den; Kiemeney, L.A.L.M.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Proinsulin is a precursor of mature insulin and C-peptide. Higher circulating proinsulin levels are associated with impaired beta-cell function, raised glucose levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Studies of the insulin processing pathway could provide new insights about

  13. Genome-Wide Association Identifies Nine Common Variants Associated With Fasting Proinsulin Levels and Provides New Insights Into the Pathophysiology of Type 2 Diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strawbridge, Rona J.; Dupuis, Josee; Prokopenko, Inga; Barker, Adam; Ahlqvist, Emma; Rybin, Denis; Petrie, John R.; Travers, Mary E.; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Dimas, Antigone S.; Nica, Alexandra; Wheeler, Eleanor; Chen, Han; Voight, Benjamin F.; Taneera, Jalal; Kanoni, Stavroula; Peden, John F.; Turrini, Fabiola; Gustafsson, Stefan; Zabena, Carina; Almgren, Peter; Barker, David J. P.; Barnes, Daniel; Dennison, Elaine M.; Eriksson, Johan G.; Eriksson, Per; Eury, Elodie; Folkersen, Lasse; Fox, Caroline S.; Frayling, Timothy M.; Goel, Anuj; Gu, Harvest F.; Horikoshi, Momoko; Isomaa, Bo; Jackson, Anne U.; Jameson, Karen A.; Kajantie, Eero; Kerr-Conte, Julie; Kuulasmaa, Teemu; Kuusisto, Johanna; Loos, Ruth J. F.; Luan, Jian'an; Makrilakis, Konstantinos; Manning, Alisa K.; Teresa Martinez-Larrad, Maria; Narisu, Narisu; Mannila, Maria Nastase; Ohrvik, John; Osmond, Clive; Pascoe, Laura; Payne, Felicity; Sayer, Avan A.; Sennblad, Bengt; Silveira, Angela; Stancakova, Alena; Stirrups, Kathy; Swift, Amy J.; Syvanen, Ann-Christine; Tuomi, Tiinamaija; van 't Hooft, Ferdinand M.; Walker, Mark; Weedon, Michael N.; Xie, Weijia; Zethelius, Bjorn; Ongen, Halit; Malarstig, Anders; Hopewell, Jemma C.; Saleheen, Danish; Chambers, John; Parish, Sarah; Danesh, John; Kooner, Jaspal; Ostenson, Claes-Goran; Lind, Lars; Cooper, Cyrus C.; Serrano-Rios, Manuel; Ferrannini, Ele; Forsen, Tom J.; Clarke, Robert; Franzosi, Maria Grazia; Seedorf, Udo; Watkins, Hugh; Froguel, Philippe; Johnson, Paul; Deloukas, Panos; Collins, Francis S.; Laakso, Markku; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T.; Boehnke, Michael; McCarthy, Mark I.; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Groop, Leif; Pattou, Francois; Gloyn, Anna L.; Dedoussis, George V.; Lyssenko, Valeriya; Meigs, James B.; Barroso, Ines; Watanabe, Richard M.; Ingelsson, Erik; Langenberg, Claudia; Hamsten, Anders; Florez, Jose C.

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE-Proinsulin is a precursor of mature insulin and C-peptide. Higher circulating proinsulin levels are associated with impaired beta-cell function, raised glucose levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Studies of the insulin processing pathway could provide new insights about

  14. Protein architecture and core residues in unwound α-helices provide insights to the transport function of plant AtCHX17.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czerny, Daniel D; Padmanaban, Senthilkumar; Anishkin, Andriy; Venema, Kees; Riaz, Zoya; Sze, Heven

    2016-09-01

    Using Arabidopsis thaliana AtCHX17 as an example, we combine structural modeling and mutagenesis to provide insights on its protein architecture and transport function which is poorly characterized. This approach is based on the observation that protein structures are significantly more conserved in evolution than linear sequences, and mechanistic similarities among diverse transporters are emerging. Two homology models of AtCHX17 were obtained that show a protein fold similar to known structures of bacterial Na(+)/H(+) antiporters, EcNhaA and TtNapA. The distinct secondary and tertiary structure models highlighted residues at positions potentially important for CHX17 activity. Mutagenesis showed that asparagine-N200 and aspartate-D201 inside transmembrane5 (TM5), and lysine-K355 inside TM10 are critical for AtCHX17 activity. We reveal previously unrecognized threonine-T170 and lysine-K383 as key residues at unwound regions in the middle of TM4 and TM11 α-helices, respectively. Mutation of glutamate-E111 located near the membrane surface inhibited AtCHX17 activity, suggesting a role in pH sensing. The long carboxylic tail of unknown purpose has an alternating β-sheet and α-helix secondary structure that is conserved in prokaryote universal stress proteins. These results support the overall architecture of AtCHX17 and identify D201, N200 and novel residues T170 and K383 at the functional core which likely participates in ion recognition, coordination and/or translocation, similar to characterized cation/H(+) exchangers. The core of AtCHX17 models according to EcNhaA and TtNapA templates faces inward and outward, respectively, which may reflect two conformational states of the alternating access transport mode for proteins belonging to the plant CHX family.

  15. Phloem sap proteome studied by iTRAQ provides integrated insight into salinity response mechanisms in cucumber plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Huaifu; Xu, Yanli; Du, Changxia; Wu, Xue

    2015-07-01

    Cucumber is an economically important crop as well as a model system for plant vascular biology. Salinity is one of the major environmental factors limiting plant growth. Here, we used an iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomics approach for comparative analysis of protein abundances in cucumber phloem sap in response to salt. A total of 745 distinct proteins were identified and 111 proteins were differentially expressed upon salinity in sensitive and tolerant cultivars, of which 69 and 65 proteins changed significantly in sensitive and tolerant cultivars, respectively. A bioinformatics analysis indicated that cucumber phloem employed a combination of induced metabolism, protein turnover, common stress response, energy and transport, signal transduction and regulation of transcription, and development proteins as protection mechanisms against salinity. The proteins that were mapped to the carbon fixation pathway decreased in abundance in sensitive cultivars and had no change in tolerant cultivars under salt stress, suggesting that this pathway may promote salt tolerance by stabilizing carbon fixation and maintaining the essential energy and carbohydrates in tolerant cultivars. This study leads to a better understanding of the salinity mechanism in cucumber phloem and provides a list of potential gene targets for the further engineering of salt tolerance in plants.

  16. Induction of intracellular tau aggregation is promoted by α-synuclein seeds and provides novel insights into the hyperphosphorylation of tau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waxman, Elisa A; Giasson, Benoit I

    2011-05-25

    Intracytoplasmic proteinaceous inclusions, primarily composed of tau or α-synuclein (α-syn), are predominant pathological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), respectively. However, the coexistence of these pathological aggregates is identified in many neurodegenerative disorders, including spectrum disorders of AD and PD. Whereas α-syn can spontaneously polymerize into amyloidogenic fibrils, in vitro, tau polymerization requires an inducing agent. The current study presents a human-derived cellular model, in which recombinant, preformed α-syn fibrils cross-seed intracellular tau to promote the formation of neurofibrillary tangle-like aggregates. These aggregates were hyperphosphorylated, Triton insoluble, and thioflavin-S positive, either comingling with endogenously expressed α-syn aggregates or induced by only exogenously applied recombinant α-syn fibrils. Furthermore, filamentous, amyloidogenic tau took over the cellular soma, displacing the nucleus and isolating or displacing organelles, likely preventing cellular function. Although a significant proportion of wild-type tau formed these cellular inclusions, the P301L mutation in tau increased aggregation propensity resulting from α-syn seeds to over 50% of total tau protein. The role of phosphorylation on the development of these tau aggregates was investigated by coexpressing glycogen synthase kinase 3 β or microtubule-associated protein/microtubule affinity-regulating kinase 2. Expression of either kinase inhibited the formation of α-syn-induced tau aggregates. Analyses of phosphorylation sites suggest that multiple complex factors may be associated with this effect and that Triton-soluble versus Triton-insoluble tau may be independently targeted by kinases. The current work not only provides an exceptional cellular model of tau pathology, but also examines α-syn-induced tau inclusion formation and provides novel insights into hyperphosphorylation observed in disease.

  17. Responses of Rat P2X2 Receptors to Ultrashort Pulses of ATP Provide Insights into ATP Binding and Channel Gating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffatt, Luciano; Hume, Richard I.

    2007-01-01

    To gain insight into the way that P2X2 receptors localized at synapses might function, we explored the properties of outside-out patches containing many of these channels as ATP was very rapidly applied and removed. Using a new method to calibrate the speed of exchange of solution over intact patches, we were able to reliably produce applications of ATP lasting <200 μs. For all concentrations of ATP, there was a delay of at least 80 μs between the time when ATP arrived at the receptor and the first detectable flow of inward current. In response to 200-μs pulses of ATP, the time constant of the rising phase of the current was ∼600 μs. Thus, most channel openings occurred when no free ATP was present. The current deactivated with a time constant of ∼60 ms. The amplitude of the peak response to a brief pulse of a saturating concentration of ATP was ∼70% of that obtained during a long application of the same concentration of ATP. Thus, ATP leaves fully liganded channels without producing an opening at least 30% of the time. Extensive kinetic modeling revealed three different schemes that fit the data well, a sequential model and two allosteric models. To account for the delay in opening at saturating ATP, it was necessary to incorporate an intermediate closed state into all three schemes. These kinetic properties indicate that responses to ATP at synapses that use homomeric P2X2 receptors would be expected to greatly outlast the duration of the synaptic ATP transient produced by a single presynaptic spike. Like NMDA receptors, P2X2 receptors provide the potential for complex patterns of synaptic integration over a time scale of hundreds of milliseconds. PMID:17664346

  18. Do Lumped-Parameter Models Provide the Correct Geometrical Damping?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars

    This paper concerns the formulation of lumped-parameter models for rigid footings on homogenous or stratified soil. Such models only contain a few degrees of freedom, which makes them ideal for inclusion in aero-elastic codes for wind turbines and other models applied to fast evaluation of struct......This paper concerns the formulation of lumped-parameter models for rigid footings on homogenous or stratified soil. Such models only contain a few degrees of freedom, which makes them ideal for inclusion in aero-elastic codes for wind turbines and other models applied to fast evaluation...... response during excitation and the geometrical damping related to free vibrations of a hexagonal footing. The optimal order of a lumped-parameter model is determined for each degree of freedom, i.e. horizontal and vertical translation as well as torsion and rocking. In particular, the necessity of coupling...... between horizontal sliding and rocking is discussed....

  19. Live imaging provides new insights on dynamic F-actin filopodia and differential endocytosis during myoblast fusion in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haralalka, Shruti; Shelton, Claude; Cartwright, Heather N; Guo, Fengli; Trimble, Rhonda; Kumar, Ram P; Abmayr, Susan M

    2014-01-01

    The process of myogenesis includes the recognition, adhesion, and fusion of committed myoblasts into multinucleate syncytia. In the larval body wall muscles of Drosophila, this elaborate process is initiated by Founder Cells and Fusion-Competent Myoblasts (FCMs), and cell adhesion molecules Kin-of-IrreC (Kirre) and Sticks-and-stones (Sns) on their respective surfaces. The FCMs appear to provide the driving force for fusion, via the assembly of protrusions associated with branched F-actin and the WASp, SCAR and Arp2/3 pathways. In the present study, we utilize the dorsal pharyngeal musculature that forms in the Drosophila embryo as a model to explore myoblast fusion and visualize the fusion process in live embryos. These muscles rely on the same cell types and genes as the body wall muscles, but are amenable to live imaging since they do not undergo extensive morphogenetic movement during formation. Time-lapse imaging with F-actin and membrane markers revealed dynamic FCM-associated actin-enriched protrusions that rapidly extend and retract into the myotube from different sites within the actin focus. Ultrastructural analysis of this actin-enriched area showed that they have two morphologically distinct structures: wider invasions and/or narrow filopodia that contain long linear filaments. Consistent with this, formin Diaphanous (Dia) and branched actin nucleator, Arp3, are found decorating the filopodia or enriched at the actin focus, respectively, indicating that linear actin is present along with branched actin at sites of fusion in the FCM. Gain-of-function Dia and loss-of-function Arp3 both lead to fusion defects, a decrease of F-actin foci and prominent filopodia from the FCMs. We also observed differential endocytosis of cell surface components at sites of fusion, with actin reorganizing factors, WASp and SCAR, and Kirre remaining on the myotube surface and Sns preferentially taken up with other membrane proteins into early endosomes and lysosomes in the

  20. Global mass spectrometry and transcriptomics array based drug profiling provides novel insight into glucosamine induced endoplasmic reticulum stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Ana Sofia; Ribeiro, Helena; Voabil, Paula; Penque, Deborah; Jensen, Ole N; Molina, Henrik; Matthiesen, Rune

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the molecular effects of glucosamine supplements, a popular and safe alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for decreasing pain, inflammation, and maintaining healthy joints. Numerous studies have reported an array of molecular effects after glucosamine treatment. We questioned whether the differences in the effects observed in previous studies were associated with the focus on a specific subproteome or with the use of specific cell lines or tissues. To address this question, global mass spectrometry- and transcription array-based glucosamine drug profiling was performed on malignant cell lines from different stages of lymphocyte development. We combined global label-free MS-based protein quantitation with an open search for modifications to obtain the best possible proteome coverage. Our data were largely consistent with previous studies in a variety of cellular models. We mainly observed glucosamine induced O-GlcNAcylation/O-GalNAcylation (O-HexNAcylation); however, we also observed global and local changes in acetylation, methylation, and phosphorylation. For example, our data provides two additional examples of "yin-yang" between phosphorylation and O-HexNAcylation. Furthermore, we mapped novel O-HexNAc sites on GLU2B and calnexin. GLU2B and calnexin are known to be located in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and involved in protein folding and quality control. The O-HexNAc sites were regulated by glucosamine treatment and correlated with the up-regulation of the ER stress marker GRP78. The occupancy of O-HexNAc on GLU2B and calnexin sites differed between the cytosolic and nuclear fractions with a higher occupancy in the cytosolic fraction. Based on our data we propose the hypothesis that O-HexNAc either inactivates calnexin and/or targets it to the cytosolic fraction. Further, we hypothesize that O-HexNAcylation induced by glucosamine treatment enhances protein trafficking.

  1. Genome Sequencing of the Perciform Fish Larimichthys crocea Provides Insights into Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Stress Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Qiong; Zhu, Lv-Yun; Li, Ting; Ding, Yang; Nie, Li; Li, Qiuhua; Dong, Wei-ren; Jiang, Liang; Sun, Bing; Zhang, XinHui; Li, Mingyu; Zhang, Hai-Qi; Xie, ShangBo; Zhu, YaBing; Jiang, XuanTing; Wang, Xianhui; Mu, Pengfei; Chen, Wei; Yue, Zhen; Wang, Zhuo; Wang, Jun; Shao, Jian-Zhong; Chen, Xinhua

    2015-01-01

    The large yellow croaker Larimichthys crocea (L. crocea) is one of the most economically important marine fish in China and East Asian countries. It also exhibits peculiar behavioral and physiological characteristics, especially sensitive to various environmental stresses, such as hypoxia and air exposure. These traits may render L. crocea a good model for investigating the response mechanisms to environmental stress. To understand the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying the adaptation and response of L. crocea to environmental stress, we sequenced and assembled the genome of L. crocea using a bacterial artificial chromosome and whole-genome shotgun hierarchical strategy. The final genome assembly was 679 Mb, with a contig N50 of 63.11 kb and a scaffold N50 of 1.03 Mb, containing 25,401 protein-coding genes. Gene families underlying adaptive behaviours, such as vision-related crystallins, olfactory receptors, and auditory sense-related genes, were significantly expanded in the genome of L. crocea relative to those of other vertebrates. Transcriptome analyses of the hypoxia-exposed L. crocea brain revealed new aspects of neuro-endocrine-immune/metabolism regulatory networks that may help the fish to avoid cerebral inflammatory injury and maintain energy balance under hypoxia. Proteomics data demonstrate that skin mucus of the air-exposed L. crocea had a complex composition, with an unexpectedly high number of proteins (3,209), suggesting its multiple protective mechanisms involved in antioxidant functions, oxygen transport, immune defence, and osmotic and ionic regulation. Our results reveal the molecular and genetic basis of fish adaptation and response to hypoxia and air exposure. The data generated by this study will provide valuable resources for the genetic improvement of stress resistance and yield potential in L. crocea. PMID:25835551

  2. Live imaging provides new insights on dynamic F-actin filopodia and differential endocytosis during myoblast fusion in Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shruti Haralalka

    Full Text Available The process of myogenesis includes the recognition, adhesion, and fusion of committed myoblasts into multinucleate syncytia. In the larval body wall muscles of Drosophila, this elaborate process is initiated by Founder Cells and Fusion-Competent Myoblasts (FCMs, and cell adhesion molecules Kin-of-IrreC (Kirre and Sticks-and-stones (Sns on their respective surfaces. The FCMs appear to provide the driving force for fusion, via the assembly of protrusions associated with branched F-actin and the WASp, SCAR and Arp2/3 pathways. In the present study, we utilize the dorsal pharyngeal musculature that forms in the Drosophila embryo as a model to explore myoblast fusion and visualize the fusion process in live embryos. These muscles rely on the same cell types and genes as the body wall muscles, but are amenable to live imaging since they do not undergo extensive morphogenetic movement during formation. Time-lapse imaging with F-actin and membrane markers revealed dynamic FCM-associated actin-enriched protrusions that rapidly extend and retract into the myotube from different sites within the actin focus. Ultrastructural analysis of this actin-enriched area showed that they have two morphologically distinct structures: wider invasions and/or narrow filopodia that contain long linear filaments. Consistent with this, formin Diaphanous (Dia and branched actin nucleator, Arp3, are found decorating the filopodia or enriched at the actin focus, respectively, indicating that linear actin is present along with branched actin at sites of fusion in the FCM. Gain-of-function Dia and loss-of-function Arp3 both lead to fusion defects, a decrease of F-actin foci and prominent filopodia from the FCMs. We also observed differential endocytosis of cell surface components at sites of fusion, with actin reorganizing factors, WASp and SCAR, and Kirre remaining on the myotube surface and Sns preferentially taken up with other membrane proteins into early endosomes and

  3. Closed-flow column experiments—Insights into solute transport provided by a damped oscillating breakthrough behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritschel, Thomas; Totsche, Kai Uwe

    2016-03-01

    Transport studies that employ column experiments in closed-flow mode complement classical approaches by providing new characteristic features observed in the solute breakthrough and equilibrium between liquid and solid phase. Specific to the closed-flow mode is the recirculation of the effluent to the inflow via a mixing vessel. Depending on the ratio of volumes of mixing vessel and water-filled pore space, a damped oscillating solute concentration emerges in the effluent and mixing vessel. The oscillation characteristics, e.g., frequency, amplitude, and damping, allow for the investigation of solute transport in a similar fashion as known for classical open-flow column experiments. However, the closed loop conserves substances released during transport within the system. In this way, solute and porous medium can equilibrate with respect to physicochemical conditions. With this paper, the features emerging in the breakthrough curves of saturated column experiments run in closed-flow mode and methods of evaluation are illustrated under experimental boundary conditions forcing the appearance of oscillations. We demonstrate that the effective pore water volume and the pumping rate can be determined from a conservative tracer breakthrough curve uniquely. In this way, external preconditioning of the material, e.g., drying, can be avoided. A reactive breakthrough experiment revealed a significant increase in the pore water pH value as a consequence of the closed loop. These results highlight the specific impact of the closed mass balance. Furthermore, the basis for the modeling of closed-flow experiments is given by the derivation of constitutive equations and numerical implementation, validated with the presented experiments.

  4. Evolution of mammal tooth patterns: new insights from a developmental prediction model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renvoisé, Elodie; Evans, Alistair R; Jebrane, Ahmad; Labruère, Catherine; Laffont, Rémi; Montuire, Sophie

    2009-05-01

    The study of mammalian evolution is often based on insights into the evolution of teeth. Developmental studies may attempt to address the mechanisms that guide evolutionary changes. One example is the new developmental model proposed by Kavanagh et al. (2007), which provides a high-level testable model to predict mammalian tooth evolution. It is constructed on an inhibitory cascade model based on a dynamic balance of activators and inhibitors, regulating differences in molar size along the lower dental row. Nevertheless, molar sizes in some mammals differ from this inhibitory cascade model, in particular in voles. The aim of this study is to point out arvicoline and murine differences within this model and to suggest an alternative model. Here we demonstrate that the inhibitory cascade is not followed, due to the arvicoline's greatly elongated first lower molar. We broaden the scope of the macroevolutionary model by projecting a time scale onto the developmental model. We demonstrate that arvicoline evolution is rather characterized by a large gap from the oldest vole to more recent genera, with the rapid acquisition of a large first lower molar contemporaneous to their radiation. Our study provides alternative evolutionary hypotheses for mammals with different trajectories of development.

  5. Analysis of Transcriptome Changes Induced by Ptr ToxA in Wheat Provides Insights into the Mechanisms of Plant Susceptibility

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Iovanna Pandelova; Melania E Betts; Viola A. Manning; Larry J. Wilhelm; Todd C. Mockler; Lynda M. Ciuffetti

    2009-01-01

    To obtain greater insight into the molecular events underlying plant disease susceptibility, we studied tran-scriptome changes induced by a host-selective toxin of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, Ptr ToxA (ToxA), on its host plant, wheat. Transcriptional profiling of ToxA-treated leaves of a ToxA-sensitive wheat cultivar was performed using the GeneChip~(R) Wheat Genome Array. An improved and up-to-date annotation of the wheat microarray was generated and a new tool for array data analysis (BRAT) was developed, and both are available for public use via a web-based in-terface. Our data indicate that massive transcriptional reprogramming occurs due to ToxA treatment, including cellular responses typically associated with defense. In addition, this study supports previous results indicating that ToxA-induced cell death is triggered by impairment of the photosynthetic machinery and accumulation of reactive oxygen species. Based on results of this study, we propose that ToxA acts as both an elicitor and a virulence factor.

  6. Genome-wide trans-ancestry meta-analysis provides insight into the genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahajan, Anubha; Go, Min Jin; Zhang, Weihua; Below, Jennifer E; Gaulton, Kyle J; Ferreira, Teresa; Horikoshi, Momoko; Johnson, Andrew D; Ng, Maggie C Y; Prokopenko, Inga; Saleheen, Danish; Wang, Xu; Zeggini, Eleftheria; Abecasis, Goncalo R; Adair, Linda S; Almgren, Peter; Atalay, Mustafa; Aung, Tin; Baldassarre, Damiano; Balkau, Beverley; Bao, Yuqian; Barnett, Anthony H; Barroso, Ines; Basit, Abdul; Been, Latonya F; Beilby, John; Bell, Graeme I; Benediktsson, Rafn; Bergman, Richard N; Boehm, Bernhard O; Boerwinkle, Eric; Bonnycastle, Lori L; Burtt, Noël; Cai, Qiuyin; Campbell, Harry; Carey, Jason; Cauchi, Stephane; Caulfield, Mark; Chan, Juliana C N; Chang, Li-Ching; Chang, Tien-Jyun; Chang, Yi-Cheng; Charpentier, Guillaume; Chen, Chien-Hsiun; Chen, Han; Chen, Yuan-Tsong; Chia, Kee-Seng; Chidambaram, Manickam; Chines, Peter S; Cho, Nam H; Cho, Young Min; Chuang, Lee-Ming; Collins, Francis S; Cornelis, Marylin C; Couper, David J; Crenshaw, Andrew T; van Dam, Rob M; Danesh, John; Das, Debashish; de Faire, Ulf; Dedoussis, George; Deloukas, Panos; Dimas, Antigone S; Dina, Christian; Doney, Alex S; Donnelly, Peter J; Dorkhan, Mozhgan; van Duijn, Cornelia; Dupuis, Josée; Edkins, Sarah; Elliott, Paul; Emilsson, Valur; Erbel, Raimund; Eriksson, Johan G; Escobedo, Jorge; Esko, Tonu; Eury, Elodie; Florez, Jose C; Fontanillas, Pierre; Forouhi, Nita G; Forsen, Tom; Fox, Caroline; Fraser, Ross M; Frayling, Timothy M; Froguel, Philippe; Frossard, Philippe; Gao, Yutang; Gertow, Karl; Gieger, Christian; Gigante, Bruna; Grallert, Harald; Grant, George B; Grrop, Leif C; Groves, Chrisropher J; Grundberg, Elin; Guiducci, Candace; Hamsten, Anders; Han, Bok-Ghee; Hara, Kazuo; Hassanali, Neelam; Hattersley, Andrew T; Hayward, Caroline; Hedman, Asa K; Herder, Christian; Hofman, Albert; Holmen, Oddgeir L; Hovingh, Kees; Hreidarsson, Astradur B; Hu, Cheng; Hu, Frank B; Hui, Jennie; Humphries, Steve E; Hunt, Sarah E; Hunter, David J; Hveem, Kristian; Hydrie, Zafar I; Ikegami, Hiroshi; Illig, Thomas; Ingelsson, Erik; Islam, Muhammed; Isomaa, Bo; Jackson, Anne U; Jafar, Tazeen; James, Alan; Jia, Weiping; Jöckel, Karl-Heinz; Jonsson, Anna; Jowett, Jeremy B M; Kadowaki, Takashi; Kang, Hyun Min; Kanoni, Stavroula; Kao, Wen Hong L; Kathiresan, Sekar; Kato, Norihiro; Katulanda, Prasad; Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Kirkka M; Kelly, Ann M; Khan, Hassan; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Khor, Chiea-Chuen; Kim, Hyung-Lae; Kim, Sangsoo; Kim, Young Jin; Kinnunen, Leena; Klopp, Norman; Kong, Augustine; Korpi-Hyövälti, Eeva; Kowlessur, Sudhir; Kraft, Peter; Kravic, Jasmina; Kristensen, Malene M; Krithika, S; Kumar, Ashish; Kumate, Jesus; Kuusisto, Johanna; Kwak, Soo Heon; Laakso, Markku; Lagou, Vasiliki; Lakka, Timo A; Langenberg, Claudia; Langford, Cordelia; Lawrence, Robert; Leander, Karin; Lee, Jen-Mai; Lee, Nanette R; Li, Man; Li, Xinzhong; Li, Yun; Liang, Junbin; Liju, Samuel; Lim, Wei-Yen; Lind, Lars; Lindgren, Cecilia M; Lindholm, Eero; Liu, Ching-Ti; Liu, Jian Jun; Lobbens, Stéphane; Long, Jirong; Loos, Ruth J F; Lu, Wei; Luan, Jian'an; Lyssenko, Valeriya; Ma, Ronald C W; Maeda, Shiro; Mägi, Reedik; Männisto, Satu; Matthews, David R; Meigs, James B; Melander, Olle; Metspalu, Andres; Meyer, Julia; Mirza, Ghazala; Mihailov, Evelin; Moebus, Susanne; Mohan, Viswanathan; Mohlke, Karen L; Morris, Andrew D; Mühleisen, Thomas W; Müller-Nurasyid, Martina; Musk, Bill; Nakamura, Jiro; Nakashima, Eitaro; Navarro, Pau; Ng, Peng-Keat; Nica, Alexandra C; Nilsson, Peter M; Njølstad, Inger; Nöthen, Markus M; Ohnaka, Keizo; Ong, Twee Hee; Owen, Katharine R; Palmer, Colin N A; Pankow, James S; Park, Kyong Soo; Parkin, Melissa; Pechlivanis, Sonali; Pedersen, Nancy L; Peltonen, Leena; Perry, John R B; Peters, Annette; Pinidiyapathirage, Janini M; Platou, Carl G; Potter, Simon; Price, Jackie F; Qi, Lu; Radha, Venkatesan; Rallidis, Loukianos; Rasheed, Asif; Rathman, Wolfgang; Rauramaa, Rainer; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Rayner, N William; Rees, Simon D; Rehnberg, Emil; Ripatti, Samuli; Robertson, Neil; Roden, Michael; Rossin, Elizabeth J; Rudan, Igor; Rybin, Denis; Saaristo, Timo E; Salomaa, Veikko; Saltevo, Juha; Samuel, Maria; Sanghera, Dharambir K; Saramies, Jouko; Scott, James; Scott, Laura J; Scott, Robert A; Segrè, Ayellet V; Sehmi, Joban; Sennblad, Bengt; Shah, Nabi; Shah, Sonia; Shera, A Samad; Shu, Xiao Ou; Shuldiner, Alan R; Sigurđsson, Gunnar; Sijbrands, Eric; Silveira, Angela; Sim, Xueling; Sivapalaratnam, Suthesh; Small, Kerrin S; So, Wing Yee; Stančáková, Alena; Stefansson, Kari; Steinbach, Gerald; Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur; Stirrups, Kathleen; Strawbridge, Rona J; Stringham, Heather M; Sun, Qi; Suo, Chen; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Takayanagi, Ryoichi; Takeuchi, Fumihiko; Tay, Wan Ting; Teslovich, Tanya M; Thorand, Barbara; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Tikkanen, Emmi; Trakalo, Joseph; Tremoli, Elena; Trip, Mieke D; Tsai, Fuu Jen; Tuomi, Tiinamaija; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Uitterlinden, Andre G; Valladares-Salgado, Adan; Vedantam, Sailaja; Veglia, Fabrizio; Voight, Benjamin F; Wang, Congrong; Wareham, Nicholas J; Wennauer, Roman; Wickremasinghe, Ananda R; Wilsgaard, Tom; Wilson, James F; Wiltshire, Steven; Winckler, Wendy; Wong, Tien Yin; Wood, Andrew R; Wu, Jer-Yuarn; Wu, Ying; Yamamoto, Ken; Yamauchi, Toshimasa; Yang, Mingyu; Yengo, Loic; Yokota, Mitsuhiro; Young, Robin; Zabaneh, Delilah; Zhang, Fan; Zhang, Rong; Zheng, Wei; Zimmet, Paul Z; Altshuler, David; Bowden, Donald W; Cho, Yoon Shin; Cox, Nancy J; Cruz, Miguel; Hanis, Craig L; Kooner, Jaspal; Lee, Jong-Young; Seielstad, Mark; Teo, Yik Ying; Boehnke, Michael; Parra, Esteban J; Chambers, Jonh C; Tai, E Shyong; McCarthy, Mark I; Morris, Andrew P

    2014-03-01

    To further understanding of the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) susceptibility, we aggregated published meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), including 26,488 cases and 83,964 controls of European, east Asian, south Asian and Mexican and Mexican American ancestry. We observed a significant excess in the directional consistency of T2D risk alleles across ancestry groups, even at SNPs demonstrating only weak evidence of association. By following up the strongest signals of association from the trans-ethnic meta-analysis in an additional 21,491 cases and 55,647 controls of European ancestry, we identified seven new T2D susceptibility loci. Furthermore, we observed considerable improvements in the fine-mapping resolution of common variant association signals at several T2D susceptibility loci. These observations highlight the benefits of trans-ethnic GWAS for the discovery and characterization of complex trait loci and emphasize an exciting opportunity to extend insight into the genetic architecture and pathogenesis of human diseases across populations of diverse ancestry.

  7. Do Lumped-Parameter Models Provide the Correct Geometrical Damping?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars

    2007-01-01

    This paper concerns the formulation of lumped-parameter models for rigid footings on homogenous or stratified soil with focus on the horizontal sliding and rocking. Such models only contain a few degrees of freedom, which makes them ideal for inclusion in aero-elastic codes for wind turbines...

  8. Do Lumped-Parameter Models Provide the Correct Geometrical Damping?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars

    2007-01-01

    This paper concerns the formulation of lumped-parameter models for rigid footings on homogenous or stratified soil with focus on the horizontal sliding and rocking. Such models only contain a few degrees of freedom, which makes them ideal for inclusion in aero-elastic codes for wind turbines...

  9. Vertical microbial community variability of carbonate-based cones may provide insight into ancient conical stromatolite formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, James; Daille, Leslie; Trivedi, Christopher; Bojanowski, Caitlin; Nunn, Heather; Stamps, Blake; Johnson, Hope; Stevenson, Bradley; Berelson, Will; Corsetti, Frank; Spear, John

    2016-04-01

    Stromatolite morphogenesis is poorly understood, and the process by which microbial mats become mineralized is a primary question in microbialite formation. Ancient conical stromatolites are primarily carbonate-based whereas the few modern analogues in hot springs are either non-mineralized or mineralized by silica. A team from the 2015 International GeoBiology Course investigated carbonate-rich microbial cones from near Little Hot Creek (LHC), Long Valley Caldera, California, to investigate how conical stromatolites might form in a hot spring carbonate system. The cones rise up from a layered microbial mat on the east side of a 45° C pool with very low flow that is super-saturated with respect to CaCO3. Cone structures are 8-30 mm in height, are rigid and do not deform when removed from the pool. Morphological characterization through environmental scanning electronic microscopy revealed that the cone structure is maintained by a matrix of intertwining microbial filaments around carbonate grains. This matrix gives rise to cone-filaments that are arranged vertically or horizontally, and provides further stability to the cone. Preliminary 16S rRNA gene analysis indicated variability of community composition between different vertical levels of the cone. The cone tip had comparatively greater abundance of filamentous cyanobacteria including Leptolingbya, Phormidium and Isosphaera and fewer heterotrophs (e.g. Chloroflexi) compared to the cone bottom. This supports the hypothesis that cone formation may depend on the differential abundance of the microbial community and their potential functional roles. Metagenomic analyses of the cones revealed potential genes related to chemotaxis and motility. Specifically, a genomic bin identified as a member of the genus Isosphaera contained an hmp chemotaxis operon implicated in gliding motility in the cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme. Isosphaera is a Planctomycete shown to have phototactic capabilities, and may play a role in

  10. Insights into thermophilic archaebacterial membrane stability from simplified models of lipid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Charles H.; Nie, Huifen; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.

    2007-05-01

    Lipid aggregation into fluid bilayers is an essential process for sustaining life. Simplified models of lipid structure, which allow for long time scales or large length scales not obtainable with all-atom simulations, have recently been developed and show promise for describing lipid dynamics in biological systems. Here, we describe two simplified models, a reduced-lipid model and a bola-lipid model for thermophilic bacterial membranes, developed for use with the rapid discrete molecular dynamics simulation method. In the reduced-lipid model, we represent the lipid chain by a series of three beads interacting through pairwise discrete potentials that model hydrophobic attractions between hydrocarbon tails in implicit solvent. Our phase diagram recapitulates those produced by continuous potential models with similar coarse-grained lipid representations. We also find that phase transition temperatures for our reduced-lipid model are dependent upon the flexibility of the lipid chain, giving an insight into archaebacterial membrane stability and prompting development of a bola-lipid model specific for archaebacteria lipids. With both the reduced-lipid and bola-lipid model, we find that the reduced flexibility inherent in archaebacteria lipids yields more stable bilayers as manifested by increased phase transition temperatures. The results of these studies provide a simulation methodology for lipid molecules in biological systems and show that discrete molecular dynamics is applicable to lipid aggregation and dynamics.

  11. Modeling the mammalian locomotor CPG: insights from mistakes and perturbations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrea, David A; Rybak, Ilya A

    2007-01-01

    A computational model of the mammalian spinal cord circuitry incorporating a two-level central pattern generator (CPG) with separate half-center rhythm generator (RG) and pattern formation (PF) networks is reviewed. The model consists of interacting populations of interneurons and motoneurons described in the Hodgkin-Huxley style. Locomotor rhythm generation is based on a combination of intrinsic (persistent sodium current dependent) properties of excitatory RG neurons and reciprocal inhibition between the two half-centers comprising the RG. The two-level architecture of the CPG was suggested from an analysis of deletions (spontaneous omissions of activity) and the effects of afferent stimulation on the locomotor pattern and rhythm observed during fictive locomotion in the cat. The RG controls the activity of the PF network that in turn defines the rhythmic pattern of motoneuron activity. The model produces realistic firing patterns of two antagonist motoneuron populations and generates locomotor oscillations encompassing the range of cycle periods and phase durations observed during cat locomotion. A number of features of the real CPG operation can be reproduced with separate RG and PF networks, which would be difficult if not impossible to demonstrate with a classical single-level CPG. The two-level architecture allows the CPG to maintain the phase of locomotor oscillations and cycle timing during deletions and during sensory stimulation. The model provides a basis for functional identification of spinal interneurons involved in generation and control of the locomotor pattern.

  12. Analysis of the human monocyte-derived macrophage transcriptome and response to lipopolysaccharide provides new insights into genetic aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baillie, J Kenneth; Arner, Erik; Daub, Carsten; De Hoon, Michiel; Itoh, Masayoshi; Kawaji, Hideya; Lassmann, Timo; Carninci, Piero; Forrest, Alistair R R; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Faulkner, Geoffrey J; Wells, Christine A; Rehli, Michael; Pavli, Paul; Summers, Kim M; Hume, David A

    2017-03-01

    The FANTOM5 consortium utilised cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) to provide an unprecedented insight into transcriptional regulation in human cells and tissues. In the current study, we have used CAGE-based transcriptional profiling on an extended dense time course of the response of human monocyte-derived macrophages grown in macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF1) to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We propose that this system provides a model for the differentiation and adaptation of monocytes entering the intestinal lamina propria. The response to LPS is shown to be a cascade of successive waves of transient gene expression extending over at least 48 hours, with hundreds of positive and negative regulatory loops. Promoter analysis using motif activity response analysis (MARA) identified some of the transcription factors likely to be responsible for the temporal profile of transcriptional activation. Each LPS-inducible locus was associated with multiple inducible enhancers, and in each case, transient eRNA transcription at multiple sites detected by CAGE preceded the appearance of promoter-associated transcripts. LPS-inducible long non-coding RNAs were commonly associated with clusters of inducible enhancers. We used these data to re-examine the hundreds of loci associated with susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in genome-wide association studies. Loci associated with IBD were strongly and specifically (relative to rheumatoid arthritis and unrelated traits) enriched for promoters that were regulated in monocyte differentiation or activation. Amongst previously-identified IBD susceptibility loci, the vast majority contained at least one promoter that was regulated in CSF1-dependent monocyte-macrophage transitions and/or in response to LPS. On this basis, we concluded that IBD loci are strongly-enriched for monocyte-specific genes, and identified at least 134 additional candidate genes associated with IBD susceptibility from reanalysis

  13. Stakeholder analysis combined with social network analysis provides fine-grained insights into water infrastructure planning processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lienert, Judit; Schnetzer, Florian; Ingold, Karin

    2013-08-15

    Environmental policy and decision-making are characterized by complex interactions between different actors and sectors. As a rule, a stakeholder analysis is performed to understand those involved, but it has been criticized for lacking quality and consistency. This lack is remedied here by a formal social network analysis that investigates collaborative and multi-level governance settings in a rigorous way. We examine the added value of combining both elements. Our case study examines infrastructure planning in the Swiss water sector. Water supply and wastewater infrastructures are planned far into the future, usually on the basis of projections of past boundary conditions. They affect many actors, including the population, and are expensive. In view of increasing future dynamics and climate change, a more participatory and long-term planning approach is required. Our specific aims are to investigate fragmentation in water infrastructure planning, to understand how actors from different decision levels and sectors are represented, and which interests they follow. We conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with local stakeholders, but also cantonal and national actors. The network analysis confirmed our hypothesis of strong fragmentation: we found little collaboration between the water supply and wastewater sector (confirming horizontal fragmentation), and few ties between local, cantonal, and national actors (confirming vertical fragmentation). Infrastructure planning is clearly dominated by engineers and local authorities. Little importance is placed on longer-term strategic objectives and integrated catchment planning, but this was perceived as more important in a second analysis going beyond typical questions of stakeholder analysis. We conclude that linking a stakeholder analysis, comprising rarely asked questions, with a rigorous social network analysis is very fruitful and generates complementary results. This combination gave us deeper insight into the

  14. Genome Sequence of the Fish Pathogen Yersinia ruckeri SC09 Provides Insights into Niche Adaptation and Pathogenic Mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tao; Wang, Kai-Yu; Wang, Jun; Chen, De-Fang; Huang, Xiao-Li; Ouyang, Ping; Geng, Yi; He, Yang; Zhou, Yi; Min, Jie

    2016-04-14

    Yersinia ruckeri is the etiologic agent of enteric red mouth disease (ERM), a severe fish disease prevailing in worldwide aquaculture industries. Here we report for the first time the complete genome of Y. ruckeri (Yersinia ruckeri) SC09, a highly virulent strain isolated from Ictalurus punctatus with severe septicemia. SC09 possesses a single chromosome of 3,923,491 base pairs, which contains 3651 predicted protein coding sequences (CDS), 19 rRNA genes, and 79 tRNA genes. Among the CDS, we have identified a Ysa locus containing genes encoding all the components of a type III secretion system (T3SS). Comparative analysis suggest that SC09-Ysa share extensive similarity in sequence, gene content, and gene arrangement with Salmonella enterica pathogenicity island 1 (SPI1) and chromosome-encoded T3SS from Yersinia enterocolitica biotype 1B. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis shown that SC09-Ysa and SPI1-T3SS belong on the same branch of the phylogenetic tree. These results suggest that SC09-Ysa and SPI1-T3SS appear to mediate biological function to adapt to specific hosts with a similar niche, and both of them are likely to facilitate the development of an intracellular niche. In addition, our analysis also indicated that a substantial part of the SC09 genome might contribute to adaption in the intestinal microenvironment, including a number of proteins associated with aerobic or anaerobic respiration, signal transduction, and various stress reactions. Genomic analysis of the bacterium offered insights into the pathogenic mechanism associated with intracellular infection and intestinal survivability, which constitutes an important first step in understanding the pathogenesis of Y. ruckeri.

  15. Insertion sequence element single nucleotide polymorphism typing provides insights into the population structure and evolution of Mycobacterium ulcerans across Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandelannoote, Koen; Jordaens, Kurt; Bomans, Pieter; Leirs, Herwig; Durnez, Lies; Affolabi, Dissou; Sopoh, Ghislain; Aguiar, Julia; Phanzu, Delphin Mavinga; Kibadi, Kapay; Eyangoh, Sara; Manou, Louis Bayonne; Phillips, Richard Odame; Adjei, Ohene; Ablordey, Anthony; Rigouts, Leen; Portaels, Françoise; Eddyani, Miriam; de Jong, Bouke C

    2014-02-01

    Buruli ulcer is an indolent, slowly progressing necrotizing disease of the skin caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans. In the present study, we applied a redesigned technique to a vast panel of M. ulcerans disease isolates and clinical samples originating from multiple African disease foci in order to (i) gain fundamental insights into the population structure and evolutionary history of the pathogen and (ii) disentangle the phylogeographic relationships within the genetically conserved cluster of African M. ulcerans. Our analyses identified 23 different African insertion sequence element single nucleotide polymorphism (ISE-SNP) types that dominate in different areas where Buruli ulcer is endemic. These ISE-SNP types appear to be the initial stages of clonal diversification from a common, possibly ancestral ISE-SNP type. ISE-SNP types were found unevenly distributed over the greater West African hydrological drainage basins. Our findings suggest that geographical barriers bordering the basins to some extent prevented bacterial gene flow between basins and that this resulted in independent focal transmission clusters associated with the hydrological drainage areas. Different phylogenetic methods yielded two well-supported sister clades within the African ISE-SNP types. The ISE-SNP types from the "pan-African clade" were found to be widespread throughout Africa, while the ISE-SNP types of the "Gabonese/Cameroonian clade" were much rarer and found in a more restricted area, which suggested that the latter clade evolved more recently. Additionally, the Gabonese/Cameroonian clade was found to form a strongly supported monophyletic group with Papua New Guinean ISE-SNP type 8, which is unrelated to other Southeast Asian ISE-SNP types.

  16. Insight, psychopathology, explanatory models and outcome of schizophrenia in India: a prospective 5-year cohort study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Shanthi

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The sole focus of models of insight on bio-medical perspectives to the complete exclusion of local, non-medical and cultural constructs mandates review. This study attempted to investigate the impact of insight, psychopathology, explanatory models of illness on outcome of first episode schizophrenia. Method Patients diagnosed to have DSM IV schizophrenia (n = 131 were assessed prospectively for insight, psychopathology, explanatory models of illness at baseline, 6, 12 and 60 months using standard instruments. Multiple linear and logistic regression and generalized estimating equations (GEE were employed to assess predictors of outcome. Results We could follow up 95 (72.5% patients. Sixty-five of these patients (68.4% achieved remission. There was a negative relationship between psychosis rating and insight scores. Urban residence, fluctuating course of the initial illness, and improvement in global functioning at 6 months and lower psychosis rating at 12 months were significantly related to remission at 5 years. Insight scores, number of non-medical explanatory models and individual explanatory models held during the later course of the illness were significantly associated with outcome. Analysis of longitudinal data using GEE showed that women, rural residence, insight scores and number of non-medical explanatory models of illness held were significantly associated with BPRS scores during the study period. Conclusions Insight, the disease model and the number of non-medical model positively correlated with improvement in psychosis arguing for a complex interaction between the culture, context and illness variables. These finding argue that insight and explanatory models are secondary to psychopathology, course and outcome of the illness. The awareness of mental illness is a narrative act in which people make personal sense of the many challenges they face. The course and outcome of the illness, cultural context

  17. Do proteomics analyses provide insights into reduced oxidative stress in the brain of an Alzheimer disease transgenic mouse model with an M631L amyloid precursor protein substitution and thereby the importance of amyloid-beta-resident methionine 35 in Alzheimer disease pathogenesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultana, Rukhsana; Robinson, Renã A S; Lange, Miranda Bader; Fiorini, Ada; Galvan, Veronica; Fombonne, Joanna; Baker, Austin; Gorostiza, Olivia; Zhang, Junli; Cai, Jian; Pierce, William M; Bredesen, Dale E; Butterfield, D Allan

    2012-12-01

    The single methionine (Met/M) residue of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide, at position 35 of the 42-mer, has important relevance for Aβ-induced oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. Recent in vivo brain studies in a transgenic (Tg) Alzheimer disease (AD) mouse model with Swedish and Indiana familial AD mutations in human amyloid precursor protein (APP) (referred to as the J20 Tg mouse) demonstrated increased levels of oxidative stress. However, the substitution of the Met631 residue of APP to leucine (Leu/L) (M631L in human APP numbering, referred to as M631L Tg and corresponding to residue 35 of Aβ1-42) resulted in no significant in vivo oxidative stress levels, thereby supporting the hypothesis that Met-35 of Aβ contributes to oxidative insult in the AD brain. It is conceivable that oxidative stress mediated by Met-35 of Aβ is important in regulating numerous downstream effects, leading to differential levels of relevant biochemical pathways in AD. Therefore, in the current study using proteomics, we tested the hypothesis that several brain proteins involved in pathways such as energy and metabolism, antioxidant activity, proteasome degradation, and pH regulation are altered in J20Tg versus M631L Tg AD mice.

  18. Modeling the Fluid Dynamics in a Human Stomach to Gain Insight of Food Digestion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrua, MJ; Singh, RP

    2010-01-01

    During gastric digestion, food is disintegrated by a complex interaction of chemical and mechanical effects. Although the mechanisms of chemical digestion are usually characterized by using in vitro analysis, the difficulty in reproducing the stomach geometry and motility has prevented a good understanding of the local fluid dynamics of gastric contents. The goal of this study was to use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to develop a 3-D model of the shape and motility pattern of the stomach wall during digestion, and use it to characterize the fluid dynamics of gastric contents of different viscosities. A geometrical model of an averaged-sized human stomach was created, and its motility was characterized by a series of antral-contraction waves of up to 80% relative occlusion. The flow field within the model (predicted using the software Fluent™) strongly depended on the viscosity of gastric contents. By increasing the viscosity, the formation of the 2 flow patterns commonly regarded as the main mechanisms driving digestion (i.e., the retropulsive jet-like motion and eddy structures) was significantly diminished, while a significant increase of the pressure field was predicted. These results were in good agreement with experimental data previously reported in the literature, and suggest that, contrary to the traditional idea of a rapid and complete homogenization of the meal, gastric contents associated with high viscous meals are poorly mixed. This study illustrates the capability of CFD to provide a unique insight into the fluid dynamics of the gastric contents, and points out its potential to develop a fundamental understanding and modeling of the mechanisms involved in the digestion process. Practical Application This study illustrates the capability of computational fluid dynamic techniques to provide a unique insight into the dynamics of the gastric contents, pointing out its potential to develop a fundamental understanding and modeling of the human

  19. Neotenic Phenotype and Sex Ratios Provide Insight into Developmental Pathways in Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian T. Forschler

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Several thousand Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar including worker, nymph, soldier, neotenic and alate castes were collected from three pine logs brought into the laboratory on dates five years apart. The neotenics, all nymphoid, were divided into three groups based on the extent of cuticle pigmentation and termed regular neotenics (RN, black-headed neotenics (BHN or black neotenics (BN. All castes, from Log A, in 2008, provided a neutral sex ratio except BHN (N = 378 and BN (N = 51 which were exclusively male while the soldiers (N = 466 were female-biased. This information suggests that there is a sex-linked bifurcation along the path for termite development with a male-biased neotenic or female-biased soldier as the choice. In contrast, termites collected in 2004 from Log B provided sex ratios that included a female biased RN (N = 1017, a neutral soldier (N = 258 and male biased BHN (N = 99 and workers (N = 54. Log C, collected in 2009, provided female biased soldiers (N = 32, RNs (N = 18 and BHNs (N = 4 and only male BN (N = 5. Eight laboratory cultures, ranging in age from five to 14 years old, also were sampled and all castes sexed. The census included a 14-year old queen-right colony, an 8-year old polyandrous colony and six colonies provided nymphs and male-biased worker populations. Together these data indicate a flexible caste determination system providing a unique opportunity for a better understanding of the flexible developmental options available in R. flavipes that we discuss relative to the literature on Reticulitermes ontogeny.

  20. A New Fiji-Based Algorithm That Systematically Quantifies Nine Synaptic Parameters Provides Insights into Drosophila NMJ Morphometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijhof, B.; Castells Nobau, A.; Wolf, L.A.J.; Scheffer-de Gooyert, J.M.; Monedero, I.; Torroja, L.; Coromina, L.; Laak, J.A. van der; Schenck, A.

    2016-01-01

    The morphology of synapses is of central interest in neuroscience because of the intimate relation with synaptic efficacy. Two decades of gene manipulation studies in different animal models have revealed a repertoire of molecules that contribute to synapse development. However, since such studies o

  1. Genome Sequence of the Saprophyte Leptospira Biflexa Provides Insights into the Evolution of Leptospira and the Pathogenesis of Leptospirosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leptospira biflexa is a free-living spirochete found broadly distributed in aquatic environments, and is the primary model for studying gene function in Leptospira spp. The L. biflexa genome has 3,590 protein-coding genes (excluding transposases) distributed across three circular replicons: two of w...

  2. Synchrotron imaging of dentition provides insights into the biology of Hesperornis and Ichthyornis, the “last” toothed birds

    OpenAIRE

    Dumont, Maïtena; Tafforeau, Paul; Bertin, Thomas; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan; Field, Daniel; Schulp, Anne; Strilisky, Brandon; Thivichon-Prince, Béatrice; Viriot, Laurent; Louchart, Antoine

    2016-01-01

    Background The dentitions of extinct organisms can provide pivotal information regarding their phylogenetic position, as well as paleobiology, diet, development, and growth. Extant birds are edentulous (toothless), but their closest relatives among stem birds, the Cretaceous Hesperornithiformes and Ichthyornithiformes, retained teeth. Despite their significant phylogenetic position immediately outside the avian crown group, the dentitions of these taxa have never been studied in detail. To ob...

  3. Systems biology provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the fate of embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallanna, Sunil K; Rizzino, Angie

    2012-01-01

    During the last 5 years there has been enormous progress in developing a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms that control the self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESC). Early progress resulted from studying individual transcription factors and signaling pathways. Unexpectedly, these studies demonstrated that small changes in the levels of master regulators, such as Oct4 and Sox2, promote the differentiation of ESC. More recently, impressive progress has been made using technologies that provide a global view of the signaling pathways and the gene regulatory networks that control the fate of ESC. This review provides an overview of the progress made using several different high-throughput technologies and focuses on proteomic studies, which provide the first glimpse of the protein-protein interaction networks used by ESC. The latter studies indicate that transcription factors required for the self-renewal of ESC are part of a large, highly integrated protein-protein interaction landscape, which helps explain why the levels of master regulators need to be regulated precisely in ESC.

  4. Appearance traits in fish farming: progress from classical genetics to genomics, providing insight into current and potential genetic improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colihueque, Nelson; Araneda, Cristian

    2014-01-01

    Appearance traits in fish, those external body characteristics that influence consumer acceptance at point of sale, have come to the forefront of commercial fish farming, as culture profitability is closely linked to management of these traits. Appearance traits comprise mainly body shape and skin pigmentation. Analysis of the genetic basis of these traits in different fish reveals significant genetic variation within populations, indicating potential for their genetic improvement. Work into ascertaining the minor or major genes underlying appearance traits for commercial fish is emerging, with substantial progress in model fish in terms of identifying genes that control body shape and skin colors. In this review, we describe research progress to date, especially with regard to commercial fish, and discuss genomic findings in model fish in order to better address the genetic basis of the traits. Given that appearance traits are important in commercial fish, the genomic information related to this issue promises to accelerate the selection process in coming years. PMID:25140172

  5. Genome-wide association identifies nine common variants associated with fasting proinsulin levels and provides new insights into the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strawbridge, Rona J; Dupuis, Josée; Prokopenko, Inga; Barker, Adam; Ahlqvist, Emma; Rybin, Denis; Petrie, John R; Travers, Mary E; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Dimas, Antigone S; Nica, Alexandra; Wheeler, Eleanor; Chen, Han; Voight, Benjamin F; Taneera, Jalal; Kanoni, Stavroula; Peden, John F; Turrini, Fabiola; Gustafsson, Stefan; Zabena, Carina; Almgren, Peter; Barker, David J P; Barnes, Daniel; Dennison, Elaine M; Eriksson, Johan G; Eriksson, Per; Eury, Elodie; Folkersen, Lasse; Fox, Caroline S; Frayling, Timothy M; Goel, Anuj; Gu, Harvest F; Horikoshi, Momoko; Isomaa, Bo; Jackson, Anne U; Jameson, Karen A; Kajantie, Eero; Kerr-Conte, Julie; Kuulasmaa, Teemu; Kuusisto, Johanna; Loos, Ruth J F; Luan, Jian'an; Makrilakis, Konstantinos; Manning, Alisa K; Martínez-Larrad, María Teresa; Narisu, Narisu; Nastase Mannila, Maria; Ohrvik, John; Osmond, Clive; Pascoe, Laura; Payne, Felicity; Sayer, Avan A; Sennblad, Bengt; Silveira, Angela; Stancáková, Alena; Stirrups, Kathy; Swift, Amy J; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Tuomi, Tiinamaija; van 't Hooft, Ferdinand M; Walker, Mark; Weedon, Michael N; Xie, Weijia; Zethelius, Björn; Ongen, Halit; Mälarstig, Anders; Hopewell, Jemma C; Saleheen, Danish; Chambers, John; Parish, Sarah; Danesh, John; Kooner, Jaspal; Ostenson, Claes-Göran; Lind, Lars; Cooper, Cyrus C; Serrano-Ríos, Manuel; Ferrannini, Ele; Forsen, Tom J; Clarke, Robert; Franzosi, Maria Grazia; Seedorf, Udo; Watkins, Hugh; Froguel, Philippe; Johnson, Paul; Deloukas, Panos; Collins, Francis S; Laakso, Markku; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T; Boehnke, Michael; McCarthy, Mark I; Wareham, Nicholas J; Groop, Leif; Pattou, François; Gloyn, Anna L; Dedoussis, George V; Lyssenko, Valeriya; Meigs, James B; Barroso, Inês; Watanabe, Richard M; Ingelsson, Erik; Langenberg, Claudia; Hamsten, Anders; Florez, Jose C

    2011-10-01

    Proinsulin is a precursor of mature insulin and C-peptide. Higher circulating proinsulin levels are associated with impaired β-cell function, raised glucose levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Studies of the insulin processing pathway could provide new insights about T2D pathophysiology. We have conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association tests of ∼2.5 million genotyped or imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and fasting proinsulin levels in 10,701 nondiabetic adults of European ancestry, with follow-up of 23 loci in up to 16,378 individuals, using additive genetic models adjusted for age, sex, fasting insulin, and study-specific covariates. Nine SNPs at eight loci were associated with proinsulin levels (P < 5 × 10(-8)). Two loci (LARP6 and SGSM2) have not been previously related to metabolic traits, one (MADD) has been associated with fasting glucose, one (PCSK1) has been implicated in obesity, and four (TCF7L2, SLC30A8, VPS13C/C2CD4A/B, and ARAP1, formerly CENTD2) increase T2D risk. The proinsulin-raising allele of ARAP1 was associated with a lower fasting glucose (P = 1.7 × 10(-4)), improved β-cell function (P = 1.1 × 10(-5)), and lower risk of T2D (odds ratio 0.88; P = 7.8 × 10(-6)). Notably, PCSK1 encodes the protein prohormone convertase 1/3, the first enzyme in the insulin processing pathway. A genotype score composed of the nine proinsulin-raising alleles was not associated with coronary disease in two large case-control datasets. We have identified nine genetic variants associated with fasting proinsulin. Our findings illuminate the biology underlying glucose homeostasis and T2D development in humans and argue against a direct role of proinsulin in coronary artery disease pathogenesis.

  6. Molecular docking simulations provide insights in the substrate binding sites and possible substrates of the ABCC6 transporter.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Jakir Hosen

    Full Text Available The human ATP-binding cassette family C member 6 (ABCC6 gene encodes an ABC transporter protein (ABCC6, primarily expressed in liver and kidney. Mutations in the ABCC6 gene cause pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE, an autosomal recessive connective tissue disease characterized by ectopic mineralization of the elastic fibers. The pathophysiology underlying PXE is incompletely understood, which can at least partly be explained by the undetermined nature of the ABCC6 substrates as well as the unknown substrate recognition and binding sites. Several compounds, including anionic glutathione conjugates (N-ethylmaleimide; NEM-GS and leukotriene C4 (LTC4 were shown to be modestly transported in vitro; conversely, vitamin K3 (VK3 was demonstrated not to be transported by ABCC6. To predict the possible substrate binding pockets of the ABCC6 transporter, we generated a 3D homology model of ABCC6 in both open and closed conformation, qualified for molecular docking and virtual screening approaches. By docking 10 reported in vitro substrates in our ABCC6 3D homology models, we were able to predict the substrate binding residues of ABCC6. Further, virtual screening of 4651 metabolites from the Human Serum Metabolome Database against our open conformation model disclosed possible substrates for ABCC6, which are mostly lipid and biliary secretion compounds, some of which are found to be involved in mineralization. Docking of these possible substrates in the closed conformation model also showed high affinity. Virtual screening expands this possibility to explore more compounds that can interact with ABCC6, and may aid in understanding the mechanisms leading to PXE.

  7. Experimental studies on power transformer model winding provided with MOVs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.H. Kusumadevi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Surge voltage distribution across a HV transformer winding due to appearance of very fast rise time (rise time of order 1 μs transient voltages is highly non-uniform along the length of the winding for initial time instant of occurrence of surge. In order to achieve nearly uniform initial time instant voltage distribution along the length of the HV winding, investigations have been carried out on transformer model winding. By connecting similar type of metal oxide varistors across sections of HV transformer model winding, it is possible to improve initial time instant surge voltage distribution across length of the HV transformer winding. Transformer windings with α values 5.3, 9.5 and 19 have been analyzed. The experimental studies have been carried out using high speed oscilloscope of good accuracy. The initial time instant voltage distribution across sections of winding with MOV remains nearly uniform along length of the winding. Also results of fault diagnostics carried out with and without connection of MOVs across sections of winding are reported.

  8. Do Cochrane reviews provide a good model for social science?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konnerup, Merete; Kongsted, Hans Christian

    2012-01-01

    Formalised research synthesis to underpin evidence-based policy and practice has become increasingly important in areas of public policy. In this paper we discuss whether the Cochrane standard for systematic reviews of healthcare interventions is appropriate for social research. We examine...... the formal criteria of the Cochrane Collaboration for including particular study designs and search the Cochrane Library to provide quantitative evidence on the de facto standard of actual Cochrane reviews. By identifying the sample of Cochrane reviews that consider observational designs, we are able...... to conclude that the majority of reviews appears limited to considering randomised controlled trials only. Because recent studies have delineated conditions for observational studies in social research to produce valid evidence, we argue that an inclusive approach is essential for truly evidence-based policy...

  9. Child Poverty in Vietnam: Providing Insights Using a Country-Specific and Multidimensional Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelen, Keetie; Gassmann, Franziska; de Neubourg, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Despite a wide under-prioritization, the issue of child poverty has received increasing attention worldwide over the last decade. The acknowledgement in Vietnam that child-specific poverty measurement is crucial for poverty efforts directed towards children, and the current lack thereof, instigated the development of a Vietnam child poverty…

  10. An Analytical Model That Provides Insights into Various C2 Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-06-01

    differential equations (63) was converted to a system of approximating difference equations by consideration of Euler’s method (e.g. see Kreyszig [1999...Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, July 1976. 34 E. Kreyszig , Advanced Engineering Mathematics, 8th Ed., John Wiley

  11. Child Poverty in Vietnam: Providing Insights Using a Country-Specific and Multidimensional Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelen, Keetie; Gassmann, Franziska; de Neubourg, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Despite a wide under-prioritization, the issue of child poverty has received increasing attention worldwide over the last decade. The acknowledgement in Vietnam that child-specific poverty measurement is crucial for poverty efforts directed towards children, and the current lack thereof, instigated the development of a Vietnam child poverty…

  12. Comparative transcriptomics between Synechococcus PCC 7942 and Synechocystis PCC 6803 provide insights into mechanisms of stress acclimation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantinos Billis

    Full Text Available Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 are model cyanobacteria from which the metabolism and adaptive responses of other cyanobacteria are inferred. Using stranded and 5' enriched libraries, we measured the gene expression response of cells transferred from reference conditions to stress conditions of decreased inorganic carbon, increased salinity, increased pH, and decreased illumination at 1-h and 24-h after transfer. We found that the specific responses of the two strains were by no means identical. Transcriptome profiles allowed us to improve the structural annotation of the genome i.e. identify possible missed genes (including anti-sense, alter gene coordinates and determine transcriptional units (operons. Finally, we predicted associations between proteins of unknown function and biochemical pathways by revealing proteins of known functions that are co-regulated with the unknowns. Future studies of these model organisms will benefit from the cataloging of their responses to environmentally relevant stresses, and improvements in their genome annotations found here.

  13. A forced damped oscillation framework for undulatory swimming provides new insights into how propulsion arises in active and passive swimming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amneet Pal Singh Bhalla

    Full Text Available A fundamental issue in locomotion is to understand how muscle forcing produces apparently complex deformation kinematics leading to movement of animals like undulatory swimmers. The question of whether complicated muscle forcing is required to create the observed deformation kinematics is central to the understanding of how animals control movement. In this work, a forced damped oscillation framework is applied to a chain-link model for undulatory swimming to understand how forcing leads to deformation and movement. A unified understanding of swimming, caused by muscle contractions ("active" swimming or by forces imparted by the surrounding fluid ("passive" swimming, is obtained. We show that the forcing triggers the first few deformation modes of the body, which in turn cause the translational motion. We show that relatively simple forcing patterns can trigger seemingly complex deformation kinematics that lead to movement. For given muscle activation, the forcing frequency relative to the natural frequency of the damped oscillator is important for the emergent deformation characteristics of the body. The proposed approach also leads to a qualitative understanding of optimal deformation kinematics for fast swimming. These results, based on a chain-link model of swimming, are confirmed by fully resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD simulations. Prior results from the literature on the optimal value of stiffness for maximum speed are explained.

  14. A forced damped oscillation framework for undulatory swimming provides new insights into how propulsion arises in active and passive swimming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Amneet Pal Singh; Griffith, Boyce E; Patankar, Neelesh A

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental issue in locomotion is to understand how muscle forcing produces apparently complex deformation kinematics leading to movement of animals like undulatory swimmers. The question of whether complicated muscle forcing is required to create the observed deformation kinematics is central to the understanding of how animals control movement. In this work, a forced damped oscillation framework is applied to a chain-link model for undulatory swimming to understand how forcing leads to deformation and movement. A unified understanding of swimming, caused by muscle contractions ("active" swimming) or by forces imparted by the surrounding fluid ("passive" swimming), is obtained. We show that the forcing triggers the first few deformation modes of the body, which in turn cause the translational motion. We show that relatively simple forcing patterns can trigger seemingly complex deformation kinematics that lead to movement. For given muscle activation, the forcing frequency relative to the natural frequency of the damped oscillator is important for the emergent deformation characteristics of the body. The proposed approach also leads to a qualitative understanding of optimal deformation kinematics for fast swimming. These results, based on a chain-link model of swimming, are confirmed by fully resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Prior results from the literature on the optimal value of stiffness for maximum speed are explained.

  15. A Forced Damped Oscillation Framework for Undulatory Swimming Provides New Insights into How Propulsion Arises in Active and Passive Swimming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Amneet Pal Singh; Griffith, Boyce E.; Patankar, Neelesh A.

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental issue in locomotion is to understand how muscle forcing produces apparently complex deformation kinematics leading to movement of animals like undulatory swimmers. The question of whether complicated muscle forcing is required to create the observed deformation kinematics is central to the understanding of how animals control movement. In this work, a forced damped oscillation framework is applied to a chain-link model for undulatory swimming to understand how forcing leads to deformation and movement. A unified understanding of swimming, caused by muscle contractions (“active” swimming) or by forces imparted by the surrounding fluid (“passive” swimming), is obtained. We show that the forcing triggers the first few deformation modes of the body, which in turn cause the translational motion. We show that relatively simple forcing patterns can trigger seemingly complex deformation kinematics that lead to movement. For given muscle activation, the forcing frequency relative to the natural frequency of the damped oscillator is important for the emergent deformation characteristics of the body. The proposed approach also leads to a qualitative understanding of optimal deformation kinematics for fast swimming. These results, based on a chain-link model of swimming, are confirmed by fully resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Prior results from the literature on the optimal value of stiffness for maximum speed are explained. PMID:23785272

  16. Insights: Simple Models for Teaching Equilibrium and Le Chatelier's Principle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Joan M.

    1988-01-01

    Presents three models that have been effective for teaching chemical equilibrium and Le Chatelier's principle: (1) the liquid transfer model, (2) the fish model, and (3) the teeter-totter model. Explains each model and its relation to Le Chatelier's principle. (MVL)

  17. Global mass spectrometry and transcriptomics array based drug profiling provides novel insight into glucosamine induced endoplasmic reticulum stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carvalho, Ana Sofia; Ribeiro, Helena; Voabil, Paula;

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the molecular effects of glucosamine supplements, a popular and safe alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for decreasing pain, inflammation, and maintaining healthy joints. Numerous studies have reported an array of molecular effects after glucosamine treatment. We...... questioned whether the differences in the effects observed in previous studies were associated with the focus on a specific subproteome or with the use of specific cell lines or tissues. To address this question, global mass spectrometry- and transcription array-based glucosamine drug profiling was performed...... mainly observed glucosamine induced O-GlcNAcylation/O-GalNAcylation (O-HexNAcylation); however, we also observed global and local changes in acetylation, methylation, and phosphorylation. For example, our data provides two additional examples of "yin-yang" between phosphorylation and O...

  18. Quality management and safety culture in medicine - Do standard quality reports provide insights into the human factor of patient safety?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wischet, Werner; Schusterschitz, Claudia

    2009-12-15

    In 1999 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published the landmark report "To err is human: building a safer healthcare system" highlighting critical deficiencies within the area of patient safety. As a consequence, safety culture evolved as a core component of quality management in medicine. Purpose of the investigation at hand was to find out to what extent this is reflected in standard quality reports issued by German hospitals providing maximum medical care. Reports issued for the year 2006 were analysed with respect to the appearance of indicators for the presence of a safety culture. Results suggest that despite the huge awareness for patient safety caused by the IOM report, the topic of safety culture does not get the anticipated attention within the quality reports. This may indicate that the current requirements for the quality reports do not facilitate transparency when it comes to the human factor of patient safety.

  19. A novel human-infection-derived bacterium provides insights into the evolutionary origins of mutualistic insect-bacterial symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Adam L; Oakeson, Kelly F; Gutin, Maria; Pontes, Arthur; Dunn, Diane M; von Niederhausern, Andrew C; Weiss, Robert B; Fisher, Mark; Dale, Colin

    2012-01-01

    Despite extensive study, little is known about the origins of the mutualistic bacterial endosymbionts that inhabit approximately 10% of the world's insects. In this study, we characterized a novel opportunistic human pathogen, designated "strain HS," and found that it is a close relative of the insect endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius. Our results indicate that ancestral relatives of strain HS have served as progenitors for the independent descent of Sodalis-allied endosymbionts found in several insect hosts. Comparative analyses indicate that the gene inventories of the insect endosymbionts were independently derived from a common ancestral template through a combination of irreversible degenerative changes. Our results provide compelling support for the notion that mutualists evolve from pathogenic progenitors. They also elucidate the role of degenerative evolutionary processes in shaping the gene inventories of symbiotic bacteria at a very early stage in these mutualistic associations.

  20. A novel human-infection-derived bacterium provides insights into the evolutionary origins of mutualistic insect-bacterial symbioses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L Clayton

    Full Text Available Despite extensive study, little is known about the origins of the mutualistic bacterial endosymbionts that inhabit approximately 10% of the world's insects. In this study, we characterized a novel opportunistic human pathogen, designated "strain HS," and found that it is a close relative of the insect endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius. Our results indicate that ancestral relatives of strain HS have served as progenitors for the independent descent of Sodalis-allied endosymbionts found in several insect hosts. Comparative analyses indicate that the gene inventories of the insect endosymbionts were independently derived from a common ancestral template through a combination of irreversible degenerative changes. Our results provide compelling support for the notion that mutualists evolve from pathogenic progenitors. They also elucidate the role of degenerative evolutionary processes in shaping the gene inventories of symbiotic bacteria at a very early stage in these mutualistic associations.

  1. Teff, an Orphan Cereal in the Chloridoideae, Provides Insights into the Evolution of Storage Proteins in Grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Xu, Jianhong; Bennetzen, Jeffrey L; Messing, Joachim

    2016-06-13

    Seed storage proteins (SSP) in cereals provide essential nutrition for humans and animals. Genes encoding these proteins have undergone rapid evolution in different grass species. To better understand the degree of divergence, we analyzed this gene family in the subfamily Chloridoideae, where the genome of teff (Eragrostis tef) has been sequenced. We find gene duplications, deletions, and rapid mutations in protein-coding sequences. The main SSPs in teff, like other grasses, are prolamins, here called eragrostins. Teff has γ- and δ-prolamins, but has no β-prolamins. One δ-type prolamin (δ1) in teff has higher methionine (33%) levels than in maize (23-25%). The other δ-type prolamin (δ2) has reduced methionine residues (<10%) and is phylogenetically closer to α prolamins. Prolamin δ2 in teff represents an intermediate between δ and α types that appears to have been lost in maize and other Panicoideae, and was replaced by the expansion of α-prolamins. Teff also has considerably larger numbers of α-prolamin genes, which we further divide into five sub-groups, where α2 and α5 represent the most abundant α-prolamins both in number and in expression. In addition, indolines that determine kernel softness are present in teff and the panicoid cereal called foxtail millet (Setaria italica) but not in sorghum or maize, indicating that these genes were only recently lost in some members of the Panicoideae Moreover, this study provides not only information on the evolution of SSPs in the grass family but also the importance of α-globulins in protein aggregation and germplasm divergence.

  2. Large scale genotype comparison of human papillomavirus E2-host interaction networks provides new insights for e2 molecular functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandy Muller

    Full Text Available Human Papillomaviruses (HPV cause widespread infections in humans, resulting in latent infections or diseases ranging from benign hyperplasia to cancers. HPV-induced pathologies result from complex interplays between viral proteins and the host proteome. Given the major public health concern due to HPV-associated cancers, most studies have focused on the early proteins expressed by HPV genotypes with high oncogenic potential (designated high-risk HPV or HR-HPV. To advance the global understanding of HPV pathogenesis, we mapped the virus/host interaction networks of the E2 regulatory protein from 12 genotypes representative of the range of HPV pathogenicity. Large-scale identification of E2-interaction partners was performed by yeast two-hybrid screenings of a HaCaT cDNA library. Based on a high-confidence scoring scheme, a subset of these partners was then validated for pair-wise interaction in mammalian cells with the whole range of the 12 E2 proteins, allowing a comparative interaction analysis. Hierarchical clustering of E2-host interaction profiles mostly recapitulated HPV phylogeny and provides clues to the involvement of E2 in HPV infection. A set of cellular proteins could thus be identified discriminating, among the mucosal HPV, E2 proteins of HR-HPV 16 or 18 from the non-oncogenic genital HPV. The study of the interaction networks revealed a preferential hijacking of highly connected cellular proteins and the targeting of several functional families. These include transcription regulation, regulation of apoptosis, RNA processing, ubiquitination and intracellular trafficking. The present work provides an overview of E2 biological functions across multiple HPV genotypes.

  3. Drosophila provides rapid modeling of renal development, function, and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dow, Julian A T; Romero, Michael F

    2010-12-01

    The evolution of specialized excretory cells is a cornerstone of the metazoan radiation, and the basic tasks performed by Drosophila and human renal systems are similar. The development of the Drosophila renal (Malpighian) tubule is a classic example of branched tubular morphogenesis, allowing study of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transitions, stem cell-mediated regeneration, and the evolution of a glomerular kidney. Tubule function employs conserved transport proteins, such as the Na(+), K(+)-ATPase and V-ATPase, aquaporins, inward rectifier K(+) channels, and organic solute transporters, regulated by cAMP, cGMP, nitric oxide, and calcium. In addition to generation and selective reabsorption of primary urine, the tubule plays roles in metabolism and excretion of xenobiotics, and in innate immunity. The gene expression resource FlyAtlas.org shows that the tubule is an ideal tissue for the modeling of renal diseases, such as nephrolithiasis and Bartter syndrome, or for inborn errors of metabolism. Studies are assisted by uniquely powerful genetic and transgenic resources, the widespread availability of mutant stocks, and low-cost, rapid deployment of new transgenics to allow manipulation of renal function in an organotypic context.

  4. Acidification of the osteoclastic resorption compartment provides insight into the coupling of bone formation to bone resorption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karsdal, Morten A; Henriksen, Kim; Sørensen, Mette G

    2005-01-01

    investigated the effect of inhibition of osteoclastic acidification in vivo by using the rat ovariectomy model with twice daily oral dosing of NS3696 at 50 mg/kg for 6 weeks. We observed a 60% decrease in resorption (DPYR), increased tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase levels, and no effect on bone formation......Patients with defective osteoclastic acidification have increased numbers of osteoclasts, with decreased resorption, but bone formation that remains unchanged. We demonstrate that osteoclast survival is increased when acidification is impaired, and that impairment of acidification results...... in inhibition of bone resorption without inhibition of bone formation. We investigated the role of acidification in human osteoclastic resorption and life span in vitro using inhibitors of chloride channels (NS5818/NS3696), the proton pump (bafilomycin) and cathepsin K. We found that bafilomycin and NS5818 dose...

  5. A New Fiji-Based Algorithm That Systematically Quantifies Nine Synaptic Parameters Provides Insights into Drosophila NMJ Morphometry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonnie Nijhof

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The morphology of synapses is of central interest in neuroscience because of the intimate relation with synaptic efficacy. Two decades of gene manipulation studies in different animal models have revealed a repertoire of molecules that contribute to synapse development. However, since such studies often assessed only one, or at best a few, morphological features at a given synapse, it remained unaddressed how different structural aspects relate to one another. Furthermore, such focused and sometimes only qualitative approaches likely left many of the more subtle players unnoticed. Here, we present the image analysis algorithm 'Drosophila_NMJ_Morphometrics', available as a Fiji-compatible macro, for quantitative, accurate and objective synapse morphometry of the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ, a well-established glutamatergic model synapse. We developed this methodology for semi-automated multiparametric analyses of NMJ terminals immunolabeled for the commonly used markers Dlg1 and Brp and showed that it also works for Hrp, Csp and Syt. We demonstrate that gender, genetic background and identity of abdominal body segment consistently and significantly contribute to variability in our data, suggesting that controlling for these parameters is important to minimize variability in quantitative analyses. Correlation and principal component analyses (PCA were performed to investigate which morphometric parameters are inter-dependent and which ones are regulated rather independently. Based on nine acquired parameters, we identified five morphometric groups: NMJ size, geometry, muscle size, number of NMJ islands and number of active zones. Based on our finding that the parameters of the first two principal components hardly correlated with each other, we suggest that different molecular processes underlie these two morphometric groups. Our study sets the stage for systems morphometry approaches at the well-studied Drosophila NMJ.

  6. The mechanism of forearc basement subduction in eastern Taiwan: Insights from sandbox modeling: Insight from Sandbox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Chia-Yu

    2015-04-01

    In Taiwan today, the subduction of the Chinese continental margin under the Philippine Sea plate results in the progressive growth of an active orogenic wedge. It is one of the best places to study the complex relationships that occur between the tectono-metamorphic processes controlling deformation (plate rheology and kinematics) and surface processes (erosion and sedimentation). In the Central Range of Taiwan, foliation and lineation traces outline the geometry and kinematics of deformation in both, the foreland and hinterland of the orogenic wedge. The foliation dip and the strain ellipsoids distribution show the fan shape of a large pop-up structure characterizing the effects of oblique plate convergence. On the eastern flank, regionally developed penetrative cleavage dips, isotope data and sedimentary structures demonstrating regional overturned structures. Two mélange units, the Kenting and Lichi mélange are exposed at the south and east of the Central Range respectively. Experiments allow the study of interactions between tectonics and surface processes. Accounting for various boundary conditions and parameters such as sedimentation, erosion, basal friction, and décollement level. We present the results of 2D and 3D sandbox models designed to investigate the complex deformation characterizing the active Taiwan orogenic wedge and to demonstrate the development of those mélanges, overturned structures and mountain frontal thrusts. Models are analyzed using pictures, movies and PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry software). We then characterize the exhumation patterns, the mode of fault propagation and displacement patterns by strain partitioning of those mélanges and overturned structures.

  7. Transcriptome of the Australian Mollusc Dicathais orbita Provides Insights into the Biosynthesis of Indoles and Choline Esters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdul Baten

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Dicathais orbita is a mollusc of the Muricidae family and is well known for the production of the expensive dye Tyrian purple and its brominated precursors that have anticancer properties, in addition to choline esters with muscle-relaxing properties. However, the biosynthetic pathways that produce these secondary metabolites in D. orbita are not known. Illumina HiSeq 2000 transcriptome sequencing of hypobranchial glands, prostate glands, albumen glands, capsule glands, and mantle and foot tissues of D. orbita generated over 201 million high quality reads that were de novo assembled into 219,437 contigs. Annotation with reference to the Nr, Swiss-Prot and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG databases identified candidate-coding regions in 76,152 of these contigs, with transcripts for many enzymes in various metabolic pathways associated with secondary metabolite biosynthesis represented. This study revealed that D. orbita expresses a number of genes associated with indole, sulfur and histidine metabolism pathways that are relevant to Tyrian purple precursor biosynthesis, and many of which were not found in the fully annotated genomes of three other molluscs in the KEGG database. However, there were no matches to known bromoperoxidase enzymes within the D. orbita transcripts. These transcriptome data provide a significant molecular resource for gastropod research in general and Tyrian purple producing Muricidae in particular.

  8. The transcriptomes of the crucian carp complex (Carassius auratus) provide insights into the distinction between unisexual triploids and sexual diploids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chun-Yan; Li, Jiong-Tang; Kuang, You-Yi; Xu, Ru; Zhao, Zi-Xia; Hou, Guang-Yuan; Liang, Hong-Wei; Sun, Xiao-Wen

    2014-05-27

    Both sexual reproduction and unisexual reproduction are adaptive strategies for species survival and evolution. Unisexual animals have originated largely by hybridization, which tends to elevate their heterozygosity. However, the extent of genetic diversity resulting from hybridization and the genomic differences that determine the type of reproduction are poorly understood. In Carassius auratus, sexual diploids and unisexual triploids coexist. These two forms are similar morphologically but differ markedly in their modes of reproduction. Investigation of their genomic differences will be useful to study genome diversity and the development of reproductive mode. We generated transcriptomes for the unisexual and sexual populations. Genes were identified using homology searches and an ab initio method. Estimation of the synonymous substitution rate in the orthologous pairs indicated that the hybridization of gibel carp occurred 2.2 million years ago. Microsatellite genotyping in each individual from the gibel carp population indicated that most gibel carp genes were not tri-allelic. Molecular function and pathway comparisons suggested few gene expansions between them, except for the progesterone-mediated oocyte maturation pathway, which is enriched in gibel carp. Differential expression analysis identified highly expressed genes in gibel carp. The transcriptomes provide information on genetic diversity and genomic differences, which should assist future studies in functional genomics.

  9. The Transcriptomes of the Crucian Carp Complex (Carassius auratus Provide Insights into the Distinction between Unisexual Triploids and Sexual Diploids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Yan Li

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Both sexual reproduction and unisexual reproduction are adaptive strategies for species survival and evolution. Unisexual animals have originated largely by hybridization, which tends to elevate their heterozygosity. However, the extent of genetic diversity resulting from hybridization and the genomic differences that determine the type of reproduction are poorly understood. In Carassius auratus, sexual diploids and unisexual triploids coexist. These two forms are similar morphologically but differ markedly in their modes of reproduction. Investigation of their genomic differences will be useful to study genome diversity and the development of reproductive mode. We generated transcriptomes for the unisexual and sexual populations. Genes were identified using homology searches and an ab initio method. Estimation of the synonymous substitution rate in the orthologous pairs indicated that the hybridization of gibel carp occurred 2.2 million years ago. Microsatellite genotyping in each individual from the gibel carp population indicated that most gibel carp genes were not tri-allelic. Molecular function and pathway comparisons suggested few gene expansions between them, except for the progesterone-mediated oocyte maturation pathway, which is enriched in gibel carp. Differential expression analysis identified highly expressed genes in gibel carp. The transcriptomes provide information on genetic diversity and genomic differences, which should assist future studies in functional genomics.

  10. Phenology of Lithothamnion glaciale in mixed fjord conditions: mesocosm experiments provide insight to maerl physiology and distribution in southwestern Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoenrock, Kathryn; Baquet, Marion; Kamenos, Nicholas

    2017-04-01

    Maerl are free living coralline algae that are often bedded in the subtidal forming important marine habitats in many regions of the world. Greenland is known to have at least three species of maerl along the coast and extending into some fjord systems. In the Godthåbsfjord region, Lithothamnion glaciale is never found dominating shallow maerl beds as it is further north (Disko bay) and in other regions of the Arctic. To investigate reasons for this maerl physiology was measured in situ over two field seasons and over the year in a mesocosm experiment which manipulated temperature and salinity to represent marine and fjord systems. The results of these measurements show that calcification and photosynthesis (DO production) in L. glaciale as well as another maerl species, Clathromorphum compactum, operate at very low rates and are influenced negatively by low salinity but positively by low temperature throughout the year. Photosynthesis and calcification are not often correlated in these species which is an unusual finding as these two metabolic processes are thought to be coupled. Findings provide natural history background for ecotypes from the Godthåbsfjord region and a baseline for future research in biogeochemistry and ecology.

  11. Proteomic Analysis Provides New Insights in Phosphorus Homeostasis Subjected to Pi (Inorganic Phosphate) Starvation in Tomato Plants (Solanum lycopersicum L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muneer, Sowbiya; Jeong, Byoung Ryong

    2015-01-01

    Phosphorus is a major nutrient acquired by plants via high-affinity inorganic phosphate (Pi) transporters. To determine the adaptation and homeostasis strategy to Pi starvation, we compared the proteome analysis of tomato leaves that were treated with and without Pi (as KH2PO4) for 10 days. Among 600 reproducible proteins on 2-DE gels 46 of them were differentially expressed. These proteins were involved in major metabolic pathways, including photosynthesis, transcriptional/translational regulations, carbohydrate/energy metabolism, protein synthesis, defense response, and other secondary metabolism. The results also showed that the reduction in photosynthetic pigments lowered P content under -Pi treatments. Furthermore, high-affinity Pi transporters (lePT1 and lePT2) expressed in higher amounts under -Pi treatments. Also, the accumulation of Pi transporters was observed highly in the epidermis and palisade parenchyma under +Pi treatments compared to -Pi treatments. Our data suggested that tomato plants developed reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging mechanisms to cope with low Pi content, including the up-regulation of proteins mostly involved in important metabolic pathways. Moreover, Pi-starved tomato plants increased their internal Pi utilization efficiency by increasing the Pi transporter genes and their rational localization. These results thus provide imperative information about how tomato plants respond to Pi starvation and its homeostasis.

  12. Crystal structure of I-DmoI in complex with its target DNA provides new insights into meganuclease engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcaida, María José; Prieto, Jesús; Redondo, Pilar; Nadra, Alejandro D; Alibés, Andreu; Serrano, Luis; Grizot, Sylvestre; Duchateau, Philippe; Pâques, Frédéric; Blanco, Francisco J; Montoya, Guillermo

    2008-11-04

    Homing endonucleases, also known as meganucleases, are sequence-specific enzymes with large DNA recognition sites. These enzymes can be used to induce efficient homologous gene targeting in cells and plants, opening perspectives for genome engineering with applications in a wide series of fields, ranging from biotechnology to gene therapy. Here, we report the crystal structures at 2.0 and 2.1 A resolution of the I-DmoI meganuclease in complex with its substrate DNA before and after cleavage, providing snapshots of the catalytic process. Our study suggests that I-DmoI requires only 2 cations instead of 3 for DNA cleavage. The structure sheds light onto the basis of DNA binding, indicating key residues responsible for nonpalindromic target DNA recognition. In silico and in vivo analysis of the I-DmoI DNA cleavage specificity suggests that despite the relatively few protein-base contacts, I-DmoI is highly specific when compared with other meganucleases. Our data open the door toward the generation of custom endonucleases for targeted genome engineering using the monomeric I-DmoI scaffold.

  13. Structure of putrescine aminotransferase from Escherichia coli provides insights into the substrate specificity among class III aminotransferases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyung Jin Cha

    Full Text Available YgjG is a putrescine aminotransferase enzyme that transfers amino groups from compounds with terminal primary amines to compounds with an aldehyde group using pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP as a cofactor. Previous biochemical data show that the enzyme prefers primary diamines, such as putrescine, over ornithine as a substrate. To better understand the enzyme's substrate specificity, crystal structures of YgjG from Escherichia coli were determined at 2.3 and 2.1 Å resolutions for the free and putrescine-bound enzymes, respectively. Sequence and structural analyses revealed that YgjG forms a dimer that adopts a class III PLP-dependent aminotransferase fold. A structural comparison between YgjG and other class III aminotransferases revealed that their structures are similar. However, YgjG has an additional N-terminal helical structure that partially contributes to a dimeric interaction with the other subunit via a helix-helix interaction. Interestingly, the YgjG substrate-binding site entrance size and charge distribution are smaller and more hydrophobic than other class III aminotransferases, which suggest that YgjG has a unique substrate binding site that could accommodate primary aliphatic diamine substrates, including putrescine. The YgjG crystal structures provide structural clues to putrescine aminotransferase substrate specificity and binding.

  14. Tobacco and alcohol sponsorship of sporting events provide insights about how food and beverage sponsorship may affect children's health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Bridget; Baur, Louise A; Bauman, Adrian E; King, Lesley

    2011-08-01

    Determining children's exposure to food and beverage company sponsorship, and the effect of this exposure, is important in establishing the extent to which there may be health and societal consequences. This paper aimed to provide preliminary evidence on the scope and potential effects on children of unhealthy food and beverage sponsorship. A review of published literature and media and marketing reports was conducted to determine the types of food and beverage sponsorship campaigns that children are exposed to, and the effect of corporate sponsorship (including tobacco and alcohol) on children and adolescents. A large range of food and beverage sponsorship activities, in Australia and internationally, were identified for both school and sport settings. In particular, food and beverage companies have attempted to develop a marketing presence at all levels of professional and community sport. No information was identified measuring the effect of food and beverage company sponsorship on children and adolescents. However, empirical evidence from consumer studies relating to tobacco and alcohol sponsorship has repeatedly demonstrated that sponsorship has an impact on children's product recall and product-related attitudes and behavioural intentions. While there is no available research on the direct effect of food and beverage sponsorship, the demonstrated effects of tobacco and alcohol sponsorship on children's product awareness, preferences and consumption are likely to be applicable to food companies.

  15. The structure of arabidopsis thaliana OST1 provides insights into the kinase regulation mechanism in response to osmotic stress

    KAUST Repository

    Yunta, Cristina

    2011-11-01

    SnRK [SNF1 (sucrose non-fermenting-1)-related protein kinase] 2.6 [open stomata 1 (OST1)] is well characterized at molecular and physiological levels to control stomata closure in response to water-deficit stress. OST1 is a member of a family of 10 protein kinases from Arabidopsis thaliana (SnRK2) that integrates abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent and ABA-independent signals to coordinate the cell response to osmotic stress. A subgroup of protein phosphatases type 2C binds OST1 and keeps the kinase dephosphorylated and inactive. Activation of OST1 relies on the ABA-dependent inhibition of the protein phosphatases type 2C and the subsequent self-phosphorylation of the kinase. The OST1 ABA-independent activation depends on a short sequence motif that is conserved among all the members of the SnRK2 family. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism underlying this regulation. The crystallographic structure of OST1 shows that ABA-independent regulation motif stabilizes the conformation of the kinase catalytically essential α C helix, and it provides the basis of the ABA-independent regulation mechanism for the SnRK2 family of protein kinases. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Experimental induction of reading difficulties in normal readers provides novel insights into the neurofunctional mechanisms of visual word recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Stefan; Weidner, Ralph; von Overheidt, Ann-Christin; Tholen, Nicole; Grande, Marion; Amunts, Katrin

    2014-03-01

    Phonological and visual dysfunctions may result in reading deficits like those encountered in developmental dyslexia. Here, we use a novel approach to induce similar reading difficulties in normal readers in an event-related fMRI study, thus systematically investigating which brain regions relate to different pathways relating to orthographic-phonological (e.g. grapheme-to-phoneme conversion, GPC) vs. visual processing. Based upon a previous behavioural study (Tholen et al. 2011), the retrieval of phonemes from graphemes was manipulated by lowering the identifiability of letters in familiar vs. unfamiliar shapes. Visual word and letter processing was impeded by presenting the letters of a word in a moving, non-stationary manner. FMRI revealed that the visual condition activated cytoarchitectonically defined area hOC5 in the magnocellular pathway and area 7A in the right mesial parietal cortex. In contrast, the grapheme manipulation revealed different effects localised predominantly in bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (left cytoarchitectonic area 44; right area 45) and inferior parietal lobule (including areas PF/PFm), regions that have been demonstrated to show abnormal activation in dyslexic as compared to normal readers. This pattern of activation bears close resemblance to recent findings in dyslexic samples both behaviourally and with respect to the neurofunctional activation patterns. The novel paradigm may thus prove useful in future studies to understand reading problems related to distinct pathways, potentially providing a link also to the understanding of real reading impairments in dyslexia.

  17. Exploration of insights, opportunities and caveats provided by the X-ray structures of hSERT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topiol, Sid; Bang-Andersen, Benny; Sanchez, Connie; Bøgesø, Klaus P

    2016-10-15

    The recently reported X-ray structures of the human serotonin (5-HT) transporter SERT with bound inhibitors open new opportunities for drug discovery at SERT, selectivity design with respect to other neurotransmitter sodium transporters, and enhanced understanding of the molecular events involved in SERT action. Through computational and structural analyses, we explore the binding and migration of 5-HT at SERT. Consistent with earlier studies of leucine migration at the bacterial homolog of SERT, LeuT, we find multiple potential 'stopover' sites for 5-HT binding at SERT including the two (transmembrane S1 and extracellular vestibule S2) seen in the binding of the SSRI (S)-citalopram (S-Cit) to SERT, as well as other sites. Docking studies reveal the possibility of both hetero- (S-Cit+5-HT) and homo-dimeric (5-HT+5-HT) co-binding at both these sites which may explain earlier published allosteric activity observations and provide novel design strategies. Comparisons with substrate bound X-ray structures of the dopamine transporter reveal a number of potential sources of selectivity, some of which may be 'artificial' including target based, species related, experimental design related, and ligand dependent examples including substrate versus inhibitor related features.

  18. Structure of putrescine aminotransferase from Escherichia coli provides insights into the substrate specificity among class III aminotransferases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Hyung Jin; Jeong, Jae-Hee; Rojviriya, Catleya; Kim, Yeon-Gil

    2014-01-01

    YgjG is a putrescine aminotransferase enzyme that transfers amino groups from compounds with terminal primary amines to compounds with an aldehyde group using pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) as a cofactor. Previous biochemical data show that the enzyme prefers primary diamines, such as putrescine, over ornithine as a substrate. To better understand the enzyme's substrate specificity, crystal structures of YgjG from Escherichia coli were determined at 2.3 and 2.1 Å resolutions for the free and putrescine-bound enzymes, respectively. Sequence and structural analyses revealed that YgjG forms a dimer that adopts a class III PLP-dependent aminotransferase fold. A structural comparison between YgjG and other class III aminotransferases revealed that their structures are similar. However, YgjG has an additional N-terminal helical structure that partially contributes to a dimeric interaction with the other subunit via a helix-helix interaction. Interestingly, the YgjG substrate-binding site entrance size and charge distribution are smaller and more hydrophobic than other class III aminotransferases, which suggest that YgjG has a unique substrate binding site that could accommodate primary aliphatic diamine substrates, including putrescine. The YgjG crystal structures provide structural clues to putrescine aminotransferase substrate specificity and binding.

  19. A mollusk VDR/PXR/CAR-like (NR1J) nuclear receptor provides insight into ancient detoxification mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruzeiro, Catarina; Lopes-Marques, Mónica; Ruivo, Raquel; Rodrigues-Oliveira, Nádia; Santos, Miguel M; Rocha, Maria João; Rocha, Eduardo; Castro, L Filipe C

    2016-05-01

    The origin and diversification of the metazoan endocrine systems represents a fundamental research issue in biology. Nuclear receptors are critical components of these systems. A particular group named VDR/PXR/CAR (NR1I/J) is central in the mediation of detoxification responses. While orthologues have been thoroughly characterized in vertebrates, a sparse representation is currently available for invertebrates. Here, we provide the first isolation and characterization of a lophotrochozoan protostome VDR/PXR/CAR nuclear receptor (NR1J), in the estuarine bivalve the peppery furrow shell (Scrobicularia plana). Using a reporter gene assay, we evaluated the xenobiotic receptor plasticity comparing the human PXR with the S. plana NR1Jβ. Our results show that the molluscan receptor responds to a natural toxin (okadaic acid) in a similar fashion to that reported for other invertebrates. In contrast, the pesticide esfenvalerate displayed a unique response, since it down regulated transactivation at higher concentrations, while for triclosan no response was observed. Additionally, we uncovered lineage specific gene duplications and gene loss in the gene group encoding NRs in protostomes with likely impacts on the complexity of detoxification mechanisms across different phyla. Our findings pave the way for the development of multi-specific sensor tools to screen xenobiotic compounds acting via the NR1I/J group.

  20. The Structure of a Sugar Transporter of the Glucose EIIC Superfamily Provides Insight into the Elevator Mechanism of Membrane Transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Jason G; Ren, Zhenning; Stanevich, Vitali; Lee, Jumin; Mitra, Sharmistha; Levin, Elena J; Poget, Sebastien; Quick, Matthias; Im, Wonpil; Zhou, Ming

    2016-06-07

    The phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase systems are found in bacteria, where they play central roles in sugar uptake and regulation of cellular uptake processes. Little is known about how the membrane-embedded components (EIICs) selectively mediate the passage of carbohydrates across the membrane. Here we report the functional characterization and 2.55-Å resolution structure of a maltose transporter, bcMalT, belonging to the glucose superfamily of EIIC transporters. bcMalT crystallized in an outward-facing occluded conformation, in contrast to the structure of another glucose superfamily EIIC, bcChbC, which crystallized in an inward-facing occluded conformation. The structures differ in the position of a structurally conserved substrate-binding domain that is suggested to play a central role in sugar transport. In addition, molecular dynamics simulations suggest a potential pathway for substrate entry from the periplasm into the bcMalT substrate-binding site. These results provide a mechanistic framework for understanding substrate recognition and translocation for the glucose superfamily EIIC transporters.

  1. Whole Genome Sequencing of the Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus) Provides Insights into the Evolution of Ray-Finned Fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Christopher M; Tan, Mun Hua; Croft, Larry J; Hammer, Michael P; Gan, Han Ming

    2015-10-06

    The Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus) is of commercial importance, conservation concern, and is a representative of one of the oldest lineages of ray-finned fish, the Osteoglossomorpha. To add to genomic knowledge of this species and the evolution of teleosts, the genome of a Malaysian specimen of arowana was sequenced. A draft genome is presented consisting of 42,110 scaffolds with a total size of 708 Mb (2.85% gaps) representing 93.95% of core eukaryotic genes. Using a k-mer-based method, a genome size of 900 Mb was also estimated. We present an update on the phylogenomics of fishes based on a total of 27 species (23 fish species and 4 tetrapods) using 177 orthologous proteins (71,360 amino acid sites), which supports established relationships except that arowana is placed as the sister lineage to all teleost clades (Bayesian posterior probability 1.00, bootstrap replicate 93%), that evolved after the teleost genome duplication event rather than the eels (Elopomorpha). Evolutionary rates are highly heterogeneous across the tree with fishes represented by both slowly and rapidly evolving lineages. A total of 94 putative pigment genes were identified, providing the impetus for development of molecular markers associated with the spectacular colored phenotypes found within this species.

  2. Comparative Proteomic Analysis of the Graft Unions in Hickory (Carya cathayensis Provides Insights into Response Mechanisms to Grafting Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daoliang Yan

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Hickory (Carya cathayensis, a tree with high nutritional and economic value, is widely cultivated in China. Grafting greatly reduces the juvenile phase length and makes the large scale cultivation of hickory possible. To reveal the response mechanisms of this species to grafting, we employed a proteomics-based approach to identify differentially expressed proteins in the graft unions during the grafting process. Our study identified 3723 proteins, of which 2518 were quantified. A total of 710 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs were quantified and these were involved in various molecular functional and biological processes. Among these DEPs, 341 were up-regulated and 369 were down-regulated at 7 days after grafting compared with the control. Four auxin-related proteins were down-regulated, which was in agreement with the transcription levels of their encoding genes. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG analysis showed that the ‘Flavonoid biosynthesis’ pathway and ‘starch and sucrose metabolism’ were both significantly up-regulated. Interestingly, five flavonoid biosynthesis-related proteins, a flavanone 3-hyfroxylase, a cinnamate 4-hydroxylase, a dihydroflavonol-4-reductase, a chalcone synthase, and a chalcone isomerase, were significantly up-regulated. Further experiments verified a significant increase in the total flavonoid contents in scions, which suggests that graft union formation may activate flavonoid biosynthesis to increase the content of a series of downstream secondary metabolites. This comprehensive analysis provides fundamental information on the candidate proteins and secondary metabolism pathways involved in the grafting process for hickory.

  3. Unique scorpion toxin with a putative ancestral fold provides insight into evolution of the inhibitor cystine knot motif

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jennifer J.; Hill, Justine M.; Little, Michelle J.; Nicholson, Graham M.; King, Glenn F.; Alewood, Paul F.

    2011-01-01

    The three-disulfide inhibitor cystine knot (ICK) motif is a fold common to venom peptides from spiders, scorpions, and aquatic cone snails. Over a decade ago it was proposed that the ICK motif is an elaboration of an ancestral two-disulfide fold coined the disulfide-directed β-hairpin (DDH). Here we report the isolation, characterization, and structure of a novel toxin [U1-liotoxin-Lw1a (U1-LITX-Lw1a)] from the venom of the scorpion Liocheles waigiensis that is the first example of a native peptide that adopts the DDH fold. U1-LITX-Lw1a not only represents the discovery of a missing link in venom protein evolution, it is the first member of a fourth structural fold to be adopted by scorpion-venom peptides. Additionally, we show that U1-LITX-Lw1a has potent insecticidal activity across a broad range of insect pest species, thereby providing a unique structural scaffold for bioinsecticide development. PMID:21670253

  4. Unique scorpion toxin with a putative ancestral fold provides insight into evolution of the inhibitor cystine knot motif.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jennifer J; Hill, Justine M; Little, Michelle J; Nicholson, Graham M; King, Glenn F; Alewood, Paul F

    2011-06-28

    The three-disulfide inhibitor cystine knot (ICK) motif is a fold common to venom peptides from spiders, scorpions, and aquatic cone snails. Over a decade ago it was proposed that the ICK motif is an elaboration of an ancestral two-disulfide fold coined the disulfide-directed β-hairpin (DDH). Here we report the isolation, characterization, and structure of a novel toxin [U(1)-liotoxin-Lw1a (U(1)-LITX-Lw1a)] from the venom of the scorpion Liocheles waigiensis that is the first example of a native peptide that adopts the DDH fold. U(1)-LITX-Lw1a not only represents the discovery of a missing link in venom protein evolution, it is the first member of a fourth structural fold to be adopted by scorpion-venom peptides. Additionally, we show that U(1)-LITX-Lw1a has potent insecticidal activity across a broad range of insect pest species, thereby providing a unique structural scaffold for bioinsecticide development.

  5. A new fossil dolphin Dilophodelphis fordycei provides insight into the evolution of supraorbital crests in Platanistoidea (Mammalia, Cetacea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boersma, Alexandra T.; McCurry, Matthew R.; Pyenson, Nicholas D.

    2017-05-01

    Many odontocete groups have developed enlarged facial crests, although these crests differ in topography, composition and function. The most elaborate crests occur in the South Asian river dolphin (Platanista gangetica), in which they rise dorsally as delicate, pneumatized wings anterior of the facial bones. Their position wrapping around the melon suggests their involvement in sound propagation for echolocation. To better understand the origin of crests in this lineage, we examined facial crests among fossil and living Platanistoidea, including a new taxon, Dilophodelphis fordycei, nov. gen. and sp., described herein, from the Early Miocene Astoria Formation of Oregon, USA. We measured the physical extent and thickness of platanistoid crests, categorized their relative position and used computed tomography scans to examine their internal morphology and relative bone density. Integrating these traits in a phylogenetic context, we determined that the onset of crest elaboration or enlargement and the evolution of crest pneumatization among the platanistoids were separate events, with crest enlargement beginning in the Oligocene. However, we find no evidence for pneumatization until possibly the Early Miocene, although certainly by the Middle Miocene. Such an evolutionary context, including data from the fossil record, should inform modelling efforts that seek to understand the diversity of sound generation morphology in Odontoceti.

  6. A genomic survey of positive selection in Burkholderia pseudomallei provides insights into the evolution of accidental virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tannistha Nandi

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Certain environmental microorganisms can cause severe human infections, even in the absence of an obvious requirement for transition through an animal host for replication ("accidental virulence". To understand this process, we compared eleven isolate genomes of Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp, a tropical soil microbe and causative agent of the human and animal disease melioidosis. We found evidence for the existence of several new genes in the Bp reference genome, identifying 282 novel genes supported by at least two independent lines of supporting evidence (mRNA transcripts, database homologs, and presence of ribosomal binding sites and 81 novel genes supported by all three lines. Within the Bp core genome, 211 genes exhibited significant levels of positive selection (4.5%, distributed across many cellular pathways including carbohydrate and secondary metabolism. Functional experiments revealed that certain positively selected genes might enhance mammalian virulence by interacting with host cellular pathways or utilizing host nutrients. Evolutionary modifications improving Bp environmental fitness may thus have indirectly facilitated the ability of Bp to colonize and survive in mammalian hosts. These findings improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of melioidosis, and establish Bp as a model system for studying the genetics of accidental virulence.

  7. Complex phylogeographic patterns in the freshwater alga Synura provide new insights into ubiquity vs. endemism in microbial eukaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boo, Sung Min; Kim, Han Soon; Shin, Woongghi; Boo, Ga Hun; Cho, Sung Mi; Jo, Bok Yeon; Kim, Jee-Hwan; Kim, Jin Hee; Yang, Eun Chan; Siver, Peter A; Wolfe, Alexander P; Bhattacharya, Debashish; Andersen, Robert A; Yoon, Hwan Su

    2010-10-01

    The global distribution, abundance, and diversity of microscopic freshwater algae demonstrate an ability to overcome significant barriers such as dry land and oceans by exploiting a range of biotic and abiotic colonization vectors. If these vectors are considered unlimited and colonization occurs in proportion to population size, then globally ubiquitous distributions are predicted to arise. This model contrasts with observations that many freshwater microalgal taxa possess true biogeographies. Here, using a concatenated multigene data set, we study the phylogeography of the freshwater heterokont alga Synura petersenii sensu lato. Our results suggest that this Synura morphotaxon contains both cosmopolitan and regionally endemic cryptic species, co-occurring in some cases, and masked by a common ultrastructural morphology. Phylogenies based on both proteins (seven protein-coding plastid and mitochondrial genes) and DNA (nine genes including ITS and 18S rDNA) reveal pronounced biogeographic delineations within phylotypes of this cryptic species complex while retaining one clade that is globally distributed. Relaxed molecular clock calculations, constrained by fossil records, suggest that the genus Synura is considerably older than currently proposed. The availability of tectonically relevant geological time (10⁷-10⁸ years) has enabled the development of the observed, complex biogeographic patterns. Our comprehensive analysis of freshwater algal biogeography suggests that neither ubiquity nor endemism wholly explains global patterns of microbial eukaryote distribution and that processes of dispersal remain poorly understood.

  8. comparative transcriptomics between Synechococcus PCC 7942 and Synechocystis PCC 6803 provide insights into mechanisms of adaptation to stress.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Konstantinos, Billis [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); European Bioinformatics Inst., Hinxton, Cambridge (United Kingdom). European Molecular Biology Lab.; Aristotle Univ., Thessaloniki (Greece). Dept. of Genetics; Billini, Maria [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Max Planck Inst. for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg (Germany); Tripp, Harry J. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Kyrpides, Nikos C. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Mavrommatis, Konstantinos [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Celgene Corp, San Francisco, CA (United States)

    2014-03-21

    Background: Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 are model cyanobacteria from which the metabolism and adaptive responses of other cyanobacteria are inferred. Here we report the gene expression response of these two strains to a variety of nutrient and environmental stresses of varying duration, using transcriptomics. Our data comprise both stranded and 5? enriched libraries in order to elucidate many aspects of the transcriptome. Results: Both organisms were exposed to stress conditions due to nutrient deficiency (inorganic carbon) or change of environmental conditions (salinity, temperature, pH, light) sampled at 1 and 24 hours after the application of stress. The transcriptome profile of each strain revealed similarities and differences in gene expression for photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport chains and carbon fixation. Transcriptome profiles also helped us improve the structural annotation of the genome and identify possible missed genes (including anti-sense) and determine transcriptional units (operons). Finally, we predicted association of proteins of unknown function biochemical pathways by associating them to well-characterized ones based on their transcript levels correlation. Conclusions: Overall, this study results an informative annotation of those species and the comparative analysis of the response of the two organisms revealed similarities but also significant changes in the way they respond to external stress and the duration of the response

  9. Transcriptome changes in Eriocheir sinensis megalopae after desalination provide insights into osmoregulation and stress adaption in larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Hui

    Full Text Available Eriocheir sinensis, an extremely invasive alien crab species, has important economic value in China. It encounters different salinities during its life cycle, and at the megalopal stage it faces a turning point regarding the salinity in its environment. We applied RNA sequencing to E. sinensis megalopae before (MB and after (MA desalination, resulting in the discovery of 21,042 unigenes and 908 differentially expressed genes (DEGs, 4.32% of the unigenes. The DEGs primarily belonged to the Gene Ontology groups "Energy metabolism," "Oxidoreductase activity," "Translation," "Transport," "Metabolism," and "Stress response." In total, 33 DEGs related to transport processes were found, including 12 proton pump genes, three ATP-binding cassettes (ABCs, 13 solute carrier (SLC family members, two sweet sugar transporter (ST family members and three other substance transporters. Mitochondrial genes as well as genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, glycolytic pathway, or β-oxidation pathway, which can generate energy in the form of ATP, were typically up-regulated in MA. 11 unigenes related to amino acid metabolism and a large number of genes related to protein synthesis were differentially expressed in MB and MA, indicating that E. sinensis possibly adjusts its concentration of free amino acid osmolytes for hyper-osmoregulation. Additionally, 33 salinity and oxidative stress induced genes were found to be differentially expressed, such as the LEA2, HSPs, GST and coagulation factor genes. Notably, LEA2 is an extremely hydrophilic protein that responds to desiccation and reported for the first time in crabs. Therefore, we suppose that when the environment is hypo-osmotic, the megalopae might compensate for ion loss via hyper-osmoregulation by consuming more energy, accompanied by a series of stress induced adaptions. This study provides the first genome-wide transcriptome analysis of E. sinensis megalopae for studying its osmoregulation and stress

  10. A mollusk VDR/PXR/CAR-like (NR1J) nuclear receptor provides insight into ancient detoxification mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cruzeiro, Catarina, E-mail: catarinarcruzeiro@hotmail.com [ICBAS - Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, U. Porto - University of Porto (Portugal); CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Lopes-Marques, Mónica, E-mail: monicaslm@hotmail.com [ICBAS - Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, U. Porto - University of Porto (Portugal); CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Ruivo, Raquel, E-mail: ruivo.raquel@gmail.com [CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Rodrigues-Oliveira, Nádia, E-mail: nadia.oliveira@ciimar.up.pt [CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Santos, Miguel M., E-mail: santos@ciimar.up.pt [CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); FCUP - Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, U. Porto (Portugal); Rocha, Maria João, E-mail: mjsrocha@netcabo.pt [ICBAS - Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, U. Porto - University of Porto (Portugal); CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Rocha, Eduardo, E-mail: erocha@icbas.up.pt [ICBAS - Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, U. Porto - University of Porto (Portugal); CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Castro, L. Filipe C., E-mail: filipe.castro@ciimar.up.pt [CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); FCUP - Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, U. Porto (Portugal)

    2016-05-15

    Highlights: • A nuclear receptor orthologue of the NR1J group is isolated from a mollusc. • The molluscan NR1J transactivates gene expression upon exposure to okadaic acid but not a pesticide, esfenvarelate and triclosan. • Lineage specific gene duplications and gene loss have occurred in the NR1J of protostomes with likely impacts on detoxification mechanisms. - Abstract: The origin and diversification of the metazoan endocrine systems represents a fundamental research issue in biology. Nuclear receptors are critical components of these systems. A particular group named VDR/PXR/CAR (NR1I/J) is central in the mediation of detoxification responses. While orthologues have been thoroughly characterized in vertebrates, a sparse representation is currently available for invertebrates. Here, we provide the first isolation and characterization of a lophotrochozoan protostome VDR/PXR/CAR nuclear receptor (NR1J), in the estuarine bivalve the peppery furrow shell (Scrobicularia plana). Using a reporter gene assay, we evaluated the xenobiotic receptor plasticity comparing the human PXR with the S. plana NR1Jβ. Our results show that the molluscan receptor responds to a natural toxin (okadaic acid) in a similar fashion to that reported for other invertebrates. In contrast, the pesticide esfenvalerate displayed a unique response, since it down regulated transactivation at higher concentrations, while for triclosan no response was observed. Additionally, we uncovered lineage specific gene duplications and gene loss in the gene group encoding NRs in protostomes with likely impacts on the complexity of detoxification mechanisms across different phyla. Our findings pave the way for the development of multi-specific sensor tools to screen xenobiotic compounds acting via the NR1I/J group.

  11. Structure of the extracellular portion of CD46 provides insights into its interactions with complement proteins and pathogens.

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    B David Persson

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The human membrane cofactor protein (MCP, CD46 is a central component of the innate immune system. CD46 protects autologous cells from complement attack by binding to complement proteins C3b and C4b and serving as a cofactor for their cleavage. Recent data show that CD46 also plays a role in mediating acquired immune responses, and in triggering autophagy. In addition to these physiologic functions, a significant number of pathogens, including select adenoviruses, measles virus, human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6, Streptococci, and Neisseria, use CD46 as a cell attachment receptor. We have determined the crystal structure of the extracellular region of CD46 in complex with the human adenovirus type 11 fiber knob. Extracellular CD46 comprises four short consensus repeats (SCR1-SCR4 that form an elongated structure resembling a hockey stick, with a long shaft and a short blade. Domains SCR1, SCR2 and SCR3 are arranged in a nearly linear fashion. Unexpectedly, however, the structure reveals a profound bend between domains SCR3 and SCR4, which has implications for the interactions with ligands as well as the orientation of the protein at the cell surface. This bend can be attributed to an insertion of five hydrophobic residues in a SCR3 surface loop. Residues in this loop have been implicated in interactions with complement, indicating that the bend participates in binding to C3b and C4b. The structure provides an accurate framework for mapping all known ligand binding sites onto the surface of CD46, thereby advancing an understanding of how CD46 acts as a receptor for pathogens and physiologic ligands of the immune system.

  12. Structure of the extracellular portion of CD46 provides insights into its interactions with complement proteins and pathogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B David Persson

    Full Text Available The human membrane cofactor protein (MCP, CD46 is a central component of the innate immune system. CD46 protects autologous cells from complement attack by binding to complement proteins C3b and C4b and serving as a cofactor for their cleavage. Recent data show that CD46 also plays a role in mediating acquired immune responses, and in triggering autophagy. In addition to these physiologic functions, a significant number of pathogens, including select adenoviruses, measles virus, human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6, Streptococci, and Neisseria, use CD46 as a cell attachment receptor. We have determined the crystal structure of the extracellular region of CD46 in complex with the human adenovirus type 11 fiber knob. Extracellular CD46 comprises four short consensus repeats (SCR1-SCR4 that form an elongated structure resembling a hockey stick, with a long shaft and a short blade. Domains SCR1, SCR2 and SCR3 are arranged in a nearly linear fashion. Unexpectedly, however, the structure reveals a profound bend between domains SCR3 and SCR4, which has implications for the interactions with ligands as well as the orientation of the protein at the cell surface. This bend can be attributed to an insertion of five hydrophobic residues in a SCR3 surface loop. Residues in this loop have been implicated in interactions with complement, indicating that the bend participates in binding to C3b and C4b. The structure provides an accurate framework for mapping all known ligand binding sites onto the surface of CD46, thereby advancing an understanding of how CD46 acts as a receptor for pathogens and physiologic ligands of the immune system.

  13. Germ warfare in a microbial mat community: CRISPRs provide insights into the co-evolution of host and viral genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F Heidelberg

    Full Text Available CRISPR arrays and associated cas genes are widespread in bacteria and archaea and confer acquired resistance to viruses. To examine viral immunity in the context of naturally evolving microbial populations we analyzed genomic data from two thermophilic Synechococcus isolates (Syn OS-A and Syn OS-B' as well as a prokaryotic metagenome and viral metagenome derived from microbial mats in hotsprings at Yellowstone National Park. Two distinct CRISPR types, distinguished by the repeat sequence, are found in both the Syn OS-A and Syn OS-B' genomes. The genome of Syn OS-A contains a third CRISPR type with a distinct repeat sequence, which is not found in Syn OS-B', but appears to be shared with other microorganisms that inhabit the mat. The CRISPR repeats identified in the microbial metagenome are highly conserved, while the spacer sequences (hereafter referred to as "viritopes" to emphasize their critical role in viral immunity were mostly unique and had no high identity matches when searched against GenBank. Searching the viritopes against the viral metagenome, however, yielded several matches with high similarity some of which were within a gene identified as a likely viral lysozyme/lysin protein. Analysis of viral metagenome sequences corresponding to this lysozyme/lysin protein revealed several mutations all of which translate into silent or conservative mutations which are unlikely to affect protein function, but may help the virus evade the host CRISPR resistance mechanism. These results demonstrate the varied challenges presented by a natural virus population, and support the notion that the CRISPR/viritope system must be able to adapt quickly to provide host immunity. The ability of metagenomics to track population-level variation in viritope sequences allows for a culture-independent method for evaluating the fast co-evolution of host and viral genomes and its consequence on the structuring of complex microbial communities.

  14. Business Model Design from an ANT Perspective: Contributions and Insights of an Open and Living Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Cristina Chuva; da Cunha, Paulo Rupino

    The way the Internet has connected millions of users at negligible costs has changed playing field for companies. Several stakeholders can now come together in virtual networks to create innovative business models that would be unfeasible in the physical world. However, the more radical the departure from the established models of value creation, the bigger the complexity in ensuring the sustained interest of the involved parties and the stability of the bonds. To address this problem, we sought inspiration in the Actor-Network Theory (ANT), which is capable of providing insights into socio-technical settings where human and non-human agents interact. We describe how several of its principles, ideas, and concepts were adapted and embedded in our approach for complex business model design or analysis. A simple illustration is provided. Our iterative approach helps systematically scrutinize and tune the contributions and returns of the various actors, ensuring that all end up with an attractive value proposal, thus promoting the robustness of the network. Guidelines for the services that an underlying information system must provide are also derived from the results.

  15. Analysis of the opsin repertoire in the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini provides insights into the evolution of opsin genes in panarthropoda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hering, Lars; Mayer, Georg

    2014-09-04

    Screening of a deeply sequenced transcriptome using Illumina sequencing as well as the genome of the tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini revealed a set of five opsin genes. To clarify the phylogenetic position of these genes and to elucidate the evolutionary history of opsins in Panarthropoda (Onychophora + Tardigrada + Arthropoda), we reconstructed the phylogeny of broadly sampled metazoan opsin genes using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods in conjunction with carefully selected substitution models. According to our findings, the opsin repertoire of H. dujardini comprises representatives of all three major bilaterian opsin clades, including one r-opsin, three c-opsins, and a Group 4 opsin (neuropsin/opsin-5). The identification of the tardigrade ortholog of neuropsin/opsin-5 is the first record of this opsin type in a protostome, but our screening of available metazoan genomes revealed that it is also present in other protostomes. Our opsin phylogeny further suggests that two r-opsins, including an "arthropsin," were present in the last common ancestor of Panarthropoda. Although both r-opsin lineages were retained in Onychophora and Arthropoda, the arthropsin was lost in Tardigrada. The single (most likely visual) r-opsin found in H. dujardini supports the hypothesis of monochromatic vision in the panarthropod ancestor, whereas two duplications of the ancestral panarthropod c-opsin have led to three c-opsins in tardigrades. Although the early-branching nodes are unstable within the metazoans, our findings suggest that the last common ancestor of Bilateria possessed six opsins: Two r-opsins, one c-opsin, and three Group 4 opsins, one of which (Go opsin) was lost in the ecdysozoan lineage.

  16. A review of mass and energy flow through a lava flow system: insights provided from a non-equilibrium perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarquini, Simone

    2017-08-01

    A simple formula relates lava discharge rate to the heat radiated per unit time from the surface of active lava flows (the "thermal proxy"). Although widely used, the physical basis of this proxy is still debated. In the present contribution, lava flows are approached as open, dissipative systems that, under favorable conditions, can attain a non-equilibrium stationary state. In this system framework, the onset, growth, and demise of lava flow units can be explained as a self-organization phenomenon characterized by a given temporal frequency defined by the average life span of active lava flow units. Here, I review empirical, physical, and experimental models designed to understand and link the flow of mass and energy through a lava flow system, as well as measurements and observations that support a "real-world" view. I set up two systems: active lava flow system (or ALFS) for flowing, fluid lava and a lava deposit system for solidified, cooling lava. The review highlights surprising similarities between lava flows and electric currents, which typically work under stationary conditions. An electric current propagates almost instantaneously through an existing circuit, following the Kirchhoff law (a least dissipation principle). Flowing lavas, in contrast, build up a slow-motion "lava circuit" over days, weeks, or months by following a gravity-driven path down the steepest slopes. Attainment of a steady-state condition is hampered (and the classic thermal proxy does not hold) if the supply stops before completion of the "lava circuit." Although gravity determines initial flow path and extension, the least dissipation principle means that subsequent evolution of mature portions of the active lava flow system is controlled by increasingly insulated conditions.

  17. Activities of Secreted Aryl Alcohol Quinone Oxidoreductases from Pycnoporus cinnabarinus Provide Insights into Fungal Degradation of Plant Biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathieu, Yann; Piumi, Francois; Valli, Richard; Aramburu, Juan Carro; Ferreira, Patricia; Faulds, Craig B; Record, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Auxiliary activities family 3 subfamily 2 (AA3_2) from the CAZy database comprises various functions related to ligninolytic enzymes, such as fungal aryl alcohol oxidases (AAO) and glucose oxidases, both of which are flavoenzymes. The recent study of the Pycnoporus cinnabarinus CIRM BRFM 137 genome combined with its secretome revealed that four AA3_2 enzymes are secreted during biomass degradation. One of these AA3_2 enzymes, scf184803.g17, has recently been produced heterologously in Aspergillus niger Based on the enzyme's activity and specificity, it was assigned to the glucose dehydrogenases (PcinnabarinusGDH [PcGDH]). Here, we analyze the distribution of the other three AA3_2 enzymes (scf185002.g8, scf184611.g7, and scf184746.g13) to assess their putative functions. These proteins showed the highest homology with aryl alcohol oxidase from Pleurotus eryngii Biochemical characterization demonstrated that they were also flavoenzymes harboring flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) as a cofactor and able to oxidize a wide variety of phenolic and nonphenolic aryl alcohols and one aliphatic polyunsaturated primary alcohol. Though presenting homology with fungal AAOs, these enzymes exhibited greater efficiency in reducing electron acceptors (quinones and one artificial acceptor) than molecular oxygen and so were defined as aryl-alcohol:quinone oxidoreductases (AAQOs) with two enzymes possessing residual oxidase activity (PcAAQO2 and PcAAQO3). Structural comparison of PcAAQO homology models with P. eryngii AAO demonstrated a wider substrate access channel connecting the active-site cavity to the solvent, explaining the absence of activity with molecular oxygen. Finally, the ability of PcAAQOs to reduce radical intermediates generated by laccase from P. cinnabarinus was demonstrated, shedding light on the ligninolytic system of this fungus.

  18. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Scabies Mite Provides Insight into the Genetic Diversity of Individual Scabies Infections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehtesham Mofiz

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, is an obligate parasite of the skin that infects humans and other animal species, causing scabies, a contagious disease characterized by extreme itching. Scabies infections are a major health problem, particularly in remote Indigenous communities in Australia, where co-infection of epidermal scabies lesions by Group A Streptococci or Staphylococcus aureus is thought to be responsible for the high rate of rheumatic heart disease and chronic kidney disease. We collected and separately sequenced mite DNA from several pools of thousands of whole mites from a porcine model of scabies (S. scabiei var. suis and two human patients (S. scabiei var. hominis living in different regions of northern Australia. Our sequencing samples the mite and its metagenome, including the mite gut flora and the wound micro-environment. Here, we describe the mitochondrial genome of the scabies mite. We developed a new de novo assembly pipeline based on a bait-and-reassemble strategy, which produced a 14 kilobase mitochondrial genome sequence assembly. We also annotated 35 genes and have compared these to other Acari mites. We identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs and used these to infer the presence of six haplogroups in our samples, Remarkably, these fall into two closely-related clades with one clade including both human and pig varieties. This supports earlier findings that only limited genetic differences may separate some human and animal varieties, and raises the possibility of cross-host infections. Finally, we used these mitochondrial haplotypes to show that the genetic diversity of individual infections is typically small with 1-3 distinct haplotypes per infestation.

  19. Little White Lies: Pericarp Color Provides Insights into the Origins and Evolution of Southeast Asian Weedy Rice

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    Yongxia Cui

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Weedy rice is a conspecific form of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L. that infests rice fields and results in severe crop losses. Weed strains in different world regions appear to have originated multiple times from different domesticated and/or wild rice progenitors. In the case of Malaysian weedy rice, a multiple-origin model has been proposed based on neutral markers and analyses of domestication genes for hull color and seed shattering. Here, we examined variation in pericarp (bran color and its molecular basis to address how this trait evolved in Malaysian weeds and its possible role in weed adaptation. Functional alleles of the Rc gene confer proanthocyanidin pigmentation of the pericarp, a trait found in most wild and weedy Oryzas and associated with seed dormancy; nonfunctional rc alleles were strongly favored during rice domestication, and most cultivated varieties have nonpigmented pericarps. Phenotypic characterizations of 52 Malaysian weeds revealed that most strains are characterized by the pigmented pericarp; however, some weeds have white pericarps, suggesting close relationships to cultivated rice. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the Rc haplotypes present in Malaysian weeds likely have at least three distinct origins: wild O. rufipogon, white-pericarp cultivated rice, and red-pericarp cultivated rice. These diverse origins contribute to high Rc nucleotide diversity in the Malaysian weeds. Comparison of Rc allelic distributions with other rice domestication genes suggests that functional Rc alleles may confer particular fitness benefits in weedy rice populations, for example, by conferring seed dormancy. This may promote functional Rc introgression from local wild Oryza populations.

  20. Integrative Analyses of Nontargeted Volatile Profiling and Transcriptome Data Provide Molecular Insight into VOC Diversity in Cucumber Plants (Cucumis sativus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Guo; Tian, Peng; Zhang, Fengxia; Qin, Hao; Miao, Han; Chen, Qingwen; Hu, Zhongyi; Cao, Li; Wang, Meijiao; Gu, Xingfang; Huang, Sanwen; Chen, Mingsheng; Wang, Guodong

    2016-09-01

    Plant volatile organic compounds, which are generated in a tissue-specific manner, play important ecological roles in the interactions between plants and their environments, including the well-known functions of attracting pollinators and protecting plants from herbivores/fungi attacks. However, to date, there have not been reports of holistic volatile profiling of the various tissues of a single plant species, even for the model plant species. In this study, we qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed 85 volatile chemicals, including 36 volatile terpenes, in 23 different tissues of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants using solid-phase microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Most volatile chemicals were found to occur in a highly tissue-specific manner. The consensus transcriptomes for each of the 23 cucumber tissues were generated with RNA sequencing data and used in volatile organic compound-gene correlation analysis to screen for candidate genes likely to be involved in cucumber volatile biosynthetic pathways. In vitro biochemical characterization of the candidate enzymes demonstrated that TERPENE SYNTHASE11 (TPS11)/TPS14, TPS01, and TPS15 were responsible for volatile terpenoid production in the roots, flowers, and fruit tissues of cucumber plants, respectively. A functional heteromeric geranyl(geranyl) pyrophosphate synthase, composed of an inactive small subunit (type I) and an active large subunit, was demonstrated to play a key role in monoterpene production in cucumber. In addition to establishing a standard workflow for the elucidation of plant volatile biosynthetic pathways, the knowledge generated from this study lays a solid foundation for future investigations of both the physiological functions of cucumber volatiles and aspects of cucumber flavor improvement.

  1. Individualized, discrete event, simulations provide insight into inter- and intra-subject variability of extended-release, drug products

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    Kim Sean HJ

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective Develop and validate particular, concrete, and abstract yet plausible in silico mechanistic explanations for large intra- and interindividual variability observed for eleven bioequivalence study participants. Do so in the face of considerable uncertainty about mechanisms. Methods We constructed an object-oriented, discrete event model called subject (we use small caps to distinguish computational objects from their biological counterparts. It maps abstractly to a dissolution test system and study subject to whom product was administered orally. A subject comprises four interconnected grid spaces and event mechanisms that map to different physiological features and processes. Drugs move within and between spaces. We followed an established, Iterative Refinement Protocol. Individualized mechanisms were made sufficiently complicated to achieve prespecified Similarity Criteria, but no more so. Within subjects, the dissolution space is linked to both a product-subject Interaction Space and the GI tract. The GI tract and Interaction Space connect to plasma, from which drug is eliminated. Results We discovered parameterizations that enabled the eleven subject simulation results to achieve the most stringent Similarity Criteria. Simulated profiles closely resembled those with normal, odd, and double peaks. We observed important subject-by-formulation interactions within subjects. Conclusion We hypothesize that there were interactions within bioequivalence study participants corresponding to the subject-by-formulation interactions within subjects. Further progress requires methods to transition currently abstract subject mechanisms iteratively and parsimoniously to be more physiologically realistic. As that objective is achieved, the approach presented is expected to become beneficial to drug development (e.g., controlled release and to a reduction in the number of subjects needed per study plus faster regulatory review.

  2. Developing Research Agendas on Whole School Improvement Models: The Model Providers' Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shambaugh, Larisa; Graczewski, Cheryl; Therriault, Susan Bowles; Darwin, Marlene J.

    2007-01-01

    The current education policy environment places a heavy emphasis on scientifically based research. This article examines how whole school improvement models approach the development of a research agenda, including what influences and challenges model providers face in implementing their agenda. Responses also detail the advantages and…

  3. Analysis of the human monocyte-derived macrophage transcriptome and response to lipopolysaccharide provides new insights into genetic aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease.

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    J Kenneth Baillie

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The FANTOM5 consortium utilised cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE to provide an unprecedented insight into transcriptional regulation in human cells and tissues. In the current study, we have used CAGE-based transcriptional profiling on an extended dense time course of the response of human monocyte-derived macr