WorldWideScience

Sample records for models revealed sizeable

  1. Estimation of partial least squares regression prediction uncertainty when the reference values carry a sizeable measurement error

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fernandez Pierna, J.A.; Lin, L.; Wahl, F.; Faber, N.M.; Massart, D.L.

    2003-01-01

    The prediction uncertainty is studied when using a multivariate partial least squares regression (PLSR) model constructed with reference values that contain a sizeable measurement error. Several approximate expressions for calculating a sample-specific standard error of prediction have been proposed

  2. Gating Systems for Sizeable Castings from Al Alloys Cast into Ceramic Moulds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Stachovec

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In contrast to casting to conventional non-reusable “sand” moulds, for which calculating technique for an optimum design of the gating system is comparatively well-developed, a trial-and-error method is applied mostly for casting to ceramic shell moulds made by the investment casting technology. A technologist selects from gating systems of several types (that are standardized by the foundry mostly on the basis of experience. However, this approach is not sustainable with ever growing demands on quality of castings and also the economy of their fabrication as well as with new types of complex sizeable castings introduced to the production gradually (by new customers from the aircraft industry above all any more. The simulation software may be used as a possible tool for making the process of optimising gating systems more effective.

  3. Sizeable beta-strength in 31Ar (beta 3p) decay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    T. Koldste, G.; Blank, B.; J. G. Borge, M.

    2014-01-01

    We present for the first time precise spectroscopic information on the recently discovered decay mode beta-delayed 3p-emission. The detection of the 3p events gives an increased sensitivity to the high energy part of the Gamow-Teller strength distribution from the decay of 31Ar revealing that as ...

  4. Sizeable beta-strength in 31Ar(beta-3p) decay

    CERN Document Server

    Koldste, G.T.; Borge, M.J.G.; Briz, J.A.; Carmona-Gallardo, M.; Fraile, L.M.; Fynbo, H.O.U.; Giovinazzo, J.; Johansen, J.G.; Jokinen, A.; Jonson, B.; Kurturkian-Nieto, T.; Nilsson, T.; Perea, A.; Pesudo, V.; Picado, E.; Riisager, K.; Saastamoinen, A.; Tengblad, O.; Thomas, J.C.; Van de Walle, J.

    2014-01-01

    We present for the first time precise spectroscopic information on the recently discovered decay mode beta-delayed 3p-emission. The detection of the 3p events gives an increased sensitivity to the high energy part of the Gamow-Teller strength distribution from the decay of 31Ar revealing that as much as 30% of the strength resides in the beta-3p decay mode. A simplified description of how the main decay modes evolve as the excitation energy increases in 31Cl is provided.

  5. Gaussian graphical modeling reveals specific lipid correlations in glioblastoma cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Nikola S.; Krumsiek, Jan; Theis, Fabian J.; Böhm, Christian; Meyer-Bäse, Anke

    2011-06-01

    Advances in high-throughput measurements of biological specimens necessitate the development of biologically driven computational techniques. To understand the molecular level of many human diseases, such as cancer, lipid quantifications have been shown to offer an excellent opportunity to reveal disease-specific regulations. The data analysis of the cell lipidome, however, remains a challenging task and cannot be accomplished solely based on intuitive reasoning. We have developed a method to identify a lipid correlation network which is entirely disease-specific. A powerful method to correlate experimentally measured lipid levels across the various samples is a Gaussian Graphical Model (GGM), which is based on partial correlation coefficients. In contrast to regular Pearson correlations, partial correlations aim to identify only direct correlations while eliminating indirect associations. Conventional GGM calculations on the entire dataset can, however, not provide information on whether a correlation is truly disease-specific with respect to the disease samples and not a correlation of control samples. Thus, we implemented a novel differential GGM approach unraveling only the disease-specific correlations, and applied it to the lipidome of immortal Glioblastoma tumor cells. A large set of lipid species were measured by mass spectrometry in order to evaluate lipid remodeling as a result to a combination of perturbation of cells inducing programmed cell death, while the other perturbations served solely as biological controls. With the differential GGM, we were able to reveal Glioblastoma-specific lipid correlations to advance biomedical research on novel gene therapies.

  6. Topic Modeling Reveals Distinct Interests within an Online Conspiracy Forum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Colin; Clutton, Peter; Polito, Vince

    2018-01-01

    Conspiracy theories play a troubling role in political discourse. Online forums provide a valuable window into everyday conspiracy theorizing, and can give a clue to the motivations and interests of those who post in such forums. Yet this online activity can be difficult to quantify and study. We describe a unique approach to studying online conspiracy theorists which used non-negative matrix factorization to create a topic model of authors' contributions to the main conspiracy forum on Reddit.com. This subreddit provides a large corpus of comments which spans many years and numerous authors. We show that within the forum, there are multiple sub-populations distinguishable by their loadings on different topics in the model. Further, we argue, these differences are interpretable as differences in background beliefs and motivations. The diversity of the distinct subgroups places constraints on theories of what generates conspiracy theorizing. We argue that traditional “monological” believers are only the tip of an iceberg of commenters. Neither simple irrationality nor common preoccupations can account for the observed diversity. Instead, we suggest, those who endorse conspiracies seem to be primarily brought together by epistemological concerns, and that these central concerns link an otherwise heterogenous group of individuals. PMID:29515501

  7. Topic Modeling Reveals Distinct Interests within an Online Conspiracy Forum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Colin; Clutton, Peter; Polito, Vince

    2018-01-01

    Conspiracy theories play a troubling role in political discourse. Online forums provide a valuable window into everyday conspiracy theorizing, and can give a clue to the motivations and interests of those who post in such forums. Yet this online activity can be difficult to quantify and study. We describe a unique approach to studying online conspiracy theorists which used non-negative matrix factorization to create a topic model of authors' contributions to the main conspiracy forum on Reddit.com. This subreddit provides a large corpus of comments which spans many years and numerous authors. We show that within the forum, there are multiple sub-populations distinguishable by their loadings on different topics in the model. Further, we argue, these differences are interpretable as differences in background beliefs and motivations. The diversity of the distinct subgroups places constraints on theories of what generates conspiracy theorizing. We argue that traditional "monological" believers are only the tip of an iceberg of commenters. Neither simple irrationality nor common preoccupations can account for the observed diversity. Instead, we suggest, those who endorse conspiracies seem to be primarily brought together by epistemological concerns, and that these central concerns link an otherwise heterogenous group of individuals.

  8. Topic Modeling Reveals Distinct Interests within an Online Conspiracy Forum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Klein

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Conspiracy theories play a troubling role in political discourse. Online forums provide a valuable window into everyday conspiracy theorizing, and can give a clue to the motivations and interests of those who post in such forums. Yet this online activity can be difficult to quantify and study. We describe a unique approach to studying online conspiracy theorists which used non-negative matrix factorization to create a topic model of authors' contributions to the main conspiracy forum on Reddit.com. This subreddit provides a large corpus of comments which spans many years and numerous authors. We show that within the forum, there are multiple sub-populations distinguishable by their loadings on different topics in the model. Further, we argue, these differences are interpretable as differences in background beliefs and motivations. The diversity of the distinct subgroups places constraints on theories of what generates conspiracy theorizing. We argue that traditional “monological” believers are only the tip of an iceberg of commenters. Neither simple irrationality nor common preoccupations can account for the observed diversity. Instead, we suggest, those who endorse conspiracies seem to be primarily brought together by epistemological concerns, and that these central concerns link an otherwise heterogenous group of individuals.

  9. Sandfish numerical model reveals optimal swimming in sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maladen, Ryan; Ding, Yang; Kamor, Adam; Slatton, Andrew; Goldman, Daniel

    2009-11-01

    Motivated by experiment and theory examining the undulatory swimming of the sandfish lizard within granular media footnotetextMaladen et. al, Science, 325, 314, 2009, we study a numerical model of the sandfish as it swims within a validated soft sphere Molecular Dynamics granular media simulation. We hypothesize that features of its morphology and undulatory kinematics, and the granular media contribute to effective sand swimming. Our results agree with a resistive force model of the sandfish and show that speed and transport cost are optimized at a ratio of wave amplitude to wavelength of 0.2, irrespective of media properties and preparation. At this ratio, the entry of the animal into the media is fastest at an angle of 20^o, close to the angle of repose. We also find that the sandfish cross-sectional body shape reduces motion induced buoyancy within the granular media and that wave efficiency is sensitive to body-particle friction but independent of particle-particle friction.

  10. Multiplex model of mental lexicon reveals explosive learning in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, Massimo; Beckage, Nicole M; Brede, Markus; De Domenico, Manlio

    2018-02-02

    Word similarities affect language acquisition and use in a multi-relational way barely accounted for in the literature. We propose a multiplex network representation of this mental lexicon of word similarities as a natural framework for investigating large-scale cognitive patterns. Our representation accounts for semantic, taxonomic, and phonological interactions and it identifies a cluster of words which are used with greater frequency, are identified, memorised, and learned more easily, and have more meanings than expected at random. This cluster emerges around age 7 through an explosive transition not reproduced by null models. We relate this explosive emergence to polysemy - redundancy in word meanings. Results indicate that the word cluster acts as a core for the lexicon, increasing both lexical navigability and robustness to linguistic degradation. Our findings provide quantitative confirmation of existing conjectures about core structure in the mental lexicon and the importance of integrating multi-relational word-word interactions in psycholinguistic frameworks.

  11. 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 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  13. Enlarging the collective model of household behaviour: a revealed preference analysis

    OpenAIRE

    d'Aspremont-Lynden, Claude; Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe

    2017-01-01

    We use a comprehensive model of strategic household behaviour in which the spouses' expenditure on each public good is decomposed into autonomous spending and coordinated spending à la Lindahl. We obtain a continuum of semi-cooperative regimes parameterized by the relative weights put on autonomous spending, by each spouse and for each public good, nesting full cooperative and non-cooperative regimes as limit cases. Testing is approached through revealed preference analysis, by looking for ra...

  14. 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

    diagnosis. We applied this method to predict breast cancer occurrence, in combination with correlation feature selection (CFS) and classification methods. Results: The resulting all-stage and early-stage diagnosis models are highly accurate in two sets of testing blood samples, with average AUCs (Area Under.......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...... metabolomics data for disease diagnosis. Applying this method to blood-based breast cancer metabolomics data, we have discovered crucial metabolic pathway signatures for breast cancer diagnosis, especially early diagnosis. Further, this modeling approach may be generalized to other omics data types for disease...

  15. 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.

  16. Clustering reveals limits of parameter identifiability in multi-parameter models of biochemical dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nienałtowski, Karol; Włodarczyk, Michał; Lipniacki, Tomasz; Komorowski, Michał

    2015-09-29

    Compared to engineering or physics problems, dynamical models in quantitative biology typically depend on a relatively large number of parameters. Progress in developing mathematics to manipulate such multi-parameter models and so enable their efficient interplay with experiments has been slow. Existing solutions are significantly limited by model size. In order to simplify analysis of multi-parameter models a method for clustering of model parameters is proposed. It is based on a derived statistically meaningful measure of similarity between groups of parameters. The measure quantifies to what extend changes in values of some parameters can be compensated by changes in values of other parameters. The proposed methodology provides a natural mathematical language to precisely communicate and visualise effects resulting from compensatory changes in values of parameters. As a results, a relevant insight into identifiability analysis and experimental planning can be obtained. Analysis of NF-κB and MAPK pathway models shows that highly compensative parameters constitute clusters consistent with the network topology. The method applied to examine an exceptionally rich set of published experiments on the NF-κB dynamics reveals that the experiments jointly ensure identifiability of only 60% of model parameters. The method indicates which further experiments should be performed in order to increase the number of identifiable parameters. We currently lack methods that simplify broadly understood analysis of multi-parameter models. The introduced tools depict mutually compensative effects between parameters to provide insight regarding role of individual parameters, identifiability and experimental design. The method can also find applications in related methodological areas of model simplification and parameters estimation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2011-09-07

    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.

  19. Bayesian model reveals latent atrophy factors with dissociable cognitive trajectories in Alzheimer’s disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiuming; Mormino, Elizabeth C.; Sun, Nanbo; Sperling, Reisa A.; Sabuncu, Mert R.; Yeo, B. T. Thomas

    2016-01-01

    We used a data-driven Bayesian model to automatically identify distinct latent factors of overlapping atrophy patterns from voxelwise structural MRIs of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia patients. Our approach estimated the extent to which multiple distinct atrophy patterns were expressed within each participant rather than assuming that each participant expressed a single atrophy factor. The model revealed a temporal atrophy factor (medial temporal cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala), a subcortical atrophy factor (striatum, thalamus, and cerebellum), and a cortical atrophy factor (frontal, parietal, lateral temporal, and lateral occipital cortices). To explore the influence of each factor in early AD, atrophy factor compositions were inferred in beta-amyloid–positive (Aβ+) mild cognitively impaired (MCI) and cognitively normal (CN) participants. All three factors were associated with memory decline across the entire clinical spectrum, whereas the cortical factor was associated with executive function decline in Aβ+ MCI participants and AD dementia patients. Direct comparison between factors revealed that the temporal factor showed the strongest association with memory, whereas the cortical factor showed the strongest association with executive function. The subcortical factor was associated with the slowest decline for both memory and executive function compared with temporal and cortical factors. These results suggest that distinct patterns of atrophy influence decline across different cognitive domains. Quantification of this heterogeneity may enable the computation of individual-level predictions relevant for disease monitoring and customized therapies. Factor compositions of participants and code used in this article are publicly available for future research. PMID:27702899

  20. A Multi-Scale Model of Hepcidin Promoter Regulation Reveals Factors Controlling Systemic Iron Homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muckenthaler, Martina U.; Legewie, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24391488

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Floodplain forest succession reveals fluvial processes: A hydrogeomorphic model for temperate riparian woodlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egger, Gregory; Politti, Emilio; Lautsch, Erwin; Benjankar, Rohan; Gill, Karen M; Rood, Stewart B

    2015-09-15

    River valley floodplains are physically-dynamic environments where fluvial processes determine habitat gradients for riparian vegetation. These zones support trees and shrubs whose life stages are adapted to specific habitat types and consequently forest composition and successional stage reflect the underlying hydrogeomorphic processes and history. In this study we investigated woodland vegetation composition, successional stage and habitat properties, and compared these with physically-based indicators of hydraulic processes. We thus sought to develop a hydrogeomorphic model to evaluate riparian woodland condition based on the spatial mosaic of successional phases of the floodplain forest. The study investigated free-flowing and dam-impacted reaches of the Kootenai and Flathead Rivers, in Idaho and Montana, USA and British Columbia, Canada. The analyses revealed strong correspondence between vegetation assessments and metrics of fluvial processes indicating morphodynamics (erosion and shear stress), inundation and depth to groundwater. The results indicated that common successional stages generally occupied similar hydraulic environments along the different river segments. Comparison of the spatial patterns between the free-flowing and regulated reaches revealed greater deviation from the natural condition for the braided channel segment than for the meandering segment. This demonstrates the utility of the hydrogeomorphic approach and suggests that riparian woodlands along braided channels could have lower resilience than those along meandering channels and might be more vulnerable to influences such as from river damming or climate change. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  5. Cooperative Metabolism in a Three-Partner Insect-Bacterial Symbiosis Revealed by Metabolic Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ankrah, Nana Y D; Luan, Junbo; Douglas, Angela E

    2017-08-01

    An important factor determining the impact of microbial symbionts on their animal hosts is the balance between the cost of nutrients consumed by the symbionts and the benefit of nutrients released back to the host, but the quantitative significance of nutrient exchange in symbioses involving multiple microbial partners has rarely been addressed. In this study on the association between two intracellular bacterial symbionts, " Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum" and " Candidatus Hamiltonella defensa," and their animal host, the whitefly Bemisia tabaci , we apply metabolic modeling to investigate host-symbiont nutrient exchange. Our in silico analysis revealed that >60% of the essential amino acids and related metabolites synthesized by " Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum" are utilized by the host, including a substantial contribution of nitrogen recycled from host nitrogenous waste, and that these interactions are required for host growth. In contrast, " Candidatus Hamiltonella defensa" retains most or all of the essential amino acids and B vitamins that it is capable of synthesizing. Furthermore, " Candidatus Hamiltonella defensa" suppresses host growth in silico by competition with " Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum" for multiple host nutrients, by suppressing " Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum" growth and metabolic function, and also by consumption of host nutrients that would otherwise be allocated to host growth. The interpretation from these modeling outputs that " Candidatus Hamiltonella defensa" is a nutritional parasite could not be inferred reliably from gene content alone but requires consideration of constraints imposed by the structure of the metabolic network. Furthermore, these quantitative models offer precise predictions for future experimental study and the opportunity to compare the functional organization of metabolic networks in different symbioses. IMPORTANCE The metabolic functions of unculturable intracellular bacteria with much reduced

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Sijia; Chong, Nicole; Lewis, Nathan E; Jia, Wei; Xie, Guoxiang; Garmire, Lana X

    2016-03-31

    More accurate diagnostic methods are pressingly needed to diagnose breast cancer, the most common malignant cancer in women worldwide. Blood-based metabolomics is a promising diagnostic method for breast cancer. However, many metabolic biomarkers are difficult to replicate among studies. 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 diagnosis. We applied this method to predict breast cancer occurrence, in combination with correlation feature selection (CFS) and classification methods. The resulting all-stage and early-stage diagnosis models are highly accurate in two sets of testing blood samples, with average AUCs (Area Under 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. We have successfully developed a new type of pathway-based model to study metabolomics data for disease diagnosis. Applying this method to blood-based breast cancer metabolomics data, we have discovered crucial metabolic pathway signatures for breast cancer diagnosis, especially early diagnosis. Further, this modeling approach may be generalized to other omics data types for disease diagnosis.

  7. Identifying habitats at risk: simple models can reveal complex ecosystem dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Paul S; Pitt, Kylie A; Olds, Andrew D; Rissik, David; Connolly, Rod M

    2015-03-01

    The relationship between ecological impact and ecosystem structure is often strongly nonlinear, so that small increases in impact levels can cause a disproportionately large response in ecosystem structure. Nonlinear ecosystem responses can be difficult to predict because locally relevant data sets can be difficult or impossible to obtain. Bayesian networks (BN) are an emerging tool that can help managers to define ecosystem relationships using a range of data types from comprehensive quantitative data sets to expert opinion. We show how a simple BN can reveal nonlinear dynamics in seagrass ecosystems using ecological relationships sourced from the literature. We first developed a conceptual diagram by cataloguing the ecological responses of seagrasses to a range of drivers and impacts. We used the conceptual diagram to develop a BN populated with values sourced from published studies. We then applied the BN to show that the amount of initial seagrass biomass has a mitigating effect on the level of impact a meadow can withstand without loss, and that meadow recovery can often require disproportionately large improvements in impact levels. This mitigating effect resulted in the middle ranges of impact levels having a wide likelihood of seagrass presence, a situation known as bistability. Finally, we applied the model in a case study to identify the risk of loss and the likelihood of recovery for the conservation and management of seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. We used the model to predict the likelihood of bistability in 23 locations in the Bay. The model predicted bistability in seven locations, most of which have experienced seagrass loss at some stage in the past 25 years providing essential information for potential future restoration efforts. Our results demonstrate the capacity of simple, flexible modeling tools to facilitate collation and synthesis of disparate information. This approach can be adopted in the initial stages of

  8. 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

  9. Spatial Structure of a Braided River: Metric Resolution Hydrodynamic Modeling Reveals What SWOT Might See

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, J.; Sanders, B. F.; Andreadis, K.

    2013-12-01

    The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission, currently under study by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales), is designed to provide global spatial measurements of surface water properties at resolutions better than 10 m and with centimetric accuracy. The data produced by SWOT will include irregularly spaced point clouds of the water surface height, with point spacings from roughly 2-50 m depending on a point's location within SWOT's swath. This could offer unprecedented insight into the spatial structure of rivers. Features that may be resolved include backwater profiles behind dams, drawdown profiles, uniform flow sections, critical flow sections, and even riffle-pool flow structures. In the event that SWOT scans a river during a major flood, it becomes possible to delineate the limits of the flood as well as the spatial structure of the water surface elevation, yielding insight into the dynamic interaction of channels and flood plains. The Platte River in Nebraska, USA, is a braided river with a width and slope of approximately 100 m and 100 cm/km, respectively. A 1 m resolution Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the river basin, based on airborne lidar collected during low-flow conditions, was used to parameterize a two-dimensional, variable resolution, unstructured grid, hydrodynamic model that uses 3 m resolution triangles in low flow channels and 10 m resolution triangles in the floodplain. Use of a fine resolution mesh guarantees that local variability in topography is resolved, and after applying the hydrodynamic model, the effects of topographic variability are expressed as variability in the water surface height, depth-averaged velocity and flow depth. Flow is modeled over a reach length of 10 km for multi-day durations to capture both frequent (diurnal variations associated with regulated flow) and infrequent (extreme flooding) flow phenomena. Model outputs reveal a number of interesting

  10. Differential chromosome conformations as hallmarks of cellular identity revealed by mathematical polymer modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imen Lassadi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Inherently dynamic, chromosomes adopt many different conformations in response to DNA metabolism. Models of chromosome organization in the yeast nucleus obtained from genome-wide chromosome conformation data or biophysical simulations provide important insights into the average behavior but fail to reveal features from dynamic or transient events that are only visible in a fraction of cells at any given moment. We developed a method to determine chromosome conformation from relative positions of three fluorescently tagged DNA in living cells imaged in 3D. Cell type specific chromosome folding properties could be assigned based on positional combinations between three loci on yeast chromosome 3. We determined that the shorter left arm of chromosome 3 is extended in MATα cells, but can be crumpled in MATa cells. Furthermore, we implemented a new mathematical model that provides for the first time an estimate of the relative physical constraint of three linked loci related to cellular identity. Variations in this estimate allowed us to predict functional consequences from chromatin structural alterations in asf1 and recombination enhancer deletion mutant cells. The computational method is applicable to identify and characterize dynamic chromosome conformations in any cell type.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roland Keller

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. Sexually dimorphic distribution of Prokr2 neurons revealed by the Prokr2-Cre mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohsen, Zaid; Sim, Hosung; Garcia-Galiano, David; Han, Xingfa; Bellefontaine, Nicole; Saunders, Thomas L; Elias, Carol F

    2017-12-01

    Prokineticin receptor 2 (PROKR2) is predominantly expressed in the mammalian central nervous system. Loss-of-function mutations of PROKR2 in humans are associated with Kallmann syndrome due to the disruption of gonadotropin releasing hormone neuronal migration and deficient olfactory bulb morphogenesis. PROKR2 has been also implicated in the neuroendocrine control of GnRH neurons post-migration and other physiological systems. However, the brain circuitry and mechanisms associated with these actions have been difficult to investigate mainly due to the widespread distribution of Prokr2-expressing cells, and the lack of animal models and molecular tools. Here, we describe the generation, validation and characterization of a new mouse model that expresses Cre recombinase driven by the Prokr2 promoter, using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Cre expression was visualized using reporter genes, tdTomato and GFP, in males and females. Expression of Cre-induced reporter genes was found in brain sites previously described to express Prokr2, e.g., the paraventricular and the suprachiasmatic nuclei, and the area postrema. The Prokr2-Cre mouse model was further validated by colocalization of Cre-induced GFP and Prokr2 mRNA. No disruption of Prokr2 expression, GnRH neuronal migration or fertility was observed. Comparative analysis of Prokr2-Cre expression in male and female brains revealed a sexually dimorphic distribution confirmed by in situ hybridization. In females, higher Cre activity was found in the medial preoptic area, ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, arcuate nucleus, medial amygdala and lateral parabrachial nucleus. In males, Cre was higher in the amygdalo-hippocampal area. The sexually dimorphic pattern of Prokr2 expression indicates differential roles in reproductive function and, potentially, in other physiological systems.

  14. 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

  15. Dynamic habitat suitability modelling reveals rapid poleward distribution shift in a mobile apex predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Nicholas J; Tobin, Andrew J; Reside, April E; Pepperell, Julian G; Bridge, Tom C L

    2016-03-01

    Many taxa are undergoing distribution shifts in response to anthropogenic climate change. However, detecting a climate signal in mobile species is difficult due to their wide-ranging, patchy distributions, often driven by natural climate variability. For example, difficulties associated with assessing pelagic fish distributions have rendered fisheries management ill-equipped to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, leaving pelagic species and ecosystems vulnerable. Here, we demonstrate the value of citizen science data for modelling the dynamic habitat suitability of a mobile pelagic predator (black marlin, Istiompax indica) within the south-west Pacific Ocean. The extensive spatial and temporal coverage of our occurrence data set (n = 18 717), collected at high resolution (~1.85 km(2) ), enabled identification of suitable habitat at monthly time steps over a 16-year period (1998-2013). We identified considerable monthly, seasonal and interannual variability in the extent and distribution of suitable habitat, predominately driven by chlorophyll a and sea surface height. Interannual variability correlated with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, with suitable habitat extending up to ~300 km further south during La Nina events. Despite the strong influence of ENSO, our model revealed a rapid poleward shift in the geometric mean of black marlin habitat, occurring at 88.2 km decade(-1) . By incorporating multiple environmental factors at monthly time steps, we were able to demonstrate a rapid distribution shift in a mobile pelagic species. Our findings suggest that the rapid velocity of climate change in the south-west Pacific Ocean is likely affecting mobile pelagic species, indicating that they may be more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Unfolding mechanism of thrombin-binding aptamer revealed by molecular dynamics simulation and Markov State Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Xiaojun; Zhang, Liyun; Xiao, Xiuchan; Jiang, Yuanyuan; Guo, Yanzhi; Yu, Xinyan; Pu, Xuemei; Li, Menglong

    2016-04-05

    Thrombin-binding aptamer (TBA) with the sequence 5'GGTTGGTGTGGTTGG3' could fold into G-quadruplex, which correlates with functionally important genomic regionsis. However, unfolding mechanism involved in the structural stability of G-quadruplex has not been satisfactorily elucidated on experiments so far. Herein, we studied the unfolding pathway of TBA by a combination of molecular dynamics simulation (MD) and Markov State Model (MSM). Our results revealed that the unfolding of TBA is not a simple two-state process but proceeds along multiple pathways with multistate intermediates. One high flux confirms some observations from NMR experiment. Another high flux exhibits a different and simpler unfolding pathway with less intermediates. Two important intermediate states were identified. One is similar to the G-triplex reported in the folding of G-quadruplex, but lack of H-bonding between guanines in the upper plane. More importantly, another intermediate state acting as a connector to link the folding region and the unfolding one, was the first time identified, which exhibits higher population and stability than the G-triplex-like intermediate. These results will provide valuable information for extending our understanding the folding landscape of G-quadruplex formation.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Integrated population modeling reveals the impact of climate on the survival of juvenile emperor penguins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abadi, Fitsum; Barbraud, Christophe; Gimenez, Olivier

    2017-03-01

    Early-life demographic traits are poorly known, impeding our understanding of population processes and sensitivity to climate change. Survival of immature individuals is a critical component of population dynamics and recruitment in particular. However, obtaining reliable estimates of juvenile survival (i.e., from independence to first year) remains challenging, as immatures are often difficult to observe and to monitor individually in the field. This is particularly acute for seabirds, in which juveniles stay at sea and remain undetectable for several years. In this work, we developed a Bayesian integrated population model to estimate the juvenile survival of emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri), and other demographic parameters including adult survival and fecundity of the species. Using this statistical method, we simultaneously analyzed capture-recapture data of adults, the annual number of breeding females, and the number of fledglings of emperor penguins collected at Dumont d'Urville, Antarctica, for the period 1971-1998. We also assessed how climate covariates known to affect the species foraging habitats and prey [southern annular mode (SAM), sea ice concentration (SIC)] affect juvenile survival. Our analyses revealed that there was a strong evidence for the positive effect of SAM during the rearing period (SAMR) on juvenile survival. Our findings suggest that this large-scale climate index affects juvenile emperor penguins body condition and survival through its influence on wind patterns, fast ice extent, and distance to open water. Estimating the influence of environmental covariates on juvenile survival is of major importance to understand the impacts of climate variability and change on the population dynamics of emperor penguins and seabirds in general and to make robust predictions on the impact of climate change on marine predators. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. A lesion model of envy and Schadenfreude: legal, deservingness and moral dimensions as revealed by neurodegeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santamaría-García, Hernando; Baez, Sandra; Reyes, Pablo; Santamaría-García, José A; Santacruz-Escudero, José M; Matallana, Diana; Arévalo, Analía; Sigman, Mariano; García, Adolfo M; Ibáñez, Agustín

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The study of moral emotions (i.e. Schadenfreude and envy) is critical to understand the ecological complexity of everyday interactions between cognitive, affective, and social cognition processes. Most previous studies in this area have used correlational imaging techniques and framed Schadenfreude and envy as unified and monolithic emotional domains. Here, we profit from a relevant neurodegeneration model to disentangle the brain regions engaged in three dimensions of Schadenfreude and envy: deservingness, morality, and legality. We tested a group of patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), patients with Alzheimer’s disease, as a contrastive neurodegeneration model, and healthy controls on a novel task highlighting each of these dimensions in scenarios eliciting Schadenfreude and envy. Compared with the Alzheimer’s disease and control groups, patients with bvFTD obtained significantly higher scores on all dimensions for both emotions. Correlational analyses revealed an association between envy and Schadenfreude scores and greater deficits in social cognition, inhibitory control, and behaviour disturbances in bvFTD patients. Brain anatomy findings (restricted to bvFTD and controls) confirmed the partially dissociable nature of the moral emotions’ experiences and highlighted the importance of socio-moral brain areas in processing those emotions. In all subjects, an association emerged between Schadenfreude and the ventral striatum, and between envy and the anterior cingulate cortex. In addition, the results supported an association between scores for moral and legal transgression and the morphology of areas implicated in emotional appraisal, including the amygdala and the parahippocampus. By contrast, bvFTD patients exhibited a negative association between increased Schadenfreude and envy across dimensions and critical regions supporting social-value rewards and social-moral processes (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, angular

  4. A lesion model of envy and Schadenfreude: legal, deservingness and moral dimensions as revealed by neurodegeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santamaría-García, Hernando; Baez, Sandra; Reyes, Pablo; Santamaría-García, José A; Santacruz-Escudero, José M; Matallana, Diana; Arévalo, Analía; Sigman, Mariano; García, Adolfo M; Ibáñez, Agustín

    2017-12-01

    The study of moral emotions (i.e. Schadenfreude and envy) is critical to understand the ecological complexity of everyday interactions between cognitive, affective, and social cognition processes. Most previous studies in this area have used correlational imaging techniques and framed Schadenfreude and envy as unified and monolithic emotional domains. Here, we profit from a relevant neurodegeneration model to disentangle the brain regions engaged in three dimensions of Schadenfreude and envy: deservingness, morality, and legality. We tested a group of patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), patients with Alzheimer's disease, as a contrastive neurodegeneration model, and healthy controls on a novel task highlighting each of these dimensions in scenarios eliciting Schadenfreude and envy. Compared with the Alzheimer's disease and control groups, patients with bvFTD obtained significantly higher scores on all dimensions for both emotions. Correlational analyses revealed an association between envy and Schadenfreude scores and greater deficits in social cognition, inhibitory control, and behaviour disturbances in bvFTD patients. Brain anatomy findings (restricted to bvFTD and controls) confirmed the partially dissociable nature of the moral emotions' experiences and highlighted the importance of socio-moral brain areas in processing those emotions. In all subjects, an association emerged between Schadenfreude and the ventral striatum, and between envy and the anterior cingulate cortex. In addition, the results supported an association between scores for moral and legal transgression and the morphology of areas implicated in emotional appraisal, including the amygdala and the parahippocampus. By contrast, bvFTD patients exhibited a negative association between increased Schadenfreude and envy across dimensions and critical regions supporting social-value rewards and social-moral processes (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, angular gyrus and

  5. 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 laten...

  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. 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-...

  8. 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

  9. Transcriptional profiling reveals progeroid Ercc1-/Δ mice as a model system for glomerular aging

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B. Schumacher (Björn); V. Bartels (Valerie); P. Frommolt (Peter); B. Habermann (Bianca); F. Braun (Fabian); J.L. Schultze (Joachim); M. Roodbergen (Marianne); J.H.J. Hoeijmakers (Jan); P. Nürnberg (Peter); M.E.T. Dollé (Martijn); T. Benzing (Thomas); R.-U. Müller (Roman-Ulrich); C.E. Kurschat (Christine)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Aging-related kidney diseases are a major health concern. Currently, models to study renal aging are lacking. Due to a reduced life-span progeroid models hold the promise to facilitate aging studies and allow examination of tissue-specific changes. Defects in genome

  10. Spatial models reveal the microclimatic buffering capacity of old-growth forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah J. K. Frey; Adam S. Hadley; Sherri L. Johnson; Mark Schulze; Julia A. Jones; Matthew. G. Betts

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is predicted to cause widespread declines in biodiversity, but these predictions are derived from coarse-resolution climate models applied at global scales. Such models lack the capacity to incorporate microclimate variability, which is critical to biodiversity microrefugia. In forested montane regions, microclimate is thought to be influenced by...

  11. 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......-related protein groups) as demonstrated here. This flexible formalism provides an accessible approach for narrowing the gap between the complexity captured by omics data and governing principles of proteome allocation described by systems-level models....

  12. Human disease modeling reveals integrated transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodoris, Christina V; Li, Molong; White, Mark P; Liu, Lei; He, Daniel; Pollard, Katherine S; Bruneau, Benoit G; Srivastava, Deepak

    2015-03-12

    The mechanisms by which transcription factor haploinsufficiency alters the epigenetic and transcriptional landscape in human cells to cause disease are unknown. Here, we utilized human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived endothelial cells (ECs) to show that heterozygous nonsense mutations in NOTCH1 that cause aortic valve calcification disrupt the epigenetic architecture, resulting in derepression of latent pro-osteogenic and -inflammatory gene networks. Hemodynamic shear stress, which protects valves from calcification in vivo, activated anti-osteogenic and anti-inflammatory networks in NOTCH1(+/+), but not NOTCH1(+/-), iPSC-derived ECs. NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency altered H3K27ac at NOTCH1-bound enhancers, dysregulating downstream transcription of more than 1,000 genes involved in osteogenesis, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Computational predictions of the disrupted NOTCH1-dependent gene network revealed regulatory nodes that, when modulated, restored the network toward the NOTCH1(+/+) state. Our results highlight how alterations in transcription factor dosage affect gene networks leading to human disease and reveal nodes for potential therapeutic intervention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Integrative demographic modeling reveals population level impacts of PCB toxicity to juvenile snapping turtles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salice, Christopher J.; Rowe, Christopher L.; Eisenreich, Karen M.

    2014-01-01

    A significant challenge in ecotoxicology and risk assessment lies in placing observed contaminant effects in a meaningful ecological context. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to affect juvenile snapping turtle survival and growth but the ecological significance of these effects is difficult to discern without a formal, population-level assessment. We used a demographic matrix model to explore the potential population-level effects of PCBs on turtles. Our model showed that effects of PCBs on juvenile survival, growth and size at hatching could translate to negative effects at the population level despite the fact that these life cycle components do not typically contribute strongly to population level processes. This research points to the utility of using integrative demographic modeling approaches to better understand contaminant effects in wildlife. The results indicate that population-level effects are only evident after several years, suggesting that for long-lived species, detecting adverse contaminant effects could prove challenging. -- Highlights: • Previous studies have shown the PCBs can impact juvenile snapping turtles. • We used a demographic model of turtles to evaluate population-level PCB effects. • PCB effects on turtles may translate to negative population responses. • Long-term monitoring is needed to detect contaminant effects on natural turtle populations. • Demographic models can improve our understanding contaminant ecotoxicity. -- A demographic model was used to show that PCB induced effects on young snapping turtles can result in adverse effects at the population level

  14. Commensurate comparisons of models with energy budget observations reveal consistent climate sensitivities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armour, K.

    2017-12-01

    Global energy budget observations have been widely used to constrain the effective, or instantaneous climate sensitivity (ICS), producing median estimates around 2°C (Otto et al. 2013; Lewis & Curry 2015). A key question is whether the comprehensive climate models used to project future warming are consistent with these energy budget estimates of ICS. Yet, performing such comparisons has proven challenging. Within models, values of ICS robustly vary over time, as surface temperature patterns evolve with transient warming, and are generally smaller than the values of equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). Naively comparing values of ECS in CMIP5 models (median of about 3.4°C) to observation-based values of ICS has led to the suggestion that models are overly sensitive. This apparent discrepancy can partially be resolved by (i) comparing observation-based values of ICS to model values of ICS relevant for historical warming (Armour 2017; Proistosescu & Huybers 2017); (ii) taking into account the "efficacies" of non-CO2 radiative forcing agents (Marvel et al. 2015); and (iii) accounting for the sparseness of historical temperature observations and differences in sea-surface temperature and near-surface air temperature over the oceans (Richardson et al. 2016). Another potential source of discrepancy is a mismatch between observed and simulated surface temperature patterns over recent decades, due to either natural variability or model deficiencies in simulating historical warming patterns. The nature of the mismatch is such that simulated patterns can lead to more positive radiative feedbacks (higher ICS) relative to those engendered by observed patterns. The magnitude of this effect has not yet been addressed. Here we outline an approach to perform fully commensurate comparisons of climate models with global energy budget observations that take all of the above effects into account. We find that when apples-to-apples comparisons are made, values of ICS in models are

  15. Transcriptional profiling reveals progeroid Ercc1-/Δ mice as a model system for glomerular aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Aging-related kidney diseases are a major health concern. Currently, models to study renal aging are lacking. Due to a reduced life-span progeroid models hold the promise to facilitate aging studies and allow examination of tissue-specific changes. Defects in genome maintenance in the Ercc1-/Δ progeroid mouse model result in premature aging and typical age-related pathologies. Here, we compared the glomerular transcriptome of young and aged Ercc1-deficient mice to young and aged WT mice in order to establish a novel model for research of aging-related kidney disease. Results In a principal component analysis, age and genotype emerged as first and second principal components. Hierarchical clustering of all 521 genes differentially regulated between young and old WT and young and old Ercc1-/Δ mice showed cluster formation between young WT and Ercc1-/Δ as well as old WT and Ercc1-/Δ samples. An unexpectedly high number of 77 genes were differentially regulated in both WT and Ercc1-/Δ mice (p aging glomerulus. At the level of the transcriptome, the pattern of gene activities is similar in the progeroid Ercc1-/Δ mouse model constituting a valuable tool for future studies of aging-associated glomerular pathologies. PMID:23947592

  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. Mechanistic Modeling Reveals the Critical Knowledge Gaps in Bile Acid-Mediated DILI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodhead, J L; Yang, K; Brouwer, K L R; Siler, S Q; Stahl, S H; Ambroso, J L; Baker, D; Watkins, P B; Howell, B A

    2014-07-09

    Bile salt export pump (BSEP) inhibition has been proposed to be an important mechanism for drug-induced liver injury (DILI). Modeling can prioritize knowledge gaps concerning bile acid (BA) homeostasis and thus help guide experimentation. A submodel of BA homeostasis in rats and humans was constructed within DILIsym, a mechanistic model of DILI. In vivo experiments in rats with glibenclamide were conducted, and data from these experiments were used to validate the model. The behavior of DILIsym was analyzed in the presence of a simulated theoretical BSEP inhibitor. BSEP inhibition in humans is predicted to increase liver concentrations of conjugated chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) and sulfate-conjugated lithocholic acid (LCA) while the concentration of other liver BAs remains constant or decreases. On the basis of a sensitivity analysis, the most important unknowns are the level of BSEP expression, the amount of intestinal synthesis of LCA, and the magnitude of farnesoid-X nuclear receptor (FXR)-mediated regulation.

  18. Simple analytical model reveals the functional role of embodied sensorimotor interaction in hexapod gaits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoi, Shinya; Nachstedt, Timo; Manoonpong, Poramate; Wörgötter, Florentin; Matsuno, Fumitoshi

    2018-01-01

    Insects have various gaits with specific characteristics and can change their gaits smoothly in accordance with their speed. These gaits emerge from the embodied sensorimotor interactions that occur between the insect’s neural control and body dynamic systems through sensory feedback. Sensory feedback plays a critical role in coordinated movements such as locomotion, particularly in stick insects. While many previously developed insect models can generate different insect gaits, the functional role of embodied sensorimotor interactions in the interlimb coordination of insects remains unclear because of their complexity. In this study, we propose a simple physical model that is amenable to mathematical analysis to explain the functional role of these interactions clearly. We focus on a foot contact sensory feedback called phase resetting, which regulates leg retraction timing based on touchdown information. First, we used a hexapod robot to determine whether the distributed decoupled oscillators used for legs with the sensory feedback generate insect-like gaits through embodied sensorimotor interactions. The robot generated two different gaits and one had similar characteristics to insect gaits. Next, we proposed the simple model as a minimal model that allowed us to analyze and explain the gait mechanism through the embodied sensorimotor interactions. The simple model consists of a rigid body with massless springs acting as legs, where the legs are controlled using oscillator phases with phase resetting, and the governed equations are reduced such that they can be explained using only the oscillator phases with some approximations. This simplicity leads to analytical solutions for the hexapod gaits via perturbation analysis, despite the complexity of the embodied sensorimotor interactions. This is the first study to provide an analytical model for insect gaits under these interaction conditions. Our results clarified how this specific foot contact sensory

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timothy Park; J. Michael Bowker; Vernon R. Leeworthy

    2002-01-01

    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...

  20. Revealing spatial pattern dynamics in aquatic ecosystem modelling with Multi-Agent Systems in Lake Veluwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, H.; Mynett, A.; Penning, E.; Qi, H.

    2010-01-01

    Aquatic ecosystems are among the most complex due to the highly nonlinearity, randomness, as well as interactive multi-processes in multi-scales. Besides, highly limited understanding and very limited measurement data make the modelling of such kind of systems a very challenging task, which needs to

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Higher surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet revealed by high-resolution climate modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ettema, J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831913; van den Broeke, M.R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073765643; van Meijgaard, E.; van de Berg, W.J.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304831611; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Box, J.E.; Bales, R.C.

    2009-01-01

    High-resolution (∼11 km) regional climate modeling shows total annual precipitation on the Greenland ice sheet for 1958–2007 to be up to 24% and surface mass balance up to 63% higher than previously thought. The largest differences occur in coastal southeast Greenland, where the much higher

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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 (q<0.05). Of these, 7718 protein groups were profiled with a minimum of two unique peptides for each. Hierachical clustering of the differentiated proteome revealed distinct proteomic signatures for the hypothalamus 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Interstitial void structure in Cu Sn liquid alloy as revealed from reverse Monte Carlo modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyer, W.; Kleinhempel, R.; Lorinczi, A.; Pohlers, A.; Popescu, M.; Sava, F.

    2005-02-01

    A model for the structure of copper-tin liquid alloy has been developed using the standard reverse Monte Carlo method. The interstitial void structure (size distribution) was analysed. The effects of various kinds of voids (small size and large size) on the interference function and radial distribution function were investigated. Predictions related to the formation of some ternary alloys by filling the interstices of the basic alloy were advanced.

  11. Crust and Mantle Deformation Revealed from High-Resolution Radially Anisotropic Velocity Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, A.; Dave, R.; Yao, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Love wave tomography, which can achieve a similar model resolution as Rayleigh wave, so far has limited applications to the USArray data. Recently, we have developed high-resolution Love wave phase velocity maps in the Wyoming craton and Texas using data at the Transportable Array stations. 3-D, radially anisotropic velocity models are obtained by jointly inverting Love and Rayleigh wave phase velocities. A high-velocity anomaly extending to about 200 km depth beneath central Wyoming correlates with negative radial anisotropy (Vsv>Vsh), suggesting that mantle downwelling develops under the cratonic lithosphere. Surprisingly, the significantly low velocity beneath the Yellowstone hotspot, which has been interpreted as partial melting and asthenospheric upwelling, is associated with the largest radial anisotropy (Vsh>Vsv) in the area. This observation does not support mantle upwelling. Instead, it indicates that the upper mantle beneath the hotspot has experienced strong shear deformation probably by the plate motion and large-scale mantle flow. In Texas, positive radial anisotropy in the lower crust extends from the coast to the Ouachita belt, which is characterized by high velocity and negative radial anisotropy. In the upper mantle, large variations of velocity and anisotropy exit under the coastal plain. A common feature in these anisotropic models is that high-velocity anomalies in the upper mantle often correlate with negative anisotropy (Vsv>Vsh) while low-velocity anomalies are associated with positive anisotropy (Vsh>Vsv). The manifestation of mantle downweling as negative radial anisotropy is largely due to the relatively high viscosity of the high-velocity mantle block, which is less affected by the surrounding large-scale horizontal flow. However, mantle upwelling, which is often associated with low-velocity anomalies, presumably low-viscosity mantle blocks, is invisible in radial anisotropy models. Such upwelling may happen too quickly to make last

  12. State-space modelling reveals proximate causes of harbour seal population declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthiopoulos, Jason; Cordes, Line; Mackey, Beth; Thompson, David; Duck, Callan; Smout, Sophie; Caillat, Marjolaine; Thompson, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Declines in large vertebrate populations are widespread but difficult to detect from monitoring data and hard to understand due to a multiplicity of plausible biological explanations. In parts of Scotland, harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) have been in decline for 10 years. To evaluate the contributions of different proximate causes (survival, fecundity, observation artefacts) to this decline, we collated behavioural, demographic and population data from one intensively studied population in part of the Moray Firth (north-east Scotland). To these, we fit a state-space model comprising age-structured dynamics and a detailed account of observation errors. After accounting for culling (estimated by our model as 14% of total mortality), the main driver of the historical population decline was a decreasing trend in survival of young individuals combined with (previously unrecognised) low levels of pupping success. In more recent years, the model provides evidence for considerable increases in breeding success and consistently high levels of adult survival. However, breeding success remains the most volatile demographic component of the population. Forecasts from the model indicate a slow population recovery, providing cautious support for recent management measures. Such investigations of the proximate causes of population change (survival, fecundity and observation errors) provide valuable short-term support for the management of population declines, helping to focus future data collection on those ultimate causal mechanisms that are not excluded by the demographic evidence. The contribution of specific ultimate drivers (e.g. shooting mortality or competitors) can also be quantified by including them as covariates to survival or fecundity.

  13. Phylogenetic structural equation modelling reveals no need for an 'origin' of the leaf economics spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Chase M; Goolsby, Eric W; Humphreys, Devon P; Donovan, Lisa A

    2016-01-01

    The leaf economics spectrum (LES) is a prominent ecophysiological paradigm that describes global variation in leaf physiology across plant ecological strategies using a handful of key traits. Nearly a decade ago, Shipley et al. (2006) used structural equation modelling to explore the causal functional relationships among LES traits that give rise to their strong global covariation. They concluded that an unmeasured trait drives LES covariation, sparking efforts to identify the latent physiological trait underlying the 'origin' of the LES. Here, we use newly developed phylogenetic structural equation modelling approaches to reassess these conclusions using both global LES data as well as data collected across scales in the genus Helianthus. For global LES data, accounting for phylogenetic non-independence indicates that no additional unmeasured traits are required to explain LES covariation. Across datasets in Helianthus, trait relationships are highly variable, indicating that global-scale models may poorly describe LES covariation at non-global scales. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Pollution history of a tropical estuary revealed by combined hydrodynamic modelling and sediment geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, J. E.; Greenaway, A. M.; Bigg, G. R.; Webber, D. F.; Dennis, P. F.; Guthrie, G. A.

    1999-01-01

    Hydrodynamic modelling of water movement in Hunts Bay, a protected part of Kingston Harbour, Jamaica, shows that depth averaged tidal flows are very low. In the northeast corner of Hunts Bay, water is essentially stagnant. Even under high flow conditions, much of the Bay bottom water is `bypassed' by buoyant, lower salinity surface flows. The muddy sediments of Hunts Bay reflect these sluggish to stagnant conditions; sediment cores from the northeast corner of the Bay contain progressively higher amounts of organic matter in their upper parts (˜last 15-20 years sedimentation). Combined C/N ratios and stable carbon isotope compositions of this organic matter imply a sewage origin. Both lead and chromium metal concentrations and enrichment factors relative to average crustal shales show geographically related patterns that reflect hydrodynamic circulation predicted by modelling. In particular, metal concentrations and enrichment factors are highest at the northern end of the bay, especially in the northeast corner. Modelling confirms that stagnant conditions would occur in the northeast part of the bay even without the presence of a major causeway. The causeway may contribute to low flow conditions, but is not the principal cause of organic contamination, which is simply an excessive input of sewage.

  15. Integrative demographic modeling reveals population level impacts of PCB toxicity to juvenile snapping turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salice, Christopher J; Rowe, Christopher L; Eisenreich, Karen M

    2014-01-01

    A significant challenge in ecotoxicology and risk assessment lies in placing observed contaminant effects in a meaningful ecological context. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been shown to affect juvenile snapping turtle survival and growth but the ecological significance of these effects is difficult to discern without a formal, population-level assessment. We used a demographic matrix model to explore the potential population-level effects of PCBs on turtles. Our model showed that effects of PCBs on juvenile survival, growth and size at hatching could translate to negative effects at the population level despite the fact that these life cycle components do not typically contribute strongly to population level processes. This research points to the utility of using integrative demographic modeling approaches to better understand contaminant effects in wildlife. The results indicate that population-level effects are only evident after several years, suggesting that for long-lived species, detecting adverse contaminant effects could prove challenging. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The NMR-Rosetta capsid model of M13 bacteriophage reveals a quadrupled hydrophobic packing epitope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morag, Omry; Sgourakis, Nikolaos G; Baker, David; Goldbourt, Amir

    2015-01-27

    Filamentous phage are elongated semiflexible ssDNA viruses that infect bacteria. The M13 phage, belonging to the family inoviridae, has a length of ∼1 μm and a diameter of ∼7 nm. Here we present a structural model for the capsid of intact M13 bacteriophage using Rosetta model building guided by structure restraints obtained from magic-angle spinning solid-state NMR experimental data. The C5 subunit symmetry observed in fiber diffraction studies was enforced during model building. The structure consists of stacked pentamers with largely alpha helical subunits containing an N-terminal type II β-turn; there is a rise of 16.6-16.7 Å and a tilt of 36.1-36.6° between consecutive pentamers. The packing of the subunits is stabilized by a repeating hydrophobic stacking pocket; each subunit participates in four pockets by contributing different hydrophobic residues, which are spread along the subunit sequence. Our study provides, to our knowledge, the first magic-angle spinning NMR structure of an intact filamentous virus capsid and further demonstrates the strength of this technique as a method of choice to study noncrystalline, high-molecular-weight molecular assemblies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelz, Kerstin; Gratacap, Remi L; Wheeler, Robert T

    2015-11-01

    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 as a live whole

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Active backstop faults in the Mentawai region of Sumatra, Indonesia, revealed by teleseismic broadband waveform modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Bradley, Kyle Edward; Wei, Shengji; Wu, Wenbo

    2018-02-01

    Two earthquake sequences that affected the Mentawai islands offshore of central Sumatra in 2005 (Mw 6.9) and 2009 (Mw 6.7) have been highlighted as evidence for active backthrusting of the Sumatran accretionary wedge. However, the geometry of the activated fault planes is not well resolved due to large uncertainties in the locations of the mainshocks and aftershocks. We refine the locations and focal mechanisms of medium size events (Mw > 4.5) of these two earthquake sequences through broadband waveform modeling. In addition to modeling the depth-phases for accurate centroid depths, we use teleseismic surface wave cross-correlation to precisely relocate the relative horizontal locations of the earthquakes. The refined catalog shows that the 2005 and 2009 "backthrust" sequences in Mentawai region actually occurred on steeply (∼60 degrees) landward-dipping faults (Masilo Fault Zone) that intersect the Sunda megathrust beneath the deepest part of the forearc basin, contradicting previous studies that inferred slip on a shallowly seaward-dipping backthrust. Static slip inversion on the newly-proposed fault fits the coseismic GPS offsets for the 2009 mainshock equally well as previous studies, but with a slip distribution more consistent with the mainshock centroid depth (∼20 km) constrained from teleseismic waveform inversion. Rupture of such steeply dipping reverse faults within the forearc crust is rare along the Sumatra-Java margin. We interpret these earthquakes as 'unsticking' of the Sumatran accretionary wedge along a backstop fault separating imbricated material from the stronger Sunda lithosphere. Alternatively, the reverse faults may have originated as pre-Miocene normal faults of the extended continental crust of the western Sunda margin. Our waveform modeling approach can be used to further refine global earthquake catalogs in order to clarify the geometries of active faults.

  2. Future change of the global monsoon revealed from 19 CMIP5 models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Pang-chi; Li, Tim; Murakami, Hiroyuki; Kitoh, Akio

    2013-02-01

    The variability of global monsoon area (GMA), global monsoon precipitation (GMP), and global monsoon intensity (GMI) in the present climate (1979-2003) and the future warmer climate (2075-2099) under Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 (RCP4.5) scenario was examined based on 19 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) simulations. In the present-day simulations, the ensemble mean precipitation reproduces the observed GMA, GMP, and GMI, although the spread of individual models is large. In the RCP4.5 simulations, most (17 of 19) of the CMIP5 models project enhanced global monsoon activity, with the increases of GMA, GMP, and GMI by 1.9%, 3.2%, and 1.3%, respectively, per 1 K of surface warming. The diagnosis of a column-integrated moisture budget indicates that the increase in GMP is primarily attributed to the increases of moisture convergence and surface evaporation, whereas horizontal moisture advection has little effect. A further separation of dynamic and thermodynamic factors shows that increase of the moisture convergence comes mainly from the increase of water vapor, but is partly offset by the convergence effect. The increase of the surface evaporation is caused by the increase of sea-air specific humidity difference, while the change in surface wind speed plays a minor role. The GMP experiences a great year-to-year variation, and it is significantly negatively correlated with the Niño3.4 index averaged over a typical monsoon year (defined from May to the following April) in the pre-industrial control and present-day simulations, similar to observations. Under the RCP4.5 warming, such rainfall variability is intensified, and the relationship between monsoon and El Niño strengthens. A large proportion of intensification in the year-to-year monsoon rainfall variability arises from the land monsoon region.

  3. Mathematical modeling of atopic dermatitis reveals "double-switch" mechanisms underlying 4 common disease phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domínguez-Hüttinger, Elisa; Christodoulides, Panayiotis; Miyauchi, Kosuke; Irvine, Alan D; Okada-Hatakeyama, Mariko; Kubo, Masato; Tanaka, Reiko J

    2017-06-01

    The skin barrier acts as the first line of defense against constant exposure to biological, microbial, physical, and chemical environmental stressors. Dynamic interplay between defects in the skin barrier, dysfunctional immune responses, and environmental stressors are major factors in the development of atopic dermatitis (AD). A systems biology modeling approach can yield significant insights into these complex and dynamic processes through integration of prior biological data. We sought to develop a multiscale mathematical model of AD pathogenesis that describes the dynamic interplay between the skin barrier, environmental stress, and immune dysregulation and use it to achieve a coherent mechanistic understanding of the onset, progression, and prevention of AD. We mathematically investigated synergistic effects of known genetic and environmental risk factors on the dynamic onset and progression of the AD phenotype, from a mostly asymptomatic mild phenotype to a severe treatment-resistant form. Our model analysis identified a "double switch," with 2 concatenated bistable switches, as a key network motif that dictates AD pathogenesis: the first switch is responsible for the reversible onset of inflammation, and the second switch is triggered by long-lasting or frequent activation of the first switch, causing irreversible onset of systemic T H 2 sensitization and worsening of AD symptoms. Our mathematical analysis of the bistable switch predicts that genetic risk factors decrease the threshold of environmental stressors to trigger systemic T H 2 sensitization. This analysis predicts and explains 4 common clinical AD phenotypes from a mild and reversible phenotype through to severe and recalcitrant disease and provides a mechanistic explanation for clinically demonstrated preventive effects of emollient treatments against development of AD. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. REVEALING THE ACTIVATION PATHWAY FOR TMEM16A CHLORIDE CHANNELS FROM MACROSCOPIC CURRENTS AND KINETIC MODELS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Vite, Juan A.; Cruz-Rangel, Silvia; De Jesús-Pérez, José J.; Aréchiga Figueroa, Iván A.; Rodríguez-Menchaca, Aldo A.; Pérez-Cornejo, Patricia; Hartzell, H. Criss; Arreola, Jorge

    2017-01-01

    TMEM16A (ANO1), the pore-forming subunit of calcium-activated chloride channels, regulates several physiological and pathophysiological processes such as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac and neuronal excitability, salivary secretion, tumour growth, and cancer progression. Gating of TMEM16A is complex because it involves the interplay between increases in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), membrane depolarization, extracellular Cl− or permeant anions, and intracellular protons. Our goal here was to understand how these variables regulate TMEM16A gating and to explain four observations. a) TMEM16A is activated by voltage in the absence of intracellular Ca2+. b) The Cl− conductance is decreased after reducing extracellular Cl− concentration ([Cl−]o). c) ICl is regulated by physiological concentrations of [Cl−]o. d) In cells dialyzed with 0.2 µM [Ca2+]i, Cl− has a bimodal effect: at [Cl−]o < 30 mM TMEM16A current activates with a monoexponential time course, but above 30 mM [Cl−]o ICl activation displays fast and slow kinetics. To explain the contribution of Vm, Ca2+ and Cl− to gating, we developed a 12-state Markov chain model. This model explains TMEM16A activation as a sequential, direct, and Vm-dependent binding of two Ca2+ ions coupled to a Vm-dependent binding of an external Cl− ion, with Vm-dependent transitions between states. Our model predicts that extracellular Cl− does not alter the apparent Ca2+ affinity of TMEM16A, which we corroborated experimentally. Rather, extracellular Cl− acts by stabilizing the open configuration induced by Ca2+ and by contributing to the Vm dependence of activation. PMID:27138167

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. Application of the steepest slope model reveals different perfusion territories within the mouse placenta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remus, C C; Sedlacik, J; Wedegaertner, U; Arck, P; Hecher, K; Adam, G; Forkert, N D

    2013-10-01

    The steepest slope model is a numerically robust and fast method for perfusion quantification. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if the steepest slope model can be used for quantifying placental perfusion in mice based on dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets. T1-weighted DCE MRI was performed in 5 pregnant BALB/c mice on gestation day (gd) 14.5 and in 5 mice on gd 16.5 using a 7T small animal MRI scanner. The placentas were manually delineated in the DCE datasets and the arterial input function (AIF) was selected from the kidney hilus. Placental perfusion was determined on a voxel-by-voxel basis using the steepest slope model. Perfusion was averaged over the entire placenta as well as separately calculated for the high-flow compartment within the central labyrinth zone and for the remaining low-flow placenta tissue. The AIF selection was independently performed by two observers for assessment of inter-observer differences. Mean perfusion on gd 14.5 was 135 ml/min/100 ml (standard deviation SD: 29 ml/min/100 ml placenta) and 112 ml/min/100 ml on gd 16.5 for the whole placenta (SD: 32 ml/min/100 ml). Perfusion in the high flow compartment in the central labyrinth was significantly higher (p ≤ 0.002) than in the low-flow compartment including the remaining placenta tissue: 184 ml/min/100 ml (SD: 39 ml/min/100 ml) vs. 119 ml/min/100 ml (SD 28 ml/min/100 ml) on gd 14.5 and 158 ml/min/100 ml (SD: 58 ml/min/100 ml) vs. 114 ml/min/100 ml (SD: 52 ml/min/100 ml of placenta) on gd 16.5. The mean relative inter-rater observer difference was 6%. The steepest slope model is a computationally simple method, which allows perfusion quantification in the mouse placenta. Furthermore, the results of this work indicate that the different placental compartments should be analyzed separately to prevent biased results due to averaging. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Dynamic information processing states revealed through neurocognitive models of object semantics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Alex

    2015-01-01

    Recognising objects relies on highly dynamic, interactive brain networks to process multiple aspects of object information. To fully understand how different forms of information about objects are represented and processed in the brain requires a neurocognitive account of visual object recognition that combines a detailed cognitive model of semantic knowledge with a neurobiological model of visual object processing. Here we ask how specific cognitive factors are instantiated in our mental processes and how they dynamically evolve over time. We suggest that coarse semantic information, based on generic shared semantic knowledge, is rapidly extracted from visual inputs and is sufficient to drive rapid category decisions. Subsequent recurrent neural activity between the anterior temporal lobe and posterior fusiform supports the formation of object-specific semantic representations – a conjunctive process primarily driven by the perirhinal cortex. These object-specific representations require the integration of shared and distinguishing object properties and support the unique recognition of objects. We conclude that a valuable way of understanding the cognitive activity of the brain is though testing the relationship between specific cognitive measures and dynamic neural activity. This kind of approach allows us to move towards uncovering the information processing states of the brain and how they evolve over time. PMID:25745632

  8. Using simulations and kinetic network models to reveal the dynamics and functions of riboswitches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jong-Chin; Yoon, Jeseong; Hyeon, Changbong; Thirumalai, D

    2015-01-01

    Riboswitches, RNA elements found in the untranslated region, regulate gene expression by binding to target metaboloites with exquisite specificity. Binding of metabolites to the conserved aptamer domain allosterically alters the conformation in the downstream expression platform. The fate of gene expression is determined by the changes in the downstream RNA sequence. As the metabolite-dependent cotranscriptional folding and unfolding dynamics of riboswitches are the key determinant of gene expression, it is important to investigate both the thermodynamics and kinetics of riboswitches both in the presence and absence of metabolite. Single molecule force experiments that decipher the free energy landscape of riboswitches from their mechanical responses, theoretical and computational studies have recently shed light on the distinct mechanism of folding dynamics in different classes of riboswitches. Here, we first discuss the dynamics of water around riboswitch, highlighting that water dynamics can enhance the fluctuation of nucleic acid structure. To go beyond native state fluctuations, we used the Self-Organized Polymer model to predict the dynamics of add adenine riboswitch under mechanical forces. In addition to quantitatively predicting the folding landscape of add-riboswitch, our simulations also explain the difference in the dynamics between pbuE adenine- and add adenine-riboswitches. In order to probe the function in vivo, we use the folding landscape to propose a system level kinetic network model to quantitatively predict how gene expression is regulated for riboswitches that are under kinetic control. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresia Kling

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Revealing transboundary and local air pollutant sources affecting Metro Manila through receptor modeling studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pabroa, Preciosa Corazon B.; Bautista VII, Angel T.; Santos, Flora L.; Racho, Joseph Michael D.

    2011-01-01

    Ambient fine particulate matter (PM 2 .5) levels at the Metro Manila air sampling stations of the Philippine Nuclear Research Research Institute were found to be above the WHO guideline value of 10 μg m 3 indicating, in general, very poor air quality in the area. The elemental components of the fine particulate matter were obtained using the energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Positive matrix factorization, a receptor modelling tool, was used to identify and apportion air pollution sources. Location of probable transboundary air pollutants were evaluated using HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory Model) while location of probable local air pollutant sources were determined using the conditional probability function (CPF). Air pollutant sources can either be natural or anthropogenic. This study has shown natural air pollutant sources such as volcanic eruptions from Bulusan volcano in 2006 and from Anatahan volcano in 2005 to have impacted on the region. Fine soils was shown to have originated from China's Mu US Desert some time in 2004. Smoke in the fine fraction in 2006 show indications of coming from forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo. Fine particulate Pb in Valenzuela was shown to be coming from the surrounding area. Many more significant air pollution impacts can be evaluated with the identification of probable air pollutant sources with the use of elemental fingerprints and locating these sources with the use of HYSPLIT and CPF. (author)

  13. Probabilistic modelling of chromatin code landscape reveals functional diversity of enhancer-like chromatin states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jian; Troyanskaya, Olga G.

    2016-01-01

    Interpreting the functional state of chromatin from the combinatorial binding patterns of chromatin factors, that is, the chromatin codes, is crucial for decoding the epigenetic state of the cell. Here we present a systematic map of Drosophila chromatin states derived from data-driven probabilistic modelling of dependencies between chromatin factors. Our model not only recapitulates enhancer-like chromatin states as indicated by widely used enhancer marks but also divides these states into three functionally distinct groups, of which only one specific group possesses active enhancer activity. Moreover, we discover a strong association between one specific enhancer state and RNA Polymerase II pausing, linking transcription regulatory potential and chromatin organization. We also observe that with the exception of long-intron genes, chromatin state transition positions in transcriptionally active genes align with an absolute distance to their corresponding transcription start site, regardless of gene length. Using our method, we provide a resource that helps elucidate the functional and spatial organization of the chromatin code landscape. PMID:26841971

  14. 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.

  15. Active Tension Network model reveals an exotic mechanical state realized in epithelial tissues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noll, Nicholas; Mani, Madhav; Heemskerk, Idse; Streicha, Sebastian; Shraiman, Boris

    Mechanical interactions play a crucial role in epithelial morphogenesis, yet understanding the complex mechanisms through which stress and deformation affect cell behavior remains an open problem. Here we formulate and analyze the Active Tension Network (ATN) model, which assumes that mechanical balance of cells is dominated by cortical tension and introduces tension dependent active remodeling of the cortex. We find that ATNs exhibit unusual mechanical properties: i) ATN behaves as a fluid at short times, but at long times it supports external tension, like a solid; ii) its mechanical equilibrium state has extensive degeneracy associated with a discrete conformal - ''isogonal'' - deformation of cells. ATN model predicts a constraint on equilibrium cell geometry, which we demonstrate to hold in certain epithelial tissues. We further show that isogonal modes are observed in a fruit fly embryo, accounting for the striking variability of apical area of ventral cells and helping understand the early phase of gastrulation. Living matter realizes new and exotic mechanical states, understanding which helps understand biological phenomena.

  16. 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.

  17. Dissociable perceptual-learning mechanisms revealed by diffusion-model analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, Alexander A; Van Horn, Nicholas M; Ratcliff, Roger

    2011-06-01

    Performance on perceptual tasks improves with practice. Most theories address only accuracy data and tacitly assume that perceptual learning is a monolithic phenomenon. The present study pioneers the use of response time distributions in perceptual learning research. The 27 observers practiced a visual motion-direction discrimination task with filtered-noise textures for four sessions with feedback. Session 5 tested whether the learning effects transferred to the orthogonal direction. The diffusion model (Ratcliff, Psychological Review, 85, 59-108, 1978) achieved good fits to the individual response time distributions from each session and identified two distinct learning mechanisms with markedly different specificities. A stimulus-specific increase in the drift-rate parameter indicated improved sensory input to the decision process, and a stimulus-general decrease in nondecision time variability suggested improved timing of the decision process onset relative to stimulus onset (which was preceded by a beep). A traditional d' analysis would miss the latter effect, but the diffusion-model analysis identified it in the response time data.

  18. 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.

  19. How causal analysis can reveal autonomy in models of biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, William; Kim, Hyunju; Walker, Sara I.; Tononi, Giulio; Albantakis, Larissa

    2017-11-01

    Standard techniques for studying biological systems largely focus on their dynamical or, more recently, their informational properties, usually taking either a reductionist or holistic perspective. Yet, studying only individual system elements or the dynamics of the system as a whole disregards the organizational structure of the system-whether there are subsets of elements with joint causes or effects, and whether the system is strongly integrated or composed of several loosely interacting components. Integrated information theory offers a theoretical framework to (1) investigate the compositional cause-effect structure of a system and to (2) identify causal borders of highly integrated elements comprising local maxima of intrinsic cause-effect power. Here we apply this comprehensive causal analysis to a Boolean network model of the fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) cell cycle. We demonstrate that this biological model features a non-trivial causal architecture, whose discovery may provide insights about the real cell cycle that could not be gained from holistic or reductionist approaches. We also show how some specific properties of this underlying causal architecture relate to the biological notion of autonomy. Ultimately, we suggest that analysing the causal organization of a system, including key features like intrinsic control and stable causal borders, should prove relevant for distinguishing life from non-life, and thus could also illuminate the origin of life problem. This article is part of the themed issue 'Reconceptualizing the origins of life'.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Acacio Aparecido; Diniz, Tatiana Rosa; Braga, Lucas Palma Perez; Silva, Genivaldo Gueiros Zacarias; Franchini, Julio Cezar; Rossetto, Raffaella; Edwards, Robert Alan; Tsai, Siu Mui

    2015-01-01

    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

  2. MicroRNA Profiling Reveals Marker of Motor Neuron Disease in ALS Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoye, Mariah L; Koval, Erica D; Wegener, Amy J; Hyman, Theodore S; Yang, Chengran; O'Brien, David R; Miller, Rebecca L; Cole, Tracy; Schoch, Kathleen M; Shen, Tao; Kunikata, Tomonori; Richard, Jean-Philippe; Gutmann, David H; Maragakis, Nicholas J; Kordasiewicz, Holly B; Dougherty, Joseph D; Miller, Timothy M

    2017-05-31

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder marked by the loss of motor neurons (MNs) in the brain and spinal cord, leading to fatally debilitating weakness. Because this disease predominantly affects MNs, we aimed to characterize the distinct expression profile of that cell type to elucidate underlying disease mechanisms and to identify novel targets that inform on MN health during ALS disease time course. microRNAs (miRNAs) are short, noncoding RNAs that can shape the expression profile of a cell and thus often exhibit cell-type-enriched expression. To determine MN-enriched miRNA expression, we used Cre recombinase-dependent miRNA tagging and affinity purification in mice. By defining the in vivo miRNA expression of MNs, all neurons, astrocytes, and microglia, we then focused on MN-enriched miRNAs via a comparative analysis and found that they may functionally distinguish MNs postnatally from other spinal neurons. Characterizing the levels of the MN-enriched miRNAs in CSF harvested from ALS models of MN disease demonstrated that one miRNA (miR-218) tracked with MN loss and was responsive to an ALS therapy in rodent models. Therefore, we have used cellular expression profiling tools to define the distinct miRNA expression of MNs, which is likely to enrich future studies of MN disease. This approach enabled the development of a novel, drug-responsive marker of MN disease in ALS rodents. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease in which motor neurons (MNs) in the brain and spinal cord are selectively lost. To develop tools to aid in our understanding of the distinct expression profiles of MNs and, ultimately, to monitor MN disease progression, we identified small regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) that were highly enriched or exclusive in MNs. The signal for one of these MN-enriched miRNAs is detectable in spinal tap biofluid from an ALS rat model, where its levels change as disease

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Computational modeling of the hematopoietic erythroid-myeloid switch reveals insights into cooperativity, priming, and irreversibility.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijay Chickarmane

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Hematopoietic stem cell lineage choices are decided by genetic networks that are turned ON/OFF in a switch-like manner. However, prior to lineage commitment, genes are primed at low expression levels. Understanding the underlying molecular circuitry in terms of how it governs both a primed state and, at the other extreme, a committed state is of relevance not only to hematopoiesis but also to developmental systems in general. We develop a computational model for the hematopoietic erythroid-myeloid lineage decision, which is determined by a genetic switch involving the genes PU.1 and GATA-1. Dynamical models based upon known interactions between these master genes, such as mutual antagonism and autoregulation, fail to make the system bistable, a desired feature for robust lineage determination. We therefore suggest a new mechanism involving a cofactor that is regulated as well as recruited by one of the master genes to bind to the antagonistic partner that is necessary for bistability and hence switch-like behavior. An interesting fallout from this architecture is that suppression of the cofactor through external means can lead to a loss of cooperativity, and hence to a primed state for PU.1 and GATA-1. The PU.1-GATA-1 switch also interacts with another mutually antagonistic pair, C/EBPalpha-FOG-1. The latter pair inherits the state of its upstream master genes and further reinforces the decision due to several feedback loops, thereby leading to irreversible commitment. The genetic switch, which handles the erythroid-myeloid lineage decision, is an example of a network that implements both a primed and a committed state by regulating cooperativity through recruitment of cofactors. Perturbing the feedback between the master regulators and downstream targets suggests potential reprogramming strategies. The approach points to a framework for lineage commitment studies in general and could aid the search for lineage-determining genes.

  8. A mathematical model of mechanotransduction reveals how mechanical memory regulates mesenchymal stem cell fate decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Tao; Liu, Linan; MacLean, Adam L; Wong, Chi Wut; Zhao, Weian; Nie, Qing

    2017-05-16

    Mechanical and biophysical properties of the cellular microenvironment regulate cell fate decisions. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) fate is influenced by past mechanical dosing (memory), but the mechanisms underlying this process have not yet been well defined. We have yet to understand how memory affects specific cell fate decisions, such as the differentiation of MSCs into neurons, adipocytes, myocytes, and osteoblasts. We study a minimal gene regulatory network permissive of multi-lineage MSC differentiation into four cell fates. We present a continuous model that is able to describe the cell fate transitions that occur during differentiation, and analyze its dynamics with tools from multistability, bifurcation, and cell fate landscape analysis, and via stochastic simulation. Whereas experimentally, memory has only been observed during osteogenic differentiation, this model predicts that memory regions can exist for each of the four MSC-derived cell lineages. We can predict the substrate stiffness ranges over which memory drives differentiation; these are directly testable in an experimental setting. Furthermore, we quantitatively predict how substrate stiffness and culture duration co-regulate the fate of a stem cell, and we find that the feedbacks from the differentiating MSC onto its substrate are critical to preserve mechanical memory. Strikingly, we show that re-seeding MSCs onto a sufficiently soft substrate increases the number of cell fates accessible. Control of MSC differentiation is crucial for the success of much-lauded regenerative therapies based on MSCs. We have predicted new memory regions that will directly impact this control, and have quantified the size of the memory region for osteoblasts, as well as the co-regulatory effects on cell fates of substrate stiffness and culture duration. Taken together, these results can be used to develop novel strategies to better control the fates of MSCs in vitro and following transplantation.

  9. Dansgaard Oeschger Dynamics: Clearly Revealed in a Comprehensive Model of Glacial Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peltier, W. Richard; Vettoretti, Guido

    2017-04-01

    More than 30 years ago, Willi Dansgaard in Copenhagen and Hans Oeschger in Bern established the existence of millennium timescale oscillations in oxygen isotope stratigraphies from Greenland ice cores. This isotopic signal was interpreted as implying large amplitude variations in surface air temperature. Until the publication of Peltier and Vettoretti (2014, GRL) the prevalent view had been that this exclusively ice-age phenomenon, thought to be linked to variability in the strength of the Atlantic MOC, was considered to be forced by the episodic release of freshwater from the continental ice sheets, each oscillation requiring its own freshwater input. In Peltier and Vettoretti (2014) this phenomenon was recovered for the first time in a comprehensive model of glacial climate, specifically the CESM1 model of the NCAR laboratory. Attention was drawn to the fact that individual D-O oscillations, or Bond Cycle clusters of such oscillations, were inevitably preceded by individual Heinrich events. In Peltier and Vettoretti (2014) it was shown that, following the "spin-up" of CESM1 into the glacial state, with continental ice sheet volume held fixed, a sequence of nonlinear unforced and therefor "free" oscillations of the MOC occurred, following a sharp Heinrich event-like sharp suppression of MOC strength. All of the salient characteristics of the D-O process inferred on the basis of ice core evidence from both hemispheres were fully captured in these high (CMIP5) resolution simulations, namely: (i) the pulse shape of the individual oscillations characterized by an extremely rapid shift from cold stadial to warm interstadial conditions followed by a slow return to the stadial state, (ii) the peak-to-peak variations in Greenland surface air temperature of 10-15 degrees Centigrade during individual oscillations, (iii) the "bi-polar see saw" connection between this Northern Hemisphere process and that recorded in the EDML and WAIS Divide ice cores from Antarctica, (iv) the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias Hübenthal

    Full Text Available 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

  11. Surface-based morphometry reveals the neuroanatomical basis of the five-factor model of personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riccelli, Roberta; Toschi, Nicola; Nigro, Salvatore; Terracciano, Antonio; Passamonti, Luca

    2017-04-01

    The five-factor model (FFM) is a widely used taxonomy of human personality; yet its neuro anatomical basis remains unclear. This is partly because past associations between gray-matter volume and FFM were driven by different surface-based morphometry (SBM) indices (i.e. cortical thickness, surface area, cortical folding or any combination of them). To overcome this limitation, we used Free-Surfer to study how variability in SBM measures was related to the FFM in n = 507 participants from the Human Connectome Project.Neuroticism was associated with thicker cortex and smaller area and folding in prefrontal-temporal regions. Extraversion was linked to thicker pre-cuneus and smaller superior temporal cortex area. Openness was linked to thinner cortex and greater area and folding in prefrontal-parietal regions. Agreeableness was correlated to thinner prefrontal cortex and smaller fusiform gyrus area. Conscientiousness was associated with thicker cortex and smaller area and folding in prefrontal regions. These findings demonstrate that anatomical variability in prefrontal cortices is linked to individual differences in the socio-cognitive dispositions described by the FFM. Cortical thickness and surface area/folding were inversely related each others as a function of different FFM traits (neuroticism, extraversion and consciousness vs openness), which may reflect brain maturational effects that predispose or protect against psychiatric disorders. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  12. 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

  13. Revealing chemophoric sites in organophosphorus insecticides through the MIA-QSPR modeling of soil sorption data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daré, Joyce K; Silva, Cristina F; Freitas, Matheus P

    2017-10-01

    Soil sorption of insecticides employed in agriculture is an important parameter to probe the environmental fate of organic chemicals. Therefore, methods for the prediction of soil sorption of new agrochemical candidates, as well as for the rationalization of the molecular characteristics responsible for a given sorption profile, are extremely beneficial for the environment. A quantitative structure-property relationship method based on chemical structure images as molecular descriptors provided a reliable model for the soil sorption prediction of 24 widely used organophosphorus insecticides. By means of contour maps obtained from the partial least squares regression coefficients and the variable importance in projection scores, key molecular moieties were targeted for possible structural modification, in order to obtain novel and more environmentally friendly insecticide candidates. The image-based descriptors applied encode molecular arrangement, atoms connectivity, groups size, and polarity; consequently, the findings in this work cannot be achieved by a simple relationship with hydrophobicity, usually described by the octanol-water partition coefficient. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Aerodynamic modelling of a Cretaceous bird reveals thermal soaring capabilities during early avian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Francisco José; Chiappe, Luis María

    2017-07-01

    Several flight modes are thought to have evolved during the early evolution of birds. Here, we use a combination of computational modelling and morphofunctional analyses to infer the flight properties of the raven-sized, Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis chaoyangensis -a likely candidate to have evolved soaring capabilities. Specifically, drawing information from (i) mechanical inferences of the deltopectoral crest of the humerus, (ii) wing shape (i.e. aspect ratio), (iii) estimations of power margin (i.e. difference between power required for flight and available power from muscles), (iv) gliding behaviour (i.e. forward speed and sinking speed), and (v) palaeobiological evidence, we conclude that S. chaoyangensis was a thermal soarer with an ecology similar to that of living South American screamers. Our results indicate that as early as 125 Ma, some birds evolved the morphological and aerodynamic requirements for soaring on continental thermals, a conclusion that highlights the degree of ecological, functional and behavioural diversity that resulted from the first major evolutionary radiation of birds. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. Sector analysis and predictive modelling reveal iterative shoot-like development in fern fronds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Heather L; Darrah, Peter R; Langdale, Jane A

    2011-07-01

    Plants colonized the terrestrial environment over 450 million years ago. Since then, shoot architecture has evolved in response to changing environmental conditions. Our current understanding of the innovations that altered shoot morphology is underpinned by developmental studies in a number of plant groups. However, the least is known about mechanisms that operate in ferns--a key group for understanding the evolution of plant development. Using a novel combination of sector analysis, conditional probability modelling methods and histology, we show that shoots, fronds ('leaves') and pinnae ('leaflets') of the fern Nephrolepis exaltata all develop from single apical initial cells. Shoot initials cleave on three faces to produce a pool of cells from which individual frond apical initials are sequentially specified. Frond initials then cleave in two planes to produce a series of lateral merophyte initials that each contributes a unit of three pinnae to half of the mediolateral frond axis. Notably, this iterative pattern in both shoots and fronds is similar to the developmental process that operates in shoots of other plant groups. Pinnae initials first cleave in two planes to generate lateral marginal initials. The apical and marginal initials then divide in three planes to coordinately generate the determinate pinna. These findings impact both on our understanding of fundamental plant developmental processes and on our perspective of how shoot systems evolved.

  18. Endoglin: a novel target for therapeutic intervention in acute leukemias revealed in xenograft mouse models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dourado, Keina M C; Baik, June; Oliveira, Vanessa K P; Beltrame, Miriam; Yamamoto, Ami; Theuer, Charles P; Figueiredo, Camila A V; Verneris, Michael R; Perlingeiro, Rita C R

    2017-05-04

    Endoglin (CD105), a receptor of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, has been reported to identify functional long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cells, and has been detected in certain subtypes of acute leukemias. Whether this receptor plays a functional role in leukemogenesis remains unknown. We identified endoglin expression on the majority of blasts from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute B-lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Using a xenograft model, we find that CD105 + blasts are endowed with superior leukemogenic activity compared with the CD105 - population. We test the effect of targeting this receptor using the monoclonal antibody TRC105, and find that in AML, TRC105 prevented the engraftment of primary AML blasts and inhibited leukemia progression following disease establishment, but in B-ALL, TRC105 alone was ineffective due to the shedding of soluble CD105. However, in both B-ALL and AML, TRC105 synergized with reduced intensity myeloablation to inhibit leukemogenesis, indicating that TRC105 may represent a novel therapeutic option for B-ALL and AML. © 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.

  19. 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 individuals used the same pattern of adaptation in 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.

  20. Genetic dissection in a mouse model reveals interactions between carotenoids and lipid metabolism[S

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palczewski, Grzegorz; Widjaja-Adhi, M. Airanthi K.; Amengual, Jaume; Golczak, Marcin; von Lintig, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoids affect a rich variety of physiological functions in nature and are beneficial for human health. However, knowledge about their biological action and the consequences of their dietary accumulation in mammals is limited. Progress in this research field is limited by the expeditious metabolism of carotenoids in rodents and the confounding production of apocarotenoid signaling molecules. Herein, we established a mouse model lacking the enzymes responsible for carotenoid catabolism and apocarotenoid production, fed on either a β-carotene- or a zeaxanthin-enriched diet. Applying a genome wide microarray analysis, we assessed the effects of the parent carotenoids on the liver transcriptome. Our analysis documented changes in pathways for liver lipid metabolism and mitochondrial respiration. We biochemically defined these effects, and observed that β-carotene accumulation resulted in an elevation of liver triglycerides and liver cholesterol, while zeaxanthin accumulation increased serum cholesterol levels. We further show that carotenoids were predominantly transported within HDL particles in the serum of mice. Finally, we provide evidence that carotenoid accumulation influenced whole-body respiration and energy expenditure. Thus, we observed that accumulation of parent carotenoids interacts with lipid metabolism and that structurally related carotenoids display distinct biological functions in mammals. PMID:27389691

  1. Genetic dissection in a mouse model reveals interactions between carotenoids and lipid metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palczewski, Grzegorz; Widjaja-Adhi, M Airanthi K; Amengual, Jaume; Golczak, Marcin; von Lintig, Johannes

    2016-09-01

    Carotenoids affect a rich variety of physiological functions in nature and are beneficial for human health. However, knowledge about their biological action and the consequences of their dietary accumulation in mammals is limited. Progress in this research field is limited by the expeditious metabolism of carotenoids in rodents and the confounding production of apocarotenoid signaling molecules. Herein, we established a mouse model lacking the enzymes responsible for carotenoid catabolism and apocarotenoid production, fed on either a β-carotene- or a zeaxanthin-enriched diet. Applying a genome wide microarray analysis, we assessed the effects of the parent carotenoids on the liver transcriptome. Our analysis documented changes in pathways for liver lipid metabolism and mitochondrial respiration. We biochemically defined these effects, and observed that β-carotene accumulation resulted in an elevation of liver triglycerides and liver cholesterol, while zeaxanthin accumulation increased serum cholesterol levels. We further show that carotenoids were predominantly transported within HDL particles in the serum of mice. Finally, we provide evidence that carotenoid accumulation influenced whole-body respiration and energy expenditure. Thus, we observed that accumulation of parent carotenoids interacts with lipid metabolism and that structurally related carotenoids display distinct biological functions in mammals. Copyright © 2016 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  2. Systems analysis of eleven rodent disease models reveals an inflammatome signature and key drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, I-Ming; Zhang, Bin; Yang, Xia; Zhu, Jun; Stepaniants, Serguei; Zhang, Chunsheng; Meng, Qingying; Peters, Mette; He, Yudong; Ni, Chester; Slipetz, Deborah; Crackower, Michael A; Houshyar, Hani; Tan, Christopher M; Asante-Appiah, Ernest; O'Neill, Gary; Luo, Mingjuan Jane; Thieringer, Rolf; Yuan, Jeffrey; Chiu, Chi-Sung; Lum, Pek Yee; Lamb, John; Boie, Yves; Wilkinson, Hilary A; Schadt, Eric E; Dai, Hongyue; Roberts, Christopher

    2012-07-17

    Common inflammatome gene signatures as well as disease-specific signatures were identified by analyzing 12 expression profiling data sets derived from 9 different tissues isolated from 11 rodent inflammatory disease models. The inflammatome signature significantly overlaps with known drug targets and co-expressed gene modules linked to metabolic disorders and cancer. A large proportion of genes in this signature are tightly connected in tissue-specific Bayesian networks (BNs) built from multiple independent mouse and human cohorts. Both the inflammatome signature and the corresponding consensus BNs are highly enriched for immune response-related genes supported as causal for adiposity, adipokine, diabetes, aortic lesion, bone, muscle, and cholesterol traits, suggesting the causal nature of the inflammatome for a variety of diseases. Integration of this inflammatome signature with the BNs uncovered 151 key drivers that appeared to be more biologically important than the non-drivers in terms of their impact on disease phenotypes. The identification of this inflammatome signature, its network architecture, and key drivers not only highlights the shared etiology but also pinpoints potential targets for intervention of various common diseases.

  3. 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.

  4. Computational modeling reveals optimal strategy for kinase transport by microtubules to nerve terminals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koon, Yen Ling; Koh, Cheng Gee; Chiam, Keng-Hwee

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular transport of proteins by motors along cytoskeletal filaments is crucial to the proper functioning of many eukaryotic cells. Since most proteins are synthesized at the cell body, mechanisms are required to deliver them to the growing periphery. In this article, we use computational modeling to study the strategies of protein transport in the context of JNK (c-JUN NH2-terminal kinase) transport along microtubules to the terminals of neuronal cells. One such strategy for protein transport is for the proteins of the JNK signaling cascade to bind to scaffolds, and to have the whole protein-scaffold cargo transported by kinesin motors along microtubules. We show how this strategy outperforms protein transport by diffusion alone, using metrics such as signaling rate and signal amplification. We find that there exists a range of scaffold concentrations for which JNK transport is optimal. Increase in scaffold concentration increases signaling rate and signal amplification but an excess of scaffolds results in the dilution of reactants. Similarly, there exists a range of kinesin motor speeds for which JNK transport is optimal. Signaling rate and signal amplification increases with kinesin motor speed until the speed of motor translocation becomes faster than kinase/scaffold-motor binding. Finally, we suggest experiments that can be performed to validate whether, in physiological conditions, neuronal cells do indeed adopt such an optimal strategy. Understanding cytoskeletal-assisted protein transport is crucial since axonal and cell body accumulation of organelles and proteins is a histological feature in many human neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, we have shown that axonal transport performance changes with altered transport component concentrations and transport speeds wherein these aspects can be modulated to improve axonal efficiency and prevent or slowdown axonal deterioration.

  5. Computational modeling reveals optimal strategy for kinase transport by microtubules to nerve terminals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yen Ling Koon

    Full Text Available Intracellular transport of proteins by motors along cytoskeletal filaments is crucial to the proper functioning of many eukaryotic cells. Since most proteins are synthesized at the cell body, mechanisms are required to deliver them to the growing periphery. In this article, we use computational modeling to study the strategies of protein transport in the context of JNK (c-JUN NH2-terminal kinase transport along microtubules to the terminals of neuronal cells. One such strategy for protein transport is for the proteins of the JNK signaling cascade to bind to scaffolds, and to have the whole protein-scaffold cargo transported by kinesin motors along microtubules. We show how this strategy outperforms protein transport by diffusion alone, using metrics such as signaling rate and signal amplification. We find that there exists a range of scaffold concentrations for which JNK transport is optimal. Increase in scaffold concentration increases signaling rate and signal amplification but an excess of scaffolds results in the dilution of reactants. Similarly, there exists a range of kinesin motor speeds for which JNK transport is optimal. Signaling rate and signal amplification increases with kinesin motor speed until the speed of motor translocation becomes faster than kinase/scaffold-motor binding. Finally, we suggest experiments that can be performed to validate whether, in physiological conditions, neuronal cells do indeed adopt such an optimal strategy. Understanding cytoskeletal-assisted protein transport is crucial since axonal and cell body accumulation of organelles and proteins is a histological feature in many human neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, we have shown that axonal transport performance changes with altered transport component concentrations and transport speeds wherein these aspects can be modulated to improve axonal efficiency and prevent or slowdown axonal deterioration.

  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. Spatially Explicit Modeling Reveals Cephalopod Distributions Match Contrasting Trophic Pathways in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Puerta

    Full Text Available Populations of the same species can experience different responses to the environment throughout their distributional range as a result of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in habitat conditions. This highlights the importance of understanding the processes governing species distribution at local scales. However, research on species distribution often averages environmental covariates across large geographic areas, missing variability in population-environment interactions within geographically distinct regions. We used spatially explicit models to identify interactions between species and environmental, including chlorophyll a (Chla and sea surface temperature (SST, and trophic (prey density conditions, along with processes governing the distribution of two cephalopods with contrasting life-histories (octopus and squid across the western Mediterranean Sea. This approach is relevant for cephalopods, since their population dynamics are especially sensitive to variations in habitat conditions and rarely stable in abundance and location. The regional distributions of the two cephalopod species matched two different trophic pathways present in the western Mediterranean Sea, associated with the Gulf of Lion upwelling and the Ebro river discharges respectively. The effects of the studied environmental and trophic conditions were spatially variant in both species, with usually stronger effects along their distributional boundaries. We identify areas where prey availability limited the abundance of cephalopod populations as well as contrasting effects of temperature in the warmest regions. Despite distributional patterns matching productive areas, a general negative effect of Chla on cephalopod densities suggests that competition pressure is common in the study area. Additionally, results highlight the importance of trophic interactions, beyond other common environmental factors, in shaping the distribution of cephalopod populations. Our study presents

  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. Diversity and distribution of nuclease bacteriocins in bacterial genomes revealed using Hidden Markov Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Connor Sharp

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria exploit an arsenal of antimicrobial peptides and proteins to compete with each other. Three main competition systems have been described: type six secretion systems (T6SS; contact dependent inhibition (CDI; and bacteriocins. Unlike T6SS and CDI systems, bacteriocins do not require contact between bacteria but are diffusible toxins released into the environment. Identified almost a century ago, our understanding of bacteriocin distribution and prevalence in bacterial populations remains poor. In the case of protein bacteriocins, this is because of high levels of sequence diversity and difficulties in distinguishing their killing domains from those of other competition systems. Here, we develop a robust bioinformatics pipeline exploiting Hidden Markov Models for the identification of nuclease bacteriocins (NBs in bacteria of which, to-date, only a handful are known. NBs are large (>60 kDa toxins that target nucleic acids (DNA, tRNA or rRNA in the cytoplasm of susceptible bacteria, usually closely related to the producing organism. We identified >3000 NB genes located on plasmids or on the chromosome from 53 bacterial species distributed across different ecological niches, including human, animals, plants, and the environment. A newly identified NB predicted to be specific for Pseudomonas aeruginosa (pyocin Sn was produced and shown to kill P. aeruginosa thereby validating our pipeline. Intriguingly, while the genes encoding the machinery needed for NB translocation across the cell envelope are widespread in Gram-negative bacteria, NBs are found exclusively in γ-proteobacteria. Similarity network analysis demonstrated that NBs fall into eight groups each with a distinct arrangement of protein domains involved in import. The only structural feature conserved across all groups was a sequence motif critical for cell-killing that is generally not found in bacteriocins targeting the periplasm, implying a specific role in translocating the

  10. Complex patterns of divergence among green-sensitive (RH2a African cichlid opsins revealed by Clade model analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weadick Cameron J

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene duplications play an important role in the evolution of functional protein diversity. Some models of duplicate gene evolution predict complex forms of paralog divergence; orthologous proteins may diverge as well, further complicating patterns of divergence among and within gene families. Consequently, studying the link between protein sequence evolution and duplication requires the use of flexible substitution models that can accommodate multiple shifts in selection across a phylogeny. Here, we employed a variety of codon substitution models, primarily Clade models, to explore how selective constraint evolved following the duplication of a green-sensitive (RH2a visual pigment protein (opsin in African cichlids. Past studies have linked opsin divergence to ecological and sexual divergence within the African cichlid adaptive radiation. Furthermore, biochemical and regulatory differences between the RH2aα and RH2aβ paralogs have been documented. It thus seems likely that selection varies in complex ways throughout this gene family. Results Clade model analysis of African cichlid RH2a opsins revealed a large increase in the nonsynonymous-to-synonymous substitution rate ratio (ω following the duplication, as well as an even larger increase, one consistent with positive selection, for Lake Tanganyikan cichlid RH2aβ opsins. Analysis using the popular Branch-site models, by contrast, revealed no such alteration of constraint. Several amino acid sites known to influence spectral and non-spectral aspects of opsin biochemistry were found to be evolving divergently, suggesting that orthologous RH2a opsins may vary in terms of spectral sensitivity and response kinetics. Divergence appears to be occurring despite intronic gene conversion among the tandemly-arranged duplicates. Conclusions Our findings indicate that variation in selective constraint is associated with both gene duplication and divergence among orthologs in African

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The geography of demography: long-term demographic studies and species distribution models reveal a species border limited by adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckhart, V M; Geber, M A; Morris, W F; Fabio, E S; Tiffin, P; Moeller, D A

    2011-10-01

    Potential causes of species' geographic distribution limits fall into two broad classes: (1) limited adaptation across spatially variable environments and (2) limited opportunities to colonize unoccupied areas. Combining demographic studies, analyses of demographic responses to environmental variation, and species distribution models, we investigated the causes of range limits in a model system, the eastern border of the California annual plant Clarkia xantiana ssp. xantiana. Vital rates of 20 populations varied with growing season temperature and precipitation: fruit number and overwinter survival of 1-year-old seeds declined steeply, while current-year seed germination increased modestly along west-to-east gradients in decreasing temperature, decreasing mean precipitation, and increasing variation in precipitation. Long-term stochastic finite rate of increase, λ(s), exhibited a fourfold range and varied among geologic surface materials as well as with temperature and precipitation. Growth rate declined significantly toward the eastern border, falling below 1 in three of the five easternmost populations. Distribution models employing demographically important environmental variables predicted low habitat favorability beyond the eastern border. Models that filtered or weighted population presences by λ(s) predicted steeper eastward declines in favorability and assigned greater roles in setting the distribution to among-year variation in precipitation and to geologic surface material. These analyses reveal a species border likely set by limited adaptation to declining environmental quality.

  14. Integration of computational modeling with membrane transport studies reveals new insights into amino acid exchange transport mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widdows, Kate L.; Panitchob, Nuttanont; Crocker, Ian P.; Please, Colin P.; Hanson, Mark A.; Sibley, Colin P.; Johnstone, Edward D.; Sengers, Bram G.; Lewis, Rohan M.; Glazier, Jocelyn D.

    2015-01-01

    Uptake of system L amino acid substrates into isolated placental plasma membrane vesicles in the absence of opposing side amino acid (zero-trans uptake) is incompatible with the concept of obligatory exchange, where influx of amino acid is coupled to efflux. We therefore hypothesized that system L amino acid exchange transporters are not fully obligatory and/or that amino acids are initially present inside the vesicles. To address this, we combined computational modeling with vesicle transport assays and transporter localization studies to investigate the mechanisms mediating [14C]l-serine (a system L substrate) transport into human placental microvillous plasma membrane (MVM) vesicles. The carrier model provided a quantitative framework to test the 2 hypotheses that l-serine transport occurs by either obligate exchange or nonobligate exchange coupled with facilitated transport (mixed transport model). The computational model could only account for experimental [14C]l-serine uptake data when the transporter was not exclusively in exchange mode, best described by the mixed transport model. MVM vesicle isolates contained endogenous amino acids allowing for potential contribution to zero-trans uptake. Both L-type amino acid transporter (LAT)1 and LAT2 subtypes of system L were distributed to MVM, with l-serine transport attributed to LAT2. These findings suggest that exchange transporters do not function exclusively as obligate exchangers.—Widdows, K. L., Panitchob, N., Crocker, I. P., Please, C. P., Hanson, M. A., Sibley, C. P., Johnstone, E. D., Sengers, B. G., Lewis, R. M., Glazier, J. D. Integration of computational modeling with membrane transport studies reveals new insights into amino acid exchange transport mechanisms. PMID:25761365

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. RNA Virus Evolution via a Quasispecies-Based Model Reveals a Drug Target with a High Barrier to Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J. Bingham

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The rapid occurrence of therapy-resistant mutant strains provides a challenge for anti-viral therapy. An ideal drug target would be a highly conserved molecular feature in the viral life cycle, such as the packaging signals in the genomes of RNA viruses that encode an instruction manual for their efficient assembly. The ubiquity of this assembly code in RNA viruses, including major human pathogens, suggests that it confers selective advantages. However, their impact on viral evolution cannot be assessed in current models of viral infection that lack molecular details of virus assembly. We introduce here a quasispecies-based model of a viral infection that incorporates structural and mechanistic knowledge of packaging signal function in assembly to construct a phenotype-fitness map, capturing the impact of this RNA code on assembly yield and efficiency. Details of viral replication and assembly inside an infected host cell are coupled with a population model of a viral infection, allowing the occurrence of therapy resistance to be assessed in response to drugs inhibiting packaging signal recognition. Stochastic simulations of viral quasispecies evolution in chronic HCV infection under drug action and/or immune clearance reveal that drugs targeting all RNA signals in the assembly code collectively have a high barrier to drug resistance, even though each packaging signal in isolation has a lower barrier than conventional drugs. This suggests that drugs targeting the RNA signals in the assembly code could be promising routes for exploitation in anti-viral drug design.

  18. RNA Virus Evolution via a Quasispecies-Based Model Reveals a Drug Target with a High Barrier to Resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bingham, Richard J; Dykeman, Eric C; Twarock, Reidun

    2017-11-17

    The rapid occurrence of therapy-resistant mutant strains provides a challenge for anti-viral therapy. An ideal drug target would be a highly conserved molecular feature in the viral life cycle, such as the packaging signals in the genomes of RNA viruses that encode an instruction manual for their efficient assembly. The ubiquity of this assembly code in RNA viruses, including major human pathogens, suggests that it confers selective advantages. However, their impact on viral evolution cannot be assessed in current models of viral infection that lack molecular details of virus assembly. We introduce here a quasispecies-based model of a viral infection that incorporates structural and mechanistic knowledge of packaging signal function in assembly to construct a phenotype-fitness map, capturing the impact of this RNA code on assembly yield and efficiency. Details of viral replication and assembly inside an infected host cell are coupled with a population model of a viral infection, allowing the occurrence of therapy resistance to be assessed in response to drugs inhibiting packaging signal recognition. Stochastic simulations of viral quasispecies evolution in chronic HCV infection under drug action and/or immune clearance reveal that drugs targeting all RNA signals in the assembly code collectively have a high barrier to drug resistance, even though each packaging signal in isolation has a lower barrier than conventional drugs. This suggests that drugs targeting the RNA signals in the assembly code could be promising routes for exploitation in anti-viral drug design.

  19. 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.

  20. Mouse model of chromosome mosaicism reveals lineage-specific depletion of aneuploid cells and normal developmental potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, Helen; Graham, Sarah J L; Van der Aa, Niels; Kumar, Parveen; Theunis, Koen; Fernandez Gallardo, Elia; Voet, Thierry; Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena

    2016-03-29

    Most human pre-implantation embryos are mosaics of euploid and aneuploid cells. To determine the fate of aneuploid cells and the developmental potential of mosaic embryos, here we generate a mouse model of chromosome mosaicism. By treating embryos with a spindle assembly checkpoint inhibitor during the four- to eight-cell division, we efficiently generate aneuploid cells, resulting in embryo death during peri-implantation development. Live-embryo imaging and single-cell tracking in chimeric embryos, containing aneuploid and euploid cells, reveal that the fate of aneuploid cells depends on lineage: aneuploid cells in the fetal lineage are eliminated by apoptosis, whereas those in the placental lineage show severe proliferative defects. Overall, the proportion of aneuploid cells is progressively depleted from the blastocyst stage onwards. Finally, we show that mosaic embryos have full developmental potential, provided they contain sufficient euploid cells, a finding of significance for the assessment of embryo vitality in the clinic.

  1. Mouse model of chromosome mosaicism reveals lineage-specific depletion of aneuploid cells and normal developmental potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, Helen; Graham, Sarah J. L.; Van der Aa, Niels; Kumar, Parveen; Theunis, Koen; Fernandez Gallardo, Elia; Voet, Thierry; Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena

    2016-01-01

    Most human pre-implantation embryos are mosaics of euploid and aneuploid cells. To determine the fate of aneuploid cells and the developmental potential of mosaic embryos, here we generate a mouse model of chromosome mosaicism. By treating embryos with a spindle assembly checkpoint inhibitor during the four- to eight-cell division, we efficiently generate aneuploid cells, resulting in embryo death during peri-implantation development. Live-embryo imaging and single-cell tracking in chimeric embryos, containing aneuploid and euploid cells, reveal that the fate of aneuploid cells depends on lineage: aneuploid cells in the fetal lineage are eliminated by apoptosis, whereas those in the placental lineage show severe proliferative defects. Overall, the proportion of aneuploid cells is progressively depleted from the blastocyst stage onwards. Finally, we show that mosaic embryos have full developmental potential, provided they contain sufficient euploid cells, a finding of significance for the assessment of embryo vitality in the clinic. PMID:27021558

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter A. Bell

    2013-06-01

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

  3. Evolutionary profiling reveals the heterogeneous origins of classes of human disease genes: implications for modeling disease genetics in animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, Evan K; Schnitzler, Christine E; Havlak, Paul; Putnam, Nicholas H; Nguyen, Anh-Dao; Moreland, R Travis; Baxevanis, Andreas D

    2014-10-04

    The recent expansion of whole-genome sequence data available from diverse animal lineages provides an opportunity to investigate the evolutionary origins of specific classes of human disease genes. Previous studies have observed that human disease genes are of particularly ancient origin. While this suggests that many animal species have the potential to serve as feasible models for research on genes responsible for human disease, it is unclear whether this pattern has meaningful implications and whether it prevails for every class of human disease. We used a comparative genomics approach encompassing a broad phylogenetic range of animals with sequenced genomes to determine the evolutionary patterns exhibited by human genes associated with different classes of disease. Our results support previous claims that most human disease genes are of ancient origin but, more importantly, we also demonstrate that several specific disease classes have a significantly large proportion of genes that emerged relatively recently within the metazoans and/or vertebrates. An independent assessment of the synonymous to non-synonymous substitution rates of human disease genes found in mammals reveals that disease classes that arose more recently also display unexpected rates of purifying selection between their mammalian and human counterparts. Our results reveal the heterogeneity underlying the evolutionary origins of (and selective pressures on) different classes of human disease genes. For example, some disease gene classes appear to be of uncommonly recent (i.e., vertebrate-specific) origin and, as a whole, have been evolving at a faster rate within mammals than the majority of disease classes having more ancient origins. The novel patterns that we have identified may provide new insight into cases where studies using traditional animal models were unable to produce results that translated to humans. Conversely, we note that the larger set of disease classes do have ancient origins

  4. A unifying mathematical model of lipid droplet metabolism reveals key molecular players in the development of hepatic steatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallstab, Christin; Eleftheriadou, Dimitra; Schulz, Theresa; Damm, Georg; Seehofer, Daniel; Borlak, Jürgen; Holzhütter, Hermann-Georg; Berndt, Nikolaus

    2017-10-01

    The liver responds to elevated plasma concentrations of free fatty acids (FFAs) with an enhanced uptake of FFAs and their esterification to triacylglycerol (TAG). On the long term, this may result in massive hepatic TAG accumulation called steatosis hepatitis. In hepatocytes, the poor water-soluble TAG is packed in specialized organelles: Lipid droplets (LDs) serving as transient cellular deposit and lipoproteins (LPs) transporting TAG and cholesterol esters to extra-hepatic tissues. The dynamics of these organelles is controlled by a variety of regulatory surface proteins (RSPs). Assembly and export of VLDLs are mainly regulated by the microsomal transfer protein (MTP) and apoprotein B100. Formation and lipolysis of LDs are regulated by several RSPs. The best studied regulators belong to the PAT (Perilipin/Adipophilin/TIP47) and CIDE families. Knockdown or overexpression of SRPs may significantly affect the total number and size distribution of LDs. Intriguingly, a large cell-to-cell heterogeneity with respect to the number and size of LDs has been found in various cell types including hepatocytes. These findings suggest that the extent of cellular lipid accumulation is determined not only by the imbalance between lipid supply and utilization but also by variations in the expression of RSPs and metabolic enzymes. To better understand the relative regulatory impact of individual processes involved in the cellular TAG turnover, we developed a comprehensive kinetic model encompassing the pathways of the fatty acid and triglyceride metabolism and the main molecular processes governing the dynamics of LDs. The model was parametrized such that a large number of experimental in vitro and in vivo findings are correctly recapitulated. A control analysis of the model revealed that variations in the activity of FFA uptake, diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) 2, and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) have the strongest influence on the cellular TAG level. We used the model

  5. A multi-scale model for hair follicles reveals heterogeneous domains driving rapid spatiotemporal hair growth patterning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qixuan; Oh, Ji Won; Lee, Hye-Lim; Dhar, Anukriti; Peng, Tao; Ramos, Raul; Guerrero-Juarez, Christian Fernando; Wang, Xiaojie; Zhao, Ran; Cao, Xiaoling; Le, Jonathan; Fuentes, Melisa A; Jocoy, Shelby C; Rossi, Antoni R; Vu, Brian; Pham, Kim; Wang, Xiaoyang; Mali, Nanda Maya; Park, Jung Min; Choi, June-Hyug; Lee, Hyunsu; Legrand, Julien M D; Kandyba, Eve; Kim, Jung Chul; Kim, Moonkyu; Foley, John; Yu, Zhengquan; Kobielak, Krzysztof; Andersen, Bogi; Khosrotehrani, Kiarash; Nie, Qing; Plikus, Maksim V

    2017-01-01

    The control principles behind robust cyclic regeneration of hair follicles (HFs) remain unclear. Using multi-scale modeling, we show that coupling inhibitors and activators with physical growth of HFs is sufficient to drive periodicity and excitability of hair regeneration. Model simulations and experimental data reveal that mouse skin behaves as a heterogeneous regenerative field, composed of anatomical domains where HFs have distinct cycling dynamics. Interactions between fast-cycling chin and ventral HFs and slow-cycling dorsal HFs produce bilaterally symmetric patterns. Ear skin behaves as a hyper-refractory domain with HFs in extended rest phase. Such hyper-refractivity relates to high levels of BMP ligands and WNT antagonists, in part expressed by ear-specific cartilage and muscle. Hair growth stops at the boundaries with hyper-refractory ears and anatomically discontinuous eyelids, generating wave-breaking effects. We posit that similar mechanisms for coupled regeneration with dominant activator, hyper-refractory, and wave-breaker regions can operate in other actively renewing organs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22772.001 PMID:28695824

  6. 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.

  7. Integrated biology approach reveals molecular and pathological interactions among Alzheimer's Aβ42, Tau, TREM2, and TYROBP in Drosophila models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekiya, Michiko; Wang, Minghui; Fujisaki, Naoki; Sakakibara, Yasufumi; Quan, Xiuming; Ehrlich, Michelle E; De Jager, Philip L; Bennett, David A; Schadt, Eric E; Gandy, Sam; Ando, Kanae; Zhang, Bin; Iijima, Koichi M

    2018-03-29

    Cerebral amyloidosis, neuroinflammation, and tauopathy are key features of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but interactions among these features remain poorly understood. Our previous multiscale molecular network models of AD revealed TYROBP as a key driver of an immune- and microglia-specific network that was robustly associated with AD pathophysiology. Recent genetic studies of AD further identified pathogenic mutations in both TREM2 and TYROBP. In this study, we systematically examined molecular and pathological interactions among Aβ, tau, TREM2, and TYROBP by integrating signatures from transgenic Drosophila models of AD and transcriptome-wide gene co-expression networks from two human AD cohorts. Glial expression of TREM2/TYROBP exacerbated tau-mediated neurodegeneration and synergistically affected pathways underlying late-onset AD pathology, while neuronal Aβ42 and glial TREM2/TYROBP synergistically altered expression of the genes in synaptic function and immune modules in AD. The comprehensive pathological and molecular data generated through this study strongly validate the causal role of TREM2/TYROBP in driving molecular networks in AD and AD-related phenotypes in flies.

  8. Modeling chronic myeloid leukemia in immunodeficient mice reveals expansion of aberrant mast cells and accumulation of pre-B cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Askmyr, M; Ågerstam, H; Lilljebjörn, H; Hansen, N; Karlsson, C; Palffy, S von; Landberg, N; Högberg, C; Lassen, C; Rissler, M; Richter, J; Ehinger, M; Järås, M; Fioretos, T

    2014-01-01

    Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm that, if not treated, will progress into blast crisis (BC) of either myeloid or B lymphoid phenotype. The BCR-ABL1 fusion gene, encoding a constitutively active tyrosine kinase, is thought to be sufficient to cause chronic phase (CP) CML, whereas additional genetic lesions are needed for progression into CML BC. To generate a humanized CML model, we retrovirally expressed BCR-ABL1 in the cord blood CD34 + cells and transplanted these into NOD-SCID (non-obese diabetic/severe-combined immunodeficient) interleukin-2-receptor γ-deficient mice. In primary mice, BCR-ABL1 expression induced an inflammatory-like state in the bone marrow and spleen, and mast cells were the only myeloid lineage specifically expanded by BCR-ABL1. Upon secondary transplantation, the pronounced inflammatory phenotype was lost and mainly human mast cells and macrophages were found in the bone marrow. Moreover, a striking block at the pre-B-cell stage was observed in primary mice, resulting in an accumulation of pre-B cells. A similar block in B-cell differentiation could be confirmed in primary cells from CML patients. Hence, this humanized mouse model of CML reveals previously unexplored features of CP CML and should be useful for further studies to understand the disease pathogenesis of CML

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Analysis of the Serotonergic System in a Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome Reveals Unusual Upregulation of Serotonin Receptor 5b.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogelgesang, Steffen; Niebert, Sabine; Renner, Ute; Möbius, Wiebke; Hülsmann, Swen; Manzke, Till; Niebert, Marcus

    2017-01-01

    Mutations in the transcription factor methyl-CpG-binding-protein 2 (MeCP2) cause a delayed-onset neurodevelopmental disorder known as Rett syndrome (RTT). Although alteration in serotonin levels have been reported in RTT patients, the molecular mechanisms underlying these defects are not well understood. Therefore, we chose to investigate the serotonergic system in hippocampus and brainstem of male Mecp2 -/y knock-out mice in the B6.129P2(C)-Mecp2(tm1.1Bird) mouse model of RTT. The serotonergic system in mouse is comprised of 16 genes, whose mRNA expression profile was analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR. Mecp2 -/y mice are an established animal model for RTT displaying most of the cognitive and physical impairments of human patients and the selected areas receive significant modulation through serotonin. Using anatomically and functional characterized areas, we found region-specific differential expression between wild type and Mecp2 -/y mice at post-natal day 40. In brainstem, we found five genes to be dysregulated, while in hippocampus, two genes were dysregulated. The one gene dysregulated in both brain regions was dopamine decarboxylase, but of special interest is the serotonin receptor 5b (5-ht 5b ), which showed 75-fold dysregulation in brainstem of Mecp2 -/y mice. This dysregulation was not due to upregulation, but due to failure of down-regulation in Mecp2 -/y mice during development. Detailed analysis of 5-ht 5b revealed a receptor that localizes to endosomes and interacts with G αi proteins.

  12. 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.

  13. Metabolic and transcriptomic analysis of Huntington’s disease model reveal changes in intracellular glucose levels and related genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gepoliano Chaves

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Huntington’s Disease (HD is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expansion in a CAG-tri-nucleotide repeat that introduces a poly-glutamine stretch into the huntingtin protein (mHTT. Mutant huntingtin (mHTT has been associated with several phenotypes including mood disorders and depression. Additionally, HD patients are known to be more susceptible to type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM, and HD mice model develops diabetes. However, the mechanism and pathways that link Huntington’s disease and diabetes have not been well established. Understanding the underlying mechanisms can reveal potential targets for drug development in HD. In this study, we investigated the transcriptome of mHTT cell populations alongside intracellular glucose measurements using a functionalized nanopipette. Several genes related to glucose uptake and glucose homeostasis are affected. We observed changes in intracellular glucose concentrations and identified altered transcript levels of certain genes including Sorcs1, Hh-II and Vldlr. Our data suggest that these can be used as markers for HD progression. Sorcs1 may not only have a role in glucose metabolism and trafficking but also in glutamatergic pathways affecting trafficking of synaptic components.

  14. A novel approach to PTSD modeling in rats reveals alternating patterns of limbic activity in different types of stress reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritov, G; Boltyansky, B; Richter-Levin, G

    2016-05-01

    Human reactions to trauma exposure are extremely diverse, with some individuals exhibiting only time-limited distress and others qualifying for posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis (PTSD). Furthermore, whereas most PTSD patients mainly display fear-based symptoms, a minority of patients display a co-morbid anhedonic phenotype. We employed an individual profiling approach to model these intriguing facets of the psychiatric condition in underwater-trauma exposed rats. Based on long-term assessments of anxiety-like and anhedonic behaviors, our analysis uncovered three separate phenotypes of stress response; an anxious, fear-based (38%), a co-morbid, fear-anhedonic (15%), and an exposed-unaffected group (47%). Immunohistochemical assessments for cellular activation (c-Fos) and activation of inhibition (c-Fos+GAD67) revealed a differential involvement of limbic regions and distinct co-activity patterns for each of these phenotypes, validating the behavioral categorization. In accordance with recent neurocognitive hypotheses for posttraumatic depression, we show that enhanced pretrauma anxiety predicts the progression of posttraumatic anhedonia only in the fear-anhedonic phenotype.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilla Ceccatelli Berti

    2015-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A Murine Model for Human ECO Syndrome Reveals a Critical Role of Intestinal Cell Kinase in Skeletal Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Mengmeng; Jin, Li; Xie, Lin; Park, So Hyun; Tong, Yixin; Wu, Di; Chhabra, A Bobby; Fu, Zheng; Li, Xudong

    2018-03-01

    An autosomal-recessive inactivating mutation R272Q in the human intestinal cell kinase (ICK) gene caused profound multiplex developmental defects in human endocrine-cerebro-osteodysplasia (ECO) syndrome. ECO patients exhibited a wide variety of skeletal abnormalities, yet the underlying mechanisms by which ICK regulates skeletal development remained largely unknown. The goal of this study was to understand the structural and mechanistic basis underlying skeletal anomalies caused by ICK dysfunction. Ick R272Q knock-in transgenic mouse model not only recapitulated major ECO skeletal defects such as short limbs and polydactyly but also revealed a deformed spine with defective intervertebral disk. Loss of ICK function markedly reduced mineralization in the spinal column, ribs, and long bones. Ick mutants showed a significant decrease in the proliferation zone of long bones and the number of type X collagen-expressing hypertrophic chondrocytes in the spinal column and the growth plate of long bones. These results implicate that ICK plays an important role in bone and cartilage development by promoting chondrocyte proliferation and maturation. Our findings provided new mechanistic insights into the skeletal phenotype of human ECO and ECO-like syndromes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Mixture models reveal multiple positional bias types in RNA-Seq data and lead to accurate transcript concentration estimates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Tuerk

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Accuracy of transcript quantification with RNA-Seq is negatively affected by positional fragment bias. This article introduces Mix2 (rd. "mixquare", a transcript quantification method which uses a mixture of probability distributions to model and thereby neutralize the effects of positional fragment bias. The parameters of Mix2 are trained by Expectation Maximization resulting in simultaneous transcript abundance and bias estimates. We compare Mix2 to Cufflinks, RSEM, eXpress and PennSeq; state-of-the-art quantification methods implementing some form of bias correction. On four synthetic biases we show that the accuracy of Mix2 overall exceeds the accuracy of the other methods and that its bias estimates converge to the correct solution. We further evaluate Mix2 on real RNA-Seq data from the Microarray and Sequencing Quality Control (MAQC, SEQC Consortia. On MAQC data, Mix2 achieves improved correlation to qPCR measurements with a relative increase in R2 between 4% and 50%. Mix2 also yields repeatable concentration estimates across technical replicates with a relative increase in R2 between 8% and 47% and reduced standard deviation across the full concentration range. We further observe more accurate detection of differential expression with a relative increase in true positives between 74% and 378% for 5% false positives. In addition, Mix2 reveals 5 dominant biases in MAQC data deviating from the common assumption of a uniform fragment distribution. On SEQC data, Mix2 yields higher consistency between measured and predicted concentration ratios. A relative error of 20% or less is obtained for 51% of transcripts by Mix2, 40% of transcripts by Cufflinks and RSEM and 30% by eXpress. Titration order consistency is correct for 47% of transcripts for Mix2, 41% for Cufflinks and RSEM and 34% for eXpress. We, further, observe improved repeatability across laboratory sites with a relative increase in R2 between 8% and 44% and reduced standard deviation.

  3. Observations and operational model simulations reveal the impact of Hurricane Matthew (2016) on the Gulf Stream and coastal sea level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezer, Tal; Atkinson, Larry P.; Tuleya, Robert

    2017-12-01

    In October 7-9, 2016, Hurricane Matthew moved along the southeastern coast of the U.S., causing major flooding and significant damage, even to locations farther north well away from the storm's winds. Various observations, such as tide gauge data, cable measurements of the Florida Current (FC) transport, satellite altimeter data and high-frequency radar data, were analyzed to evaluate the impact of the storm. The data show a dramatic decline in the FC flow and increased coastal sea level along the U.S. coast. Weakening of the Gulf Stream (GS) downstream from the storm's area contributed to high coastal sea levels farther north. Analyses of simulations of an operational hurricane-ocean coupled model reveal the disruption that the hurricane caused to the GS flow, including a decline in transport of ∼20 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s-1). In comparison, the observed FC reached a maximum transport of ∼40 Sv before the storm on September 10 and a minimum of ∼20 Sv after the storm on October 12. The hurricane impacts both the geostrophic part of the GS and the wind-driven currents, generating inertial oscillations with velocities of up to ±1 m s-1. Analysis of the observed FC transport since 1982 indicated that the magnitude of the current weakening in October 2016 was quite rare (outside 3 standard deviations from the mean). Such a large FC weakening in the past occurred more often in October and November, but is extremely rare in June-August. Similar impacts on the FC from past tropical storms and hurricanes suggest that storms may contribute to seasonal and interannual variations in the FC. The results also demonstrated the extended range of coastal impacts that remote storms can cause through their influence on ocean currents.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Aursch, Mechita C.; Jokat, Wilfried

    2016-11-01

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

  5. Catchment tracers reveal discharge, recharge and sources of groundwater-borne pollutants in a novel lake modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, Emil; Madsen-Østerbye, Mikkel; Massicotte, Philippe; Pedersen, Ole; Markager, Stiig; Kragh, Theis

    2018-02-01

    groundwater discharge sites located mainly in the eastern part of the lake with a single site in the southern part. Observations from the eastern part of the lake revealed an impermeable clay layer that promotes discharge during heavy precipitation events, which would otherwise be difficult to identify using traditional hydrological methods. In comparison to the lake concentrations, high tracer concentrations in the southern part showed that only a smaller fraction of water could originate from this area, thereby confirming the model results. A Euclidean cluster analysis of δ18O isotopes identified recharge sites corresponding to areas adjacent to drainage channels, and a cluster analysis of the microbially influenced FDOM component C4 further identified five sites that showed a tendency towards high groundwater recharge rate. In conclusion, it was found that this methodology can be applied to smaller lakes within a short time frame, providing useful information regarding the WRT of the lake and more importantly the groundwater recharge and discharge sites around the lake. Thus, it is a tool for specific management of the catchment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad A Mannan

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannan, Ahmad A.; Toya, Yoshihiro; Shimizu, Kazuyuki; McFadden, Johnjoe; Kierzek, Andrzej M.; Rocco, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    An understanding of the dynamics of the metabolic profile of a bacterial cell is sought from a dynamical systems analysis of kinetic models. This modelling formalism relies on a deterministic mathematical description of enzyme kinetics and their metabolite regulation. However, it is severely impeded by the lack of available kinetic information, limiting the size of the system that can be modelled. Furthermore, the subsystem of the metabolic network whose dynamics can be modelled is faced with three problems: how to parameterize the model with mostly incomplete steady state data, how to close what is now an inherently open system, and how to account for the impact on growth. In this study we address these challenges of kinetic modelling by capitalizing on multi-‘omics’ steady state data and a genome-scale metabolic network model. We use these to generate parameters that integrate knowledge embedded in the genome-scale metabolic network model, into the most comprehensive kinetic model of the central carbon metabolism of E. coli realized to date. As an application, we performed a dynamical systems analysis of the resulting enriched model. This revealed bistability of the central carbon metabolism and thus its potential to express two distinct metabolic states. Furthermore, since our model-informing technique ensures both stable states are constrained by the same thermodynamically feasible steady state growth rate, the ensuing bistability represents a temporal coexistence of the two states, and by extension, reveals the emergence of a phenotypically heterogeneous population. PMID:26469081

  8. Adsorption of arsenic and phosphate onto the surface of calcite as revealed by batch experiments and surface complexation modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sø, Helle Ugilt

    in sorption edges, pKa’s and geometry of the two anions. The adsorption of arsenate and phosphate in the single sorbate systems was modelled successfully using either the constant capacitance model (CCM) for calcite or the CD-MUSIC model for calcite. Generally the models capture the variation in arsenate...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Wesseling, Hendrik; Guest, Paul; Lee, Chi-Ming; Wong, Erik; Rahmoune, Hassan; Bahn, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Over the last decade, the transgenic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) NR1-knockdown mouse (NR1neo-/-) has been investigated as a glutamate hypofunction model for schizophrenia. Recent research has now revealed that the model also recapitulates cognitive and negative symptoms in the continuum of other psychiatric diseases, particularly autism spectrum disorders (ASD). As previous studies have mostly focussed on behavioural readouts, a molecular characterisation of ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bultmann-Mellin, Insa; Conradi, Anne; Maul, Alexandra C

    2015-01-01

    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...

  11. 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.

  12. Mathematics revealed

    CERN Document Server

    Berman, Elizabeth

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLong, John P; Gibert, Jean P

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Computer Modeling Reveals that Modifications of the Histone Tail Charges Define Salt-Dependent Interaction of the Nucleosome Core Particles

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Ye; Lyubartsev, Alexander P.; Korolev, Nikolay; Nordenskiöld, Lars

    2009-01-01

    Coarse-grained Langevin molecular dynamics computer simulations were conducted for systems that mimic solutions of nucleosome core particles (NCPs). The NCP was modeled as a negatively charged spherical particle representing the complex of DNA and the globular part of the histones combined with attached strings of connected charged beads modeling the histone tails. The size, charge, and distribution of the tails relative to the core were built to match real NCPs. Three models of NCPs were con...

  15. A Geometrically-Constrained Mathematical Model of Mammary Gland Ductal Elongation Reveals Novel Cellular Dynamics within the Terminal End Bud.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Paine

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Mathematics is often used to model biological systems. In mammary gland development, mathematical modeling has been limited to acinar and branching morphogenesis and breast cancer, without reference to normal duct formation. We present a model of ductal elongation that exploits the geometrically-constrained shape of the terminal end bud (TEB, the growing tip of the duct, and incorporates morphometrics, region-specific proliferation and apoptosis rates. Iterative model refinement and behavior analysis, compared with biological data, indicated that the traditional metric of nipple to the ductal front distance, or percent fat pad filled to evaluate ductal elongation rate can be misleading, as it disregards branching events that can reduce its magnitude. Further, model driven investigations of the fates of specific TEB cell types confirmed migration of cap cells into the body cell layer, but showed their subsequent preferential elimination by apoptosis, thus minimizing their contribution to the luminal lineage and the mature duct.

  16. 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

    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 appr...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-03

    Gravity models are powerful tools for mapping tectonic structures, especially in the deep ocean basins where the topography remains unmapped by ships or is buried by thick sediment. We combined new radar altimeter measurements from satellites CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 with existing data to construct a global marine gravity model that is two times more accurate than previous models. We found an extinct spreading ridge in the Gulf of Mexico, a major propagating rift in the South Atlantic Ocean, abyssal hill fabric on slow-spreading ridges, and thousands of previously uncharted seamounts. These discoveries allow us to understand regional tectonic processes and highlight the importance of satellite-derived gravity models as one of the primary tools for the investigation of remote ocean basins. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. An empirical model of the Baltic Sea reveals the importance of social dynamics for ecological regime shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lade, Steven J; Niiranen, Susa; Hentati-Sundberg, Jonas; Blenckner, Thorsten; Boonstra, Wiebren J; Orach, Kirill; Quaas, Martin F; Österblom, Henrik; Schlüter, Maja

    2015-09-01

    Regime shifts triggered by human activities and environmental changes have led to significant ecological and socioeconomic consequences in marine and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Ecological processes and feedbacks associated with regime shifts have received considerable attention, but human individual and collective behavior is rarely treated as an integrated component of such shifts. Here, we used generalized modeling to develop a coupled social-ecological model that integrated rich social and ecological data to investigate the role of social dynamics in the 1980s Baltic Sea cod boom and collapse. We showed that psychological, economic, and regulatory aspects of fisher decision making, in addition to ecological interactions, contributed both to the temporary persistence of the cod boom and to its subsequent collapse. These features of the social-ecological system also would have limited the effectiveness of stronger fishery regulations. Our results provide quantitative, empirical evidence that incorporating social dynamics into models of natural resources is critical for understanding how resources can be managed sustainably. We also show that generalized modeling, which is well-suited to collaborative model development and does not require detailed specification of causal relationships between system variables, can help tackle the complexities involved in creating and analyzing social-ecological models.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  1. Striatal and Hippocampal Entropy and Recognition Signals in Category Learning: Simultaneous Processes Revealed by Model-Based fMRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Tyler; Love, Bradley C.; Preston, Alison R.

    2012-01-01

    Category learning is a complex phenomenon that engages multiple cognitive processes, many of which occur simultaneously and unfold dynamically over time. For example, as people encounter objects in the world, they simultaneously engage processes to determine their fit with current knowledge structures, gather new information about the objects, and adjust their representations to support behavior in future encounters. Many techniques that are available to understand the neural basis of category learning assume that the multiple processes that subserve it can be neatly separated between different trials of an experiment. Model-based functional magnetic resonance imaging offers a promising tool to separate multiple, simultaneously occurring processes and bring the analysis of neuroimaging data more in line with category learning’s dynamic and multifaceted nature. We use model-based imaging to explore the neural basis of recognition and entropy signals in the medial temporal lobe and striatum that are engaged while participants learn to categorize novel stimuli. Consistent with theories suggesting a role for the anterior hippocampus and ventral striatum in motivated learning in response to uncertainty, we find that activation in both regions correlates with a model-based measure of entropy. Simultaneously, separate subregions of the hippocampus and striatum exhibit activation correlated with a model-based recognition strength measure. Our results suggest that model-based analyses are exceptionally useful for extracting information about cognitive processes from neuroimaging data. Models provide a basis for identifying the multiple neural processes that contribute to behavior, and neuroimaging data can provide a powerful test bed for constraining and testing model predictions. PMID:22746951

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desta Teklay

    2007-02-01

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

  3. 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

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.These data provide significant insights into the molecular differences underlying the Flinders model, and have potential relevance to broader depression research.

  4. In vivo imaging reveals rapid astrocyte depletion and axon damage in a model of neuromyelitis optica-related pathology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herwerth, Marina; Kalluri, Sudhakar Reddy; Srivastava, Rajneesh

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune disease of the CNS, which resembles multiple sclerosis (MS). NMO differs from MS, however, in the distribution and histology of neuroinflammatory lesions and shows a more aggressive clinical course. Moreover, the majority of NMO patients carry...... of astrocyte injury in NMO and the mechanisms by which toxicity spreads to axons are not understood. METHODS: Here, we establish in vivo imaging of the spinal cord, one of the main sites of NMO pathology, as a powerful tool to study the formation of experimental NMO-related lesions caused by human AQP4...... antibody concentration and complement, specifically C1q. INTERPRETATION: In vivo imaging of the spinal cord reveals the swift development of NMO-related acute axon injury following AQP4 antibody-mediated astrocyte depletion. This approach will be useful in studying the mechanisms underlying the spread...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The cell division cycle of eukaryotes is governed by a complex network of cyclin-dependent protein kinases (CDKs) and auxiliary proteins that govern CDK activities. The control system must function reliably in the context of molecular noise that is inevitable in tiny yeast cells, because mistakes in sequencing cell cycle events are detrimental or fatal to the cell or its progeny. To assess the effects of noise on cell cycle progression requires not only extensive, quantitative, experimental measurements of cellular heterogeneity but also comprehensive, accurate, mathematical models of stochastic fluctuations in the CDK control system. In this paper we provide a stochastic model of the budding yeast cell cycle that accurately accounts for the variable phenotypes of wild-type cells and more than 20 mutant yeast strains simulated in different growth conditions. We specifically tested the role of feedback regulations mediated by G1- and SG2M-phase cyclins to minimize the noise in cell cycle progression. Details of the model are informed and tested by quantitative measurements (by fluorescence in situ hybridization) of the joint distributions of mRNA populations in yeast cells. We use the model to predict the phenotypes of ~30 mutant yeast strains that have not yet been characterized experimentally. PMID:27935947

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio S Quilodrán

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.

    1991-01-01

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

  10. Mathematical model reveals role of nucleotide signaling in airway surface liquid homeostasis and its dysregulation in cystic fibrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandefur, Conner I; Boucher, Richard C; Elston, Timothy C

    2017-08-29

    Mucociliary clearance is composed of three components (i.e., mucin secretion, airway surface hydration, and ciliary-activity) which function coordinately to clear inhaled microbes and other foreign particles from airway surfaces. Airway surface hydration is maintained by water fluxes driven predominantly by active chloride and sodium ion transport. The ion channels that mediate electrogenic ion transport are regulated by extracellular purinergic signals that signal through G protein-coupled receptors. These purinoreceptors and the signaling pathways they activate have been identified as possible therapeutic targets for treating lung disease. A systems-level description of airway surface liquid (ASL) homeostasis could accelerate development of such therapies. Accordingly, we developed a mathematical model to describe the dynamic coupling of ion and water transport to extracellular purinergic signaling. We trained our model from steady-state and time-dependent experimental measurements made using normal and cystic fibrosis (CF) cultured human airway epithelium. To reproduce CF conditions, reduced chloride secretion, increased potassium secretion, and increased sodium absorption were required. The model accurately predicted ASL height under basal normal and CF conditions and the collapse of surface hydration due to the accelerated nucleotide metabolism associated with CF exacerbations. Finally, the model predicted a therapeutic strategy to deliver nucleotide receptor agonists to effectively rehydrate the ASL of CF airways.

  11. 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.

  12. Rat models of 17β-estradiol-induced mammary cancer reveal novel insights into breast cancer etiology and prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shull, James D; Dennison, Kirsten L; Chack, Aaron C; Trentham-Dietz, Amy

    2018-03-01

    Numerous laboratory and epidemiologic studies strongly implicate endogenous and exogenous estrogens in the etiology of breast cancer. Data summarized herein suggest that the ACI rat model of 17β-estradiol (E2)-induced mammary cancer is unique among rodent models in the extent to which it faithfully reflects the etiology and biology of luminal types of breast cancer, which together constitute ~70% of all breast cancers. E2 drives cancer development in this model through mechanisms that are largely dependent upon estrogen receptors and require progesterone and its receptors. Moreover, mammary cancer development appears to be associated with generation of oxidative stress and can be modified by multiple dietary factors, several of which may attenuate the actions of reactive oxygen species. Studies of susceptible ACI rats and resistant COP or BN rats provide novel insights into the genetic bases of susceptibility and the biological processes regulated by genetic determinants of susceptibility. This review summarizes research progress resulting from use of these physiologically relevant rat models to advance understanding of breast cancer etiology and prevention.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Chuan

    2012-05-01

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

  15. High-speed video gait analysis reveals early and characteristic locomotor phenotypes in mouse models of neurodegenerative movement disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preisig, Daniel F; Kulic, Luka; Krüger, Maik; Wirth, Fabian; McAfoose, Jordan; Späni, Claudia; Gantenbein, Pascal; Derungs, Rebecca; Nitsch, Roger M; Welt, Tobias

    2016-09-15

    Neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system frequently affect the locomotor system resulting in impaired movement and gait. In this study we performed a whole-body high-speed video gait analysis in three different mouse lines of neurodegenerative movement disorders to investigate the motor phenotype. Based on precise computerized motion tracking of all relevant joints and the tail, a custom-developed algorithm generated individual and comprehensive locomotor profiles consisting of 164 spatial and temporal parameters. Gait changes observed in the three models corresponded closely to the classical clinical symptoms described in these disorders: Muscle atrophy due to motor neuron loss in SOD1 G93A transgenic mice led to gait characterized by changes in hind-limb movement and positioning. In contrast, locomotion in huntingtin N171-82Q mice modeling Huntington's disease with basal ganglia damage was defined by hyperkinetic limb movements and rigidity of the trunk. Harlequin mutant mice modeling cerebellar degeneration showed gait instability and extensive changes in limb positioning. Moreover, model specific gait parameters were identified and were shown to be more sensitive than conventional motor tests. Altogether, this technique provides new opportunities to decipher underlying disease mechanisms and test novel therapeutic approaches. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A systems biology model of the regulatory network in Populus leaves reveals interacting regulators and conserved regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hvidsten Torgeir R

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Green plant leaves have always fascinated biologists as hosts for photosynthesis and providers of basic energy to many food webs. Today, comprehensive databases of gene expression data enable us to apply increasingly more advanced computational methods for reverse-engineering the regulatory network of leaves, and to begin to understand the gene interactions underlying complex emergent properties related to stress-response and development. These new systems biology methods are now also being applied to organisms such as Populus, a woody perennial tree, in order to understand the specific characteristics of these species. Results We present a systems biology model of the regulatory network of Populus leaves. The network is reverse-engineered from promoter information and expression profiles of leaf-specific genes measured over a large set of conditions related to stress and developmental. The network model incorporates interactions between regulators, such as synergistic and competitive relationships, by evaluating increasingly more complex regulatory mechanisms, and is therefore able to identify new regulators of leaf development not found by traditional genomics methods based on pair-wise expression similarity. The approach is shown to explain available gene function information and to provide robust prediction of expression levels in new data. We also use the predictive capability of the model to identify condition-specific regulation as well as conserved regulation between Populus and Arabidopsis. Conclusions We outline a computationally inferred model of the regulatory network of Populus leaves, and show how treating genes as interacting, rather than individual, entities identifies new regulators compared to traditional genomics analysis. Although systems biology models should be used with care considering the complexity of regulatory programs and the limitations of current genomics data, methods describing interactions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. qDNAmod: a statistical model-based tool to reveal intercellular heterogeneity of DNA modification from SMRT sequencing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Zhixing; Li, Jing; Zhang, Jing-Ren; Zhang, Xuegong

    2014-01-01

    In an isogenic cell population, phenotypic heterogeneity among individual cells is common and critical for survival of the population under different environment conditions. DNA modification is an important epigenetic factor that can regulate phenotypic heterogeneity. The single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology provides a unique platform for detecting a wide range of DNA modifications, including N6-methyladenine (6-mA), N4-methylcytosine (4-mC) and 5-methylcytosine (5-mC). Here we present qDNAmod, a novel bioinformatic tool for genome-wide quantitative profiling of intercellular heterogeneity of DNA modification from SMRT sequencing data. It is capable of estimating proportion of isogenic haploid cells, in which the same loci of the genome are differentially modified. We tested the reliability of qDNAmod with the SMRT sequencing data of Streptococcus pneumoniae strain ST556. qDNAmod detected extensive intercellular heterogeneity of DNA methylation (6-mA) in a clonal population of ST556. Subsequent biochemical analyses revealed that the recognition sequences of two type I restriction–modification (R-M) systems are responsible for the intercellular heterogeneity of DNA methylation initially identified by qDNAmod. qDNAmod thus represents a valuable tool for studying intercellular phenotypic heterogeneity from genome-wide DNA modification. PMID:25404133

  19. Musical groove is correlated with properties of the audio signal as revealed by computational modelling, depending on musical style

    OpenAIRE

    Madison, Guy; Gouyon, Fabien; Ullén, Fredrik

    2009-01-01

    With groove we mean the subjective experience of wanting to move rhythmically when listening to music. Previous research has indicated that physical properties of the sound signal contribute to groove - as opposed to mere association due to previous exposure, for example. Here, a number of quantitative descriptors of rhythmic and temporal properties were derived from the audio signal by means of computational modelling methods. The music examples were 100 samples from 5 distinct music styles,...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torrealdea Javier

    2011-07-01

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

  1. Multistage Core Formation in Planetesimals Revealed by Numerical Modeling and Hf-W Chronometry of Iron Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, W.; Kruijer, T. S.; Breuer, D.; Kleine, T.

    2018-02-01

    Iron meteorites provide some of the most direct insights into the processes and timescales of core formation in planetesimals. Of these, group IVB irons stand out by having one of the youngest 182Hf-182W model ages for metal segregation (2.9 ± 0.6 Ma after solar system formation), as well as the lowest bulk sulfur content and hence highest liquidus temperature. Here, using a new model for the internal evolution of the IVB parent body, we show that a single stage of metal-silicate separation cannot account for the complete melting of pure Fe metal at the relatively late time given by the Hf-W model age. Instead, a complex metal-silicate separation scenario is required that includes migration of partial silicate melts, formation of a shallow magma ocean, and core formation in two distinct stages of metal segregation. In the first stage, a protocore formed at ≈1.5 Ma via settling of metal particles in a mantle magma ocean, followed by metal segregation from a shallow magma ocean at ≈5.4 Ma. As these stages of metal segregation occurred at different times, the two metal fractions had different 182W compositions. Consequently, the final 182W composition of the IVB core does not correspond to a single differentiation event, but represents the average composition of early- and late-segregated core fractions. Our best fit model indicates an ≈100 km radius for the IVB parent body and provides an accretion age of ≈0.1-0.5 Ma after solar system formation. The computed solidification time is, furthermore, consistent with the Re-Os age for crystallization of the IVB core.

  2. Proteomics reveals changes in hepatic proteins during chicken embryonic development: an alternative model to study human obesity

    OpenAIRE

    Peng, Mengling; Li, Shengnan; He, Qianian; Zhao, Jinlong; Li, Longlong; Ma, Haitian

    2018-01-01

    Background Chicken embryos are widely used as a model for studies of obesity; however, no detailed information is available about the dynamic changes of proteins during the regulation of adipose biology and metabolism. Thus, the present study used an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based proteomic approach to identify the changes in protein abundance at different stages of chicken embryonic development. Results In this study, the abundances of 293 hepatic proteins...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sina Haas

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

  4. Recent progress in econophysics: Chaos, leverage, and business cycles as revealed by agent-based modeling and human experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Chen; Huang, Ji-Ping

    2017-12-01

    Agent-based modeling and controlled human experiments serve as two fundamental research methods in the field of econophysics. Agent-based modeling has been in development for over 20 years, but how to design virtual agents with high levels of human-like "intelligence" remains a challenge. On the other hand, experimental econophysics is an emerging field; however, there is a lack of experience and paradigms related to the field. Here, we review some of the most recent research results obtained through the use of these two methods concerning financial problems such as chaos, leverage, and business cycles. We also review the principles behind assessments of agents' intelligence levels, and some relevant designs for human experiments. The main theme of this review is to show that by combining theory, agent-based modeling, and controlled human experiments, one can garner more reliable and credible results on account of a better verification of theory; accordingly, this way, a wider range of economic and financial problems and phenomena can be studied.

  5. Fibre recruitment and shape changes of knee ligaments during motion: as revealed by a computer graphics-based model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, T W; O'Connor, J J

    1996-01-01

    A computer graphics-based model of the knee ligaments in the sagittal plane was developed for the simulation and visualization of the shape changes and fibre recruitment process of the ligaments during motion under unloaded and loaded conditions. The cruciate and collateral ligaments were modelled as ordered arrays of fibres which link attachment areas on the tibia and femur. Fibres slacken and tighten as the ligament attachment areas on the bones rotate and translate relative to each other. A four-bar linkage, composed of the femur, tibia and selected isometric fibres of the two cruciates, was used to determine the motion of the femur relative to the tibia during passive (unloaded) movement. Fibres were assumed to slacken in a Euler buckling mode when the distances between their attachments are less than chosen reference lengths. The ligament shape changes and buckling patterns are demonstrated with computer graphics. When the tibia is translated anteriorly or posteriorly relative to the femur by muscle forces and external loads, some ligament fibres tighten and are recruited progressively to transmit increasing shear forces. The shape changes and fibre recruitment patterns predicted by the model compare well qualitatively with experimental results reported in the literature. The computer graphics approach provides insight into the micro behaviour of the knee ligaments. It may help to explain ligament injury mechanisms and provide useful information to guide the design of ligament replacements.

  6. Ground deformation source model at Kuchinoerabu-jima volcano during 2006-2014 as revealed by campaign GPS observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotta, Kohei; Iguchi, Masato

    2017-12-01

    We analyzed campaign Global Positioning System observation data in Kuchinoerabu-jima during 2006-2014. Most benchmarks located around Shin-dake crater showed crater-centered radial horizontal displacements. Horizontal displacements at western rim of the Shin-dake crater were tended to be larger compared to those at eastern rim. In addition, benchmark KUC14 which locates near the cliff at Furu-dake showed westward horizontal displacement rather than crater-centered radial (southward) one. Meanwhile, small displacements were detected at the benchmarks located at the foot of Kuchinoerabu-jima. We modeled the observed displacements applying a finite element method. We set entire FE domain as 100 × 100 × 50 km3. We set top of the domain as a free surface, and sides and bottom to be fixed boundaries. Topography was introduced in the area within Kuchinoerabu-jima using digital elevation model data provided by Kagoshima prefecture and elevation information from Google earth, and elevation of the outside area was assumed to be sea level. We assumed a stratified structure based on a one-dimensional P-wave velocity structure. We applied a vertical spheroid source model and searched optimal values of horizontal location, depth, equatorial and polar radiuses, and internal pressure change of the source using the forward modeling method. A spherical source with a radius of 50 m was obtained beneath the Shin-dake crater at a depth of 400 m above sea level. The internal pressure increase of 361 MPa yields its volume increase of 31,700 m3. Taking effects of topography and heterogeneity of ground into account allowed reproduction of overall deformation in Kuchinoerabu-jima. The location of deformation source coincides with hypocenters of shallow volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes and the aquifer estimated from a two-dimensional resistivity model by audio-frequency magnetotellurics method. The obtained deformation source may be corresponding to the pressurized aquifer, and shallow VT

  7. iTRAQ-based proteomic analysis reveals alterations in the liver induced by restricted meal frequency in a pig model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jingbo; Liu, Zhengqun; Chen, Liang; Zhang, Hongfu

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of meal frequency on metabolite levels in pig plasma and hepatic proteome by isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) analysis. Twenty-four pigs (60.7 ± 1.0 kg) consumed the same amount of feed either in 2 (M2, n = 12) or 12 (M12, n = 12) meals per day. After an 8-wk feeding period, plasma concentrations of metabolites and hormones, hepatic biochemical traits, and proteome (n = 4 per group) were measured. Pigs on the M12 regimen had lower average daily gain and gain-to-feed ratio than pigs fed the M2 regimen. The M2 regimen resulted in lower total lipid, glycogen, and triacylglycerol content in the liver and circulating triacylglycerol concentration than that in the M12 pigs. The metabolic hormone concentrations were not affected by meal frequency, with the exception of elevated fibroblast growth factor 21 concentrations in the M2 regimen compared with the M12 regimen. The iTRAQ-based proteomic analysis revealed 35 differentially expressed proteins in the liver between pigs fed two and 12 meals per day, and these differentially expressed proteins were involved in the regulation of general biological process such as glucose and energy metabolism, lipid metabolism, protein and amino acid metabolism, stress response, and cell redox homeostasis. Altogether, the proteomic results provide insights into the mechanism mediating the beneficial effects of restricted meal frequency on the metabolic fitness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. A Preclinical Model of Chronic Alcohol Consumption Reveals Increased Metastatic Seeding of Colon Cancer Cells in the Liver.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Im, Hwi-Jin; Kim, Hyeong-Geug; Lee, Jin-Seok; Kim, Hyo-Seon; Cho, Jung-Hyo; Jo, Il-Joo; Park, Sung-Joo; Son, Chang-Gue

    2016-04-01

    Liver metastasis is the main cause of death from colorectal cancer. Alcohol consumption impacts liver function and is suggested to be an independent risk factor for liver metastasis of colorectal cancer, but no experimental evidence supporting this hypothesis has been demonstrated to date. In this study, we investigated the effect of alcohol intake on liver metastasis. We examined colon cancer cell spread from the spleen in mice provided with water (control group), alcohol for 4 weeks before tumor injection (prealcohol), alcohol for 3 weeks after tumor injection (postalcohol), or alcohol throughout the 7-week study (alcohol). Alcohol intake significantly increased hepatic metastatic burden in the prealcohol (2.4-fold, P < 0.001), postalcohol (2.0-fold, P < 0.01), and alcohol groups (2.2-fold, P < 0.001). A fluorescence-based metastasis tracking assay also confirmed an alcohol-induced increase in the abundance of tumor cells in the liver (2.5-fold, P < 0.001). Investigation of the host microenvironment revealed an alcohol-induced inflammatory response marked by elevated TNFα, IL1β, IL6, and IFNγ protein levels, as well as increased expression of intercellular molecule-1 (ICAM1) in hepatic tissues after 4 weeks of alcohol consumption. Moreover, the peripheral blood of mice provided with alcohol for 4 weeks exhibited reduced natural killer and CD8(+) T-cell counts. Collectively, our findings suggest that chronic alcohol consumption accelerates liver metastasis of colorectal cancer cells through alterations to the liver microenvironment and inactivation of immune surveillance. Cancer Res; 76(7); 1698-704. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claas Wodarczyk

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Varun ePandey

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Modelling of metabolic networks is a powerful tool to analyse the behaviour of developing plant organs, including fruits. Guided by our current understanding of heterotrophic metabolism of plant cells, a medium-scale stoichiometric model, including the balance of co-factors and energy, was constructed in order to describe metabolic shifts that occur through the nine sequential stages of Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) fruit development. The measured concentrations of the main biomass components and the accumulated metabolites in the pericarp, determined at each stage, were fitted in order to calculate, by derivation, the corresponding external fluxes. They were used as constraints to solve the model by minimizing the internal fluxes. The distribution of the calculated fluxes of central metabolism were then analysed and compared with known metabolic behaviours. For instance, the partition of the main metabolic pathways (glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, etc.) was relevant throughout fruit development. We also predicted a valid import of carbon and nitrogen by the fruit, as well as a consistent CO2 release. Interestingly, the energetic balance indicates that excess ATP is dissipated just before the onset of ripening, supporting the concept of the climacteric crisis. Finally, the apparent contradiction between calculated fluxes with low values compared with measured enzyme capacities suggest a complex reprogramming of the metabolic machinery during fruit development. With a powerful set of experimental data and an accurate definition of the metabolic system, this work provides important insight into the metabolic and physiological requirements of the developing tomato fruits. © 2014 The Authors The Plant Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Modeling of soil nitrification responses to temperature reveals thermodynamic differences between ammonia-oxidizing activity of archaea and bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Anne E; Giguere, Andrew T; Zoebelein, Conor M; Myrold, David D; Bottomley, Peter J

    2017-04-01

    Soil nitrification potential (NP) activities of ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria (AOA and AOB, respectively) were evaluated across a temperature gradient (4-42 °C) imposed upon eight soils from four different sites in Oregon and modeled with both the macromolecular rate theory and the square root growth models to quantify the thermodynamic responses. There were significant differences in response by the dominant AOA and AOB contributing to the NPs. The optimal temperatures (T opt ) for AOA- and AOB-supported NPs were significantly different (P12 °C greater than AOB. The change in heat capacity associated with the temperature dependence of nitrification (ΔC P ‡ ) was correlated with T opt across the eight soils, and the ΔC P ‡ of AOB activity was significantly more negative than that of AOA activity (Ptemperature (T min ) and different, albeit very similar, maximum temperature (T max ) values for AOB than for AOA activity. The results also suggested that there may be different forms of AOA AMO that are active over different temperature ranges with different T min , but no evidence of multiple T min values within the AOB. Fundamental differences in temperature-influenced properties of nitrification driven by AOA and AOB provides support for the idea that the biochemical processes associated with NH 3 oxidation in AOA and AOB differ thermodynamically from each other, and that also might account for the difficulties encountered in attempting to model the response of nitrification to temperature change in soil environments.

  13. A genomic analysis of mouse models of breast cancer reveals molecular features of mouse models and relationships to human breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollern, Daniel P; Andrechek, Eran R

    2014-06-05

    Genomic variability limits the efficacy of breast cancer therapy. To simplify the study of the molecular complexity of breast cancer, researchers have used mouse mammary tumor models. However, the degree to which mouse models model human breast cancer and are reflective of the human heterogeneity has yet to be demonstrated with gene expression studies on a large scale. To this end, we have built a database consisting of 1,172 mouse mammary tumor samples from 26 different major oncogenic mouse mammary tumor models. In this dataset we identified heterogeneity within mouse models and noted a surprising amount of interrelatedness between models, despite differences in the tumor initiating oncogene. Making comparisons between models, we identified differentially expressed genes with alteration correlating with initiating events in each model. Using annotation tools, we identified transcription factors with a high likelihood of activity within these models. Gene signatures predicted activation of major cell signaling pathways in each model, predictions that correlated with previous genetic studies. Finally, we noted relationships between mouse models and human breast cancer at both the level of gene expression and predicted signal pathway activity. Importantly, we identified individual mouse models that recapitulate human breast cancer heterogeneity at the level of gene expression. This work underscores the importance of fully characterizing mouse tumor biology at molecular, histological and genomic levels before a valid comparison to human breast cancer may be drawn and provides an important bioinformatic resource.

  14. Analysis of the serotonergic system in a mouse model of Rett syndrome reveals unusual upregulation of serotonin receptor 5b

    OpenAIRE

    Vogelgesang, S.; Niebert, S.; Renner, U.; Möbius, W.; Hülsmann, S.; Manzke, T.; Niebert, M.

    2017-01-01

    Mutations in the transcription factor methyl-CpG-binding-protein 2 (MeCP2) cause a delayed-onset neurodevelopmental disorder known as Rett syndrome (RTT). Although alteration in serotonin levels have been reported in RTT patients, the molecular mechanisms underlying these defects are not well understood. Therefore, we chose to investigate the serotonergic system in hippocampus and brainstem of male Mecp2=y knock-out mice in the B6.129P2(C)-Mecp2(tm1.1Bird) mouse model of RTT. ...

  15. Time-transgressive tunnel-valley infill revealed by a three- dimensional sedimentary model, Hamburg, north-west Germany

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Janszen, Adriaan; Moreau, Julien; Moscariello, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    highly intricate and therefore difficult to predict. This study intends to improve the comprehension of the sedimentology and to establish a conceptual model of tunnel-valley infill, which can be used as a predictive tool. To this end, the densely sampled, Pleistocene tunnel valleys in Hamburg (north...... succession filling the Hamburg area tunnel valleys can be subdivided into three distinct units, which are distinguished by their inferred depositional proximity to the ice margin. The overall trend of the succession shows a progressive decrease in transport energy and glacial influence through time. The rate...

  16. Noninvasive monitoring of treatment response in a rabbit cyanide toxicity model reveals differences in brain and muscle metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jae G.; Lee, Jangwoen; Mahon, Sari B.; Mukai, David; Patterson, Steven E.; Boss, Gerry R.; Tromberg, Bruce J.; Brenner, Matthew

    2012-10-01

    Noninvasive near infrared spectroscopy measurements were performed to monitor cyanide (CN) poisoning and recovery in the brain region and in foreleg muscle simultaneously, and the effects of a novel CN antidote, sulfanegen sodium, on tissue hemoglobin oxygenation changes were compared using a sub-lethal rabbit model. The results demonstrated that the brain region is more susceptible to CN poisoning and slower in endogenous CN detoxification following exposure than peripheral muscles. However, sulfanegen sodium rapidly reversed CN toxicity, with brain region effects reversing more quickly than muscle. In vivo monitoring of multiple organs may provide important clinical information regarding the extent of CN toxicity and subsequent recovery, and facilitate antidote drug development.

  17. Zebrafish models for dyskeratosis congenita reveal critical roles of p53 activation contributing to hematopoietic defects through RNA processing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Zhang

    Full Text Available Dyskeratosis congenita (DC is a rare bone marrow failure syndrome in which hematopoietic defects are the main cause of mortality. The most studied gene responsible for DC pathogenesis is DKC1 while mutations in several other genes encoding components of the H/ACA RNP telomerase complex, which is involved in ribosomal RNA(rRNA processing and telomere maintenance, have also been implicated. GAR1/nola1 is one of the four core proteins of the H/ACA RNP complex. Through comparative analysis of morpholino oligonucleotide induced knockdown of dkc1 and a retrovirus insertion induced mutation of GAR1/nola1 in zebrafish, we demonstrate that hematopoietic defects are specifically recapitulated in these models and that these defects are significantly reduced in a p53 null mutant background. We further show that changes in telomerase activity are undetectable at the early stages of DC pathogenesis but rRNA processing is clearly defective. Our data therefore support a model that deficiency in dkc1 and nola1 in the H/ACA RNP complex likely contributes to the hematopoietic phenotype through p53 activation associated with rRNA processing defects rather than telomerase deficiency during the initial stage of DC pathogenesis.

  18. In vivo magnetic resonance studies reveal neuroanatomical and neurochemical abnormalities in the serine racemase knockout mouse model of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puhl, Matthew D; Mintzopoulos, Dionyssios; Jensen, J Eric; Gillis, Timothy E; Konopaske, Glenn T; Kaufman, Marc J; Coyle, Joseph T

    2015-01-01

    Decreased availability of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) co-agonist D-serine is thought to promote NMDAR hypofunction and contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, including neuroanatomical abnormalities, such as cortical atrophy and ventricular enlargement, and neurochemical abnormalities, such as aberrant glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling. It is thought that these abnormalities directly relate to the negative symptoms and cognitive impairments that are hallmarks of the disorder. Because of the genetic complexity of schizophrenia, animal models of the disorder are extremely valuable for the study of genetically predisposing factors. Our laboratory developed a transgenic mouse model lacking serine racemase (SR), the synthetic enzyme of d-serine, polymorphisms of which are associated with schizophrenia. Null mutants (SR-/-) exhibit NMDAR hypofunction and cognitive impairments. We used 9.4 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and proton spectroscopy (MRS) to compare in vivo brain structure and neurochemistry in wildtype (WT) and SR-/- mice. Mice were anesthetized with isoflurane for MRI and MRS scans. Compared to WT controls, SR-/- mice exhibited 23% larger ventricular volumes (pcomparable to those previously reported in humans with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Overlooked habitat of a vulnerable gorgonian revealed in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic by ecological niche modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boavida, Joana; Assis, Jorge; Silva, Inga; Serrão, Ester A

    2016-11-14

    Factors shaping the distribution of mesophotic octocorals (30-200 m depth) remain poorly understood, potentially leaving overlooked coral areas, particularly near their bathymetric and geographic distributional limits. Yet, detailed knowledge about habitat requirements is crucial for conservation of sensitive gorgonians. Here we use Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) relating thirteen environmental predictors and a highly comprehensive presence dataset, enhanced by SCUBA diving surveys, to investigate the suitable habitat of an important structuring species, Paramuricea clavata, throughout its distribution (Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic). Models showed that temperature (11.5-25.5 °C) and slope are the most important predictors carving the niche of P. clavata. Prediction throughout the full distribution (TSS 0.9) included known locations of P. clavata alongside with previously unknown or unreported sites along the coast of Portugal and Africa, including seamounts. These predictions increase the understanding of the potential distribution for the northern Mediterranean and indicate suitable hard bottom areas down to >150 m depth. Poorly sampled habitats with predicted presence along Algeria, Alboran Sea and adjacent Atlantic coasts encourage further investigation. We propose that surveys of target areas from the predicted distribution map, together with local expert knowledge, may lead to discoveries of new P. clavata sites and identify priority conservation areas.

  20. Whole Genome and Global Gene Expression Analyses of the Model Mushroom Flammulina velutipes Reveal a High Capacity for Lignocellulose Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Young-Jin; Baek, Jeong Hun; Lee, Seonwook; Kim, Changhoon; Rhee, Hwanseok; Kim, Hyungtae; Seo, Jeong-Sun; Park, Hae-Ran; Yoon, Dae-Eun; Nam, Jae-Young; Kim, Hong-Il; Kim, Jong-Guk; Yoon, Hyeokjun; Kang, Hee-Wan; Cho, Jae-Yong; Song, Eun-Sung; Sung, Gi-Ho; Yoo, Young-Bok; Lee, Chang-Soo; Lee, Byoung-Moo; Kong, Won-Sik

    2014-01-01

    Flammulina velutipes is a fungus with health and medicinal benefits that has been used for consumption and cultivation in East Asia. F. velutipes is also known to degrade lignocellulose and produce ethanol. The overlapping interests of mushroom production and wood bioconversion make F. velutipes an attractive new model for fungal wood related studies. Here, we present the complete sequence of the F. velutipes genome. This is the first sequenced genome for a commercially produced edible mushroom that also degrades wood. The 35.6-Mb genome contained 12,218 predicted protein-encoding genes and 287 tRNA genes assembled into 11 scaffolds corresponding with the 11 chromosomes of strain KACC42780. The 88.4-kb mitochondrial genome contained 35 genes. Well-developed wood degrading machinery with strong potential for lignin degradation (69 auxiliary activities, formerly FOLymes) and carbohydrate degradation (392 CAZymes), along with 58 alcohol dehydrogenase genes were highly expressed in the mycelium, demonstrating the potential application of this organism to bioethanol production. Thus, the newly uncovered wood degrading capacity and sequential nature of this process in F. velutipes, offer interesting possibilities for more detailed studies on either lignin or (hemi-) cellulose degradation in complex wood substrates. The mutual interest in wood degradation by the mushroom industry and (ligno-)cellulose biomass related industries further increase the significance of F. velutipes as a new model. PMID:24714189

  1. In Silico Modeling of Liver Metabolism in a Human Disease Reveals a Key Enzyme for Histidine and Histamine Homeostasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Pagliarini

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Primary hyperoxaluria type I (PH1 is an autosomal-recessive inborn error of liver metabolism caused by alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGT deficiency. In silico modeling of liver metabolism in PH1 recapitulated accumulation of known biomarkers as well as alteration of histidine and histamine levels, which we confirmed in vitro, in vivo, and in PH1 patients. AGT-deficient mice showed decreased vascular permeability, a readout of in vivo histamine activity. Histamine reduction is most likely caused by increased catabolism of the histamine precursor histidine, triggered by rerouting of alanine flux from AGT to the glutamic-pyruvate transaminase (GPT, also known as the alanine-transaminase ALT. Alanine administration reduces histamine levels in wild-type mice, while overexpression of GPT in PH1 mice increases plasma histidine, normalizes histamine levels, restores vascular permeability, and decreases urinary oxalate levels. Our work demonstrates that genome-scale metabolic models are clinically relevant and can link genotype to phenotype in metabolic disorders.

  2. A free-form lensing model of A370 revealing stellar mass dominated BCGs, in Hubble Frontier Fields images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego, Jose M.; Schmidt, Kasper B.; Broadhurst, Tom; Lam, Daniel; Vega-Ferrero, Jesús; Zheng, Wei; Lee, Slanger; Morishita, Takahiro; Bernstein, Gary; Lim, Jeremy; Silk, Joseph; Ford, Holland

    2018-02-01

    We derive a free-form mass distribution for the unrelaxed cluster A370 (z = 0.375), using the first release of the Hubble Frontier Fields images (76 orbits) and GLASS spectroscopy. Starting from a reliable set of 10 multiply lensed systems, we produce a free-form lens model that identifies ≈80 multiple images. Good consistency is found between models using independent subsamples of these lensed systems, with detailed agreement for the well-resolved arcs. The mass distribution has two very similar concentrations centred on the two prominent brightest cluster galaxies (or BCGs), with mass profiles that are accurately constrained by a uniquely useful system of long radially lensed images centred on both BCGs. We show that the lensing mass profiles of these BCGs are mainly accounted for by their stellar mass profiles, with a modest contribution from dark matter within r normal galaxies for which dark matter should dominate over stars. Growth via merging between BCGs is, however, consistent with this finding, so that stars still dominate over dark matter. We do not observe any significant offset between the positions of the peaks of the dark matter distribution and the light distribution.

  3. Proteomic analysis of germinal vesicles in the domestic cat model reveals candidate nuclear proteins involved in oocyte competence acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, P-C; Wildt, D E; Comizzoli, P

    2018-01-01

    Do nuclear proteins in the germinal vesicle (GV) contribute to oocyte competence acquisition during folliculogenesis? Proteomic analysis of GVs identified candidate proteins for oocyte competence acquisition, including a key RNA processing protein-heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 (hnRNPA2B1). The domestic cat GV, which is physiologically similar to the human GV, gains the intrinsic ability to resume meiosis and support early embryo development during the pre-antral-to-antral follicle transition. However, little is known about nuclear proteins that contribute to this developmental process. GVs were enriched from pre-antral (incompetent) and antral (competent) follicles from 802 cat ovaries. Protein lysates were subjected to quantitative proteomic analysis to identify differentially expressed proteins in GVs from the two follicular categories. Two biological replicates (from independent pools of ovaries) of pre-antral versus antral samples were labeled by tandem mass tags and then assessed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Proteomic data were analyzed according to gene ontology and a protein-protein interaction network. Immunofluorescent staining and protein inhibition assays were used for validation. A total of 174 nuclear proteins was identified, with 54 being up-regulated and 22 down-regulated (≥1.5-fold) after antrum formation. Functional protein analysis through gene ontology over-representation tests revealed that changes in molecular network within the GVs during this transitional phase were related to chromatin reorganization, gene transcription, and maternal RNA processing and storage. Protein inhibition assays verified that hnRNPA2B1, a key nuclear protein identified, was required for oocyte meiotic maturation and subsequent blastocyst formation. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD007211. Proteins identified by proteomic comparison may (i) be involved in processes other than competence acquisition

  4. Computer modeling reveals that modifications of the histone tail charges define salt-dependent interaction of the nucleosome core particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ye; Lyubartsev, Alexander P; Korolev, Nikolay; Nordenskiöld, Lars

    2009-03-18

    Coarse-grained Langevin molecular dynamics computer simulations were conducted for systems that mimic solutions of nucleosome core particles (NCPs). The NCP was modeled as a negatively charged spherical particle representing the complex of DNA and the globular part of the histones combined with attached strings of connected charged beads modeling the histone tails. The size, charge, and distribution of the tails relative to the core were built to match real NCPs. Three models of NCPs were constructed to represent different extents of covalent modification on the histone tails: (nonmodified) recombinant (rNCP), acetylated (aNCP), and acetylated and phosphorylated (paNCP). The simulation cell contained 10 NCPs in a dielectric continuum with explicit mobile counterions and added salt. The NCP-NCP interaction is decisively dependent on the modification state of the histone tails and on salt conditions. Increasing the monovalent salt concentration (KCl) from salt-free to physiological concentration leads to NCP aggregation in solution for rNCP, whereas NCP associates are observed only occasionally in the system of aNCPs. In the presence of divalent salt (Mg(2+)), rNCPs form dense stable aggregates, whereas aNCPs form aggregates less frequently. Aggregates are formed via histone-tail bridging and accumulation of counterions in the regions of NCP-NCP contacts. The paNCPs do not show NCP-NCP interaction upon addition of KCl or in the presence of Mg(2+). Simulations for systems with a gradual substitution of K(+) for Mg(2+), to mimic the Mg(2+) titration of an NCP solution, were performed. The rNCP system showed stronger aggregation that occurred at lower concentrations of added Mg(2+), compared to the aNCP system. Additional molecular dynamics simulations performed with a single NCP in the simulation cell showed that detachment of the tails from the NCP core was modest under a wide range of salt concentrations. This implies that salt-induced tail dissociation of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y; Zhang, K; Wasala, N B; Duan, D; Yao, G

    2015-02-01

    Optical polarization tractography (OPT) was recently developed to visualize tissue fiber architecture with cellular-level resolution and accuracy. In this study, we explored the feasibility of using OPT to study muscle disease in the mdx4cv mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The freshly dissected tibialis anterior muscles of mdx4cv and normal mice were imaged. A "fiber disarray index" (FDI) was developed to quantify the myofiber disorganization. In necrotic muscle regions of the mdx4cv mice, the FDI was significantly elevated and can be used to segment the 3D necrotic regions for assessing the overall muscle damage. These results demonstrated the OPT's capability for imaging microscopic fiber alternations in muscle research.

  6. Genesis of Twin Tropical Cyclones as Revealed by a Global Mesoscale Model: The Role of Mixed Rossby Gravity Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Bo-Wen; Tao, Wei-Kuo; Lin, Yuh-Lang; Laing, Arlene

    2012-01-01

    In this study, it is proposed that twin tropical cyclones (TCs), Kesiny and 01A, in May 2002 formed in association with the scale interactions of three gyres that appeared as a convectively coupled mixed Rossby gravity (ccMRG) wave during an active phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This is shown by analyzing observational data, including NCEP reanalysis data and METEOSAT 7 IR satellite imagery, and performing numerical simulations using a global mesoscale model. A 10-day control run is initialized at 0000 UTC 1 May 2002 with grid-scale condensation but no sub-grid cumulus parameterizations. The ccMRG wave was identified as encompassing two developing and one non-developing gyres, the first two of which intensified and evolved into the twin TCs. The control run is able to reproduce the evolution of the ccMRG wave and thus the formation of the twin TCs about two and five days in advance as well as their subsequent intensity evolution and movement within an 8-10 day period. Five additional 10-day sensitivity experiments with different model configurations are conducted to help understand the interaction of the three gyres, leading to the formation of the TCs. These experiments suggest the improved lead time in the control run may be attributed to the realistic simulation of the ccMRG wave with the following processes: (1) wave deepening (intensification) associated with a reduction in wavelength and/or the intensification of individual gyres, (2) poleward movement of gyres that may be associated with boundary layer processes, (3) realistic simulation of moist processes at regional scales in association with each of the gyres, and (4) the vertical phasing of low- and mid-level cyclonic circulations associated with a specific gyre.

  7. An adult osteopetrosis model in medaka reveals the importance of osteoclast function for bone remodeling in teleost fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, Thuy Thanh; Witten, Paul Eckhard; Huysseune, Ann; Winkler, Christoph

    2015-12-01

    Osteoclasts play important roles during bone growth and in maintaining bone health and bone homeostasis. Dysfunction or lack of osteoclasts leads to increased bone mass and osteopetrosis phenotypes in mouse and human. Here we report a severe osteopetrosis-like phenotype in transgenic medaka fish, in which membrane bound EGFP (mEGFP) was expressed in osteoclasts under control of the cathepsin K promoter (ctsk:mEGFP). In contrast to reporter lines with GFP expression in the cytoplasm of osteoclasts, adult fish of the mEGFP line developed bone defects indicative for an osteoclast dysfunction. Activity of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) was down-regulated and excess bone was observed in most parts of the skeleton. The osteopetrotic phenotype was particularly obvious at the neural and haemal arches that failed to increase their volume in growing fish. Excess bone caused severe constriction of the spinal cord and the ventral aorta. The continuation of tooth development and the failure to shed teeth resulted in severe hyperdontia. Interestingly, at the vertebral column vertebral body arches displayed a severe osteopetrosis, while vertebral centra had no or only a mild osteopetrotic phenotype. This confirms previous reports from cichlids that, different from the arches, allometric growth of fish vertebral centra initially does not depend on the action of osteoclasts. Independent developmental mechanism that shapes arches and vertebral centra can also lend support to the hypothesis that vertebral centra and arches function as independent developmental modules. Together, this medaka osteopetrosis model confirms the importance of proper osteoclast function during normal skeletal development in teleost fish that requires bone modeling and remodeling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. An integrated model of multiple-condition ChIP-Seq data reveals predeterminants of Cdx2 binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun Mahony

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Regulatory proteins can bind to different sets of genomic targets in various cell types or conditions. To reliably characterize such condition-specific regulatory binding we introduce MultiGPS, an integrated machine learning approach for the analysis of multiple related ChIP-seq experiments. MultiGPS is based on a generalized Expectation Maximization framework that shares information across multiple experiments for binding event discovery. We demonstrate that our framework enables the simultaneous modeling of sparse condition-specific binding changes, sequence dependence, and replicate-specific noise sources. MultiGPS encourages consistency in reported binding event locations across multiple-condition ChIP-seq datasets and provides accurate estimation of ChIP enrichment levels at each event. MultiGPS's multi-experiment modeling approach thus provides a reliable platform for detecting differential binding enrichment across experimental conditions. We demonstrate the advantages of MultiGPS with an analysis of Cdx2 binding in three distinct developmental contexts. By accurately characterizing condition-specific Cdx2 binding, MultiGPS enables novel insight into the mechanistic basis of Cdx2 site selectivity. Specifically, the condition-specific Cdx2 sites characterized by MultiGPS are highly associated with pre-existing genomic context, suggesting that such sites are pre-determined by cell-specific regulatory architecture. However, MultiGPS-defined condition-independent sites are not predicted by pre-existing regulatory signals, suggesting that Cdx2 can bind to a subset of locations regardless of genomic environment. A summary of this paper appears in the proceedings of the RECOMB 2014 conference, April 2-5.

  9. Hidden Markov model analysis reveals the advantage of analytic eye movement patterns in face recognition across cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuk, Tim; Crookes, Kate; Hayward, William G; Chan, Antoni B; Hsiao, Janet H

    2017-12-01

    It remains controversial whether culture modulates eye movement behavior in face recognition. Inconsistent results have been reported regarding whether cultural differences in eye movement patterns exist, whether these differences affect recognition performance, and whether participants use similar eye movement patterns when viewing faces from different ethnicities. These inconsistencies may be due to substantial individual differences in eye movement patterns within a cultural group. Here we addressed this issue by conducting individual-level eye movement data analysis using hidden Markov models (HMMs). Each individual's eye movements were modeled with an HMM. We clustered the individual HMMs according to their similarities and discovered three common patterns in both Asian and Caucasian participants: holistic (looking mostly at the face center), left-eye-biased analytic (looking mostly at the two individual eyes in addition to the face center with a slight bias to the left eye), and right-eye-based analytic (looking mostly at the right eye in addition to the face center). The frequency of participants adopting the three patterns did not differ significantly between Asians and Caucasians, suggesting little modulation from culture. Significantly more participants (75%) showed similar eye movement patterns when viewing own- and other-race faces than different patterns. Most importantly, participants with left-eye-biased analytic patterns performed significantly better than those using either holistic or right-eye-biased analytic patterns. These results suggest that active retrieval of facial feature information through an analytic eye movement pattern may be optimal for face recognition regardless of culture. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Demographic modelling with whole-genome data reveals parallel origin of similar Pundamilia cichlid species after hybridization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Joana I; Sousa, Vitor C; Marques, David A; Selz, Oliver M; Wagner, Catherine E; Excoffier, Laurent; Seehausen, Ole

    2017-01-01

    Modes and mechanisms of speciation are best studied in young species pairs. In older taxa, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish what happened during speciation from what happened after speciation. Lake Victoria cichlids in the genus Pundamilia encompass a complex of young species and polymorphic populations. One Pundamilia species pair, P. pundamilia and P. nyererei, is particularly well suited to study speciation because sympatric population pairs occur with different levels of phenotypic differentiation and reproductive isolation at different rocky islands within the lake. Genetic distances between allopatric island populations of the same nominal species often exceed those between the sympatric species. It thus remained unresolved whether speciation into P. nyererei and P. pundamilia occurred once, followed by geographical range expansion and interspecific gene flow in local sympatry, or if the species pair arose repeatedly by parallel speciation. Here, we use genomic data and demographic modelling to test these alternative evolutionary scenarios. We demonstrate that gene flow plays a strong role in shaping the observed patterns of genetic similarity, including both gene flow between sympatric species and gene flow between allopatric populations, as well as recent and early gene flow. The best supported model for the origin of P. pundamilia and P. nyererei population pairs at two different islands is one where speciation happened twice, whereby the second speciation event follows shortly after introgression from an allopatric P. nyererei population that arose earlier. Our findings support the hypothesis that very similar species may arise repeatedly, potentially facilitated by introgressed genetic variation. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. A novel Zika virus mouse model reveals strain specific differences in virus pathogenesis and host inflammatory immune responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shashank Tripathi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Zika virus (ZIKV is a mosquito borne flavivirus, which was a neglected tropical pathogen until it emerged and spread across the Pacific Area and the Americas, causing large human outbreaks associated with fetal abnormalities and neurological disease in adults. The factors that contributed to the emergence, spread and change in pathogenesis of ZIKV are not understood. We previously reported that ZIKV evades cellular antiviral responses by targeting STAT2 for degradation in human cells. In this study, we demonstrate that Stat2-/- mice are highly susceptible to ZIKV infection, recapitulate virus spread to the central nervous system (CNS, gonads and other visceral organs, and display neurological symptoms. Further, we exploit this model to compare ZIKV pathogenesis caused by a panel of ZIKV strains of a range of spatiotemporal history of isolation and representing African and Asian lineages. We observed that African ZIKV strains induce short episodes of severe neurological symptoms followed by lethality. In comparison, Asian strains manifest prolonged signs of neuronal malfunctions, occasionally causing death of the Stat2-/- mice. African ZIKV strains induced higher levels of inflammatory cytokines and markers associated with cellular infiltration in the infected brain in mice, which may explain exacerbated pathogenesis in comparison to those of the Asian lineage. Interestingly, viral RNA levels in different organs did not correlate with the pathogenicity of the different strains. Taken together, we have established a new murine model that supports ZIKV infection and demonstrate its utility in highlighting intrinsic differences in the inflammatory response induced by different ZIKV strains leading to severity of disease. This study paves the way for the future interrogation of strain-specific changes in the ZIKV genome and their contribution to viral pathogenesis.

  12. A zebrafish transgenic model of Ewing’s sarcoma reveals conserved mediators of EWS-FLI1 tumorigenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie W. Leacock

    2012-01-01

    Ewing’s sarcoma, a malignant bone tumor of children and young adults, is a member of the small-round-blue-cell tumor family. Ewing’s sarcoma family tumors (ESFTs, which include peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs, are characterized by chromosomal translocations that generate fusions between the EWS gene and ETS-family transcription factors, most commonly FLI1. The EWS-FLI1 fusion oncoprotein represents an attractive therapeutic target for treatment of Ewing’s sarcoma. The cell of origin of ESFT and the molecular mechanisms by which EWS-FLI1 mediates tumorigenesis remain unknown, and few animal models of Ewing’s sarcoma exist. Here, we report the use of zebrafish as a vertebrate model of EWS-FLI1 function and tumorigenesis. Mosaic expression of the human EWS-FLI1 fusion protein in zebrafish caused the development of tumors with histology strongly resembling that of human Ewing’s sarcoma. The incidence of tumors increased in a p53 mutant background, suggesting that the p53 pathway suppresses EWS-FLI1-driven tumorigenesis. Gene expression profiling of the zebrafish tumors defined a set of genes that might be regulated by EWS-FLI1, including the zebrafish ortholog of a crucial EWS-FLI1 target gene in humans. Stable zebrafish transgenic lines expressing EWS-FLI1 under the control of the heat-shock promoter exhibit altered embryonic development and defective convergence and extension, suggesting that EWS-FLI1 interacts with conserved developmental pathways. These results indicate that functional targets of EWS-FLI1 that mediate tumorigenesis are conserved from zebrafish to human and provide a novel context in which to study the function of this fusion oncogene.

  13. Bioenergetics-based modeling of Plasmodium falciparum metabolism reveals its essential genes, nutritional requirements, and thermodynamic bottlenecks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anush Chiappino-Pepe

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Novel antimalarial therapies are urgently needed for the fight against drug-resistant parasites. The metabolism of malaria parasites in infected cells is an attractive source of drug targets but is rather complex. Computational methods can handle this complexity and allow integrative analyses of cell metabolism. In this study, we present a genome-scale metabolic model (iPfa of the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and its thermodynamics-based flux analysis (TFA. Using previous absolute concentration data of the intraerythrocytic parasite, we applied TFA to iPfa and predicted up to 63 essential genes and 26 essential pairs of genes. Of the 63 genes, 35 have been experimentally validated and reported in the literature, and 28 have not been experimentally tested and include previously hypothesized or novel predictions of essential metabolic capabilities. Without metabolomics data, four of the genes would have been incorrectly predicted to be non-essential. TFA also indicated that substrate channeling should exist in two metabolic pathways to ensure the thermodynamic feasibility of the flux. Finally, analysis of the metabolic capabilities of P. falciparum led to the identification of both the minimal nutritional requirements and the genes that can become indispensable upon substrate inaccessibility. This model provides novel insight into the metabolic needs and capabilities of the malaria parasite and highlights metabolites and pathways that should be measured and characterized to identify potential thermodynamic bottlenecks and substrate channeling. The hypotheses presented seek to guide experimental studies to facilitate a better understanding of the parasite metabolism and the identification of targets for more efficient intervention.

  14. Noncompetitive Inhibition of 5-HT3 Receptors by Citral, Linalool, and Eucalyptol Revealed by Nonlinear Mixed-Effects Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, Gavin E.; Barbosa, Roseli

    2016-01-01

    Citral, eucalyptol, and linalool are widely used as flavorings, fragrances, and cosmetics. Here, we examined their effects on electrophysiological and binding properties of human 5-HT3 receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes and human embryonic kidney 293 cells, respectively. Data were analyzed using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling to account for random variance in the peak current response between oocytes. The oils caused an insurmountable inhibition of 5‐HT–evoked currents (citral IC50 = 120 µM; eucalyptol = 258 µM; linalool = 141 µM) and did not compete with fluorescently labeled granisetron, suggesting a noncompetitive mechanism of action. Inhibition was not use‐dependent but required a 30-second preapplication. Compound washout caused a slow (∼180 seconds) but complete recovery. Coapplication of the oils with bilobalide or diltiazem indicated they did not bind at the same locations as these channel blockers. Homology modeling and ligand docking predicted binding to a transmembrane cavity at the interface of adjacent subunits. Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry showed that an essential oil extracted from Lippia alba contained 75.9% citral. This inhibited expressed 5‐HT3 receptors (IC50 = 45 µg ml−1) and smooth muscle contractions in rat trachea (IC50 = 200 µg ml−1) and guinea pig ileum (IC50 = 20 µg ml−1), providing a possible mechanistic explanation for why this oil has been used to treat gastrointestinal and respiratory ailments. These results demonstrate that citral, eucalyptol, and linalool inhibit 5-HT3 receptors, and their binding to a conserved cavity suggests a valuable target for novel allosteric modulators. PMID:26669427

  15. Proteomics reveals changes in hepatic proteins during chicken embryonic development: an alternative model to study human obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Mengling; Li, Shengnan; He, Qianian; Zhao, Jinlong; Li, Longlong; Ma, Haitian

    2018-01-08

    Chicken embryos are widely used as a model for studies of obesity; however, no detailed information is available about the dynamic changes of proteins during the regulation of adipose biology and metabolism. Thus, the present study used an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based proteomic approach to identify the changes in protein abundance at different stages of chicken embryonic development. In this study, the abundances of 293 hepatic proteins in 19-day old of chicken embryos compared with 14-day old and 160 hepatic proteins at hatching compared with 19-day old embryos were significantly changed. Pathway analysis showed that fatty acid degradation (upregulated ACAA2, CPT1A, and ACOX1), protein folding (upregulated PDIs, CALR3, LMAN1, and UBQLN1) and gluconeogenesis (upregulated ACSS1, AKR1A1, ALDH3A2, ALDH7A1, and FBP2) were enhanced from embryonic day 14 (E14) to E19 of chicken embryo development. Analysis of the differentially abundant proteins indicated that glycolysis was not the main way to produce energy from E19 to hatching day during chicken embryo development. In addition, purine metabolism was enhanced, as deduced from increased IMPDH2, NT5C, PGM2, and XDH abundances, and the decrease of growth rate could be overcome by increasing the abundance of ribosomal proteins from E19 to the hatching day. The levels of certain proteins were coordinated with each other to regulate the changes in metabolic pathways to satisfy the requirement for growth and development at different stages of chicken embryo development. Importantly, ACAA2, CPT1A, and ACOX1 might be key factors to control fat deposition during chicken embryonic development. These results provided information showing that chicken is a useful model to further investigate the mechanism of obesity and insulin resistance in humans.

  16. Bioenergetics-based modeling of Plasmodium falciparum metabolism reveals its essential genes, nutritional requirements, and thermodynamic bottlenecks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiappino-Pepe, Anush; Ataman, Meriç

    2017-01-01

    Novel antimalarial therapies are urgently needed for the fight against drug-resistant parasites. The metabolism of malaria parasites in infected cells is an attractive source of drug targets but is rather complex. Computational methods can handle this complexity and allow integrative analyses of cell metabolism. In this study, we present a genome-scale metabolic model (iPfa) of the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and its thermodynamics-based flux analysis (TFA). Using previous absolute concentration data of the intraerythrocytic parasite, we applied TFA to iPfa and predicted up to 63 essential genes and 26 essential pairs of genes. Of the 63 genes, 35 have been experimentally validated and reported in the literature, and 28 have not been experimentally tested and include previously hypothesized or novel predictions of essential metabolic capabilities. Without metabolomics data, four of the genes would have been incorrectly predicted to be non-essential. TFA also indicated that substrate channeling should exist in two metabolic pathways to ensure the thermodynamic feasibility of the flux. Finally, analysis of the metabolic capabilities of P. falciparum led to the identification of both the minimal nutritional requirements and the genes that can become indispensable upon substrate inaccessibility. This model provides novel insight into the metabolic needs and capabilities of the malaria parasite and highlights metabolites and pathways that should be measured and characterized to identify potential thermodynamic bottlenecks and substrate channeling. The hypotheses presented seek to guide experimental studies to facilitate a better understanding of the parasite metabolism and the identification of targets for more efficient intervention. PMID:28333921

  17. Bayesian model of signal rewiring reveals mechanisms of gene dysregulation in acquired drug resistance in breast cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A K M Azad

    Full Text Available Small molecule inhibitors, such as lapatinib, are effective against breast cancer in clinical trials, but tumor cells ultimately acquire resistance to the drug. Maintaining sensitization to drug action is essential for durable growth inhibition. Recently, adaptive reprogramming of signaling circuitry has been identified as a major cause of acquired resistance. We developed a computational framework using a Bayesian statistical approach to model signal rewiring in acquired resistance. We used the p1-model to infer potential aberrant gene-pairs with differential posterior probabilities of appearing in resistant-vs-parental networks. Results were obtained using matched gene expression profiles under resistant and parental conditions. Using two lapatinib-treated ErbB2-positive breast cancer cell-lines: SKBR3 and BT474, our method identified similar dysregulated signaling pathways including EGFR-related pathways as well as other receptor-related pathways, many of which were reported previously as compensatory pathways of EGFR-inhibition via signaling cross-talk. A manual literature survey provided strong evidence that aberrant signaling activities in dysregulated pathways are closely related to acquired resistance in EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Our approach predicted literature-supported dysregulated pathways complementary to both node-centric (SPIA, DAVID, and GATHER and edge-centric (ESEA and PAGI methods. Moreover, by proposing a novel pattern of aberrant signaling called V-structures, we observed that genes were dysregulated in resistant-vs-sensitive conditions when they were involved in the switch of dependencies from targeted to bypass signaling events. A literature survey of some important V-structures suggested they play a role in breast cancer metastasis and/or acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs, where the mRNA changes of TGFBR2, LEF1 and TP53 in resistant-vs-sensitive conditions were related to the dependency switch from targeted to

  18. Bayesian model of signal rewiring reveals mechanisms of gene dysregulation in acquired drug resistance in breast cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azad, A. K. M.; Keith, Jonathan M.

    2017-01-01

    Small molecule inhibitors, such as lapatinib, are effective against breast cancer in clinical trials, but tumor cells ultimately acquire resistance to the drug. Maintaining sensitization to drug action is essential for durable growth inhibition. Recently, adaptive reprogramming of signaling circuitry has been identified as a major cause of acquired resistance. We developed a computational framework using a Bayesian statistical approach to model signal rewiring in acquired resistance. We used the p1-model to infer potential aberrant gene-pairs with differential posterior probabilities of appearing in resistant-vs-parental networks. Results were obtained using matched gene expression profiles under resistant and parental conditions. Using two lapatinib-treated ErbB2-positive breast cancer cell-lines: SKBR3 and BT474, our method identified similar dysregulated signaling pathways including EGFR-related pathways as well as other receptor-related pathways, many of which were reported previously as compensatory pathways of EGFR-inhibition via signaling cross-talk. A manual literature survey provided strong evidence that aberrant signaling activities in dysregulated pathways are closely related to acquired resistance in EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Our approach predicted literature-supported dysregulated pathways complementary to both node-centric (SPIA, DAVID, and GATHER) and edge-centric (ESEA and PAGI) methods. Moreover, by proposing a novel pattern of aberrant signaling called V-structures, we observed that genes were dysregulated in resistant-vs-sensitive conditions when they were involved in the switch of dependencies from targeted to bypass signaling events. A literature survey of some important V-structures suggested they play a role in breast cancer metastasis and/or acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs, where the mRNA changes of TGFBR2, LEF1 and TP53 in resistant-vs-sensitive conditions were related to the dependency switch from targeted to bypass signaling links

  19. Mechanistic Studies and Modeling Reveal the Origin of Differential Inhibition of Gag Polymorphic Viruses by HIV-1 Maturation Inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Zeyu; Cantone, Joseph; Lu, Hao; Nowicka-Sans, Beata; Protack, Tricia; Yuan, Tian; Yang, Hong; Liu, Zheng; Drexler, Dieter; Regueiro-Ren, Alicia; Meanwell, Nicholas A; Cockett, Mark; Krystal, Mark; Lataillade, Max; Dicker, Ira B

    2016-11-01

    HIV-1 maturation inhibitors (MIs) disrupt the final step in the HIV-1 protease-mediated cleavage of the Gag polyprotein between capsid p24 capsid (CA) and spacer peptide 1 (SP1), leading to the production of infectious virus. BMS-955176 is a second generation MI with improved antiviral activity toward polymorphic Gag variants compared to a first generation MI bevirimat (BVM). The underlying mechanistic reasons for the differences in polymorphic coverage were studied using antiviral assays, an LC/MS assay that quantitatively characterizes CA/SP1 cleavage kinetics of virus like particles (VLPs) and a radiolabel binding assay to determine VLP/MI affinities and dissociation kinetics. Antiviral assay data indicates that BVM does not achieve 100% inhibition of certain polymorphs, even at saturating concentrations. This results in the breakthrough of infectious virus (partial antagonism) regardless of BVM concentration. Reduced maximal percent inhibition (MPI) values for BVM correlated with elevated EC50 values, while rates of HIV-1 protease cleavage at CA/SP1 correlated inversely with the ability of BVM to inhibit HIV-1 Gag polymorphic viruses: genotypes with more rapid CA/SP1 cleavage kinetics were less sensitive to BVM. In vitro inhibition of wild type VLP CA/SP1 cleavage by BVM was not maintained at longer cleavage times. BMS-955176 exhibited greatly improved MPI against polymorphic Gag viruses, binds to Gag polymorphs with higher affinity/longer dissociation half-lives and exhibits greater time-independent inhibition of CA/SP1 cleavage compared to BVM. Virological (MPI) and biochemical (CA/SP1 cleavage rates, MI-specific Gag affinities) data were used to create an integrated semi-quantitative model that quantifies CA/SP1 cleavage rates as a function of both MI and Gag polymorph. The model outputs are in accord with in vitro antiviral observations and correlate with observed in vivo MI efficacies. Overall, these findings may be useful to further understand antiviral

  20. A quantitative multiplex nuclease protection assay reveals immunotoxicity gene expression profiles in the rabbit model for vaginal drug safety evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fichorova, Raina N., E-mail: rfichorova@rics.bwh.harvard.edu [Laboratory of Genital Tract Biology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Mendonca, Kevin; Yamamoto, Hidemi S.; Murray, Ryan [Laboratory of Genital Tract Biology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Chandra, Neelima; Doncel, Gustavo F. [CONRAD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA (United States)

    2015-06-15

    Any vaginal product that alters the mucosal environment and impairs the immune barrier increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV infection, which thrives on mucosal damage and inflammation. The FDA-recommended rabbit vaginal irritation (RVI) model serves as a first line selection tool for vaginal products; however, for decades it has been limited to histopathology scoring, insufficient to select safe anti-HIV microbicides. In this study we incorporate to the RVI model a novel quantitative nuclease protection assay (qNPA) to quantify mRNA levels of 25 genes representing leukocyte differentiation markers, toll-like receptors (TLR), cytokines, chemokines, epithelial repair, microbicidal and vascular markers, by designing two multiplex arrays. Tissue sections were obtained from 36 rabbits (6 per treatment arm) after 14 daily applications of a placebo gel, saline, 4% nonoxynol-9 (N-9), and three combinations of the anti-HIV microbicides tenofovir (TFV) and UC781 in escalating concentrations (highest: 10% TFV + 2.5%UC781). Results showed that increased expression levels of toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, interleukin (IL)-1β, CXCL8, epithelial membrane protein (EMP)-1 (P < 0.05), and decreased levels of TLR2 (P < 0.05), TLR3 and bactericidal permeability increasing protein (BPI) (P < 0.001) were associated with cervicovaginal mucosal alteration (histopathology). Seven markers showed a significant linear trend predicting epithelial damage (up with CD4, IL-1β, CXCL8, CCL2, CCL21, EMP1 and down with BPI). Despite the low tissue damage RVI scores, the high-dose microbicide combination gel caused activation of HIV host cells (SLC and CD4) while N-9 caused proinflammatory gene upregulation (IL-8 and TLR4) suggesting a potential for increasing risk of HIV via different mechanisms depending on the chemical nature of the test product. - Highlights: • A transcriptome nuclease protection assay assessed microbicides for vaginal safety. • Biomarkers were

  1. Identification of Sox8 as a modifier gene in a mouse model of Hirschsprung disease reveals underlying molecular defect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maka, Marzena; Stolt, C Claus; Wegner, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Mice carrying heterozygous mutations in the Sox10 gene display aganglionosis of the colon and represent a model for human Hirschsprung disease. Here, we show that the closely related Sox8 functions as a modifier gene for Sox10-dependent enteric nervous system defects as it increases both penetrance and severity of the defect in Sox10 heterozygous mice despite having no detectable influence on enteric nervous system development on its own. Sox8 exhibits an expression pattern very similar to Sox10 with occurrence in vagal and enteric neural crest cells and later confinement to enteric glia. Loss of Sox8 alleles in Sox10 heterozygous mice impaired colonization of the gut by enteric neural crest cells already at early times. Whereas proliferation, apoptosis, and neuronal differentiation were normal for enteric neural crest cells in the gut of mutant mice, apoptosis was dramatically increased in vagal neural crest cells outside the gut. The defects in enteric nervous system development of mice with Sox10 and Sox8 mutations are therefore likely caused by a reduction of the pool of undifferentiated vagal neural crest cells. Our study suggests that Sox8 and Sox10 are jointly required for the maintenance of these vagal neural crest stem cells.

  2. Granger causality mapping during joint actions reveals evidence for forward models that could overcome sensory-motor delays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idil Kokal

    Full Text Available Studies investigating joint actions have suggested a central role for the putative mirror neuron system (pMNS because of the close link between perception and action provided by these brain regions [1], [2], [3]. In contrast, our previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiment demonstrated that the BOLD response of the pMNS does not suggest that it directly integrates observed and executed actions during joint actions [4]. To test whether the pMNS might contribute indirectly to the integration process by sending information to brain areas responsible for this integration (integration network, here we used Granger causality mapping (GCM [5]. We explored the directional information flow between the anterior sites of the pMNS and previously identified integrative brain regions. We found that the left BA44 sent more information than it received to both the integration network (left thalamus, right middle occipital gyrus and cerebellum and more posterior nodes of the pMNS (BA2. Thus, during joint actions, two anatomically separate networks therefore seem effectively connected and the information flow is predominantly from anterior to posterior areas of the brain. These findings suggest that the pMNS is involved indirectly in joint actions by transforming observed and executed actions into a common code and is part of a generative model that could predict the future somatosensory and visual consequences of observed and executed actions in order to overcome otherwise inevitable neural delays.

  3. Pathogenesis of POLR1C-dependent Type 3 Treacher Collins Syndrome revealed by a zebrafish model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Marco Chi Chung; Kwong, Ernest Man Lok; Lai, Keng Po; Li, Jing-Woei; Ho, Jeff Cheuk Hin; Chan, Ting-Fung; Wong, Chris Kong Chu; Jiang, Yun-Jin; Tse, William Ka Fai

    2016-06-01

    Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS) is a rare congenital birth disorder (1 in 50,000 live births) characterized by severe craniofacial defects, including the downward slanting palpebral fissures, hypoplasia of the facial bones, and cleft palate (CP). Over 90% of patients with TCS have a mutation in the TCOF1 gene. However, some patients exhibit mutations in two new causative genes, POLR1C and POLR1D, which encode subunits of RNA polymerases I and III, that affect ribosome biogenesis. In this study, we examine the role of POLR1C in TCS using zebrafish as a model system. Our data confirmed that polr1c is highly expressed in the facial region, and dysfunction of this gene by knockdown or knock-out resulted in mis-expression of neural crest cells during early development that leads to TCS phenotype. Next generation sequencing and bioinformatics analysis of the polr1c mutants further demonstrated the up-regulated p53 pathway and predicted skeletal disorders. Lastly, we partially rescued the TCS facial phenotype in the background of p53 mutants, which supported the hypothesis that POLR1C-dependent type 3 TCS is associated with the p53 pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Transgenic mouse model reveals an unsuspected role of the acetylcholine receptor in statin-induced neuromuscular adverse drug reactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grajales-Reyes, G E; Báez-Pagán, C A; Zhu, H; Grajales-Reyes, J G; Delgado-Vélez, M; García-Beltrán, W F; Luciano, C A; Quesada, O; Ramírez, R; Gómez, C M; Lasalde-Dominicci, J A

    2014-01-01

    High cholesterol levels are an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the world’s leading cause of death. Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (statins) are prescribed to lower serum cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of CVD. Despite the success of statins, many patients abandon treatment owing to neuromuscular adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Genome-wide association studies have identified the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4149056 in the SLCO1B1 gene as being associated with an increased risk for statin-induced ADRs. By studying slow-channel syndrome transgenic mouse models, we determined that statins trigger ADRs in mice expressing the mutant allele of the rs137852808 SNP in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) α-subunit gene CHRNA1. Mice expressing this allele show a remarkable contamination of end-plates with caveolin-1 and develop early signs of neuromuscular degeneration upon statin treatment. This study demonstrates that genes coding for nAChR subunits may contain variants associated with statin-induced ADRs. PMID:22688219

  5. Molecular data and ecological niche modelling reveal a highly dynamic evolutionary history of the East Asian Tertiary relict Cercidiphyllum (Cercidiphyllaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xin-Shuai; Chen, Chen; Comes, Hans Peter; Sakaguchi, Shota; Liu, Yi-Hui; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Sakio, Hitoshi; Qiu, Ying-Xiong

    2012-10-01

    East Asia's temperate deciduous forests served as sanctuary for Tertiary relict trees, but their ages and response to past climate change remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we elucidated the evolutionary and population demographic history of Cercdiphyllum, comprising species in China/Japan (Cercdiphyllum japonicum) and central Japan (Cercdiphyllum magnificum). Fifty-three populations were genotyped using chloroplast and ribosomal DNA sequences and microsatellite loci to assess molecular structure and diversity in relation to past (Last Glacial Maximum) and present distributions based on ecological niche modelling. Late Tertiary climate cooling was reflected in a relatively recent speciation event, dated at the Mio-/Pliocene boundary. During glacials, the warm-temperate C. japonicum experienced massive habitat losses in some areas (north-central China/north Japan) but increases in others (southwest/-east China, East China Sea landbridge, south Japan). In China, the Sichuan Basin and/or the middle-Yangtze were source areas of postglacial northward recolonization; in Japan, this may have been facilitated through introgressive hybridization with the cool-temperate C. magnificum. Our findings challenge the notion of relative evolutionary and demographic stability of Tertiary relict trees, and may serve as a guideline for assessing the impact of Neogene climate change on the evolution and distribution of East Asian temperate plants. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Metabolite profiling reveals novel multi-level cold responses in the diploid model Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohloff, Jens; Kopka, Joachim; Erban, Alexander; Winge, Per; Wilson, Robert C; Bones, Atle M; Davik, Jahn; Randall, Stephen K; Alsheikh, Muath K

    2012-05-01

    Winter freezing damage is a crucial factor in overwintering crops such as the octoploid strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) when grown in a perennial cultivation system. Our study aimed at assessing metabolic processes and regulatory mechanisms in the close-related diploid model woodland strawberry (Fragaria vescaL.) during a 10-days cold acclimation experiment. Based on gas chromatography/time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (GC/TOF-MS) metabolite profiling of three F. vesca genotypes, clear distinctions could be made between leaves and non-photosynthesizing roots, underscoring the evolvement of organ-dependent cold acclimation strategies. Carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, photosynthetic acclimation, and antioxidant and detoxification systems (ascorbate pathway) were strongly affected. Metabolic changes in F. vesca included the strong modulation of central metabolism, and induction of osmotically-active sugars (fructose, glucose), amino acids (aspartic acid), and amines (putrescine). In contrast, a distinct impact on the amino acid proline, known to be cold-induced in other plant systems, was conspicuously absent. Levels of galactinol and raffinose, key metabolites of the cold-inducible raffinose pathway, were drastically enhanced in both leaves and roots throughout the cold acclimation period of 10 days. Furthermore, initial freezing tests and multifaceted GC/TOF-MS data processing (Venn diagrams, independent component analysis, hierarchical clustering) showed that changes in metabolite pools of cold-acclimated F. vesca were clearly influenced by genotype. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Analysis of MADS-Box Gene Family Reveals Conservation in Floral Organ ABCDE Model of Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zhanchao; Ge, Wei; Li, Long; Hou, Dan; Ma, Yanjun; Liu, Jun; Bai, Qingsong; Li, Xueping; Mu, Shaohua; Gao, Jian

    2017-01-01

    Mini chromosome maintenance 1, agamous, deficiens, and serum response factor (MADS)-box genes are transcription factors which play fundamental roles in flower development and regulation of floral organ identity. However, till date, identification and functions of MADS-box genes remain largely unclear in Phyllostachys edulis . In view of this, we performed a whole-genome survey and identified 34 MADS-box genes in P. edulis , and based on phylogeny, they were classified as MIKC C , MIKC ∗ , Mα, and Mβ. The detailed analysis about gene structure and motifs, phylogenetic classification, comparison of gene divergence and duplication are provided. Interestingly, expression patterns for most genes were found similar to those of Arabidopsis and rice, indicating that the well-established ABCDE model can be applied to P. edulis . Moreover, we overexpressed PheMADS15 , an AP1 -like gene, in Arabidopsis , and found that the transgenic plants have early flowering phenotype, suggesting that PheMADS15 might be a regulator of flowering transition in P. edulis . Taken together, this study provides not only insightful comprehension but also useful information for understanding the functions of MADS-box genes in P. edulis .

  8. Analysis of MADS-Box Gene Family Reveals Conservation in Floral Organ ABCDE Model of Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhanchao Cheng

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Mini chromosome maintenance 1, agamous, deficiens, and serum response factor (MADS-box genes are transcription factors which play fundamental roles in flower development and regulation of floral organ identity. However, till date, identification and functions of MADS-box genes remain largely unclear in Phyllostachys edulis. In view of this, we performed a whole-genome survey and identified 34 MADS-box genes in P. edulis, and based on phylogeny, they were classified as MIKCC, MIKC∗, Mα, and Mβ. The detailed analysis about gene structure and motifs, phylogenetic classification, comparison of gene divergence and duplication are provided. Interestingly, expression patterns for most genes were found similar to those of Arabidopsis and rice, indicating that the well-established ABCDE model can be applied to P. edulis. Moreover, we overexpressed PheMADS15, an AP1-like gene, in Arabidopsis, and found that the transgenic plants have early flowering phenotype, suggesting that PheMADS15 might be a regulator of flowering transition in P. edulis. Taken together, this study provides not only insightful comprehension but also useful information for understanding the functions of MADS-box genes in P. edulis.

  9. Observation and Modeling of Storm Generated Acoustic Waves in the Ionosphere Revealed in a Dense Network of GPS Receivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walterscheid, R. L.; Azeem, S. I.

    2017-12-01

    Acoustic waves generated in the lower atmosphere may become an important source of variably in the upper atmosphere. Although they are excited with small amplitudes they are minimally subject to viscous dissipation and may reach significant amplitudes at F-region altitudes. A number of studies in the 1970s showed clear signatures in ionosonde data in the infrasonic period range attributable to thunder storm activity. We have examined Total Electron Content data from a dense network of over 4000 ground-based GPS receivers over the continental United States during an outbreak of severe weather, including tornados, over Kansas in May 2015. A sequence of GPS TEC images showed clear Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances (TIDs) in the form of concentric rings moving outward from the center of the storm region. The characteristics of the disturbance (phase speed and frequency) were consistent with acoustic waves in the infrasonic range. We have modeled the disturbance by including a tropospheric heat source representing latent heat release from a large thunderstorm. The disturbance at ionospheric altitudes resembles the observed disturbance in terms of phase speed, frequency and horizontal wavelength. We conclude that the observed TIDs in TEC were caused by an acoustic wave generated by deep convection.

  10. Molecular basis of structural make-up of feeds in relation to nutrient absorption in ruminants, revealed with advanced molecular spectroscopy: A review on techniques and models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rahman, Md. Mostafizar [Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Yu, Peiqiang [Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

    2017-01-31

    Progress in ruminant feed research is no more feasible only based on wet chemical analysis, which is merely able to provide information on chemical composition of feeds regardless of their digestive features and nutritive value in ruminants. Studying internal structural make-up of functional groups/feed nutrients is often vital for understanding the digestive behaviors and nutritive values of feeds in ruminant because the intrinsic structure of feed nutrients is more related to its overall absorption. In this article, the detail information on the recent developments in molecular spectroscopic techniques to reveal microstructural information of feed nutrients and the use of nutrition models in regards to ruminant feed research was reviewed. The emphasis of this review was on (1) the technological progress in the use of molecular spectroscopic techniques in ruminant feed research; (2) revealing spectral analysis of functional groups of biomolecules/feed nutrients; (3) the use of advanced nutrition models for better prediction of nutrient availability in ruminant systems; and (4) the application of these molecular techniques and combination of nutrient models in cereals, co-products and pulse crop research. The information described in this article will promote better insight in the progress of research on molecular structural make-up of feed nutrients in ruminants.

  11. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals neuroprotection by oral minocycline in a nonhuman primate model of accelerated NeuroAIDS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva-Maria Ratai

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Despite the advent of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders continue to be a significant problem. In efforts to understand and alleviate neurocognitive deficits associated with HIV, we used an accelerated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV macaque model of NeuroAIDS to test whether minocycline is neuroprotective against lentiviral-induced neuronal injury.Eleven rhesus macaques were infected with SIV, depleted of CD8+ lymphocytes, and studied until eight weeks post inoculation (wpi. Seven animals received daily minocycline orally beginning at 4 wpi. Neuronal integrity was monitored in vivo by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy and post-mortem by immunohistochemistry for synaptophysin (SYN, microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2, and neuronal counts. Astrogliosis and microglial activation were quantified by measuring glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP and ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (IBA-1, respectively. SIV infection followed by CD8+ cell depletion induced a progressive decline in neuronal integrity evidenced by declining N-acetylaspartate/creatine (NAA/Cr, which was arrested with minocycline treatment. The recovery of this ratio was due to increases in NAA, indicating neuronal recovery, and decreases in Cr, likely reflecting downregulation of glial cell activation. SYN, MAP2, and neuronal counts were found to be higher in minocycline-treated animals compared to untreated animals while GFAP and IBA-1 expression were decreased compared to controls. CSF and plasma viral loads were lower in MN-treated animals.In conclusion, oral minocycline alleviates neuronal damage induced by the AIDS virus.

  12. Impact of carnivory on human development and evolution revealed by a new unifying model of weaning in mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elia Psouni

    Full Text Available Our large brain, long life span and high fertility are key elements of human evolutionary success and are often thought to have evolved in interplay with tool use, carnivory and hunting. However, the specific impact of carnivory on human evolution, life history and development remains controversial. Here we show in quantitative terms that dietary profile is a key factor influencing time to weaning across a wide taxonomic range of mammals, including humans. In a model encompassing a total of 67 species and genera from 12 mammalian orders, adult brain mass and two dichotomous variables reflecting species differences regarding limb biomechanics and dietary profile, accounted for 75.5%, 10.3% and 3.4% of variance in time to weaning, respectively, together capturing 89.2% of total variance. Crucially, carnivory predicted the time point of early weaning in humans with remarkable precision, yielding a prediction error of less than 5% with a sample of forty-six human natural fertility societies as reference. Hence, carnivory appears to provide both a necessary and sufficient explanation as to why humans wean so much earlier than the great apes. While early weaning is regarded as essentially differentiating the genus Homo from the great apes, its timing seems to be determined by the same limited set of factors in humans as in mammals in general, despite some 90 million years of evolution. Our analysis emphasizes the high degree of similarity of relative time scales in mammalian development and life history across 67 genera from 12 mammalian orders and shows that the impact of carnivory on time to weaning in humans is quantifiable, and critical. Since early weaning yields shorter interbirth intervals and higher rates of reproduction, with profound effects on population dynamics, our findings highlight the emergence of carnivory as a process fundamentally determining human evolution.

  13. Comparative transcriptional profiling of 3 murine models of SLE nephritis reveals both unique and shared regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramalingam Bethunaickan

    Full Text Available To define shared and unique features of SLE nephritis in mouse models of proliferative and glomerulosclerotic renal disease.Perfused kidneys from NZB/W F1, NZW/BXSB and NZM2410 mice were harvested before and after nephritis onset. Affymetrix based gene expression profiles of kidney RNA were analyzed using Genomatix Pathway Systems and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software. Gene expression patterns were confirmed using real-time PCR.955, 1168 and 755 genes were regulated in the kidneys of nephritic NZB/W F1, NZM2410 and NZW/BXSB mice respectively. 263 genes were regulated concordantly in all three strains reflecting immune cell infiltration, endothelial cell activation, complement activation, cytokine signaling, tissue remodeling and hypoxia. STAT3 was the top associated transcription factor, having a binding site in the gene promoter of 60/263 regulated genes. The two strains with proliferative nephritis shared a macrophage/DC infiltration and activation signature. NZB/W and NZM2410 mice shared a mitochondrial dysfunction signature. Dominant T cell and plasma cell signatures in NZB/W mice reflected lymphoid aggregates; this was the only strain with regulatory T cell infiltrates. NZW/BXSB mice manifested tubular regeneration and NZM2410 mice had the most metabolic stress and manifested loss of nephrin, indicating podocyte loss.These findings identify shared inflammatory mechanisms of SLE nephritis that can be therapeutically targeted. Nevertheless, the heterogeneity of effector mechanisms suggests that individualized therapy might need to be based on biopsy findings. Some common mechanisms are shared with non-immune-mediated renal diseases, suggesting that strategies to prevent tissue hypoxia and remodeling may be useful in SLE nephritis.

  14. SNP discovery and chromosome anchoring provide the first physically-anchored hexaploid oat map and reveal synteny with model species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebekah E Oliver

    Full Text Available A physically anchored consensus map is foundational to modern genomics research; however, construction of such a map in oat (Avena sativa L., 2n = 6x = 42 has been hindered by the size and complexity of the genome, the scarcity of robust molecular markers, and the lack of aneuploid stocks. Resources developed in this study include a modified SNP discovery method for complex genomes, a diverse set of oat SNP markers, and a novel chromosome-deficient SNP anchoring strategy. These resources were applied to build the first complete, physically-anchored consensus map of hexaploid oat. Approximately 11,000 high-confidence in silico SNPs were discovered based on nine million inter-varietal sequence reads of genomic and cDNA origin. GoldenGate genotyping of 3,072 SNP assays yielded 1,311 robust markers, of which 985 were mapped in 390 recombinant-inbred lines from six bi-parental mapping populations ranging in size from 49 to 97 progeny. The consensus map included 985 SNPs and 68 previously-published markers, resolving 21 linkage groups with a total map distance of 1,838.8 cM. Consensus linkage groups were assigned to 21 chromosomes using SNP deletion analysis of chromosome-deficient monosomic hybrid stocks. Alignments with sequenced genomes of rice and Brachypodium provide evidence for extensive conservation of genomic regions, and renewed encouragement for orthology-based genomic discovery in this important hexaploid species. These results also provide a framework for high-resolution genetic analysis in oat, and a model for marker development and map construction in other species with complex genomes and limited resources.

  15. A zebrafish model of congenital disorders of glycosylation with phosphomannose isomerase deficiency reveals an early opportunity for corrective mannose supplementation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Chu

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG have recessive mutations in genes required for protein N-glycosylation, resulting in multi-systemic disease. Despite the well-characterized biochemical consequences in these individuals, the underlying cellular defects that contribute to CDG are not well understood. Synthesis of the lipid-linked oligosaccharide (LLO, which serves as the sugar donor for the N-glycosylation of secretory proteins, requires conversion of fructose-6-phosphate to mannose-6-phosphate via the phosphomannose isomerase (MPI enzyme. Individuals who are deficient in MPI present with bleeding, diarrhea, edema, gastrointestinal bleeding and liver fibrosis. MPI-CDG patients can be treated with oral mannose supplements, which is converted to mannose-6-phosphate through a minor complementary metabolic pathway, restoring protein glycosylation and ameliorating most symptoms, although liver disease continues to progress. Because Mpi deletion in mice causes early embryonic lethality and thus is difficult to study, we used zebrafish to establish a model of MPI-CDG. We used a morpholino to block mpi mRNA translation and established a concentration that consistently yielded 13% residual Mpi enzyme activity at 4 days post-fertilization (dpf, which is within the range of MPI activity detected in fibroblasts from MPI-CDG patients. Fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis detected decreased LLO and N-glycans in mpi morphants. These deficiencies resulted in 50% embryonic lethality by 4 dpf. Multi-systemic abnormalities, including small eyes, dysmorphic jaws, pericardial edema, a small liver and curled tails, occurred in 82% of the surviving larvae. Importantly, these phenotypes could be rescued with mannose supplementation. Thus, parallel processes in fish and humans contribute to the phenotypes caused by Mpi depletion. Interestingly, mannose was only effective if provided prior to 24 hpf. These data provide insight into treatment efficacy

  16. Capsid expansion mechanism of bacteriophage T7 revealed by multistate atomic models derived from cryo-EM reconstructions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Fei; Liu, Zheng; Fang, Ping-An; Zhang, Qinfen; Wright, Elena T; Wu, Weimin; Zhang, Ci; Vago, Frank; Ren, Yue; Jakana, Joanita; Chiu, Wah; Serwer, Philip; Jiang, Wen

    2014-10-28

    Many dsDNA viruses first assemble a DNA-free procapsid, using a scaffolding protein-dependent process. The procapsid, then, undergoes dramatic conformational maturation while packaging DNA. For bacteriophage T7 we report the following four single-particle cryo-EM 3D reconstructions and the derived atomic models: procapsid (4.6-Å resolution), an early-stage DNA packaging intermediate (3.5 Å), a later-stage packaging intermediate (6.6 Å), and the final infectious phage (3.6 Å). In the procapsid, the N terminus of the major capsid protein, gp10, has a six-turn helix at the inner surface of the shell, where each skewed hexamer of gp10 interacts with two scaffolding proteins. With the exit of scaffolding proteins during maturation the gp10 N-terminal helix unfolds and swings through the capsid shell to the outer surface. The refolded N-terminal region has a hairpin that forms a novel noncovalent, joint-like, intercapsomeric interaction with a pocket formed during shell expansion. These large conformational changes also result in a new noncovalent, intracapsomeric topological linking. Both interactions further stabilize the capsids by interlocking all pentameric and hexameric capsomeres in both DNA packaging intermediate and phage. Although the final phage shell has nearly identical structure to the shell of the DNA-free intermediate, surprisingly we found that the icosahedral faces of the phage are slightly (∼4 Å) contracted relative to the faces of the intermediate, despite the internal pressure from the densely packaged DNA genome. These structures provide a basis for understanding the capsid maturation process during DNA packaging that is essential for large numbers of dsDNA viruses.

  17. Modeling of pharmacokinetics of cocaine in human reveals the feasibility for development of enzyme therapies for drugs of abuse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang Zheng

    Full Text Available A promising strategy for drug abuse treatment is to accelerate the drug metabolism by administration of a drug-metabolizing enzyme. The question is how effectively an enzyme can actually prevent the drug from entering brain and producing physiological effects. In the present study, we have developed a pharmacokinetic model through a combined use of in vitro kinetic parameters and positron emission tomography data in human to examine the effects of a cocaine-metabolizing enzyme in plasma on the time course of cocaine in plasma and brain of human. Without an exogenous enzyme, cocaine half-lives in both brain and plasma are almost linearly dependent on the initial cocaine concentration in plasma. The threshold concentration of cocaine in brain required to produce physiological effects has been estimated to be 0.22±0.07 µM, and the threshold area under the cocaine concentration versus time curve (AUC value in brain (denoted by AUC2(∞ required to produce physiological effects has been estimated to be 7.9±2.7 µM·min. It has been demonstrated that administration of a cocaine hydrolase/esterase (CocH/CocE can considerably decrease the cocaine half-lives in both brain and plasma, the peak cocaine concentration in brain, and the AUC2(∞. The estimated maximum cocaine plasma concentration which a given concentration of drug-metabolizing enzyme can effectively prevent from entering brain and producing physiological effects can be used to guide future preclinical/clinical studies on cocaine-metabolizing enzymes. Understanding of drug-metabolizing enzymes is key to the science of pharmacokinetics. The general insights into the effects of a drug-metabolizing enzyme on drug kinetics in human should be valuable also in future development of enzyme therapies for other drugs of abuse.

  18. Modeling of pharmacokinetics of cocaine in human reveals the feasibility for development of enzyme therapies for drugs of abuse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Fang; Zhan, Chang-Guo

    2012-01-01

    A promising strategy for drug abuse treatment is to accelerate the drug metabolism by administration of a drug-metabolizing enzyme. The question is how effectively an enzyme can actually prevent the drug from entering brain and producing physiological effects. In the present study, we have developed a pharmacokinetic model through a combined use of in vitro kinetic parameters and positron emission tomography data in human to examine the effects of a cocaine-metabolizing enzyme in plasma on the time course of cocaine in plasma and brain of human. Without an exogenous enzyme, cocaine half-lives in both brain and plasma are almost linearly dependent on the initial cocaine concentration in plasma. The threshold concentration of cocaine in brain required to produce physiological effects has been estimated to be 0.22±0.07 µM, and the threshold area under the cocaine concentration versus time curve (AUC) value in brain (denoted by AUC2(∞)) required to produce physiological effects has been estimated to be 7.9±2.7 µM·min. It has been demonstrated that administration of a cocaine hydrolase/esterase (CocH/CocE) can considerably decrease the cocaine half-lives in both brain and plasma, the peak cocaine concentration in brain, and the AUC2(∞). The estimated maximum cocaine plasma concentration which a given concentration of drug-metabolizing enzyme can effectively prevent from entering brain and producing physiological effects can be used to guide future preclinical/clinical studies on cocaine-metabolizing enzymes. Understanding of drug-metabolizing enzymes is key to the science of pharmacokinetics. The general insights into the effects of a drug-metabolizing enzyme on drug kinetics in human should be valuable also in future development of enzyme therapies for other drugs of abuse.

  19. Pre-clinical evaluation of N-acetylcysteine reveals side effects in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinniger, Gavin J; Terrill, Jessica R; Assan, Evanna B; Grounds, Miranda D; Arthur, Peter G

    2017-12-01

    Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal muscle wasting disease associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress. The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been proposed as a therapeutic intervention for DMD boys, but potential adverse effects of NAC have not been widely investigated. We used young (6 weeks old) growing mdx mice to investigate the capacity of NAC supplementation (2% in drinking water for 6 weeks) to improve dystrophic muscle function and to explore broader systemic effects of NAC treatment. NAC treatment improved normalised measures of muscle function, and decreased inflammation and oxidative stress, but significantly reduced body weight gain, muscle weight and liver weight. Unexpected significant adverse effects of NAC on body and muscle weights indicate that interpretation of muscle function based on normalised force measures should be made with caution and careful consideration is needed when proposing the use of NAC as a therapeutic treatment for young DMD boys. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal X-linked muscle wasting disease characterised by severe muscle weakness, necrosis, inflammation and oxidative stress. The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been proposed as a potential therapeutic intervention for DMD boys. We investigated the capacity of NAC to improve dystrophic muscle function in the mdx mouse model of DMD. Young (6 weeks old) mdx and non-dystrophic C57 mice receiving 2% NAC in drinking water for 6 weeks were compared with untreated mice. Grip strength and body weight were measured weekly, before the 12 week old mice were anaesthetised and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles were excised for functional analysis and tissues were sampled for biochemical analyses. Compared to untreated mice, the mean (SD) normalised grip strength was significantly greater in NAC-treated mdx [3.13 (0.58) vs 4.87 (0.78) g body weight (bw) -1 ; P effects of NAC emphasise the need for caution when interpreting

  20. An expert system model for mapping tropical wetlands and peatlands reveals South America as the largest contributor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gumbricht, Thomas; Roman-Cuesta, Rosa Maria; Verchot, Louis; Herold, Martin; Wittmann, Florian; Householder, Ethan; Herold, Nadine; Murdiyarso, Daniel

    2017-09-01

    Wetlands are important providers of ecosystem services and key regulators of climate change. They positively contribute to global warming through their greenhouse gas emissions, and negatively through the accumulation of organic material in histosols, particularly in peatlands. Our understanding of wetlands' services is currently constrained by limited knowledge on their distribution, extent, volume, interannual flood variability and disturbance levels. We present an expert system approach to estimate wetland and peatland areas, depths and volumes, which relies on three biophysical indices related to wetland and peat formation: (1) long-term water supply exceeding atmospheric water demand; (2) annually or seasonally water-logged soils; and (3) a geomorphological position where water is supplied and retained. Tropical and subtropical wetlands estimates reach 4.7 million km 2 (Mkm 2 ). In line with current understanding, the American continent is the major contributor (45%), and Brazil, with its Amazonian interfluvial region, contains the largest tropical wetland area (800,720 km 2 ). Our model suggests, however, unprecedented extents and volumes of peatland in the tropics (1.7 Mkm 2 and 7,268 (6,076-7,368) km 3 ), which more than threefold current estimates. Unlike current understanding, our estimates suggest that South America and not Asia contributes the most to tropical peatland area and volume (ca. 44% for both) partly related to some yet unaccounted extended deep deposits but mainly to extended but shallow peat in the Amazon Basin. Brazil leads the peatland area and volume contribution. Asia hosts 38% of both tropical peat area and volume with Indonesia as the main regional contributor and still the holder of the deepest and most extended peat areas in the tropics. Africa hosts more peat than previously reported but climatic and topographic contexts leave it as the least peat-forming continent. Our results suggest large biases in our current understanding of

  1. Modeling of C/EBPalpha mutant acute myeloid leukemia reveals a common expression signature of committed myeloid leukemia-initiating cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirstetter, Peggy; Schuster, Mikkel B; Bereshchenko, Oksana

    2008-01-01

    Mutations in the CEBPA gene are present in 7%-10% of human patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, no genetic models exist that demonstrate their etiological relevance. To mimic the most common mutations affecting CEBPA-that is, those leading to loss of the 42 kDa C/EBPalpha isoform (p...... penetrance. p42-deficient leukemia could be transferred by a Mac1+c-Kit+ population that gave rise only to myeloid cells in recipient mice. Expression profiling of this population against normal Mac1+c-Kit+ progenitors revealed a signature shared with MLL-AF9-transformed AML....

  2. A standardized fold change method for microarray differential expression analysis used to reveal genes involved in acute rejection in murine allograft models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Weichen; Wang, Yi; Fujino, Masayuki; Shi, Leming; Jin, Li; Li, Xiao-Kang; Wang, Jiucun

    2018-03-01

    Murine transplantation models are used extensively to research immunological rejection and tolerance. Here we studied both murine heart and liver allograft models using microarray technology. We had difficulty in identifying genes related to acute rejections expressed in both heart and liver transplantation models using two standard methodologies: Student's t test and linear models for microarray data (Limma). Here we describe a new method, standardized fold change (SFC), for differential analysis of microarray data. We estimated the performance of SFC, the t test and Limma by generating simulated microarray data 100 times. SFC performed better than the t test and showed a higher sensitivity than Limma where there is a larger value for fold change of expression. SFC gave better reproducibility than Limma and the t test with real experimental data from the MicroArray Quality Control platform and expression data from a mouse cardiac allograft. Eventually, a group of significant overlapping genes was detected by SFC in the expression data of mouse cardiac and hepatic allografts and further validated with the quantitative RT-PCR assay. The group included genes for important reactions of transplantation rejection and revealed functional changes of the immune system in both heart and liver of the mouse model. We suggest that SFC can be utilized to stably and effectively detect differential gene expression and to explore microarray data in further studies.

  3. A refined model of the prototypical Salmonella SPI-1 T3SS basal body reveals the molecular basis for its assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Julien R C; Worrall, Liam J; Sgourakis, Nikolaos G; DiMaio, Frank; Pfuetzner, Richard A; Felise, Heather B; Vuckovic, Marija; Yu, Angel C; Miller, Samuel I; Baker, David; Strynadka, Natalie C J

    2013-01-01

    The T3SS injectisome is a syringe-shaped macromolecular assembly found in pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria that allows for the direct delivery of virulence effectors into host cells. It is composed of a "basal body", a lock-nut structure spanning both bacterial membranes, and a "needle" that protrudes away from the bacterial surface. A hollow channel spans throughout the apparatus, permitting the translocation of effector proteins from the bacterial cytosol to the host plasma membrane. The basal body is composed largely of three membrane-embedded proteins that form oligomerized concentric rings. Here, we report the crystal structures of three domains of the prototypical Salmonella SPI-1 basal body, and use a new approach incorporating symmetric flexible backbone docking and EM data to produce a model for their oligomeric assembly. The obtained models, validated by biochemical and in vivo assays, reveal the molecular details of the interactions driving basal body assembly, and notably demonstrate a conserved oligomerization mechanism.

  4. Low-resolution molecular models reveal the oligomeric state of the PPAR and the conformational organization of its domains in solution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Bernardes

    Full Text Available The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs regulate genes involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and are targets of drugs approved for human use. Whereas the crystallographic structure of the complex of full length PPARγ and RXRα is known, structural alterations induced by heterodimer formation and DNA contacts are not well understood. Herein, we report a small-angle X-ray scattering analysis of the oligomeric state of hPPARγ alone and in the presence of retinoid X receptor (RXR. The results reveal that, in contrast with other studied nuclear receptors, which predominantly form dimers in solution, hPPARγ remains in the monomeric form by itself but forms heterodimers with hRXRα. The low-resolution models of hPPARγ/RXRα complexes predict significant changes in opening angle between heterodimerization partners (LBD and extended and asymmetric shape of the dimer (LBD-DBD as compared with X-ray structure of the full-length receptor bound to DNA. These differences between our SAXS models and the high-resolution crystallographic structure might suggest that there are different conformations of functional heterodimer complex in solution. Accordingly, hydrogen/deuterium exchange experiments reveal that the heterodimer binding to DNA promotes more compact and less solvent-accessible conformation of the receptor complex.

  5. 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.

  6. Influence of the penetration enhancer isopropyl myristate on stratum corneum lipid model membranes revealed by neutron diffraction and 2H NMR experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichner, Adina; Stahlberg, Sören; Sonnenberger, Stefan; Lange, Stefan; Dobner, Bodo; Ostermann, Andreas; Schrader, Tobias E; Hauß, Thomas; Schroeter, Annett; Huster, Daniel; Neubert, Reinhard H H

    2017-05-01

    The stratum corneum (SC) provides the main barrier properties in native skin. The barrier function is attributed to the intercellular lipids, forming continuous multilamellar membranes. In this study, SC lipid membranes in model ratios were enriched with deuterated lipids in order to investigate structural and dynamical properties by neutron diffraction and 2 H solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Further, the effect of the penetration enhancer isopropyl myristate (IPM) on the structure of a well-known SC lipid model membrane containing synthetically derived methyl-branched ceramide [EOS], ceramide [AP], behenic acid and cholesterol (23/10/33/33wt%) was investigated. IPM supported the formation of a single short-periodicity phase (SPP), in which we determined the molecular organization of CER[AP] and CER[EOS]-br for the first time. Furthermore, the thermotropic phase behavior of the lipid system was analyzed by additional neutron diffraction studies as well as by 2 H solid-state NMR spectroscopy, covering temperatures of 32°C (physiological skin temperature), 50°C, and 70°C with a subsequent cooldown back to skin temperature. Both techniques revealed a phase transition and a hysteresis effect. During the cooldown, Bragg peaks corresponding to a long-periodicity phase (LPP) appeared. Additionally, 2 H NMR revealed that the IPM molecules are isotopic mobile at all temperatures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Structure of the nucleon in the unquenched quark model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bijker, Roelof; Santopinto, Elena

    2010-07-01

    We discuss the flavor asymmetry of the nucleon sea and the spin content of the proton in an unquenched quark model. It is shown that the inclusion of hadron loops leads automatically to an excess of bar d over baru and introduces a sizeable contribution of orbital angular momentum to the spin of the proton and the Λ hyperon. Special attention is paid to the symmetries of the unquenched quark model.

  8. Revealing common disease mechanisms shared by tumors of different tissues of origin through semantic representation of genomic alterations and topic modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Vicky; Paisley, John; Lu, Xinghua

    2017-03-14

    Cancer is a complex disease driven by somatic genomic alterations (SGAs) that perturb signaling pathways and consequently cellular function. Identifying patterns of pathway perturbations would provide insights into common disease mechanisms shared among tumors, which is important for guiding treatment and predicting outcome. However, identifying perturbed pathways is challenging, because different tumors can have the same perturbed pathways that are perturbed by different SGAs. Here, we designed novel semantic representations that capture the functional similarity of distinct SGAs perturbing a common pathway in different tumors. Combining this representation with topic modeling would allow us to identify patterns in altered signaling pathways. We represented each gene with a vector of words describing its function, and we represented the SGAs of a tumor as a text document by pooling the words representing individual SGAs. We applied the nested hierarchical Dirichlet process (nHDP) model to a collection of tumors of 5 cancer types from TCGA. We identified topics (consisting of co-occurring words) representing the common functional themes of different SGAs. Tumors were clustered based on their topic associations, such that each cluster consists of tumors sharing common functional themes. The resulting clusters contained mixtures of cancer types, which indicates that different cancer types can share disease mechanisms. Survival analysis based on the clusters revealed significant differences in survival among the tumors of the same cancer type that were assigned to different clusters. The results indicate that applying topic modeling to semantic representations of tumors identifies patterns in the combinations of altered functional pathways in cancer.

  9. Integrative modelling coupled with ion mobility mass spectrometry reveals structural features of the clamp loader in complex with single-stranded DNA binding protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Politis, Argyris; Park, Ah Young; Hall, Zoe; Ruotolo, Brandon T; Robinson, Carol V

    2013-11-29

    DNA polymerase III, a decameric 420-kDa assembly, simultaneously replicates both strands of the chromosome in Escherichia coli. A subassembly of this holoenzyme, the seven-subunit clamp loader complex, is responsible for loading the sliding clamp (β2) onto DNA. Here, we use structural information derived from ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) to build three-dimensional models of one form of the full clamp loader complex, γ3δδ'ψχ (254 kDa). By probing the interaction between the clamp loader and a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding protein (SSB4) and by identifying two distinct conformational states, with and without ssDNA, we assemble models of ψχ-SSB4 (108 kDa) and the clamp loader-SSB4 (340 kDa) consistent with IM data. A significant increase in measured collision cross-section (~10%) of the clamp loader-SSB4 complex upon DNA binding suggests large conformational rearrangements. This DNA bound conformation represents the active state and, along with the presence of ψχ, stabilises the clamp loader-SSB4 complex. Overall, this study of a large heteromeric complex analysed by IM-MS, coupled with integrative modelling, highlights the potential of such an approach to reveal structural features of previously unknown complexes of high biological importance. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. pH imaging reveals worsened tissue acidification in diffusion kurtosis lesion than the kurtosis/diffusion lesion mismatch in an animal model of acute stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Enfeng; Wu, Yin; Cheung, Jerry S; Zhou, Iris Yuwen; Igarashi, Takahiro; Zhang, XiaoAn; Sun, Phillip Zhe

    2017-10-01

    Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) has been commonly used in acute stroke examination, yet a portion of DWI lesion may be salvageable. Recently, it has been shown that diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) defines the most severely damaged DWI lesion that does not renormalize following early reperfusion. We postulated that the diffusion and kurtosis lesion mismatch experience heterogeneous hemodynamic and/or metabolic injury. We investigated tissue perfusion, pH, diffusion, kurtosis and relaxation from regions of the contralateral normal area, diffusion lesion, kurtosis lesion and their mismatch in an animal model of acute stroke. Our study revealed significant kurtosis and diffusion lesion volume mismatch (19.7 ± 10.7%, P mismatch, we showed lower pH in the kurtosis lesion (pH = 6.64 ± 0.12) from that of the kurtosis/diffusion lesion mismatch (6.84 ± 0.11, P mismatch agreed well with literature values for regions of ischemic core and penumbra, respectively. Our work documented initial evidence that DKI may reveal the heterogeneous metabolic derangement within the commonly used DWI lesion.

  11. MicroRNA Expression Is Altered in an Ovalbumin-Induced Asthma Model and Targeting miR-155 with Antagomirs Reveals Cellular Specificity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximilian W Plank

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression that are differentially regulated during development and in inflammatory diseases. A role for miRNAs in allergic asthma is emerging and further investigation is required to determine whether they may serve as potential therapeutic targets. We profiled miRNA expression in murine lungs from an ovalbumin-induced allergic airways disease model, and compared expression to animals receiving dexamethasone treatment and non-allergic controls. Our analysis identified 29 miRNAs that were significantly altered during allergic inflammation. Target prediction analysis revealed novel genes with altered expression in allergic airways disease and suggests synergistic miRNA regulation of target mRNAs. To assess the impacts of one induced miRNA on pathology, we targeted miR-155-5p using a specific antagomir. Antagomir administration successfully reduced miR-155-5p expression with high specificity, but failed to alter the disease phenotype. Interestingly, further investigation revealed that antagomir delivery has variable efficacy across different immune cell types, effectively targeting myeloid cell populations, but exhibiting poor uptake in lymphocytes. Our findings demonstrate that antagomir-based targeting of miRNA function in the lung is highly specific, but highlights cell-specificity as a key limitation to be considered for antagomir-based strategies as therapeutics.

  12. Computer modelling reveals new conformers of the ATP binding loop of Na+/K+-ATPase involved in the transphosphorylation process of the sodium pump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejral, Gracian; Sopko, Bruno; Necas, Alois; Schoner, Wilhelm; Amler, Evzen

    2017-01-01

    Hydrolysis of ATP by Na + /K + -ATPase, a P-Type ATPase, catalyzing active Na + and K + transport through cellular membranes leads transiently to a phosphorylation of its catalytical α -subunit. Surprisingly, three-dimensional molecular structure analysis of P-type ATPases reveals that binding of ATP to the N-domain connected by a hinge to the P-domain is much too far away from the Asp 369 to allow the transfer of ATP's terminal phosphate to its aspartyl-phosphorylation site. In order to get information for how the transfer of the γ -phosphate group of ATP to the Asp 369 is achieved, analogous molecular modeling of the M 4 -M 5 loop of ATPase was performed using the crystal data of Na + /K + -ATPase of different species. Analogous molecular modeling of the cytoplasmic loop between Thr 338 and Ile 760 of the α 2 -subunit of Na + /K + -ATPase and the analysis of distances between the ATP binding site and phosphorylation site revealed the existence of two ATP binding sites in the open conformation; the first one close to Phe 475 in the N-domain, the other one close to Asp 369 in the P-domain. However, binding of Mg 2+ •ATP to any of these sites in the "open conformation" may not lead to phosphorylation of Asp 369 . Additional conformations of the cytoplasmic loop were found wobbling between "open conformation"  "semi-open conformation  "closed conformation" in the absence of 2Mg 2+ •ATP. The cytoplasmic loop's conformational change to the "semi-open conformation"-characterized by a hydrogen bond between Arg 543 and Asp 611 -triggers by binding of 2Mg 2+ •ATP to a single ATP site and conversion to the "closed conformation" the phosphorylation of Asp 369 in the P-domain, and hence the start of Na + /K + -activated ATP hydrolysis.

  13. Imaging mass spectrometry reveals elevated nigral levels of dynorphin neuropeptides in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in rat model of Parkinson's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Ljungdahl

    Full Text Available L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia is a troublesome complication of L-DOPA pharmacotherapy of Parkinson's disease and has been associated with disturbed brain opioid transmission. However, so far the results of clinical and preclinical studies on the effects of opioids agonists and antagonists have been contradictory at best. Prodynorphin mRNA levels correlate well with the severity of dyskinesia in animal models of Parkinson's disease; however the identities of the actual neuroactive opioid effectors in their target basal ganglia output structures have not yet been determined. For the first time MALDI-TOF imaging mass spectrometry (IMS was used for unbiased assessment and topographical elucidation of prodynorphin-derived peptides in the substantia nigra of a unilateral rat model of Parkinson's disease and L-DOPA induced dyskinesia. Nigral levels of dynorphin B and alpha-neoendorphin strongly correlated with the severity of dyskinesia. Even if dynorphin peptide levels were elevated in both the medial and lateral part of the substantia nigra, MALDI IMS analysis revealed that the most prominent changes were localized to the lateral part of the substantia nigra. MALDI IMS is advantageous compared with traditional molecular methods, such as radioimmunoassay, in that neither the molecular identity analyzed, nor the specific localization needs to be predetermined. Indeed, MALDI IMS revealed that the bioconverted metabolite leu-enkephalin-arg also correlated positively with severity of dyskinesia. Multiplexing DynB and leu-enkephalin-arg ion images revealed small (0.25 by 0.5 mm nigral subregions with complementing ion intensities, indicating localized peptide release followed by bioconversion. The nigral dynorphins associated with L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia were not those with high affinity to kappa opioid receptors, but consisted of shorter peptides, mainly dynorphin B and alpha-neoendorphin that are known to bind and activate mu and delta opioid receptors

  14. Equation-free analysis of two-component system signalling model reveals the emergence of co-existing phenotypes in the absence of multistationarity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca B Hoyle

    Full Text Available Phenotypic differences of genetically identical cells under the same environmental conditions have been attributed to the inherent stochasticity of biochemical processes. Various mechanisms have been suggested, including the existence of alternative steady states in regulatory networks that are reached by means of stochastic fluctuations, long transient excursions from a stable state to an unstable excited state, and the switching on and off of a reaction network according to the availability of a constituent chemical species. Here we analyse a detailed stochastic kinetic model of two-component system signalling in bacteria, and show that alternative phenotypes emerge in the absence of these features. We perform a bifurcation analysis of deterministic reaction rate equations derived from the model, and find that they cannot reproduce the whole range of qualitative responses to external signals demonstrated by direct stochastic simulations. In particular, the mixed mode, where stochastic switching and a graded response are seen simultaneously, is absent. However, probabilistic and equation-free analyses of the stochastic model that calculate stationary states for the mean of an ensemble of stochastic trajectories reveal that slow transcription of either response regulator or histidine kinase leads to the coexistence of an approximate basal solution and a graded response that combine to produce the mixed mode, thus establishing its essential stochastic nature. The same techniques also show that stochasticity results in the observation of an all-or-none bistable response over a much wider range of external signals than would be expected on deterministic grounds. Thus we demonstrate the application of numerical equation-free methods to a detailed biochemical reaction network model, and show that it can provide new insight into the role of stochasticity in the emergence of phenotypic diversity.

  15. The temporal-spatial dynamics of feature maps during monocular deprivation revealed by chronic imaging and self-organization model simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Lei; Xie, Yang; Yu, Hongbo

    2016-12-17

    Experiments on the adult visual cortex of cats, ferrets and monkeys have revealed organized spatial relationships between multiple feature maps which can also be reproduced by the Kohonen and elastic net self-organization models. However, attempts to apply these models to simulate the temporal kinetics of monocular deprivation (MD) during the critical period, and their effects on the spatial arrangement of feature maps, have led to conflicting results. In this study, we performed MD and chronic imaging in the ferret visual cortex during the critical period of ocular dominance (OD) plasticity. We also used the Kohonen model to simulate the effects of MD on OD and orientation map development. Both the experiments and simulations demonstrated two general parameter-insensitive findings. Specifically, our first finding demonstrated that the OD index shift resulting from MD, and its subsequent recovery during binocular vision (BV), were both nonlinear, with a significantly stronger shift occurring during the initial period. Meanwhile, spatial reorganization of feature maps led to globally unchanged but locally shifted map patterns. In detail, we found that the periodicity of OD and orientation maps remained unchanged during, and after, deprivation. Relationships between OD and orientation maps remained similar but were significantly weakened due to OD border shifts. These results indicate that orthogonal gradient relationships between maps may be preset and are only mildly modifiable during the critical period. The Kohonen model was able to reproduce these experimental results, hence its role is further extended to the description of cortical feature map dynamics during development. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Characterisation of Shigella Spa33 and Thermotoga FliM/N reveals a new model for C-ring assembly in T3SS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowell, Melanie A; Marcoux, Julien; McVicker, Gareth; Johnson, Steven; Fong, Yu Hang; Stevens, Rebecca; Bowman, Lesley A H; Degiacomi, Matteo T; Yan, Jun; Wise, Adam; Friede, Miriam E; Benesch, Justin L P; Deane, Janet E; Tang, Christoph M; Robinson, Carol V; Lea, Susan M

    2016-02-01

    Flagellar type III secretion systems (T3SS) contain an essential cytoplasmic-ring (C-ring) largely composed of two proteins FliM and FliN, whereas an analogous substructure for the closely related non-flagellar (NF) T3SS has not been observed in situ. We show that the spa33 gene encoding the putative NF-T3SS C-ring component in Shigella flexneri is alternatively translated to produce both full-length (Spa33-FL) and a short variant (Spa33-C), with both required for secretion. They associate in a 1:2 complex (Spa33-FL/C2) that further oligomerises into elongated arrays in vitro. The structure of Spa33-C2 and identification of an unexpected intramolecular pseudodimer in Spa33-FL reveal a molecular model for their higher order assembly within NF-T3SS. Spa33-FL and Spa33-C are identified as functional counterparts of a FliM-FliN fusion and free FliN respectively. Furthermore, we show that Thermotoga maritima FliM and FliN form a 1:3 complex structurally equivalent to Spa33-FL/C2 , allowing us to propose a unified model for C-ring assembly by NF-T3SS and flagellar-T3SS. © 2015 The Authors. Molecular Microbiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Characterisation of Shigella Spa33 and Thermotoga FliM/N reveals a new model for C‐ring assembly in T3SS

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowell, Melanie A.; Marcoux, Julien; McVicker, Gareth; Johnson, Steven; Fong, Yu Hang; Stevens, Rebecca; Bowman, Lesley A. H.; Degiacomi, Matteo T.; Yan, Jun; Wise, Adam; Friede, Miriam E.; Benesch, Justin L. P.; Deane, Janet E.; Tang, Christoph M.; Robinson, Carol V.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Flagellar type III secretion systems (T3SS) contain an essential cytoplasmic‐ring (C‐ring) largely composed of two proteins FliM and FliN, whereas an analogous substructure for the closely related non‐flagellar (NF) T3SS has not been observed in situ. We show that the spa33 gene encoding the putative NF‐T3SS C‐ring component in S higella flexneri is alternatively translated to produce both full‐length (Spa33‐FL) and a short variant (Spa33‐C), with both required for secretion. They associate in a 1:2 complex (Spa33‐FL/C2) that further oligomerises into elongated arrays in vitro. The structure of Spa33‐C 2 and identification of an unexpected intramolecular pseudodimer in Spa33‐FL reveal a molecular model for their higher order assembly within NF‐T3SS. Spa33‐FL and Spa33‐C are identified as functional counterparts of a FliM–FliN fusion and free FliN respectively. Furthermore, we show that T hermotoga maritima  FliM and FliN form a 1:3 complex structurally equivalent to Spa33‐FL/C2, allowing us to propose a unified model for C‐ring assembly by NF‐T3SS and flagellar‐T3SS. PMID:26538516

  18. Targeted liquid chromatography quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometry analysis of tachykinin related peptides reveals significant expression differences in a rat model of neuropathic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pailleux, Floriane; Vachon, Pascal; Lemoine, Jérôme; Beaudry, Francis

    2013-08-01

    Animal models are widely used to perform basic scientific research in pain. The rodent chronic constriction injury (CCI) model is widely used to study neuropathic pain. Animals were tested prior and after CCI surgery using behavioral tests (von Frey filaments and Hargreaves test) to evaluate pain. The brain and the lumbar enlargement of the spinal cord were collected from neuropathic and normal animals. Tachykinin related peptides were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometry. Our results reveal that the β-tachykinin₅₈₋₇₁, SP and SP₃₋₁₁ up-regulation are closely related to pain behavior. The spinal β-tachykinin₅₈₋₇₁, SP and SP₃₋₁₁ concentrations were significantly up-regulated in neuropathic animals compared with normal animals (ptachykinin₅₈₋₇₁ and SP concentrations were significantly up-regulated (ptachykinin₅₈₋₇₁, SP₁₋₇ and SP₆₋₁₁ (p>0.05). The β-tachykinin₅₈₋₇₁, SP and C-terminal SP metabolites could potentially serve as biomarkers in early drug discovery. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Point correlation dimension can reveal functional changes caused by gap junction blockers in the 4-aminopyridine in vivo rat epilepsy model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jardanhazy, Anett [Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Semmelweis u. 6, Szeged H-6725 (Hungary); Molnar, Mark [Department of Psychophysiology, Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 398, Budapest H-1394 (Hungary)], E-mail: molnar@cogpsyphy.hu; Jardanhazy, Tamas [Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Semmelweis u. 6, Szeged H-6725 (Hungary)], E-mail: jt@nepsy.szote.u-szeged.hu

    2009-04-15

    The contribution of gap junction (GJ) blockers to seizure initiation was reexamined by means of an analysis on nonlinear dynamics with point correlation dimension (PD2i) at as well as around the primary focus, and mirror focus in an already active 4-aminopyridine-induced in vivo epilepsy model. From the data base of the ECoGs of anesthetized adult rats treated with quinine, a selective blocker of Cx36, and in combination with an additional broad-spectrum GJ blocker, carbenoxolone, 14 cases of each condition were reexamined with a stationarity insensitive nonlinear PD2i method. The blockade of the Cx36 channels decreased the usual drop of the point correlation dimension at the beginning of the seizures, and this was enhanced by the additional use of the global blocker carbenoxolone. The so-called characteristic DC shift just prior to seizure onset denotes a low dimensional seizure event and the recognizable seizures display very variable, rapidly changing dynamics, as revealed by the PD2i analysis. This nonlinear PD2i analysis demonstrated that the different GJ blockers in the already active epileptic model helped seizure initiation, but exerted inhibitory effects on the seizure onset itself, acting differently on the local components of the network organization generating seizure discharges, possibly changing the coupling strengths and time delays in the GJ-s.

  20. ‘Get in early’; biofilm and wax moth (Galleria mellonella models reveal new insights into the therapeutic potential of Clostridium difficile bacteriophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet Yakubu Nale

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium difficile infection (CDI is a global health threat associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Conventional antibiotic CDI therapy can result in treatment failure and recurrent infection. C. difficile produces biofilms which contribute to its virulence and impair antimicrobial activity. Some bacteriophages (phages can penetrate biofilms and thus could be developed to either replace or supplement antibiotics. Here, we determined the impact of a previously optimized 4-phage cocktail on C. difficile ribotype 014/020 biofilms, and additionally as adjunct to vancomycin treatment in Galleria mellonella larva CDI model. The phages were applied before or after biofilm establishment in vitro, and the impact was analyzed according to turbidity, viability counts and topography as observed using scanning electron and confocal microscopy. The infectivity profiles and efficacies of orally administered phages and/or vancomycin were ascertained by monitoring colonization levels and larval survival rates. Phages prevented biofilm formation, and penetrated established biofilms. A single phage application reduced colonization causing extended longevity in the remedial treatment and prevented disease in the prophylaxis group. Multiple phage doses significantly improved the larval remedial regimen, and this treatment is comparable to vancomycin and the combined treatments. Taken together, our data suggest that the phages significantly reduce C. difficile biofilms, and prevent colonization in the G. mellonella model when used alone or in combination with vancomycin. The phages appear to be highly promising therapeutics in the targeted eradication of CDI and the use of these models has revealed that prophylactic use could be a propitious therapeutic option.

  1. A Homology Model Reveals Novel Structural Features and an Immunodominant Surface Loop/Opsonic Target in the Treponema pallidum BamA Ortholog TP_0326.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luthra, Amit; Anand, Arvind; Hawley, Kelly L; LeDoyt, Morgan; La Vake, Carson J; Caimano, Melissa J; Cruz, Adriana R; Salazar, Juan C; Radolf, Justin D

    2015-06-01

    We recently demonstrated that TP_0326 is a bona fide rare outer membrane protein (OMP) in Treponema pallidum and that it possesses characteristic BamA bipartite topology. Herein, we used immunofluorescence analysis (IFA) to show that only the β-barrel domain of TP_0326 contains surface-exposed epitopes in intact T. pallidum. Using the solved structure of Neisseria gonorrhoeae BamA, we generated a homology model of full-length TP_0326. Although the model predicts a typical BamA fold, the β-barrel harbors features not described in other BamAs. Structural modeling predicted that a dome comprised of three large extracellular loops, loop 4 (L4), L6, and L7, covers the barrel's extracellular opening. L4, the dome's major surface-accessible loop, contains mainly charged residues, while L7 is largely neutral and contains a polyserine tract in a two-tiered conformation. L6 projects into the β-barrel but lacks the VRGF/Y motif that anchors L6 within other BamAs. IFA and opsonophagocytosis assay revealed that L4 is surface exposed and an opsonic target. Consistent with B cell epitope predictions, immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) confirmed that L4 is an immunodominant loop in T. pallidum-infected rabbits and humans with secondary syphilis. Antibody capture experiments using Escherichia coli expressing OM-localized TP_0326 as a T. pallidum surrogate further established the surface accessibility of L4. Lastly, we found that a naturally occurring substitution (Leu(593) → Gln(593)) in the L4 sequences of T. pallidum strains affects antibody binding in sera from syphilitic patients. Ours is the first study to employ a "structure-to-pathogenesis" approach to map the surface topology of a T. pallidum OMP within the context of syphilitic infection. Previously, we reported that TP_0326 is a bona fide rare outer membrane protein (OMP) in Treponema pallidum and that it possesses the bipartite topology characteristic of a BamA ortholog. Using a homology

  2. Computer modelling reveals new conformers of the ATP binding loop of Na+/K+-ATPase involved in the transphosphorylation process of the sodium pump

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gracian Tejral

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Hydrolysis of ATP by Na+/K+-ATPase, a P-Type ATPase, catalyzing active Na+ and K+ transport through cellular membranes leads transiently to a phosphorylation of its catalytical α-subunit. Surprisingly, three-dimensional molecular structure analysis of P-type ATPases reveals that binding of ATP to the N-domain connected by a hinge to the P-domain is much too far away from the Asp369 to allow the transfer of ATP’s terminal phosphate to its aspartyl-phosphorylation site. In order to get information for how the transfer of the γ-phosphate group of ATP to the Asp369 is achieved, analogous molecular modeling of the M4–M5 loop of ATPase was performed using the crystal data of Na+/K+-ATPase of different species. Analogous molecular modeling of the cytoplasmic loop between Thr338 and Ile760 of the α2-subunit of Na+/K+-ATPase and the analysis of distances between the ATP binding site and phosphorylation site revealed the existence of two ATP binding sites in the open conformation; the first one close to Phe475 in the N-domain, the other one close to Asp369 in the P-domain. However, binding of Mg2+•ATP to any of these sites in the “open conformation” may not lead to phosphorylation of Asp369. Additional conformations of the cytoplasmic loop were found wobbling between “open conformation”  “semi-open conformation  “closed conformation” in the absence of 2Mg2+•ATP. The cytoplasmic loop’s conformational change to the “semi-open conformation”—characterized by a hydrogen bond between Arg543 and Asp611—triggers by binding of 2Mg2+•ATP to a single ATP site and conversion to the “closed conformation” the phosphorylation of Asp369 in the P-domain, and hence the start of Na+/K+-activated ATP hydrolysis.

  3. FTIR-ATR-based prediction and modelling of lignin and energy contents reveals independent intra-specific variation of these traits in bioenergy poplars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Gail

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is an increasing demand for renewable resources to replace fossil fuels. However, different applications such as the production of secondary biofuels or combustion for energy production require different wood properties. Therefore, high-throughput methods are needed for rapid screening of wood in large scale samples, e.g., to evaluate the outcome of tree breeding or genetic engineering. In this study, we investigated the intra-specific variability of lignin and energy contents in extractive-free wood of hybrid poplar progenies (Populus trichocarpa × deltoides and tested if the range was sufficient for the development of quantitative prediction models based on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR. Since lignin is a major energy-bearing compound, we expected that the energy content of wood would be positively correlated with the lignin content. Results Lignin contents of extractive-free poplar wood samples determined by the acetyl bromide method ranged from 23.4% to 32.1%, and the calorific values measured with a combustion calorimeter varied from 17260 to 19767 J g-1. For the development of calibration models partial least square regression and cross validation was applied to correlate FTIR spectra determined with an attenuated total reflectance (ATR unit to measured values of lignin or energy contents. The best models with high coefficients of determination (R2 (calibration = 0.91 and 0.90; R2 (cross-validation = 0.81 and 0.79 and low root mean square errors of cross validation (RMSECV = 0.77% and 62 J g-1 for lignin and energy determination, respectively, were obtained after data pre-processing and automatic wavenumber restriction. The calibration models were validated by analyses of independent sets of wood samples yielding R2 = 0.88 and 0.86 for lignin and energy contents, respectively. Conclusions These results show that FTIR-ATR spectroscopy is suitable as a high-throughput method for lignin and energy

  4. Molecular data and ecological niche modelling reveal the Pleistocene history of a semi-aquatic bug (Microvelia douglasi douglasi) in East Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Zhen; Zhu, Gengping; Chen, Pingping; Zhang, Danli; Bu, Wenjun

    2014-06-01

    This study investigated the Pleistocene history of a semi-aquatic bug, Microvelia douglasi douglasi Scott, 1874 (Hemiptera: Veliidae) in East Asia. We used M. douglasi douglasi as a model species to explore the effects of historical climatic fluctuations on montane semi-aquatic invertebrate species. Two hypotheses were developed using ecological niche models (ENMs). First, we hypothesized that M. douglasi douglasi persisted in suitable habitats in southern Guizhou, southern Yunnan, Hainan, Taiwan and southeast China during the LIG. After that, the populations expanded (Hypothesis 1). As the spatial prediction in the LGM was significantly larger than in the LIG, we then hypothesized that the population expanded during the LIG to LGM transition (Hypothesis 2). We tested these hypotheses using mitochondrial data (COI+COII) and nuclear data (ITS1+5.8S+ITS2). Young lineages, relatively deep splits, lineage differentiation among mountain ranges in central, south and southwest China and high genetic diversities were observed in these suitable habitats. Evidence of mismatch distributions and neutrality tests indicate that a population expansion occurred in the late Pleistocene. The Bayesian skyline plot (BSP) revealed an unusual population expansion that likely happened during the cooling transition between LIG and LGM. The results of genetic data were mostly consistent with the spatial predictions from ENM, a finding that can profoundly improve phylogeographic research. The ecological requirements of M. douglasi douglasi, together with the geographical heterogeneity and climatic fluctuations of Pleistocene in East Asia, could have shaped this unusual demographic history. Our study contributes to our knowledge of semi-aquatic bug/invertebrate responses to Pleistocene climatic fluctuations in East Asia. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. An integrated Drosophila model system reveals unique properties for F14512, a novel polyamine-containing anticancer drug that targets topoisomerase II.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Chelouah

    Full Text Available F14512 is a novel anti-tumor molecule based on an epipodophyllotoxin core coupled to a cancer-cell vectoring spermine moiety. This polyamine linkage is assumed to ensure the preferential uptake of F14512 by cancer cells, strong interaction with DNA and potent inhibition of topoisomerase II (Topo II. The antitumor activity of F14512 in human tumor models is significantly higher than that of other epipodophyllotoxins in spite of a lower induction of DNA breakage. Hence, the demonstrated superiority of F14512 over other Topo II poisons might not result solely from its preferential uptake by cancer cells, but could also be due to unique effects on Topo II interactions with DNA. To further dissect the mechanism of action of F14512, we used Drosophila melanogaster mutants whose genetic background leads to an easily scored phenotype that is sensitive to changes in Topo II activity and/or localization. F14512 has antiproliferative properties in Drosophila cells and stabilizes ternary Topo II/DNA cleavable complexes at unique sites located in moderately repeated sequences, suggesting that the drug specifically targets a select and limited subset of genomic sequences. Feeding F14512 to developing mutant Drosophila larvae led to the recovery of flies expressing a striking phenotype, "Eye wide shut," where one eye is replaced by a first thoracic segment. Other recovered F14512-induced gain- and loss-of-function phenotypes similarly correspond to precise genetic dysfunctions. These complex in vivo results obtained in a whole developing organism can be reconciled with known genetic anomalies and constitute a remarkable instance of specific alterations of gene expression by ingestion of a drug. "Drosophila-based anticancer pharmacology" hence reveals unique properties for F14512, demonstrating the usefulness of an assay system that provides a low-cost, rapid and effective complement to mammalian models and permits the elucidation of fundamental mechanisms of

  6. A novel mouse model of Warburg Micro syndrome reveals roles for RAB18 in eye development and organisation of the neuronal cytoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah M. Carpanini

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Mutations in RAB18 have been shown to cause the heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorder Warburg Micro syndrome (WARBM. Individuals with WARBM present with a range of clinical symptoms, including ocular and neurological abnormalities. However, the underlying cellular and molecular pathogenesis of the disorder remains unclear, largely owing to the lack of any robust animal models that phenocopy both the ocular and neurological features of the disease. We report here the generation and characterisation of a novel Rab18-mutant mouse model of WARBM. Rab18-mutant mice are viable and fertile. They present with congenital nuclear cataracts and atonic pupils, recapitulating the characteristic ocular features that are associated with WARBM. Additionally, Rab18-mutant cells exhibit an increase in lipid droplet size following treatment with oleic acid. Lipid droplet abnormalities are a characteristic feature of cells taken from WARBM individuals, as well as cells taken from individuals with other neurodegenerative conditions. Neurological dysfunction is also apparent in Rab18-mutant mice, including progressive weakness of the hind limbs. We show that the neurological defects are, most likely, not caused by gross perturbations in synaptic vesicle recycling in the central or peripheral nervous system. Rather, loss of Rab18 is associated with widespread disruption of the neuronal cytoskeleton, including abnormal accumulations of neurofilament and microtubule proteins in synaptic terminals, and gross disorganisation of the cytoskeleton in peripheral nerves. Global proteomic profiling of peripheral nerves in Rab18-mutant mice reveals significant alterations in several core molecular pathways that regulate cytoskeletal dynamics in neurons. The apparent similarities between the WARBM phenotype and the phenotype that we describe here indicate that the Rab18-mutant mouse provides an important platform for investigation of the disease pathogenesis and therapeutic

  7. Primordial germ cell development in the marmoset monkey as revealed by pluripotency factor expression: suggestion of a novel model of embryonic germ cell translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aeckerle, N; Drummer, C; Debowski, K; Viebahn, C; Behr, R

    2015-01-01

    Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the embryonic progenitors of sperm and egg cells. Mammalian PGCs are thought to actively migrate from the yolk sac endoderm over long distances across the embryo to reach the somatic genital ridges. The general principles of mammalian PGC development were discovered in mice. In contrast, little is known about PGC development in primates due to extremely limited access to primate embryos. Here, we analyzed 12 well preserved marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) embryos covering the phase from PGC emergence in the endoderm to the formation of the sexually differentiated gonad (embryonic day (E) 50 to E95). We show using immunohistochemistry that the pluripotency factors OCT4A and NANOG specifically mark PGCs throughout the period studied. In contrast, SALL4 and LIN28 were first expressed ubiquitously and only later down-regulated in somatic tissues. We further show, for the first time, that PGCs are located in the endoderm in E50 embryos in close spatial proximity to the prospective genital ridge, making a long-range migration of PGCs dispensable. At E65, PGCs are already present in the primitive gonad, while significantly later embryonic stages still exhibit PGCs at their original endodermal site, revealing a wide spatio-temporal window of PGC distribution. Our findings challenge the 'dogma' of active long-range PGC migration from the endoderm to the gonads. We therefore favor an alternative model based primarily on passive translocation of PGCs from the mesenchyme that surrounds the gut to the prospective gonad through the intercalar expansion of mesenchymal tissue which contains the PGCs. In summary, we (i) show differential pluripotency factor expression during primate embryo development and (ii) provide a schematic model for embryonic PGC translocation. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

  8. A zebrafish model of lethal congenital contracture syndrome 1 reveals Gle1 function in spinal neural precursor survival and motor axon arborization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jao, Li-En; Appel, Bruce; Wente, Susan R

    2012-04-01

    In humans, GLE1 is mutated in lethal congenital contracture syndrome 1 (LCCS1) leading to prenatal death of all affected fetuses. Although the molecular roles of Gle1 in nuclear mRNA export and translation have been documented, no animal models for this disease have been reported. To elucidate the function of Gle1 in vertebrate development, we used the zebrafish (Danio rerio) model system. gle1 mRNA is maternally deposited and widely expressed. Altering Gle1 using an insertional mutant or antisense morpholinos results in multiple defects, including immobility, small eyes, diminished pharyngeal arches, curved body axis, edema, underdeveloped intestine and cell death in the central nervous system. These phenotypes parallel those observed in LCCS1 human fetuses. Gle1 depletion also results in reduction of motoneurons and aberrant arborization of motor axons. Unexpectedly, the motoneuron deficiency results from apoptosis of neural precursors, not of differentiated motoneurons. Mosaic analyses further indicate that Gle1 activity is required extrinsically in the environment for normal motor axon arborization. Importantly, the zebrafish phenotypes caused by Gle1 deficiency are only rescued by expressing wild-type human GLE1 and not by the disease-linked Fin(Major) mutant form of GLE1. Together, our studies provide the first functional characterization of Gle1 in vertebrate development and reveal its essential role in actively dividing cells. We propose that defective GLE1 function in human LCCS1 results in both neurogenic and non-neurogenic defects linked to the apoptosis of proliferative organ precursors.

  9. Trial-by-Trial Modulation of Associative Memory Formation by Reward Prediction Error and Reward Anticipation as Revealed by a Biologically Plausible Computational Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberg, Kristoffer C; Müller, Julia; Schwartz, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Anticipation and delivery of rewards improves memory formation, but little effort has been made to disentangle their respective contributions to memory enhancement. Moreover, it has been suggested that the effects of reward on memory are mediated by dopaminergic influences on hippocampal plasticity. Yet, evidence linking memory improvements to actual reward computations reflected in the activity of the dopaminergic system, i.e., prediction errors and expected values, is scarce and inconclusive. For example, different previous studies reported that the magnitude of prediction errors during a reinforcement learning task was a positive, negative, or non-significant predictor of successfully encoding simultaneously presented images. Individual sensitivities to reward and punishment have been found to influence the activation of the dopaminergic reward system and could therefore help explain these seemingly discrepant results. Here, we used a novel associative memory task combined with computational modeling and showed independent effects of reward-delivery and reward-anticipation on memory. Strikingly, the computational approach revealed positive influences from both reward delivery, as mediated by prediction error magnitude, and reward anticipation, as mediated by magnitude of expected value, even in the absence of behavioral effects when analyzed using standard methods, i.e., by collapsing memory performance across trials within conditions. We additionally measured trait estimates of reward and punishment sensitivity and found that individuals with increased reward (vs. punishment) sensitivity had better memory for associations encoded during positive (vs. negative) prediction errors when tested after 20 min, but a negative trend when tested after 24 h. In conclusion, modeling trial-by-trial fluctuations in the magnitude of reward, as we did here for prediction errors and expected value computations, provides a comprehensive and biologically plausible description of

  10. Molecular simulations and Markov state modeling reveal the structural diversity and dynamics of a theophylline-binding RNA aptamer in its unbound state.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Becka M Warfield

    Full Text Available RNA aptamers are oligonucleotides that bind with high specificity and affinity to target ligands. In the absence of bound ligand, secondary structures of RNA aptamers are generally stable, but single-stranded and loop regions, including ligand binding sites, lack defined structures and exist as ensembles of conformations. For example, the well-characterized theophylline-binding aptamer forms a highly stable binding site when bound to theophylline, but the binding site is unstable and disordered when theophylline is absent. Experimental methods have not revealed at atomic resolution the conformations that the theophylline aptamer explores in its unbound state. Consequently, in the present study we applied 21 microseconds of molecular dynamics simulations to structurally characterize the ensemble of conformations that the aptamer adopts in the absence of theophylline. Moreover, we apply Markov state modeling to predict the kinetics of transitions between unbound conformational states. Our simulation results agree with experimental observations that the theophylline binding site is found in many distinct binding-incompetent states and show that these states lack a binding pocket that can accommodate theophylline. The binding-incompetent states interconvert with binding-competent states through structural rearrangement of the binding site on the nanosecond to microsecond timescale. Moreover, we have simulated the complete theophylline binding pathway. Our binding simulations supplement prior experimental observations of slow theophylline binding kinetics by showing that the binding site must undergo a large conformational rearrangement after the aptamer and theophylline form an initial complex, most notably, a major rearrangement of the C27 base from a buried to solvent-exposed orientation. Theophylline appears to bind by a combination of conformational selection and induced fit mechanisms. Finally, our modeling indicates that when Mg2+ ions are

  11. Acetylome analysis reveals the involvement of lysine acetylation in photosynthesis and carbon metabolism in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Ran; Yang, Mingkun; Chen, Zhuo; Cheng, Zhongyi; Yi, Xingling; Li, Chongyang; He, Chenliu; Xiong, Qian; Chen, Hui; Wang, Qiang; Ge, Feng

    2015-02-06

    Cyanobacteria are the oldest known life form inhabiting Earth and the only prokaryotes capable of performing oxygenic photosynthesis. Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (Synechocystis) is a model cyanobacterium used extensively in research on photosynthesis and environmental adaptation. Posttranslational protein modification by lysine acetylation plays a critical regulatory role in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes; however, its extent and function in cyanobacteria remain unexplored. Herein, we performed a global acetylome analysis on Synechocystis through peptide prefractionation, antibody enrichment, and high accuracy LC-MS/MS analysis; identified 776 acetylation sites on 513 acetylated proteins; and functionally categorized them into an interaction map showing their involvement in various biological processes. Consistent with previous reports, a large fraction of the acetylation sites are present on proteins involved in cellular metabolism. Interestingly, for the first time, many proteins involved in photosynthesis, including the subunits of phycocyanin (CpcA, CpcB, CpcC, and CpcG) and allophycocyanin (ApcA, ApcB, ApcD, ApcE, and ApcF), were found to be lysine acetylated, suggesting that lysine acetylation may play regulatory roles in the photosynthesis process. Six identified acetylated proteins associated with photosynthesis and carbon metabolism were further validated by immunoprecipitation and Western blotting. Our data provide the first global survey of lysine acetylation in cyanobacteria and reveal previously unappreciated roles of lysine acetylation in the regulation of photosynthesis. The provided data set may serve as an important resource for the functional analysis of lysine acetylation in cyanobacteria and facilitate the elucidation of the entire metabolic networks and photosynthesis process in this model cyanobacterium.

  12. Site-directed mutagenesis under the direction of in silico protein docking modeling reveals the active site residues of 3-ketosteroid-Δ1-dehydrogenase from Mycobacterium neoaurum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Ning; Shen, Yanbing; Yang, Xu; Su, Liqiu; Tang, Rui; Li, Wei; Wang, Min

    2017-07-01

    3-Ketosteroid-Δ 1 -dehydrogenases (KsdD) from Mycobacterium neoaurum could transform androst-4-ene-3,17-dione (AD) to androst-1,4-diene-3,17-dione. This reaction has a significant effect on the product of pharmaceutical steroid. The crystal structure and active site residues information of KsdD from Mycobacterium is not yet available, which result in the engineering of KsdD is tedious. In this study, by the way of protein modeling and site-directed mutagenesis, we find that, Y122, Y125, S138, E140 and Y541 from the FAD-binding domain and Y365 from the catalytic domain play a key role in this transformation. Compared with the wild type, the decline in AD conversion for mutants illustrated that Y125, Y365, and Y541 were essential to the function of KsdD. Y122, S138 and E140 contributed to the catalysis of KsdD. The following analysis revealed the catalysis mechanism of these mutations in KsdD of Mycobacterium. These information presented here facilitate the manipulation of the catalytic properties of the enzyme to improve its application in the pharmaceutical steroid industry.

  13. Vascular Targeting in Pancreatic Cancer: The Novel Tubulin-Binding Agent ZD6126 Reveals Antitumor Activity in Primary and Metastatic Tumor Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Kleespies

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available ZD6126 is a novel vascular-targeting agent that acts by disrupting the tubulin cytoskeleton of an immature tumor endothelium, leading to an occlusion of tumor blood vessels and a subsequent tumor necrosis. We wanted to evaluate ZD6126 in primary and metastatic tumor models of human pancreatic cancer. Nude mice were injected orthotopically with L3.6pl pancreatic cancer cells. In single and multiple dosing experiments, mice received ZD6126, gemcitabine, a combination of both agents, or no treatment. For the induction of metastatic disease, additional groups of mice were injected with L3.6pl cells into the spleen. Twenty-four hours after a single-dose treatment, ZD6126 therapy led to an extensive central tumor necrosis, which was not seen after gemcitabine treatment. Multiple dosing of ZD6126 resulted in a significant growth inhibition of primary tumors and a marked reduction of spontaneous liver and lymph node metastases. Experimental metastatic disease could be significantly controlled by a combination of ZD6126 and gemcitabine, as shown by a reduction of the number and size of established liver metastases. As shown by additional in vitro and in vivo experiments, possible mechanisms involve antivascular activities and subsequent antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of ZD6126 on tumor cells, whereas direct activities against tumor cells seem unlikely. These data highlight the antitumor and antimetastatic effects of ZD6126 in human pancreatic cancer and reveal benefits of adding ZD6126 to standard gemcitabine therapy.

  14. Non-density dependent pollen dispersal of Shorea maxwelliana (Dipterocarpaceae revealed by a Bayesian mating model based on paternity analysis in two synchronized flowering seasons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinsuke Masuda

    Full Text Available Pollinator syndrome is one of the most important determinants regulating pollen dispersal in tropical tree species. It has been widely accepted that the reproduction of tropical forest species, especially dipterocarps that rely on insects with weak flight for their pollination, is positively density-dependent. However differences in pollinator syndrome should affect pollen dispersal patterns and, consequently, influence genetic diversity via the mating process. We examined the pollen dispersal pattern and mating system of Shorea maxwelliana, the flowers of which are larger than those of Shorea species belonging to section Mutica which are thought to be pollinated by thrips (weak flyers. A Bayesian mating model based on the paternity of seeds collected from mother trees during sporadic and mass flowering events revealed that the estimated pollen dispersal kernel and average pollen dispersal distance were similar for both flowering events. This evidence suggests that the putative pollinators - small beetles and weevils - effectively contribute to pollen dispersal and help to maintain a high outcrossing rate even during sporadic flowering events. However, the reduction in pollen donors during a sporadic event results in a reduction in effective pollen donors, which should lead to lower genetic diversity in the next generation derived from seeds produced during such an event. Although sporadic flowering has been considered less effective for outcrossing in Shorea species that depend on thrips for their pollination, effective pollen dispersal by the small beetles and weevils ensures outcrossing during periods of low flowering tree density, as occurs in a sporadic flowering event.

  15. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry and computational modeling reveal a discontinuous epitope of an antibody/TL1A Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Richard Y-C; Krystek, Stanley R; Felix, Nathan; Graziano, Robert F; Srinivasan, Mohan; Pashine, Achal; Chen, Guodong

    2018-01-01

    TL1A, a tumor necrosis factor-like cytokine, is a ligand for the death domain receptor DR3. TL1A, upon binding to DR3, can stimulate lymphocytes and trigger secretion of proinflammatory cytokines. Therefore, blockade of TL1A/DR3 interaction may be a potential therapeutic strategy for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Recently, the anti-TL1A monoclonal antibody 1 (mAb1) with a strong potency in blocking the TL1A/DR3 interaction was identified. Here, we report on the use of hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) to obtain molecular-level details of mAb1's binding epitope on TL1A. HDX coupled with electron-transfer dissociation MS provided residue-level epitope information. The HDX dataset, in combination with solvent accessible surface area (SASA) analysis and computational modeling, revealed a discontinuous epitope within the predicted interaction interface of TL1A and DR3. The epitope regions span a distance within the approximate size of the variable domains of mAb1's heavy and light chains, indicating it uses a unique mechanism of action to block the TL1A/DR3 interaction.

  16. Human iPSC-Derived Neuronal Model of Tau-A152T Frontotemporal Dementia Reveals Tau-Mediated Mechanisms of Neuronal Vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Catarina Silva

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Frontotemporal dementia (FTD and other tauopathies characterized by focal brain neurodegeneration and pathological accumulation of proteins are commonly associated with tau mutations. However, the mechanism of neuronal loss is not fully understood. To identify molecular events associated with tauopathy, we studied induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC-derived neurons from individuals carrying the tau-A152T variant. We highlight the potential of in-depth phenotyping of human neuronal cell models for pre-clinical studies and identification of modulators of endogenous tau toxicity. Through a panel of biochemical and cellular assays, A152T neurons showed accumulation, redistribution, and decreased solubility of tau. Upregulation of tau was coupled to enhanced stress-inducible markers and cell vulnerability to proteotoxic, excitotoxic, and mitochondrial stressors, which was rescued upon CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeting of tau or by pharmacological activation of autophagy. Our findings unmask tau-mediated perturbations of specific pathways associated with neuronal vulnerability, revealing potential early disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets for FTD and other tauopathies.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Gene expression profiling in a mouse model of retinal vein occlusion induced by laser treatment reveals a predominant inflammatory and tissue damage response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Gottfried; Conrad, David; Cakir, Bertan; Schlunck, Günther; Agostini, Hansjürgen T

    2018-01-01

    Retinal vein occlusion (RVO) has been investigated in several laser-induced animal models using pigs, rabbits and rats. However, laser-induced RVO has been rarely reported in mice, despite the impressive number of available mutants, ease of handling and cost effectiveness. The aim of this study was to further assess the feasibility of a RVO mouse model for gene expression analysis and its possible use to investigate effects of hypoxia. C57Bl/6J mice were injected with eosin Y for photo-sensitization. Subsequently, large retinal veins were laser-treated in one eye to induce vascular occlusion. Contralateral control eyes received non-occlusive retinal laser treatment sparing large vessels. The animals were followed for up to eight days and assessed by funduscopy, angiography, hypoxyprobe staining, histopathology and gene expression analysis by qPCR and RNA sequencing (RNAseq). Another group of mice was left untreated and studied at a single time point to determine baseline characteristics. Laser-induced RVO persisted in half of the treated veins for three days, and in a third of the veins for the whole observation period of 8 days. Funduscopy revealed large areas of retinal swelling in all laser-treated eyes, irrespective of vascular targeting or occlusion status. Damage of the outer retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and even choroid and sclera at the laser site was observed in histological sections. Genes associated with inflammation or cell damage were highly up-regulated in all laser-treated eyes as detected by RNAseq and qPCR. Retinal hypoxia was observed by hypoxyprobe staining in all RVO eyes for up to 5 days with a maximal extension at days 2 and 3, but no significant RVO-dependent changes in gene expression were detected for angiogenesis- or hypoxia-related genes. The laser-induced RVO mouse model is characterized by a predominant general inflammatory and tissue damage response, which may obscure distinct hypoxia- and angiogenesis-related effects. A

  20. A translational murine model of sub-lethal intoxication with Shiga toxin 2 reveals novel ultrastructural findings in the brain striatum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Tironi-Farinati

    Full Text Available Infection by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli causes hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS, acute renal failure, and also central nervous system complications in around 30% of the children affected. Besides, neurological deficits are one of the most unrepairable and untreatable outcomes of HUS. Study of the striatum is relevant because basal ganglia are one of the brain areas most commonly affected in patients that have suffered from HUS and since the deleterious effects of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin have never been studied in the striatum, the purpose of this study was to attempt to simulate an infection by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in a murine model. To this end, intravenous administration of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin 2 (0.5 ηg per mouse was used and the correlation between neurological manifestations and ultrastructural changes in striatal brain cells was studied in detail. Neurological manifestations included significant motor behavior abnormalities in spontaneous motor activity, gait, pelvic elevation and hind limb activity eight days after administration of the toxin. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the toxin caused early perivascular edema two days after administration, as well as significant damage in astrocytes four days after administration and significant damage in neurons and oligodendrocytes eight days after administration. Interrupted synapses and mast cell extravasation were also found eight days after administration of the toxin. We thus conclude that the chronological order of events observed in the striatum could explain the neurological disorders found eight days after administration of the toxin.

  1. Integrative analysis and expression profiling of secondary cell wall genes in C4 biofuel model Setaria italica reveals targets for lignocellulose bioengineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehanathan eMuthamilarasan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Several underutilized grasses have excellent potential for use as bioenergy feedstock due to their lignocellulosic biomass. Genomic tools have enabled identification of lignocellulose biosynthesis genes in several sequenced plants. However, the non-availability of whole genome sequence of bioenergy grasses hinders the study on bioenergy genomics and their genomics-assisted crop improvement. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.; Si is a model crop for studying systems biology of bioenergy grasses. In the present study, a systematic approach has been used for identification of gene families involved in cellulose (CesA/Csl, callose (Gsl and monolignol biosynthesis (PAL, C4H, 4CL, HCT, C3H, CCoAOMT, F5H, COMT, CCR, CAD and construction of physical map of foxtail millet. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis of identified proteins showed that monolignol biosynthesis proteins were highly diverse, whereas CesA/Csl and Gsl proteins were homologous to rice and Arabidopsis. Comparative mapping of foxtail millet lignocellulose biosynthesis genes with other C4 panicoid genomes revealed maximum homology with switchgrass, followed by sorghum and maize. Expression profiling of candidate lignocellulose genes in response to different abiotic stresses and hormone treatments showed their differential expression pattern, with significant higher expression of SiGsl12, SiPAL2, SiHCT1, SiF5H2 and SiCAD6 genes. Further, due to the evolutionary conservation of grass genomes, the insights gained from the present study could be extrapolated for identifying genes involved in lignocellulose biosynthesis in other biofuel species for further characterization.

  2. A novel Atoh1 "self-terminating" mouse model reveals the necessity of proper Atoh1 level and duration for hair cell differentiation and viability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Pan

    Full Text Available Atonal homolog1 (Atoh1 is a bHLH transcription factor essential for inner ear hair cell differentiation. Targeted expression of Atoh1 at various stages in development can result in hair cell differentiation in the ear. However, the level and duration of Atoh1 expression required for proper hair cell differentiation and maintenance remain unknown. We generated an Atoh1 conditional knockout (CKO mouse line using Tg(Atoh1-cre, in which the cre expression is driven by an Atoh1 enhancer element that is regulated by Atoh1 protein to "self-terminate" its expression. The mutant mice show transient, limited expression of Atoh1 in all hair cells in the ear. In the organ of Corti, reduction and delayed deletion of Atoh1 result in progressive loss of almost all the inner hair cells and the majority of the outer hair cells within three weeks after birth. The remaining cells express hair cell marker Myo7a and attract nerve fibers, but do not differentiate normal stereocilia bundles. Some Myo7a-positive cells persist in the cochlea into adult stages in the position of outer hair cells, flanked by a single row of pillar cells and two to three rows of disorganized Deiters cells. Gene expression analyses of Atoh1, Barhl1 and Pou4f3, genes required for survival and maturation of hair cells, reveal earlier and higher expression levels in the inner compared to the outer hair cells. Our data show that Atoh1 is crucial for hair cell mechanotransduction development, viability, and maintenance and also suggest that Atoh1 expression level and duration may play a role in inner vs. outer hair cell development. These genetically engineered Atoh1 CKO mice provide a novel model for establishing critical conditions needed to regenerate viable and functional hair cells with Atoh1 therapy.

  3. Mitochondrial DNA analyses and ecological niche modeling reveal post-LGM expansion of the Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis) in the foothills of Nepal Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanal, Laxman; Chalise, Mukesh K; He, Kai; Acharya, Bipin K; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Jiang, Xuelong

    2018-03-01

    Genetic diversity of a species is influenced by multiple factors, including the Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles and geophysical barriers. Such factors are not yet well documented for fauna from the southern border of the Himalayan region. This study used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and ecological niche modeling (ENM) to explore how the late Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and complex geography of the Himalayan region have shaped genetic diversity, population genetic structure, and demographic history of the Nepalese population of Assam macaques (Macaca assamensis) in the Himalayan foothills. A total of 277 fecal samples were collected from 39 wild troops over almost the entire distribution of the species in Nepal. The mtDNA fragment encompassing the complete control region (1121 bp) was recovered from 208 samples, thus defining 54 haplotypes. Results showed low nucleotide diversity (0.0075 ± SD 0.0001) but high haplotype diversity (0.965 ± SD 0.004). The mtDNA sequences revealed a shallow population genetic structure with a moderate but statistically significant effect of isolation by distance. Demographic history analyses using mtDNA sequences suggested a post-pleistocene population expansion. Paleodistribution reconstruction projected that the potential habitat of the Assam macaque was confined to the lower elevations of central Nepal during the Last Glacial Maximum. With the onset of the Holocene climatic optimum, the glacial refugia population experienced eastward range expansion to higher elevations. We conclude that the low genetic diversity and shallow population genetic structure of the Assam macaque population in the Nepal Himalaya region are the consequence of recent demographic and spatial expansion. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Interaction structure of the complex between neuroprotective factor humanin and Alzheimer's β-amyloid peptide revealed by affinity mass spectrometry and molecular modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maftei, Madalina; Tian, Xiaodan; Manea, Marilena; Exner, Thomas E; Schwanzar, Daniel; von Arnim, Christine A F; Przybylski, Michael

    2012-06-01

    Humanin (HN) is a linear 24-aa peptide recently detected in human Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain. HN specifically inhibits neuronal cell death in vitro induced by ß-amyloid (Aß) peptides and by amyloid precursor protein and its gene mutations in familial AD, thereby representing a potential therapeutic lead structure for AD; however, its molecular mechanism of action is not well understood. We report here the identification of the binding epitopes between HN and Aß(1-40) and characterization of the interaction structure through a molecular modeling study. Wild-type HN and HN-sequence mutations were synthesized by SPPS and the HPLC-purified peptides characterized by MALDI-MS. The interaction epitopes between HN and Aß(1-40) were identified by affinity-MS using proteolytic epitope excision and extraction, followed by elution and mass spectrometric characterization of the affinity-bound peptides. The affinity-MS analyses revealed HN(5-15) as the epitope sequence of HN, whereas Aß(17-28) was identified as the Aß interaction epitope. The epitopes and binding sites were ascertained by ELISA of the complex of HN peptides with immobilized Aß(1-40) and by ELISA with Aß(1-40) and Aß-partial sequences as ligands to immobilized HN. The specificity and affinity of the HN-Aß interaction were characterized by direct ESI-MS of the HN-Aß(1-40) complex and by bioaffinity analysis using a surface acoustic wave biosensor, providing a K(D) of the complex of 610 nm. A molecular dynamics simulation of the HN-Aß(1-40) complex was consistent with the binding specificity and shielding effects of the HN and Aß interaction epitopes. These results indicate a specific strong association of HN and Aß(1-40) polypeptide and provide a molecular basis for understanding the neuroprotective function of HN. Copyright © 2012 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Homology modeling and docking of AahII-Nanobody complexes reveal the epitope binding site on AahII scorpion toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ksouri, Ayoub; Ghedira, Kais; Ben Abderrazek, Rahma; Shankar, B A Gowri; Benkahla, Alia; Bishop, Ozlem Tastan; Bouhaouala-Zahar, Balkiss

    2018-02-19

    Scorpion envenoming and its treatment is a public health problem in many parts of the world due to highly toxic venom polypeptides diffusing rapidly within the body of severely envenomed victims. Recently, 38 AahII-specific Nanobody sequences (Nbs) were retrieved from which the performance of NbAahII10 nanobody candidate, to neutralize the most poisonous venom compound namely AahII acting on sodium channels, was established. Herein, structural computational approach is conducted to elucidate the Nb-AahII interactions that support the biological characteristics, using Nb multiple sequence alignment (MSA) followed by modeling and molecular docking investigations (RosettaAntibody, ZDOCK software tools). Sequence and structural analysis showed two dissimilar residues of NbAahII10 CDR1 (Tyr27 and Tyr29) and an inserted polar residue Ser30 that appear to play an important role. Indeed, CDR3 region of NbAahII10 is characterized by a specific Met104 and two negatively charged residues Asp115 and Asp117. Complex dockings reveal that NbAahII17 and NbAahII38 share one common binding site on the surface of the AahII toxin divergent from the NbAahII10 one's. At least, a couple of NbAahII10 - AahII residue interactions (Gln38 - Asn44 and Arg62, His64, respectively) are mainly involved in the toxic AahII binding site. Altogether, this study gives valuable insights in the design and development of next generation of antivenom. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Nearly isentropic flow at sizeable $\\eta/s$ arXiv

    CERN Document Server

    Kurkela, Aleksi; Wu, Bin

    Non-linearities in the harmonic spectra of hadron-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus collisions provide evidence for the dynamical response to azimuthal spatial eccentricities. Here, we demonstrate within the framework of transport theory that even the mildest interaction correction to a picture of free-streaming particle distributions, namely the inclusion of one perturbatively weak interaction ("one-hit dynamics"), will generically give rise to all observed linear and non-linear structures. We further argue that transport theory naturally accounts within the range of its validity for realistic signal sizes of the linear and non-linear response coefficients observed in azimuthal momentum anisotropies with a large mean free path of the order of the system size in peripheral ($\\sim 50 \\%$ centrality) PbPb or central pPb collisions. The shear viscosity to entropy density ratio $\\eta/s$ of such a transport theory is approximately an order of magnitude larger than that of an almost perfect fluid. The phenomenological su...

  7. Gating Systems for Sizeable Castings from Al Alloys Cast into Ceramic Moulds

    OpenAIRE

    Stachovec I.; Horáček M.; Zemčík L.; Kolda V.; Horenský J.

    2012-01-01

    In contrast to casting to conventional non-reusable “sand” moulds, for which calculating technique for an optimum design of the gating system is comparatively well-developed, a trial-and-error method is applied mostly for casting to ceramic shell moulds made by the investment casting technology. A technologist selects from gating systems of several types (that are standardized by the foundry mostly) on the basis of experience. However, this approach is not sustainable with ever growing demand...

  8. Puerto Rico Revealed Preference Survey Data 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. Dearth of dark matter or massive dark halo? Mass-shape-anisotropy degeneracies revealed by NMAGIC dynamical models of the elliptical galaxy NGC 3379

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Lorenzi, F.; Gerhard, O.; Coccato, L.; Arnaboldi, M.; Capaccioli, M.; Douglas, N. G.; Freeman, K. C.; Kuijken, K.; Merrifield, M. R.; Napolitano, N. R.; Noordermeer, E.; Romanowsky, A. J.; Debattista, V. P.

    2009-01-01

    Recent results from the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph (PNS) survey have revealed a rapidly falling velocity dispersion profile in the nearby elliptical galaxy NGC 3379, casting doubts on whether this intermediate-luminosity galaxy has the kind of dark matter (DM) halo expected in A cold dark matter

  10. Age, introduction of solid feed and weaning are more important determinants of gut bacterial succession in piglets than breed and nursing mother as revealed by a reciprocal cross-fostering model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bian, Gaorui; Ma, Shouqing; Zhu, Zhigang; Su, Yong; Zoetendal, Erwin G.; Mackie, Roderick; Liu, Junhua; Mu, Chunlong; Huang, Ruihua; Smidt, Hauke; Zhu, Weiyun

    2016-01-01

    A reciprocal cross-fostering model with an obese typical Chinese piglet breed and a lean Western breed was used to identify genetic and maternal effects on the acquisition and development gut bacteria from birth until after weaning. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes results revealed an age- and

  11. Histopathologic characterization of the BTBR mouse model of autistic-like behavior reveals selective changes in neurodevelopmental proteins and adult hippocampal neurogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephenson Diane T

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The inbred mouse strain BTBR T+ tf/J (BTBR exhibits behavioral deficits that mimic the core deficits of autism. Neuroanatomically, the BTBR strain is also characterized by a complete absence of the corpus callosum. The goal of this study was to identify novel molecular and cellular changes in the BTBR mouse, focusing on neuronal, synaptic, glial and plasticity markers in the limbic system as a model for identifying putative molecular and cellular substrates associated with autistic behaviors. Methods Forebrains of 8 to 10-week-old male BTBR and age-matched C57Bl/6J control mice were evaluated by immunohistochemistry using free-floating and paraffin embedded sections. Twenty antibodies directed against antigens specific to neurons, synapses and glia were used. Nissl, Timm and acetylcholinesterase (AchE stains were performed to assess cytoarchitecture, mossy fibers and cholinergic fiber density, respectively. In the hippocampus, quantitative stereological estimates for the mitotic marker bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU were performed to determine hippocampal progenitor proliferation, survival and differentiation, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF mRNA was quantified by in situ hybridization. Quantitative image analysis was performed for NG2, doublecortin (DCX, NeuroD, GAD67 and Poly-Sialic Acid Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (PSA-NCAM. Results In midline structures including the region of the absent corpus callosum of BTBR mice, the myelin markers 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase and myelin basic protein (MBP were reduced, and the oligodendrocyte precursor NG2 was increased. MBP and CNPase were expressed in small ectopic white matter bundles within the cingulate cortex. Microglia and astrocytes showed no evidence of gliosis, yet orientations of glial fibers were altered in specific white-matter areas. In the hippocampus, evidence of reduced neurogenesis included significant reductions in the number of

  12. Revealed preference with limited consideration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Demuynck, T.; Seel, C.

    2014-01-01

    We derive revealed preference tests for models where individuals use consideration sets to simplify their consumption problem. Our basic test provides necessary and sufficient conditions for consistency of observed choices with the existence of consideration set restrictions. The same conditions can

  13. A joint individual-based model coupling growth and mortality reveals that tree vigor is a key component of tropical forest dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubry-Kientz, Mélaine; Rossi, Vivien; Boreux, Jean-Jacques; Hérault, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Tree vigor is often used as a covariate when tree mortality is predicted from tree growth in tropical forest dynamic models, but it is rarely explicitly accounted for in a coherent modeling framework. We quantify tree vigor at the individual tree level, based on the difference between expected and observed growth. The available methods to join nonlinear tree growth and mortality processes are not commonly used by forest ecologists so that we develop an inference methodology based on an MCMC approach, allowing us to sample the parameters of the growth and mortality model according to their posterior distribution using the joint model likelihood. We apply our framework to a set of data on the 20-year dynamics of a forest in Paracou, French Guiana, taking advantage of functional trait-based growth and mortality models already developed independently. Our results showed that growth and mortality are intimately linked and that the vigor estimator is an essential predictor of mortality, highlighting that trees growing more than expected have a far lower probability of dying. Our joint model methodology is sufficiently generic to be used to join two longitudinal and punctual linked processes and thus may be applied to a wide range of growth and mortality models. In the context of global changes, such joint models are urgently needed in tropical forests to analyze, and then predict, the effects of the ongoing changes on the tree dynamics in hyperdiverse tropical forests.

  14. Distribution models for Panicum virgatum (Poaceae) reveal an expanded range in present and future climate regimes in the northeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Collin W; Meyer, Thomas H; Auer, Carol A

    2014-11-01

    Expanded area cultivated with the bioenergy crop Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) could alter the genetics of native populations through gene flow, so understanding current and future species distribution is a first step toward estimating ecological impacts. We surveyed switchgrass distribution in the northeastern United States and generated statistical models to address hypotheses about current distribution relative to historical records and responses to climate change. Surveys were conducted on 1600 km of road verges along environmental gradients. Switchgrass abundance became the training data for two multivariate generalized linear models that generated maps representing the probability of switchgrass in road verges. Models were evaluated and the superior model was used with variables from three climate change scenarios for 2050 and 2099. Switchgrass populations were found in 41% of roadside plots and up to 188 km from the coast. The environmental variables temperature, urban areas, and sandy soils were positively correlated with switchgrass presence, while elevation, soil pH, and distance to the coast were negatively correlated. The model without spatial autocorrelation performed better. Models and maps incorporating climate change predictions showed a sharp northward shift in suitable habitat. Switchgrass populations in the northeastern United States occur on inland road verges, supporting the idea that species distribution has expanded relative to historical descriptions of a restricted coastal habitat. The optimal model showed that mean temperature, elevation, and urban development were important in switchgrass distribution today, and climate change will increase suitable habitat for future bioenergy production and wild populations. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  15. Single-Cell Gene Expression Analysis of a Human ESC Model of Pancreatic Endocrine Development Reveals Different Paths to β-Cell Differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Maja Borup Kjær; Azad, Ajuna; Ingvorsen, Camilla; Hess, Katja; Hansson, Mattias; Grapin-Botton, Anne; Honoré, Christian

    2017-10-10

    The production of insulin-producing β cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in vitro represents a promising strategy for a cell-based therapy for type 1 diabetes mellitus. To explore the cellular heterogeneity and temporal progression of endocrine progenitors and their progeny, we performed single-cell qPCR on more than 500 cells across several stages of in vitro differentiation of hESCs and compared them with human islets. We reveal distinct subpopulations along the endocrine differentiation path and an early lineage bifurcation toward either polyhormonal cells or β-like cells. We uncover several similarities and differences with mouse development and reveal that cells can take multiple paths to the same differentiation state, a principle that could be relevant to other systems. Notably, activation of the key β-cell transcription factor NKX6.1 can be initiated before or after endocrine commitment. The single-cell temporal resolution we provide can be used to improve the production of functional β cells. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Olfactory learning without the mushroom bodies: Spiking neural network models of the honeybee lateral antennal lobe tract reveal its capacities in odour memory tasks of varied complexities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MaBouDi, HaDi; Shimazaki, Hideaki; Giurfa, Martin; Chittka, Lars

    2017-06-01

    The honeybee olfactory system is a well-established model for understanding functional mechanisms of learning and memory. Olfactory stimuli are first processed in the antennal lobe, and then transferred to the mushroom body and lateral horn through dual pathways termed medial and lateral antennal lobe tracts (m-ALT and l-ALT). Recent studies reported that honeybees can perform elemental learning by associating an odour with a reward signal even after lesions in m-ALT or blocking the mushroom bodies. To test the hypothesis that the lateral pathway (l-ALT) is sufficient for elemental learning, we modelled local computation within glomeruli in antennal lobes with axons of projection neurons connecting to a decision neuron (LHN) in the lateral horn. We show that inhibitory spike-timing dependent plasticity (modelling non-associative plasticity by exposure to different stimuli) in the synapses from local neurons to projection neurons decorrelates the projection neurons' outputs. The strength of the decorrelations is regulated by global inhibitory feedback within antennal lobes to the projection neurons. By additionally modelling octopaminergic modification of synaptic plasticity among local neurons in the antennal lobes and projection neurons to LHN connections, the model can discriminate and generalize olfactory stimuli. Although positive patterning can be accounted for by the l-ALT model, negative patterning requires further processing and mushroom body circuits. Thus, our model explains several-but not all-types of associative olfactory learning and generalization by a few neural layers of odour processing in the l-ALT. As an outcome of the combination between non-associative and associative learning, the modelling approach allows us to link changes in structural organization of honeybees' antennal lobes with their behavioural performances over the course of their life.

  17. Functional Genomic and Proteomic Analysis Reveals Disruption of Myelin-Related Genes and Translation in a Mouse Model of Early Life Neglect

    OpenAIRE

    Bordner, Kelly A.; George, Elizabeth D.; Carlyle, Becky C.; Duque, Alvaro; Kitchen, Robert R.; Lam, TuKiet T.; Colangelo, Christopher M.; Stone, Kathryn L.; Abbott, Thomas B.; Mane, Shrikant M.; Nairn, Angus C.; Simen, Arthur A.

    2011-01-01

    Early life neglect is an important public health problem which can lead to lasting psychological dysfunction. Good animal models are necessary to understand the mechanisms responsible for the behavioral and anatomical pathology that results. We recently described a novel model of early life neglect, maternal separation with early weaning (MSEW), that produces behavioral changes in the mouse that persist into adulthood. To begin to understand the mechanism by which MSEW leads to these changes ...

  18. A modified MELD model for Chinese pre-ACLF and ACLF patients and it reveals poor prognosis in pre-ACLF patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Xia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND & AIMS: Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF is one of the most deadly, prevalent, and costly diseases in Asia. However, no prognostic model has been developed that is based specifically on data gathered from Asian patients with ACLF. The aim of the present study was to quantify the survival time of ACLF among Asians and to develop a prognostic model to estimate the probability of death related to ACLF. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study to analyze clinical data from 857 patients with ACLF/pre-ACLF who did not undergo liver transplantation. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression model were used to estimate survival rates and survival affected factors. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (auROC was used to evaluate the performance of the models for predicting early mortality. RESULTS: The mortality rates among patients with pre-ACLF at 12 weeks and 24 weeks after diagnosis were 30.5% and 33.2%, respectively. The mortality rates among patients with early-stage ACLF at 12 weeks and 24 weeks after diagnosis were 33.9% and 37.1%, respectively. The difference in survival between pre-ACLF patients and patients in the early stage of ACLF was not statistically significant. The prognostic model identified 5 independent factors significantly associated with survival among patients with ACLF and pre-ACLF: the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD score; age, hepatic encephalopathy; triglyceride level and platelet count. CONCLUSION: The findings of the present study suggest that the Chinese diagnostic criteria of ACLF might be broadened, thus enabling implementation of a novel model to predict ACLF-related death after comprehensive medical treatment.

  19. Ab initio structural modeling of and experimental validation for Chlamydia trachomatis protein CT296 reveal structural similarity to Fe(II) 2-oxoglutarate-dependent enzymes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kemege, Kyle E.; Hickey, John M.; Lovell, Scott; Battaile, Kevin P.; Zhang, Yang; Hefty, P. Scott (Michigan); (Kansas); (HWMRI)

    2012-02-13

    Chlamydia trachomatis is a medically important pathogen that encodes a relatively high percentage of proteins with unknown function. The three-dimensional structure of a protein can be very informative regarding the protein's functional characteristics; however, determining protein structures experimentally can be very challenging. Computational methods that model protein structures with sufficient accuracy to facilitate functional studies have had notable successes. To evaluate the accuracy and potential impact of computational protein structure modeling of hypothetical proteins encoded by Chlamydia, a successful computational method termed I-TASSER was utilized to model the three-dimensional structure of a hypothetical protein encoded by open reading frame (ORF) CT296. CT296 has been reported to exhibit functional properties of a divalent cation transcription repressor (DcrA), with similarity to the Escherichia coli iron-responsive transcriptional repressor, Fur. Unexpectedly, the I-TASSER model of CT296 exhibited no structural similarity to any DNA-interacting proteins or motifs. To validate the I-TASSER-generated model, the structure of CT296 was solved experimentally using X-ray crystallography. Impressively, the ab initio I-TASSER-generated model closely matched (2.72-{angstrom} C{alpha} root mean square deviation [RMSD]) the high-resolution (1.8-{angstrom}) crystal structure of CT296. Modeled and experimentally determined structures of CT296 share structural characteristics of non-heme Fe(II) 2-oxoglutarate-dependent enzymes, although key enzymatic residues are not conserved, suggesting a unique biochemical process is likely associated with CT296 function. Additionally, functional analyses did not support prior reports that CT296 has properties shared with divalent cation repressors such as Fur.

  20. Modeling Spike-Train Processing in the Cerebellum Granular Layer and Changes in Plasticity Reveal Single Neuron Effects in Neural Ensembles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaitanya Medini

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The cerebellum input stage has been known to perform combinatorial operations on input signals. In this paper, two types of mathematical models were used to reproduce the role of feed-forward inhibition and computation in the granular layer microcircuitry to investigate spike train processing. A simple spiking model and a biophysically-detailed model of the network were used to study signal recoding in the granular layer and to test observations like center-surround organization and time-window hypothesis in addition to effects of induced plasticity. Simulations suggest that simple neuron models may be used to abstract timing phenomenon in large networks, however detailed models were needed to reconstruct population coding via evoked local field potentials (LFP and for simulating changes in synaptic plasticity. Our results also indicated that spatio-temporal code of the granular network is mainly controlled by the feed-forward inhibition from the Golgi cell synapses. Spike amplitude and total number of spikes were modulated by LTP and LTD. Reconstructing granular layer evoked-LFP suggests that granular layer propagates the nonlinearities of individual neurons. Simulations indicate that granular layer network operates a robust population code for a wide range of intervals, controlled by the Golgi cell inhibition and is regulated by the post-synaptic excitability.

  1. Modelling single-trial ERP reveals modulation of bottom-up face visual processing by top-down task constraints (in some subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume A Rousselet

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available We studied how task constraints modulate the relationship between single-trial ERPs and image noise. Thirteen subjects performed two interleaved tasks: on different blocks, they saw the same stimuli, but they discriminated either between two faces or between two colours. Stimuli were two pictures of red or green faces that contained from 10% to 80% of phase noise, with 10% increments. Behavioural accuracy followed a noise dependent sigmoid in the identity task but was high and independent of noise level in the colour task. EEG data recorded concurrently were analyzed using a single-trial ANCOVA: we assessed how changes in task constraints modulated ERP noise sensitivity while regressing out the main ERP differences due to identity, colour and task. Single-trial ERP sensitivity to image phase noise started at about 95-110 ms post-stimulus onset. Group analyses showed a significant reduction in noise sensitivity in the colour task compared to the identity task from about 140 ms to 300 ms post-stimulus onset. However, statistical analyses in every subject revealed different results: significant task modulation occurred in 8/13 subjects, one showing an increase and 7 showing a decrease in noise sensitivity in the colour task. Onsets and durations of effects also differed between group and single-trial analyses: at any time point only a maximum of 4 subjects (31% showed results consistent with group analyses. We provide detailed results for all 13 subjects, including a shift function analysis that revealed asymmetric task modulations of single-trial ERP distributions. We conclude that, during face processing, bottom-up sensitivity to phase noise can be modulated by top-down task constraints, in a broad window around the P2, at least in some subjects.

  2. CuATSM efficacy is independently replicated in a SOD1 mouse model of ALS while unmetallated ATSM therapy fails to reveal benefits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando G. Vieira

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available A copper chelator known as diacetylbis(N(4-methylthiosemicarbazonato copper II (CuATSM, has been reported to be efficacious in multiple transgenic SOD1 models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neurons. Here we report that we also observed CuATSM efficacy on disease onset and progression in a standardized litter-matched and gender-balanced efficacy study using B6SJL-SOD1G93A/1Gur mice. We also report improved survival trends with CuATSM treatment. In addition, we report a lack of efficacy by unmetallated ATSM in the same model using the same standardized study design. These results add to existing evidence supporting an efficacious role for copper delivery using chaperone molecules in mouse models of ALS.

  3. Proteomic and biochemical analyses reveal the activation of unfolded protein response, ERK-1/2 and ribosomal protein S6 signaling in experimental autoimmune myocarditis rat model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Chan

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To investigate the molecular and cellular pathogenesis underlying myocarditis, we used an experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM-induced heart failure rat model that represents T cell mediated postinflammatory heart disorders. Results By performing unbiased 2-dimensional electrophoresis of protein extracts from control rat heart tissues and EAM rat heart tissues, followed by nano-HPLC-ESI-QIT-MS, 67 proteins were identified from 71 spots that exhibited significantly altered expression levels. The majority of up-regulated proteins were confidently associated with unfolded protein responses (UPR, while the majority of down-regulated proteins were involved with the generation of precursor metabolites and energy metabolism in mitochondria. Although there was no difference in AKT signaling between EAM rat heart tissues and control rat heart tissues, the amounts and activities of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK-1/2 and ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6 were significantly increased. By comparing our data with the previously reported myocardial proteome of the Coxsackie viruses of group B (CVB-mediated myocarditis model, we found that UPR-related proteins were commonly up-regulated in two murine myocarditis models. Even though only two out of 29 down-regulated proteins in EAM rat heart tissues were also dysregulated in CVB-infected rat heart tissues, other proteins known to be involved with the generation of precursor metabolites and energy metabolism in mitochondria were also dysregulated in CVB-mediated myocarditis rat heart tissues, suggesting that impairment of mitochondrial functions may be a common underlying mechanism of the two murine myocarditis models. Conclusions UPR, ERK-1/2 and S6RP signaling were activated in both EAM- and CVB-induced myocarditis murine models. Thus, the conserved components of signaling pathways in two murine models of acute myocarditis could be targets for developing new therapeutic drugs or

  4. News and Views: Herschel reveals a new swan in Cygnus-X; Two models of Type 1a supernovae are both right; Milky Way companions throw doubt on dark matter; Lightning can map volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-01

    It appears that both models for the formation of Type 1a supernovae are correct, in different cases. The significance of these supernovae in measurements of cosmic distances and the acceleration of the expansion of the universe mean that the distinction is significant. Careful mapping of the arrangement of galaxies around the Milky Way has revealed that they lie in a plane at right angles to the galactic disc. The results pose a challenge to models of dark matter distribution and galactic structure. An electromagnetic resonance established by lightning could be used to map volatile molecules on other planets, thanks to their effects on the electrical conductivity of planetary atmospheres.

  5. Human SOD1 ALS Mutations in a Drosophila Knock-In Model Cause Severe Phenotypes and Reveal Dosage-Sensitive Gain- and Loss-of-Function Components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Şahin, Aslı; Held, Aaron; Bredvik, Kirsten; Major, Paxton; Achilli, Toni-Marie; Kerson, Abigail G; Wharton, Kristi; Stilwell, Geoff; Reenan, Robert

    2017-02-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease and familial forms can be caused by numerous dominant mutations of the copper-zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene. Substantial efforts have been invested in studying SOD1-ALS transgenic animal models; yet, the molecular mechanisms by which ALS-mutant SOD1 protein acquires toxicity are not well understood. ALS-like phenotypes in animal models are highly dependent on transgene dosage. Thus, issues of whether the ALS-like phenotypes of these models stem from overexpression of mutant alleles or from aspects of the SOD1 mutation itself are not easily deconvolved. To address concerns about levels of mutant SOD1 in disease pathogenesis, we have genetically engineered four human ALS-causing SOD1 point mutations (G37R, H48R, H71Y, and G85R) into the endogenous locus of Drosophila SOD1 (dsod) via ends-out homologous recombination and analyzed the resulting molecular, biochemical, and behavioral phenotypes. Contrary to previous transgenic models, we have recapitulated ALS-like phenotypes without overexpression of the mutant protein. Drosophila carrying homozygous mutations rendering SOD1 protein enzymatically inactive (G85R, H48R, and H71Y) exhibited neurodegeneration, locomotor deficits, and shortened life span. The mutation retaining enzymatic activity (G37R) was phenotypically indistinguishable from controls. While the observed mutant dsod phenotypes were recessive, a gain-of-function component was uncovered through dosage studies and comparisons with age-matched dsod null animals, which failed to show severe locomotor defects or nerve degeneration. We conclude that the Drosophila knock-in model captures important aspects of human SOD1-based ALS and provides a powerful and useful tool for further genetic studies. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  6. Quaternary Morphodynamics of Fluvial Dispersal Systems Revealed: The Fly River, PNG, and the Sunda Shelf, SE Asia, simulated with the Massively Parallel GPU-based Model 'GULLEM'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aalto, R. E.; Lauer, J. W.; Darby, S. E.; Best, J.; Dietrich, W. E.

    2015-12-01

    During glacial-marine transgressions vast volumes of sediment are deposited due to the infilling of lowland fluvial systems and shallow shelves, material that is removed during ensuing regressions. Modelling these processes would illuminate system morphodynamics, fluxes, and 'complexity' in response to base level change, yet such problems are computationally formidable. Environmental systems are characterized by strong interconnectivity, yet traditional supercomputers have slow inter-node communication -- whereas rapidly advancing Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) technology offers vastly higher (>100x) bandwidths. GULLEM (GpU-accelerated Lowland Landscape Evolution Model) employs massively parallel code to simulate coupled fluvial-landscape evolution for complex lowland river systems over large temporal and spatial scales. GULLEM models the accommodation space carved/infilled by representing a range of geomorphic processes, including: river & tributary incision within a multi-directional flow regime, non-linear diffusion, glacial-isostatic flexure, hydraulic geometry, tectonic deformation, sediment production, transport & deposition, and full 3D tracking of all resulting stratigraphy. Model results concur with the Holocene dynamics of the Fly River, PNG -- as documented with dated cores, sonar imaging of floodbasin stratigraphy, and the observations of topographic remnants from LGM conditions. Other supporting research was conducted along the Mekong River, the largest fluvial system of the Sunda Shelf. These and other field data provide tantalizing empirical glimpses into the lowland landscapes of large rivers during glacial-interglacial transitions, observations that can be explored with this powerful numerical model. GULLEM affords estimates for the timing and flux budgets within the Fly and Sunda Systems, illustrating complex internal system responses to the external forcing of sea level and climate. Furthermore, GULLEM can be applied to most ANY fluvial system to

  7. A Primary Xenograft Model of Small Cell Lung Cancer Reveals Irreversible Changes in Gene Expression Imposed by Culture In-Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, Vincent C.; Marchionni, Luigi; Hierman, Jared S.; Rhodes, Jonathan T.; Devereux, Wendy L.; Rudin, Charles M.; Yung, Rex; Parmigani, Giovanni; Dorsch, Marion; Peacock, Craig D.; Watkins, D. Neil

    2009-01-01

    Traditional approaches to the preclinical investigation of cancer therapies rely on the use of established cell lines maintained in serum-based growth media. This is particularly true of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), where surgically resected tissue is rarely available. Recent attention has focused on the need for better models that preserve the integrity of cancer stem cell populations, as well as three-dimensional tumor-stromal interactions. Here we describe a primary xenograft model of SCLC in which endobronchial tumor specimens obtained from chemo-naive patients are serially propagated in vivo in immunodeficient mice. In parallel, cell lines grown in conventional tissue culture conditions were derived from each xenograft line, passaged for 6 months, and then re-implanted to generate secondary xenografts. Using the Affymetrix platform, we analyzed gene expression in primary xenograft, xenograft-derived cell line, and secondary xenograft, and compared these data to similar analyses of unrelated primary SCLC samples and laboratory models. When compared to normal lung, primary tumors, xenografts and cell lines displayed a gene expression signature specific for SCLC. Comparison of gene expression within the xenograft model identified a group of tumor-specific genes expressed in primary SCLC and xenografts that was lost during the transition to tissue culture, and that was not regained when the tumors were re-established as secondary xenografts. Such changes in gene expression may be a common feature of many cancer cell culture systems, with functional implications for the use of such models for preclinical drug development. PMID:19351829

  8. Revealing the Driving Forces of Mid-Cities Urban Growth Patterns Using Spatial Modeling: a Case Study of Los Ángeles, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio I. Aguayo

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available City growth and changes in land-use patterns cause various important social and environmental impacts. To understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of these processes, the factors that drive urban development must be identified and analyzed, especially those factors that can be used to predict future changes and their potential environmental effects. Our objectives were to quantify the relationship between urban growth and its driving forces and to predict the spatial growth pattern based on historical land-use changes for the city of Los Ángeles in central Chile. This involved the analysis of images from 1978, 1992, and 1998 and characterization of the spatial pattern of land-use change; the construction of digital coverage in GIS; the selection of predictive variables through univariate analysis; the construction of logistic regression models using growth vs. nongrowth for 1978-1992 as the dependent variable; and the prediction of the probability of land-use change by applying the regression model to the 1992-1998 period. To investigate the influence of spatial scale, we constructed several sets of models that contained (1 only distance variables, e.g., distance to highways; (2 only scale-dependent density variables, e.g., density of urban area within a 600-m radius; (3 both distance and density variables; and (4 both distance and density variables at several spatial scales. The environmental variables were included in all models. The combination of distance and density variables at several scales is required to appropriately capture the multiscale urban growth process. The best models correctly predict ~90% of the observed land-use changes for 1992-1998. The distance to access roads, densities of the urban road system and urbanized area at various scales, and soil type were the strongest predictors of the growth pattern. Other variables were less important or not significant in explaining the urban growth process. Our approach, which

  9. An all-atom model of the chromatin fiber containing linker histones reveals a versatile structure tuned by the nucleosomal repeat length.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hua Wong

    Full Text Available In the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, histone proteins organize the linear genome into a functional and hierarchical architecture. In this paper, we use the crystal structures of the nucleosome core particle, B-DNA and the globular domain of H5 linker histone to build the first all-atom model of compact chromatin fibers. In this 3D jigsaw puzzle, DNA bending is achieved by solving an inverse kinematics problem. Our model is based on recent electron microscopy measurements of reconstituted fiber dimensions. Strikingly, we find that the chromatin fiber containing linker histones is a polymorphic structure. We show that different fiber conformations are obtained by tuning the linker histone orientation at the nucleosomes entry/exit according to the nucleosomal repeat length. We propose that the observed in vivo quantization of nucleosomal repeat length could reflect nature's ability to use the DNA molecule's helical geometry in order to give chromatin versatile topological and mechanical properties.

  10. Epoch-based likelihood models reveal no evidence for accelerated evolution of viviparity in squamate reptiles in response to cenozoic climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Benedict; Lee, Michael S Y

    2015-09-01

    A broad scale analysis of the evolution of viviparity across nearly 4,000 species of squamates revealed that origins increase in frequency toward the present, raising the question of whether rates of change have accelerated. We here use simulations to show that the increased frequency is within the range expected given that the number of squamate lineages also increases with time. Novel, epoch-based methods implemented in BEAST (which allow rates of discrete character evolution to vary across time-slices) also give congruent results, with recent epochs having very similar rates to older epochs. Thus, contrary to expectations, there was no accelerated burst of origins of viviparity in response to global cooling during the Cenozoic or glacial cycles during the Plio-Pleistocene. However, if one accepts the conventional view that viviparity is more likely to evolve than to be lost, and also the evidence here that viviparity has evolved with similar regularity throughout the last 200 Ma, then the absence of large, ancient clades of viviparous squamates (analogs to therian mammals) requires explanation. Viviparous squamate lineages might be more prone to extinction than are oviparous lineages, due to their prevalance at high elevations and latitudes and thus greater susceptibility to climate fluctuations. If so, the directional bias in character evolution would be offset by the bias in extinction rates. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Elastic network model-based normal mode analysis reveals the conformational couplings in the tripartite AcrAB-TolC multidrug efflux complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Beibei; Weng, Jingwei; Fan, Kangnian; Wang, Wenning

    2011-10-01

    The AcrAB-TolC drug efflux system, energized by proton movement down the transmembrane electrochemical gradient, is responsible for the resistance of the organism to a wide range of drugs. Experimental data suggest functional roles of each part of the assembly, but the detailed working mechanism of this machinery remains elusive. We used elastic network-based normal mode analysis (NMA) to explore the conformational dynamics of the AcrAB-TolC complex. The intrinsic flexibilities of the pore domain in AcrB monomer conform to the previously proposed three-step functionally rotating mechanism for asymmetric AcrB trimer. Conformational couplings across monomers in the AcrB trimer were observed, and the coupling between the transmembrane domain and the other parts of AcrB are strengthened through trimeric assembly. In the tripartite AcrAB-TolC assembly obtained through molecular docking, concerted motions were observed not only at the direct contact interfaces between various components but also between distant parts of the whole complex. The presence of AcrA was shown to significantly strengthen the motional couplings between AcrB and TolC. Overall, NMA revealed an allosteric network in the AcAB-TolC efflux system, which provides hints to our understanding of its detailed working mechanism. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Selectivity of primary events in the radiation chemistry of organic solids and polymers as revealed by model studies of ionized molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feldman, V.

    2006-01-01

    Selectivity of the primary chemical events induced by ionizing radiation in molecular systems is the key issue of basic radiation chemistry, which is crucially important for controlling the radiation sensitivity of various-type organic and polymeric materials and designing new effective approaches to the radiation modification. In the past decade we have demonstrated that many features of selective localization of the radiation-induced effects in molecular solids can be understood on the basis of model studies of the primary ionized molecules in rigid low-temperature matrices. This talk will outline the key results of these studies and possible implications for radiation chemistry of vatious systems. In particular, the following aspects will be considered: (1) Spectroscopic characteristics of ustable ionized molecules in low-temperature matrices and their correlations with the site-selective reactivity. (2) Experimental modeling of the effect of excess energy on the properties of primary ionized molecules in condensed phases. (3) Intramolecular long-range effects with particular impact on the properties of ionized bifunctional molecules of X-(CH 2 ) n -X and X-(CH 2 ) n -Y types. (4) Modeling of intermolecular long-range positive hole transfer between molecular traps with close ionization energy and manifestations of 'fine tuning' effects resulting from conformation variations and intermolecular interactions. Several illustrative examples of correlation between the properties of primary ionized molecules and selectivity of the radiation-chemical transformations in organic solids and macromolecules will be presented. Finally, the problem of prediction of the radiation-chemical behaviour of complex organic systems on the basis of limited spectroscopic information and quantum-chemical data obtained for model systems will be addressed. This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Project No. 06-03-33104) and the Russian Academy of Sciences

  13. A shortened Barnes maze protocol reveals memory deficits at 4-months of age in the triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aida Attar

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that manifests as memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, and dementia. Animal models of Alzheimer's disease have been instrumental in understanding the underlying pathological mechanism and in evaluation of potential therapies. The triple transgenic (3 × Tg mouse model of AD is unique because it recapitulates both pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease--amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The earliest cognitive deficits in this model have been shown at 6-m of age by most groups, necessitating aging of the mice to this age before initiating evaluation of the cognitive effects of therapies. To assess cognitive deficits in the 3 × Tg mice, originally we employed a typical Barnes maze protocol of 15 training trials, but found no significant deficits in aged mice. Therefore, we shortened the protocol to include only 5 training trials to increase difficulty. We found cognitive deficits using this protocol using mainly measures from the probe day, rather than the training trials. This also decreased the effort involved with data analysis. We compared 3 × Tg and wild-type mice at 4-m- and 15-m of age using both the original, long training, and the short training paradigms. We found that differences in learning between 3 × Tg and wild-type mice disappeared after the 4(th training trial. Measures of learning and memory on the probe day showed significant differences between 3 × Tg and wild-type mice following the short, 5-training trial protocol but not the long, 15-training trial protocol. Importantly, we detected cognitive dysfunction already at 4-m of age in 3 × Tg mice using the short Barnes-maze protocol. The ability to test learning and memory in 4-m old 3 × Tg mice using a shortened Barnes maze protocol offers considerable time and cost savings and provides support for the utilization of this model at pre-pathology stages for therapeutic studies.

  14. Molecular Analysis of a Multistep Lung Cancer Model Induced by Chronic Inflammation Reveals Epigenetic Regulation of p16, Activation of the DNA Damage Response Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Blanco

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The molecular hallmarks of inflammation-mediated lung carcinogenesis have not been fully clarified, mainly due to the scarcity of appropriate animal models. We have used a silica-induced multistep lung carcinogenesis model driven by chronic inflammation to study the evolution of molecular markers, genetic alterations. We analyzed markers of DNA damage response (DDR, proliferative stress, telomeric stress: δ-H2AX, p16, p53, TERT. Lung cancer-related epigenetic, genetic alterations, including promoter hypermethylation status of p16(CDKN2A, APC, CDH13, Rassf1, Nore1A, as well as mutations of Tp53, epidermal growth factor receptor, K-ras, N-ras, c-H-ras, have been also studied. Our results showed DDR pathway activation in preneoplastic lesions, in association with inducible nitric oxide synthase, p53 induction. p16 was also induced in early tumorigenic progression, was inactivated in bronchiolar dysplasias, tumors. Remarkably, lack of mutations of Ras, epidermal growth factor receptor, a very low frequency of Tp53 mutations suggest that they are not required for tumorigenesis in this model. In contrast, epigenetic alterations in p16(CDKN2A, CDH13, APC, but not in Rassf1, Nore1A, were clearly observed. These data suggest the existence of a specific molecular signature of inflammation-driven lung carcinogenesis that shares some, but not all, of the molecular landmarks of chemically induced lung cancer.

  15. Cell line and patient-derived xenograft models reveal elevated CDCP1 as a target in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Brittney S; He, Yaowu; Davies, Claire M; Wallace, Sarah J; Adams, Mark N; Beaven, Elizabeth A; Roche, Deborah K; Kennedy, Catherine; Chetty, Naven P; Crandon, Alexander J; Flatley, Christopher; Oliveira, Niara B; Shannon, Catherine M; deFazio, Anna; Tinker, Anna V; Gilks, C Blake; Gabrielli, Brian; Brennan, Donal J; Coward, Jermaine I; Armes, Jane E; Perrin, Lewis C; Hooper, John D

    2016-02-16

    Development of targeted therapies for high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) remains challenging, as contributing molecular pathways are poorly defined or expressed heterogeneously. CUB-domain containing protein 1 (CDCP1) is a cell-surface protein elevated in lung, colorectal, pancreas, renal and clear cell ovarian cancer. CUB-domain containing protein 1 was examined by immunohistochemistry in HGSC and fallopian tube. The impact of targeting CDCP1 on cell growth and migration in vitro, and intraperitoneal xenograft growth in mice was examined. Three patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models were developed and characterised for CDCP1 expression. The effect of a monoclonal anti-CDCP1 antibody on PDX growth was examined. Src activation was assessed by western blot analysis. Elevated CDCP1 was observed in 77% of HGSC cases. Silencing of CDCP1 reduced migration and non-adherent cell growth in vitro and tumour burden in vivo. Expression of CDCP1 in patient samples was maintained in PDX models. Antibody blockade of CDCP1 significantly reduced growth of an HGSC PDX. The CDCP1-mediated activation of Src was observed in cultured cells and mouse xenografts. CUB-domain containing protein 1 is over-expressed by the majority of HGSCs. In vitro and mouse model data indicate that CDCP1 has a role in HGSC and that it can be targeted to inhibit progression of this cancer.

  16. Cell line and patient-derived xenograft models reveal elevated CDCP1 as a target in high-grade serous ovarian cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Brittney S; He, Yaowu; Davies, Claire M; Wallace, Sarah J; Adams, Mark N; Beaven, Elizabeth A; Roche, Deborah K; Kennedy, Catherine; Chetty, Naven P; Crandon, Alexander J; Flatley, Christopher; Oliveira, Niara B; Shannon, Catherine M; deFazio, Anna; Tinker, Anna V; Gilks, C Blake; Gabrielli, Brian; Brennan, Donal J; Coward, Jermaine I; Armes, Jane E; Perrin, Lewis C; Hooper, John D

    2016-01-01

    Background: Development of targeted therapies for high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) remains challenging, as contributing molecular pathways are poorly defined or expressed heterogeneously. CUB-domain containing protein 1 (CDCP1) is a cell-surface protein elevated in lung, colorectal, pancreas, renal and clear cell ovarian cancer. Methods: CUB-domain containing protein 1 was examined by immunohistochemistry in HGSC and fallopian tube. The impact of targeting CDCP1 on cell growth and migration in vitro, and intraperitoneal xenograft growth in mice was examined. Three patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models were developed and characterised for CDCP1 expression. The effect of a monoclonal anti-CDCP1 antibody on PDX growth was examined. Src activation was assessed by western blot analysis. Results: Elevated CDCP1 was observed in 77% of HGSC cases. Silencing of CDCP1 reduced migration and non-adherent cell growth in vitro and tumour burden in vivo. Expression of CDCP1 in patient samples was maintained in PDX models. Antibody blockade of CDCP1 significantly reduced growth of an HGSC PDX. The CDCP1-mediated activation of Src was observed in cultured cells and mouse xenografts. Conclusions: CUB-domain containing protein 1 is over-expressed by the majority of HGSCs. In vitro and mouse model data indicate that CDCP1 has a role in HGSC and that it can be targeted to inhibit progression of this cancer. PMID:26882065

  17. Distinct intestinal adaptation for vitamin B12 and bile acid absorption revealed in a new mouse model of massive ileocecal resection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsumoto, Yuka; Mochizuki, Wakana; Akiyama, Shintaro; Matsumoto, Taichi; Nozaki, Kengo; Watanabe, Mamoru; Nakamura, Tetsuya

    2017-09-15

    Ileocecal resection (ICR), one of several types of intestinal resection that results in short bowel syndrome (SBS), causes severe clinical disease in humans. We here describe a mouse model of massive ICR in which 75% of the distal small intestine is removed. We demonstrate that mice underwent 75% ICR show severe clinical signs and high mortality, which may recapitulate severe forms of human SBS, despite an adaptive response throughout the remnant intestine. By using this model, we also investigated whether the epithelium of the remnant intestine shows enhanced expression of factors involved in region-specific functions of the ileum. Cubn mRNA and its protein product, which play an essential role in vitamin B12 absorption in the ileum, are not compensatory up-regulated in any part of the remnant intestine, demonstrating a clear contrast with post-operative up-regulation of genes involved in bile acid absorption. Our study suggests that functional adaptation by phenotypical changes in the intestinal epithelium is not a general feature for nutrient absorption systems that are confined to the ileum. We also propose that the mouse model developed in this study will become a unique system to facilitate studies on SBS with ICR in humans. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. A novel mouse model for inhibition of DOHH-mediated hypusine modification reveals a crucial function in embryonic development, proliferation and oncogenic transformation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henning Sievert

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The central importance of translational control by post-translational modification has spurred major interest in regulatory pathways that control translation. One such pathway uniquely adds hypusine to eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF5A, and thereby affects protein synthesis and, subsequently, cellular proliferation through an unknown mechanism. Using a novel conditional knockout mouse model and a Caenorhabditis elegans knockout model, we found an evolutionarily conserved role for the DOHH-mediated second step of hypusine synthesis in early embryonic development. At the cellular level, we observed reduced proliferation and induction of senescence in 3T3 Dohh−/− cells as well as reduced capability for malignant transformation. Furthermore, mass spectrometry showed that deletion of DOHH results in an unexpected complete loss of hypusine modification. Our results provide new biological insight into the physiological roles of the second step of the hypusination of eIF5A. Moreover, the conditional mouse model presented here provides a powerful tool for manipulating hypusine modification in a temporal and spatial manner, to analyse both how this unique modification normally functions in vivo as well as how it contributes to different pathological conditions.

  19. Systematic analysis of fly models with multiple drivers reveals different effects of ataxin-1 and huntingtin in neuron subtype-specific expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Risa Shiraishi

    Full Text Available The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a commonly used model organism for neurodegenerative diseases. Its major advantages include a short lifespan and its susceptibility to manipulation using sophisticated genetic techniques. Here, we report the systematic comparison of fly models of two polyglutamine (polyQ diseases. We induced expression of the normal and mutant forms of full-length Ataxin-1 and Huntingtin exon 1 in cholinergic, dopaminergic, and motor neurons, and glial cells using cell type-specific drivers. We systematically analyzed their effects based on multiple phenotypes: eclosion rate, lifespan, motor performance, and circadian rhythms of spontaneous activity. This systematic assay system enabled us to quantitatively evaluate and compare the functional disabilities of different genotypes. The results suggest different effects of Ataxin-1 and Huntingtin on specific types of neural cells during development and in adulthood. In addition, we confirmed the therapeutic effects of LiCl and butyrate using representative models. These results support the usefulness of this assay system for screening candidate chemical compounds that modify the pathologies of polyQ diseases.

  20. Models for Correlating the Composition of the Gut Microbiota with Inflammatory Disease Parameters Using Animal Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krych, Lukasz

    experimental model. An additional task of this thesis was to develop a fast screening method and to investigate the distribution of two bacterial species namely: Akkermansia muciniphila and Candidatus Savagella in detail. These two members of the gut microbial community were previously reported, including our...... own study, to be directly linked with the host’s health/disease status. In the same manuscript we also demonstrated an alternative method of constructing DNA standards for uncultivable bacteria by cloning 16S rRNA gene into a competent E.coli strai. A sizeable part of this thesis was devoted...

  1. Signaling molecules, transcription growth factors and other regulators revealed from in-vivo and in-vitro models for the regulation of cardiac development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meganathan, Kesavan; Sotiriadou, Isaia; Natarajan, Karthick; Hescheler, Jürgen; Sachinidis, Agapios

    2015-03-15

    Several in-vivo heart developmental models have been applied to decipher the cardiac developmental patterning encompassing early, dorsal, cardiac and visceral mesoderm as well as various transcription factors such as Gata, Hand, Tin, Dpp, Pnr. The expression of cardiac specific transcription factors, such as Gata4, Tbx5, Tbx20, Tbx2, Tbx3, Mef2c, Hey1 and Hand1 are of fundamental significance for the in-vivo cardiac development. Not only the transcription factors, but also the signaling molecules involved in cardiac development were conserved among various species. Enrichment of the bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) in the anterior lateral plate mesoderm is essential for the initiation of myocardial differentiation and the cardiac developmental process. Moreover, the expression of a number of cardiac transcription factors and structural genes initiate cardiac differentiation in the medial mesoderm. Other signaling molecules such as TGF-beta, IGF-1/2 and the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) play a significant role in cardiac repair/regeneration, ventricular heart development and specification of early cardiac mesoderm, respectively. The role of the Wnt signaling in cardiac development is still controversial discussed, as in-vitro results differ dramatically in relation to the animal models. Embryonic stem cells (ESC) were utilized as an important in-vitro model for the elucidation of the cardiac developmental processes since they can be easily manipulated by numerous signaling molecules, growth factors, small molecules and genetic manipulation. Finally, in the present review the dynamic role of the long noncoding RNA and miRNAs in the regulation of cardiac development are summarized and discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The roots of diversity: below ground species richness and rooting distributions in a tropical forest revealed by DNA barcodes and inverse modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Andrew Jones

    Full Text Available Plants interact with each other, nutrients, and microbial communities in soils through extensive root networks. Understanding these below ground interactions has been difficult in natural systems, particularly those with high plant species diversity where morphological identification of fine roots is difficult. We combine DNA-based root identification with a DNA barcode database and above ground stem locations in a floristically diverse lowland tropical wet forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, where all trees and lianas >1 cm diameter have been mapped to investigate richness patterns below ground and model rooting distributions.DNA barcode loci, particularly the cpDNA locus trnH-psba, can be used to identify fine and small coarse roots to species. We recovered 33 species of roots from 117 fragments sequenced from 12 soil cores. Despite limited sampling, we recovered a high proportion of the known species in the focal hectare, representing approximately 14% of the measured woody plant richness. This high value is emphasized by the fact that we would need to sample on average 13 m(2 at the seedling layer and 45 m(2 for woody plants >1 cm diameter to obtain the same number of species above ground. Results from inverse models parameterized with the locations and sizes of adults and the species identifications of roots and sampling locations indicates a high potential for distal underground interactions among plants.DNA barcoding techniques coupled with modeling approaches should be broadly applicable to studying root distributions in any mapped vegetation plot. We discuss the implications of our results and outline how second-generation sequencing technology and environmental sampling can be combined to increase our understanding of how root distributions influence the potential for plant interactions in natural ecosystems.

  3. Live Imaging-Based Model Selection Reveals Periodic Regulation of the Stochastic G1/S Phase Transition in Vertebrate Axial Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurokawa, Hiroshi; Sakaue-Sawano, Asako; Imamura, Takeshi; Miyawaki, Atsushi; Iimura, Tadahiro

    2014-01-01

    In multicellular organism development, a stochastic cellular response is observed, even when a population of cells is exposed to the same environmental conditions. Retrieving the spatiotemporal regulatory mode hidden in the heterogeneous cellular behavior is a challenging task. The G1/S transition observed in cell cycle progression is a highly stochastic process. By taking advantage of a fluorescence cell cycle indicator, Fucci technology, we aimed to unveil a hidden regulatory mode of cell cycle progression in developing zebrafish. Fluorescence live imaging of Cecyil, a zebrafish line genetically expressing Fucci, demonstrated that newly formed notochordal cells from the posterior tip of the embryonic mesoderm exhibited the red (G1) fluorescence signal in the developing notochord. Prior to their initial vacuolation, these cells showed a fluorescence color switch from red to green, indicating G1/S transitions. This G1/S transition did not occur in a synchronous manner, but rather exhibited a stochastic process, since a mixed population of red and green cells was always inserted between newly formed red (G1) notochordal cells and vacuolating green cells. We termed this mixed population of notochordal cells, the G1/S transition window. We first performed quantitative analyses of live imaging data and a numerical estimation of the probability of the G1/S transition, which demonstrated the existence of a posteriorly traveling regulatory wave of the G1/S transition window. To obtain a better understanding of this regulatory mode, we constructed a mathematical model and performed a model selection by comparing the results obtained from the models with those from the experimental data. Our analyses demonstrated that the stochastic G1/S transition window in the notochord travels posteriorly in a periodic fashion, with doubled the periodicity of the neighboring paraxial mesoderm segmentation. This approach may have implications for the characterization of the

  4. Heterogeneity in the Infection Biology of Campylobacter jejuni Isolates in Three Infection Models Reveals an Invasive and Virulent Phenotype in a ST21 Isolate from Poultry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne Humphrey

    Full Text Available Although Campylobacter is the leading cause of bacterial foodborne gastroenteritis in the world and the importance of poultry as a source of infection is well understood we know relatively little about its infection biology in the broiler chicken. Much of what we know about the biology of Campylobacter jejuni is based on infection of inbred or SPF laboratory lines of chickens with a small number of isolates used in most laboratory studies. Recently we have shown that both the host response and microbial ecology of C. jejuni in the broiler chicken varies with both the host-type and significantly between C. jejuni isolates. Here we describe heterogeneity in infection within a panel of C. jejuni isolates in two broiler chicken breeds, human intestinal epithelial cells and the Galleria insect model of virulence. All C. jejuni isolates colonised the chicken caeca, though colonisation of other parts of the gastrointestinal tract varied between isolates. Extra-intestinal spread to the liver varied between isolates and bird breed but a poultry isolate 13126 (sequence type 21 showed the greatest levels of extra-intestinal spread to the liver in both broiler breeds with over 70% of birds of the fast growing breed and 50% of the slower growing breed having C. jejuni in their livers. Crucially 13126 is significantly more invasive than other isolates in human intestinal epithelial cells and gave the highest mortality in the Galleria infection model. Taken together our findings suggest that not only is there considerable heterogeneity in the infection biology of C. jejuni in avian, mammalian and alternative models, but that some isolates have an invasive and virulent phenotype. Isolates with an invasive phenotype would pose a significant risk and increased difficulty in control in chicken production and coupled with the virulent phenotype seen in 13126 could be an increased risk to public health.

  5. Finite element modeling of shell shape in the freshwater turtle Pseudemys concinna reveals a trade-off between mechanical strength and hydrodynamic efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, Gabriel; Stayton, C Tristan

    2011-10-01

    Aquatic species can experience different selective pressures on morphology in different flow regimes. Species inhabiting lotic regimes often adapt to these conditions by evolving low-drag (i.e., streamlined) morphologies that reduce the likelihood of dislodgment or displacement. However, hydrodynamic factors are not the only selective pressures influencing organismal morphology and shapes well suited to flow conditions may compromise performance in other roles. We investigated the possibility of morphological trade-offs in the turtle Pseudemys concinna. Individuals living in lotic environments have flatter, more streamlined shells than those living in lentic environments; however, this flatter shape may also make the shells less capable of resisting predator-induced loads. We tested the idea that "lotic" shell shapes are weaker than "lentic" shell shapes, concomitantly examining effects of sex. Geometric morphometric data were used to transform an existing finite element shell model into a series of models corresponding to the shapes of individual turtles. Models were assigned identical material properties and loaded under identical conditions, and the stresses produced by a series of eight loads were extracted to describe the strength of the shells. "Lotic" shell shapes produced significantly higher stresses than "lentic" shell shapes, indicating that the former is weaker than the latter. Females had significantly stronger shell shapes than males, although these differences were less consistent than differences between flow regimes. We conclude that, despite the potential for many-to-one mapping of shell shape onto strength, P. concinna experiences a trade-off in shell shape between hydrodynamic and mechanical performance. This trade-off may be evident in many other turtle species or any other aquatic species that also depend on a shell for defense. However, evolution of body size may provide an avenue of escape from this trade-off in some cases, as changes in

  6. Model-Based Discovery of Synthetic Agonists for the Zn2+-Sensing G-Protein-Coupled Receptor 39 (GPR39) Reveals Novel Biological Functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frimurer, Thomas M.; Mende, Franziska; Graae, Anne-Sofie

    2017-01-01

    The G-protein coupled receptor 39 (GPR39) is a G protein-coupled receptor activated by Zn2. We used a homol. model-based approach to identify small-mol. pharmacol. tool compds. for the receptor. The method focused on a putative binding site in GPR39 for synthetic ligands and knowledge of ligand....... of the initial library were inactive when tested alone, but lead compds. were identified using Zn2 as an allosteric enhancer. Highly selective, highly potent Zn2-independent GPR39 agonists were found in subsequent mini-libraries. These agonists identified GPR39 as a novel regulator of gastric somatostatin...

  7. Quantum Model of Catalysis Based on a Mobile Proton Revealed by Subatomic X-ray and Neutron Diffraction Studies of h-aldose Reductase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blakeley, M. P. [European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), France; Ruiz, Fredrico [Institut de Genetique et de Biologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS, ULP, INSER; Cachau, Raul [SAIC-Frederick, Inc., National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, MD; Hazemann, I. [Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL); Meilleur, Flora [Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL); Mitschler, A. [IGBMC; Ginell, Stephan [Argonne National Laboratory (ANL); Afonine, Pavel [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL); Ventura, Oscar [Computational Chemical Physics Group, DETEMA, Facultad de Quimica, UdelaR, C.C.1; Cousido-Siah, Alexandra [Institut de Genetique et de Biologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire, CNRS, ULP, INSER; Haertlein, M. [Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL); Joachimiak, Andrzej [Argonne National Laboratory (ANL); Myles, Dean A A [ORNL; Podjarny, A. [IGBMC

    2008-01-01

    We present results of combined studies of the enzyme human aldose reductase (h-AR, 36 kDa) using single-crystal x-ray data (0.66 Angstroms, 100K; 0.80 Angstroms, 15K; 1.75 Angstroms, 293K), neutron Laue data (2.2 Angstroms, 293K), and quantum mechanical modeling. These complementary techniques unveil the internal organization and mobility of the hydrogen bond network that defines the properties of the catalytic engine, explaining how this promiscuous enzyme overcomes the simultaneous requirements of efficiency and promiscuity offering a general mechanistic view for this class of enzymes.

  8. Demographic modelling reveals a history of divergence with gene flow for a glacially tied stonefly in a changing post-Pleistocene landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotaling, Scott; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Giersch, J. Joseph; Ali, Omar; Jordan, Steve; Miller, Michael R.; Luikart, Gordon; Weisrock, David W.

    2018-01-01

    AimClimate warming is causing extensive loss of glaciers in mountainous regions, yet our understanding of how glacial recession influences evolutionary processes and genetic diversity is limited. Linking genetic structure with the influences shaping it can improve understanding of how species respond to environmental change. Here, we used genome-scale data and demographic modelling to resolve the evolutionary history of Lednia tumana, a rare, aquatic insect endemic to alpine streams. We also employed a range of widely used data filtering approaches to quantify how they influenced population structure results.LocationAlpine streams in the Rocky Mountains of Glacier National Park, Montana, USA.TaxonLednia tumana, a stonefly (Order Plecoptera) in the family Nemouridae.MethodsWe generated single nucleotide polymorphism data through restriction-site associated DNA sequencing to assess contemporary patterns of genetic structure for 11 L. tumana populations. Using identified clusters, we assessed demographic history through model selection and parameter estimation in a coalescent framework. During population structure analyses, we filtered our data to assess the influence of singletons, missing data and total number of markers on results.ResultsContemporary patterns of population structure indicate that L. tumana exhibits a pattern of isolation-by-distance among populations within three genetic clusters that align with geography. Mean pairwise genetic differentiation (FST) among populations was 0.033. Coalescent-based demographic modelling supported divergence with gene flow among genetic clusters since the end of the Pleistocene (~13-17 kya), likely reflecting the south-to-north recession of ice sheets that accumulated during the Wisconsin glaciation.Main conclusionsWe identified a link between glacial retreat, evolutionary history and patterns of genetic diversity for a range-restricted stonefly imperiled by climate change. This finding included a history of

  9. Comparative Analyses of the β-Tubulin Gene and Molecular Modeling Reveal Molecular Insight into the Colchicine Resistance in Kinetoplastids Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luis, Luis; Serrano, María Luisa; Hidalgo, Mariana; Mendoza-León, Alexis

    2013-01-01

    Differential susceptibility to microtubule agents has been demonstrated between mammalian cells and kinetoplastid organisms such as Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma spp. The aims of this study were to identify and characterize the architecture of the putative colchicine binding site of Leishmania spp. and investigate the molecular basis of colchicine resistance. We cloned and sequenced the β-tubulin gene of Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis and established the theoretical 3D model of the protein, using the crystallographic structure of the bovine protein as template. We identified mutations on the Leishmania   β-tubulin gene sequences on regions related to the putative colchicine-binding pocket, which generate amino acid substitutions and changes in the topology of this region, blocking the access of colchicine. The same mutations were found in the β-tubulin sequence of kinetoplastid organisms such as Trypanosoma cruzi, T. brucei, and T. evansi. Using molecular modelling approaches, we demonstrated that conformational changes include an elongation and torsion of an α-helix structure and displacement to the inside of the pocket of one β-sheet that hinders access of colchicine. We propose that kinetoplastid organisms show resistance to colchicine due to amino acids substitutions that generate structural changes in the putative colchicine-binding domain, which prevent colchicine access. PMID:24083244

  10. Instructive Role of MLL-Fusion Proteins Revealed by a Model of t(4;11) Pro-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Shan; Luo, Roger T; Ptasinska, Anetta; Kerry, Jon; Assi, Salam A; Wunderlich, Mark; Imamura, Toshihiko; Kaberlein, Joseph J; Rayes, Ahmad; Althoff, Mark J; Anastasi, John; O'Brien, Maureen M; Meetei, Amom Ruhikanta; Milne, Thomas A; Bonifer, Constanze; Mulloy, James C; Thirman, Michael J

    2016-11-14

    The t(4;11)(q21;q23) fuses mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) to AF4, the most common MLL-fusion partner. Here we show that MLL fused to murine Af4, highly conserved with human AF4, produces high-titer retrovirus permitting efficient transduction of human CD34 + cells, thereby generating a model of t(4;11) pro-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that fully recapitulates the immunophenotypic and molecular aspects of the disease. MLL-Af4 induces a B ALL distinct from MLL-AF9 through differential genomic target binding of the fusion proteins leading to specific gene expression patterns. MLL-Af4 cells can assume a myeloid state under environmental pressure but retain lymphoid-lineage potential. Such incongruity was also observed in t(4;11) patients in whom leukemia evaded CD19-directed therapy by undergoing myeloid-lineage switch. Our model provides a valuable tool to unravel the pathogenesis of MLL-AF4 leukemogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Range shifts or extinction? Ancient DNA and distribution modelling reveal past and future responses to climate warming in cold-adapted birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagerholm, Vendela K; Sandoval-Castellanos, Edson; Vaniscotte, Amélie; Potapova, Olga R; Tomek, Teresa; Bochenski, Zbigniew M; Shepherd, Paul; Barton, Nick; Van Dyck, Marie-Claire; Miller, Rebecca; Höglund, Jacob; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Dalén, Love; Stewart, John R

    2017-04-01

    Global warming is predicted to cause substantial habitat rearrangements, with the most severe effects expected to occur in high-latitude biomes. However, one major uncertainty is whether species will be able to shift their ranges to keep pace with climate-driven environmental changes. Many recent studies on mammals have shown that past range contractions have been associated with local extinctions rather than survival by habitat tracking. Here, we have used an interdisciplinary approach that combines ancient DNA techniques, coalescent simulations and species distribution modelling, to investigate how two common cold-adapted bird species, willow and rock ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus and Lagopus muta), respond to long-term climate warming. Contrary to previous findings in mammals, we demonstrate a genetic continuity in Europe over the last 20 millennia. Results from back-casted species distribution models suggest that this continuity may have been facilitated by uninterrupted habitat availability and potentially also the greater dispersal ability of birds. However, our predictions show that in the near future, some isolated regions will have little suitable habitat left, implying a future decrease in local populations at a scale unprecedented since the last glacial maximum. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. In Silico Biology of H1N1: Molecular Modelling of Novel Receptors and Docking Studies of Inhibitors to Reveal New Insight in Flu Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deepak Kumar Behera

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Influenza is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae. The new influenza H1N1 viral stain has emerged by the genetic combination of genes from human, pig, and bird’s H1N1 virus. The influenza virus is roughly spherical and is enveloped by a lipid membrane. There are two glycoproteins in this lipid membrane; namely, hemagglutinin (HA which helps in attachment of the viral strain on the host cell surface and neuraminidase (NA that is responsible for initiation of viral infection. We have developed homology models of both Hemagglutinin and Neuraminidase receptors from H1N1 strains in eastern India. The docking studies of B-Sialic acid and O-Sialic acid in the optimized and energy-minimized homology models show important H-bonding interactions with ALA142, ASP230, GLN231, GLU232, and THR141. This information can be used for structure-based and pharmacophore-based new drug design. We have also calculated ADME properties (Human Oral Absorption (HOA and % HOA for Oseltamivir which have been subject of debate for long.

  13. Functional Genomic and Proteomic Analysis Reveals Disruption of Myelin-Related Genes and Translation in a Mouse Model of Early Life Neglect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordner, Kelly A.; George, Elizabeth D.; Carlyle, Becky C.; Duque, Alvaro; Kitchen, Robert R.; Lam, TuKiet T.; Colangelo, Christopher M.; Stone, Kathryn L.; Abbott, Thomas B.; Mane, Shrikant M.; Nairn, Angus C.; Simen, Arthur A.

    2011-01-01

    Early life neglect is an important public health problem which can lead to lasting psychological dysfunction. Good animal models are necessary to understand the mechanisms responsible for the behavioral and anatomical pathology that results. We recently described a novel model of early life neglect, maternal separation with early weaning (MSEW), that produces behavioral changes in the mouse that persist into adulthood. To begin to understand the mechanism by which MSEW leads to these changes we applied cDNA microarray, next-generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq), label-free proteomics, multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) proteomics, and methylation analysis to tissue samples obtained from medial prefrontal cortex to determine the molecular changes induced by MSEW that persist into adulthood. The results show that MSEW leads to dysregulation of markers of mature oligodendrocytes and genes involved in protein translation and other categories, an apparent downward biasing of translation, and methylation changes in the promoter regions of selected dysregulated genes. These findings are likely to prove useful in understanding the mechanism by which early life neglect affects brain structure, cognition, and behavior. PMID:21629843

  14. Comparative Analysis of Muscle Hypertrophy Models Reveals Divergent Gene Transcription Profiles and Points to Translational Regulation of Muscle Growth through Increased mTOR Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo G. Pereira

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Skeletal muscle mass is a result of the balance between protein breakdown and protein synthesis. It has been shown that multiple conditions of muscle atrophy are characterized by the common regulation of a specific set of genes, termed atrogenes. It is not known whether various models of muscle hypertrophy are similarly regulated by a common transcriptional program. Here, we characterized gene expression changes in three different conditions of muscle growth, examining each condition during acute and chronic phases. Specifically, we compared the transcriptome of Extensor Digitorum Longus (EDL muscles collected (1 during the rapid phase of postnatal growth at 2 and 4 weeks of age, (2 24 h or 3 weeks after constitutive activation of AKT, and (3 24 h or 3 weeks after overload hypertrophy caused by tenotomy of the Tibialis Anterior muscle. We observed an important overlap between significantly regulated genes when comparing each single condition at the two different timepoints. Furthermore, examining the transcriptional changes occurring 24 h after a hypertrophic stimulus, we identify an important role for genes linked to a stress response, despite the absence of muscle damage in the AKT model. However, when we compared all different growth conditions, we did not find a common transcriptional fingerprint. On the other hand, all conditions showed a marked increase in mTORC1 signaling and increased ribosome biogenesis, suggesting that muscle growth is characterized more by translational, than transcriptional regulation.

  15. Joint profiling of miRNAs and mRNAs reveals miRNA mediated gene regulation in the Göttingen minipig obesity model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mentzel, Caroline M. Junker; Alkan, Ferhat; Keinicke, Helle

    2016-01-01

    Obesity and its comorbidities are an increasing challenge for both affected individuals and health care systems, worldwide. In obese individuals, perturbation of expression of both protein-coding genes and microRNAs (miRNA) are seen in obesity-relevant tissues (i.e. adipose tissue, liver and skel......Obesity and its comorbidities are an increasing challenge for both affected individuals and health care systems, worldwide. In obese individuals, perturbation of expression of both protein-coding genes and microRNAs (miRNA) are seen in obesity-relevant tissues (i.e. adipose tissue, liver...... and skeletal muscle). miRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules which have important regulatory roles in a wide range of biological processes, including obesity. Rodents are widely used animal models for human diseases including obesity. However, not all research is applicable for human health or diseases...... obesity, due to its capacity to develop severe obesity when fed ad libitum. The aim of this study was to identify differentially expressed of protein-coding genes and miRNAs in a Göttingen minipig obesity model. Liver, skeletal muscle and abdominal adipose tissue were sampled from 7 lean and 7 obese...

  16. A New Method for Re-Analyzing Evaluation Bias: Piecewise Growth Curve Modeling Reveals an Asymmetry in the Evaluation of Pro and Con Arguments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jirschitzka, Jens; Kimmerle, Joachim; Cress, Ulrike

    2016-01-01

    In four studies we tested a new methodological approach to the investigation of evaluation bias. The usage of piecewise growth curve modeling allowed for investigation into the impact of people's attitudes on their persuasiveness ratings of pro- and con-arguments, measured over the whole range of the arguments' polarity from an extreme con to an extreme pro position. Moreover, this method provided the opportunity to test specific hypotheses about the course of the evaluation bias within certain polarity ranges. We conducted two field studies with users of an existing online information portal (Studies 1a and 2a) as participants, and two Internet laboratory studies with mostly student participants (Studies 1b and 2b). In each of these studies we presented pro- and con-arguments, either for the topic of MOOCs (massive open online courses, Studies 1a and 1b) or for the topic of M-learning (mobile learning, Studies 2a and 2b). Our results indicate that using piecewise growth curve models is more appropriate than simpler approaches. An important finding of our studies was an asymmetry of the evaluation bias toward pro- or con-arguments: the evaluation bias appeared over the whole polarity range of pro-arguments and increased with more and more extreme polarity. This clear-cut result pattern appeared only on the pro-argument side. For the con-arguments, in contrast, the evaluation bias did not feature such a systematic picture.

  17. Mechanism of inverse agonist action of sarpogrelate at the constitutively active mutant of human 5-HT2A receptor revealed by molecular modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Murad; Muntasir, Habib Abul; Ishiguro, Masaji; Bhuiyan, Mohiuddin Ahmed; Rashid, Mamunur; Sugihara, Takumichi; Nagatomo, Takafumi

    2012-01-01

    We previously reported that sarpogrelate, a selective 5-HT2A antagonist, showed a potent inverse agonist activity to constitutively active mutant (C322K) of human 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR). However, it remains to be unknown about the actual mechanism of this mutant for its constitutive activation as well as inverse agonist activity of sarpogrelate. Our model shows that mutation (C322K) of 5-HT2AR causes electronic repulsion between positively charged Arg173(3.50) and Lys322(6.34) residues resulting outward movement of the C-terminus of transmembrane helix (TMH) III. This motion of TMH III leads to a partially active structure of the receptor, which may be a key step in receptor activation. The structural model of the partially active receptor also indicates that the binding of sarpogrelate to the constitutively active receptor causes an inward swing of TMH III to an inactive receptor structure. Therefore, the present study may suggest that the electronic repulsion causing outward movement of the C-terminus of TMH III may be the key step for constitutive activation of mutant C322K of 5-HT2AR and the inward movement of TMH III causes the inverse agonist activity of sarpogrelate.

  18. A novel mouse model for non-invasive single marker tracking of mammary stem cells in vivo reveals stem cell dynamics throughout pregnancy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin J Tiede

    Full Text Available Mammary stem cells (MaSCs play essential roles for the development of the mammary gland and its remodeling during pregnancy. However, the precise localization of MaSCs in the mammary gland and their regulation during pregnancy is unknown. Here we report a transgenic mouse model for luciferase-based single marker detection of MaSCs in vivo that we used to address these issues. Single transgene expressing mammary epithelial cells were shown to reconstitute mammary glands in vivo while immunohistochemical staining identified MaSCs in basal and luminal locations, with preponderance towards the basal position. By quantifying luciferase expression using bioluminescent imaging, we were able to track MaSCs non-invasively in individual mice over time. Using this model to monitor MaSC dynamics throughout pregnancy, we found that MaSCs expand in both total number and percentage during pregnancy and then drop down to or below baseline levels after weaning. However, in a second round of pregnancy, this expansion was not as extensive. These findings validate a powerful system for the analysis of MaSC dynamics in vivo, which will facilitate future characterization of MaSCs during mammary gland development and breast cancer.

  19. Markov State Models Reveal a Two-Step Mechanism of miRNA Loading into the Human Argonaute Protein: Selective Binding followed by Structural Re-arrangement

    KAUST Repository

    Jiang, Hanlun

    2015-07-16

    Argonaute (Ago) proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs) are central components in RNA interference, which is a key cellular mechanism for sequence-specific gene silencing. Despite intensive studies, molecular mechanisms of how Ago recognizes miRNA remain largely elusive. In this study, we propose a two-step mechanism for this molecular recognition: selective binding followed by structural re-arrangement. Our model is based on the results of a combination of Markov State Models (MSMs), large-scale protein-RNA docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Using MSMs, we identify an open state of apo human Ago-2 in fast equilibrium with partially open and closed states. Conformations in this open state are distinguished by their largely exposed binding grooves that can geometrically accommodate miRNA as indicated in our protein-RNA docking studies. miRNA may then selectively bind to these open conformations. Upon the initial binding, the complex may perform further structural re-arrangement as shown in our MD simulations and eventually reach the stable binary complex structure. Our results provide novel insights in Ago-miRNA recognition mechanisms and our methodology holds great potential to be widely applied in the studies of other important molecular recognition systems.

  20. 1H NMR-based urinary metabolic profiling reveals changes in nicotinamide pathway intermediates due to postnatal stress model in rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomassini, Alberta; Vitalone, Annabella; Marini, Federico; Praticò, Giulia; Sciubba, Fabio; Bevilacqua, Marta; Delfini, Maurizio; Di Sotto, Antonella; Di Giacomo, Silvia; Mariani, Paola; Mammola, Caterina L; Gaudio, Eugenio; Miccheli, Alfredo; Mazzanti, Gabriela

    2014-12-05

    The maternal separation protocol in rodents is a widely recognized model of early life stress allowing acute and chronic physiological consequences to be studied. An (1)H NMR-based metabolomic approach was applied to urines to evaluate the systemic metabolic consequences of maternal separation stress in female rats after the beginning of weaning and 4 weeks later when the rats were reaching adulthood. Furthermore, because maternal separation is considered as a model mimicking the inflammatory bowel syndrome, the lactulose/mannitol test was used to evaluate the influence of postnatal maternal separation on gut permeability and mucosal barrier function by (1)H NMR spectroscopy analysis of urine. The results showed no statistical differences in gut permeability due to maternal separation. The application of ANOVA simultaneous component analysis allowed the contributions of physiological adaptations to the animal's development to be separated from the metabolic consequences due to postnatal stress. Systemic metabolic differences in the maternally separated pups were mainly due to the tryptophan/NAD pathway intermediate levels and to the methyladenosine level. Urinary NMR-based metabolic profiling allowed us to disentangle the metabolic adaptive response of the rats to postnatal stress during the animal's growth, highlighting the metabolic changes induced by weaning, gut closure, and maturity.

  1. A New Method for Re-Analyzing Evaluation Bias: Piecewise Growth Curve Modeling Reveals an Asymmetry in the Evaluation of Pro and Con Arguments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Jirschitzka

    Full Text Available In four studies we tested a new methodological approach to the investigation of evaluation bias. The usage of piecewise growth curve modeling allowed for investigation into the impact of people's attitudes on their persuasiveness ratings of pro- and con-arguments, measured over the whole range of the arguments' polarity from an extreme con to an extreme pro position. Moreover, this method provided the opportunity to test specific hypotheses about the course of the evaluation bias within certain polarity ranges. We conducted two field studies with users of an existing online information portal (Studies 1a and 2a as participants, and two Internet laboratory studies with mostly student participants (Studies 1b and 2b. In each of these studies we presented pro- and con-arguments, either for the topic of MOOCs (massive open online courses, Studies 1a and 1b or for the topic of M-learning (mobile learning, Studies 2a and 2b. Our results indicate that using piecewise growth curve models is more appropriate than simpler approaches. An important finding of our studies was an asymmetry of the evaluation bias toward pro- or con-arguments: the evaluation bias appeared over the whole polarity range of pro-arguments and increased with more and more extreme polarity. This clear-cut result pattern appeared only on the pro-argument side. For the con-arguments, in contrast, the evaluation bias did not feature such a systematic picture.

  2. Experimental and DFT Investigations Reveal the Influence of the Outer Coordination Sphere on the Vibrational Spectra of Nickel-Substituted Rubredoxin, a Model Hydrogenase Enzyme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Jeffrey W; Marguet, Sean C; Cirino, Sabrina L; Maugeri, Pearson T; Shafaat, Hannah S

    2017-04-03

    Nickel-substituted rubredoxin (NiRd) is a functional enzyme mimic of hydrogenase, highly active for electrocatalytic and solution-phase hydrogen generation. Spectroscopic methods can provide valuable insight into the catalytic mechanism, provided the appropriate technique is used. In this study, we have employed multiwavelength resonance Raman spectroscopy coupled with DFT calculations on an extended active-site model of NiRd to probe the electronic and geometric structures of the resting state of this system. Excellent agreement between experiment and theory is observed, allowing normal mode assignments to be made on the basis of frequency and intensity analyses. Both metal-ligand and ligand-centered vibrational modes are enhanced in the resonance Raman spectra. The latter provide information about the hydrogen bonding network and structural distortions due to perturbations in the secondary coordination sphere. To reproduce the resonance enhancement patterns seen for high-frequency vibrational modes, the secondary coordination sphere must be included in the computational model. The structure and reduction potential of the Ni III Rd state have also been investigated both experimentally and computationally. This work begins to establish a foundation for computational resonance Raman spectroscopy to serve in a predictive fashion for investigating catalytic intermediates of NiRd.

  3. Comparative proteomics of cerebrospinal fluid reveals a predictive model for differential diagnosis of pneumococcal, meningococcal, and enteroviral meningitis, and novel putative therapeutic targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Background Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges in response to infection or chemical agents. While aseptic meningitis, most frequently caused by enteroviruses, is usually benign with a self-limiting course, bacterial meningitis remains associated with high morbidity and mortality rates, despite advances in antimicrobial therapy and intensive care. Fast and accurate differential diagnosis is crucial for assertive choice of the appropriate therapeutic approach for each form of meningitis. Methods We used 2D-PAGE and mass spectrometry to identify the cerebrospinal fluid proteome specifically related to the host response to pneumococcal, meningococcal, and enteroviral meningitis. The disease-specific proteome signatures were inspected by pathway analysis. Results Unique cerebrospinal fluid proteome signatures were found to the three aetiological forms of meningitis investigated, and a qualitative predictive model with four protein markers was developed for the differential diagnosis of these diseases. Nevertheless, pathway analysis of the disease-specific proteomes unveiled that Kallikrein-kinin system may play a crucial role in the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to brain damage in bacterial meningitis. Proteins taking part in this cellular process are proposed as putative targets to novel adjunctive therapies. Conclusions Comparative proteomics of cerebrospinal fluid disclosed candidate biomarkers, which were combined in a qualitative and sequential predictive model with potential to improve the differential diagnosis of pneumococcal, meningococcal and enteroviral meningitis. Moreover, we present the first evidence of the possible implication of Kallikrein-kinin system in the pathophysiology of bacterial meningitis. PMID:26040285

  4. Modeling the Effects of Vorinostat In Vivo Reveals both Transient and Delayed HIV Transcriptional Activation and Minimal Killing of Latently Infected Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Ruian; Lewin, Sharon R; Elliott, Julian H; Perelson, Alan S

    2015-10-01

    Recent efforts to cure human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection have focused on developing latency reversing agents as a first step to eradicate the latent reservoir. The histone deacetylase inhibitor, vorinostat, has been shown to activate HIV RNA transcription in CD4+ T-cells and alter host cell gene transcription in HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy. In order to understand how latently infected cells respond dynamically to vorinostat treatment and determine the impact of vorinostat on reservoir size in vivo, we have constructed viral dynamic models of latency that incorporate vorinostat treatment. We fitted these models to data collected from a recent clinical trial in which vorinostat was administered daily for 14 days to HIV-infected individuals on suppressive ART. The results show that HIV transcription is increased transiently during the first few hours or days of treatment and that there is a delay before a sustained increase of HIV transcription, whose duration varies among study participants and may depend on the long term impact of vorinostat on host gene expression. Parameter estimation suggests that in latently infected cells, HIV transcription induced by vorinostat occurs at lower levels than in productively infected cells. Furthermore, the estimated loss rate of transcriptionally induced cells remains close to baseline in most study participants, suggesting vorinostat treatment does not induce latently infected cell killing and thus reduce the latent reservoir in vivo.

  5. A co-culture model of the hippocampal neurogenic niche reveals differential effects of astrocytes, endothelial cells and pericytes on proliferation and differentiation of adult murine precursor cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanny Ehret

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The niche concept of stem cell biology proposes a functional unit between the precursor cells and their local microenvironment, to which several cell types might contribute by cell–cell contacts, extracellular matrix, and humoral factors. We here established three co-culture models (with cell types separated by membrane for both adherent monolayers and neurospheres to address the potential influence of different niche cell types in the neurogenic zone of the adult hippocampus of mice. Astrocytes and endothelial cells enhanced precursor cell proliferation and neurosphere formation. Endothelial factors also led to a prolonged increase in proliferation after growth factor withdrawal, which otherwise induces differentiation. All niche cell types enhanced cell survival in monolayer cultures, endothelial cells also stimulated neuronal differentiation. A parallel trend elicited by astrocytes did not reach conventional statistical significance. Pericytes had variable effects here. We did not observe changes in differentiation in neurosphere co-cultures. In summary, our data indicate that in precursor cell culture protocols survival could be improved by adding as yet unknown factors physiologically contributed by astrocytes and endothelial cells. Our findings also underscore the complexity of the niche and the differential impact of factors from the different sources on distinct aspects of neuronal development. With the help of the models presented here, identification of these factors and their specific biological activity can now be initiated.

  6. Longitudinal in vivo SPECT/CT imaging reveals morphological changes and cardiopulmonary apoptosis in a rodent model of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Paffett

    Full Text Available Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH has a complex pathogenesis involving both heart and lungs. Animal models can reflect aspects of the human pathology and provide insights into the development and underlying mechanisms of disease. Because of the variability of most animal models of PAH, serial in vivo measurements of cardiopulmonary function, morphology, and markers of pathology can enhance the value of such studies. Therefore, quantitative in vivo SPECT/CT imaging was performed to assess cardiac function, morphology and cardiac perfusion utilizing (201Thallium ((201Tl in control and monocrotaline-treated rats. In addition, lung and heart apoptosis was examined with (99mTc-Annexin V ((99mTc-Annexin in these cohorts. Following baseline imaging, rats were injected with saline or monocrotaline (50 mg/kg, i.p. and imaged weekly for 6 weeks. To assess a therapeutic response in an established pulmonary hypertensive state, a cohort of rats received resveratrol in drinking water (3 mg/kg/day on days 28-42 post-monocrotaline injection to monitor regression of cardiopulmonary apoptosis. PAH in monocrotaline-treated rats was verified by conventional hemodynamic techniques on day 42 (right ventricular systolic pressure (RSVP = 66.2 mmHg in monocrotaline vs 28.8 mmHg in controls and in terms of right ventricular hypertrophy (RV/LVS = 0.70 in monocrotaline vs 0.32 in controls. Resveratrol partially reversed both RVSP (41.4 mmHg and RV/LVS (0.46, as well as lung edema and RV contractility +dP/dt(max. Serial (99mTc-Annexin V imaging showed clear increases in pulmonary and cardiac apoptosis when compared to baseline, which regressed following resveratrol treatment. Monocrotaline induced modest changes in whole-heart perfusion as assessed by (201TI imaging and cardiac morphological changes consistent with septal deviation and enlarged RV. This study demonstrates the utility of functional in vivo SPECT/CT imaging in rodent models of PAH and further

  7. RNA-sequencing of a mouse-model of spinal muscular atrophy reveals tissue-wide changes in splicing of U12-dependent introns

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doktor, Thomas Koed; Hua, Yimin; Andersen, Henriette Skovgaard

    2016-01-01

    unknown. It is likely that aberrant splicing of genes expressed in motor neurons is involved in SMA pathogenesis, but increasing evidence indicates that pathologies also exist in other tissues. We present here a comprehensive RNA-seq study that covers multiple tissues in an SMA mouse model. We show...... elevated U12-intron retention in all examined tissues from SMA mice, and that U12-dependent intron retention is induced upon siRNA knock-down of SMN in HeLa cells. Furthermore, we show that retention of U12-dependent introns is mitigated by ASO treatment of SMA mice and that many transcriptional changes......Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder caused by insufficient levels of the Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein. SMN is expressed ubiquitously and functions in RNA processing pathways that include trafficking of mRNA and assembly of snRNP complexes. Importantly, SMA severity...

  8. An in vitro model of intestinal infection reveals a developmentally regulated transcriptome of Toxoplasma sporozoites and a NF-κB-like signature in infected host cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascale S Guiton

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic infection affecting approximately 30% of the world's human population. After sexual reproduction in the definitive feline host, Toxoplasma oocysts, each containing 8 sporozoites, are shed into the environment where they can go on to infect humans and other warm-blooded intermediate hosts. Here, we use an in vitro model to assess host transcriptomic changes that occur in the earliest stages of such infections. We show that infection of rat intestinal epithelial cells with mature sporozoites primarily results in higher expression of genes associated with Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFα signaling via NF-κB. Furthermore, we find that, consistent with their biology, these mature, invaded sporozoites display a transcriptome intermediate between the previously reported day 10 oocysts and that of their tachyzoite counterparts. Thus, this study uncovers novel host and pathogen factors that may be critical for the establishment of a successful intracellular niche following sporozoite-initiated infection.

  9. Hierarchical Dynamic Causal Modeling of Resting-State fMRI Reveals Longitudinal Changes in Effective Connectivity in the Motor System after Thalamotomy for Essential Tremor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hae-Jeong Park

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Thalamotomy at the ventralis intermedius nucleus for essential tremor is known to cause changes in motor circuitry, but how a focal lesion leads to progressive changes in connectivity is not clear. To understand the mechanisms by which thalamotomy exerts enduring effects on motor circuitry, a quantitative analysis of directed or effective connectivity among motor-related areas is required. We characterized changes in effective connectivity of the motor system following thalamotomy using (spectral dynamic causal modeling (spDCM for resting-state fMRI. To differentiate long-lasting treatment effects from transient effects, and to identify symptom-related changes in effective connectivity, we subject longitudinal resting-state fMRI data to spDCM, acquired 1 day prior to, and 1 day, 7 days, and 3 months after thalamotomy using a non-cranium-opening MRI-guided focused ultrasound ablation technique. For the group-level (between subject analysis of longitudinal (between-session effects, we introduce a multilevel parametric empirical Bayes (PEB analysis for spDCM. We found remarkably selective and consistent changes in effective connectivity from the ventrolateral nuclei and the supplementary motor area to the contralateral dentate nucleus after thalamotomy, which may be mediated via a polysynaptic thalamic–cortical–cerebellar motor loop. Crucially, changes in effective connectivity predicted changes in clinical motor-symptom scores after thalamotomy. This study speaks to the efficacy of thalamotomy in regulating the dentate nucleus in the context of treating essential tremor. Furthermore, it illustrates the utility of PEB for group-level analysis of dynamic causal modeling in quantifying longitudinal changes in effective connectivity; i.e., measuring long-term plasticity in human subjects non-invasively.

  10. A Zebrafish Model of Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome Reveals That pitx2 Regulation by Retinoic Acid Is Essential for Ocular and Craniofacial Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohnsack, Brenda L.; Kasprick, Daniel S.; Kish, Phillip E.; Goldman, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Purpose. The homeobox transcription factor PITX2 is a known regulator of mammalian ocular development, and human PITX2 mutations are associated with Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome (ARS). However, the treatment of patients with ARS remains mostly supportive and palliative. Methods. The authors used molecular genetic, pharmacologic, and embryologic techniques to study the biology of ARS in a zebrafish model that uses transgenes to mark neural crest and muscle cells in the head. Results. The authors demonstrated in vivo that pitx2 is a key downstream target of retinoic acid (RA) in craniofacial development, and this pathway is required for coordinating neural crest, mesoderm, and ocular development. pitx2a knockdown using morpholino oligonucleotides disrupts jaw and pharyngeal arch formation and recapitulates ocular characteristics of ARS, including corneal and iris stroma maldevelopment. These phenotypes could be rescued with human PITX2A mRNA, demonstrating the specificity of the knockdown and evolutionary conservation of pitx2a function. Expression of the ARS dominant negative human PITX2A K50E allele also caused ARS-like phenotypes. Similarly, inhibition of RA synthesis in the developing eye (genetic or pharmacologic) disrupted craniofacial and ocular development, and human PITX2A mRNA partially rescued these defects. Conclusions. RA regulation of pitx2 is essential for coordinating interactions among neural crest, mesoderm, and developing eye. The marked evolutionary conservation of Pitx2 function in eye and craniofacial development makes zebrafish a potentially powerful model of ARS, amenable to in vivo experimentation and development of potential therapies. PMID:22125274

  11. Molecular analysis of serum and bronchoalveolar lavage in a mouse model of influenza reveals markers of disease severity that can be clinically useful in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Yadunanda; Liang, Cui; Limmon, Gino V; Liang, Li; Engelward, Bevin P; Ooi, Eng Eong; Chen, Jianzhu; Tannenbaum, Steven R

    2014-01-01

    Management of influenza, a major contributor to the worldwide disease burden, is complicated by lack of reliable methods for early identification of susceptible individuals. Identification of molecular markers that can augment existing diagnostic tools for prediction of severity can be expected to greatly improve disease management capabilities. We have analyzed cytokines, proteome flux and protein adducts in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and sera from mice infected with influenza A virus (PR8 strain) using a previously established non-lethal model of influenza infection. Through detailed cytokine and protein adduct measurements of murine BAL, we first established the temporal profile of innate and adaptive responses as well as macrophage and neutrophil activities in response to influenza infection. A similar analysis was also performed with sera from a longitudinal cohort of influenza patients. We then used an iTRAQ-based, comparative serum proteome analysis to catalog the proteome flux in the murine BAL during the stages correlating with "peak viremia," "inflammatory damage," as well as the "recovery phase." In addition to activation of acute phase responses, a distinct class of lung proteins including surfactant proteins was found to be depleted from the BAL coincident with their "appearance" in the serum, presumably due to leakage of the protein following loss of the integrity of the lung/epithelial barrier. Serum levels of at least two of these proteins were elevated in influenza patients during the febrile phase of infection compared to healthy controls or to the same patients at convalescence. The findings from this study provide a molecular description of disease progression in a mouse model of influenza and demonstrate its potential for translation into a novel class of markers for measurement of acute lung injury and improved case management.

  12. Sediment transport processes in the Pearl River Estuary as revealed by grain-size end-member modeling and sediment trend analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tao; Li, Tuan-Jie

    2018-04-01

    The analysis of grain-size distribution enables us to decipher sediment transport processes and understand the causal relations between dynamic processes and grain-size distributions. In the present study, grain sizes were measured from surface sediments collected in the Pearl River Estuary and its adjacent coastal areas. End-member modeling analysis attempts to unmix the grain sizes into geologically meaningful populations. Six grain-size end-members were identified. Their dominant modes are 0 Φ, 1.5 Φ, 2.75 Φ, 4.5 Φ, 7 Φ, and 8 Φ, corresponding to coarse sand, medium sand, fine sand, very coarse silt, silt, and clay, respectively. The spatial distributions of the six end-members are influenced by sediment transport and depositional processes. The two coarsest end-members (coarse sand and medium sand) may reflect relict sediments deposited during the last glacial period. The fine sand end-member would be difficult to transport under fair weather conditions, and likely indicates storm deposits. The three remaining fine-grained end-members (very coarse silt, silt, and clay) are recognized as suspended particles transported by saltwater intrusion via the flood tidal current, the Guangdong Coastal Current, and riverine outflow. The grain-size trend analysis shows distinct transport patterns for the three fine-grained end-members. The landward transport of the very coarse silt end-member occurs in the eastern part of the estuary, the seaward transport of the silt end-member occurs in the western part, and the east-west transport of the clay end-member occurs in the coastal areas. The results show that grain-size end-member modeling analysis in combination with sediment trend analysis help to better understand sediment transport patterns and the associated transport mechanisms.

  13. Molecular analysis of serum and bronchoalveolar lavage in a mouse model of influenza reveals markers of disease severity that can be clinically useful in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yadunanda Kumar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Management of influenza, a major contributor to the worldwide disease burden, is complicated by lack of reliable methods for early identification of susceptible individuals. Identification of molecular markers that can augment existing diagnostic tools for prediction of severity can be expected to greatly improve disease management capabilities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have analyzed cytokines, proteome flux and protein adducts in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL and sera from mice infected with influenza A virus (PR8 strain using a previously established non-lethal model of influenza infection. Through detailed cytokine and protein adduct measurements of murine BAL, we first established the temporal profile of innate and adaptive responses as well as macrophage and neutrophil activities in response to influenza infection. A similar analysis was also performed with sera from a longitudinal cohort of influenza patients. We then used an iTRAQ-based, comparative serum proteome analysis to catalog the proteome flux in the murine BAL during the stages correlating with "peak viremia," "inflammatory damage," as well as the "recovery phase." In addition to activation of acute phase responses, a distinct class of lung proteins including surfactant proteins was found to be depleted from the BAL coincident with their "appearance" in the serum, presumably due to leakage of the protein following loss of the integrity of the lung/epithelial barrier. Serum levels of at least two of these proteins were elevated in influenza patients during the febrile phase of infection compared to healthy controls or to the same patients at convalescence. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The findings from this study provide a molecular description of disease progression in a mouse model of influenza and demonstrate its potential for translation into a novel class of markers for measurement of acute lung injury and improved case management.

  14. Syntenic relationships between the U and M genomes of Aegilops, wheat and the model species Brachypodium and rice as revealed by COS markers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    István Molnár

    Full Text Available Diploid Aegilops umbellulata and Ae. comosa and their natural allotetraploid hybrids Ae. biuncialis and Ae. geniculata are important wild gene sources for wheat. With the aim of assisting in alien gene transfer, this study provides gene-based conserved orthologous set (COS markers for the U and M genome chromosomes. Out of the 140 markers tested on a series of wheat-Aegilops chromosome introgression lines and flow-sorted subgenomic chromosome fractions, 100 were assigned to Aegilops chromosomes and six and seven duplications were identified in the U and M genomes, respectively. The marker-specific EST sequences were BLAST-ed to Brachypodium and rice genomic sequences to investigate macrosyntenic relationships between the U and M genomes of Aegilops, wheat and the model species. Five syntenic regions of Brachypodium identified genome rearrangements differentiating the U genome from the M genome and from the D genome of wheat. All of them seem to have evolved at the diploid level and to have been modified differentially in the polyploid species Ae. biuncialis and Ae. geniculata. A certain level of wheat-Aegilops homology was detected for group 1, 2, 3 and 5 chromosomes, while a clearly rearranged structure was showed for the group 4, 6 and 7 Aegilops chromosomes relative to wheat. The conserved orthologous set markers assigned to Aegilops chromosomes promise to accelerate gene introgression by facilitating the identification of alien chromatin. The syntenic relationships between the Aegilops species, wheat and model species will facilitate the targeted development of new markers specific for U and M genomic regions and will contribute to the understanding of molecular processes related to allopolyploidization.

  15. Slip Model for the 25 November 2016 Mw 6.6 Aketao Earthquake, Western China, Revealed by Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2 Observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Wang

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available On 25 November 2016 (UTC 14:24:30, an Mw 6.6 dextral strike-slip earthquake ruptured Aketao county in the northwestern portion of the Kongur Shan extensional system, western China. We extracted surface deformation maps and investigated the distribution of the coseismic slip of the 2016 Aketao earthquake by exploiting the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar data imaged by the Sentinel-1 satellites of the European Space Agency and the ALOS-2 satellite of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. Assuming the crust of the earth is an elastic half-space homogeneous medium, the best fitting slip model suggests a dip angle of 78° for the seismogenic fault. The rupture of the 2016 Aketao earthquake may have consisted of two sub-events that occurred in rapid succession within a few seconds, resulting in two large discrete asperities with maximum slip of ~0.85 m, which were separated by a ~6 km-wide small slip gap. The maximum slip for the sub-event near the epicenter was mainly concentrated at a depth of ~10 km and that of the other at a depth of ~5 km. The estimated total seismic moment from the optimal slip model is 1.58 × 1019 N•m, corresponding to an event with a moment magnitude of 6.74. More than 65% of the aftershocks occurred in the areas of increased Coulomb failure stress, in which the stress was estimated to have been increased by at least 0.1 bar. Matching the potential barrier on the fault with the depth distribution of aftershocks implies that friction on the causative fault was heterogeneous, which may play a primary role in controlling the active behavior of the Muji fault.

  16. A novel mouse model of Campylobacter jejuni gastroenteritis reveals key pro-inflammatory and tissue protective roles for Toll-like receptor signaling during infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Stahl

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Campylobacter jejuni is a major source of foodborne illness in the developed world, and a common cause of clinical gastroenteritis. Exactly how C. jejuni colonizes its host's intestines and causes disease is poorly understood. Although it causes severe diarrhea and gastroenteritis in humans, C. jejuni typically dwells as a commensal microbe within the intestines of most animals, including birds, where its colonization is asymptomatic. Pretreatment of C57BL/6 mice with the antibiotic vancomycin facilitated intestinal C. jejuni colonization, albeit with minimal pathology. In contrast, vancomycin pretreatment of mice deficient in SIGIRR (Sigirr(-/-, a negative regulator of MyD88-dependent signaling led to heavy and widespread C. jejuni colonization, accompanied by severe gastroenteritis involving strongly elevated transcription of Th1/Th17 cytokines. C. jejuni heavily colonized the cecal and colonic crypts of Sigirr(-/- mice, adhering to, as well as invading intestinal epithelial cells. This infectivity was dependent on established C. jejuni pathogenicity factors, capsular polysaccharides (kpsM and motility/flagella (flaA. We also explored the basis for the inflammatory response elicited by C. jejuni in Sigirr(-/- mice, focusing on the roles played by Toll-like receptors (TLR 2 and 4, as these innate receptors were strongly stimulated by C. jejuni. Despite heavy colonization, Tlr4(-/-/Sigirr(-/- mice were largely unresponsive to infection by C. jejuni, whereas Tlr2(-/-/Sigirr(-/- mice developed exaggerated inflammation and pathology. This indicates that TLR4 signaling underlies the majority of the enteritis seen in this model, whereas TLR2 signaling had a protective role, acting to promote mucosal integrity. Furthermore, we found that loss of the C. jejuni capsule led to increased TLR4 activation and exaggerated inflammation and gastroenteritis. Together, these results validate the use of Sigirr(-/- mice as an exciting and relevant animal model for

  17. A novel mouse model of Campylobacter jejuni gastroenteritis reveals key pro-inflammatory and tissue protective roles for Toll-like receptor signaling during infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Martin; Ries, Jenna; Vermeulen, Jenny; Yang, Hong; Sham, Ho Pan; Crowley, Shauna M; Badayeva, Yuliya; Turvey, Stuart E; Gaynor, Erin C; Li, Xiaoxia; Vallance, Bruce A

    2014-07-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is a major source of foodborne illness in the developed world, and a common cause of clinical gastroenteritis. Exactly how C. jejuni colonizes its host's intestines and causes disease is poorly understood. Although it causes severe diarrhea and gastroenteritis in humans, C. jejuni typically dwells as a commensal microbe within the intestines of most animals, including birds, where its colonization is asymptomatic. Pretreatment of C57BL/6 mice with the antibiotic vancomycin facilitated intestinal C. jejuni colonization, albeit with minimal pathology. In contrast, vancomycin pretreatment of mice deficient in SIGIRR (Sigirr(-/-)), a negative regulator of MyD88-dependent signaling led to heavy and widespread C. jejuni colonization, accompanied by severe gastroenteritis involving strongly elevated transcription of Th1/Th17 cytokines. C. jejuni heavily colonized the cecal and colonic crypts of Sigirr(-/-) mice, adhering to, as well as invading intestinal epithelial cells. This infectivity was dependent on established C. jejuni pathogenicity factors, capsular polysaccharides (kpsM) and motility/flagella (flaA). We also explored the basis for the inflammatory response elicited by C. jejuni in Sigirr(-/-) mice, focusing on the roles played by Toll-like receptors (TLR) 2 and 4, as these innate receptors were strongly stimulated by C. jejuni. Despite heavy colonization, Tlr4(-/-)/Sigirr(-/-) mice were largely unresponsive to infection by C. jejuni, whereas Tlr2(-/-)/Sigirr(-/-) mice developed exaggerated inflammation and pathology. This indicates that TLR4 signaling underlies the majority of the enteritis seen in this model, whereas TLR2 signaling had a protective role, acting to promote mucosal integrity. Furthermore, we found that loss of the C. jejuni capsule led to increased TLR4 activation and exaggerated inflammation and gastroenteritis. Together, these results validate the use of Sigirr(-/-) mice as an exciting and relevant animal model for

  18. Sediment transport processes in the Pearl River Estuary as revealed by grain-size end-member modeling and sediment trend analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tao; Li, Tuan-Jie

    2017-07-01

    The analysis of grain-size distribution enables us to decipher sediment transport processes and understand the causal relations between dynamic processes and grain-size distributions. In the present study, grain sizes were measured from surface sediments collected in the Pearl River Estuary and its adjacent coastal areas. End-member modeling analysis attempts to unmix the grain sizes into geologically meaningful populations. Six grain-size end-members were identified. Their dominant modes are 0 Φ, 1.5 Φ, 2.75 Φ, 4.5 Φ, 7 Φ, and 8 Φ, corresponding to coarse sand, medium sand, fine sand, very coarse silt, silt, and clay, respectively. The spatial distributions of the six end-members are influenced by sediment transport and depositional processes. The two coarsest end-members (coarse sand and medium sand) may reflect relict sediments deposited during the last glacial period. The fine sand end-member would be difficult to transport under fair weather conditions, and likely indicates storm deposits. The three remaining fine-grained end-members (very coarse silt, silt, and clay) are recognized as suspended particles transported by saltwater intrusion via the flood tidal current, the Guangdong Coastal Current, and riverine outflow. The grain-size trend analysis shows distinct transport patterns for the three fine-grained end-members. The landward transport of the very coarse silt end-member occurs in the eastern part of the estuary, the seaward transport of the silt end-member occurs in the western part, and the east-west transport of the clay end-member occurs in the coastal areas. The results show that grain-size end-member modeling analysis in combination with sediment trend analysis help to better understand sediment transport patterns and the associated transport mechanisms.

  19. Intra-individual gait patterns across different time-scales as revealed by means of a supervised learning model using kernel-based discriminant regression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horst, Fabian; Eekhoff, Alexander; Newell, Karl M; Schöllhorn, Wolfgang I

    2017-01-01

    Traditionally, gait analysis has been centered on the idea of average behavior and normality. On one hand, clinical diagnoses and therapeutic interventions typically assume that average gait patterns remain constant over time. On the other hand, it is well known that all our movements are accompanied by a certain amount of variability, which does not allow us to make two identical steps. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in the intra-individual gait patterns across different time-scales (i.e., tens-of-mins, tens-of-hours). Nine healthy subjects performed 15 gait trials at a self-selected speed on 6 sessions within one day (duration between two subsequent sessions from 10 to 90 mins). For each trial, time-continuous ground reaction forces and lower body joint angles were measured. A supervised learning model using a kernel-based discriminant regression was applied for classifying sessions within individual gait patterns. Discernable characteristics of intra-individual gait patterns could be distinguished between repeated sessions by classification rates of 67.8 ± 8.8% and 86.3 ± 7.9% for the six-session-classification of ground reaction forces and lower body joint angles, respectively. Furthermore, the one-on-one-classification showed that increasing classification rates go along with increasing time durations between two sessions and indicate that changes of gait patterns appear at different time-scales. Discernable characteristics between repeated sessions indicate continuous intrinsic changes in intra-individual gait patterns and suggest a predominant role of deterministic processes in human motor control and learning. Natural changes of gait patterns without any externally induced injury or intervention may reflect continuous adaptations of the motor system over several time-scales. Accordingly, the modelling of walking by means of average gait patterns that are assumed to be near constant over time needs to be reconsidered in the context of

  20. Proteomic analysis revealed the altered tear protein profile in a rabbit model of Sjögren's syndrome-associated dry eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Lei; Wei, Ruihua; Zhao, Ping; Koh, Siew Kwan; Beuerman, Roger W; Ding, Chuanqing

    2013-08-01

    Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease that results in pathological dryness of mouth and eye. The diagnosis of SS depends on both clinical evaluation and specific antibodies. The goal of this study was to use quantitative proteomics to investigate changes in tear proteins in a rabbit model of SS-associated dry eye, induced autoimmune dacryoadenitis (IAD). Proteomic analysis was performed by iTRAQ and nano LC-MS/MS on tears collected from the ocular surface, and specific proteins were verified by high resolution MRM. It was found that in the tears of IAD rabbits at 2 and 4 weeks after induction, S100 A6, S100 A9, and serum albumin were upregulated, whereas serotransferrin (TF), prolactin-inducible protein (PIP), polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR), and Ig gamma chain C region were downregulated. High resolution MRM with mTRAQ labeling verified the changes in S100 A6, TF, PIP, and pIgR. Our results indicated significant changes of tear proteins in IAD rabbits, suggesting these proteins could potentially be used as biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of dry eye. Several of these proteins were also found in the tears of non-SS dry eye patients indicating a common basis of ocular surface pathology, however, pIgR appears to be unique to SS. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Cellobiose as a model system to reveal cellulose dissolution mechanism in acetate-based ionic liquids: Density functional theory study substantiated by NMR spectra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Bobo; Du, Jiuyao; Du, Dongmei; Sun, Haitao; Zhu, Xiao; Fu, Hui

    2016-09-20

    Cellulose dissolution mechanism in acetate-based ionic liquids was systematically studied in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectra and Density Functional Theory (DFT) methods by using cellobiose and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate (BmimAc) as a model system. The solubility of cellulose in ionic liquid increased with temperature increase in the range of 90-140°C. NMR spectra suggested OAc(-) preferred to form stronger hydrogen bonds with hydrogen of hydroxyl in cellulose. Electrostatic potential method was employed to predict the most possible reaction sites and locate the most stable configuration. Atoms in molecules (AIM) theory was used to study the features of bonds at bond critical points and the variations of bond types. Simultaneously, noncovalent interactions were characterized and visualized by employing reduced density gradient analysis combined with Visual Molecular Dynamics (VMD) program. Natural bond orbital (NBO) theory was applied to study the noncovalent nature and characterize the orbital interactions between cellobiose and Bmim[OAc]. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Community Earth System Model Simulations Reveal the Relative Importance of Afforestation and Forest Management to Surface Temperature in Eastern North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin J. Ahlswede

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Afforestation changes the land surface energy balance, though the effects on climate in temperate regions is uncertain, particularly the changes associated with forest management. In this study, we used idealized Community Earth System Model simulations to assess the influence of afforestation and afforestation management in eastern North America on climate via changes in the biophysics of the land surface. Afforestation using broadleaf deciduous trees maintained at high leaf area index (LAI in the southern part of the study region provided the greatest climate benefit by cooling summer surface air temperatures (Tsa. In contrast, the greatest warming occurred in the northern extent of the study region when afforesting with needleleaf evergreen trees maintained at high LAI. Forest management had an equal or greater influence on Tsa than the overall decision to afforest land in the southern extent of the region. Afforestation had a greater influence on Tsa than forest management in the northern extent. Integrating our results, focused on biophysical processes, with other research quantifying carbon cycle sensitivity to management can help guide the use of temperate afforestation to optimize climate benefits. Further, our results highlight the potential importance of including forest management in simulations of past and future climate.

  3. Three-dimensional modeling of the P. falciparum genome during the erythrocytic cycle reveals a strong connection between genome architecture and gene expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ay, Ferhat; Bunnik, Evelien M.; Varoquaux, Nelle; Bol, Sebastiaan M.; Prudhomme, Jacques; Vert, Jean-Philippe; Noble, William Stafford; Le Roch, Karine G.

    2014-01-01

    The development of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is controlled by coordinated changes in gene expression throughout its complex life cycle, but the corresponding regulatory mechanisms are incompletely understood. To study the relationship between genome architecture and gene regulation in Plasmodium, we assayed the genome architecture of P. falciparum at three time points during its erythrocytic (asexual) cycle. Using chromosome conformation capture coupled with next-generation sequencing technology (Hi-C), we obtained high-resolution chromosomal contact maps, which we then used to construct a consensus three-dimensional genome structure for each time point. We observed strong clustering of centromeres, telomeres, ribosomal DNA, and virulence genes, resulting in a complex architecture that cannot be explained by a simple volume exclusion model. Internal virulence gene clusters exhibit domain-like structures in contact maps, suggesting that they play an important role in the genome architecture. Midway during the erythrocytic cycle, at the highly transcriptionally active trophozoite stage, the genome adopts a more open chromatin structure with increased chromosomal intermingling. In addition, we observed reduced expression of genes located in spatial proximity to the repressive subtelomeric center, and colocalization of distinct groups of parasite-specific genes with coordinated expression profiles. Overall, our results are indicative of a strong association between the P. falciparum spatial genome organization and gene expression. Understanding the molecular processes involved in genome conformation dynamics could contribute to the discovery of novel antimalarial strategies. PMID:24671853

  4. Time-course microarrays reveal early activation of the immune transcriptome in a choline-deficient mouse model of liver injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitsumoto, Koji; Watanabe, Rina; Nakao, Katsuki; Yonenaka, Hisaki; Hashimoto, Takao; Kato, Norihisa; Kumrungsee, Thanutchaporn; Yanaka, Noriyuki

    2017-09-01

    Choline-deficient diet is extensively used as a model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In this study, we explored genes in the liver for which the expression changed in response to the choline-deficient (CD) diet. Male CD-1 mice were divided into two groups and fed a CD diet with or without 0.2% choline bitartrate for one or three weeks. Hepatic levels of choline metabolites were analyzed by using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry and hepatic gene expression profiles were examined by DNA microarray analysis. The CD diet lowered liver choline metabolites after one week and exacerbated fatty liver between one and three weeks. We identified >300 genes whose expression was significantly altered in the livers of mice after consumption of this CD diet for one week and showed that liver gene expression profiles could be classified into six distinct groups. This study showed that STAT1 and interferon-regulated genes was up-regulated after the CD diet consumption and that the Stat1 mRNA level was negatively correlated with liver phosphatidylcholine level. Stat1 mRNA expression was actually up-regulated in isolated hepatocytes from the mouse liver with the CD diet. This study provides insight into the genomic effects of the CD diet through the Stat1 expression, which might be involved in NAFLD development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Species distribution models of two critically endangered deep-sea octocorals reveal fishing impacts on vulnerable marine ecosystems in central Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauria, V; Garofalo, G; Fiorentino, F; Massi, D; Milisenda, G; Piraino, S; Russo, T; Gristina, M

    2017-08-14

    Deep-sea coral assemblages are key components of marine ecosystems that generate habitats for fish and invertebrate communities and act as marine biodiversity hot spots. Because of their life history traits, deep-sea corals are highly vulnerable to human impacts such as fishing. They are an indicator of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs), therefore their conservation is essential to preserve marine biodiversity. In the Mediterranean Sea deep-sea coral habitats are associated with commercially important crustaceans, consequently their abundance has dramatically declined due to the effects of trawling. Marine spatial planning is required to ensure that the conservation of these habitats is achieved. Species distribution models were used to investigate the distribution of two critically endangered octocorals (Funiculina quadrangularis and Isidella elongata) in the central Mediterranean as a function of environmental and fisheries variables. Results show that both species exhibit species-specific habitat preferences and spatial patterns in response to environmental variables, but the impact of trawling on their distribution differed. In particular F. quadrangularis can overlap with fishing activities, whereas I. elongata occurs exclusively where fishing is low or absent. This study represents the first attempt to identify key areas for the protection of soft and compact mud VMEs in the central Mediterranean Sea.

  6. Insights into the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Mammalian P2X7 Receptor Functions and Contributions in Diseases, Revealed by Structural Modeling and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Lin-Hua; Baldwin, Jocelyn M.; Roger, Sebastien; Baldwin, Stephen A.

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian P2X7 receptors (P2X7Rs), a member of the ionotropic P2X receptor family with distinctive functional properties, play an important part in mediating extracellular ATP signaling in health and disease. A clear delineation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the key receptor properties, such as ATP-binding, ion permeation, and large pore formation of the mammalian P2X7Rs, is still lacking, but such knowledge is crucial for a better understanding of their physiological functions and contributions in diseases and for development of therapeutics. The recent breakthroughs in determining the atomic structures of the zebrafish P2X4.1R in the closed and ATP-bound open states have provided the long-awaited structural information. The human P2RX7 gene is abundant with non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (NS-SNPs), which generate a repertoire of human P2X7Rs with point mutations. Characterizations of the NS-SNPs identified in patients of various disease conditions and the resulting mutations have informed previously unknown molecular mechanisms determining the mammalian P2X7R functions and diseases. In this review, we will discuss the new insights into such mechanisms provided by structural modeling and recent functional and genetic linkage studies of NS-SNPs. PMID:23675347

  7. Insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying mammalian P2X7 receptor functions and contributions in diseases, revealed by structural modeling and single nucleotide polymorphisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin-Hua eJiang

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The mammalian P2X7 receptors (P2X7Rs, a member of the ionotropic P2X receptor family with distinctive functional properties, play an important part in mediating extracellular ATP signaling in health and disease. A clear delineation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the key receptor properties, such as ATP-binding, ion permeation, and large pore formation of the mammalian P2X7Rs, is still lacking, but such knowledge is crucial for a better understanding of their physiological functions and contributions in diseases and for development of therapeutics. The recent breakthroughs in determining the atomic structures of the zebrafish P2X4.1R in the closed and ATP-bound open states have provided the long-awaited structural information. The human P2RX7 gene is abundant with non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (NS-SNPs, which generate a repertoire of human P2X7Rs with point mutations. Characterizations of the NS-SNPs identified in patients of various disease conditions and the resulting mutations have informed previously unknown molecular mechanisms determining the mammalian P2X7R functions and diseases. In this review, we will discuss the new insights into such mechanisms provided by structural modeling and recent functional and genetic linkage studies of NS-SNPs.

  8. Deconvolution of Voltage Sensor Time Series and Electro-diffusion Modeling Reveal the Role of Spine Geometry in Controlling Synaptic Strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartailler, Jerome; Kwon, Taekyung; Yuste, Rafael; Holcman, David

    2018-03-07

    Most synaptic excitatory connections are made on dendritic spines. But how the voltage in spines is modulated by its geometry remains unclear. To investigate the electrical properties of spines, we combine voltage imaging data with electro-diffusion modeling. We first present a temporal deconvolution procedure for the genetically encoded voltage sensor expressed in hippocampal cultured neurons and then use electro-diffusion theory to compute the electric field and the current-voltage conversion. We extract a range for the neck resistances of 〈R〉=100±35MΩ. When a significant current is injected in a spine, the neck resistance can be inversely proportional to its radius, but not to the radius square, as predicted by Ohm's law. We conclude that the postsynaptic voltage cannot only be modulated by changing the number of receptors, but also by the spine geometry. Thus, spine morphology could be a key component in determining synaptic transduction and plasticity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Three-dimensional modeling of the P. falciparum genome during the erythrocytic cycle reveals a strong connection between genome architecture and gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ay, Ferhat; Bunnik, Evelien M; Varoquaux, Nelle; Bol, Sebastiaan M; Prudhomme, Jacques; Vert, Jean-Philippe; Noble, William Stafford; Le Roch, Karine G

    2014-06-01

    The development of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is controlled by coordinated changes in gene expression throughout its complex life cycle, but the corresponding regulatory mechanisms are incompletely understood. To study the relationship between genome architecture and gene regulation in Plasmodium, we assayed the genome architecture of P. falciparum at three time points during its erythrocytic (asexual) cycle. Using chromosome conformation capture coupled with next-generation sequencing technology (Hi-C), we obtained high-resolution chromosomal contact maps, which we then used to construct a consensus three-dimensional genome structure for each time point. We observed strong clustering of centromeres, telomeres, ribosomal DNA, and virulence genes, resulting in a complex architecture that cannot be explained by a simple volume exclusion model. Internal virulence gene clusters exhibit domain-like structures in contact maps, suggesting that they play an important role in the genome architecture. Midway during the erythrocytic cycle, at the highly transcriptionally active trophozoite stage, the genome adopts a more open chromatin structure with increased chromosomal intermingling. In addition, we observed reduced expression of genes located in spatial proximity to the repressive subtelomeric center, and colocalization of distinct groups of parasite-specific genes with coordinated expression profiles. Overall, our results are indicative of a strong association between the P. falciparum spatial genome organization and gene expression. Understanding the molecular processes involved in genome conformation dynamics could contribute to the discovery of novel antimalarial strategies. © 2014 Ay et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  10. Phylogeographic investigation and ecological niche modelling of the endemic frog species Nanorana pleskei revealed multiple refugia in the eastern Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Wang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The largest plateau Tibetan Plateau supplied an excellent opportunity to investigate the influence of the Pleistocene events on the high-elevation species. To test for the alternative hypotheses of Pleistocene glacial refugia, we used partial sequences of two mitochondrial genes and one nuclear gene to examine the phylogeographic patterns of the endemic frog species Nanorana pleskei across its known range in the eastern Tibetan Plateau, and conducted species distribution modelling (SDM to explore changes of its distribution range through current and paleo periods. In all data sets, the species was divided into lineage north occupying open plateau platform and lineage south colonizing the mountainous plateau. The divergence of two major clades was estimated at the early Pleistocene. In mtDNA, lineage north contained northeastern and northwestern sublineages, and lineage south had two overlapping-distributed sublineages. Different lineages possessed distinct demographic characteristics, i.e., subdivision in the northeastern sublineage, historical bottleneck effects and recent expansions in the northwestern sublineage and the southeastern sublineage. SDMs depicted that stable suitable habitats had existed in the upper-middle streams of the Yellow River, Dadu River, Jinsha River and Yalong River. These regions were also recognized as the ancestral areas of different lineages. In conclusion, Nanorana pleskei lineages have probably experienced long-term separations. Stable suitable habitats existing in upper-middle streams of major rivers on the eastern Tibetan Plateau and distinct demographic dynamics of different lineages indicated that the lineages possessed independent evolutionary processes in multiple glacial refugia. The findings verified the profound effects of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations on the plateau endemic species.

  11. New Features on the Environmental Regulation of Metabolism Revealed by Modeling the Cellular Proteomic Adaptations Induced by Light, Carbon, and Inorganic Nitrogen in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gérin, Stéphanie; Leprince, Pierre; Sluse, Francis E; Franck, Fabrice; Mathy, Grégory

    2016-01-01

    Microalgae are currently emerging to be very promising organisms for the production of biofuels and high-added value compounds. Understanding the influence of environmental alterations on their metabolism is a crucial issue. Light, carbon and nitrogen availability have been reported to induce important metabolic adaptations. So far, the influence of these variables has essentially been studied while varying only one or two environmental factors at the same time. The goal of the present work was to model the cellular proteomic adaptations of the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii upon the simultaneous changes of light intensity, carbon concentrations (CO2 and acetate), and inorganic nitrogen concentrations (nitrate and ammonium) in the culture medium. Statistical design of experiments (DOE) enabled to define 32 culture conditions to be tested experimentally. Relative protein abundance was quantified by two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE). Additional assays for respiration, photosynthesis, and lipid and pigment concentrations were also carried out. A hierarchical clustering survey enabled to partition biological variables (proteins + assays) into eight co-regulated clusters. In most cases, the biological variables partitioned in the same cluster had already been reported to participate to common biological functions (acetate assimilation, bioenergetic processes, light harvesting, Calvin cycle, and protein metabolism). The environmental regulation within each cluster was further characterized by a series of multivariate methods including principal component analysis and multiple linear regressions. This metadata analysis enabled to highlight the existence of a clear regulatory pattern for every cluster and to mathematically simulate the effects of light, carbon, and nitrogen. The influence of these environmental variables on cellular metabolism is described in details and thoroughly discussed. This work provides an overview of the

  12. Occupancy modeling reveals territory-level effects of nest boxes on the presence, colonization, and persistence of a declining raptor in a fruit-growing region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan E Shave

    Full Text Available Nest boxes for predators in agricultural regions are an easily implemented tool to improve local habitat quality with potential benefits for both conservation and agriculture. The potential for nest boxes to increase raptor populations in agricultural regions is of particular interest given their positions as top predators. This study examined the effects of cherry orchard nest boxes on the local breeding population of a declining species, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius, in a fruit-growing region of Michigan. During the 2013-2016 study, we added a total of 23 new nest boxes in addition to 24 intact boxes installed previously; kestrels used up to 100% of our new boxes each season. We conducted temporally-replicated surveys along four roadside transects divided into 1.6 km × 500 m sites. We developed a multi-season occupancy model under a Bayesian framework and found that nest boxes had strong positive effects on first-year site occupancy, site colonization, and site persistence probabilities. The estimated number of occupied sites increased between 2013 and 2016, which correlated with the increase in number of sites with boxes. Kestrel detections decreased with survey date but were not affected by time of day or activity at the boxes themselves. These results indicate that nest boxes determined the presence of kestrels at our study sites and support the conclusion that the local kestrel population is likely limited by nest site availability. Furthermore, our results are highly relevant to the farmers on whose properties the boxes were installed, for we can conclude that installing a nest box in an orchard resulted in a high probability of kestrels occupying that orchard or the areas adjacent to it.

  13. Phylogeographic investigation and ecological niche modelling of the endemic frog species Nanorana pleskei revealed multiple refugia in the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Xie, Feng; Li, Jiannan; Wang, Gang; Li, Cheng; Jiang, Jianping

    2017-01-01

    The largest plateau Tibetan Plateau supplied an excellent opportunity to investigate the influence of the Pleistocene events on the high-elevation species. To test for the alternative hypotheses of Pleistocene glacial refugia, we used partial sequences of two mitochondrial genes and one nuclear gene to examine the phylogeographic patterns of the endemic frog species Nanorana pleskei across its known range in the eastern Tibetan Plateau, and conducted species distribution modelling (SDM) to explore changes of its distribution range through current and paleo periods. In all data sets, the species was divided into lineage north occupying open plateau platform and lineage south colonizing the mountainous plateau. The divergence of two major clades was estimated at the early Pleistocene. In mtDNA, lineage north contained northeastern and northwestern sublineages, and lineage south had two overlapping-distributed sublineages. Different lineages possessed distinct demographic characteristics, i.e., subdivision in the northeastern sublineage, historical bottleneck effects and recent expansions in the northwestern sublineage and the southeastern sublineage. SDMs depicted that stable suitable habitats had existed in the upper-middle streams of the Yellow River, Dadu River, Jinsha River and Yalong River. These regions were also recognized as the ancestral areas of different lineages. In conclusion, Nanorana pleskei lineages have probably experienced long-term separations. Stable suitable habitats existing in upper-middle streams of major rivers on the eastern Tibetan Plateau and distinct demographic dynamics of different lineages indicated that the lineages possessed independent evolutionary processes in multiple glacial refugia. The findings verified the profound effects of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations on the plateau endemic species.

  14. A new three-locus model for rootstock-induced dwarfing in apple revealed by genetic mapping of root bark percentage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Nicola; Harrison, Richard J.; Barber-Perez, Nuria; Cascant-Lopez, Emma; Cobo-Medina, Magdalena; Lipska, Marzena; Conde-Ruíz, Rebeca; Brain, Philip; Gregory, Peter J.; Fernández-Fernández, Felicidad

    2016-01-01

    Rootstock-induced dwarfing of apple scions revolutionized global apple production during the twentieth century, leading to the development of modern intensive orchards. A high root bark percentage (the percentage of the whole root area constituted by root cortex) has previously been associated with rootstock-induced dwarfing in apple. In this study, the root bark percentage was measured in a full-sib family of ungrafted apple rootstocks and found to be under the control of three loci. Two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for root bark percentage were found to co-localize to the same genomic regions on chromosome 5 and chromosome 11 previously identified as controlling dwarfing, Dw1 and Dw2, respectively. A third QTL was identified on chromosome 13 in a region that has not been previously associated with dwarfing. The development of closely linked sequence-tagged site markers improved the resolution of allelic classes, thereby allowing the detection of dominance and epistatic interactions between loci, with high root bark percentage only occurring in specific allelic combinations. In addition, we report a significant negative correlation between root bark percentage and stem diameter (an indicator of tree vigour), measured on a clonally propagated grafted subset of the mapping population. The demonstrated link between root bark percentage and rootstock-induced dwarfing of the scion leads us to propose a three-locus model that is able to explain levels of dwarfing from the dwarf ‘M.27’ to the semi-invigorating rootstock ‘M.116’. Moreover, we suggest that the QTL on chromosome 13 (Rb3) might be analogous to a third dwarfing QTL, Dw3, which has not previously been identified. PMID:26826217

  15. Profound Climatic Effects on Two East Asian Black-Throated Tits (Ave: Aegithalidae), Revealed by Ecological Niche Models and Phylogeographic Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wenjuan; Lin, Congtian; Gao, Bin; Yang, Xiaojun; Zhang, Zhengwang; Lei, Fumin

    2011-01-01

    Although a number of studies have assessed the effects of geological and climatic changes on species distributions in East Asian, we still have limited knowledge of how these changes have impacted avian species in south-western and southern China. Here, we aim to study paleo-climatic effects on an East Asian bird, two subspecies of black-throated tit (A. c. talifuensis–concinnus) with the combined analysis of phylogeography and Ecological Niche Models (ENMs). We sequenced three mitochondrial DNA markers from 32 populations (203 individuals) and used phylogenetic inferences to reconstruct the intra-specific relationships among haplotypes. Population genetic analyses were undertaken to gain insight into the demographic history of these populations. We used ENMs to predict the distribution of target species during three periods; last inter-glacial (LIG), last glacial maximum (LGM) and present. We found three highly supported, monophyletic MtDNA lineages and different historical demography among lineages in A. c. talifuensis–concinnus. These lineages formed a narrowly circumscribed intra-specific contact zone. The estimated times of lineage divergences were about 2.4 Ma and 0.32 Ma respectively. ENMs predictions were similar between present and LGM but substantially reduced during LIG. ENMs reconstructions and molecular dating suggest that Pleistocene climate changes had triggered and shaped the genetic structure of black-throated tit. Interestingly, in contrast to profound impacts of other glacial cycles, ENMs and phylogeographic analysis suggest that LGM had limited effect on these two subspecies. ENMs also suggest that Pleistocene climatic oscillations enabled the formation of the contact zone and thus support the refuge theory. PMID:22195047

  16. Profound climatic effects on two East Asian black-throated tits (Ave: Aegithalidae), revealed by ecological niche models and phylogeographic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Chuanyin; Zhao, Na; Wang, Wenjuan; Lin, Congtian; Gao, Bin; Yang, Xiaojun; Zhang, Zhengwang; Lei, Fumin

    2011-01-01

    Although a number of studies have assessed the effects of geological and climatic changes on species distributions in East Asian, we still have limited knowledge of how these changes have impacted avian species in south-western and southern China. Here, we aim to study paleo-climatic effects on an East Asian bird, two subspecies of black-throated tit (A. c. talifuensis-concinnus) with the combined analysis of phylogeography and Ecological Niche Models (ENMs). We sequenced three mitochondrial DNA markers from 32 populations (203 individuals) and used phylogenetic inferences to reconstruct the intra-specific relationships among haplotypes. Population genetic analyses were undertaken to gain insight into the demographic history of these populations. We used ENMs to predict the distribution of target species during three periods; last inter-glacial (LIG), last glacial maximum (LGM) and present. We found three highly supported, monophyletic MtDNA lineages and different historical demography among lineages in A. c. talifuensis-concinnus. These lineages formed a narrowly circumscribed intra-specific contact zone. The estimated times of lineage divergences were about 2.4 Ma and 0.32 Ma respectively. ENMs predictions were similar between present and LGM but substantially reduced during LIG. ENMs reconstructions and molecular dating suggest that Pleistocene climate changes had triggered and shaped the genetic structure of black-throated tit. Interestingly, in contrast to profound impacts of other glacial cycles, ENMs and phylogeographic analysis suggest that LGM had limited effect on these two subspecies. ENMs also suggest that Pleistocene climatic oscillations enabled the formation of the contact zone and thus support the refuge theory.

  17. Genome wide transcriptome profiling of a murine acute melioidosis model reveals new insights into how Burkholderia pseudomallei overcomes host innate immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan Sheila

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background At present, very little is known about how Burkholderia pseudomallei (B. pseudomallei interacts with its host to elicit melioidosis symptoms. We established a murine acute-phase melioidosis model and used DNA microarray technology to investigate the global host/pathogen interaction. We compared the transcriptome of infected liver and spleen with uninfected tissues over an infection period of 42 hr to identify genes whose expression is altered in response to an acute infection. Results Viable B. pseudomallei cells were consistently detected in the blood, liver and spleen during the 42 hr course of infection. Microarray analysis of the liver and spleen over this time course demonstrated that genes involved in immune response, stress response, cell cycle regulation, proteasomal degradation, cellular metabolism and signal transduction pathways were differentially regulated. Up regulation of toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2 gene expression suggested that a TLR2-mediated signalling pathway is responsible for recognition and initiation of an inflammatory response to the acute B. pseudomallei infection. Most of the highly elevated inflammatory genes are a cohort of "core host immune response" genes commonly seen in general inflammation infections. Concomitant to this initial inflammatory response, we observed an increase in transcripts associated with cell-death, caspase activation and peptidoglysis that ultimately promote tissue injury in the host. The complement system responsible for restoring host cellular homeostasis and eliminating intracellular bacteria was activated only after 24 hr post-infection. However, at this time point, diverse host nutrient metabolic and cellular pathways including glycolysis, fatty acid metabolism and tricarboxylic acid (TCA cycle were repressed. Conclusions This detailed picture of the host transcriptional response during acute melioidosis highlights a broad range of innate immune mechanisms that are

  18. High resolution digital elevation modelling from TLS and UAV campaign reveals structural complexity at the 2014/15 Holuhraun eruption site, Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Daniel; Walter, Thomas R.; Schöpa, Anne; Witt, Tanja; Steinke, Bastian; Gudmundsson, Magnús T.; Dürig, Tobias

    2017-07-01

    Fissure eruptions are commonly linked to magma dikes at depth, associated with elastic and anelastic surface deformation. Elastic deformation is well described by subsidence above, uplift and lateral widening perpendicular to the dike plane. The anelastic part is associated with the formation of a graben, bordered by graben parallel faults that might express as sets of fractures at the surface. Additionally secondary structures, like push ups, bends and step overs yield information about the deforming domain. The formation of such structures associated with fissure eruptions, however, is barely preserved in nature because of the rapid erosion or sediment coverage. Therefore, simple normal fault displacements are commonly assumed at dikes. At the 2014/2015 Holuhraun eruption sites (Iceland), evidence is increasing that the developing fractures are showing variations in their displacement modes. In an attempt to investigate these variations, a fieldwork mapping project combining Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) based aerophoto analysis was realized. From this data, we generated locally high resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and a structural map that allows for identification of kinematic indicators and assessing particularities of the observed structures. We identified 315 fracture segments from satellite data. For single segments we measured strike directions including the amount of opening and opening angles, indicating that many of the measured fractures show transtensional dislocations. Out of these, 81 % are showing significant left-lateral slip, only 17% right-lateral slip and 2% pure tensile opening. We show that local complexities in the fracture traces and geometries are closely related to variations in the transtensional opening direction. Moreover, we identified local changes in fracture azimuths and offsets close to eruption sites, which we speculate to be associated with geometrical changes in the magma feeder

  19. High-Resolution Digital Elevation Modeling from TLS and UAV Campaign Reveals Structural Complexity at the 2014/2015 Holuhraun Eruption Site, Iceland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Müller

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Fissure eruptions are commonly linked to magma dikes at depth and are associated with elastic and inelastic surface deformation. Elastic deformation is well described by subsidence occurring above the dike plane and uplift and lateral widening occurring perpendicular to the dike plane. Inelastic deformation is associated with the formation of a graben, which is bordered by graben parallel faults that might express as sets of fractures at the surface. Additionally, secondary structures, such as push-ups, bends and step overs, yield information about the deforming domain. However, once these structures are formed during fissure eruptions, they are rarely preserved in nature, due to the effects of rapid erosion, sediment coverage or overprinting by other faulting events. Therefore, simple normal fault displacements are commonly assumed at dikes. At the 2014/2015 Holuhraun eruption sites (Iceland, increasing evidence suggests that developing fractures exhibited variations in their displacement modes. In an attempt to investigate these variations, a fieldwork mapping project combining Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV-based aerophoto analysis was undertaken. Using these data, we generated local high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs and a structural map that facilitated the identification of kinematic indicators and the assessment of the observed structures. We identified 315 fracture segments from these satellite data. We measured the strike directions of single segments, including the amount of opening and opening angles, which indicate that many of the measured fractures show transtensional dislocations. Of these, ~81% exhibit a significant left-lateral component and only ~17% exhibit a right-lateral component. Here, we demonstrate that the local complexities in these fracture traces and geometries are closely related to variations in their transtensional opening directions. Moreover, we identified local

  20. Structural equation modelling of viral tropism reveals its impact on achieving viral suppression within 6 months in treatment-naive HIV-1-infected patients after combination antiretroviral therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengoli, Carlo; Andreis, Samantha; Scaggiante, Renzo; Cruciani, Mario; Bosco, Oliviero; Ferretto, Roberto; Leoni, Davide; Maffongelli, Gaetano; Basso, Monica; Torti, Carlo; Sarmati, Loredana; Andreoni, Massimo; Palù, Giorgio; Parisi, Saverio Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    To evaluate the role of pre-treatment co-receptor tropism of plasma HIV on the achievement of viral suppression (plasma HIV RNA 1.69 log 10 copies/mL) at the sixth month of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in a cohort of naive patients using, for the first time in this context, a path analysis (PA) approach. Adult patients with chronic infection by subtype B HIV-1 were consecutively enrolled from the start of first-line cART (T0). Genotypic analysis of viral tropism was performed on plasma and interpreted using the bioinformatic tool Geno2pheno, with a false positive rate of 10%. A Bayesian network starting from the viro-immunological data at T0 and at the sixth month of treatment (T1) was set up and this model was evaluated using a PA approach. A total of 262 patients (22.1% bearing an X4 virus) were included; 178 subjects (67.9%) achieved viral suppression. A significant positive indirect effect of bearing X4 virus in plasma at T0 on log 10 HIV RNA at T1 was detected (P = 0.009), the magnitude of this effect was, however, over 10-fold lower than the direct effect of log 10 HIV RNA at T0 on log 10 HIV RNA at T1 (P = 0.000). Moreover, a significant positive indirect effect of bearing an X4 virus on log 10 HIV RNA at T0 (P = 0.003) was apparent. PA overcame the limitations implicit in common multiple regression analysis and showed the possible role of pre-treatment viral tropism at the recommended threshold on the outcome of plasma viraemia in naive patients after 6 months of therapy. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Finite element micro-modelling of a human ankle bone reveals the importance of the trabecular network to mechanical performance: new methods for the generation and comparison of 3D models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parr, W C H; Chamoli, U; Jones, A; Walsh, W R; Wroe, S

    2013-01-04

    Most modelling of whole bones does not incorporate trabecular geometry and treats bone as a solid non-porous structure. Some studies have modelled trabecular networks in isolation. One study has modelled the performance of whole human bones incorporating trabeculae, although this required considerable computer resources and purpose-written code. The difference between mechanical behaviour in models that incorporate trabecular geometry and non-porous models has not been explored. The ability to easily model trabecular networks may shed light on the mechanical consequences of bone loss in osteoporosis and remodelling after implant insertion. Here we present a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of a human ankle bone that includes trabecular network geometry. We compare results from this model with results from non-porous models and introduce protocols achievable on desktop computers using widely available softwares. Our findings show that models including trabecular geometry are considerably stiffer than non-porous whole bone models wherein the non-cortical component has the same mass as the trabecular network, suggesting inclusion of trabecular geometry is desirable. We further present new methods for the construction and analysis of 3D models permitting: (1) construction of multi-property, non-porous models wherein cortical layer thickness can be manipulated; (2) maintenance of the same triangle network for the outer cortical bone surface in both 3D reconstruction and non-porous models allowing exact replication of load and restraint cases; and (3) creation of an internal landmark point grid allowing direct comparison between 3D FE Models (FEMs). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Homozygosity mapping and targeted sanger sequencing reveal genetic defects underlying inherited retinal disease in families from pakistan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maleeha Maria

    Full Text Available Homozygosity mapping has facilitated the identification of the genetic causes underlying inherited diseases, particularly in consanguineous families with multiple affected individuals. This knowledge has also resulted in a mutation dataset that can be used in a cost and time effective manner to screen frequent population-specific genetic variations associated with diseases such as inherited retinal disease (IRD.We genetically screened 13 families from a cohort of 81 Pakistani IRD families diagnosed with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA, retinitis pigmentosa (RP, congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB, or cone dystrophy (CD. We employed genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP array analysis to identify homozygous regions shared by affected individuals and performed Sanger sequencing of IRD-associated genes located in the sizeable homozygous regions. In addition, based on population specific mutation data we performed targeted Sanger sequencing (TSS of frequent variants in AIPL1, CEP290, CRB1, GUCY2D, LCA5, RPGRIP1 and TULP1, in probands from 28 LCA families.Homozygosity mapping and Sanger sequencing of IRD-associated genes revealed the underlying mutations in 10 families. TSS revealed causative variants in three families. In these 13 families four novel mutations were identified in CNGA1, CNGB1, GUCY2D, and RPGRIP1.Homozygosity mapping and TSS revealed the underlying genetic cause in 13 IRD families, which is useful for genetic counseling as well as therapeutic interventions that are likely to become available in the near future.

  3. Comparing SessionStateReveal and EphemeralKeyReveal for Diffie-Hellman Protocols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustaoglu, Berkant

    Both the "eCK" model, by LaMacchia, Lauter and Mityagin, and the "CK01" model, by Canetti and Krawczyk, address the effect of leaking session specific ephemeral data on the security of key establishment schemes. The CK01-adversary is given a SessionStateReveal query to learn session-specific private data defined by the protocol specification, whereas the eCK-adversary is equipped with an EphemeralKeyReveal query to access all ephemeral private input required to carry session computations. SessionStateReveal cannot be issued against the test session; by contrast EphemeralKeyReveal can be used against the test session under certain conditions. On the other hand, it is not obvious how EphemeralKeyReveal compares to SessionStateReveal. Thus it is natural to ask which model is more useful and practically relevant.

  4. TypeScript revealed

    CERN Document Server

    Maharry, Dan

    2013-01-01

    TypeScript Revealed is a quick 100-page guide to Anders Hejlsberg's new take on JavaScript. With this brief, fast-paced introduction to TypeScript, .NET, Web and Windows 8 application developers who are already familiar with JavaScript will easily get up to speed with TypeScript and decide whether or not to start incorporating it into their own development. TypeScript is 'JavaScript for Application-scale development'; a superset of JavaScript that brings to it an additional object-oriented-like syntax familiar to .NET programmers that compiles down into simple, clean JavaScript that any browse

  5. Revealing the programming process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bennedsen, Jens; Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard

    2005-01-01

    One of the most important goals of an introductory programming course is that the students learn a systematic approach to the development of computer programs. Revealing the programming process is an important part of this; however, textbooks do not address the issue -- probably because...... the textbook medium is static and therefore ill-suited to expose the process of programming. We have found that process recordings in the form of captured narrated programming sessions are a simple, cheap, and efficient way of providing the revelation.We identify seven different elements of the programming...

  6. A design-build-test cycle using modeling and experiments reveals interdependencies between upper glycolysis and xylose uptake in recombinantS. cerevisiaeand improves predictive capabilities of large-scale kinetic models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miskovic, Ljubisa; Alff-Tuomala, Susanne; Soh, Keng Cher; Barth, Dorothee; Salusjärvi, Laura; Pitkänen, Juha-Pekka; Ruohonen, Laura; Penttilä, Merja; Hatzimanikatis, Vassily

    2017-01-01

    Recent advancements in omics measurement technologies have led to an ever-increasing amount of available experimental data that necessitate systems-oriented methodologies for efficient and systematic integration of data into consistent large-scale kinetic models. These models can help us to uncover new insights into cellular physiology and also to assist in the rational design of bioreactor or fermentation processes. Optimization and Risk Analysis of Complex Living Entities (ORACLE) framework for the construction of large-scale kinetic models can be used as guidance for formulating alternative metabolic engineering strategies. We used ORACLE in a metabolic engineering problem: improvement of the xylose uptake rate during mixed glucose-xylose consumption in a recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain. Using the data from bioreactor fermentations, we characterized network flux and concentration profiles representing possible physiological states of the analyzed strain. We then identified enzymes that could lead to improved flux through xylose transporters (XTR). For some of the identified enzymes, including hexokinase (HXK), we could not deduce if their control over XTR was positive or negative. We thus performed a follow-up experiment, and we found out that HXK2 deletion improves xylose uptake rate. The data from the performed experiments were then used to prune the kinetic models, and the predictions of the pruned population of kinetic models were in agreement with the experimental data collected on the HXK2 -deficient S. cerevisiae strain. We present a design-build-test cycle composed of modeling efforts and experiments with a glucose-xylose co-utilizing recombinant S. cerevisiae and its HXK2 -deficient mutant that allowed us to uncover interdependencies between upper glycolysis and xylose uptake pathway. Through this cycle, we also obtained kinetic models with improved prediction capabilities. The present study demonstrates the potential of integrated "modeling

  7. Android Emotions Revealed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vlachos, Evgenios; Schärfe, Henrik

    2012-01-01

    This work presents a method for designing facial interfaces for sociable android robots with respect to the fundamental rules of human affect expression. Extending the work of Paul Ekman towards a robotic direction, we follow the judgment-based approach for evaluating facial expressions to test...... in which case an android robot like the Geminoid|DK –a duplicate of an Original person- reveals emotions convincingly; when following an empirical perspective, or when following a theoretical one. The methodology includes the processes of acquiring the empirical data, and gathering feedback on them. Our...... findings are based on the results derived from a number of judgments, and suggest that before programming the facial expressions of a Geminoid, the Original should pass through the proposed procedure. According to our recommendations, the facial expressions of an android should be tested by judges, even...

  8. Chemistry of plutonium revealed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connick, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    In 1941 one goal of the Manhattan Project was to unravel the chemistry of the synthetic element plutonium as rapidly as possible. In this paper the work carried out at Berkeley from the spring of 1942 to the summer of 1945 is described briefly. The aqueous chemistry of plutonium is quite remarkable. Important insights were obtained from tracer experiments, but the full complexity was not revealed until macroscopic amounts (milligrams) became available. Because processes for separation from fission products were based on aqueous solutions, such solution chemistry was emphasized, particularly precipitation and oxidation-reduction behavior. The latter turned out to be unusually intricate when it was discovered that two more oxidation states existed in aqueous solution than had previously been suspected. Further, an equilibrium was rapidly established among the four aqueous oxidation states, while at the same time any three were not in equilibrium. These and other observations made while doing a crash study of a previously unknown element are reported

  9. Revealing Curitiba's flawed sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giacomini Martínez, Joyde; Boas, Ingrid; Lenhart, Jennifer; Mol, Arthur P.J.

    2016-01-01

    The city of Curitiba, Brazil, is considered an exceptional model of sustainable urban planning. It has received praise for its invention of the Bus Rapid Transit System and numerous awards identify Curitiba as one of the world's greenest cities. Controversial elements have, however, been left out

  10. Stem cell heterogeneity revealed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Marianne S; Jensen, Kim B

    2016-01-01

    The skin forms a protective, water-impermeable barrier consisting of heavily crosslinked epithelial cells. However, the specific role of stem cells in sustaining this barrier remains a contentious issue. A detailed analysis of the interfollicular epidermis now proposes a model for how a composite...... of cells with different properties are involved in its maintenance....

  11. Identification of the main processes underlying ecosystem functioning in the Eastern English Channel, with a focus on flatfish species, as revealed through the application of the Atlantis end-to-end model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girardin, Raphaël; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Lehuta, Sigrid; Rolland, Marie; Thébaud, Olivier; Travers-Trolet, Morgane; Vermard, Youen; Marchal, Paul

    2018-02-01

    The ecosystem model Atlantis was used to investigate the key dynamics and processes that structure the Eastern English Channel ecosystem, with a particular focus on two commercial flatfish species, sole (Solea solea) and plaice (Pleuronectes platessa). This complex model was parameterized with data collected from diverse sources (a literature review, survey data, as well as landings and stock assessment information) and tuned so both simulated biomass and catch fit 2002-2011 observations. Here, the outputs are mainly presented for the two focus species and for some other vertebrates found to be important in the trophic network. The calibration process revealed the importance of coastal areas in the Eastern English Channel and of nutrient inputs from estuaries: a lack of river nutrients decreases the productivity of nursery grounds and adversely affects the production of sole and plaice. The role of discards in the trophic network is also highlighted. While sole and plaice did not have a strong influence on the trophic network of vertebrates, they are important predators for benthic invertebrates and compete for food with crustaceans, whiting (Merlangius merlangus) and other demersal fish. We also found that two key species, cod (Gadus morhua) and whiting, thoroughly structured the Eastern English Channel trophic network.

  12. Combination of Metabolomic and Proteomic Analysis Revealed Different Features among Lactobacillus delbrueckii Subspecies bulgaricus and lactis Strains While In Vivo Testing in the Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans Highlighted Probiotic Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Zanni

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Lactobacillus delbrueckii represents a technologically relevant member of lactic acid bacteria, since the two subspecies bulgaricus and lactis are widely associated with fermented dairy products. In the present work, we report the characterization of two commercial strains belonging to L. delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus, lactis and a novel strain previously isolated from a traditional fermented fresh cheese. A phenomic approach was performed by combining metabolomic and proteomic analysis of the three strains, which were subsequently supplemented as food source to the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, with the final aim to evaluate their possible probiotic effects. Restriction analysis of 16S ribosomal DNA revealed that the novel foodborne strain belonged to L. delbrueckii subspecies lactis. Proteomic and metabolomic approaches showed differences in folate, aminoacid and sugar metabolic pathways among the three strains. Moreover, evaluation of C. elegans lifespan, larval development, brood size, and bacterial colonization capacity demonstrated that L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus diet exerted beneficial effects on nematodes. On the other hand, both L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis strains affected lifespan and larval development. We have characterized three strains belonging to L. delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus and lactis highlighting their divergent origin. In particular, the two closely related isolates L. delbrueckii subspecies lactis display different galactose metabolic capabilities. Moreover, the L. delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus strain demonstrated potential probiotic features. Combination of omic platforms coupled with in vivo screening in the simple model organism C. elegans is a powerful tool to characterize industrially relevant bacterial isolates.

  13. Combination of Metabolomic and Proteomic Analysis Revealed Different Features among Lactobacillus delbrueckii Subspecies bulgaricus and lactis Strains While In Vivo Testing in the Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans Highlighted Probiotic Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanni, Elena; Schifano, Emily; Motta, Sara; Sciubba, Fabio; Palleschi, Claudio; Mauri, Pierluigi; Perozzi, Giuditta; Uccelletti, Daniela; Devirgiliis, Chiara; Miccheli, Alfredo

    2017-01-01

    Lactobacillus delbrueckii represents a technologically relevant member of lactic acid bacteria, since the two subspecies bulgaricus and lactis are widely associated with fermented dairy products. In the present work, we report the characterization of two commercial strains belonging to L. delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus , lactis and a novel strain previously isolated from a traditional fermented fresh cheese. A phenomic approach was performed by combining metabolomic and proteomic analysis of the three strains, which were subsequently supplemented as food source to the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans , with the final aim to evaluate their possible probiotic effects. Restriction analysis of 16S ribosomal DNA revealed that the novel foodborne strain belonged to L. delbrueckii subspecies lactis . Proteomic and metabolomic approaches showed differences in folate, aminoacid and sugar metabolic pathways among the three strains. Moreover, evaluation of C. elegans lifespan, larval development, brood size, and bacterial colonization capacity demonstrated that L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus diet exerted beneficial effects on nematodes. On the other hand, both L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis strains affected lifespan and larval development. We have characterized three strains belonging to L. delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus and lactis highlighting their divergent origin. In particular, the two closely related isolates L. delbrueckii subspecies lactis display different galactose metabolic capabilities. Moreover, the L. delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus strain demonstrated potential probiotic features. Combination of omic platforms coupled with in vivo screening in the simple model organism C. elegans is a powerful tool to characterize industrially relevant bacterial isolates.

  14. Molecular data and ecological niche modeling reveal population dynamics of widespread shrub Forsythia suspensa (Oleaceae) in China's warm-temperate zone in response to climate change during the Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Zi-Zhen; Li, Yong-Hua; Zhang, Kai-Ming; Li, Yong

    2014-05-30

    Despite its high number of endemic deciduous broad-leaved species in China's warm-temperate zone, far less attention has been paid to phylogeographic studies in this region. In this work, the phylogeographic history of Forsythia suspensa endemic to China's warm-temperate zone was investigated to explore the effect of climate change during the Pleistocene on the distribution of this deciduous broad-leaved species in China. The cpDNA data revealed seven phylogeographical groups corresponding to geographical regions. By contrast, the nrDNA data supported the samples clustered into three groups, which was inconsistent with separate geographical regions supported by cpDNA data. Ecological niche modeling showed that the climatically suitable area during the cold period was larger than that during the warm period. Both molecular data and ecological niche modeling indicated that F. suspensa expanded to nearby low-elevation plains in the glacial periods, and retreated to mountaintops during interglacial warmer stages. This study thus supported that F. suspensa persisted in situ during the glacial of the Pleistocene with enlarged distribution area, contrary to the hypothesis of long distance southward migration or large-scale range contraction.

  15. In Vivo Modelling of ATP1A3 G316S-Induced Ataxia in C. elegans Using CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Homologous Recombination Reveals Dominant Loss of Function Defects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Altar Sorkaç

    Full Text Available The NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program admitted a male patient with unclassifiable late-onset ataxia-like symptoms. Exome sequencing revealed a heterozygous de novo mutation converting glycine 316 to serine in ATP1A3, which might cause disease. ATP1A3 encodes the Na+/K+ ATPase pump α3-subunit. Using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination for genome editing, we modelled this putative disease-causing allele in Caenorhabditis elegans, recreating the patient amino acid change in eat-6, the orthologue of ATP1A3. The impact of the mutation on eat-6 function at the neuromuscular junction was examined using two behavioural assays: rate of pharyngeal pumping and sensitivity to aldicarb, a drug that causes paralysis over time via the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. The patient allele decreased pumping rates and caused hypersensitivity to aldicarb. Animals heterozygous for the allele exhibited similar defects, whereas loss of function mutations in eat-6 were recessive. These results indicate that the mutation is dominant and impairs the neuromuscular function. Thus, we conclude that the de novo G316S mutation in ATP1A3 likely causes or contributes to patient symptoms. More broadly, we conclude that, for conserved genes, it is possible to rapidly and easily model human diseases in C. elegans using CRIPSR/Cas9 genome editing.

  16. Communication Games Reveal Preparation Contextuality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameedi, Alley; Tavakoli, Armin; Marques, Breno; Bourennane, Mohamed

    2017-12-01

    A communication game consists of distributed parties attempting to jointly complete a task with restricted communication. Such games are useful tools for studying limitations of physical theories. A theory exhibits preparation contextuality whenever its predictions cannot be explained by a preparation noncontextual model. Here, we show that communication games performed in operational theories reveal the preparation contextuality of that theory. For statistics obtained in a particular family of communication games, we show a direct correspondence with correlations in spacelike separated events obeying the no-signaling principle. Using this, we prove that all mixed quantum states of any finite dimension are preparation contextual. We report on an experimental realization of a communication game involving three-level quantum systems from which we observe a strong violation of the constraints of preparation noncontextuality.

  17. Communication Games Reveal Preparation Contextuality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hameedi, Alley; Tavakoli, Armin; Marques, Breno; Bourennane, Mohamed

    2017-12-01

    A communication game consists of distributed parties attempting to jointly complete a task with restricted communication. Such games are useful tools for studying limitations of physical theories. A theory exhibits preparation contextuality whenever its predictions cannot be explained by a preparation noncontextual model. Here, we show that communication games performed in operational theories reveal the preparation contextuality of that theory. For statistics obtained in a particular family of communication games, we show a direct correspondence with correlations in spacelike separated events obeying the no-signaling principle. Using this, we prove that all mixed quantum states of any finite dimension are preparation contextual. We report on an experimental realization of a communication game involving three-level quantum systems from which we observe a strong violation of the constraints of preparation noncontextuality.

  18. Comment on "A dynamic network model of mTOR signaling reveals TSC-independent mTORC2 regulation": building a model of the mTOR signaling network with a potentially faulty tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Brendan D

    2012-07-10

    In their study published in Science Signaling (Research Article, 27 March 2012, DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002469), Dalle Pezze et al. tackle the dynamic and complex wiring of the signaling network involving the protein kinase mTOR, which exists within two distinct protein complexes (mTORC1 and mTORC2) that differ in their regulation and function. The authors use a combination of immunoblotting for specific phosphorylation events and computational modeling. The primary experimental tool employed is to monitor the autophosphorylation of mTOR on Ser(2481) in cell lysates as a surrogate for mTOR activity, which the authors conclude is a specific readout for mTORC2. However, Ser(2481) phosphorylation occurs on both mTORC1 and mTORC2 and will dynamically change as the network through which these two complexes are connected is manipulated. Therefore, models of mTOR network regulation built using this tool are inherently imperfect and open to alternative explanations. Specific issues with the main conclusion made in this study, involving the TSC1-TSC2 (tuberous sclerosis complex 1 and 2) complex and its potential regulation of mTORC2, are discussed here. A broader goal of this Letter is to clarify to other investigators the caveats of using mTOR Ser(2481) phosphorylation in cell lysates as a specific readout for either of the two mTOR complexes.

  19. Breaking Badly: DFT-D2 Gives Sizeable Errors for Tensile Strengths in Palladium-Hydride Solids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilawe, Niranjan V; Zimmerman, Jonathan A; Wong, Bryan M

    2015-11-10

    Dispersion interactions play a crucial role in noncovalently bound molecular systems, and recent studies have shown that dispersion effects are also critical for accurately describing covalently bound solids. While most studies on bulk solids have solely focused on equilibrium properties (lattice constants, bulk moduli, and cohesive energies), there has been little work on assessing the importance of dispersion effects for solid-state properties far from equilibrium. In this work, we present a detailed analysis of both equilibrium and highly nonequilibrium properties (tensile strengths leading to fracture) of various palladium-hydride systems using representative DFT methods within the LDA, GGA, DFT-D2, DFT-D3, and nonlocal vdw-DFT families. Among the various DFT methods, we surprisingly find that the empirically constructed DFT-D2 functional gives extremely anomalous and qualitatively incorrect results for tensile strengths in palladium-hydride bulk solids. We present a detailed analysis of these effects and discuss the ramifications of using these methods for predicting solid-state properties far from equilibrium. Most importantly, we suggest caution in using DFT-D2 (or other coarse-grained parametrizations obtained from DFT-D2) for computing material properties under large stress/strain loads or for evaluating solid-state properties under extreme structural conditions.

  20. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maeda, Azusa [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Chen, Yonghong; Bu, Jiachuan; Mujcic, Hilda [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Wouters, Bradly G. [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); DaCosta, Ralph S., E-mail: rdacosta@uhnres.utoronto.ca [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Techna Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the effect of high-dose irradiation on pancreatic tumor vasculature and microenvironment using in vivo imaging techniques. Methods and Materials: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.

  1. Structural models of human eEF1A1 and eEF1A2 reveal two distinct surface clusters of sequence variation and potential differences in phosphorylation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dinesh C Soares

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Despite sharing 92% sequence identity, paralogous human translation elongation factor 1 alpha-1 (eEF1A1 and elongation factor 1 alpha-2 (eEF1A2 have different but overlapping functional profiles. This may reflect the differential requirements of the cell-types in which they are expressed and is consistent with complex roles for these proteins that extend beyond delivery of tRNA to the ribosome.To investigate the structural basis of these functional differences, we created and validated comparative three-dimensional (3-D models of eEF1A1 and eEF1A2 on the basis of the crystal structure of homologous eEF1A from yeast. The spatial location of amino acid residues that vary between the two proteins was thereby pinpointed, and their surface electrostatic and lipophilic properties were compared. None of the variations amongst buried amino acid residues are judged likely to have a major structural effect on the protein fold, or to affect domain-domain interactions. Nearly all the variant surface-exposed amino acid residues lie on one face of the protein, in two proximal but distinct sub-clusters. The result of previously performed mutagenesis in yeast may be interpreted as confirming the importance of one of these clusters in actin-bundling and filament disorganization. Interestingly, some variant residues lie in close proximity to, and in a few cases show differences in interactions with, residues previously inferred to be directly involved in binding GTP/GDP, eEF1Balpha and aminoacyl-tRNA. Additional sequence-based predictions, in conjunction with the 3-D models, reveal likely differences in phosphorylation sites that could reconcile some of the functional differences between the two proteins.The revelation and putative functional assignment of two distinct sub-clusters on the surface of the protein models should enable rational site-directed mutagenesis, including homologous reverse-substitution experiments, to map surface binding patches onto these

  2. Implications for the crustal Architecture in West Antarctica revealed by the means of depth-to-the-bottom of the magnetic source (DBMS) mapping and 3D FEM geothermal heat flux models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dziadek, Ricarda; Gohl, Karsten; Kaul, Norbert

    2017-04-01

    The West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is one of the largest rift systems in the world, which displays unique coupled relationships between tectonic processes and ice sheet dynamics. Palaeo-ice streams have eroded troughs across the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) that today route warm ocean deep water to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) grounding zone and reinforce dynamic ice sheet thinning. Rift basins, which cut across West Antarctica's landward-sloping shelves, promote ice sheet instability. Young, continental rift systems are regions with significantly elevated geothermal heat flux (GHF), because the transient thermal perturbation to the lithosphere caused by rifting requires 100 m.y. to reach long-term thermal equilibrium. The GHF in this region is, especially on small scales, poorly constrained and suspected to be heterogeneous as a reflection of the distribution of tectonic and volcanic activity along the complex branching geometry of the WARS, which reflects its multi-stage history and structural inheritance. We investigate the crustal architecture and the possible effects of rifting history from the WARS on the ASE ice sheet dynamics, by the use of depth-to-the-bottom of the magnetic source (DBMS) estimates. These are based on airborne-magnetic anomaly data and provide an additional insight into the deeper crustal properties. With the DBMS estimates we reveal spatial changes at the bottom of the igneous crust and the thickness of the magnetic layer, which can be further incorporated into tectonic interpretations. The DBMS also marks an important temperature transition zone of approximately 580°C and therefore serves as a boundary condition for our numerical FEM models in 2D and 3D. On balance, and by comparison to global values, we find average GHF of 90 mWm-2 with spatial variations due to crustal heterogeneities and volcanic activities. This estimate is 30% more than commonly used in ice sheet models in the ASE region.

  3. Canada Basin revealed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, David C.; Shimeld, John; Hutchinson, Deborah R.; Chian, D; Lebedeva-Ivanova, Nina; Jackson, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    More than 15,000 line-km of new regional seismic reflection and refraction data in the western Arctic Ocean provide insights into the tectonic and sedimentologic history of Canada Basin, permitting development of new geologic understanding in one of Earth's last frontiers. These new data support a rotational opening model for southern Canada Basin. There is a central basement ridge possibly representing an extinct spreading center with oceanic crustal velocities and blocky basement morphology characteristic of spreading centre crust surrounding this ridge. Basement elevation is lower in the south, mostly due to sediment loading subsidence. The sedimentary succession is thickest in the southern Beaufort Sea region, reaching more than 15 km, and generally thins to the north and west. In the north, grabens and half-grabens are indicative of extension. Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge is a large igneous province in northern Amerasia Basin, presumably emplaced synchronously with basin formation. It overprints most of northern Canada Basin structure. The seafloor and sedimentary succession of Canada Basin is remarkably flat-lying in its central region, with little bathymetric change over most of its extent. Reflections that correlate over 100s of kms comprise most of the succession and on-lap bathymetric and basement highs. They are interpreted as representing deposits from unconfined turbidity current flows. Sediment distribution patterns reflect changing source directions during the basin’s history. Initially, probably late Cretaceous to Paleocene synrift sediments sourced from the Alaska and Mackenzie-Beaufort margins. This unit shows a progressive series of onlap unconformities with a younging trend towards Alpha and Northwind ridges, likely a response to contemporaneous subsidence. Sediment source direction appeared to shift to the Canadian Arctic Archipelago margin for the Eocene and Oligocene, likely due to uplift of Arctic islands during the Eurekan Orogeny. The final

  4. Renormalisation group improved leptogenesis in family symmetry models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cooper, Iain K.; King, Stephen F.; Luhn, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    We study renormalisation group (RG) corrections relevant for leptogenesis in the case of family symmetry models such as the Altarelli-Feruglio A 4 model of tri-bimaximal lepton mixing or its extension to tri-maximal mixing. Such corrections are particularly relevant since in large classes of family symmetry models, to leading order, the CP violating parameters of leptogenesis would be identically zero at the family symmetry breaking scale, due to the form dominance property. We find that RG corrections violate form dominance and enable such models to yield viable leptogenesis at the scale of right-handed neutrino masses. More generally, the results of this paper show that RG corrections to leptogenesis cannot be ignored for any family symmetry model involving sizeable neutrino and τ Yukawa couplings.

  5. Comparative proteomics of a model MCF10A-KRasG12V cell line reveals a distinct molecular signature of the KRasG12V cell surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Xiaoying; Chan, King C; Waters, Andrew M; Bess, Matthew; Harned, Adam; Wei, Bih-Rong; Loncarek, Jadranka; Luke, Brian T; Orsburn, Benjamin C; Hollinger, Bradley D; Stephens, Robert M; Bagni, Rachel; Martinko, Alex; Wells, James A; Nissley, Dwight V; McCormick, Frank; Whiteley, Gordon; Blonder, Josip

    2016-12-27

    Oncogenic Ras mutants play a major role in the etiology of most aggressive and deadly carcinomas in humans. In spite of continuous efforts, effective pharmacological treatments targeting oncogenic Ras isoforms have not been developed. Cell-surface proteins represent top therapeutic targets primarily due to their accessibility and susceptibility to different modes of cancer therapy. To expand the treatment options of cancers driven by oncogenic Ras, new targets need to be identified and characterized at the surface of cancer cells expressing oncogenic Ras mutants. Here, we describe a mass spectrometry-based method for molecular profiling of the cell surface using KRasG12V transfected MCF10A (MCF10A-KRasG12V) as a model cell line of constitutively activated KRas and native MCF10A cells transduced with an empty vector (EV) as control. An extensive molecular map of the KRas surface was achieved by applying, in parallel, targeted hydrazide-based cell-surface capturing technology and global shotgun membrane proteomics to identify the proteins on the KRasG12V surface. This method allowed for integrated proteomic analysis that identified more than 500 cell-surface proteins found unique or upregulated on the surface of MCF10A-KRasG12V cells. Multistep bioinformatic processing was employed to elucidate and prioritize targets for cross-validation. Scanning electron microscopy and phenotypic cancer cell assays revealed changes at the cell surface consistent with malignant epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation secondary to KRasG12V activation. Taken together, this dataset significantly expands the map of the KRasG12V surface and uncovers potential targets involved primarily in cell motility, cellular protrusion formation, and metastasis.

  6. SnO2 Model Electrode Cycled in Li-Ion Battery Reveals the Formation of Li2SnO3 and Li8SnO6 Phases through Conversion Reactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraresi, Giulio; Villevieille, Claire; Czekaj, Izabela; Horisberger, Michael; Novák, Petr; El Kazzi, Mario

    2018-03-14

    SnO 2 is an attractive negative electrode for Li-ion battery owing to its high specific charge compared to commercial graphite. However, the various intermediate conversion and alloy reactions taking place during lithiation/delithiation, as well as the electrolyte stability, have not been fully elucidated, and many ambiguities remain. An amorphous SnO 2 thin film was investigated for use as a model electrode by a combination of postmortem X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy supported by density functional theory calculations and scanning electron microscopy to shed light on these different processes. The early stages of lithiation reveal the presence of multiple overlapping reactions leading to the formation of Li 2 SnO 3 and Sn 0 phases between 2 and 0.8 V vs Li + /Li. Between 0.45 V and 5 mV vs Li + /Li Li 8 SnO 6 , Li 2 O and Li x Sn phases are formed. Electrolyte reduction occurs simultaneously in two steps, at 1.4 and 1 V vs Li + /Li, corresponding to the decomposition of the LiPF 6 salt and ethylene carbonate/dimethyl carbonate solvents, respectively. Most of the reactions during delithiation are reversible up to 1.5 V vs Li + /Li, with the reappearance of Sn 0 accompanied by the decomposition of Li 2 O. Above 1.5 V vs Li + /Li, Sn 0 is partially reoxidized to SnO x . This process tends to limit the conversion reactions in favor of the alloy reaction, as also confirmed by the long-term cycling samples.

  7. Econometric models of road use, accidents, and road investment decisions. Volume 1 : introductory overview, the barely revealed preference behind road investment priorities (essay 1), measuring the contribution of randomness, exposure, weather, and daylig

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-11-01

    This volume contains the forst part of the author's PhD dissertation, and includes an introductory overview as well as two essays. The first essay entitled "The barely revealed preference behind road investment priorities," co-authored by Rune Elvik,...

  8. An integrative computational modelling of music structure apprehension

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lartillot, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    between a large number of dimensions. Computational modeling would enable systematic and exhaustive tests on sizeable pieces of music, yet current researches cover particular musical dimensions with limited success. The aim of this research is to conceive a computational modeling of music analysis...... construction. The complex system of music structure is described as an interaction between modules focusing on formal operations that are conceived as general as possible. Each module addresses a core aspect of music analysis and offers some innovative breakthrough compared to the state of the art. In order......, offering hence an implementation of “Time-Span Reduction”. Parallelism, i.e. sequential repetition, considered here as an essential aspect of music analysis, is applied to the search for motives, for mode-related patterns as well as metrical analysis. A new approach for modal analysis is based...

  9. Uncertainty analysis in Titan ionospheric simulated ion mass spectra: unveiling a set of issues for models accuracy improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébrard, Eric; Carrasco, Nathalie; Dobrijevic, Michel; Pernot, Pascal

    Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) aboard Cassini revealed a rich coupled ion-neutral chemistry in the ionosphere, producing heavy hydrocarbons and nitriles ions. The modeling of such a complex environment is challenging, as it requires a detailed and accurate description of the different relevant processes such as photodissociation cross sections and neutral-neutral reaction rates on one hand, and ionisation cross sections, ion-molecule and recombination reaction rates on the other hand. Underpinning models calculations, each of these processes is parameterized by kinetic constants which, when known, have been studied experimentally and/or theoretically over a range of temperatures and pressures that are most often not representative of Titan's atmosphere. The sizeable experimental and theoretical uncertainties reported in the literature merge therefore with the uncertainties resulting subsequently from the unavoidable estimations or extrapolations to Titan's atmosphere conditions. Such large overall uncertainties have to be accounted for in all resulting inferences most of all to evaluate the quality of the model definition. We have undertaken a systematic study of the uncertainty sources in the simulation of ion mass spectra as recorded by Cassini/INMS in Titan ionosphere during the T5 flyby at 1200 km. Our simulated spectra seem much less affected by the uncertainties on ion-molecule reactions than on neutral-neutral reactions. Photochemical models of Titan's atmosphere are indeed so poorly predictive at high altitudes, in the sense that their computed predictions display such large uncertainties, that we found them to give rise to bimodal and hypersensitive abundance distributions for some major compounds like acetylene C2 H2 and ethylene C2 H4 . We will show to what extent global uncertainty and sensitivity analysis enabled us to identify the causes of this bimodality and to pinpoint the key processes that mostly contribute to limit the accuracy of the

  10. Decision Making and Revealed Preference

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique

    If our decision-making processes are to some extent shaped by evolutionary pressures and our environment is different from that to which we adapted, some of our choices will not be in our best interest. But revealed preference is the only tool that we have so far to conduct a normative analysis...

  11. Revealing and Concealing in Antiquity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Secrecy and the act of concealing and revealing knowledge effectually segregate the initiated and the uninitiated. The act of sharing or hiding knowledge plays a central role in all human relations private or public, political or religious. This volume explores the concept of secrecy and its...

  12. Transparency masters for mathematics revealed

    CERN Document Server

    Berman, Elizabeth

    1980-01-01

    Transparency Masters for Mathematics Revealed focuses on master diagrams that can be used for transparencies for an overhead projector or duplicator masters for worksheets. The book offers information on a compilation of master diagrams prepared by John R. Stafford, Jr., audiovisual supervisor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Some of the transparencies are designed to be shown horizontally. The initial three masters are number lines and grids that can be used in a mathematics course, while the others are adaptations of text figures which are slightly altered in some instances. The

  13. To Reveal Thy Heart Perchance to Reveal the World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Faux

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Ronald PELIAS, a professor of speech communications, employs a variety of writing methods as examples of alternative ways to do research and to share with the reader a seldom seen and seldom considered aspect of academic life: Heart. In the early chapters of the book, PELIAS sets out to establish a way to place his Heart in the foreground; baring his emotional vulnerability, his humanness, his being in the world. Later chapters of the book encompass an autoethnographic study of academic life in which the previously revealed Heart is placed in context. In this review essay I discuss PELIAS' book in relation to the larger literature on autoethnography and subjectivist research; I follow this by discussing the need for and usefulness of such alternative methods using PELIAS' autoethnography of academic life as a context. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs050279

  14. Plan competitions reveal entrepreneurial talent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madison, Alison L.

    2011-05-15

    Monthly economic diversity column for Tri-City Herald business section. Excerpt below: There’s something to be said for gaining valuable real-world experience in a structured, nurturing environment. Take for instance learning to scuba dive in the comfort of my resort pool rather than immediately hanging out with sharks while I figure out little things like oxygen tanks and avoiding underwater panic attacks. Likewise, graduate students are getting some excellent, supportive real-world training through university business plan competitions. These competitions are places where smart minds, new technologies, months of preparation and coaching, and some healthy pre-presentation jitters collide to reveal not only solid new business ideas, but also some promising entrepreneurial talent. In fact, professionals from around our region descend upon college campuses every spring to judge these events, which help to bridge the gap between academics and the real technology and business-driven economy.

  15. The chemistry of plutonium revealed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connick, R.E.

    1990-01-01

    In 1941 one goal of the Manhattan Project was to unravel the chemistry of the synthetic element plutonium as rapidly as possible. Important insights were obtained from tracer experiments, but the full complexity of plutonium chemistry was not revealed until macroscopic amounts (milligrams) became available. Because processes for separation from fission products were aqueous solution based, such solution chemistry was emphasized, particularly precipitation and oxidation-reduction behavior. The latter turned out to be unusually intricate when it was discovered that two more oxidation states existed in aqueous solution than had previously been suspected. Further, it was found that an equilibrium was rapidly established among the four aqueous oxidation states while at the same time any three were not in equilibrium. These and other observations made while doing a crash study of a previously unknown element will be reported

  16. Revealing ontological commitments by magic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Thomas L

    2015-03-01

    Considering the appeal of different magical transformations exposes some systematic asymmetries. For example, it is more interesting to transform a vase into a rose than a rose into a vase. An experiment in which people judged how interesting they found different magic tricks showed that these asymmetries reflect the direction a transformation moves in an ontological hierarchy: transformations in the direction of animacy and intelligence are favored over the opposite. A second and third experiment demonstrated that judgments of the plausibility of machines that perform the same transformations do not show the same asymmetries, but judgments of the interestingness of such machines do. A formal argument relates this sense of interestingness to evidence for an alternative to our current physical theory, with magic tricks being a particularly pure source of such evidence. These results suggest that people's intuitions about magic tricks can reveal the ontological commitments that underlie human cognition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Long-term evolution of the western South Atlantic passive continental margin in a key area of SE Brazil revealed by thermokinematic numerical modeling using the software code Pecube

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stippich, Christian; Krob, Florian; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.; Hackspacher, Peter C.

    2016-04-01

    The aim of the research is to quantify the long-term evolution of the western South Atlantic passive continental margin (SAPCM) in SE-Brazil. Excellent onshore outcrop conditions and extensive pre-rift to post-rift archives between São Paulo and Laguna allow a high precision quantification of exhumation, and rock uplift rates, influencing physical parameters, long-term acting forces, and process-response systems. Research will integrate published1 and partly published thermochronological data from Brazil, and test lately published new concepts on causes of long-term landscape and lithospheric evolution in southern Brazil. Six distinct lithospheric blocks (Laguna, Florianópolis, Curitiba, Ilha Comprida, Peruibe and Santos), which are separated by fracture zones1 are characterized by individual thermochronological age spectra. Furthermore, the thermal evolution derived by numerical modeling indicates variable post-rift exhumation histories of these blocks. In this context, we will provide information on the causes for the complex exhumation history of the Florianópolis, and adjacent blocks. The climate-continental margin-mantle coupled process-response system is caused by the interaction between endogenous and exogenous forces, which are related to the mantle-process driven rift - drift - passive continental margin evolution of the South Atlantic, and the climate change since the Early/Late Cretaceous climate maximum. Special emphasis will be given to the influence of long-living transform faults such as the Florianopolis Fracture Zone (FFZ) on the long-term topography evolution of the SAPCM's. A long-term landscape evolution model with process rates will be achieved by thermo-kinematic 3-D modeling (software code PECUBE2,3 and FastScape4). Testing model solutions obtained for a multidimensional parameter space against the real thermochronological and geomorphological data set, the most likely combinations of parameter rates, and values can be constrained. The

  18. Framing effects reveal discrete lexical-semantic and sublexical procedures in reading: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danelli, Laura; Marelli, Marco; Berlingeri, Manuela; Tettamanti, Marco; Sberna, Maurizio; Paulesu, Eraldo; Luzzatti, Claudio

    2015-01-01

    According to the dual-route model, a printed string of letters can be processed by either a grapheme-to-phoneme conversion (GPC) route or a lexical-semantic route. Although meta-analyses of the imaging literature support the existence of distinct but interacting reading procedures, individual neuroimaging studies that explored neural correlates of reading yielded inconclusive results. We used a list-manipulation paradigm to provide a fresh empirical look at this issue and to isolate specific areas that underlie the two reading procedures. In a lexical condition, we embedded disyllabic Italian words (target stimuli) in lists of either loanwords or trisyllabic Italian words with unpredictable stress position. In a GPC condition, similar target stimuli were included within lists of pseudowords. The procedure was designed to induce participants to emphasize either the lexical-semantic or the GPC reading procedure, while controlling for possible linguistic confounds and keeping the reading task requirements stable across the two conditions. Thirty-three adults participated in the behavioral study, and 20 further adult participants were included in the fMRI study. At the behavioral level, we found sizeable effects of the framing manipulations that included slower voice onset times for stimuli in the pseudoword frames. At the functional anatomical level, the occipital and temporal regions, and the intraparietal sulcus were specifically activated when subjects were reading target words in a lexical frame. The inferior parietal and anterior fusiform cortex were specifically activated in the GPC condition. These patterns of activation represented a valid classifying model of fMRI images associated with target reading in both frames in the multi-voxel pattern analyses. Further activations were shared by the two procedures in the occipital and inferior parietal areas, in the premotor cortex, in the frontal regions and the left supplementary motor area. These regions are most

  19. Multimodal imaging based on MRI and PET reveals [{sup 18}F]FLT PET as a specific and early indicator of treatment efficacy in a preclinical model of recurrent glioblastoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corroyer-Dulmont, Aurelien; Peres, Elodie A.; Gerault, Aurelie N.; Divoux, Didier; Toutain, Jerome; Ibazizene, Meziane; MacKenzie, Eric T.; Barre, Louisa; Bernaudin, Myriam; Petit, Edwige; Valable, Samuel [CNRS, UMR 6301 ISTCT, CERVOxy and LDM-TEP groups. GIP CYCERON, Caen (France); CEA, DSV/I2BM, UMR 6301 ISTCT, CERVOxy et LDM-TEP Groups, GIP CYCERON, Caen (France); UNICAEN, UMR 6301 ISTCT, CERVOxy et LDM-TEP Groups, GIP CYCERON, Caen (France); Normandie Univ., Caen(France); Savina, Ariel; Bouquet, Fanny [Roche SAS, Boulogne-Billancourt (France)

    2016-04-15

    The primary objective of this study was to compare the ability of PET and MRI biomarkers to predict treatment efficacy in a preclinical model of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. MRI (anatomical, diffusion, vasculature and oxygenation) and PET ([{sup 18}F]FDG and [{sup 18}F]FLT) parameters were obtained 3 days after the end of treatment and compared with late tumour growth and survival. Early after tumour recurrence, no effect of treatment with temozolomide combined with bevacizumab was observed on tumour volume as assessed by T2-W MRI. At later times, the treatment decreased tumour volume and increased survival. Interestingly, at the earlier time, temozolomide + bevacizumab decreased [{sup 18}F]FLT uptake, cerebral blood volume and oedema. [{sup 18}F]FLT uptake, oedema and cerebral blood volume were correlated with overall survival but [{sup 18}F]FLT uptake had the highest specificity and sensitivity for the early prediction of treatment efficacy. The present investigation in a preclinical model of glioblastoma recurrence underscores the importance of multimodal imaging in the assessment of oedema, tumour vascular status and cell proliferation. Finally, [{sup 18}F]FLT holds the greatest promise for the early assessment of treatment efficacy. These findings may translate clinically in that individualized treatment for recurrent glioma could be prescribed for patients selected after PET/MRI examinations. (orig.)

  20. Revealing the True Incidence of Pandemic A(H1N1)pdm09 Influenza in Finland during the First Two Seasons - An Analysis Based on a Dynamic Transmission Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shubin, Mikhail; Lebedev, Artem; Lyytikäinen, Outi; Auranen, Kari

    2016-03-01

    The threat of the new pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 imposed a heavy burden on the public health system in Finland in 2009-2010. An extensive vaccination campaign was set up in the middle of the first pandemic season. However, the true number of infected individuals remains uncertain as the surveillance missed a large portion of mild infections. We constructed a transmission model to simulate the spread of influenza in the Finnish population. We used the model to analyse the two first years (2009-2011) of A(H1N1)pdm09 in Finland. Using data from the national surveillance of influenza and data on close person-to-person (social) contacts in the population, we estimated that 6% (90% credible interval 5.1 - 6.7%) of the population was infected with A(H1N1)pdm09 in the first pandemic season (2009/2010) and an additional 3% (2.5 - 3.5%) in the second season (2010/2011). Vaccination had a substantial impact in mitigating the second season. The dynamic approach allowed us to discover how the proportion of detected cases changed over the course of the epidemic. The role of time-varying reproduction number, capturing the effects of weather and changes in behaviour, was important in shaping the epidemic.

  1. Revealing Children's Implicit Spelling Representations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Critten, Sarah; Pine, Karen J.; Messer, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Conceptualizing the underlying representations and cognitive mechanisms of children's spelling development is a key challenge for literacy researchers. Using the Representational Redescription model (Karmiloff-Smith), Critten, Pine and Steffler (2007) demonstrated that the acquisition of phonological and morphological knowledge may be underpinned…

  2. Cellular immune surveillance of central nervous system bypasses blood-brain barrier and blood-cerebrospinal-fluid barrier: revealed with the New Marburg cerebrospinal-fluid model in healthy humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleine, Tilmann O

    2015-03-01

    In healthy human brain/spinal cord, blood capillaries and venules are locked differently with junctions and basement membrane (blood-brain barrier, blood-venule barrier). In choroid plexus, epithelial tight junctions and basement membrane lock blood-cerebrospinal-fluid (CSF) barrier. Lymphocytic cell data, quantified with multicolour flow-cytometry or immuno-cytochemical methods in sample pairs of lumbar CSF, ventrictricular CSF and peripheral venous blood, are taken from references; similarly, data of thoracic duct chyle and blood sample pairs. Through three circumventricular organs (median eminence, organum vasculosum lamina terminalis, area postrema), 15-30 μl blood are pressed by blood pressure through fenestrated capillaries, matrix/basement membrane spaces and ependyma cell lacks into ventricular/suboccipital CSF to generate CD3(+) , CD4(+) , CD8(+) , CD3(+) HLA-DR(+) , CD16(+) 56(+) 3(-) NK, CD19(+) 3(-) B subsets; some B, few NK cells adhere in circumventricular organs. Into lumbar CSF, 10-15 μl thoracic chyle with five lymphocyte subsets (without CD3(+) HLA-DR(+) cells) reflux, when CSF drains out with to-and-fro movements of chyle/CSF along nerve roots. Lymphocytes in lumbar CSF represent a mixture of blood and lymph lymphocytic cells with similar HLA-DR(+) CD3(+) cell counts in ventricular and lumbar CSF, higher CD3(+) , CD4(+) , CD8(+) subsets in lumbar CSF, and few NK and B cells due to absorption in circumventricular organs. The Marburg CSF Model reflects origin and turnover of lymphatic cells in CSF realistically; the model differs from ligand-multistep processes of activated lymphocytes through blood-brain-, blood-venule-, and blood-CSF-barriers; because transfer of inactivated native lymphocytes through the barriers is not found with healthy humans, although described so in literature. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

  3. A retrospective investigation on canine papillomavirus 1 (CPV1 in oral oncogenesis reveals dogs are not a suitable animal