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  1. Optical polarization tractography revealed significant fiber disarray in skeletal muscles of a mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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    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.

  2. Quantitative Metaproteomics and Activity-Based Probe Enrichment Reveals Significant Alterations in Protein Expression from a Mouse Model of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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    Mayers, Michael D; Moon, Clara; Stupp, Gregory S; Su, Andrew I; Wolan, Dennis W

    2017-02-03

    Tandem mass spectrometry based shotgun proteomics of distal gut microbiomes is exceedingly difficult due to the inherent complexity and taxonomic diversity of the samples. We introduce two new methodologies to improve metaproteomic studies of microbiome samples. These methods include the stable isotope labeling in mammals to permit protein quantitation across two mouse cohorts as well as the application of activity-based probes to enrich and analyze both host and microbial proteins with specific functionalities. We used these technologies to study the microbiota from the adoptive T cell transfer mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and compare these samples to an isogenic control, thereby limiting genetic and environmental variables that influence microbiome composition. The data generated highlight quantitative alterations in both host and microbial proteins due to intestinal inflammation and corroborates the observed phylogenetic changes in bacteria that accompany IBD in humans and mouse models. The combination of isotope labeling with shotgun proteomics resulted in the total identification of 4434 protein clusters expressed in the microbial proteomic environment, 276 of which demonstrated differential abundance between control and IBD mice. Notably, application of a novel cysteine-reactive probe uncovered several microbial proteases and hydrolases overrepresented in the IBD mice. Implementation of these methods demonstrated that substantial insights into the identity and dysregulation of host and microbial proteins altered in IBD can be accomplished and can be used in the interrogation of other microbiome-related diseases.

  3. Shotgun metagenomic data reveals significant abundance but low diversity of "

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    Villanueva, L.; Speth, D.R.; van Alen, T.; Hoischen, A.; Jetten, M.S.M.

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria are responsible for a significant portion of the loss of fixed nitrogen from the oceans, making them important players in the global nitrogen cycle. To date, marine anammox bacteria found in both water columns and sediments worldwide belong almost excl

  4. Revealing the mechanisms and significance of frozen soil infiltration

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    Stähli, Manfred; Hayashi, Masaki

    2015-04-01

    Frozen soil is one of the most characteristic features of Nordic hydrology. Depending on climate, snow cover and soil properties it can slow down or even inhibit the water's journey from the soil surface to the stream, or it can speed up the journey by generating overland flow. When Harald Grip's and Allan Rhode's book came out in the mid-eighties, state-of-the-art knowledge on frozen soil hydrology was based on numerous cold-chamber experiments and only few field measurements, especially from Alaska. It was already then recognized that frozen soil is not impermeable per se, but its permeability depends on the amount and connectivity of air-filled pores, which in turn depends on ice content. How has our understanding of frozen soil hydrology further developed since then? One important innovation was the application of dye tracers to frozen field plots and soil columns uncovering the flow paths of infiltrating water. A second crucial advance was the development of numerical models to calculate water transfer from the snow cover into soil profiles. These models made researchers aware of the high sensitivity of frozen soil infiltration to boundary conditions (e.g. depth to groundwater) and winter history (e.g. evolution of snow cover, number of mid-winter melt events). A further important insight was that local effects of frozen ground on water flow may vanish at the scale of catchments due to the highly variable topography, vegetation and soil of a landscape. Nevertheless, studies showing the impact of frozen soil on large scale ground-water recharge or stream runoff are still scarce. A recent analysis of long-term runoff data from Switzerland sheds new light on the response of small catchments to frozen ground. Finally, it can be concluded that the Nordic lessons on frozen soil hydrology have been noted by the worldwide research community and are receiving increased attention in the context of climate change and its impacts on seasonally and permanently frozen soil.

  5. In Vivo Imaging Reveals Significant Tumor Vascular Dysfunction and Increased Tumor Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1α Expression Induced by High Single-Dose Irradiation in a Pancreatic Tumor Model.

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    Maeda, Azusa; Chen, Yonghong; Bu, Jiachuan; Mujcic, Hilda; Wouters, Bradly G; DaCosta, Ralph S

    2017-01-01

    To investigate the effect of high-dose irradiation on pancreatic tumor vasculature and microenvironment using in vivo imaging techniques. A BxPC3 pancreatic tumor xenograft was established in a dorsal skinfold window chamber model and a subcutaneous hind leg model. Tumors were irradiated with a single dose of 4, 12, or 24 Gy. The dorsal skinfold window chamber model was used to assess tumor response, vascular function and permeability, platelet and leukocyte adhesion to the vascular endothelium, and tumor hypoxia for up to 14 days after 24-Gy irradiation. The hind leg model was used to monitor tumor size, hypoxia, and vascularity for up to 65 days after 24-Gy irradiation. Tumors were assessed histologically to validate in vivo observations. In vivo fluorescence imaging revealed temporary vascular dysfunction in tumors irradiated with a single dose of 4 to 24 Gy, but most significantly with a single dose of 24 Gy. Vascular functional recovery was observed by 14 days after irradiation in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, irradiation with 24 Gy caused platelet and leukocyte adhesion to the vascular endothelium within hours to days after irradiation. Vascular permeability was significantly higher in irradiated tumors compared with nonirradiated controls 14 days after irradiation. This observation corresponded with increased expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in irradiated tumors. In the hind leg model, irradiation with a single dose of 24 Gy led to tumor growth delay, followed by tumor regrowth. Irradiation of the BxPC3 tumors with a single dose of 24 Gy caused transient vascular dysfunction and increased expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α. Such biological changes may impact tumor response to high single-dose and hypofractionated irradiation, and further investigations are needed to better understand the clinical outcomes of stereotactic body radiation therapy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. β-Thalassemia Patients Revealed a Significant Change of Untargeted Metabolites in Comparison to Healthy Individuals

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    Musharraf, Syed Ghulam; Iqbal, Ayesha; Ansari, Saqib Hussain; Parveen, Sadia; Khan, Ishtiaq Ahmad; Siddiqui, Amna Jabbar

    2017-01-01

    β-Thalassemia is one of the most prevalent forms of congenital blood disorders characterized by reduced hemoglobin levels with severe complications, affecting all dimensions of life. The mechanisms underlying the phenotypic heterogeneity of β-thalassemia are still poorly understood. We aimed to work over metabolite biomarkers to improve mechanistic understanding of phenotypic heterogeneity and hence better management of disorder at different levels. Untargeted serum metabolites were analyzed after protein precipitation and SPE (solid phase extraction) from 100 β-thalassemia patients and 61 healthy controls using GC-MS. 40 metabolites were identified having a significance difference between these two groups at probability of 0.05 and fold change >1.5. Out of these 40 metabolites, 17 were up-regulated while 23 were down-regulated. PCA and PLS-DA model was also created that revealed a fine separation with a sensitivity of 70% and specificity of 100% on external validation of samples. Metabolic pathway analysis revealed alteration in multiple pathways including glycolysis, pyruvate, propanoate, glycerophospholipid, galactose, fatty acid, starch and sucrose metabolism along with fatty acid elongation in mitochondria, glycerolipid, glyoxylate and dicarboxylate metabolism pointing towards the shift of metabolism in β-thalassemia patients in comparison to healthy individuals. PMID:28198811

  7. Modelling vocal anatomy's significant effect on speech

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    de Boer, B.

    2010-01-01

    This paper investigates the effect of larynx position on the articulatory abilities of a humanlike vocal tract. Previous work has investigated models that were built to resemble the anatomy of existing species or fossil ancestors. This has led to conflicting conclusions about the relation between

  8. Phylogeographic analysis reveals significant spatial genetic structure of Incarvillea sinensis as a product of mountain building

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    Chen Shaotian

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Incarvillea sinensis is widely distributed from Southwest China to Northeast China and in the Russian Far East. The distribution of this species was thought to be influenced by the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Quaternary glaciation. To reveal the imprints of geological events on the spatial genetic structure of Incarvillea sinensis, we examined two cpDNA segments ( trnH- psbA and trnS- trnfM in 705 individuals from 47 localities. Results A total of 16 haplotypes was identified, and significant genetic differentiation was revealed (GST =0.843, NST = 0.975, P  Conclusions The results revealed that the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau likely resulted in the significant divergence between the lineage in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the other one outside this area. The diverse niches in the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau created a wide spectrum of habitats to accumulate and accommodate new mutations. The features of genetic diversity of populations outside the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau seemed to reveal the imprints of extinction during the Glacial and the interglacial and postglacial recolonization. Our study is a typical case of the significance of the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Quaternary Glacial in spatial genetic structure of eastern Asian plants, and sheds new light on the evolution of biodiversity in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau at the intraspecies level.

  9. Metabolomics reveals significant variations in metabolites and correlations regarding the maturation of walnuts (Juglans regia L.).

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    Rao, Guodong; Sui, Jinkai; Zhang, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    The content of walnut metabolites is related to its nutritive value and physiological characteristics, however, comprehensive information concerning the metabolome of walnut kernels is limited. In this study we analyzed the metabolites of walnut kernels at five developmental stages from filling to ripening using GC-MS-based untargeted metabolomics; of a total 252 peaks identified, 85 metabolites were positively identified. Further statistical analysis revealed that these 85 metabolites covered different types of metabolism pathways. PCA scores revealed that the metabolic compositions of the embryo are different at each stage, while the metabolic composition of the endotesta could not be significantly separated into distinct groups. Additionally, 7225 metabolite-metabolite correlations were detected in walnut kernel by a Pearson correlation coefficient approach; during screening of the calculated correlations, 463 and 1047 were determined to be significant with r(2)≥0.49 and had a false discovery rate (FDR) ≤0.05 in endotesta and embryo, respectively. This work provides the first comprehensive metabolomic study of walnut kernels and reveals that most of the carbohydrate and protein-derived carbon was transferred into other compounds, such as fatty acids, during the maturation of walnuts, which may potentially provide the basis for further studies on walnut kernel metabolism.

  10. Metabolomics reveals significant variations in metabolites and correlations regarding the maturation of walnuts (Juglans regia L.

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    Guodong Rao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The content of walnut metabolites is related to its nutritive value and physiological characteristics, however, comprehensive information concerning the metabolome of walnut kernels is limited. In this study we analyzed the metabolites of walnut kernels at five developmental stages from filling to ripening using GC-MS-based untargeted metabolomics; of a total 252 peaks identified, 85 metabolites were positively identified. Further statistical analysis revealed that these 85 metabolites covered different types of metabolism pathways. PCA scores revealed that the metabolic compositions of the embryo are different at each stage, while the metabolic composition of the endotesta could not be significantly separated into distinct groups. Additionally, 7225 metabolite-metabolite correlations were detected in walnut kernel by a Pearson correlation coefficient approach; during screening of the calculated correlations, 463 and 1047 were determined to be significant with r2≥0.49 and had a false discovery rate (FDR ≤0.05 in endotesta and embryo, respectively. This work provides the first comprehensive metabolomic study of walnut kernels and reveals that most of the carbohydrate and protein-derived carbon was transferred into other compounds, such as fatty acids, during the maturation of walnuts, which may potentially provide the basis for further studies on walnut kernel metabolism.

  11. Parameter and Process Significance in Mechanistic Modeling of Cellulose Hydrolysis

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    Rotter, B.; Barry, A.; Gerhard, J.; Small, J.; Tahar, B.

    2005-12-01

    The rate of cellulose hydrolysis, and of associated microbial processes, is important in determining the stability of landfills and their potential impact on the environment, as well as associated time scales. To permit further exploration in this field, a process-based model of cellulose hydrolysis was developed. The model, which is relevant to both landfill and anaerobic digesters, includes a novel approach to biomass transfer between a cellulose-bound biofilm and biomass in the surrounding liquid. Model results highlight the significance of the bacterial colonization of cellulose particles by attachment through contact in solution. Simulations revealed that enhanced colonization, and therefore cellulose degradation, was associated with reduced cellulose particle size, higher biomass populations in solution, and increased cellulose-binding ability of the biomass. A sensitivity analysis of the system parameters revealed different sensitivities to model parameters for a typical landfill scenario versus that for an anaerobic digester. The results indicate that relative surface area of cellulose and proximity of hydrolyzing bacteria are key factors determining the cellulose degradation rate.

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

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

    2013-12-19

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

  13. Transcriptome sequencing revealed significant alteration of cortical promoter usage and splicing in schizophrenia.

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    Jing Qin Wu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While hybridization based analysis of the cortical transcriptome has provided important insight into the neuropathology of schizophrenia, it represents a restricted view of disease-associated gene activity based on predetermined probes. By contrast, sequencing technology can provide un-biased analysis of transcription at nucleotide resolution. Here we use this approach to investigate schizophrenia-associated cortical gene expression. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The data was generated from 76 bp reads of RNA-Seq, aligned to the reference genome and assembled into transcripts for quantification of exons, splice variants and alternative promoters in postmortem superior temporal gyrus (STG/BA22 from 9 male subjects with schizophrenia and 9 matched non-psychiatric controls. Differentially expressed genes were then subjected to further sequence and functional group analysis. The output, amounting to more than 38 Gb of sequence, revealed significant alteration of gene expression including many previously shown to be associated with schizophrenia. Gene ontology enrichment analysis followed by functional map construction identified three functional clusters highly relevant to schizophrenia including neurotransmission related functions, synaptic vesicle trafficking, and neural development. Significantly, more than 2000 genes displayed schizophrenia-associated alternative promoter usage and more than 1000 genes showed differential splicing (FDR<0.05. Both types of transcriptional isoforms were exemplified by reads aligned to the neurodevelopmentally significant doublecortin-like kinase 1 (DCLK1 gene. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided the first deep and un-biased analysis of schizophrenia-associated transcriptional diversity within the STG, and revealed variants with important implications for the complex pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

  14. Seed metabolomic study reveals significant metabolite variations and correlations among different soybean cultivars

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    Hong Lin; Jun Rao; Jianxin Shi; Chaoyang Hu; Fang Cheng; Zoe AWilson; Dabing Zhang; Sheng Quan

    2014-01-01

    Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is one of the world’s major crops, and soybean seeds are a rich and important resource for proteins and oils. While “omics”studies, such as genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, have been widely applied in soybean molecular research, fewer metabolomic studies have been conducted for large-scale detection of low molecular weight metabolites, especial y in soybean seeds. In this study, we investigated the seed metabolomes of 29 common soybean cultivars through combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. One hundred sixty-nine named metabolites were identified and subsequently used to construct a metabolic network of mature soybean seed. Among the 169 detected metabolites, 104 were found to be significantly variable in their levels across tested cultivars. Metabolite markers that could be used to distinguish genetical y related soybean cultivars were also identified, and metabolite-metabolite correlation analysis revealed some significant associations within the same or among different metabolite groups. Findings from this work may potentially provide the basis for further studies on both soybean seed metabolism and metabolic engineering to improve soybean seed quality and yield.

  15. Association Mapping in Turkish Olive Cultivars Revealed Significant Markers Related to Some Important Agronomic Traits.

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    Kaya, Hilal Betul; Cetin, Oznur; Kaya, Hulya Sozer; Sahin, Mustafa; Sefer, Filiz; Tanyolac, Bahattin

    2016-08-01

    Olive (Olea europaea L.) is one of the most important fruit trees especially in the Mediterranean countries due to high consumption of table olive and olive oil. In olive breeding, the phenotypic traits associated to fruit are the key factors that determine productivity. Association mapping has been used in some tree species and a lot of crop plant species, and here, we perform an initial effort to detect marker-trait associations in olive tree. In the current study, a total of 96 olive genotypes, including both oil and table olive genotypes from Turkish Olive GenBank Resources, were used to examine marker-trait associations. For olive genotyping, SNP, AFLP, and SSR marker data were selected from previously published study and association analysis was performed between these markers and 5 yield-related traits. Three different approaches were used to check for false-positive results in association tests, and association results obtained from these models were compared. Using the model utilizing both population structure and relative kinship, eleven associations were significant with FDR ≤ 0.05. The largest number of significant associations was detected for fruit weight and stone weight. Our results suggested that association mapping could be an effective approach for identifying marker-trait associations in olive genotypes, without the development of mapping populations. This study shows for the first time the use of association mapping for identifying molecular markers linked to important traits in olive tree.

  16. Disease-aging network reveals significant roles of aging genes in connecting genetic diseases.

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    Wang, Jiguang; Zhang, Shihua; Wang, Yong; Chen, Luonan; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2009-09-01

    One of the challenging problems in biology and medicine is exploring the underlying mechanisms of genetic diseases. Recent studies suggest that the relationship between genetic diseases and the aging process is important in understanding the molecular mechanisms of complex diseases. Although some intricate associations have been investigated for a long time, the studies are still in their early stages. In this paper, we construct a human disease-aging network to study the relationship among aging genes and genetic disease genes. Specifically, we integrate human protein-protein interactions (PPIs), disease-gene associations, aging-gene associations, and physiological system-based genetic disease classification information in a single graph-theoretic framework and find that (1) human disease genes are much closer to aging genes than expected by chance; and (2) diseases can be categorized into two types according to their relationships with aging. Type I diseases have their genes significantly close to aging genes, while type II diseases do not. Furthermore, we examine the topological characters of the disease-aging network from a systems perspective. Theoretical results reveal that the genes of type I diseases are in a central position of a PPI network while type II are not; (3) more importantly, we define an asymmetric closeness based on the PPI network to describe relationships between diseases, and find that aging genes make a significant contribution to associations among diseases, especially among type I diseases. In conclusion, the network-based study provides not only evidence for the intricate relationship between the aging process and genetic diseases, but also biological implications for prying into the nature of human diseases.

  17. Comparative analysis of the Shadoo gene between cattle and buffalo reveals significant differences.

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    Hui Zhao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While prions play a central role in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the biology of these proteins and the pathophysiology of these diseases remain largely unknown. Since no case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE has ever been reported in buffalo despite their phylogenetic proximity to cattle, genetic differences may be driving the different susceptibilities of these two species to BSE. We thus hypothesized that differences in expression of the most recently identified member of the prion family or Shadoo (SPRN gene may relate to these species-specific differences. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first analyzed and compared the polymorphisms of the SPRN gene (~4.4 kb, including the putative promoter, coding and 3' regions, and further verified the entire ORF and putative promoter. This yielded a total of 117 fixed differences, remarkably: 1 a 12-bp insertion/deletion polymorphism in the hydrophobic domain of the cattle but not buffalo gene, introducing a four amino acid expansion/contraction in a series of 5 tandem Ala/Gly-containing repeats; 2 two fixed missense mutations (102Ser→Gly and 119Thr→Ala, and three missense mutations (92Pro>Thr/Met, 122Thr>Ile and 139Arg>Trp in the coding region presenting different (P<0.05 genotypic and allelic frequency distributions between cattle and buffalo; and, 3 functional luciferase-reporter experiments for the predicted promoter region, consistent with a significantly higher activity in buffalo than cattle. Supporting these findings, immunoblotting revealed higher relative expression levels of Sho protein in cerebrum from buffalo than from cattle. In addition, for cattle, highest Sho expression was detected in obex, as compared to cerebrum or cerebellum. SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings support Sho as a non-PrP specific marker for prion infections, with obex as the best tissue source for the detection of Sho in TSE rapid tests. Moreover, these discoveries may prove

  18. Village energy survey reveals missing rural raw coal in northern China: Significance in science and policy.

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    Zhi, Guorui; Zhang, Yayun; Sun, Jianzhong; Cheng, Miaomiao; Dang, Hongyan; Liu, Shijie; Yang, Junchao; Zhang, Yuzhe; Xue, Zhigang; Li, Shuyuan; Meng, Fan

    2017-04-01

    Burning coal for winter heating has been considered a major contributor to northern China's winter haze, with the district heating boilers holding the balance. However a decade of intensive efforts on district heating boilers brought few improvements to northern China's winter air quality, arousing a speculation that the household heating stoves mainly in rural area rather than the district heating boilers mainly in urban area dominate coal emissions in winter. This implies an extreme underestimation of rural household coal consumption by the China Energy Statistical Yearbooks (CESYs), although direct evidence supporting this speculation is lacking. A village energy survey campaign was launched to gather the firsthand information on household coal consumption in the rural areas of two cities, Baoding (in Hebei province) and Beijing (the capital of China). The survey data show that the rural raw coal consumption in Baoding (5.04 × 10(3) kt) was approximately 6.5 times the value listed in the official CESY 2013 and exceeded the rural total of whole Hebei Province (4668 kt), revealing a huge amount of raw coal missing from the current statistical system. More importantly, rural emissions of particulate matter (PM) and SO2 from raw coal, which had never been included in widely distributing environmental statistical reports, were found higher than those from industrial and urban household sectors in the two cities in 2013, which highlights the importance of rural coal burning in creating northern China's heavy haze and helps to explain why a number of modeling predictions on ambient pollutant concentrations based on normal emission inventories were more bias-prone in winter season than in other seasons. We therefore recommend placing greater emphasis on the "missing" rural raw coal to help China in its long-term ambition to achieve clean air in the context of rapid economic development.

  19. Simultaneous application of heat, drought, and virus to Arabidopsis plants reveals significant shifts in signaling networks.

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    Prasch, Christian Maximilian; Sonnewald, Uwe

    2013-08-01

    Considering global climate change, the incidence of combined drought and heat stress is likely to increase in the future and will considerably influence plant-pathogen interactions. Until now, little has been known about plants exposed to simultaneously occurring abiotic and biotic stresses. To shed some light on molecular plant responses to multiple stress factors, a versatile multifactorial test system, allowing simultaneous application of heat, drought, and virus stress, was developed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Comparative analysis of single, double, and triple stress responses by transcriptome and metabolome analysis revealed that gene expression under multifactorial stress is not predictable from single stress treatments. Hierarchical cluster and principal component analyses identified heat as the major stress factor, clearly separating heat-stressed from non-heat-stressed plants. We identified 11 genes differentially regulated in all stress combinations as well as 23 genes specifically regulated under triple stress. Furthermore, we showed that virus-treated plants displayed enhanced expression of defense genes, which was abolished in plants additionally subjected to heat and drought stress. Triple stress also reduced the expression of genes involved in the R-mediated disease response and increased the cytoplasmic protein response, which was not seen under single stress conditions. These observations suggested that abiotic stress factors significantly altered turnip mosaic virus-specific signaling networks, which led to a deactivation of defense responses and a higher susceptibility of plants. Collectively, our transcriptome and metabolome data provide a powerful resource to study plant responses during multifactorial stress and allow identifying metabolic processes and functional networks involved in tripartite interactions of plants with their environment.

  20. Next-generation sequencing reveals significant bacterial diversity of botrytized wine.

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    Nicholas A Bokulich

    Full Text Available While wine fermentation has long been known to involve complex microbial communities, the composition and role of bacteria other than a select set of lactic acid bacteria (LAB has often been assumed either negligible or detrimental. This study served as a pilot study for using barcoded amplicon next-generation sequencing to profile bacterial community structure in wines and grape musts, comparing the taxonomic depth achieved by sequencing two different domains of prokaryotic 16S rDNA (V4 and V5. This study was designed to serve two goals: 1 to empirically determine the most taxonomically informative 16S rDNA target region for barcoded amplicon sequencing of wine, comparing V4 and V5 domains of bacterial 16S rDNA to terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP of LAB communities; and 2 to explore the bacterial communities of wine fermentation to better understand the biodiversity of wine at a depth previously unattainable using other techniques. Analysis of amplicons from the V4 and V5 provided similar views of the bacterial communities of botrytized wine fermentations, revealing a broad diversity of low-abundance taxa not traditionally associated with wine, as well as atypical LAB communities initially detected by TRFLP. The V4 domain was determined as the more suitable read for wine ecology studies, as it provided greater taxonomic depth for profiling LAB communities. In addition, targeted enrichment was used to isolate two species of Alphaproteobacteria from a finished fermentation. Significant differences in diversity between inoculated and uninoculated samples suggest that Saccharomyces inoculation exerts selective pressure on bacterial diversity in these fermentations, most notably suppressing abundance of acetic acid bacteria. These results determine the bacterial diversity of botrytized wines to be far higher than previously realized, providing further insight into the fermentation dynamics of these wines, and demonstrate the

  1. Targeted gene-silencing reveals the functional significance of myocardin signaling in the failing heart.

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    Mario Torrado

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Myocardin (MYOCD, a potent transcriptional coactivator of smooth muscle (SM and cardiac genes, is upregulated in failing myocardium in animal models and human end-stage heart failure (HF. However, the molecular and functional consequences of myocd upregulation in HF are still unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The goal of the present study was to investigate if targeted inhibition of upregulated expression of myocd could influence failing heart gene expression and function. To this end, we used the doxorubicin (Dox-induced diastolic HF (DHF model in neonatal piglets, in which, as we show, not only myocd but also myocd-dependent SM-marker genes are highly activated in failing left ventricular (LV myocardium. In this model, intra-myocardial delivery of short-hairpin RNAs, designed to target myocd variants expressed in porcine heart, leads on day 2 post-delivery to: (1 a decrease in the activated expression of myocd and myocd-dependent SM-marker genes in failing myocardium to levels seen in healthy control animals, (2 amelioration of impaired diastolic dysfunction, and (3 higher survival rates of DHF piglets. The posterior restoration of elevated myocd expression (on day 7 post-delivery led to overexpression of myocd-dependent SM-marker genes in failing LV-myocardium that was associated with a return to altered diastolic function. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data provide the first evidence that a moderate inhibition (e.g., normalization of the activated MYOCD signaling in the diseased heart may be promising from a therapeutic point of view.

  2. Comparative proteomics reveals a significant bias toward alternative protein isoforms with conserved structure and function.

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    Ezkurdia, Iakes; del Pozo, Angela; Frankish, Adam; Rodriguez, Jose Manuel; Harrow, Jennifer; Ashman, Keith; Valencia, Alfonso; Tress, Michael L

    2012-09-01

    Advances in high-throughput mass spectrometry are making proteomics an increasingly important tool in genome annotation projects. Peptides detected in mass spectrometry experiments can be used to validate gene models and verify the translation of putative coding sequences (CDSs). Here, we have identified peptides that cover 35% of the genes annotated by the GENCODE consortium for the human genome as part of a comprehensive analysis of experimental spectra from two large publicly available mass spectrometry databases. We detected the translation to protein of "novel" and "putative" protein-coding transcripts as well as transcripts annotated as pseudogenes and nonsense-mediated decay targets. We provide a detailed overview of the population of alternatively spliced protein isoforms that are detectable by peptide identification methods. We found that 150 genes expressed multiple alternative protein isoforms. This constitutes the largest set of reliably confirmed alternatively spliced proteins yet discovered. Three groups of genes were highly overrepresented. We detected alternative isoforms for 10 of the 25 possible heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins, proteins with a key role in the splicing process. Alternative isoforms generated from interchangeable homologous exons and from short indels were also significantly enriched, both in human experiments and in parallel analyses of mouse and Drosophila proteomics experiments. Our results show that a surprisingly high proportion (almost 25%) of the detected alternative isoforms are only subtly different from their constitutive counterparts. Many of the alternative splicing events that give rise to these alternative isoforms are conserved in mouse. It was striking that very few of these conserved splicing events broke Pfam functional domains or would damage globular protein structures. This evidence of a strong bias toward subtle differences in CDS and likely conserved cellular function and structure is remarkable and

  3. Membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment plants reveal diverse yeast and protist communities of potential significance in biofouling.

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    Liébana, Raquel; Arregui, Lucía; Belda, Ignacio; Gamella, Luis; Santos, Antonio; Marquina, Domingo; Serrano, Susana

    2015-01-01

    The yeast community was studied in a municipal full-scale membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment plant (MBR-WWTP). The unexpectedly high diversity of yeasts indicated that the activated sludge formed a suitable environment for them to proliferate, with cellular concentrations of 2.2 ± 0.8 × 10(3) CFU ml(-1). Sixteen species of seven genera were present in the biological reactor, with Ascomycetes being the most prevalent group (93%). Most isolates were able to grow in a synthetic wastewater medium, adhere to polyethylene surfaces, and develop biofilms of variable complexity. The relationship between yeast populations and the protists in the MBR-WWTP was also studied, revealing that some protist species preyed on and ingested yeasts. These results suggest that yeast populations may play a role in the food web of a WWTP and, to some extent, contribute to membrane biofouling in MBR systems.

  4. Trophic Mode-Dependent Proteomic Analysis Reveals Functional Significance of Light-Independent Chlorophyll Synthesis in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

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    Fang, Longfa; Ge, Haitao; Huang, Xiahe; Liu, Ye; Lu, Min; Wang, Jinlong; Chen, Weiyang; Xu, Wu; Wang, Yingchun

    2017-01-09

    The photosynthetic model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 can grow in different trophic modes, depending on the availability of light and exogenous organic carbon source. However, how the protein profile changes to facilitate the cells differentially propagate in different modes has not been comprehensively investigated. Using isobaric labeling-based quantitative proteomics, we simultaneously identified and quantified 45% Synechocystis proteome across four different trophic modes, i.e., autotrophic, heterotrophic, photoheterotrophic, and mixotrophic modes. Among the 155 proteins that are differentially expressed across four trophic modes, proteins involved in nitrogen assimilation and light-independent chlorophyll synthesis are dramatically upregulated in the mixotrophic mode, concomitant with a dramatic increase of PII phosphorylation that senses carbon and nitrogen assimilation status. Moreover, functional study using a mutant defective in light-independent chlorophyll synthesis revealed that this pathway is important for chlorophyll accumulation under a cycled light/dark illumination regime, a condition mimicking day/night cycles in certain natural habitats. Collectively, these results provide the most comprehensive information on trophic mode-dependent protein expression in cyanobacterium, and reveal the functional significance of light-independent chlorophyll synthesis in trophic growth.

  5. Pathophysiological Significance of Dermatan Sulfate Proteoglycans Revealed by Human Genetic Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuji Mizumoto

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The indispensable roles of dermatan sulfate-proteoglycans (DS-PGs have been demonstrated in various biological events including construction of the extracellular matrix and cell signaling through interactions with collagen and transforming growth factor-β, respectively. Defects in the core proteins of DS-PGs such as decorin and biglycan cause congenital stromal dystrophy of the cornea, spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia, and Meester-Loeys syndrome. Furthermore, mutations in human genes encoding the glycosyltransferases, epimerases, and sulfotransferases responsible for the biosynthesis of DS chains cause connective tissue disorders including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia with joint laxity characterized by skin hyperextensibility, joint hypermobility, and tissue fragility, and by severe skeletal disorders such as kyphoscoliosis, short trunk, dislocation, and joint laxity. Glycobiological approaches revealed that mutations in DS-biosynthetic enzymes cause reductions in enzymatic activities and in the amount of synthesized DS and also disrupt the formation of collagen bundles. This review focused on the growing number of glycobiological studies on recently reported genetic diseases caused by defects in the biosynthesis of DS and DS-PGs.

  6. Characterization and phylogenetic analysis of -gliadin gene sequences reveals significant genomic divergence in Triticeae species

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Guang-Rong Li; Tao Lang; En-Nian Yang; Cheng Liu; Zu-Jun Yang

    2014-12-01

    Although the unique properties of wheat -gliadin gene family are well characterized, little is known about the evolution and genomic divergence of -gliadin gene family within the Triticeae. We isolated a total of 203 -gliadin gene sequences from 11 representative diploid and polyploid Triticeae species, and found 108 sequences putatively functional. Our results indicate that -gliadin genes may have possibly originated from wild Secale species, where the sequences contain the shortest repetitive domains and display minimum variation. A miniature inverted-repeat transposable element insertion is reported for the first time in -gliadin gene sequence of Thinopyrum intermedium in this study, indicating that the transposable element might have contributed to the diversification of -gliadin genes family among Triticeae genomes. The phylogenetic analyses revealed that the -gliadin gene sequences of Dasypyrum, Australopyrum, Lophopyrum, Eremopyrum and Pseudoroengeria species have amplified several times. A search for four typical toxic epitopes for celiac disease within the Triticeae -gliadin gene sequences showed that the -gliadins of wild Secale, Australopyrum and Agropyron genomes lack all four epitopes, while other Triticeae species have accumulated these epitopes, suggesting that the evolution of these toxic epitopes sequences occurred during the course of speciation, domestication or polyploidization of Triticeae.

  7. Instrumented Indentation of Lung Reveals Significant Short Term Alteration in Mechanical Behavior with 100% Oxygen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maricris R. Silva

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In critical care, trauma, or other situations involving reduced lung function, oxygen is given to avoid hypoxia. It is known that under certain conditions and long time (several hours exposure, oxygen is toxic to the lungs, the possible mechanisms being direct cellular damage or surfactant dysfunction. Our key objective was to investigate possible changes in lung function when exposed to 100% oxygen in the short term (several tidal volumes. We performed mechanical tests on lobar surfaces of excised mammalian lungs inflated with air or 100% oxygen, examining (i stiffness, (ii non-linear mechanical response and (iii induced alveolar deformation. Our results showed that within five tidal volumes of breathing 100% oxygen, lung mechanics are significantly altered. In addition, after five tidal volumes of laboratory air, lung mechanical behavior begins to return to pre-oxygen levels, indicating some reversibility. These significant and short-term mechanical effects of oxygen could be linked to oxygen toxicity.

  8. Independent component analysis reveals new and biologically significant structures in micro array data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veerla Srinivas

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An alternative to standard approaches to uncover biologically meaningful structures in micro array data is to treat the data as a blind source separation (BSS problem. BSS attempts to separate a mixture of signals into their different sources and refers to the problem of recovering signals from several observed linear mixtures. In the context of micro array data, "sources" may correspond to specific cellular responses or to co-regulated genes. Results We applied independent component analysis (ICA to three different microarray data sets; two tumor data sets and one time series experiment. To obtain reliable components we used iterated ICA to estimate component centrotypes. We found that many of the low ranking components indeed may show a strong biological coherence and hence be of biological significance. Generally ICA achieved a higher resolution when compared with results based on correlated expression and a larger number of gene clusters with significantly enriched for gene ontology (GO categories. In addition, components characteristic for molecular subtypes and for tumors with specific chromosomal translocations were identified. ICA also identified more than one gene clusters significant for the same GO categories and hence disclosed a higher level of biological heterogeneity, even within coherent groups of genes. Conclusion Although the ICA approach primarily detects hidden variables, these surfaced as highly correlated genes in time series data and in one instance in the tumor data. This further strengthens the biological relevance of latent variables detected by ICA.

  9. Urban eddy covariance measurements reveal significant missing NOx emissions in Central Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl, T; Graus, M; Striednig, M; Lamprecht, C; Hammerle, A; Wohlfahrt, G; Held, A; von der Heyden, L; Deventer, M J; Krismer, A; Haun, C; Feichter, R; Lee, J

    2017-05-30

    Nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution is emerging as a primary environmental concern across Europe. While some large European metropolitan areas are already in breach of EU safety limits for NO2, this phenomenon does not seem to be only restricted to large industrialized areas anymore. Many smaller scale populated agglomerations including their surrounding rural areas are seeing frequent NO2 concentration violations. The question of a quantitative understanding of different NOx emission sources is therefore of immanent relevance for climate and air chemistry models as well as air pollution management and health. Here we report simultaneous eddy covariance flux measurements of NOx, CO2, CO and non methane volatile organic compound tracers in a city that might be considered representative for Central Europe and the greater Alpine region. Our data show that NOx fluxes are largely at variance with modelled emission projections, suggesting an appreciable underestimation of the traffic related atmospheric NOx input in Europe, comparable to the weekend-weekday effect, which locally changes ozone production rates by 40%.

  10. Combining Chromosomal Arm Status and Significantly Aberrant Genomic Locations Reveals New Cancer Subtypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tal Shay

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Many types of tumors exhibit characteristic chromosomal losses or gains, as well as local amplifications and deletions. Within any given tumor type, sample specific amplifications and deletions are also observed. Typically, a region that is aberrant in more tumors, or whose copy number change is stronger, would be considered as a more promising candidate to be biologically relevant to cancer. We sought for an intuitive method to define such aberrations and prioritize them. We define V, the “volume” associated with an aberration, as the product of three factors: (a fraction of patients with the aberration, (b the aberration’s length and (c its amplitude. Our algorithm compares the values of V derived from the real data to a null distribution obtained by permutations, and yields the statistical significance (p-value of the measured value of V. We detected genetic locations that were significantly aberrant, and combine them with chromosomal arm status (gain/loss to create a succinct fingerprint of the tumor genome. This genomic fingerprint is used to visualize the tumors, highlighting events that are co-occurring or mutually exclusive. We apply the method on three different public array CGH datasets of Medulloblastoma and Neuroblastoma, and demonstrate its ability to detect chromosomal regions that were known to be altered in the tested cancer types, as well as to suggest new genomic locations to be tested. We identified a potential new subtype of Medulloblastoma, which is analogous to Neuroblastoma type 1.

  11. High-precision quadrupole moment reveals significant intruder component in 20 13 33Al ground state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heylen, H.; De Rydt, M.; Neyens, G.; Bissell, M. L.; Caceres, L.; Chevrier, R.; Daugas, J. M.; Ichikawa, Y.; Ishibashi, Y.; Kamalou, O.; Mertzimekis, T. J.; Morel, P.; Papuga, J.; Poves, A.; Rajabali, M. M.; Stödel, C.; Thomas, J. C.; Ueno, H.; Utsuno, Y.; Yoshida, N.; Yoshimi, A.

    2016-09-01

    The electric quadrupole moment of the 20 13 33Al ground state, located at the border of the island of inversion, was obtained using continuous-beam β -detected nuclear quadrupole resonance (β -NQR). From the measured quadrupole coupling constant νQ=2.31 (4 ) MHz in an α -Al2O3 crystal, a precise value for the electric quadrupole moment is extracted: 33Al>Qs 141 (3 ) mb. A comparison with large-scale shell model calculations shows that 33Al has at least 50% intruder configurations in the ground state wave function, favoring the excitation of two neutrons across the N =20 shell gap. 33Al therefore clearly marks the gradual transition north of the deformed Na and Mg nuclei towards the normal Z ≥14 isotopes.

  12. High-precision quadrupole moment reveals significant intruder component in 33Al20 ground state

    CERN Document Server

    Heylen, H; Neyens, G; Bissell, M L; Caceres, L; Chevrier, R; Daugas, J M; Ichikawa, Y; Ishibashi, Y; Kamalou, O; Mertzimekis, T J; Morel, P; Papuga, J; Poves, A; Rajabali, M M; Stodel, C; Thomas, J C; Ueno, H; Utsuno, Y; Yoshida, N; Yoshimi, A

    2016-01-01

    The electric quadrupole moment of the 33Al20 ground state, located at the border of the island of inversion, was obtained using continuous-beam beta-detected nuclear quadrupole resonance (beta-NQR). From the measured quadrupole coupling constant Q = 2.31(4) MHz in an alpha-Al2O3 crystal, a precise value for the electric quadrupole moment is extracted: Qs= 141(3) mb. A comparison with large-scale shell model calculations shows that 33Al has at least 50% intruder configurations in the ground state wave function, favoring the excitation of two neutrons across the N = 20 shell gap. 33Al therefore clearly marks the gradual transition north of the deformed Na and Mg nuclei towards the normal Z>14 isotopes.

  13. Seabird diving behaviour reveals the functional significance of shelf-sea fronts as foraging hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, S L; Miller, P I; Embling, C B; Scales, K L; Bicknell, A W J; Hosegood, P J; Morgan, G; Ingram, S N; Votier, S C

    2016-09-01

    Oceanic fronts are key habitats for a diverse range of marine predators, yet how they influence fine-scale foraging behaviour is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the dive behaviour of northern gannets Morus bassanus in relation to shelf-sea fronts. We GPS (global positioning system) tracked 53 breeding birds and examined the relationship between 1901 foraging dives (from time-depth recorders) and thermal fronts (identified via Earth Observation composite front mapping) in the Celtic Sea, Northeast Atlantic. We (i) used a habitat-use availability analysis to determine whether gannets preferentially dived at fronts, and (ii) compared dive characteristics in relation to fronts to investigate the functional significance of these oceanographic features. We found that relationships between gannet dive probabilities and fronts varied by frontal metric and sex. While both sexes were more likely to dive in the presence of seasonally persistent fronts, links to more ephemeral features were less clear. Here, males were positively correlated with distance to front and cross-front gradient strength, with the reverse for females. Both sexes performed two dive strategies: shallow V-shaped plunge dives with little or no active swim phase (92% of dives) and deeper U-shaped dives with an active pursuit phase of at least 3 s (8% of dives). When foraging around fronts, gannets were half as likely to engage in U-shaped dives compared with V-shaped dives, independent of sex. Moreover, V-shaped dive durations were significantly shortened around fronts. These behavioural responses support the assertion that fronts are important foraging habitats for marine predators, and suggest a possible mechanistic link between the two in terms of dive behaviour. This research also emphasizes the importance of cross-disciplinary research when attempting to understand marine ecosystems.

  14. Seabird diving behaviour reveals the functional significance of shelf-sea fronts as foraging hotspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, S. L.; Miller, P. I.; Embling, C. B.; Scales, K. L.; Bicknell, A. W. J.; Hosegood, P. J.; Morgan, G.; Ingram, S. N.; Votier, S. C.

    2016-09-01

    Oceanic fronts are key habitats for a diverse range of marine predators, yet how they influence fine-scale foraging behaviour is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the dive behaviour of northern gannets Morus bassanus in relation to shelf-sea fronts. We GPS (global positioning system) tracked 53 breeding birds and examined the relationship between 1901 foraging dives (from time-depth recorders) and thermal fronts (identified via Earth Observation composite front mapping) in the Celtic Sea, Northeast Atlantic. We (i) used a habitat-use availability analysis to determine whether gannets preferentially dived at fronts, and (ii) compared dive characteristics in relation to fronts to investigate the functional significance of these oceanographic features. We found that relationships between gannet dive probabilities and fronts varied by frontal metric and sex. While both sexes were more likely to dive in the presence of seasonally persistent fronts, links to more ephemeral features were less clear. Here, males were positively correlated with distance to front and cross-front gradient strength, with the reverse for females. Both sexes performed two dive strategies: shallow V-shaped plunge dives with little or no active swim phase (92% of dives) and deeper U-shaped dives with an active pursuit phase of at least 3 s (8% of dives). When foraging around fronts, gannets were half as likely to engage in U-shaped dives compared with V-shaped dives, independent of sex. Moreover, V-shaped dive durations were significantly shortened around fronts. These behavioural responses support the assertion that fronts are important foraging habitats for marine predators, and suggest a possible mechanistic link between the two in terms of dive behaviour. This research also emphasizes the importance of cross-disciplinary research when attempting to understand marine ecosystems.

  15. Transcriptomic and Protein Expression Analysis Reveals Clinicopathological Significance of Bloom Syndrome Helicase (BLM) in Breast Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora, Arvind; Abdel-Fatah, Tarek M A; Agarwal, Devika; Doherty, Rachel; Moseley, Paul M; Aleskandarany, Mohammed A; Green, Andrew R; Ball, Graham; Alshareeda, Alaa T; Rakha, Emad A; Chan, Stephen Y T; Ellis, Ian O; Madhusudan, Srinivasan

    2015-04-01

    Bloom syndrome helicase (BLM) has key roles in homologous recombination repair, telomere maintenance, and DNA replication. Germ-line mutations in the BLM gene causes Bloom syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by premature aging and predisposition to multiple cancers, including breast cancer. The clinicopathologic significance of BLM in sporadic breast cancers is unknown. We investigated BLM mRNA expression in the Molecular Taxonomy of Breast Cancer International Consortium cohort (n = 1,950) and validated in an external dataset of 2,413 tumors. BLM protein level was evaluated in the Nottingham Tenovus series comprising 1,650 breast tumors. BLM mRNA overexpression was significantly associated with high histologic grade, larger tumor size, estrogen receptor-negative (ER(-)), progesterone receptor-negative (PR(-)), and triple-negative phenotypes (ps < 0.0001). BLM mRNA overexpression was also linked to aggressive molecular phenotypes, including PAM50.Her2 (P < 0.0001), PAM50.Basal (P < 0.0001), and PAM50.LumB (P < 0.0001) and Genufu subtype (ER(+)/Her2(-)/high proliferation; P < 0.0001). PAM50.LumA tumors and Genufu subtype (ER(+)/Her2(-)/low proliferation) were more likely to express low levels of BLM mRNA (ps < 0.0001). Integrative molecular clusters (intClust) intClust.1 (P < 0.0001), intClust.5 (P < 0.0001), intClust.9 (P < 0.0001), and intClust.10 (P < 0.0001) were also more likely in tumors with high BLM mRNA expression. BLM mRNA overexpression was associated with poor breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS; ps < 0.000001). At the protein level, altered subcellular localization with high cytoplasmic BLM and low nuclear BLM was linked to aggressive phenotypes. In multivariate analysis, BLM mRNA and BLM protein levels independently influenced BCSS. This is the first and the largest study to provide evidence that BLM is a promising biomarker in breast cancer.

  16. The Hall current system revealed as a statistical significant pattern during fast flows

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Snekvik

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available We have examined the dawn-dusk component of the magnetic field, BY, in the night side current sheet during fast flows in the neutral sheet. 237 h of Cluster data from the plasma sheet between 2 August 2002 and 2 October 2002 have been analysed. The spatial pattern of BY as a function of the distance from the centre of the current sheet has been estimated by using a Harris current sheet model. We have used the average slopes of these patterns to estimate earthward and tailward currents. For earthward fast flows there is a tailward current in the inner central plasma sheet and an earthward current in the outer central plasma sheet on average. For tailward fast flows the currents are oppositely directed. These observations are interpreted as signatures of Hall currents in the reconnection region or as field aligned currents which are connected with these currents. Although fast flows often are associated with a dawn-dusk current wedge, we believe that we have managed to filter out such currents from our statistical patterns.

  17. Comparative genomic sequence analysis of strawberry and other rosids reveals significant microsynteny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abbott Albert

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fragaria belongs to the Rosaceae, an economically important family that includes a number of important fruit producing genera such as Malus and Prunus. Using genomic sequences from 50 Fragaria fosmids, we have examined the microsynteny between Fragaria and other plant models. Results In more than half of the strawberry fosmids, we found syntenic regions that are conserved in Populus, Vitis, Medicago and/or Arabidopsis with Populus containing the greatest number of syntenic regions with Fragaria. The longest syntenic region was between LG VIII of the poplar genome and the strawberry fosmid 72E18, where seven out of twelve predicted genes were collinear. We also observed an unexpectedly high level of conserved synteny between Fragaria (rosid I and Vitis (basal rosid. One of the strawberry fosmids, 34E24, contained a cluster of R gene analogs (RGAs with NBS and LRR domains. We detected clusters of RGAs with high sequence similarity to those in 34E24 in all the genomes compared. In the phylogenetic tree we have generated, all the NBS-LRR genes grouped together with Arabidopsis CNL-A type NBS-LRR genes. The Fragaria RGA grouped together with those of Vitis and Populus in the phylogenetic tree. Conclusions Our analysis shows considerable microsynteny between Fragaria and other plant genomes such as Populus, Medicago, Vitis, and Arabidopsis to a lesser degree. We also detected a cluster of NBS-LRR type genes that are conserved in all the genomes compared.

  18. Classification of microvascular patterns via cluster analysis reveals their prognostic significance in glioblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Long; Lin, Zhi-Xiong; Lin, Guo-Shi; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Chen, Yu-Peng; Wang, Xing-Fu; Zheng, Zong-Qing

    2015-01-01

    There are limited researches focusing on microvascular patterns (MVPs) in human glioblastoma and their prognostic impact. We evaluated MVPs of 78 glioblastomas by CD34/periodic acid-Schiff dual staining and by cluster analysis of the percentage of microvascular area for distinct microvascular formations. The distribution of 5 types of basic microvascular formations, that is, microvascular sprouting (MS), vascular cluster (VC), vascular garland (VG), glomeruloid vascular proliferation (GVP), and vasculogenic mimicry (VM), was variable. Accordingly, cluster analysis classified MVPs into 2 types: type I MVP displayed prominent MSs and VCs, whereas type II MVP had numerous VGs, GVPs, and VMs. By analyzing the proportion of microvascular area for each type of formation, we determined that glioblastomas with few MSs and VCs had many GVPs and VMs, and vice versa. VG seemed to be a transitional type of formation. In case of type I MVP, expression of Ki-67 and p53 but not MGMT was significantly higher as compared with those of type II MVP (P analysis showed that the type of MVPs presented as an independent prognostic factor of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) (both P < .001). Type II MVP had a more negative influence on PFS and OS than did type I MVP. We conclude that the heterogeneous MVPs in glioblastoma can be categorized properly by certain histopathologic and statistical analyses and may influence clinical outcome. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Rare human papillomavirus 16 E6 variants reveal significant oncogenic potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommasino Massimo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The aim of this study was to determine whether low prevalence human papillomavirus (HPV 16 E6 variants differ from high prevalence types in their functional abilities. We evaluated functions relevant to carcinogenesis for the rarely-detected European variants R8Q, R10G and R48W as compared to the commonly detected L83V. Human immortalized keratinocytes (NIKS stably transduced with the E6 variants were used in most functional assays. Low and high prevalence E6 variants displayed similar abilities in abrogation of growth arrest and inhibition of p53 elevation induced by actinomycin D. Differences were detected in the abilities to dysregulate stratification and differentiation of NIKS in organotypic raft cultures, modulate detachment induced apoptosis (anoikis and hyperactivate Wnt signaling. No distinctive phenotype could be assigned to include all rare variants. Like L83V, raft cultures derived from variants R10G and R48W similarly induced hyperplasia and aberrantly expressed keratin 5 in the suprabasal compartment with significantly lower expression of keratin 10. Unlike L83V, both variants, and particularly R48W, induced increased levels of anoikis upon suspension in semisolid medium. R8Q induced a unique phenotype characterized by thin organotypic raft cultures, low expression of keratin 10, and high expression of keratins 5 and 14 throughout all raft layers. Interestingly, in a reporter based assay R8Q exhibited a higher ability to augment TCF/β-catenin transcription. The data suggests that differences in E6 variant prevalence in cervical carcinoma may not be related to the carcinogenic potential of the E6 protein.

  20. Demand Model Combining Stated And Revealed Preference Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Is flow velocity a significant parameter in flood damage modelling?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Kreibich

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Flow velocity is generally presumed to influence flood damage. However, this influence is hardly quantified and virtually no damage models take it into account. Therefore, the influences of flow velocity, water depth and combinations of these two impact parameters on various types of flood damage were investigated in five communities affected by the Elbe catchment flood in Germany in 2002. 2-D hydraulic models with high to medium spatial resolutions were used to calculate the impact parameters at the sites in which damage occurred. A significant influence of flow velocity on structural damage, particularly on roads, could be shown in contrast to a minor influence on monetary losses and business interruption. Forecasts of structural damage to road infrastructure should be based on flow velocity alone. The energy head is suggested as a suitable flood impact parameter for reliable forecasting of structural damage to residential buildings above a critical impact level of 2 m of energy head or water depth. However, general consideration of flow velocity in flood damage modelling, particularly for estimating monetary loss, cannot be recommended.

  2. An anti-hapten camelid antibody reveals a cryptic binding site with significant energetic contributions from a nonhypervariable loop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fanning, Sean W.; Horn, James R. (NIU)

    2014-03-05

    Conventional anti-hapten antibodies typically bind low-molecular weight compounds (haptens) in the crevice between the variable heavy and light chains. Conversely, heavy chain-only camelid antibodies, which lack a light chain, must rely entirely on a single variable domain to recognize haptens. While several anti-hapten VHHs have been generated, little is known regarding the underlying structural and thermodynamic basis for hapten recognition. Here, an anti-methotrexate VHH (anti-MTX VHH) was generated using grafting methods whereby the three complementarity determining regions (CDRs) were inserted onto an existing VHH framework. Thermodynamic analysis of the anti-MTX VHH CDR1-3 Graft revealed a micromolar binding affinity, while the crystal structure of the complex revealed a somewhat surprising noncanonical binding site which involved MTX tunneling under the CDR1 loop. Due to the close proximity of MTX to CDR4, a nonhypervariable loop, the CDR4 loop sequence was subsequently introduced into the CDR1-3 graft, which resulted in a dramatic 1000-fold increase in the binding affinity. Crystal structure analysis of both the free and complex anti-MTX CDR1-4 graft revealed CDR4 plays a significant role in both intermolecular contacts and binding site conformation that appear to contribute toward high affinity binding. Additionally, the anti-MTX VHH possessed relatively high specificity for MTX over closely related compounds aminopterin and folate, demonstrating that VHH domains are capable of binding low-molecular weight ligands with high affinity and specificity, despite their reduced interface.

  3. Quantitative superresolution microscopy reveals differences in nuclear DNA organization of multiple myeloma and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathitruangsak, Chirawadee; Righolt, Christiaan H; Klewes, Ludger; Tammur, Pille; Ilus, Tiiu; Tamm, Anu; Punab, Mari; Olujohungbe, Adebayo; Mai, Sabine

    2015-05-01

    The mammalian nucleus has a distinct substructure that cannot be visualized directly by conventional microscopy. In this study, the organization of the DNA within the nucleus of multiple myeloma (MM) cells, their precursor cells (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance; MGUS) and control lymphocytes of the representative patients is visualized and quantified by superresolution microscopy. Three-dimensional structured illumination microscopy (3D-SIM) increases the spatial resolution beyond the limits of conventional widefield fluorescence microscopy. 3D-SIM reveals new insights into the nuclear architecture of cancer as we show for the first time that it resolves organizational differences in intranuclear DNA organization of myeloma cells in MGUS and in MM patients. In addition, we report a significant increase in nuclear submicron DNA structure and structure of the DNA-free space in myeloma nuclei compared to normal lymphocyte nuclei. Our study provides previously unknown details of the nanoscopic DNA architecture of interphase nuclei of the normal lymphocytes, MGUS and MM cells. This study opens new avenues to understanding the disease progression from MGUS to MM. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. A genome scan revealed significant associations of growth traits with a major QTL and GHR2 in tilapia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Feng; Sun, Fei; Xia, Jun Hong; Li, Jian; Fu, Gui Hong; Lin, Grace; Tu, Rong Jian; Wan, Zi Yi; Quek, Delia; Yue, Gen Hua

    2014-12-01

    Growth is an important trait in animal breeding. However, the genetic effects underpinning fish growth variability are still poorly understood. QTL mapping and analysis of candidate genes are effective methods to address this issue. We conducted a genome-wide QTL analysis for growth in tilapia. A total of 10, 7 and 8 significant QTLs were identified for body weight, total length and standard length at 140 dph, respectively. The majority of these QTLs were sex-specific. One major QTL for growth traits was identified in the sex-determining locus in LG1, explaining 71.7%, 67.2% and 64.9% of the phenotypic variation (PV) of body weight, total length and standard length, respectively. In addition, a candidate gene GHR2 in a QTL was significantly associated with body weight, explaining 13.1% of PV. Real-time qPCR revealed that different genotypes at the GHR2 locus influenced the IGF-1 expression level. The markers located in the major QTL for growth traits could be used in marker-assisted selection of tilapia. The associations between GHR2 variants and growth traits suggest that the GHR2 gene should be an important gene that explains the difference in growth among tilapia species.

  5. Multiresolution wavelet-ANN model for significant wave height forecasting.

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Deka, P.C.; Mandal, S.; Prahlada, R.

    Hybrid wavelet artificial neural network (WLNN) has been applied in the present study to forecast significant wave heights (Hs). Here Discrete Wavelet Transformation is used to preprocess the time series data (Hs) prior to Artificial Neural Network...

  6. Color-Doppler sonographic tissue perfusion measurements reveal significantly diminished renal cortical perfusion in kidneys with vesicoureteral reflux.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholbach, T M; Sachse, C

    2016-01-01

    Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and its sequelae may lead to reduced renal perfusion and loss of renal function. Methods to describe and monitor tissue perfusion are needed. We investigated dynamic tissue perfusion measurement (DTPM) with the PixelFlux-software to measure microvascular changes in the renal cortex in 35 children with VUR and 28 healthy children. DTPM of defined horizontal slices of the renal cortex was carried out. A kidney was assigned to the "low grade reflux"-group if the reflux grade of the voiding cystourethrogram was 1 to 3 and to the "high grade reflux"-group if the reflux grade was 4 to 5. Kidneys with VUR showed a significantly reduced cortical perfusion. Compared to healthy kidneys, this decline reached in low and high grade refluxes within the proximal 50% of the cortex: 3% and 12 %, in the distal 50% of the cortex: 21% and 44 % and in the most distal 20 % of the cortex 41% and 44%. DTPM reveals a perfusion loss in kidneys depending on the degree of VUR, which is most pronounced in the peripheral cortex. Thus, DTPM offers the tool to evaluate microvascular perfusion, to help planning treatment decisions in children with VUR.

  7. Familial longevity study reveals a significant association of mitochondrial DNA copy number between centenarians and their offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yong-Han; Chen, Xiao-Qiong; Yan, Dong-Jing; Xiao, Fu-Hui; Lin, Rong; Liao, Xiao-Ping; Liu, Yao-Wen; Pu, Shao-Yan; Yu, Qin; Sun, Hong-Peng; Jiang, Jian-Jun; Cai, Wang-Wei; Kong, Qing-Peng

    2016-11-01

    Reduced mitochondrial function is an important cause of aging and age-related diseases. We previously revealed a relatively higher level of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content in centenarians. However, it is still unknown whether such an mtDNA content pattern of centenarians could be passed on to their offspring and how it was regulated. To address these issues, we recruited 60 longevity families consisting of 206 family members (cohort 1) and explored their mtDNA copy number. The results showed that the first generation of the offspring (F1 offspring) had a higher level of mtDNA copy number than their spouses (p copy number in centenarians with that in F1 offspring (r = 0.54, p = 0.0008) but not with that in F1 spouses. These results were replicated in another independent cohort consisting of 153 subjects (cohort 2). RNA sequencing analysis suggests that the single-stranded DNA-binding protein 4 was significantly associated with mtDNA copy number and was highly expressed in centenarians as well as F1 offspring versus the F1 spouses, thus likely regulates the mtDNA copy number in the long-lived family members. In conclusion, our results suggest that the pattern of high mtDNA copy number is likely inheritable, which may act as a favorable factor to familial longevity through assuring adequate energy supply. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Scalar Dark Matter Models with Significant Internal Bremsstrahlung

    CERN Document Server

    Giacchino, Federica; Tytgat, Michel H G

    2013-01-01

    There has been interest recently on particle physics models that may give rise to sharp gamma ray spectral features from dark matter annihilation. Because dark matter is supposed to be electrically neutral, it is challenging to build weakly interacting massive particle models that may accommodate both a large cross section into gamma rays at, say, the Galactic center, and the right dark matter abundance. In this work, we consider the gamma ray signatures of a class of scalar dark matter models that interact with Standard Model dominantly through heavy vector-like fermions (the vector-like portal). We focus on a real scalar singlet S annihilating into lepton-antilepton pairs. Because this two-body final-state annihilation channel is d-wave suppressed in the chiral limit, we show that virtual internal bremsstrahlung emission of a gamma ray gives a large correction, both today and at the time of freeze-out. For the sake of comparison, we confront this scenario to the familiar case of a Majorana singlet annihilat...

  9. The significance of genetics in pathophysiologic models of premature birth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uberos, Jose

    2017-05-31

    Prematurity is a major health problem in all countries, especially in certain ethic groups and increasing recurrence imply the influence of genetic factors. Published genetic polymorphisms are identified in relation to the 4 pathophysiological models of prematurity described: Chorioamniotic-decidual inflammation, premature contraction pathway, decidual haemorrhage and susceptibility to environmental toxins. 240 articles are identified, 52 articles are excluded because they are not original, not written in English or duplicated. From them 125 articles were included in qualitative analysis This review aims to update recent knowledge about genes associated with premature birth.

  10. Simultaneous Application of Heat, Drought, and Virus to Arabidopsis Plants Reveals Significant Shifts in Signaling Networks1[W][OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasch, Christian Maximilian; Sonnewald, Uwe

    2013-01-01

    Considering global climate change, the incidence of combined drought and heat stress is likely to increase in the future and will considerably influence plant-pathogen interactions. Until now, little has been known about plants exposed to simultaneously occurring abiotic and biotic stresses. To shed some light on molecular plant responses to multiple stress factors, a versatile multifactorial test system, allowing simultaneous application of heat, drought, and virus stress, was developed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Comparative analysis of single, double, and triple stress responses by transcriptome and metabolome analysis revealed that gene expression under multifactorial stress is not predictable from single stress treatments. Hierarchical cluster and principal component analyses identified heat as the major stress factor, clearly separating heat-stressed from non-heat-stressed plants. We identified 11 genes differentially regulated in all stress combinations as well as 23 genes specifically regulated under triple stress. Furthermore, we showed that virus-treated plants displayed enhanced expression of defense genes, which was abolished in plants additionally subjected to heat and drought stress. Triple stress also reduced the expression of genes involved in the R-mediated disease response and increased the cytoplasmic protein response, which was not seen under single stress conditions. These observations suggested that abiotic stress factors significantly altered turnip mosaic virus-specific signaling networks, which led to a deactivation of defense responses and a higher susceptibility of plants. Collectively, our transcriptome and metabolome data provide a powerful resource to study plant responses during multifactorial stress and allow identifying metabolic processes and functional networks involved in tripartite interactions of plants with their environment. PMID:23753177

  11. Patient-specific metrics of invasiveness reveal significant prognostic benefit of resection in a predictable subset of gliomas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne L Baldock

    Full Text Available Malignant gliomas are incurable, primary brain neoplasms noted for their potential to extensively invade brain parenchyma. Current methods of clinical imaging do not elucidate the full extent of brain invasion, making it difficult to predict which, if any, patients are likely to benefit from gross total resection. Our goal was to apply a mathematical modeling approach to estimate the overall tumor invasiveness on a patient-by-patient basis and determine whether gross total resection would improve survival in patients with relatively less invasive gliomas.In 243 patients presenting with contrast-enhancing gliomas, estimates of the relative invasiveness of each patient's tumor, in terms of the ratio of net proliferation rate of the glioma cells to their net dispersal rate, were derived by applying a patient-specific mathematical model to routine pretreatment MR imaging. The effect of varying degrees of extent of resection on overall survival was assessed for cohorts of patients grouped by tumor invasiveness.We demonstrate that patients with more diffuse tumors showed no survival benefit (P = 0.532 from gross total resection over subtotal/biopsy, while those with nodular (less diffuse tumors showed a significant benefit (P = 0.00142 with a striking median survival benefit of over eight months compared to sub-totally resected tumors in the same cohort (an 80% improvement in survival time for GTR only seen for nodular tumors.These results suggest that our patient-specific, model-based estimates of tumor invasiveness have clinical utility in surgical decision making. Quantification of relative invasiveness assessed from routinely obtained pre-operative imaging provides a practical predictor of the benefit of gross total resection.

  12. Oil cracking to gases: Kinetic modeling and geological significance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TIAN Hui; WANG Zhaoming; XIAO Zhongyao; LI Xianqing; XIAO Xianming

    2006-01-01

    ATriassic oil sample from LN14 of Tarim Basin was pyrolyzed using the sealed gold tubes at 200-620℃ under a constant pressure of 50 MPa.The gaseous and residual soluble hydrocarbons were analyzed. The results show that the cracking of oil to gas can be divided into two distinct stages: the primary generation of total C1-5 gases from liquid oil characterized by the dominance of C2-5 hydrocarbons and the secondary or further cracking of C2-5gases to methane and carbon-rich matters leading to the progressive dryness of gases. Based on the experimental data, the kinetic parameters were determined for the primary generation and secondary cracking of oil cracking gases and extrapolated to geological conditions to predict the thermal stability and cracking extent of crude oil. Finally, an evolution model for the thermal destruction of crude oil was proposed and its implications to the migration and accumulation of oil cracking gases were discussed.

  13. Accuracy of pitch matching significantly improved by live voice model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granot, Roni Y; Israel-Kolatt, Rona; Gilboa, Avi; Kolatt, Tsafrir

    2013-05-01

    Singing is, undoubtedly, the most fundamental expression of our musical capacity, yet an estimated 10-15% of Western population sings "out-of-tune (OOT)." Previous research in children and adults suggests, albeit inconsistently, that imitating a human voice can improve pitch matching. In the present study, we focus on the potentially beneficial effects of the human voice and especially the live human voice. Eighteen participants varying in their singing abilities were required to imitate in singing a set of nine ascending and descending intervals presented to them in five different randomized blocked conditions: live piano, recorded piano, live voice using optimal voice production, recorded voice using optimal voice production, and recorded voice using artificial forced voice production. Pitch and interval matching in singing were much more accurate when participants repeated sung intervals as compared with intervals played to them on the piano. The advantage of the vocal over the piano stimuli was robust and emerged clearly regardless of whether piano tones were played live and in full view or were presented via recording. Live vocal stimuli elicited higher accuracy than recorded vocal stimuli, especially when the recorded vocal stimuli were produced in a forced vocal production. Remarkably, even those who would be considered OOT singers on the basis of their performance when repeating piano tones were able to pitch match live vocal sounds, with deviations well within the range of what is considered accurate singing (M=46.0, standard deviation=39.2 cents). In fact, those participants who were most OOT gained the most from the live voice model. Results are discussed in light of the dual auditory-motor encoding of pitch analogous to that found in speech. Copyright © 2013 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. The draft genome sequence of Corynebacterium diphtheriae bv. mitis NCTC 3529 reveals significant diversity between the primary disease-causing biovars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangal, Vartul; Tucker, Nicholas P; Burkovski, Andreas; Hoskisson, Paul A

    2012-06-01

    We report the draft genome of the human pathogen Corynebacterium diphtheriae bv. mitis NCTC 3529. This is the first C. diphtheriae bv. mitis strain to be sequenced and reveals significant differences from the other primary biovar, C. diphtheriae bv. gravis.

  19. The Draft Genome Sequence of Corynebacterium diphtheriae bv. mitis NCTC 3529 Reveals Significant Diversity between the Primary Disease-Causing Biovars

    OpenAIRE

    Sangal, Vartul; Nicholas P Tucker; Burkovski, Andreas; Hoskisson, Paul A.

    2012-01-01

    We report the draft genome of the human pathogen Corynebacterium diphtheriae bv. mitis NCTC 3529. This is the first C. diphtheriae bv. mitis strain to be sequenced and reveals significant differences from the other primary biovar, C. diphtheriae bv. gravis.

  20. Quantitative Superresolution Microscopy Reveals Differences in Nuclear DNA Organization of Multiple Myeloma and Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sathitruangsak, C.; Righolt, C.H.; Klewes, L.; Tammur, P.; Ilus, T.; Tamm, A.; Punab, M.; Olujohungbe, A.; Mai, S.

    2015-01-01

    The mammalian nucleus has a distinct substructure that cannot be visualized directly by conventional microscopy. In this study, the organization of the DNA within the nucleus of multiple myeloma (MM) cells, their precursor cells (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance; MGUS) and control

  1. "Topological significance" analysis of gene expression and proteomic profiles from prostate cancer cells reveals key mechanisms of androgen response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adaikkalam Vellaichamy

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The problem of prostate cancer progression to androgen independence has been extensively studied. Several studies systematically analyzed gene expression profiles in the context of biological networks and pathways, uncovering novel aspects of prostate cancer. Despite significant research efforts, the mechanisms underlying tumor progression are poorly understood. We applied a novel approach to reconstruct system-wide molecular events following stimulation of LNCaP prostate cancer cells with synthetic androgen and to identify potential mechanisms of androgen-independent progression of prostate cancer. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have performed concurrent measurements of gene expression and protein levels following the treatment using microarrays and iTRAQ proteomics. Sets of up-regulated genes and proteins were analyzed using our novel concept of "topological significance". This method combines high-throughput molecular data with the global network of protein interactions to identify nodes which occupy significant network positions with respect to differentially expressed genes or proteins. Our analysis identified the network of growth factor regulation of cell cycle as the main response module for androgen treatment in LNCap cells. We show that the majority of signaling nodes in this network occupy significant positions with respect to the observed gene expression and proteomic profiles elicited by androgen stimulus. Our results further indicate that growth factor signaling probably represents a "second phase" response, not directly dependent on the initial androgen stimulus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that in prostate cancer cells the proliferative signals are likely to be transmitted from multiple growth factor receptors by a multitude of signaling pathways converging on several key regulators of cell proliferation such as c-Myc, Cyclin D and CREB1. Moreover, these pathways are not isolated but constitute an

  2. Light and electron microscopy of the European beaver (Castor fiber stomach reveal unique morphological features with possible general biological significance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Ziółkowska

    Full Text Available Anatomical, histological, and ultrastructural studies of the European beaver stomach revealed several unique morphological features. The prominent attribute of its gross morphology was the cardiogastric gland (CGG, located near the oesophageal entrance. Light microscopy showed that the CGG was formed by invaginations of the mucosa into the submucosa, which contained densely packed proper gastric glands comprised primarily of parietal and chief cells. Mucous neck cells represented <0.1% of cells in the CGG gastric glands and 22-32% of cells in the proper gastric glands of the mucosa lining the stomach lumen. These data suggest that chief cells in the CGG develop from undifferentiated cells that migrate through the gastric gland neck rather than from mucous neck cells. Classical chief cell formation (i.e., arising from mucous neck cells occurred in the mucosa lining the stomach lumen, however. The muscularis around the CGG consisted primarily of skeletal muscle tissue. The cardiac region was rudimentary while the fundus/corpus and pyloric regions were equally developed. Another unusual feature of the beaver stomach was the presence of specific mucus with a thickness up to 950 µm (in frozen, unfixed sections that coated the mucosa. Our observations suggest that the formation of this mucus is complex and includes the secretory granule accumulation in the cytoplasm of pit cells, the granule aggregation inside cells, and the incorporation of degenerating cells into the mucus.

  3. Light and electron microscopy of the European beaver (Castor fiber) stomach reveal unique morphological features with possible general biological significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziółkowska, Natalia; Lewczuk, Bogdan; Petryński, Wojciech; Palkowska, Katarzyna; Prusik, Magdalena; Targońska, Krystyna; Giżejewski, Zygmunt; Przybylska-Gornowicz, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    Anatomical, histological, and ultrastructural studies of the European beaver stomach revealed several unique morphological features. The prominent attribute of its gross morphology was the cardiogastric gland (CGG), located near the oesophageal entrance. Light microscopy showed that the CGG was formed by invaginations of the mucosa into the submucosa, which contained densely packed proper gastric glands comprised primarily of parietal and chief cells. Mucous neck cells represented stomach lumen. These data suggest that chief cells in the CGG develop from undifferentiated cells that migrate through the gastric gland neck rather than from mucous neck cells. Classical chief cell formation (i.e., arising from mucous neck cells) occurred in the mucosa lining the stomach lumen, however. The muscularis around the CGG consisted primarily of skeletal muscle tissue. The cardiac region was rudimentary while the fundus/corpus and pyloric regions were equally developed. Another unusual feature of the beaver stomach was the presence of specific mucus with a thickness up to 950 µm (in frozen, unfixed sections) that coated the mucosa. Our observations suggest that the formation of this mucus is complex and includes the secretory granule accumulation in the cytoplasm of pit cells, the granule aggregation inside cells, and the incorporation of degenerating cells into the mucus.

  4. Differential transcriptome analysis of diabetes-resistant and -sensitive mouse islets reveals significant overlap with human diabetes susceptibility genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluth, Oliver; Matzke, Daniela; Schulze, Gunnar; Schwenk, Robert W; Joost, Hans-Georg; Schürmann, Annette

    2014-12-01

    Type 2 diabetes in humans and in obese mice is polygenic. In recent genome-wide association studies, genetic markers explaining a small portion of the genetic contribution to the disease were discovered. However, functional evidence linking these genes with the pathogenesis of diabetes is scarce. We performed RNA sequencing-based transcriptomics of islets from two obese mouse strains, a diabetes-susceptible (NZO) and a diabetes-resistant (B6-ob/ob) mouse, after a short glucose challenge and compared these results with human data. Alignment of 2,328 differentially expressed genes to 106 human diabetes candidate genes revealed an overlap of 20 genes, including TCF7L2, IGFBP2, CDKN2A, CDKN2B, GRB10, and PRC1. The data provide a functional validation of human diabetes candidate genes, including those involved in regulating islet cell recovery and proliferation, and identify additional candidates that could be involved in human β-cell failure. © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.

  5. Quantitative Superresolution Microscopy Reveals Differences in Nuclear DNA Organization of Multiple Myeloma and Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance

    OpenAIRE

    Sathitruangsak, C.; Righolt, C.H.; Klewes, L.; Tammur, P.; Ilus, T.; Tamm, A; Punab, M.; Olujohungbe, A; Mai, S.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The mammalian nucleus has a distinct substructure that cannot be visualized directly by conventional microscopy. In this study, the organization of the DNA within the nucleus of multiple myeloma (MM) cells, their precursor cells (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance; MGUS) and control lymphocytes of the representative patients is visualized and quantified by superresolution microscopy. Three‐dimensional structured illumination microscopy (3D‐SIM) increases the spatial r...

  6. Networks of Food Sharing Reveal the Functional Significance of Multilevel Sociality in Two Hunter-Gatherer Groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyble, Mark; Thompson, James; Smith, Daniel; Salali, Gul Deniz; Chaudhary, Nikhil; Page, Abigail E; Vinicuis, Lucio; Mace, Ruth; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2016-08-01

    Like many other mammalian and primate societies [1-4], humans are said to live in multilevel social groups, with individuals situated in a series of hierarchically structured sub-groups [5, 6]. Although this multilevel social organization has been described among contemporary hunter-gatherers [5], questions remain as to the benefits that individuals derive from living in such groups. Here, we show that food sharing among two populations of contemporary hunter-gatherers-the Palanan Agta (Philippines) and Mbendjele BaYaka (Republic of Congo)-reveals similar multilevel social structures, with individuals situated in households, within sharing clusters of 3-4 households, within the wider residential camps, which vary in size. We suggest that these groupings serve to facilitate inter-sexual provisioning, kin provisioning, and risk reduction reciprocity, three levels of cooperation argued to be fundamental in human societies [7, 8]. Humans have a suite of derived life history characteristics including a long childhood and short inter-birth intervals that make offspring energetically demanding [9] and have moved to a dietary niche that often involves the exploitation of difficult to acquire foods with highly variable return rates [10-12]. This means that human foragers face both day-to-day and more long-term energetic deficits that conspire to make humans energetically interdependent. We suggest that a multilevel social organization allows individuals access to both the food sharing partners required to buffer themselves against energetic shortfalls and the cooperative partners required for skill-based tasks such as cooperative foraging.

  7. Significant modifications of the salivary proteome potentially associated with complications of Down syndrome revealed by top-down proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabras, Tiziana; Pisano, Elisabetta; Montaldo, Caterina; Giuca, Maria Rita; Iavarone, Federica; Zampino, Giuseppe; Castagnola, Massimo; Messana, Irene

    2013-07-01

    People with Down syndrome, a frequent genetic disorder in humans, have increased risk of health problems associated with this condition. One clinical feature of Down syndrome is the increased prevalence and severity of periodontal disease in comparison with the general population. Because saliva plays an important role in maintaining oral health, in the present study the salivary proteome of Down syndrome subjects was investigated to explore modifications with respect to healthy subjects. Whole saliva of 36 Down syndrome subjects, divided in the age groups 10-17 yr and 18-50 yr, was analyzed by a top-down proteomic approach, based on the high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-MS analysis of the intact proteins and peptides, and the qualitative and quantitative profiles were compared with sex- and age-matched control groups. The results showed the following interesting features: 1) as opposed to controls, in Down syndrome subjects the concentration of the major salivary proteins of gland origin did not increase with age; as a consequence concentration of acidic proline rich proteins and S cystatins were found significantly reduced in older Down syndrome subjects with respect to matched controls; 2) levels of the antimicrobial α-defensins 1 and 2 and histatins 3 and 5 were significantly increased in whole saliva of older Down syndrome subjects with respect to controls; 3) S100A7, S100A8, and S100A12 levels were significantly increased in whole saliva of Down syndrome subjects in comparison with controls. The increased level of S100A7 and S100A12 may be of particular interest as a biomarker of early onset Alzheimer's disease, which is frequently associated with Down syndrome.

  8. Significant Modifications of the Salivary Proteome Potentially Associated with Complications of Down Syndrome Revealed by Top-down Proteomics*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabras, Tiziana; Pisano, Elisabetta; Montaldo, Caterina; Giuca, Maria Rita; Iavarone, Federica; Zampino, Giuseppe; Castagnola, Massimo; Messana, Irene

    2013-01-01

    People with Down syndrome, a frequent genetic disorder in humans, have increased risk of health problems associated with this condition. One clinical feature of Down syndrome is the increased prevalence and severity of periodontal disease in comparison with the general population. Because saliva plays an important role in maintaining oral health, in the present study the salivary proteome of Down syndrome subjects was investigated to explore modifications with respect to healthy subjects. Whole saliva of 36 Down syndrome subjects, divided in the age groups 10–17 yr and 18–50 yr, was analyzed by a top-down proteomic approach, based on the high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization–MS analysis of the intact proteins and peptides, and the qualitative and quantitative profiles were compared with sex- and age-matched control groups. The results showed the following interesting features: 1) as opposed to controls, in Down syndrome subjects the concentration of the major salivary proteins of gland origin did not increase with age; as a consequence concentration of acidic proline rich proteins and S cystatins were found significantly reduced in older Down syndrome subjects with respect to matched controls; 2) levels of the antimicrobial α-defensins 1 and 2 and histatins 3 and 5 were significantly increased in whole saliva of older Down syndrome subjects with respect to controls; 3) S100A7, S100A8, and S100A12 levels were significantly increased in whole saliva of Down syndrome subjects in comparison with controls. The increased level of S100A7 and S100A12 may be of particular interest as a biomarker of early onset Alzheimer's disease, which is frequently associated with Down syndrome. PMID:23533003

  9. Eph/ephrin profiling in human breast cancer reveals significant associations between expression level and clinical outcome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dana M Brantley-Sieders

    Full Text Available Pre-clinical studies provide compelling evidence that Eph family receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs and ligands promote cancer growth, neovascularization, invasion, and metastasis. Tumor suppressive roles have also been reported for the receptors, however, creating a potential barrier for clinical application. Determining how these observations relate to clinical outcome is a crucial step for translating the biological and mechanistic data into new molecularly targeted therapies. We investigated eph and ephrin expression in human breast cancer relative to endpoints of overall and/or recurrence-free survival in large microarray datasets. We also investigated protein expression in commercial human breast tissue microarrays (TMA and Stage I prognostic TMAs linked to recurrence outcome data. We found significant correlations between ephA2, ephA4, ephA7, ephB4, and ephB6 and overall and/or recurrence-free survival in large microarray datasets. Protein expression in TMAs supported these trends. While observed no correlation between ephrin ligand expression and clinical outcome in microarray datasets, ephrin-A1 and EphA2 protein co-expression was significantly associated with recurrence in Stage I prognostic breast cancer TMAs. Our data suggest that several Eph family members are clinically relevant and tractable targets for intervention in human breast cancer. Moreover, profiling Eph receptor expression patterns in the context of relevant ligands and in the context of stage may be valuable in terms of diagnostics and treatment.

  10. Cytogenetical and morphological features reveal significant differences among Venezuelan and Brazilian samples of Mugil curema (Teleostei: Mugilidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Nirchio

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Karyotype of M. curema from the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil have been reported as possessing chromosome complement with 2n=28 and FN=48, whereas specimens from Venezuela has been reported as possessing a diploid number 2n=24 and a conserved FN (48. Although at first sight this variation suggests the presence of a chromosomal intraspecific (interpopulational variability, the possibility that we are dealing with two different species was examined. This work revisit the karyotypes of M. curema from Venezuela and Brazil, including new data on C-banding, and NOR localization, and compares morphologic characteristics of samples from both localities. Thus, besides diploid number, the constitutive heterochromatin distribution and NORs location, mark other differences between M. curema Cytotype 1 (2n=28; FN=48 and Cytotype 2 (2n=24; NF=48. Moreover, morphologic comparison revealed differences in the scale counts and pectoral fin rays: 35 scales in the middle body line and 15 pectoral fin rays in specimens possessing the karyotype 2n=28, compared with 37-39 scales in the middle body line and 17 pectoral fin rays in specimens with the karyotype 2n=24. These differences lead us to suggest that both cytotypes are not related merely to geographic polytipic variations but could correspond to different species.Os cariótipos de M. curema do Golfo do México e do Brasil possuem 2n=28 cromossomos e NF=48. Espécimes da Venezuela, entretanto, apresentam um número diplóide de 28 cromossomos e um NF conservado (48. Apesar desta variação sugerir, a princípio, uma variabilidade intraespecífica (interpopulacional, a possibilidade de estarmos perante diferentes espécies foi investigada. O presente trabalho re-analisa os cariótipos de M. curema da Venezuela e do Brasil, incluindo novos dados sobre bandamento C e localização das NORs e compara caracteres merísticos e morfométricos de amostras de ambas as localidades. Assim, junto com o número cromossômico, a

  11. Significance of a two-domain structure in subunits of phycobiliproteins revealed by the normal mode analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, H; Wako, H; Yura, K; Go, M; Mimuro, M

    2000-09-01

    Phycobiliproteins are basic building blocks of phycobilisomes, a supra-molecular assembly for the light-capturing function of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria and red algae. One functional form of phycobiliproteins is a trimeric form consisting of three identical units having C(3) symmetry, with each unit composed of two kinds of subunits, the alpha-subunit and beta-subunit. These subunits have similar chain folds and can be divided into either globin-like or X-Y helices domains. We studied the significance of this two-domain structure for their assembled structures and biological function (light-absorption) using a normal mode analysis to investigate dynamic aspects of their three-dimensional structures. We used C-phycocyanin (C-PC) as an example, and focused on the interactions between the two domains. The normal mode analysis was carried out for the following two cases: 1) the whole subunit, including the two domains; and 2) the globin-like domain alone. By comparing the dynamic properties, such as correlative movements between residues and the fluctuations of individual residues, we found that the X-Y helices domain plays an important role not only in the C(3) symmetry assemblies of the subunits in phycobiliproteins, but also in stabilizing the light absorption property by suppressing the fluctuation of the specific Asp residues near the chromophore. Interestingly, the conformation of the X-Y helices domain corresponds to that of a module in pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK). The module in PPDK is involved in the interactions of two domains, just as the X-Y helices domain is involved in the interactions of two subunits. Finally, we discuss the mechanical construction of the C-PC subunits based on the normal mode analysis.

  12. A deep sequencing reveals significant diversity among dominant variants and evolutionary dynamics of avian leukosis viruses in two infectious ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Fanfeng; Dong, Xuan; Hu, Tao; Chang, Shuang; Fan, Jianhua; Zhao, Peng; Cui, Zhizhong

    2016-12-19

    As a typical retrovirus, the evolution of Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) in different infectious ecosystems is not characterized, what we know is there are a cloud of diverse variants, namely quasispecies with considerable genetic diversity. This study is to explore the selection of infectious ecosystems on dominant variants and their evolutionary dynamics of ALV-J between DF1 cells and specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens. High-throughput sequencing platforms provide an approach for detecting quasispecies diversity more fully. An average of about 20,000 valid reads were obtained from two variable regions of gp85 gene and LTR-U3 region from each sample in different infectious ecosystems. The top 10 dominant variants among ALV-J from chicken plasmas, DF1 cells and liver tumor were completely different from each other. Also there was a difference of shannon entropy and global selection pressure values (ω) in different infectious ecosystems. In the plasmas of two chickens, a large portion of quasispecies contained a 3-peptides "LSD" repeat insertion that was only less than 0.01% in DF1 cell culture supernatants. In parallel studies, the LTR-U3 region of ALV-J from the chicken plasmas demonstrated more variants with mutations in their transcription regulatory elements than those from DF1 cells. Our data taken together suggest that the molecular epidemiology based on isolated ALV-J in cell culture may not represent the true evolution of virus in chicken flocks in the field. The biological significance of the "LSD" insert and mutations in LTR-U3 needs to be further studied.

  13. Gamete production patterns, ploidy, and population genetics reveal evolutionary significant units in hybrid water frogs (Pelophylax esculentus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruvost, Nicolas B M; Hoffmann, Alexandra; Reyer, Heinz-Ulrich

    2013-09-01

    . These differences are strong evidence for a polyphyletic origin of triploids. Moreover, our findings shed light on the evolutionary potential inherent to the P. esculentus complex, where rare events due to untypical gametogenetic processes can lead to the raise, the perpetuation, and the dispersion of new evolutionary significant lineages which may also deserve special conservation measures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  17. Liquid chromatography-electrospray linear ion trap mass spectrometry analysis of targeted neuropeptides in Tac1(-/-) mouse spinal cords reveals significant lower concentration of opioid peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saidi, Mouna; Beaudry, Francis

    2015-08-01

    Tachykinin and opioid peptides play a central role in pain transmission, modulation and inhibition. The treatment of pain is very important in medicine and many studies using NK1 receptor antagonists failed to show significant analgesic effects in humans. Recent investigations suggest that both pronociceptive tachykinins and the analgesic opioid systems are important for normal pain sensation. The analysis of opioid peptides in Tac1(-/-) spinal cord tissues offers a great opportunity to verify the influence of the tachykinin system on specific opioid peptides. The objectives of this study were to develop an HPLC-MS/MRM assay to quantify targeted peptides in spinal cord tissues. Secondly, we wanted to verify if the Tac1(-/-) mouse endogenous opioid system is hampered and therefore affects significantly the pain modulatory pathways. Targeted neuropeptides were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography linear ion trap mass spectrometry. Our results reveal that EM-2, Leu-Enk and Dyn A were down-regulated in Tac1(-/-) spinal cord tissues. Interestingly, Dyn A was almost 3 fold down-regulated (p<0.0001). No significant concentration differences were observed in mouse Tac1(-/-) spinal cords for Met-Enk and CGRP. The analysis of Tac1(-/-) mouse spinal cords revealed noteworthy decreases of EM-2, Leu-Enk and Dyn A concentrations which strongly suggest a significant impact on the endogenous pain-relieving mechanisms. These observations may have insightful impact on future analgesic drug developments and therapeutic strategies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Significance of radiation models in investigating the flow phenomena around a Jovian entry body

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiwari, S. N.; Subramanian, S. V.

    1978-01-01

    Formulation is presented to demonstrate the significance of a simplified radiation model in investigating the flow-phenomena in the viscous radiating shock layer of a Jovian entry body. For this, a nongray absorption model for hydrogen-helium gas is developed which consists of 30 steps over the spectral range of 0-20 eV. By employing this model results were obtained for temperature, pressure, density, and radiative flux in the shock layer and along the body surface. These are compared with results of two sophisticated radiative transport models available in the literature. Use of the present radiation model results in significant reduction in computational time. Results of this model are found to be in general agreement with results of other models. It is concluded that use of the present model is justified in investigating the flow phenomena around a Jovian entry body because it is relatively simple, computationally fast, and yields fairly accurate results.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Quasi-degenerate Neutrino mass models and their significance: A model independent investigation

    CERN Document Server

    Roy, S

    2016-01-01

    The prediction of possible ordering of neutrino masses relies mostly on the model selected. Alienating the $\\mu-\\tau$ interchange symmetry from discrete flavour symmetry based models, turns the neutrino mass matrix less predictive. But this inspires one to seek the answer from other phenomenological frameworks. We need a proper parametrization of the neutrino mass matrices concerning individual hierarchies. In the present work, we attempt to study the six different cases of Quasi-degenerate (QDN) neutrino models. The related mass matrices, $m_{LL}^{\

  3. Different continuous cropping spans significantly affect microbial community membership and structure in a vanilla-grown soil as revealed by deep pyrosequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Wu; Zhao, Qingyun; Zhao, Jun; Xun, Weibing; Li, Rong; Zhang, Ruifu; Wu, Huasong; Shen, Qirong

    2015-07-01

    In the present study, soil bacterial and fungal communities across vanilla continuous cropping time-series fields were assessed through deep pyrosequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. The results demonstrated that the long-term monoculture of vanilla significantly altered soil microbial communities. Soil fungal diversity index increased with consecutive cropping years, whereas soil bacterial diversity was relatively stable. Bray-Curtis dissimilarity cluster and UniFrac-weighted principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) revealed that monoculture time was the major determinant for fungal community structure, but not for bacterial community structure. The relative abundances (RAs) of the Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Basidiomycota phyla were depleted along the years of vanilla monoculture. Pearson correlations at the phyla level demonstrated that Actinobacteria, Armatimonadetes, Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Firmicutes had significant negative correlations with vanilla disease index (DI), while no significant correlation for fungal phyla was observed. In addition, the amount of the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum accumulated with increasing years and was significantly positively correlated with vanilla DI. By contrast, the abundance of beneficial bacteria, including Bradyrhizobium and Bacillus, significantly decreased over time. In sum, soil weakness and vanilla stem wilt disease after long-term continuous cropping can be attributed to the alteration of the soil microbial community membership and structure, i.e., the reduction of the beneficial microbes and the accumulation of the fungal pathogen.

  4. Significant uncertainty in global scale hydrological modeling from precipitation data errors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weiland, Frederiek C. Sperna; Vrugt, Jasper A.; van Beek, Rens (L. ) P. H.; Weerts, Albrecht H.; Bierkens, Marc F. P.

    2015-01-01

    In the past decades significant progress has been made in the fitting of hydrologic models to data. Most of this work has focused on simple, CPU-efficient, lumped hydrologic models using discharge, water table depth, soil moisture, or tracer data from relatively small river basins. In this paper, we

  5. Significant uncertainty in global scale hydrological modeling from precipitation data erros

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sperna Weiland, F.; Vrugt, J.A.; Beek, van P.H.; Weerts, A.H.; Bierkens, M.F.P.

    2015-01-01

    In the past decades significant progress has been made in the fitting of hydrologic models to data. Most of this work has focused on simple, CPU-efficient, lumped hydrologic models using discharge, water table depth, soil moisture, or tracer data from relatively small river basins. In this paper, we

  6. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations reveal significant differences in interaction between antimycin and conserved amino acid residues in bovine and bacterial bc1 complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokhan, Oleksandr; Shinkarev, Vladimir P

    2011-02-02

    Antimycin A is the most frequently used specific and powerful inhibitor of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. We used all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to study the dynamic aspects of the interaction of antimycin A with the Q(i) site of the bacterial and bovine bc(1) complexes embedded in a membrane. The MD simulations revealed considerable conformational flexibility of antimycin and significant mobility of antimycin, as a whole, inside the Q(i) pocket. We conclude that many of the differences in antimycin binding observed in high-resolution x-ray structures may have a dynamic origin and result from fluctuations of protein and antimycin between multiple conformational states of similar energy separated by low activation barriers, as well as from the mobility of antimycin within the Q(i) pocket. The MD simulations also revealed a significant difference in interaction between antimycin and conserved amino acid residues in bovine and bacterial bc(1) complexes. The strong hydrogen bond between antimycin and conserved Asp-228 (bovine numeration) was observed to be frequently broken in the bacterial bc(1) complex and only rarely in the bovine bc(1) complex. In addition, the distances between antimycin and conserved His-201 and Lys-227 were consistently larger in the bacterial bc(1) complex. The observed differences could be responsible for a weaker interaction of antimycin with the bacterial bc(1) complex.

  7. The Significance of the Bystander Effect: Modeling, Experiments, and More Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brenner, David J.

    2009-07-22

    Non-targeted (bystander) effects of ionizing radiation are caused by intercellular signaling; they include production of DNA damage and alterations in cell fate (i.e. apoptosis, differentiation, senescence or proliferation). Biophysical models capable of quantifying these effects may improve cancer risk estimation at radiation doses below the epidemiological detection threshold. Understanding the spatial patterns of bystander responses is important, because it provides estimates of how many bystander cells are affected per irradiated cell. In a first approach to modeling of bystander spatial effects in a three-dimensional artificial tissue, we assumed the following: (1) The bystander phenomenon results from signaling molecules (S) that rapidly propagate from irradiated cells and decrease in concentration (exponentially in the case of planar symmetry) as distance increases. (2) These signals can convert cells to a long-lived epigenetically activated state, e.g. a state of oxidative stress; cells in this state are more prone to DNA damage and behavior alterations than normal and therefore exhibit an increased response (R) for many end points (e.g. apoptosis, differentiation, micronucleation). These assumptions were implemented by a mathematical formalism and computational algorithms. The model adequately described data on bystander responses in the 3D system using a small number of adjustable parameters. Mathematical models of radiation carcinogenesis are important for understanding mechanisms and for interpreting or extrapolating risk. There are two classes of such models: (1) long-term formalisms that track pre-malignant cell numbers throughout an entire lifetime but treat initial radiation dose-response simplistically and (2) short-term formalisms that provide a detailed initial dose-response even for complicated radiation protocols, but address its modulation during the subsequent cancer latency period only indirectly. We argue that integrating short- and long

  8. Novel submicronized rebamipide liquid with moderate viscosity: significant effects on oral mucositis in animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakashima, Takako; Sako, Nobutomo; Matsuda, Takakuni; Uematsu, Naoya; Sakurai, Kazushi; Ishida, Tatsuhiro

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed at developing a novel rebamipide liquid for an effective treatment of oral mucositis. The healing effects of a variety of liquids comprising submicronized rebamipide crystals were investigated using a rat cauterization-induced oral ulcer model. Whereas 2% rebamipide liquid comprising micro-crystals did not exhibit significant curative effect, 2% rebamipide liquids comprising submicronized crystals with moderate viscosities exhibited healing effects following intra-oral administration. The 2% and 4% optimized rebamipide liquids showed significant healing effects in the rat oral ulcer model (prebamipide liquid significantly reduced the percent area of ulcerated injury (prebamipide liquid with moderate viscosity following intra-oral administration showed better both healing effect in the rat oral ulcer model and preventive effect in the rat irradiation-induced glossitis model.

  9. The quest for significance model of radicalization: implications for the management of terrorist detainees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugas, Michelle; Kruglanski, Arie W

    2014-01-01

    Radicalization and its culmination in terrorism represent a grave threat to the security and stability of the world. A related challenge is effective management of extremists who are detained in prison facilities. The major aim of this article is to review the significance quest model of radicalization and its implications for management of terrorist detainees. First, we review the significance quest model, which elaborates on the roles of motivation, ideology, and social processes in radicalization. Secondly, we explore the implications of the model in relation to the risks of prison radicalization. Finally, we analyze the model's implications for deradicalization strategies and review preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of a rehabilitation program targeting components of the significance quest. Based on this evidence, we argue that the psychology of radicalization provides compelling reason for the inclusion of deradicalization efforts as an essential component of the management of terrorist detainees. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. A large-scale in vivo analysis reveals that TALENs are significantly more mutagenic than ZFNs generated using context-dependent assembly

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Shijia; Oikonomou, Grigorios; Chiu, Cindy N.; Niles, Brett J.; Liu, Justin; Lee, Daniel A.; Antoshechkin, Igor; Prober, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) have been shown to induce targeted mutations, but they have not been extensively tested in any animal model. Here, we describe a large-scale comparison of ZFN and TALEN mutagenicity in zebrafish. Using deep sequencing, we found that TALENs are significantly more likely to be mutagenic and induce an average of 10-fold more mutations than ZFNs. We observed a strong correlation between somatic and germ-line mutagenicity, and identi...

  12. Non-conventional modeling of extreme significant wave height through random sets

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Yi; LAM Jasmine Siu Lee

    2014-01-01

    The analysis and design of offshore structures necessitates the consideration of wave loads. Realistic model-ing of wave loads is particularly important to ensure reliable performance of these structures. Among the available methods for the modeling of the extreme significant wave height on a statistical basis, the peak over threshold method has attracted most attention. This method employs Poisson process to character-ize time-varying properties in the parameters of an extreme value distribution. In this paper, the peak over threshold method is reviewed and extended to account for subjectivity in the modeling. The freedom in selecting the threshold and the time span to separate extremes from the original time series data is incorpo-rated as imprecision in the model. This leads to an extension from random variables to random sets in the probabilistic model for the extreme significant wave height. The extended model is also applied to different periods of the sampled data to evaluate the significance of the climatic conditions on the uncertainties of the parameters.

  13. Whole blood transcriptional profiling reveals significant down-regulation of human leukocyte antigen class I and II genes in essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera and myelofibrosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skov, Vibe; Riley, Caroline Hasselbalch; Thomassen, Mads

    2013-01-01

    Gene expression profiling studies in the Philadelphia-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms have revealed significant deregulation of several immune and inflammation genes that might be of importance for clonal evolution due to defective tumor immune surveillance. Other mechanisms might...... be down-regulation of major histocompatibility (MHC) class I and II genes, which are used by tumor cells to escape antitumor T-cell-mediated immune responses. We have performed whole blood transcriptional profiling of genes encoding human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and II molecules, β2-microglobulin...... treatment with epigenome modulating agents (DNA-hypomethylators and DNA-hyperacetylators [histone deacetylase inhibitors]) and interferon-α2, our findings call for prospective transcriptional studies of HLA genes during treatment with these agents....

  14. Teaching physical activities to students with significant disabilities using video modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannella-Malone, Helen I; Mizrachi, Sharona V; Sabielny, Linsey M; Jimenez, Eliseo D

    2013-06-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of video modeling on teaching physical activities to three adolescents with significant disabilities. The study implemented a multiple baseline across six physical activities (three per student): jumping rope, scooter board with cones, ladder drill (i.e., feet going in and out), ladder design (i.e., multiple steps), shuttle run, and disc ride. Additional prompt procedures (i.e., verbal, gestural, visual cues, and modeling) were implemented within the study. After the students mastered the physical activities, we tested to see if they would link the skills together (i.e., complete an obstacle course). All three students made progress learning the physical activities, but only one learned them with video modeling alone (i.e., without error correction). Video modeling can be an effective tool for teaching students with significant disabilities various physical activities, though additional prompting procedures may be needed.

  15. 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.

  16. microTSS: accurate microRNA transcription start site identification reveals a significant number of divergent pri-miRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgakilas, Georgios; Vlachos, Ioannis S; Paraskevopoulou, Maria D; Yang, Peter; Zhang, Yuhong; Economides, Aris N; Hatzigeorgiou, Artemis G

    2014-12-10

    A large fraction of microRNAs (miRNAs) are derived from intergenic non-coding loci and the identification of their promoters remains 'elusive'. Here, we present microTSS, a machine-learning algorithm that provides highly accurate, single-nucleotide resolution predictions for intergenic miRNA transcription start sites (TSSs). MicroTSS integrates high-resolution RNA-sequencing data with active transcription marks derived from chromatin immunoprecipitation and DNase-sequencing to enable the characterization of tissue-specific promoters. MicroTSS is validated with a specifically designed Drosha-null/conditional-null mouse model, generated using the conditional by inversion (COIN) methodology. Analyses of global run-on sequencing data revealed numerous pri-miRNAs in human and mouse either originating from divergent transcription at promoters of active genes or partially overlapping with annotated long non-coding RNAs. MicroTSS is readily applicable to any cell or tissue samples and constitutes the missing part towards integrating the regulation of miRNA transcription into the modelling of tissue-specific regulatory networks.

  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. A new model to estimate significant wave heights with ERS-1/2 scatterometer data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Jie; HE Yijun; William Perrie; SHEN Hui; CHU Xiaoqing

    2009-01-01

    A new model is proposed to estimate the significant wave heights with ERS-1/2 scatterometer data. The results show that the relationship between wave parameters and radar backscattering cross section is similar to that between wind and the radar backscattering cross section. Therefore, the relationship between significant wave height and the radar backscattering cross section is established with a neural network algorithm, which is, if the average wave period is ≤7s, the root mean square of significant wave height retrieved from ERS-1/2 data is 0.51 m, or 0.72 m if it is >7s otherwise.

  19. Significance of exchanging SSURGO and STATSGO data when modeling hydrology in diverse physiographic terranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Tanja N.; Taylor, Charles J.; Newson, Jeremy K.

    2013-01-01

    The Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER) is a TOPMODEL-based hydrologic model that depends on spatially accurate soils data to function in diverse terranes. In Kentucky, this includes mountainous regions, karstic plateau, and alluvial plains. Soils data are critical because they quantify the space to store water, as well as how water moves through the soil to the stream during storm events. We compared how the model performs using two different sources of soils data--Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) and State Soil Geographic Database laboratory data (STATSGO)--for 21 basins ranging in size from 17 to 1564 km2. Model results were consistently better when SSURGO data were used, likely due to the higher field capacity, porosity, and available-water holding capacity, which cause the model to store more soil-water in the landscape and improve streamflow estimates for both low- and high-flow conditions. In addition, there were significant differences in the conductivity multiplier and scaling parameter values that describe how water moves vertically and laterally, respectively, as quantified by TOPMODEL. We also evaluated whether partitioning areas that drain to streams via sinkholes in karstic basins as separate hydrologic modeling units (HMUs) improved model performance. There were significant differences between HMUs in properties that control soil-water storage in the model, although the effect of partitioning these HMUs on streamflow simulation was inconclusive.

  20. Strategies for Testing Statistical and Practical Significance in Detecting DIF with Logistic Regression Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fidalgo, Angel M.; Alavi, Seyed Mohammad; Amirian, Seyed Mohammad Reza

    2014-01-01

    This study examines three controversial aspects in differential item functioning (DIF) detection by logistic regression (LR) models: first, the relative effectiveness of different analytical strategies for detecting DIF; second, the suitability of the Wald statistic for determining the statistical significance of the parameters of interest; and…

  1. On the significance of the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency measure for event-based flood models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moussa, Roger

    2010-05-01

    When modelling flood events, the important challenge that awaits the modeller is first to choose a rainfall-runoff model, then to calibrate a set of parameters that can accurately simulate a number of flood events and related hydrograph shapes, and finally to evaluate the model performance separately on each event using multi-criteria functions. This study analyses the significance of the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) and proposes a new method to assess the performance of flood event models (see Moussa, 2010, "When monstrosity can be beautiful while normality can be ugly : assessing the performance of event-based-flood-models", Hydrological Science Journal, in press). We focus on the specific cases of events difficult to model and characterized by low NSE values, which we call "monsters". The properties of the NSE were analysed as a function of the calculated hydrograph shape and of the benchmark reference model. As application case, a multi-criteria analysis method to assess the model performance on each event is proposed and applied on the Gardon d'Anduze catchment. This paper discusses first the significance of the well-known Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) criteria function when calculated separately on flood events. The NSE is a convenient and normalized measure of model performance, but does not provide a reliable basis for comparing the results of different case studies. We show that simulated hydrographs with low or negative values of NSE, called "monsters", can be due solely to a simple lag translation or a homothetic ratio of the observed hydrograph which reproduces the dynamic of the hydrograph, with acceptable errors on other criteria. In the opposite, results show that simulations with a NSE close to 1 can become "monsters" and give very low values (even negative) of the criteria function G, if the average observed discharged used as a benchmark reference model in the NSE is modified. This paper argues that the definition of an appropriate benchmark

  2. Generalized Models: An Application to Identify Environmental Variables That Significantly Affect the Abundance of Three Tree Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Antúnez

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available In defining the environmental preferences of plant species, statistical models are part of the essential tools in the field of modern ecology. However, conventional linear models require compliance with some parametric assumptions and if these requirements are not met, imply a serious limitation of the applied model. In this study, the effectiveness of linear and nonlinear generalized models was examined to identify the unitary effect of the principal environmental variables on the abundance of three tree species growing in the natural temperate forests of Oaxaca, Mexico. The covariates that showed a significant effect on the distribution of tree species were the maximum and minimum temperatures and the precipitation during specific periods. Results suggest that the generalized models, particularly smoothed models, were able to detect the increase or decrease of the abundance against changes in an environmental variable; they also revealed the inflection of the regression. In addition, these models allow partial characterization of the realized niche of a given species according to some specific variables, regardless of the type of relationship.

  3. Proteomic analysis reveals significant elevation of heat shock protein 70 in patients with chronic heart failure due to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ying-Jie; Huang, Yin-Xia; Shen, Ya; Cui, Chuan-Jue; Zhang, Xiao-Ling; Zhang, Hao; Hu, Sheng-Shou

    2009-12-01

    As proteins are the ultimate biological determinants of phenotype of disease, we screened altered proteins associated with heart failure due to arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) to identify biomarkers potential for rapid diagnosis of heart failure. By 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, we identified five commonly altered proteins with more than 1.5 fold changes in eight ARVC failing hearts using eight non-failing hearts as reference. Noticeably, one of the altered proteins, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), was increased by 1.64 fold in ARVC failing hearts compared with non-failing hearts. The increase of cardiac HSP70 was further validated by Western blot, immunochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in failing hearts due to not only ARVC, but also dilated (DCM, n = 18) and ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM, n = 8). Serum HSP70 was also observed to be significantly increased in heart failure patients derived from the three forms of cardiomyopathies. In addition, we observed hypoxia/serum depletion stimulation induced significantly elevation of intracellular and extracellular HSP70 in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes. For the first time to our knowledge, we revealed and clearly demonstrated significant up-regulation of cardiac and serum HSP70 in ARVC heart failure patients. Our results indicate that elevated HSP70 is the common feature of heart failure due to ARVC, DCM, and ICM, which suggests that HSP70 may be used as a biomarker for the presence of heart failure due to cardiomyopathies of different etiologies and may hold diagnostic/prognostic potential in clinical practice.

  4. Using animal models to determine the significance of complement activation in Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loeffler David A

    2004-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Complement inflammation is a major inflammatory mechanism whose function is to promote the removal of microorganisms and the processing of immune complexes. Numerous studies have provided evidence for an increase in this process in areas of pathology in the Alzheimer's disease (AD brain. Because complement activation proteins have been demonstrated in vitro to exert both neuroprotective and neurotoxic effects, the significance of this process in the development and progression of AD is unclear. Studies in animal models of AD, in which brain complement activation can be experimentally altered, should be of value for clarifying this issue. However, surprisingly little is known about complement activation in the transgenic animal models that are popular for studying this disorder. An optimal animal model for studying the significance of complement activation on Alzheimer's – related neuropathology should have complete complement activation associated with senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles (if present, and dystrophic neurites. Other desirable features include both classical and alternative pathway activation, increased neuronal synthesis of native complement proteins, and evidence for an increase in complement activation prior to the development of extensive pathology. In order to determine the suitability of different animal models for studying the role of complement activation in AD, the extent of complement activation and its association with neuropathology in these models must be understood.

  5. Field significance of performance measures in the context of regional climate model evaluation. Part 2: precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Martin; Warrach-Sagi, Kirsten; Wulfmeyer, Volker

    2017-02-01

    A new approach for rigorous spatial analysis of the downscaling performance of regional climate model (RCM) simulations is introduced. It is based on a multiple comparison of the local tests at the grid cells and is also known as `field' or `global' significance. The block length for the local resampling tests is precisely determined to adequately account for the time series structure. New performance measures for estimating the added value of downscaled data relative to the large-scale forcing fields are developed. The methodology is exemplarily applied to a standard EURO-CORDEX hindcast simulation with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with the land surface model NOAH at 0.11 ∘ grid resolution. Daily precipitation climatology for the 1990-2009 period is analysed for Germany for winter and summer in comparison with high-resolution gridded observations from the German Weather Service. The field significance test controls the proportion of falsely rejected local tests in a meaningful way and is robust to spatial dependence. Hence, the spatial patterns of the statistically significant local tests are also meaningful. We interpret them from a process-oriented perspective. While the downscaled precipitation distributions are statistically indistinguishable from the observed ones in most regions in summer, the biases of some distribution characteristics are significant over large areas in winter. WRF-NOAH generates appropriate stationary fine-scale climate features in the daily precipitation field over regions of complex topography in both seasons and appropriate transient fine-scale features almost everywhere in summer. As the added value of global climate model (GCM)-driven simulations cannot be smaller than this perfect-boundary estimate, this work demonstrates in a rigorous manner the clear additional value of dynamical downscaling over global climate simulations. The evaluation methodology has a broad spectrum of applicability as it is

  6. Does Statistical Significance Help to Evaluate Predictive Performance of Competing Models?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levent Bulut

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In Monte Carlo experiment with simulated data, we show that as a point forecast criterion, the Clark and West's (2006 unconditional test of mean squared prediction errors does not reflect the relative performance of a superior model over a relatively weaker one. The simulation results show that even though the mean squared prediction errors of a constructed superior model is far below a weaker alternative, the Clark- West test does not reflect this in their test statistics. Therefore, studies that use this statistic in testing the predictive accuracy of alternative exchange rate models, stock return predictability, inflation forecasting, and unemployment forecasting should not weight too much on the magnitude of the statistically significant Clark-West tests statistics.

  7. A background error covariance model of significant wave height employing Monte Carlo simulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Yanyou; HOU Yijun; ZHANG Chunmei; YANG Jie

    2012-01-01

    The quality of background error statistics is one of the key components for successful assimilation of observations in a numerical model.The background error covariance(BEC)of ocean waves is generally estimated under an assumption that it is stationary over a period of time and uniform over a domain.However,error statistics are in fact functions of the physical processes governing the meteorological situation and vary with the wave condition.In this paper,we simulated the BEC of the significant wave height(SWH)employing Monte Carlo methods.An interesting result is that the BEC varies consistently with the mean wave direction(MWD).In the model domain,the BEC of the SWH decreases significantly when the MWD changes abruptly.A new BEC model of the SWH based on the correlation between the BEC and MWD was then developed.A case study of regional data assimilation was performed,where the SWH observations of buoy 22001 were used to assess the SWH hindcast.The results show that the new BEC model benefits wave prediction and allows reasonable approximations of anisotropy and inhomogeneous errors.

  8. A novel method for RNA extraction from FFPE samples reveals significant differences in biomarker expression between orthotopic and subcutaneous pancreatic cancer patient-derived xenografts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Mark; Maawy, Ali; Chang, Alexander; Lee, Jacqueline; Gharibi, Armen; Katz, Matthew H; Fleming, Jason; Hoffman, Robert M; Bouvet, Michael; Doebler, Robert; Kelber, Jonathan A

    2017-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) can identify and validate new biomarkers of cancer onset, progression and therapy resistance. Substantial archives of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) cancer samples from patients represent a rich resource for linking molecular signatures to clinical data. However, performing NGS on FFPE samples is limited by poor RNA purification methods. To address this hurdle, we developed an improved methodology for extracting high-quality RNA from FFPE samples. By briefly integrating a newly-designed micro-homogenizing (mH) tool with commercially available FFPE RNA extraction protocols, RNA recovery is increased by approximately 3-fold while maintaining standard A260/A280 ratios and RNA quality index (RQI) values. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the mH-purified FFPE RNAs are longer and of higher integrity. Previous studies have suggested that pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) gene expression signatures vary significantly under in vitro versus in vivo and in vivo subcutaneous versus orthotopic conditions. By using our improved mH-based method, we were able to preserve established expression patterns of KRas-dependency genes within these three unique microenvironments. Finally, expression analysis of novel biomarkers in KRas mutant PDAC samples revealed that PEAK1 decreases and MST1R increases by over 100-fold in orthotopic versus subcutaneous microenvironments. Interestingly, however, only PEAK1 levels remain elevated in orthotopically grown KRas wild-type PDAC cells. These results demonstrate the critical nature of the orthotopic tumor microenvironment when evaluating the clinical relevance of new biomarkers in cells or patient-derived samples. Furthermore, this new mH-based FFPE RNA extraction method has the potential to enhance and expand future FFPE-RNA-NGS cancer biomarker studies. PMID:27602776

  9. Genome Wide Expression Profiling of Cancer Cell Lines Cultured in Microgravity Reveals Significant Dysregulation of Cell Cycle and MicroRNA Gene Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prasanna Vidyasekar

    Full Text Available Zero gravity causes several changes in metabolic and functional aspects of the human body and experiments in space flight have demonstrated alterations in cancer growth and progression. This study reports the genome wide expression profiling of a colorectal cancer cell line-DLD-1, and a lymphoblast leukemic cell line-MOLT-4, under simulated microgravity in an effort to understand central processes and cellular functions that are dysregulated among both cell lines. Altered cell morphology, reduced cell viability and an aberrant cell cycle profile in comparison to their static controls were observed in both cell lines under microgravity. The process of cell cycle in DLD-1 cells was markedly affected with reduced viability, reduced colony forming ability, an apoptotic population and dysregulation of cell cycle genes, oncogenes, and cancer progression and prognostic markers. DNA microarray analysis revealed 1801 (upregulated and 2542 (downregulated genes (>2 fold in DLD-1 cultures under microgravity while MOLT-4 cultures differentially expressed 349 (upregulated and 444 (downregulated genes (>2 fold under microgravity. The loss in cell proliferative capacity was corroborated with the downregulation of the cell cycle process as demonstrated by functional clustering of DNA microarray data using gene ontology terms. The genome wide expression profile also showed significant dysregulation of post transcriptional gene silencing machinery and multiple microRNA host genes that are potential tumor suppressors and proto-oncogenes including MIR22HG, MIR17HG and MIR21HG. The MIR22HG, a tumor-suppressor gene was one of the highest upregulated genes in the microarray data showing a 4.4 log fold upregulation under microgravity. Real time PCR validated the dysregulation in the host gene by demonstrating a 4.18 log fold upregulation of the miR-22 microRNA. Microarray data also showed dysregulation of direct targets of miR-22, SP1, CDK6 and CCNA2.

  10. Significance of settling model structures and parameter subsets in modelling WWTPs under wet-weather flow and filamentous bulking conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramin, Elham; Sin, Gürkan; Mikkelsen, Peter Steen; Plósz, Benedek Gy

    2014-10-15

    Current research focuses on predicting and mitigating the impacts of high hydraulic loadings on centralized wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) under wet-weather conditions. The maximum permissible inflow to WWTPs depends not only on the settleability of activated sludge in secondary settling tanks (SSTs) but also on the hydraulic behaviour of SSTs. The present study investigates the impacts of ideal and non-ideal flow (dry and wet weather) and settling (good settling and bulking) boundary conditions on the sensitivity of WWTP model outputs to uncertainties intrinsic to the one-dimensional (1-D) SST model structures and parameters. We identify the critical sources of uncertainty in WWTP models through global sensitivity analysis (GSA) using the Benchmark simulation model No. 1 in combination with first- and second-order 1-D SST models. The results obtained illustrate that the contribution of settling parameters to the total variance of the key WWTP process outputs significantly depends on the influent flow and settling conditions. The magnitude of the impact is found to vary, depending on which type of 1-D SST model is used. Therefore, we identify and recommend potential parameter subsets for WWTP model calibration, and propose optimal choice of 1-D SST models under different flow and settling boundary conditions. Additionally, the hydraulic parameters in the second-order SST model are found significant under dynamic wet-weather flow conditions. These results highlight the importance of developing a more mechanistic based flow-dependent hydraulic sub-model in second-order 1-D SST models in the future.

  11. Significance of Kinetics for Sorption on Inorganic Colloids: Modeling and Data Interpretation Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Painter, S.; Cvetkovic, V.; Pickett, D.; Turner, D.

    2001-12-01

    Irreversible or slowly reversible attachment to inorganic colloids is a process that may enhance radionuclide transport in the environment. An understanding of sorption kinetics is critical in evaluating this process. A two-site kinetic model for sorption on inorganic colloids is developed and used to evaluate laboratory data. This model was developed as an alternative to the equilibrium colloid sorption model employed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in their performance assessment for the proposed repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The model quantifies linear first-order sorption on two types of hypothetical sites (fast and slow) characterized by two pairs of rates (forward and reverse). We use the model to explore data requirements for long-term predictive calculations and to evaluate laboratory kinetic sorption data of Lu et al. Five batch sorption data sets are considered with Pu(V) as the tracer and montmorillonite, hematite, silica, and smectite as colloids. Using asymptotic results applicable on the 240 hour time-scale of the experiments, a robust estimation procedure is developed for the fast-site partitioning coefficient and the slow forward rate. The estimated range for the partition coefficient is 1.1-76 L/g; the range for the slow forward rate is 0.0017-0.02 L/h. Comparison of one-site and two-site sorption interpretations reveals the difficulty in discriminating between the two models for montmorillonite and to a lesser extent for hematite. For silica and smectite the two-site model clearly provides a better representation of the data as compared with a single site model. Kinetic data for silica are available for different colloid concentrations (0.2 g/L and 1.0 g/L). For the range of experimental conditions considered, the forward rate appears to be independent of the colloid concentration. The slow reverse rate cannot be estimated on the time scale of the experiments; we estimate the detection limits for the

  12. Quantitative proteomics reveals significant changes in cell shape and an energy shift after IPTG induction via an optimized SILAC approach for Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ping, Lingyan; Zhang, Heng; Zhai, Linhui; Dammer, Eric B; Duong, Duc M; Li, Ning; Yan, Zili; Wu, Junzhu; Xu, Ping

    2013-12-01

    Stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) has been widely used in yeast, mammalian cells, and even some multicellular organisms. However, the lack of optimized SILAC media limits its application in Escherichia coli, the most commonly used model organism. We optimized SILACE medium (SILAC medium created in this study for E. coli) for nonauxotrophic E. coli with high growth speed and complete labeling efficiency of the whole proteome in 12 generations. We applied a swapped SILAC workflow and pure null experiment with the SILACE medium using E. coli BL21 (DE3) cells hosting a recombinant plasmid coding for glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and ubiquitin binding domain before and after isopropyl thiogalactoside (IPTG) induction. Finally, we identified 1251 proteins with a significant change in abundance. Pathway analysis suggested that cell growth and fissiparism were inhibited accompanied by the down-regulation of proteins related to energy and metabolism, cell division, and the cell cycle, resulting in the size and shape change of the induced cells. Taken together, the results confirm the development of SILACE medium suitable for efficient and complete labeling of E. coli cells and a data filtering strategy for SILAC-based quantitative proteomics studies of E. coli.

  13. Significant glial alterations in response to iron loading in a novel organotypic hippocampal slice culture model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healy, Sinead; McMahon, Jill; Owens, Peter; FitzGerald, Una

    2016-01-01

    Aberrant iron deposition in the brain is associated with neurodegenerative disorders including Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. To study the collective response to iron loading, we have used hippocampal organotypic slices as a platform to develop a novel ex vivo model of iron accumulation. We demonstrated differential uptake and toxicity of iron after 12 h exposure to 10 μM ferrous ammonium sulphate, ferric citrate or ferrocene. Having established the supremacy of ferrocene in this model, the cultures were then loaded with 0.1–100 μM ferrocene for 12 h. One μM ferrocene exposure produced the maximal 1.6-fold increase in iron compared with vehicle. This was accompanied by a 1.4-fold increase in ferritin transcripts and mild toxicity. Using dual-immunohistochemistry, we detected ferritin in oligodendrocytes, microglia, but rarely in astrocytes and never in neurons in iron-loaded slice cultures. Moreover, iron loading led to a 15% loss of olig2-positive cells and a 16% increase in number and greater activation of microglia compared with vehicle. However, there was no appreciable effect of iron loading on astrocytes. In what we believe is a significant advance on traditional mono- or dual-cultures, our novel ex vivo slice-culture model allows characterization of the collective response of brain cells to iron-loading. PMID:27808258

  14. A Parallelized Pumpless Artificial Placenta System Significantly Prolonged Survival Time in a Preterm Lamb Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miura, Yuichiro; Matsuda, Tadashi; Usuda, Haruo; Watanabe, Shimpei; Kitanishi, Ryuta; Saito, Masatoshi; Hanita, Takushi; Kobayashi, Yoshiyasu

    2016-05-01

    An artificial placenta (AP) is an arterio-venous extracorporeal life support system that is connected to the fetal circulation via the umbilical vasculature. Previously, we published an article describing a pumpless AP system with a small priming volume. We subsequently developed a parallelized system, hypothesizing that the reduced circuit resistance conveyed by this modification would enable healthy fetal survival time to be prolonged. We conducted experiments using a premature lamb model to test this hypothesis. As a result, the fetal survival period was significantly prolonged (60.4 ± 3.8 vs. 18.2 ± 3.2 h, P < 0.01), and circuit resistance and minimal blood lactate levels were significantly lower in the parallel circuit group, compared with our previous single circuit group. Fetal physiological parameters remained stable until the conclusion of the experiments. In summary, parallelization of the AP system was associated with reduced circuit resistance and lactate levels and allowed preterm lamb fetuses to survive for a significantly longer period when compared with previous studies.

  15. Modulation of ethylene responses by OsRTH1 overexpression reveals the biological significance of ethylene in rice seedling growth and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Zhou, Xin; Wen, Chi-Kuang

    2012-06-01

    Overexpression of Arabidopsis Reversion-To-ethylene Sensitivity1 (RTE1) results in whole-plant ethylene insensitivity dependent on the ethylene receptor gene Ethylene Response1 (ETR1). However, overexpression of the tomato RTE1 homologue Green Ripe (GR) delays fruit ripening but does not confer whole-plant ethylene insensitivity. It was decided to investigate whether aspects of ethylene-induced growth and development of the monocotyledonous model plant rice could be modulated by rice RTE1 homologues (OsRTH genes). Results from a cross-species complementation test in Arabidopsis showed that OsRTH1 overexpression complemented the rte1-2 loss-of-function mutation and conferred whole-plant ethylene insensitivity in an ETR1-dependent manner. In contrast, OsRTH2 and OsRTH3 overexpression did not complement rte1-2 or confer ethylene insensitivity. In rice, OsRTH1 overexpression substantially prevented ethylene-induced alterations in growth and development, including leaf senescence, seedling leaf elongation and development, coleoptile elongation or curvature, and adventitious root development. Results of subcellular localizations of OsRTHs, each fused with the green fluorescent protein, in onion epidermal cells suggested that the three OsRTHs were predominantly localized to the Golgi. OsRTH1 may be an RTE1 orthologue of rice and modulate rice ethylene responses. The possible roles of auxins and gibberellins in the ethylene-induced alterations in growth were evaluated and the biological significance of ethylene in the early stage of rice seedling growth is discussed.

  16. Phasic firing in vasopressin cells: understanding its functional significance through computational models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duncan J MacGregor

    Full Text Available Vasopressin neurons, responding to input generated by osmotic pressure, use an intrinsic mechanism to shift from slow irregular firing to a distinct phasic pattern, consisting of long bursts and silences lasting tens of seconds. With increased input, bursts lengthen, eventually shifting to continuous firing. The phasic activity remains asynchronous across the cells and is not reflected in the population output signal. Here we have used a computational vasopressin neuron model to investigate the functional significance of the phasic firing pattern. We generated a concise model of the synaptic input driven spike firing mechanism that gives a close quantitative match to vasopressin neuron spike activity recorded in vivo, tested against endogenous activity and experimental interventions. The integrate-and-fire based model provides a simple physiological explanation of the phasic firing mechanism involving an activity-dependent slow depolarising afterpotential (DAP generated by a calcium-inactivated potassium leak current. This is modulated by the slower, opposing, action of activity-dependent dendritic dynorphin release, which inactivates the DAP, the opposing effects generating successive periods of bursting and silence. Model cells are not spontaneously active, but fire when perturbed by random perturbations mimicking synaptic input. We constructed one population of such phasic neurons, and another population of similar cells but which lacked the ability to fire phasically. We then studied how these two populations differed in the way that they encoded changes in afferent inputs. By comparison with the non-phasic population, the phasic population responds linearly to increases in tonic synaptic input. Non-phasic cells respond to transient elevations in synaptic input in a way that strongly depends on background activity levels, phasic cells in a way that is independent of background levels, and show a similar strong linearization of the response

  17. A systematic experimental investigation of significant parameters affecting model tire hydroplaning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wray, G. A.; Ehrlich, I. R.

    1973-01-01

    The results of a comprehensive parametric study of model and small pneumatic tires operating on a wet surface are presented. Hydroplaning inception (spin down) and rolling restoration (spin up) are discussed. Conclusions indicate that hydroplaning inception occurs at a speed significantly higher than the rolling restoration speed. Hydroplaning speed increases considerably with tread depth, surface roughness and tire inflation pressure of footprint pressure, and only moderately with increased load. Water film thickness affects spin down speed only slightly. Spin down speed varies inversely as approximately the one-sixth power of film thickness. Empirical equations relating tire inflation pressure, normal load, tire diameter and water film thickness have been generated for various tire tread and surface configurations.

  18. Computer modeling of gastric parietal cell: significance of canalicular space, gland lumen, and variable canalicular [K+].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crothers, James M; Forte, John G; Machen, Terry E

    2016-05-01

    A computer model, constructed for evaluation of integrated functioning of cellular components involved in acid secretion by the gastric parietal cell, has provided new interpretations of older experimental evidence, showing the functional significance of a canalicular space separated from a mucosal bath by a gland lumen and also shedding light on basolateral Cl(-) transport. The model shows 1) changes in levels of parietal cell secretion (with stimulation or H-K-ATPase inhibitors) result mainly from changes in electrochemical driving forces for apical K(+) and Cl(-) efflux, as canalicular [K(+)] ([K(+)]can) increases or decreases with changes in apical H(+)/K(+) exchange rate; 2) H-K-ATPase inhibition in frog gastric mucosa would increase [K(+)]can similarly with low or high mucosal [K(+)], depolarizing apical membrane voltage similarly, so electrogenic H(+) pumping is not indicated by inhibition causing similar increase in transepithelial potential difference (Vt) with 4 and 80 mM mucosal K(+); 3) decreased H(+) secretion during strongly mucosal-positive voltage clamping is consistent with an electroneutral H-K-ATPase being inhibited by greatly decreased [K(+)]can (Michaelis-Menten mechanism); 4) slow initial change ("long time-constant transient") in current or Vt with clamping of Vt or current involves slow change in [K(+)]can; 5) the Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) symporter (NKCC) is likely to have a significant role in Cl(-) influx, despite evidence that it is not necessary for acid secretion; and 6) relative contributions of Cl(-)/HCO3 (-) exchanger (AE2) and NKCC to Cl(-) influx would differ greatly between resting and stimulated states, possibly explaining reported differences in physiological characteristics of stimulated open-circuit Cl(-) secretion (≈H(+)) and resting short-circuit Cl(-) secretion (>H(+)).

  19. Significant Features Found in Simulated Tropical Climates Using a Cloud Resolving Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shie, C.-L.; Tao, W.-K.; Simpson, J.; Sui, C.-H.

    2000-01-01

    Cloud resolving model (CRM) has widely been used in recent years for simulations involving studies of radiative-convective systems and their role in determining the tropical regional climate. The growing popularity of CRMs usage can be credited for their inclusion of crucial and realistic features such like explicit cloud-scale dynamics, sophisticated microphysical processes, and explicit radiative-convective interaction. For example, by using a two-dimensional cloud model with radiative-convective interaction process, found a QBO-like (quasibiennial oscillation) oscillation of mean zonal wind that affected the convective system. Accordingly, the model-generated rain band corresponding to convective activity propagated in the direction of the low-level zonal mean winds; however, the precipitation became "localized" (limited within a small portion of the domain) as zonal mean winds were removed. Two other CRM simulations by S94 and Grabowski et al. (1996, hereafter G96), respectively that produced distinctive quasi-equilibrium ("climate") states on both tropical water and energy, i.e., a cold/dry state in S94 and a warm/wet state in G96, have later been investigated by T99. They found that the pattern of the imposed large-scale horizontal wind and the magnitude of the imposed surface fluxes were the two crucial mechanisms in determining the tropical climate states. The warm/wet climate was found associated with prescribed strong surface winds, or with maintained strong vertical wind shears that well-organized convective systems prevailed. On the other hand, the cold/dry climate was produced due to imposed weak surface winds and weak wind shears throughout a vertically mixing process by convection. In this study, considered as a sequel of T99, the model simulations to be presented are generally similar to those of T99 (where a detailed model setup can be found), except for a more detailed discussion along with few more simulated experiments. There are twelve major

  20. Significance tests to determine the direction of effects in linear regression models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiedermann, Wolfgang; Hagmann, Michael; von Eye, Alexander

    2015-02-01

    Previous studies have discussed asymmetric interpretations of the Pearson correlation coefficient and have shown that higher moments can be used to decide on the direction of dependence in the bivariate linear regression setting. The current study extends this approach by illustrating that the third moment of regression residuals may also be used to derive conclusions concerning the direction of effects. Assuming non-normally distributed variables, it is shown that the distribution of residuals of the correctly specified regression model (e.g., Y is regressed on X) is more symmetric than the distribution of residuals of the competing model (i.e., X is regressed on Y). Based on this result, 4 one-sample tests are discussed which can be used to decide which variable is more likely to be the response and which one is more likely to be the explanatory variable. A fifth significance test is proposed based on the differences of skewness estimates, which leads to a more direct test of a hypothesis that is compatible with direction of dependence. A Monte Carlo simulation study was performed to examine the behaviour of the procedures under various degrees of associations, sample sizes, and distributional properties of the underlying population. An empirical example is given which illustrates the application of the tests in practice.

  1. 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

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

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    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.

  3. {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.

  4. Pharmacological kynurenine 3-monooxygenase enzyme inhibition significantly reduces neuropathic pain in a rat model.

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    Rojewska, Ewelina; Piotrowska, Anna; Makuch, Wioletta; Przewlocka, Barbara; Mika, Joanna

    2016-03-01

    Recent studies have highlighted the involvement of the kynurenine pathway in the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases, but the role of this system in neuropathic pain requires further extensive research. Therefore, the aim of our study was to examine the role of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (Kmo), an enzyme that is important in this pathway, in a rat model of neuropathy after chronic constriction injury (CCI) to the sciatic nerve. For the first time, we demonstrated that the injury-induced increase in the Kmo mRNA levels in the spinal cord and the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) was reduced by chronic administration of the microglial inhibitor minocycline and that this effect paralleled a decrease in the intensity of neuropathy. Further, minocycline administration alleviated the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced upregulation of Kmo mRNA expression in microglial cell cultures. Moreover, we demonstrated that not only indirect inhibition of Kmo using minocycline but also direct inhibition using Kmo inhibitors (Ro61-6048 and JM6) decreased neuropathic pain intensity on the third and the seventh days after CCI. Chronic Ro61-6048 administration diminished the protein levels of IBA-1, IL-6, IL-1beta and NOS2 in the spinal cord and/or the DRG. Both Kmo inhibitors potentiated the analgesic properties of morphine. In summary, our data suggest that in neuropathic pain model, inhibiting Kmo function significantly reduces pain symptoms and enhances the effectiveness of morphine. The results of our studies show that the kynurenine pathway is an important mediator of neuropathic pain pathology and indicate that Kmo represents a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of neuropathy.

  5. Cyclosporin A significantly improves preeclampsia signs and suppresses inflammation in a rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bihui; Yang, Jinying; Huang, Qian; Bao, Junjie; Brennecke, Shaun Patrick; Liu, Huishu

    2016-05-01

    Preeclampsia is associated with an increased inflammatory response. Immune suppression might be an effective treatment. The aim of this study was to examine whether Cyclosporin A (CsA), an immunosuppressant, improves clinical characteristics of preeclampsia and suppresses inflammation in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced preeclampsia rat model. Pregnant rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: group 1 (PE) rats each received LPS via tail vein on gestational day (GD) 14; group 2 (PE+CsA5) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (5mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 3 (PE+CsA10) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (10mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 4 (pregnant control, PC) rats were treated with the vehicle (saline) used for groups 1, 2 and 3. Systolic blood pressure, urinary albumin, biometric parameters and the levels of serum cytokines were measured on day 20. CsA treatment significantly reduced LPS-induced systolic blood pressure and the mean 24-h urinary albumin excretion. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, IFN-γ and TNF-α were increased in the LPS treatment group but were reduced in (LPS+CsA) group (PCyclosporine A improved preeclampsia signs and attenuated inflammatory responses in the LPS induced preeclampsia rat model which suggests that immunosuppressant might be an alternative management option for preeclampsia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Prostate cancer risk and DNA damage: translational significance of selenium supplementation in a canine model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, David J; Shen, Shuren; Glickman, Lawrence T; Cooley, Dawn M; Bostwick, David G; Qian, Junqi; Combs, Gerald F; Morris, J Steven

    2005-07-01

    Daily supplementation with the essential trace mineral selenium significantly reduced prostate cancer risk in men in the Nutritional Prevention of Cancer Trial. However, the optimal intake of selenium for prostate cancer prevention is unknown. We hypothesized that selenium significantly regulates the extent of genotoxic damage within the aging prostate and that the relationship between dietary selenium intake and DNA damage is non-linear, i.e. more selenium is not necessarily better. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a randomized feeding trial in which 49 elderly beagle dogs (physiologically equivalent to 62-69-year-old men) received nutritionally adequate or supranutritional levels of selenium for 7 months, in order to mimic the range of dietary selenium intake of men in the United States. Our results demonstrate an intriguing U-shaped dose-response relationship between selenium status (toenail selenium concentration) and the extent of DNA damage (alkaline Comet assay) within the prostate. Further, we demonstrate that the concentration of selenium that minimizes DNA damage in the aging dog prostate remarkably parallels the selenium concentration in men that minimizes prostate cancer risk. By studying elderly dogs, the only non-human animal model of spontaneous prostate cancer, we have established a new approach to bridge the gap between laboratory and human studies that can be used to select the appropriate dose of anticancer agents for large-scale human cancer prevention trials. From the U-shaped dose-response, it follows that not all men will necessarily benefit from increasing their selenium intake and that measurement of baseline nutrient status should be required for all individuals in prevention trials to avoid oversupplementation.

  7. Kernel density surface modelling as a means to identify significant concentrations of vulnerable marine ecosystem indicators.

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    Ellen Kenchington

    Full Text Available The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/105, concerning sustainable fisheries in the marine ecosystem, calls for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME from destructive fishing practices. Subsequently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO produced guidelines for identification of VME indicator species/taxa to assist in the implementation of the resolution, but recommended the development of case-specific operational definitions for their application. We applied kernel density estimation (KDE to research vessel trawl survey data from inside the fishing footprint of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO Regulatory Area in the high seas of the northwest Atlantic to create biomass density surfaces for four VME indicator taxa: large-sized sponges, sea pens, small and large gorgonian corals. These VME indicator taxa were identified previously by NAFO using the fragility, life history characteristics and structural complexity criteria presented by FAO, along with an evaluation of their recovery trajectories. KDE, a non-parametric neighbour-based smoothing function, has been used previously in ecology to identify hotspots, that is, areas of relatively high biomass/abundance. We present a novel approach of examining relative changes in area under polygons created from encircling successive biomass categories on the KDE surface to identify "significant concentrations" of biomass, which we equate to VMEs. This allows identification of the VMEs from the broader distribution of the species in the study area. We provide independent assessments of the VMEs so identified using underwater images, benthic sampling with other gear types (dredges, cores, and/or published species distribution models of probability of occurrence, as available. For each VME indicator taxon we provide a brief review of their ecological function which will be important in future assessments of significant adverse impact on these habitats here

  8. Significance of settling model structures and parameter subsets in modelling WWTPs under wet-weather flow and filamentous bulking conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramin, Elham; Sin, Gürkan; Mikkelsen, Peter Steen;

    2014-01-01

    Current research focuses on predicting and mitigating the impacts of high hydraulic loadings on centralized wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) under wet-weather conditions. The maximum permissible inflow to WWTPs depends not only on the settleability of activated sludge in secondary settling tanks...... (SSTs) but also on the hydraulic behaviour of SSTs. The present study investigates the impacts of ideal and non-ideal flow (dry and wet weather) and settling (good settling and bulking) boundary conditions on the sensitivity of WWTP model outputs to uncertainties intrinsic to the one-dimensional (1-D...... of settling parameters to the total variance of the key WWTP process outputs significantly depends on the influent flow and settling conditions. The magnitude of the impact is found to vary, depending on which type of 1-D SST model is used. Therefore, we identify and recommend potential parameter subsets...

  9. Systems analysis of MVA-C induced immune response reveals its significance as a vaccine candidate against HIV/AIDS of clade C.

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    Carmen Elena Gómez

    Full Text Available Based on the partial efficacy of the HIV/AIDS Thai trial (RV144 with a canarypox vector prime and protein boost, attenuated poxvirus recombinants expressing HIV-1 antigens are increasingly sought as vaccine candidates against HIV/AIDS. Here we describe using systems analysis the biological and immunological characteristics of the attenuated vaccinia virus Ankara strain expressing the HIV-1 antigens Env/Gag-Pol-Nef of HIV-1 of clade C (referred as MVA-C. MVA-C infection of human monocyte derived dendritic cells (moDCs induced the expression of HIV-1 antigens at high levels from 2 to 8 hpi and triggered moDCs maturation as revealed by enhanced expression of HLA-DR, CD86, CD40, HLA-A2, and CD80 molecules. Infection ex vivo of purified mDC and pDC with MVA-C induced the expression of immunoregulatory pathways associated with antiviral responses, antigen presentation, T cell and B cell responses. Similarly, human whole blood or primary macrophages infected with MVA-C express high levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines involved with T cell activation. The vector MVA-C has the ability to cross-present antigens to HIV-specific CD8 T cells in vitro and to increase CD8 T cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. The immunogenic profiling in mice after DNA-C prime/MVA-C boost combination revealed activation of HIV-1-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell memory responses that are polyfunctional and with effector memory phenotype. Env-specific IgG binding antibodies were also produced in animals receiving DNA-C prime/MVA-C boost. Our systems analysis of profiling immune response to MVA-C infection highlights the potential benefit of MVA-C as vaccine candidate against HIV/AIDS for clade C, the prevalent subtype virus in the most affected areas of the world.

  10. High-fat diet induces significant metabolic disorders in a mouse model of polycystic ovary syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Hao; Jia, Xiao; Yu, Qiuxiao; Zhang, Chenglu; Qiao, Jie; Guan, Youfei; Kang, Jihong

    2014-11-01

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female endocrinopathy associated with both reproductive and metabolic disorders. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is currently used to induce a PCOS mouse model. High-fat diet (HFD) has been shown to cause obesity and infertility in female mice. The possible effect of an HFD on the phenotype of DHEA-induced PCOS mice is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate both reproductive and metabolic features of DHEA-induced PCOS mice fed a normal chow or a 60% HFD. Prepubertal C57BL/6 mice (age 25 days) on the normal chow or an HFD were injected (s.c.) daily with the vehicle sesame oil or DHEA for 20 consecutive days. At the end of the experiment, both reproductive and metabolic characteristics were assessed. Our data show that an HFD did not affect the reproductive phenotype of DHEA-treated mice. The treatment of HFD, however, caused significant metabolic alterations in DHEA-treated mice, including obesity, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and pronounced liver steatosis. These findings suggest that HFD induces distinct metabolic features in DHEA-induced PCOS mice. The combined DHEA and HFD treatment may thus serve as a means of studying the mechanisms involved in metabolic derangements of this syndrome, particularly in the high prevalence of hepatic steatosis in women with PCOS.

  11. Significance of model credibility in estimating climate projection distributions for regional hydroclimatological risk assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brekke, L.D.; Dettinger, M.D.; Maurer, E.P.; Anderson, M.

    2008-01-01

    Ensembles of historical climate simulations and climate projections from the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP's) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) multi-model dataset were investigated to determine how model credibility affects apparent relative scenario likelihoods in regional risk assessments. Methods were developed and applied in a Northern California case study. An ensemble of 59 twentieth century climate simulations from 17 WCRP CMIP3 models was analyzed to evaluate relative model credibility associated with a 75-member projection ensemble from the same 17 models. Credibility was assessed based on how models realistically reproduced selected statistics of historical climate relevant to California climatology. Metrics of this credibility were used to derive relative model weights leading to weight-threshold culling of models contributing to the projection ensemble. Density functions were then estimated for two projected quantities (temperature and precipitation), with and without considering credibility-based ensemble reductions. An analysis for Northern California showed that, while some models seem more capable at recreating limited aspects twentieth century climate, the overall tendency is for comparable model performance when several credibility measures are combined. Use of these metrics to decide which models to include in density function development led to local adjustments to function shapes, but led to limited affect on breadth and central tendency, which were found to be more influenced by 'completeness' of the original ensemble in terms of models and emissions pathways. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. More Use of Peritoneal Dialysis Gives Significant Savings: A Systematic Review and Health Economic Decision Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pike, Eva; Hamidi, Vida; Ringerike, Tove; Wisloff, Torbjorn; Klemp, Marianne

    2017-01-01

    Background Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are in need of renal replacement therapy as dialysis and/or transplantation. The prevalence of ESRD and, thus, the need for dialysis are constantly growing. The dialysis modalities are either peritoneal performed at home or hemodialysis (HD) performed in-center (hospital or satellite) or home. We examined effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HD performed at different locations (hospital, satellite, and home) and peritoneal dialysis (PD) at home in the Norwegian setting. Methods We conducted a systematic review for patients above 18 years with end-stage renal failure requiring dialysis in several databases and performed several meta-analyses of existing literature. Mortality and major complications that required were our main clinical outcomes. The quality of the evidence for each outcome was evaluated using GRADE. Cost-effectiveness was assessed by developing a probabilistic Markov model. The analysis was carried out from a societal perspective, and effects were expressed in quality-adjusted life-years. Uncertainties in the base-case parameter values were explored with a probabilistic sensitivity analysis. Scenario analyses were conducted by increasing the proportion of patients receiving PD with a corresponding reduction in HD patients in-center both for Norway and Europian Union. We assumed an annual growth rate of 4% in the number of dialysis patients, and a relative distribution between PD and HD in-center of 30% and 70%, respectively. Results From a societal perspective and over a 5-year time horizon, PD was the most cost-effective dialysis alternative. We found no significant difference in mortality between peritoneal and HD modalities. Our scenario analyses showed that a shift toward more patients on PD (as a first choice) with a corresponding reduction in HD in-center gave a saving over a 5-year period of 32 and 10,623 million EURO, respectively, for Norway and the European Union. Conclusions PD was

  13. Significant impacts of irrigation water sources and methods on modeling irrigation effects in the ACME Land Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leng, Guoyong; Leung, Lai-Yung; Huang, Maoyi

    2017-07-01

    An irrigation module that considers both irrigation water sources and irrigation methods has been incorporated into the ACME Land Model (ALM). Global numerical experiments were conducted to evaluate the impacts of irrigation water sources and irrigation methods on the simulated irrigation effects. All simulations shared the same irrigation soil moisture target constrained by a global census dataset of irrigation amounts. Irrigation has large impacts on terrestrial water balances especially in regions with extensive irrigation. Such effects depend on the irrigation water sources: surface-water-fed irrigation leads to decreases in runoff and water table depth, while groundwater-fed irrigation increases water table depth, with positive or negative effects on runoff depending on the pumping intensity. Irrigation effects also depend significantly on the irrigation methods. Flood irrigation applies water in large volumes within short durations, resulting in much larger impacts on runoff and water table depth than drip and sprinkler irrigations. Differentiating the irrigation water sources and methods is important not only for representing the distinct pathways of how irrigation influences the terrestrial water balances, but also for estimating irrigation water use efficiency. Specifically, groundwater pumping has lower irrigation water use efficiency due to enhanced recharge rates. Different irrigation methods also affect water use efficiency, with drip irrigation the most efficient followed by sprinkler and flood irrigation. Our results highlight the importance of explicitly accounting for irrigation sources and irrigation methods, which are the least understood and constrained aspects in modeling irrigation water demand, water scarcity and irrigation effects in Earth System Models.

  14. Genomic profiling of plasmablastic lymphoma using array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH: revealing significant overlapping genomic lesions with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

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    Lu Xin-Yan

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmablastic lymphoma (PL is a subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL. Studies have suggested that tumors with PL morphology represent a group of neoplasms with clinopathologic characteristics corresponding to different entities including extramedullary plasmablastic tumors associated with plasma cell myeloma (PCM. The goal of the current study was to evaluate the genetic similarities and differences among PL, DLBCL (AIDS-related and non AIDS-related and PCM using array-based comparative genomic hybridization. Results Examination of genomic data in PL revealed that the most frequent segmental gain (> 40% include: 1p36.11-1p36.33, 1p34.1-1p36.13, 1q21.1-1q23.1, 7q11.2-7q11.23, 11q12-11q13.2 and 22q12.2-22q13.3. This correlated with segmental gains occurring in high frequency in DLBCL (AIDS-related and non AIDS-related cases. There were some segmental gains and some segmental loss that occurred in PL but not in the other types of lymphoma suggesting that these foci may contain genes responsible for the differentiation of this lymphoma. Additionally, some segmental gains and some segmental loss occurred only in PL and AIDS associated DLBCL suggesting that these foci may be associated with HIV infection. Furthermore, some segmental gains and some segmental loss occurred only in PL and PCM suggesting that these lesions may be related to plasmacytic differentiation. Conclusion To the best of our knowledge, the current study represents the first genomic exploration of PL. The genomic aberration pattern of PL appears to be more similar to that of DLBCL (AIDS-related or non AIDS-related than to PCM. Our findings suggest that PL may remain best classified as a subtype of DLBCL at least at the genome level.

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

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    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

  16. A putative Lynch syndrome family carrying MSH2 and MSH6 variants of uncertain significance-functional analysis reveals the pathogenic one

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kantelinen, Jukka; Hansen, Thomas V O; Kansikas, Minttu;

    2011-01-01

    Inherited pathogenic mutations in the mismatch repair (MMR) genes, MSH2, MLH1, MSH6, and PMS2 predispose to Lynch syndrome (LS). However, the finding of a variant or variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in affected family members complicates the risk assessment. Here, we describe a putative L...... identified VUS before predictive gene testing and genetic counseling are offered to a family.......Inherited pathogenic mutations in the mismatch repair (MMR) genes, MSH2, MLH1, MSH6, and PMS2 predispose to Lynch syndrome (LS). However, the finding of a variant or variants of uncertain significance (VUS) in affected family members complicates the risk assessment. Here, we describe a putative LS...... family carrying VUS in both MSH2 (c.2768T>A, p.Val923Glu) and MSH6 (c.3563G>A, p.Ser1188Asn). Two colorectal cancer (CRC) patients were studied for mutations and identified as carriers of both variants. In spite of a relatively high mean age of cancer onset (59.5 years) in the family, many CRC patients...

  17. Bovine Teat Microbiome Analysis Revealed Reduced Alpha Diversity and Significant Changes in Taxonomic Profiles in Quarters with a History of Mastitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falentin, Hélène; Rault, Lucie; Nicolas, Aurélie; Bouchard, Damien S.; Lassalas, Jacques; Lamberton, Philippe; Aubry, Jean-Marc; Marnet, Pierre-Guy; Le Loir, Yves; Even, Sergine

    2016-01-01

    Mastitis is a mammary gland inflammatory disease often due to bacterial infections. Like many other infections, it used to be considered as a host-pathogen interaction driven by host and bacterial determinants. Until now, the involvement of the bovine mammary gland microbiota in the host-pathogen interaction has been poorly investigated, and mainly during the infectious episode. In this study, the bovine teat microbiome was investigated in 31 quarters corresponding to 27 animals, which were all free of inflammation at sampling time but which had different histories regarding mastitis: from no episode of mastitis on all the previous lactations (Healthy quarter, Hq) to one or several clinical mastitis events (Mastitic quarter, Mq). Several quarters whose status was unclear (possible history of subclinical mastitis) were classified as NDq. Total bacterial DNA was extracted from foremilk samples and swab samples of the teat canal. Taxonomic profiles were determined by pyrosequencing on 16s amplicons of the V3-4 region. Hq quarters showed a higher diversity compared to Mq ones (Shannon index: ~8 and 6, respectively). Clustering of the quarters based on their bacterial composition made it possible to separate Mq and Hq quarters into two separate clusters (C1 and C2, respectively). Discriminant analysis of taxonomic profiles between these clusters revealed several differences and allowed the identification of taxonomic markers in relation to mastitis history. C2 quarters were associated with a higher proportion of the Clostridia class (including genera such as Ruminococcus, Oscillospira, Roseburia, Dorea, etc.), the Bacteroidetes phylum (Prevotella, Bacteroides, Paludibacter, etc.), and the Bifidobacteriales order (Bifidobacterium), whereas C1 quarters showed a higher proportion of the Bacilli class (Staphylococcus) and Chlamydiia class. These results indicate that microbiota is altered in udders which have already developed mastitis, even far from the infectious episode

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Expression of progerin in aging mouse brains reveals structural nuclear abnormalities without detectible significant alterations in gene expression, hippocampal stem cells or behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baek, Jean-Ha; Schmidt, Eva; Viceconte, Nikenza

    2015-01-01

    Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a segmental progeroid syndrome with multiple features suggestive of premature accelerated aging. Accumulation of progerin is thought to underlie the pathophysiology of HGPS. However, despite ubiquitous expression of lamin A in all differentiated cells...... also been found in several tissues from normal individuals, but it is not clear if low levels of progerin contribute to the aging of the brain. In an attempt to clarify the origin of this phenomenon, we have developed an inducible transgenic mouse model with expression of the most common HGPS mutation......, the HGPS mutation results in organ-specific defects. For example, bone and skin are strongly affected by HGPS, while the brain appears to be unaffected. There are no definite explanations as to the variable sensitivity to progeria disease among different organs. In addition, low levels of progerin have...

  20. Polyomic profiling reveals significant hepatic metabolic alterations in glucagon-receptor (GCGR knockout mice: implications on anti-glucagon therapies for diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molloy Mark P

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Glucagon is an important hormone in the regulation of glucose homeostasis, particularly in the maintenance of euglycemia and prevention of hypoglycemia. In type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM, glucagon levels are elevated in both the fasted and postprandial states, which contributes to inappropriate hyperglycemia through excessive hepatic glucose production. Efforts to discover and evaluate glucagon receptor antagonists for the treatment of T2DM have been ongoing for approximately two decades, with the challenge being to identify an agent with appropriate pharmaceutical properties and efficacy relative to potential side effects. We sought to determine the hepatic & systemic consequence of full glucagon receptor antagonism through the study of the glucagon receptor knock-out mouse (Gcgr-/- compared to wild-type littermates. Results Liver transcriptomics was performed using Affymetric expression array profiling, and liver proteomics was performed by iTRAQ global protein analysis. To complement the transcriptomic and proteomic analyses, we also conducted metabolite profiling (~200 analytes using mass spectrometry in plasma. Overall, there was excellent concordance (R = 0.88 for changes associated with receptor knock-out between the transcript and protein analysis. Pathway analysis tools were used to map the metabolic processes in liver altered by glucagon receptor ablation, the most notable being significant down-regulation of gluconeogenesis, amino acid catabolism, and fatty acid oxidation processes, with significant up-regulation of glycolysis, fatty acid synthesis, and cholesterol biosynthetic processes. These changes at the level of the liver were manifested through an altered plasma metabolite profile in the receptor knock-out mice, e.g. decreased glucose and glucose-derived metabolites, and increased amino acids, cholesterol, and bile acid levels. Conclusions In sum, the results of this study suggest that the complete ablation

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  2. PCR reveals significantly higher rates of Trypanosoma cruzi infection than microscopy in the Chagas vector, Triatoma infestans: High rates found in Chuquisaca, Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucero David E

    2007-06-01

    ' and TCZ2 (5' – CCT CCA AGC AGC GGA TAG TTC AGG – 3' primers. Amplicons were chromatographed on a 2% agarose gel with a 100 bp size standard, stained with ethidium bromide and viewed with UV fluorescence. For both the microscopy and PCR assays, we calculated sensitivity (number of positives by a method divided by the number of positives by either method and discrepancy (one method was negative and the other was positive at the locality, life stage and habitat level. The degree of agreement between PCR and microscopy was determined by calculating Kappa (k values with 95% confidence intervals. Results We observed a high prevalence of T. cruzi infection in T. infestans (81.16% by PCR and 56.52% by microscopy and discovered that PCR is significantly more sensitive than microscopic observation. The overall degree of agreement between the two methods was moderate (Kappa = 0.43 ± 0.07. The level of infection is significantly different among communities; however, prevalence was similar among habitats and life stages. Conclusion PCR was significantly more sensitive than microscopy in all habitats, developmental stages and localities in Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Overall we observed a high prevalence of T. cruzi infection in T. infestans in this area of Bolivia; however, microscopy underestimated infection at all levels examined.

  3. Genome of the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), a globally significant invasive species, reveals key functional and evolutionary innovations at the beetle-plant interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Duane D; Scully, Erin D; Pauchet, Yannick; Hoover, Kelli; Kirsch, Roy; Geib, Scott M; Mitchell, Robert F; Waterhouse, Robert M; Ahn, Seung-Joon; Arsala, Deanna; Benoit, Joshua B; Blackmon, Heath; Bledsoe, Tiffany; Bowsher, Julia H; Busch, André; Calla, Bernarda; Chao, Hsu; Childers, Anna K; Childers, Christopher; Clarke, Dave J; Cohen, Lorna; Demuth, Jeffery P; Dinh, Huyen; Doddapaneni, HarshaVardhan; Dolan, Amanda; Duan, Jian J; Dugan, Shannon; Friedrich, Markus; Glastad, Karl M; Goodisman, Michael A D; Haddad, Stephanie; Han, Yi; Hughes, Daniel S T; Ioannidis, Panagiotis; Johnston, J Spencer; Jones, Jeffery W; Kuhn, Leslie A; Lance, David R; Lee, Chien-Yueh; Lee, Sandra L; Lin, Han; Lynch, Jeremy A; Moczek, Armin P; Murali, Shwetha C; Muzny, Donna M; Nelson, David R; Palli, Subba R; Panfilio, Kristen A; Pers, Dan; Poelchau, Monica F; Quan, Honghu; Qu, Jiaxin; Ray, Ann M; Rinehart, Joseph P; Robertson, Hugh M; Roehrdanz, Richard; Rosendale, Andrew J; Shin, Seunggwan; Silva, Christian; Torson, Alex S; Jentzsch, Iris M Vargas; Werren, John H; Worley, Kim C; Yocum, George; Zdobnov, Evgeny M; Gibbs, Richard A; Richards, Stephen

    2016-11-11

    Relatively little is known about the genomic basis and evolution of wood-feeding in beetles. We undertook genome sequencing and annotation, gene expression assays, studies of plant cell wall degrading enzymes, and other functional and comparative studies of the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, a globally significant invasive species capable of inflicting severe feeding damage on many important tree species. Complementary studies of genes encoding enzymes involved in digestion of woody plant tissues or detoxification of plant allelochemicals were undertaken with the genomes of 14 additional insects, including the newly sequenced emerald ash borer and bull-headed dung beetle. The Asian longhorned beetle genome encodes a uniquely diverse arsenal of enzymes that can degrade the main polysaccharide networks in plant cell walls, detoxify plant allelochemicals, and otherwise facilitate feeding on woody plants. It has the metabolic plasticity needed to feed on diverse plant species, contributing to its highly invasive nature. Large expansions of chemosensory genes involved in the reception of pheromones and plant kairomones are consistent with the complexity of chemical cues it uses to find host plants and mates. Amplification and functional divergence of genes associated with specialized feeding on plants, including genes originally obtained via horizontal gene transfer from fungi and bacteria, contributed to the addition, expansion, and enhancement of the metabolic repertoire of the Asian longhorned beetle, certain other phytophagous beetles, and to a lesser degree, other phytophagous insects. Our results thus begin to establish a genomic basis for the evolutionary success of beetles on plants.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cigudosa Juan C

    2011-05-01

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

  5. Label-free LC-MSMS analysis of vitreous from autoimmune uveitis reveals a significant decrease in secreted Wnt signalling inhibitors DKK3 and SFRP2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauck, Stefanie M; Hofmaier, Florian; Dietter, Johannes; Swadzba, Margarete E; Blindert, Marcel; Amann, Barbara; Behler, Jennifer; Kremmer, Elisabeth; Ueffing, Marius; Deeg, Cornelia A

    2012-07-19

    Equine recurrent uveitis is a severe and frequent blinding disease in horses which presents with auto-reactive invading T-cells, resulting in the destruction of the inner eye. Infiltration of inflammatory cells into the retina and vitreous is driven by currently unknown guidance cues, however surgical removal of the vitreous (vitrectomy) has proven therapeutically successful. Therefore, proteomic analyses of vitrectomy samples are likely to result in detection of proteins contributing to disease pathogenesis. Vitreous from healthy and ERU diseased horses were directly compared by quantitative mass spectrometry based on label-free quantification of peak intensities across samples. We found a significant upregulation of complement and coagulation cascades and downregulation of negative paracrine regulators of canonical Wnt signalling including the Wnt signalling inhibitors DKK3 and SFRP2. Based on immunohistochemistry, both proteins are expressed in equine retina and suggest localisation to retinal Müller glial cells (RMG), which may be the source cells for these proteins. Furthermore, retinal expression levels and patterns of DKK3 change in response to ERU. Since many other regulated proteins identified here are associated with RMG cells, these cells qualify as the prime responders to autoimmune triggers.

  6. Hospital population screening reveals overrepresentation of CD5(-) monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance of IgM type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voigtlaender, Minna; Vogler, Birthe; Trepel, Martin; Panse, Jens; Jung, Roman; Bokemeyer, Carsten; Bacher, Ulrike; Binder, Mascha

    2015-09-01

    Monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL) and monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) result from clonal expansions of mature B or plasma cells. Here, we set out to determine the immunophenotypic/monoclonal immunoglobulin (M protein) features and co-prevalence of MBL and MGUS in a hospital-based cohort of 1909 non-hematooncological patients. Of the evaluable cases, 3.8 % showed evidence for MBL by immunophenotyping, while 9.8 % were screened positive for M protein by immunofixation. With six concomitant cases (0.4 %), MBL and MGUS were not statistically associated. At least in two of these coincident cases, MBL and MGUS were of different clonal origin since both clones had divergent light chain restriction. CD5(-) MBL (57.1 %) and IgM+ MGUS (24.7 %) were strikingly overrepresented compared to population-based screenings and did not progress to overt lymphoma or myeloma during the observation period (mean follow-up of 117 weeks or 110 weeks, respectively). Prevalence and phenotypes suggest that a substantial proportion of incidental MBL and MGUS in hospitalized patients may be attributed to transiently expanded B-cell clones in the context of disease-related immune stimulation rather than reflecting veritable precursors of clonal B-cell malignancies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Comprehensive analysis of HPV16 integration in OSCC reveals no significant impact of physical status on viral oncogene and virally disrupted human gene expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine C Olthof

    Full Text Available Infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV type 16 is an independent risk factor for the development of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC. However, it is unclear whether viral integration is an essential hallmark in the carcinogenic process of OSCC and whether HPV integration correlates with the level of viral gene transcription and influences the expression of disrupted host genes. We analyzed 75 patients with OSCC. HPV16-positivity was proven by p16(INK4A immunohistochemistry, PCR and FISH. Viral integration was examined using DIPS- as well as APOT-PCR. Viral E2, E6 and E7 gene expression levels were quantified by quantitative reverse transcriptase (RT-qPCR. Expression levels of 7 human genes disrupted by the virus were extracted from mRNA expression profiling data of 32 OSCCs. Viral copy numbers were assessed by qPCR in 73 tumors. We identified 37 HPV16-human fusion products indicating viral integration in 29 (39% OSCC. In the remaining tumors (61% only episome-derived PCR products were detected. When comparing OSCC with or without an integration-derived fusion product, we did not find significant differences in the mean RNA expression of viral genes E2, E6 and E7 or the viral copy numbers per cell, nor did the RNA expression of the HPV-disrupted genes differ from either group of OSCC. In conclusion, our data do not support the hypothesis that integration affects the levels of viral and/or HPV-disrupted human gene transcripts. Thus constitutive, rather than a high level, of expression of oncogene transcripts appears to be required in HPV-related OSCC.

  9. Shotgun metagenomic data reveals significant abundance but low diversity of “Candidatus Scalindua” marine anammox bacteria in the Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva, Laura; Speth, Daan R.; van Alen, Theo; Hoischen, Alexander; Jetten, Mike S. M.

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (anammox) bacteria are responsible for a significant portion of the loss of fixed nitrogen from the oceans, making them important players in the global nitrogen cycle. To date, marine anammox bacteria found in both water columns and sediments worldwide belong almost exclusively to “Candidatus Scalindua” species. Recently the genome assembly of a marine anammox enrichment culture dominated by “Candidatus Scalindua profunda” became available and can now be used as a template to study metagenome data obtained from various oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). Here, we sequenced genomic DNA from suspended particulate matter recovered at the upper (170 m deep) and center (600 m) area of the OMZ in the Arabian Sea by SOLiD and Ion Torrent technology. The genome of “Candidatus Scalindua profunda” served as a template to collect reads. Based on the mapped reads marine anammox Abundance was estimated to be at least 0.4% in the upper and 1.7% in the center area. Single nucleotide variation (SNV) analysis was performed to assess diversity of the “Candidatus Scalindua” populations. Most highly covered were the two diagnostic anammox genes hydrazine synthase (scal_01318c, hzsA) and hydrazine dehydrogenase (scal_03295, hdh), while other genes involved in anammox metabolism (narGH, nirS, amtB, focA, and ACS) had a lower coverage but could still be assembled and analyzed. The results show that “Candidatus Scalindua” is abundantly present in the Arabian Sea OMZ, but that the diversity within the ecosystem is relatively low. PMID:24550902

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. Innovations in individual feature history management - The significance of feature-based temporal model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, J.; Seong, J.C.; Kim, B.; Usery, E.L.

    2008-01-01

    A feature relies on three dimensions (space, theme, and time) for its representation. Even though spatiotemporal models have been proposed, they have principally focused on the spatial changes of a feature. In this paper, a feature-based temporal model is proposed to represent the changes of both space and theme independently. The proposed model modifies the ISO's temporal schema and adds new explicit temporal relationship structure that stores temporal topological relationship with the ISO's temporal primitives of a feature in order to keep track feature history. The explicit temporal relationship can enhance query performance on feature history by removing topological comparison during query process. Further, a prototype system has been developed to test a proposed feature-based temporal model by querying land parcel history in Athens, Georgia. The result of temporal query on individual feature history shows the efficiency of the explicit temporal relationship structure. ?? Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007.

  12. Significance of hydrological model choice and land use changes when doing climate change impact assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørnholt Karlsson, Ida; Obel Sonnenborg, Torben; Refsgaard, Jens Christian; Høgh Jensen, Karsten

    2014-05-01

    Uncertainty in impact studies arises both from Global Climate Models (GCM), emission projections, statistical downscaling, Regional Climate Models (RCM), hydrological models and calibration techniques (Refsgaard et al. 2013). Some of these uncertainties have been evaluated several times in the literature; however few studies have investigated the effect of hydrological model choice on the assessment results (Boorman & Sefton 1997; Jiang et al. 2007; Bastola et al. 2011). These studies have found that model choice results in large differences, up to 70%, in the predicted discharge changes depending on the climate input. The objective of the study is to investigate the impact of climate change on hydrology of the Odense catchment, Denmark both in response to (a) different climate projections (GCM-RCM combinations); (b) different hydrological models and (c) different land use scenarios. This includes: 1. Separation of the climate model signal; the hydrological model signal and the land use signal 2. How do the different hydrological components react under different climate and land use conditions for the different models 3. What land use scenario seems to provide the best adaptation for the challenges of the different future climate change scenarios from a hydrological perspective? Four climate models from the ENSEMBLES project (Hewitt & Griggs 2004): ECHAM5 - HIRHAM5, ECHAM5 - RCA3, ARPEGE - RM5.1 and HadCM3 - HadRM3 are used, assessing the climate change impact in three periods: 1991-2010 (present), 2041-2060 (near future) and 2081-2100 (far future). The four climate models are used in combination with three hydrological models with different conceptual layout: NAM, SWAT and MIKE SHE. Bastola, S., C. Murphy and J. Sweeney (2011). "The role of hydrological modelling uncertainties in climate change impact assessments of Irish river catchments." Advances in Water Resources 34: 562-576. Boorman, D. B. and C. E. M. Sefton (1997). "Recognising the uncertainty in the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Significance of uncertainties derived from settling tank model structure and parameters on predicting WWTP performance - A global sensitivity analysis study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramin, Elham; Sin, Gürkan; Mikkelsen, Peter Steen

    2011-01-01

    Uncertainty derived from one of the process models – such as one-dimensional secondary settling tank (SST) models – can impact the output of the other process models, e.g., biokinetic (ASM1), as well as the integrated wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) models. The model structure and parameter...... uncertainty of settler models can therefore propagate, and add to the uncertainties in prediction of any plant performance criteria. Here we present an assessment of the relative significance of secondary settling model performance in WWTP simulations. We perform a global sensitivity analysis (GSA) based....... The outcome of this study contributes to a better understanding of uncertainty in WWTPs, and explicitly demonstrates the significance of secondary settling processes that are crucial elements of model prediction under dry and wet-weather loading conditions....

  17. Significantly improved HIV inhibitor efficacy prediction employing proteochemometric models generated from antivirogram data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerard J P van Westen

    Full Text Available Infection with HIV cannot currently be cured; however it can be controlled by combination treatment with multiple anti-retroviral drugs. Given different viral genotypes for virtually each individual patient, the question now arises which drug combination to use to achieve effective treatment. With the availability of viral genotypic data and clinical phenotypic data, it has become possible to create computational models able to predict an optimal treatment regimen for an individual patient. Current models are based only on sequence data derived from viral genotyping; chemical similarity of drugs is not considered. To explore the added value of chemical similarity inclusion we applied proteochemometric models, combining chemical and protein target properties in a single bioactivity model. Our dataset was a large scale clinical database of genotypic and phenotypic information (in total ca. 300,000 drug-mutant bioactivity data points, 4 (NNRTI, 8 (NRTI or 9 (PI drugs, and 10,700 (NNRTI 10,500 (NRTI or 27,000 (PI mutants. Our models achieved a prediction error below 0.5 Log Fold Change. Moreover, when directly compared with previously published sequence data, derived models PCM performed better in resistance classification and prediction of Log Fold Change (0.76 log units versus 0.91. Furthermore, we were able to successfully confirm both known and identify previously unpublished, resistance-conferring mutations of HIV Reverse Transcriptase (e.g. K102Y, T216M and HIV Protease (e.g. Q18N, N88G from our dataset. Finally, we applied our models prospectively to the public HIV resistance database from Stanford University obtaining a correct resistance prediction rate of 84% on the full set (compared to 80% in previous work on a high quality subset. We conclude that proteochemometric models are able to accurately predict the phenotypic resistance based on genotypic data even for novel mutants and mixtures. Furthermore, we add an applicability domain to

  18. 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...

  19. 75 FR 29587 - Notice of Availability of Revised Model Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-26

    ... of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, 20555-0001... Processes Branch, Division of Policy and Rulemaking, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Revised Model... with the confidence in the ability of the fission product barriers (i.e., fuel cladding,...

  20. Significant Term List Based Metadata Conceptual Mining Model for Effective Text Clustering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Janet

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available As the engineering world are growing fast, the usage of data for the day to day activity of the engineering industry also growing rapidly. In order to handle and to find the hidden knowledge from huge data storage, data mining is very helpful right now. Text mining, network mining, multimedia mining, trend analysis are few applications of data mining. In text mining, there are variety of methods are proposed by many researchers, even though high precision, better recall are still is a critical issues. In this study, text mining is focused and conceptual mining model is applied for improved clustering in the text mining. The proposed work is termed as Meta data Conceptual Mining Model (MCMM, is validated with few world leading technical digital library data sets such as IEEE, ACM and Scopus. The performance derived as precision, recall are described in terms of Entropy, F-Measure which are calculated and compared with existing term based model and concept based mining model.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. An Ecological-Transactional Model of Significant Risk Factors for Child Psychopathology in Outer Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohrt, Holbrook E.; Kohrt, Brandon A.; Waldman, Irwin; Saltzman, Kasey; Carrion, Victor G.

    2004-01-01

    The present study examined significant risk factors, including child maltreatment, for child psychopathology in a cross-cultural setting. Ninety-nine Mongolian boys, ages 3-10 years, were assessed. Primary caregivers (PCG) completed structured interviews including the Emory Combined Rating Scale (ECRS) and the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire…

  3. Magnitude, modeling and significance of swelling and shrinkage processes in clay soils.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bronswijk, J.J.B.

    1991-01-01

    The dynamic process of swelling and shrinkage in clay soils has significant practical consequences, such as the rapid transport of water and solutes via shrinkage cracks to the subsoil, and the destruction of buildings and roads on clay soils. In order to develop measuring methods and computer simul

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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.

  6. Significance of different animal species in experimental models for in vivo investigations of hematopoiesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kovačević-Filipović Milica

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Numerous discoveries in medicine are results of experiments on different animal species. The most frequently used animals in hematopoiesis investigations are laboratory mice and rats, but so-called big animals, such as pigs, sheep, cats, dogs, and monkeys, evolution-wise closer to humans have a place in experimental hematology as well. The specific problematics of a certain animal specie can lead to fundamental knowledge on certain aspects of the process of hematopoiesis end the biology of stem cells in hematopoiesis. Furthermore, comparative investigations of certain phenomena in different species help in the recognition of the general rules in the living world. In the area f preclinicalinvesti- gations, animal models are an inevitable step in studies of transplantation biology of stem cells in hematopoiesis, as well as in studies of biologically active molecules which have an effect on the hematopoietic system. Knowledge acquired on animal models is applied in both human and veterinary medicine.

  7. Recent advances in mechanical characterisation of biofilm and their significance for material modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böl, Markus; Ehret, Alexander E; Bolea Albero, Antonio; Hellriegel, Jan; Krull, Rainer

    2013-06-01

    In recent years, the advances in microbiology show that biofilms are structurally complex, dynamic and adaptable systems including attributes of multicellular organisms and miscellaneous ecosystems. One may distinguish between beneficial and harmful biofilms appearing in daily life as well as various industrial processes. In order to advance the growth of the former or prevent the latter type of biofilm, a detailed understanding of its properties is indispensable. Besides microbiological aspects, this concerns the determination of mechanical characteristics, which provides the basis for material modelling. In the present paper the existing experimental methods that have been proposed since the 1980s are reviewed and critically discussed with respect to their usefulness and applicability to develop numerical modelling approaches.

  8. Development of the PCAD Model to Assess Biological Significance of Acoustic Disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    mother-calf separation as a function of body mass index ( BMI ) and proportion lipid in blubber. We have also quantified the relationship between those...the approach. This is best accomplished by selecting species that are as similar as possible to target species and are also extremely well-studied...We identified northern elephant seals and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins as the best species to parameterize the PCAD model. These species represent

  9. Significance of genetic information in risk assessment and individual classification using silicosis as a case model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCanlies, E.; Landsittel, D.P.; Yucesoy, B.; Vallyathan, V.; Luster, M.L.; Sharp, D.S. [NIOSH, Morgantown, WV (United States)

    2002-06-01

    Over the last decade the role of genetic data in epidemiological research has expanded considerably. The authors recently published a case-control study that evaluated the interaction between silica exposure and minor variants in the genes coding for interleukin-1alpha. (IL-1alpha), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) as risk factors associated with silicosis, a fibrotic lung disease. In contrast, this report uses data generated from these studies to illustrate the utility of genetic information for the purposes of risk assessment and clinical prediction. Specifically, this study addresses how, given a known exposure, genetic information affects the characterization of risk groups. Relative operating characteristic (ROC) curves were then used to determine the impact of genetic information on individual classification. Logistic regression modeling procedures were used to estimate the predicted probability of developing silicosis. This probability was then used to construct predicted risk deciles, first for a model with occupational exposure only and then for a model containing occupational exposure and genetic main effects and interactions. The results indicate that genetic information plays a valuable role in effectively characterizing risk groups and mechanisms of disease operating in a substantial proportion of the population. However, in the case of fibrotic lung disease caused by silica exposure, information about the presence or absence of the minor variants of IL-1alpha, IL-1RA and TNFalpha is unlikely to be a useful tool for individual classification.

  10. Using chi-Squared Automatic Interaction Detection (CHAID) modelling to identify groups of methadone treatment clients experiencing significantly poorer treatment outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Emma L; Comiskey, Catherine M

    2013-10-01

    In times of scarce resources it is important for services to make evidence based decisions when identifying clients with poor outcomes. chi-Squared Automatic Interaction Detection (CHAID) modelling was used to identify characteristics of clients experiencing statistically significant poor outcomes. A national, longitudinal study recruited and interviewed, using the Maudsley Addiction Profile (MAP), 215 clients starting methadone treatment and 78% were interviewed one year later. Four CHAID analyses were conducted to model the interactions between the primary outcome variable, used heroin in the last 90 days prior to one year interview and variables on drug use, treatment history, social functioning and demographics. Results revealed that regardless of these other variables, males over 22 years of age consistently demonstrated significantly poorer outcomes than all other clients. CHAID models can be easily applied by service providers to provide ongoing evidence on clients exhibiting poor outcomes and requiring priority within services.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Breast cancer-associated metastasis is significantly increased in a model of autoimmune arthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das Roy, Lopamudra; Pathangey, Latha B; Tinder, Teresa L; Schettini, Jorge L; Gruber, Helen E; Mukherjee, Pinku

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Sites of chronic inflammation are often associated with the establishment and growth of various malignancies including breast cancer. A common inflammatory condition in humans is autoimmune arthritis (AA) that causes inflammation and deformity of the joints. Other systemic effects associated with arthritis include increased cellular infiltration and inflammation of the lungs. Several studies have reported statistically significant risk ratios between AA and breast cancer. Despite this knowledge, available for a decade, it has never been questioned if the site of chronic inflammation linked to AA creates a milieu that attracts tumor cells to home and grow in the inflamed bones and lungs which are frequent sites of breast cancer metastasis. Methods To determine if chronic inflammation induced by autoimmune arthritis contributes to increased breast cancer-associated metastasis, we generated mammary gland tumors in SKG mice that were genetically prone to develop AA. Two breast cancer cell lines, one highly metastatic (4T1) and the other non-metastatic (TUBO) were used to generate the tumors in the mammary fat pad. Lung and bone metastasis and the associated inflammatory milieu were evaluated in the arthritic versus the non-arthritic mice. Results We report a three-fold increase in lung metastasis and a significant increase in the incidence of bone metastasis in the pro-arthritic and arthritic mice compared to non-arthritic control mice. We also report that the metastatic breast cancer cells augment the severity of arthritis resulting in a vicious cycle that increases both bone destruction and metastasis. Enhanced neutrophilic and granulocytic infiltration in lungs and bone of the pro-arthritic and arthritic mice and subsequent increase in circulating levels of proinflammatory cytokines, such as macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), interleukin-17 (IL-17), interleukin-6 (IL-6), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and tumor necrosis factor

  19. Support for significant evolutions of the user data model in ROOT files

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canal, Ph; Russo, P [Fermilab, Batavia, IL (United States); Brun, R; Janyst, L [CERN, Geneva (Switzerland); Fine, V; Lauret, J, E-mail: pcanal@fnal.go [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (United States)

    2010-04-01

    One of the main strengths of ROOT input and output (I/O) is its inherent support for schema evolution. Two distinct modes are supported, one manual via a hand coded streamer function and one fully automatic via the ROOT StreamerInfo. One draw back of the streamer functions is that they are not usable by TTree objects in split mode. Until now, the user could not customize the automatic schema evolution mechanism and the only mechanism to go beyond the default rules was to revert to using the streamer function. In ROOT 5.22/00, we introduced a new mechanism which allows user provided extensions of the automatic schema evolution that can be used in object-wise, member-wise and split modes. This paper will describe the many possibilities ranging from the simple assignment of transient members to the complex reorganization of the user's object model.

  20. Trait impressions as overgeneralized responses to adaptively significant facial qualities: evidence from connectionist modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebrowitz, Leslie A; Fellous, Jean-Marc; Mignault, Alain; Andreoletti, Carrie

    2003-01-01

    Connectionist modeling experiments tested anomalous-face and baby-face overgeneralization hypotheses proposed to explain consensual trait impressions of faces. Activation of a neural network unit trained to respond to anomalous faces predicted impressions of normal adult faces varying in attractiveness as well as several elderly stereotypes. Activation of a neural network unit trained to respond to babies' faces predicted impressions of adults varying in babyfaceness as well as 1 elderly stereotype. Thus, similarities of normal adult faces to anomalous faces or babies' faces contribute to impressions of them quite apart from knowledge of overlapping social stereotypes. The evolutionary importance of appropriate responses to unfit individuals or babies is presumed to produce a strong response preparedness that is overgeneralized to faces resembling the unfit or babies.

  1. Mouse models of lipodystrophy and their significance in understanding fat regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochford, Justin J

    2014-01-01

    Adipose tissue plays a critical role in human metabolic health. This is most dramatically illustrated by the severe metabolic disease that occurs in syndromes of lipodystrophy where individuals fail to develop or maintain appropriate adipose tissue mass. The most severe form of this disorder is congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL). Individuals with CGL have a striking paucity of adipose tissue and typically display severe metabolic disease with insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. Understanding of the metabolic consequences of lipodystrophies and their underlying molecular mechanisms will provide new information regarding the development and function of human adipose tissue. Mouse models of these conditions offer key resources to investigate this in vivo. Adipocyte dysfunction is believed to underlie the development of metabolic disease in obesity. Hence, understanding how one might beneficially manipulate adipose tissue by studying genes whose disruption causes lipodystrophy is likely to suggest novel means to improve metabolic health in common obesity.

  2. Support for significant evolutions of the user data model in ROOT files

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canal, P.; /Fermilab; Brun, R.; /CERN; Fine, V.; /Brookhaven; Janyst, L.; /CERN; Lauret, J.; /Brookhaven; Russo, P.; /Fermilab

    2010-01-01

    One of the main strengths of ROOT input and output (I/O) is its inherent support for schema evolution. Two distinct modes are supported, one manual via a hand coded streamer function and one fully automatic via the ROOT StreamerInfo. One draw back of the streamer functions is that they are not usable by TTree objects in split mode. Until now, the user could not customize the automatic schema evolution mechanism and the only mechanism to go beyond the default rules was to revert to using the streamer function. In ROOT 5.22/00, we introduced a new mechanism which allows user provided extensions of the automatic schema evolution that can be used in object-wise, member-wise and split modes. This paper will describe the many possibilities ranging from the simple assignment of transient members to the complex reorganization of the user's object model.

  3. Preconditioning Provides Neuroprotection in Models of CNS Disease: Paradigms and Clinical Significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stetler, R. Anne; Leak, Rehana K.; Gan, Yu; Li, Peiying; Hu, Xiaoming; Jing, Zheng; Chen, Jun; Zigmond, Michael J.; Gao, Yanqin

    2014-01-01

    Preconditioning is a phenomenon in which brief episodes of a sublethal insult induce robust protection against subsequent lethal injuries. Preconditioning has been observed in multiple organisms and can occur in the brain as well as other tissues. Extensive animal studies suggest that the brain can be preconditioned to resist acute injuries, such as ischemic stroke, neonatal hypoxia/ischemia, trauma, and agents that are used in models of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Effective preconditioning stimuli are numerous and diverse, ranging from transient ischemia, hypoxia, hyperbaric oxygen, hypothermia and hyperthermia, to exposure to neurotoxins and pharmacological agents. The phenomenon of “cross-tolerance,” in which a sublethal stress protects against a different type of injury, suggests that different preconditioning stimuli may confer protection against a wide range of injuries. Research conducted over the past few decades indicates that brain preconditioning is complex, involving multiple effectors such as metabolic inhibition, activation of extra- and intracellular defense mechanisms, a shift in the neuronal excitatory/inhibitory balance, and reduction in inflammatory sequelae. An improved understanding of brain preconditioning should help us identify innovative therapeutic strategies that prevent or at least reduce neuronal damage in susceptible patients. In this review, we focus on the experimental evidence of preconditioning in the brain and systematically survey the models used to develop paradigms for neuroprotection, and then discuss the clinical potential of brain preconditioning. In a subsequent components of this two-part series, we will discuss the cellular and molecular events that are likely to underlie these phenomena. PMID:24389580

  4. Thermophysical modeling of asteroids from WISE thermal infrared data - Significance of the shape model and the pole orientation uncertainties

    CERN Document Server

    Hanuš, Josef; Ďurech, Josef; Alí-Lagoa, Victor

    2015-01-01

    In the analysis of thermal infrared data of asteroids by means of thermophysical models (TPMs) it is a common practice to neglect the uncertainty of the shape model and the rotational state, which are taken as an input for the model. Here, we present a novel method of investigating the importance of the shape model and the pole orientation uncertainties in the thermophysical modeling - the varied shape TPM (VS-TPM). Our method uses optical photometric data to generate various shape models that map the uncertainty in the shape and the rotational state. The TPM procedure is then run for all these shape models. We apply the implementation of the classical TPM as well as our VS-TPM to the convex shape models of several asteroids together with their thermal infrared data acquired by the NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and compare the results. These show that the uncertainties of the shape model and the pole orientation can be very important (e.g., for the determination of the thermal inertia) and...

  5. Towards the Significance of Decision Aid in Building Information Modeling (BIM Software Selection Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omar Mohd Faizal

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Building Information Modeling (BIM has been considered as a solution in construction industry to numerous problems such as delays, increased lead in times and increased costs. This is due to the concept and characteristic of BIM that will reshaped the way construction project teams work together to increase productivity and improve the final project outcomes (cost, time, quality, safety, functionality, maintainability, etc.. As a result, the construction industry has witnesses numerous of BIM software available in market. Each of this software has offers different function, features. Furthermore, the adoption of BIM required high investment on software, hardware and also training expenses. Thus, there is indentified that there is a need of decision aid for appropriated BIM software selection that fulfill the project needs. However, research indicates that there is limited study attempt to guide decision in BIM software selection problem. Thus, this paper highlight the importance of decision making and support for BIM software selection as it is vital to increase productivity, construction project throughout building lifecycle.

  6. 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

  7. Myriocin significantly increases the mortality of a non-mammalian model host during Candida pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadja Rodrigues de Melo

    Full Text Available Candida albicans is a major human pathogen whose treatment is challenging due to antifungal drug toxicity, drug resistance and paucity of antifungal agents available. Myrocin (MYR inhibits sphingosine synthesis, a precursor of sphingolipids, an important cell membrane and signaling molecule component. MYR also has dual immune suppressive and antifungal properties, potentially modulating mammalian immunity and simultaneously reducing fungal infection risk. Wax moth (Galleria mellonella larvae, alternatives to mice, were used to establish if MYR suppressed insect immunity and increased survival of C. albicans-infected insects. MYR effects were studied in vivo and in vitro, and compared alone and combined with those of approved antifungal drugs, fluconazole (FLC and amphotericin B (AMPH. Insect immune defenses failed to inhibit C. albicans with high mortalities. In insects pretreated with the drug followed by C. albicans inoculation, MYR+C. albicans significantly increased mortality to 93% from 67% with C. albicans alone 48 h post-infection whilst AMPH+C. albicans and FLC+C. albicans only showed 26% and 0% mortalities, respectively. MYR combinations with other antifungal drugs in vivo also enhanced larval mortalities, contrasting the synergistic antifungal effect of the MYR+AMPH combination in vitro. MYR treatment influenced immunity and stress management gene expression during C. albicans pathogenesis, modulating transcripts putatively associated with signal transduction/regulation of cytokines, I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB cascade, G-protein coupled receptor and inflammation. In contrast, all stress management gene expression was down-regulated in FLC and AMPH pretreated C. albicans-infected insects. Results are discussed with their implications for clinical use of MYR to treat sphingolipid-associated disorders.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. How significant is the slope of the sea-side boundary for modelling seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walther, Marc; Graf, Thomas; Kolditz, Olaf; Liedl, Rudolf; Post, Vincent

    2017-08-01

    Application of numerical models is a common method to assess groundwater resources. The versatility of these models allows consideration of different levels of complexity, but the accuracy of the outcomes hinges upon a proper description of the system behaviour. In seawater intrusion assessment, the implementation of the sea-side boundary condition is of particular importance. We evaluate the influence of the slope of the sea-side boundary on the simulation results of seawater intrusion in a freshwater aquifer by employing a series of slope variations together with a sensitivity analysis by varying additional sensitive parameters (freshwater inflow and longitudinal and transverse dispersivities). Model results reveal a multi-dimensional dependence of the investigated variables with an increasing relevance of the sea-side boundary slope for seawater intrusion (decrease of up to 32%), submarine groundwater discharge zone (reduction of up to 55%), and turnover times (increase of up to 730%) with increasing freshwater inflow or dispersivity values.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Weighted Feature Significance: A Simple, Interpretable Model of Compound Toxicity Based on the Statistical Enrichment of Structural Features

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Ruili; Southall, Noel; Xia, Menghang; Cho, Ming-Hsuang; Jadhav, Ajit; Nguyen, Dac-Trung; Inglese, James; Tice, Raymond R.; Austin, Christopher P.

    2009-01-01

    In support of the U.S. Tox21 program, we have developed a simple and chemically intuitive model we call weighted feature significance (WFS) to predict the toxicological activity of compounds, based on the statistical enrichment of structural features in toxic compounds. We trained and tested the model on the following: (1) data from quantitative high–throughput screening cytotoxicity and caspase activation assays conducted at the National Institutes of Health Chemical Genomics Center, (2) dat...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. A more robust model of the biodiesel reaction, allowing identification of process conditions for significantly enhanced rate and water tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eze, Valentine C; Phan, Anh N; Harvey, Adam P

    2014-03-01

    A more robust kinetic model of base-catalysed transesterification than the conventional reaction scheme has been developed. All the relevant reactions in the base-catalysed transesterification of rapeseed oil (RSO) to fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) were investigated experimentally, and validated numerically in a model implemented using MATLAB. It was found that including the saponification of RSO and FAME side reactions and hydroxide-methoxide equilibrium data explained various effects that are not captured by simpler conventional models. Both the experiment and modelling showed that the "biodiesel reaction" can reach the desired level of conversion (>95%) in less than 2min. Given the right set of conditions, the transesterification can reach over 95% conversion, before the saponification losses become significant. This means that the reaction must be performed in a reactor exhibiting good mixing and good control of residence time, and the reaction mixture must be quenched rapidly as it leaves the reactor.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The photon dose calculation algorithm used in breast radiotherapy has significant impact on the parameters of radiobiological models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petillion, Saskia; Swinnen, Ans; Defraene, Gilles; Verhoeven, Karolien; Weltens, Caroline; Van den Heuvel, Frank

    2014-07-08

    The comparison of the pencil beam dose calculation algorithm with modified Batho heterogeneity correction (PBC-MB) and the analytical anisotropic algorithm (AAA) and the mutual comparison of advanced dose calculation algorithms used in breast radiotherapy have focused on the differences between the physical dose distributions. Studies on the radiobiological impact of the algorithm (both on the tumor control and the moderate breast fibrosis prediction) are lacking. We, therefore, investigated the radiobiological impact of the dose calculation algorithm in whole breast radiotherapy. The clinical dose distributions of 30 breast cancer patients, calculated with PBC-MB, were recalculated with fixed monitor units using more advanced algorithms: AAA and Acuros XB. For the latter, both dose reporting modes were used (i.e., dose-to-medium and dose-to-water). Next, the tumor control probability (TCP) and the normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) of each dose distribution were calculated with the Poisson model and with the relative seriality model, respectively. The endpoint for the NTCP calculation was moderate breast fibrosis five years post treatment. The differences were checked for significance with the paired t-test. The more advanced algorithms predicted a significantly lower TCP and NTCP of moderate breast fibrosis then found during the corresponding clinical follow-up study based on PBC calculations. The differences varied between 1% and 2.1% for the TCP and between 2.9% and 5.5% for the NTCP of moderate breast fibrosis. The significant differences were eliminated by determination of algorithm-specific model parameters using least square fitting. Application of the new parameters on a second group of 30 breast cancer patients proved their appropriateness. In this study, we assessed the impact of the dose calculation algorithms used in whole breast radiotherapy on the parameters of the radiobiological models. The radiobiological impact was eliminated by

  8. Serum NX-DCP as a New Noninvasive Model to Predict Significant Liver Fibrosis in Chronic Hepatitis C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Masaya; Yano, Yoshihiko; Hirano, Hirotaka; Momose, Kenji; Yoshida, Masaru; Azuma, Takeshi

    2015-02-01

    Finding a noninvasive method to predict liver fibrosis using inexpensive and easy-to-use markers is important. We aimed to clarify whether NX-des-γ-carboxyprothrombin (NX-DCP) could become a new noninvasive model to predict liver fibrosis in hepatitis C virus (HCV) related liver disease. We performed a prospective cohort study on a consecutive group of 101 patients who underwent liver biopsy for HCV-related liver disease at Kobe University Hospital. Laboratory measurements were performed on the same day as the biopsy. Factors associated with significant fibrosis (F3-4) were assessed by multivariate analyses. A comparison of predictive ability between multivariate factors and abovementioned noninvasive models was also performed. Increase in serum NX-DCP was significantly related to increase in fibrosis stage (P = 0.006). Moreover, NX-DCP was a multivariate factor associated with the presence of significant fibrosis F 3-4 (median 21 of F0-2 group vs. median 22 of F3-4 group with P = 0.002). The AUC of NX-DCP showed no significant differences compared with those of the AST-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), modified-APRI, the Göteborg University Cirrhosis Index (GUCI), the Lok index, the Hui score, cirrhosis discriminating score (CDS) and the Pohl score (P > 0.05). NX-DCP correlated positively with fibrosis stage and could discriminate well between HCV-related patients with or without significant fibrosis. Moreover, NX-DCP had a similar predictive ability to the abovementioned models, and thereby could be a new noninvasive prediction tool for fibrosis.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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

    2017-03-31

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Significance of the spatial reconstruction based on mathematical modeling in the surgical treatment of giant intracranial aneurysms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolić Igor M.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. The use of computer models for the 3- dimensional reconstruction could be a reliable method to overcome technical imperfections of diagnostic procedures for the microsurgical operation of giant intracranial aneurysms. Case report. We presented a case of successfully operated 52-year-old woman with giant intracranial aneurysm, in which the computer 3-dimensional reconstruction of blood vessels and the aneurysmal neck had been decisive for making the diagnosis. The model for 3- dimensional reconstruction of blood vessels was based on the two 2-dimensional projections of the conventional angiography. Standard neuroradiologic diagnostic procedures showed a giant aneurysm on the left middle cerebral artery, but the conventional subtraction and CT angiography did not reveal enough information. By the use of a personal computer, we performed a 3-dimensional spatial reconstruction of the left carotid artery to visualize the neck of aneurysm and its supplying blood vessels. Conclusion. The 3-dimensional spatial reconstruction of the cerebral vessels of a giant aneurysm based on the conventional angiography could be useful for planning the surgical procedure.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Metabolomics using GC-TOF-MS followed by subsequent GC-FID and HILIC-MS/MS analysis revealed significantly altered fatty acid and phospholipid species profiles in plasma of smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Daniel C; Degen, Christian; Scherer, Gerhard; Jahreis, Gerhard; Niessner, Reinhard; Scherer, Max

    2014-09-01

    Mass spectrometry is an ideal tool for investigations of the metabolome in human plasma. To investigate the impact of smoking on the human metabolome, we performed an untargeted metabolic fingerprinting using GC-TOF-MS with EDTA-plasma samples from 25 smokers and 25 non-smokers. The observed elevated levels in the monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in smokers were verified by a targeted analysis using GC-FID, which revealed also significantly alterations in saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in smokers (p<0.05, Mann-Whitney U test). Since the main fraction of fatty acids in plasma is esterified to phospholipids, we analyzed phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) species composition in the plasma samples of the same subjects. The profiles of 39 PC and 40 PE species were analyzed with a newly developed and validated HILIC-ESI-MS/MS method. We were able to baseline separate the two lipid classes (PC from PE) by maintaining co-elution of individual lipid species of each class. The method shows a linear range from 0.5μM to 2000μM and an inter- and intraday coefficient of variation (CV)<20% across all analytes. Application of the validated method to the plasma samples of smokers and non-smokers, derived from a diet-controlled smoking study, revealed significantly elevated levels of PC and PE species containing MUFAs in smokers. In summary, we could demonstrate that there is a significantly altered total fatty acid profile, with increased MUFAs, in the plasma of smokers compared to non-smokers. Results obtained with the new HILIC-MS/MS method indicate that the altered fatty acid profile is also reflected in the PC and PE profile of smokers.

  19. A model for microbial phosphorus cycling in bioturbated marine sediments: Significance for phosphorus burial in the early Paleozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Andrew W.; Boyle, Richard A.; Lenton, Timothy M.; Ingall, Ellery D.; Wallmann, Klaus

    2016-09-01

    A diagenetic model is used to simulate the diagenesis and burial of particulate organic carbon (Corg) and phosphorus (P) in marine sediments underlying anoxic versus oxic bottom waters. The latter are physically mixed by animals moving through the surface sediment (bioturbation) and ventilated by burrowing, tube-dwelling organisms (bioirrigation). The model is constrained using an empirical database including burial ratios of Corg with respect to organic P (Corg:Porg) and total reactive P (Corg:Preac), burial efficiencies of Corg and Porg, and inorganic carbon-to-phosphorus regeneration ratios. If Porg is preferentially mineralized relative to Corg during aerobic respiration, as many previous studies suggest, then the simulated Porg pool is found to be completely depleted. A modified model that incorporates the redox-dependent microbial synthesis of polyphosphates and Porg (termed the microbial P pump) allows preferential mineralization of the bulk Porg pool relative to Corg during both aerobic and anaerobic respiration and is consistent with the database. Results with this model show that P burial is strongly enhanced in sediments hosting fauna. Animals mix highly labile Porg away from the aerobic sediment layers where mineralization rates are highest, thereby mitigating diffusive PO43- fluxes to the bottom water. They also expand the redox niche where microbial P uptake occurs. The model was applied to a hypothetical shelf setting in the early Paleozoic; a time of the first radiation of benthic fauna. Results show that even shallow bioturbation at that time may have had a significant impact on P burial. Our model provides support for a recent study that proposed that faunal radiation in ocean sediments led to enhanced P burial and, possibly, a stabilization of atmospheric O2 levels. The results also help to explain Corg:Porg ratios in the geological record and the persistence of Porg in ancient marine sediments.

  20. An automated nowcasting model of significant instability events in the flight terminal area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges França, Gutemberg; Valdonel de Almeida, Manoel; Rosette, Alessana C.

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents a novel model, based on neural network techniques, to produce short-term and local-specific forecasts of significant instability for flights in the terminal area of Galeão Airport, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Twelve years of data were used for neural network training/validation and test. Data are originally from four sources: (1) hourly meteorological observations from surface meteorological stations at five airports distributed around the study area; (2) atmospheric profiles collected twice a day at the meteorological station at Galeão Airport; (3) rain rate data collected from a network of 29 rain gauges in the study area; and (4) lightning data regularly collected by national detection networks. An investigation was undertaken regarding the capability of a neural network to produce early warning signs - or as a nowcasting tool - for significant instability events in the study area. The automated nowcasting model was tested using results from five categorical statistics, indicated in parentheses in forecasts of the first, second, and third hours, respectively, namely proportion correct (0.99, 0.97, and 0.94), BIAS (1.10, 1.42, and 2.31), the probability of detection (0.79, 0.78, and 0.67), false-alarm ratio (0.28, 0.45, and 0.73), and threat score (0.61, 0.47, and 0.25). Possible sources of error related to the test procedure are presented and discussed. The test showed that the proposed model (or neural network) can grab the physical content inside the data set, and its performance is quite encouraging for the first and second hours to nowcast significant instability events in the study area.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  2. 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

  3. Pomalidomide shows significant therapeutic activity against CNS lymphoma with a major impact on the tumor microenvironment in murine models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhimin; Qiu, Yushi; Personett, David; Huang, Peng; Edenfield, Brandy; Katz, Jason; Babusis, Darius; Tang, Yang; Shirely, Michael A; Moghaddam, Mehran F; Copland, John A; Tun, Han W

    2013-01-01

    Primary CNS lymphoma carries a poor prognosis. Novel therapeutic agents are urgently needed. Pomalidomide (POM) is a novel immunomodulatory drug with anti-lymphoma activity. CNS pharmacokinetic analysis was performed in rats to assess the CNS penetration of POM. Preclinical evaluation of POM was performed in two murine models to assess its therapeutic activity against CNS lymphoma. The impact of POM on the CNS lymphoma immune microenvironment was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. In vitro cell culture experiments were carried out to further investigate the impact of POM on the biology of macrophages. POM crosses the blood brain barrier with CNS penetration of ~ 39%. Preclinical evaluations showed that it had significant therapeutic activity against CNS lymphoma with significant reduction in tumor growth rate and prolongation of survival, that it had a major impact on the tumor microenvironment with an increase in macrophages and natural killer cells, and that it decreased M2-polarized tumor-associated macrophages and increased M1-polarized macrophages when macrophages were evaluated based on polarization status. In vitro studies using various macrophage models showed that POM converted the polarization status of IL4-stimulated macrophages from M2 to M1, that M2 to M1 conversion by POM in the polarization status of lymphoma-associated macrophages is dependent on the presence of NK cells, that POM induced M2 to M1 conversion in the polarization of macrophages by inactivating STAT6 signaling and activating STAT1 signaling, and that POM functionally increased the phagocytic activity of macrophages. Based on our findings, POM is a promising therapeutic agent for CNS lymphoma with excellent CNS penetration, significant preclinical therapeutic activity, and a major impact on the tumor microenvironment. It can induce significant biological changes in tumor-associated macrophages, which likely play a major role in its therapeutic activity against CNS

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Elucidating the significance of spatial memory on movement decisions by African savannah elephants using state-space models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polansky, Leo; Kilian, Werner; Wittemyer, George

    2015-04-22

    Spatial memory facilitates resource acquisition where resources are patchy, but how it influences movement behaviour of wide-ranging species remains to be resolved. We examined African elephant spatial memory reflected in movement decisions regarding access to perennial waterholes. State-space models of movement data revealed a rapid, highly directional movement behaviour almost exclusively associated with visiting perennial water. Behavioural change point (BCP) analyses demonstrated that these goal-oriented movements were initiated on average 4.59 km, and up to 49.97 km, from the visited waterhole, with the closest waterhole accessed 90% of the time. Distances of decision points increased when switching to different waterholes, during the dry season, or for female groups relative to males, while selection of the closest waterhole decreased when switching. Overall, our analyses indicated detailed spatial knowledge over large scales, enabling elephants to minimize travel distance through highly directional movement when accessing water. We discuss the likely cognitive and socioecological mechanisms driving these spatially precise movements that are most consistent with our findings. By applying modern analytic techniques to high-resolution movement data, this study illustrates emerging approaches for studying how cognition structures animal movement behaviour in different ecological and social contexts. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Hydrothermal Fe cycling and deep ocean organic carbon scavenging: Model-based evidence for significant POC supply to seafloor sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    German, C. R.; Legendre, L. L.; Sander, S. G.; Niquil, N.; Luther, G. W.; Bharati, L.; Han, X.; Le Bris, N.

    2015-06-01

    Submarine hydrothermal venting has recently been identified to have the potential to impact ocean biogeochemistry at the global scale. This is the case because processes active in hydrothermal plumes are so vigorous that the residence time of the ocean, with respect to cycling through hydrothermal plumes, is comparable to that of deep ocean mixing caused by thermohaline circulation. Recently, it has been argued that seafloor venting may provide a significant source of bio-essential Fe to the oceans as the result of a close coupling between Fe and organic carbon in hydrothermal plumes. But a complementary question remains to be addressed: does this same intimate Fe-Corg association in hydrothermal plumes cause any related impact to the global C cycle? To address this, SCOR-InterRidge Working Group 135 developed a modeling approach to synthesize site-specific field data from the East Pacific Rise 9°50‧ N hydrothermal field, where the range of requisite data sets is most complete, and combine those inputs with global estimates for dissolved Fe inputs from venting to the oceans to establish a coherent model with which to investigate hydrothermal Corg cycling. The results place new constraints on submarine Fe vent fluxes worldwide, including an indication that the majority of Fe supplied to hydrothermal plumes should come from entrainment of diffuse flow. While this same entrainment is not predicted to enhance the supply of dissolved organic carbon to hydrothermal plumes by more than ∼10% over background values, what the model does indicate is that scavenging of carbon in association with Fe-rich hydrothermal plume particles should play a significant role in the delivery of particulate organic carbon to deep ocean sediments, worldwide.

  11. Changes of High Mobility Group box 1 in Serum of Pig Acute Hepatic Failure Model and Significance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fan ZHANG; Yongwen HE; Zhongping DUAN

    2008-01-01

    The role of the high mobility group box 1 (HMGB-1) in acute hepatic failure and the ef- fect of artificial liver support system treatment on HMGB-1 level were investigated. Pig models of acute hepatic failure were induced by D-galactosamine and randomly divided into two groups with or without artificial liver support system treatment. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels were detected by the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the expression of HMGB-1 by Western blot, and serum levels of HMGB-1, liver function and hepatic pathology were observed after artificial liver support system treatment. The levels of TNF-α and IL-1β were increased and reached the peak at 24th h in the acute hepatic failure group, then quickly decreased. The serum level of HMGB-1 was increased at 24th h in the acute hepatic failure group and reached the peak at 48th h, then kept a stable high level. Significant liver injury appeared at 24th h and was continuously getting worse in the pig models of acute hepatic failure. In contrast, the liver injury was significantly alleviated and serum level of HMGB-1 was significantly decreased in the group treated with artificial liver support system (P<0.05). It was suggested that HMGB-1 may participate in the inflammatory response and liver injury in the late stage of the acute liver failure. Artificial liver support system treatment can reduce serum HMGB-1 level and relieve liver pathological damage.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    seismic data compilations. We show that (1) Miocene high-elevation, low relief surfaces do exist in the Central Pyrenees, contrary to previous assertion, where the crust has been significantly thickened; (2) the gravity models and seismic data are in agreement, indicating that there is no overcompensation of the Pyrenean chain as previously claimed; (3) the dissected Pyrenean planation surface is isostatically compensated by crustal thickening, indicating that there is no or a little residual topography and (4) there is no removal of the lithospheric mantle in the eastern Pyrenees, so the high elevation of the low-relief surfaces in this area are not linked to any asthenospheric upwelling as recently proposed. We conclude that there was no major uplift in the Pyrenees since the Late Miocene and that therefore the Miocene Pyrenean peneplain formed at high elevation.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Modeling plant, microorganisms, and mineral surface competition for soil nitrogen and phosphorus: Competition representations and ecological significance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Q.; Riley, W. J.; Chambers, J. Q.; Tang, J.

    2014-12-01

    It is widely accepted that terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics are strongly coupled and controlled by soil nutrients status. Nutrient availability serves as an indicator of aboveground carbon productivity and ecosystem stability, especially when soils are infertile. In these conditions, plants have to outcompete microorganism and mineral surfaces to acquire nutrients required for photosynthesis, respiration, seed production, defense, etc. It is usually hypothesized that microbes are short-term winners but long-term losers in nutrient competition. Microbes quickly trap available soil nitrogen and phosphorous, thereby preventing nutrient inaccessibility through hydrological leaching and mineral surface adsorption. Over longer temporal scales, nutrients are released into the soil and become available for plant uptake. Despite its ecological significance, nutrient competition is either absent or over-simplified (e.g., assuming all consumers are equally competitive) in terrestrial biogeochemistry models. Here, we aim to test the representation of different competitive strategies and to investigate their ecological consequences with a newly developed biogeochemical model structure. The new model includes three major soil nutrients (ammonia, nitrate, and phosphate) and multiple consumers (plants, microbes, mineral surfaces, nitrifiers, and denitrifiers). We analyze predicted soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus dynamics with three different competitive strategies: (1) plants compete poorly against microorganisms; (2) all consumers are equally competitive; and (3) an explicit Equilibrium Chemical Approximation (ECA; Tang and Riley (2013)) treatment. We find that very different ecosystem states are predicted when assuming different competitive structures, and that the ECA approach provides the best match with a large suite of observational constraints from tropical experimental and transect studies. We conclude that terrestrial biogeochemical models should represent a

  18. Modeling the significance of including C redistribution when determining changes in net carbon storage along a cultivated toposequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirinda, Ngonidzashe; Olesen, Jørgen E.; Heckrath, Goswin; Paradelo Pérez, Marcos; Taghizadeh-Toosi, Arezoo

    2016-04-01

    Globally, soil carbon (C) reserves are second only to those in the ocean, and accounts for a significant C reservoir. In the case of arable soils, the quantity of stored C is influenced by various factors (e.g. management practices). Currently, the topography related influences on in-field soil C dynamics remain largely unknown. However, topography is known to influence a multiplicity of factors that regulate C input, storage and redistribution. To understand the patterns and untangle the complexity of soil C dynamics in arable landscapes, our study was conducted with soils from shoulderslope and footslope positions on a 7.1 ha winter wheat field in western Denmark. We first collected soil samples from shoulderslope and footslope positions with various depth intervals down to 100 cm and analyzed them for physical and chemical properties including texture and soil organic C contents. In-situ carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations were measured at different soil profile depths at both positions for a year. Soil moisture content and temperature at 5 and 40 cm depth was measured continuously. Additionally, surface soil CO2 fluxes at shoulderslope and footslope positions were measured. We then used measurement data collected from the two landscape positions to calibrate the one-dimensional mechanistic model SOILCO2 module of the HYDRUS-1D software package and obtained soil CO2 fluxes from soil profile at two landscape positions. Furthermore, we tested whether the inclusion of vertical and lateral soil C movement improved the modeling of C dynamics in cultivated landscapes. For that, soil profile CO2 fluxes were compared with those obtained using a simple process-based soil whole profile C model, C-TOOL, which was modified to include vertical and lateral movement of C on landscape. Our results highlight the need to consider vertical and lateral soil C movement in the modeling of C dynamics in cultivated landscapes, for better qualification of net carbon storage.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Significance of stromal-1 and stromal-2 signatures and biologic prognostic model in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdou, Asmaa Gaber; Asaad, Nancy; Kandil, Mona; Shabaan, Mohammed; Shams, Asmaa

    2017-01-01

    Objective : Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) is a heterogeneous group of tumors with different biological and clinical characteristics that have diverse clinical outcomes and response to therapy. Stromal-1 signature of tumor microenvironment of DLBCL represents extracellular matrix deposition and histiocytic infiltrate, whereas stromal-2 represents angiogenesis that could affect tumor progression. Methods : The aim of the present study is to assess the significance of stromal-1 signature using SPARC-1 and stromal-2 signature using CD31 expression and then finally to construct biologic prognostic model (BPM) in 60 cases of DLBCL via immunohistochemistry. Results : Microvessel density (PBPM showed that 42 cases (70%) were of low biologic score (0–1) and 18 cases (30%) were of high biologic score (2–3). Low BPM cases showed less probability for splenic involvement (P=0.04) and a higher rate of complete response to therapy compared with high score cases (P=0.08). Conclusions : The DLBCL microenvironment could modulate tumor progression behavior since angiogenesis and SPARC positive stromal cells promote dissemination by association with spleen involvement and capsular invasion. Biologic prognostic models, including modified BPM, which considered cell origin of DLBCL and stromal signature pathways, could determine DLBCL progression and response to therapy. PMID:28607806

  2. Attenuation of Rhes activity significantly delays the appearance of behavioral symptoms in a mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon A Baiamonte

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by choreiform movement of the limbs, cognitive disability, psychosis and dementia. It is invariably associated with an abnormally long CAG expansion within the IT15 gene on human chromosome 4. Although the mutant huntingtin protein is ubiquitously expressed in HD patients, cellular degeneration occurs predominantly in neurons within the corpus striatum and cerebral cortex. The Ras homolog Rhes is expressed very selectively in the precise brain areas affected by HD. Recent in vitro work suggests that Rhes may be a co-factor with mutant huntingtin in cell death. The objective of the present study was to examine whether the inhibition of Rhes would attenuate or delay the symptoms of HD in vivo. We used a transgenic mouse model of HD crossed with Rhes knockout mice to show that the behavioral symptoms of HD are regulated by Rhes. HD(+/Rhes(-/- mice showed significantly delayed expression of HD-like symptoms in this in vivo model. Drugs that block or inhibit the actions of Rhes may be useful as the first treatments for HD.

  3. Filtrate of Phellinus linteus Broth Culture Reduces Infarct Size Significantly in a Rat Model of Permanent Focal Cerebral Ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Sakiko; Kawamata, Takakazu; Okada, Yoshikazu; Kobayashi, Tomonori; Nakamura, Tomoyuki; Hori, Tomokatsu

    2011-01-01

    Phellinus linteus, a natural growing mushroom, has been known to exhibit anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-oxidant effects. Aiming to exploit the neuroprotective effects of P. linteus, we evaluated its effects on infarct volume reduction in a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to right middle cerebral artery occlusion. Filtrate of P. linteus broth culture (various doses), fractionated filtrate (based on molecular weight) or control medium was administered intraperitoneally to rats before or after ischemia induction. Rats were killed at 24 h after the stroke surgery. Cortical and caudoputaminal infarct volumes were determined separately using an image analysis program following staining with 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride. Significant cortical infarct volume reductions were found in the pre-treatment groups (30 and 60 minutes before onset of cerebral ischemia) compared with the control group, showing dose dependence. Posttreatment (30 minutes after ischemic onset) also significantly reduced cortical infarct volume. Furthermore, the higher molecular weight (≥12 000) fraction of the culture filtrate was more effective compared with the lower molecular weight fraction. The present findings suggest that P. linteus may be a new promising approach for the treatment of focal cerebral ischemia, with the additional benefit of a wide therapeutic time window since significant infarct volume reduction is obtained by administration even after the ischemic event. Our finding that the higher molecular weight fraction of the P. linteus culture filtrate demonstrated more prominent effect may provide a clue to identify the neuroprotective substances and mechanisms.

  4. Filtrate of Phellinus linteus Broth Culture Reduces Infarct Size Significantly in a Rat Model of Permanent Focal Cerebral Ischemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakiko Suzuki

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Phellinus linteus, a natural growing mushroom, has been known to exhibit anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-oxidant effects. Aiming to exploit the neuroprotective effects of P. linteus, we evaluated its effects on infarct volume reduction in a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to right middle cerebral artery occlusion. Filtrate of P. linteus broth culture (various doses, fractionated filtrate (based on molecular weight or control medium was administered intraperitoneally to rats before or after ischemia induction. Rats were killed at 24 h after the stroke surgery. Cortical and caudoputaminal infarct volumes were determined separately using an image analysis program following staining with 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride. Significant cortical infarct volume reductions were found in the pre-treatment groups (30 and 60 minutes before onset of cerebral ischemia compared with the control group, showing dose dependence. Posttreatment (30 minutes after ischemic onset also significantly reduced cortical infarct volume. Furthermore, the higher molecular weight (≥12 000 fraction of the culture filtrate was more effective compared with the lower molecular weight fraction. The present findings suggest that P. linteus may be a new promising approach for the treatment of focal cerebral ischemia, with the additional benefit of a wide therapeutic time window since significant infarct volume reduction is obtained by administration even after the ischemic event. Our finding that the higher molecular weight fraction of the P. linteus culture filtrate demonstrated more prominent effect may provide a clue to identify the neuroprotective substances and mechanisms.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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-...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. GeoSciML v3.0 - a significant upgrade of the CGI-IUGS geoscience data model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, O.; Duclaux, G.; Boisvert, E.; Cipolloni, C.; Cox, S.; Laxton, J.; Letourneau, F.; Richard, S.; Ritchie, A.; Sen, M.; Serrano, J.-J.; Simons, B.; Vuollo, J.

    2012-04-01

    GeoSciML version 3.0 (http://www.geosciml.org), released in late 2011, is the latest version of the CGI-IUGS* Interoperability Working Group geoscience data interchange standard. The new version is a significant upgrade and refactoring of GeoSciML v2 which was released in 2008. GeoSciML v3 has already been adopted by several major international interoperability initiatives, including OneGeology, the EU INSPIRE program, and the US Geoscience Information Network, as their standard data exchange format for geoscience data. GeoSciML v3 makes use of recently upgraded versions of several Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and ISO data transfer standards, including GML v3.2, SWE Common v2.0, and Observations and Measurements v2 (ISO 19156). The GeoSciML v3 data model has been refactored from a single large application schema with many packages, into a number of smaller, but related, application schema modules with individual namespaces. This refactoring allows the use and future development of modules of GeoSciML (eg; GeologicUnit, GeologicStructure, GeologicAge, Borehole) in smaller, more manageable units. As a result of this refactoring and the integration with new OGC and ISO standards, GeoSciML v3 is not backwardly compatible with previous GeoSciML versions. The scope of GeoSciML has been extended in version 3.0 to include new models for geomorphological data (a Geomorphology application schema), and for geological specimens, geochronological interpretations, and metadata for geochemical and geochronological analyses (a LaboratoryAnalysis-Specimen application schema). In addition, there is better support for borehole data, and the PhysicalProperties model now supports a wider range of petrophysical measurements. The previously used CGI_Value data type has been superseded in favour of externally governed data types provided by OGC's SWE Common v2 and GML v3.2 data standards. The GeoSciML v3 release includes worked examples of best practice in delivering geochemical

  14. Significant increase in HBV, HCV, HIV and syphilis infections among blood donors in West Bengal, Eastern India 2004-2005: Exploratory screening reveals high frequency of occult HBV infection

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Prasun Bhattacharya; Partha Kumar Chandra; Sibnarayan Datta; Arup Banerjee; Subhashish Chakraborty; Krishnan Rajendran; Subir Kumar Basu; Sujit Kumar Bhattacharya; Runu Chakravarty

    2007-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the prevalence of markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among blood donors in Kolkata, Eastern India for two consecutive years and to conduct a pilot study to explore the presence of HBV DNA among hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) negative but anti-HBc positive blood donors.METHODS: Seroprevalence of HBsAg, anti-HCV and anti-HIV was studied among 113051 and 106695 voluntary blood donors screened in 2004 and 2005,respectively. Moreover, a pilot study on 1027 HBsAg negative donors was carried out for evaluating the presence of HBV DNA by PCR on HBsAg negative/antiHBc positive donors.RESJLTS: A statistically significant increase in the prevalence of HBV (1448 vs 1768, P < 0.001), HIV (262vs 374, P < 0.001), HCV (314 vs 372, P = 0.003) and syphilis (772 vs 853, P = 0.001) infections was noted among blood donors of Kolkata West Bengal in 2005 as compared to 2004. Moreover, the exploratory study on 1027 HBsAg negative donors revealed that 188 (18.3%) of them were anti-HBc positive out of which 21% were positive for HBV DNA.CONCLUSION: The findings of this study underscore the significantly increasing endemicity of hepatitis viruses, syphilis and HIV among the voluntary blood donors of our community. The pilot study indicates a high rate of prevalence of HBV DNA among HBsAg negative/anti-HBc positive donors and thus emphasizes the need for a more sensitive and stringent screening algorithm for blood donations.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Human leukocyte antigen class II transgenic mouse model unmasks the significant extrahepatic pathology in toxic shock syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilahun, Ashenafi Y; Marietta, Eric V; Wu, Tsung-Teh; Patel, Robin; David, Chella S; Rajagopalan, Govindarajan

    2011-06-01

    Among the exotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, the superantigens (SAgs) are the most potent T-cell activators known to date. SAgs are implicated in several serious diseases including toxic shock syndrome (TSS), Kawasaki disease, and sepsis. However, the immunopathogenesis of TSS and other diseases involving SAgs are still not completely understood. The commonly used conventional laboratory mouse strains do not respond robustly to SAgs in vivo. Therefore, they must be artificially rendered susceptible to TSS by using sensitizing agents such as d-galactosamine (d-galN), which skews the disease exclusively to the liver and, hence, is not representative of the disease in humans. SAg-induced TSS was characterized using transgenic mice expressing HLA class II molecules that are extremely susceptible to TSS without d-galN. HLA-DR3 transgenic mice recapitulated TSS in humans with extensive multiple-organ inflammation affecting the lung, liver, kidneys, heart, and small intestines. Heavy infiltration with T lymphocytes (both CD4(+) and CD8+), neutrophils, and macrophages was noted. In particular, the pathologic changes in the small intestines were extensive and accompanied by significantly altered absorptive functions of the enterocytes. In contrast to massive liver failure alone in the d-galN sensitization model of TSS, findings of the present study suggest that gut dysfunction might be a key pathogenic event that leads to high morbidity and mortality in humans with TSS.

  5. Organization as Information Processing Systems. Toward a Model of the Research Factors Associated with Significant Research Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-04-01

    and %- , during research projects that were related to research outcomes. The Ambidextrous model, which includes both organic and mechanistic research...to make choices with greater li4kelihood for innovative outcomes. p A potential side benefit from better knowledge of the research process * maY...aspect of the research process. The models are referred to respectively as the Davis model, the Antecedents model, and the Ambidextrous model. These

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. A non-traditional model of the metabolic syndrome: the adaptive significance of insulin resistance in fasting-adapted seals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorian S Houser

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Insulin resistance in modern society is perceived as a pathological consequence of excess energy consumption and reduced physical activity. Its presence in relation to the development of cardiovascular risk factors has been termed the metabolic syndrome, which produces increased mortality and morbidity and which is rapidly increasing in human populations. Ironically, insulin resistance likely evolved to assist animals during food shortages by increasing the availability of endogenous lipid for catabolism while protecting protein from use in gluconeogenesis and eventual oxidation. Some species that incorporate fasting as a predictable component of their life history demonstrate physiological traits similar to the metabolic syndrome during prolonged fasts. One such species is the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris, which fasts from food and water for periods of up to three months. During this time, ~90% of the seals metabolic demands are met through fat oxidation and circulating non-esterified fatty acids are high (0.7-3.2 mM. All life history stages of elephant seal studied to date demonstrate insulin resistance and fasting hyperglycemia as well as variations in hormones and adipocytokines that reflect the metabolic syndrome to some degree. Elephant seals demonstrate some intriguing adaptations with the potential for medical advancement; for example, ketosis is negligible despite significant and prolonged fatty acid oxidation and investigation of this feature might provide insight into the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis. The parallels to the metabolic syndrome are likely reflected to varying degrees in other marine mammals, most of which evolved on diets high in lipid and protein content but essentially devoid of carbohydrate. Utilization of these natural models of insulin resistance may further our understanding of the pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome in humans and better assist the development of preventative measures

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Noninvasive neutron scattering measurements reveal slower cholesterol transport in model lipid membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, S; Porcar, L; Woodka, A C; Butler, P D; Perez-Salas, U

    2011-07-20

    Proper cholesterol transport is essential to healthy cellular activity and any abnormality can lead to several fatal diseases. However, complete understandings of cholesterol homeostasis in the cell remains elusive, partly due to the wide variability in reported values for intra- and intermembrane cholesterol transport rates. Here, we used time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering to measure cholesterol intermembrane exchange and intramembrane flipping rates, in situ, without recourse to any external fields or compounds. We found significantly slower transport kinetics than reported by previous studies, particularly for intramembrane flipping where our measured rates are several orders of magnitude slower. We unambiguously demonstrate that the presence of chemical tags and extraneous compounds employed in traditional kinetic measurements dramatically affect the system thermodynamics, accelerating cholesterol transport rates by an order of magnitude. To our knowledge, this work provides new insights into cholesterol transport process disorders, and challenges many of the underlying assumptions used in most cholesterol transport studies to date.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. On the significance of the noise model for the performance of a linear MPC in closed-loop operation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hagdrup, Morten; Boiroux, Dimitri; Mahmoudi, Zeinab

    2016-01-01

    models typically means less parameters to identify. Systematic tuning of such controllers is discussed. Simulation studies are conducted for linear time-invariant systems showing that choosing a noise model of low order is beneficial for closed-loop performance. (C) 2016, IFAC (International Federation...... of Automatic Control) Hosting by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved....

  20. Prediction model for aneuploidy in early human embryo development revealed by single-cell analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vera-Rodriguez, Maria; Chavez, Shawn L.; Rubio, Carmen; Pera, Renee A. Reijo; Simon, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Aneuploidies are prevalent in the human embryo and impair proper development, leading to cell cycle arrest. Recent advances in imaging and molecular and genetic analyses are postulated as promising strategies to unveil the mechanisms involved in aneuploidy generation. Here we combine time-lapse, complete chromosomal assessment and single-cell RT–qPCR to simultaneously obtain information from all cells that compose a human embryo until the approximately eight-cell stage (n=85). Our data indicate that the chromosomal status of aneuploid embryos (n=26), including those that are mosaic (n=3), correlates with significant differences in the duration of the first mitotic phase when compared with euploid embryos (n=28). Moreover, gene expression profiling suggests that a subset of genes is differentially expressed in aneuploid embryos during the first 30 h of development. Thus, we propose that the chromosomal fate of an embryo is likely determined as early as the pronuclear stage and may be predicted by a 12-gene transcriptomic signature. PMID:26151134

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Immunological aspects and therapeutic significance of an autoantibody against histone H1 in a rat model of concanavalin A-induced hepatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakano, Toshiaki; Goto, Shigeru; Lai, Chia-Yun; Hsu, Li-Wen; Takaoka, Yuki; Kawamoto, Seiji; Chiang, Kuei-Chen; Shimada, Yayoi; Ohmori, Naoya; Goto, Takeshi; Sato, Shuji; Ono, Kazuhisa; Cheng, Yu-Fan; Chen, Chao-Long

    2010-04-01

    We previously demonstrated the immunosuppressive activity of anti-histone H1 autoantibody induced in experimental and clinical liver allograft tolerance. This study aimed to explore the immunological aspects of anti-histone H1 autoantibody in liver injury induced by concanavalin A (Con A). To establish a Con A-hepatitis model, 20 mg/kg Con A was intravenously injected into rats, after which liver function and histopathological analyses were performed. In this model, anti-histone H1 autoantibody was transiently induced in the sera during the natural recovery stage, 3-7 days after Con A injection. To evaluate the therapeutic significance of anti-histone H1 autoantibody, a polyclonal antibody against histone H1 was intraperitoneally injected immediately after Con A injection. We found that injection of anti-histone H1 antibody could reduce Con A-induced liver damage. Further mechanical analyses revealed that anti-histone H1 antibody altered the intracellular activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase, nuclear factor-kappaB and calcineurin via T-cell receptor signalling, suggesting that anti-histone H1 antibody may protect the liver from Con A-induced injury by inhibiting activation of effector T cells. These findings suggest that anti-histone H1 autoantibody may be a natural immune regulatory factor that protects inflamed livers suffering from autoimmune hepatitis and may lead to T-cell unresponsiveness through the selective regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase/nuclear factor-kappaB and calcineurin signalling.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Investigation of the chromosome regions with significant affinity for the nuclear envelope in fruit fly--a model based approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas Allen Kinney

    Full Text Available Three dimensional nuclear architecture is important for genome function, but is still poorly understood. In particular, little is known about the role of the "boundary conditions"--points of attachment between chromosomes and the nuclear envelope. We describe a method for modeling the 3D organization of the interphase nucleus, and its application to analysis of chromosome-nuclear envelope (Chr-NE attachments of polytene (giant chromosomes in Drosophila melanogaster salivary glands. The model represents chromosomes as self-avoiding polymer chains confined within the nucleus; parameters of the model are taken directly from experiment, no fitting parameters are introduced. Methods are developed to objectively quantify chromosome territories and intertwining, which are discussed in the context of corresponding experimental observations. In particular, a mathematically rigorous definition of a territory based on convex hull is proposed. The self-avoiding polymer model is used to re-analyze previous experimental data; the analysis suggests 33 additional Chr-NE attachments in addition to the 15 already explored Chr-NE attachments. Most of these new Chr-NE attachments correspond to intercalary heterochromatin--gene poor, dark staining, late replicating regions of the genome; however, three correspond to euchromatin--gene rich, light staining, early replicating regions of the genome. The analysis also suggests 5 regions of anti-contact, characterized by aversion for the NE, only two of these correspond to euchromatin. This composition of chromatin suggests that heterochromatin may not be necessary or sufficient for the formation of a Chr-NE attachment. To the extent that the proposed model represents reality, the confinement of the polytene chromosomes in a spherical nucleus alone does not favor the positioning of specific chromosome regions at the NE as seen in experiment; consequently, the 15 experimentally known Chr-NE attachment positions do not

  13. Improving winter leaf area index estimation in evergreen coniferous forests and its significance in carbon and water fluxes modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, R.; Chen, J. M.; Luo, X.

    2016-12-01

    Modeling of carbon and water fluxes at the continental and global scales requires remotely sensed LAI as inputs. For evergreen coniferous forests (ENF), severely underestimated winter LAI has been one of the issues for mostly available remote sensing products, which could cause negative bias in the modeling of Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET). Unlike deciduous trees which shed all the leaves in winter, conifers retains part of their needles and the proportion of the retained needles depends on the needle longevity. In this work, the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) was used to model GPP and ET at eight FLUXNET Canada ENF sites. Two sets of LAI were used as the model inputs: the 250m 10-day University of Toronto (U of T) LAI product Version 2 and the corrected LAI based on the U of T LAI product and the needle longevity of the corresponding tree species at individual sites. Validating model daily GPP (gC/m2) against site measurements, the mean RMSE over eight sites decreases from 1.85 to 1.15, and the bias changes from -0.99 to -0.19. For daily ET (mm), mean RMSE decreases from 0.63 to 0.33, and the bias changes from -0.31 to -0.16. Most of the improvements occur in the beginning and at the end of the growing season when there is large correction of LAI and meanwhile temperature is still suitable for photosynthesis and transpiration. For the dormant season, the improvement in ET simulation mostly comes from the increased interception of precipitation brought by the elevated LAI during that time. The results indicate that model performance can be improved by the application the corrected LAI. Improving the winter RS LAI can make a large impact on land surface carbon and energy budget.

  14. 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.

  15. Segmentation process significantly influences the accuracy of 3D surface models derived from cone beam computed tomography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fourie, Zacharias; Damstra, Janalt; Schepers, Rutger H; Gerrits, Pieter; Ren, Yijin

    2012-01-01

    AIMS: To assess the accuracy of surface models derived from 3D cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) with two different segmentation protocols. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seven fresh-frozen cadaver heads were used. There was no conflict of interests in this study. CBCT scans were made of the heads and 3D

  16. 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.

  17. The In Vitro Mass-Produced Model Mycorrhizal Fungus, Rhizophagus irregularis, Significantly Increases Yields of the Globally Important Food Security Crop Cassava

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceballos, Isabel; Ruiz, Michael; Fernández, Cristhian; Peña, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis is formed between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and plant roots. The fungi provide the plant with inorganic phosphate (P). The symbiosis can result in increased plant growth. Although most global food crops naturally form this symbiosis, very few studies have shown that their practical application can lead to large-scale increases in food production. Application of AMF to crops in the tropics is potentially effective for improving yields. However, a main problem of using AMF on a large-scale is producing cheap inoculum in a clean sterile carrier and sufficiently concentrated to cheaply transport. Recently, mass-produced in vitro inoculum of the model mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis became available, potentially making its use viable in tropical agriculture. One of the most globally important food plants in the tropics is cassava. We evaluated the effect of in vitro mass-produced R. irregularis inoculum on the yield of cassava crops at two locations in Colombia. A significant effect of R. irregularis inoculation on yield occurred at both sites. At one site, yield increases were observed irrespective of P fertilization. At the other site, inoculation with AMF and 50% of the normally applied P gave the highest yield. Despite that AMF inoculation resulted in greater food production, economic analyses revealed that AMF inoculation did not give greater return on investment than with conventional cultivation. However, the amount of AMF inoculum used was double the recommended dose and was calculated with European, not Colombian, inoculum prices. R. irregularis can also be manipulated genetically in vitro, leading to improved plant growth. We conclude that application of in vitro R. irregularis is currently a way of increasing cassava yields, that there is a strong potential for it to be economically profitable and that there is enormous potential to improve this efficiency further in the future. PMID:23950975

  18. ‘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

  19. '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.

  20. Acellular bone marrow extracts significantly enhance engraftment levels of human hematopoietic stem cells in mouse xeno-transplantation models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazem Zibara

    Full Text Available Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC derived from cord blood (CB, bone marrow (BM, or mobilized peripheral blood (PBSC can differentiate into multiple lineages such as lymphoid, myeloid, erythroid cells and platelets. The local microenvironment is critical to the differentiation of HSCs and to the preservation of their phenotype in vivo. This microenvironment comprises a physical support supplied by the organ matrix as well as tissue specific cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. We investigated the effects of acellular bovine bone marrow extracts (BME on HSC in vitro and in vivo. We observed a significant increase in the number of myeloid and erythroid colonies in CB mononuclear cells (MNC or CB CD34+ cells cultured in methylcellulose media supplemented with BME. Similarly, in xeno-transplantation experiments, pretreatment with BME during ex-vivo culture of HSCs induced a significant increase in HSC engraftment in vivo. Indeed, we observed both an increase in the number of differentiated myeloid, lymphoid and erythroid cells and an acceleration of engraftment. These results were obtained using CB MNCs, BM MNCs or CD34(+ cells, transplanted in immuno-compromised mice (NOD/SCID or NSG. These findings establish the basis for exploring the use of BME in the expansion of CB HSC prior to HSC Transplantation. This study stresses the importance of the mechanical structure and soluble mediators present in the surrounding niche for the proper activity and differentiation of stem cells.

  1. Dual learning processes underlying human decision-making in reversal learning tasks: Functional significance and evidence from the model fit to human behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu eBai

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Humans are capable of correcting their actions based on actions performed in the past, and this ability enables them to adapt to a changing environment. The computational field of reinforcement learning (RL has provided a powerful explanation for understanding such processes. Recently, the dual learning system, modeled as a hybrid model that incorporates value update based on reward-prediction error and learning rate modulation based on the surprise signal, has gained attention as a model for explaining various neural signals. However, the functional significance of the hybrid model has not been established. In the present study, we used computer simulation in a reversal learning task to address functional significance. The hybrid model was found to perform better than the standard RL model in a large parameter setting. These results suggest that the hybrid model is more robust against mistuning of parameters compared to the standard RL model when decision makers continue to learn stimulus-reward contingencies, which make an abrupt changes. The parameter fitting results also indicated that the hybrid model fit better than the standard RL model for more than 50% of the participants, which suggests that the hybrid model has more explanatory power for the behavioral data than the standard RL model.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. [Different explanatory models for addictive behavior in Turkish and German youths in Germany: significance for prevention and treatment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penka, S; Krieg, S; Hunner, Ch; Heinz, A

    2003-07-01

    Due to cultural and social barriers, immigrants seldom frequent centers for information, counseling, and treatment of addictive disorders. We examine cultural differences in the explanatory models of addictive behavior among Turkish and German youths in Germany with statistical devices that map the concepts associated with problems of addiction. Relevant differences were found between the disorder concepts of Turkish and German youth. German but not Turkish youths classified eating disorders among severe addictive disorders and associated them with embarrassment and shame. Concerning substance abuse, German but not Turkish youths clearly differentiated between illegal drug abuse and the abuse of alcohol and nicotine. Nearly half of all Turkish youths rejected central medical concepts such as "physical dependence" or "reduced control of substance intake" as completely inadequate to characterize problems of addictive behavior. Preventive information programs must consider these differences and use concepts that are accepted and clearly associated with addictive behavior by immigrant populations.

  10. 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

  11. Significance of plankton community structure and nutrient availability for the control of dinoflagellate blooms by parasites: a modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves-de-Souza, Catharina; Pecqueur, David; Le Floc'h, Emilie; Mas, Sébastien; Roques, Cécile; Mostajir, Behzad; Vidussi, Franscesca; Velo-Suárez, Lourdes; Sourisseau, Marc; Fouilland, Eric; Guillou, Laure

    2015-01-01

    Dinoflagellate blooms are frequently observed under temporary eutrophication of coastal waters after heavy rains. Growth of these opportunistic microalgae is believed to be promoted by sudden input of nutrients and the absence or inefficiency of their natural enemies, such as grazers and parasites. Here, numerical simulations indicate that increasing nutrient availability not only promotes the formation of dinoflagellate blooms but can also stimulate their control by protozoan parasites. Moreover, high abundance of phytoplankton other than dinoflagellate hosts might have a significant dilution effect on the control of dinoflagellate blooms by parasites, either by resource competition with dinoflagellates (thus limiting the number of hosts available for infection) or by affecting numerical-functional responses of grazers that consume free-living parasite stages. These outcomes indicate that although both dinoflagellates and their protozoan parasites are directly affected by nutrient availability, the efficacy of the parasitic control of dinoflagellate blooms under temporary eutrophication depends strongly on the structure of the plankton community as a whole.

  12. Improving CCTA-based lesions' hemodynamic significance assessment by accounting for partial volume modeling in automatic coronary lumen segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freiman, Moti; Nickisch, Hannes; Prevrhal, Sven; Schmitt, Holger; Vembar, Mani; Maurovich-Horvat, Pál; Donnelly, Patrick; Goshen, Liran

    2017-03-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the potential added benefit of accounting for partial volume effects (PVE) in an automatic coronary lumen segmentation algorithm that is used to determine the hemodynamic significance of a coronary artery stenosis from coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Two sets of data were used in our work: (a) multivendor CCTA datasets of 18 subjects from the MICCAI 2012 challenge with automatically generated centerlines and 3 reference segmentations of 78 coronary segments and (b) additional CCTA datasets of 97 subjects with 132 coronary lesions that had invasive reference standard FFR measurements. We extracted the coronary artery centerlines for the 97 datasets by an automated software program followed by manual correction if required. An automatic machine-learning-based algorithm segmented the coronary tree with and without accounting for the PVE. We obtained CCTA-based FFR measurements using a flow simulation in the coronary trees that were generated by the automatic algorithm with and without accounting for PVE. We assessed the potential added value of PVE integration as a part of the automatic coronary lumen segmentation algorithm by means of segmentation accuracy using the MICCAI 2012 challenge framework and by means of flow simulation overall accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values, and the receiver operated characteristic (ROC) area under the curve. We also evaluated the potential benefit of accounting for PVE in automatic segmentation for flow simulation for lesions that were diagnosed as obstructive based on CCTA which could have indicated a need for an invasive exam and revascularization. Our segmentation algorithm improves the maximal surface distance error by ~39% compared to previously published method on the 18 datasets from the MICCAI 2012 challenge with comparable Dice and mean surface distance. Results with and without accounting for PVE were comparable. In contrast

  13. 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

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

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Surface functionalization of bioactive glasses with natural molecules of biological significance, Part I: Gallic acid as model molecule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xin; Ferraris, Sara; Prenesti, Enrico; Verné, Enrica

    2013-12-01

    Gallic acid (3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, GA) and its derivatives are a group of biomolecules (polyphenols) obtained from plants. They have effects which are potentially beneficial to heath, for example they are antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antibacterial, as recently investigated in many fields such as medicine, food and plant sciences. The main drawbacks of these molecules are both low stability and bioavailability. In this research work the opportunity to graft GA to bioactive glasses is investigated, in order to deliver the undamaged biological molecule into the body, using the biomaterial surfaces as a localized carrier. GA was considered for functionalization since it is a good model molecule for polyphenols and presents several interesting biological activities, like antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Two different silica based bioactive glasses (SCNA and CEL2), with different reactivity, were employed as substrates. UV photometry combined with the Folin&Ciocalteu reagent was adopted to test the concentration of GA in uptake solution after functionalization. This test verified how much GA consumption occurred with surface modification and it was also used on solid samples to test the presence of GA on functionalized glasses. XPS and SEM-EDS techniques were employed to characterize the modification of material surface properties and functional group composition before and after functionalization.

  17. Stress field modeling of northwestern South China Sea since 5.3 Ma and its tectonic significance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Fengli; ZHOU Zuyi; ZHANG Na; LIU Ning; NI Bin

    2013-01-01

    Tectonically, the northwestern South China Sea (SCS) is located at the junction between three micro-plates, i.e., the Indochina, South China and Zhongsha-Xisha micro-plates, and involves three basins, i.e., the Yinggehai Basin, the Qiongdongnan Basin and Xisha Trough in the east, and the Zhongjiannan Basin in the south. Since the Pliocene (5.3 Ma), the Yinggehai Basin has experienced repeated accelerating subsidence, high thermal fluid, and widely developing mud-rich overpressure chambers, abundant mud diapers and crust-mantle mixed CO2. While a large central canyon was developed in the Qiongdongnan Basin, new rift occurred in the Xisha Trough. These characteristics demonstrate a single tectonic unit for the northwestern SCS, for which we have undertaken stress field modeling to understand its plate deformations and sedimen-tary responses. Our results demonstrate that an extension tectonic event occurred after 5.3 Ma in theYingge-hai-Qiongdongnan-Xisha trough area, which is characterized by thinner crust (3500 m). A new rift system subsequently was developed in this area;this event was mainly driven by the combined effects of different movement veloc-ity and direction of the three micro-plates, and the far-field effect of the continental collision between the Indian Plate and the Tibetan Plateau, and subduction of the Pacific Plate underneath the Eurasian Plate.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Inhibition of tumor progression during allergic airway inflammation in a murine model: significant role of TGF-β.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirado-Rodriguez, Belen; Baay-Guzman, Guillermina; Hernandez-Pando, Rogelio; Antonio-Andres, Gabriela; Vega, Mario I; Rocha-Zavaleta, Leticia; Bonifaz, Laura C; Huerta-Yepez, Sara

    2015-09-01

    TGF-β is an important mediator of pulmonary allergic inflammation, and it has been recently reported to be a potential inhibitor of lung tumor progression. The correlation between cancer and allergic inflammatory diseases remains controversial. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of pulmonary allergic inflammation and in particular the role of TGF-β on cancer progression. Cancer cells were implanted in a BALB/c mice model of allergic airway inflammation, and tumor growth was measured. Apoptosis was evaluated by TUNEL assay, and TGF-β was measured by ELISA. Expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, TGF-β, TGF-β receptors I and II, phospho-Smad2 and phospho-Smad4 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and quantified using digital pathology. The effect of a TGF-β activity inhibitor and recombinant TGF-β on tumor growth was analyzed. The effect of exogenous TGF-β on cell proliferation and apoptosis was evaluated in vitro. Mice with allergic airway inflammation exhibited decreased tumor volumes due to cell proliferation inhibition and increased apoptosis. TGF-β was increased in the sera and tumor tissues of allergic mice. TGF-β activity inhibition increased tumor progression in allergic mice by enhancing proliferation and decreasing apoptosis of tumor cells. The administration of TGF-β resulted in reduced tumor growth. This study is the first to establish an inverse relationship between allergic airway inflammation and tumor progression. This effect appears to be mediated by TGF-β, which is overexpressed in tumor cells during pulmonary allergic inflammation. This study indicates that TGF-β is a potential target for antitumor therapy.

  1. The effect of c-fos on acute myocardial infarction and the significance of metoprolol intervention in a rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Song; Zhang, Meiqi; Goldstein, Steven; Li, Yigang; Ge, Junbo; He, Ben; Ruiz, George

    2013-03-01

    Over-expression of c-fos may play a role in some diseases. Research pertaining to the expression of c-fos in acute myocardial ınfarction (AMI) is rare, and the detailed role of c-fos in AMI has not been reported. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to elucidate the detailed effect of c-fos on AMI rats and evaluate the effect of a metoprolol intervention. An AMI rat model was established for the purposes of this study. The expression of c-fos in AMI was evaluated via immunohistochemical analysis and in situ hybridization. Simultaneously, we investigated the effect of c-fos on AMI rats via medicinal treatment with c-fos monoclonal antibody, isoproterenol, and metoprolol. Positive c-Fos protein expression and c-fos mRNA expression in cardiomyocytes were increased at 1, 3, 7, and 10 days after ligation in AMI rats compared with a sham-operated group. Peak expression occurred at 3 days after ligation. The weight percentage fraction of infarct size was decreased in rats treated with c-fos monoclonal antibody compared with the control normal saline treatment group. The weight percentage fraction of infarction size was increased after c-fos was increased via the administration of isoproterenol. c-Fos protein expression and the infarct size in rats treated with metoprolol were also decreased compared with the control normal saline treatment group. The results showed that c-fos expression rapidly increased after coronary ligation; c-fos plays an important role in myocardial lesions and is likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of AMI as well. Metoprolol can inhibit the expression of c-fos and has a positive therapeutic effect on rats after AMI; the involvement effect of metoprolol on myocardial infarction might be correlated with its effect on the inhibition of c-fos.

  2. The Significance of Quality Assurance within Model Intercomparison Projects at the World Data Centre for Climate (WDCC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint, F.; Hoeck, H.; Stockhause, M.; Lautenschlager, M.

    2014-12-01

    The classical goals of a quality assessment system in the data life cycle are (1) to encourage data creators to improve their quality assessment procedures to reach the next quality level and (2) enable data consumers to decide, whether a dataset has a quality that is sufficient for usage in the target application, i.e. to appraise the data usability for their own purpose.As the data volumes of projects and the interdisciplinarity of data usage grow, the need for homogeneous structure and standardised notation of data and metadata increases. This third aspect is especially valid for the data repositories, as they manage data through machine agents. So checks for homogeneity and consistency in early parts of the workflow become essential to cope with today's data volumes.Selected parts of the workflow in the model intercomparison project CMIP5 and the archival of the data for the interdiscipliary user community of the IPCC-DDC AR5 and the associated quality checks are reviewed. We compare data and metadata checks and relate different types of checks to their positions in the data life cycle.The project's data citation approach is included in the discussion, with focus on temporal aspects of the time necessary to comply with the project's requirements for formal data citations and the demand for the availability of such data citations.In order to make different quality assessments of projects comparable, WDCC developed a generic Quality Assessment System. Based on the self-assessment approach of a maturity matrix, an objective and uniform quality level system for all data at WDCC is derived which consists of five maturity quality levels.

  3. Macrophytes may not contribute significantly to removal of nutrients, pharmaceuticals, and antibiotic resistance in model surface constructed wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardinal, Pascal; Anderson, Julie C; Carlson, Jules C; Low, Jennifer E; Challis, Jonathan K; Beattie, Sarah A; Bartel, Caitlin N; Elliott, Ashley D; Montero, Oscar F; Lokesh, Sheetal; Favreau, Alex; Kozlova, Tatiana A; Knapp, Charles W; Hanson, Mark L; Wong, Charles S

    2014-06-01

    Outdoor shallow wetland mesocosms, designed to simulate surface constructed wetlands to improve lagoon wastewater treatment, were used to assess the role of macrophytes in the dissipation of wastewater nutrients, selected pharmaceuticals, and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Specifically, mesocosms were established with or without populations of Typha spp. (cattails), Myriophyllum sibiricum (northern water milfoil), and Utricularia vulgaris (bladderwort). Following macrophyte establishment, mesocosms were seeded with ARG-bearing organisms from a local wastewater lagoon, and treated with a single pulse of artificial municipal wastewater with or without carbamazepine, clofibric acid, fluoxetine, and naproxen (each at 7.6μg/L), as well as sulfamethoxazole and sulfapyridine (each at 150μg/L). Rates of pharmaceutical dissipation over 28d ranged from 0.073 to 3.0d(-1), corresponding to half-lives of 0.23 to 9.4d. Based on calculated rate constants, observed dissipation rates were consistent with photodegradation driving clofibric acid, naproxen, sulfamethoxazole, and sulfapyridine removal, and with sorption also contributing to carbamazepine and fluoxetine loss. Of the seven gene determinants assayed, only two genes for both beta-lactam resistance (blaCTX and blaTEM) and sulfonamide resistance (sulI and sulII) were found in sufficient quantity for monitoring. Genes disappeared relatively rapidly from the water column, with half-lives ranging from 2.1 to 99d. In contrast, detected gene levels did not change in the sediment, with the exception of sulI, which increased after 28d in pharmaceutical-treated systems. These shallow wetland mesocosms were able to dissipate wastewater contaminants rapidly. However, no significant enhancement in removal of nutrients or pharmaceuticals was observed in mesocosms with extensive aquatic plant communities. This was likely due to three factors: first, use of naïve systems with an unchallenged capacity for nutrient assimilation and

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Intra-articular (IA) ropivacaine microparticle suspensions reduce pain, inflammation, cytokine, and substance p levels significantly more than oral or IA celecoxib in a rat model of arthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinow, Barrett; Werling, Jane; Bendele, Alison; Gass, Jerome; Bogseth, Roy; Balla, Kelly; Valaitis, Paul; Hutchcraft, Audrey; Graham, Sabine

    2015-02-01

    Current therapeutic treatment options for osteoarthritis entail significant safety concerns. A novel ropivacaine crystalline microsuspension for bolus intra-articular (IA) delivery was thus developed and studied in a peptidoglycan polysaccharide (PGPS)-induced ankle swelling rat model. Compared with celecoxib controls, both oral and IA, ropivacaine IA treatment resulted in a significant reduction of pain upon successive PGPS reactivation, as demonstrated in two different pain models, gait analysis and incapacitance testing. The reduction in pain was attended by a significant reduction in histological inflammation, which in turn was accompanied by significant reductions in the cytokines IL-18 and IL-1β. This may have been due to inhibition of substance P, which was also significantly reduced. Pharmacokinetic analysis indicated that the analgesic effects outlasted measurable ropivacaine levels in either blood or tissue. The results are discussed in the context of pharmacologic mechanisms both of local anesthetics as well as inflammatory arthritis.

  11. Acute hypothalamic suppression significantly affects trabecular bone but not cortical bone following recovery and ovariectomy surgery in a rat model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa R. Yingling

    2016-01-01

    RH-a group compared to C, a similar deficit in BV/TV was also measured following recovery and post-OVX. The trabecular number and thickness were lower in the GnRH-a group compared to control.Conclusion. These data suggest that following a transient delay in pubertal onset, trabecular bone volume was significantly lower and no restoration of bone volume occurred following recovery or post-OVX surgery. However, cortical bone strength was maintained through architectural adaptations in the cortical bone envelope. An increase in the polar moment of inertia offset increased bone resorption. The current data are the first to suppress trabecular bone during growth, and then add an OVX protocol at maturity. Trabecular bone and cortical bone differed in their response to hypothalamic suppression during development; trabecular bone was more sensitive to the negative effects of hypothalamic suppression.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Improved Culture Medium (TiKa) for Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis (MAP) Matches qPCR Sensitivity and Reveals Significant Proportions of Non-viable MAP in Lymphoid Tissue of Vaccinated MAP Challenged Animals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bull, Tim J.; Munshil, Tulika; Melvang, Heidi Mikkelsen

    2017-01-01

    The quantitative detection of viable pathogen load is an important tool in determining the degree of infection in animals and contamination of foodstuffs. Current conventional culture methods are limited in their ability to determine these levels in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis......Ka culture equates well with qPCR and provides important evidence that accuracy in estimating viable MAP load using DNA tests alone may vary significantly between samples of mucosal and lymphatic origin....

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Touchscreen-based cognitive tasks reveal age-related impairment in a primate aging model, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  6. End-to-end models for marine ecosystems: Are we on the precipice of a significant advance or just putting lipstick on a pig?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth A. Rose

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available There has been a rapid rise in the development of end-to-end models for marine ecosystems over the past decade. Some reasons for this rise include need for predicting effects of climate change on biota and dissatisfaction with existing models. While the benefits of a well-implemented end-to-end model are straightforward, there are many challenges. In the short term, my view is that the major role of end-to-end models is to push the modelling community forward, and to identify critical data so that these data can be collected now and thus be available for the next generation of end-to-end models. I think we should emulate physicists and build theoretically-oriented models first, and then collect the data. In the long-term, end-to-end models will increase their skill, data collection will catch up, and end-to-end models will move towards site-specific applications with forecasting and management capabilities. One pathway into the future is individual efforts, over-promise, and repackaging of poorly performing component submodels (“lipstick on a pig”. The other pathway is a community-based collaborative effort, with appropriate caution and thoughtfulness, so that the needed improvements are achieved (“significant advance”. The promise of end-to-end modelling is great. We should act now to avoid missing a great opportunity.

  7. Improved Culture Medium (TiKa) for Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis (MAP) Matches qPCR Sensitivity and Reveals Significant Proportions of Non-viable MAP in Lymphoid Tissue of Vaccinated MAP Challenged Animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, Tim J; Munshi, Tulika; Mikkelsen, Heidi; Hartmann, Sofie B; Sørensen, Maria R; Garcia, Joanna S; Lopez-Perez, Paula M; Hofmann, Sven; Hilpert, Kai; Jungersen, Gregers

    2016-01-01

    The quantitative detection of viable pathogen load is an important tool in determining the degree of infection in animals and contamination of foodstuffs. Current conventional culture methods are limited in their ability to determine these levels in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) due to slow growth, clumping and low recoverability issues. The principle goal of this study was to evaluate a novel culturing process (TiKa) with unique ability to stimulate MAP growth from low sample loads and dilutions. We demonstrate it was able to stimulate a mean 29-fold increase in recoverability and an improved sensitivity of up to three logs when compared with conventional culture. Using TiKa culture, MAP clumping was minimal and produced visible colonies in half the time required by standard culture methods. Parallel quantitative evaluation of the TiKa culture approach and qPCR on MAP loads in tissue and gut mucosal samples from a MAP vaccine-challenge study, showed good correlations between colony counts (cfu) and qPCR derived genome equivalents (Geq) over a large range of loads with a 30% greater sensitivity for TiKa culture approach at low loads (two logs). Furthermore, the relative fold changes in Geq and cfu from the TiKa culture approach suggests that non-mucosal tissue loads from MAP infected animals contained a reduced proportion of non-viable MAP (mean 19-fold) which was reduced significantly further (mean 190-fold) in vaccinated "reactor" calves. This study shows TiKa culture equates well with qPCR and provides important evidence that accuracy in estimating viable MAP load using DNA tests alone may vary significantly between samples of mucosal and lymphatic origin.

  8. 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 t