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Sample records for models reveal unacknowledged

  1. Unacknowledged contributions of Pavlov and Barcroft to Cannon's theory of homeostasis.

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    Smith, Gerard P

    2008-11-01

    Cannon's theory of homeostasis is the first, major, American contribution to physiological thought. Although it is clear that Cannon's account of homeostasis is personal and based primarily on the work of his laboratory, Cannon made it easy for readers to mistake his 1929 paper and 1932 book for a comprehensive review of the literature relevant to homeostasis. This is unfortunate because Cannon never acknowledged the important contributions of two of his contemporaries, Ivan Pavlov and Joseph Barcroft. Since he did not mention them, their contributions are rarely discussed. This paper attempts to correct this historical problem in two ways. First, I describe the unacknowledged contributions of Pavlov and Barcroft. Then I consider the possible reasons why Cannon ignored them.

  2. Unacknowledged threats proffered "in a manner of speaking": recognizing workplace bullying as shaming.

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    Dzurec, Laura Cox; Kennison, Monica; Albataineh, Raya

    2014-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine workplace bullying victims' perceptions of what they heard their bully counterparts say through their use of prosody. From a sampling frame of 89 manuscripts referenced in the authors' previous studies, we identified a subset (n = 10) that included quotes regarding bullying victims' perceptions of communication experiences with their bully perpetrators. We used hermeneutics and a recursive metasynthesis to interpret quotes embedded in the manuscripts chosen for this study. Two-thirds of language is expressed nonverbally through prosody or "manner of speaking"-rhythm, stress, intonation, and vocabulary choice. We found that as bullies communicated with their intended victims over time, they used prosody across subtle, linked communications, or boldly and openly in public venues, to establish a context-embedded, one-way communication process of "doublespeak." Bullies' confusing prosodic communication processes served to recontexualize victims' situations and, through mechanisms largely unacknowledged by the victims, to subtly demean their personhood, and to shame them and render them voiceless. This study directs formal attention to the language of workplace bullying. Further study might strengthen opportunities to effectively address and curtail the long-term personal, professional, and organizational injuries deriving from workplace bullying. © 2014 Sigma Theta Tau International.

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

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    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.

  4. Physical activity and pre-diabetes—an unacknowledged mid-life crisis: findings from NHANES 2003–2006

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    Kathryn Farni

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of pre-diabetes (PD among US adults has increased substantially over the past two decades. By current estimates, over 34% of US adults fall in the PD category, 84% of whom meet the American Diabetes Association’s criteria for impaired fasting glucose (IFG. Low physical activity (PA and/or sedentary behavior are key drivers of hyperglycemia. We examined the relationship between PD and objectively measured PA in NHANES 2003–2006 of 20,470 individuals, including 7,501 individuals between 20 and 65 yrs.We excluded all participants without IFG measures or adequate accelerometry data (final N = 1,317. Participants were identified as PD if FPG was 100–125 mg/dL (5.6–6.9 mmol/L. Moderate and vigorous PA in minutes/day individuals were summed to create the exposure variable “moderate-vigorous PA” (MVPA. The analysis sample included 884 normoglycemic persons and 433 with PD. There were significantly fewer PD subjects in the middle (30.3% and highest (24.6% tertiles of PA compared to the lowest tertile (35.5%. After adjusting for BMI, participants were 0.77 times as likely to be PD if they were in the highest tertile compared to the lowest PA tertile (p < 0.001. However, these results were no longer significant when age and BMI were held constant. Univariate analysis revealed that physical activity was associated with decreased fasting glucose of 0.5 mg/dL per minute of MVPA, but multivariate analysis adjusting for age and BMI was not significant. Overall, our data suggest a negative association between measures of PA and the prevalence of PD in middle-aged US adults independent of adiposity, but with significant confounding influence from measures of BMI and age.

  5. Random field model reveals structure of the protein recombinational landscape.

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    Philip A Romero

    Full Text Available We are interested in how intragenic recombination contributes to the evolution of proteins and how this mechanism complements and enhances the diversity generated by random mutation. Experiments have revealed that proteins are highly tolerant to recombination with homologous sequences (mutation by recombination is conservative; more surprisingly, they have also shown that homologous sequence fragments make largely additive contributions to biophysical properties such as stability. Here, we develop a random field model to describe the statistical features of the subset of protein space accessible by recombination, which we refer to as the recombinational landscape. This model shows quantitative agreement with experimental results compiled from eight libraries of proteins that were generated by recombining gene fragments from homologous proteins. The model reveals a recombinational landscape that is highly enriched in functional sequences, with properties dominated by a large-scale additive structure. It also quantifies the relative contributions of parent sequence identity, crossover locations, and protein fold to the tolerance of proteins to recombination. Intragenic recombination explores a unique subset of sequence space that promotes rapid molecular diversification and functional adaptation.

  6. Integrative modelling reveals mechanisms linking productivity and plant species richness.

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    Grace, James B; Anderson, T Michael; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Adler, Peter B; Harpole, W Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M; Pärtel, Meelis; Bakker, Jonathan D; Buckley, Yvonne M; Crawley, Michael J; Damschen, Ellen I; Davies, Kendi F; Fay, Philip A; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S; Hector, Andy; Knops, Johannes M H; MacDougall, Andrew S; Melbourne, Brett A; Morgan, John W; Orrock, John L; Prober, Suzanne M; Smith, Melinda D

    2016-01-21

    How ecosystem productivity and species richness are interrelated is one of the most debated subjects in the history of ecology. Decades of intensive study have yet to discern the actual mechanisms behind observed global patterns. Here, by integrating the predictions from multiple theories into a single model and using data from 1,126 grassland plots spanning five continents, we detect the clear signals of numerous underlying mechanisms linking productivity and richness. We find that an integrative model has substantially higher explanatory power than traditional bivariate analyses. In addition, the specific results unveil several surprising findings that conflict with classical models. These include the isolation of a strong and consistent enhancement of productivity by richness, an effect in striking contrast with superficial data patterns. Also revealed is a consistent importance of competition across the full range of productivity values, in direct conflict with some (but not all) proposed models. The promotion of local richness by macroecological gradients in climatic favourability, generally seen as a competing hypothesis, is also found to be important in our analysis. The results demonstrate that an integrative modelling approach leads to a major advance in our ability to discern the underlying processes operating in ecological systems.

  7. Demand Model Combining Stated And Revealed Preference Data

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    Luciana Londero Brandli

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The revealed and stated preference methods have been contributing a lot for the development of the econometric literature in the attempt of determining the variables that influence the individual decision in a choice process. This article combines preference data, with the objective of obtaining the advantages of the complementarity of the forces and frankness of both types of data. The approach involves the estimate of a model only with RP data, only with SP data and combining RP and SP data. The application is in the housing market, where it is observed, through the literature, that most of the papers of the consumer's choice has restricted the only one approaches. The utility functions obtained show the relative importance of the attributes, the tendency of behavior through the signs and its significance statistical. The results analysis of the models indicates differences and similarities about the attribute’s behavior.

  8. Stochastic heart-rate model can reveal pathologic cardiac dynamics

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    Kuusela, Tom

    2004-03-01

    A simple one-dimensional Langevin-type stochastic difference equation can simulate the heart-rate fluctuations in a time scale from minutes to hours. The model consists of a deterministic nonlinear part and a stochastic part typical of Gaussian noise, and both parts can be directly determined from measured heart-rate data. Data from healthy subjects typically exhibit the deterministic part with two or more stable fixed points. Studies of 15 congestive heart-failure subjects reveal that the deterministic part of pathologic heart dynamics has no clear stable fixed points. Direct simulations of the stochastic model for normal and pathologic cases can produce statistical parameters similar to those of real subjects. Results directly indicate that pathologic situations simplify the heart-rate control system.

  9. REVEAL: An Extensible Reduced Order Model Builder for Simulation and Modeling

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    Agarwal, Khushbu; Sharma, Poorva; Ma, Jinliang; Lo, Chaomei; Gorton, Ian; Liu, Yan

    2013-04-30

    Many science domains need to build computationally efficient and accurate representations of high fidelity, computationally expensive simulations. These computationally efficient versions are known as reduced-order models. This paper presents the design and implementation of a novel reduced-order model (ROM) builder, the REVEAL toolset. This toolset generates ROMs based on science- and engineering-domain specific simulations executed on high performance computing (HPC) platforms. The toolset encompasses a range of sampling and regression methods that can be used to generate a ROM, automatically quantifies the ROM accuracy, and provides support for an iterative approach to improve ROM accuracy. REVEAL is designed to be extensible in order to utilize the core functionality with any simulator that has published input and output formats. It also defines programmatic interfaces to include new sampling and regression techniques so that users can ‘mix and match’ mathematical techniques to best suit the characteristics of their model. In this paper, we describe the architecture of REVEAL and demonstrate its usage with a computational fluid dynamics model used in carbon capture.

  10. Evolution: Ocean Models Reveal Life in Deep Seas.

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    Eizaguirre, Christophe

    2016-09-26

    Even though the deep sea represents the largest area in the world, evolution of species from those environments remains largely unstudied. A series of recent papers indicate that combining molecular tools with biophysical models can help us resolve some of these deep mysteries.

  11. Mechanistic species distribution modeling reveals a niche shift during invasion.

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    Chapman, Daniel S; Scalone, Romain; Štefanić, Edita; Bullock, James M

    2017-06-01

    Niche shifts of nonnative plants can occur when they colonize novel climatic conditions. However, the mechanistic basis for niche shifts during invasion is poorly understood and has rarely been captured within species distribution models. We quantified the consequence of between-population variation in phenology for invasion of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) across Europe. Ragweed is of serious concern because of its harmful effects as a crop weed and because of its impact on public health as a major aeroallergen. We developed a forward mechanistic species distribution model based on responses of ragweed development rates to temperature and photoperiod. The model was parameterized and validated from the literature and by reanalyzing data from a reciprocal common garden experiment in which native and invasive populations were grown within and beyond the current invaded range. It could therefore accommodate between-population variation in the physiological requirements for flowering, and predict the potentially invaded ranges of individual populations. Northern-origin populations that were established outside the generally accepted climate envelope of the species had lower thermal requirements for bud development, suggesting local adaptation of phenology had occurred during the invasion. The model predicts that this will extend the potentially invaded range northward and increase the average suitability across Europe by 90% in the current climate and 20% in the future climate. Therefore, trait variation observed at the population scale can trigger a climatic niche shift at the biogeographic scale. For ragweed, earlier flowering phenology in established northern populations could allow the species to spread beyond its current invasive range, substantially increasing its risk to agriculture and public health. Mechanistic species distribution models offer the possibility to represent niche shifts by varying the traits and niche responses of individual

  12. Genetic and Modeling Approaches Reveal Distinct Components of Impulsive Behavior.

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    Nautiyal, Katherine M; Wall, Melanie M; Wang, Shuai; Magalong, Valerie M; Ahmari, Susanne E; Balsam, Peter D; Blanco, Carlos; Hen, René

    2017-01-18

    Impulsivity is an endophenotype found in many psychiatric disorders including substance use disorders, pathological gambling, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Two behavioral features often considered in impulsive behavior are behavioral inhibition (impulsive action) and delayed gratification (impulsive choice). However, the extent to which these behavioral constructs represent distinct facets of behavior with discrete biological bases is unclear. To test the hypothesis that impulsive action and impulsive choice represent statistically independent behavioral constructs in mice, we collected behavioral measures of impulsivity in a single cohort of mice using well-validated operant behavioral paradigms. Mice with manipulation of serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR) expression were included as a model of disordered impulsivity. A factor analysis was used to characterize correlations between the measures of impulsivity and to identify covariates. Using two approaches, we dissociated impulsive action from impulsive choice. First, the absence of 5-HT1BRs caused increased impulsive action, but not impulsive choice. Second, based on an exploratory factor analysis, a two-factor model described the data well, with measures of impulsive action and choice separating into two independent factors. A multiple-indicator multiple-causes analysis showed that 5-HT1BR expression and sex were significant covariates of impulsivity. Males displayed increased impulsivity in both dimensions, whereas 5-HT1BR expression was a predictor of increased impulsive action only. These data support the conclusion that impulsive action and impulsive choice are distinct behavioral phenotypes with dissociable biological influences that can be modeled in mice. Our work may help inform better classification, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders, which present with disordered impulsivity.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 18 January 2017; doi:10.1038/npp.2016.277.

  13. Animal Model Reveals Potential Waterborne Transmission of Helicobacter pylori Infection.

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    Boehnke, Kevin F; Eaton, Kathryn A; Valdivieso, Manuel; Baker, Laurence H; Xi, Chuanwu

    2015-10-01

    Helicobacter pylori infection has been consistently associated with lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation, but no studies have demonstrated that the transmission of H. pylori can occur from drinking contaminated water. In this study, we used a laboratory mouse model to test whether waterborne H. pylori could cause gastric infection. Groups of immunocompetent C57/BL6 Helicobacter-free mice were exposed to static concentrations (1.29 × 10(5), 10(6), 10(7), 10(8), and 10(9) CFU/L) of H. pylori in their drinking water for 4 weeks. One group of Helicobacter-free mice was exposed to uncontaminated water as a negative control. H. pylori morphology changes in water were examined using microscopy Live/Dead staining. Following exposure, H. pylori infection and inflammation status in the stomach were evaluated using quantitative culture, PCR, the rapid urease test, and histology. None of the mice in the negative control or 10(5) groups were infected. One of 20 cages (one of 40 mice) of the 10(6) group, three of 19 cages (four of 38 mice) of the 10(7) CFU/L group, 19 of 20 cages (33 of 40 mice) of the 10(8) group, and 20 of 20 cages (39 of 40 mice) of the 10(9) CFU/L group were infected. Infected mice had significantly higher gastric inflammation than uninfected mice (27.86% higher inflammation, p < .0001). We offer proof that H. pylori in water is infectious in mice, suggesting that humans drinking contaminated water may be at risk of contracting H. pylori infection. Much work needs to be performed to better understand the risk of infection from drinking H. pylori-contaminated water. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Cheating in medical school: the unacknowledged ailment.

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    Kusnoor, Anita V; Falik, Ruth

    2013-08-01

    The reported prevalence of cheating among US medical students ranges from 0% to 58%. Cheating behaviors include copying from others, using unauthorized notes, sharing information about observed structured clinical encounters, and dishonesty about performing physical examinations on patients. Correlates of cheating in medical school include prior cheating behavior, burnout, and inadequate understanding about what constitutes cheating. Institutional responses include expulsion, reprimands, counseling, and peer review. Preventing cheating requires establishing standards for acceptable behavior, focusing on learning rather than assessment, involving medical students in peer review, and creating a culture of academic integrity. Cheating in medical school may have serious long-term consequences for future physicians. Institutions should develop environments that promote integrity.

  15. Robotic and mathematical modeling reveal general principles of appendage control and coordination in terrestrial locomotion

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    McInroe, Benjamin; Astley, Henry; Gong, Chaohui; Kawano, Sandy; Schiebel, Perrin; Choset, Howie; Goldman, Daniel I.

    The transition from aquatic to terrestrial life presented new challenges to early walkers, necessitating robust locomotion on complex, flowable substrates (e.g. sand, mud). Locomotion on such substrates is sensitive to limb morphology and kinematics. Although early walker morphologies are known, principles of appendage control remain elusive. To reveal limb control strategies that facilitated the invasion of land, we study both robotic and mathematical models. Robot experiments show that an active tail is critical for robust locomotion on granular media, enabling locomotion even with poor foot placement and limited ability to lift the body. Using a granular resistive force theory model, we construct connection vector fields that reveal how appendage coordination and terrain inclination impact locomotor performance. This model replicates experimental results, showing that moving limbs/tail in phase is most effective (suggesting a locomotor template). Varying limb trajectories and contacts, we find gaits for which tail use can be neutral or harmful, suggesting limb-tail coordination to be a nontrivial aspect of locomotion. Our findings show that robot experiments coupled with geometric mechanics provide a general framework to reveal principles of robust terrestrial locomotion. This work was supported by NSF PoLS.

  16. Disaggregate Traffic Mode Choice Model Based on Combination of Revealed and Stated Preference Data

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    JIAO Pengpeng; LU Huapu; YANG Lang

    2006-01-01

    The conventional traffic demand forecasting methods based on revealed preference (RP) data are not able to predict the modal split. Passengers' stated intentions are indispensable for modal split forecasting and evaluation of new traffic modes. This paper analyzed the biases and errors included in stated preference data, put forward the new stochastic utility functions, and proposed an unbiased disaggregate model and its approximate model based on the combination of RP and stated preference (SP) data, with analysis of the parameter estimation algorithm. The model was also used to forecast rail transit passenger volumes to the Beijing Capital International Airport and the shift ratios from current traffic modes to rail transit. Experimental results show that the model can greatly increase forecasting accuracy of the modal split ratio of current traffic modes and can accurately forecast the shift ratios from current modes to the new mode.

  17. Power-Law Modeling of Cancer Cell Fates Driven by Signaling Data to Reveal Drug Effects

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    Zhang, Fan; Wu, Min; Kwoh, Chee Keong; Zheng, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Extracellular signals are captured and transmitted by signaling proteins inside a cell. An important type of cellular responses to the signals is the cell fate decision, e.g., apoptosis. However, the underlying mechanisms of cell fate regulation are still unclear, thus comprehensive and detailed kinetic models are not yet available. Alternatively, data-driven models are promising to bridge signaling data with the phenotypic measurements of cell fates. The traditional linear model for data-driven modeling of signaling pathways has its limitations because it assumes that the a cell fate is proportional to the activities of signaling proteins, which is unlikely in the complex biological systems. Therefore, we propose a power-law model to relate the activities of all the measured signaling proteins to the probabilities of cell fates. In our experiments, we compared our nonlinear power-law model with the linear model on three cancer datasets with phosphoproteomics and cell fate measurements, which demonstrated that the nonlinear model has superior performance on cell fates prediction. By in silico simulation of virtual protein knock-down, the proposed model is able to reveal drug effects which can complement traditional approaches such as binding affinity analysis. Moreover, our model is able to capture cell line specific information to distinguish one cell line from another in cell fate prediction. Our results show that the power-law data-driven model is able to perform better in cell fate prediction and provide more insights into the signaling pathways for cancer cell fates than the linear model. PMID:27764199

  18. Storm-time Distortion of the Near Magnetosphere as Revealed by Data-Based Models

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    Sitnov, M. I.; Tsyganenko, N. A.

    2007-05-01

    An overview will be given of recent progress in the empirical modeling of the geomagnetic field, focused on the storm-time reconfiguration of the inner magnetosphere. Data-based modeling still remains one of primary techniques for representing and forecasting the structure and dynamics of the inner magnetosphere, an extremely hard task for the first-principle approaches. The storm-time evolution of the inner geomagnetic field was quantitatively modeled by Tsyganenko, Singer, and Kasper [2003], where it was shown for the first time that a global dramatic distortion of the magnetic field during strong storms could penetrate as deep as to only R ~ 3RE. The dynamical aspects of storm-time magnetic field distortions were further elaborated in the TS05 model [Tsyganenko and Sitnov, 2005]. It was shown, in particular, that the magnetospheric response to the solar wind loading is drastically different for major current systems (ring, tail, and field-aligned currents), with the fastest response for field-aligned currents and the slowest for the symmetrical ring current. Finally, to resolve the complex spatial structure of storm-time magnetic field distortions Tsyganenko and Sitnov [2007] elaborated a new model with a high-resolution extensible approximation for the field of equatorial currents combined with a flexible field-aligned current module. The new model was fitted to a new database of space magnetometer data from Geotail, Polar, Cluster, IMP-8, and Goes-8,-9,-10, and -12, as well as concurrent solar wind and IMF data, spanning more than a decade (1995-2005). The new high-resolution magnetic field modeling revealed many interesting effects that were conjectured earlier based on other (largely indirect) methods, such as the pile-up of the magnetic flux near the magnetopause for northward IMF and the strong erosion/depression of the dayside field during intervals of southward IMF. It also revealed a dramatic difference between the global configurations of equatorial

  19. Genome-Scale Model Reveals Metabolic Basis of Biomass Partitioning in a Model Diatom.

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    Jennifer Levering

    Full Text Available Diatoms are eukaryotic microalgae that contain genes from various sources, including bacteria and the secondary endosymbiotic host. Due to this unique combination of genes, diatoms are taxonomically and functionally distinct from other algae and vascular plants and confer novel metabolic capabilities. Based on the genome annotation, we performed a genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction for the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Due to their endosymbiotic origin, diatoms possess a complex chloroplast structure which complicates the prediction of subcellular protein localization. Based on previous work we implemented a pipeline that exploits a series of bioinformatics tools to predict protein localization. The manually curated reconstructed metabolic network iLB1027_lipid accounts for 1,027 genes associated with 4,456 reactions and 2,172 metabolites distributed across six compartments. To constrain the genome-scale model, we determined the organism specific biomass composition in terms of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry. Our simulations indicate the presence of a yet unknown glutamine-ornithine shunt that could be used to transfer reducing equivalents generated by photosynthesis to the mitochondria. The model reflects the known biochemical composition of P. tricornutum in defined culture conditions and enables metabolic engineering strategies to improve the use of P. tricornutum for biotechnological applications.

  20. Genome-Scale Model Reveals Metabolic Basis of Biomass Partitioning in a Model Diatom.

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    Levering, Jennifer; Broddrick, Jared; Dupont, Christopher L; Peers, Graham; Beeri, Karen; Mayers, Joshua; Gallina, Alessandra A; Allen, Andrew E; Palsson, Bernhard O; Zengler, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    Diatoms are eukaryotic microalgae that contain genes from various sources, including bacteria and the secondary endosymbiotic host. Due to this unique combination of genes, diatoms are taxonomically and functionally distinct from other algae and vascular plants and confer novel metabolic capabilities. Based on the genome annotation, we performed a genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction for the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Due to their endosymbiotic origin, diatoms possess a complex chloroplast structure which complicates the prediction of subcellular protein localization. Based on previous work we implemented a pipeline that exploits a series of bioinformatics tools to predict protein localization. The manually curated reconstructed metabolic network iLB1027_lipid accounts for 1,027 genes associated with 4,456 reactions and 2,172 metabolites distributed across six compartments. To constrain the genome-scale model, we determined the organism specific biomass composition in terms of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry. Our simulations indicate the presence of a yet unknown glutamine-ornithine shunt that could be used to transfer reducing equivalents generated by photosynthesis to the mitochondria. The model reflects the known biochemical composition of P. tricornutum in defined culture conditions and enables metabolic engineering strategies to improve the use of P. tricornutum for biotechnological applications.

  1. Transcriptome-based network analysis reveals a spectrum model of human macrophage activation.

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    Xue, Jia; Schmidt, Susanne V; Sander, Jil; Draffehn, Astrid; Krebs, Wolfgang; Quester, Inga; De Nardo, Dominic; Gohel, Trupti D; Emde, Martina; Schmidleithner, Lisa; Ganesan, Hariharasudan; Nino-Castro, Andrea; Mallmann, Michael R; Labzin, Larisa; Theis, Heidi; Kraut, Michael; Beyer, Marc; Latz, Eicke; Freeman, Tom C; Ulas, Thomas; Schultze, Joachim L

    2014-02-20

    Macrophage activation is associated with profound transcriptional reprogramming. Although much progress has been made in the understanding of macrophage activation, polarization, and function, the transcriptional programs regulating these processes remain poorly characterized. We stimulated human macrophages with diverse activation signals, acquiring a data set of 299 macrophage transcriptomes. Analysis of this data set revealed a spectrum of macrophage activation states extending the current M1 versus M2-polarization model. Network analyses identified central transcriptional regulators associated with all macrophage activation complemented by regulators related to stimulus-specific programs. Applying these transcriptional programs to human alveolar macrophages from smokers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) revealed an unexpected loss of inflammatory signatures in COPD patients. Finally, by integrating murine data from the ImmGen project we propose a refined, activation-independent core signature for human and murine macrophages. This resource serves as a framework for future research into regulation of macrophage activation in health and disease.

  2. Data-driven modeling reveals cell behaviors controlling self-organization during Myxococcus xanthus development.

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    Cotter, Christopher R; Schüttler, Heinz-Bernd; Igoshin, Oleg A; Shimkets, Lawrence J

    2017-06-06

    Collective cell movement is critical to the emergent properties of many multicellular systems, including microbial self-organization in biofilms, embryogenesis, wound healing, and cancer metastasis. However, even the best-studied systems lack a complete picture of how diverse physical and chemical cues act upon individual cells to ensure coordinated multicellular behavior. Known for its social developmental cycle, the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus uses coordinated movement to generate three-dimensional aggregates called fruiting bodies. Despite extensive progress in identifying genes controlling fruiting body development, cell behaviors and cell-cell communication mechanisms that mediate aggregation are largely unknown. We developed an approach to examine emergent behaviors that couples fluorescent cell tracking with data-driven models. A unique feature of this approach is the ability to identify cell behaviors affecting the observed aggregation dynamics without full knowledge of the underlying biological mechanisms. The fluorescent cell tracking revealed large deviations in the behavior of individual cells. Our modeling method indicated that decreased cell motility inside the aggregates, a biased walk toward aggregate centroids, and alignment among neighboring cells in a radial direction to the nearest aggregate are behaviors that enhance aggregation dynamics. Our modeling method also revealed that aggregation is generally robust to perturbations in these behaviors and identified possible compensatory mechanisms. The resulting approach of directly combining behavior quantification with data-driven simulations can be applied to more complex systems of collective cell movement without prior knowledge of the cellular machinery and behavioral cues.

  3. Comparison of Models for Bubonic Plague Reveals Unique Pathogen Adaptations to the Dermis.

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    Gonzalez, Rodrigo J; Weening, Eric H; Lane, M Chelsea; Miller, Virginia L

    2015-07-01

    Vector-borne pathogens are inoculated in the skin of mammals, most likely in the dermis. Despite this, subcutaneous (s.c.) models of infection are broadly used in many fields, including Yersinia pestis pathogenesis. We expand on a previous report where we implemented intradermal (i.d.) inoculations to study bacterial dissemination during bubonic plague and compare this model with an s.c. We found that i.d. inoculations result in faster kinetics of infection and that bacterial dose influenced mouse survival after i.d. but not s.c. inoculation. Moreover, a deletion mutant of rovA, previously shown to be moderately attenuated in the s.c. model, was severely attenuated in the i.d. Lastly, based on previous observations where a population bottleneck from the skin to lymph nodes was observed after i.d., but not after s.c., inoculations, we used the latter model as a strategy to identify an additional bottleneck in bacterial dissemination from lymph nodes to the bloodstream. Our data indicate that the more biologically relevant i.d. model of bubonic plague differs significantly from the s.c. model in multiple aspects of infection. These findings reveal adaptations of Y. pestis to the dermis and how these adaptations can define the progression of disease. They also emphasize the importance of using a relevant route of infection when addressing host-pathogen interactions. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  4. Probabilistic Inference: Task Dependency and Individual Differences of Probability Weighting Revealed by Hierarchical Bayesian Modeling.

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    Boos, Moritz; Seer, Caroline; Lange, Florian; Kopp, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive determinants of probabilistic inference were examined using hierarchical Bayesian modeling techniques. A classic urn-ball paradigm served as experimental strategy, involving a factorial two (prior probabilities) by two (likelihoods) design. Five computational models of cognitive processes were compared with the observed behavior. Parameter-free Bayesian posterior probabilities and parameter-free base rate neglect provided inadequate models of probabilistic inference. The introduction of distorted subjective probabilities yielded more robust and generalizable results. A general class of (inverted) S-shaped probability weighting functions had been proposed; however, the possibility of large differences in probability distortions not only across experimental conditions, but also across individuals, seems critical for the model's success. It also seems advantageous to consider individual differences in parameters of probability weighting as being sampled from weakly informative prior distributions of individual parameter values. Thus, the results from hierarchical Bayesian modeling converge with previous results in revealing that probability weighting parameters show considerable task dependency and individual differences. Methodologically, this work exemplifies the usefulness of hierarchical Bayesian modeling techniques for cognitive psychology. Theoretically, human probabilistic inference might be best described as the application of individualized strategic policies for Bayesian belief revision.

  5. The probabilistic niche model reveals substantial variation in the niche structure of empirical food webs.

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    Williams, Richard J; Purves, Drew W

    2011-09-01

    The structure of food webs, complex networks of interspecies feeding interactions, plays a crucial role in ecosystem resilience and function, and understanding food web structure remains a central problem in ecology. Previous studies have shown that key features of empirical food webs can be reproduced by low-dimensional "niche" models. Here we examine the form and variability of food web niche structure by fitting a probabilistic niche model to 37 empirical food webs, a much larger number of food webs than used in previous studies. The model relaxes previous assumptions about parameter distributions and hierarchy and returns parameter estimates for each species in each web. The model significantly outperforms previous niche model variants and also performs well for several webs where a body-size-based niche model performs poorly, implying that traits other than body size are important in structuring these webs' niche space. Parameter estimates frequently violate previous models' assumptions: in 19 of 37 webs, parameter values are not significantly hierarchical, 32 of 37 webs have nonuniform niche value distributions, and 15 of 37 webs lack a correlation between niche width and niche position. Extending the model to a two-dimensional niche space yields networks with a mixture of one- and two-dimensional niches and provides a significantly better fit for webs with a large number of species and links. These results confirm that food webs are strongly niche-structured but reveal substantial variation in the form of the niche structuring, a result with fundamental implications for ecosystem resilience and function.

  6. Probabilistic inference: Task dependency and individual differences of probability weighting revealed by hierarchical Bayesian modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritz eBoos

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive determinants of probabilistic inference were examined using hierarchical Bayesian modelling techniques. A classic urn-ball paradigm served as experimental strategy, involving a factorial two (prior probabilities by two (likelihoods design. Five computational models of cognitive processes were compared with the observed behaviour. Parameter-free Bayesian posterior probabilities and parameter-free base rate neglect provided inadequate models of probabilistic inference. The introduction of distorted subjective probabilities yielded more robust and generalizable results. A general class of (inverted S-shaped probability weighting functions had been proposed; however, the possibility of large differences in probability distortions not only across experimental conditions, but also across individuals, seems critical for the model’s success. It also seems advantageous to consider individual differences in parameters of probability weighting as being sampled from weakly informative prior distributions of individual parameter values. Thus, the results from hierarchical Bayesian modelling converge with previous results in revealing that probability weighting parameters show considerable task dependency and individual differences. Methodologically, this work exemplifies the usefulness of hierarchical Bayesian modelling techniques for cognitive psychology. Theoretically, human probabilistic inference might be best described as the application of individualized strategic policies for Bayesian belief revision.

  7. Valuing snorkeling visits to the Florida Keys with stated and revealed preference models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Timothy; Bowker, J M; Leeworthy, Vernon R

    2002-07-01

    Coastal coral reefs, especially in the Florida Keys, are declining at a disturbing rate. Marine ecologists and reef scientists have emphasized the importance of establishing nonmarket values of coral reefs to assess the cost effectiveness of coral reef management and remediation programs. The purpose of this paper is to develop a travel cost-contingent valuation model of demand for trips to the Florida Keys focusing on willingness to pay (WTP) to preserve the current water quality and health of the coral reefs. The stated and revealed preference models allow the marginal valuation of recreationists to adjust depending on current and planned trip commitments in valuing nonmarginal policy changes in recreational opportunities. The integrated model incorporates key factors for establishing baseline amenity values for tourist dive sites, including perceptions of reef quality and dive conditions, the role of substitute sites, and the quality and availability of tourist facilities and recreation opportunities. The travel cost and WTP model differ in identifying critical variables and provide insight into the adjustment of trip decisions across alternative destination sites and the valuation of trips. In contrast to the travel cost model, a measure of the availability of substitute sites and total recreation activities does not have a significant impact on WTP valuations reported by snorkelers. Snorkelers engage in a relatively focused set of activities, suggesting that these recreationists may not shift expenditures to other sites or other recreation activities in the Florida Keys when confronted with increased access costs for the snorkeling experience.

  8. Mechanical models of sandfish locomotion reveal principles of high performance subsurface sand-swimming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maladen, Ryan D.; Ding, Yang; Umbanhowar, Paul B.; Kamor, Adam; Goldman, Daniel I.

    2011-01-01

    We integrate biological experiment, empirical theory, numerical simulation and a physical model to reveal principles of undulatory locomotion in granular media. High-speed X-ray imaging of the sandfish lizard, Scincus scincus, in 3 mm glass particles shows that it swims within the medium without using its limbs by propagating a single-period travelling sinusoidal wave down its body, resulting in a wave efficiency, η, the ratio of its average forward speed to the wave speed, of approximately 0.5. A resistive force theory (RFT) that balances granular thrust and drag forces along the body predicts η close to the observed value. We test this prediction against two other more detailed modelling approaches: a numerical model of the sandfish coupled to a discrete particle simulation of the granular medium, and an undulatory robot that swims within granular media. Using these models and analytical solutions of the RFT, we vary the ratio of undulation amplitude to wavelength (A/λ) and demonstrate an optimal condition for sand-swimming, which for a given A results from the competition between η and λ. The RFT, in agreement with the simulated and physical models, predicts that for a single-period sinusoidal wave, maximal speed occurs for A/λ ≈ 0.2, the same kinematics used by the sandfish. PMID:21378020

  9. Novel personalized pathway-based metabolomics models reveal key metabolic pathways for breast cancer diagnosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huang, Sijia; Chong, Nicole; Lewis, Nathan

    2016-01-01

    . Methods: We propose that higher-order functional representation of metabolomics data, such as pathway-based metabolomic features, can be used as robust biomarkers for breast cancer. Towards this, we have developed a new computational method that uses personalized pathway dysregulation scores for disease...... the Curve, a receiver operating characteristic curve) of 0.968 and 0.934, sensitivities of 0.946 and 0.954, and specificities of 0.934 and 0.918. These two metabolomics-based pathway models are further validated by RNA-Seq-based TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) breast cancer data, with AUCs of 0.995 and 0.......993. Moreover, important metabolic pathways, such as taurine and hypotaurine metabolism and the alanine, aspartate, and glutamate pathway, are revealed as critical biological pathways for early diagnosis of breast cancer. Conclusions: We have successfully developed a new type of pathway-based model to study...

  10. Automatic sleep classification using a data-driven topic model reveals latent sleep states

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Koch, Henriette; Christensen, Julie Anja Engelhard; Frandsen, Rune

    2014-01-01

    Background: The golden standard for sleep classification uses manual scoring of polysomnography despite points of criticism such as oversimplification, low inter-rater reliability and the standard being designed on young and healthy subjects. New method: To meet the criticism and reveal the latent...... sleep states, this study developed a general and automatic sleep classifier using a data-driven approach. Spectral EEG and EOG measures and eye correlation in 1 s windows were calculated and each sleep epoch was expressed as a mixture of probabilities of latent sleep states by using the topic model...... Latent Dirichlet Allocation. Model application was tested on control subjects and patients with periodic leg movements (PLM) representing a non-neurodegenerative group, and patients with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) and Parkinson's Disease (PD) representing a neurodegenerative group...

  11. Representing Microbial Dormancy in Soil Decomposition Models Improves Model Performance and Reveals Key Ecosystem Controls on Microbial Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Y.; Yang, J.; Zhuang, Q.; Wang, G.; Liu, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Climate feedbacks from soils can result from environmental change and subsequent responses of plant and microbial communities and nutrient cycling. Explicit consideration of microbial life history traits and strategy may be necessary to predict climate feedbacks due to microbial physiology and community changes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. In this study, we developed an explicit microbial-enzyme decomposition model and examined model performance with and without representation of dormancy at six temperate forest sites with observed soil efflux ranged from 4 to 10 years across different forest types. We then extrapolated the model to all temperate forests in the Northern Hemisphere (25-50°N) to investigate spatial controls on microbial and soil C dynamics. Both models captured the observed soil heterotrophic respiration (RH), yet no-dormancy model consistently exhibited large seasonal amplitude and overestimation in microbial biomass. Spatially, the total RH from temperate forests based on dormancy model amounts to 6.88PgC/yr, and 7.99PgC/yr based on no-dormancy model. However, no-dormancy model notably overestimated the ratio of microbial biomass to SOC. Spatial correlation analysis revealed key controls of soil C:N ratio on the active proportion of microbial biomass, whereas local dormancy is primarily controlled by soil moisture and temperature, indicating scale-dependent environmental and biotic controls on microbial and SOC dynamics. These developments should provide essential support to modeling future soil carbon dynamics and enhance the avenue for collaboration between empirical soil experiment and modeling in the sense that more microbial physiological measurements are needed to better constrain and evaluate the models.

  12. A multi-scale model of hepcidin promoter regulation reveals factors controlling systemic iron homeostasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillem Casanovas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Systemic iron homeostasis involves a negative feedback circuit in which the expression level of the peptide hormone hepcidin depends on and controls the iron blood levels. Hepcidin expression is regulated by the BMP6/SMAD and IL6/STAT signaling cascades. Deregulation of either pathway causes iron-related diseases such as hemochromatosis or anemia of inflammation. We quantitatively analyzed how BMP6 and IL6 control hepcidin expression. Transcription factor (TF phosphorylation and reporter gene expression were measured under co-stimulation conditions, and the promoter was perturbed by mutagenesis. Using mathematical modeling, we systematically analyzed potential mechanisms of cooperative and competitive promoter regulation by the transcription factors, and experimentally validated the model predictions. Our results reveal that hepcidin cross-regulation primarily occurs by combinatorial transcription factor binding to the promoter, whereas signaling crosstalk is insignificant. We find that the presence of two BMP-responsive elements enhances the steepness of the promoter response towards the iron-sensing BMP signaling axis, which promotes iron homeostasis in vivo. IL6 co-stimulation reduces the promoter sensitivity towards the BMP signal, because the SMAD and STAT transcription factors compete for recruiting RNA polymerase to the transcription start site. This may explain why inflammatory signals disturb iron homeostasis in anemia of inflammation. Taken together, our results reveal why the iron homeostasis circuit is sensitive to perturbations implicated in disease.

  13. Fibrinogen adsorption mechanisms at the gold substrate revealed by QCM-D measurements and RSA modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubiak, Katarzyna; Adamczyk, Zbigniew; Cieśla, Michał

    2016-03-01

    Adsorption kinetics of fibrinogen at a gold substrate at various pHs was thoroughly studied using the QCM-D method. The experimental were interpreted in terms of theoretical calculations performed according to the random sequential adsorption model (RSA). In this way, the hydration functions and water factors of fibrinogen monolayers were quantitatively evaluated at various pHs. It was revealed that for the lower range of fibrinogen coverage the hydration function were considerably lower than previously obtained for the silica sensor [33]. The lower hydration of fibrinogen monolayers on the gold sensor was attributed to its higher roughness. However, for higher fibrinogen coverage the hydration functions for both sensors became identical exhibiting an universal behavior. By using the hydration functions, the fibrinogen adsorption/desorption runs derived from QCM-D measurements were converted to the Γd vs. the time relationships. This allowed to precisely determine the maximum coverage that varied between 1.6mgm(-2) at pH 3.5 and 4.5mgm(-2) at pH 7.4 (for ionic strength of 0.15M). These results agree with theoretical eRSA modeling and previous experimental data derived by using ellipsometry, OWLS and TIRF. Various fibrinogen adsorption mechanisms were revealed by exploiting the maximum coverage data. These results allow one to develop a method for preparing fibrinogen monolayers of well-controlled coverage and molecule orientation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Original mechanism of failure initiation revealed through modelling of naturally occurring microstructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorbatikh, Larissa; Lomov, Stepan V.; Verpoest, Ignaas

    2010-05-01

    Motivated to reveal original mechanisms of failure resistance, we developed a material model that encompasses most reoccurring microstructural features of natural composites. The interesting result of the work is a notion that material failure is governed by the quality of interactions between hierarchical levels in the material microstructure. With intelligent use of the structure, these interactions can be tuned to create a powerful synergetic effect on the material failure behaviour. For example, while exploring different mechanisms of failure initiation in composites with bimodal size reinforcements (an indirect way to model two levels of hierarchy simultaneously) we found that failure initiation could be shifted from stress concentration sites of the higher level to the lower level. One could say that the material behaviour became insensitive to the presence of reinforcements on the higher level—a phenomenon that is counterintuitive to what is commonly known. The new mechanism of failure initiation could only be activated in composites with a highly controlled structural organization—in the studied case, reinforcements of the lower level needed to establish lamellar pathways between reinforcements of the higher level. These pathways lead to formation of an intriguing network-like microstructure. Intelligent communication between reinforcements in such a network created the necessary synergy to change the failure initiation mechanism in a discontinuous fashion. Another finding was that by establishing such a network, tensile stresses near dangerous stress concentration sites were locally transformed into compressive stresses. Resemblance of the revealed mechanism to phenomena on the nano-scale was also discussed. In the course of this work a new method was developed to investigate interactions between reinforcements and their collective input into effective and local properties of a composite. The reinforcement phase was modelled with the use of rigid

  15. A homology model of Xyloglucan Xylosyltransferase 2 reveals critical amino acids involved in substrate binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culbertson, Alan T; Tietze, Alesia A; Tietze, Daniel; Chou, Yi-Hsiang; Smith, Adrienne L; Young, Zachary T; Zabotina, Olga A

    2016-09-01

    In dicotyledonous plants, xyloglucan (XyG) is the most abundant hemicellulose of the primary cell wall. The enzymes involved in XyG biosynthesis have been identified through reverse-genetics and activity was characterized by heterologous expression. Currently, there is no information on the atomic structures or amino acids involved in activity or substrate binding of any of the Golgi-localized XyG biosynthetic enzymes. A homology model of the xyloglucan xylosyltransferase 2 (XXT2) catalytic domain was built on the basis of the crystal structure of A64Rp. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the homology model retains the glycosyltransferase (GT)-A fold of the template structure used to build the homology model indicating that XXT2 likely has a GT-A fold. According to the XXT2 homology model, six amino acids (Phe204, Lys207, Asp228, Ser229, Asp230, His378) were selected and their contribution in catalytic activity was investigated. Site-directed mutagenesis studies show that Asp228, Asp230 and His378 are critical for XXT2 activity and are predicted to be involved in coordination of manganese ion. Lys207 was also found to be critical for protein activity and the homology model indicates a critical role in substrate binding. Additionally, Phe204 mutants have less of an impact on XXT2 activity with the largest effect when replaced with a polar residue. This is the first study that investigates the amino acids involved in substrate binding of the XyG-synthesizing xylosyltransferases and contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms of polysaccharide-synthesizing GTs and XyG biosynthesis. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Different human gut models reveal the distinct fermentation patterns of Arabinoxylan versus inulin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Abbeele, Pieter; Venema, Koen; Van de Wiele, Tom; Verstraete, Willy; Possemiers, Sam

    2013-10-16

    Different in vitro models have been developed to assess how food compounds affect the human gut microbiota. Using two such models (SHIME(R) and TIM-2), we compared how long-chain arabinoxylan (LC-AX), a wheat-derived potentially prebiotic fiber, and inulin (IN), a well-established prebiotic compound, modulate SCFA production and bifidobacteria composition. While both the SHIME and TIM-2 differ in experimental design, they both demonstrated that LC-AX and IN specifically increased the health-promoting metabolites propionate and butyrate, respectively. Furthermore, LC-AX stimulated Bifidobacterium longum, while IN stimulated other bifidobacteria including Bifidobacterium adolescentis. The SHIME experiment also revealed that effects of LC-AX were more persistent during the 2-week wash-out period. These results confirm a recent in vivo study, during which humanized rats were treated with the same LC-AX/IN. In conclusion, results from different human gut models suggest that, besides IN, LC-AX are promising prebiotic candidates with high specificity toward Bifidobacterium longum and a selective propionate increase.

  17. Gene set based integrated data analysis reveals phenotypic differences in a brain cancer model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjell Petersen

    Full Text Available A key challenge in the data analysis of biological high-throughput experiments is to handle the often low number of samples in the experiments compared to the number of biomolecules that are simultaneously measured. Combining experimental data using independent technologies to illuminate the same biological trends, as well as complementing each other in a larger perspective, is one natural way to overcome this challenge. In this work we investigated if integrating proteomics and transcriptomics data from a brain cancer animal model using gene set based analysis methodology, could enhance the biological interpretation of the data relative to more traditional analysis of the two datasets individually. The brain cancer model used is based on serial passaging of transplanted human brain tumor material (glioblastoma--GBM through several generations in rats. These serial transplantations lead over time to genotypic and phenotypic changes in the tumors and represent a medically relevant model with a rare access to samples and where consequent analyses of individual datasets have revealed relatively few significant findings on their own. We found that the integrated analysis both performed better in terms of significance measure of its findings compared to individual analyses, as well as providing independent verification of the individual results. Thus a better context for overall biological interpretation of the data can be achieved.

  18. Global phosphoproteomic profiling reveals perturbed signaling in a mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzmanov, Uros; Guo, Hongbo; Buchsbaum, Diana; Cosme, Jake; Abbasi, Cynthia; Isserlin, Ruth; Sharma, Parveen; Gramolini, Anthony O.; Emili, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Phospholamban (PLN) plays a central role in Ca2+ homeostasis in cardiac myocytes through regulation of the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 2A (SERCA2A) Ca2+ pump. An inherited mutation converting arginine residue 9 in PLN to cysteine (R9C) results in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in humans and transgenic mice, but the downstream signaling defects leading to decompensation and heart failure are poorly understood. Here we used precision mass spectrometry to study the global phosphorylation dynamics of 1,887 cardiac phosphoproteins in early affected heart tissue in a transgenic R9C mouse model of DCM compared with wild-type littermates. Dysregulated phosphorylation sites were quantified after affinity capture and identification of 3,908 phosphopeptides from fractionated whole-heart homogenates. Global statistical enrichment analysis of the differential phosphoprotein patterns revealed selective perturbation of signaling pathways regulating cardiovascular activity in early stages of DCM. Strikingly, dysregulated signaling through the Notch-1 receptor, recently linked to cardiomyogenesis and embryonic cardiac stem cell development and differentiation but never directly implicated in DCM before, was a prominently perturbed pathway. We verified alterations in Notch-1 downstream components in early symptomatic R9C transgenic mouse cardiomyocytes compared with wild type by immunoblot analysis and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. These data reveal unexpected connections between stress-regulated cell signaling networks, specific protein kinases, and downstream effectors essential for proper cardiac function. PMID:27742792

  19. An atomic model of HIV-1 capsid-SP1 reveals structures regulating assembly and maturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schur, Florian K M; Obr, Martin; Hagen, Wim J H; Wan, William; Jakobi, Arjen J; Kirkpatrick, Joanna M; Sachse, Carsten; Kräusslich, Hans-Georg; Briggs, John A G

    2016-07-29

    Immature HIV-1 assembles at and buds from the plasma membrane before proteolytic cleavage of the viral Gag polyprotein induces structural maturation. Maturation can be blocked by maturation inhibitors (MIs), thereby abolishing infectivity. The CA (capsid) and SP1 (spacer peptide 1) region of Gag is the key regulator of assembly and maturation and is the target of MIs. We applied optimized cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging to resolve this region within assembled immature HIV-1 particles at 3.9 angstrom resolution and built an atomic model. The structure reveals a network of intra- and intermolecular interactions mediating immature HIV-1 assembly. The proteolytic cleavage site between CA and SP1 is inaccessible to protease. We suggest that MIs prevent CA-SP1 cleavage by stabilizing the structure, and MI resistance develops by destabilizing CA-SP1.

  20. Revealing topographic lineaments through IHS enhancement of DEM data. [Digital Elevation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdock, Gary

    1990-01-01

    Intensity-hue-saturation (IHS) processing of slope (dip), aspect (dip direction), and elevation to reveal subtle topographic lineaments which may not be obvious in the unprocessed data are used to enhance digital elevation model (DEM) data from northwestern Nevada. This IHS method of lineament identification was applied to a mosiac of 12 square degrees using a Cray Y-MP8/864. Square arrays from 3 x 3 to 31 x 31 points were tested as well as several different slope enhancements. When relatively few points are used to fit the plane, lineaments of various lengths are observed and a mechanism for lineament classification is described. An area encompassing the gold deposits of the Carlin trend and including the Rain in the southeast to Midas in the northwest is investigated in greater detail. The orientation and density of lineaments may be determined on the gently sloping pediment surface as well as in the more steeply sloping ranges.

  1. Modelling of Yeast Mating Reveals Robustness Strategies for Cell-Cell Interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weitao Chen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Mating of budding yeast cells is a model system for studying cell-cell interactions. Haploid yeast cells secrete mating pheromones that are sensed by the partner which responds by growing a mating projection toward the source. The two projections meet and fuse to form the diploid. Successful mating relies on precise coordination of dynamic extracellular signals, signaling pathways, and cell shape changes in a noisy background. It remains elusive how cells mate accurately and efficiently in a natural multi-cell environment. Here we present the first stochastic model of multiple mating cells whose morphologies are driven by pheromone gradients and intracellular signals. Our novel computational framework encompassed a moving boundary method for modeling both a-cells and α-cells and their cell shape changes, the extracellular diffusion of mating pheromones dynamically coupled with cell polarization, and both external and internal noise. Quantification of mating efficiency was developed and tested for different model parameters. Computer simulations revealed important robustness strategies for mating in the presence of noise. These strategies included the polarized secretion of pheromone, the presence of the α-factor protease Bar1, and the regulation of sensing sensitivity; all were consistent with data in the literature. In addition, we investigated mating discrimination, the ability of an a-cell to distinguish between α-cells either making or not making α-factor, and mating competition, in which multiple a-cells compete to mate with one α-cell. Our simulations were consistent with previous experimental results. Moreover, we performed a combination of simulations and experiments to estimate the diffusion rate of the pheromone a-factor. In summary, we constructed a framework for simulating yeast mating with multiple cells in a noisy environment, and used this framework to reproduce mating behaviors and to identify strategies for robust cell

  2. Adiponectin fine-tuning of liver regeneration dynamics revealed through cellular network modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correnti, Jason M; Cook, Daniel; Aksamitiene, Edita; Swarup, Aditi; Ogunnaike, Babatunde; Vadigepalli, Rajanikanth; Hoek, Jan B

    2014-11-10

    Following partial hepatectomy, the liver initiates a regenerative program involving hepatocyte priming and replication driven by coordinated cytokine and growth factor actions. We investigated the mechanisms underlying Adiponectin's (Adn) regulation of liver regeneration through modulation of these mediators. Adn-/- mice showed delayed onset of hepatocyte replication, but accelerated cell cycle progression relative to wild-type mice, suggesting Adn has multiple effects fine-tuning the kinetics of liver regeneration. We developed a computational model describing the molecular and physiological kinetics of liver regeneration in Adn-/- mice. We employed this computational model to evaluate the underlying regulatory mechanisms. Our analysis predicted that Adn is required for an efficient early cytokine response to partial hepatectomy, but is inhibitory to later growth factor actions. Consistent with this prediction, Adn knockout reduced hepatocyte responses to IL-6 during the priming phase, but enhanced growth factor levels through peak hepatocyte replication. By contrast, supraphysiological concentrations of Adn resulting from rosiglitazone treatment suppressed regeneration by reducing growth factor levels during S phase, consistent with computational predictions. Together, these results revealed that Adn fine-tunes the progression of liver regeneration through dynamically modulating molecular mediator networks and cellular interactions within the liver. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  3. Adiponectin fine-tuning of liver regeneration dynamics revealed through cellular network modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correnti, Jason M; Cook, Daniel; Aksamitiene, Edita; Swarup, Aditi; Ogunnaike, Babatunde; Vadigepalli, Rajanikanth; Hoek, Jan B

    2015-01-15

    Following partial hepatectomy, the liver initiates a regenerative programme involving hepatocyte priming and replication driven by the coordinated actions of cytokine and growth factors. We investigated the mechanisms underlying adiponectin's (Adn) regulation of liver regeneration through modulation of these mediators. Adn(-/-) mice showed delayed onset of hepatocyte replication, but accelerated cell cycle progression relative to wild-type mice, suggesting Adn has multiple effects fine-tuning the kinetics of liver regeneration. We developed a computational model describing the molecular and physiological kinetics of liver regeneration in Adn(-/-) mice. We employed this computational model to evaluate the underlying regulatory mechanisms. Our analysis predicted that Adn is required for an efficient early cytokine response to partial hepatectomy, but is inhibitory to later growth factor actions. Consistent with this prediction, Adn knockout reduced hepatocyte responses to interleukin-6 during the priming phase, but enhanced growth factor levels through peak hepatocyte replication. By contrast, supraphysiological concentrations of Adn resulting from rosiglitazone treatment suppressed regeneration by reducing growth factor levels during S phase, consistent with computational predictions. Together, these results revealed that Adn fine-tunes the progression of liver regeneration through dynamically modulating molecular mediator networks and cellular interactions within the liver.

  4. Placental programming of anxiety in adulthood revealed by Igf2-null models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikaelsson, Mikael Allan; Constância, Miguel; Dent, Claire L; Wilkinson, Lawrence S; Humby, Trevor

    2013-01-01

    Imprinted, maternally silenced insulin-like growth factor-2 is expressed in both the foetus and placenta and has been shown to have roles in foetal and placental development in animal models. Here we compared mice engineered to be null for the placenta-specific P0 transcript (insulin-like growth factor-2-P0 KO) to mice with disruptions of all four insulin-like growth factor-2 transcripts, and therefore null for insulin-like growth factor-2 in both placenta and foetus (insulin-like growth factor-2-total KO). Both models lead to intrauterine growth restriction but dissociate between a situation where there is an imbalance between foetal demand and placental supply of nutrients (the insulin-like growth factor-2-P0 KO) and one where demand and supply is more balanced (the insulin-like growth factor-2-total KO). Increased reactivity to anxiety-provoking stimuli is manifested later in life only in those animals where there is a mismatch between placental supply and foetal demand for nutrients during gestation. Our findings further distinguish placental dysfunction from intrauterine growth restriction and reveal a role for the placenta in long-term programming of emotional behaviour.

  5. Novel gene function revealed by mouse mutagenesis screens for models of age-related disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Paul K; Bowl, Michael R; Jeyarajan, Prashanthini; Wisby, Laura; Blease, Andrew; Goldsworthy, Michelle E; Simon, Michelle M; Greenaway, Simon; Michel, Vincent; Barnard, Alun; Aguilar, Carlos; Agnew, Thomas; Banks, Gareth; Blake, Andrew; Chessum, Lauren; Dorning, Joanne; Falcone, Sara; Goosey, Laurence; Harris, Shelley; Haynes, Andy; Heise, Ines; Hillier, Rosie; Hough, Tertius; Hoslin, Angela; Hutchison, Marie; King, Ruairidh; Kumar, Saumya; Lad, Heena V; Law, Gemma; MacLaren, Robert E; Morse, Susan; Nicol, Thomas; Parker, Andrew; Pickford, Karen; Sethi, Siddharth; Starbuck, Becky; Stelma, Femke; Cheeseman, Michael; Cross, Sally H; Foster, Russell G; Jackson, Ian J; Peirson, Stuart N; Thakker, Rajesh V; Vincent, Tonia; Scudamore, Cheryl; Wells, Sara; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Petit, Christine; Acevedo-Arozena, Abraham; Nolan, Patrick M; Cox, Roger; Mallon, Anne-Marie; Brown, Steve D M

    2016-08-18

    Determining the genetic bases of age-related disease remains a major challenge requiring a spectrum of approaches from human and clinical genetics to the utilization of model organism studies. Here we report a large-scale genetic screen in mice employing a phenotype-driven discovery platform to identify mutations resulting in age-related disease, both late-onset and progressive. We have utilized N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis to generate pedigrees of mutagenized mice that were subject to recurrent screens for mutant phenotypes as the mice aged. In total, we identify 105 distinct mutant lines from 157 pedigrees analysed, out of which 27 are late-onset phenotypes across a range of physiological systems. Using whole-genome sequencing we uncover the underlying genes for 44 of these mutant phenotypes, including 12 late-onset phenotypes. These genes reveal a number of novel pathways involved with age-related disease. We illustrate our findings by the recovery and characterization of a novel mouse model of age-related hearing loss.

  6. Coordinating Role of RXRα in Downregulating Hepatic Detoxification during Inflammation Revealed by Fuzzy-Logic Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Roland; Klein, Marcus; Thomas, Maria; Dräger, Andreas; Metzger, Ute; Templin, Markus F; Joos, Thomas O; Thasler, Wolfgang E; Zell, Andreas; Zanger, Ulrich M

    2016-01-01

    During various inflammatory processes circulating cytokines including IL-6, IL-1β, and TNFα elicit a broad and clinically relevant impairment of hepatic detoxification that is based on the simultaneous downregulation of many drug metabolizing enzymes and transporter genes. To address the question whether a common mechanism is involved we treated human primary hepatocytes with IL-6, the major mediator of the acute phase response in liver, and characterized acute phase and detoxification responses in quantitative gene expression and (phospho-)proteomics data sets. Selective inhibitors were used to disentangle the roles of JAK/STAT, MAPK, and PI3K signaling pathways. A prior knowledge-based fuzzy logic model comprising signal transduction and gene regulation was established and trained with perturbation-derived gene expression data from five hepatocyte donors. Our model suggests a greater role of MAPK/PI3K compared to JAK/STAT with the orphan nuclear receptor RXRα playing a central role in mediating transcriptional downregulation. Validation experiments revealed a striking similarity of RXRα gene silencing versus IL-6 induced negative gene regulation (rs = 0.79; P<0.0001). These results concur with RXRα functioning as obligatory heterodimerization partner for several nuclear receptors that regulate drug and lipid metabolism.

  7. Revealing Assembly of a Pore-Forming Complex Using Single-Cell Kinetic Analysis and Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischofberger, Mirko; Iacovache, Ioan; Boss, Daniel; Naef, Felix; van der Goot, F Gisou; Molina, Nacho

    2016-04-12

    Many biological processes depend on the sequential assembly of protein complexes. However, studying the kinetics of such processes by direct methods is often not feasible. As an important class of such protein complexes, pore-forming toxins start their journey as soluble monomeric proteins, and oligomerize into transmembrane complexes to eventually form pores in the target cell membrane. Here, we monitored pore formation kinetics for the well-characterized bacterial pore-forming toxin aerolysin in single cells in real time to determine the lag times leading to the formation of the first functional pores per cell. Probabilistic modeling of these lag times revealed that one slow and seven equally fast rate-limiting reactions best explain the overall pore formation kinetics. The model predicted that monomer activation is the rate-limiting step for the entire pore formation process. We hypothesized that this could be through release of a propeptide and indeed found that peptide removal abolished these steps. This study illustrates how stochasticity in the kinetics of a complex process can be exploited to identify rate-limiting mechanisms underlying multistep biomolecular assembly pathways.

  8. Novel Polyurethane Matrix Systems Reveal a Particular Sustained Release Behavior Studied by Imaging and Computational Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campiñez, María Dolores; Caraballo, Isidoro; Puchkov, Maxim; Kuentz, Martin

    2017-07-01

    The aim of the present work was to better understand the drug-release mechanism from sustained release matrices prepared with two new polyurethanes, using a novel in silico formulation tool based on 3-dimensional cellular automata. For this purpose, two polymers and theophylline as model drug were used to prepare binary matrix tablets. Each formulation was simulated in silico, and its release behavior was compared to the experimental drug release profiles. Furthermore, the polymer distributions in the tablets were imaged by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the changes produced by the tortuosity were quantified and verified using experimental data. The obtained results showed that the polymers exhibited a surprisingly high ability for controlling drug release at low excipient concentrations (only 10% w/w of excipient controlled the release of drug during almost 8 h). The mesoscopic in silico model helped to reveal how the novel biopolymers were controlling drug release. The mechanism was found to be a special geometrical arrangement of the excipient particles, creating an almost continuous barrier surrounding the drug in a very effective way, comparable to lipid or waxy excipients but with the advantages of a much higher compactability, stability, and absence of excipient polymorphism.

  9. Integrated metabolic modelling reveals cell-type specific epigenetic control points of the macrophage metabolic network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Maria Pires; John, Elisabeth; Kaoma, Tony; Heinäniemi, Merja; Nicot, Nathalie; Vallar, Laurent; Bueb, Jean-Luc; Sinkkonen, Lasse; Sauter, Thomas

    2015-10-19

    The reconstruction of context-specific metabolic models from easily and reliably measurable features such as transcriptomics data will be increasingly important in research and medicine. Current reconstruction methods suffer from high computational effort and arbitrary threshold setting. Moreover, understanding the underlying epigenetic regulation might allow the identification of putative intervention points within metabolic networks. Genes under high regulatory load from multiple enhancers or super-enhancers are known key genes for disease and cell identity. However, their role in regulation of metabolism and their placement within the metabolic networks has not been studied. Here we present FASTCORMICS, a fast and robust workflow for the creation of high-quality metabolic models from transcriptomics data. FASTCORMICS is devoid of arbitrary parameter settings and due to its low computational demand allows cross-validation assays. Applying FASTCORMICS, we have generated models for 63 primary human cell types from microarray data, revealing significant differences in their metabolic networks. To understand the cell type-specific regulation of the alternative metabolic pathways we built multiple models during differentiation of primary human monocytes to macrophages and performed ChIP-Seq experiments for histone H3 K27 acetylation (H3K27ac) to map the active enhancers in macrophages. Focusing on the metabolic genes under high regulatory load from multiple enhancers or super-enhancers, we found these genes to show the most cell type-restricted and abundant expression profiles within their respective pathways. Importantly, the high regulatory load genes are associated to reactions enriched for transport reactions and other pathway entry points, suggesting that they are critical regulatory control points for cell type-specific metabolism. By integrating metabolic modelling and epigenomic analysis we have identified high regulatory load as a common feature of metabolic

  10. Distributed Modeling Reveals the Ecohydrological Dynamics Linked with Woody Plant Encroachment in the Sonoran Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierini, N. A.; Vivoni, E. R.; Anderson, C.; Saripalli, S.; Robles-Morua, A.

    2012-12-01

    moisture and temperature distributions through comparisons of canopy and intercanopy sites. The field and remote sensing observations are then used in simulations using the TIN-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS) at high spatiotemporal resolutions over the two study years (2011-2012). Numerical experiments are designed to reveal the influence of the mesquite encroachment patterns on the watershed dynamics. Through the spatiotemporal analysis of model outputs, we identify how and when mesquite trees affect the spatial patterns of energy and water fluxes and their linkage to runoff production. As a result, the distributed model application provides a more complete understanding of the impact of woody encroachment on watershed-scale hydrologic patterns.

  11. High Resolution Genomic Scans Reveal Genetic Architecture Controlling Alcohol Preference in Bidirectionally Selected Rat Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiao-Ling Lo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Investigations on the influence of nature vs. nurture on Alcoholism (Alcohol Use Disorder in human have yet to provide a clear view on potential genomic etiologies. To address this issue, we sequenced a replicated animal model system bidirectionally-selected for alcohol preference (AP. This model is uniquely suited to map genetic effects with high reproducibility, and resolution. The origin of the rat lines (an 8-way cross resulted in small haplotype blocks (HB with a corresponding high level of resolution. We sequenced DNAs from 40 samples (10 per line of each replicate to determine allele frequencies and HB. We achieved ~46X coverage per line and replicate. Excessive differentiation in the genomic architecture between lines, across replicates, termed signatures of selection (SS, were classified according to gene and region. We identified SS in 930 genes associated with AP. The majority (50% of the SS were confined to single gene regions, the greatest numbers of which were in promoters (284 and intronic regions (169 with the least in exon's (4, suggesting that differences in AP were primarily due to alterations in regulatory regions. We confirmed previously identified genes and found many new genes associated with AP. Of those newly identified genes, several demonstrated neuronal function involved in synaptic memory and reward behavior, e.g. ion channels (Kcnf1, Kcnn3, Scn5a, excitatory receptors (Grin2a, Gria3, Grip1, neurotransmitters (Pomc, and synapses (Snap29. This study not only reveals the polygenic architecture of AP, but also emphasizes the importance of regulatory elements, consistent with other complex traits.

  12. Network modeling reveals prevalent negative regulatory relationships between signaling sectors in Arabidopsis immune signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masanao Sato

    Full Text Available Biological signaling processes may be mediated by complex networks in which network components and network sectors interact with each other in complex ways. Studies of complex networks benefit from approaches in which the roles of individual components are considered in the context of the network. The plant immune signaling network, which controls inducible responses to pathogen attack, is such a complex network. We studied the Arabidopsis immune signaling network upon challenge with a strain of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae expressing the effector protein AvrRpt2 (Pto DC3000 AvrRpt2. This bacterial strain feeds multiple inputs into the signaling network, allowing many parts of the network to be activated at once. mRNA profiles for 571 immune response genes of 22 Arabidopsis immunity mutants and wild type were collected 6 hours after inoculation with Pto DC3000 AvrRpt2. The mRNA profiles were analyzed as detailed descriptions of changes in the network state resulting from the genetic perturbations. Regulatory relationships among the genes corresponding to the mutations were inferred by recursively applying a non-linear dimensionality reduction procedure to the mRNA profile data. The resulting static network model accurately predicted 23 of 25 regulatory relationships reported in the literature, suggesting that predictions of novel regulatory relationships are also accurate. The network model revealed two striking features: (i the components of the network are highly interconnected; and (ii negative regulatory relationships are common between signaling sectors. Complex regulatory relationships, including a novel negative regulatory relationship between the early microbe-associated molecular pattern-triggered signaling sectors and the salicylic acid sector, were further validated. We propose that prevalent negative regulatory relationships among the signaling sectors make the plant immune signaling network a "sector

  13. Cell model of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia reveals early and delayed afterdepolarizations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsi Kujala

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC provide means to study the pathophysiology of genetic disorders. Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT is a malignant inherited ion channel disorder predominantly caused by mutations in the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2. In this study the cellular characteristics of CPVT are investigated and whether the electrophysiological features of this mutation can be mimicked using iPSC -derived cardiomyocytes (CM. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Spontaneously beating CMs were differentiated from iPSCs derived from a CPVT patient carrying a P2328S mutation in RyR2 and from two healthy controls. Calcium (Ca(2+ cycling and electrophysiological properties were studied by Ca(2+ imaging and patch-clamp techniques. Monophasic action potential (MAP recordings and 24h-ECGs of CPVT-P2328S patients were analyzed for the presence of afterdepolarizations. We found defects in Ca(2+ cycling and electrophysiology in CPVT CMs, reflecting the cardiac phenotype observed in the patients. Catecholaminergic stress led to abnormal Ca(2+ signaling and induced arrhythmias in CPVT CMs. CPVT CMs also displayed reduced sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR Ca(2+ content, indicating leakage of Ca(2+ from the SR. Patch-clamp recordings of CPVT CMs revealed both delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs during spontaneous beating and in response to adrenaline and also early afterdepolarizations (EADs during spontaneous beating, recapitulating the changes seen in MAP and 24h-ECG recordings of patients carrying the same mutation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This cell model shows aberrant Ca(2+ cycling characteristic of CPVT and in addition to DADs it displays EADs. This cell model for CPVT provides a platform to study basic pathology, to screen drugs, and to optimize drug therapy.

  14. High Resolution Genomic Scans Reveal Genetic Architecture Controlling Alcohol Preference in Bidirectionally Selected Rat Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Chiao-Ling; Lossie, Amy C; Liang, Tiebing; Liu, Yunlong; Xuei, Xiaoling; Lumeng, Lawrence; Zhou, Feng C; Muir, William M

    2016-08-01

    Investigations on the influence of nature vs. nurture on Alcoholism (Alcohol Use Disorder) in human have yet to provide a clear view on potential genomic etiologies. To address this issue, we sequenced a replicated animal model system bidirectionally-selected for alcohol preference (AP). This model is uniquely suited to map genetic effects with high reproducibility, and resolution. The origin of the rat lines (an 8-way cross) resulted in small haplotype blocks (HB) with a corresponding high level of resolution. We sequenced DNAs from 40 samples (10 per line of each replicate) to determine allele frequencies and HB. We achieved ~46X coverage per line and replicate. Excessive differentiation in the genomic architecture between lines, across replicates, termed signatures of selection (SS), were classified according to gene and region. We identified SS in 930 genes associated with AP. The majority (50%) of the SS were confined to single gene regions, the greatest numbers of which were in promoters (284) and intronic regions (169) with the least in exon's (4), suggesting that differences in AP were primarily due to alterations in regulatory regions. We confirmed previously identified genes and found many new genes associated with AP. Of those newly identified genes, several demonstrated neuronal function involved in synaptic memory and reward behavior, e.g. ion channels (Kcnf1, Kcnn3, Scn5a), excitatory receptors (Grin2a, Gria3, Grip1), neurotransmitters (Pomc), and synapses (Snap29). This study not only reveals the polygenic architecture of AP, but also emphasizes the importance of regulatory elements, consistent with other complex traits.

  15. Knock-in model of Dravet syndrome reveals a constitutive and conditional reduction in sodium current.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schutte, Ryan J; Schutte, Soleil S; Algara, Jacqueline; Barragan, Eden V; Gilligan, Jeff; Staber, Cynthia; Savva, Yiannis A; Smith, Martin A; Reenan, Robert; O'Dowd, Diane K

    2014-08-15

    Hundreds of mutations in the SCN1A sodium channel gene confer a wide spectrum of epileptic disorders, requiring efficient model systems to study cellular mechanisms and identify potential therapeutic targets. We recently demonstrated that Drosophila knock-in flies carrying the K1270T SCN1A mutation known to cause a form of genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) exhibit a heat-induced increase in sodium current activity and seizure phenotype. To determine whether different SCN1A mutations cause distinct phenotypes in Drosophila as they do in humans, this study focuses on a knock-in line carrying a mutation that causes a more severe seizure disorder termed Dravet syndrome (DS). Introduction of the DS SCN1A mutation (S1231R) into the Drosophila sodium channel gene para results in flies that exhibit spontaneous and heat-induced seizures with distinct characteristics and lower onset temperature than the GEFS+ flies. Electrophysiological studies of GABAergic interneurons in the brains of adult DS flies reveal, for the first time in an in vivo model system, that a missense DS mutation causes a constitutive and conditional reduction in sodium current activity and repetitive firing. In addition, feeding with the serotonin precursor 5-HTP suppresses heat-induced seizures in DS but not GEFS+ flies. The distinct alterations of sodium currents in DS and GEFS+ GABAergic interneurons demonstrate that both loss- and gain-of-function alterations in sodium currents are capable of causing reduced repetitive firing and seizure phenotypes. The mutation-specific effects of 5-HTP on heat-induced seizures suggest the serotonin pathway as a potential therapeutic target for DS.

  16. Ambiguity Revealed

    OpenAIRE

    Subir Bose; Matthew Polisson; Ludovic Renou

    2012-01-01

    We derive necessary and suffcient conditions for data sets composed of state-contingent prices and consumption to be consistent with two prominent models of decision making under ambiguity: variational preferences and smooth ambiguity. The revealed preference conditions for the maxmin expected utility and subjective expected utility models are characterized as special cases.

  17. Fourier decomposition of spatial localization errors reveals an idiotropic dominance of an internal model of gravity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sá Teixeira, Nuno Alexandre

    2014-12-01

    Given its conspicuous nature, gravity has been acknowledged by several research lines as a prime factor in structuring the spatial perception of one's environment. One such line of enquiry has focused on errors in spatial localization aimed at the vanishing location of moving objects - it has been systematically reported that humans mislocalize spatial positions forward, in the direction of motion (representational momentum) and downward in the direction of gravity (representational gravity). Moreover, spatial localization errors were found to evolve dynamically with time in a pattern congruent with an anticipated trajectory (representational trajectory). The present study attempts to ascertain the degree to which vestibular information plays a role in these phenomena. Human observers performed a spatial localization task while tilted to varying degrees and referring to the vanishing locations of targets moving along several directions. A Fourier decomposition of the obtained spatial localization errors revealed that although spatial errors were increased "downward" mainly along the body's longitudinal axis (idiotropic dominance), the degree of misalignment between the latter and physical gravity modulated the time course of the localization responses. This pattern is surmised to reflect increased uncertainty about the internal model when faced with conflicting cues regarding the perceived "downward" direction.

  18. Solutions to Peto's paradox revealed by mathematical modelling and cross-species cancer gene analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caulin, Aleah F; Graham, Trevor A; Wang, Li-San; Maley, Carlo C

    2015-07-19

    Whales have 1000-fold more cells than humans and mice have 1000-fold fewer; however, cancer risk across species does not increase with the number of somatic cells and the lifespan of the organism. This observation is known as Peto's paradox. How much would evolution have to change the parameters of somatic evolution in order to equalize the cancer risk between species that differ by orders of magnitude in size? Analysis of previously published models of colorectal cancer suggests that a two- to three-fold decrease in the mutation rate or stem cell division rate is enough to reduce a whale's cancer risk to that of a human. Similarly, the addition of one to two required tumour-suppressor gene mutations would also be sufficient. We surveyed mammalian genomes and did not find a positive correlation of tumour-suppressor genes with increasing body mass and longevity. However, we found evidence of the amplification of TP53 in elephants, MAL in horses and FBXO31 in microbats, which might explain Peto's paradox in those species. Exploring parameters that evolution may have fine-tuned in large, long-lived organisms will help guide future experiments to reveal the underlying biology responsible for Peto's paradox and guide cancer prevention in humans.

  19. Hydrogen-Activation Mechanism of [Fe] Hydrogenase Revealed by Multi-Scale Modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Finkelmann, Arndt Robert; Reiher, Markus

    2014-01-01

    When investigating the mode of hydrogen activation by [Fe] hydrogenases, not only the chemical reactivity at the active site is of importance but also the large-scale conformational change between the so-called open and closed conformations, which leads to a special spatial arrangement of substrate and iron cofactor. To study H2 activation, a complete model of the solvated and cofactor-bound enzyme in complex with the substrate methenyl-H4MPT+ was constructed. Both the closed and open conformations were simulated with classical molecular dynamics on the 100 ns time scale. Quantum-mechanics/molecular-mechanics calculations on snapshots then revealed the features of the active site that enable the facile H2 cleavage. The hydroxyl group of the pyridinol ligand can easily be deprotonated. With the deprotonated hydroxyl group and the structural arrangement in the closed conformation, H2 coordinated to the Fe center is subject to an ionic and orbital push-pull effect and can be rapidly cleaved with a concerted hydr...

  20. Metabolomic anatomy of an animal model revealing homeostatic imbalances in dyslipidaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ooga, Takushi; Sato, Hajime; Nagashima, Atsushi; Sasaki, Kazunori; Tomita, Masaru; Soga, Tomoyoshi; Ohashi, Yoshiaki

    2011-04-01

    Metabolomics is an emerging technology that reveals homeostatic imbalances in biological systems. Global determination of metabolite concentrations in body fluid and tissues provides novel anatomical aspects of pathological conditions that cannot be obtained from target-specific measurements. Here, we characterised metabolic imbalance in Watanabe heritable hyperlipidaemic rabbits as a model of hypercholesterolaemia. Using a mass spectrometry-based system, we measured a total of 335 metabolites in plasma and tissues (liver, aorta, cardiac muscle, and brain) from WHHL and healthy control rabbits. From the comparison between two metabolomic profiles, pathophysiological features including glutathione and phosphatidylcholine metabolism indicated the occurrence of oxidative stress in several tissues. Especially for the liver, imbalanced purine catabolism shed light on the transcriptional activation of xanthine oxidase, which is thought to act in absorbing or possibly triggering oxidative stress. We also applied this system to assess the therapeutic effects of simvastatin administration. After the treatment, a portion of the metabolomic features in pathological conditions showed alterations suggesting restoration of metabolism to the healthy condition. These changes were considered to be due to the pleiotropic action of statin, including antioxidant effects, rather than its main inhibitory action on cholesterol biosynthesis.

  1. Diffusion Modelling Reveals the Decision Making Processes Underlying Negative Judgement Bias in Rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire A Hales

    Full Text Available Human decision making is modified by emotional state. Rodents exhibit similar biases during interpretation of ambiguous cues that can be altered by affective state manipulations. In this study, the impact of negative affective state on judgement bias in rats was measured using an ambiguous-cue interpretation task. Acute treatment with an anxiogenic drug (FG7142, and chronic restraint stress and social isolation both induced a bias towards more negative interpretation of the ambiguous cue. The diffusion model was fit to behavioural data to allow further analysis of the underlying decision making processes. To uncover the way in which parameters vary together in relation to affective state manipulations, independent component analysis was conducted on rate of information accumulation and distances to decision threshold parameters for control data. Results from this analysis were applied to parameters from negative affective state manipulations. These projected components were compared to control components to reveal the changes in decision making processes that are due to affective state manipulations. Negative affective bias in rodents induced by either FG7142 or chronic stress is due to a combination of more negative interpretation of the ambiguous cue, reduced anticipation of the high reward and increased anticipation of the low reward.

  2. Diffusion Modelling Reveals the Decision Making Processes Underlying Negative Judgement Bias in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hales, Claire A; Robinson, Emma S J; Houghton, Conor J

    2016-01-01

    Human decision making is modified by emotional state. Rodents exhibit similar biases during interpretation of ambiguous cues that can be altered by affective state manipulations. In this study, the impact of negative affective state on judgement bias in rats was measured using an ambiguous-cue interpretation task. Acute treatment with an anxiogenic drug (FG7142), and chronic restraint stress and social isolation both induced a bias towards more negative interpretation of the ambiguous cue. The diffusion model was fit to behavioural data to allow further analysis of the underlying decision making processes. To uncover the way in which parameters vary together in relation to affective state manipulations, independent component analysis was conducted on rate of information accumulation and distances to decision threshold parameters for control data. Results from this analysis were applied to parameters from negative affective state manipulations. These projected components were compared to control components to reveal the changes in decision making processes that are due to affective state manipulations. Negative affective bias in rodents induced by either FG7142 or chronic stress is due to a combination of more negative interpretation of the ambiguous cue, reduced anticipation of the high reward and increased anticipation of the low reward.

  3. Robust hierarchical state-space models reveal diel variation in travel rates of migrating leatherback turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsen, Ian D; Myers, Ransom A; James, Michael C

    2006-09-01

    1. Biological and statistical complexity are features common to most ecological data that hinder our ability to extract meaningful patterns using conventional tools. Recent work on implementing modern statistical methods for analysis of such ecological data has focused primarily on population dynamics but other types of data, such as animal movement pathways obtained from satellite telemetry, can also benefit from the application of modern statistical tools. 2. We develop a robust hierarchical state-space approach for analysis of multiple satellite telemetry pathways obtained via the Argos system. State-space models are time-series methods that allow unobserved states and biological parameters to be estimated from data observed with error. We show that the approach can reveal important patterns in complex, noisy data where conventional methods cannot. 3. Using the largest Atlantic satellite telemetry data set for critically endangered leatherback turtles, we show that the diel pattern in travel rates of these turtles changes over different phases of their migratory cycle. While foraging in northern waters the turtles show similar travel rates during day and night, but on their southward migration to tropical waters travel rates are markedly faster during the day. These patterns are generally consistent with diving data, and may be related to changes in foraging behaviour. Interestingly, individuals that migrate southward to breed generally show higher daytime travel rates than individuals that migrate southward in a non-breeding year. 4. Our approach is extremely flexible and can be applied to many ecological analyses that use complex, sequential data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  5. Exome sequencing reveals a nebulin nonsense mutation in a dog model of nemaline myopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jacquelyn M; Cox, Melissa L; Huska, Jonathan; Li, Frank; Gaitero, Luis; Guo, Ling T; Casal, Margaret L; Granzier, Henk L; Shelton, G Diane; Clark, Leigh Anne

    2016-10-01

    Nemaline myopathy (NM) is a congenital muscle disorder associated with muscle weakness, hypotonia, and rod bodies in the skeletal muscle fibers. Mutations in 10 genes have been implicated in human NM, but spontaneous cases in dogs have not been genetically characterized. We identified a novel recessive myopathy in a family of line-bred American bulldogs (ABDs); rod bodies in muscle biopsies established this as NM. Using SNP profiles from the nuclear family, we evaluated inheritance patterns at candidate loci and prioritized TNNT1 and NEB for further investigation. Whole exome sequencing of the dam, two affected littermates, and an unaffected littermate revealed a nonsense mutation in NEB (g.52734272 C>A, S8042X). Whole tissue gel electrophoresis and western blots confirmed a lack of full-length NEB in affected tissues, suggesting nonsense-mediated decay. The pathogenic variant was absent from 120 dogs of 24 other breeds and 100 unrelated ABDs, suggesting that it occurred recently and may be private to the family. This study presents the first molecularly characterized large animal model of NM, which could provide new opportunities for therapeutic approaches.

  6. Structural Model of RNA Polymerase II Elongation Complex with Complete Transcription Bubble Reveals NTP Entry Routes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Zhang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The RNA polymerase II (Pol II is a eukaryotic enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of the messenger RNA using a DNA template. Despite numerous biochemical and biophysical studies, it remains elusive whether the "secondary channel" is the only route for NTP to reach the active site of the enzyme or if the "main channel" could be an alternative. On this regard, crystallographic structures of Pol II have been extremely useful to understand the structural basis of transcription, however, the conformation of the unpaired non-template DNA part of the full transcription bubble (TB is still unknown. Since diffusion routes of the nucleoside triphosphate (NTP substrate through the main channel might overlap with the TB region, gaining structural information of the full TB is critical for a complete understanding of Pol II transcription process. In this study, we have built a structural model of Pol II with a complete transcription bubble based on multiple sources of existing structural data and used Molecular Dynamics (MD simulations together with structural analysis to shed light on NTP entry pathways. Interestingly, we found that although both channels have enough space to allow NTP loading, the percentage of MD conformations containing enough space for NTP loading through the secondary channel is twice higher than that of the main channel. Further energetic study based on MD simulations with NTP loaded in the channels has revealed that the diffusion of the NTP through the main channel is greatly disfavored by electrostatic repulsion between the NTP and the highly negatively charged backbones of nucleotides in the non-template DNA strand. Taken together, our results suggest that the secondary channel is the major route for NTP entry during Pol II transcription.

  7. Structural Model of RNA Polymerase II Elongation Complex with Complete Transcription Bubble Reveals NTP Entry Routes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lu; Silva, Daniel-Adriano; Pardo-Avila, Fátima; Wang, Dong; Huang, Xuhui

    2015-07-01

    The RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is a eukaryotic enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of the messenger RNA using a DNA template. Despite numerous biochemical and biophysical studies, it remains elusive whether the "secondary channel" is the only route for NTP to reach the active site of the enzyme or if the "main channel" could be an alternative. On this regard, crystallographic structures of Pol II have been extremely useful to understand the structural basis of transcription, however, the conformation of the unpaired non-template DNA part of the full transcription bubble (TB) is still unknown. Since diffusion routes of the nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) substrate through the main channel might overlap with the TB region, gaining structural information of the full TB is critical for a complete understanding of Pol II transcription process. In this study, we have built a structural model of Pol II with a complete transcription bubble based on multiple sources of existing structural data and used Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations together with structural analysis to shed light on NTP entry pathways. Interestingly, we found that although both channels have enough space to allow NTP loading, the percentage of MD conformations containing enough space for NTP loading through the secondary channel is twice higher than that of the main channel. Further energetic study based on MD simulations with NTP loaded in the channels has revealed that the diffusion of the NTP through the main channel is greatly disfavored by electrostatic repulsion between the NTP and the highly negatively charged backbones of nucleotides in the non-template DNA strand. Taken together, our results suggest that the secondary channel is the major route for NTP entry during Pol II transcription.

  8. Revealing the Organization of Complex Adaptive Systems through Multivariate Time Series Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David G. Angeler

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Revealing the adaptive responses of ecological, social, and economic systems to a transforming biosphere is crucial for understanding system resilience and preventing collapse. However, testing the theory that underpins complex adaptive system organization (e.g., panarchy theory is challenging. We used multivariate time series modeling to identify scale-specific system organization and, by extension, apparent resilience mechanisms. We used a 20-year time series of invertebrates and phytoplankton from 26 Swedish lakes to test the proposition that a few key-structuring environmental variables at specific scales create discontinuities in community dynamics. Cross-scale structure was manifested in two independent species groups within both communities across lakes. The first species group showed patterns of directional temporal change, which was related to environmental variables that acted at broad spatiotemporal scales (reduced sulfate deposition, North Atlantic Oscillation. The second species group showed fluctuation patterns, which often could not be explained by environmental variables. However, when significant relationships were found, species-group trends were predicted by variables (total organic carbon, nutrients that acted at narrower spatial scales (i.e., catchment and lake. Although the sets of environmental variables that predicted the species groups differed between phytoplankton and invertebrates, the scale-specific imprints of keystone environmental variables for creating cross-scale structure were clear for both communities. Temporal trends of functional groups did not track the observed structural changes, suggesting functional stability despite structural change. Our approach allows for identifying scale-specific patterns and processes, thus providing opportunities for better characterization of complex adaptive systems organization and dynamics. This, in turn, holds potential for more accurate evaluation of resilience in

  9. Ambiguity revealed

    OpenAIRE

    Bayer, Ralph-C; Bose, Subir; Polisson, Matthew; Renou, Ludovic

    2013-01-01

    We derive necessary and sufficient conditions for data sets composed of state-contingent prices and consumption to be consistent with two prominent models of decision making under uncertainty: variational preferences and smooth ambiguity. The revealed preference conditions for subjective expected utility, maxmin expected utility, and multiplier preferences are characterised as special cases. We implement our tests on data from a portfolio choice experiment.

  10. Climate Sensitivity of Franz-Josef Glacier, New Zealand, as revealed by numerical modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1997-01-01

    The sensitivity of Franz Josef Glacier is studied with a numerical ice-flow model. The model calculates ice mass flux along a central flow line and deals with the three-dimensional geometry in a parameterized way. Forcing is provided through a mass balance model that generates specific balance from

  11. Climate model biases in seasonally of continental water storage revealed by satellite gravimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, S.C.; Milly, P.C.D.

    2006-01-01

    Satellite gravimetric observations of monthly changes in continental water storage are compared with outputs from five climate models. All models qualitatively reproduce the global pattern of annual storage amplitude, and the seasonal cycle of global average storage is reproduced well, consistent with earlier studies. However, global average agreements mask systematic model biases in low latitudes. Seasonal extrema of low-latitude, hemispheric storage generally occur too early in the models, and model-specific errors in amplitude of the low-latitude annual variations are substantial. These errors are potentially explicable in terms of neglected or suboptimally parameterized water stores in the land models and precipitation biases in the climate models. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  12. Model-driven mapping of transcriptional networks reveals the circuitry and dynamics of virulence regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Ezekiel J; Haynes, Brian C; Gish, Stacey R; Wang, Zhuo A; Skowyra, Michael L; Marulli, Alyssa L; Doering, Tamara L; Brent, Michael R

    2015-05-01

    Key steps in understanding a biological process include identifying genes that are involved and determining how they are regulated. We developed a novel method for identifying transcription factors (TFs) involved in a specific process and used it to map regulation of the key virulence factor of a deadly fungus-its capsule. The map, built from expression profiles of 41 TF mutants, includes 20 TFs not previously known to regulate virulence attributes. It also reveals a hierarchy comprising executive, midlevel, and "foreman" TFs. When grouped by temporal expression pattern, these TFs explain much of the transcriptional dynamics of capsule induction. Phenotypic analysis of TF deletion mutants revealed complex relationships among virulence factors and virulence in mice. These resources and analyses provide the first integrated, systems-level view of capsule regulation and biosynthesis. Our methods dramatically improve the efficiency with which transcriptional networks can be analyzed, making genomic approaches accessible to laboratories focused on specific physiological processes.

  13. Principles of proteome allocation are revealed using proteomic data and genome-scale models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Laurence; Yurkovich, James T.; Lloyd, Colton J.

    2016-01-01

    , prediction errors for growth rate and metabolic fluxes were 69% and 14% lower, respectively. The sector-constrained ME model thus represents a generalist ME model reflecting both growth rate maximization and "hedging" against uncertain environments and stresses, as indicated by significant enrichment...... of these sectors for the general stress response sigma factor sigma(S). Finally, the sector constraints represent a general formalism for integrating omics data from any experimental condition into constraint-based ME models. The constraints can be fine-grained (individual proteins) or coarse-grained (functionally......Integrating omics data to refine or make context-specific models is an active field of constraint-based modeling. Proteomics now cover over 95% of the Escherichia coli proteome by mass. Genome-scale models of Metabolism and macromolecular Expression (ME) compute proteome allocation linked...

  14. Dynamics between cancer cell subpopulations reveals a model coordinating with both hierarchical and stochastic concepts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weikang Wang

    Full Text Available Tumors are often heterogeneous in which tumor cells of different phenotypes have distinct properties. For scientific and clinical interests, it is of fundamental importance to understand their properties and the dynamic variations among different phenotypes, specifically under radio- and/or chemo-therapy. Currently there are two controversial models describing tumor heterogeneity, the cancer stem cell (CSC model and the stochastic model. To clarify the controversy, we measured probabilities of different division types and transitions of cells via in situ immunofluorescence. Based on the experiment data, we constructed a model that combines the CSC with the stochastic concepts, showing the existence of both distinctive CSC subpopulations and the stochastic transitions from NSCCs to CSCs. The results showed that the dynamic variations between CSCs and non-stem cancer cells (NSCCs can be simulated with the model. Further studies also showed that the model can be used to describe the dynamics of the two subpopulations after radiation treatment. More importantly, analysis demonstrated that the experimental detectable equilibrium CSC proportion can be achieved only when the stochastic transitions from NSCCs to CSCs occur, indicating that tumor heterogeneity may exist in a model coordinating with both the CSC and the stochastic concepts. The mathematic model based on experimental parameters may contribute to a better understanding of the tumor heterogeneity, and provide references on the dynamics of CSC subpopulation during radiotherapy.

  15. Non-parametric Bayesian graph models reveal community structure in resting state fMRI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Kasper Winther; Madsen, Kristoffer H.; Siebner, Hartwig Roman

    2014-01-01

    Modeling of resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data using network models is of increasing interest. It is often desirable to group nodes into clusters to interpret the communication patterns between nodes. In this study we consider three different nonparametric Bayesian...

  16. Different human gut models reveal the distinct fermentation patterns of arabinoxylan versus inulin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abbeele, P. van den; Venema, K.; Wiele, T. van de; Verstraete, W.; Possemiers, S.

    2013-01-01

    Different in vitro models have been developed to assess how food compounds affect the human gut microbiota. Using two such models (SHIME(R) and TIM-2), we compared how long-chain arabinoxylan (LC-AX), a wheat-derived potentially prebiotic fiber, and inulin (IN), a well-established prebiotic compound

  17. Seeing the forest and the trees: multilevel models reveal both species and community patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle M. Jackson; Monica G. Turner; Scott M. Pearson; Anthony R. Ives

    2012-01-01

    Studies designed to understand species distributions and community assemblages typically use separate analytical approaches (e.g., logistic regression and ordination) to model the distribution of individual species and to relate community composition to environmental variation. Multilevel models (MLMs) offer a promising strategy for integrating species and community-...

  18. Using higher-order Markov models to reveal flow-based communities in networks

    CERN Document Server

    Salnikov, Vsevolod; Lambiotte, Renaud

    2016-01-01

    Complex systems made of interacting elements are commonly abstracted as networks, in which nodes are associated with dynamic state variables, whose evolution is driven by interactions mediated by the edges. Markov processes have been the prevailing paradigm to model such a network-based dynamics, for instance in the form of random walks or other types of diffusions. Despite the success of this modelling perspective for numerous applications, it represents an over-simplification of several real-world systems. Importantly, simple Markov models lack memory in their dynamics, an assumption often not realistic in practice. Here, we explore possibilities to enrich the system description by means of second-order Markov models, exploiting empirical pathway information. We focus on the problem of community detection and show that standard network algorithms can be generalized in order to extract novel temporal information about the system under investigation. We also apply our methodology to temporal networks, where w...

  19. Modelling of Thyroid Peroxidase Reveals Insights into Its Enzyme Function and Autoantigenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Sarah N; Porebski, Benjamin T; McCoey, Julia; Fodor, James; Riley, Blake; Godlewska, Marlena; Góra, Monika; Czarnocka, Barbara; Banga, J Paul; Hoke, David E; Kass, Itamar; Buckle, Ashley M

    2015-01-01

    Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) catalyses the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones and is a major autoantigen in Hashimoto's disease--the most common organ-specific autoimmune disease. Epitope mapping studies have shown that the autoimmune response to TPO is directed mainly at two surface regions on the molecule: immunodominant regions A and B (IDR-A, and IDR-B). TPO has been a major target for structural studies for over 20 years; however, to date, the structure of TPO remains to be determined. We have used a molecular modelling approach to investigate plausible modes of TPO structure and dimer organisation. Sequence features of the C-terminus are consistent with a coiled-coil dimerization motif that most likely anchors the TPO dimer in the apical membrane of thyroid follicular cells. Two contrasting models of TPO were produced, differing in the orientation and exposure of their active sites relative to the membrane. Both models are equally plausible based upon the known enzymatic function of TPO. The "trans" model places IDR-B on the membrane-facing side of the myeloperoxidase (MPO)-like domain, potentially hindering access of autoantibodies, necessitating considerable conformational change, and perhaps even dissociation of the dimer into monomers. IDR-A spans MPO- and CCP-like domains and is relatively fragmented compared to IDR-B, therefore most likely requiring domain rearrangements in order to coalesce into one compact epitope. Less epitope fragmentation and higher solvent accessibility of the "cis" model favours it slightly over the "trans" model. Here, IDR-B clusters towards the surface of the MPO-like domain facing the thyroid follicular lumen preventing steric hindrance of autoantibodies. However, conformational rearrangements may still be necessary to allow full engagement with autoantibodies, with IDR-B on both models being close to the dimer interface. Taken together, the modelling highlights the need to consider the oligomeric state of TPO, its conformational

  20. Combining experimental and mathematical modeling to reveal mechanisms of macrophage-dependent left ventricular remodeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dai Qiuxia

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Progressive remodeling of the left ventricle (LV following myocardial infarction (MI can lead to congestive heart failure, but the underlying initiation factors remain poorly defined. The objective of this study, accordingly, was to determine the key factors and elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of LV remodeling using integrated computational and experimental approaches. Results By examining the extracellular matrix (ECM gene expression and plasma analyte levels in C57/BL6J mice LV post-MI and ECM gene responses to transforming growth factor (TGF-β1 in cultured cardiac fibroblasts, we found that key factors in LV remodeling included macrophages, fibroblasts, transforming growth factor-β1, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9, and specific collagen subtypes. We established a mathematical model to study LV remodeling post-MI by quantifying the dynamic balance between ECM construction and destruction. The mathematical model incorporated the key factors and demonstrated that TGF-β1 stimuli and MMP-9 interventions with different strengths and intervention times lead to different LV remodeling outcomes. The predictions of the mathematical model fell within the range of experimental measurements for these interventions, providing validation for the model. Conclusions In conclusion, our results demonstrated that the balance between ECM synthesis and degradation, controlled by interactions of specific key factors, determines the LV remodeling outcomes. Our mathematical model, based on the balance between ECM construction and destruction, provides a useful tool for studying the regulatory mechanisms and for predicting LV remodeling outcomes.

  1. Understanding the complexities of Salmonella-host crosstalk as revealed by in vivo model organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Smriti; Srikanth, Chittur V

    2015-07-01

    Foodborne infections caused by non-typhoidal Salmonellae, such as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (ST), pose a major challenge in the developed and developing world. With constant rise of drug-resistant strains, understanding the epidemiology, microbiology, pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions biology is a mandatory requirement to enable health systems to be ready to combat these illnesses. Patient data from hospitals, at least from some parts of the world, have aided in epidemiological understanding of ST-mediated disease. Most of the other aspects connected to Salmonella-host crosstalk have come from model systems that offer convenience, genetic tractability and low maintenance costs that make them extremely valuable tools. Complex model systems such as the bovine model have helped in understanding key virulence factors needed for infection. Simple systems such as fruit flies and Caenorhabditis elegans have aided in identification of novel virulence factors, host pathways and mechanistic details of interactions. Some of the path-breaking concepts of the field have come from mice model of ST colitis, which allows genetic manipulations as well as high degree of similarity to human counterpart. Together, they are invaluable for correlating in vitro findings of ST-induced disease progression in vivo. The current review is a compilation of various advances of ST-host interactions at cellular and molecular levels that has come from investigations involving model organisms. © 2015 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  2. Constrained solution scattering modelling of human antibodies and complement proteins reveals novel biological insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Stephen J; Okemefuna, Azubuike I; Nan, Ruodan; Li, Keying; Bonner, Alexandra

    2009-10-06

    X-ray and neutron-scattering techniques characterize proteins in solution and complement high-resolution structural studies. They are useful when either a large protein cannot be crystallized, in which case scattering yields a solution structure, or a crystal structure has been determined and requires validation in solution. These solution structures are determined by the application of constrained modelling methods based on known subunit structures. First, an appropriate starting model is generated. Next, its conformation is randomized to generate thousands of models for trial-and-error fits. Comparison with the experimental data identifies a small family of best-fit models. Finally, their significance for biological function is assessed. We illustrate this in application to structure determinations for secretory immunoglobulin A, the most prevalent antibody in the human body and a first line of defence in mucosal immunity. We also discuss the applications to the large multi-domain proteins of the complement system, most notably its major regulator factor H, which is important in age-related macular degeneration and renal diseases. We discuss the importance of complementary data from analytical ultracentrifugation, and structural studies of protein-protein complexes. We conclude that constrained scattering modelling makes useful contributions to our understanding of antibody and complement structure and function.

  3. Mutual information reveals multiple structural relaxation mechanisms in a model glass former.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunleavy, Andrew J; Wiesner, Karoline; Yamamoto, Ryoichi; Royall, C Patrick

    2015-01-22

    Among the key challenges to our understanding of solidification in the glass transition is that it is accompanied by little apparent change in structure. Recently, geometric motifs have been identified in glassy liquids, but a causal link between these motifs and solidification remains elusive. One 'smoking gun' for such a link would be identical scaling of structural and dynamic lengthscales on approaching the glass transition, but this is highly controversial. Here we introduce an information theoretic approach to determine correlations in displacement for particle relaxation encoded in the initial configuration of a glass-forming liquid. We uncover two populations of particles, one inclined to relax quickly, the other slowly. Each population is correlated with local density and geometric motifs. Our analysis further reveals a dynamic lengthscale similar to that associated with structural properties, which may resolve the discrepancy between structural and dynamic lengthscales.

  4. Computational EEG modelling of decision making under ambiguity reveals spatio-temporal dynamics of outcome evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jollans, Lee; Whelan, Robert; Venables, Louise; Turnbull, Oliver H; Cella, Matteo; Dymond, Simon

    2017-03-15

    Complex human cognition, such as decision-making under ambiguity, is reflected in dynamic spatio-temporal activity in the brain. Here, we combined event-related potentials with computational modelling of the time course of decision-making and outcome evaluation during the Iowa Gambling Task. Measures of choice probability generated using the Prospect Valence Learning Delta (PVL-Delta) model, in addition to objective trial outcomes (outcome magnitude and valence), were applied as regressors in a general linear model of the EEG signal. The resulting three-dimensional spatio-temporal characterization of task-related neural dynamics demonstrated that outcome valence, outcome magnitude, and PVL-Delta choice probability were expressed in distinctly separate event related potentials. Our findings showed that the P3 component was associated with an experience-based measure of outcome expectancy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Mental Lexicon Growth Modelling Reveals the Multiplexity of the English Language

    CERN Document Server

    Stella, Massimo

    2016-01-01

    In this work we extend previous analyses of linguistic networks by adopting a multi-layer network framework for modelling the human mental lexicon, i.e. an abstract mental repository where words and concepts are stored together with their linguistic patterns. Across a three-layer linguistic multiplex, we model English words as nodes and connect them according to (i) phonological similarities, (ii) synonym relationships and (iii) free word associations. Our main aim is to exploit this multi-layered structure to explore the influence of phonological and semantic relationships on lexicon assembly over time. We propose a model of lexicon growth which is driven by the phonological layer: words are suggested according to different orderings of insertion (e.g. shorter word length, highest frequency, semantic multiplex features) and accepted or rejected subject to constraints. We then measure times of network assembly and compare these to empirical data about the age of acquisition of words. In agreement with empiric...

  6. Hitting the moving target: modelling ontogenetic shifts with stable isotopes reveals the importance of isotopic turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Eric; Trudel, Marc; El-Sabaawi, Rana; Tucker, Strahan; Dower, John F; Beacham, Terry D; Edwards, Andrew M; Mazumder, Asit

    2016-05-01

    Ontogenetic niche shifts are widely prevalent in nature and are important in shaping the structure and dynamics of ecosystems. Stable isotope analysis is a powerful tool to assess these shifts, with δ(15) N providing a measure of trophic level and δ(13) C a measure of energy source. Previous applications of stable isotopes to study ontogenetic niche shifts have not considered the appreciable time lag between diet and consumer tissue associated with isotopic turnover. These time lags introduce significant complexity into field studies of ontogenetic niche shifts. Juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) migrate from freshwater to marine ecosystems and shift their diet from feeding primarily on invertebrates to feeding primarily on fish. This dual ontogenetic habitat and diet shift, in addition to the long time lag associated with isotopic turnover, suggests that there is potential for a disconnect between the prey sources that juvenile salmon are consuming, and the inferred prey sources from stable isotopes. We developed a model that considered ontogenetic niche shifts and time lags associated with isotopic turnover, and compared this 'ontogeny' model to one that considered only isotopic turnover. We used a Bayesian framework to explicitly account for parameter uncertainty. Data showed overwhelming support for the ontogeny model relative to the isotopic turnover model. Estimated variables from best model fits indicate that the ontogeny model predicts a much greater reliance on fish prey than does the stomach content data. Overall, we found that this method of quantifying ontogenetic niche shifts effectively accounted for both isotopic turnover and ontogenetic diet shifts; a finding that could be widely applicable to a variety of systems.

  7. THREE-DIMENSIONAL RADIO AND X-RAY MODELING AND DATA ANALYSIS SOFTWARE: REVEALING FLARE COMPLEXITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nita, Gelu M.; Fleishman, Gregory D.; Gary, Dale E. [Center For Solar-Terrestrial Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102 (United States); Kuznetsov, Alexey A. [Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Irkutsk 664033 (Russian Federation); Kontar, Eduard P. [School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ (United Kingdom)

    2015-02-01

    Many problems in solar physics require analysis of imaging data obtained in multiple wavelength domains with differing spatial resolution in a framework supplied by advanced three-dimensional (3D) physical models. To facilitate this goal, we have undertaken a major enhancement of our IDL-based simulation tools developed earlier for modeling microwave and X-ray emission. The enhanced software architecture allows the user to (1) import photospheric magnetic field maps and perform magnetic field extrapolations to generate 3D magnetic field models; (2) investigate the magnetic topology by interactively creating field lines and associated flux tubes; (3) populate the flux tubes with user-defined nonuniform thermal plasma and anisotropic, nonuniform, nonthermal electron distributions; (4) investigate the spatial and spectral properties of radio and X-ray emission calculated from the model; and (5) compare the model-derived images and spectra with observational data. The package integrates shared-object libraries containing fast gyrosynchrotron emission codes, IDL-based soft and hard X-ray codes, and potential and linear force-free field extrapolation routines. The package accepts user-defined radiation and magnetic field extrapolation plug-ins. We use this tool to analyze a relatively simple single-loop flare and use the model to constrain the magnetic 3D structure and spatial distribution of the fast electrons inside this loop. We iteratively compute multi-frequency microwave and multi-energy X-ray images from realistic magnetic flux tubes obtained from pre-flare extrapolations, and compare them with imaging data obtained by SDO, NoRH, and RHESSI. We use this event to illustrate the tool's use for the general interpretation of solar flares to address disparate problems in solar physics.

  8. Integrated Experimental and Model-based Analysis Reveals the Spatial Aspects of EGFR Activation Dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shankaran, Harish; Zhang, Yi; Chrisler, William B.; Ewald, Jonathan A.; Wiley, H. S.; Resat, Haluk

    2012-10-02

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) belongs to the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases, and controls a diverse set of cellular responses relevant to development and tumorigenesis. ErbB activation is a complex process involving receptor-ligand binding, receptor dimerization, phosphorylation, and trafficking (internalization, recycling and degradation), which together dictate the spatio-temporal distribution of active receptors within the cell. The ability to predict this distribution, and elucidation of the factors regulating it, would help to establish a mechanistic link between ErbB expression levels and the cellular response. Towards this end, we constructed mathematical models for deconvolving the contributions of receptor dimerization and phosphorylation to EGFR activation, and to examine the dependence of these processes on sub-cellular location. We collected experimental datasets for EGFR activation dynamics in human mammary epithelial cells, with the specific goal of model parameterization, and used the data to estimate parameters for several alternate models. Model-based analysis indicated that: 1) signal termination via receptor dephosphorylation in late endosomes, prior to degradation, is an important component of the response, 2) less than 40% of the receptors in the cell are phosphorylated at any given time, even at saturating ligand doses, and 3) receptor dephosphorylation rates at the cell surface and early endosomes are comparable. We validated the last finding by measuring EGFR dephosphorylation rates at various times following ligand addition both in whole cells, and in endosomes using ELISAs and fluorescent imaging. Overall, our results provide important information on how EGFR phosphorylation levels are regulated within cells. Further, the mathematical model described here can be extended to determine receptor dimer abundances in cells co-expressing various levels of ErbB receptors. This study demonstrates that an iterative cycle of

  9. Modelling of Thyroid Peroxidase Reveals Insights into Its Enzyme Function and Autoantigenicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah N Le

    Full Text Available Thyroid peroxidase (TPO catalyses the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones and is a major autoantigen in Hashimoto's disease--the most common organ-specific autoimmune disease. Epitope mapping studies have shown that the autoimmune response to TPO is directed mainly at two surface regions on the molecule: immunodominant regions A and B (IDR-A, and IDR-B. TPO has been a major target for structural studies for over 20 years; however, to date, the structure of TPO remains to be determined. We have used a molecular modelling approach to investigate plausible modes of TPO structure and dimer organisation. Sequence features of the C-terminus are consistent with a coiled-coil dimerization motif that most likely anchors the TPO dimer in the apical membrane of thyroid follicular cells. Two contrasting models of TPO were produced, differing in the orientation and exposure of their active sites relative to the membrane. Both models are equally plausible based upon the known enzymatic function of TPO. The "trans" model places IDR-B on the membrane-facing side of the myeloperoxidase (MPO-like domain, potentially hindering access of autoantibodies, necessitating considerable conformational change, and perhaps even dissociation of the dimer into monomers. IDR-A spans MPO- and CCP-like domains and is relatively fragmented compared to IDR-B, therefore most likely requiring domain rearrangements in order to coalesce into one compact epitope. Less epitope fragmentation and higher solvent accessibility of the "cis" model favours it slightly over the "trans" model. Here, IDR-B clusters towards the surface of the MPO-like domain facing the thyroid follicular lumen preventing steric hindrance of autoantibodies. However, conformational rearrangements may still be necessary to allow full engagement with autoantibodies, with IDR-B on both models being close to the dimer interface. Taken together, the modelling highlights the need to consider the oligomeric state of TPO, its

  10. Reduced ENSO variability at the LGM revealed by an isotope-enabled Earth system model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jiang; Liu, Zhengyu; Brady, Esther; Otto-Bliesner, Bette; Zhang, Jiaxu; Noone, David; Tomas, Robert; Nusbaumer, Jesse; Wong, Tony; Jahn, Alexandra; Tabor, Clay

    2017-07-01

    Studying the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the past can help us better understand its dynamics and improve its future projections. However, both paleoclimate reconstructions and model simulations of ENSO strength at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; 21 ka B.P.) have led to contradicting results. Here we perform model simulations using the recently developed water isotope-enabled Community Earth System Model (iCESM). For the first time, model-simulated oxygen isotopes are directly compared with those from ENSO reconstructions using the individual foraminifera analysis (IFA). We find that the LGM ENSO is most likely weaker comparing with the preindustrial. The iCESM suggests that total variance of the IFA records may only reflect changes in the annual cycle instead of ENSO variability as previously assumed. Furthermore, the interpretation of subsurface IFA records can be substantially complicated by the habitat depth of thermocline-dwelling foraminifera and their vertical migration with a temporally varying thermocline.

  11. Model-based reasoning: using visual tools to reveal student learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luckie, Douglas; Harrison, Scott H; Ebert-May, Diane

    2011-03-01

    Using visual models is common in science and should become more common in classrooms. Our research group has developed and completed studies on the use of a visual modeling tool, the Concept Connector. This modeling tool consists of an online concept mapping Java applet that has automatic scoring functions we refer to as Robograder. The Concept Connector enables students in large introductory science courses to visualize their thinking through online model building. The Concept Connector's flexible scoring system, based on tested grading schemes as well as instructor input, has enabled >1,000 physiology students to build maps of their ideas about plant and animal physiology with the guidance of automatic and immediate online scoring of homework. Criterion concept maps developed by instructors in this project contain numerous expert-generated or "correct" propositions connecting two concept words together with a linking phrase. In this study, holistic algorithms were used to test automated methods of scoring concept maps that might work as well as a human grader.

  12. Unifying model of shoot gravitropism reveals proprioception as a central feature of posture control in plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bastien, Renaud; Bohr, Tomas; Moulia, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    auxin to the lower side is then enhanced, resulting in differential gene expression and cell elongation causing the organ to bend. However, little is known about the dynamics, regulation, and diversity of the entire bending and straightening process. Here, we modeled the bending and straightening...

  13. How can macroscopic models reveal self-organization in traffic flow?

    CERN Document Server

    Cristiani, Emiliano; Tosin, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we propose a new modeling technique for vehicular traffic flow, designed for capturing at a macroscopic level some effects, due to the microscopic granularity of the flow of cars, which would be lost with a purely continuous approach. The starting point is a multiscale method for pedestrian modeling, recently introduced in Cristiani et al., Multiscale Model. Simul., 2011, in which measure-theoretic tools are used to manage the microscopic and the macroscopic scales under a unique framework. In the resulting coupled model the two scales coexist and share information, in the sense that the same system is simultaneously described from both a discrete (microscopic) and a continuous (macroscopic) perspective. This way it is possible to perform numerical simulations in which the single trajectories and the average density of the moving agents affect each other. Such a method is here revisited in order to deal with multi-population traffic flow on networks. For illustrative purposes, we focus on the si...

  14. Gray box modeling of MSW degradation: Revealing its dominant (bio)chemical mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Turnhout, A.G.; Heimovaara, T.J.; Kleerebezem, R.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we present an approach to describe organic degradation within immobile water regions of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfills which is best described by the term “gray box” model. We use a simplified set of dominant (bio)chemical and physical reactions and realistic environmental condi

  15. The centre of mass of a ‘flying’ body revealed by a computational model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simeão Carvalho, Paulo; José Rodrigues, Marcelo

    2017-01-01

    The interpretation of complex trajectories of rigid bodies by the identification of their centre of mass (CM), has a large potential for improving the understanding of the concept of CM at college and university level. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are several techniques described in the literature concerning how to identify the CM of rigid bodies. However, these techniques fail when the CM’s position in the body’s frame of reference changes when the body is at motion. In this work we present a computational model that allows the identification of the CM with very good accuracy, either when the CM’s position changes or is fixed in the body’s frame of reference. This model can be used for a system of bodies moving in a plane, for which the CM of each body coincides with its geometric centre. The effectiveness of this model is tested with experiments using video acquisition and numerical analysis, and can be done in experimental classes under controlled conditions. Students are then able to compare the computed CM with the experimental CM, and investigate why the bodies sometimes present weird trajectories. This property applies in particular to sports, so the model can be also very useful as an educational resource for the explanation of the motion of athletes, namely as a tool for optimizing their performance.

  16. Empirical evaluation reveals best fit of a logistic mutation model for human Y-chromosomal microsatellites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jochens, Arne; Caliebe, Amke; Rösler, Uwe; Krawczak, Michael

    2011-12-01

    The rate of microsatellite mutation is dependent upon both the allele length and the repeat motif, but the exact nature of this relationship is still unknown. We analyzed data on the inheritance of human Y-chromosomal microsatellites in father-son duos, taken from 24 published reports and comprising 15,285 directly observable meioses. At the six microsatellites analyzed (DYS19, DYS389I, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, and DYS393), a total of 162 mutations were observed. For each locus, we employed a maximum-likelihood approach to evaluate one of several single-step mutation models on the basis of the data. For five of the six loci considered, a novel logistic mutation model was found to provide the best fit according to Akaike's information criterion. This implies that the mutation probability at the loci increases (nonlinearly) with allele length at a rate that differs between upward and downward mutations. For DYS392, the best fit was provided by a linear model in which upward and downward mutation probabilities increase equally with allele length. This is the first study to empirically compare different microsatellite mutation models in a locus-specific fashion.

  17. Molecular tools and bumble bees: revealing hidden details of ecology and evolution in a model system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumble bees are a longstanding model system for studies on behavior, ecology, and evolution, due to their well-studied social lifestyle, invaluable roles as both wild and managed pollinators, and their ubiquity and diversity across temperate ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, many aspects of ...

  18. Using fuzzy logic models to reveal farmers' motives to integrate livestock, fish, and crops

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosma, R.H.

    2007-01-01

    Rural extension services have changed paradigm and shifted to more participatory approaches, whereas in common mathematical models of farming systems, farmers’ motivation is solely represented by ‘utility maximisation’. While globally, farmers specialise, in Vietnam the rice-based systems have diver

  19. Functional Sphere Profiling Reveals the Complexity of Neuroblastoma Tumor-Initiating Cell Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurélie Coulon

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Neuroblastoma (NB is a neural crest-derived childhood tumor characterized by a remarkable phenotypic diversity, ranging from spontaneous regression to fatal metastatic disease. Although the cancer stem cell (CSC model provides a trail to characterize the cells responsible for tumor onset, the NB tumor-initiating cell (TIC has not been identified. In this study, the relevance of the CSC model in NB was investigated by taking advantage of typical functional stem cell characteristics. A predictive association was established between self-renewal, as assessed by serial sphere formation, and clinical aggressiveness in primary tumors. Moreover, cell subsets gradually selected during serial sphere culture harbored increased in vivo tumorigenicity, only highlighted in an orthotopic microenvironment. A microarray time course analysis of serial spheres passages from metastatic cells allowed us to specifically “profile” the NB stem cell-like phenotype and to identify CD133, ABC transporter, and WNT and NOTCH genes as spheres markers. On the basis of combined sphere markers expression, at least two distinct tumorigenic cell subpopulations were identified, also shown to preexist in primary NB. However, sphere markers-mediated cell sorting of parental tumor failed to recapitulate the TIC phenotype in the orthotopic model, highlighting the complexity of the CSC model. Our data support the NB stem-like cells as a dynamic and heterogeneous cell population strongly dependent on microenvironmental signals and add novel candidate genes as potential therapeutic targets in the control of high-risk NB.

  20. Whisker movements reveal spatial attention: a unified computational model of active sensing control in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchinson, Ben; Prescott, Tony J

    2013-01-01

    Spatial attention is most often investigated in the visual modality through measurement of eye movements, with primates, including humans, a widely-studied model. Its study in laboratory rodents, such as mice and rats, requires different techniques, owing to the lack of a visual fovea and the particular ethological relevance of orienting movements of the snout and the whiskers in these animals. In recent years, several reliable relationships have been observed between environmental and behavioural variables and movements of the whiskers, but the function of these responses, as well as how they integrate, remains unclear. Here, we propose a unifying abstract model of whisker movement control that has as its key variable the region of space that is the animal's current focus of attention, and demonstrate, using computer-simulated behavioral experiments, that the model is consistent with a broad range of experimental observations. A core hypothesis is that the rat explicitly decodes the location in space of whisker contacts and that this representation is used to regulate whisker drive signals. This proposition stands in contrast to earlier proposals that the modulation of whisker movement during exploration is mediated primarily by reflex loops. We go on to argue that the superior colliculus is a candidate neural substrate for the siting of a head-centred map guiding whisker movement, in analogy to current models of visual attention. The proposed model has the potential to offer a more complete understanding of whisker control as well as to highlight the potential of the rodent and its whiskers as a tool for the study of mammalian attention.

  1. 3D Geodynamic Modelling Reveals Stress and Strain Partitioning within Continental Rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, P. F.; Mondy, L. S.; Duclaux, G.; Moresi, L. N.

    2014-12-01

    The relative movement between two divergent rigid plates on a sphere can be described using a Euler pole and an angular velocity. On Earth, this typically results in extensional velocities increasing linearly as a function of the distance from the pole (for example in the South Atlantic, North Atlantic, Woodlark Basin, Red Sea Basin, etc.). This property has strong implications for continental rifting and the formation of passive margins, given the role that extensional velocity plays on both rift style (wide or narrow), fault pattern, subsidence histories, and magmatism. Until now, this scissor-style opening has been approached via suites of 2D numerical models of contrasting extensional velocities, complimenting field geology and geophysics. New advances in numerical modelling tools and computational hardware have enabled us to investigate the geodynamics of this problem in a 3D self-consistent high-resolution context. Using Underworld at a grid resolution of 2 km over a domain of 500 km x 500 km x 180 km, we have explored the role of the velocity gradient on the strain pattern, style of rifting, and decompression melting, along the margin. We find that the three dimensionality of this problem is important. The rise of the asthenosphere is enhanced in 2D models compared to 3D numerical solutions, due to the limited volume of material available in 2D. This leads to oceanisation occurring significantly sooner in 2D models. The 3D model shows that there is a significant time and space dependent flows parallel to the rift-axis. A similar picture emerges from the stress field, showing time and space partitioning, including regions of compression separating areas dominated by extension. The strain pattern shows strong zonation along the rift axis, with increasingly localised deformation with extension velocity and though time.

  2. Dosage and Dose Schedule Screening of Drug Combinations in Agent-Based Models Reveals Hidden Synergies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros de Andrade E Sousa, Lisa C; Kühn, Clemens; Tyc, Katarzyna M; Klipp, Edda

    2015-01-01

    The fungus Candida albicans is the most common causative agent of human fungal infections and better drugs or drug combination strategies are urgently needed. Here, we present an agent-based model of the interplay of C. albicans with the host immune system and with the microflora of the host. We took into account the morphological change of C. albicans from the yeast to hyphae form and its dynamics during infection. The model allowed us to follow the dynamics of fungal growth and morphology, of the immune cells and of microflora in different perturbing situations. We specifically focused on the consequences of microflora reduction following antibiotic treatment. Using the agent-based model, different drug types have been tested for their effectiveness, namely drugs that inhibit cell division and drugs that constrain the yeast-to-hyphae transition. Applied individually, the division drug turned out to successfully decrease hyphae while the transition drug leads to a burst in hyphae after the end of the treatment. To evaluate the effect of different drug combinations, doses, and schedules, we introduced a measure for the return to a healthy state, the infection score. Using this measure, we found that the addition of a transition drug to a division drug treatment can improve the treatment reliability while minimizing treatment duration and drug dosage. In this work we present a theoretical study. Although our model has not been calibrated to quantitative experimental data, the technique of computationally identifying synergistic treatment combinations in an agent based model exemplifies the importance of computational techniques in translational research.

  3. Inclusion of the glucocorticoid receptor in a hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis model reveals bistability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vernon Suzanne D

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The body's primary stress management system is the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA axis. The HPA axis responds to physical and mental challenge to maintain homeostasis in part by controlling the body's cortisol level. Dysregulation of the HPA axis is implicated in numerous stress-related diseases. Results We developed a structured model of the HPA axis that includes the glucocorticoid receptor (GR. This model incorporates nonlinear kinetics of pituitary GR synthesis. The nonlinear effect arises from the fact that GR homodimerizes after cortisol activation and induces its own synthesis in the pituitary. This homodimerization makes possible two stable steady states (low and high and one unstable state of cortisol production resulting in bistability of the HPA axis. In this model, low GR concentration represents the normal steady state, and high GR concentration represents a dysregulated steady state. A short stress in the normal steady state produces a small perturbation in the GR concentration that quickly returns to normal levels. Long, repeated stress produces persistent and high GR concentration that does not return to baseline forcing the HPA axis to an alternate steady state. One consequence of increased steady state GR is reduced steady state cortisol, which has been observed in some stress related disorders such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS. Conclusion Inclusion of pituitary GR expression resulted in a biologically plausible model of HPA axis bistability and hypocortisolism. High GR concentration enhanced cortisol negative feedback on the hypothalamus and forced the HPA axis into an alternative, low cortisol state. This model can be used to explore mechanisms underlying disorders of the HPA axis.

  4. Dosage and dose schedule screening of drug combinations in agent-based models reveals hidden synergies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Corina Barros de Andrade e Sousa1

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The fungus Candida albicans is the most common causative agent of human fungal infections and better drugs or drug combination strategies are urgently needed. Here, we present an agent-based model of the interplay of C. albicans with the host immune system and with the microflora of the host. We took into account the morphological change of C. albicans from the yeast to hyphae form and its dynamics during infection. The model allowed us to follow the dynamics of fungal growth and morphology, of the immune cells and of microflora in different perturbing situations. We specifically focused on the consequences of microflora reduction following antibiotic treatment. Using the agent-based model, different drug types have been tested for their effectiveness, namely drugs that inhibit cell division and drugs that constrain the yeast-to-hyphae transition. Applied individually, the division drug turned out to successfully decrease hyphae while the transition drug leads to a burst in hyphae after the end of the treatment. To evaluate the effect of different drug combinations, doses, and schedules, we introduced a measure for the return to a healthy state, the infection score. Using this measure, we found that the addition of a transition drug to a division drug treatment can improve the treatment reliability while minimizing treatment duration and drug dosage. In this work we present a theoretical study. Although our model has not been calibrated to quantitative experimental data, the technique of computationally identifying synergistic treatment combinations in an agent based model exemplifies the importance of computational techniques in translational research.

  5. {sup 1}H NMR-based metabolic profiling reveals inherent biological variation in yeast and nematode model systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szeto, Samuel S. W.; Reinke, Stacey N.; Lemire, Bernard D., E-mail: bernard.lemire@ualberta.ca [University of Alberta, Department of Biochemistry, School of Molecular and Systems Medicine (Canada)

    2011-04-15

    The application of metabolomics to human and animal model systems is poised to provide great insight into our understanding of disease etiology and the metabolic changes that are associated with these conditions. However, metabolomic studies have also revealed that there is significant, inherent biological variation in human samples and even in samples from animal model systems where the animals are housed under carefully controlled conditions. This inherent biological variability is an important consideration for all metabolomics analyses. In this study, we examined the biological variation in {sup 1}H NMR-based metabolic profiling of two model systems, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Using relative standard deviations (RSD) as a measure of variability, our results reveal that both model systems have significant amounts of biological variation. The C. elegans metabolome possesses greater metabolic variance with average RSD values of 29 and 39%, depending on the food source that was used. The S. cerevisiae exometabolome RSD values ranged from 8% to 12% for the four strains examined. We also determined whether biological variation occurs between pairs of phenotypically identical yeast strains. Multivariate statistical analysis allowed us to discriminate between pair members based on their metabolic phenotypes. Our results highlight the variability of the metabolome that exists even for less complex model systems cultured under defined conditions. We also highlight the efficacy of metabolic profiling for defining these subtle metabolic alterations.

  6. Multiscale models of skeletal muscle reveal the complex effects of muscular dystrophy on tissue mechanics and damage susceptibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgilio, Kelley M; Martin, Kyle S; Peirce, Shayn M; Blemker, Silvia S

    2015-04-06

    Computational models have been increasingly used to study the tissue-level constitutive properties of muscle microstructure; however, these models were not created to study or incorporate the influence of disease-associated modifications in muscle. The purpose of this paper was to develop a novel multiscale muscle modelling framework to elucidate the relationship between microstructural disease adaptations and modifications in both mechanical properties of muscle and strain in the cell membrane. We used an agent-based model to randomly generate new muscle fibre geometries and mapped them into a finite-element model representing a cross section of a muscle fascicle. The framework enabled us to explore variability in the shape and arrangement of fibres, as well as to incorporate disease-related changes. We applied this method to reveal the trade-offs between mechanical properties and damage susceptibility in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). DMD is a fatal genetic disease caused by a lack of the transmembrane protein dystrophin, leading to muscle wasting and death due to cardiac or pulmonary complications. The most prevalent microstructural variations in DMD include: lack of transmembrane proteins, fibrosis, fatty infiltration and variation in fibre cross-sectional area. A parameter analysis of these variations and case study of DMD revealed that the nature of fibrosis and density of transmembrane proteins strongly affected the stiffness of the muscle and susceptibility to membrane damage.

  7. Conserved intergenic sequences revealed by CTAG-profiling in Salmonella: thermodynamic modeling for function prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Le; Zhu, Songling; Mastriani, Emilio; Fang, Xin; Zhou, Yu-Jie; Li, Yong-Guo; Johnston, Randal N.; Guo, Zheng; Liu, Gui-Rong; Liu, Shu-Lin

    2017-01-01

    Highly conserved short sequences help identify functional genomic regions and facilitate genomic annotation. We used Salmonella as the model to search the genome for evolutionarily conserved regions and focused on the tetranucleotide sequence CTAG for its potentially important functions. In Salmonella, CTAG is highly conserved across the lineages and large numbers of CTAG-containing short sequences fall in intergenic regions, strongly indicating their biological importance. Computer modeling demonstrated stable stem-loop structures in some of the CTAG-containing intergenic regions, and substitution of a nucleotide of the CTAG sequence would radically rearrange the free energy and disrupt the structure. The postulated degeneration of CTAG takes distinct patterns among Salmonella lineages and provides novel information about genomic divergence and evolution of these bacterial pathogens. Comparison of the vertically and horizontally transmitted genomic segments showed different CTAG distribution landscapes, with the genome amelioration process to remove CTAG taking place inward from both terminals of the horizontally acquired segment. PMID:28262684

  8. Computer simulations reveal complex distribution of haemodynamic forces in a mouse retina model of angiogenesis

    CERN Document Server

    Bernabeu, Miguel O; Jones, Martin; Nielsen, Jens H; Krüger, Timm; Nash, Rupert W; Groen, Derek; Hetherington, James; Gerhardt, Holger; Coveney, Peter V

    2013-01-01

    There is currently limited understanding of the role played by haemodynamic forces on the processes governing vascular development. One of many obstacles to be overcome is being able to measure those forces, at the required resolution level, on vessels only a few micrometres thick. In the current paper, we present an in silico method for the computation of the haemodynamic forces experienced by murine retinal vasculature (a widely used vascular development animal model) beyond what is measurable experimentally. Our results show that it is possible to reconstruct high-resolution three-dimensional geometrical models directly from samples of retinal vasculature and that the lattice-Boltzmann algorithm can be used to obtain accurate estimates of the haemodynamics in these domains. Our findings show that the flow patterns recovered are complex, that branches of predominant flow exist from early development stages, and that the pruning process tends to make the wall shear stress experienced by the capillaries incre...

  9. Conserved intergenic sequences revealed by CTAG-profiling in Salmonella: thermodynamic modeling for function prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Le; Zhu, Songling; Mastriani, Emilio; Fang, Xin; Zhou, Yu-Jie; Li, Yong-Guo; Johnston, Randal N.; Guo, Zheng; Liu, Gui-Rong; Liu, Shu-Lin

    2017-03-01

    Highly conserved short sequences help identify functional genomic regions and facilitate genomic annotation. We used Salmonella as the model to search the genome for evolutionarily conserved regions and focused on the tetranucleotide sequence CTAG for its potentially important functions. In Salmonella, CTAG is highly conserved across the lineages and large numbers of CTAG-containing short sequences fall in intergenic regions, strongly indicating their biological importance. Computer modeling demonstrated stable stem-loop structures in some of the CTAG-containing intergenic regions, and substitution of a nucleotide of the CTAG sequence would radically rearrange the free energy and disrupt the structure. The postulated degeneration of CTAG takes distinct patterns among Salmonella lineages and provides novel information about genomic divergence and evolution of these bacterial pathogens. Comparison of the vertically and horizontally transmitted genomic segments showed different CTAG distribution landscapes, with the genome amelioration process to remove CTAG taking place inward from both terminals of the horizontally acquired segment.

  10. Novel Model of Tendon Regeneration Reveals Distinct Cell Mechanisms Underlying Regenerative and Fibrotic Tendon Healing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Kristen; Chien, Chun; Bell, Rebecca; Laudier, Damien; Tufa, Sara F.; Keene, Douglas R.; Andarawis-Puri, Nelly; Huang, Alice H.

    2017-01-01

    To date, the cell and molecular mechanisms regulating tendon healing are poorly understood. Here, we establish a novel model of tendon regeneration using neonatal mice and show that neonates heal via formation of a ‘neo-tendon’ that differentiates along the tendon specific lineage with functional restoration of gait and mechanical properties. In contrast, adults heal via fibrovascular scar, aberrant differentiation toward cartilage and bone, with persistently impaired function. Lineage tracing identified intrinsic recruitment of Scx-lineage cells as a key cellular mechanism of neonatal healing that is absent in adults. Instead, adult Scx-lineage tenocytes are not recruited into the defect but transdifferentiate into ectopic cartilage; in the absence of tenogenic cells, extrinsic αSMA-expressing cells persist to form a permanent scar. Collectively, these results establish an exciting model of tendon regeneration and uncover a novel cellular mechanism underlying regenerative vs non-regenerative tendon healing. PMID:28332620

  11. Autonomy and Non-autonomy of Angiogenic Cell Movements Revealed by Experiment-Driven Mathematical Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kei Sugihara

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Angiogenesis is a multicellular phenomenon driven by morphogenetic cell movements. We recently reported morphogenetic vascular endothelial cell (EC behaviors to be dynamic and complex. However, the principal mechanisms orchestrating individual EC movements in angiogenic morphogenesis remain largely unknown. Here we present an experiment-driven mathematical model that enables us to systematically dissect cellular mechanisms in branch elongation. We found that cell-autonomous and coordinated actions governed these multicellular behaviors, and a cell-autonomous process sufficiently illustrated essential features of the morphogenetic EC dynamics at both the single-cell and cell-population levels. Through refining our model and experimental verification, we further identified a coordinated mode of tip EC behaviors regulated via a spatial relationship between tip and follower ECs, which facilitates the forward motility of tip ECs. These findings provide insights that enhance our mechanistic understanding of not only angiogenic morphogenesis, but also other types of multicellular phenomenon.

  12. In silico synchronization reveals regulators of nuclear ruptures in lamin A/C deficient model cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robijns, J.; Molenberghs, F.; Sieprath, T.; Corne, T. D. J.; Verschuuren, M.; de Vos, W. H.

    2016-07-01

    The nuclear lamina is a critical regulator of nuclear structure and function. Nuclei from laminopathy patient cells experience repetitive disruptions of the nuclear envelope, causing transient intermingling of nuclear and cytoplasmic components. The exact causes and consequences of these events are not fully understood, but their stochastic occurrence complicates in-depth analyses. To resolve this, we have established a method that enables quantitative investigation of spontaneous nuclear ruptures, based on co-expression of a firmly bound nuclear reference marker and a fluorescent protein that shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm during ruptures. Minimally invasive imaging of both reporters, combined with automated tracking and in silico synchronization of individual rupture events, allowed extracting information on rupture frequency and recovery kinetics. Using this approach, we found that rupture frequency correlates inversely with lamin A/C levels, and can be reduced in genome-edited LMNA knockout cells by blocking actomyosin contractility or inhibiting the acetyl-transferase protein NAT10. Nuclear signal recovery followed a kinetic that is co-determined by the severity of the rupture event, and could be prolonged by knockdown of the ESCRT-III complex component CHMP4B. In conclusion, our approach reveals regulators of nuclear rupture induction and repair, which may have critical roles in disease development.

  13. Disease Model of GATA4 Mutation Reveals Transcription Factor Cooperativity in Human Cardiogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ang, Yen-Sin; Rivas, Renee N; Ribeiro, Alexandre J S; Srivas, Rohith; Rivera, Janell; Stone, Nicole R; Pratt, Karishma; Mohamed, Tamer M A; Fu, Ji-Dong; Spencer, C Ian; Tippens, Nathaniel D; Li, Molong; Narasimha, Anil; Radzinsky, Ethan; Moon-Grady, Anita J; Yu, Haiyuan; Pruitt, Beth L; Snyder, Michael P; Srivastava, Deepak

    2016-12-15

    Mutation of highly conserved residues in transcription factors may affect protein-protein or protein-DNA interactions, leading to gene network dysregulation and human disease. Human mutations in GATA4, a cardiogenic transcription factor, cause cardiac septal defects and cardiomyopathy. Here, iPS-derived cardiomyocytes from subjects with a heterozygous GATA4-G296S missense mutation showed impaired contractility, calcium handling, and metabolic activity. In human cardiomyocytes, GATA4 broadly co-occupied cardiac enhancers with TBX5, another transcription factor that causes septal defects when mutated. The GATA4-G296S mutation disrupted TBX5 recruitment, particularly to cardiac super-enhancers, concomitant with dysregulation of genes related to the phenotypic abnormalities, including cardiac septation. Conversely, the GATA4-G296S mutation led to failure of GATA4 and TBX5-mediated repression at non-cardiac genes and enhanced open chromatin states at endothelial/endocardial promoters. These results reveal how disease-causing missense mutations can disrupt transcriptional cooperativity, leading to aberrant chromatin states and cellular dysfunction, including those related to morphogenetic defects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Mechanics of the IL2RA Gene Activation Revealed by Modeling and Atomic Force Microscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Pascale Milani; Monique Marilley; Albert Sanchez-Sevilla; Jean Imbert; Cédric Vaillant; Françoise Argoul; Jean-Marc Egly; José Rocca-Serra; Alain Arneodo

    2011-01-01

    Transcription implies recruitment of RNA polymerase II and transcription factors (TFs) by DNA melting near transcription start site (TSS). Combining atomic force microscopy and computer modeling, we investigate the structural and dynamical properties of the IL2RA promoter and identify an intrinsically negative supercoil in the PRRII region (containing Elf-1 and HMGA1 binding sites), located upstream of a curved DNA region encompassing TSS. Conformational changes, evidenced by time-lapse studi...

  15. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Fungal Metabolites in Mouse Intestine as Revealed by In vitro Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Schreiber

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD, which include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are chronic inflammatory disorders that can affect the whole gastrointestinal tract or the colonic mucosal layer. Current therapies aiming to suppress the exaggerated immune response in IBD largely rely on compounds with non-satisfying effects or side-effects. Therefore, new therapeutical options are needed. In the present study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of the fungal metabolites, galiellalactone, and dehydrocurvularin in both an in vitro intestinal inflammation model, as well as in isolated myenteric plexus and enterocyte cells. Administration of a pro-inflammatory cytokine mix through the mesenteric artery of intestinal segments caused an up-regulation of inflammatory marker genes. Treatment of the murine intestinal segments with galiellalactone or dehydrocurvularin by application through the mesenteric artery significantly prevented the expression of pro-inflammatory marker genes on the mRNA and the protein level. Comparable to the results in the perfused intestine model, treatment of primary enteric nervous system (ENS cells from the murine intestine with the fungal compounds reduced expression of cytokines such as IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β, and inflammatory enzymes such as COX-2 and iNOS on mRNA and protein levels. Similar anti-inflammatory effects of the fungal metabolites were observed in the human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line DLD-1 after stimulation with IFN-γ (10 ng/ml, TNF-α (10 ng/ml, and IL-1β (5 ng/ml. Our results show that the mesenterially perfused intestine model provides a reliable tool for the screening of new therapeutics with limited amounts of test compounds. Furthermore, we could characterize the anti-inflammatory effects of two novel active compounds, galiellalactone, and dehydrocurvularin which are interesting candidates for studies with chronic animal models of IBD.

  16. Knock-in model of Dravet syndrome reveals a constitutive and conditional reduction in sodium current

    OpenAIRE

    Schutte, Ryan J.; Schutte, Soleil S.; Algara, Jacqueline; Barragan, Eden V.; Gilligan, Jeff; Staber, Cynthia; Savva, Yiannis A.; Smith, Martin A.; Reenan, Robert; O'Dowd, Diane K.

    2014-01-01

    Hundreds of mutations in the SCN1A sodium channel gene confer a wide spectrum of epileptic disorders, requiring efficient model systems to study cellular mechanisms and identify potential therapeutic targets. We recently demonstrated that Drosophila knock-in flies carrying the K1270T SCN1A mutation known to cause a form of genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) exhibit a heat-induced increase in sodium current activity and seizure phenotype. To determine whether different SCN1A m...

  17. Integrative modeling reveals the principles of multi-scale chromatin boundary formation in human nuclear organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Benjamin L; Aitken, Stuart; Semple, Colin A

    2015-05-27

    Interphase chromosomes adopt a hierarchical structure, and recent data have characterized their chromatin organization at very different scales, from sub-genic regions associated with DNA-binding proteins at the order of tens or hundreds of bases, through larger regions with active or repressed chromatin states, up to multi-megabase-scale domains associated with nuclear positioning, replication timing and other qualities. However, we have lacked detailed, quantitative models to understand the interactions between these different strata. Here we collate large collections of matched locus-level chromatin features and Hi-C interaction data, representing higher-order organization, across three human cell types. We use quantitative modeling approaches to assess whether locus-level features are sufficient to explain higher-order structure, and identify the most influential underlying features. We identify structurally variable domains between cell types and examine the underlying features to discover a general association with cell-type-specific enhancer activity. We also identify the most prominent features marking the boundaries of two types of higher-order domains at different scales: topologically associating domains and nuclear compartments. We find parallel enrichments of particular chromatin features for both types, including features associated with active promoters and the architectural proteins CTCF and YY1. We show that integrative modeling of large chromatin dataset collections using random forests can generate useful insights into chromosome structure. The models produced recapitulate known biological features of the cell types involved, allow exploration of the antecedents of higher-order structures and generate testable hypotheses for further experimental studies.

  18. Computational modeling reveals dendritic origins of GABA(A-mediated excitation in CA1 pyramidal neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi Lewin

    Full Text Available GABA is the key inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult central nervous system, but in some circumstances can lead to a paradoxical excitation that has been causally implicated in diverse pathologies from endocrine stress responses to diseases of excitability including neuropathic pain and temporal lobe epilepsy. We undertook a computational modeling approach to determine plausible ionic mechanisms of GABA(A-dependent excitation in isolated post-synaptic CA1 hippocampal neurons because it may constitute a trigger for pathological synchronous epileptiform discharge. In particular, the interplay intracellular chloride accumulation via the GABA(A receptor and extracellular potassium accumulation via the K/Cl co-transporter KCC2 in promoting GABA(A-mediated excitation is complex. Experimentally it is difficult to determine the ionic mechanisms of depolarizing current since potassium transients are challenging to isolate pharmacologically and much GABA signaling occurs in small, difficult to measure, dendritic compartments. To address this problem and determine plausible ionic mechanisms of GABA(A-mediated excitation, we built a detailed biophysically realistic model of the CA1 pyramidal neuron that includes processes critical for ion homeostasis. Our results suggest that in dendritic compartments, but not in the somatic compartments, chloride buildup is sufficient to cause dramatic depolarization of the GABA(A reversal potential and dominating bicarbonate currents that provide a substantial current source to drive whole-cell depolarization. The model simulations predict that extracellular K(+ transients can augment GABA(A-mediated excitation, but not cause it. Our model also suggests the potential for GABA(A-mediated excitation to promote network synchrony depending on interneuron synapse location - excitatory positive-feedback can occur when interneurons synapse onto distal dendritic compartments, while interneurons projecting to the perisomatic

  19. Computational modelling of cell chain migration reveals mechanisms that sustain follow-the-leader behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wynn, Michelle L; Kulesa, Paul M; Schnell, Santiago

    2012-07-07

    Follow-the-leader chain migration is a striking cell migratory behaviour observed during vertebrate development, adult neurogenesis and cancer metastasis. Although cell-cell contact and extracellular matrix (ECM) cues have been proposed to promote this phenomenon, mechanisms that underlie chain migration persistence remain unclear. Here, we developed a quantitative agent-based modelling framework to test mechanistic hypotheses of chain migration persistence. We defined chain migration and its persistence based on evidence from the highly migratory neural crest model system, where cells within a chain extend and retract filopodia in short-lived cell contacts and move together as a collective. In our agent-based simulations, we began with a set of agents arranged as a chain and systematically probed the influence of model parameters to identify factors critical to the maintenance of the chain migration pattern. We discovered that chain migration persistence requires a high degree of directional bias in both lead and follower cells towards the target. Chain migration persistence was also promoted when lead cells maintained cell contact with followers, but not vice-versa. Finally, providing a path of least resistance in the ECM was not sufficient alone to drive chain persistence. Our results indicate that chain migration persistence depends on the interplay of directional cell movement and biased cell-cell contact.

  20. Modeling filamentous cyanobacteria reveals the advantages of long and fast trichomes for optimizing light exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamulonis, Carlos; Postma, Marten; Kaandorp, Jaap

    2011-01-01

    Cyanobacteria form a very large and diverse phylum of prokaryotes that perform oxygenic photosynthesis. Many species of cyanobacteria live colonially in long trichomes of hundreds to thousands of cells. Of the filamentous species, many are also motile, gliding along their long axis, and display photomovement, by which a trichome modulates its gliding according to the incident light. The latter has been found to play an important role in guiding the trichomes to optimal lighting conditions, which can either inhibit the cells if the incident light is too weak, or damage the cells if too strong. We have developed a computational model for gliding filamentous photophobic cyanobacteria that allows us to perform simulations on the scale of a Petri dish using over 10(5) individual trichomes. Using the model, we quantify the effectiveness of one commonly observed photomovement strategy--photophobic responses--in distributing large populations of trichomes optimally over a light field. The model predicts that the typical observed length and gliding speeds of filamentous cyanobacteria are optimal for the photophobic strategy. Therefore, our results suggest that not just photomovement but also the trichome shape itself improves the ability of the cyanobacteria to optimize their light exposure.

  1. CRISPR Repair Reveals Causative Mutation in a Preclinical Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wen-Hsuan; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Justus, Sally; Lee, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Lijuan; Lin, Chyuan-Sheng; Bassuk, Alexander G; Mahajan, Vinit B; Tsang, Stephen H

    2016-08-01

    Massive parallel sequencing enables identification of numerous genetic variants in mutant organisms, but determining pathogenicity of any one mutation can be daunting. The most commonly studied preclinical model of retinitis pigmentosa called the "rodless" (rd1) mouse is homozygous for two mutations: a nonsense point mutation (Y347X) and an intronic insertion of a leukemia virus (Xmv-28). Distinguishing which mutation causes retinal degeneration is still under debate nearly a century after the discovery of this model organism. Here, we performed gene editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 system and demonstrated that the Y347X mutation is the causative variant of disease. Genome editing in the first generation produced animals that were mosaic for the corrected allele but still showed neurofunction preservation despite low repair frequencies. Furthermore, second-generation CRISPR-repaired mice showed an even more robust rescue and amelioration of the disease. This predicts excellent outcomes for gene editing in diseased human tissue, as Pde6b, the mutated gene in rd1 mice, has an orthologous intron-exon relationship comparable with the human PDE6B gene. Not only do these findings resolve the debate surrounding the source of neurodegeneration in the rd1 model, but they also provide the first example of homology-directed recombination-mediated gene correction in the visual system.

  2. Automated Behavioral Phenotyping Reveals Presymptomatic Alterations in a SCA3 Genetrap Mouse Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jeannette Hübener; Nicolas Casadei; Peter Teismann; Mathias W. Seeliger; Maria Bj(o)rkqvist; Stephan von H(o)rsten; Olaf Riess; Huu Phuc Nguyen

    2012-01-01

    Characterization of disease models of neurodegenerative disorders requires a systematic and comprehensive phenotyping in a highly standardized manner,Therefore,automated high-resolution behavior test systems such as the homecage based LabMaster system are of particular interest.We demonstrate the power of the automated LabMaster system by discovering previously unrecognized features of a recently characterized atxn3 mutant mouse model.This model provided neurological symptoms including gait ataxia,tremor,weight loss and premature death at the age of t2 months usually detectable just 2 weeks before the mice died.Moreover,using the LabMaster system we were able to detect hypoactivity in presymptomatic mutant mice in the dark as well as light phase.Additionally,we analyzed inflammation,immunological and hematological parameters,which indicated a reduced immune defense in phenotypic mice.Here we demonstrate thai a detailed characterization even of organ systems that are usually not affected in SCA3 is important for further studies of pathogenesis and required for the preclinical therapeutic studies.

  3. The Polytrope Index Revealed: Implications for Planet, Solar and Material Models

    CERN Document Server

    Weppner, S P; Thielen, K D; Zielinski, A K

    2014-01-01

    Techniques to model the interior of planets are varied. We introduce a new approach to a century old assumption which enhances not only planetary interior calculations but also solar models and high pressure material physics. Our methodology uses the polytrope assumption which was used to model main sequence and white dwarf stars by Eddington. A polytrope is a simple structural assumption between a material's pressure and volume, $PV^n = C$, where $C$ is a constant and $n$ is the polytrope index. We derive that the polytropic index is the derivative of the bulk modulus with respect to pressure. We then augment the theory by including a variable polytrope index which produces a high quality universal equation of state, within the confines of the Lane-Emden differential equation, making it a robust tool with the potential for excellent predictive power. Unlike most previous equations of state, which have pressure as the dependent variable, the theoretical foundation of our equation of state is the same elastic ...

  4. Modeling filamentous cyanobacteria reveals the advantages of long and fast trichomes for optimizing light exposure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Tamulonis

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria form a very large and diverse phylum of prokaryotes that perform oxygenic photosynthesis. Many species of cyanobacteria live colonially in long trichomes of hundreds to thousands of cells. Of the filamentous species, many are also motile, gliding along their long axis, and display photomovement, by which a trichome modulates its gliding according to the incident light. The latter has been found to play an important role in guiding the trichomes to optimal lighting conditions, which can either inhibit the cells if the incident light is too weak, or damage the cells if too strong. We have developed a computational model for gliding filamentous photophobic cyanobacteria that allows us to perform simulations on the scale of a Petri dish using over 10(5 individual trichomes. Using the model, we quantify the effectiveness of one commonly observed photomovement strategy--photophobic responses--in distributing large populations of trichomes optimally over a light field. The model predicts that the typical observed length and gliding speeds of filamentous cyanobacteria are optimal for the photophobic strategy. Therefore, our results suggest that not just photomovement but also the trichome shape itself improves the ability of the cyanobacteria to optimize their light exposure.

  5. Drosophila Mutant Model of Parkinson's Disease Revealed an Unexpected Olfactory Performance: Morphofunctional Evidences

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Rose, Francescaelena; Corda, Valentina; Belcari, Antonio; Poddighe, Simone; Marrosu, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the clinical triad: tremor, akinesia, and rigidity. Several studies have suggested that PD patients show disturbances in olfaction as one of the earliest, nonspecific nonmotor symptoms of disease onset. We sought to use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to explore olfactory function in LRRK loss-of-function mutants, which was previously demonstrated to be a useful model for PD. Surprisingly, our results showed that the LRRK mutant, compared to the wild flies, presents a dramatic increase in the amplitude of the electroantennogram responses and this is coupled with a higher number of olfactory sensilla. In spite of the above reported results, the behavioural response to olfactory stimuli in mutant flies is impaired compared to that obtained in wild type flies. Thus, behaviour modifications and morphofunctional changes in the olfaction of LRRK loss-of-function mutants might be used as an index to explore the progression of parkinsonism in this specific model, also with the aim of studying and developing new treatments. PMID:27648340

  6. N-gram analysis of 970 microbial organisms reveals presence of biological language models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ganapathiraju Madhavi K

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been suggested previously that genome and proteome sequences show characteristics typical of natural-language texts such as "signature-style" word usage indicative of authors or topics, and that the algorithms originally developed for natural language processing may therefore be applied to genome sequences to draw biologically relevant conclusions. Following this approach of 'biological language modeling', statistical n-gram analysis has been applied for comparative analysis of whole proteome sequences of 44 organisms. It has been shown that a few particular amino acid n-grams are found in abundance in one organism but occurring very rarely in other organisms, thereby serving as genome signatures. At that time proteomes of only 44 organisms were available, thereby limiting the generalization of this hypothesis. Today nearly 1,000 genome sequences and corresponding translated sequences are available, making it feasible to test the existence of biological language models over the evolutionary tree. Results We studied whole proteome sequences of 970 microbial organisms using n-gram frequencies and cross-perplexity employing the Biological Language Modeling Toolkit and Patternix Revelio toolkit. Genus-specific signatures were observed even in a simple unigram distribution. By taking statistical n-gram model of one organism as reference and computing cross-perplexity of all other microbial proteomes with it, cross-perplexity was found to be predictive of branch distance of the phylogenetic tree. For example, a 4-gram model from proteome of Shigellae flexneri 2a, which belongs to the Gammaproteobacteria class showed a self-perplexity of 15.34 while the cross-perplexity of other organisms was in the range of 15.59 to 29.5 and was proportional to their branching distance in the evolutionary tree from S. flexneri. The organisms of this genus, which happen to be pathotypes of E.coli, also have the closest perplexity values with

  7. A zebrafish larval model reveals early tissue-specific innate immune responses to Mucor circinelloides

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    Kerstin Voelz

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Mucormycosis is an emerging fungal infection that is clinically difficult to manage, with increasing incidence and extremely high mortality rates. Individuals with diabetes, suppressed immunity or traumatic injury are at increased risk of developing disease. These individuals often present with defects in phagocytic effector cell function. Research using mammalian models and phagocytic effector cell lines has attempted to decipher the importance of the innate immune system in host defence against mucormycosis. However, these model systems have not been satisfactory for direct analysis of the interaction between innate immune effector cells and infectious sporangiospores in vivo. Here, we report the first real-time in vivo analysis of the early innate immune response to mucormycete infection using a whole-animal zebrafish larval model system. We identified differential host susceptibility, dependent on the site of infection (hindbrain ventricle and swim bladder, as well as differential functions of the two major phagocyte effector cell types in response to viable and non-viable spores. Larval susceptibility to mucormycete spore infection was increased upon immunosuppressant treatment. We showed for the first time that macrophages and neutrophils were readily recruited in vivo to the site of infection in an intact host and that spore phagocytosis can be observed in real-time in vivo. While exploring innate immune effector recruitment dynamics, we discovered the formation of phagocyte clusters in response to fungal spores that potentially play a role in fungal spore dissemination. Spores failed to activate pro-inflammatory gene expression by 6 h post-infection in both infection models. After 24 h, induction of a pro-inflammatory response was observed only in hindbrain ventricle infections. Only a weak pro-inflammatory response was initiated after spore injection into the swim bladder during the same time frame. In the future, the zebrafish larva

  8. Physiological modeling reveals novel pharmacokinetic behavior for inhaled octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, M E; Sarangapani, R; Reitz, R H; Gallavan, R H; Dobrev, I D; Plotzke, K P

    2001-04-01

    Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) is an ingredient in selected consumer and precision cleaning products. Workplace inhalation exposures may occur in some D4 production operations. In this study, we analyzed tissue, plasma, and excreta time-course data following D4 inhalation in Fischer 344 rats (K. Plotzke et al., 2000, Drug Metab. Dispos. 28, 192-204) to assess the degree to which the disposition of D4 is similar to or different from that of volatile hydrocarbons that lack silicone substitution. We first applied a basic physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model (J. C. Ramsey and M. E. Andersen, 1984, Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 73, 159-175) to characterize the biological determinants of D4 kinetics. Parameter estimation techniques indicated an unusual set of characteristics, i.e., a low blood:air (P(b:a) congruent with 0.9) and a high fat:blood partition coefficient (P(f:b) congruent with 550). These parameters were then determined experimentally by equilibrating tissue or liquid samples with saturated atmospheres of D4. Consistent with the estimates from the time-course data, blood:air partition coefficients were small, ranging from 1.9 to 6.9 in six samples. Perirenal fat:air partition coefficients were large, from 1400 to 2500. The average P(f:b) was determined to be 485. This combination of partitioning characteristics leads to rapid exhalation of free D4 at the cessation of the inhalation exposure followed by a much slower redistribution of D4 from fat and tissue storage compartments. The basic PK model failed to describe D4 tissue kinetics in the postexposure period and had to be expanded by adding deep-tissue compartments in liver and lung, a mobile chylomicron-like lipid transport pool in blood, and a second fat compartment. Model parameters for the refined model were optimized using single-exposure data in male and female rats exposed at three concentrations: 7, 70, and 700 ppm. With inclusion of induction of D4 metabolism at 700 ppm (3-fold in

  9. The Effects of Revealed Information on Catastrophe Loss Projection Models' Characterization of Risk: Damage Vulnerability Evidence from Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl, J Bradley; Medders, Lorilee A; Maroney, Patrick F

    2016-06-01

    We examine whether the risk characterization estimated by catastrophic loss projection models is sensitive to the revelation of new information regarding risk type. We use commercial loss projection models from two widely employed modeling firms to estimate the expected hurricane losses of Florida Atlantic University's building stock, both including and excluding secondary information regarding hurricane mitigation features that influence damage vulnerability. We then compare the results of the models without and with this revealed information and find that the revelation of additional, secondary information influences modeled losses for the windstorm-exposed university building stock, primarily evidenced by meaningful percent differences in the loss exceedance output indicated after secondary modifiers are incorporated in the analysis. Secondary risk characteristics for the data set studied appear to have substantially greater impact on probable maximum loss estimates than on average annual loss estimates. While it may be intuitively expected for catastrophe models to indicate that secondary risk characteristics hold value for reducing modeled losses, the finding that the primary value of secondary risk characteristics is in reduction of losses in the "tail" (low probability, high severity) events is less intuitive, and therefore especially interesting. Further, we address the benefit-cost tradeoffs that commercial entities must consider when deciding whether to undergo the data collection necessary to include secondary information in modeling. Although we assert the long-term benefit-cost tradeoff is positive for virtually every entity, we acknowledge short-term disincentives to such an effort. © 2015 Society for Risk Analysis.

  10. Chick embryo xenograft model reveals a novel perineural niche for human adipose-derived stromal cells

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    Ingrid R. Cordeiro

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Human adipose-derived stromal cells (hADSC are a heterogeneous cell population that contains adult multipotent stem cells. Although it is well established that hADSC have skeletal potential in vivo in adult organisms, in vitro assays suggest further differentiation capacity, such as into glia. Thus, we propose that grafting hADSC into the embryo can provide them with a much more instructive microenvironment, allowing the human cells to adopt diverse fates or niches. Here, hADSC spheroids were grafted into either the presumptive presomitic mesoderm or the first branchial arch (BA1 regions of chick embryos. Cells were identified without previous manipulations via human-specific Alu probes, which allows efficient long-term tracing of heterogeneous primary cultures. When grafted into the trunk, in contrast to previous studies, hADSC were not found in chondrogenic or osteogenic territories up to E8. Surprisingly, 82.5% of the hADSC were associated with HNK1+ tissues, such as peripheral nerves. Human skin fibroblasts showed a smaller tropism for nerves. In line with other studies, hADSC also adopted perivascular locations. When grafted into the presumptive BA1, 74.6% of the cells were in the outflow tract, the final goal of cardiac neural crest cells, and were also associated with peripheral nerves. This is the first study showing that hADSC could adopt a perineural niche in vivo and were able to recognize cues for neural crest cell migration of the host. Therefore, we propose that xenografts of human cells into chick embryos can reveal novel behaviors of heterogeneous cell populations, such as response to migration cues.

  11. Hypothalamus proteomics from mouse models with obesity and anorexia reveals therapeutic targets of appetite regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manousopoulou, A; Koutmani, Y; Karaliota, S; Woelk, C H; Manolakos, E S; Karalis, K; Garbis, S D

    2016-04-25

    This study examined the proteomic profile of the hypothalamus in mice exposed to a high-fat diet (HFD) or with the anorexia of acute illness. This comparison could provide insight on the effects of these two opposite states of energy balance on appetite regulation. Four to six-week-old male C56BL/6J mice were fed a normal (control 1 group; n=7) or a HFD (HFD group; n=10) for 8 weeks. The control 2 (n=7) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) groups (n=10) were fed a normal diet for 8 weeks before receiving an injection of saline and LPS, respectively. Hypothalamic regions were analysed using a quantitative proteomics method based on a combination of techniques including iTRAQ stable isotope labeling, orthogonal two-dimensional liquid chromatography hyphenated with nanospray ionization and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Key proteins were validated with quantitative PCR. Quantitative proteomics of the hypothalamous regions profiled a total of 9249 protein groups (qhypothalamus under the HFD and LPS nutritional conditions. Literature research with in silico bioinformatics interpretation of the differentiated proteome identified key biological relevant proteins and implicated pathways. Furthermore, the study identified potential pharmacologic targets. In the LPS groups, the anorexigen pro-opiomelanocortin was downregulated. In mice with obesity, nuclear factor-κB, glycine receptor subunit alpha-4 (GlyR) and neuropeptide Y levels were elevated, whereas serotonin receptor 1B levels decreased. High-precision quantitative proteomics revealed that under acute systemic inflammation in the hypothalamus as a response to LPS, homeostatic mechanisms mediating loss of appetite take effect. Conversely, under chronic inflammation in the hypothalamus as a response to HFD, mechanisms mediating a sustained 'perpetual cycle' of appetite enhancement were observed. The GlyR protein may constitute a novel treatment target for the reduction of central orexigenic signals in obesity.

  12. Boolean Modeling Reveals the Necessity of Transcriptional Regulation for Bistability in PC12 Cell Differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offermann, Barbara; Knauer, Steffen; Singh, Amit; Fernández-Cachón, María L; Klose, Martin; Kowar, Silke; Busch, Hauke; Boerries, Melanie

    2016-01-01

    The nerve growth factor NGF has been shown to cause cell fate decisions toward either differentiation or proliferation depending on the relative activity of downstream pERK, pAKT, or pJNK signaling. However, how these protein signals are translated into and fed back from transcriptional activity to complete cellular differentiation over a time span of hours to days is still an open question. Comparing the time-resolved transcriptome response of NGF- or EGF-stimulated PC12 cells over 24 h in combination with protein and phenotype data we inferred a dynamic Boolean model capturing the temporal sequence of protein signaling, transcriptional response and subsequent autocrine feedback. Network topology was optimized by fitting the model to time-resolved transcriptome data under MEK, PI3K, or JNK inhibition. The integrated model confirmed the parallel use of MAPK/ERK, PI3K/AKT, and JNK/JUN for PC12 cell differentiation. Redundancy of cell signaling is demonstrated from the inhibition of the different MAPK pathways. As suggested in silico and confirmed in vitro, differentiation was substantially suppressed under JNK inhibition, yet delayed only under MEK/ERK inhibition. Most importantly, we found that positive transcriptional feedback induces bistability in the cell fate switch. De novo gene expression was necessary to activate autocrine feedback that caused Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator (uPA) Receptor signaling to perpetuate the MAPK activity, finally resulting in the expression of late, differentiation related genes. Thus, the cellular decision toward differentiation depends on the establishment of a transcriptome-induced positive feedback between protein signaling and gene expression thereby constituting a robust control between proliferation and differentiation.

  13. Revealing the regime of shallow coral reefs at patch scale by continuous spatial modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine eCollin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Reliably translating real-world spatial patterns of ecosystems is critical for understanding processes susceptible to reinforce resilience. However the great majority of studies in spatial ecology use thematic maps to describe habitats and species in a binary scheme. By discretizing the transitional areas and neglecting the gradual replacement across a given space, the thematic approach may suffer from substantial limitations when interpreting patterns created by many continuous variables. Here, local and regional spectral proxies were used to design and spatially map at very fine scale a continuous index dedicated to one of the most complex seascapes, the coral reefscape. Through a groundbreaking merge of bottom-up and top-down approach, we demonstrate that three to seven-habitat continuous indices can be modeled by nine, six, four and three spectral proxies, respectively, at 0.5 m spatial resolution using hand- and spaceborne measurements. We map the seven-habitat continuous index, spanning major Indo-Pacific coral reef habitats through the far red-green normalized difference ratio over the entire lagoon of a low (Tetiaroa atoll and a high volcanic (Moorea island in French Polynesia with 84% and 82% accuracy, respectively. Further examinations of the two resulting spatial models using a customized histoscape (density function of model values distributed on a concentric strip across the reef crest-coastline distance show that Tetiaroa exhibits a greater variety of coral reef habitats than Moorea. By designing such easy-to-implement, transferrable spectral proxies of coral reef regime, this study initiates a framework for spatial ecologists tackling coral reef biodiversity, responses to stresses, perturbations and shifts. We discuss the limitations and contributions of our findings towards the study of worldwide coral reef resilience following stochastic environmental change.

  14. A heterotrimer model of the complete Microprocessor complex revealed by single-molecule subunit counting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, Kristina M; Sarkar, Susanta K; Mills, Maria; Delgado De la Herran, Hilda C; Neuman, Keir C; Steitz, Joan A

    2016-02-01

    During microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis, the Microprocessor complex (MC), composed minimally of Drosha, an RNaseIII enzyme, and DGCR8, a double-stranded RNA-binding protein, cleaves the primary-miRNA (pri-miRNA) to release the pre-miRNA stem-loop structure. Size-exclusion chromatography of the MC, isolated from mammalian cells, suggested multiple copies of one or both proteins in the complex. However, the exact stoichiometry was unknown. Initial experiments suggested that DGCR8 bound pri-miRNA substrates specifically, and given that Drosha could not be bound or cross-linked to RNA, a sequential model for binding was established in which DGCR8 bound first and recruited Drosha. Therefore, many laboratories have studied DGCR8 binding to RNA in the absence of Drosha and have shown that deletion constructs of DGCR8 can multimerize in the presence of RNA. More recently, it was demonstrated that Drosha can bind pri-miRNA substrates in the absence of DGCR8, casting doubt on the sequential model of binding. In the same study, using a single-molecule photobleaching assay, fluorescent protein-tagged deletion constructs of DGCR8 and Drosha assembled into a heterotrimeric complex on RNA, comprising two DGCR8 molecules and one Drosha molecule. To determine the stoichiometry of Drosha and DGCR8 within the MC in the absence of added RNA, we also used a single-molecule photobleaching assay and confirmed the heterotrimeric model of the human MC. We demonstrate that a heterotrimeric complex is likely preformed in the absence of RNA and exists even when full-length proteins are expressed and purified from human cells, and when hAGT-derived tags are used rather than fluorescent proteins.

  15. Large-scale Models Reveal the Two-component Mechanics of Striated Muscle

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    Robert Jarosch

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a comprehensive explanation of striated muscle mechanics and contraction on the basis of filament rotations. Helical proteins, particularly the coiled-coils of tropomyosin, myosin and α-actinin, shorten their H-bonds cooperatively and produce torque and filament rotations when the Coulombic net-charge repulsion of their highly charged side-chains is diminished by interaction with ions. The classical “two-component model” of active muscle differentiated a “contractile component” which stretches the “series elastic component” during force production. The contractile components are the helically shaped thin filaments of muscle that shorten the sarcomeres by clockwise drilling into the myosin cross-bridges with torque decrease (= force-deficit. Muscle stretch means drawing out the thin filament helices off the cross-bridges under passive counterclockwise rotation with torque increase (= stretch activation. Since each thin filament is anchored by four elastic α-actinin Z-filaments (provided with forceregulating sites for Ca2+ binding, the thin filament rotations change the torsional twist of the four Z-filaments as the “series elastic components”. Large scale models simulate the changes of structure and force in the Z-band by the different Z-filament twisting stages A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Stage D corresponds to the isometric state. The basic phenomena of muscle physiology, i. e. latency relaxation, Fenn-effect, the force-velocity relation, the length-tension relation, unexplained energy, shortening heat, the Huxley-Simmons phases, etc. are explained and interpreted with the help of the model experiments.

  16. Sediment Yields Revealed and Fluid Modelling by Twice LiDAR Surveys in Active Tectonics Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Y.; Chan, Y.; Hu, J.; Lin, C.

    2010-12-01

    LiDAR technique allows rapid acquisition of high resolution and high precision topographic data. The technique has found considerable use in the earth sciences, for example for fluvial morphology and flood modelling. These developments have offered new opportunities for investigating spatial and temporal patterns of morphological change in gravel-bed river and have contributed to develop in two points: (1)morphometric estimates of sediment transport and sediment yields ;(2)boundary conditions for numerical models, including computational fluid dynamics and modelling. This topographic research funded by the Taiwan Central Geological Survey, surveyed the terrain of the Lanyang River before and after the typhoon season using Airborne LiDAR technique, and computed the terrain variations. The Lanyang River is one of main rivers in Taiwan and often suffers the influence of typhoon during summer. Most of sediments generated from slump and soil erosion into river were transported from the upstream watershed and resulted in the riverbed changes during the typhoon season. In 2008, there are four significant typhoon events influencing this area, including the Kalmaegi, Fung-wong, Sinlaku, and Jangmi typhoons. At present, sediment yield calculation often used empirical or theoretical formula as well as data collected at hydrological stations, and rarely had the actual measured value through high-resolution topography. The variations of the terrain on the riverbed may be regarded as the sediment yield of the bed load transported during the typhoon season. This research used high-resolution terrain models to compute sediment yield of the bed load, and further discussed volumes of sediment yield in watershed during the typhoon season. In the Lanyang River we discovered that the upstream and midstream channel still had the characteristics of erosion and transportation during the typhoon season. The results imply significant sediment yield and transportation from the upstream

  17. Network Modeling Reveals Cross Talk of MAP Kinases during Adaptation to Caspofungin Stress in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altwasser, Robert; Baldin, Clara; Weber, Jakob; Guthke, Reinhard; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Brakhage, Axel A; Linde, Jörg; Valiante, Vito

    2015-01-01

    Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are highly conserved in eukaryotic organisms. In pathogenic fungi, their activities were assigned to different physiological functions including drug adaptation and resistance. Aspergillus fumigatus is a human pathogenic fungus, which causes life-threatening invasive infections. Therapeutic options against invasive mycoses are still limited. One of the clinically used drugs is caspofungin, which specifically targets the fungal cell wall biosynthesis. A systems biology approach, based on comprehensive transcriptome data sets and mathematical modeling, was employed to infer a regulatory network and identify key interactions during adaptation to caspofungin stress in A. fumigatus. Mathematical modeling and experimental validations confirmed an intimate cross talk occurring between the cell wall-integrity and the high osmolarity-glycerol signaling pathways. Specifically, increased concentrations of caspofungin promoted activation of these signalings. Moreover, caspofungin affected the intracellular transport, which caused an additional osmotic stress that is independent of glucan inhibition. High concentrations of caspofungin reduced this osmotic stress, and thus decreased its toxic activity. Our results demonstrated that MAPK signaling pathways play a key role during caspofungin adaptation and are contributing to the paradoxical effect exerted by this drug.

  18. Dynamic Modelling Reveals 'Hotspots' on the Pathway to Enzyme-Substrate Complex Formation.

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    Shane E Gordon

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Dihydrodipicolinate synthase (DHDPS catalyzes the first committed step in the diaminopimelate pathway of bacteria, yielding amino acids required for cell wall and protein biosyntheses. The essentiality of the enzyme to bacteria, coupled with its absence in humans, validates DHDPS as an antibacterial drug target. Conventional drug design efforts have thus far been unsuccessful in identifying potent DHDPS inhibitors. Here, we make use of contemporary molecular dynamics simulation and Markov state models to explore the interactions between DHDPS from the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus and its cognate substrate, pyruvate. Our simulations recover the crystallographic DHDPS-pyruvate complex without a priori knowledge of the final bound structure. The highly conserved residue Arg140 was found to have a pivotal role in coordinating the entry of pyruvate into the active site from bulk solvent, consistent with previous kinetic reports, indicating an indirect role for the residue in DHDPS catalysis. A metastable binding intermediate characterized by multiple points of intermolecular interaction between pyruvate and key DHDPS residue Arg140 was found to be a highly conserved feature of the binding trajectory when comparing alternative binding pathways. By means of umbrella sampling we show that these binding intermediates are thermodynamically metastable, consistent with both the available experimental data and the substrate binding model presented in this study. Our results provide insight into an important enzyme-substrate interaction in atomistic detail that offers the potential to be exploited for the discovery of more effective DHDPS inhibitors and, in a broader sense, dynamic protein-drug interactions.

  19. Aiptasia sp. larvae as a model to reveal mechanisms of symbiont selection in cnidarians

    KAUST Repository

    Wolfowicz, Iliona

    2016-09-01

    Symbiosis, defined as the persistent association between two distinct species, is an evolutionary and ecologically critical phenomenon facilitating survival of both partners in diverse habitats. The biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems depends on a functional symbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates of the highly diverse genus Symbiodinium, which reside in coral host cells and continuously support their nutrition. The mechanisms underlying symbiont selection to establish a stable endosymbiosis in non-symbiotic juvenile corals are unclear. Here we show for the first time that symbiont selection patterns for larvae of two Acropora coral species and the model anemone Aiptasia are similar under controlled conditions. We find that Aiptasia larvae distinguish between compatible and incompatible symbionts during uptake into the gastric cavity and phagocytosis. Using RNA-Seq, we identify a set of candidate genes potentially involved in symbiosis establishment. Together, our data complement existing molecular resources to mechanistically dissect symbiont phagocytosis in cnidarians under controlled conditions, thereby strengthening the role of Aiptasia larvae as a powerful model for cnidarian endosymbiosis establishment.

  20. Arabidopsis thaliana model system reveals a continuum of responses to root endophyte colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandyam, Keerthi G; Roe, Judith; Jumpponen, Ari

    2013-04-01

    We surveyed the non-mycorrhizal model plant Arabidopsis thaliana microscopically for its ability to form dark septate endophyte (DSE) symbioses in field, greenhouse, and laboratory studies. The laboratory studies were also used to estimate host growth responses to 34 Periconia macrospinosa and four Microdochium sp. isolates. Consistent with broad host range observed in previous experiments, field-, greenhouse-, and laboratory-grown A. thaliana were colonized by melanized inter- and intracellular hyphae and microsclerotia or chlamydospores indicative of DSE symbiosis. Host responses to colonization were variable and depended on the host ecotype. On average, two A. thaliana accessions (Col-0 and Cvi-0) responded negatively, whereas one (Kin-1) was unresponsive, a conclusion consistent with our previous analyses with forbs native to the field site where the fungi originate. Despite the average negative responses, examples of positive responses were also observed, a conclusion also congruent with earlier studies. Our results suggest that A. thaliana has potential as a model for more detailed dissection of the DSE symbiosis. Furthermore, our data suggest that host responses are controlled by variability in the host and endophyte genotypes.

  1. Structure of naturally hydrated ferrihydrite revealed through neutron diffraction and first-principles modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappell, Helen F.; Thom, William; Bowron, Daniel T.; Faria, Nuno; Hasnip, Philip J.; Powell, Jonathan J.

    2017-08-01

    Ferrihydrite, with a ``two-line'' x-ray diffraction pattern (2L-Fh), is the most amorphous of the iron oxides and is ubiquitous in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. It also plays a central role in the regulation and metabolism of iron in bacteria, algae, higher plants, and animals, including humans. In this study, we present a single-phase model for ferrihydrite that unifies existing analytical data while adhering to fundamental chemical principles. The primary particle is small (20-50 Å) and has a dynamic and variably hydrated surface, which negates long-range order; collectively, these features have hampered complete characterization and frustrated our understanding of the mineral's reactivity and chemical/biochemical function. Near and intermediate range neutron diffraction (NIMROD) and first-principles density functional theory (DFT) were employed in this study to generate and interpret high-resolution data of naturally hydrated, synthetic 2L-Fh at standard temperature. The structural optimization overcomes transgressions of coordination chemistry inherent within previously proposed structures, to produce a robust and unambiguous single-phase model.

  2. Multiscale modeling reveals inhibitory and stimulatory effects of caffeine on acetaminophen-induced toxicity in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, C; Cordes, H; Baier, V; Blank, L M; Kuepfer, L

    2017-02-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP) is a widely used analgesic drug that is frequently co-administered with caffeine (CAF) in the treatment of pain. It is well known that APAP may cause severe liver injury after an acute overdose. However, the understanding of whether and to what extent CAF inhibits or stimulates APAP-induced hepatotoxicity in humans is still lacking. Here, a multiscale analysis is presented that quantitatively models the pharmacodynamic (PD) response of APAP during co-medication with CAF. Therefore, drug-drug interaction (DDI) processes were integrated into physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models at the organism level, whereas drug-specific PD response data were contextualized at the cellular level. The results provide new insights into the inhibitory and stimulatory effects of CAF on APAP-induced hepatotoxicity for crucially affected key cellular processes and individual genes at the patient level. This study might facilitate the risk assessment of drug combination therapies in humans and thus may improve patient safety in clinical practice. © 2017 The Authors CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

  3. Multiscale modeling reveals inhibitory and stimulatory effects of caffeine on acetaminophen‐induced toxicity in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, C; Cordes, H; Baier, V; Blank, LM

    2017-01-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP) is a widely used analgesic drug that is frequently co‐administered with caffeine (CAF) in the treatment of pain. It is well known that APAP may cause severe liver injury after an acute overdose. However, the understanding of whether and to what extent CAF inhibits or stimulates APAP‐induced hepatotoxicity in humans is still lacking. Here, a multiscale analysis is presented that quantitatively models the pharmacodynamic (PD) response of APAP during co‐medication with CAF. Therefore, drug‐drug interaction (DDI) processes were integrated into physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models at the organism level, whereas drug‐specific PD response data were contextualized at the cellular level. The results provide new insights into the inhibitory and stimulatory effects of CAF on APAP‐induced hepatotoxicity for crucially affected key cellular processes and individual genes at the patient level. This study might facilitate the risk assessment of drug combination therapies in humans and thus may improve patient safety in clinical practice. PMID:28130915

  4. Computational models reveal a passive mechanism for cell migration in the crypt.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara-Jane Dunn

    Full Text Available Cell migration in the intestinal crypt is essential for the regular renewal of the epithelium, and the continued upward movement of cells is a key characteristic of healthy crypt dynamics. However, the driving force behind this migration is unknown. Possibilities include mitotic pressure, active movement driven by motility cues, or negative pressure arising from cell loss at the crypt collar. It is possible that a combination of factors together coordinate migration. Here, three different computational models are used to provide insight into the mechanisms that underpin cell movement in the crypt, by examining the consequence of eliminating cell division on cell movement. Computational simulations agree with existing experimental results, confirming that migration can continue in the absence of mitosis. Importantly, however, simulations allow us to infer mechanisms that are sufficient to generate cell movement, which is not possible through experimental observation alone. The results produced by the three models agree and suggest that cell loss due to apoptosis and extrusion at the crypt collar relieves cell compression below, allowing cells to expand and move upwards. This finding suggests that future experiments should focus on the role of apoptosis and cell extrusion in controlling cell migration in the crypt.

  5. Proteomics-Based Metabolic Modeling Reveals That Fatty Acid Oxidation (FAO) Controls Endothelial Cell (EC) Permeability*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patella, Francesca; Schug, Zachary T.; Persi, Erez; Neilson, Lisa J.; Erami, Zahra; Avanzato, Daniele; Maione, Federica; Hernandez-Fernaud, Juan R.; Mackay, Gillian; Zheng, Liang; Reid, Steven; Frezza, Christian; Giraudo, Enrico; Fiorio Pla, Alessandra; Anderson, Kurt; Ruppin, Eytan; Gottlieb, Eyal; Zanivan, Sara

    2015-01-01

    Endothelial cells (ECs) play a key role to maintain the functionality of blood vessels. Altered EC permeability causes severe impairment in vessel stability and is a hallmark of pathologies such as cancer and thrombosis. Integrating label-free quantitative proteomics data into genome-wide metabolic modeling, we built up a model that predicts the metabolic fluxes in ECs when cultured on a tridimensional matrix and organize into a vascular-like network. We discovered how fatty acid oxidation increases when ECs are assembled into a fully formed network that can be disrupted by inhibiting CPT1A, the fatty acid oxidation rate-limiting enzyme. Acute CPT1A inhibition reduces cellular ATP levels and oxygen consumption, which are restored by replenishing the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Remarkably, global phosphoproteomic changes measured upon acute CPT1A inhibition pinpointed altered calcium signaling. Indeed, CPT1A inhibition increases intracellular calcium oscillations. Finally, inhibiting CPT1A induces hyperpermeability in vitro and leakage of blood vessel in vivo, which were restored blocking calcium influx or replenishing the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Fatty acid oxidation emerges as central regulator of endothelial functions and blood vessel stability and druggable pathway to control pathological vascular permeability. PMID:25573745

  6. Modeling chemotaxis reveals the role of reversed phosphotransfer and a bi-functional kinase-phosphatase.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus J Tindall

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how multiple signals are integrated in living cells to produce a balanced response is a major challenge in biology. Two-component signal transduction pathways, such as bacterial chemotaxis, comprise histidine protein kinases (HPKs and response regulators (RRs. These are used to sense and respond to changes in the environment. Rhodobacter sphaeroides has a complex chemosensory network with two signaling clusters, each containing a HPK, CheA. Here we demonstrate, using a mathematical model, how the outputs of the two signaling clusters may be integrated. We use our mathematical model supported by experimental data to predict that: (1 the main RR controlling flagellar rotation, CheY(6, aided by its specific phosphatase, the bifunctional kinase CheA(3, acts as a phosphate sink for the other RRs; and (2 a phosphorelay pathway involving CheB(2 connects the cytoplasmic cluster kinase CheA(3 with the polar localised kinase CheA(2, and allows CheA(3-P to phosphorylate non-cognate chemotaxis RRs. These two mechanisms enable the bifunctional kinase/phosphatase activity of CheA(3 to integrate and tune the sensory output of each signaling cluster to produce a balanced response. The signal integration mechanisms identified here may be widely used by other bacteria, since like R. sphaeroides, over 50% of chemotactic bacteria have multiple cheA homologues and need to integrate signals from different sources.

  7. Hidden Markov models reveal complexity in the diving behaviour of short-finned pilot whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Nicola J; Isojunno, Saana; Sadykova, Dina; Bowers, Matthew; Nowacek, Douglas P; Read, Andrew J

    2017-03-31

    Diving behaviour of short-finned pilot whales is often described by two states; deep foraging and shallow, non-foraging dives. However, this simple classification system ignores much of the variation that occurs during subsurface periods. We used multi-state hidden Markov models (HMM) to characterize states of diving behaviour and the transitions between states in short-finned pilot whales. We used three parameters (number of buzzes, maximum dive depth and duration) measured in 259 dives by digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) deployed on 20 individual whales off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA. The HMM identified a four-state model as the best descriptor of diving behaviour. The state-dependent distributions for the diving parameters showed variation between states, indicative of different diving behaviours. Transition probabilities were considerably higher for state persistence than state switching, indicating that dive types occurred in bouts. Our results indicate that subsurface behaviour in short-finned pilot whales is more complex than a simple dichotomy of deep and shallow diving states, and labelling all subsurface behaviour as deep dives or shallow dives discounts a significant amount of important variation. We discuss potential drivers of these patterns, including variation in foraging success, prey availability and selection, bathymetry, physiological constraints and socially mediated behaviour.

  8. Integrative Modeling Reveals Annexin A2-mediated Epigenetic Control of Mesenchymal Glioblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kling, Teresia; Ferrarese, Roberto; Ó hAilín, Darren; Johansson, Patrik; Heiland, Dieter Henrik; Dai, Fangping; Vasilikos, Ioannis; Weyerbrock, Astrid; Jörnsten, Rebecka; Carro, Maria Stella; Nelander, Sven

    2016-10-01

    Glioblastomas are characterized by transcriptionally distinct subtypes, but despite possible clinical relevance, their regulation remains poorly understood. The commonly used molecular classification systems for GBM all identify a subtype with high expression of mesenchymal marker transcripts, strongly associated with invasive growth. We used a comprehensive data-driven network modeling technique (augmented sparse inverse covariance selection, aSICS) to define separate genomic, epigenetic, and transcriptional regulators of glioblastoma subtypes. Our model identified Annexin A2 (ANXA2) as a novel methylation-controlled positive regulator of the mesenchymal subtype. Subsequent evaluation in two independent cohorts established ANXA2 expression as a prognostic factor that is dependent on ANXA2 promoter methylation. ANXA2 knockdown in primary glioblastoma stem cell-like cultures suppressed known mesenchymal master regulators, and abrogated cell proliferation and invasion. Our results place ANXA2 at the apex of a regulatory cascade that determines glioblastoma mesenchymal transformation and validate aSICS as a general methodology to uncover regulators of cancer subtypes.

  9. Proteomics-based metabolic modeling reveals that fatty acid oxidation (FAO) controls endothelial cell (EC) permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patella, Francesca; Schug, Zachary T; Persi, Erez; Neilson, Lisa J; Erami, Zahra; Avanzato, Daniele; Maione, Federica; Hernandez-Fernaud, Juan R; Mackay, Gillian; Zheng, Liang; Reid, Steven; Frezza, Christian; Giraudo, Enrico; Fiorio Pla, Alessandra; Anderson, Kurt; Ruppin, Eytan; Gottlieb, Eyal; Zanivan, Sara

    2015-03-01

    Endothelial cells (ECs) play a key role to maintain the functionality of blood vessels. Altered EC permeability causes severe impairment in vessel stability and is a hallmark of pathologies such as cancer and thrombosis. Integrating label-free quantitative proteomics data into genome-wide metabolic modeling, we built up a model that predicts the metabolic fluxes in ECs when cultured on a tridimensional matrix and organize into a vascular-like network. We discovered how fatty acid oxidation increases when ECs are assembled into a fully formed network that can be disrupted by inhibiting CPT1A, the fatty acid oxidation rate-limiting enzyme. Acute CPT1A inhibition reduces cellular ATP levels and oxygen consumption, which are restored by replenishing the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Remarkably, global phosphoproteomic changes measured upon acute CPT1A inhibition pinpointed altered calcium signaling. Indeed, CPT1A inhibition increases intracellular calcium oscillations. Finally, inhibiting CPT1A induces hyperpermeability in vitro and leakage of blood vessel in vivo, which were restored blocking calcium influx or replenishing the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Fatty acid oxidation emerges as central regulator of endothelial functions and blood vessel stability and druggable pathway to control pathological vascular permeability.

  10. Mammary-Stem-Cell-Based Somatic Mouse Models Reveal Breast Cancer Drivers Causing Cell Fate Dysregulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng Zhang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Cancer genomics has provided an unprecedented opportunity for understanding genetic causes of human cancer. However, distinguishing which mutations are functionally relevant to cancer pathogenesis remains a major challenge. We describe here a mammary stem cell (MaSC organoid-based approach for rapid generation of somatic genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs. By using RNAi and CRISPR-mediated genome engineering in MaSC-GEMMs, we have discovered that inactivation of Ptpn22 or Mll3, two genes mutated in human breast cancer, greatly accelerated PI3K-driven mammary tumorigenesis. Using these tumor models, we have also identified genetic alterations promoting tumor metastasis and causing resistance to PI3K-targeted therapy. Both Ptpn22 and Mll3 inactivation resulted in disruption of mammary gland differentiation and an increase in stem cell activity. Mechanistically, Mll3 deletion enhanced stem cell activity through activation of the HIF pathway. Thus, our study has established a robust in vivo platform for functional cancer genomics and has discovered functional breast cancer mutations.

  11. Hidden Markov models reveal complexity in the diving behaviour of short-finned pilot whales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Nicola J.; Isojunno, Saana; Sadykova, Dina; Bowers, Matthew; Nowacek, Douglas P.; Read, Andrew J.

    2017-01-01

    Diving behaviour of short-finned pilot whales is often described by two states; deep foraging and shallow, non-foraging dives. However, this simple classification system ignores much of the variation that occurs during subsurface periods. We used multi-state hidden Markov models (HMM) to characterize states of diving behaviour and the transitions between states in short-finned pilot whales. We used three parameters (number of buzzes, maximum dive depth and duration) measured in 259 dives by digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs) deployed on 20 individual whales off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA. The HMM identified a four-state model as the best descriptor of diving behaviour. The state-dependent distributions for the diving parameters showed variation between states, indicative of different diving behaviours. Transition probabilities were considerably higher for state persistence than state switching, indicating that dive types occurred in bouts. Our results indicate that subsurface behaviour in short-finned pilot whales is more complex than a simple dichotomy of deep and shallow diving states, and labelling all subsurface behaviour as deep dives or shallow dives discounts a significant amount of important variation. We discuss potential drivers of these patterns, including variation in foraging success, prey availability and selection, bathymetry, physiological constraints and socially mediated behaviour. PMID:28361954

  12. Kinetic Models of Cyclosporin A in Polar and Apolar Environments Reveal Multiple Congruent Conformational States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witek, Jagna; Keller, Bettina G; Blatter, Markus; Meissner, Axel; Wagner, Trixie; Riniker, Sereina

    2016-08-22

    The membrane permeability of cyclic peptides and peptidomimetics, which are generally larger and more complex than typical drug molecules, is likely strongly influenced by the conformational behavior of these compounds in polar and apolar environments. The size and complexity of peptides often limit their bioavailability, but there are known examples of peptide natural products such as cyclosporin A (CsA) that can cross cell membranes by passive diffusion. CsA is an undecapeptide with seven methylated backbone amides. Its crystal structure shows a "closed" twisted β-pleated sheet conformation with four intramolecular hydrogen bonds that is also observed in NMR measurements of CsA in chloroform. When binding to its target cyclophilin, on the other hand, CsA adopts an "open" conformation without intramolecular hydrogen bonds. In this study, we attempted to sample the complete conformational space of CsA in chloroform and in water by molecular dynamics simulations in order to better understand its conformational behavior in these two environments and to rationalize the good membrane permeability of CsA observed experimentally. From 10 μs molecular dynamics simulations in each solvent, Markov state models were constructed to characterize the metastable conformational states. The model in chloroform is compared to nuclear Overhauser effect NMR spectroscopy data reported in this study and taken from the literature. The conformational landscapes in the two solvents show significant overlap but also clearly distinct features.

  13. Generalized additive models reveal the intrinsic complexity of wood formation dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuny, Henri E; Rathgeber, Cyrille B K; Kiessé, Tristan Senga; Hartmann, Felix P; Barbeito, Ignacio; Fournier, Meriem

    2013-04-01

    The intra-annual dynamics of wood formation, which involves the passage of newly produced cells through three successive differentiation phases (division, enlargement, and wall thickening) to reach the final functional mature state, has traditionally been described in conifers as three delayed bell-shaped curves followed by an S-shaped curve. Here the classical view represented by the 'Gompertz function (GF) approach' was challenged using two novel approaches based on parametric generalized linear models (GLMs) and 'data-driven' generalized additive models (GAMs). These three approaches (GFs, GLMs, and GAMs) were used to describe seasonal changes in cell numbers in each of the xylem differentiation phases and to calculate the timing of cell development in three conifer species [Picea abies (L.), Pinus sylvestris L., and Abies alba Mill.]. GAMs outperformed GFs and GLMs in describing intra-annual wood formation dynamics, showing two left-skewed bell-shaped curves for division and enlargement, and a right-skewed bimodal curve for thickening. Cell residence times progressively decreased through the season for enlargement, whilst increasing late but rapidly for thickening. These patterns match changes in cell anatomical features within a tree ring, which allows the separation of earlywood and latewood into two distinct cell populations. A novel statistical approach is presented which renews our understanding of xylogenesis, a dynamic biological process in which the rate of cell production interplays with cell residence times in each developmental phase to create complex seasonal patterns.

  14. Establishment of a rat and guinea pig aortic interposition graft model reveals model-specific patterns of intimal hyperplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Elaine K; Vercammen, Janet M; Flynn, Megan E; Kibbe, Melina R

    2016-12-01

    Although the aortic interposition bypass model has been widely used to evaluate biomaterials for bypass grafting, there is no comprehensive description of the procedure or of the distribution of intimal hyperplasia that results. The objectives of this study were to (1) review and summarize approaches of aortic interposition grafting in animal models, (2) determine the pertinent anatomy for this procedure, (3) validate this model in the rat and guinea pig, and (4) compare the distribution of intimal hyperplasia that develops in each species. A literature search was performed in PubMed from 1980 to the present to analyze the use of anesthesia, anticoagulation, antiplatelet agents, graft material, suture, and anastomotic techniques. Using 10-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats and Hartley guinea pigs, we established pertinent aortic anatomy, developed comparable models, and assessed complications for each model. At 30 days, the graft and associated aorta were explanted, intimal formation was assessed morphometrically, and cellularity was assessed via nuclear counting. We reviewed 30 articles and summarized the pertinent procedural findings. Upon establishing both animal models, key anatomic differences between the species that affect this model were noted. Guinea pigs have a much larger cecum, increased retroperitoneal fat, and lack the iliolumbar vessels compared with the rat. Surgical outcomes for the rat model included a 53% technical success rate and a 32% technical error rate. Surgical outcomes for the guinea pig model included a 69% technical success rate and a 31% technical error rate. These two species demonstrated unique distribution of intimal hyperplasia at 30 days. Intimal hyperplasia in the rat model was greatest at two areas, the proximal graft (5400 μm(2); P hyperplasia throughout the graft (4500-5100 μm(2); P < .01). In this report, we summarize the literature on the aortic interposition graft model, present a detailed description of the anatomy

  15. Multi-Analytical Approach Reveals Potential Microbial Indicators in Soil for Sugarcane Model Systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acacio Aparecido Navarrete

    Full Text Available This study focused on the effects of organic and inorganic amendments and straw retention on the microbial biomass (MB and taxonomic groups of bacteria in sugarcane-cultivated soils in a greenhouse mesocosm experiment monitored for gas emissions and chemical factors. The experiment consisted of combinations of synthetic nitrogen (N, vinasse (V; a liquid waste from ethanol production, and sugarcane-straw blankets. Increases in CO2-C and N2O-N emissions were identified shortly after the addition of both N and V to the soils, thus increasing MB nitrogen (MB-N and decreasing MB carbon (MB-C in the N+V-amended soils and altering soil chemical factors that were correlated with the MB. Across 57 soil metagenomic datasets, Actinobacteria (31.5%, Planctomycetes (12.3%, Deltaproteobacteria (12.3%, Alphaproteobacteria (12.0% and Betaproteobacteria (11.1% were the most dominant bacterial groups during the experiment. Differences in relative abundance of metagenomic sequences were mainly revealed for Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia with regard to N+V fertilization and straw retention. Differential abundances in bacterial groups were confirmed using 16S rRNA gene-targeted phylum-specific primers for real-time PCR analysis in all soil samples, whose results were in accordance with sequence data, except for Gammaproteobacteria. Actinobacteria were more responsive to straw retention with Rubrobacterales, Bifidobacteriales and Actinomycetales related to the chemical factors of N+V-amended soils. Acidobacteria subgroup 7 and Opitutae, a verrucomicrobial class, were related to the chemical factors of soils without straw retention as a surface blanket. Taken together, the results showed that MB-C and MB-N responded to changes in soil chemical factors and CO2-C and N2O-N emissions, especially for N+V-amended soils. The results also indicated that several taxonomic groups of bacteria, such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria and

  16. Precise Characterization of the Penumbra Revealed by MRI: A Modified Photothrombotic Stroke Model Study.

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    Cheng Qian

    Full Text Available To precisely characterize the penumbra by MRI based on a modified photothrombotic stroke mouse model.The proximal middle cerebral artery was occluded by a convenient laser system in conjunction with an intravenous injection of Rose Bengal in mice. And the suture MCAO model was performed in seven mice as a comparison of the reproducibility. One hour after occlusion, the penumbra was defined in six random photothrombotic stroke mice by mismatch between perfusion-weighted imaging and the apparent diffusion coefficient map on a home-made workstation. After imaging, three random mice of them were chosen to perform the reperfusion surgery. And the other three mice were sacrificed to stain for several potential penumbra markers, such as c-fos and heart shock protein 90. In the remaining mice, the evolution of the lesions was detected on the apparent diffusion coefficient map, diffusion-weighted imaging and T2-weighted imaging at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours. After evaluating the neurological deficit scores, the brains were sectioned and stained by triphenyltetrazolium chloride and Nissl.The mice subjected to photothrombosis showed significant behavioral deficits. One hour after occlusion, the low perfusion areas on the perfusion-weighted imaging interlaced with the hypointense areas on the apparent diffusion coefficient map, demonstrating that the penumbra was located both surrounding and inside the lesions. This phenomenon was subsequently confirmed by the c-fos and heart shock protein 90 staining. The final T2-weighted images of the mice subjected to the reperfusion surgery were also consistent with the penumbra images at one hour. At early stages, the lesions were clearly identified on the apparent diffusion coefficient map; the volumes of the lesions on the diffusion-weighted imaging and T2-weighted imaging did not reach a maximum until 12 hours. The coefficient of variation (CV of the final lesions in the photothrombotic stroke mice was 21.7% (0.08 of

  17. Precise Characterization of the Penumbra Revealed by MRI: A Modified Photothrombotic Stroke Model Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Cheng; Li, Pei-Cheng; Jiao, Yun; Yao, Hong-Hong; Chen, Yu-Chen; Yang, Jian; Ding, Jie; Yang, Xiang-Yu; Teng, Gao-Jun

    2016-01-01

    To precisely characterize the penumbra by MRI based on a modified photothrombotic stroke mouse model. The proximal middle cerebral artery was occluded by a convenient laser system in conjunction with an intravenous injection of Rose Bengal in mice. And the suture MCAO model was performed in seven mice as a comparison of the reproducibility. One hour after occlusion, the penumbra was defined in six random photothrombotic stroke mice by mismatch between perfusion-weighted imaging and the apparent diffusion coefficient map on a home-made workstation. After imaging, three random mice of them were chosen to perform the reperfusion surgery. And the other three mice were sacrificed to stain for several potential penumbra markers, such as c-fos and heart shock protein 90. In the remaining mice, the evolution of the lesions was detected on the apparent diffusion coefficient map, diffusion-weighted imaging and T2-weighted imaging at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours. After evaluating the neurological deficit scores, the brains were sectioned and stained by triphenyltetrazolium chloride and Nissl. The mice subjected to photothrombosis showed significant behavioral deficits. One hour after occlusion, the low perfusion areas on the perfusion-weighted imaging interlaced with the hypointense areas on the apparent diffusion coefficient map, demonstrating that the penumbra was located both surrounding and inside the lesions. This phenomenon was subsequently confirmed by the c-fos and heart shock protein 90 staining. The final T2-weighted images of the mice subjected to the reperfusion surgery were also consistent with the penumbra images at one hour. At early stages, the lesions were clearly identified on the apparent diffusion coefficient map; the volumes of the lesions on the diffusion-weighted imaging and T2-weighted imaging did not reach a maximum until 12 hours. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the final lesions in the photothrombotic stroke mice was 21.7% (0.08 of 0.37) on T2

  18. Mechanics of the IL2RA gene activation revealed by modeling and atomic force microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Pascale; Marilley, Monique; Sanchez-Sevilla, Albert; Imbert, Jean; Vaillant, Cédric; Argoul, Françoise; Egly, Jean-Marc; Rocca-Serra, José; Arneodo, Alain

    2011-04-13

    Transcription implies recruitment of RNA polymerase II and transcription factors (TFs) by DNA melting near transcription start site (TSS). Combining atomic force microscopy and computer modeling, we investigate the structural and dynamical properties of the IL2RA promoter and identify an intrinsically negative supercoil in the PRRII region (containing Elf-1 and HMGA1 binding sites), located upstream of a curved DNA region encompassing TSS. Conformational changes, evidenced by time-lapse studies, result in the progressive positioning of curvature apex towards the TSS, likely facilitating local DNA melting. In vitro assays confirm specific binding of the General Transcription Factors (GTFs) TBP and TFIIB over TATA-TSS position, where an inhibitory nucleosome prevented preinitiation complex (PIC) formation and uncontrolled DNA melting. These findings represent a substantial advance showing, first, that the structural properties of the IL2RA promoter are encoded in the DNA sequence and second, that during the initiation process DNA conformation is dynamic and not static.

  19. High-speed imaging reveals neurophysiological links to behavior in an animal model of depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airan, Raag D; Meltzer, Leslie A; Roy, Madhuri; Gong, Yuqing; Chen, Han; Deisseroth, Karl

    2007-08-10

    The hippocampus is one of several brain areas thought to play a central role in affective behaviors, but the underlying local network dynamics are not understood. We used quantitative voltage-sensitive dye imaging to probe hippocampal dynamics with millisecond resolution in brain slices after bidirectional modulation of affective state in rat models of depression. We found that a simple measure of real-time activity-stimulus-evoked percolation of activity through the dentate gyrus relative to the hippocampal output subfield-accounted for induced changes in animal behavior independent of the underlying mechanism of action of the treatments. Our results define a circuit-level neurophysiological endophenotype for affective behavior and suggest an approach to understanding circuit-level substrates underlying psychiatric disease symptoms.

  20. Model-based traction force microscopy reveals differential tension in cellular actin bundles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soiné, Jérôme R D; Brand, Christoph A; Stricker, Jonathan; Oakes, Patrick W; Gardel, Margaret L; Schwarz, Ulrich S

    2015-03-01

    Adherent cells use forces at the cell-substrate interface to sense and respond to the physical properties of their environment. These cell forces can be measured with traction force microscopy which inverts the equations of elasticity theory to calculate them from the deformations of soft polymer substrates. We introduce a new type of traction force microscopy that in contrast to traditional methods uses additional image data for cytoskeleton and adhesion structures and a biophysical model to improve the robustness of the inverse procedure and abolishes the need for regularization. We use this method to demonstrate that ventral stress fibers of U2OS-cells are typically under higher mechanical tension than dorsal stress fibers or transverse arcs.

  1. Model-based traction force microscopy reveals differential tension in cellular actin bundles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérôme R D Soiné

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Adherent cells use forces at the cell-substrate interface to sense and respond to the physical properties of their environment. These cell forces can be measured with traction force microscopy which inverts the equations of elasticity theory to calculate them from the deformations of soft polymer substrates. We introduce a new type of traction force microscopy that in contrast to traditional methods uses additional image data for cytoskeleton and adhesion structures and a biophysical model to improve the robustness of the inverse procedure and abolishes the need for regularization. We use this method to demonstrate that ventral stress fibers of U2OS-cells are typically under higher mechanical tension than dorsal stress fibers or transverse arcs.

  2. Mixture model of pottery decorations from Lake Chad Basin archaeological sites reveals ancient segregation patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, John D; Lin, Kathryn; MacEachern, Scott

    2016-03-30

    We present a new statistical approach to analysing an extremely common archaeological data type--potsherds--that infers the structure of cultural relationships across a set of excavation units (EUs). This method, applied to data from a set of complex, culturally heterogeneous sites around the Mandara mountains in the Lake Chad Basin, helps elucidate cultural succession through the Neolithic and Iron Age. We show how the approach can be integrated with radiocarbon dates to provide detailed portraits of cultural dynamics and deposition patterns within single EUs. In this context, the analysis supports ancient cultural segregation analogous to historical ethnolinguistic patterning in the region. We conclude with a discussion of the many possible model extensions using other archaeological data types.

  3. Immunogold labeling reveals subcellular localisation of silica nanoparticles in a human blood-brain barrier model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Dong; Anguissola, Sergio; O'Neill, Tiina; Dawson, Kenneth A.

    2015-05-01

    Subcellular location of nanoparticles has been widely investigated with fluorescence microscopy, via fluorescently labeled antibodies to visualise target antigens in cells. However, fluorescence microscopy, such as confocal or live cell imaging, has generally limited 3D spatial resolution. Conventional electron microscopy can be useful in bridging resolution gap, but still not ideal in resolving subcellular organelle identities. Using the pre-embedding immunogold electron microscopic imaging, we performed accurate examination of the intracellular trafficking and gathered further evidence of transport mechanisms of silica nanoparticles across a human in vitro blood-brain barrier model. Our approach can effectively immunolocalise a variety of intracellular compartments and provide new insights into the uptake and subcellular transport of nanoparticles.Subcellular location of nanoparticles has been widely investigated with fluorescence microscopy, via fluorescently labeled antibodies to visualise target antigens in cells. However, fluorescence microscopy, such as confocal or live cell imaging, has generally limited 3D spatial resolution. Conventional electron microscopy can be useful in bridging resolution gap, but still not ideal in resolving subcellular organelle identities. Using the pre-embedding immunogold electron microscopic imaging, we performed accurate examination of the intracellular trafficking and gathered further evidence of transport mechanisms of silica nanoparticles across a human in vitro blood-brain barrier model. Our approach can effectively immunolocalise a variety of intracellular compartments and provide new insights into the uptake and subcellular transport of nanoparticles. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Nanoparticle characterisation data, preservation of cellular structures, staining controls, optimisation of size amplification via the silver enhancement, and more imaging results from anti-clathrin and anti-caveolin 1

  4. Genetic models reveal historical patterns of sea lamprey population fluctuations within Lake Champlain

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    Cassidy C. D’Aloia

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The origin of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus in Lake Champlain has been heavily debated over the past decade. Given the lack of historical documentation, two competing hypotheses have emerged in the literature. First, it has been argued that the relatively recent population size increase and concomitant rise in wounding rates on prey populations are indicative of an invasive population that entered the lake through the Champlain Canal. Second, recent genetic evidence suggests a post-glacial colonization at the end of the Pleistocene, approximately 11,000 years ago. One limitation to resolving the origin of sea lamprey in Lake Champlain is a lack of historical and current measures of population size. In this study, the issue of population size was explicitly addressed using nuclear (nDNA and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA markers to estimate historical demography with genetic models. Haplotype network analysis, mismatch analysis, and summary statistics based on mtDNA noncoding sequences for NCI (479 bp and NCII (173 bp all indicate a recent population expansion. Coalescent models based on mtDNA and nDNA identified two potential demographic events: a population decline followed by a very recent population expansion. The decline in effective population size may correlate with land-use and fishing pressure changes post-European settlement, while the recent expansion may be associated with the implementation of the salmonid stocking program in the 1970s. These results are most consistent with the hypothesis that sea lamprey are native to Lake Champlain; however, the credibility intervals around parameter estimates demonstrate that there is uncertainty regarding the magnitude and timing of past demographic events.

  5. Action potential processing in a detailed Purkinje cell model reveals a critical role for axonal compartmentalization

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    Stefano eMasoli

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The Purkinje cell (PC is among the most complex neurons in the brain and plays a critical role for cerebellar functioning. PCs operate as fast pacemakers modulated by synaptic inputs but can switch from simple spikes to complex bursts and, in some conditions, show bistability. In contrast to original works emphasizing dendritic Ca-dependent mechanisms, recent experiments have supported a primary role for axonal Na-dependent processing, which could effectively regulate spike generation and transmission to deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN. In order to account for the numerous ionic mechanisms involved (at present including Nav1.6, Cav2.1, Cav3.1, Cav3.2, Cav3.3, Kv1.1, Kv1.5, Kv3.3, Kv3.4, Kv4.3, KCa1.1, KCa2.2, KCa3.1, Kir2.x, HCN1, we have elaborated a multicompartmental model incorporating available knowledge on localization and gating of PC ionic channels. The axon, including initial segment (AIS and Ranvier nodes (RNs, proved critical to obtain appropriate pacemaking and firing frequency modulation. Simple spikes initiated in the AIS and protracted discharges were stabilized in the soma through Na-dependent mechanisms, while somato-dendritic Ca channels contributed to sustain pacemaking and to generate complex bursting at high discharge regimes. Bistability occurred only following Na and Ca channel down-regulation. In addition, specific properties in RNs K currents were required to limit spike transmission frequency along the axon. The model showed how organized electroresponsive functions could emerge from the molecular complexity of PCs and showed that the axon is fundamental to complement ionic channel compartmentalization enabling action potential processing and transmission of specific spike patterns to DCN.

  6. Genome association study through nonlinear mixed models revealed new candidate genes for pig growth curves

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    Fabyano Fonseca e Silva

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Genome association analyses have been successful in identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs for pig body weights measured at a single age. However, when considering the whole weight trajectories over time in the context of genome association analyses, it is important to look at the markers that affect growth curve parameters. The easiest way to consider them is via the two-step method, in which the growth curve parameters and marker effects are estimated separately, thereby resulting in a reduction of the statistical power and the precision of estimates. One efficient solution is to adopt nonlinear mixed models (NMM, which enables a joint modeling of the individual growth curves and marker effects. Our aim was to propose a genome association analysis for growth curves in pigs based on NMM as well as to compare it with the traditional two-step method. In addition, we also aimed to identify the nearest candidate genes related to significant SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism markers. The NMM presented a higher number of significant SNPs for adult weight (A and maturity rate (K, and provided a direct way to test SNP significance simultaneously for both the A and K parameters. Furthermore, all significant SNPs from the two-step method were also reported in the NMM analysis. The ontology of the three candidate genes (SH3BGRL2, MAPK14, and MYL9 derived from significant SNPs (simultaneously affecting A and K allows us to make inferences with regards to their contribution to the pig growth process in the population studied.

  7. A zebrafish model of manganism reveals reversible and treatable symptoms that are independent of neurotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakthavatsalam, Subha; Das Sharma, Shreya; Sonawane, Mahendra; Thirumalai, Vatsala; Datta, Ankona

    2014-01-01

    Manganese (manganese ion; referred to as Mn) is essential for neuronal function, yet it is toxic at high concentrations. Environmental and occupational exposure to high concentrations of Mn causes manganism, a well-defined movement disorder in humans, with symptoms resembling Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, manganism is distinct from PD and the neural basis of its pathology is poorly understood. To address this issue, we generated a zebrafish model of manganism by incubating larvae in rearing medium containing Mn. We find that Mn-treated zebrafish larvae exhibit specific postural and locomotor defects. Larvae begin to float on their sides, show a curved spine and swim in circles. We discovered that treatment with Mn causes postural defects by interfering with mechanotransduction at the neuromasts. Furthermore, we find that the circling locomotion could be caused by long-duration bursting in the motor neurons, which can lead to long-duration tail bends in the Mn-treated larvae. Mn-treated larvae also exhibited fewer startle movements. Additionally, we show that the intensity of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity is reversibly reduced after Mn-treatment. This led us to propose that reduced dopamine neuromodulation drives the changes in startle movements. To test this, when we supplied an external source of dopamine to Mn-treated larvae, the larvae exhibited a normal number of startle swims. Taken together, these results indicate that Mn interferes with neuronal function at the sensory, motor and modulatory levels, and open avenues for therapeutically targeted studies on the zebrafish model of manganism. PMID:25261567

  8. Ascl3 knockout and cell ablation models reveal complexity of salivary gland maintenance and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arany, Szilvia; Catalán, Marcelo A; Roztocil, Elisa; Ovitt, Catherine E

    2011-05-15

    Expression of the transcription factor, Ascl3, marks a population of adult progenitor cells, which can give rise to both acinar and duct cell types in the murine salivary glands. Using a previously reported Ascl3(EGFP-Cre/+) knock-in strain, we demonstrate that Ascl3-expressing cells represent a molecularly distinct, and proliferating population of progenitor cells located in salivary gland ducts. To investigate both the role of the Ascl3 transcription factor, and the role of the cells in which it is expressed, we generated knockout and cell-specific ablation models. Ascl3 knockout mice develop smaller salivary glands than wild type littermates, but secrete saliva normally. They display a lower level of cell proliferation, consistent with their smaller size. In the absence of Ascl3, the cells maintain their progenitor function and continue to generate both acinar and duct cells. To directly test the role of the progenitor cells, themselves, in salivary gland development and regeneration, we used Cre-activated expression of diphtheria toxin (DTA) in the Ascl3-expressing (Ascl3+) cell population, resulting in specific cell ablation of Ascl3+ cells. In the absence of the Ascl3+ progenitor cells, the mice developed morphologically normal, albeit smaller, salivary glands able to secrete saliva. Furthermore, in a ductal ligation model of salivary gland injury, the glands of these mice were able to regenerate acinar cells. Our results indicate that Ascl3+ cells are active proliferating progenitors, but they are not the only precursors for salivary gland development or regeneration. We conclude that maintenance of tissue homeostasis in the salivary gland must involve more than one progenitor cell population.

  9. Anatase (101)-like Structural Model Revealed for Metastable Rutile TiO2(011) Surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Meiling; Shao, Sen; Gao, Bo; Lv, Jian; Li, Quan; Wang, Yanchao; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Lijun; Ma, Yanming

    2017-03-08

    Titanium dioxide has been widely used as an efficient transition metal oxide photocatalyst. However, its photocatalytic activity is limited to the ultraviolet spectrum range due to the large bandgap beyond 3 eV. Efforts to reduce the bandgap to achieve a broader spectrum range of light absorption have been successfully attempted via the experimental synthesis of dopant-free metastable surface structures of rutile-type TiO2 (011) 2 × 1. This new surface phase possesses a reduced bandgap of ∼2.1 eV, showing great potential for an excellent photocatalyst covering a wide range of visible light. There is a need to establish the atomistic structure of this metastable surface to understand the physical cause for the bandgap reduction and to improve the future design of photocatalysts. Here, we report computational investigations in an effort to unravel this surface structure via swarm structure-searching simulations. The established structure adopts the anatase (101)-like structure model, where the topmost 2-fold O atoms form a quasi-hexagonal surface pattern and bond with the unsaturated 5-fold and 4-fold Ti atoms in the next layer. The predicted anatase (101)-like surface model can naturally explain the experimental observation of the STM images, the electronic bandgap, and the oxidation state of Ti(4+). Dangling bonds on the anatase (101)-like surface are abundant making it a superior photocatalyst. First-principles molecular dynamics simulations have supported the high photocatalytic activity by showing that water and formic acid molecules dissociate spontaneously on the anatase (101)-like surface.

  10. Zebrafish models for nemaline myopathy reveal a spectrum of nemaline bodies contributing to reduced muscle function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sztal, Tamar E; Zhao, Mo; Williams, Caitlin; Oorschot, Viola; Parslow, Adam C; Giousoh, Aminah; Yuen, Michaela; Hall, Thomas E; Costin, Adam; Ramm, Georg; Bird, Phillip I; Busch-Nentwich, Elisabeth M; Stemple, Derek L; Currie, Peter D; Cooper, Sandra T; Laing, Nigel G; Nowak, Kristen J; Bryson-Richardson, Robert J

    2015-09-01

    Nemaline myopathy is characterized by muscle weakness and the presence of rod-like (nemaline) bodies. The genetic etiology of nemaline myopathy is becoming increasingly understood with mutations in ten genes now known to cause the disease. Despite this, the mechanism by which skeletal muscle weakness occurs remains elusive, with previous studies showing no correlation between the frequency of nemaline bodies and disease severity. To investigate the formation of nemaline bodies and their role in pathogenesis, we generated overexpression and loss-of-function zebrafish models for skeletal muscle α-actin (ACTA1) and nebulin (NEB). We identify three distinct types of nemaline bodies and visualize their formation in vivo, demonstrating these nemaline bodies not only exhibit different subcellular origins, but also have distinct pathological consequences within the skeletal muscle. One subtype is highly dynamic and upon breakdown leads to the accumulation of cytoplasmic actin contributing to muscle weakness. Examination of a Neb-deficient model suggests this mechanism may be common in nemaline myopathy. Another subtype results from a reduction of actin and forms a more stable cytoplasmic body. In contrast, the final type originates at the Z-disk and is associated with myofibrillar disorganization. Analysis of zebrafish and muscle biopsies from ACTA1 nemaline myopathy patients demonstrates that nemaline bodies also possess a different protein signature. In addition, we show that the ACTA1(D286G) mutation causes impaired actin incorporation and localization in the sarcomere. Together these data provide a novel examination of nemaline body origins and dynamics in vivo and identifies pathological changes that correlate with muscle weakness.

  11. A Proposed Theoretical Model for Exploring the Ecological Ideologies Re-vealed in the Online Chinese Resort Profiles

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    肖瑟

    2013-01-01

      Responding to the increasingly heated discussion of environmental issues and the mounting concern about ecological degradation, the present thesis is to try formulating a comprehensive and specific theoretical model for exploring the ecological ideologies revealed in the online Chinese resort profiles. In this model, Fairclough’s three-dimensional model draws upon the Subsystem of Appraisal Theory—Attitude as the specific analytical framework and the ecological philosophy in the scope of ecocriticism as the specific explanatory tool for the exploration of ecological ideologies in these texts. Thus, the present thesis finds a point where CDA, Appraisal Theory and Ecocriticism work together to conduct a discourse analysis, which not only broadens the theoretical scope of each, but makes these theories better serve the practical course of environment protection.

  12. Data-driven modeling of sleep EEG and EOG reveals characteristics indicative of pre-Parkinson's and Parkinson's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Julie Anja Engelhard; Zoetmulder, Marielle; Koch, Henriette

    2014-01-01

    classifying iRBD/PD patients. Comparison with existing method: The topics showed visual accordance with the manually scored sleep stages, and the features revealed sleep characteristics containing information indicative of neurodegeneration. Conclusions: This study suggests that the amount of N3......Background: Manual scoring of sleep relies on identifying certain characteristics in polysomnograph (PSG) signals. However, these characteristics are disrupted in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. New method: This study evaluates sleep using a topic modeling and unsupervised learning...... approach to identify sleep topics directly from electroencephalography (EEG) and electrooculography (EOG). PSG data from control subjects were used to develop an EOG and an EEG topic model. The models were applied to PSG data from 23 control subjects, 25 patients with periodic leg movements (PLMs), 31...

  13. Complete protein-protein association kinetics in atomic detail revealed by molecular dynamics simulations and Markov modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plattner, Nuria; Doerr, Stefan; de Fabritiis, Gianni; Noé, Frank

    2017-10-01

    Protein-protein association is fundamental to many life processes. However, a microscopic model describing the structures and kinetics during association and dissociation is lacking on account of the long lifetimes of associated states, which have prevented efficient sampling by direct molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Here we demonstrate protein-protein association and dissociation in atomistic resolution for the ribonuclease barnase and its inhibitor barstar by combining adaptive high-throughput MD simulations and hidden Markov modelling. The model reveals experimentally consistent intermediate structures, energetics and kinetics on timescales from microseconds to hours. A variety of flexibly attached intermediates and misbound states funnel down to a transition state and a native basin consisting of the loosely bound near-native state and the tightly bound crystallographic state. These results offer a deeper level of insight into macromolecular recognition and our approach opens the door for understanding and manipulating a wide range of macromolecular association processes.

  14. Sparse Modeling Reveals miRNA Signatures for Diagnostics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübenthal, Matthias; Hemmrich-Stanisak, Georg; Degenhardt, Frauke; Szymczak, Silke; Du, Zhipei; Elsharawy, Abdou; Keller, Andreas; Schreiber, Stefan; Franke, Andre

    2015-01-01

    The diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) still remains a clinical challenge and the most accurate diagnostic procedure is a combination of clinical tests including invasive endoscopy. In this study we evaluated whether systematic miRNA expression profiling, in conjunction with machine learning techniques, is suitable as a non-invasive test for the major IBD phenotypes (Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC)). Based on microarray technology, expression levels of 863 miRNAs were determined for whole blood samples from 40 CD and 36 UC patients and compared to data from 38 healthy controls (HC). To further discriminate between disease-specific and general inflammation we included miRNA expression data from other inflammatory diseases (inflammation controls (IC): 24 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 23 multiple sclerosis, 38 pancreatitis and 45 sarcoidosis cases) as well as 70 healthy controls from previous studies. Classification problems considering 2, 3 or 4 groups were solved using different types of penalized support vector machines (SVMs). The resulting models were assessed regarding sparsity and performance and a subset was selected for further investigation. Measured by the area under the ROC curve (AUC) the corresponding median holdout-validated accuracy was estimated as ranging from 0.75 to 1.00 (including IC) and 0.89 to 0.98 (excluding IC), respectively. In combination, the corresponding models provide tools for the distinction of CD and UC as well as CD, UC and HC with expected classification error rates of 3.1 and 3.3%, respectively. These results were obtained by incorporating not more than 16 distinct miRNAs. Validated target genes of these miRNAs have been previously described as being related to IBD. For others we observed significant enrichment for IBD susceptibility loci identified in earlier GWAS. These results suggest that the proposed miRNA signature is of relevance for the etiology of IBD. Its diagnostic value

  15. Gravity modeling reveals that the "Miocene Pyrenean peneplain" developed at high elevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Gemma V.; Van Den Driessche, Jean; Robert, Alexandra; Babault, Julien; Le Carlier, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Geodynamics that shaped the present morphology of the western Mediterranean are mostly linked to the African-Eurasia collision and the extension related to the Mediterranean opening. The Pyrenean chain formed by the collision between the Iberian microplate and the Eurasian plate from the Eocene to the late Oligocene. This resulted in lithosphere thickening especially below the Central Pyrenees that becomes thinner eastwards. Whether the later thinning of the lithosphere in the easternmost Pyrenees involves the removal of the lithospheric mantle or not is debated. This issue joins the problematics about the origin of the high-elevation of the "Miocene Pyrenean peneplain" remnants. Indeed the most striking feature of the Pyrenean morphology is the occurrence of high-elevation, low relief erosional surfaces that are interpreted as the remnants of a Miocene single planation surface, dissected and reworked by Quaternary fluvial and glacial erosion. Two end-member interpretations have proposed to explain the high elevation of this original surface. The first considers that the Miocene Pyrenean peneplain develops near sea-level and was later uplifted, the second claims that the planation surface developed at high elevation in response to the inhibition of erosion consecutively to the progressive rise of the base-level of the Pyrenean drainage network. The first interpretation implies the return to normal crustal thickness by erosion and later uplift by removal of the lithospheric mantle. The second interpretation considers that the mean elevation of the original planation surface matches the thickness of the lithosphere below the chain, taking into account some hundred meters of isostatic rebound due to Quaternary erosion. To test these interpretations, we first restore the Miocene original planation surface by mapping and interpolating the high-elevation, low relief surfaces across the Pyrenees. We then performed 1D and 2D gravity models that we compare with recent

  16. Can representational trajectory reveal the nature of an internal model of gravity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sá Teixeira, Nuno; Hecht, Heiko

    2014-05-01

    The memory for the vanishing location of a horizontally moving target is usually displaced forward in the direction of motion (representational momentum) and downward in the direction of gravity (representational gravity). Moreover, this downward displacement has been shown to increase with time (representational trajectory). However, the degree to which different kinematic events change the temporal profile of these displacements remains to be determined. The present article attempts to fill this gap. In the first experiment, we replicate the finding that representational momentum for downward-moving targets is bigger than for upward motions, showing, moreover, that it increases rapidly during the first 300 ms, stabilizing afterward. This temporal profile, but not the increased error for descending targets, is shown to be disrupted when eye movements are not allowed. In the second experiment, we show that the downward drift with time emerges even for static targets. Finally, in the third experiment, we report an increased error for upward-moving targets, as compared with downward movements, when the display is compatible with a downward ego-motion by including vection cues. Thus, the errors in the direction of gravity are compatible with the perceived event and do not merely reflect a retinotopic bias. Overall, these results provide further evidence for an internal model of gravity in the visual representational system.

  17. Revealing characteristics of mixed consortia for azo dye decolorization: Lotka-Volterra model and game theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Yann

    2007-10-22

    This study provides a novel explanation to put forward, in Lotka-Volterra competition model and game theory, interspecific competition in bioaugmentation using constructed mixed consortia for azo dye decolorization. As mixed cultures are regularly used in industrial dye-laden wastewater treatment, understanding species competition of mixed consortia is apparently of great importance to azo dye decolorization. In aerobic growth conditions, Escherichia coli DH5alpha owned a growth advantage to out-compete Pseudomonas luteola due to preferential growth rate of DH5alpha. However, in static decolorization conditions DH5alpha surrendered some proportion of its advantage (i.e., a decrease in its competitive power for metabolite stimulation) to enhance color removal of P. luteola for total coexistence. In aerobic growth, DH5alpha had its growth advantage to exclude P. luteola for dominance (i.e, conflict strategy) according to competitive exclusion principle. In static decolorization conditions, as the removal of a common dye threat was crucial to both species for survival, both species selected cooperation strategy through metabolite stimulation of DH5alpha to enhance effective decolorization of P. luteola for long-term sustainable management. This analysis of game theory clearly unlocked unsolved mysteries in previous studies.

  18. Mechanics of the IL2RA gene activation revealed by modeling and atomic force microscopy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale Milani

    Full Text Available Transcription implies recruitment of RNA polymerase II and transcription factors (TFs by DNA melting near transcription start site (TSS. Combining atomic force microscopy and computer modeling, we investigate the structural and dynamical properties of the IL2RA promoter and identify an intrinsically negative supercoil in the PRRII region (containing Elf-1 and HMGA1 binding sites, located upstream of a curved DNA region encompassing TSS. Conformational changes, evidenced by time-lapse studies, result in the progressive positioning of curvature apex towards the TSS, likely facilitating local DNA melting. In vitro assays confirm specific binding of the General Transcription Factors (GTFs TBP and TFIIB over TATA-TSS position, where an inhibitory nucleosome prevented preinitiation complex (PIC formation and uncontrolled DNA melting. These findings represent a substantial advance showing, first, that the structural properties of the IL2RA promoter are encoded in the DNA sequence and second, that during the initiation process DNA conformation is dynamic and not static.

  19. An amoeba phagocytosis model reveals a novel developmental switch in the insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beeton, M L; Atkinson, D J; Waterfield, N R

    2013-02-01

    The Bacillus cereus group bacteria contain pathogens of economic and medical importance. From security and health perspectives, the lethal mammalian pathogen Bacillus anthracis remains a serious threat. In addition the potent insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis is extensively used as a biological control agent for insect pests. This relies upon the industrial scale induction of bacterial spore formation with the associated production of orally toxic Cry-toxins. Understanding the ecology and potential alternative developmental fates of these bacteria is therefore important. Here we describe the use of an amoeba host model to investigate the influence of environmental bactivorous protists on both spores and vegetative cells of these pathogens. We demonstrate that the bacteria can respond to different densities of amoeba by adopting different behaviours and developmental fates. We show that spores will germinate in response to factors excreted by the amoeba, and that the bacteria can grow and reproduce on these factors. We show that in low densities of amoeba, that the bacteria will seek to colonise the surface of the amoeba as micro-colonies, resisting phagocytosis. At high amoeba densities, the bacteria change morphology into long filaments and macroscopic rope-like structures which cannot be ingested due to size exclusion. We suggest these developmental fates are likely to be important both in the ecology of these bacteria and also during animal host colonisation and immune evasion.

  20. Molecular tools and bumble bees: revealing hidden details of ecology and evolution in a model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, S Hollis; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Goulson, David; Williams, Paul H; Strange, James P; Jha, Shalene

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees are a longstanding model system for studies on behaviour, ecology and evolution, due to their well-studied social lifestyle, invaluable role as wild and managed pollinators, and ubiquity and diversity across temperate ecosystems. Yet despite their importance, many aspects of bumble bee biology have remained enigmatic until the rise of the genetic and, more recently, genomic eras. Here, we review and synthesize new insights into the ecology, evolution and behaviour of bumble bees that have been gained using modern genetic and genomic techniques. Special emphasis is placed on four areas of bumble bee biology: the evolution of eusociality in this group, population-level processes, large-scale evolutionary relationships and patterns, and immunity and resistance to pesticides. We close with a prospective on the future of bumble bee genomics research, as this rapidly advancing field has the potential to further revolutionize our understanding of bumble bees, particularly in regard to adaptation and resilience. Worldwide, many bumble bee populations are in decline. As such, throughout the review, connections are drawn between new molecular insights into bumble bees and our understanding of the causal factors involved in their decline. Ongoing and potential applications to bumble bee management and conservation are also included to demonstrate how genetics- and genomics-enabled research aids in the preservation of this threatened group. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. A spastic paraplegia mouse model reveals REEP1-dependent ER shaping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beetz, Christian; Koch, Nicole; Khundadze, Mukhran; Zimmer, Geraldine; Nietzsche, Sandor; Hertel, Nicole; Huebner, Antje-Kathrin; Mumtaz, Rizwan; Schweizer, Michaela; Dirren, Elisabeth; Karle, Kathrin N; Irintchev, Andrey; Alvarez, Victoria; Redies, Christoph; Westermann, Martin; Kurth, Ingo; Deufel, Thomas; Kessels, Michael M; Qualmann, Britta; Hübner, Christian A

    2013-10-01

    Axonopathies are a group of clinically diverse disorders characterized by the progressive degeneration of the axons of specific neurons. In hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), the axons of cortical motor neurons degenerate and cause a spastic movement disorder. HSP is linked to mutations in several loci known collectively as the spastic paraplegia genes (SPGs). We identified a heterozygous receptor accessory protein 1 (REEP1) exon 2 deletion in a patient suffering from the autosomal dominantly inherited HSP variant SPG31. We generated the corresponding mouse model to study the underlying cellular pathology. Mice with heterozygous deletion of exon 2 in Reep1 displayed a gait disorder closely resembling SPG31 in humans. Homozygous exon 2 deletion resulted in the complete loss of REEP1 and a more severe phenotype with earlier onset. At the molecular level, we demonstrated that REEP1 is a neuron-specific, membrane-binding, and membrane curvature-inducing protein that resides in the ER. We further show that Reep1 expression was prominent in cortical motor neurons. In REEP1-deficient mice, these neurons showed reduced complexity of the peripheral ER upon ultrastructural analysis. Our study connects proper neuronal ER architecture to long-term axon survival.

  2. Revealing the mystery of metabolic adaptations using a genome scale model of Leishmania infantum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramanian, Abhishek; Sarkar, Ram Rup

    2017-08-31

    Human macrophage phagolysosome and sandfly midgut provide antagonistic ecological niches for Leishmania parasites to survive and proliferate. Parasites optimize their metabolism to utilize the available inadequate resources by adapting to those environments. Lately, a number of metabolomics studies have revived the interest to understand metabolic strategies utilized by the Leishmania parasite for optimal survival within its hosts. For the first time, we propose a reconstructed genome-scale metabolic model for Leishmania infantum JPCM5, the analyses of which not only captures observations reported by metabolomics studies in other Leishmania species but also divulges novel features of the L. infantum metabolome. Our results indicate that Leishmania metabolism is organized in such a way that the parasite can select appropriate alternatives to compensate for limited external substrates. A dynamic non-essential amino acid motif exists within the network that promotes a restricted redistribution of resources to yield required essential metabolites. Further, subcellular compartments regulate this metabolic re-routing by reinforcing the physiological coupling of specific reactions. This unique metabolic organization is robust against accidental errors and provides a wide array of choices for the parasite to achieve optimal survival.

  3. Potassium starvation in yeast: mechanisms of homeostasis revealed by mathematical modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Kahm

    Full Text Available The intrinsic ability of cells to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions is a fundamental process required for survival. Potassium is the most abundant cation in living cells and is required for essential cellular processes, including the regulation of cell volume, pH and protein synthesis. Yeast cells can grow from low micromolar to molar potassium concentrations and utilize sophisticated control mechanisms to keep the internal potassium concentration in a viable range. We developed a mathematical model for Saccharomyces cerevisiae to explore the complex interplay between biophysical forces and molecular regulation facilitating potassium homeostasis. By using a novel inference method ("the reverse tracking algorithm" we predicted and then verified experimentally that the main regulators under conditions of potassium starvation are proton fluxes responding to changes of potassium concentrations. In contrast to the prevailing view, we show that regulation of the main potassium transport systems (Trk1,2 and Nha1 in the plasma membrane is not sufficient to achieve homeostasis.

  4. Potassium starvation in yeast: mechanisms of homeostasis revealed by mathematical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahm, Matthias; Navarrete, Clara; Llopis-Torregrosa, Vicent; Herrera, Rito; Barreto, Lina; Yenush, Lynne; Ariño, Joaquin; Ramos, Jose; Kschischo, Maik

    2012-01-01

    The intrinsic ability of cells to adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions is a fundamental process required for survival. Potassium is the most abundant cation in living cells and is required for essential cellular processes, including the regulation of cell volume, pH and protein synthesis. Yeast cells can grow from low micromolar to molar potassium concentrations and utilize sophisticated control mechanisms to keep the internal potassium concentration in a viable range. We developed a mathematical model for Saccharomyces cerevisiae to explore the complex interplay between biophysical forces and molecular regulation facilitating potassium homeostasis. By using a novel inference method ("the reverse tracking algorithm") we predicted and then verified experimentally that the main regulators under conditions of potassium starvation are proton fluxes responding to changes of potassium concentrations. In contrast to the prevailing view, we show that regulation of the main potassium transport systems (Trk1,2 and Nha1) in the plasma membrane is not sufficient to achieve homeostasis.

  5. New insight into motor adaptation to pain revealed by a combination of modelling and empirical approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, P W; Coppieters, M W; MacDonald, D; Cholewicki, J

    2013-09-01

    Movement changes in pain. Unlike the somewhat stereotypical response of limb muscles to pain, trunk muscle responses are highly variable when challenged by pain in that region. This has led many to question the existence of a common underlying theory to explain the adaptation. Here, we tested the hypotheses that (1) adaptation in muscle activation in acute pain leads to enhanced spine stability, despite variation in the pattern of muscle activation changes; and (2) individuals would use a similar 'signature' pattern for tasks with different mechanical demands. In 17 healthy individuals, electromyography recordings were made from a broad array of anterior and posterior trunk muscles while participants moved slowly between trunk flexion and extension with and without experimentally induced back pain. Hypotheses were tested by estimating spine stability (Stability Index) with an electromyography-driven spine model and analysis of individual and overall (net) adaptations in muscle activation. The Stability Index (P muscle activity (P muscle activity. For most, the adaptation was similar between movement directions despite opposite movement demands. These data provide the first empirical confirmation that, in most individuals, acute back pain leads to increased spinal stability and that the pattern of muscle activity is not stereotypical, but instead involves an individual-specific response to pain. This adaptation is likely to provide short-term benefit to enhance spinal protection, but could have long-term consequences for spinal health. © 2013 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters.

  6. Competing mechanisms for perfluoroalkyl acid accumulation in plants revealed using an Arabidopsis model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Claudia E; LeFevre, Gregory H; Timofte, Anca E; Hussain, Fatima A; Sattely, Elizabeth S; Luthy, Richard G

    2016-05-01

    Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) bioaccumulate in plants, presenting a human exposure route if present in irrigation water. Curiously, accumulation of PFAAs in plant tissues is greatest for both the short-chain and long-chain PFAAs, generating a U-shaped relationship with chain length. In the present study, the authors decouple competing mechanisms of PFAA accumulation using a hydroponic model plant system (Arabidopsis thaliana) exposed to a suite of 10 PFAAs to determine uptake, depuration, and translocation kinetics. Rapid saturation of root concentrations occurred for all PFAAs except perfluorobutanoate, the least-sorptive (shortest-chain) PFAA. Shoot concentrations increased continuously, indicating that PFAAs are efficiently transported and accumulate in shoots. Tissue concentrations of PFAAs during depuration rapidly declined in roots but remained constant in shoots, demonstrating irreversibility of the translocation process. Root and shoot concentration factors followed the U-shaped trend with perfluoroalkyl chain length; however, when normalized to dead-tissue sorption, this relationship linearized. The authors therefore introduce a novel term, the "sorption normalized concentration factor," to describe PFAA accumulation in plants; because of their hydrophobicity, sorption is the determining factor for long-chain PFAAs, whereas the shortest-chain PFAAs are most effectively transported in the plant. The present study provides a mechanistic explanation for previously unexplained PFAA accumulation trends in plants and suggests that shorter-chained PFAAs may bioaccumulate more readily in edible portions.

  7. Detailed Physical Modeling Reveals the Magnetar Nature of a Transient Anomalous X-ray Pulsar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guever, T.; Oezel, F.; Goegues, E.; Kouveliotou, C.

    2007-01-01

    Anomalous X-ray Pulsars (AXPs) belong to a class of neutron stars believed to harbor the strongest magnetic fields in the universe, as indicated by their energetic bursts and their rapid spindowns. However, a direct measurement of their surface field strengths has not been made to date. It is also not known whether AXP outbursts result from changes in the neutron star magnetic field or crust properties. Here we report the first, spectroscopic measurement of the surface magnetic field strength of an AXP, XTE J1810-197, and solidify its magnetar nature. The field strength obtained from detailed spectral analysis and modeling is remarkably close to the value inferred from the rate of spindown of this source and remains nearly constant during numerous observations spanning over two orders of magnitude in source flux. The surface temperature, on the other hand, declines steadily and dramatically following the 2003 outburst of this source. Our findings demonstrate that heating occurs in the upper neutron star crust during an outburst and sheds light on the transient behaviour of AXPs.

  8. Non-mammalian models reveal the role of alternative ligands for thyroid hormone receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orozco, Aurea; Lazcano, Iván; Hernández-Puga, Gabriela; Olvera, Aurora

    2017-03-04

    Thyroid hormones, or THs, are well-known regulators of a wide range of biological processes that occur throughout the lifespan of all vertebrates. THs act through genomic mechanisms mediated by thyroid hormone receptors (TRs). The main product of the thyroid gland is thyroxine or T4, which can be further transformed by different biochemical pathways to produce at least 15 active or inactive molecules. T3, a product of T4 outer-ring deiodination, has been recognized as the main bioactive TH. However, growing evidence has shown that other TH derivatives are able to bind to, and/or activate TRs, to induce thyromimetic effects. The compiled data in this review points to at least two of these TR alternative ligands: TRIAC and T2. Taking this into account, non-mammalian models have proven to be advantageous to explore new TH derivatives with potential novel actions, prompting a re-evaluation of the role and mechanism of action of TR alternative ligands that were previously believed to be inactive. The functional implications of these ligands across different vertebrates may require us to reconsider current established notions of thyroid physiology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Role of Jnk1 in development of neural precursors revealed by iPSC modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Mao, Jian; Zhang, Xiaoxi; Fu, Haifeng; Xia, Siyuan; Yin, Zhinan; Liu, Lin

    2016-09-20

    Jnk1-deficient mice manifest disrupted anterior commissure formation and loss of axonal and dendritic microtubule integrity. However, the mechanisms and the specific stages underlying the developmental defects remain to be elucidated. Here, we report the generation of Jnk1-deficient (Jnk1 KO) iPSCs from Jnk1 KO mouse tail-tip fibroblasts (TTFs) for modeling the neural disease development. The efficiency in the early induction of iPSCs was higher from Jnk1 KO fibroblasts than that of wild-type (WT) fibroblasts. These Jnk1 KO iPSCs exhibited pluripotent stem cell properties and had the ability of differentiation into general three embryonic germ layers in vitro and in vivo. However, Jnk1 KO iPSCs showed reduced capacity in neural differentiation in the spontaneous differentiation by embryoid body (EB) formation. Notably, by directed lineage differentiation, Jnk1 KO iPSCs specifically exhibited an impaired ability to differentiate into early stage neural precursors. Furthermore, the neuroepitheliums generated from Jnk1 KO iPSCs appeared smaller, indicative of neural stem cell developmental defects, as demonstrated by teratoma tests in vivo. These data suggest that Jnk1 deficiency inhibits the development of neural stem cells/precursors and provide insights to further understanding the complex pathogenic mechanisms of JNK1-related neural diseases.

  10. Ecological niche models reveal the importance of climate variability for the biogeography of protosteloid amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, María; Lado, Carlos

    2012-08-01

    Habitat availability and environmental preferences of species are among the most important factors in determining the success of dispersal processes and therefore in shaping the distribution of protists. We explored the differences in fundamental niches and potential distributions of an ecological guild of slime moulds-protosteloid amoebae-in the Iberian Peninsula. A large set of samples collected in a north-east to south-west transect of approximately 1000 km along the peninsula was used to test the hypothesis that, together with the existence of suitable microhabitats, climate conditions may determine the probability of survival of species. Although protosteloid amoebae share similar morphologies and life history strategies, canonical correspondence analyses showed that they have varied ecological optima, and that climate conditions have an important effect in niche differentiation. Maxent environmental niche models provided consistent predictions of the probability of presence of the species based on climate data, and they were used to generate maps of potential distribution in an 'everything is everywhere' scenario. The most important climatic factors were, in both analyses, variables that measure changes in conditions throughout the year, confirming that the alternation of fruiting bodies, cysts and amoeboid stages in the life cycles of protosteloid amoebae constitutes an advantage for surviving in a changing environment. Microhabitat affinity seems to be influenced by climatic conditions, which suggests that the micro-environment may vary at a local scale and change together with the external climate at a larger scale.

  11. Fortune Favours the Bold: An Agent-Based Model Reveals Adaptive Advantages of Overconfidence in War

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Dominic D. P.; Weidmann, Nils B.; Cederman, Lars-Erik

    2011-01-01

    Overconfidence has long been considered a cause of war. Like other decision-making biases, overconfidence seems detrimental because it increases the frequency and costs of fighting. However, evolutionary biologists have proposed that overconfidence may also confer adaptive advantages: increasing ambition, resolve, persistence, bluffing opponents, and winning net payoffs from risky opportunities despite occasional failures. We report the results of an agent-based model of inter-state conflict, which allows us to evaluate the performance of different strategies in competition with each other. Counter-intuitively, we find that overconfident states predominate in the population at the expense of unbiased or underconfident states. Overconfident states win because: (1) they are more likely to accumulate resources from frequent attempts at conquest; (2) they are more likely to gang up on weak states, forcing victims to split their defences; and (3) when the decision threshold for attacking requires an overwhelming asymmetry of power, unbiased and underconfident states shirk many conflicts they are actually likely to win. These “adaptive advantages” of overconfidence may, via selection effects, learning, or evolved psychology, have spread and become entrenched among modern states, organizations and decision-makers. This would help to explain the frequent association of overconfidence and war, even if it no longer brings benefits today. PMID:21731627

  12. Denatured-state energy landscapes of a protein structural database reveal the energetic determinants of a framework model for folding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Suwei; Gu, Jenny; Larson, Scott A; Whitten, Steven T; Hilser, Vincent J

    2008-09-19

    Position-specific denatured-state thermodynamics were determined for a database of human proteins by use of an ensemble-based model of protein structure. The results of modeling denatured protein in this manner reveal important sequence-dependent thermodynamic properties in the denatured ensembles as well as fundamental differences between the denatured and native ensembles in overall thermodynamic character. The generality and robustness of these results were validated by performing fold-recognition experiments, whereby sequences were matched with their respective folds based on amino acid propensities for the different energetic environments in the protein, as determined through cluster analysis. Correlation analysis between structure and energetic information revealed that sequence segments destined for beta-sheet in the final native fold are energetically more predisposed to a broader repertoire of states than are sequence segments destined for alpha-helix. These results suggest that within the subensemble of mostly unstructured states, the energy landscapes are dominated by states in which parts of helices adopt structure, whereas structure formation for sequences destined for beta-strand is far less probable. These results support a framework model of folding, which suggests that, in general, the denatured state has evolutionarily evolved to avoid low-energy conformations in sequences that ultimately adopt beta-strand. Instead, the denatured state evolved so that sequence segments that ultimately adopt alpha-helix and coil will have a high intrinsic structure formation capability, thus serving as potential nucleation sites.

  13. A whole-body model for glycogen regulation reveals a critical role for substrate cycling in maintaining blood glucose homeostasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ke Xu

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Timely, and sometimes rapid, metabolic adaptation to changes in food supply is critical for survival as an organism moves from the fasted to the fed state, and vice versa. These transitions necessitate major metabolic changes to maintain energy homeostasis as the source of blood glucose moves away from ingested carbohydrates, through hepatic glycogen stores, towards gluconeogenesis. The integration of hepatic glycogen regulation with extra-hepatic energetics is a key aspect of these adaptive mechanisms. Here we use computational modeling to explore hepatic glycogen regulation under fed and fasting conditions in the context of a whole-body model. The model was validated against previous experimental results concerning glycogen phosphorylase a (active and glycogen synthase a dynamics. The model qualitatively reproduced physiological changes that occur during transition from the fed to the fasted state. Analysis of the model reveals a critical role for the inhibition of glycogen synthase phosphatase by glycogen phosphorylase a. This negative regulation leads to high levels of glycogen synthase activity during fasting conditions, which in turn increases substrate (futile cycling, priming the system for a rapid response once an external source of glucose is restored. This work demonstrates that a mechanistic understanding of the design principles used by metabolic control circuits to maintain homeostasis can benefit from the incorporation of mathematical descriptions of these networks into "whole-body" contextual models that mimic in vivo conditions.

  14. Stochastic kinetic model of two component system signalling reveals all-or-none, graded and mixed mode stochastic switching responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kierzek, Andrzej M; Zhou, Lu; Wanner, Barry L

    2010-03-01

    Two-component systems (TCSs) are prevalent signal transduction systems in bacteria that control innumerable adaptive responses to environmental cues and host-pathogen interactions. We constructed a detailed stochastic kinetic model of two component signalling based on published data. Our model has been validated with flow cytometry data and used to examine reporter gene expression in response to extracellular signal strength. The model shows that, depending on the actual kinetic parameters, TCSs exhibit all-or-none, graded or mixed mode responses. In accordance with other studies, positively autoregulated TCSs exhibit all-or-none responses. Unexpectedly, our model revealed that TCSs lacking a positive feedback loop exhibit not only graded but also mixed mode responses, in which variation of the signal strength alters the level of gene expression in induced cells while the regulated gene continues to be expressed at the basal level in a substantial fraction of cells. The graded response of the TCS changes to mixed mode response by an increase of the translation initiation rate of the histidine kinase. Thus, a TCS is an evolvable design pattern capable of implementing deterministic regulation and stochastic switches associated with both graded and threshold responses. This has implications for understanding the emergence of population diversity in pathogenic bacteria and the design of genetic circuits in synthetic biology applications. The model is available in systems biology markup language (SBML) and systems biology graphical notation (SBGN) formats and can be used as a component of large-scale biochemical reaction network models.

  15. Pore water chemistry reveals gradients in mineral transformation across a model basaltic hillslope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohlmann, Michael; Dontsova, Katerina; Root, Robert; Ruiz, Joaquin; Troch, Peter; Chorover, Jon

    2016-06-01

    The extent of weathering incongruency during soil formation from rock controls local carbon and nutrient cycling in ecosystems, as well as the evolution of hydrologic flow paths. Prior studies of basalt weathering, including those that have quantified the dynamics of well-mixed, bench-scale laboratory reactors or characterized the structure and integrated response of field systems, indicate a strong influence of system scale on weathering rate and trajectory. For example, integrated catchment response tends to produce lower weathering rates than do well mixed reactors, but the mechanisms underlying these disparities remain unclear. Here we present pore water geochemistry and physical sensor data gathered during two controlled rainfall-runoff events on a large-scale convergent model hillslope mantled with 1 m uniform depth of granular basaltic porous media. The dense sampler and sensor array (1488 samplers and sensors embedded in 330 m3 of basalt) showed that rainfall-induced dissolution of basaltic glass produced supersaturation of pore waters with respect to multiple secondary solids including allophane, gibbsite, ferrihydrite, birnessite and calcite. The spatial distribution of saturation state was heterogeneous, suggesting an accumulation of solutes leading to precipitation of secondary solids along hydrologic flow paths. Rapid dissolution of primary silicates was widespread throughout the entire hillslope, irrespective of up-gradient flowpath length. However, coherent spatial variations in solution chemistry and saturation indices were observed in depth profiles and between distinct topographic regions of the hillslope. Colloids (110-2000 nm) enriched in iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), and phosphorus (P) were mobile in soil pore waters.

  16. Reconstructing dynamic mental models of facial expressions in prosopagnosia reveals distinct representations for identity and expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richoz, Anne-Raphaëlle; Jack, Rachael E; Garrod, Oliver G B; Schyns, Philippe G; Caldara, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    The human face transmits a wealth of signals that readily provide crucial information for social interactions, such as facial identity and emotional expression. Yet, a fundamental question remains unresolved: does the face information for identity and emotional expression categorization tap into common or distinct representational systems? To address this question we tested PS, a pure case of acquired prosopagnosia with bilateral occipitotemporal lesions anatomically sparing the regions that are assumed to contribute to facial expression (de)coding (i.e., the amygdala, the insula and the posterior superior temporal sulcus--pSTS). We previously demonstrated that PS does not use information from the eye region to identify faces, but relies on the suboptimal mouth region. PS's abnormal information use for identity, coupled with her neural dissociation, provides a unique opportunity to probe the existence of a dichotomy in the face representational system. To reconstruct the mental models of the six basic facial expressions of emotion in PS and age-matched healthy observers, we used a novel reverse correlation technique tracking information use on dynamic faces. PS was comparable to controls, using all facial features to (de)code facial expressions with the exception of fear. PS's normal (de)coding of dynamic facial expressions suggests that the face system relies either on distinct representational systems for identity and expression, or dissociable cortical pathways to access them. Interestingly, PS showed a selective impairment for categorizing many static facial expressions, which could be accounted for by her lesion in the right inferior occipital gyrus. PS's advantage for dynamic facial expressions might instead relate to a functionally distinct and sufficient cortical pathway directly connecting the early visual cortex to the spared pSTS. Altogether, our data provide critical insights on the healthy and impaired face systems, question evidence of deficits

  17. The Intrinsic Dynamics and Unfolding Process of an Antibody Fab Fragment Revealed by Elastic Network Model

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    Ji-Guo Su

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Antibodies have been increasingly used as pharmaceuticals in clinical treatment. Thermal stability and unfolding process are important properties that must be considered in antibody design. In this paper, the structure-encoded dynamical properties and the unfolding process of the Fab fragment of the phosphocholine-binding antibody McPC603 are investigated by use of the normal mode analysis of Gaussian network model (GNM. Firstly, the temperature factors for the residues of the protein were calculated with GNM and then compared with the experimental measurements. A good result was obtained, which provides the validity for the use of GNM to study the dynamical properties of the protein. Then, with this approach, the mean-square fluctuation (MSF of the residues, as well as the MSF in the internal distance (MSFID between all pairwise residues, was calculated to investigate the mobility and flexibility of the protein, respectively. It is found that the mobility and flexibility of the constant regions are higher than those of the variable regions, and the six complementarity-determining regions (CDRs in the variable regions also exhibit relative large mobility and flexibility. The large amplitude motions of the CDRs are considered to be associated with the immune function of the antibody. In addition, the unfolding process of the protein was simulated by iterative use of the GNM. In our method, only the topology of protein native structure is taken into account, and the protein unfolding process is simulated through breaking the native contacts one by one according to the MSFID values between the residues. It is found that the flexible regions tend to unfold earlier. The sequence of the unfolding events obtained by our method is consistent with the hydrogen-deuterium exchange experimental results. Our studies imply that the unfolding behavior of the Fab fragment of antibody McPc603 is largely determined by the intrinsic dynamics of the protein.

  18. Changes in southern hemispheric polar amplification over the past 5 million years revealed by climate modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoencamp, Jori; Stap, Lennert; Tuenter, Erik; Lourens, Luc; van de Wal, Roderik

    2016-04-01

    Knowledge on polar amplification is important to relate high latitude climate records to global mean temperature changes. Several studies have pointed out that the strength of polar amplification in the Northern Hemisphere varies considerably due to the presence of large ice sheets and more sea ice during colder climate conditions. As a result, the polar amplification in the Northern Hemisphere decreases for warmer climates. In this study, we address the fact that these changes in the Northern Hemisphere also affect the polar amplification in the Southern Hemisphere. We study the Southern and Northern Hemisphere amplification together over the past 5 million years with the CLIMBER-2 intermediate complexity model. Radiation, land ice extent and height, and greenhouse gases are prescribed as forcing. We find that in contrast to the reduction in polar amplification in the Northern Hemisphere, polar amplification in the Southern Hemisphere increases for warmer climates. The amplification decreases in the Northern Hemisphere from 2.7 during glacial conditions to 1.6 for a pre-industrial climate, which is line with other climate simulations. Over the same CO2 range the southern hemispheric polar amplification increases from 1 to 1.6. This is caused by the fact that the atmospheric transport needed to balance the radiation surplus in the equatorial region needs to be compensated by relatively stronger transport of energy in Southern direction while the transport in Northern direction reduces. This reduction in Northern direction is driven by less (land and sea) ice resulting in a smaller meridional gradient in Northern direction and hence a smaller atmospheric transport. As a consequence, the traditional scaled (with LGM temperature) Dome C record needs to be corrected with a maximum of 0.6 degrees half-way glacial and interglacial conditions, if it is to be interpreted as global mean temperature change indicator. While this changes the amplitude, the phasing of

  19. Local-scale models reveal ecological niche variability in amphibian and reptile communities from two contrasting biogeographic regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Muñoz

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecological Niche Models (ENMs are widely used to describe how environmental factors influence species distribution. Modelling at a local scale, compared to a large scale within a high environmental gradient, can improve our understanding of ecological species niches. The main goal of this study is to assess and compare the contribution of environmental variables to amphibian and reptile ENMs in two Spanish national parks located in contrasting biogeographic regions, i.e., the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area. The ENMs were built with maximum entropy modelling using 11 environmental variables in each territory. The contributions of these variables to the models were analysed and classified using various statistical procedures (Mann–Whitney U tests, Principal Components Analysis and General Linear Models. Distance to the hydrological network was consistently the most relevant variable for both parks and taxonomic classes. Topographic variables (i.e., slope and altitude were the second most predictive variables, followed by climatic variables. Differences in variable contribution were observed between parks and taxonomic classes. Variables related to water availability had the larger contribution to the models in the Mediterranean park, while topography variables were decisive in the Atlantic park. Specific response curves to environmental variables were in accordance with the biogeographic affinity of species (Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean species and taxonomy (amphibians and reptiles. Interestingly, these results were observed for species located in both parks, particularly those situated at their range limits. Our findings show that ecological niche models built at local scale reveal differences in habitat preferences within a wide environmental gradient. Therefore, modelling at local scales rather than assuming large-scale models could be preferable for the establishment of conservation strategies for herptile species in natural

  20. A Quantitative Model of Motility Reveals Low-Dimensional Variation in Exploratory Behavior Across Multiple Nematode Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helms, Stephen; Avery, Leon; Stephens, Greg; Shimizu, Tom

    2014-03-01

    Animal behavior emerges from many layers of biological organization--from molecular signaling pathways and neuronal networks to mechanical outputs of muscles. In principle, the large number of interconnected variables at each of these layers could imply dynamics that are complex and hard to control or even tinker with. Yet, for organisms to survive in a competitive, ever-changing environment, behavior must readily adapt. We applied quantitative modeling to identify important aspects of behavior in chromadorean nematodes ranging from the lab strain C. elegans N2 to wild strains and distant species. We revealed subtle yet important features such as speed control and heavy-tailed directional changes. We found that the parameters describing this behavioral model varied among individuals and across species in a correlated way that is consistent with a trade-off between exploratory and exploitative behavior.

  1. PhyloChip microarray analysis reveals altered gastrointestinal microbial communities in a rat model of colonic hypersensitivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, T.A.; Holmes, S.; Alekseyenko, A.V.; Shenoy, M.; DeSantis, T.; Wu, C.H.; Andersen, G.L.; Winston, J.; Sonnenburg, J.; Pasricha, P.J.; Spormann, A.

    2010-12-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, episodic gastrointestinal disorder that is prevalent in a significant fraction of western human populations; and changes in the microbiota of the large bowel have been implicated in the pathology of the disease. Using a novel comprehensive, high-density DNA microarray (PhyloChip) we performed a phylogenetic analysis of the microbial community of the large bowel in a rat model in which intracolonic acetic acid in neonates was used to induce long lasting colonic hypersensitivity and decreased stool water content and frequency, representing the equivalent of human constipation-predominant IBS. Our results revealed a significantly increased compositional difference in the microbial communities in rats with neonatal irritation as compared with controls. Even more striking was the dramatic change in the ratio of Firmicutes relative to Bacteroidetes, where neonatally irritated rats were enriched more with Bacteroidetes and also contained a different composition of species within this phylum. Our study also revealed differences at the level of bacterial families and species. The PhyloChip is a useful and convenient method to study enteric microflora. Further, this rat model system may be a useful experimental platform to study the causes and consequences of changes in microbial community composition associated with IBS.

  2. Complex mean circulation over the inner shelf south of Martha's Vineyard revealed by observations and a high-resolution model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganju, Neil K.; Lentz, Steven J.; Kirincich, Anthony R.; Farrar, J. Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Inner-shelf circulation is governed by the interaction between tides, baroclinic forcing, winds, waves, and frictional losses; the mean circulation ultimately governs exchange between the coast and ocean. In some cases, oscillatory tidal currents interact with bathymetric features to generate a tidally rectified flow. Recent observational and modeling efforts in an overlapping domain centered on the Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO) provided an opportunity to investigate the spatial and temporal complexity of circulation on the inner shelf. ADCP and surface radar observations revealed a mean circulation pattern that was highly variable in the alongshore and cross-shore directions. Nested modeling incrementally improved representation of the mean circulation as grid resolution increased and indicated tidal rectification as the generation mechanism of a counter-clockwise gyre near the MVCO. The loss of model skill with decreasing resolution is attributed to insufficient representation of the bathymetric gradients (Δh/h), which is important for representing nonlinear interactions between currents and bathymetry. The modeled momentum balance was characterized by large spatial variability of the pressure gradient and horizontal advection terms over short distances, suggesting that observed inner-shelf momentum balances may be confounded. Given the available observational and modeling data, this work defines the spatially variable mean circulation and its formation mechanism—tidal rectification—and illustrates the importance of model resolution for resolving circulation and constituent exchange near the coast. The results of this study have implications for future observational and modeling studies near the MVCO and other inner-shelf locations with alongshore bathymetric variability.

  3. A transgenic mouse model expressing an ERα folding biosensor reveals the effects of Bisphenol A on estrogen receptor signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekar, Thillai V.; Foygel, Kira; Massoud, Tarik F.; Gambhir, Sanjiv S.; Paulmurugan, Ramasamy

    2016-01-01

    Estrogen receptor-α (ERα) plays an important role in normal and abnormal physiology of the human reproductive system by interacting with the endogenous ligand estradiol (E2). However, other ligands, either analogous or dissimilar to E2, also bind to ERα. This may create unintentional activation of ER signaling in reproductive tissues that can lead to cancer development. We developed a transgenic mouse model that constitutively expresses a firefly luciferase (FLuc) split reporter complementation biosensor (NFLuc-ER-LBDG521T-CFLuc) to simultaneously evaluate the dynamics and potency of ligands that bind to ERα. We first validated this model using various ER ligands, including Raloxifene, Diethylstilbestrol, E2, and 4-hydroxytamoxifen, by employing FLuc-based optical bioluminescence imaging of living mice. We then used the model to investigate the carcinogenic property of Bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental estrogen, by long-term exposure at full and half environmental doses. We showed significant carcinogenic effects on female animals while revealing activated downstream ER signaling as measured by bioluminescence imaging. BPA induced tumor-like outgrowths in female transgenic mice, histopathologically confirmed to be neoplastic and epithelial in origin. This transgenic mouse model expressing an ERα folding-biosensor is useful in evaluation of estrogenic ligands and their downstream effects, and in studying environmental estrogen induced carcinogenesis in vivo. PMID:27721470

  4. Cell type-specific functions of period genes revealed by novel adipocyte and hepatocyte circadian clock models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chidambaram Ramanathan

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In animals, circadian rhythms in physiology and behavior result from coherent rhythmic interactions between clocks in the brain and those throughout the body. Despite the many tissue specific clocks, most understanding of the molecular core clock mechanism comes from studies of the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN of the hypothalamus and a few other cell types. Here we report establishment and genetic characterization of three cell-autonomous mouse clock models: 3T3 fibroblasts, 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and MMH-D3 hepatocytes. Each model is genetically tractable and has an integrated luciferase reporter that allows for longitudinal luminescence recording of rhythmic clock gene expression using an inexpensive off-the-shelf microplate reader. To test these cellular models, we generated a library of short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs against a panel of known clock genes and evaluated their impact on circadian rhythms. Knockdown of Bmal1, Clock, Cry1, and Cry2 each resulted in similar phenotypes in all three models, consistent with previous studies. However, we observed cell type-specific knockdown phenotypes for the Period and Rev-Erb families of clock genes. In particular, Per1 and Per2, which have strong behavioral effects in knockout mice, appear to play different roles in regulating period length and amplitude in these peripheral systems. Per3, which has relatively modest behavioral effects in knockout mice, substantially affects period length in the three cellular models and in dissociated SCN neurons. In summary, this study establishes new cell-autonomous clock models that are of particular relevance to metabolism and suitable for screening for clock modifiers, and reveals previously under-appreciated cell type-specific functions of clock genes.

  5. A quantitative validated model reveals two phases of transcriptional regulation for the gap gene giant in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoermann, Astrid; Cicin-Sain, Damjan; Jaeger, Johannes

    2016-03-15

    Understanding eukaryotic transcriptional regulation and its role in development and pattern formation is one of the big challenges in biology today. Most attempts at tackling this problem either focus on the molecular details of transcription factor binding, or aim at genome-wide prediction of expression patterns from sequence through bioinformatics and mathematical modelling. Here we bridge the gap between these two complementary approaches by providing an integrative model of cis-regulatory elements governing the expression of the gap gene giant (gt) in the blastoderm embryo of Drosophila melanogaster. We use a reverse-engineering method, where mathematical models are fit to quantitative spatio-temporal reporter gene expression data to infer the regulatory mechanisms underlying gt expression in its anterior and posterior domains. These models are validated through prediction of gene expression in mutant backgrounds. A detailed analysis of our data and models reveals that gt is regulated by domain-specific CREs at early stages, while a late element drives expression in both the anterior and the posterior domains. Initial gt expression depends exclusively on inputs from maternal factors. Later, gap gene cross-repression and gt auto-activation become increasingly important. We show that auto-regulation creates a positive feedback, which mediates the transition from early to late stages of regulation. We confirm the existence and role of gt auto-activation through targeted mutagenesis of Gt transcription factor binding sites. In summary, our analysis provides a comprehensive picture of spatio-temporal gene regulation by different interacting enhancer elements for an important developmental regulator.

  6. A model of gene expression based on random dynamical systems reveals modularity properties of gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoneli, Fernando; Ferreira, Renata C; Briones, Marcelo R S

    2016-06-01

    Here we propose a new approach to modeling gene expression based on the theory of random dynamical systems (RDS) that provides a general coupling prescription between the nodes of any given regulatory network given the dynamics of each node is modeled by a RDS. The main virtues of this approach are the following: (i) it provides a natural way to obtain arbitrarily large networks by coupling together simple basic pieces, thus revealing the modularity of regulatory networks; (ii) the assumptions about the stochastic processes used in the modeling are fairly general, in the sense that the only requirement is stationarity; (iii) there is a well developed mathematical theory, which is a blend of smooth dynamical systems theory, ergodic theory and stochastic analysis that allows one to extract relevant dynamical and statistical information without solving the system; (iv) one may obtain the classical rate equations form the corresponding stochastic version by averaging the dynamic random variables (small noise limit). It is important to emphasize that unlike the deterministic case, where coupling two equations is a trivial matter, coupling two RDS is non-trivial, specially in our case, where the coupling is performed between a state variable of one gene and the switching stochastic process of another gene and, hence, it is not a priori true that the resulting coupled system will satisfy the definition of a random dynamical system. We shall provide the necessary arguments that ensure that our coupling prescription does indeed furnish a coupled regulatory network of random dynamical systems. Finally, the fact that classical rate equations are the small noise limit of our stochastic model ensures that any validation or prediction made on the basis of the classical theory is also a validation or prediction of our model. We illustrate our framework with some simple examples of single-gene system and network motifs.

  7. Negative differential mobility for negative carriers as revealed by space charge measurements on crosslinked polyethylene insulated model cables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teyssedre, G.; Vu, T. T. N.; Laurent, C.

    2015-12-01

    Among features observed in polyethylene materials under relatively high field, space charge packets, consisting in a pulse of net charge that remains in the form of a pulse as it crosses the insulation, are repeatedly observed but without complete theory explaining their formation and propagation. Positive charge packets are more often reported, and the models based on negative differential mobility(NDM) for the transport of holes could account for some charge packets phenomenology. Conversely, NDM for electrons transport has never been reported so far. The present contribution reports space charge measurements by pulsed electroacoustic method on miniature cables that are model of HVDC cables. The measurements were realized at room temperature or with a temperature gradient of 10 °C through the insulation under DC fields on the order 30-60 kV/mm. Space charge results reveal systematic occurrence of a negative front of charges generated at the inner electrode that moves toward the outer electrode at the beginning of the polarization step. It is observed that the transit time of the front of negative charge increases, and therefore the mobility decreases, with the applied voltage. Further, the estimated mobility, in the range 10-14-10-13 m2 V-1 s-1 for the present results, increases when the temperature increases for the same condition of applied voltage. The features substantiate the hypothesis of negative differential mobility used for modelling space charge packets.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jatin Narula

    2010-05-01

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

  9. Structural model of the dimeric Parkinson’s protein LRRK2 reveals a compact architecture involving distant interdomain contacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guaitoli, Giambattista; Raimondi, Francesco; Gilsbach, Bernd K.; Gómez-Llorente, Yacob; Deyaert, Egon; Renzi, Fabiana; Li, Xianting; Schaffner, Adam; Jagtap, Pravin Kumar Ankush; Boldt, Karsten; von Zweydorf, Felix; Gotthardt, Katja; Lorimer, Donald D.; Yue, Zhenyu; Burgin, Alex; Janjic, Nebojsa; Sattler, Michael; Versées, Wim; Ueffing, Marius; Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Kortholt, Arjan; Gloeckner, Christian Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is a large, multidomain protein containing two catalytic domains: a Ras of complex proteins (Roc) G-domain and a kinase domain. Mutations associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson’s disease (PD) have been identified in both catalytic domains, as well as in several of its multiple putative regulatory domains. Several of these mutations have been linked to increased kinase activity. Despite the role of LRRK2 in the pathogenesis of PD, little is known about its overall architecture and how PD-linked mutations alter its function and enzymatic activities. Here, we have modeled the 3D structure of dimeric, full-length LRRK2 by combining domain-based homology models with multiple experimental constraints provided by chemical cross-linking combined with mass spectrometry, negative-stain EM, and small-angle X-ray scattering. Our model reveals dimeric LRRK2 has a compact overall architecture with a tight, multidomain organization. Close contacts between the N-terminal ankyrin and C-terminal WD40 domains, and their proximity—together with the LRR domain—to the kinase domain suggest an intramolecular mechanism for LRRK2 kinase activity regulation. Overall, our studies provide, to our knowledge, the first structural framework for understanding the role of the different domains of full-length LRRK2 in the pathogenesis of PD. PMID:27357661

  10. Mouse Genetic Models Reveal Surprising Functions of IκB Kinase Alpha in Skin Development and Skin Carcinogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xia, Xiaojun [The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Park, Eunmi [Department of Radiation Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115 (United States); Fischer, Susan M. [Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX 78967 (United States); Hu, Yinling, E-mail: huy2@mail.nih.gov [Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Frederick, MD 21701 (United States)

    2013-02-15

    Gene knockout studies unexpectedly reveal a pivotal role for IκB kinase alpha (IKKα) in mouse embryonic skin development. Skin carcinogenesis experiments show that Ikkα heterozygous mice are highly susceptible to chemical carcinogen or ultraviolet B light (UVB) induced benign and malignant skin tumors in comparison to wild-type mice. IKKα deletion mediated by keratin 5 (K5).Cre or K15.Cre in keratinocytes induces epidermal hyperplasia and spontaneous skin squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) in Ikkα floxed mice. On the other hand, transgenic mice overexpressing IKKα in the epidermis, under the control of a truncated loricrin promoter or K5 promoter, develop normal skin and show no defects in the formation of the epidermis and other epithelial organs, and the transgenic IKKα represses chemical carcinogen or UVB induced skin carcinogenesis. Moreover, IKKα deletion mediated by a mutation, which generates a stop codon in the Ikkα gene, has been reported in a human autosomal recessive lethal syndrome. Downregulated IKKα and Ikkα mutations and deletions are found in human skin SCCs. The collective evidence not only highlights the importance of IKKα in skin development, maintaining skin homeostasis, and preventing skin carcinogenesis, but also demonstrates that mouse models are extremely valuable tools for revealing the mechanisms underlying these biological events, leading our studies from bench side to bedside.

  11. Revealing the network of periodic orbits in galaxy models with a prolate or an oblate dark matter halo component

    CERN Document Server

    Zotos, Euaggelos E

    2016-01-01

    Locating the position of periodic orbits in galaxies is undoubtedly an issue of paramount importance. We reveal the position and the stability of periodic orbits of stars moving in the meridional plane $(R,z)$ of an axially symmetric galactic model with a disk, a spherical nucleus, and a biaxial dark matter halo component. In particular, we study how all the involved parameters of the dynamical system influence the position and the stability of all resonant families. To locate the position and measure the stability of periodic orbits we use a highly sensitive numerical code which is able to identify resonant periodic orbits of the type $n:m$. Two cases are studied for every parameter: (i) the case where the dark matter halo component is prolate and (ii) the case where an oblate dark matter halo is present. Our numerical exploration reveals that all the dynamical quantities affect, more or less, the position and the stability of the periodic orbits. It is shown that the mass of the nucleus, the mass of the dis...

  12. A model of estrogen-related gene expression reveals non-linear effects in transcriptional response to tamoxifen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lebedeva Galina

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Estrogen receptors alpha (ER are implicated in many types of female cancers, and are the common target for anti-cancer therapy using selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs, such as tamoxifen. However, cell-type specific and patient-to-patient variability in response to SERMs (from suppression to stimulation of cancer growth, as well as frequent emergence of drug resistance, represents a serious problem. The molecular processes behind mixed effects of SERMs remain poorly understood, and this strongly motivates application of systems approaches. In this work, we aimed to establish a mathematical model of ER-dependent gene expression to explore potential mechanisms underlying the variable actions of SERMs. Results We developed an equilibrium model of ER binding with 17β-estradiol, tamoxifen and DNA, and linked it to a simple ODE model of ER-induced gene expression. The model was parameterised on the broad range of literature available experimental data, and provided a plausible mechanistic explanation for the dual agonism/antagonism action of tamoxifen in the reference cell line used for model calibration. To extend our conclusions to other cell types we ran global sensitivity analysis and explored model behaviour in the wide range of biologically plausible parameter values, including those found in cancer cells. Our findings suggest that transcriptional response to tamoxifen is controlled in a complex non-linear way by several key parameters, including ER expression level, hormone concentration, amount of ER-responsive genes and the capacity of ER-tamoxifen complexes to stimulate transcription (e.g. by recruiting co-regulators of transcription. The model revealed non-monotonic dependence of ER-induced transcriptional response on the expression level of ER, that was confirmed experimentally in four variants of the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. Conclusions We established a minimal mechanistic model of ER-dependent gene

  13. Analysis of the cartilage proteome from three different mouse models of genetic skeletal diseases reveals common and discrete disease signatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A. Bell

    2013-06-01

    Pseudoachondroplasia and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia are genetic skeletal diseases resulting from mutations in cartilage structural proteins. Electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry previously showed that the appearance of the cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM in targeted mouse models of these diseases is disrupted; however, the precise changes in ECM organization and the pathological consequences remain unknown. Our aim was to determine the effects of matrilin-3 and COMP mutations on the composition and extractability of ECM components to inform how these detrimental changes might influence cartilage organization and degeneration. Cartilage was sequentially extracted using increasing denaturants and the extraction profiles of specific proteins determined using SDS-PAGE/Western blotting. Furthermore, the relative composition of protein pools was determined using mass spectrometry for a non-biased semi-quantitative analysis. Western blotting revealed changes in the extraction of matrilins, COMP and collagen IX in mutant cartilage. Mass spectrometry confirmed quantitative changes in the extraction of structural and non-structural ECM proteins, including proteins with roles in cellular processes such as protein folding and trafficking. In particular, genotype-specific differences in the extraction of collagens XII and XIV and tenascins C and X were identified; interestingly, increased expression of several of these genes has recently been implicated in susceptibility and/or progression of murine osteoarthritis. We demonstrated that mutation of matrilin-3 and COMP caused changes in the extractability of other cartilage proteins and that proteomic analyses of Matn3 V194D, Comp T585M and Comp DelD469 mouse models revealed both common and discrete disease signatures that provide novel insight into skeletal disease mechanisms and cartilage degradation.

  14. Proteomics, ultrastructure, and physiology of hippocampal synapses in a fragile X syndrome mouse model reveal presynaptic phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemmer, Patricia; Meredith, Rhiannon M; Holmgren, Carl D; Klychnikov, Oleg I; Stahl-Zeng, Jianru; Loos, Maarten; van der Schors, Roel C; Wortel, Joke; de Wit, Heidi; Spijker, Sabine; Rotaru, Diana C; Mansvelder, Huibert D; Smit, August B; Li, Ka Wan

    2011-07-22

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of hereditary mental retardation, is caused by a loss-of-function mutation of the Fmr1 gene, which encodes fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP affects dendritic protein synthesis, thereby causing synaptic abnormalities. Here, we used a quantitative proteomics approach in an FXS mouse model to reveal changes in levels of hippocampal synapse proteins. Sixteen independent pools of Fmr1 knock-out mice and wild type mice were analyzed using two sets of 8-plex iTRAQ experiments. Of 205 proteins quantified with at least three distinct peptides in both iTRAQ series, the abundance of 23 proteins differed between Fmr1 knock-out and wild type synapses with a false discovery rate (q-value) <5%. Significant differences were confirmed by quantitative immunoblotting. A group of proteins that are known to be involved in cell differentiation and neurite outgrowth was regulated; they included Basp1 and Gap43, known PKC substrates, and Cend1. Basp1 and Gap43 are predominantly expressed in growth cones and presynaptic terminals. In line with this, ultrastructural analysis in developing hippocampal FXS synapses revealed smaller active zones with corresponding postsynaptic densities and smaller pools of clustered vesicles, indicative of immature presynaptic maturation. A second group of proteins involved in synaptic vesicle release was up-regulated in the FXS mouse model. In accordance, paired-pulse and short-term facilitation were significantly affected in these hippocampal synapses. Together, the altered regulation of presynaptically expressed proteins, immature synaptic ultrastructure, and compromised short-term plasticity points to presynaptic changes underlying glutamatergic transmission in FXS at this stage of development.

  15. Abnormal connection between lateral and posterior semicircular canal revealed by a new modeling process: origin and physiological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousie, Dominique Louise; Deroubaix, Jean Paul; Joly, Olivier; Baudrillard, Jean Claude; Berthoz, Alain

    2009-05-01

    We developed a modeling procedure using CT scans or MRI data for exploring the bony and lymphatic canals of vestibular patients. We submitted 445 patients with instability and spatial de-orientation to this procedure. Out of the 445 patients, 95 had scoliosis, some of them, because malformations were suspected also had CT-scan modeling and functional tests. We focused on a never described, abnormal connection between the lymphatic lateral and posterior canal (LPCC) with a frequency of 67/445 (15%). In the scoliosis subgroup, the frequency was 52/95 (55%). Three scoliotic patients had CT scans. For each of them, the modeling revealed that LPCC was present on the bony canals. LPCC has pathognomic signs: no rotatory vertigo but frequent instability, transport sickness head tilt on the side of the anomaly, and spatial disorientation in new environment. We evaluated the functional impact of LPCC by testing the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) in horizontal and vertical planes and found reproducible abnormal responses: in the case of left LPCC, during a counterclockwise horizontal rotation or a post clockwise horizontal rotation, added to the expected horizontal nystagmus, we found an unexpected upbeat nystagmus induced by the ampullofugal displacement of the fluid in the posterior canal. As LPCC was found in CT scans and MRI modeling for a same subject, we suggest that it could be a congenital abnormal process of ossification of the canals. The responses to the vestibular tests highlighting constant unexpected nystagmus underline the potential functional consequences of LPCC on vestibular perception and scoliosis.

  16. Range wide molecular data and niche modeling revealed the Pleistocene history of a global invader (Halyomorpha halys)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Geng-Ping; Ye, Zhen; Du, Juan; Zhang, Dan-Li; Zhen, Ya-hui; Zheng, Chen-guang; Zhao, Li; Li, Min; Bu, Wen-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Invasive species’ Pleistocene history contains much information on its present population structure, dispersability and adaptability. In this study, the Pleistocene history of a global invasive pest (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug BMSB, Halyomorpha halys) was unveiled using the coupled approach of phylogeography and ecological niche modelling. Rangewide molecular data suggests that the Taiwan and other native populations had diverged in mid-Pleistocene. In mainland China, the native BMSB did not experience population contraction and divergence during last glacial, but persisted in interconnected populations. Combined Bayesian Skyline Plot (BSP) and niche modelling revealed a rapid expansion occurred during the transition of Last Inter Glacial (LIG) to Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). High genetic diversity and multi-reticular haplotypes network exist in the original sources populations of BMSB invasion in northern China. They were speculated to be colonized from the central China, with many derived haplotypes evolved to adapt the novel environment. The ENM future prediction suggest that BMSB may expand northward to higher latitudes in the US and Europe, because of its high invasive ability, together with the available suitable climate space there. PMID:26996353

  17. Modeling autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C in mice reveals distinct functions for Ltbp-4 isoforms

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    Insa Bultmann-Mellin

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have revealed an important role for LTBP-4 in elastogenesis. Its mutational inactivation in humans causes autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C (ARCL1C, which is a severe disorder caused by defects of the elastic fiber network. Although the human gene involved in ARCL1C has been discovered based on similar elastic fiber abnormalities exhibited by mice lacking the short Ltbp-4 isoform (Ltbp4S−/−, the murine phenotype does not replicate ARCL1C. We therefore inactivated both Ltbp-4 isoforms in the mouse germline to model ARCL1C. Comparative analysis of Ltbp4S−/− and Ltbp4-null (Ltbp4−/− mice identified Ltbp-4L as an important factor for elastogenesis and postnatal survival, and showed that it has distinct tissue expression patterns and specific molecular functions. We identified fibulin-4 as a previously unknown interaction partner of both Ltbp-4 isoforms and demonstrated that at least Ltbp-4L expression is essential for incorporation of fibulin-4 into the extracellular matrix (ECM. Overall, our results contribute to the current understanding of elastogenesis and provide an animal model of ARCL1C.

  18. Bioenergetic modeling reveals that Chinese green tree vipers select postprandial temperatures in laboratory thermal gradients that maximize net energy intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Tein-Shun; Lee, How-Jing; Tu, Ming-Chung

    2009-11-01

    With bioenergetic modeling, we tested the hypothesis that reptiles maximize net energy gain by postprandial thermal selection. Previous studies have shown that Chinese green tree vipers (Trimeresurus s. stejnegeri) have postprandial thermophily (mean preferred temperature T(p) for males =27.8 degrees C) in a linear thigmothermal gradient when seclusion sites and water existed. With some published empirical models of digestion associated factors for this snake, we calculated the average rate (E(net)) and efficiency (K(net)) of net energy gain from possible combinations of meal size, activity level, and feeding frequency at each temperature. The simulations consistently revealed that E(net) maximizes at the T(p) of these snakes. Although the K(net) peaks at a lower temperature than E(net), the value of K(net) remains high (>=0.85 in ratio to maximum) at the peak temperature of E(net). This suggested that the demands of both E(net) and K(net) can be attained by postprandial thermal selection in this snake. In conclusion, the data support our prediction that postprandial thermal selection may maximize net energy gain.

  19. Integration of genome-scale modeling and transcript profiling reveals metabolic pathways underlying light and temperature acclimation in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Töpfer, Nadine; Caldana, Camila; Grimbs, Sergio; Willmitzer, Lothar; Fernie, Alisdair R; Nikoloski, Zoran

    2013-04-01

    Understanding metabolic acclimation of plants to challenging environmental conditions is essential for dissecting the role of metabolic pathways in growth and survival. As stresses involve simultaneous physiological alterations across all levels of cellular organization, a comprehensive characterization of the role of metabolic pathways in acclimation necessitates integration of genome-scale models with high-throughput data. Here, we present an integrative optimization-based approach, which, by coupling a plant metabolic network model and transcriptomics data, can predict the metabolic pathways affected in a single, carefully controlled experiment. Moreover, we propose three optimization-based indices that characterize different aspects of metabolic pathway behavior in the context of the entire metabolic network. We demonstrate that the proposed approach and indices facilitate quantitative comparisons and characterization of the plant metabolic response under eight different light and/or temperature conditions. The predictions of the metabolic functions involved in metabolic acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana to the changing conditions are in line with experimental evidence and result in a hypothesis about the role of homocysteine-to-Cys interconversion and Asn biosynthesis. The approach can also be used to reveal the role of particular metabolic pathways in other scenarios, while taking into consideration the entirety of characterized plant metabolism.

  20. Systems biology modeling reveals a possible mechanism of the tumor cell death upon oncogene inactivation in EGFR addicted cancers.

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    Jian-Ping Zhou

    Full Text Available Despite many evidences supporting the concept of "oncogene addiction" and many hypotheses rationalizing it, there is still a lack of detailed understanding to the precise molecular mechanism underlying oncogene addiction. In this account, we developed a mathematic model of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR associated signaling network, which involves EGFR-driving proliferation/pro-survival signaling pathways Ras/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK and phosphoinositol-3 kinase (PI3K/AKT, and pro-apoptotic signaling pathway apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1/p38. In the setting of sustained EGFR activation, the simulation results show a persistent high level of proliferation/pro-survival effectors phospho-ERK and phospho-AKT, and a basal level of pro-apoptotic effector phospho-p38. The potential of p38 activation (apoptotic potential due to the elevated level of reactive oxygen species (ROS is largely suppressed by the negative crosstalk between PI3K/AKT and ASK1/p38 pathways. Upon acute EGFR inactivation, the survival signals decay rapidly, followed by a fast increase of the apoptotic signal due to the release of apoptotic potential. Overall, our systems biology modeling together with experimental validations reveals that inhibition of survival signals and concomitant release of apoptotic potential jointly contribute to the tumor cell death following the inhibition of addicted oncogene in EGFR addicted cancers.

  1. Domain Motions and Functionally-Key Residues of l-Alanine Dehydrogenase Revealed by an Elastic Network Model

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    Xing-Yuan Li

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Mycobacterium tuberculosis l-alanine dehydrogenase (l-MtAlaDH plays an important role in catalyzing l-alanine to ammonia and pyruvate, which has been considered to be a potential target for tuberculosis treatment. In the present work, the functional domain motions encoded in the structure of l-MtAlaDH were investigated by using the Gaussian network model (GNM and the anisotropy network model (ANM. The slowest modes for the open-apo and closed-holo structures of the enzyme show that the domain motions have a common hinge axis centered in residues Met133 and Met301. Accompanying the conformational transition, both the 1,4-dihydronicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD-binding domain (NBD and the substrate-binding domain (SBD move in a highly coupled way. The first three slowest modes of ANM exhibit the open-closed, rotation and twist motions of l-MtAlaDH, respectively. The calculation of the fast modes reveals the residues responsible for the stability of the protein, and some of them are involved in the interaction with the ligand. Then, the functionally-important residues relevant to the binding of the ligand were identified by using a thermodynamic method. Our computational results are consistent with the experimental data, which will help us to understand the physical mechanism for the function of l-MtAlaDH.

  2. Negative differential mobility for negative carriers as revealed by space charge measurements on crosslinked polyethylene insulated model cables

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teyssedre, G., E-mail: gilbert.teyssedre@laplace.univ-tlse.fr; Laurent, C. [Université de Toulouse, UPS, INPT, LAPLACE (Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d' Energie), 118 route de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse cedex 9 (France); CNRS, LAPLACE, F-31062 Toulouse (France); Vu, T. T. N. [Université de Toulouse, UPS, INPT, LAPLACE (Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d' Energie), 118 route de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse cedex 9 (France); Electric Power University, 235 Hoang Quoc Viet, 10000 Hanoi (Viet Nam)

    2015-12-21

    Among features observed in polyethylene materials under relatively high field, space charge packets, consisting in a pulse of net charge that remains in the form of a pulse as it crosses the insulation, are repeatedly observed but without complete theory explaining their formation and propagation. Positive charge packets are more often reported, and the models based on negative differential mobility(NDM) for the transport of holes could account for some charge packets phenomenology. Conversely, NDM for electrons transport has never been reported so far. The present contribution reports space charge measurements by pulsed electroacoustic method on miniature cables that are model of HVDC cables. The measurements were realized at room temperature or with a temperature gradient of 10 °C through the insulation under DC fields on the order 30–60 kV/mm. Space charge results reveal systematic occurrence of a negative front of charges generated at the inner electrode that moves toward the outer electrode at the beginning of the polarization step. It is observed that the transit time of the front of negative charge increases, and therefore the mobility decreases, with the applied voltage. Further, the estimated mobility, in the range 10{sup −14}–10{sup −13} m{sup 2} V{sup −1} s{sup −1} for the present results, increases when the temperature increases for the same condition of applied voltage. The features substantiate the hypothesis of negative differential mobility used for modelling space charge packets.

  3. Seismic tomography model reveals mantle magma sources of recent volcanic activity at El Hierro Island (Canary Islands, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Yeguas, Araceli; Ibáñez, Jesús M.; Koulakov, Ivan; Jakovlev, Andrey; Romero-Ruiz, M. Carmen; Prudencio, Janire

    2014-12-01

    We present a 3-D model of P and S velocities beneath El Hierro Island, constructed using the traveltime data of more than 13 000 local earthquakes recorded by the Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN, Spain) in the period from 2011 July to 2012 September. The velocity models were performed using the LOTOS code for iterative passive source tomography. The results of inversion were thoroughly verified using different resolution and robustness tests. The results reveal that the majority of the onshore area of El Hierro is associated with a high-velocity anomaly observed down to 10-12-km depth. This anomaly is interpreted as the accumulation of solid igneous rocks erupted during the last 1 Myr and intrusive magmatic bodies. Below this high-velocity pattern, we observe a low-velocity anomaly, interpreted as a batch of magma coming from the mantle located beneath El Hierro. The boundary between the low- and high-velocity anomalies is marked by a prominent seismicity cluster, thought to represent anomalous stresses due to the interaction of the batch of magma with crust material. The areas of recent eruptions, Orchilla and La Restinga, are associated with low-velocity anomalies surrounding the main high-velocity block. These eruptions took place around the island where the crust is much weaker than the onshore area and where the melted material cannot penetrate. These results put constraints on the geological model that could explain the origin of the volcanism in oceanic islands, such as in the Canaries, which is not yet clearly understood.

  4. An evolutionary-network model reveals stratified interactions in the V3 loop of the HIV-1 envelope.

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    Art F Y Poon

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The third variable loop (V3 of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1 envelope is a principal determinant of antibody neutralization and progression to AIDS. Although it is undoubtedly an important target for vaccine research, extensive genetic variation in V3 remains an obstacle to the development of an effective vaccine. Comparative methods that exploit the abundance of sequence data can detect interactions between residues of rapidly evolving proteins such as the HIV-1 envelope, revealing biological constraints on their variability. However, previous studies have relied implicitly on two biologically unrealistic assumptions: (1 that founder effects in the evolutionary history of the sequences can be ignored, and; (2 that statistical associations between residues occur exclusively in pairs. We show that comparative methods that neglect the evolutionary history of extant sequences are susceptible to a high rate of false positives (20%-40%. Therefore, we propose a new method to detect interactions that relaxes both of these assumptions. First, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of extant sequences by maximum likelihood, shifting focus from extant sequence variation to the underlying substitution events. Second, we analyze the joint distribution of substitution events among positions in the sequence as a Bayesian graphical model, in which each branch in the phylogeny is a unit of observation. We perform extensive validation of our models using both simulations and a control case of known interactions in HIV-1 protease, and apply this method to detect interactions within V3 from a sample of 1,154 HIV-1 envelope sequences. Our method greatly reduces the number of false positives due to founder effects, while capturing several higher-order interactions among V3 residues. By mapping these interactions to a structural model of the V3 loop, we find that the loop is stratified into distinct evolutionary clusters. We extend our model to

  5. Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging reveals striatal hypertrophy in a rat model of long-term stimulant treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biezonski, D; Shah, R; Krivko, A; Cha, J; Guilfoyle, D N; Hrabe, J; Gerum, S; Xie, S; Duan, Y; Bansal, R; Leventhal, B L; Peterson, B S; Kellendonk, C; Posner, J

    2016-09-06

    Stimulant treatment is highly effective in mitigating symptoms associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), though the neurobiological underpinnings of this effect have not been established. Studies using anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children with ADHD have suggested that long-term stimulant treatment may improve symptoms of ADHD in part by stimulating striatal hypertrophy. This conclusion is limited, however, as these studies have either used cross-sectional sampling or did not assess the impact of treatment length on their dependent measures. We therefore used longitudinal anatomical MRI in a vehicle-controlled study design to confirm causality regarding stimulant effects on striatal morphology in a rodent model of clinically relevant long-term stimulant treatment. Sprague Dawley rats were orally administered either lisdexamfetamine (LDX, 'Vyvanse') or vehicle (N=12 per group) from postnatal day 25 (PD25, young juvenile) until PD95 (young adult), and imaged one day before and one day after the 70-day course of treatment. Our LDX dosing regimen yielded blood levels of dextroamphetamine comparable to those documented in patients. Longitudinal analysis of striatal volume revealed significant hypertrophy in LDX-treated animals when compared to vehicle-treated controls, with a significant treatment by time point interaction. These findings confirm a causal link between long-term stimulant treatment and striatal hypertrophy, and support utility of longitudinal MRI in rodents as a translational approach for bridging preclinical and clinical research. Having demonstrated comparable morphological effects in both humans and rodents using the same imaging technology, future studies may now use this rodent model to identify the underlying cellular mechanisms and behavioral consequences of stimulant-induced striatal hypertrophy.

  6. Longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging reveals striatal hypertrophy in a rat model of long-term stimulant treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biezonski, D; Shah, R; Krivko, A; Cha, J; Guilfoyle, D N; Hrabe, J; Gerum, S; Xie, S; Duan, Y; Bansal, R; Leventhal, B L; Peterson, B S; Kellendonk, C; Posner, J

    2016-01-01

    Stimulant treatment is highly effective in mitigating symptoms associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), though the neurobiological underpinnings of this effect have not been established. Studies using anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in children with ADHD have suggested that long-term stimulant treatment may improve symptoms of ADHD in part by stimulating striatal hypertrophy. This conclusion is limited, however, as these studies have either used cross-sectional sampling or did not assess the impact of treatment length on their dependent measures. We therefore used longitudinal anatomical MRI in a vehicle-controlled study design to confirm causality regarding stimulant effects on striatal morphology in a rodent model of clinically relevant long-term stimulant treatment. Sprague Dawley rats were orally administered either lisdexamfetamine (LDX, ‘Vyvanse') or vehicle (N=12 per group) from postnatal day 25 (PD25, young juvenile) until PD95 (young adult), and imaged one day before and one day after the 70-day course of treatment. Our LDX dosing regimen yielded blood levels of dextroamphetamine comparable to those documented in patients. Longitudinal analysis of striatal volume revealed significant hypertrophy in LDX-treated animals when compared to vehicle-treated controls, with a significant treatment by time point interaction. These findings confirm a causal link between long-term stimulant treatment and striatal hypertrophy, and support utility of longitudinal MRI in rodents as a translational approach for bridging preclinical and clinical research. Having demonstrated comparable morphological effects in both humans and rodents using the same imaging technology, future studies may now use this rodent model to identify the underlying cellular mechanisms and behavioral consequences of stimulant-induced striatal hypertrophy. PMID:27598968

  7. A mouse model of visual perceptual learning reveals alterations in neuronal coding and dendritic spine density in the visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan eWang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Visual perceptual learning (VPL can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA. Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1 than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL.

  8. Transcriptome Profiling Reveals Degree of Variability in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines: Impact for Human Disease Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Jens; Halvardson, Jonatan; Pilar Lorenzo, Laureanne; Ameur, Adam; Sobol, Maria; Raykova, Doroteya; Annerén, Göran; Feuk, Lars; Dahl, Niklas

    2015-10-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has become an important tool for disease modeling. Insufficient data on the variability among iPSC lines derived from a single somatic parental cell line have in practice led to generation and analysis of several, usually three, iPSC sister lines from each parental cell line. We established iPSC lines from a human fibroblast line (HDF-K1) and used transcriptome sequencing to investigate the variation among three sister lines (iPSC-K1A, B, and C). For comparison, we analyzed the transcriptome of an iPSC line (iPSC-K5B) derived from a different fibroblast line (HDF-K5), a human embryonic stem cell (ESC) line (ESC-HS181), as well as the two parental fibroblast lines. All iPSC lines fulfilled stringent criteria for pluripotency. In an unbiased cluster analysis, all stem cell lines (four iPSCs and one ESC) clustered together as opposed to the parental fibroblasts. The transcriptome profiles of the three iPSC sister lines were indistinguishable from each other, and functional pathway analysis did not reveal any significant hits. In contrast, the expression profiles of the ESC line and the iPSC-K5B line were distinct from that of the sister lines iPSC-K1A, B, and C. Differentiation to embryoid bodies and subsequent analysis of germ layer markers in the five stem cell clones confirmed that the distribution of their expression profiles was retained. Taken together, our observations stress the importance of using iPSCs of different parental origin rather than several sister iPSC lines to distinguish disease-associated mechanisms from genetic background effects in disease modeling.

  9. Environmental enrichment reveals effects of genotype on hippocampal spine morphologies in the mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauterborn, Julie C; Jafari, Matiar; Babayan, Alex H; Gall, Christine M

    2015-02-01

    Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model of this disorder exhibit abnormal dendritic spines in neocortex, but the degree of spine disturbances in hippocampus is not clear. The present studies tested if the mutation influences dendritic branching and spine measures for CA1 pyramidal cells in Fmr1 KO and wild-type (WT) mice provided standard or enriched environment (EE) housing. Automated measures from 3D reconstructions of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled cells showed that spine head volumes were ∼ 40% lower in KOs when compared with WTs in both housing conditions. With standard housing, average spine length was greater in KOs versus WTs but there was no genotype difference in dendritic branching, numbers of spines, or spine length distribution. However, with EE rearing, significant effects of genotype emerged including greater dendritic branching in WTs, greater spine density in KOs, and greater numbers of short thin spines in KOs when compared with WTs. Thus, EE rearing revealed greater effects of the Fmr1 mutation on hippocampal pyramidal cell morphology than was evident with standard housing, suggesting that environmental enrichment allows for fuller appreciation of the impact of the mutation and better representation of abnormalities likely to be present in human FXS.

  10. Modeling human Coenzyme A synthase mutation in yeast reveals altered mitochondrial function, lipid content and iron metabolism

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    Camilla Ceccatelli Berti

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in nuclear genes associated with defective coenzyme A biosynthesis have been identified as responsible for some forms of neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA, namely PKAN and CoPAN. PKAN are defined by mutations in PANK2, encoding the pantothenate kinase 2 enzyme, that account for about 50% of cases of NBIA, whereas mutations in CoA synthase COASY have been recently reported as the second inborn error of CoA synthesis leading to CoPAN. As reported previously, yeast cells expressing the pathogenic mutation exhibited a temperature-sensitive growth defect in the absence of pantothenate and a reduced CoA content. Additional characterization revealed decreased oxygen consumption, reduced activities of mitochondrial respiratory complexes, higher iron content, increased sensitivity to oxidative stress and reduced amount of lipid droplets, thus partially recapitulating the phenotypes found in patients and establishing yeast as a potential model to clarify the pathogenesis underlying PKAN and CoPAN diseases.

  11. Nucleolus-tethering system (NoTS) reveals that assembly of photobodies follows a self-organization model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yin; Liu, Qi; Yan, Qingqing; Shi, Leilei; Fang, Yuda

    2014-04-01

    Protein-protein interactions play essential roles in regulating many biological processes. At the cellular level, many proteins form nuclear foci known as nuclear bodies in which many components interact with each other. Photobodies are nuclear bodies containing proteins for light-signaling pathways in plants. What initiates the formation of photobodies is poorly understood. Here we develop a nucleolar marker protein nucleolin2 (Nuc2)-based method called the nucleolus-tethering system (NoTS) by artificially tethering a protein of interest to the nucleolus to analyze the initiation of photobodies. A candidate initiator is evaluated by visualizing whether a protein fused with Nuc2 forms body-like structures at the periphery of the nucleolus, and other components are recruited to the de novo-formed bodies. The interaction between two proteins can also be revealed through relocation and recruitment of interacting proteins to the nucleolus. Using the NoTS, we test the interactions among components in photobodies. In addition, we demonstrate that components of photobodies such as CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1, photoreceptors, and transcription factors tethered to the nucleolus have the capacity to form body-like structures at the periphery of the nucleolus, which contain other components of photobodies, suggesting a self-organization model for the biogenesis of photobodies.

  12. Metabolite Profiling Reveals the Effect of Dietary Rubus coreanus Vinegar on Ovariectomy-Induced Osteoporosis in a Rat Model

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    Mee Youn Lee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The study was aimed at exploring the curative effects of Rubus coreanus (RC vinegar against postmenopausal osteoporosis by using ovariectomized rats as a model. The investigations were performed in five groups: sham, ovariectomized (OVX rats without treatment, low-dose RC vinegar (LRV-treated OVX rats, high-dose RC vinegar (HRV-treated OVX rats and alendronate (ALEN-treated OVX rats. The efficacy of RC vinegar was evaluated using physical, biochemical, histological and metabolomic parameters. Compared to the OVX rats, the LRV and HRV groups showed positive effects on the aforementioned parameters, indicating estrogen regulation. Plasma metabolome analysis of the groups using gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS and ultra-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole-TOF-MS (UPLC-Q-TOF-MS with multivariate analysis revealed 19 and 16 metabolites, respectively. Notably, the levels of butyric acid, phenylalanine, glucose, tryptophan and some lysophosphatidylcholines were marginally increased in RC vinegar-treated groups compared to OVX. However, the pattern of metabolite levels in RC vinegar-treated groups was found similar to ALEN, but differed significantly from that in sham group. The results highlight the prophylactic and curative potential of dietary vinegar against postmenopausal osteoporosis. RC vinegar could be an effective natural alternative for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

  13. Network modelling reveals the mechanism underlying colitis-associated colon cancer and identifies novel combinatorial anti-cancer targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Junyan; Zeng, Hanlin; Liang, Zhongjie; Chen, Limin; Zhang, Liyi; Zhang, Hao; Liu, Hong; Jiang, Hualiang; Shen, Bairong; Huang, Ming; Geng, Meiyu; Spiegel, Sarah; Luo, Cheng

    2015-10-08

    The connection between inflammation and tumourigenesis has been well established. However, the detailed molecular mechanism underlying inflammation-associated tumourigenesis remains unknown because this process involves a complex interplay between immune microenvironments and epithelial cells. To obtain a more systematic understanding of inflammation-associated tumourigenesis as well as to identify novel therapeutic approaches, we constructed a knowledge-based network describing the development of colitis-associated colon cancer (CAC) by integrating the extracellular microenvironment and intracellular signalling pathways. Dynamic simulations of the CAC network revealed a core network module, including P53, MDM2, and AKT, that may govern the malignant transformation of colon epithelial cells in a pro-tumor inflammatory microenvironment. Furthermore, in silico mutation studies and experimental validations led to a novel finding that concurrently targeting ceramide and PI3K/AKT pathway by chemical probes or marketed drugs achieves synergistic anti-cancer effects. Overall, our network model can guide further mechanistic studies on CAC and provide new insights into the design of combinatorial cancer therapies in a rational manner.

  14. Metabolite Profiling Reveals the Effect of Dietary Rubus coreanus Vinegar on Ovariectomy-Induced Osteoporosis in a Rat Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mee Youn; Kim, Hyang Yeon; Singh, Digar; Yeo, Soo Hwan; Baek, Seong Yeol; Park, Yoo Kyoung; Lee, Choong Hwan

    2016-01-26

    The study was aimed at exploring the curative effects of Rubus coreanus (RC) vinegar against postmenopausal osteoporosis by using ovariectomized rats as a model. The investigations were performed in five groups: sham, ovariectomized (OVX) rats without treatment, low-dose RC vinegar (LRV)-treated OVX rats, high-dose RC vinegar (HRV)-treated OVX rats and alendronate (ALEN)-treated OVX rats. The efficacy of RC vinegar was evaluated using physical, biochemical, histological and metabolomic parameters. Compared to the OVX rats, the LRV and HRV groups showed positive effects on the aforementioned parameters, indicating estrogen regulation. Plasma metabolome analysis of the groups using gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole-TOF-MS (UPLC-Q-TOF-MS) with multivariate analysis revealed 19 and 16 metabolites, respectively. Notably, the levels of butyric acid, phenylalanine, glucose, tryptophan and some lysophosphatidylcholines were marginally increased in RC vinegar-treated groups compared to OVX. However, the pattern of metabolite levels in RC vinegar-treated groups was found similar to ALEN, but differed significantly from that in sham group. The results highlight the prophylactic and curative potential of dietary vinegar against postmenopausal osteoporosis. RC vinegar could be an effective natural alternative for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

  15. Comprehensive analysis of ultrasonic vocalizations in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome reveals limited, call type specific deficits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Snigdha Roy

    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS is a well-recognized form of inherited mental retardation, caused by a mutation in the fragile X mental retardation 1 (Fmr1 gene. The gene is located on the long arm of the X chromosome and encodes fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP. Absence of FMRP in fragile X patients as well as in Fmr1 knockout (KO mice results, among other changes, in abnormal dendritic spine formation and altered synaptic plasticity in the neocortex and hippocampus. Clinical features of FXS include cognitive impairment, anxiety, abnormal social interaction, mental retardation, motor coordination and speech articulation deficits. Mouse pups generate ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs when isolated from their mothers. Whether those social ultrasonic vocalizations are deficient in mouse models of FXS is unknown. Here we compared isolation-induced USVs generated by pups of Fmr1-KO mice with those of their wild type (WT littermates. Though the total number of calls was not significantly different between genotypes, a detailed analysis of 10 different categories of calls revealed that loss of Fmr1 expression in mice causes limited and call-type specific deficits in ultrasonic vocalization: the carrier frequency of flat calls was higher, the percentage of downward calls was lower and that the frequency range of complex calls was wider in Fmr1-KO mice compared to their WT littermates.

  16. Paleodata-model integration reveals uncertain boreal forest carbon balance due to rapid recent fire regime change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, R.; Genet, H.; McGuire, D.; Hu, F.

    2013-12-01

    estimate future boreal C dynamics. The central role of fire frequency in driving boreal C balance has practical implications for the use of models to understand present and future C dynamics. Biogeochemical models are typically initialized (or 'spun up') to achieve approximately stationary conditions at the start of simulations. For lack of fire data prior to the beginning of observational records (ca. 1950 AD in most boreal systems), many studies have assumed a fire regime similar to modern for the spin-up period. However, this assumption is grossly challenged by our paleodata, which indicate that fire frequency has increased rapidly over recent decades to a level (18.5 fires/kyr) more than double the past-millennium mean (8.4 fires/kyr). If this dramatic shift was unknown from the sediment record, simulations would suggest that our study region was a net C sink since 1950 AD. In fact, our results that incorporate past fire regime change reveal rapid losses of >1 kg C/m2. Thus, current estimates of the boreal C sink may be biased in this era of rapid change.

  17. Systems Perturbation Analysis of a Large-Scale Signal Transduction Model Reveals Potentially Influential Candidates for Cancer Therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puniya, Bhanwar Lal; Allen, Laura; Hochfelder, Colleen; Majumder, Mahbubul; Helikar, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Dysregulation in signal transduction pathways can lead to a variety of complex disorders, including cancer. Computational approaches such as network analysis are important tools to understand system dynamics as well as to identify critical components that could be further explored as therapeutic targets. Here, we performed perturbation analysis of a large-scale signal transduction model in extracellular environments that stimulate cell death, growth, motility, and quiescence. Each of the model’s components was perturbed under both loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutations. Using 1,300 simulations under both types of perturbations across various extracellular conditions, we identified the most and least influential components based on the magnitude of their influence on the rest of the system. Based on the premise that the most influential components might serve as better drug targets, we characterized them for biological functions, housekeeping genes, essential genes, and druggable proteins. The most influential components under all environmental conditions were enriched with several biological processes. The inositol pathway was found as most influential under inactivating perturbations, whereas the kinase and small lung cancer pathways were identified as the most influential under activating perturbations. The most influential components were enriched with essential genes and druggable proteins. Moreover, known cancer drug targets were also classified in influential components based on the affected components in the network. Additionally, the systemic perturbation analysis of the model revealed a network motif of most influential components which affect each other. Furthermore, our analysis predicted novel combinations of cancer drug targets with various effects on other most influential components. We found that the combinatorial perturbation consisting of PI3K inactivation and overactivation of IP3R1 can lead to increased activity levels of apoptosis

  18. Computational Model Reveals Limited Correlation between Germinal Center B-Cell Subclone Abundancy and Affinity: Implications for Repertoire Sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reshetova, Polina; van Schaik, Barbera D. C.; Klarenbeek, Paul L.; Doorenspleet, Marieke E.; Esveldt, Rebecca E. E.; Tak, Paul-Peter; Guikema, Jeroen E. J.; de Vries, Niek; van Kampen, Antoine H. C.

    2017-01-01

    Immunoglobulin repertoire sequencing has successfully been applied to identify expanded antigen-activated B-cell clones that play a role in the pathogenesis of immune disorders. One challenge is the selection of the Ag-specific B cells from the measured repertoire for downstream analyses. A general feature of an immune response is the expansion of specific clones resulting in a set of subclones with common ancestry varying in abundance and in the number of acquired somatic mutations. The expanded subclones are expected to have BCR affinities for the Ag higher than the affinities of the naive B cells in the background population. For these reasons, several groups successfully proceeded or suggested selecting highly abundant subclones from the repertoire to obtain the Ag-specific B cells. Given the nature of affinity maturation one would expect that abundant subclones are of high affinity but since repertoire sequencing only provides information about abundancies, this can only be verified with additional experiments, which are very labor intensive. Moreover, this would also require knowledge of the Ag, which is often not available for clinical samples. Consequently, in general we do not know if the selected highly abundant subclone(s) are also the high(est) affinity subclones. Such knowledge would likely improve the selection of relevant subclones for further characterization and Ag screening. Therefore, to gain insight in the relation between subclone abundancy and affinity, we developed a computational model that simulates affinity maturation in a single GC while tracking individual subclones in terms of abundancy and affinity. We show that the model correctly captures the overall GC dynamics, and that the amount of expansion is qualitatively comparable to expansion observed from B cells isolated from human lymph nodes. Analysis of the fraction of high- and low-affinity subclones among the unexpanded and expanded subclones reveals a limited correlation between

  19. Integrating fossils, phylogenies, and niche models into biogeography to reveal ancient evolutionary history: the case of Hypericum (hypericaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meseguer, Andrea S; Lobo, Jorge M; Ree, Richard; Beerling, David J; Sanmartín, Isabel

    2015-03-01

    In disciplines such as macroevolution that are not amenable to experimentation, scientists usually rely on current observations to test hypotheses about historical events, assuming that "the present is the key to the past." Biogeographers, for example, used this assumption to reconstruct ancestral ranges from the distribution of extant species. Yet, under scenarios of high extinction rates, the biodiversity we observe today might not be representative of the historical diversity and this could result in incorrect biogeographic reconstructions. Here, we introduce a new approach to incorporate into biogeographic inference the temporal, spatial, and environmental information provided by the fossil record, as a direct evidence of the extinct biodiversity fraction. First, inferences of ancestral ranges for those nodes in the phylogeny calibrated with the fossil record are constrained to include the geographic distribution of the fossil. Second, we use fossil distribution and past climate data to reconstruct the climatic preferences and potential distribution of ancestral lineages over time, and use this information to build a biogeographic model that takes into account "ecological connectivity" through time. To show the power of this approach, we reconstruct the biogeographic history of the large angiosperm genus Hypericum, which has a fossil record extending back to the Early Cenozoic. Unlike previous reconstructions based on extant species distributions, our results reveal that Hypericum stem lineages were already distributed in the Holarctic before diversification of its crown-group, and that the geographic distribution of the genus has been relatively stable throughout the climatic oscillations of the Cenozoic. Geographical movement was mediated by the existence of climatic corridors, like Beringia, whereas the equatorial tropical belt acted as a climatic barrier, preventing Hypericum lineages to reach the southern temperate regions. Our study shows that an

  20. Integrative proteomic analysis of the NMDA NR1 knockdown mouse model reveals effects on central and peripheral pathways associated with schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Wesseling (Hendrik); P.C. Guest (Paul); C.-M. Lee (Chi-Ming); E.H.F. Wong (Erik); H. Rahmoune (Hassan); S. Bahn (Sabine)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Over the last decade, the transgenic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) NR1-knockdown mouse (NR1neo-/-) has been investigated as a glutamate hypofunction model for schizophrenia. Recent research has now revealed that the model also recapitulates cognitive and negative symp

  1. Hypermutation signature reveals a slippage and realignment model of translesion synthesis by Rev3 polymerase in cisplatin-treated yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segovia, Romulo; Shen, Yaoqing; Lujan, Scott A; Jones, Steven J M; Stirling, Peter C

    2017-02-21

    Gene-gene or gene-drug interactions are typically quantified using fitness as a readout because the data are continuous and easily measured in high throughput. However, to what extent fitness captures the range of other phenotypes that show synergistic effects is usually unknown. Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae and focusing on a matrix of DNA repair mutants and genotoxic drugs, we quantify 76 gene-drug interactions based on both mutation rate and fitness and find that these parameters are not connected. Independent of fitness defects, we identified six cases of synthetic hypermutation, where the combined effect of the drug and mutant on mutation rate was greater than predicted. One example occurred when yeast lacking RAD1 were exposed to cisplatin, and we characterized this interaction using whole-genome sequencing. Our sequencing results indicate mutagenesis by cisplatin in rad1Δ cells appeared to depend almost entirely on interstrand cross-links at GpCpN motifs. Interestingly, our data suggest that the following base on the template strand dictates the addition of the mutated base. This result differs from cisplatin mutation signatures in XPF-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans and supports a model in which translesion synthesis polymerases perform a slippage and realignment extension across from the damaged base. Accordingly, DNA polymerase ζ activity was essential for mutagenesis in cisplatin-treated rad1Δ cells. Together these data reveal the potential to gain new mechanistic insights from nonfitness measures of gene-drug interactions and extend the use of mutation accumulation and whole-genome sequencing analysis to define DNA repair mechanisms.

  2. A zebrafish model of Roberts syndrome reveals that Esco2 depletion interferes with development by disrupting the cell cycle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maren Mönnich

    Full Text Available The human developmental diseases Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS and Roberts Syndrome (RBS are both caused by mutations in proteins responsible for sister chromatid cohesion. Cohesion is mediated by a multi-subunit complex called cohesin, which is loaded onto chromosomes by NIPBL. Once on chromosomes, cohesin binding is stabilized in S phase upon acetylation by ESCO2. CdLS is caused by heterozygous mutations in NIPBL or cohesin subunits SMC1A and SMC3, and RBS is caused by homozygous mutations in ESCO2. The genetic cause of both CdLS and RBS reside within the chromosome cohesion apparatus, and therefore they are collectively known as "cohesinopathies". However, the two syndromes have distinct phenotypes, with differences not explained by their shared ontology. In this study, we have used the zebrafish model to distinguish between developmental pathways downstream of cohesin itself, or its acetylase ESCO2. Esco2 depleted zebrafish embryos exhibit features that resemble RBS, including mitotic defects, craniofacial abnormalities and limb truncations. A microarray analysis of Esco2-depleted embryos revealed that different subsets of genes are regulated downstream of Esco2 when compared with cohesin subunit Rad21. Genes downstream of Rad21 showed significant enrichment for transcriptional regulators, while Esco2-regulated genes were more likely to be involved the cell cycle or apoptosis. RNA in situ hybridization showed that runx1, which is spatiotemporally regulated by cohesin, is expressed normally in Esco2-depleted embryos. Furthermore, myca, which is downregulated in rad21 mutants, is upregulated in Esco2-depleted embryos. High levels of cell death contributed to the morphology of Esco2-depleted embryos without affecting specific developmental pathways. We propose that cell proliferation defects and apoptosis could be the primary cause of the features of RBS. Our results show that mutations in different elements of the cohesion apparatus have

  3. Genomic expression analyses reveal lysosomal, innate immunity proteins, as disease correlates in murine models of a lysosomal storage disorder.

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    Md Suhail Alam

    Full Text Available Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC disease is a rare, genetic, lysosomal disorder with progressive neurodegeneration. Poor understanding of the pathophysiology and a lack of blood-based diagnostic markers are major hurdles in the treatment and management of NPC and several additional, neurological lysosomal disorders. To identify disease severity correlates, we undertook whole genome expression profiling of sentinel organs, brain, liver, and spleen of Balb/c Npc1(-/- mice relative to Npc1(+/- at an asymptomatic stage, as well as early- and late-symptomatic stages. Unexpectedly, we found prominent up regulation of innate immunity genes with age-dependent change in their expression, in all three organs. We shortlisted a set of 12 secretory genes whose expression steadily increased with age in both brain and liver, as potential plasma correlates of neurological and/or liver disease. Ten were innate immune genes with eight ascribed to lysosomes. Several are known to be elevated in diseased organs of murine models of other lysosomal diseases including Gaucher's disease, Sandhoff disease and MPSIIIB. We validated the top candidate lysozyme, in the plasma of Npc1(-/- as well as Balb/c Npc1(nmf164 mice (bearing a point mutation closer to human disease mutants and show its reduction in response to an emerging therapeutic. We further established elevation of innate immunity in Npc1(-/- mice through multiple functional assays including inhibition of bacterial infection as well as cellular analysis and immunohistochemistry. These data revealed neutrophil elevation in the Npc1(-/- spleen and liver (where large foci were detected proximal to damaged tissue. Together our results yield a set of lysosomal, secretory innate immunity genes that have potential to be developed as pan or specific plasma markers for neurological diseases associated with lysosomal storage and where diagnosis is a major problem. Further, the accumulation of neutrophils in diseased organs

  4. 3D gravity modelling reveals off-axis crustal thickness variations along the western Gakkel Ridge (Arctic Ocean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Aursch, Mechita C.; Jokat, Wilfried

    2016-11-01

    Near-orthogonal ultra-slow (13.3 mm yr- 1 to 6.5 mm yr- 1) sea floor spreading in the absence of large transform faults make the Arctic Gakkel Ridge ideally suited for the study of magmatic processes. To enable this, we generated a three-dimensional gravity model of crustal thickness over the ridge and parts of the adjacent Nansen and Amundsen basins west of 65° E. The model shows that oceanic crust accreted prior to chrons C5/C6 is generally very thin (1-3 km). Magnetic anomalies over this thin crust are highly variable both parallel and perpendicular to the ridge axis. This is the result of amagmatic or weakly volcanic spreading that started with the opening of the basins 56 Ma ago. The separation of Greenland from Svalbard at chron C5/C6 led to the inflow of North Atlantic mantle into the western Eurasia Basin leading to a change in the mantle convection system and the establishment of a magmatic dichotomy along the Gakkel Ridge. Robust magmatism was established in the Western Volcanic Zone (6° 30‧ W-3° 30‧ E), leading to creation of a 6.6 km thick igneous crust, characterized by a strong positive axial magnetic anomaly, numerous volcanic cones, and widespread thick mid-ocean ridge basalts. The transition to the neighbouring Sparsely Magmatic (3° 30‧ E-29° E) and Eastern Volcanic (29° E-85° E) zones is sharp. Peridotites cover the central valley and the inner rift flanks, the central magnetic anomaly vanishes and crustal thickness decreases to 1-4 km. Transverse basement ridges, extending for as much as 100 km into the adjacent basins, intersect the central valley. Although partly of tectonic origin, the transverse ridges are also an expression of long-living magmatic centres, as revealed by increased magnetic anomaly intensities and local thickening of the crust to values as great as 5.9 km.

  5. Laboratory experiments, high angular-resolution EBSD, and micromechanical modelling reveal residual stresses and their distribution in deformed olivine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Lars; Wallis, David; Kempton, Imogen; Lebensohn, Ricardo; Wilkinson, Angus

    2017-04-01

    During high-temperature deformation of rocks, stresses are predicted to be distributed heterogeneously throughout the constituent grains. After unloading, much of this stress is potentially retained in the aggregate as residual stress, a phenomenon that may have large-scale geodynamic implications. After large stress changes in the solid Earth (e.g., glacial unloading or post-seismic relaxation), residual stresses can affect the immediate mechanical response of the rocks. Furthermore, examination of residual stresses in naturally deformed rocks additionally presents an opportunity to learn about ancient deformation events. These residual stresses arise from the anisotropic nature of the mechanical properties of minerals and from the heterogeneous substructures that form within grains (e.g., dislocation arrays and subgrain boundaries). This heterogeneity is therefore related to mechanical interactions on short (e.g., between individual dislocations), intermediate (e.g., between groups of dislocations), and long (e.g., between grains of differing orientation) spatial scales. We examine residual stresses in upper mantle analogues with three different methods. First, stress-dip tests were conducted on olivine single crystals at temperatures greater than 1250°C in a new uniaxial deformation apparatus with a piezoelectric actuator. These experiments reveal that the average residual stresses stored in deformed single crystals can be on the order of 50% of the applied differential stress. However, the magnitude of residual stress is likely a function of crystal orientation during deformation. Second, high angular-resolution electron backscatter diffraction (HR-EBSD) allows the residual stresses in deformed single crystals and polycrystals to be mapped with <1 micron spatial resolution. HR-EBSD mapping reveals stress heterogeneities on the order of differential stresses applied during deformation. Stresses averaged over each map are in reasonable agreement with the outcome

  6. Comparative Analysis of the Secretome from a Model Filarial Nematode (Litomosoides sigmodontis) Reveals Maximal Diversity in Gravid Female Parasites*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Stuart D.; Babayan, Simon A.; Lhermitte-Vallarino, Nathaly; Gray, Nick; Xia, Dong; Martin, Coralie; Kumar, Sujai; Taylor, David W.; Blaxter, Mark L.; Wastling, Jonathan M.; Makepeace, Benjamin L.

    2014-01-01

    Filarial nematodes (superfamily Filarioidea) are responsible for an annual global health burden of ∼6.3 million disability-adjusted life-years, which represents the greatest single component of morbidity attributable to helminths affecting humans. No vaccine exists for the major filarial diseases, lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis; in part because research on protective immunity against filariae has been constrained by the inability of the human-parasitic species to complete their lifecycles in laboratory mice. However, the rodent filaria Litomosoides sigmodontis has become a popular experimental model, as BALB/c mice are fully permissive for its development and reproduction. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of excretory-secretory products from L. sigmodontis across five lifecycle stages and identifications of host proteins associated with first-stage larvae (microfilariae) in the blood. Applying intensity-based quantification, we determined the abundance of 302 unique excretory-secretory proteins, of which 64.6% were present in quantifiable amounts only from gravid adult female nematodes. This lifecycle stage, together with immature microfilariae, released four proteins that have not previously been evaluated as vaccine candidates: a predicted 28.5 kDa filaria-specific protein, a zonadhesin and SCO-spondin-like protein, a vitellogenin, and a protein containing six metridin-like ShK toxin domains. Female nematodes also released two proteins derived from the obligate Wolbachia symbiont. Notably, excretory-secretory products from all parasite stages contained several uncharacterized members of the transthyretin-like protein family. Furthermore, biotin labeling revealed that redox proteins and enzymes involved in purinergic signaling were enriched on the adult nematode cuticle. Comparison of the L. sigmodontis adult secretome with that of the human-infective filarial nematode Brugia malayi (reported previously in three independent published studies

  7. Techniques for Revealing 3d Hidden Archeological Features: Morphological Residual Models as Virtual-Polynomial Texture Maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, H.; Martínez Rubio, J.; Elorza Arana, A.

    2015-02-01

    The recent developments in 3D scanning technologies are not been accompanied by visualization interfaces. We are still using the same types of visual codes as when maps and drawings were made by hand. The available information in 3D scanning data sets is not being fully exploited by current visualization techniques. In this paper we present recent developments regarding the use of 3D scanning data sets for revealing invisible information from archaeological sites. These sites are affected by a common problem, decay processes, such as erosion, that never ceases its action and endangers the persistence of last vestiges of some peoples and cultures. Rock art engravings, or epigraphical inscriptions, are among the most affected by these processes because they are, due to their one nature, carved at the surface of rocks often exposed to climatic agents. The study and interpretation of these motifs and texts is strongly conditioned by the degree of conservation of the imprints left by our ancestors. Every single detail in the remaining carvings can make a huge difference in the conclusions taken by specialists. We have selected two case-studies severely affected by erosion to present the results of the on-going work dedicated to explore in new ways the information contained in 3D scanning data sets. A new method for depicting subtle morphological features in the surface of objects or sites has been developed. It allows to contrast human patterns still present at the surface but invisible to naked eye or by any other archaeological inspection technique. It was called Morphological Residual Model (MRM) because of its ability to contrast the shallowest morphological details, to which we refer as residuals, contained in the wider forms of the backdrop. Afterwards, we have simulated the process of building Polynomial Texture Maps - a widespread technique that as been contributing to archaeological studies for some years - in a 3D virtual environment using the results of MRM

  8. Integrating Kinetic Model of E. coli with Genome Scale Metabolic Fluxes Overcomes Its Open System Problem and Reveals Bistability in Central Metabolism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad A Mannan

    Full Text Available An understanding of the dynamics of the metabolic profile of a bacterial cell is sought from a dynamical systems analysis of kinetic models. This modelling formalism relies on a deterministic mathematical description of enzyme kinetics and their metabolite regulation. However, it is severely impeded by the lack of available kinetic information, limiting the size of the system that can be modelled. Furthermore, the subsystem of the metabolic network whose dynamics can be modelled is faced with three problems: how to parameterize the model with mostly incomplete steady state data, how to close what is now an inherently open system, and how to account for the impact on growth. In this study we address these challenges of kinetic modelling by capitalizing on multi-'omics' steady state data and a genome-scale metabolic network model. We use these to generate parameters that integrate knowledge embedded in the genome-scale metabolic network model, into the most comprehensive kinetic model of the central carbon metabolism of E. coli realized to date. As an application, we performed a dynamical systems analysis of the resulting enriched model. This revealed bistability of the central carbon metabolism and thus its potential to express two distinct metabolic states. Furthermore, since our model-informing technique ensures both stable states are constrained by the same thermodynamically feasible steady state growth rate, the ensuing bistability represents a temporal coexistence of the two states, and by extension, reveals the emergence of a phenotypically heterogeneous population.

  9. Empirical study of travel mode forecasting improvement for the combined revealed preference/stated preference data–based discrete choice model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanfu Qiao

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The combined revealed preference/stated preference data–based discrete choice model has provided the actual choice-making restraints as well as reduced the prediction errors. But the random error variance of alternatives belonging to different data would impact its universality. In this article, we studied the traffic corridor between Chengdu and Longquan with the revealed preference/stated preference joint model, and the single stated preference data model separately predicted the choice probability of each mode. We found the revealed preference/stated preference joint model is universal only when there is a significant difference between the random error terms in different data. The single stated preference data would amplify the travelers’ preference and cause prediction error. We proposed a universal way that uses revealed preference data to modify the single stated preference data parameter estimation results to achieve the composite utility and reduce the prediction error. And the result suggests that prediction results are more reasonable based on the composite utility than the results based on the single stated preference data, especially forecasting the mode share of bus. The future metro line will be the main travel mode in this corridor, and 45% of passenger flow will transfer to the metro.

  10. The probabilistic niche model reveals the niche structure and role of body size in a complex food web.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J Williams

    Full Text Available The niche model has been widely used to model the structure of complex food webs, and yet the ecological meaning of the single niche dimension has not been explored. In the niche model, each species has three traits, niche position, diet position and feeding range. Here, a new probabilistic niche model, which allows the maximum likelihood set of trait values to be estimated for each species, is applied to the food web of the Benguela fishery. We also developed the allometric niche model, in which body size is used as the niche dimension. About 80% of the links in the empirical data are predicted by the probabilistic niche model, a significant improvement over recent models. As in the niche model, species are uniformly distributed on the niche axis. Feeding ranges are exponentially distributed, but diet positions are not uniformly distributed below the predator. Species traits are strongly correlated with body size, but the allometric niche model performs significantly worse than the probabilistic niche model. The best-fit parameter set provides a significantly better model of the structure of the Benguela food web than was previously available. The methodology allows the identification of a number of taxa that stand out as outliers either in the model's poor performance at predicting their predators or prey or in their parameter values. While important, body size alone does not explain the structure of the one-dimensional niche.

  11. The probabilistic niche model reveals the niche structure and role of body size in a complex food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Richard J; Anandanadesan, Ananthi; Purves, Drew

    2010-08-09

    The niche model has been widely used to model the structure of complex food webs, and yet the ecological meaning of the single niche dimension has not been explored. In the niche model, each species has three traits, niche position, diet position and feeding range. Here, a new probabilistic niche model, which allows the maximum likelihood set of trait values to be estimated for each species, is applied to the food web of the Benguela fishery. We also developed the allometric niche model, in which body size is used as the niche dimension. About 80% of the links in the empirical data are predicted by the probabilistic niche model, a significant improvement over recent models. As in the niche model, species are uniformly distributed on the niche axis. Feeding ranges are exponentially distributed, but diet positions are not uniformly distributed below the predator. Species traits are strongly correlated with body size, but the allometric niche model performs significantly worse than the probabilistic niche model. The best-fit parameter set provides a significantly better model of the structure of the Benguela food web than was previously available. The methodology allows the identification of a number of taxa that stand out as outliers either in the model's poor performance at predicting their predators or prey or in their parameter values. While important, body size alone does not explain the structure of the one-dimensional niche.

  12. Mathematics revealed

    CERN Document Server

    Berman, Elizabeth

    1979-01-01

    Mathematics Revealed focuses on the principles, processes, operations, and exercises in mathematics.The book first offers information on whole numbers, fractions, and decimals and percents. Discussions focus on measuring length, percent, decimals, numbers as products, addition and subtraction of fractions, mixed numbers and ratios, division of fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The text then examines positive and negative numbers and powers and computation. Topics include division and averages, multiplication, ratios, and measurements, scientific notation and estim

  13. Gillespie eco-evolutionary models (GEMs) reveal the role of heritable trait variation in eco-evolutionary dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLong, John P; Gibert, Jean P

    2016-02-01

    Heritable trait variation is a central and necessary ingredient of evolution. Trait variation also directly affects ecological processes, generating a clear link between evolutionary and ecological dynamics. Despite the changes in variation that occur through selection, drift, mutation, and recombination, current eco-evolutionary models usually fail to track how variation changes through time. Moreover, eco-evolutionary models assume fitness functions for each trait and each ecological context, which often do not have empirical validation. We introduce a new type of model, Gillespie eco-evolutionary models (GEMs), that resolves these concerns by tracking distributions of traits through time as eco-evolutionary dynamics progress. This is done by allowing change to be driven by the direct fitness consequences of model parameters within the context of the underlying ecological model, without having to assume a particular fitness function. GEMs work by adding a trait distribution component to the standard Gillespie algorithm - an approach that models stochastic systems in nature that are typically approximated through ordinary differential equations. We illustrate GEMs with the Rosenzweig-MacArthur consumer-resource model. We show not only how heritable trait variation fuels trait evolution and influences eco-evolutionary dynamics, but also how the erosion of variation through time may hinder eco-evolutionary dynamics in the long run. GEMs can be developed for any parameter in any ordinary differential equation model and, furthermore, can enable modeling of multiple interacting traits at the same time. We expect GEMs will open the door to a new direction in eco-evolutionary and evolutionary modeling by removing long-standing modeling barriers, simplifying the link between traits, fitness, and dynamics, and expanding eco-evolutionary treatment of a greater diversity of ecological interactions. These factors make GEMs much more than a modeling advance, but an important

  14. REVEALED ALTRUISM

    OpenAIRE

    Cox, James C; Friedman, Daniel; Sadiraj, Vjollca

    2009-01-01

    This pap er develops a theory of revealed preferences over oneís own and othersímonetary payo§s. We intro duce ìmore altruistic thanî(MAT), a partial ordering over preferences, and interpret it with known parametric mo dels. We also intro duce and illustrate ìmore generous thanî (MGT), a partial ordering over opp ortunity sets. Several recent discussions of altruism fo cus on two player extensive form games of complete information in which the Örst mover (FM) cho oses a more or less gen...

  15. Metabolomics of cerebrospinal fluid reveals changes in the central nervous system metabolism in a rat model of multiple sclerosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Noga (Marek); A. Dane (Adrie); S. Shi (Shanna); A. Attali (Amos); H. van Aken (Hans); E. Suidgeest (Ernst); T. Tuinstra (Tinka); B. Muilwijk (Bas); L. Coulier (Leon); T.M. Luider (Theo); R.M. Reijmers (Rogier); R. Vreeken (Rob); T. Hankemeier (Thomas)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractExperimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the most commonly used animal model for Multiple Sclerosis (MScl). CSF metabolomics in an acute EAE rat model was investigated using targetted LC-MS and GC-MS. Acute EAE in Lewis rats was induced by co-injection of Myelin Basic Protein

  16. Integrating Factor Analysis and a Transgenic Mouse Model to Reveal a Peripheral Blood Predictor of Breast Tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nevins Joseph R

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transgenic mouse tumor models have the advantage of facilitating controlled in vivo oncogenic perturbations in a common genetic background. This provides an idealized context for generating transcriptome-based diagnostic models while minimizing the inherent noisiness of high-throughput technologies. However, the question remains whether models developed in such a setting are suitable prototypes for useful human diagnostics. We show that latent factor modeling of the peripheral blood transcriptome in a mouse model of breast cancer provides the basis for using computational methods to link a mouse model to a prototype human diagnostic based on a common underlying biological response to the presence of a tumor. Methods We used gene expression data from mouse peripheral blood cell (PBC samples to identify significantly differentially expressed genes using supervised classification and sparse ANOVA. We employed these transcriptome data as the starting point for developing a breast tumor predictor from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs by using a factor modeling approach. Results The predictor distinguished breast cancer patients from healthy individuals in a cohort of patients independent from that used to build the factors and train the model with 89% sensitivity, 100% specificity and an area under the curve (AUC of 0.97 using Youden's J-statistic to objectively select the model's classification threshold. Both permutation testing of the model and evaluating the model strategy by swapping the training and validation sets highlight its stability. Conclusions We describe a human breast tumor predictor based on the gene expression of mouse PBCs. This strategy overcomes many of the limitations of earlier studies by using the model system to reduce noise and identify transcripts associated with the presence of a breast tumor over other potentially confounding factors. Our results serve as a proof-of-concept for using an

  17. Model selection reveals control of cold signalling by evening-phased components of the plant circadian clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keily, Jack; MacGregor, Dana R; Smith, Robert W; Millar, Andrew J; Halliday, Karen J; Penfield, Steven

    2013-10-01

    Circadian clocks confer advantages by restricting biological processes to certain times of day through the control of specific phased outputs. Control of temperature signalling is an important function of the plant oscillator, but the architecture of the gene network controlling cold signalling by the clock is not well understood. Here we use a model ensemble fitted to time-series data and a corrected Akaike Information Criterion (AICc) analysis to extend a dynamic model to include the control of the key cold-regulated transcription factors C-REPEAT BINDING FACTORs 1-3 (CBF1, CBF2, CBF3). AICc was combined with in silico analysis of genetic perturbations in the model ensemble, and selected a model that predicted mutant phenotypes and connections between evening-phased circadian clock components and CBF3 transcriptional control, but these connections were not shared by CBF1 and CBF2. In addition, our model predicted the correct gating of CBF transcription by cold only when the cold signal originated from the clock mechanism itself, suggesting that the clock has an important role in temperature signal transduction. Our data shows that model selection could be a useful method for the expansion of gene network models. © 2013 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. New porcine test-model reveals remarkable differences between algorithms for spectrophotometrical haemoglobin saturation measurements with VLS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gade, John; Greisen, Gorm

    2016-01-01

    The study created an 'ex vivo' model to test different algorithms for measurements of mucosal haemoglobin saturation with visible light spectrophotometry (VLS). The model allowed comparison between algorithms, but it also allowed comparison with co-oximetry using a 'gold standard' method. This has......  -32.8 to  +29.9 percentage points and from  -5.0 to  +9.2 percentage points, respectively. CONCLUSION: the algorithms showed remarkable in-between differences when tested on raw-spectra from an 'ex vivo' model. All algorithms had bias, more marked at high oxygenation than low oxygenation. Three...

  19. Marine geophysics. New global marine gravity model from CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 reveals buried tectonic structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandwell, David T; Müller, R Dietmar; Smith, Walter H F; Garcia, Emmanuel; Francis, Richard

    2014-10-03

    Gravity models are powerful tools for mapping tectonic structures, especially in the deep ocean basins where the topography remains unmapped by ships or is buried by thick sediment. We combined new radar altimeter measurements from satellites CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 with existing data to construct a global marine gravity model that is two times more accurate than previous models. We found an extinct spreading ridge in the Gulf of Mexico, a major propagating rift in the South Atlantic Ocean, abyssal hill fabric on slow-spreading ridges, and thousands of previously uncharted seamounts. These discoveries allow us to understand regional tectonic processes and highlight the importance of satellite-derived gravity models as one of the primary tools for the investigation of remote ocean basins.

  20. Gillespie eco‐evolutionary models (GEMs) reveal the role of heritable trait variation in eco‐evolutionary dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    DeLong, John P.; Gibert, Jean P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Heritable trait variation is a central and necessary ingredient of evolution. Trait variation also directly affects ecological processes, generating a clear link between evolutionary and ecological dynamics. Despite the changes in variation that occur through selection, drift, mutation, and recombination, current eco‐evolutionary models usually fail to track how variation changes through time. Moreover, eco‐evolutionary models assume fitness functions for each trait and each ecologic...

  1. Complex network models reveal correlations among network metrics, exercise intensity and role of body changes in the fatigue process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Vanessa Helena; Gama, Maria Carolina Traina; Sousa, Filipe Antônio Barros; Lewis, Theodore Gyle; Gobatto, Claudio Alexandre; Manchado-Gobatto, Fúlvia Barros

    2015-05-01

    The aims of the present study were analyze the fatigue process at distinct intensity efforts and to investigate its occurrence as interactions at distinct body changes during exercise, using complex network models. For this, participants were submitted to four different running intensities until exhaustion, accomplished in a non-motorized treadmill using a tethered system. The intensities were selected according to critical power model. Mechanical (force, peak power, mean power, velocity and work) and physiological related parameters (heart rate, blood lactate, time until peak blood lactate concentration (lactate time), lean mass, anaerobic and aerobic capacities) and IPAQ score were obtained during exercises and it was used to construction of four complex network models. Such models have both, theoretical and mathematical value, and enables us to perceive new insights that go beyond conventional analysis. From these, we ranked the influences of each node at the fatigue process. Our results shows that nodes, links and network metrics are sensibility according to increase of efforts intensities, been the velocity a key factor to exercise maintenance at models/intensities 1 and 2 (higher time efforts) and force and power at models 3 and 4, highlighting mechanical variables in the exhaustion occurrence and even training prescription applications.

  2. Complex network models reveal correlations among network metrics, exercise intensity and role of body changes in the fatigue process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Vanessa Helena; Gama, Maria Carolina Traina; Sousa, Filipe Antônio Barros; Lewis, Theodore Gyle; Gobatto, Claudio Alexandre; Manchado-Gobatto, Fúlvia Barros

    2015-05-21

    The aims of the present study were analyze the fatigue process at distinct intensity efforts and to investigate its occurrence as interactions at distinct body changes during exercise, using complex network models. For this, participants were submitted to four different running intensities until exhaustion, accomplished in a non-motorized treadmill using a tethered system. The intensities were selected according to critical power model. Mechanical (force, peak power, mean power, velocity and work) and physiological related parameters (heart rate, blood lactate, time until peak blood lactate concentration (lactate time), lean mass, anaerobic and aerobic capacities) and IPAQ score were obtained during exercises and it was used to construction of four complex network models. Such models have both, theoretical and mathematical value, and enables us to perceive new insights that go beyond conventional analysis. From these, we ranked the influences of each node at the fatigue process. Our results shows that nodes, links and network metrics are sensibility according to increase of efforts intensities, been the velocity a key factor to exercise maintenance at models/intensities 1 and 2 (higher time efforts) and force and power at models 3 and 4, highlighting mechanical variables in the exhaustion occurrence and even training prescription applications.

  3. Revealing the burden of maternal mortality: a probabilistic model for determining pregnancy-related causes of death from verbal autopsies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desta Teklay

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Substantial reductions in maternal mortality are called for in Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG-5, thus assuming that maternal mortality is measurable. A key difficulty is attributing causes of death for the many women who die unaided in developing countries. Verbal autopsy (VA can elicit circumstances of death, but data need to be interpreted reliably and consistently to serve as global indicators. Recent developments in probabilistic modelling of VA interpretation are adapted and assessed here for the specific circumstances of pregnancy-related death. Methods A preliminary version of the InterVA-M probabilistic VA interpretation model was developed and refined with adult female VA data from several sources, and then assessed against 258 additional VA interviews from Burkina Faso. Likely causes of death produced by the model were compared with causes previously determined by local physicians. Distinction was made between free-text and closed-question data in the VA interviews, to assess the added value of free-text material on the model's output. Results Following rationalisation between the model and physician interpretations, cause-specific mortality fractions were broadly similar. Case-by-case agreement between the model and any of the reviewing physicians reached approximately 60%, rising to approximately 80% when cases with a discrepancy were reviewed by an additional physician. Cardiovascular disease and malaria showed the largest differences between the methods, and the attribution of infections related to pregnancy also varied. The model estimated 30% of deaths to be pregnancy-related, of which half were due to direct causes. Data derived from free-text made no appreciable difference. Conclusion InterVA-M represents a potentially valuable new tool for measuring maternal mortality in an efficient, consistent and standardised way. Further development, refinement and validation are planned. It could become a routine

  4. Feedback control strategies for spatial navigation revealed by dynamic modelling of learning in the Morris water maze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fey, Dirk; Commins, Sean; Bullinger, Eric

    2011-04-01

    The Morris water maze is an experimental procedure in which animals learn to escape swimming in a pool using environmental cues. Despite its success in neuroscience and psychology for studying spatial learning and memory, the exact mnemonic and navigational demands of the task are not well understood. Here, we provide a mathematical model of rat swimming dynamics on a behavioural level. The model consists of a random walk, a heading change and a feedback control component in which learning is reflected in parameter changes of the feedback mechanism. The simplicity of the model renders it accessible and useful for analysis of experiments in which swimming paths are recorded. Here, we used the model to analyse an experiment in which rats were trained to find the platform with either three or one extramaze cue. Results indicate that the 3-cues group employs stronger feedback relying only on the actual visual input, whereas the 1-cue group employs weaker feedback relying to some extent on memory. Because the model parameters are linked to neurological processes, identifying different parameter values suggests the activation of different neuronal pathways.

  5. Expression profiling of a genetic animal model of depression reveals novel molecular pathways underlying depressive-like behaviours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterini Blaveri

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Flinders model is a validated genetic rat model of depression that exhibits a number of behavioural, neurochemical and pharmacological features consistent with those observed in human depression. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we have used genome-wide microarray expression profiling of the hippocampus and prefrontal/frontal cortex of Flinders Depression Sensitive (FSL and control Flinders Depression Resistant (FRL lines to understand molecular basis for the differences between the two lines. We profiled two independent cohorts of Flinders animals derived from the same colony six months apart, each cohort statistically powered to allow independent as well as combined analysis. Using this approach, we were able to validate using real-time-PCR a core set of gene expression differences that showed statistical significance in each of the temporally distinct cohorts, representing consistently maintained features of the model. Small but statistically significant increases were confirmed for cholinergic (chrm2, chrna7 and serotonergic receptors (Htr1a, Htr2a in FSL rats consistent with known neurochemical changes in the model. Much larger gene changes were validated in a number of novel genes as exemplified by TMEM176A, which showed 35-fold enrichment in the cortex and 30-fold enrichment in hippocampus of FRL animals relative to FSL. CONCLUSIONS: These data provide significant insights into the molecular differences underlying the Flinders model, and have potential relevance to broader depression research.

  6. Bifurcation Analysis of an Existing Mathematical Model Reveals Novel Treatment Strategies and Suggests Potential Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kenneth Hagde Mandrup; Ottesen, Johnny T.; Pociot, Flemming

    2014-01-01

    Type 1 diabetes is a disease with serious personal and socioeconomic consequences that has attracted the attention of modellers recently. But as models of this disease tend to be complicated, there has been only limited mathematical analysis to date. Here we address this problem by providing...... a bifurcation analysis of a previously published mathematical model for the early stages of type 1 diabetes in diabetes-prone NOD mice, which is based on the data available in the literature. We also show positivity and the existence of a family of attracting trapping regions in the positive 5D cone, converging...... towards a smaller trapping region, which is the intersection over the family. All these trapping regions are compact sets, and thus, practical weak persistence is guaranteed. We conclude our analysis by proposing 4 novel treatment strategies: increasing the phagocytic ability of resting macrophages...

  7. Oncogene interactions are required for glioma development and progression as revealed by a tissue specific transgenic mouse model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lynette M. Moore; Kristen M. Holmes; Gregory N. Fuller; Wei Zhang

    2011-01-01

    The aggressive and invasive nature of brain tumors has hampered progress in the design and implementation of efficacious therapies. The recent success of targeted therapies in other tumor types makes this an attractive area for research yet complicating matters is the ability of brain tumors to circumvent the targeted pathways to develop drug resistance. Effective therapies will likely need to target more than one signaling pathway or target multiple nodes within a given pathway. Key to identifying these targets is the elucidation of the driver and passenger molecules within these pathways. Animal models provide a useful tool with many advantages in the study of these pathways. These models provide a means to dissect the critical components of tumorigenesis, as well as serve as agents for preclinical testing. This review focuses on the use of the RCAS/tv-a mouse model of brain tumors and describes their unique ability to provide insight into the role of oncogene cooperation in tumor development and progression.

  8. A bacterial spore model of pulsed electric fields on spore morphology change revealed by simulation and SEM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Xing; Lee, Yin Tung; Yung, Pun To

    2014-01-01

    A two-layered spore model was proposed to analyze morphological change of bacterial spores subjected under pulsed electric fields. The outer layer, i.e. spore coat, was defined by Mooney-Rivlin hyper-elastic material model. The inner layer, i.e. peptidoglycan and spore core, was modeled by applying additional adhesion forces. The effect of pulsed electric fields on surface displacement was simulated in COMSOL Multiphysics and verified by SEM. The electro-mechanical theory, considering spore coat as a capacitor, was used to explain concavity; and the thin viscoelastic film theory, considering membrane bilayer as fluctuating surfaces, was used to explain leakage forming. Mutual interaction of external electric fields, charged spores, adhesion forces and ions movement were all predicted to contribute to concavity and leakage.

  9. Molecular models of the Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus) venom metalloproteinases reveal a structural basis for differences in hemorrhagic activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagda, Ruben K; Gasanov, Sardar E; Zhang, Boris; Welch, William; Rael, Eppie D

    2014-03-01

    Rattlesnake venom can differ in composition and in metalloproteinase-associated activities. The molecular basis for this intra-species variation in Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mojave rattlesnake) remains an enigma. To understand the molecular basis for intra-species variation of metalloproteinase-associated activities, we modeled the three-dimensional structures of four metalloproteinases based on the amino acid sequence of four variations of the proteinase domain of the C. s. scutulatus metalloproteinase gene (GP1, GP2, GP3, and GP4). For comparative purposes, we modeled the atrolysin metalloproteinases of C. atrox as well. All molecular models shared the same topology. While the atrolysin metalloproteinase molecular models contained highly conserved substrate binding sites, the Mojave rattlesnake metalloproteinases showed higher structural divergence when superimposed onto each other. The highest structural divergence among the four C. s. scutulatus molecular models was located at the northern cleft wall and the S'1-pocket of the substrate binding site, molecular regions that modulate substrate selectivity. Molecular dynamics and field potential maps for each C. s. scutulatus metalloproteinase model demonstrated that the non-hemorrhagic metalloproteinases (GP2 and GP3) contain highly basic molecular and field potential surfaces while the hemorrhagic metalloproteinases GP1 and atrolysin C showed extensive acidic field potential maps and shallow but less dynamic active site pockets. Hence, differences in the spatial arrangement of the northern cleft wall, the S'1-pocket, and the physico-chemical environment surrounding the catalytic site contribute to differences in metalloproteinase activities in the Mojave rattlesnake. Our results provide a structural basis for variation of metalloproteinase-associated activities in the rattlesnake venom of the Mojave rattlesnake.

  10. Revealing Rembrandt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Parker

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The power and significance of artwork in shaping human cognition is self-evident. The starting point for our empirical investigations is the view that the task of neuroscience is to integrate itself with other forms of knowledge, rather than to seek to supplant them. In our recent work, we examined a particular aspect of the appreciation of artwork using present-day functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Our results emphasised the continuity between viewing artwork and other human cognitive activities. We also showed that appreciation of a particular aspect of artwork, namely authenticity, depends upon the co-ordinated activity between the brain regions involved in multiple decision making and those responsible for processing visual information. The findings about brain function probably have no specific consequences for understanding how people respond to the art of Rembrandt in comparison with their response to other artworks. However, the use of images of Rembrandt’s portraits, his most intimate and personal works, clearly had a significant impact upon our viewers, even though they have been spatially confined to the interior of an MRI scanner at the time of viewing. Neuroscientific studies of humans viewing artwork have the capacity to reveal the diversity of human cognitive responses that may be induced by external advice or context as people view artwork in a variety of frameworks and settings.

  11. Boolean Modelling Reveals New Regulatory Connections between Transcription Factors Orchestrating the Development of the Ventral Spinal Cord

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovrics, Anna; Gao, Yu; Juhász, Bianka; Bock, István; Byrne, Helen M.; Dinnyés, András; Kovács, Krisztián A.

    2014-01-01

    We have assembled a network of cell-fate determining transcription factors that play a key role in the specification of the ventral neuronal subtypes of the spinal cord on the basis of published transcriptional interactions. Asynchronous Boolean modelling of the network was used to compare simulation results with reported experimental observations. Such comparison highlighted the need to include additional regulatory connections in order to obtain the fixed point attractors of the model associated with the five known progenitor cell types located in the ventral spinal cord. The revised gene regulatory network reproduced previously observed cell state switches between progenitor cells observed in knock-out animal models or in experiments where the transcription factors were overexpressed. Furthermore the network predicted the inhibition of Irx3 by Nkx2.2 and this prediction was tested experimentally. Our results provide evidence for the existence of an as yet undescribed inhibitory connection which could potentially have significance beyond the ventral spinal cord. The work presented in this paper demonstrates the strength of Boolean modelling for identifying gene regulatory networks. PMID:25398016

  12. A Stochastic Model of the Yeast Cell Cycle Reveals Roles for Feedback Regulation in Limiting Cellular Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barik, Debashis; Ball, David A; Peccoud, Jean; Tyson, John J

    2016-12-01

    The cell division cycle of eukaryotes is governed by a complex network of cyclin-dependent protein kinases (CDKs) and auxiliary proteins that govern CDK activities. The control system must function reliably in the context of molecular noise that is inevitable in tiny yeast cells, because mistakes in sequencing cell cycle events are detrimental or fatal to the cell or its progeny. To assess the effects of noise on cell cycle progression requires not only extensive, quantitative, experimental measurements of cellular heterogeneity but also comprehensive, accurate, mathematical models of stochastic fluctuations in the CDK control system. In this paper we provide a stochastic model of the budding yeast cell cycle that accurately accounts for the variable phenotypes of wild-type cells and more than 20 mutant yeast strains simulated in different growth conditions. We specifically tested the role of feedback regulations mediated by G1- and SG2M-phase cyclins to minimize the noise in cell cycle progression. Details of the model are informed and tested by quantitative measurements (by fluorescence in situ hybridization) of the joint distributions of mRNA populations in yeast cells. We use the model to predict the phenotypes of ~30 mutant yeast strains that have not yet been characterized experimentally.

  13. Key role of local regulation in chemosensing revealed by a new molecular interaction-based modeling method.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Meier-Schellersheim

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The signaling network underlying eukaryotic chemosensing is a complex combination of receptor-mediated transmembrane signals, lipid modifications, protein translocations, and differential activation/deactivation of membrane-bound and cytosolic components. As such, it provides particularly interesting challenges for a combined computational and experimental analysis. We developed a novel detailed molecular signaling model that, when used to simulate the response to the attractant cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP, made nontrivial predictions about Dictyostelium chemosensing. These predictions, including the unexpected existence of spatially asymmetrical, multiphasic, cyclic adenosine monophosphate-induced PTEN translocation and phosphatidylinositol-(3,4,5P3 generation, were experimentally verified by quantitative single-cell microscopy leading us to propose significant modifications to the current standard model for chemoattractant-induced biochemical polarization in this organism. Key to this successful modeling effort was the use of "Simmune," a new software package that supports the facile development and testing of detailed computational representations of cellular behavior. An intuitive interface allows user definition of complex signaling networks based on the definition of specific molecular binding site interactions and the subcellular localization of molecules. It automatically translates such inputs into spatially resolved simulations and dynamic graphical representations of the resulting signaling network that can be explored in a manner that closely parallels wet lab experimental procedures. These features of Simmune were critical to the model development and analysis presented here and are likely to be useful in the computational investigation of many aspects of cell biology.

  14. A general model of distant hybridization reveals the conditions for extinction in Atlantic salmon and brown trout.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio S Quilodrán

    Full Text Available Interspecific hybridization is common in nature but can be increased in frequency or even originated by human actions, such as species introduction or habitat modification, which may threaten species persistence. When hybridization occurs between distantly related species, referred to as "distant hybridization," the resulting hybrids are generally infertile or fertile but do not undergo chromosomal recombination during gametogenesis. Here, we present a model describing this frequent but poorly studied interspecific hybridization to assess its consequences on parental species and to anticipate the conditions under which they can reach extinction. Our general model fully incorporates three important processes: density-dependent competition, dominance/recessivity inheritance of traits and assortative mating. We demonstrate its use and flexibility by assessing population extinction risk between Atlantic salmon and brown trout in Norway, whose interbreeding has recently increased due to farmed fish releases into the wild. We identified the set of conditions under which hybridization may threaten salmonid species. Thanks to the flexibility of our model, we evaluated the effect of an additional risk factor, a parasitic disease, and showed that the cumulative effects dramatically increase the extinction risk. The consequences of distant hybridization are not genetically, but demographically mediated. Our general model is useful to better comprehend the evolution of such hybrid systems and we demonstrated its importance in the field of conservation biology to set up management recommendations when this increasingly frequent type of hybridization is in action.

  15. Validation of a Prediction Model for Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Delivery Reveals Unexpected Success in a Diverse American Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maykin, Melanie Mai; Mularz, Amanda J.; Lee, Lydia K.; Valderramos, Stephanie Gaw

    2017-01-01

    Objective To investigate the validity of a prediction model for success of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) in an ethnically diverse population. Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study of women admitted at a single academic institution for a trial of labor after cesarean from May 2007 to January 2015. Individual predicted success rates were calculated using the Maternal–Fetal Medicine Units Network prediction model. Participants were stratified into three probability-of-success groups: low (65%). The actual versus predicted success rates were compared. Results In total, 568 women met inclusion criteria. Successful VBAC occurred in 402 (71%), compared with a predicted success rate of 66% (p = 0.016). Actual VBAC success rates were higher than predicted by the model in the low (57 vs. 29%; p < 0.001) and moderate (61 vs. 52%; p = 0.003) groups. In the high probability group, the observed and predicted VBAC rates were the same (79%). Conclusion When the predicted success rate was above 65%, the model was highly accurate. In contrast, for women with predicted success rates <35%, actual VBAC rates were nearly twofold higher in our population, suggesting that they should not be discouraged by a low prediction score.

  16. Boolean modelling reveals new regulatory connections between transcription factors orchestrating the development of the ventral spinal cord.

    KAUST Repository

    Lovrics, Anna

    2014-11-14

    We have assembled a network of cell-fate determining transcription factors that play a key role in the specification of the ventral neuronal subtypes of the spinal cord on the basis of published transcriptional interactions. Asynchronous Boolean modelling of the network was used to compare simulation results with reported experimental observations. Such comparison highlighted the need to include additional regulatory connections in order to obtain the fixed point attractors of the model associated with the five known progenitor cell types located in the ventral spinal cord. The revised gene regulatory network reproduced previously observed cell state switches between progenitor cells observed in knock-out animal models or in experiments where the transcription factors were overexpressed. Furthermore the network predicted the inhibition of Irx3 by Nkx2.2 and this prediction was tested experimentally. Our results provide evidence for the existence of an as yet undescribed inhibitory connection which could potentially have significance beyond the ventral spinal cord. The work presented in this paper demonstrates the strength of Boolean modelling for identifying gene regulatory networks.

  17. Comparative analyses reveal potential uses of Brachypodium distachyon as a model for cold stress responses in temperate grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Chuan

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about the potential of Brachypodium distachyon as a model for low temperature stress responses in Pooideae. The ice recrystallization inhibition protein (IRIP genes, fructosyltransferase (FST genes, and many C-repeat binding factor (CBF genes are Pooideae specific and important in low temperature responses. Here we used comparative analyses to study conservation and evolution of these gene families in B. distachyon to better understand its potential as a model species for agriculturally important temperate grasses. Results Brachypodium distachyon contains cold responsive IRIP genes which have evolved through Brachypodium specific gene family expansions. A large cold responsive CBF3 subfamily was identified in B. distachyon, while CBF4 homologs are absent from the genome. No B. distachyon FST gene homologs encode typical core Pooideae FST-motifs and low temperature induced fructan accumulation was dramatically different in B. distachyon compared to core Pooideae species. Conclusions We conclude that B. distachyon can serve as an interesting model for specific molecular mechanisms involved in low temperature responses in core Pooideae species. However, the evolutionary history of key genes involved in low temperature responses has been different in Brachypodium and core Pooideae species. These differences limit the use of B. distachyon as a model for holistic studies relevant for agricultural core Pooideae species.

  18. A structure-based model of energy transfer reveals the principles of light harvesting in photosystem II supercomplexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Doran I G; Amarnath, Kapil; Fleming, Graham R

    2013-06-19

    Photosystem II (PSII) initiates photosynthesis in plants through the absorption of light and subsequent conversion of excitation energy to chemical energy via charge separation. The pigment binding proteins associated with PSII assemble in the grana membrane into PSII supercomplexes and surrounding light harvesting complex II trimers. To understand the high efficiency of light harvesting in PSII requires quantitative insight into energy transfer and charge separation in PSII supercomplexes. We have constructed the first structure-based model of energy transfer in PSII supercomplexes. This model shows that the kinetics of light harvesting cannot be simplified to a single rate limiting step. Instead, substantial contributions arise from both excitation diffusion through the antenna pigments and transfer from the antenna to the reaction center (RC), where charge separation occurs. Because of the lack of a rate-limiting step, fitting kinetic models to fluorescence lifetime data cannot be used to derive mechanistic insight on light harvesting in PSII. This model will clarify the interpretation of chlorophyll fluorescence data from PSII supercomplexes, grana membranes, and leaves.

  19. New gene models and alternative splicing in the maize pathogen Colletotrichum graminicola revealed by RNA-Seq analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schliebner, Ivo; Becher, Rayko; Hempel, Marcus; Deising, Holger B; Horbach, Ralf

    2014-10-02

    An annotated genomic sequence of the corn anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum graminicola has been published previously, but correct identification of gene models by means of automated gene annotation remains a challenge. RNA-Seq offers the potential for substantially improved gene annotations and for the identification of posttranscriptional RNA modifications, such as alternative splicing and RNA editing. Based on the nucleotide sequence information of transcripts, we identified 819 novel transcriptionally active regions (nTARs) and revised 906 incorrectly predicted gene models, including revisions of exon-intron structure, gene orientation and sequencing errors. Among the nTARs, 146 share significant similarity with proteins that have been identified in other species suggesting that they are hitherto unidentified genes in C. graminicola. Moreover, 5'- and 3'-UTR sequences of 4378 genes have been retrieved and alternatively spliced variants of 69 genes have been identified. Comparative analysis of RNA-Seq data and the genome sequence did not provide evidence for RNA editing in C. graminicola. We successfully employed deep sequencing RNA-Seq data in combination with an elaborate bioinformatics strategy in order to identify novel genes, incorrect gene models and mechanisms of transcript processing in the corn anthracnose fungus C. graminicola. Sequence data of the revised genome annotation including several hundreds of novel transcripts, improved gene models and candidate genes for alternative splicing have been made accessible in a comprehensive database. Our results significantly contribute to both routine laboratory experiments and large-scale genomics or transcriptomic studies in C. graminicola.

  20. Functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals abnormal brain connectivity in EGR3 gene transfected rat model of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Tianbin; Nie, Binbin; Ma, Ensen; Che, Jing; Sun, Shilong; Wang, Yuli; Shan, Baoci; Liu, Yawu; Luo, Senlin; Ma, Guolin; Li, Kefeng

    2015-05-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by the disorder of "social brain". However, the alternation of connectivity density in brain areas of schizophrenia patients remains largely unknown. In this study, we successfully created a rat model of schizophrenia by the transfection of EGR3 gene into rat brain. We then investigated the connectivity density of schizophrenia susceptible regions in rat brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in combination with multivariate Granger causality (GC) model. We found that the average signal strength in prefrontal lobe and hippocampus of schizophrenia model group was significantly higher than the control group. Bidirectional Granger causality connection was observed between hippocampus and thalamic in schizophrenia model group. Both connectivity density and Granger causality connection were changed in prefrontal lobe, hippocampus and thalamus after risperidone treatment. Our results indicated that fMRI in combination with GC connection analysis may be used as an important method in diagnosis of schizophrenia and evaluation the effect of antipsychotic treatment. These findings support the connectivity disorder hypothesis of schizophrenia and increase our understanding of the neural mechanisms of schizophrenia.

  1. Polymer model with Epigenetic Recoloring Reveals a Pathway for the de novo Establishment and 3D Organization of Chromatin Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michieletto, D.; Orlandini, E.; Marenduzzo, D.

    2016-10-01

    One of the most important problems in development is how epigenetic domains can first be established, and then maintained, within cells. To address this question, we propose a framework that couples three-dimensional chromatin folding dynamics to a "recoloring" process modeling the writing of epigenetic marks. Because many intrachromatin interactions are mediated by bridging proteins, we consider a "two-state" model with self-attractive interactions between two epigenetic marks that are alike (either active or inactive). This model displays a first-order-like transition between a swollen, epigenetically disordered phase and a compact, epigenetically coherent chromatin globule. If the self-attraction strength exceeds a threshold, the chromatin dynamics becomes glassy, and the corresponding interaction network freezes. By modifying the epigenetic read-write process according to more biologically inspired assumptions, our polymer model with recoloring recapitulates the ultrasensitive response of epigenetic switches to perturbations and accounts for long-lived multidomain conformations, strikingly similar to the topologically associating domains observed in eukaryotic chromosomes.

  2. Validation of a Prediction Model for Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Delivery Reveals Unexpected Success in a Diverse American Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maykin, Melanie Mai; Mularz, Amanda J; Lee, Lydia K; Valderramos, Stephanie Gaw

    2017-01-01

    Objective To investigate the validity of a prediction model for success of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) in an ethnically diverse population. Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study of women admitted at a single academic institution for a trial of labor after cesarean from May 2007 to January 2015. Individual predicted success rates were calculated using the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network prediction model. Participants were stratified into three probability-of-success groups: low (65%). The actual versus predicted success rates were compared. Results In total, 568 women met inclusion criteria. Successful VBAC occurred in 402 (71%), compared with a predicted success rate of 66% (p = 0.016). Actual VBAC success rates were higher than predicted by the model in the low (57 vs. 29%; p success rate was above 65%, the model was highly accurate. In contrast, for women with predicted success rates <35%, actual VBAC rates were nearly twofold higher in our population, suggesting that they should not be discouraged by a low prediction score.

  3. The mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet: sensitivity to climate change as revealed by energy-balance modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1991-01-01

    The sensitivity of the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet to climate change is studied with an energy-balance model of the ice/snow surface, applied at 200 m elevation intervals for four characteristic regions of the ice sheet. Solar radiation, longwave radiation, turbulent heat fluxes and refr

  4. A Global Orientation Map in the Primary Visual Cortex (V1): Could a Self Organizing Model Reveal Its Hidden Bias?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philips, Ryan T.; Chakravarthy, V. Srinivasa

    2017-01-01

    A remarkable accomplishment of self organizing models is their ability to simulate the development of feature maps in the cortex. Additionally, these models have been trained to tease out the differential causes of multiple feature maps, mapped on to the same output space. Recently, a Laterally Interconnected Synergetically Self Organizing Map (LISSOM) model has been used to simulate the mapping of eccentricity and meridional angle onto orthogonal axes in the primary visual cortex (V1). This model is further probed to simulate the development of the radial bias in V1, using a training set that consists of both radial (rectangular bars of random size and orientation) as well as non-radial stimuli. The radial bias describes the preference of the visual system toward orientations that match the angular position (meridional angle) of that orientation with respect to the point of fixation. Recent fMRI results have shown that there exists a coarse scale orientation map in V1, which resembles the meridional angle map, thereby providing a plausible neural basis for the radial bias. The LISSOM model, trained for the development of the retinotopic map, on probing for orientation preference, exhibits a coarse scale orientation map, consistent with these experimental results, quantified using the circular cross correlation (rc). The rc between the orientation map developed on probing with a thin annular ring containing sinusoidal gratings with a spatial frequency of 0.5 cycles per degree (cpd) and the corresponding meridional map for the same annular ring, has a value of 0.8894. The results also suggest that the radial bias goes beyond the current understanding of a node to node correlation between the two maps.

  5. Human and ecotoxicological impacts assessment from the Mexican oil industry in the Coatzacoalcos region, as revealed by the USEtox model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Mora, M A; Rodríguez-Pérez, B; Martínez-Delgadillo, S A; Rosa-Domínguez, E; Nolasco-Hipólito, C

    2014-01-01

    Human and ecotoxicological impacts were analyzed in the lower basin of the Coatzacoalcos River (Veracruz, State in Mexico). High pollution levels of contaminants from the oil industry have been reported in natural streams and the Coatzacoalcos River and in their sediments. USEtox model was employed to evaluate environmental fate, exposure, and effect of nine organic compounds (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and one of which was in the group of polychlorinated biphenyls), a heavy metal (lead), and the effect of the industrial wastewater emitted into the river, on the Coatzacoalcos region. Most of these compounds are highly toxic; they bioaccumulate in human and animal tissue, mainly in the fatty tissues and can damage different organs and systemic targets such as the liver, kidney, hormonal system, nervous system, etc., of both humans and wildlife. The model estimates that 96% (3,247 kg/day) of organic compounds is transferred from the water into air, whereas only 4% (151 kg/day) remains in the water. In addition, it predicts that humans are mainly exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) congeners (28 and 153) by eating contaminated fish, due to PCBs accumulating in the fish fat tissue. The number of cases of cancer and noncancer (1 in 862 habitants per additional kilogram) is expected to have an increment due to the higher PCBs exposure of human population. Genetic damages in fishes, earthworms, and toads have been observed and related to higher exposure to organic compounds. The relationship between the field reported data and those one predicted by the USEtox model have been confirmed empirically by using the nonparametric correlation analysis (Spearman's rho). Based on the USEtox model, the environmental stress in the Coatzacoalcos industrial zone is between 2 and 6 orders of magnitude over geometric mean of acute aquatic EC₅₀s. We think that USEtox model can be used to expand the number of substances that have the current water quality guidelines to

  6. Behavioral modeling of human choices reveals dissociable effects of physical effort and temporal delay on reward devaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein-Flügge, Miriam C; Kennerley, Steven W; Saraiva, Ana C; Penny, Will D; Bestmann, Sven

    2015-03-01

    There has been considerable interest from the fields of biology, economics, psychology, and ecology about how decision costs decrease the value of rewarding outcomes. For example, formal descriptions of how reward value changes with increasing temporal delays allow for quantifying individual decision preferences, as in animal species populating different habitats, or normal and clinical human populations. Strikingly, it remains largely unclear how humans evaluate rewards when these are tied to energetic costs, despite the surge of interest in the neural basis of effort-guided decision-making and the prevalence of disorders showing a diminished willingness to exert effort (e.g., depression). One common assumption is that effort discounts reward in a similar way to delay. Here we challenge this assumption by formally comparing competing hypotheses about effort and delay discounting. We used a design specifically optimized to compare discounting behavior for both effort and delay over a wide range of decision costs (Experiment 1). We then additionally characterized the profile of effort discounting free of model assumptions (Experiment 2). Contrary to previous reports, in both experiments effort costs devalued reward in a manner opposite to delay, with small devaluations for lower efforts, and progressively larger devaluations for higher effort-levels (concave shape). Bayesian model comparison confirmed that delay-choices were best predicted by a hyperbolic model, with the largest reward devaluations occurring at shorter delays. In contrast, an altogether different relationship was observed for effort-choices, which were best described by a model of inverse sigmoidal shape that is initially concave. Our results provide a novel characterization of human effort discounting behavior and its first dissociation from delay discounting. This enables accurate modelling of cost-benefit decisions, a prerequisite for the investigation of the neural underpinnings of effort

  7. Puerto Rico Revealed Preference data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Revealed preference models provide insights into recreational angler behavior and the economic value of recreational fishing trips. Revealed preference data is...

  8. Alpine fold-and-thrust structures revealed: A 3D model from the Helvetic Zone (Säntis area, Switzerland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Paola; Pfiffner, Adrian; Frehner, Marcel

    2013-04-01

    To investigate the geometrical relationships between folding and thrust faulting, a 3D model of the Helvetic fold-and-thrust belt in Eastern Switzerland is built from several cross-sections in the Säntis area, between Hoher Kasten and Wildhaus. Existing cross-sections from Schlatter (1941), Kempf (1966), and Pfiffner (2000; 2011) were partly redrawn and cross-checked for line length balancing. Additional cross-sections based on surface geology were newly constructed to fill areas with a low cross-section density and to solve geological problems. The interpolation of the formation interfaces and the thrusts between the cross-sections allowed generating six main surfaces corresponding to the base of the Öhrli and Betlis Limestones, the Helvetic Kieselkalk, the Schrattenkalk and Garschella Formations, and the Seewen Limestone. The main structural elements in the Säntis area, such as the Säntis Thrust or the Sax-Schwende Fault, are also implemented in the model. The 3D model highlights the shape of the main anticline-syncline pairs (e.g., Altmann-Wildseeli, Schafberg-Moor, Roslenfirst-Mutschen, etc...) and how these fold trains vary in amplitude and wavelength along strike. The model also clearly shows the lateral extension, the trend, and the variation in displacement of the principal faults. The reconstruction of 3D horizons allows the geologists investigating cross-sections along any given direction. The 3D model is useful to understand how the changes of the internal nappe structures, namely folds and thrust faults, change along strike. Such changes occur either across transverse faults or in a more gradual manner. The model can and will also be used as a base to perform retrodeformation and strain estimation. Shortening will be calculated using the base Schrattenkalk as the reference horizon. REFERENCES Pfiffner, O.A., 2000: Cross-sections in Funk, H., Habich, J.K., Hantke, R. & Pfiffner, O.A., 2000: Blatt 1115 Säntis - Geologischer Atlas der Schweiz 1

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  10. A human ESC model for MLL-AF4 leukemic fusion gene reveals an impaired early hematopoietic-endothelial specification

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Clara Bueno; Agustin F Femández; Mario F Fraga; Inmaculada Moreno-Gimeno; Deborah Burks; Maria del Carmen Plaza-Calonge; Juan C Rodríguez-Manzaneque; Pablo Menendez; Rosa Montes; Gustavo J Melen; Verónica Ramos-Mejia; Pedro J Real; Verónica Ayllón; Laura Sanchez; Gertrudis Ligero; Iván Gutierrez-Aranda

    2012-01-01

    The MLL-AF4 fusion gene is a hallmark genomic aberration in high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia in inants.Although it is well established that MLL-AF4 arises prenatally during human development,its effects on hematopoieric development in utero remain unexplored.We have created a human-specific cellular system to study early hemato-endothelial development in MLL-AF4-expressing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).Functional studies,clonal analysis and gene expression profiling reveal that expression of MLL-AF4 in hESCs has a phenotypic,functional and gene expression impact.MLL-AF4 acts as a global transcriptional activator and a positive regulator of homeobox gene expression in hESCs.Functionally,MLL-AF4 enhances the specification of hemogenic precursors from hESCs but strongly impairs further hematopoietic commitment in favor of an endothelial cell fate.MLL-AF4 hESCs are transcriptionally primed to differentiate towards hemogenic precursors prone to endothelial maturation,as reflected by the marked upregulation of master genes associated to vascular-endothelial functions and early hematopoiesis.Furthermore,we report that MLL-AF4 expression is not sufficient to transform hESC-derived hematopoietic cells.This work illustrates how hESCs may provide unique insights into human development and further our understanding of how leukemic fusion genes,known to arise prenatally,regulate human embryonic hematopoietic specification.

  11. Computational modeling reveals that a combination of chemotaxis and differential adhesion leads to robust cell sorting during tissue patterning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Zhen Tan

    Full Text Available Robust tissue patterning is crucial to many processes during development. The "French Flag" model of patterning, whereby naïve cells in a gradient of diffusible morphogen signal adopt different fates due to exposure to different amounts of morphogen concentration, has been the most widely proposed model for tissue patterning. However, recently, using time-lapse experiments, cell sorting has been found to be an alternative model for tissue patterning in the zebrafish neural tube. But it remains unclear what the sorting mechanism is. In this article, we used computational modeling to show that two mechanisms, chemotaxis and differential adhesion, are needed for robust cell sorting. We assessed the performance of each of the two mechanisms by quantifying the fraction of correct sorting, the fraction of stable clusters formed after correct sorting, the time needed to achieve correct sorting, and the size variations of the cells having different fates. We found that chemotaxis and differential adhesion confer different advantages to the sorting process. Chemotaxis leads to high fraction of correct sorting as individual cells will either migrate towards or away from the source depending on its cell type. However after the cells have sorted correctly, there is no interaction among cells of the same type to stabilize the sorted boundaries, leading to cell clusters that are unstable. On the other hand, differential adhesion results in low fraction of correct clusters that are more stable. In the absence of morphogen gradient noise, a combination of both chemotaxis and differential adhesion yields cell sorting that is both accurate and robust. However, in the presence of gradient noise, the simple combination of chemotaxis and differential adhesion is insufficient for cell sorting; instead, chemotaxis coupled with delayed differential adhesion is required to yield optimal sorting.

  12. Mathematical modelling of DNA replication reveals a trade-off between coherence of origin activation and robustness against rereplication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anneke Brümmer

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Eukaryotic genomes are duplicated from multiple replication origins exactly once per cell cycle. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a complex molecular network has been identified that governs the assembly of the replication machinery. Here we develop a mathematical model that links the dynamics of this network to its performance in terms of rate and coherence of origin activation events, number of activated origins, the resulting distribution of replicon sizes and robustness against DNA rereplication. To parameterize the model, we use measured protein expression data and systematically generate kinetic parameter sets by optimizing the coherence of origin firing. While randomly parameterized networks yield unrealistically slow kinetics of replication initiation, networks with optimized parameters account for the experimentally observed distribution of origin firing times. Efficient inhibition of DNA rereplication emerges as a constraint that limits the rate at which replication can be initiated. In addition to the separation between origin licensing and firing, a time delay between the activation of S phase cyclin-dependent kinase (S-Cdk and the initiation of DNA replication is required for preventing rereplication. Our analysis suggests that distributive multisite phosphorylation of the S-Cdk targets Sld2 and Sld3 can generate both a robust time delay and contribute to switch-like, coherent activation of replication origins. The proposed catalytic function of the complex formed by Dpb11, Sld3 and Sld2 strongly enhances coherence and robustness of origin firing. The model rationalizes how experimentally observed inefficient replication from fewer origins is caused by premature activation of S-Cdk, while premature activity of the S-Cdk targets Sld2 and Sld3 results in DNA rereplication. Thus the model demonstrates how kinetic deregulation of the molecular network governing DNA replication may result in genomic instability.

  13. Seven competing ways to recover the Michaelis-Menten equation reveal the alternative approaches to steady state modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Michel, Denis; Ruelle, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    International audience; The Michaelis-Menten enzymatic reaction is sufficient to perceive many subtleties of network modeling, including the concentration and time scales separations, the formal equivalence between bulk phase and single-molecule approaches, or the relationships between single-cycle transient probabilities and steady state rates. Seven methods proposed by different authors and yielding the same famous Michaelis-Menten equation, are selected here to illustrate the kinetic and p...

  14. A systems-level model reveals that 1,2-Propanediol utilization microcompartments enhance pathway flux through intermediate sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobson, Christopher M; Tullman-Ercek, Danielle; Slininger, Marilyn F; Mangan, Niall M

    2017-05-01

    The spatial organization of metabolism is common to all domains of life. Enteric and other bacteria use subcellular organelles known as bacterial microcompartments to spatially organize the metabolism of pathogenicity-relevant carbon sources, such as 1,2-propanediol. The organelles are thought to sequester a private cofactor pool, minimize the effects of toxic intermediates, and enhance flux through the encapsulated metabolic pathways. We develop a mathematical model of the function of the 1,2-propanediol utilization microcompartment of Salmonella enterica and use it to analyze the function of the microcompartment organelles in detail. Our model makes accurate estimates of doubling times based on an optimized compartment shell permeability determined by maximizing metabolic flux in the model. The compartments function primarily to decouple cytosolic intermediate concentrations from the concentrations in the microcompartment, allowing significant enhancement in pathway flux by the generation of large concentration gradients across the microcompartment shell. We find that selective permeability of the microcompartment shell is not absolutely necessary, but is often beneficial in establishing this intermediate-trapping function. Our findings also implicate active transport of the 1,2-propanediol substrate under conditions of low external substrate concentration, and we present a mathematical bound, in terms of external 1,2-propanediol substrate concentration and diffusive rates, on when active transport of the substrate is advantageous. By allowing us to predict experimentally inaccessible aspects of microcompartment function, such as intra-microcompartment metabolite concentrations, our model presents avenues for future research and underscores the importance of carefully considering changes in external metabolite concentrations and other conditions during batch cultures. Our results also suggest that the encapsulation of heterologous pathways in bacterial

  15. Modeling the effector - regulatory T cell cross-regulation reveals the intrinsic character of relapses in Multiple Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torrealdea Javier

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The relapsing-remitting dynamics is a hallmark of autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS. Although current understanding of both cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases is significant, how their activity generates this prototypical dynamics is not understood yet. In order to gain insight about the mechanisms that drive these relapsing-remitting dynamics, we developed a computational model using such biological knowledge. We hypothesized that the relapsing dynamics in autoimmunity can arise through the failure in the mechanisms controlling cross-regulation between regulatory and effector T cells with the interplay of stochastic events (e.g. failure in central tolerance, activation by pathogens that are able to trigger the immune system. Results The model represents five concepts: central tolerance (T-cell generation by the thymus, T-cell activation, T-cell memory, cross-regulation (negative feedback between regulatory and effector T-cells and tissue damage. We enriched the model with reversible and irreversible tissue damage, which aims to provide a comprehensible link between autoimmune activity and clinical relapses and active lesions in the magnetic resonances studies in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Our analysis shows that the weakness in this negative feedback between effector and regulatory T-cells, allows the immune system to generate the characteristic relapsing-remitting dynamics of autoimmune diseases, without the need of additional environmental triggers. The simulations show that the timing at which relapses appear is highly unpredictable. We also introduced targeted perturbations into the model that mimicked immunotherapies that modulate effector and regulatory populations. The effects of such therapies happened to be highly dependent on the timing and/or dose, and on the underlying dynamic of the immune system. Conclusion The relapsing dynamic in MS

  16. Combining citizen science species distribution models and stable isotopes reveals migratory connectivity in the secretive Virginia rail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, Auriel M. V.; Sullivan, Alexis R.; Bump, Joseph K.; Perkins, Marie; Shieldcastle, Mark C.; King, Sammy L.

    2017-01-01

    Stable hydrogen isotope (δD) methods for tracking animal movement are widely used yet often produce low resolution assignments. Incorporating prior knowledge of abundance, distribution or movement patterns can ameliorate this limitation, but data are lacking for most species. We demonstrate how observations reported by citizen scientists can be used to develop robust estimates of species distributions and to constrain δD assignments.We developed a Bayesian framework to refine isotopic estimates of migrant animal origins conditional on species distribution models constructed from citizen scientist observations. To illustrate this approach, we analysed the migratory connectivity of the Virginia rail Rallus limicola, a secretive and declining migratory game bird in North America.Citizen science observations enabled both estimation of sampling bias and construction of bias-corrected species distribution models. Conditioning δD assignments on these species distribution models yielded comparably high-resolution assignments.Most Virginia rails wintering across five Gulf Coast sites spent the previous summer near the Great Lakes, although a considerable minority originated from the Chesapeake Bay watershed or Prairie Pothole region of North Dakota. Conversely, the majority of migrating Virginia rails from a site in the Great Lakes most likely spent the previous winter on the Gulf Coast between Texas and Louisiana.Synthesis and applications. In this analysis, Virginia rail migratory connectivity does not fully correspond to the administrative flyways used to manage migratory birds. This example demonstrates that with the increasing availability of citizen science data to create species distribution models, our framework can produce high-resolution estimates of migratory connectivity for many animals, including cryptic species. Empirical evidence of links between seasonal habitats will help enable effective habitat management, hunting quotas and population monitoring and

  17. Modelling central metabolic fluxes by constraint-based optimization reveals metabolic reprogramming of developing Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombié, Sophie; Nazaret, Christine; Bénard, Camille; Biais, Benoît; Mengin, Virginie; Solé, Marion; Fouillen, Laëtitia; Dieuaide-Noubhani, Martine; Mazat, Jean-Pierre; Beauvoit, Bertrand; Gibon, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Modelling of metabolic networks is a powerful tool to analyse the behaviour of developing plant organs, including fruits. Guided by our current understanding of heterotrophic metabolism of plant cells, a medium-scale stoichiometric model, including the balance of co-factors and energy, was constructed in order to describe metabolic shifts that occur through the nine sequential stages of Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit development. The measured concentrations of the main biomass components and the accumulated metabolites in the pericarp, determined at each stage, were fitted in order to calculate, by derivation, the corresponding external fluxes. They were used as constraints to solve the model by minimizing the internal fluxes. The distribution of the calculated fluxes of central metabolism were then analysed and compared with known metabolic behaviours. For instance, the partition of the main metabolic pathways (glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, etc.) was relevant throughout fruit development. We also predicted a valid import of carbon and nitrogen by the fruit, as well as a consistent CO2 release. Interestingly, the energetic balance indicates that excess ATP is dissipated just before the onset of ripening, supporting the concept of the climacteric crisis. Finally, the apparent contradiction between calculated fluxes with low values compared with measured enzyme capacities suggest a complex reprogramming of the metabolic machinery during fruit development. With a powerful set of experimental data and an accurate definition of the metabolic system, this work provides important insight into the metabolic and physiological requirements of the developing tomato fruits.

  18. DIGE proteome analysis reveals suitability of ischemic cardiac in vitro model for studying cellular response to acute ischemia and regeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sina Haas

    Full Text Available Proteomic analysis of myocardial tissue from patient population is suited to yield insights into cellular and molecular mechanisms taking place in cardiovascular diseases. However, it has been limited by small sized biopsies and complicated by high variances between patients. Therefore, there is a high demand for suitable model systems with the capability to simulate ischemic and cardiotoxic effects in vitro, under defined conditions. In this context, we established an in vitro ischemia/reperfusion cardiac disease model based on the contractile HL-1 cell line. To identify pathways involved in the cellular alterations induced by ischemia and thereby defining disease-specific biomarkers and potential target structures for new drug candidates we used fluorescence 2D-difference gel electrophoresis. By comparing spot density changes in ischemic and reperfusion samples we detected several protein spots that were differentially abundant. Using MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS and ESI-MS the proteins were identified and subsequently grouped by functionality. Most prominent were changes in apoptosis signalling, cell structure and energy-metabolism. Alterations were confirmed by analysis of human biopsies from patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy.With the establishment of our in vitro disease model for ischemia injury target identification via proteomic research becomes independent from rare human material and will create new possibilities in cardiac research.

  19. Genomic analysis of a spontaneous model of breast cancer metastasis to bone reveals a role for the extracellular matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckhardt, Bedrich L; Parker, Belinda S; van Laar, Ryan K; Restall, Christina M; Natoli, Anthony L; Tavaria, Michael D; Stanley, Kym L; Sloan, Erica K; Moseley, Jane M; Anderson, Robin L

    2005-01-01

    A clinically relevant model of spontaneous breast cancer metastasis to multiple sites, including bone, was characterized and used to identify genes involved in metastatic progression. The metastatic potential of several genetically related tumor lines was assayed using a novel real-time quantitative RT-PCR assay of tumor burden. Based on this assay, the tumor lines were categorized as nonmetastatic (67NR), weakly metastatic to lymph node (168FARN) or lung (66cl4), or highly metastatic to lymph node, lung, and bone (4T1.2 and 4T1.13). In vitro assays that mimic stages of metastasis showed that highly metastatic tumors lines were more adhesive, invasive, and migratory than the less metastatic lines. To identify metastasis-related genes in this model, each metastatic tumor was array profiled against the nonmetastatic 67NR using 15,000 mouse cDNA arrays. A significant proportion of genes relating to the extracellular matrix had elevated expression in highly metastatic tumors. The role of one of these genes, POEM, was further investigated in the model. In situ hybridization showed that POEM expression was specific to the tumor epithelium of highly metastatic tumors. Decreased POEM expression in 4T1.2 tumors significantly inhibited spontaneous metastasis to the lung, bone, and kidney. Taken together, our data support a role for the extracellular matrix in metastatic progression and describe, for the first time, a role for POEM in this process.

  20. The Plasma Structure of a Long-lasting Sigmoid as Revealed by Hinode and Magnetic Field Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanova Savcheva, Antonia

    2015-04-01

    We present multi-thermal observations from Hinode/XRT and EIS plasma diagnostics over a large part of the lifetime of a long-lasting sigmoid observed between Dec 05 and Dec 07, 2007. This region is the best observationally covered sigmoidal region by XRT and EIS simultaneously. We analyze EIS/XRT thermal maps as well EIS Doppler velocity, density and non-thermal width (NTW) maps in conjunction with non-linear force-free field (NLFFF) models constrained by the XRT data. We show that material accumulates in the dips oftwisted flux rope field lines, the temperature is enhanced at the locations of strong current concentrations in the model, and NTWs are enhanced at the outskirts of the region coinciding with large-scale QSLs that envelope the region. We follow the evolution of these plasma parameters and the filed lines from the best-fit NLFFF models in time and space leading to the flare on Dec 07, 2007.

  1. Revealed Preference and Effectiveness of Public Investment in Ecological River Restoration Projects: An Application of the Count Data Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoon Lee

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Ecological river restoration projects aim to revitalize healthy and self-sustaining river systems that can provide irreplaceable benefits to human society. Cheonggyecheon and Anyangcheon are two sites of recent river restoration projects in Korea. To assess the economic value of two rivers, count data was collected to conduct the individual travel cost method (ITCM in this study. Five statistical models such as the Poisson, the negative binomial, the zero-truncated Poisson, the negative binomial, and negative binomial model adjusted for both truncation and endogenous stratification were used in the analysis due to the nature of count data. Empirical results showed that regressors were statistically significant and corresponded to conventional consumer theory. Since collected count data indicated over-dispersion and endogenous stratification, the adjusted Negative Binomial was selected as an optimal model to analyze the recreational value of Cheonggyecheon and Anyangcheon. Estimates of the annual economic value of two river restoration projects were approximately US $170.1 million and US $50.5 million, respectively.

  2. Demographic models reveal the shape of density dependence for a specialist insect herbivore on variable host plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X

    2007-07-01

    1. It is widely accepted that density-dependent processes play an important role in most natural populations. However, persistent challenges in our understanding of density-dependent population dynamics include evaluating the shape of the relationship between density and demographic rates (linear, concave, convex), and identifying extrinsic factors that can mediate this relationship. 2. I studied the population dynamics of the cactus bug Narnia pallidicornis on host plants (Opuntia imbricata) that varied naturally in relative reproductive effort (RRE, the proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction), an important plant quality trait. I manipulated per-plant cactus bug densities, quantified subsequent dynamics, and fit stage-structured models to the experimental data to ask if and how density influences demographic parameters. 3. In the field experiment, I found that populations with variable starting densities quickly converged upon similar growth trajectories. In the model-fitting analyses, the data strongly supported a model that defined the juvenile cactus bug retention parameter (joint probability of surviving and not dispersing) as a nonlinear decreasing function of density. The estimated shape of this relationship shifted from concave to convex with increasing host-plant RRE. 4. The results demonstrate that host-plant traits are critical sources of variation in the strength and shape of density dependence in insects, and highlight the utility of integrated experimental-theoretical approaches for identifying processes underlying patterns of change in natural populations.

  3. Development of a highly metastatic model that reveals a crucial role of fibronectin in lung cancer cell migration and invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Xianghuo

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The formation of metastasis is the most common cause of death in patients with lung cancer. A major implement to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in lung cancer metastasis has been the lack of suitable models to address it. In this study, we aimed at establishing a highly metastatic model of human lung cancer and characterizing its metastatic properties and underlying mechanisms. Methods The human lung adeno-carcinoma SPC-A-1 cell line was used as parental cells for developing of highly metastatic cells by in vivo selection in NOD/SCID mice. After three rounds of selection, a new SPC-A-1sci cell line was established from pulmonary metastatic lesions. Subsequently, the metastatic properties of this cell line were analyzed, including optical imaging of in vivo metastasis, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemical analysis of several epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT makers and trans-well migration and invasion assays. Finally, the functional roles of fibronectin in the invasive and metastatic potentials of SPC-A-1sci cells were determined by shRNA analysis. Results A spontaneously pulmonary metastatic model of human lung adeno-carcinoma was established in NOD/SCID mice, from which a new lung cancer cell line, designated SPC-A-1sci, was isolated. Initially, the highly metastatic behavior of this cell line was validated by optical imaging in mice models. Further analyses showed that this cell line exhibit phenotypic and molecular alterations consistent with EMT. Compared with its parent cell line SPC-A-1, SPC-A-1sci was more aggressive in vitro, including increased potentials for cell spreading, migration and invasion. Importantly, fibronectin, a mesenchymal maker of EMT, was found to be highly expressed in SPC-A-1sci cells and down-regulation of it can decrease the in vitro and in vivo metastatic abilities of this cell line. Conclusions We have successfully established a new human lung cancer cell line with

  4. A novel mouse model reveals that polycystin-1 deficiency in ependyma and choroid plexus results in dysfunctional cilia and hydrocephalus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claas Wodarczyk

    Full Text Available Polycystin-1 (PC-1, the product of the PKD1 gene, mutated in the majority of cases of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD, is a very large (approximately 520 kDa plasma membrane receptor localized in several subcellular compartments including cell-cell/matrix junctions as well as cilia. While heterologous over-expression systems have allowed identification of several of the potential biological roles of this receptor, its precise function remains largely elusive. Studying PC-1 in vivo has been a challenging task due to its complexity and low expression levels. To overcome these limitations and facilitate the study of endogenous PC-1, we have inserted HA- or Myc-tag sequences into the Pkd1 locus by homologous recombination. Here, we show that our approach was successful in generating a fully functional and easily detectable endogenous PC-1. Characterization of PC-1 distribution in vivo showed that it is expressed ubiquitously and is developmentally-regulated in most tissues. Furthermore, our novel tool allowed us to investigate the role of PC-1 in brain, where the protein is abundantly expressed. Subcellular localization of PC-1 revealed strong and specific staining in ciliated ependymal and choroid plexus cells. Consistent with this distribution, we observed hydrocephalus formation both in the ubiquitous knock-out embryos and in newborn mice with conditional inactivation of the Pkd1 gene in the brain. Both choroid plexus and ependymal cilia were morphologically normal in these mice, suggesting a role for PC-1 in ciliary function or signalling in this compartment, rather than in ciliogenesis. We propose that the role of PC-1 in the brain cilia might be to prevent hydrocephalus, a previously unrecognized role for this receptor and one that might have important implications for other genetic or sporadic diseases.

  5. Modeling of the ComRS signaling pathway reveals the limiting factors controlling competence in Streptococcus thermophilus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurie eHaustenne

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In streptococci, entry in competence is dictated by ComX abundance. In Streptococcus thermophilus, production of ComX is transient and tightly regulated during growth: it is positively regulated by the cell-cell communication system ComRS during the activation phase and negatively regulated during the shut-off phase by unidentified late competence gene(s. Interestingly, most S. thermophilus strains are not or weakly transformable in permissive growth conditions (i.e. chemically defined medium, CDM, suggesting that some players of the ComRS regulatory pathway are limiting. Here, we combined mathematical modeling and experimental approaches to identify the components of the ComRS system which are critical for both dynamics and amplitude of ComX production in S. thermophilus. We built a deterministic, population-scaled model of the time-course regulation of specific ComX production in CDM growth conditions. Strains LMD-9 and LMG18311 were respectively selected as representative of highly and weakly transformable strains. Results from in silico simulations and in vivo luciferase activities show that ComR concentration is the main limiting factor for the level of comX expression and controls the kinetics of spontaneous competence induction in strain LMD-9. In addition, the model predicts that the poor transformability of strain LMG18311 results from a 10-fold lower comR expression level compared to strain LMD-9. In agreement, comR overexpression in both strains was shown to induce higher competence levels with deregulated kinetics patterns during growth. In conclusion, we propose that the level of ComR production is one important factor that could explain competence heterogeneity among S. thermophilus strains.

  6. Arrangement of ceramide [EOS] in a stratum corneum lipid model matrix: new aspects revealed by neutron diffraction studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessner, Doreen; Kiselev, Mikhail; Dante, Silvia; Hauss, Thomas; Lersch, Peter; Wartewig, Siegfried; Neubert, Reinhard H H

    2008-07-01

    The lipid matrix in stratum corneum (SC) plays a key role in the barrier function of the mammalian skin. The major lipids are ceramides (CER), cholesterol (CHOL) and free fatty acids (FFA). Especially the unique-structured omega-acylceramide CER[EOS] is regarded to be essential for skin barrier properties by inducing the formation of a long-periodicity phase of 130 angstroms (LPP). In the present study, the arrangement of CER[EOS], either mixed with CER[AP] and CHOL or with CER[AP], CHOL and palmitic acid (PA), inside a SC lipid model membrane has been studied for the first time by neutron diffraction. For a mixed CER[EOS]/CER[AP]/CHOL membrane in a partly dehydrated state, the internal membrane nanostructure, i.e. the neutron scattering length density profile in the direction normal to the surface, was obtained by Fourier synthesis from the experimental diffraction patterns. The membrane repeat distance is equal to that of the formerly used SC lipid model system composed of CER[AP]/CHOL/PA/ChS. By comparing both the neutron scattering length density profiles, a possible arrangement of synthetic long-chain CER[EOS] molecules inside a SC lipid model matrix is suggested. The analysis of the internal membrane nanostructure implies that one CER[EOS] molecule penetrates from one membrane layer into an adjacent layer. A 130 angstroms periodicity phase could not be observed under experimental conditions, either in CER/CHOL mixtures or in CER/CHOL/FFA mixture. CER[EOS] can be arranged inside a phase with a repeat unit of 45.2 angstroms which is predominately formed by short-chain CER[AP] with distinct polarity.

  7. Modeling of the ComRS Signaling Pathway Reveals the Limiting Factors Controlling Competence in Streptococcus thermophilus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haustenne, Laurie; Bastin, Georges; Hols, Pascal; Fontaine, Laetitia

    2015-01-01

    In streptococci, entry in competence is dictated by ComX abundance. In Streptococcus thermophilus, production of ComX is transient and tightly regulated during growth: it is positively regulated by the cell-cell communication system ComRS during the activation phase and negatively regulated during the shut-off phase by unidentified late competence gene(s). Interestingly, most S. thermophilus strains are not or weakly transformable in permissive growth conditions (i.e., chemically defined medium, CDM), suggesting that some players of the ComRS regulatory pathway are limiting. Here, we combined mathematical modeling and experimental approaches to identify the components of the ComRS system which are critical for both dynamics and amplitude of ComX production in S. thermophilus. We built a deterministic, population-scaled model of the time-course regulation of specific ComX production in CDM growth conditions. Strains LMD-9 and LMG18311 were respectively selected as representative of highly and weakly transformable strains. Results from in silico simulations and in vivo luciferase activities show that ComR concentration is the main limiting factor for the level of comX expression and controls the kinetics of spontaneous competence induction in strain LMD-9. In addition, the model predicts that the poor transformability of strain LMG18311 results from a 10-fold lower comR expression level compared to strain LMD-9. In agreement, comR overexpression in both strains was shown to induce higher competence levels with deregulated kinetics patterns during growth. In conclusion, we propose that the level of ComR production is one important factor that could explain competence heterogeneity among S. thermophilus strains. PMID:26733960

  8. In silico simulation modeling reveals the importance of the Casparian strip for efficient silicon uptake in rice roots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Gen; Satake, Akiko; Yamaji, Naoki; Mitani-Ueno, Namiki; Yokozawa, Masayuki; Feugier, François Gabriel; Ma, Jian Feng

    2015-04-01

    Silicon (Si) uptake by the roots is mediated by two different transporters, Lsi1 (passive) and Lsi2 (active), in rice (Oryza sativa). Both transporters are polarly localized in the plasma membranes of exodermal (outer) and endodermal (inner) cells with Casparian strips. However, it is unknown how rice is able to take up large amounts of Si compared with other plants, and why rice Si transporters have a characteristic cellular localization pattern. To answer these questions, we simulated Si uptake by rice roots by developing a mathematical model based on a simple diffusion equation that also accounts for active transport by Lsi2. In this model, we calibrated the model parameters using in vivo experimental data on the Si concentrations in the xylem sap and a Monte Carlo method. In our simulation experiments, we compared the Si uptake between roots with various transporter and Casparian strip locations and estimated the Si transport efficiency of roots with different localization patterns and quantities of the Lsi transporters. We found that the Si uptake by roots that lacked Casparian strips was lower than that of normal roots. This suggests that the double-layer structure of the Casparian strips is an important factor in the high Si uptake by rice. We also found that among various possible localization patterns, the most efficient one was that of the wild-type rice; this may explain the high Si uptake capacity of rice. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. A new in vivo model of pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration reveals a surprising role for transcriptional regulation in pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varun ePandey

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pantothenate Kinase-Associated Neurodegeneration (PKAN is a neurodegenerative disorder with a poorly understood molecular mechanism. It is caused by mutations in Pantothenate Kinase, the first enzyme in the Coenzyme A (CoA biosynthetic pathway. Here, we developed a Drosophila model of PKAN (tim-fbl flies that allows us to continuously monitor the modeled disease in the brain. In tim-fbl flies, downregulation of fumble, the Drosophila PanK homologue in the cells containing a circadian clock results in characteristic features of PKAN such as developmental lethality, hypersensitivity to oxidative stress, and diminished life span. Despite quasi-normal circadian transcriptional rhythms, tim-fbl flies display brain-specific aberrant circadian locomotor rhythms, and a unique transcriptional signature. Comparison with expression data from flies exposed to paraquat demonstrates that, as previously suggested, pathways others than oxidative stress are affected by PANK downregulation. Surprisingly we found a significant decrease in the expression of key components of the photoreceptor recycling pathways, which could lead to retinal degeneration, a hallmark of PKAN. Importantly, these defects are not accompanied by changes in structural components in eye genes suggesting that changes in gene expression in the eye precede and may cause the retinal degeneration. Indeed tim-fbl flies have diminished response to light transitions, and their altered day/night patterns of activity demonstrates defects in light perception. This suggest that retinal lesions are not solely due to oxidative stress and demonstrates a role for the transcriptional response to CoA deficiency underlying the defects observed in dPanK deficient flies. Moreover, in the present study we developed a new fly model that can be applied to other diseases and that allows the assessment of neurodegeneration in the brains of living flies.

  10. Seven competing ways to recover the Michaelis-Menten equation reveal the alternative approaches to steady state modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Michel, Denis

    2013-01-01

    The Michaelis-Menten enzymatic reaction is sufficient to perceive many subtleties of network modeling, including the concentration and time scales separations, the formal equivalence between bulk phase and single-molecule approaches, or the relationships between single-cycle transient probabilities and steady state rates. Seven methods proposed by different authors and yielding the same famous Michaelis-Menten equation, are selected here to illustrate the kinetic and probabilistic use of rate constants and to review basic techniques for handling them. Finally, the general rate of an ordered multistep reaction, of which the Michaelis-Menten reaction is a particular case, is deduced from a Markovian approach.

  11. Shell Model Predictions for Very Neutron-Rich Nuclei in 132SN Region Interesting Features of Effective- Charge Revealed

    CERN Document Server

    Sarkar, S; Sarkar, Sukhendusekhar

    2005-01-01

    Shell model studies have been done for very neutron - rich nuclei in the range Z=50-55 and N=82-87. Good agreement of the theoretical level spectra with the experimental one for N=82, 83 I and Te nuclei is shown. Then the results for three very neutron-rich nuclei 137Sn and 136-137Sb have been presented. The present calculation favour a 2- ground state for 136Sb instead of 1- identified through beta decay.Interesting observation about the E2 effective charges for this region has been discussed.

  12. A model-data comparison of Holocene timberline changes in the Swiss Alps reveals past and future drivers of mountain forest dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwörer, Christoph; Henne, Paul D; Tinner, Willy

    2014-05-01

    Mountain vegetation is strongly affected by temperature and is expected to shift upwards with climate change. Dynamic vegetation models are often used to assess the impact of climate on vegetation and model output can be compared with paleobotanical data as a reality check. Recent paleoecological studies have revealed regional variation in the upward shift of timberlines in the Northern and Central European Alps in response to rapid warming at the Younger Dryas/Preboreal transition ca. 11 700 years ago, probably caused by a climatic gradient across the Alps. This contrasts with previous studies that successfully simulated the early Holocene afforestation in the (warmer) Central Alps with a chironomid-inferred temperature reconstruction from the (colder) Northern Alps. We use LandClim, a dynamic landscape vegetation model to simulate mountain forests under different temperature, soil and precipitation scenarios around Iffigsee (2065 m a.s.l.) a lake in the Northwestern Swiss Alps, and compare the model output with the paleobotanical records. The model clearly overestimates the upward shift of timberline in a climate scenario that applies chironomid-inferred July-temperature anomalies to all months. However, forest establishment at 9800 cal. BP at Iffigsee is successfully simulated with lower moisture availability and monthly temperatures corrected for stronger seasonality during the early Holocene. The model-data comparison reveals a contraction in the realized niche of Abies alba due to the prominent role of anthropogenic disturbance after ca. 5000 cal. BP, which has important implications for species distribution models (SDMs) that rely on equilibrium with climate and niche stability. Under future climate projections, LandClim indicates a rapid upward shift of mountain vegetation belts by ca. 500 m and treeline positions of ca. 2500 m a.s.l. by the end of this century. Resulting biodiversity losses in the alpine vegetation belt might be mitigated with low

  13. Bioluminescence imaging reveals dynamics of beta cell loss in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virostko, John; Radhika, Armandla; Poffenberger, Greg; Dula, Adrienne N; Moore, Daniel J; Powers, Alvin C

    2013-01-01

    We generated a mouse model (MIP-Luc-VU-NOD) that enables non-invasive bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of beta cell loss during the progression of autoimmune diabetes and determined the relationship between BLI and disease progression. MIP-Luc-VU-NOD mice displayed insulitis and a decline in bioluminescence with age which correlated with beta cell mass, plasma insulin, and pancreatic insulin content. Bioluminescence declined gradually in female MIP-Luc-VU-NOD mice, reaching less than 50% of the initial BLI at 10 weeks of age, whereas hyperglycemia did not ensue until mice were at least 16 weeks old. Mice that did not become diabetic maintained insulin secretion and had less of a decline in bioluminescence than mice that became diabetic. Bioluminescence measurements predicted a decline in beta cell mass prior to the onset of hyperglycemia and tracked beta cell loss. This model should be useful for investigating the fundamental processes underlying autoimmune diabetes and developing new therapies targeting beta cell protection and regeneration.

  14. Hyperlipidemia-associated gene variations and expression patterns revealed by whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing of rabbit models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhen; Zhang, Jifeng; Li, Hong; Li, Junyi; Niimi, Manabu; Ding, Guohui; Chen, Haifeng; Xu, Jie; Zhang, Hongjiu; Xu, Ze; Dai, Yulin; Gui, Tuantuan; Li, Shengdi; Liu, Zhi; Wu, Sujuan; Cao, Mushui; Zhou, Lu; Lu, Xingyu; Wang, Junxia; Yang, Jing; Fu, Yunhe; Yang, Dongshan; Song, Jun; Zhu, Tianqing; Li, Shen; Ning, Bo; Wang, Ziyun; Koike, Tomonari; Shiomi, Masashi; Liu, Enqi; Chen, Luonan; Fan, Jianglin; Chen, Y. Eugene; Li, Yixue

    2016-01-01

    The rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is an important experimental animal for studying human diseases, such as hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. Despite this, genetic information and RNA expression profiling of laboratory rabbits are lacking. Here, we characterized the whole-genome variants of three breeds of the most popular experimental rabbits, New Zealand White (NZW), Japanese White (JW) and Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic (WHHL) rabbits. Although the genetic diversity of WHHL rabbits was relatively low, they accumulated a large proportion of high-frequency deleterious mutations due to the small population size. Some of the deleterious mutations were associated with the pathophysiology of WHHL rabbits in addition to the LDLR deficiency. Furthermore, we conducted transcriptome sequencing of different organs of both WHHL and cholesterol-rich diet (Chol)-fed NZW rabbits. We found that gene expression profiles of the two rabbit models were essentially similar in the aorta, even though they exhibited different types of hypercholesterolemia. In contrast, Chol-fed rabbits, but not WHHL rabbits, exhibited pronounced inflammatory responses and abnormal lipid metabolism in the liver. These results provide valuable insights into identifying therapeutic targets of hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis with rabbit models. PMID:27245873

  15. Kinetic network models of tryptophan mutations in β-hairpins reveal the importance of non-native interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razavi, Asghar M; Voelz, Vincent A

    2015-06-09

    We present an analysis of the most extensive explicit-solvent simulations of β-hairpins to date (9.4 ms in aggregate), with the aim of probing the effects of tryptophan mutations on folding. From molecular simulations of GB1 hairpin, trpzip4, trpzip5, and trpzip6 performed on Folding@home, Markov State Models (MSMs) were constructed using a unified set of metastable states, enabling objective comparison of folding mechanisms. MSM models display quantitative agreement with experimental structural observables and folding kinetics, and predict multimodal kinetics due to specific non-native kinetic traps, which be identified as on- or off-pathway from the network topology. We quantify kinetic frustration by several means, including the s-ensemble method to evaluate glasslike behavior. Free-energy profiles and transition state movement clearly show stabilization of non-native states as Trp mutations are introduced. Remarkably, we find that "β-capped" sequences (trpzip4 and trpzip5) are able to overcome this frustration and remain cooperative two-state folders with a large time-scale gap. These results suggest that, while β-capping motifs are robust, fold stabilization by tryptophan generally may require overcoming significant non-native kinetic traps, perhaps explaining their under-representation in natural proteins.

  16. Whole genome and global gene expression analyses of the model mushroom Flammulina velutipes reveal a high capacity for lignocellulose degradation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Jin Park

    Full Text Available Flammulina velutipes is a fungus with health and medicinal benefits that has been used for consumption and cultivation in East Asia. F. velutipes is also known to degrade lignocellulose and produce ethanol. The overlapping interests of mushroom production and wood bioconversion make F. velutipes an attractive new model for fungal wood related studies. Here, we present the complete sequence of the F. velutipes genome. This is the first sequenced genome for a commercially produced edible mushroom that also degrades wood. The 35.6-Mb genome contained 12,218 predicted protein-encoding genes and 287 tRNA genes assembled into 11 scaffolds corresponding with the 11 chromosomes of strain KACC42780. The 88.4-kb mitochondrial genome contained 35 genes. Well-developed wood degrading machinery with strong potential for lignin degradation (69 auxiliary activities, formerly FOLymes and carbohydrate degradation (392 CAZymes, along with 58 alcohol dehydrogenase genes were highly expressed in the mycelium, demonstrating the potential application of this organism to bioethanol production. Thus, the newly uncovered wood degrading capacity and sequential nature of this process in F. velutipes, offer interesting possibilities for more detailed studies on either lignin or (hemi- cellulose degradation in complex wood substrates. The mutual interest in wood degradation by the mushroom industry and (ligno-cellulose biomass related industries further increase the significance of F. velutipes as a new model.

  17. Whole genome and global gene expression analyses of the model mushroom Flammulina velutipes reveal a high capacity for lignocellulose degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Young-Jin; Baek, Jeong Hun; Lee, Seonwook; Kim, Changhoon; Rhee, Hwanseok; Kim, Hyungtae; Seo, Jeong-Sun; Park, Hae-Ran; Yoon, Dae-Eun; Nam, Jae-Young; Kim, Hong-Il; Kim, Jong-Guk; Yoon, Hyeokjun; Kang, Hee-Wan; Cho, Jae-Yong; Song, Eun-Sung; Sung, Gi-Ho; Yoo, Young-Bok; Lee, Chang-Soo; Lee, Byoung-Moo; Kong, Won-Sik

    2014-01-01

    Flammulina velutipes is a fungus with health and medicinal benefits that has been used for consumption and cultivation in East Asia. F. velutipes is also known to degrade lignocellulose and produce ethanol. The overlapping interests of mushroom production and wood bioconversion make F. velutipes an attractive new model for fungal wood related studies. Here, we present the complete sequence of the F. velutipes genome. This is the first sequenced genome for a commercially produced edible mushroom that also degrades wood. The 35.6-Mb genome contained 12,218 predicted protein-encoding genes and 287 tRNA genes assembled into 11 scaffolds corresponding with the 11 chromosomes of strain KACC42780. The 88.4-kb mitochondrial genome contained 35 genes. Well-developed wood degrading machinery with strong potential for lignin degradation (69 auxiliary activities, formerly FOLymes) and carbohydrate degradation (392 CAZymes), along with 58 alcohol dehydrogenase genes were highly expressed in the mycelium, demonstrating the potential application of this organism to bioethanol production. Thus, the newly uncovered wood degrading capacity and sequential nature of this process in F. velutipes, offer interesting possibilities for more detailed studies on either lignin or (hemi-) cellulose degradation in complex wood substrates. The mutual interest in wood degradation by the mushroom industry and (ligno-)cellulose biomass related industries further increase the significance of F. velutipes as a new model.

  18. A free-form lensing model of A370 revealing stellar mass dominated BCGs, in Hubble Frontier Fields images

    CERN Document Server

    Diego, Jose M; Broadhurst, Tom; Lam, Daniel; Vega-Ferrero, Jesus; Zheng, Wei; Lee, Slanger; Morishita, Takahiro; Bernstein, Gary; Lim, Jeremy; Silk, Joseph; Ford, Holland

    2016-01-01

    We derive a free-form mass distribution for the unrelaxed cluster A370 (z=0.375), using the latest Hubble Frontier Fields images and GLASS spectroscopy. Starting from a reliable set of 10 multiply lensed systems we produce a free-form lens model that identifies ~ 80 multiple-images. Good consistency is found between models using independent subsamples of these lensed systems, with detailed agreement for the well resolved arcs. The mass distribution has two very similar concentrations centred on the two prominent Brightest Cluster Galaxies (or BCGs), with mass profiles that are accurately constrained by a uniquely useful system of long radially lensed images centred on both BCGs. We show that the lensing mass profiles of these BCGs are mainly accounted for by their stellar mass profiles, with a modest contribution from dark matter within r<100 kpc of each BCG. This conclusion may favour a cooled cluster gas origin for BCGs, rather than via mergers of normal galaxies for which dark matter should dominate ove...

  19. Comparison of fundamental physical properties of the model cells (protocells) and the living cells reveals the need in protophysiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matveev, V. V.

    2017-01-01

    A hypothesis is proposed about potassium ponds being the cradles of life enriches the gamut of ideas about the possible conditions of pre-biological evolution on the primeval Earth, but does not bring us closer to solving the real problem of the origin of life. The gist of the matter lies in the mechanism of making a delimitation between two environments - the intracellular environment and the habitat of protocells. Since the sodium-potassium pump (Na+/K+-ATPase) was discovered, no molecular model has been proposed for a predecessor of the modern sodium pump. This has brought into life the idea of the potassium pond, wherein protocells would not need a sodium pump. However, current notions of the operation of living cells come into conflict with even physical laws when trying to use them to explain the origin and functioning of protocells. Thus, habitual explanations of the physical properties of living cells have become inapplicable to explain the corresponding properties of Sidney Fox's microspheres. Likewise, existing approaches to solving the problem of the origin of life do not see the need for the comparative study of living cells and cell models, assemblies of biological and artificial small molecules and macromolecules under physical conditions conducive to the origin of life. The time has come to conduct comprehensive research into the fundamental physical properties of protocells and create a new discipline - protocell physiology or protophysiology - which should bring us much closer to solving the problem of the origin of life.

  20. Modeling and experimental analyses reveals signaling plasticity in a bi-modular assembly of CD40 receptor activated kinases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uddipan Sarma

    Full Text Available Depending on the strength of signal dose, CD40 receptor (CD40 controls ERK-1/2 and p38MAPK activation. At low signal dose, ERK-1/2 is maximally phosphorylated but p38MAPK is minimally phosphorylated; as the signal dose increases, ERK-1/2 phosphorylation is reduced whereas p38MAPK phosphorylation is reciprocally enhanced. The mechanism of reciprocal activation of these two MAPKs remains un-elucidated. Here, our computational model, coupled to experimental perturbations, shows that the observed reciprocity is a system-level behavior of an assembly of kinases arranged in two modules. Experimental perturbations with kinase inhibitors suggest that a minimum of two trans-modular negative feedback loops are required to reproduce the experimentally observed reciprocity. The bi-modular architecture of the signaling pathways endows the system with an inherent plasticity which is further expressed in the skewing of the CD40-induced productions of IL-10 and IL-12, the respective anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Targeting the plasticity of CD40 signaling significantly reduces Leishmania major infection in a susceptible mouse strain. Thus, for the first time, using CD40 signaling as a model, we show how a bi-modular assembly of kinases imposes reciprocity to a receptor signaling. The findings unravel that the signalling plasticity is inherent to a reciprocal system and that the principle can be used for designing a therapy.

  1. Next-generation sequencing, FISH mapping and synteny-based modeling reveal mechanisms of decreasing dysploidy in Cucumis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Luming; Koo, Dal-Hoe; Li, Dawei; Zhang, Tao; Jiang, Jiming; Luan, Feishi; Renner, Susanne S; Hénaff, Elizabeth; Sanseverino, Walter; Garcia-Mas, Jordi; Casacuberta, Josep; Senalik, Douglas A; Simon, Philipp W; Chen, Jinfeng; Weng, Yiqun

    2014-01-01

    In the large Cucurbitaceae genus Cucumis, cucumber (C. sativus) is the only species with 2n = 2x = 14 chromosomes. The majority of the remaining species, including melon (C. melo) and the sister species of cucumber, C. hystrix, have 2n = 2x = 24 chromosomes, implying a reduction from n = 12 to n = 7. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we investigated chromosome synteny among cucumber, C. hystrix and melon using integrated and complementary approaches. We identified 14 inversions and a C. hystrix lineage-specific reciprocal inversion between C. hystrix and melon. The results reveal the location and orientation of 53 C. hystrix syntenic blocks on the seven cucumber chromosomes, and allow us to infer at least 59 chromosome rearrangement events that led to the seven cucumber chromosomes, including five fusions, four translocations, and 50 inversions. The 12 inferred chromosomes (AK1-AK12) of an ancestor similar to melon and C. hystrix had strikingly different evolutionary fates, with cucumber chromosome C1 apparently resulting from insertion of chromosome AK12 into the centromeric region of translocated AK2/AK8, cucumber chromosome C3 originating from a Robertsonian-like translocation between AK4 and AK6, and cucumber chromosome C5 originating from fusion of AK9 and AK10. Chromosomes C2, C4 and C6 were the result of complex reshuffling of syntenic blocks from three (AK3, AK5 and AK11), three (AK5, AK7 and AK8) and five (AK2, AK3, AK5, AK8 and AK11) ancestral chromosomes, respectively, through 33 fusion, translocation and inversion events. Previous results (Huang, S., Li, R., Zhang, Z. et al., , Nat. Genet. 41, 1275-1281; Li, D., Cuevas, H.E., Yang, L., Li, Y., Garcia-Mas, J., Zalapa, J., Staub, J.E., Luan, F., Reddy, U., He, X., Gong, Z., Weng, Y. 2011a, BMC Genomics, 12, 396) showing that cucumber C7 stayed largely intact during the entire evolution of Cucumis are supported. Results from this study allow a fine-scale understanding of the

  2. Graph-theoretical model of global human interactome reveals enhanced long-range communicability in cancer networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gladilin, Evgeny

    2017-01-01

    Malignant transformation is known to involve substantial rearrangement of the molecular genetic landscape of the cell. A common approach to analysis of these alterations is a reductionist one and consists of finding a compact set of differentially expressed genes or associated signaling pathways. However, due to intrinsic tumor heterogeneity and tissue specificity, biomarkers defined by a small number of genes/pathways exhibit substantial variability. As an alternative to compact differential signatures, global features of genetic cell machinery are conceivable. Global network descriptors suggested in previous works are, however, known to potentially be biased by overrepresentation of interactions between frequently studied genes-proteins. Here, we construct a cellular network of 74538 directional and differential gene expression weighted protein-protein and gene regulatory interactions, and perform graph-theoretical analysis of global human interactome using a novel, degree-independent feature-the normalized total communicability (NTC). We apply this framework to assess differences in total information flow between different cancer (BRCA/COAD/GBM) and non-cancer interactomes. Our experimental results reveal that different cancer interactomes are characterized by significant enhancement of long-range NTC, which arises from circulation of information flow within robustly organized gene subnetworks. Although enhancement of NTC emerges in different cancer types from different genomic profiles, we identified a subset of 90 common genes that are related to elevated NTC in all studied tumors. Our ontological analysis shows that these genes are associated with enhanced cell division, DNA replication, stress response, and other cellular functions and processes typically upregulated in cancer. We conclude that enhancement of long-range NTC manifested in the correlated activity of genes whose tight coordination is required for survival and proliferation of all tumor cells

  3. Computer modeling reveals that modifications of the histone tail charges define salt-dependent interaction of the nucleosome core particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ye; Lyubartsev, Alexander P; Korolev, Nikolay; Nordenskiöld, Lars

    2009-03-18

    Coarse-grained Langevin molecular dynamics computer simulations were conducted for systems that mimic solutions of nucleosome core particles (NCPs). The NCP was modeled as a negatively charged spherical particle representing the complex of DNA and the globular part of the histones combined with attached strings of connected charged beads modeling the histone tails. The size, charge, and distribution of the tails relative to the core were built to match real NCPs. Three models of NCPs were constructed to represent different extents of covalent modification on the histone tails: (nonmodified) recombinant (rNCP), acetylated (aNCP), and acetylated and phosphorylated (paNCP). The simulation cell contained 10 NCPs in a dielectric continuum with explicit mobile counterions and added salt. The NCP-NCP interaction is decisively dependent on the modification state of the histone tails and on salt conditions. Increasing the monovalent salt concentration (KCl) from salt-free to physiological concentration leads to NCP aggregation in solution for rNCP, whereas NCP associates are observed only occasionally in the system of aNCPs. In the presence of divalent salt (Mg(2+)), rNCPs form dense stable aggregates, whereas aNCPs form aggregates less frequently. Aggregates are formed via histone-tail bridging and accumulation of counterions in the regions of NCP-NCP contacts. The paNCPs do not show NCP-NCP interaction upon addition of KCl or in the presence of Mg(2+). Simulations for systems with a gradual substitution of K(+) for Mg(2+), to mimic the Mg(2+) titration of an NCP solution, were performed. The rNCP system showed stronger aggregation that occurred at lower concentrations of added Mg(2+), compared to the aNCP system. Additional molecular dynamics simulations performed with a single NCP in the simulation cell showed that detachment of the tails from the NCP core was modest under a wide range of salt concentrations. This implies that salt-induced tail dissociation of the

  4. Magnetic resonance Q mapping reveals a decrease in microvessel density in the arcAβ mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanna eIelacqua

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in density and morphology of the cerebral microvasculature have been reported to occur in Alzheimer`s disease patients and animal models of the disease. In this study we compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI techniques for their utility to detect age-dependent changes of the cerebral vasculature in the arcAβ mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis. Dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC-MRI was performed by tracking the passage of a superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle in the brain with dynamic gradient echo echo planar imaging. From this measurements relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV(DSC and relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF were estimated. For the same animal maps of the relaxation shift index Q were computed from high resolution gradient echo and spin echo data that were acquired before and after superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle injection. Q values were used to derive estimates of microvessel density. The change in the relaxation rates ΔR2* obtained from pre- and post-contrast gradient echo data was used for the alternative determination of rCBV (rCBV(ΔR2*. Linear mixed effects modeling found no significant association between rCBV(DSC, rCBV(ΔR2*, rCBF and Q with genotype in 13-month old mice (compared to age-matched non-transgenic littermates for any of the evaluated brain regions. In 24-month old mice there was a significant association for rCBV(DSC with genotype in the cerebral cortex, and for rCBV(ΔR2* in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. For rCBF there was a significant association in the cerebellum but not in other brain regions. Q values in the olfactory bulb, cerebral cortex, striatum, hippocampus, and cerebellum in 24-month old mice were significantly associated with genotype. In those regions Q values were reduced between 11-26 % in arcAβ mice compared to age-matched non-transgenic littermates. Vessel staining with CD31 immunohistochemistry confirmed a reduction of microvessel density in the old

  5. 3D gravity inversion and thermodynamic modelling reveal properties of shallow silicic magma reservoir beneath Laguna del Maule, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Craig A.; Williams-Jones, Glyn; Fournier, Dominique; Witter, Jeff

    2017-02-01

    Active, large volume, silicic magma systems are potentially the most hazardous form of volcanism on Earth. Knowledge of the location, size, and physical properties of silicic magma reservoirs, is therefore important for providing context in which to accurately interpret monitoring data and make informed hazard assessments. Accordingly, we present the first geophysical image of the Laguna del Maule volcanic field magmatic system, using a novel 3D inversion of gravity data constrained by thermodynamic modelling. The joint analysis of gravity and thermodynamic data allows for a rich interpretation of the magma system, and highlights the importance of considering the full thermodynamic effects on melt density, when interpreting gravity models of active magmatic systems. We image a 30 km3, low density, volatile rich magma reservoir, at around 2 km depth, containing at least 85% melt, hosted within a broader 115 km3 body interpreted as wholly or partially crystallised (>70% crystal) cumulate mush. Our model suggests a magmatic system with shallow, crystal poor magma, overlying deeper, crystal rich magma. Even though a large density contrast (-600 kg/m3) with the surrounding crust exists, the lithostatic load is 50% greater than the magma buoyancy force, suggesting buoyancy alone is insufficient to trigger an eruption. The reservoir is adjacent to the inferred extension of the Troncoso fault and overlies the location of an intruding sill, driving present day deformation. The reservoir is in close proximity to the 2.0 km3 Nieblas (rln) eruption at 2-3 ka, which we calculate tapped approximately 7% of the magma reservoir. However, we suggest that the present day magma system is not large enough to have fed all post-glacial eruptions, and that the location, or size of the system may have migrated or varied over time, with each eruption tapping only a small aliquot of the available magma. The presence of a shallow reservoir of volatile rich, near liquidus magma, in close

  6. Magnetic Resonance Q Mapping Reveals a Decrease in Microvessel Density in the arcAβ Mouse Model of Cerebral Amyloidosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ielacqua, Giovanna D; Schlegel, Felix; Füchtemeier, Martina; Xandry, Jael; Rudin, Markus; Klohs, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in density and morphology of the cerebral microvasculature have been reported to occur in Alzheimer's disease patients and animal models of the disease. In this study we compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques for their utility to detect age-dependent changes of the cerebral vasculature in the arcAβ mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis. Dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC)-MRI was performed by tracking the passage of a superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle in the brain with dynamic gradient echo planar imaging (EPI). From this measurements relative cerebral blood volume [rCBV(DSC)] and relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were estimated. For the same animal maps of the relaxation shift index Q were computed from high resolution gradient echo and spin echo data that were acquired before and after superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticle injection. Q-values were used to derive estimates of microvessel density. The change in the relaxation rates [Formula: see text] obtained from pre- and post-contrast gradient echo data was used for the alternative determination of rCBV [rCBV([Formula: see text])]. Linear mixed effects modeling found no significant association between rCBV(DSC), rCBV([Formula: see text]), rCBF, and Q with genotype in 13-month old mice [compared to age-matched non-transgenic littermates (NTLs)] for any of the evaluated brain regions. In 24-month old mice there was a significant association for rCBV(DSC) with genotype in the cerebral cortex, and for rCBV([Formula: see text]) in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. For rCBF there was a significant association in the cerebellum but not in other brain regions. Q-values in the olfactory bulb, cerebral cortex, striatum, hippocampus, and cerebellum in 24-month old mice were significantly associated with genotype. In those regions Q-values were reduced between 11 and 26% in arcAβ mice compared to age-matched NTLs. Vessel staining with CD31 immunohistochemistry confirmed a

  7. Adsorption of arsenic and phosphate onto the surface of calcite as revealed by batch experiments and surface complexation modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sø, Helle Ugilt

    The adsorption of phosphate, arsenate (As(V)) and arsenite (As(III)) onto synthetic calcite was studied in a series of batch experiments. The adsorption of the three ions was studied separately followed by studies of the competition between arsenate and phosphate. The experimental data was utilized...... is complete after 1 and 2-3 hours, respectively). Also desorption is fast and complete for both ions within 0.5 h. The reversibility of the sorption process indicates that neither arsenate nor phosphate is readily incorporated into the calcite crystal lattice under our experimental conditions. The phosphate....... This clearly shows the importance of competition studies in validating multicomponent models. Extrapolation of the experimental results to calcite bearing aquifers suggests a large variability in the mobility of arsenic. Under reduced conditions, arsenite, which does not adsorb onto calcite, will dominate and...

  8. Gaze patterns reveal how texts are remembered: A mental model of what was described is favored over the text itself

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Traub, Franziska; Johansson, Roger; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    Several studies have reported that spontaneous eye movements occur when visuospatial information is recalled from memory. Such gazes closely reflect the content and spatial relations from the original scene layout (e.g., Johansson et al., 2012). However, when someone has originally read a scene...... description, the memory of the physical layout of the text itself might compete with the memory of the spatial arrangement of the described scene. 
The present study was designed to address this fundamental issue by having participants read scene descriptions that were manipulated to be either congruent....... Recollection was performed orally while gazing at a blank screen. 
Results demonstrate that participant’s gaze patterns during recall more closely reflect the spatial layout of the scene than the physical locations of the text. We conclude that participants formed a mental model that represents the content...

  9. Time-transgressive tunnel-valley infill revealed by a three- dimensional sedimentary model, Hamburg, north-west Germany

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Janszen, Adriaan; Moreau, Julien; Moscariello, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    Deep, elongated incisions, often referred to as tunnel valleys, are among the most characteristic landforms of formerly glaciated terrains. It is commonly thought that tunnel valleys were formed by meltwater flowing underneath large ice sheets. The sedimentary infill of these features is often......-west Germany) were investigated using a dataset of 1057 deep wells containing lithological and geophysical data. The stratigraphic correlations and the resulting three-dimensional lithological model were used to assess the spatial lithological distributions and sedimentary architecture. The sedimentary...... of glacial recession appears to have been an important control on the sedimentary architecture of the tunnel-valley fill. During periods of stagnation, thick ice-proximal deposits accumulated at the ice margin, while during rapid recession, only a thin veneer of such coarse-grained sediments was deposited...

  10. Structural glitches near the cores of red giants revealed by oscillations in g-mode period spacings from stellar models

    CERN Document Server

    Cunha, M S; Avelino, P P; Christensen-Dalsgaard, J; Townsend, R H D

    2015-01-01

    With recent advances in asteroseismology it is now possible to peer into the cores of red giants, potentially providing a way to study processes such as nuclear burning and mixing through their imprint as sharp structural variations -- glitches -- in the stellar cores. Here we show how such core glitches can affect the oscillations we observe in red giants. We derive an analytical expression describing the expected frequency pattern in the presence of a glitch. This formulation also accounts for the coupling between acoustic and gravity waves. From an extensive set of canonical stellar models we find glitch-induced variation in the period spacing and inertia of non-radial modes during several phases of red-giant evolution. Significant changes are seen in the appearance of mode amplitude and frequency patterns in asteroseismic diagrams such as the power spectrum and the \\'echelle diagram. Interestingly, along the red-giant branch glitch-induced variation occurs only at the luminosity bump, potentially providin...

  11. Systematic Cellular Disease Models Reveal Synergistic Interaction of Trisomy 21 and GATA1 Mutations in Hematopoietic Abnormalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimihiko Banno

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Chromosomal aneuploidy and specific gene mutations are recognized early hallmarks of many oncogenic processes. However, the net effect of these abnormalities has generally not been explored. We focused on transient myeloproliferative disorder (TMD in Down syndrome, which is characteristically associated with somatic mutations in GATA1. To better understand functional interplay between trisomy 21 and GATA1 mutations in hematopoiesis, we constructed cellular disease models using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs and genome-editing technologies. Comparative analysis of these engineered iPSCs demonstrated that trisomy 21 perturbed hematopoietic development through the enhanced production of early hematopoietic progenitors and the upregulation of mutated GATA1, resulting in the accelerated production of aberrantly differentiated cells. These effects were mediated by dosage alterations of RUNX1, ETS2, and ERG, which are located in a critical 4-Mb region of chromosome 21. Our study provides insight into the genetic synergy that contributes to multi-step leukemogenesis.

  12. Optical polarization tractography revealed significant fiber disarray in skeletal muscles of a mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y; Zhang, K; Wasala, N B; Duan, D; Yao, G

    2015-02-01

    Optical polarization tractography (OPT) was recently developed to visualize tissue fiber architecture with cellular-level resolution and accuracy. In this study, we explored the feasibility of using OPT to study muscle disease in the mdx4cv mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The freshly dissected tibialis anterior muscles of mdx4cv and normal mice were imaged. A "fiber disarray index" (FDI) was developed to quantify the myofiber disorganization. In necrotic muscle regions of the mdx4cv mice, the FDI was significantly elevated and can be used to segment the 3D necrotic regions for assessing the overall muscle damage. These results demonstrated the OPT's capability for imaging microscopic fiber alternations in muscle research.

  13. A novel Zika virus mouse model reveals strain specific differences in virus pathogenesis and host inflammatory immune responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shashank Tripathi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Zika virus (ZIKV is a mosquito borne flavivirus, which was a neglected tropical pathogen until it emerged and spread across the Pacific Area and the Americas, causing large human outbreaks associated with fetal abnormalities and neurological disease in adults. The factors that contributed to the emergence, spread and change in pathogenesis of ZIKV are not understood. We previously reported that ZIKV evades cellular antiviral responses by targeting STAT2 for degradation in human cells. In this study, we demonstrate that Stat2-/- mice are highly susceptible to ZIKV infection, recapitulate virus spread to the central nervous system (CNS, gonads and other visceral organs, and display neurological symptoms. Further, we exploit this model to compare ZIKV pathogenesis caused by a panel of ZIKV strains of a range of spatiotemporal history of isolation and representing African and Asian lineages. We observed that African ZIKV strains induce short episodes of severe neurological symptoms followed by lethality. In comparison, Asian strains manifest prolonged signs of neuronal malfunctions, occasionally causing death of the Stat2-/- mice. African ZIKV strains induced higher levels of inflammatory cytokines and markers associated with cellular infiltration in the infected brain in mice, which may explain exacerbated pathogenesis in comparison to those of the Asian lineage. Interestingly, viral RNA levels in different organs did not correlate with the pathogenicity of the different strains. Taken together, we have established a new murine model that supports ZIKV infection and demonstrate its utility in highlighting intrinsic differences in the inflammatory response induced by different ZIKV strains leading to severity of disease. This study paves the way for the future interrogation of strain-specific changes in the ZIKV genome and their contribution to viral pathogenesis.

  14. An integrated model of multiple-condition ChIP-Seq data reveals predeterminants of Cdx2 binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun Mahony

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Regulatory proteins can bind to different sets of genomic targets in various cell types or conditions. To reliably characterize such condition-specific regulatory binding we introduce MultiGPS, an integrated machine learning approach for the analysis of multiple related ChIP-seq experiments. MultiGPS is based on a generalized Expectation Maximization framework that shares information across multiple experiments for binding event discovery. We demonstrate that our framework enables the simultaneous modeling of sparse condition-specific binding changes, sequence dependence, and replicate-specific noise sources. MultiGPS encourages consistency in reported binding event locations across multiple-condition ChIP-seq datasets and provides accurate estimation of ChIP enrichment levels at each event. MultiGPS's multi-experiment modeling approach thus provides a reliable platform for detecting differential binding enrichment across experimental conditions. We demonstrate the advantages of MultiGPS with an analysis of Cdx2 binding in three distinct developmental contexts. By accurately characterizing condition-specific Cdx2 binding, MultiGPS enables novel insight into the mechanistic basis of Cdx2 site selectivity. Specifically, the condition-specific Cdx2 sites characterized by MultiGPS are highly associated with pre-existing genomic context, suggesting that such sites are pre-determined by cell-specific regulatory architecture. However, MultiGPS-defined condition-independent sites are not predicted by pre-existing regulatory signals, suggesting that Cdx2 can bind to a subset of locations regardless of genomic environment. A summary of this paper appears in the proceedings of the RECOMB 2014 conference, April 2-5.

  15. Genesis of Twin Tropical Cyclones as Revealed by a Global Mesoscale Model: The Role of Mixed Rossby Gravity Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Bo-Wen; Tao, Wei-Kuo; Lin, Yuh-Lang; Laing, Arlene

    2012-01-01

    In this study, it is proposed that twin tropical cyclones (TCs), Kesiny and 01A, in May 2002 formed in association with the scale interactions of three gyres that appeared as a convectively coupled mixed Rossby gravity (ccMRG) wave during an active phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This is shown by analyzing observational data, including NCEP reanalysis data and METEOSAT 7 IR satellite imagery, and performing numerical simulations using a global mesoscale model. A 10-day control run is initialized at 0000 UTC 1 May 2002 with grid-scale condensation but no sub-grid cumulus parameterizations. The ccMRG wave was identified as encompassing two developing and one non-developing gyres, the first two of which intensified and evolved into the twin TCs. The control run is able to reproduce the evolution of the ccMRG wave and thus the formation of the twin TCs about two and five days in advance as well as their subsequent intensity evolution and movement within an 8-10 day period. Five additional 10-day sensitivity experiments with different model configurations are conducted to help understand the interaction of the three gyres, leading to the formation of the TCs. These experiments suggest the improved lead time in the control run may be attributed to the realistic simulation of the ccMRG wave with the following processes: (1) wave deepening (intensification) associated with a reduction in wavelength and/or the intensification of individual gyres, (2) poleward movement of gyres that may be associated with boundary layer processes, (3) realistic simulation of moist processes at regional scales in association with each of the gyres, and (4) the vertical phasing of low- and mid-level cyclonic circulations associated with a specific gyre.

  16. A novel Zika virus mouse model reveals strain specific differences in virus pathogenesis and host inflammatory immune responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Shashank; Balasubramaniam, Vinod R. M. T.; Grant, Alesha; Maestre, Ana M.; Sourisseau, Marion; Krammer, Florian; Fernandez-Sesma, Ana; Lim, Jean K.

    2017-01-01

    Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito borne flavivirus, which was a neglected tropical pathogen until it emerged and spread across the Pacific Area and the Americas, causing large human outbreaks associated with fetal abnormalities and neurological disease in adults. The factors that contributed to the emergence, spread and change in pathogenesis of ZIKV are not understood. We previously reported that ZIKV evades cellular antiviral responses by targeting STAT2 for degradation in human cells. In this study, we demonstrate that Stat2-/- mice are highly susceptible to ZIKV infection, recapitulate virus spread to the central nervous system (CNS), gonads and other visceral organs, and display neurological symptoms. Further, we exploit this model to compare ZIKV pathogenesis caused by a panel of ZIKV strains of a range of spatiotemporal history of isolation and representing African and Asian lineages. We observed that African ZIKV strains induce short episodes of severe neurological symptoms followed by lethality. In comparison, Asian strains manifest prolonged signs of neuronal malfunctions, occasionally causing death of the Stat2-/- mice. African ZIKV strains induced higher levels of inflammatory cytokines and markers associated with cellular infiltration in the infected brain in mice, which may explain exacerbated pathogenesis in comparison to those of the Asian lineage. Interestingly, viral RNA levels in different organs did not correlate with the pathogenicity of the different strains. Taken together, we have established a new murine model that supports ZIKV infection and demonstrate its utility in highlighting intrinsic differences in the inflammatory response induced by different ZIKV strains leading to severity of disease. This study paves the way for the future interrogation of strain-specific changes in the ZIKV genome and their contribution to viral pathogenesis. PMID:28278235

  17. In trans complementation of lethal factor reveal roles in colonization and dissemination in a murine mouse model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Lowe

    Full Text Available Lethal factor (LF is a component of the B. anthracis exotoxin and critical for pathogenesis. The roles of LF in early anthrax pathogenesis, such as colonization and dissemination from the initial site of infection, are poorly understood. In mice models of infection, LF-deficient strains either have altered dissemination patterns or do not colonize, precluding analysis of the role of LF in colonization and dissemination from the portal of entry. Previous reports indicate rabbit and guinea pig models infected with LF-deficient strains have decreased virulence, yet the inability to use bioluminescent imaging techniques to track B. anthracis growth and dissemination in these hosts makes analysis of early pathogenesis challenging. In this study, the roles of LF early in infection were analyzed using bioluminescent signature tagged libraries of B. anthracis with varying ratios of LF-producing and LF-deficient clones. Populations where all clones produced LF and populations where only 40% of clones produce LF were equally virulent. The 40% LF-producing clones trans complimented the LF mutants and permitted them to colonize and disseminate. Decreases of the LF producing strains to 10% or 0.3% of the population led to increased host survival and decreased trans complementation of the LF mutants. A library with 10% LF producing clones could replicate and disseminate, but fewer clones disseminated and the mutant clones were less competitive than wild type. The inoculum with 0.3% LF producing clones could not colonize the host. This strongly suggests that between 10% and 0.3% of the population must produce LF in order to colonize. In total, these findings suggest that a threshold of LF must be produced in order for colonization and dissemination to occur in vivo. These observations suggest that LF has a major role in the early stages of colonization and dissemination.

  18. Multiscale regression modeling in mouse supraspinatus tendons reveals that dynamic processes act as mediators in structure-function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connizzo, Brianne K; Adams, Sheila M; Adams, Thomas H; Jawad, Abbas F; Birk, David E; Soslowsky, Louis J

    2016-06-14

    Recent advances in technology have allowed for the measurement of dynamic processes (re-alignment, crimp, deformation, sliding), but only a limited number of studies have investigated their relationship with mechanical properties. The overall objective of this study was to investigate the role of composition, structure, and the dynamic response to load in predicting tendon mechanical properties in a multi-level fashion mimicking native hierarchical collagen structure. Multiple linear regression models were investigated to determine the relationships between composition/structure, dynamic processes, and mechanical properties. Mediation was then used to determine if dynamic processes mediated structure-function relationships. Dynamic processes were strong predictors of mechanical properties. These predictions were location-dependent, with the insertion site utilizing all four dynamic responses and the midsubstance responding primarily with fibril deformation and sliding. In addition, dynamic processes were moderately predicted by composition and structure in a regionally-dependent manner. Finally, dynamic processes were partial mediators of the relationship between composition/structure and mechanical function, and results suggested that mediation is likely shared between multiple dynamic processes. In conclusion, the mechanical properties at the midsubstance of the tendon are controlled primarily by fibril structure and this region responds to load via fibril deformation and sliding. Conversely, the mechanical function at the insertion site is controlled by many other important parameters and the region responds to load via all four dynamic mechanisms. Overall, this study presents a strong foundation on which to design future experimental and modeling efforts in order to fully understand the complex structure-function relationships present in tendon.

  19. Zebrafish model of tuberous sclerosis complex reveals cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous functions of mutant tuberin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seok-Hyung Kim

    2011-03-01

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in either the TSC1 (encodes hamartin or TSC2 (encodes tuberin genes. Patients with TSC have hamartomas in various organs throughout the whole body, most notably in the brain, skin, eye, heart, kidney and lung. To study the development of hamartomas, we generated a zebrafish model of TSC featuring a nonsense mutation (vu242 in the tsc2 gene. This tsc2vu242 allele encodes a truncated Tuberin protein lacking the GAP domain, which is required for inhibition of Rheb and of the TOR kinase within TORC1. We show that tsc2vu242 is a recessive larval-lethal mutation that causes increased cell size in the brain and liver. Greatly elevated TORC1 signaling is observed in tsc2vu242/vu242 homozygous zebrafish, and is moderately increased in tsc2vu242/+ heterozygotes. Forebrain neurons are poorly organized in tsc2vu242/vu242 homozygous mutants, which have extensive gray and white matter disorganization and ectopically positioned cells. Genetic mosaic analyses demonstrate that tsc2 limits TORC1 signaling in a cell-autonomous manner. However, in chimeric animals, tsc2vu242/vu242 mutant cells also mislocalize wild-type host cells in the forebrain in a non-cell-autonomous manner. These results demonstrate a highly conserved role of tsc2 in zebrafish and establish a new animal model for studies of TSC. The finding of a non-cell-autonomous function of mutant cells might help explain the formation of brain hamartomas and cortical malformations in human TSC.

  20. Bioenergetics-based modeling of Plasmodium falciparum metabolism reveals its essential genes, nutritional requirements, and thermodynamic bottlenecks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiappino-Pepe, Anush; Tymoshenko, Stepan; Ataman, Meriç; Soldati-Favre, Dominique; Hatzimanikatis, Vassily

    2017-03-01

    Novel antimalarial therapies are urgently needed for the fight against drug-resistant parasites. The metabolism of malaria parasites in infected cells is an attractive source of drug targets but is rather complex. Computational methods can handle this complexity and allow integrative analyses of cell metabolism. In this study, we present a genome-scale metabolic model (iPfa) of the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and its thermodynamics-based flux analysis (TFA). Using previous absolute concentration data of the intraerythrocytic parasite, we applied TFA to iPfa and predicted up to 63 essential genes and 26 essential pairs of genes. Of the 63 genes, 35 have been experimentally validated and reported in the literature, and 28 have not been experimentally tested and include previously hypothesized or novel predictions of essential metabolic capabilities. Without metabolomics data, four of the genes would have been incorrectly predicted to be non-essential. TFA also indicated that substrate channeling should exist in two metabolic pathways to ensure the thermodynamic feasibility of the flux. Finally, analysis of the metabolic capabilities of P. falciparum led to the identification of both the minimal nutritional requirements and the genes that can become indispensable upon substrate inaccessibility. This model provides novel insight into the metabolic needs and capabilities of the malaria parasite and highlights metabolites and pathways that should be measured and characterized to identify potential thermodynamic bottlenecks and substrate channeling. The hypotheses presented seek to guide experimental studies to facilitate a better understanding of the parasite metabolism and the identification of targets for more efficient intervention.

  1. Bioenergetics-based modeling of Plasmodium falciparum metabolism reveals its essential genes, nutritional requirements, and thermodynamic bottlenecks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anush Chiappino-Pepe

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Novel antimalarial therapies are urgently needed for the fight against drug-resistant parasites. The metabolism of malaria parasites in infected cells is an attractive source of drug targets but is rather complex. Computational methods can handle this complexity and allow integrative analyses of cell metabolism. In this study, we present a genome-scale metabolic model (iPfa of the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and its thermodynamics-based flux analysis (TFA. Using previous absolute concentration data of the intraerythrocytic parasite, we applied TFA to iPfa and predicted up to 63 essential genes and 26 essential pairs of genes. Of the 63 genes, 35 have been experimentally validated and reported in the literature, and 28 have not been experimentally tested and include previously hypothesized or novel predictions of essential metabolic capabilities. Without metabolomics data, four of the genes would have been incorrectly predicted to be non-essential. TFA also indicated that substrate channeling should exist in two metabolic pathways to ensure the thermodynamic feasibility of the flux. Finally, analysis of the metabolic capabilities of P. falciparum led to the identification of both the minimal nutritional requirements and the genes that can become indispensable upon substrate inaccessibility. This model provides novel insight into the metabolic needs and capabilities of the malaria parasite and highlights metabolites and pathways that should be measured and characterized to identify potential thermodynamic bottlenecks and substrate channeling. The hypotheses presented seek to guide experimental studies to facilitate a better understanding of the parasite metabolism and the identification of targets for more efficient intervention.

  2. A zebrafish transgenic model of Ewing’s sarcoma reveals conserved mediators of EWS-FLI1 tumorigenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie W. Leacock

    2012-01-01

    Ewing’s sarcoma, a malignant bone tumor of children and young adults, is a member of the small-round-blue-cell tumor family. Ewing’s sarcoma family tumors (ESFTs, which include peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs, are characterized by chromosomal translocations that generate fusions between the EWS gene and ETS-family transcription factors, most commonly FLI1. The EWS-FLI1 fusion oncoprotein represents an attractive therapeutic target for treatment of Ewing’s sarcoma. The cell of origin of ESFT and the molecular mechanisms by which EWS-FLI1 mediates tumorigenesis remain unknown, and few animal models of Ewing’s sarcoma exist. Here, we report the use of zebrafish as a vertebrate model of EWS-FLI1 function and tumorigenesis. Mosaic expression of the human EWS-FLI1 fusion protein in zebrafish caused the development of tumors with histology strongly resembling that of human Ewing’s sarcoma. The incidence of tumors increased in a p53 mutant background, suggesting that the p53 pathway suppresses EWS-FLI1-driven tumorigenesis. Gene expression profiling of the zebrafish tumors defined a set of genes that might be regulated by EWS-FLI1, including the zebrafish ortholog of a crucial EWS-FLI1 target gene in humans. Stable zebrafish transgenic lines expressing EWS-FLI1 under the control of the heat-shock promoter exhibit altered embryonic development and defective convergence and extension, suggesting that EWS-FLI1 interacts with conserved developmental pathways. These results indicate that functional targets of EWS-FLI1 that mediate tumorigenesis are conserved from zebrafish to human and provide a novel context in which to study the function of this fusion oncogene.

  3. Hidden Markov model analysis reveals the advantage of analytic eye movement patterns in face recognition across cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuk, Tim; Crookes, Kate; Hayward, William G; Chan, Antoni B; Hsiao, Janet H

    2017-12-01

    It remains controversial whether culture modulates eye movement behavior in face recognition. Inconsistent results have been reported regarding whether cultural differences in eye movement patterns exist, whether these differences affect recognition performance, and whether participants use similar eye movement patterns when viewing faces from different ethnicities. These inconsistencies may be due to substantial individual differences in eye movement patterns within a cultural group. Here we addressed this issue by conducting individual-level eye movement data analysis using hidden Markov models (HMMs). Each individual's eye movements were modeled with an HMM. We clustered the individual HMMs according to their similarities and discovered three common patterns in both Asian and Caucasian participants: holistic (looking mostly at the face center), left-eye-biased analytic (looking mostly at the two individual eyes in addition to the face center with a slight bias to the left eye), and right-eye-based analytic (looking mostly at the right eye in addition to the face center). The frequency of participants adopting the three patterns did not differ significantly between Asians and Caucasians, suggesting little modulation from culture. Significantly more participants (75%) showed similar eye movement patterns when viewing own- and other-race faces than different patterns. Most importantly, participants with left-eye-biased analytic patterns performed significantly better than those using either holistic or right-eye-biased analytic patterns. These results suggest that active retrieval of facial feature information through an analytic eye movement pattern may be optimal for face recognition regardless of culture. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Double-ramp on the Main Himalayan Thrust revealed by broadband waveform modeling of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Wei, Shengji; Wu, Wenbo

    2017-09-01

    The 2015Mw 7.8 Gorkha earthquake sequence that unzipped the lower edge of the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT) in central Nepal provides an exceptional opportunity to understand the fault geometry in this region. However, the limited number of focal mechanisms and the poor horizontal locations and depths of earthquakes in the global catalog impede us from clearly imaging the ruptured MHT. In this study, we generalized the Amplitude Amplification Factor (AAF) method to teleseismic distance that allows us to model the teleseismic P-waves up to 1.5 Hz. We used well-constrained medium-sized earthquakes to establish AAF corrections for teleseismic stations that were later used to invert the high-frequency waveforms of other nearby events. This new approach enables us to invert the focal mechanisms of some early aftershocks, which is challenging by using other long-period methods. With this method, we obtained 12 focal mechanisms more than that in the GCMT catalog. We also modeled the high-frequency teleseismic P-waves and the surface reflection phases (pP and sP) to precisely constrain the depths of the earthquakes. Our results indicate that the uncertainty of the depth estimation is as small as 1-2 km. Finally, we refined the horizontal locations of these aftershocks using carefully hand-picked arrivals. The refined aftershock mechanisms and locations delineate a clear double-ramp geometry of the MHT, with an almost flat décollement sandwiched in between. The flat (dip ∼7 degrees) portion of the MHT is consistent with the coseismic rupture of the mainshock, which has a well-constrained slip distribution. The fault morphology suggests that the ramps, both along the up-dip and down-dip directions, play a significant role in stopping the rupture of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Our method can be applied to general subduction zone earthquakes and fault geometry studies.

  5. Bioenergetics-based modeling of Plasmodium falciparum metabolism reveals its essential genes, nutritional requirements, and thermodynamic bottlenecks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiappino-Pepe, Anush; Ataman, Meriç

    2017-01-01

    Novel antimalarial therapies are urgently needed for the fight against drug-resistant parasites. The metabolism of malaria parasites in infected cells is an attractive source of drug targets but is rather complex. Computational methods can handle this complexity and allow integrative analyses of cell metabolism. In this study, we present a genome-scale metabolic model (iPfa) of the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and its thermodynamics-based flux analysis (TFA). Using previous absolute concentration data of the intraerythrocytic parasite, we applied TFA to iPfa and predicted up to 63 essential genes and 26 essential pairs of genes. Of the 63 genes, 35 have been experimentally validated and reported in the literature, and 28 have not been experimentally tested and include previously hypothesized or novel predictions of essential metabolic capabilities. Without metabolomics data, four of the genes would have been incorrectly predicted to be non-essential. TFA also indicated that substrate channeling should exist in two metabolic pathways to ensure the thermodynamic feasibility of the flux. Finally, analysis of the metabolic capabilities of P. falciparum led to the identification of both the minimal nutritional requirements and the genes that can become indispensable upon substrate inaccessibility. This model provides novel insight into the metabolic needs and capabilities of the malaria parasite and highlights metabolites and pathways that should be measured and characterized to identify potential thermodynamic bottlenecks and substrate channeling. The hypotheses presented seek to guide experimental studies to facilitate a better understanding of the parasite metabolism and the identification of targets for more efficient intervention. PMID:28333921

  6. Noncompetitive Inhibition of 5-HT3 Receptors by Citral, Linalool, and Eucalyptol Revealed by Nonlinear Mixed-Effects Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, Gavin E; Barbosa, Roseli; Thompson, Andrew J

    2016-03-01

    Citral, eucalyptol, and linalool are widely used as flavorings, fragrances, and cosmetics. Here, we examined their effects on electrophysiological and binding properties of human 5-HT3 receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes and human embryonic kidney 293 cells, respectively. Data were analyzed using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling to account for random variance in the peak current response between oocytes. The oils caused an insurmountable inhibition of 5-HT-evoked currents (citral IC50 = 120 µM; eucalyptol = 258 µM; linalool = 141 µM) and did not compete with fluorescently labeled granisetron, suggesting a noncompetitive mechanism of action. Inhibition was not use-dependent but required a 30-second preapplication. Compound washout caused a slow (∼180 seconds) but complete recovery. Coapplication of the oils with bilobalide or diltiazem indicated they did not bind at the same locations as these channel blockers. Homology modeling and ligand docking predicted binding to a transmembrane cavity at the interface of adjacent subunits. Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry showed that an essential oil extracted from Lippia alba contained 75.9% citral. This inhibited expressed 5-HT3 receptors (IC50 = 45 µg ml(-1)) and smooth muscle contractions in rat trachea (IC50 = 200 µg ml(-1)) and guinea pig ileum (IC50 = 20 µg ml(-1)), providing a possible mechanistic explanation for why this oil has been used to treat gastrointestinal and respiratory ailments. These results demonstrate that citral, eucalyptol, and linalool inhibit 5-HT3 receptors, and their binding to a conserved cavity suggests a valuable target for novel allosteric modulators.

  7. SMARTS revealed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subasavage, John P.; Bailyn, Charles D.; Smith, R. Christopher; Henry, Todd J.; Walter, Frederick M.; Buxton, Michelle M.

    2010-07-01

    The Small and Moderate Aperture Research Telescope System (SMARTS)* consists of four telescopes atop Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO): the 0.9m, 1.0m, 1.3m, and 1.5m. A consortium of twelve institutions and universities began funding operations in February 2003. Time allocation for these facilities is as follows: ~65% to consortium members, ~25% to the general community, and 10% to Chilean researchers. Thus, resources remain available to the community while providing a unique opportunity for consortium members; the possibility of high temporal cadence monitoring coupled with long time baseline monitoring. Indeed, a number of member programs have benefited from such a schema. Furthermore, two of the four telescopes are scheduled in a queue mode in which observations are collected by service observers. Queue mode investigators have access to spectroscopic observations (both RC and echelle) as well as direct imaging (both optical and near-IR simultaneously). Of the remaining two telescopes, the 1.0m is almost exclusively operated in user mode and contains a 20'×20' FOV optical imager, and the 0.9m is operated both in user and service mode in equal allotments and also has a dedicated optical imager. The latter facilities are frequently used for hands-on student training under the superb sky conditions afforded at CTIO. Currently, three of the partner universities are responsible for managing telescope scheduling and data handling, while one additional university is responsible for some of the instruments. In return, these universities receive additional telescope time. Operations are largely run by a handful of people, with six personnel from the four support universities and seven dedicated personnel in Chile (five observers, one observer support engineer, and one postdoctoral appointee). Thus far, this model has proven to be both an efficient and an effective method for operating the small telescopes at CTIO.

  8. Mapping temporal dynamics in social interactions with unified structural equation modeling: A description and demonstration revealing time-dependent sex differences in play behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltz, Adriene M; Beekman, Charles; Molenaar, Peter C M; Buss, Kristin A

    2013-07-01

    Developmental science is rich with observations of social interactions, but few available methodological and statistical approaches take full advantage of the information provided by these data. The authors propose implementation of the unified structural equation model (uSEM), a network analysis technique, for observational data coded repeatedly across time; uSEM captures the temporal dynamics underlying changes in behavior at the individual level by revealing the ways in which a single person influences - concurrently and in the future - other people. To demonstrate the utility of uSEM, the authors applied it to ratings of positive affect and vigor of activity during children's unstructured laboratory play with unfamiliar, same-sex peers. Results revealed the time-dependent nature of sex differences in play behavior. For girls more than boys, positive affect was dependent upon peers' prior positive affect. For boys more than girls, vigor of activity was dependent upon peers' current vigor of activity.

  9. Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Bed Mobility Revealed Through the Use of Hydrodynamic Modeling and Motion-Sensing Radio Tagged Particles in a Large Gravel-Bed River

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, C. L.; Smith Pryor, B.; Lisle, T. E.; Lang, M. M.

    2010-12-01

    Flow conditions that initiate bedload transport, and an understanding of the spatial and temporal variability in bed mobility, provide important insight into the dynamics of riverine habitat. However, quantifying these processes at the reach scale has been elusive, especially in large river systems. Our approach coupled hydrodynamic modeling and empirical measures of bed mobility based on traditional tracers and motion-sensing radio tagged particles to determine flow conditions at initial motion and the spatial extent of bed mobility in the Trinity River of northern California. High-resolution bathymetric surveying and grain size measurements were used as input for hydrodynamic modeling. A narrow band Acoustic Doppler Profiler positioned using a Real Time Kinematic global positioning system provided separate calibration and validation data during flood events. Model-predicted Shields stress identified spatially explicit zones of differential bed mobility and indicated that a potential zone of full mobility was limited to a central core that expanded with increasing flow strength. Model-predicted zones of full mobility were well validated by patches of traditional painted rock tracer particles. In addition to traditional tracers, motion-sensing radio tagged particles were used to identify the timing of initial motion. By simultaneously measuring discharge, and modeling bed forces at that discharge, shear stress at initial motion was calculated. These calculations revealed that initial motion of bed particles varied substantially between flood events. Temporal variability in the distribution of critical shear stress suggests that the sequence of flood events is an important determinant of bed strength and, thus, resistance to motion. The combined use of high-resolution instrumentation and flow modeling revealed important insight into the importance of bed conditioning by previous floods on bed mobility.

  10. Mechanistic Studies and Modeling Reveal the Origin of Differential Inhibition of Gag Polymorphic Viruses by HIV-1 Maturation Inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Zeyu; Cantone, Joseph; Lu, Hao; Nowicka-Sans, Beata; Protack, Tricia; Yuan, Tian; Yang, Hong; Liu, Zheng; Drexler, Dieter; Regueiro-Ren, Alicia; Meanwell, Nicholas A; Cockett, Mark; Krystal, Mark; Lataillade, Max; Dicker, Ira B

    2016-11-01

    HIV-1 maturation inhibitors (MIs) disrupt the final step in the HIV-1 protease-mediated cleavage of the Gag polyprotein between capsid p24 capsid (CA) and spacer peptide 1 (SP1), leading to the production of infectious virus. BMS-955176 is a second generation MI with improved antiviral activity toward polymorphic Gag variants compared to a first generation MI bevirimat (BVM). The underlying mechanistic reasons for the differences in polymorphic coverage were studied using antiviral assays, an LC/MS assay that quantitatively characterizes CA/SP1 cleavage kinetics of virus like particles (VLPs) and a radiolabel binding assay to determine VLP/MI affinities and dissociation kinetics. Antiviral assay data indicates that BVM does not achieve 100% inhibition of certain polymorphs, even at saturating concentrations. This results in the breakthrough of infectious virus (partial antagonism) regardless of BVM concentration. Reduced maximal percent inhibition (MPI) values for BVM correlated with elevated EC50 values, while rates of HIV-1 protease cleavage at CA/SP1 correlated inversely with the ability of BVM to inhibit HIV-1 Gag polymorphic viruses: genotypes with more rapid CA/SP1 cleavage kinetics were less sensitive to BVM. In vitro inhibition of wild type VLP CA/SP1 cleavage by BVM was not maintained at longer cleavage times. BMS-955176 exhibited greatly improved MPI against polymorphic Gag viruses, binds to Gag polymorphs with higher affinity/longer dissociation half-lives and exhibits greater time-independent inhibition of CA/SP1 cleavage compared to BVM. Virological (MPI) and biochemical (CA/SP1 cleavage rates, MI-specific Gag affinities) data were used to create an integrated semi-quantitative model that quantifies CA/SP1 cleavage rates as a function of both MI and Gag polymorph. The model outputs are in accord with in vitro antiviral observations and correlate with observed in vivo MI efficacies. Overall, these findings may be useful to further understand antiviral

  11. A quantitative multiplex nuclease protection assay reveals immunotoxicity gene expression profiles in the rabbit model for vaginal drug safety evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fichorova, Raina N., E-mail: rfichorova@rics.bwh.harvard.edu [Laboratory of Genital Tract Biology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Mendonca, Kevin; Yamamoto, Hidemi S.; Murray, Ryan [Laboratory of Genital Tract Biology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Chandra, Neelima; Doncel, Gustavo F. [CONRAD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Any vaginal product that alters the mucosal environment and impairs the immune barrier increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV infection, which thrives on mucosal damage and inflammation. The FDA-recommended rabbit vaginal irritation (RVI) model serves as a first line selection tool for vaginal products; however, for decades it has been limited to histopathology scoring, insufficient to select safe anti-HIV microbicides. In this study we incorporate to the RVI model a novel quantitative nuclease protection assay (qNPA) to quantify mRNA levels of 25 genes representing leukocyte differentiation markers, toll-like receptors (TLR), cytokines, chemokines, epithelial repair, microbicidal and vascular markers, by designing two multiplex arrays. Tissue sections were obtained from 36 rabbits (6 per treatment arm) after 14 daily applications of a placebo gel, saline, 4% nonoxynol-9 (N-9), and three combinations of the anti-HIV microbicides tenofovir (TFV) and UC781 in escalating concentrations (highest: 10% TFV + 2.5%UC781). Results showed that increased expression levels of toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, interleukin (IL)-1β, CXCL8, epithelial membrane protein (EMP)-1 (P < 0.05), and decreased levels of TLR2 (P < 0.05), TLR3 and bactericidal permeability increasing protein (BPI) (P < 0.001) were associated with cervicovaginal mucosal alteration (histopathology). Seven markers showed a significant linear trend predicting epithelial damage (up with CD4, IL-1β, CXCL8, CCL2, CCL21, EMP1 and down with BPI). Despite the low tissue damage RVI scores, the high-dose microbicide combination gel caused activation of HIV host cells (SLC and CD4) while N-9 caused proinflammatory gene upregulation (IL-8 and TLR4) suggesting a potential for increasing risk of HIV via different mechanisms depending on the chemical nature of the test product. - Highlights: • A transcriptome nuclease protection assay assessed microbicides for vaginal safety. • Biomarkers were

  12. Bayesian model of signal rewiring reveals mechanisms of gene dysregulation in acquired drug resistance in breast cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azad, A. K. M.; Keith, Jonathan M.

    2017-01-01

    Small molecule inhibitors, such as lapatinib, are effective against breast cancer in clinical trials, but tumor cells ultimately acquire resistance to the drug. Maintaining sensitization to drug action is essential for durable growth inhibition. Recently, adaptive reprogramming of signaling circuitry has been identified as a major cause of acquired resistance. We developed a computational framework using a Bayesian statistical approach to model signal rewiring in acquired resistance. We used the p1-model to infer potential aberrant gene-pairs with differential posterior probabilities of appearing in resistant-vs-parental networks. Results were obtained using matched gene expression profiles under resistant and parental conditions. Using two lapatinib-treated ErbB2-positive breast cancer cell-lines: SKBR3 and BT474, our method identified similar dysregulated signaling pathways including EGFR-related pathways as well as other receptor-related pathways, many of which were reported previously as compensatory pathways of EGFR-inhibition via signaling cross-talk. A manual literature survey provided strong evidence that aberrant signaling activities in dysregulated pathways are closely related to acquired resistance in EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Our approach predicted literature-supported dysregulated pathways complementary to both node-centric (SPIA, DAVID, and GATHER) and edge-centric (ESEA and PAGI) methods. Moreover, by proposing a novel pattern of aberrant signaling called V-structures, we observed that genes were dysregulated in resistant-vs-sensitive conditions when they were involved in the switch of dependencies from targeted to bypass signaling events. A literature survey of some important V-structures suggested they play a role in breast cancer metastasis and/or acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs, where the mRNA changes of TGFBR2, LEF1 and TP53 in resistant-vs-sensitive conditions were related to the dependency switch from targeted to bypass signaling links

  13. Bayesian model of signal rewiring reveals mechanisms of gene dysregulation in acquired drug resistance in breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azad, A K M; Lawen, Alfons; Keith, Jonathan M

    2017-01-01

    Small molecule inhibitors, such as lapatinib, are effective against breast cancer in clinical trials, but tumor cells ultimately acquire resistance to the drug. Maintaining sensitization to drug action is essential for durable growth inhibition. Recently, adaptive reprogramming of signaling circuitry has been identified as a major cause of acquired resistance. We developed a computational framework using a Bayesian statistical approach to model signal rewiring in acquired resistance. We used the p1-model to infer potential aberrant gene-pairs with differential posterior probabilities of appearing in resistant-vs-parental networks. Results were obtained using matched gene expression profiles under resistant and parental conditions. Using two lapatinib-treated ErbB2-positive breast cancer cell-lines: SKBR3 and BT474, our method identified similar dysregulated signaling pathways including EGFR-related pathways as well as other receptor-related pathways, many of which were reported previously as compensatory pathways of EGFR-inhibition via signaling cross-talk. A manual literature survey provided strong evidence that aberrant signaling activities in dysregulated pathways are closely related to acquired resistance in EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Our approach predicted literature-supported dysregulated pathways complementary to both node-centric (SPIA, DAVID, and GATHER) and edge-centric (ESEA and PAGI) methods. Moreover, by proposing a novel pattern of aberrant signaling called V-structures, we observed that genes were dysregulated in resistant-vs-sensitive conditions when they were involved in the switch of dependencies from targeted to bypass signaling events. A literature survey of some important V-structures suggested they play a role in breast cancer metastasis and/or acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs, where the mRNA changes of TGFBR2, LEF1 and TP53 in resistant-vs-sensitive conditions were related to the dependency switch from targeted to bypass signaling links

  14. Modeling of Virion Collisions in Cervicovaginal Mucus Reveals Limits on Agglutination as the Protective Mechanism of Secretory Immunoglobulin A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Alex; McKinley, Scott A; Shi, Feng; Wang, Simi; Mucha, Peter J; Harit, Dimple; Forest, M Gregory; Lai, Samuel K

    2015-01-01

    Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), a dimeric antibody found in high quantities in the gastrointestinal mucosa, is broadly associated with mucosal immune protection. A distinguishing feature of sIgA is its ability to crosslink pathogens, thereby creating pathogen/sIgA aggregates that are too large to traverse the dense matrix of mucin fibers in mucus layers overlying epithelial cells and consequently reducing infectivity. Here, we use modeling to investigate this mechanism of "immune exclusion" based on sIgA-mediated agglutination, in particular the potential use of sIgA to agglutinate HIV in cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) and prevent HIV transmission. Utilizing reported data on HIV diffusion in CVM and semen, we simulate HIV collision kinetics in physiologically-thick mucus layers-a necessary first step for sIgA-induced aggregation. We find that even at the median HIV load in semen of acutely infected individuals possessing high viral titers, over 99% of HIV virions will penetrate CVM and reach the vaginal epithelium without colliding with another virion. These findings imply that agglutination is unlikely to be the dominant mechanism of sIgA-mediated protection against HIV or other sexually transmitted pathogens. Rather, we surmise that agglutination is most effective against pathogens either present at exceedingly high concentrations or that possess motility mechanisms other than Brownian diffusion that significantly enhance encounter rates.

  15. Granger causality mapping during joint actions reveals evidence for forward models that could overcome sensory-motor delays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idil Kokal

    Full Text Available Studies investigating joint actions have suggested a central role for the putative mirror neuron system (pMNS because of the close link between perception and action provided by these brain regions [1], [2], [3]. In contrast, our previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiment demonstrated that the BOLD response of the pMNS does not suggest that it directly integrates observed and executed actions during joint actions [4]. To test whether the pMNS might contribute indirectly to the integration process by sending information to brain areas responsible for this integration (integration network, here we used Granger causality mapping (GCM [5]. We explored the directional information flow between the anterior sites of the pMNS and previously identified integrative brain regions. We found that the left BA44 sent more information than it received to both the integration network (left thalamus, right middle occipital gyrus and cerebellum and more posterior nodes of the pMNS (BA2. Thus, during joint actions, two anatomically separate networks therefore seem effectively connected and the information flow is predominantly from anterior to posterior areas of the brain. These findings suggest that the pMNS is involved indirectly in joint actions by transforming observed and executed actions into a common code and is part of a generative model that could predict the future somatosensory and visual consequences of observed and executed actions in order to overcome otherwise inevitable neural delays.

  16. Metabolite profiling reveals novel multi-level cold responses in the diploid model Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohloff, Jens; Kopka, Joachim; Erban, Alexander; Winge, Per; Wilson, Robert C; Bones, Atle M; Davik, Jahn; Randall, Stephen K; Alsheikh, Muath K

    2012-05-01

    Winter freezing damage is a crucial factor in overwintering crops such as the octoploid strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) when grown in a perennial cultivation system. Our study aimed at assessing metabolic processes and regulatory mechanisms in the close-related diploid model woodland strawberry (Fragaria vescaL.) during a 10-days cold acclimation experiment. Based on gas chromatography/time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (GC/TOF-MS) metabolite profiling of three F. vesca genotypes, clear distinctions could be made between leaves and non-photosynthesizing roots, underscoring the evolvement of organ-dependent cold acclimation strategies. Carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, photosynthetic acclimation, and antioxidant and detoxification systems (ascorbate pathway) were strongly affected. Metabolic changes in F. vesca included the strong modulation of central metabolism, and induction of osmotically-active sugars (fructose, glucose), amino acids (aspartic acid), and amines (putrescine). In contrast, a distinct impact on the amino acid proline, known to be cold-induced in other plant systems, was conspicuously absent. Levels of galactinol and raffinose, key metabolites of the cold-inducible raffinose pathway, were drastically enhanced in both leaves and roots throughout the cold acclimation period of 10 days. Furthermore, initial freezing tests and multifaceted GC/TOF-MS data processing (Venn diagrams, independent component analysis, hierarchical clustering) showed that changes in metabolite pools of cold-acclimated F. vesca were clearly influenced by genotype.

  17. Modeling-dependent protein characterization of the rice aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH superfamily reveals distinct functional and structural features.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simeon O Kotchoni

    Full Text Available The completion of the rice genome sequence has made it possible to identify and characterize new genes and to perform comparative genomics studies across taxa. The aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH gene superfamily encoding for NAD(P(+-dependent enzymes is found in all major plant and animal taxa. However, the characterization of plant ALDHs has lagged behind their animal- and prokaryotic-ALDH homologs. In plants, ALDHs are involved in abiotic stress tolerance, male sterility restoration, embryo development and seed viability and maturation. However, there is still no structural property-dependent functional characterization of ALDH protein superfamily in plants. In this paper, we identify members of the rice ALDH gene superfamily and use the evolutionary nesting events of retrotransposons and protein-modeling-based structural reconstitution to report the genetic and molecular and structural features of each member of the rice ALDH superfamily in abiotic/biotic stress responses and developmental processes. Our results indicate that rice-ALDHs are the most expanded plant ALDHs ever characterized. This work represents the first report of specific structural features mediating functionality of the whole families of ALDHs in an organism ever characterized.

  18. UVB exposure of a humanized skin model reveals unexpected dynamic of keratinocyte proliferation and Wnt inhibitor balancing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalczyk, Teresa; Biedermann, Thomas; Böttcher-Haberzeth, Sophie; Klar, Agnes S; Meuli, Martin; Reichmann, Ernst

    2017-07-17

    We developed human dermo-epidermal skin substitutes which are presently applied in phase I and II clinical trials. Here we used these very same skin equivalents containing melanocytes, named MelSkin, as an experimental skin model. We investigated the effects of UVB irradiation on the skin grafts transplanted on immune-compromised rats. The irradiation induces a strong wound healing response going along with massive proliferation of basal keratinocytes, basically quiescent under non-irradiated, homeostatic conditions. As a consequence of UVB irradiation, the initially clearly defined basal keratinocyte (mono)layer expands into about three layers of keratinocytes, all of which still express the basal keratinocyte marker Keratin15. In contrast, epidermal melanocytes remain quiescent under these circumstances. Moreover, the Wnt inhibitors Dickkopf 3 and Wif1 are downregulated upon UVB irradiation in basal keratinocytes, whereas melanocytes continue to express Wnt inhibitors. These findings suggest that there is 1) a suprabasal population, proliferating in the homeostatic state, hence maintaining the integrity of the epidermis, and 2) a basal, usually quiescent keratinocyte population that is induced to massively proliferate upon irradiation. Importantly, the finding that MelSkin responds in a physiological fashion to UVB is of paramount importance in light of the planned clinical application. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  19. Revealing frustrated local moment model for pressurized hyperhoneycomb iridate: Paving the way toward a quantum spin liquid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Heung-Sik; Kim, Yong Baek; Kee, Hae-Young

    2016-12-01

    There have been tremendous experimental and theoretical efforts toward the discovery of a quantum spin-liquid phase in honeycomb-based-lattice materials with strong spin-orbit coupling. Here the bond-dependent Kitaev interaction between local moments provides strong magnetic frustration and, if it is the only interaction present in the system, it will lead to an exactly solvable quantum spin-liquid ground state. In all of these materials, however, the ground state is in a magnetically ordered phase due to additional interactions between local moments. Recently, it has been reported that the magnetic order in the hyperhoneycomb material, β -Li2IrO3 , is suppressed upon applying hydrostatic pressure and the resulting state becomes a quantum paramagnet or possibly a quantum spin liquid. Using ab initio computations and strong-coupling expansion, we investigate the lattice structure and resulting local moment model in pressurized β -Li2IrO3 . Remarkably, the dominant interaction under high pressure is not the Kitaev interaction or further neighbor interactions, but a different kind of bond-dependent interaction. This leads to strong magnetic frustration and may provide a platform for discovery of a new kind of quantum spin-liquid ground state.

  20. The role of Smad signaling in vascular and hematopoietic development revealed by studies using genetic mouse models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    Smads are intracellular mediators of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily signaling. In this review, we focus on the genetic mouse models for Smad pathways, which have provided functional evidence regarding the complex circuitry in angiogenesis and hematopoiesis during development. In the early stages of vascular development, TGF-β signaling is a contri buting factor in angiogenesis and vascular maturation. Whereas in the later embryogenesis, selected molecules of Smad pathways, such as TGF-β type II receptor (TbRII), ALK5, and Smad5, seem to be dispensable for vessel morphogenesis and integrity. TGF-β signaling is not required in the induction of hematopoietic precursors from mesoderm, but inhibits the subsequent expansion of committed hematopoietic precursors. By contrast, bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) has long been acknowledged pivotal in mesoderm induction and hematopoietic commitment during development. However, recent genetic evidence shows the BMP4-ALK3 axis is not crucial for the formation of hematopoietic cells from FLK1+ mesoderm. Because of the highly redundant mechanisms within the Smad pathways, the precise role of the Smad signaling involved in vascular and hematopoietic development remains nebulous. The generation of novel cell lineage restricted Cre transgenes would shed new light on the future relevant investigations.

  1. Systematic Cellular Disease Models Reveal Synergistic Interaction of Trisomy 21 and GATA1 Mutations in Hematopoietic Abnormalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banno, Kimihiko; Omori, Sayaka; Hirata, Katsuya; Nawa, Nobutoshi; Nakagawa, Natsuki; Nishimura, Ken; Ohtaka, Manami; Nakanishi, Mahito; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Toki, Tsutomu; Ito, Etsuro; Yamamoto, Toshiyuki; Kokubu, Chikara; Takeda, Junji; Taniguchi, Hidetoshi; Arahori, Hitomi; Wada, Kazuko; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ozono, Keiichi

    2016-05-10

    Chromosomal aneuploidy and specific gene mutations are recognized early hallmarks of many oncogenic processes. However, the net effect of these abnormalities has generally not been explored. We focused on transient myeloproliferative disorder (TMD) in Down syndrome, which is characteristically associated with somatic mutations in GATA1. To better understand functional interplay between trisomy 21 and GATA1 mutations in hematopoiesis, we constructed cellular disease models using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and genome-editing technologies. Comparative analysis of these engineered iPSCs demonstrated that trisomy 21 perturbed hematopoietic development through the enhanced production of early hematopoietic progenitors and the upregulation of mutated GATA1, resulting in the accelerated production of aberrantly differentiated cells. These effects were mediated by dosage alterations of RUNX1, ETS2, and ERG, which are located in a critical 4-Mb region of chromosome 21. Our study provides insight into the genetic synergy that contributes to multi-step leukemogenesis. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Whole-Genome Resequencing Reveals Extensive Natural Variation in the Model Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazzouri, Khaled M.; Rosas, Ulises; Bahmani, Tayebeh; Nelson, David R.; Abdrabu, Rasha; Harris, Elizabeth H.; Salehi-Ashtiani, Kourosh; Purugganan, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    We performed whole-genome resequencing of 12 field isolates and eight commonly studied laboratory strains of the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to characterize genomic diversity and provide a resource for studies of natural variation. Our data support previous observations that Chlamydomonas is among the most diverse eukaryotic species. Nucleotide diversity is ∼3% and is geographically structured in North America with some evidence of admixture among sampling locales. Examination of predicted loss-of-function mutations in field isolates indicates conservation of genes associated with core cellular functions, while genes in large gene families and poorly characterized genes show a greater incidence of major effect mutations. De novo assembly of unmapped reads recovered genes in the field isolates that are absent from the CC-503 assembly. The laboratory reference strains show a genomic pattern of polymorphism consistent with their origin as the recombinant progeny of a diploid zygospore. Large duplications or amplifications are a prominent feature of laboratory strains and appear to have originated under laboratory culture. Extensive natural variation offers a new source of genetic diversity for studies of Chlamydomonas, including naturally occurring alleles that may prove useful in studies of gene function and the dissection of quantitative genetic traits. PMID:26392080

  3. Pathogenesis of POLR1C-dependent Type 3 Treacher Collins Syndrome revealed by a zebrafish model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Marco Chi Chung; Kwong, Ernest Man Lok; Lai, Keng Po; Li, Jing-Woei; Ho, Jeff Cheuk Hin; Chan, Ting-Fung; Wong, Chris Kong Chu; Jiang, Yun-Jin; Tse, William Ka Fai

    2016-06-01

    Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS) is a rare congenital birth disorder (1 in 50,000 live births) characterized by severe craniofacial defects, including the downward slanting palpebral fissures, hypoplasia of the facial bones, and cleft palate (CP). Over 90% of patients with TCS have a mutation in the TCOF1 gene. However, some patients exhibit mutations in two new causative genes, POLR1C and POLR1D, which encode subunits of RNA polymerases I and III, that affect ribosome biogenesis. In this study, we examine the role of POLR1C in TCS using zebrafish as a model system. Our data confirmed that polr1c is highly expressed in the facial region, and dysfunction of this gene by knockdown or knock-out resulted in mis-expression of neural crest cells during early development that leads to TCS phenotype. Next generation sequencing and bioinformatics analysis of the polr1c mutants further demonstrated the up-regulated p53 pathway and predicted skeletal disorders. Lastly, we partially rescued the TCS facial phenotype in the background of p53 mutants, which supported the hypothesis that POLR1C-dependent type 3 TCS is associated with the p53 pathway.

  4. The Binarity of Eta Carinae Revealed from Photoionization Modeling of the Spectral Variability of the Weigelt Blobs B and D

    CERN Document Server

    Verner, E; Gull, T R

    2005-01-01

    We focus on two Hubble Space Telescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (HST/STIS) spectra of the Weigelt Blobs B&D, extending from 1640 to 10400A; one recorded during the 1998 minimum (March 1998) and the other recorded in February 1999, early in the following broad maximum. The spatially-resolved spectra suggest two distinct ionization regions. One structure is the permanently low ionization cores of the Weigelt Blobs, B&D, located several hundred AU from the ionizing source. Their spectra are dominated by emission from H I, [N II], Fe II, [Fe II], Ni II, [Ni II], Cr II and Ti II. The second region, relatively diffuse in character and located between the ionizing source and the Weigelt Blobs, is more highly ionized with emission from [FeIII], [Fe IV], N III], [Ne III], [Ar III], [Si III], [S III] and He I. Through photoionization modeling, we find that the radiation field from the more massive B-star companion supports the low ionization structure throughout the 5.54 year period. The radiation f...

  5. A chicken model of pharmacologically-induced Hirschsprung disease reveals an unexpected role of glucocorticoids in enteric aganglionosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Marie Gasc

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The enteric nervous system originates from neural crest cells that migrate in chains as they colonize the embryonic gut, eventually forming the myenteric and submucosal plexus. Failure of the neural crest cells to colonize the gut leads to aganglionosis in the terminal gut, a pathological condition called Hirschsprung disease (HSCR in humans, also known as congenital megacolon or intestinal aganglionosis. One of the characteristics of the human HSCR is its variable penetrance, which may be attributable to the interaction between genetic factors, such as the endothelin-3/endothelin receptor B pathway, and non-genetic modulators, although the role of the latter has not well been established. We have created a novel HSCR model in the chick embryo allowing to test the ability of non-genetic modifiers to alter the HSCR phenotype. Chick embryos treated by phosphoramidon, which blocks the generation of endothelin-3, failed to develop enteric ganglia in the very distal bowel, characteristic of an HSCR-like phenotype. Administration of dexamethasone influenced the phenotype, suggesting that glucocorticoids may be environmental modulators of the penetrance of the aganglionosis in HSCR disease.

  6. A Conditional Knockout Mouse Model Reveals a Critical Role of PKD1 in Osteoblast Differentiation and Bone Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shao; Xu, Wanfu; Xing, Zhe; Qian, Jiabi; Chen, Liping; Gu, Ruonan; Guo, Wenjing; Lai, Xiaoju; Zhao, Wanlu; Li, Songyu; Wang, Yaodong; Wang, Q. Jane; Deng, Fan

    2017-01-01

    The protein kinase D family of serine/threonine kinases, particularly PKD1, has been implicated in the regulation of a complex array of fundamental biological processes. However, its function and mechanism underlying PKD1-mediated the bone development and osteoblast differentiation are not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that loss of PKD1 function led to impaired bone development and osteoblast differentiation through STAT3 and p38 MAPK signaling using in vitro and in vivo bone-specific conditional PKD1-knockout (PKD1-KO) mice models. These mice developed markedly craniofacial dysplasia, scapula dysplasia, long bone length shortage and body weight decrease compared with wild-type littermates. Moreover, deletion of PKD1 in vivo reduced trabecular development and activity of osteoblast development, confirmed by Micro-CT and histological staining as well as expression of osteoblastic marker (OPN, Runx2 and OSX). Mechanistically, loss of PKD1 mediated the downregulation of osteoblast markers and impaired osteoblast differentiation through STAT3 and p38 MAPK signaling pathways. Taken together, these results demonstrated that PKD1 contributes to the osteoblast differentiation and bone development via elevation of osteoblast markers through activation of STAT3 and p38 MAPK signaling pathways. PMID:28084409

  7. A genome-wide CNV analysis of schizophrenia reveals a potential role for a multiple-hit model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudd, Danielle S; Axelsen, Michael; Epping, Eric A; Andreasen, Nancy C; Wassink, Thomas H

    2014-12-01

    Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe psychiatric disorder that is highly heritable. While both common and rare genetic variants contribute to disease risk, many questions still remain about disease etiology. We performed a genome-wide analysis of copy number variants (CNVs) in 166 schizophrenia subjects and 52 psychiatrically healthy controls. First, overall CNV characteristics were compared between cases and controls. The only statistically significant finding was that deletions comprised a greater proportion of CNVs in cases. High interest CNVs were then identified as conservative using the following filtering criteria: (i) known deleterious CNVs; (ii) CNVs > 1 Mb that were novel (not found in a database of control individuals); and (iii) CNVs 1 Mb) or with multiple conservative CNVs. Two case individuals with the highest burden of conservative CNVs also share a recurrent 15q11.2 BP1-2 deletion, indicating a role for a potential multiple-hit CNV model for schizophrenia. In total, we report three 15q11.2 BP1-2 deletion individuals with schizophrenia, adding to a growing body of evidence that this CNV is involved in disease etiology.

  8. Revealing additional preference heterogeneity with an extended random parameter logit model: the case of extra virgin olive oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Yangui

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Methods that account for preference heterogeneity have received a significant amount of attention in recent literature. Most of them have focused on preference heterogeneity around the mean of the random parameters, which has been specified as a function of socio-demographic characteristics. This paper aims at analyzing consumers’ preferences towards extra-virgin olive oil in Catalonia using a methodological framework with two novelties over past studies: 1 it accounts for both preference heterogeneity around the mean and the variance; and 2 it considers both socio-demographic characteristics of consumers as well as their attitudinal factors. Estimated coefficients and moments of willingness to pay (WTP distributions are compared with those obtained from alternative Random Parameter Logit (RPL models. Results suggest that the proposed framework increases the goodness-of-fit and provides more useful insights for policy analysis. The most important attributes affecting consumers’ preferences towards extra virgin olive oil are the price and the product’s origin. The consumers perceive the organic olive oil attribute negatively, as they think that it is not worth paying a premium for a product that is healthy in nature.

  9. Chemically specific multiscale modeling of clay-polymer nanocomposites reveals intercalation dynamics, tactoid self-assembly and emergent materials properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suter, James L; Groen, Derek; Coveney, Peter V

    2015-02-01

    A quantitative description is presented of the dynamical process of polymer intercalation into clay tactoids and the ensuing aggregation of polymer-entangled tactoids into larger structures, obtaining various characteristics of these nanocomposites, including clay-layer spacings, out-of-plane clay-sheet bending energies, X-ray diffractograms, and materials properties. This model of clay-polymer interactions is based on a three-level approach, which uses quantum mechanical and atomistic descriptions to derive a coarse-grained yet chemically specific representation that can resolve processes on hitherto inaccessible length and time scales. The approach is applied to study collections of clay mineral tactoids interacting with two synthetic polymers, poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(vinyl alcohol). The controlled behavior of layered materials in a polymer matrix is centrally important for many engineering and manufacturing applications. This approach opens up a route to computing the properties of complex soft materials based on knowledge of their chemical composition, molecular structure, and processing conditions. © 2014 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. RNA-sequencing analysis of TCDD-induced responses in zebrafish liver reveals high relatedness to in vivo mammalian models and conserved biological pathways.

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    Zhi-Hua Li

    Full Text Available TCDD is one of the most persistent environmental toxicants in biological systems and its effect through aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR has been well characterized. However, the information on TCDD-induced toxicity in other molecular pathways is rather limited. To fully understand molecular toxicity of TCDD in an in vivo animal model, adult zebrafish were exposed to TCDD at 10 nM for 96 h and the livers were sampled for RNA-sequencing based transcriptomic profiling. A total of 1,058 differently expressed genes were identified based on fold-change>2 and TPM (transcripts per million >10. Among the top 20 up-regulated genes, 10 novel responsive genes were identified and verified by RT-qPCR analysis on independent samples. Transcriptomic analysis indicated several deregulated pathways associated with cell cycle, endocrine disruptors, signal transduction and immune systems. Comparative analyses of TCDD-induced transcriptomic changes between fish and mammalian models revealed that proteomic pathway is consistently up-regulated while calcium signaling pathway and several immune-related pathways are generally down-regulated. Finally, our study also suggested that zebrafish model showed greater similarity to in vivo mammalian models than in vitro models. Our study indicated that the zebrafish is a valuable in vivo model in toxicogenomic analyses for understanding molecular toxicity of environmental toxicants relevant to human health. The expression profiles associated with TCDD could be useful for monitoring environmental dioxin and dioxin-like contamination.

  11. SNP Discovery and Chromosome Anchoring Provide the First Physically-Anchored Hexaploid Oat Map and Reveal Synteny with Model Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Shiaoman; Jellen, Eric N.; Carson, Martin L.; Rines, Howard W.; Obert, Donald E.; Lutz, Joseph D.; Shackelford, Irene; Korol, Abraham B.; Wight, Charlene P.; Gardner, Kyle M.; Hattori, Jiro; Beattie, Aaron D.; Bjørnstad, Åsmund; Bonman, J. Michael; Jannink, Jean-Luc; Sorrells, Mark E.; Brown-Guedira, Gina L.; Mitchell Fetch, Jennifer W.; Harrison, Stephen A.; Howarth, Catherine J.; Ibrahim, Amir; Kolb, Frederic L.; McMullen, Michael S.; Murphy, J. Paul; Ohm, Herbert W.; Rossnagel, Brian G.; Yan, Weikai; Miclaus, Kelci J.; Hiller, Jordan; Maughan, Peter J.; Redman Hulse, Rachel R.; Anderson, Joseph M.; Islamovic, Emir

    2013-01-01

    A physically anchored consensus map is foundational to modern genomics research; however, construction of such a map in oat (Avena sativa L., 2n = 6x = 42) has been hindered by the size and complexity of the genome, the scarcity of robust molecular markers, and the lack of aneuploid stocks. Resources developed in this study include a modified SNP discovery method for complex genomes, a diverse set of oat SNP markers, and a novel chromosome-deficient SNP anchoring strategy. These resources were applied to build the first complete, physically-anchored consensus map of hexaploid oat. Approximately 11,000 high-confidence in silico SNPs were discovered based on nine million inter-varietal sequence reads of genomic and cDNA origin. GoldenGate genotyping of 3,072 SNP assays yielded 1,311 robust markers, of which 985 were mapped in 390 recombinant-inbred lines from six bi-parental mapping populations ranging in size from 49 to 97 progeny. The consensus map included 985 SNPs and 68 previously-published markers, resolving 21 linkage groups with a total map distance of 1,838.8 cM. Consensus linkage groups were assigned to 21 chromosomes using SNP deletion analysis of chromosome-deficient monosomic hybrid stocks. Alignments with sequenced genomes of rice and Brachypodium provide evidence for extensive conservation of genomic regions, and renewed encouragement for orthology-based genomic discovery in this important hexaploid species. These results also provide a framework for high-resolution genetic analysis in oat, and a model for marker development and map construction in other species with complex genomes and limited resources. PMID:23533580

  12. Modeling human retinal development with patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells reveals multiple roles for visual system homeobox 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, M Joseph; Perez, Enio T; Martin, Jessica M; Reshel, Samantha T; Wallace, Kyle A; Capowski, Elizabeth E; Singh, Ruchira; Wright, Lynda S; Clark, Eric M; Barney, Patrick M; Stewart, Ron; Dickerson, Sarah J; Miller, Michael J; Percin, E Ferda; Thomson, James A; Gamm, David M

    2014-06-01

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have been shown to differentiate along the retinal lineage in a manner that mimics normal mammalian development. Under certain culture conditions, hiPSCs form optic vesicle-like structures (OVs), which contain proliferating progenitors capable of yielding all neural retina (NR) cell types over time. Such observations imply conserved roles for regulators of retinogenesis in hiPSC-derived cultures and the developing embryo. However, whether and to what extent this assumption holds true has remained largely uninvestigated. We examined the role of a key NR transcription factor, visual system homeobox 2 (VSX2), using hiPSCs derived from a patient with microphthalmia caused by an R200Q mutation in the VSX2 homeodomain region. No differences were noted between (R200Q)VSX2 and sibling control hiPSCs prior to OV generation. Thereafter, (R200Q)VSX2 hiPSC-OVs displayed a significant growth deficit compared to control hiPSC-OVs, as well as increased production of retinal pigmented epithelium at the expense of NR cell derivatives. Furthermore, (R200Q)VSX2 hiPSC-OVs failed to produce bipolar cells, a distinctive feature previously observed in Vsx2 mutant mice. (R200Q)VSX2 hiPSC-OVs also demonstrated delayed photoreceptor maturation, which could be overcome via exogenous expression of wild-type VSX2 at early stages of retinal differentiation. Finally, RNAseq analysis on isolated hiPSC-OVs implicated key transcription factors and extracellular signaling pathways as potential downstream effectors of VSX2-mediated gene regulation. Our results establish hiPSC-OVs as versatile model systems to study retinal development at stages not previously accessible in humans and support the bona fide nature of hiPSC-OV-derived retinal progeny.

  13. Whole-brain, time-locked activation with simple tasks revealed using massive averaging and model-free analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Castillo, Javier; Saad, Ziad S.; Handwerker, Daniel A.; Inati, Souheil J.; Brenowitz, Noah; Bandettini, Peter A.

    2012-01-01

    The brain is the body's largest energy consumer, even in the absence of demanding tasks. Electrophysiologists report on-going neuronal firing during stimulation or task in regions beyond those of primary relationship to the perturbation. Although the biological origin of consciousness remains elusive, it is argued that it emerges from complex, continuous whole-brain neuronal collaboration. Despite converging evidence suggesting the whole brain is continuously working and adapting to anticipate and actuate in response to the environment, over the last 20 y, task-based functional MRI (fMRI) have emphasized a localizationist view of brain function, with fMRI showing only a handful of activated regions in response to task/stimulation. Here, we challenge that view with evidence that under optimal noise conditions, fMRI activations extend well beyond areas of primary relationship to the task; and blood-oxygen level-dependent signal changes correlated with task-timing appear in over 95% of the brain for a simple visual stimulation plus attention control task. Moreover, we show that response shape varies substantially across regions, and that whole-brain parcellations based on those differences produce distributed clusters that are anatomically and functionally meaningful, symmetrical across hemispheres, and reproducible across subjects. These findings highlight the exquisite detail lying in fMRI signals beyond what is normally examined, and emphasize both the pervasiveness of false negatives, and how the sparseness of fMRI maps is not a result of localized brain function, but a consequence of high noise and overly strict predictive response models. PMID:22431587

  14. SNP discovery and chromosome anchoring provide the first physically-anchored hexaploid oat map and reveal synteny with model species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebekah E Oliver

    Full Text Available A physically anchored consensus map is foundational to modern genomics research; however, construction of such a map in oat (Avena sativa L., 2n = 6x = 42 has been hindered by the size and complexity of the genome, the scarcity of robust molecular markers, and the lack of aneuploid stocks. Resources developed in this study include a modified SNP discovery method for complex genomes, a diverse set of oat SNP markers, and a novel chromosome-deficient SNP anchoring strategy. These resources were applied to build the first complete, physically-anchored consensus map of hexaploid oat. Approximately 11,000 high-confidence in silico SNPs were discovered based on nine million inter-varietal sequence reads of genomic and cDNA origin. GoldenGate genotyping of 3,072 SNP assays yielded 1,311 robust markers, of which 985 were mapped in 390 recombinant-inbred lines from six bi-parental mapping populations ranging in size from 49 to 97 progeny. The consensus map included 985 SNPs and 68 previously-published markers, resolving 21 linkage groups with a total map distance of 1,838.8 cM. Consensus linkage groups were assigned to 21 chromosomes using SNP deletion analysis of chromosome-deficient monosomic hybrid stocks. Alignments with sequenced genomes of rice and Brachypodium provide evidence for extensive conservation of genomic regions, and renewed encouragement for orthology-based genomic discovery in this important hexaploid species. These results also provide a framework for high-resolution genetic analysis in oat, and a model for marker development and map construction in other species with complex genomes and limited resources.

  15. A zebrafish model of congenital disorders of glycosylation with phosphomannose isomerase deficiency reveals an early opportunity for corrective mannose supplementation

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    Jaime Chu

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG have recessive mutations in genes required for protein N-glycosylation, resulting in multi-systemic disease. Despite the well-characterized biochemical consequences in these individuals, the underlying cellular defects that contribute to CDG are not well understood. Synthesis of the lipid-linked oligosaccharide (LLO, which serves as the sugar donor for the N-glycosylation of secretory proteins, requires conversion of fructose-6-phosphate to mannose-6-phosphate via the phosphomannose isomerase (MPI enzyme. Individuals who are deficient in MPI present with bleeding, diarrhea, edema, gastrointestinal bleeding and liver fibrosis. MPI-CDG patients can be treated with oral mannose supplements, which is converted to mannose-6-phosphate through a minor complementary metabolic pathway, restoring protein glycosylation and ameliorating most symptoms, although liver disease continues to progress. Because Mpi deletion in mice causes early embryonic lethality and thus is difficult to study, we used zebrafish to establish a model of MPI-CDG. We used a morpholino to block mpi mRNA translation and established a concentration that consistently yielded 13% residual Mpi enzyme activity at 4 days post-fertilization (dpf, which is within the range of MPI activity detected in fibroblasts from MPI-CDG patients. Fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis detected decreased LLO and N-glycans in mpi morphants. These deficiencies resulted in 50% embryonic lethality by 4 dpf. Multi-systemic abnormalities, including small eyes, dysmorphic jaws, pericardial edema, a small liver and curled tails, occurred in 82% of the surviving larvae. Importantly, these phenotypes could be rescued with mannose supplementation. Thus, parallel processes in fish and humans contribute to the phenotypes caused by Mpi depletion. Interestingly, mannose was only effective if provided prior to 24 hpf. These data provide insight into treatment efficacy

  16. Seasonal cycle of volume transport through Kerama Gap revealed by a 20-year global HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model reanalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhitao; Metzger, E. Joseph; Thoppil, Prasad; Hurlburt, Harley E.; Zamudio, Luis; Smedstad, Ole Martin; Na, Hanna; Nakamura, Hirohiko; Park, Jae-Hun

    2015-12-01

    The temporal variability of volume transport from the North Pacific Ocean to the East China Sea (ECS) through Kerama Gap (between Okinawa Island and Miyakojima Island - a part of Ryukyu Islands Arc) is investigated using a 20-year global HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) reanalysis with the Navy Coupled Ocean Data Assimilation from 1993 to 2012. The HYCOM mean transport is 2.1 Sv (positive into the ECS, 1 Sv = 106 m3/s) from June 2009 to June 2011, in good agreement with the observed 2.0 Sv transport during the same period. This is similar to the 20-year mean Kerama Gap transport of 1.95 ± 4.0 Sv. The 20-year monthly mean volume transport (transport seasonal cycle) is maximum in October (3.0 Sv) and minimum in November (0.5 Sv). The annual variation component (345-400 days), mesoscale eddy component (70-345 days), and Kuroshio meander component (< 70 days) are separated to determine their contributions to the transport seasonal cycle. The annual variation component has a close relation with the local wind field and increases (decreases) transport into the ECS through Kerama Gap in summer (winter). Most of the variations in the transport seasonal cycle come from the mesoscale eddy component. The impinging mesoscale eddies increase the transport into the ECS during January, February, May, and October, and decrease it in March, April, November, and December, but have little effect in summer (June-September). The Kuroshio meander components cause smaller transport variations in summer than in winter.

  17. Computational modeling of allosteric communication reveals organizing principles of mutation-induced signaling in ABL and EGFR kinases.

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    Anshuman Dixit

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The emerging structural information about allosteric kinase complexes and the growing number of allosteric inhibitors call for a systematic strategy to delineate and classify mechanisms of allosteric regulation and long-range communication that control kinase activity. In this work, we have investigated mechanistic aspects of long-range communications in ABL and EGFR kinases based on the results of multiscale simulations of regulatory complexes and computational modeling of signal propagation in proteins. These approaches have been systematically employed to elucidate organizing molecular principles of allosteric signaling in the ABL and EGFR multi-domain regulatory complexes and analyze allosteric signatures of the gate-keeper cancer mutations. We have presented evidence that mechanisms of allosteric activation may have universally evolved in the ABL and EGFR regulatory complexes as a product of a functional cross-talk between the organizing αF-helix and conformationally adaptive αI-helix and αC-helix. These structural elements form a dynamic network of efficiently communicated clusters that may control the long-range interdomain coupling and allosteric activation. The results of this study have unveiled a unifying effect of the gate-keeper cancer mutations as catalysts of kinase activation, leading to the enhanced long-range communication among allosterically coupled segments and stabilization of the active kinase form. The results of this study can reconcile recent experimental studies of allosteric inhibition and long-range cooperativity between binding sites in protein kinases. The presented study offers a novel molecular insight into mechanistic aspects of allosteric kinase signaling and provides a quantitative picture of activation mechanisms in protein kinases at the atomic level.

  18. Impact of carnivory on human development and evolution revealed by a new unifying model of weaning in mammals.

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    Elia Psouni

    Full Text Available Our large brain, long life span and high fertility are key elements of human evolutionary success and are often thought to have evolved in interplay with tool use, carnivory and hunting. However, the specific impact of carnivory on human evolution, life history and development remains controversial. Here we show in quantitative terms that dietary profile is a key factor influencing time to weaning across a wide taxonomic range of mammals, including humans. In a model encompassing a total of 67 species and genera from 12 mammalian orders, adult brain mass and two dichotomous variables reflecting species differences regarding limb biomechanics and dietary profile, accounted for 75.5%, 10.3% and 3.4% of variance in time to weaning, respectively, together capturing 89.2% of total variance. Crucially, carnivory predicted the time point of early weaning in humans with remarkable precision, yielding a prediction error of less than 5% with a sample of forty-six human natural fertility societies as reference. Hence, carnivory appears to provide both a necessary and sufficient explanation as to why humans wean so much earlier than the great apes. While early weaning is regarded as essentially differentiating the genus Homo from the great apes, its timing seems to be determined by the same limited set of factors in humans as in mammals in general, despite some 90 million years of evolution. Our analysis emphasizes the high degree of similarity of relative time scales in mammalian development and life history across 67 genera from 12 mammalian orders and shows that the impact of carnivory on time to weaning in humans is quantifiable, and critical. Since early weaning yields shorter interbirth intervals and higher rates of reproduction, with profound effects on population dynamics, our findings highlight the emergence of carnivory as a process fundamentally determining human evolution.

  19. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals neuroprotection by oral minocycline in a nonhuman primate model of accelerated NeuroAIDS.

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    Eva-Maria Ratai

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Despite the advent of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders continue to be a significant problem. In efforts to understand and alleviate neurocognitive deficits associated with HIV, we used an accelerated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV macaque model of NeuroAIDS to test whether minocycline is neuroprotective against lentiviral-induced neuronal injury. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eleven rhesus macaques were infected with SIV, depleted of CD8+ lymphocytes, and studied until eight weeks post inoculation (wpi. Seven animals received daily minocycline orally beginning at 4 wpi. Neuronal integrity was monitored in vivo by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and post-mortem by immunohistochemistry for synaptophysin (SYN, microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2, and neuronal counts. Astrogliosis and microglial activation were quantified by measuring glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP and ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (IBA-1, respectively. SIV infection followed by CD8+ cell depletion induced a progressive decline in neuronal integrity evidenced by declining N-acetylaspartate/creatine (NAA/Cr, which was arrested with minocycline treatment. The recovery of this ratio was due to increases in NAA, indicating neuronal recovery, and decreases in Cr, likely reflecting downregulation of glial cell activation. SYN, MAP2, and neuronal counts were found to be higher in minocycline-treated animals compared to untreated animals while GFAP and IBA-1 expression were decreased compared to controls. CSF and plasma viral loads were lower in MN-treated animals. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In conclusion, oral minocycline alleviates neuronal damage induced by the AIDS virus.

  20. Continuous flow atomic force microscopy imaging reveals fluidity and time-dependent interactions of antimicrobial dendrimer with model lipid membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Tania Kjellerup; Zielińska, Paulina; Wacklin, Hanna Pauliina; Urbańczyk-Lipkowska, Zofia; Cárdenas, Marité

    2014-01-28

    In this paper, an amphiphilic peptide dendrimer with potential applications against multi-resistant bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus was synthesized and studied on model cell membranes. The combination of quartz crystal microbalance and atomic force microscopy imaging during continuous flow allowed for in situ monitoring of the very initial interaction processes and membrane transformations on longer time scales. We used three different membrane compositions of low and high melting temperature phospholipids to vary the membrane properties from a single fluid phase to a pure gel phase, while crossing the phase coexistence boundaries at room temperature. The interaction mechanism of the dendrimer was found to be time-dependent and to vary remarkably with the fluidity and coexistence of liquid-solid phases in the membrane. Spherical micelle-like dendrimer-lipid aggregates were formed in the fluid-phase bilayer and led to partial solubilization of the membrane, while in gel-phase membranes, the dendrimers caused areas of local depressions followed by redeposition of flexible lipid patches. Domain coexistence led to a sequence of events initiated by the formation of a ribbon-like network and followed by membrane solubilization via spherical aggregates from the edges of bilayer patches. Our results show that the dendrimer molecules were able to destroy the membrane integrity through different mechanisms depending on the lipid phase and morphology and shed light on their antimicrobial activity. These findings could have an impact on the efficacy of the dendrimers since lipid membranes in certain bacteria have transition temperatures very close to the host body temperature.

  1. Source Processes Revealed at Two Guatemalan Volcanoes: Insights from Multidisciplinary Observations of Harmonic Tremor and Numerical Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brill, K. A.; Waite, G. P.

    2012-12-01

    Tremor signals at volcanoes are typically attributed to fluid movement within the system. Characteristics of harmonic tremor (i.e. duration, frequency content, polarization) can convey detailed information about source processes from which they emanate, but decoding these signals poses great challenges due to the complexity of volcanic environments. We recorded instances of harmonic tremor at both Santiaguito and Fuego volcanoes Guatemala, Central America. The instances of harmonic tremor occur both independent from and contemporaneous with explosions, and last anywhere from 30 seconds to tens of minutes. The signals have fundamental frequencies between 0.3 and 2.5 Hz, with as many as 20 overtones, and exhibit spectral gliding of up to 0.75 Hz over the course of an event, changing as quickly as 0.1 Hz/second. Field observations; video recordings; and time-lapse, ultraviolet, and thermal imagery; collected simultaneously with acoustic and seismic recordings allow us to constrain source locations and processes beyond what would otherwise be possible just acoustic and seismic recordings. We propose that the harmonic tremor signals are generated by nonlinear excitation of fracture walls as gas vents out of the systems. Additionally, we investigate the complex wavefield generated by harmonic tremor and the heterogeneous volcanic media. Particle motions at both volcanoes are typically elliptical, but vary dramatically over time as the fundamental frequency glides up and down (see figure). In addition, the particle motions of harmonics often have different polarities from each other and the fundamental frequency. Through finite difference modeling, we isolate the effects of near-field terms, topography, and source mechanism to explore each of these factors' contribution to the unexpected behavior.

  2. Modeling of pharmacokinetics of cocaine in human reveals the feasibility for development of enzyme therapies for drugs of abuse.

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    Fang Zheng

    Full Text Available A promising strategy for drug abuse treatment is to accelerate the drug metabolism by administration of a drug-metabolizing enzyme. The question is how effectively an enzyme can actually prevent the drug from entering brain and producing physiological effects. In the present study, we have developed a pharmacokinetic model through a combined use of in vitro kinetic parameters and positron emission tomography data in human to examine the effects of a cocaine-metabolizing enzyme in plasma on the time course of cocaine in plasma and brain of human. Without an exogenous enzyme, cocaine half-lives in both brain and plasma are almost linearly dependent on the initial cocaine concentration in plasma. The threshold concentration of cocaine in brain required to produce physiological effects has been estimated to be 0.22±0.07 µM, and the threshold area under the cocaine concentration versus time curve (AUC value in brain (denoted by AUC2(∞ required to produce physiological effects has been estimated to be 7.9±2.7 µM·min. It has been demonstrated that administration of a cocaine hydrolase/esterase (CocH/CocE can considerably decrease the cocaine half-lives in both brain and plasma, the peak cocaine concentration in brain, and the AUC2(∞. The estimated maximum cocaine plasma concentration which a given concentration of drug-metabolizing enzyme can effectively prevent from entering brain and producing physiological effects can be used to guide future preclinical/clinical studies on cocaine-metabolizing enzymes. Understanding of drug-metabolizing enzymes is key to the science of pharmacokinetics. The general insights into the effects of a drug-metabolizing enzyme on drug kinetics in human should be valuable also in future development of enzyme therapies for other drugs of abuse.

  3. Quantitative magnetic resonance analysis and a morphometric predictive model reveal lean body mass changes in migrating Nearctic-Neotropical passerines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seewagen, Chad L; Guglielmo, Christopher G

    2011-04-01

    Most studies of lean mass dynamics in free-living passerine birds have focused on Old World species at geographical barriers where they are challenged to make the longest non-stop flight of their migration. We examined lean mass variation in New World passerines in an area where the distribution of stopover habitat does not require flights to exceed more than a few hours and most migrants stop flying well before fat stores near exhaustion. We used either quantitative magnetic resonance (QMR) analysis or a morphometric model to measure or estimate, respectively, the fat and lean body mass of migrants during stopovers in New York, USA. With these data, we examined (1) variance in total body mass explained by lean body mass, (2) hourly rates of fat and lean body mass change in single-capture birds, and (3) net changes in fat and lean mass in recaptured birds. Lean mass contributed to 50% of the variation in total body mass among white-throated sparrows Zonotrichia albicollis and hermit thrushes Catharus guttatus. Lean mass of refueling gray catbirds Dumetella carolinensis and white-throated sparrows, respectively, increased 1.123 and 0.320 g h(-1). Lean mass of ovenbirds Seiurus aurocapillus accounted for an estimated 33-40% of hourly gains in total body mass. On average 35% of the total mass gained among recaptured birds was lean mass. Substantial changes in passerine lean mass are not limited to times when birds are forced to make long, non-stop flights across barriers. Protein usage during migration is common across broad taxonomic groups, migration systems, and migration strategies.

  4. High resolution digital elevation modelling from TLS and UAV campaign reveals structural complexity at the 2014 Holuhraun eruption site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Daniel; Walter, Thomas R.; Titt, Tanja; Schöpa, Anne; Tumi Gudmundsson, Magnus; Dürig, Tobi

    2017-04-01

    Fissure eruptions are commonly linked to magma dikes at depth, associated with deformation that is described by subsidence and lateral widening at the surface. The structure formation associated with such fissure eruptions, however, is barely preserved in nature because of the rapid erosion and/or difficult access to these areas, which is why, so far, normal fault displacements are commonly assumed for this type of fractures. At the 2014 Holuhraun eruption sites, the largest fissure eruption in Iceland since almost two centuries, evidence is increasing that the developing structures are related to pre-existing topography, reactivation of earlier fractures and possible complexity in the opening mode of the dike. In an attempt to investigate the Holuhraun structures in greater detail, a fieldwork mapping project combining terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based aerophoto analysis was realized. From this data, we generated a locally high resolution digital elevation model and a structural map that allow for identification of kinematic indicators and assessing senses of fault opening, strike-slip movements, and complexities in fracture pathways. We identified fracture curvatures, step-overs and en-echelon type structures, and measured strike directions for single fault segments including the amount of opening and opening angles. We conjecture that local complexities in the fracture paths and fracture geometries are closely related to pre-existing geometric and mechanical heterogeneities. Moreover, we identified local changes in fracture trends and offsets close to eruption sites, which are possibly associated with geometrical changes in the feeding dike itself. Results have important implications for the development of surface structures at fissure eruption sites and underline that the structural memory is a very important factor in understanding the complexities of local fault structures above dike intrusions.

  5. Impact of carnivory on human development and evolution revealed by a new unifying model of weaning in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Psouni, Elia; Janke, Axel; Garwicz, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Our large brain, long life span and high fertility are key elements of human evolutionary success and are often thought to have evolved in interplay with tool use, carnivory and hunting. However, the specific impact of carnivory on human evolution, life history and development remains controversial. Here we show in quantitative terms that dietary profile is a key factor influencing time to weaning across a wide taxonomic range of mammals, including humans. In a model encompassing a total of 67 species and genera from 12 mammalian orders, adult brain mass and two dichotomous variables reflecting species differences regarding limb biomechanics and dietary profile, accounted for 75.5%, 10.3% and 3.4% of variance in time to weaning, respectively, together capturing 89.2% of total variance. Crucially, carnivory predicted the time point of early weaning in humans with remarkable precision, yielding a prediction error of less than 5% with a sample of forty-six human natural fertility societies as reference. Hence, carnivory appears to provide both a necessary and sufficient explanation as to why humans wean so much earlier than the great apes. While early weaning is regarded as essentially differentiating the genus Homo from the great apes, its timing seems to be determined by the same limited set of factors in humans as in mammals in general, despite some 90 million years of evolution. Our analysis emphasizes the high degree of similarity of relative time scales in mammalian development and life history across 67 genera from 12 mammalian orders and shows that the impact of carnivory on time to weaning in humans is quantifiable, and critical. Since early weaning yields shorter interbirth intervals and higher rates of reproduction, with profound effects on population dynamics, our findings highlight the emergence of carnivory as a process fundamentally determining human evolution.

  6. Modeling of C/EBPalpha mutant acute myeloid leukemia reveals a common expression signature of committed myeloid leukemia-initiating cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirstetter, Peggy; Schuster, Mikkel B; Bereshchenko, Oksana

    2008-01-01

    Mutations in the CEBPA gene are present in 7%-10% of human patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, no genetic models exist that demonstrate their etiological relevance. To mimic the most common mutations affecting CEBPA-that is, those leading to loss of the 42 kDa C/EBPalpha isoform (p...... penetrance. p42-deficient leukemia could be transferred by a Mac1+c-Kit+ population that gave rise only to myeloid cells in recipient mice. Expression profiling of this population against normal Mac1+c-Kit+ progenitors revealed a signature shared with MLL-AF9-transformed AML....

  7. An expert system model for mapping tropical wetlands and peatlands reveals South America as the largest contributor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gumbricht, Thomas; Roman-Cuesta, Rosa Maria; Verchot, Louis; Herold, Martin; Wittmann, Florian; Householder, Ethan; Herold, Nadine; Murdiyarso, Daniel

    2017-09-01

    Wetlands are important providers of ecosystem services and key regulators of climate change. They positively contribute to global warming through their greenhouse gas emissions, and negatively through the accumulation of organic material in histosols, particularly in peatlands. Our understanding of wetlands' services is currently constrained by limited knowledge on their distribution, extent, volume, interannual flood variability and disturbance levels. We present an expert system approach to estimate wetland and peatland areas, depths and volumes, which relies on three biophysical indices related to wetland and peat formation: (1) long-term water supply exceeding atmospheric water demand; (2) annually or seasonally water-logged soils; and (3) a geomorphological position where water is supplied and retained. Tropical and subtropical wetlands estimates reach 4.7 million km(2) (Mkm(2) ). In line with current understanding, the American continent is the major contributor (45%), and Brazil, with its Amazonian interfluvial region, contains the largest tropical wetland area (800,720 km(2) ). Our model suggests, however, unprecedented extents and volumes of peatland in the tropics (1.7 Mkm(2) and 7,268 (6,076-7,368) km(3) ), which more than threefold current estimates. Unlike current understanding, our estimates suggest that South America and not Asia contributes the most to tropical peatland area and volume (ca. 44% for both) partly related to some yet unaccounted extended deep deposits but mainly to extended but shallow peat in the Amazon Basin. Brazil leads the peatland area and volume contribution. Asia hosts 38% of both tropical peat area and volume with Indonesia as the main regional contributor and still the holder of the deepest and most extended peat areas in the tropics. Africa hosts more peat than previously reported but climatic and topographic contexts leave it as the least peat-forming continent. Our results suggest large biases in our current

  8. A Study of the Driving Force Model Revealing Changes in Land Utilization Level Based on 3S Technologies--The Example of Yuanmou, Yunnan, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HE Jin-feng; CHEN Guo-jie; YANG Zhong

    2005-01-01

    This paper introduced the theory and approaches of building driving force models revealing the changes in land utilization level by integrating RS, GPS, and GIS technologies based on the example of Yuanmou County of Yunnan Province. We first created the land utilization type database, natural driving forces for land utilization database, and human driving forces for land utilization database. Then we obtained the dependent and the independent variables of changes in land utilization level by exploring various data. Lastly we screened major factors affecting changes in land utilization level by using the po- werful spatial correlation analysis and main component analysis module of GIS and obtained a multivariable linear regression model of the changes in land utilization level by using GIS spatial regression analysis module.

  9. Mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and apoptosis revealed by proteomic and transcriptomic analyses of the striata in two mouse models of Parkinson’s disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chin, Mark H.; Qian, Weijun; Wang, Haixing; Petyuk, Vladislav A.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Sforza, Daniel M.; Lacan, Goran; Liu, Dahai; Khan, Arshad H.; Cantor, Rita M.; Bigelow, Diana J.; Melega, William P.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Smith, Desmond J.

    2008-02-10

    The molecular mechanisms underlying the changes in the nigrostriatal pathway in Parkinson disease (PD) are not completely understood. Here we use mass spectrometry and microarrays to study the proteomic and transcriptomic changes in the striatum of two mouse models of PD, induced by the distinct neurotoxins 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and methamphetamine (METH). Proteomic analyses resulted in the identification and relative quantification of 912 proteins with two or more unique peptides and 85 proteins with significant abundance changes following neurotoxin treatment. Similarly, microarray analyses revealed 181 genes with significant changes in mRNA following neurotoxin treatment. The combined protein and gene list provides a clearer picture of the potential mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration observed in PD. Functional analysis of this combined list revealed a number of significant categories, including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress response and apoptosis. Additionally, codon usage and miRNAs may play an important role in translational control in the striatum. These results constitute one of the largest datasets integrating protein and transcript changes for these neurotoxin models with many similar endpoint phenotypes but distinct mechanisms.

  10. 'Hit & Run' model of closed-skull traumatic brain injury (TBI) reveals complex patterns of post-traumatic AQP4 dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Zeguang; Iliff, Jeffrey J; Yang, Lijun; Yang, Jiankai; Chen, Xiaolin; Chen, Michael J; Giese, Rebecca N; Wang, Baozhi; Shi, Xuefang; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2013-06-01

    Cerebral edema is a major contributor to morbidity associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The methods involved in most rodent models of TBI, including head fixation, opening of the skull, and prolonged anesthesia, likely alter TBI development and reduce secondary injury. We report the development of a closed-skull model of murine TBI, which minimizes time of anesthesia, allows the monitoring of intracranial pressure (ICP), and can be modulated to produce mild and moderate grade TBI. In this model, we characterized changes in aquaporin-4 (AQP4) expression and localization after mild and moderate TBI. We found that global AQP4 expression after TBI was generally increased; however, analysis of AQP4 localization revealed that the most prominent effect of TBI on AQP4 was the loss of polarized localization at endfoot processes of reactive astrocytes. This AQP4 dysregulation peaked at 7 days after injury and was largely indistinguishable between mild and moderate grade TBI for the first 2 weeks after injury. Within the same model, blood-brain barrieranalysis of variance permeability, cerebral edema, and ICP largely normalized within 7 days after moderate TBI. These findings suggest that changes in AQP4 expression and localization may not contribute to cerebral edema formation, but rather may represent a compensatory mechanism to facilitate its resolution.

  11. Computational modeling of protein mutant stability: analysis and optimization of statistical potentials and structural features reveal insights into prediction model development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhinandan Madenhalli

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding and predicting protein stability upon point mutations has wide-spread importance in molecular biology. Several prediction models have been developed in the past with various algorithms. Statistical potentials are one of the widely used algorithms for the prediction of changes in stability upon point mutations. Although the methods provide flexibility and the capability to develop an accurate and reliable prediction model, it can be achieved only by the right selection of the structural factors and optimization of their parameters for the statistical potentials. In this work, we have selected five atom classification systems and compared their efficiency for the development of amino acid atom potentials. Additionally, torsion angle potentials have been optimized to include the orientation of amino acids in such a way that altered backbone conformation in different secondary structural regions can be included for the prediction model. This study also elaborates the importance of classifying the mutations according to their solvent accessibility and secondary structure specificity. The prediction efficiency has been calculated individually for the mutations in different secondary structural regions and compared. Results Results show that, in addition to using an advanced atom description, stepwise regression and selection of atoms are necessary to avoid the redundancy in atom distribution and improve the reliability of the prediction model validation. Comparing to other atom classification models, Melo-Feytmans model shows better prediction efficiency by giving a high correlation of 0.85 between experimental and theoretical ΔΔG with 84.06% of the mutations correctly predicted out of 1538 mutations. The theoretical ΔΔG values for the mutations in partially buried β-strands generated by the structural training dataset from PISCES gave a correlation of 0.84 without performing the Gaussian apodization of the

  12. Large scale full-length cDNA sequencing reveals a unique genomic landscape in a lepidopteran model insect, Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suetsugu, Yoshitaka; Futahashi, Ryo; Kanamori, Hiroyuki; Kadono-Okuda, Keiko; Sasanuma, Shun-ichi; Narukawa, Junko; Ajimura, Masahiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Namiki, Nobukazu; Shimomura, Michihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Osanai-Futahashi, Mizuko; Suzuki, Masataka G; Daimon, Takaaki; Shinoda, Tetsuro; Taniai, Kiyoko; Asaoka, Kiyoshi; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kawaoka, Shinpei; Katsuma, Susumu; Tamura, Toshiki; Noda, Hiroaki; Kasahara, Masahiro; Sugano, Sumio; Suzuki, Yutaka; Fujiwara, Haruhiko; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Arunkumar, Kallare P; Tomar, Archana; Nagaraju, Javaregowda; Goldsmith, Marian R; Feng, Qili; Xia, Qingyou; Yamamoto, Kimiko; Shimada, Toru; Mita, Kazuei

    2013-09-01

    The establishment of a complete genomic sequence of silkworm, the model species of Lepidoptera, laid a foundation for its functional genomics. A more complete annotation of the genome will benefit functional and comparative studies and accelerate extensive industrial applications for this insect. To realize these goals, we embarked upon a large-scale full-length cDNA collection from 21 full-length cDNA libraries derived from 14 tissues of the domesticated silkworm and performed full sequencing by primer walking for 11,104 full-length cDNAs. The large average intron size was 1904 bp, resulting from a high accumulation of transposons. Using gene models predicted by GLEAN and published mRNAs, we identified 16,823 gene loci on the silkworm genome assembly. Orthology analysis of 153 species, including 11 insects, revealed that among three Lepidoptera including Monarch and Heliconius butterflies, the 403 largest silkworm-specific genes were composed mainly of protective immunity, hormone-related, and characteristic structural proteins. Analysis of testis-/ovary-specific genes revealed distinctive features of sexual dimorphism, including depletion of ovary-specific genes on the Z chromosome in contrast to an enrichment of testis-specific genes. More than 40% of genes expressed in specific tissues mapped in tissue-specific chromosomal clusters. The newly obtained FL-cDNA sequences enabled us to annotate the genome of this lepidopteran model insect more accurately, enhancing genomic and functional studies of Lepidoptera and comparative analyses with other insect orders, and yielding new insights into the evolution and organization of lepidopteran-specific genes.

  13. Molecular and phenotypic characterization of a mouse model of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy reveals severe muscular atrophy restricted to fast glycolytic fibres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trollet, Capucine; Anvar, Seyed Yahya; Venema, Andrea; Hargreaves, Iain P; Foster, Keith; Vignaud, Alban; Ferry, Arnaud; Negroni, Elisa; Hourde, Christophe; Baraibar, Martin A; 't Hoen, Peter A C; Davies, Janet E; Rubinsztein, David C; Heales, Simon J; Mouly, Vincent; van der Maarel, Silvère M; Butler-Browne, Gillian; Raz, Vered; Dickson, George

    2010-06-01

    Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is an adult-onset disorder characterized by ptosis, dysphagia and proximal limb weakness. Autosomal-dominant OPMD is caused by a short (GCG)(8-13) expansions within the first exon of the poly(A)-binding protein nuclear 1 gene (PABPN1), leading to an expanded polyalanine tract in the mutated protein. Expanded PABPN1 forms insoluble aggregates in the nuclei of skeletal muscle fibres. In order to gain insight into the different physiological processes affected in OPMD muscles, we have used a transgenic mouse model of OPMD (A17.1) and performed transcriptomic studies combined with a detailed phenotypic characterization of this model at three time points. The transcriptomic analysis revealed a massive gene deregulation in the A17.1 mice, among which we identified a significant deregulation of pathways associated with muscle atrophy. Using a mathematical model for progression, we have identified that one-third of the progressive genes were also associated with muscle atrophy. Functional and histological analysis of the skeletal muscle of this mouse model confirmed a severe and progressive muscular atrophy associated with a reduction in muscle strength. Moreover, muscle atrophy in the A17.1 mice was restricted to fast glycolytic fibres, containing a large number of intranuclear inclusions (INIs). The soleus muscle and, in particular, oxidative fibres were spared, even though they contained INIs albeit to a lesser degree. These results demonstrate a fibre-type specificity of muscle atrophy in this OPMD model. This study improves our understanding of the biological pathways modified in OPMD to identify potential biomarkers and new therapeutic targets.

  14. Human induced dryland degradation in Ordos Plateau, China, revealed by multilevel statistical modeling of normalized difference vegetation index and rainfall time-series

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing ZHANG; JianMing NIU; Tongliga BAO; Alexander BUYANTUYEV; Qing ZHANG; JianJun DONG; XueFeng ZHANG

    2014-01-01

    Land degradation causes serious environmental problems in many regions of the world, and although it can be effectively assessed and monitored using a time series of rainfall and a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from remotely-sensed imagery, dividing human-induced land degradation from vegetation dynamics due to climate change is not a trivial task. This paper presented a multilevel statistical modeling of the NDVI-rainfall relationship to detect human-induced land degradation at local and landscape scales in the Ordos Plateau of Inner Mongolia, China, and recognized that anthropogenic activities result in either positive (land restoration and re-vegetation) or negative (degradation) trends. Linear regressions were used to assess the accuracy of the multi-level statistical model. The results show that:(1) land restoration was the dominant process in the Ordos Plateau between 1998 and 2012;(2) the effect of the statistical removal of precipitation revealed areas of human-induced land degradation and improvement, the latter reflecting successful restoration projects and changes in land man-agement in many parts of the Ordos; (3) compared to a simple linear regression, multilevel statistical modeling could be used to analyze the relationship between the NDVI and rainfall and improve the accuracy of detecting the effect of human activities. Additional factors should be included when analyzing the NDVI-rainfall relationship and detecting human-induced loss of vegetation cover in drylands to improve the accuracy of the approach and elimi-nate some observed non-significant residual trends.

  15. ‘Get in Early’; Biofilm and Wax Moth (Galleria mellonella) Models Reveal New Insights into the Therapeutic Potential of Clostridium difficile Bacteriophages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nale, Janet Y.; Chutia, Mahananda; Carr, Philippa; Hickenbotham, Peter T.; Clokie, Martha R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a global health threat associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Conventional antibiotic CDI therapy can result in treatment failure and recurrent infection. C. difficile produces biofilms which contribute to its virulence and impair antimicrobial activity. Some bacteriophages (phages) can penetrate biofilms and thus could be developed to either replace or supplement antibiotics. Here, we determined the impact of a previously optimized 4-phage cocktail on C. difficile ribotype 014/020 biofilms, and additionally as adjunct to vancomycin treatment in Galleria mellonella larva CDI model. The phages were applied before or after biofilm establishment in vitro, and the impact was analyzed according to turbidity, viability counts and topography as observed using scanning electron and confocal microscopy. The infectivity profiles and efficacies of orally administered phages and/or vancomycin were ascertained by monitoring colonization levels and larval survival rates. Phages prevented biofilm formation, and penetrated established biofilms. A single phage application reduced colonization causing extended longevity in the remedial treatment and prevented disease in the prophylaxis group. Multiple phage doses significantly improved the larval remedial regimen, and this treatment is comparable to vancomycin and the combined treatments. Taken together, our data suggest that the phages significantly reduce C. difficile biofilms, and prevent colonization in the G. mellonella model when used alone or in combination with vancomycin. The phages appear to be highly promising therapeutics in the targeted eradication of CDI and the use of these models has revealed that prophylactic use could be a propitious therapeutic option. PMID:27630633

  16. 'Get in Early'; Biofilm and Wax Moth (Galleria mellonella) Models Reveal New Insights into the Therapeutic Potential of Clostridium difficile Bacteriophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nale, Janet Y; Chutia, Mahananda; Carr, Philippa; Hickenbotham, Peter T; Clokie, Martha R J

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a global health threat associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Conventional antibiotic CDI therapy can result in treatment failure and recurrent infection. C. difficile produces biofilms which contribute to its virulence and impair antimicrobial activity. Some bacteriophages (phages) can penetrate biofilms and thus could be developed to either replace or supplement antibiotics. Here, we determined the impact of a previously optimized 4-phage cocktail on C. difficile ribotype 014/020 biofilms, and additionally as adjunct to vancomycin treatment in Galleria mellonella larva CDI model. The phages were applied before or after biofilm establishment in vitro, and the impact was analyzed according to turbidity, viability counts and topography as observed using scanning electron and confocal microscopy. The infectivity profiles and efficacies of orally administered phages and/or vancomycin were ascertained by monitoring colonization levels and larval survival rates. Phages prevented biofilm formation, and penetrated established biofilms. A single phage application reduced colonization causing extended longevity in the remedial treatment and prevented disease in the prophylaxis group. Multiple phage doses significantly improved the larval remedial regimen, and this treatment is comparable to vancomycin and the combined treatments. Taken together, our data suggest that the phages significantly reduce C. difficile biofilms, and prevent colonization in the G. mellonella model when used alone or in combination with vancomycin. The phages appear to be highly promising therapeutics in the targeted eradication of CDI and the use of these models has revealed that prophylactic use could be a propitious therapeutic option.

  17. Model-Assisted Analysis of Sugar Metabolism throughout Tomato Fruit Development Reveals Enzyme and Carrier Properties in Relation to Vacuole Expansion[W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauvoit, Bertrand P.; Colombié, Sophie; Monier, Antoine; Andrieu, Marie-Hélène; Biais, Benoit; Bénard, Camille; Chéniclet, Catherine; Dieuaide-Noubhani, Martine; Nazaret, Christine; Mazat, Jean-Pierre; Gibon, Yves

    2014-01-01

    A kinetic model combining enzyme activity measurements and subcellular compartmentation was parameterized to fit the sucrose, hexose, and glucose-6-P contents of pericarp throughout tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit development. The model was further validated using independent data obtained from domesticated and wild tomato species and on transgenic lines. A hierarchical clustering analysis of the calculated fluxes and enzyme capacities together revealed stage-dependent features. Cell division was characterized by a high sucrolytic activity of the vacuole, whereas sucrose cleavage during expansion was sustained by both sucrose synthase and neutral invertase, associated with minimal futile cycling. Most importantly, a tight correlation between flux rate and enzyme capacity was found for fructokinase and PPi-dependent phosphofructokinase during cell division and for sucrose synthase, UDP-glucopyrophosphorylase, and phosphoglucomutase during expansion, thus suggesting an adaptation of enzyme abundance to metabolic needs. In contrast, for most enzymes, flux rates varied irrespectively of enzyme capacities, and most enzymes functioned at <5% of their maximal catalytic capacity. One of the major findings with the model was the high accumulation of soluble sugars within the vacuole together with organic acids, thus enabling the osmotic-driven vacuole expansion that was found during cell division. PMID:25139005

  18. Microbiome-metabolome analysis reveals unhealthy alterations in the composition and metabolism of ruminal microbiota with increasing dietary grain in a goat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Sheng-Yong; Huo, Wen-Jie; Zhu, Wei-Yun

    2016-02-01

    Currently, knowledge about the impact of high-grain (HG) feeding on rumen microbiota and metabolome is limited. In this study, a combination of the 454 pyrosequencing strategy and the mass spectrometry-based metabolomics technique was applied to investigate the effects of increased dietary grain (0%, 25% and 50% maize grain) on changes in whole ruminal microbiota and their metabolites using goat as a ruminant model. We observed a significant influence of HG feeding in shaping the ruminal bacterial community structure, diversity and composition, with an overall dominance of bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes along with a low abundance of Bacteriodetes in the HG group. High-grain feeding increased the number of ciliate and methanogens, and decreased the density of anaerobic fungi and the richness of the archaeal community. The metabolomics analysis revealed that HG feeding increased the levels of several toxic, inflammatory and unnatural compounds, including endotoxin, tryptamine, tyramine, histamine and phenylacetate. Correlation analysis on the combined datasets revealed some potential relationships between ruminal metabolites and certain microbial species. Information about these relationships may prove useful in either direct (therapeutic) or indirect (dietary) interventions for ruminal disorders due to microbial compositional shifts, such as ruminal acidosis. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Cellular model of neuronal atrophy induced by DYNC1I1 deficiency reveals protective roles of RAS-RAF-MEK signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhi-Dong Liu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Neuronal atrophy is a common pathological feature occurred in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. A variety of abnormalities including motor protein malfunction and mitochondrial dysfunction contribute to the loss of neuronal architecture; however, less is known about the intracellular signaling pathways that can protect against or delay this pathogenic process. Here, we show that the DYNC1I1 deficiency, a neuron-specific dynein intermediate chain, causes neuronal atrophy in primary hippocampal neurons. With this cellular model, we are able to find that activation of RAS-RAF-MEK signaling protects against neuronal atrophy induced by DYNC1I1 deficiency, which relies on MEK-dependent autophagy in neuron. Moreover, we further reveal that BRAF also protects against neuronal atrophy induced by mitochondrial impairment. These findings demonstrate protective roles of the RAS-RAF-MEK axis against neuronal atrophy, and imply a new therapeutic target for clinical intervention.

  20. Phylogeographic analysis and environmental niche modeling of widespread shrub Rhododendron simsii in China reveals multiple glacial refugia during the last glacial maximum

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yong LI; Hai-Fei YAN; Xue-Jun GE

    2012-01-01

    The phylogeography of common and widespread species can help us to understand the history of local flora and vegetation.Here,we study the semi-evergreen shrub Rhododendron simsii Planch.,which is found in most areas of current evergreen broad leaved forest in China.Two noncoding chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) regions(rpl20-rps12 and trnL-F) and three amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) primer sets (E-AAC/M-CTA,E-AGC/M-CTA and E-AGG/M-CAT) were used to examine the phylogeographic pattern in relation to past (last glacial maximum) and present distributions based on ecological niche modeling.The cpDNA data revealed four phylogeographic groups (East,South,West,and North groups) corresponding to geographic regions.Molecular dating suggests that lineage diversification within species likely occurred during the mid-to-late Pleistocene.In contrast,the four main cpDNA phylogeographic groups were not supported by the AFLP dataset.The highest likelihood of the AFLP data was obtained when samples were clustered into three groups (K =3).However,these groupings did not correspond to separate geographic regions supported by cpDNA data.Both mismatch distribution analysis and environmental niche modeling (ENM) indicated that multiple glacial refugia were maintained across the range of Rhododendron simsii during the last glacial maximum,contrary to the previous hypothesis that subtropical broad leaved evergreen forests were forced to retreat southward as far as 25°N.The discordance between the patterns revealed by cpDNA and AFLP data indicate that localized postglacial range expansions may facilitate extensive gene flow between the major glacial refugia.

  1. Imaging mass spectrometry reveals elevated nigral levels of dynorphin neuropeptides in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Ljungdahl

    Full Text Available L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia is a troublesome complication of L-DOPA pharmacotherapy of Parkinson's disease and has been associated with disturbed brain opioid transmission. However, so far the results of clinical and preclinical studies on the effects of opioids agonists and antagonists have been contradictory at best. Prodynorphin mRNA levels correlate well with the severity of dyskinesia in animal models of Parkinson's disease; however the identities of the actual neuroactive opioid effectors in their target basal ganglia output structures have not yet been determined. For the first time MALDI-TOF imaging mass spectrometry (IMS was used for unbiased assessment and topographical elucidation of prodynorphin-derived peptides in the substantia nigra of a unilateral rat model of Parkinson's disease and L-DOPA induced dyskinesia. Nigral levels of dynorphin B and alpha-neoendorphin strongly correlated with the severity of dyskinesia. Even if dynorphin peptide levels were elevated in both the medial and lateral part of the substantia nigra, MALDI IMS analysis revealed that the most prominent changes were localized to the lateral part of the substantia nigra. MALDI IMS is advantageous compared with traditional molecular methods, such as radioimmunoassay, in that neither the molecular identity analyzed, nor the specific localization needs to be predetermined. Indeed, MALDI IMS revealed that the bioconverted metabolite leu-enkephalin-arg also correlated positively with severity of dyskinesia. Multiplexing DynB and leu-enkephalin-arg ion images revealed small (0.25 by 0.5 mm nigral subregions with complementing ion intensities, indicating localized peptide release followed by bioconversion. The nigral dynorphins associated with L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia were not those with high affinity to kappa opioid receptors, but consisted of shorter peptides, mainly dynorphin B and alpha-neoendorphin that are known to bind and activate mu and delta opioid receptors

  2. Characterization of a Novel Murine Model of Staphylococcus saprophyticus Urinary Tract Infection Reveals Roles for Ssp and SdrI in Virulence▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Kimberly A.; Ingersoll, Molly A.; Nielsen, Hailyn V.; Sakinc, Türkan; Henriques-Normark, Birgitta; Gatermann, Sören; Caparon, Michael G.; Hultgren, Scott J.

    2010-01-01

    Staphylococcus saprophyticus, an obligate human pathogen, is the most common Gram-positive causative agent of urinary tract infection (UTI) in young, healthy women. Despite the clinical importance of S. saprophyticus, little is known about how it causes disease in the urinary tract or how the host responds to the infection. Here we established an in vivo model to study both host and bacterial factors contributing to S. saprophyticus UTI. Using this model, we show that S. saprophyticus preferentially infects C3H/HeN murine kidneys instead of the bladder, a trait observed for multiple clinical isolates. Bacterial persistence in the kidneys was observed in C3H/HeN mice but not in C57BL/6 mice, indicating that host factors strongly contribute to the ability of S. saprophyticus to cause UTI. Using C3H/HeN mice as a model, histologic and immunofluorescence analyses of infected tissues revealed that S. saprophyticus induced epithelial cell shedding in the bladder and an inflammatory response characterized by macrophage and neutrophil infiltration in the bladder and kidneys. The inflammatory response correlated with increased production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in both the bladder and the kidneys. Finally, we observed that the putative S. saprophyticus virulence factors Ssp and SdrI were important for persistence, but not for initial colonization, in the murine urinary tract. Thus, we characterized both host and bacterial factors involved in progression of S. saprophyticus UTI, and we describe a useful model system for studying factors involved in the pathogenesis of this Gram-positive uropathogen. PMID:20176795

  3. Joint Profiling of miRNAs and mRNAs Reveals miRNA Mediated Gene Regulation in the Göttingen Minipig Obesity Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mentzel, Caroline M Junker; Alkan, Ferhat; Keinicke, Helle; Jacobsen, Mette J; Gorodkin, Jan; Fredholm, Merete; Cirera, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Obesity and its comorbidities are an increasing challenge for both affected individuals and health care systems, worldwide. In obese individuals, perturbation of expression of both protein-coding genes and microRNAs (miRNA) are seen in obesity-relevant tissues (i.e. adipose tissue, liver and skeletal muscle). miRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules which have important regulatory roles in a wide range of biological processes, including obesity. Rodents are widely used animal models for human diseases including obesity. However, not all research is applicable for human health or diseases. In contrast, pigs are emerging as an excellent animal model for obesity studies, due to their similarities in their metabolism, their digestive tract and their genetics, when compared to humans. The Göttingen minipig is a small sized easy-to-handle pig breed which has been extensively used for modeling human obesity, due to its capacity to develop severe obesity when fed ad libitum. The aim of this study was to identify differentially expressed of protein-coding genes and miRNAs in a Göttingen minipig obesity model. Liver, skeletal muscle and abdominal adipose tissue were sampled from 7 lean and 7 obese minipigs. Differential gene expression was investigated using high-throughput quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) on 90 mRNAs and 72 miRNAs. The results revealed de-regulation of several obesity and inflammation-relevant protein-coding genes and miRNAs in all tissues examined. Many genes that are known to be de-regulated in obese humans were confirmed in the obese minipigs and several of these genes have target sites for miRNAs expressed in the opposing direction of the gene, confirming miRNA-mediated regulation in obesity. These results confirm the translational value of the pig for human obesity studies.

  4. Equation-free analysis of two-component system signalling model reveals the emergence of co-existing phenotypes in the absence of multistationarity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca B Hoyle

    Full Text Available Phenotypic differences of genetically identical cells under the same environmental conditions have been attributed to the inherent stochasticity of biochemical processes. Various mechanisms have been suggested, including the existence of alternative steady states in regulatory networks that are reached by means of stochastic fluctuations, long transient excursions from a stable state to an unstable excited state, and the switching on and off of a reaction network according to the availability of a constituent chemical species. Here we analyse a detailed stochastic kinetic model of two-component system signalling in bacteria, and show that alternative phenotypes emerge in the absence of these features. We perform a bifurcation analysis of deterministic reaction rate equations derived from the model, and find that they cannot reproduce the whole range of qualitative responses to external signals demonstrated by direct stochastic simulations. In particular, the mixed mode, where stochastic switching and a graded response are seen simultaneously, is absent. However, probabilistic and equation-free analyses of the stochastic model that calculate stationary states for the mean of an ensemble of stochastic trajectories reveal that slow transcription of either response regulator or histidine kinase leads to the coexistence of an approximate basal solution and a graded response that combine to produce the mixed mode, thus establishing its essential stochastic nature. The same techniques also show that stochasticity results in the observation of an all-or-none bistable response over a much wider range of external signals than would be expected on deterministic grounds. Thus we demonstrate the application of numerical equation-free methods to a detailed biochemical reaction network model, and show that it can provide new insight into the role of stochasticity in the emergence of phenotypic diversity.

  5. Characterization of a novel murine model of Staphylococcus saprophyticus urinary tract infection reveals roles for Ssp and SdrI in virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Kimberly A; Ingersoll, Molly A; Nielsen, Hailyn V; Sakinc, Türkan; Henriques-Normark, Birgitta; Gatermann, Sören; Caparon, Michael G; Hultgren, Scott J

    2010-05-01

    Staphylococcus saprophyticus, an obligate human pathogen, is the most common Gram-positive causative agent of urinary tract infection (UTI) in young, healthy women. Despite the clinical importance of S. saprophyticus, little is known about how it causes disease in the urinary tract or how the host responds to the infection. Here we established an in vivo model to study both host and bacterial factors contributing to S. saprophyticus UTI. Using this model, we show that S. saprophyticus preferentially infects C3H/HeN murine kidneys instead of the bladder, a trait observed for multiple clinical isolates. Bacterial persistence in the kidneys was observed in C3H/HeN mice but not in C57BL/6 mice, indicating that host factors strongly contribute to the ability of S. saprophyticus to cause UTI. Using C3H/HeN mice as a model, histologic and immunofluorescence analyses of infected tissues revealed that S. saprophyticus induced epithelial cell shedding in the bladder and an inflammatory response characterized by macrophage and neutrophil infiltration in the bladder and kidneys. The inflammatory response correlated with increased production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in both the bladder and the kidneys. Finally, we observed that the putative S. saprophyticus virulence factors Ssp and SdrI were important for persistence, but not for initial colonization, in the murine urinary tract. Thus, we characterized both host and bacterial factors involved in progression of S. saprophyticus UTI, and we describe a useful model system for studying factors involved in the pathogenesis of this Gram-positive uropathogen.

  6. Disrupted effective connectivity between the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex in social anxiety disorder during emotion discrimination revealed by dynamic causal modeling for FMRI.

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    Sladky, Ronald; Höflich, Anna; Küblböck, Martin; Kraus, Christoph; Baldinger, Pia; Moser, Ewald; Lanzenberger, Rupert; Windischberger, Christian

    2015-04-01

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by over-reactivity of fear-related circuits in social or performance situations and associated with marked social impairment. We used dynamic causal modeling (DCM), a method to evaluate effective connectivity, to test our hypothesis that SAD patients would exhibit dysfunctions in the amygdala-prefrontal emotion regulation network. Thirteen unmedicated SAD patients and 13 matched healthy controls performed a series of facial emotion and object discrimination tasks while undergoing fMRI. The emotion-processing network was identified by a task-related contrast and motivated the selection of the right amygdala, OFC, and DLPFC for DCM analysis. Bayesian model averaging for DCM revealed abnormal connectivity between the OFC and the amygdala in SAD patients. In healthy controls, this network represents a negative feedback loop. In patients, however, positive connectivity from OFC to amygdala was observed, indicating an excitatory connection. As we did not observe a group difference of the modulatory influence of the FACE condition on the OFC to amygdala connection, we assume a context-independent reduction of prefrontal control over amygdalar activation in SAD patients. Using DCM, it was possible to highlight not only the neuronal dysfunction of isolated brain regions, but also the dysbalance of a distributed functional network.

  7. Point correlation dimension can reveal functional changes caused by gap junction blockers in the 4-aminopyridine in vivo rat epilepsy model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jardanhazy, Anett [Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Semmelweis u. 6, Szeged H-6725 (Hungary); Molnar, Mark [Department of Psychophysiology, Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 398, Budapest H-1394 (Hungary)], E-mail: molnar@cogpsyphy.hu; Jardanhazy, Tamas [Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Semmelweis u. 6, Szeged H-6725 (Hungary)], E-mail: jt@nepsy.szote.u-szeged.hu

    2009-04-15

    The contribution of gap junction (GJ) blockers to seizure initiation was reexamined by means of an analysis on nonlinear dynamics with point correlation dimension (PD2i) at as well as around the primary focus, and mirror focus in an already active 4-aminopyridine-induced in vivo epilepsy model. From the data base of the ECoGs of anesthetized adult rats treated with quinine, a selective blocker of Cx36, and in combination with an additional broad-spectrum GJ blocker, carbenoxolone, 14 cases of each condition were reexamined with a stationarity insensitive nonlinear PD2i method. The blockade of the Cx36 channels decreased the usual drop of the point correlation dimension at the beginning of the seizures, and this was enhanced by the additional use of the global blocker carbenoxolone. The so-called characteristic DC shift just prior to seizure onset denotes a low dimensional seizure event and the recognizable seizures display very variable, rapidly changing dynamics, as revealed by the PD2i analysis. This nonlinear PD2i analysis demonstrated that the different GJ blockers in the already active epileptic model helped seizure initiation, but exerted inhibitory effects on the seizure onset itself, acting differently on the local components of the network organization generating seizure discharges, possibly changing the coupling strengths and time delays in the GJ-s.

  8. High-resolution, terrestrial radar velocity observations and model results reveal a strong bed at stable, tidewater Rink Isbræ, West Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomaus, T. C.; Walker, R. T.; Stearns, L. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Cassotto, R.; Catania, G. A.; Felikson, D.; Fried, M.; Sutherland, D.; Nash, J. D.; Shroyer, E.

    2015-12-01

    At tidewater Rink Isbræ, on the central west coast of Greenland, satellite observations reveal that glacier velocities and terminus positions have remained stable, while the lowest 25 km have thinned 30 m since 1985. Over this same time period, other tidewater glaciers in central west Greenland have retreated, thinned and accelerated. Here we present field observations and model results to show that the flow of Rink Isbræ is resisted by unusually high basal shear stresses. Terrestrial radar interferometry (TRI) observations over 9 days in summer 2014 demonstrate weak velocity response to 4 km wide, full thickness calving events. Velocities at the terminus change by +/- 10% in response to rising and falling tides within a partial-width, 2.5-km-long floating ice tongue; however these tidal perturbations damp out within 2 km of the grounding line. Inversions for basal shear stress and force balance analyses together show that basal shear stresses in excess of 300 kPa support the majority of the driving stress at thick, steep Rink Isbræ. These observational and modeling results tell a consistent story in which a strong bed may limit the unstable tidewater glacier retreats observed elsewhere. Rink Isbræ has an erosion resistant quartzite bed with low fracture density. We hypothesize that this geology may play a major role in the bed strength.

  9. Kinetic Modeling Reveals the Roles of Reactive Oxygen Species Scavenging and DNA Repair Processes in Shaping the Dose-Response Curve of KBrO₃-Induced DNA Damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spassova, Maria A; Miller, David J; Nikolov, Alexander S

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a kinetic model to investigate how DNA repair processes and scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can affect the dose-response shape of prooxidant induced DNA damage. We used as an example chemical KBrO3 which is activated by glutathione and forms reactive intermediates that directly interact with DNA to form 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine DNA adducts (8-OH-dG). The single strand breaks (SSB) that can result from failed base excision repair of these adducts were considered as an effect downstream from 8-OH-dG. We previously demonstrated that, in the presence of effective base excision repair, 8-OH-dG can exhibit threshold-like dose-response dependence, while the downstream SSB can still exhibit a linear dose-response. Here we demonstrate that this result holds for a variety of conditions, including low levels of GSH, the presence of additional SSB repair mechanisms, or a scavenger. It has been shown that melatonin, a terminal scavenger, inhibits KBrO3-caused oxidative damage. Our modeling revealed that sustained exposure to KBrO3 can lead to fast scavenger exhaustion, in which case the dose-response shapes for both endpoints are not substantially affected. The results are important to consider when forming conclusions on a chemical's toxicity dose dependence based on the dose-response of early genotoxic events.

  10. Copper(II)-bis-histidine coordination structure in a fibrillar amyloid β-peptide fragment and model complexes revealed by electron spin echo envelope modulation spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández-Guzmán, Jessica; Sun, Li; Mehta, Anil K; Dong, Jijun; Lynn, David G; Warncke, Kurt

    2013-09-23

    Truncated and mutated amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides are models for systematic study-in homogeneous preparations-of the molecular origins of metal ion effects on Aβ aggregation rates, types of aggregate structures formed, and cytotoxicity. The 3D geometry of bis-histidine imidazole coordination of Cu(II) in fibrils of the nonapetide acetyl-Aβ(13-21)H14A has been determined by powder (14) N electron spin echo envelope modulation (ESEEM) spectroscopy. The method of simulation of the anisotropic combination modulation is described and benchmarked for a Cu(II) -bis-cis-imidazole complex of known structure. The revealed bis-cis coordination mode, and the mutual orientation of the imidazole rings, for Cu(II) in Ac-Aβ(13-21)H14A fibrils are consistent with the proposed β-sheet structural model and pairwise peptide interaction with Cu(II) , with an alternating [-metal-vacancy-]n pattern, along the N-terminal edge. Metal coordination does not significantly distort the intra-β-strand peptide interactions, which provides a possible explanation for the acceleration of Ac-Aβ(13-21)H14A fibrillization by Cu(II) , through stabilization of the associated state and low-reorganization integration of β-strand peptide pair precursors.

  11. ‘Get in early’; biofilm and wax moth (Galleria mellonella models reveal new insights into the therapeutic potential of Clostridium difficile bacteriophages

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    Janet Yakubu Nale

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium difficile infection (CDI is a global health threat associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Conventional antibiotic CDI therapy can result in treatment failure and recurrent infection. C. difficile produces biofilms which contribute to its virulence and impair antimicrobial activity. Some bacteriophages (phages can penetrate biofilms and thus could be developed to either replace or supplement antibiotics. Here, we determined the impact of a previously optimized 4-phage cocktail on C. difficile ribotype 014/020 biofilms, and additionally as adjunct to vancomycin treatment in Galleria mellonella larva CDI model. The phages were applied before or after biofilm establishment in vitro, and the impact was analyzed according to turbidity, viability counts and topography as observed using scanning electron and confocal microscopy. The infectivity profiles and efficacies of orally administered phages and/or vancomycin were ascertained by monitoring colonization levels and larval survival rates. Phages prevented biofilm formation, and penetrated established biofilms. A single phage application reduced colonization causing extended longevity in the remedial treatment and prevented disease in the prophylaxis group. Multiple phage doses significantly improved the larval remedial regimen, and this treatment is comparable to vancomycin and the combined treatments. Taken together, our data suggest that the phages significantly reduce C. difficile biofilms, and prevent colonization in the G. mellonella model when used alone or in combination with vancomycin. The phages appear to be highly promising therapeutics in the targeted eradication of CDI and the use of these models has revealed that prophylactic use could be a propitious therapeutic option.

  12. A new model of organic solar cells reveals open circuit conditions and size dependent power loss induced by the finite conductivity of a transparent contact

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    Gotleyb, Dor; Shikler, Rafi

    2017-01-01

    We report on a new approach to modelling the effect of the size of organic solar cells on their efficiency. Experimental results show a drastic deterioration in performance when scaling up organic solar cells. This reduction reflects in key parameters such as the short circuit current (Is c ) , the maximum power point (Pm ) , and the Fill Factor (F F ) . It is attributed to the transparent anode that exhibits a relatively low conductivity (σ) . Our unique approach is to account for the interplay between the two sub-domains of the solar cell. In the first domain, containing the electro-optic active materials, we solve the drift-diffusion model using a simplified model for the recombination to emphasize the role of the anode resistance. In the second domain, representing the anode, we solve only the Laplace equation. We introduce the coupling between these layers using the current of the active layer as the boundary condition for the anode and the position dependent potential of the anode as the boundary condition for the active layer. Our results reveal that as the length of the cell increases, the parts that are farther from the contact exhibit near open circuit conditions and do not contribute to the current. We found that the efficiency of the cell altered from linear to sub-linear behavior already at cell lengths of a few millimeters. The transition point strongly depends on the conductivity of the anode. The sub-linearity starts at 0.4, 0.5, and 0.7 cm for σ=100 , 200 , and 500 S /cm , respectively. Additionally, the efficiency begins to saturate sooner than both the short circuit current and the Fill-Factor. The saturation is observed at device lengths of 0.8, 1.2, and 2.1 cm for σ=100 , 200 , and 500 S /cm , respectively.

  13. IL-2 immunotherapy reveals potential for innate beta cell regeneration in the non-obese diabetic mouse model of autoimmune diabetes.

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    Yaiza Diaz-de-Durana

    Full Text Available Type-1 diabetes (T1D is an autoimmune disease targeting insulin-producing beta cells, resulting in dependence on exogenous insulin. To date, significant efforts have been invested to develop immune-modulatory therapies for T1D treatment. Previously, IL-2 immunotherapy was demonstrated to prevent and reverse T1D at onset in the non-obese diabetic (NOD mouse model, revealing potential as a therapy in early disease stage in humans. In the NOD model, IL-2 deficiency contributes to a loss of regulatory T cell function. This deficiency can be augmented with IL-2 or antibody bound to IL-2 (Ab/IL-2 therapy, resulting in regulatory T cell expansion and potentiation. However, an understanding of the mechanism by which reconstituted regulatory T cell function allows for reversal of diabetes after onset is not clearly understood. Here, we describe that Ab/IL-2 immunotherapy treatment, given at the time of diabetes onset in NOD mice, not only correlated with reversal of diabetes and expansion of Treg cells, but also demonstrated the ability to significantly increase beta cell proliferation. Proliferation appeared specific to Ab/IL-2 immunotherapy, as anti-CD3 therapy did not have a similar effect. Furthermore, to assess the effect of Ab/IL-2 immunotherapy well after the development of diabetes, we tested the effect of delaying treatment for 4 weeks after diabetes onset, when beta cells were virtually absent. At this late stage after diabetes onset, Ab/IL-2 treatment was not sufficient to reverse hyperglycemia. However, it did promote survival in the absence of exogenous insulin. Proliferation of beta cells could not account for this improvement as few beta cells remained. Rather, abnormal insulin and glucagon dual-expressing cells were the only insulin-expressing cells observed in islets from mice with established disease. Thus, these data suggest that in diabetic NOD mice, beta cells have an innate capacity for regeneration both early and late in disease

  14. Computer modelling reveals new conformers of the ATP binding loop of Na+/K+-ATPase involved in the transphosphorylation process of the sodium pump

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    Tejral, Gracian; Sopko, Bruno; Necas, Alois; Schoner, Wilhelm

    2017-01-01

    Hydrolysis of ATP by Na+/K+-ATPase, a P-Type ATPase, catalyzing active Na+ and K+ transport through cellular membranes leads transiently to a phosphorylation of its catalytical α-subunit. Surprisingly, three-dimensional molecular structure analysis of P-type ATPases reveals that binding of ATP to the N-domain connected by a hinge to the P-domain is much too far away from the Asp369 to allow the transfer of ATP’s terminal phosphate to its aspartyl-phosphorylation site. In order to get information for how the transfer of the γ-phosphate group of ATP to the Asp369 is achieved, analogous molecular modeling of the M4–M5 loop of ATPase was performed using the crystal data of Na+/K+-ATPase of different species. Analogous molecular modeling of the cytoplasmic loop between Thr338 and Ile760 of the α2-subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase and the analysis of distances between the ATP binding site and phosphorylation site revealed the existence of two ATP binding sites in the open conformation; the first one close to Phe475 in the N-domain, the other one close to Asp369 in the P-domain. However, binding of Mg2+•ATP to any of these sites in the “open conformation” may not lead to phosphorylation of Asp369. Additional conformations of the cytoplasmic loop were found wobbling between “open conformation”  “semi-open conformation  “closed conformation” in the absence of 2Mg2+•ATP. The cytoplasmic loop’s conformational change to the “semi-open conformation”—characterized by a hydrogen bond between Arg543 and Asp611—triggers by binding of 2Mg2+•ATP to a single ATP site and conversion to the “closed conformation” the phosphorylation of Asp369 in the P-domain, and hence the start of Na+/K+-activated ATP hydrolysis. PMID:28316890

  15. Computer modelling reveals new conformers of the ATP binding loop of Na+/K+-ATPase involved in the transphosphorylation process of the sodium pump

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gracian Tejral

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Hydrolysis of ATP by Na+/K+-ATPase, a P-Type ATPase, catalyzing active Na+ and K+ transport through cellular membranes leads transiently to a phosphorylation of its catalytical α-subunit. Surprisingly, three-dimensional molecular structure analysis of P-type ATPases reveals that binding of ATP to the N-domain connected by a hinge to the P-domain is much too far away from the Asp369 to allow the transfer of ATP’s terminal phosphate to its aspartyl-phosphorylation site. In order to get information for how the transfer of the γ-phosphate group of ATP to the Asp369 is achieved, analogous molecular modeling of the M4–M5 loop of ATPase was performed using the crystal data of Na+/K+-ATPase of different species. Analogous molecular modeling of the cytoplasmic loop between Thr338 and Ile760 of the α2-subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase and the analysis of distances between the ATP binding site and phosphorylation site revealed the existence of two ATP binding sites in the open conformation; the first one close to Phe475 in the N-domain, the other one close to Asp369 in the P-domain. However, binding of Mg2+•ATP to any of these sites in the “open conformation” may not lead to phosphorylation of Asp369. Additional conformations of the cytoplasmic loop were found wobbling between “open conformation”  “semi-open conformation  “closed conformation” in the absence of 2Mg2+•ATP. The cytoplasmic loop’s conformational change to the “semi-open conformation”—characterized by a hydrogen bond between Arg543 and Asp611—triggers by binding of 2Mg2+•ATP to a single ATP site and conversion to the “closed conformation” the phosphorylation of Asp369 in the P-domain, and hence the start of Na+/K+-activated ATP hydrolysis.

  16. FTIR-ATR-based prediction and modelling of lignin and energy contents reveals independent intra-specific variation of these traits in bioenergy poplars

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    Taylor Gail

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is an increasing demand for renewable resources to replace fossil fuels. However, different applications such as the production of secondary biofuels or combustion for energy production require different wood properties. Therefore, high-throughput methods are needed for rapid screening of wood in large scale samples, e.g., to evaluate the outcome of tree breeding or genetic engineering. In this study, we investigated the intra-specific variability of lignin and energy contents in extractive-free wood of hybrid poplar progenies (Populus trichocarpa × deltoides and tested if the range was sufficient for the development of quantitative prediction models based on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR. Since lignin is a major energy-bearing compound, we expected that the energy content of wood would be positively correlated with the lignin content. Results Lignin contents of extractive-free poplar wood samples determined by the acetyl bromide method ranged from 23.4% to 32.1%, and the calorific values measured with a combustion calorimeter varied from 17260 to 19767 J g-1. For the development of calibration models partial least square regression and cross validation was applied to correlate FTIR spectra determined with an attenuated total reflectance (ATR unit to measured values of lignin or energy contents. The best models with high coefficients of determination (R2 (calibration = 0.91 and 0.90; R2 (cross-validation = 0.81 and 0.79 and low root mean square errors of cross validation (RMSECV = 0.77% and 62 J g-1 for lignin and energy determination, respectively, were obtained after data pre-processing and automatic wavenumber restriction. The calibration models were validated by analyses of independent sets of wood samples yielding R2 = 0.88 and 0.86 for lignin and energy contents, respectively. Conclusions These results show that FTIR-ATR spectroscopy is suitable as a high-throughput method for lignin and energy

  17. A novel TCR transgenic model reveals that negative selection involves an immediate, Bim-dependent pathway and a delayed, Bim-independent pathway.

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    Damian Kovalovsky

    Full Text Available A complete understanding of negative selection has been elusive due to the rapid apoptosis and clearance of thymocytes in vivo. We report a TCR transgenic model in which expression of the TCR during differentiation occurs only after V(DJ-like recombination. TCR expression from this transgene closely mimics expression of the endogenous TCRalpha locus allowing for development that is similar to wild type thymocytes. This model allowed us to characterize the phenotypic changes that occurred after TCR-mediated signaling in self-reactive thymocytes prior to their deletion in a highly physiological setting. Self-reactive thymocytes were identified as being immature, activated and CD4(loCD8(lo. These cells had upregulated markers of negative selection and were apoptotic. Elimination of Bim reduced the apoptosis of self-reactive thymocytes, but it did not rescue their differentiation and the cells remained at the immature CD4(loCD8(lo stage of development. These cells upregulate Nur77 and do not contribute to the peripheral T cell repertoire in vivo. Remarkably, development past the CD4(loCD8(lo stage was possible once the cells were removed from the negatively selecting thymic environment. In vitro development of these cells occurred despite their maintenance of high intracellular levels of Nur77. Therefore, in vivo, negatively selected Bim-deficient thymocytes are eliminated after prolonged developmental arrest via a Bim-independent pathway that is dependent on the thymic microenvironment. These data newly reveal a layering of immediate, Bim-dependent, and delayed Bim-independent pathways that both contribute to elimination of self-reactive thymocytes in vivo.

  18. Trial-by-Trial Modulation of Associative Memory Formation by Reward Prediction Error and Reward Anticipation as Revealed by a Biologically Plausible Computational Model

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    Aberg, Kristoffer C.; Müller, Julia; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Anticipation and delivery of rewards improves memory formation, but little effort has been made to disentangle their respective contributions to memory enhancement. Moreover, it has been suggested that the effects of reward on memory are mediated by dopaminergic influences on hippocampal plasticity. Yet, evidence linking memory improvements to actual reward computations reflected in the activity of the dopaminergic system, i.e., prediction errors and expected values, is scarce and inconclusive. For example, different previous studies reported that the magnitude of prediction errors during a reinforcement learning task was a positive, negative, or non-significant predictor of successfully encoding simultaneously presented images. Individual sensitivities to reward and punishment have been found to influence the activation of the dopaminergic reward system and could therefore help explain these seemingly discrepant results. Here, we used a novel associative memory task combined with computational modeling and showed independent effects of reward-delivery and reward-anticipation on memory. Strikingly, the computational approach revealed positive influences from both reward delivery, as mediated by prediction error magnitude, and reward anticipation, as mediated by magnitude of expected value, even in the absence of behavioral effects when analyzed using standard methods, i.e., by collapsing memory performance across trials within conditions. We additionally measured trait estimates of reward and punishment sensitivity and found that individuals with increased reward (vs. punishment) sensitivity had better memory for associations encoded during positive (vs. negative) prediction errors when tested after 20 min, but a negative trend when tested after 24 h. In conclusion, modeling trial-by-trial fluctuations in the magnitude of reward, as we did here for prediction errors and expected value computations, provides a comprehensive and biologically plausible description of

  19. Acetylome analysis reveals the involvement of lysine acetylation in photosynthesis and carbon metabolism in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Ran; Yang, Mingkun; Chen, Zhuo; Cheng, Zhongyi; Yi, Xingling; Li, Chongyang; He, Chenliu; Xiong, Qian; Chen, Hui; Wang, Qiang; Ge, Feng

    2015-02-06

    Cyanobacteria are the oldest known life form inhabiting Earth and the only prokaryotes capable of performing oxygenic photosynthesis. Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (Synechocystis) is a model cyanobacterium used extensively in research on photosynthesis and environmental adaptation. Posttranslational protein modification by lysine acetylation plays a critical regulatory role in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes; however, its extent and function in cyanobacteria remain unexplored. Herein, we performed a global acetylome analysis on Synechocystis through peptide prefractionation, antibody enrichment, and high accuracy LC-MS/MS analysis; identified 776 acetylation sites on 513 acetylated proteins; and functionally categorized them into an interaction map showing their involvement in various biological processes. Consistent with previous reports, a large fraction of the acetylation sites are present on proteins involved in cellular metabolism. Interestingly, for the first time, many proteins involved in photosynthesis, including the subunits of phycocyanin (CpcA, CpcB, CpcC, and CpcG) and allophycocyanin (ApcA, ApcB, ApcD, ApcE, and ApcF), were found to be lysine acetylated, suggesting that lysine acetylation may play regulatory roles in the photosynthesis process. Six identified acetylated proteins associated with photosynthesis and carbon metabolism were further validated by immunoprecipitation and Western blotting. Our data provide the first global survey of lysine acetylation in cyanobacteria and reveal previously unappreciated roles of lysine acetylation in the regulation of photosynthesis. The provided data set may serve as an important resource for the functional analysis of lysine acetylation in cyanobacteria and facilitate the elucidation of the entire metabolic networks and photosynthesis process in this model cyanobacterium.

  20. Structural modeling and mutational analysis of yeast eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A reveal new critical residues and reinforce its involvement in protein synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Camila A. O.; Cano, Veridiana S. P.; Rangel, Suzana M.; Apponi, Luciano H.; Frigieri, Mariana C.; Muniz, João R. C.; Garcia, Wanius; Park, Myung H.; Garratt, Richard C.; Zanelli, Cleslei F.; Valentini, Sandro R.

    2017-01-01

    Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) is a protein that is highly conserved and essential for cell viability. This factor is the only protein known to contain the unique and essential amino acid residue hypusine. This work focused on the structural and functional characterization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae eIF5A. The tertiary structure of yeast eIF5A was modeled based on the structure of its Leishmania mexicana homologue and this model was used to predict the structural localization of new site-directed and randomly generated mutations. Most of the 40 new mutants exhibited phenotypes that resulted from eIF-5A protein-folding defects. Our data provided evidence that the C-terminal α-helix present in yeast eIF5A is an essential structural element, whereas the eIF5A N-terminal 10 amino acid extension not present in archaeal eIF5A homologs, is not. Moreover, the mutants containing substitutions at or in the vicinity of the hypusine modification site displayed nonviable or temperature-sensitive phenotypes and were defective in hypusine modification. Interestingly, two of the temperature-sensitive strains produced stable mutant eIF5A proteins – eIF5AK56A and eIF5AQ22H,L93F – and showed defects in protein synthesis at the restrictive temperature. Our data revealed important structural features of eIF5A that are required for its vital role in cell viability and underscored an essential function of eIF5A in the translation step of gene expression. PMID:18341589

  1. Massively parallel sequencing reveals the complex structure of an irradiated human chromosome on a mouse background in the Tc1 model of Down syndrome.

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    Susan M Gribble

    Full Text Available Down syndrome (DS is caused by trisomy of chromosome 21 (Hsa21 and presents a complex phenotype that arises from abnormal dosage of genes on this chromosome. However, the individual dosage-sensitive genes underlying each phenotype remain largely unknown. To help dissect genotype--phenotype correlations in this complex syndrome, the first fully transchromosomic mouse model, the Tc1 mouse, which carries a copy of human chromosome 21 was produced in 2005. The Tc1 strain is trisomic for the majority of genes that cause phenotypes associated with DS, and this freely available mouse strain has become used widely to study DS, the effects of gene dosage abnormalities, and the effect on the basic biology of cells when a mouse carries a freely segregating human chromosome. Tc1 mice were created by a process that included irradiation microcell-mediated chromosome transfer of Hsa21 into recipient mouse embryonic stem cells. Here, the combination of next generation sequencing, array-CGH and fluorescence in situ hybridization technologies has enabled us to identify unsuspected rearrangements of Hsa21 in this mouse model; revealing one deletion, six duplications and more than 25 de novo structural rearrangements. Our study is not only essential for informing functional studies of the Tc1 mouse but also (1 presents for the first time a detailed sequence analysis of the effects of gamma radiation on an entire human chromosome, which gives some mechanistic insight into the effects of radiation damage on DNA, and (2 overcomes specific technical difficulties of assaying a human chromosome on a mouse background where highly conserved sequences may confound the analysis. Sequence data generated in this study is deposited in the ENA database, Study Accession number: ERP000439.

  2. A novel mouse model of Warburg Micro syndrome reveals roles for RAB18 in eye development and organisation of the neuronal cytoskeleton

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    Sarah M. Carpanini

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in RAB18 have been shown to cause the heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorder Warburg Micro syndrome (WARBM. Individuals with WARBM present with a range of clinical symptoms, including ocular and neurological abnormalities. However, the underlying cellular and molecular pathogenesis of the disorder remains unclear, largely owing to the lack of any robust animal models that phenocopy both the ocular and neurological features of the disease. We report here the generation and characterisation of a novel Rab18-mutant mouse model of WARBM. Rab18-mutant mice are viable and fertile. They present with congenital nuclear cataracts and atonic pupils, recapitulating the characteristic ocular features that are associated with WARBM. Additionally, Rab18-mutant cells exhibit an increase in lipid droplet size following treatment with oleic acid. Lipid droplet abnormalities are a characteristic feature of cells taken from WARBM individuals, as well as cells taken from individuals with other neurodegenerative conditions. Neurological dysfunction is also apparent in Rab18-mutant mice, including progressive weakness of the hind limbs. We show that the neurological defects are, most likely, not caused by gross perturbations in synaptic vesicle recycling in the central or peripheral nervous system. Rather, loss of Rab18 is associated with widespread disruption of the neuronal cytoskeleton, including abnormal accumulations of neurofilament and microtubule proteins in synaptic terminals, and gross disorganisation of the cytoskeleton in peripheral nerves. Global proteomic profiling of peripheral nerves in Rab18-mutant mice reveals significant alterations in several core molecular pathways that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics in neurons. The apparent similarities between the WARBM phenotype and the phenotype that we describe here indicate that the Rab18-mutant mouse provides an important platform for investigation of the disease pathogenesis and therapeutic

  3. Rad51c- and Trp53-double-mutant mouse model reveals common features of homologous recombination-deficient breast cancers.

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    Tumiati, M; Munne, P M; Edgren, H; Eldfors, S; Hemmes, A; Kuznetsov, S G

    2016-09-01

    Almost half of all hereditary breast cancers (BCs) are associated with germ-line mutations in homologous recombination (HR) genes. However, the tumor phenotypes associated with different HR genes vary, making it difficult to define the role of HR in BC predisposition. To distinguish between HR-dependent and -independent features of BCs, we generated a mouse model in which an essential HR gene, Rad51c, is knocked-out specifically in epidermal tissues. Rad51c is one of the key mediators of HR and a well-known BC predisposition gene. Here, we demonstrate that deletion of Rad51c invariably requires inactivation of the Trp53 tumor suppressor (TP53 in humans) to produce mammary carcinomas in 63% of female mice. Nonetheless, loss of Rad51c shortens the latency of Trp53-deficient mouse tumors from 11 to 6 months. Remarkably, the histopathological features of Rad51c-deficient mammary carcinomas, such as expression of hormone receptors and luminal epithelial markers, faithfully recapitulate the histopathology of human RAD51C-mutated BCs. Similar to other BC models, Rad51c/p53 double-mutant mouse mammary tumors also reveal a propensity for genomic instability, but lack the focal amplification of the Met locus or distinct mutational signatures reported for other HR genes. Using the human mammary epithelial cell line MCF10A, we show that deletion of TP53 can rescue RAD51C-deficient cells from radiation-induced cellular senescence, whereas it exacerbates their centrosome amplification and nuclear abnormalities. Altogether, our data indicate that a trend for genomic instability and inactivation of Trp53 are common features of HR-mediated BCs, whereas histopathology and somatic mutation patterns are specific for different HR genes.

  4. Trial-by-Trial Modulation of Associative Memory Formation by Reward Prediction Error and Reward Anticipation as Revealed by a Biologically Plausible Computational Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberg, Kristoffer C; Müller, Julia; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Anticipation and delivery of rewards improves memory formation, but little effort has been made to disentangle their respective contributions to memory enhancement. Moreover, it has been suggested that the effects of reward on memory are mediated by dopaminergic influences on hippocampal plasticity. Yet, evidence linking memory improvements to actual reward computations reflected in the activity of the dopaminergic system, i.e., prediction errors and expected values, is scarce and inconclusive. For example, different previous studies reported that the magnitude of prediction errors during a reinforcement learning task was a positive, negative, or non-significant predictor of successfully encoding simultaneously presented images. Individual sensitivities to reward and punishment have been found to influence the activation of the dopaminergic reward system and could therefore help explain these seemingly discrepant results. Here, we used a novel associative memory task combined with computational modeling and showed independent effects of reward-delivery and reward-anticipation on memory. Strikingly, the computational approach revealed positive influences from both reward delivery, as mediated by prediction error magnitude, and reward anticipation, as mediated by magnitude of expected value, even in the absence of behavioral effects when analyzed using standard methods, i.e., by collapsing memory performance across trials within conditions. We additionally measured trait estimates of reward and punishment sensitivity and found that individuals with increased reward (vs. punishment) sensitivity had better memory for associations encoded during positive (vs. negative) prediction errors when tested after 20 min, but a negative trend when tested after 24 h. In conclusion, modeling trial-by-trial fluctuations in the magnitude of reward, as we did here for prediction errors and expected value computations, provides a comprehensive and biologically plausible description of

  5. Response of Mouse Zygotes Treated with Mild Hydrogen Peroxide as a Model to Reveal Novel Mechanisms of Oxidative Stress-Induced Injury in Early Embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Our study aimed to develop embryo models to evaluate the impact of oxidative stress on embryo development. Mouse zygotes, which stayed at G1 phase, were treated with prepared culture medium (containing 0.00, 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.04, 0.05, or 0.1 mM hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)) for 30 min in experiment 1. The dose-effects of H2O2 on embryo development were investigated via comparisons of the formation rate at each stage (2- and 4-cell embryos and blastocysts). Experiment 2 was carried out to compare behaviors of embryos in a mild oxidative-stressed status (0.03 mM H2O2) with those in a control (0 mM H2O2). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, variation of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), expression of γH2AX, and cell apoptosis rate of blastocyst were detected. We observed a dose-dependent decrease on cleavage and blastocyst rates. Besides, higher level of ROS, rapid reduction of MMP, and the appearance of γH2AX revealed that embryos are injured early in mild oxidative stress. Additionally, γH2AX may involve during DNA damage response in early embryos. And the apoptotic rate of blastocyst may significantly increase when DNA damage repair is inadequate. Most importantly, our research provides embryo models to study cell cycle regulation and DNA damage response under condition of different levels of oxidative stress.

  6. Non-density dependent pollen dispersal of Shorea maxwelliana (Dipterocarpaceae revealed by a Bayesian mating model based on paternity analysis in two synchronized flowering seasons.

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    Shinsuke Masuda

    Full Text Available Pollinator syndrome is one of the most important determinants regulating pollen dispersal in tropical tree species. It has been widely accepted that the reproduction of tropical forest species, especially dipterocarps that rely on insects with weak flight for their pollination, is positively density-dependent. However differences in pollinator syndrome should affect pollen dispersal patterns and, consequently, influence genetic diversity via the mating process. We examined the pollen dispersal pattern and mating system of Shorea maxwelliana, the flowers of which are larger than those of Shorea species belonging to section Mutica which are thought to be pollinated by thrips (weak flyers. A Bayesian mating model based on the paternity of seeds collected from mother trees during sporadic and mass flowering events revealed that the estimated pollen dispersal kernel and average pollen dispersal distance were similar for both flowering events. This evidence suggests that the putative pollinators - small beetles and weevils - effectively contribute to pollen dispersal and help to maintain a high outcrossing rate even during sporadic flowering events. However, the reduction in pollen donors during a sporadic event results in a reduction in effective pollen donors, which should lead to lower genetic diversity in the next generation derived from seeds produced during such an event. Although sporadic flowering has been considered less effective for outcrossing in Shorea species that depend on thrips for their pollination, effective pollen dispersal by the small beetles and weevils ensures outcrossing during periods of low flowering tree density, as occurs in a sporadic flowering event.

  7. Behavioural mapping of a pelagic seabird: combining multiple sensors and a hidden Markov model reveals the distribution of at-sea behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Ben

    2013-01-06

    The use of miniature data loggers is rapidly increasing our understanding of the movements and habitat preferences of pelagic seabirds. However, objectively interpreting behavioural information from the large volumes of highly detailed data collected by such devices can be challenging. We combined three biologging technologies—global positioning system (GPS), saltwater immersion and time–depth recorders—to build a detailed picture of the at-sea behaviour of the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) during the breeding season. We used a hidden Markov model to explore discrete states within the combined GPS and immersion data, and found that behaviour could be organized into three principal activities representing (i) sustained direct flight, (ii) sitting on the sea surface, and (iii) foraging, comprising tortuous flight interspersed with periods of immersion. The additional logger data verified that the foraging activity corresponded well to the occurrence of diving. Applying this approach to a large tracking dataset revealed that birds from two different colonies foraged in local waters that were exclusive, but overlapped in one key area: the Irish Sea Front (ISF). We show that the allocation of time to each activity differed between colonies, with birds breeding furthest from the ISF spending the greatest proportion of time engaged in direct flight and the smallest proportion of time engaged in foraging activity. This type of analysis has considerable potential for application in future biologging studies and in other taxa.

  8. Human iPSC-Derived Neuronal Model of Tau-A152T Frontotemporal Dementia Reveals Tau-Mediated Mechanisms of Neuronal Vulnerability

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    M. Catarina Silva

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Frontotemporal dementia (FTD and other tauopathies characterized by focal brain neurodegeneration and pathological accumulation of proteins are commonly associated with tau mutations. However, the mechanism of neuronal loss is not fully understood. To identify molecular events associated with tauopathy, we studied induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC-derived neurons from individuals carrying the tau-A152T variant. We highlight the potential of in-depth phenotyping of human neuronal cell models for pre-clinical studies and identification of modulators of endogenous tau toxicity. Through a panel of biochemical and cellular assays, A152T neurons showed accumulation, redistribution, and decreased solubility of tau. Upregulation of tau was coupled to enhanced stress-inducible markers and cell vulnerability to proteotoxic, excitotoxic, and mitochondrial stressors, which was rescued upon CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeting of tau or by pharmacological activation of autophagy. Our findings unmask tau-mediated perturbations of specific pathways associated with neuronal vulnerability, revealing potential early disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets for FTD and other tauopathies.

  9. Visual modeling reveals cryptic aspect in egg mimicry of Himalayan Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus) on its host Blyth's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus reguloides).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Can-Chao; Cai, Yan; Liang, Wei

    2011-08-01

    Brood parasitism and egg mimicry of Himalayan Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus) on its host Blyth's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus reguloides) were studied in south-western China from April to July 2009. The cuckoo laid a white egg with fine brown markings on the blunt end. The eggs were conspicuously bigger than the host's own, with 2.06 g in mass and 1.91 cm(3) in volume. Visual modeling showed that the cuckoo eggs, which from the human eye appeared to mimic the host eggs to a great extent, were completely different from the host eggs in both hue and chroma. The characters of the Himalayan Cuckoo nestling, reported for the first time, included two triangular and black patches on its gape, which appeared from four days old and became darker with age and growth. While this character also exists in nestlings of Oriental Cuckoo (C. optatus), it has not been found for other Cuculus species. Our results reveal cryptic aspects in the cuckoo-host egg color matching, which are not visible to the naked human eye, and indicate that high mimetic cuckoo eggs rejected by hosts, as determined by human observers in previous studies, might not be mimetic as birds see them.

  10. Transcriptome analysis of a rotenone model of parkinsonism reveals complex I-tied and -untied toxicity mechanisms common to neurodegenerative diseases.

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    Yofre Cabeza-Arvelaiz

    Full Text Available The pesticide rotenone, a neurotoxin that inhibits the mitochondrial complex I, and destabilizes microtubules (MT has been linked to Parkinson disease (PD etiology and is often used to model this neurodegenerative disease (ND. Many of the mechanisms of action of rotenone are posited mechanisms of neurodegeneration; however, they are not fully understood. Therefore, the study of rotenone-affected functional pathways is pertinent to the understanding of NDs pathogenesis. This report describes the transcriptome analysis of a neuroblastoma (NB cell line chronically exposed to marginally toxic and moderately toxic doses of rotenone. The results revealed a complex pleiotropic response to rotenone that impacts a variety of cellular events, including cell cycle, DNA damage response, proliferation, differentiation, senescence and cell death, which could lead to survival or neurodegeneration depending on the dose and time of exposure and cell phenotype. The response encompasses an array of physiological pathways, modulated by transcriptional and epigenetic regulatory networks, likely activated by homeostatic alterations. Pathways that incorporate the contribution of MT destabilization to rotenone toxicity are suggested to explain complex I-independent rotenone-induced alterations of metabolism and redox homeostasis. The postulated mechanisms involve the blockage of mitochondrial voltage-dependent anions channels (VDACs by tubulin, which coupled with other rotenone-induced organelle dysfunctions may underlie many presumed neurodegeneration mechanisms associated with pathophysiological aspects of various NDs including PD, AD and their variant forms. Thus, further investigation of such pathways may help identify novel therapeutic paths for these NDs.

  11. Touchscreen-based cognitive tasks reveal age-related impairment in a primate aging model, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus.

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    Marine Joly

    Full Text Available Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD and reversal learning (PDR tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research.

  12. Touchscreen-based cognitive tasks reveal age-related impairment in a primate aging model, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly, Marine; Ammersdörfer, Sandra; Schmidtke, Daniel; Zimmermann, Elke

    2014-01-01

    Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD) and reversal learning (PDR) tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research.

  13. Non-density dependent pollen dispersal of Shorea maxwelliana (Dipterocarpaceae) revealed by a Bayesian mating model based on paternity analysis in two synchronized flowering seasons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masuda, Shinsuke; Tani, Naoki; Ueno, Saneyoshi; Lee, Soon Leong; Muhammad, Norwati; Kondo, Toshiaki; Numata, Shinya; Tsumura, Yoshihiko

    2013-01-01

    Pollinator syndrome is one of the most important determinants regulating pollen dispersal in tropical tree species. It has been widely accepted that the reproduction of tropical forest species, especially dipterocarps that rely on insects with weak flight for their pollination, is positively density-dependent. However differences in pollinator syndrome should affect pollen dispersal patterns and, consequently, influence genetic diversity via the mating process. We examined the pollen dispersal pattern and mating system of Shorea maxwelliana, the flowers of which are larger than those of Shorea species belonging to section Mutica which are thought to be pollinated by thrips (weak flyers). A Bayesian mating model based on the paternity of seeds collected from mother trees during sporadic and mass flowering events revealed that the estimated pollen dispersal kernel and average pollen dispersal distance were similar for both flowering events. This evidence suggests that the putative pollinators - small beetles and weevils - effectively contribute to pollen dispersal and help to maintain a high outcrossing rate even during sporadic flowering events. However, the reduction in pollen donors during a sporadic event results in a reduction in effective pollen donors, which should lead to lower genetic diversity in the next generation derived from seeds produced during such an event. Although sporadic flowering has been considered less effective for outcrossing in Shorea species that depend on thrips for their pollination, effective pollen dispersal by the small beetles and weevils ensures outcrossing during periods of low flowering tree density, as occurs in a sporadic flowering event.

  14. Interaction structure of the complex between neuroprotective factor humanin and Alzheimer's β-amyloid peptide revealed by affinity mass spectrometry and molecular modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maftei, Madalina; Tian, Xiaodan; Manea, Marilena; Exner, Thomas E; Schwanzar, Daniel; von Arnim, Christine A F; Przybylski, Michael

    2012-06-01

    Humanin (HN) is a linear 24-aa peptide recently detected in human Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain. HN specifically inhibits neuronal cell death in vitro induced by ß-amyloid (Aß) peptides and by amyloid precursor protein and its gene mutations in familial AD, thereby representing a potential therapeutic lead structure for AD; however, its molecular mechanism of action is not well understood. We report here the identification of the binding epitopes between HN and Aß(1-40) and characterization of the interaction structure through a molecular modeling study. Wild-type HN and HN-sequence mutations were synthesized by SPPS and the HPLC-purified peptides characterized by MALDI-MS. The interaction epitopes between HN and Aß(1-40) were identified by affinity-MS using proteolytic epitope excision and extraction, followed by elution and mass spectrometric characterization of the affinity-bound peptides. The affinity-MS analyses revealed HN(5-15) as the epitope sequence of HN, whereas Aß(17-28) was identified as the Aß interaction epitope. The epitopes and binding sites were ascertained by ELISA of the complex of HN peptides with immobilized Aß(1-40) and by ELISA with Aß(1-40) and Aß-partial sequences as ligands to immobilized HN. The specificity and affinity of the HN-Aß interaction were characterized by direct ESI-MS of the HN-Aß(1-40) complex and by bioaffinity analysis using a surface acoustic wave biosensor, providing a K(D) of the complex of 610 nm. A molecular dynamics simulation of the HN-Aß(1-40) complex was consistent with the binding specificity and shielding effects of the HN and Aß interaction epitopes. These results indicate a specific strong association of HN and Aß(1-40) polypeptide and provide a molecular basis for understanding the neuroprotective function of HN.

  15. A Translational Murine Model of Sub-Lethal Intoxication with Shiga Toxin 2 Reveals Novel Ultrastructural Findings in the Brain Striatum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tironi-Farinati, Carla; Geoghegan, Patricia A.; Cangelosi, Adriana; Pinto, Alipio; Loidl, C. Fabian; Goldstein, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    Infection by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli causes hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), acute renal failure, and also central nervous system complications in around 30% of the children affected. Besides, neurological deficits are one of the most unrepairable and untreatable outcomes of HUS. Study of the striatum is relevant because basal ganglia are one of the brain areas most commonly affected in patients that have suffered from HUS and since the deleterious effects of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin have never been studied in the striatum, the purpose of this study was to attempt to simulate an infection by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in a murine model. To this end, intravenous administration of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin 2 (0.5 ηg per mouse) was used and the correlation between neurological manifestations and ultrastructural changes in striatal brain cells was studied in detail. Neurological manifestations included significant motor behavior abnormalities in spontaneous motor activity, gait, pelvic elevation and hind limb activity eight days after administration of the toxin. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the toxin caused early perivascular edema two days after administration, as well as significant damage in astrocytes four days after administration and significant damage in neurons and oligodendrocytes eight days after administration. Interrupted synapses and mast cell extravasation were also found eight days after administration of the toxin. We thus conclude that the chronological order of events observed in the striatum could explain the neurological disorders found eight days after administration of the toxin. PMID:23383285

  16. A novel Atoh1 "self-terminating" mouse model reveals the necessity of proper Atoh1 level and duration for hair cell differentiation and viability.

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    Ning Pan

    Full Text Available Atonal homolog1 (Atoh1 is a bHLH transcription factor essential for inner ear hair cell differentiation. Targeted expression of Atoh1 at various stages in development can result in hair cell differentiation in the ear. However, the level and duration of Atoh1 expression required for proper hair cell differentiation and maintenance remain unknown. We generated an Atoh1 conditional knockout (CKO mouse line using Tg(Atoh1-cre, in which the cre expression is driven by an Atoh1 enhancer element that is regulated by Atoh1 protein to "self-terminate" its expression. The mutant mice show transient, limited expression of Atoh1 in all hair cells in the ear. In the organ of Corti, reduction and delayed deletion of Atoh1 result in progressive loss of almost all the inner hair cells and the majority of the outer hair cells within three weeks after birth. The remaining cells express ha