WorldWideScience

Sample records for models revealed sizeable

  1. 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.

  2. Sizeable magnetic circular dichroism of artificially precipitated Co clusters in amorphous carbon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. S. Hsu

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available This study examines sizeable magnetic circular dichroism (MCD in Co(20%-doped amorphous carbon (a-C films. While as-grown films exhibit a non-detectable MCD signal, films that undergo rapid thermal annealing (RTA at 600°C in a vacuum yield broad MCD spectra with a large amplitude of ∼3.9 × 104 deg/cm in saturation field 0.78 T at the σ-σ* gap transition (∼5.5 eV. In such films after RTA, the metastable Co-C bonding is decomposed and suitable Co nanoparticles/a-C interfaces are thus formed. Our results indicate that the large change in MCD is contributed from Co nanoparticles and associated with the spin-dependent electronic structure at the Co/a-C interfaces.

  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 ...... 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....

  4. Assessing Asset Pricing Models Using Revealed Preference

    OpenAIRE

    Jonathan B. Berk; Jules H. van Binsbergen

    2014-01-01

    We propose a new method of testing asset pricing models that relies on using quantities rather than prices or returns. We use the capital flows into and out of mutual funds to infer which risk model investors use. We derive a simple test statistic that allows us to infer, from a set of candidate models, the model that is closest to the model that investors use in making their capital allocation decisions. Using this methodology, we find that of the models most commonly used in the literature,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-21

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

  6. Modelling reveals kinetic advantages of co-transcriptional splicing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart Aitken

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Messenger RNA splicing is an essential and complex process for the removal of intron sequences. Whereas the composition of the splicing machinery is mostly known, the kinetics of splicing, the catalytic activity of splicing factors and the interdependency of transcription, splicing and mRNA 3' end formation are less well understood. We propose a stochastic model of splicing kinetics that explains data obtained from high-resolution kinetic analyses of transcription, splicing and 3' end formation during induction of an intron-containing reporter gene in budding yeast. Modelling reveals co-transcriptional splicing to be the most probable and most efficient splicing pathway for the reporter transcripts, due in part to a positive feedback mechanism for co-transcriptional second step splicing. Model comparison is used to assess the alternative representations of reactions. Modelling also indicates the functional coupling of transcription and splicing, because both the rate of initiation of transcription and the probability that step one of splicing occurs co-transcriptionally are reduced, when the second step of splicing is abolished in a mutant reporter.

  7. Modelling reveals kinetic advantages of co-transcriptional splicing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aitken, Stuart; Alexander, Ross D; Beggs, Jean D

    2011-10-01

    Messenger RNA splicing is an essential and complex process for the removal of intron sequences. Whereas the composition of the splicing machinery is mostly known, the kinetics of splicing, the catalytic activity of splicing factors and the interdependency of transcription, splicing and mRNA 3' end formation are less well understood. We propose a stochastic model of splicing kinetics that explains data obtained from high-resolution kinetic analyses of transcription, splicing and 3' end formation during induction of an intron-containing reporter gene in budding yeast. Modelling reveals co-transcriptional splicing to be the most probable and most efficient splicing pathway for the reporter transcripts, due in part to a positive feedback mechanism for co-transcriptional second step splicing. Model comparison is used to assess the alternative representations of reactions. Modelling also indicates the functional coupling of transcription and splicing, because both the rate of initiation of transcription and the probability that step one of splicing occurs co-transcriptionally are reduced, when the second step of splicing is abolished in a mutant reporter.

  8. 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.

  9. Pedestrian Walking Behavior Revealed through a Random Walk Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Xiong

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper applies method of continuous-time random walks for pedestrian flow simulation. In the model, pedestrians can walk forward or backward and turn left or right if there is no block. Velocities of pedestrian flow moving forward or diffusing are dominated by coefficients. The waiting time preceding each jump is assumed to follow an exponential distribution. To solve the model, a second-order two-dimensional partial differential equation, a high-order compact scheme with the alternating direction implicit method, is employed. In the numerical experiments, the walking domain of the first one is two-dimensional with two entrances and one exit, and that of the second one is two-dimensional with one entrance and one exit. The flows in both scenarios are one way. Numerical results show that the model can be used for pedestrian flow simulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. A Simple Exercise Reveals the Way Students Think about Scientific Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruebush, Laura; Sulikowski, Michelle; North, Simon

    2009-01-01

    Scientific modeling is an integral part of contemporary science, yet many students have little understanding of how models are developed, validated, and used to predict and explain phenomena. A simple modeling exercise led to significant gains in understanding key attributes of scientific modeling while revealing some stubborn misconceptions.…

  13. Revealing the equivalence of two clonal survival models by principal component analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lachet, Bernard; Dufour, Jacques

    1976-01-01

    The principal component analysis of 21 chlorella cell survival curves, adjusted by one-hit and two-hit target models, lead to quite similar projections on the principal plan: the homologous parameters of these models are linearly correlated; the reason for the statistical equivalence of these two models, in the present state of experimental inaccuracy, is revealed [fr

  14. A Novel Enzyme Portfolio for Red Algal Polysaccharide Degradation in the Marine Bacterium Paraglaciecola hydrolytica S66T Encoded in a Sizeable Polysaccharide Utilization Locus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikkel Schultz-Johansen

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Marine microbes are a rich source of enzymes for the degradation of diverse polysaccharides. Paraglaciecola hydrolytica S66T is a marine bacterium capable of hydrolyzing polysaccharides found in the cell wall of red macroalgae. In this study, we applied an approach combining genomic mining with functional analysis to uncover the potential of this bacterium to produce enzymes for the hydrolysis of complex marine polysaccharides. A special feature of P. hydrolytica S66T is the presence of a large genomic region harboring an array of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes notably agarases and carrageenases. Based on a first functional characterization combined with a comparative sequence analysis, we confirmed the enzymatic activities of several enzymes required for red algal polysaccharide degradation by the bacterium. In particular, we report for the first time, the discovery of novel enzyme activities targeting furcellaran, a hybrid carrageenan containing both β-carrageenan and κ/β-carrageenan motifs. Some of these enzymes represent a new subfamily within the CAZy classification. From the combined analyses, we propose models for the complete degradation of agar and κ/β-type carrageenan by P. hydrolytica S66T. The novel enzymes described here may find value in new bio-based industries and advance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for recycling of red algal polysaccharides in marine ecosystems.

  15. A Novel Enzyme Portfolio for Red Algal Polysaccharide Degradation in the Marine Bacterium Paraglaciecola hydrolytica S66T Encoded in a Sizeable Polysaccharide Utilization Locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz-Johansen, Mikkel; Bech, Pernille K; Hennessy, Rosanna C; Glaring, Mikkel A; Barbeyron, Tristan; Czjzek, Mirjam; Stougaard, Peter

    2018-01-01

    Marine microbes are a rich source of enzymes for the degradation of diverse polysaccharides. Paraglaciecola hydrolytica S66 T is a marine bacterium capable of hydrolyzing polysaccharides found in the cell wall of red macroalgae. In this study, we applied an approach combining genomic mining with functional analysis to uncover the potential of this bacterium to produce enzymes for the hydrolysis of complex marine polysaccharides. A special feature of P. hydrolytica S66 T is the presence of a large genomic region harboring an array of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) notably agarases and carrageenases. Based on a first functional characterization combined with a comparative sequence analysis, we confirmed the enzymatic activities of several enzymes required for red algal polysaccharide degradation by the bacterium. In particular, we report for the first time, the discovery of novel enzyme activities targeting furcellaran, a hybrid carrageenan containing both β-carrageenan and κ/β-carrageenan motifs. Some of these enzymes represent a new subfamily within the CAZy classification. From the combined analyses, we propose models for the complete degradation of agar and κ/β-type carrageenan by P. hydrolytica S66 T . The novel enzymes described here may find value in new bio-based industries and advance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for recycling of red algal polysaccharides in marine ecosystems.

  16. Degrees of Cooperation in Household Consumption Models : A Revealed Preference Analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cherchye, L.J.H.; Demuynck, T.; de Rock, B.

    2009-01-01

    We develop a revealed preference approach to analyze non-unitary con- sumption models with intrahousehold allocations deviating from the cooper- ative (or Pareto e¢ cient) solution. At a theoretical level, we establish re- vealed preference conditions of household consumption models with varying

  17. Choice experiments versus revealed choice models : a before-after study of consumer spatial shopping behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmermans, H.J.P.; Borgers, A.W.J.; Waerden, van der P.J.H.J.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to compare a set of multinomial logit models derived from revealed choice data and a decompositional choice model derived from experimental data in terms of predictive success in the context of consumer spatial shopping behavior. Data on consumer shopping choice

  18. Asymmetric biotic interactions and abiotic niche differences revealed by a dynamic joint species distribution model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lany, Nina K; Zarnetske, Phoebe L; Schliep, Erin M; Schaeffer, Robert N; Orians, Colin M; Orwig, David A; Preisser, Evan L

    2018-05-01

    A species' distribution and abundance are determined by abiotic conditions and biotic interactions with other species in the community. Most species distribution models correlate the occurrence of a single species with environmental variables only, and leave out biotic interactions. To test the importance of biotic interactions on occurrence and abundance, we compared a multivariate spatiotemporal model of the joint abundance of two invasive insects that share a host plant, hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA; Adelges tsugae) and elongate hemlock scale (EHS; Fiorina externa), to independent models that do not account for dependence among co-occurring species. The joint model revealed that HWA responded more strongly to abiotic conditions than EHS. Additionally, HWA appeared to predispose stands to subsequent increase of EHS, but HWA abundance was not strongly dependent on EHS abundance. This study demonstrates how incorporating spatial and temporal dependence into a species distribution model can reveal the dependence of a species' abundance on other species in the community. Accounting for dependence among co-occurring species with a joint distribution model can also improve estimation of the abiotic niche for species affected by interspecific interactions. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. Automatic generation of predictive dynamic models reveals nuclear phosphorylation as the key Msn2 control mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunnåker, Mikael; Zamora-Sillero, Elias; Dechant, Reinhard; Ludwig, Christina; Busetto, Alberto Giovanni; Wagner, Andreas; Stelling, Joerg

    2013-05-28

    Predictive dynamical models are critical for the analysis of complex biological systems. However, methods to systematically develop and discriminate among systems biology models are still lacking. We describe a computational method that incorporates all hypothetical mechanisms about the architecture of a biological system into a single model and automatically generates a set of simpler models compatible with observational data. As a proof of principle, we analyzed the dynamic control of the transcription factor Msn2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, specifically the short-term mechanisms mediating the cells' recovery after release from starvation stress. Our method determined that 12 of 192 possible models were compatible with available Msn2 localization data. Iterations between model predictions and rationally designed phosphoproteomics and imaging experiments identified a single-circuit topology with a relative probability of 99% among the 192 models. Model analysis revealed that the coupling of dynamic phenomena in Msn2 phosphorylation and transport could lead to efficient stress response signaling by establishing a rate-of-change sensor. Similar principles could apply to mammalian stress response pathways. Systematic construction of dynamic models may yield detailed insight into nonobvious molecular mechanisms.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Diverse binding site structures revealed in homology models of polyreactive immunoglobulins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsland, Paul A.; Guddat, Luke W.; Edmundson, Allen B.; Raison, Robert L.

    1997-09-01

    We describe here computer-assisted homology models of the combiningsite structure of three polyreactive immunoglobulins. Template-based modelsof Fv (VL-VH) fragments were derived forthe surface IgM expressed by the malignant CD5 positive B cells from threepatients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). The conserved frameworkregions were constructed using crystal coordinates taken from highlyhomologous human variable domain structures (Pot and Hil). Complementaritydetermining regions (CDRs) were predicted by grafting loops, taken fromknown immunoglobulin structures, onto the Fv framework models. The CDRtemplates were chosen, where possible, to be of the same length and of highresidue identity or similarity. LCDR1, 2 and 3 as well as HCDR1 and 2 forthe Fv were constructed using this strategy. For HCDR3 prediction, adatabase containing the Cartesian coordinates of 30 of these loops wascompiled from unliganded antibody X-ray crystallographic structures and anHCDR3 of the same length as that of the B CLL Fv was selected as a template.In one case (Yar), the resulting HCDR3 model gave unfavourable interactionswhen incorporated into the Fv model. This HCDR3 was therefore modelled usingan alternative strategy of construction of the loop stems, using apreviously described HCDR3 conformation (Pot), followed by chain closurewith a β-turn. The template models were subjected to positionalrefinement using energy minimisation and molecular dynamics simulations(X-PLOR). An electrostatic surface description (GRASP) did not reveal acommon structural feature within the binding sites of the three polyreactiveFv. Thus, polyreactive immunoglobulins may recognise similar and multipleantigens through a diverse array of binding site structures.

  7. On the universality of the attribution-affect model of helping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisenzein, Rainer

    2015-08-01

    Although Pilati et al.'s (2014) findings question the strong quantitative universality of the attribution-affect model of helping, they are consistent with a weak form of quantitative universality, as well as with the qualitative universality of the theory. However, universality is put into question by previous studies revealing significant and sizeable between-study differences in the strength of the causal paths postulated by the theory. These differences may in part reflect differences in the type of helping situations studied. © 2015 International Union of Psychological Science.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdock, Gary

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Serum and urine metabolomics study reveals a distinct diagnostic model for cancer cachexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Quan‐Jun; Zhao, Jiang‐Rong; Hao, Juan; Li, Bin; Huo, Yan; Han, Yong‐Long; Wan, Li‐Li; Li, Jie; Huang, Jinlu; Lu, Jin

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background Cachexia is a multifactorial metabolic syndrome with high morbidity and mortality in patients with advanced cancer. The diagnosis of cancer cachexia depends on objective measures of clinical symptoms and a history of weight loss, which lag behind disease progression and have limited utility for the early diagnosis of cancer cachexia. In this study, we performed a nuclear magnetic resonance‐based metabolomics analysis to reveal the metabolic profile of cancer cachexia and establish a diagnostic model. Methods Eighty‐four cancer cachexia patients, 33 pre‐cachectic patients, 105 weight‐stable cancer patients, and 74 healthy controls were included in the training and validation sets. Comparative analysis was used to elucidate the distinct metabolites of cancer cachexia, while metabolic pathway analysis was employed to elucidate reprogramming pathways. Random forest, logistic regression, and receiver operating characteristic analyses were used to select and validate the biomarker metabolites and establish a diagnostic model. Results Forty‐six cancer cachexia patients, 22 pre‐cachectic patients, 68 weight‐stable cancer patients, and 48 healthy controls were included in the training set, and 38 cancer cachexia patients, 11 pre‐cachectic patients, 37 weight‐stable cancer patients, and 26 healthy controls were included in the validation set. All four groups were age‐matched and sex‐matched in the training set. Metabolomics analysis showed a clear separation of the four groups. Overall, 45 metabolites and 18 metabolic pathways were associated with cancer cachexia. Using random forest analysis, 15 of these metabolites were identified as highly discriminating between disease states. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic analyses were used to create a distinct diagnostic model with an area under the curve of 0.991 based on three metabolites. The diagnostic equation was Logit(P) = −400.53 – 481.88

  11. Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Reveals Wee1 Kinase as a Therapeutic Target in a Model of Proneural Glioblastoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescarbeau, Rebecca S; Lei, Liang; Bakken, Katrina K; Sims, Peter A; Sarkaria, Jann N; Canoll, Peter; White, Forest M

    2016-06-01

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain cancer. With a median survival of about a year, new approaches to treating this disease are necessary. To identify signaling molecules regulating GBM progression in a genetically engineered murine model of proneural GBM, we quantified phosphotyrosine-mediated signaling using mass spectrometry. Oncogenic signals, including phosphorylated ERK MAPK, PI3K, and PDGFR, were found to be increased in the murine tumors relative to brain. Phosphorylation of CDK1 pY15, associated with the G2 arrest checkpoint, was identified as the most differentially phosphorylated site, with a 14-fold increase in phosphorylation in the tumors. To assess the role of this checkpoint as a potential therapeutic target, syngeneic primary cell lines derived from these tumors were treated with MK-1775, an inhibitor of Wee1, the kinase responsible for CDK1 Y15 phosphorylation. MK-1775 treatment led to mitotic catastrophe, as defined by increased DNA damage and cell death by apoptosis. To assess the extensibility of targeting Wee1/CDK1 in GBM, patient-derived xenograft (PDX) cell lines were also treated with MK-1775. Although the response was more heterogeneous, on-target Wee1 inhibition led to decreased CDK1 Y15 phosphorylation and increased DNA damage and apoptosis in each line. These results were also validated in vivo, where single-agent MK-1775 demonstrated an antitumor effect on a flank PDX tumor model, increasing mouse survival by 1.74-fold. This study highlights the ability of unbiased quantitative phosphoproteomics to reveal therapeutic targets in tumor models, and the potential for Wee1 inhibition as a treatment approach in preclinical models of GBM. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(6); 1332-43. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-18

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

  14. Landscape effects on demersal fish revealed by field observations and predictive seabed modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Sophie A M; Sabatino, Alessandro D; Heath, Michael R; Turrell, William R; Bailey, David M

    2017-01-01

    Nature conservation and fisheries management often focus on particular seabed features that are considered vulnerable or important to commercial species. As a result, individual seabed types are protected in isolation, without any understanding of what effect the mixture of seabed types within the landscape has on ecosystem functions. Here we undertook predictive seabed modelling within a coastal marine protected area using observations from underwater stereo-video camera deployments and environmental information (depth, wave fetch, maximum tidal speeds, distance from coast and underlying geology). The effect of the predicted substratum type, extent and heterogeneity or the diversity of substrata, within a radius of 1500 m around each camera deployment of juvenile gadoid relative abundance was analysed. The predicted substratum model performed well with wave fetch and depth being the most influential predictor variables. Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) were associated with relatively more rugose substrata (Algal-gravel-pebble and seagrass) and heterogeneous landscapes, than Melanogrammus aeglefinus (haddock) or Merlangius merlangus (whiting) (sand and mud). An increase in M. merlangus relative abundance was observed with increasing substratum extent. These results reveal that landscape effects should be considered when protecting the seabed for fish and not just individual seabed types. The landscape approach used in this study therefore has important implications for marine protected area, fisheries management and monitoring advice concerning demersal fish populations.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire A Hales

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Multilayer Stochastic Block Models Reveal the Multilayer Structure of Complex Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toni Vallès-Català

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In complex systems, the network of interactions we observe between systems components is the aggregate of the interactions that occur through different mechanisms or layers. Recent studies reveal that the existence of multiple interaction layers can have a dramatic impact in the dynamical processes occurring on these systems. However, these studies assume that the interactions between systems components in each one of the layers are known, while typically for real-world systems we do not have that information. Here, we address the issue of uncovering the different interaction layers from aggregate data by introducing multilayer stochastic block models (SBMs, a generalization of single-layer SBMs that considers different mechanisms of layer aggregation. First, we find the complete probabilistic solution to the problem of finding the optimal multilayer SBM for a given aggregate-observed network. Because this solution is computationally intractable, we propose an approximation that enables us to verify that multilayer SBMs are more predictive of network structure in real-world complex systems.

  3. 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.

  4. Proteomic Profiling in the Brain of CLN1 Disease Model Reveals Affected Functional Modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikka, Saara; Monogioudi, Evanthia; Gotsopoulos, Athanasios; Soliymani, Rabah; Pezzini, Francesco; Scifo, Enzo; Uusi-Rauva, Kristiina; Tyynelä, Jaana; Baumann, Marc; Jalanko, Anu; Simonati, Alessandro; Lalowski, Maciej

    2016-03-01

    Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are the most commonly inherited progressive encephalopathies of childhood. Pathologically, they are characterized by endolysosomal storage with different ultrastructural features and biochemical compositions. The molecular mechanisms causing progressive neurodegeneration and common molecular pathways linking expression of different NCL genes are largely unknown. We analyzed proteome alterations in the brains of a mouse model of human infantile CLN1 disease-palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (Ppt1) gene knockout and its wild-type age-matched counterpart at different stages: pre-symptomatic, symptomatic and advanced. For this purpose, we utilized a combination of laser capture microdissection-based quantitative liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (MS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight MS imaging to quantify/visualize the changes in protein expression in disease-affected brain thalamus and cerebral cortex tissue slices, respectively. Proteomic profiling of the pre-symptomatic stage thalamus revealed alterations mostly in metabolic processes and inhibition of various neuronal functions, i.e., neuritogenesis. Down-regulation in dynamics associated with growth of plasma projections and cellular protrusions was further corroborated by findings from RNA sequencing of CLN1 patients' fibroblasts. Changes detected at the symptomatic stage included: mitochondrial functions, synaptic vesicle transport, myelin proteome and signaling cascades, such as RhoA signaling. Considerable dysregulation of processes related to mitochondrial cell death, RhoA/Huntington's disease signaling and myelin sheath breakdown were observed at the advanced stage of the disease. The identified changes in protein levels were further substantiated by bioinformatics and network approaches, immunohistochemistry on brain tissues and literature knowledge, thus identifying various functional modules affected in the CLN1 childhood

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Climate model biases in seasonality of continental water storage revealed by satellite gravimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 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

    to metabolism and fitness. Using proteomics data, we formulated allocation constraints for key proteome sectors in the ME model. The resulting calibrated model effectively computed the "generalist" (wild-type) E. coli proteome and phenotype across diverse growth environments. Across 15 growth conditions......Integrating omics data to refine or make context-specific models is an active field of constraint-based modeling. Proteomics now cover over 95% of the Escherichia coli proteome by mass. Genome-scale models of Metabolism and macromolecular Expression (ME) compute proteome allocation linked...... 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...

  9. Spontaneous cortical activity reveals hallmarks of an optimal internal model of the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkes, Pietro; Orbán, Gergo; Lengyel, Máté; Fiser, József

    2011-01-07

    The brain maintains internal models of its environment to interpret sensory inputs and to prepare actions. Although behavioral studies have demonstrated that these internal models are optimally adapted to the statistics of the environment, the neural underpinning of this adaptation is unknown. Using a Bayesian model of sensory cortical processing, we related stimulus-evoked and spontaneous neural activities to inferences and prior expectations in an internal model and predicted that they should match if the model is statistically optimal. To test this prediction, we analyzed visual cortical activity of awake ferrets during development. Similarity between spontaneous and evoked activities increased with age and was specific to responses evoked by natural scenes. This demonstrates the progressive adaptation of internal models to the statistics of natural stimuli at the neural level.

  10. 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...... models for node clustering in complex networks. In particular, we test their ability to predict unseen data and their ability to reproduce clustering across datasets. The three generative models considered are the Infinite Relational Model (IRM), Bayesian Community Detection (BCD), and the Infinite...... between clusters. BCD restricts the between-cluster link probabilities to be strictly lower than within-cluster link probabilities to conform to the community structure typically seen in social networks. IDM only models a single between-cluster link probability, which can be interpreted as a background...

  11. Analysis of a dynamic model of guard cell signaling reveals the stability of signal propagation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Xiao; Albert, RéKa

    Analyzing the long-term behaviors (attractors) of dynamic models of biological systems can provide valuable insight into biological phenotypes and their stability. We identified the long-term behaviors of a multi-level, 70-node discrete dynamic model of the stomatal opening process in plants. We reduce the model's huge state space by reducing unregulated nodes and simple mediator nodes, and by simplifying the regulatory functions of selected nodes while keeping the model consistent with experimental observations. We perform attractor analysis on the resulting 32-node reduced model by two methods: 1. converting it into a Boolean model, then applying two attractor-finding algorithms; 2. theoretical analysis of the regulatory functions. We conclude that all nodes except two in the reduced model have a single attractor; and only two nodes can admit oscillations. The multistability or oscillations do not affect the stomatal opening level in any situation. This conclusion applies to the original model as well in all the biologically meaningful cases. We further demonstrate the robustness of signal propagation by showing that a large percentage of single-node knockouts does not affect the stomatal opening level. Thus, we conclude that the complex structure of this signal transduction network provides multiple information propagation pathways while not allowing extensive multistability or oscillations, resulting in robust signal propagation. Our innovative combination of methods offers a promising way to analyze multi-level models.

  12. 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

  13. Effective Connectivity Reveals Right-Hemisphere Dominance in Audiospatial Perception: Implications for Models of Spatial Neglect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friston, Karl J.; Mattingley, Jason B.; Roepstorff, Andreas; Garrido, Marta I.

    2014-01-01

    Detecting the location of salient sounds in the environment rests on the brain's ability to use differences in sounds arriving at both ears. Functional neuroimaging studies in humans indicate that the left and right auditory hemispaces are coded asymmetrically, with a rightward attentional bias that reflects spatial attention in vision. Neuropsychological observations in patients with spatial neglect have led to the formulation of two competing models: the orientation bias and right-hemisphere dominance models. The orientation bias model posits a symmetrical mapping between one side of the sensorium and the contralateral hemisphere, with mutual inhibition of the ipsilateral hemisphere. The right-hemisphere dominance model introduces a functional asymmetry in the brain's coding of space: the left hemisphere represents the right side, whereas the right hemisphere represents both sides of the sensorium. We used Dynamic Causal Modeling of effective connectivity and Bayesian model comparison to adjudicate between these alternative network architectures, based on human electroencephalographic data acquired during an auditory location oddball paradigm. Our results support a hemispheric asymmetry in a frontoparietal network that conforms to the right-hemisphere dominance model. We show that, within this frontoparietal network, forward connectivity increases selectively in the hemisphere contralateral to the side of sensory stimulation. We interpret this finding in light of hierarchical predictive coding as a selective increase in attentional gain, which is mediated by feedforward connections that carry precision-weighted prediction errors during perceptual inference. This finding supports the disconnection hypothesis of unilateral neglect and has implications for theories of its etiology. PMID:24695717

  14. Reduced ENSO Variability at the LGM Revealed by an Isotope-Enabled Earth System Model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. A model of lipid-free apolipoprotein A-I revealed by iterative molecular dynamics simulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing Zhang

    Full Text Available Apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I, the major protein component of high-density lipoprotein, has been proven inversely correlated to cardiovascular risk in past decades. The lipid-free state of apo A-I is the initial stage which binds to lipids forming high-density lipoprotein. Molecular models of lipid-free apo A-I have been reported by methods like X-ray crystallography and chemical cross-linking/mass spectrometry (CCL/MS. Through structural analysis we found that those current models had limited consistency with other experimental results, such as those from hydrogen exchange with mass spectrometry. Through molecular dynamics simulations, we also found those models could not reach a stable equilibrium state. Therefore, by integrating various experimental results, we proposed a new structural model for lipid-free apo A-I, which contains a bundled four-helix N-terminal domain (1-192 that forms a variable hydrophobic groove and a mobile short hairpin C-terminal domain (193-243. This model exhibits an equilibrium state through molecular dynamics simulation and is consistent with most of the experimental results known from CCL/MS on lysine pairs, fluorescence resonance energy transfer and hydrogen exchange. This solution-state lipid-free apo A-I model may elucidate the possible conformational transitions of apo A-I binding with lipids in high-density lipoprotein formation.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Opacity and Transport Measurements Reveal That Dilute Plasma Models of Sonoluminescence Are Not Valid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalid, Shahzad; Kappus, Brian; Weninger, Keith; Putterman, Seth

    2012-03-01

    A strong interaction between a nanosecond laser and a 70 μm radius sonoluminescing plasma is achieved. The overall response of the system results in a factor of 2 increase in temperature as determined by its spectrum. Images of the interaction reveal that light energy is absorbed and trapped in a region smaller than the sonoluminescence emitting region of the bubble for over 100 ns. We interpret this opacity and transport measurement as demonstrating that sonoluminescencing bubbles can be 1000 times more opaque than what follows from the Saha equation of statistical mechanics in the ideal plasma limit. To address this discrepancy, we suggest that the effects of strong Coulomb interactions are an essential component of a first principles theory of sonoluminescence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schermer, Bernhard; Bartels, Valerie; Frommolt, Peter; Habermann, Bianca; Braun, Fabian; Schultze, Joachim L; Roodbergen, Marianne; Hoeijmakers, Jan Hj; Schumacher, Björn; Nürnberg, Peter; Dollé, Martijn Et; Benzing, Thomas; Müller, Roman-Ulrich; Kurschat, Christine E

    2013-08-16

    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. 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.

  20. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-10-02

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

  2. 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

  3. Revealing Business Opportunities in the Norwegian Power Industry: How the implementation of AMR facilitates new business models

    OpenAIRE

    Platou, Rikke Stoud; Sleire, Maren

    2011-01-01

    This thesis aims to map out the current state of the Norwegian power industry and reveal opportunities that can serve as a fundament for the formation of new business models in the industry post AMR implementation.Demand side management (DSM) arouse to include end customers and give them incentives for having a power consumption pattern which also benefits the power system. Market structure; lack of ICT infrastructure and understanding of the solutions; costs and competitiveness, as well as t...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ettema, Janneke; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; van Meijgaard, Erik; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Bamber, Jonathan L.; Box, Jason E.; Bales, Roger 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

  5. Modeled distribution and abundance of a pelagic seabird reveal trends in relation to fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Martin; Parrish, Julia K.; Piatt, John F.; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Edwards, Ann E.; Hunt, George L.

    2013-01-01

    The northern fulmar Fulmarus glacialis is one of the most visible and widespread seabirds in the eastern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. However, relatively little is known about its abundance, trends, or the factors that shape its distribution. We used a long-term pelagic dataset to model changes in fulmar at-sea distribution and abundance since the mid-1970s. We used an ensemble model, based on a weighted average of generalized additive model (GAM), multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and random forest models to estimate the pelagic distribution and density of fulmars in the waters of the Aleutian Archipelago and Bering Sea. The most important predictor variables were colony effect, sea surface temperature, distribution of fisheries, location, and primary productivity. We calculated a time series from the ratio of observed to predicted values and found that fulmar at-sea abundance declined from the 1970s to the 2000s at a rate of 0.83% (± 0.39% SE) per annum. Interpolating fulmar densities on a spatial grid through time, we found that the center of fulmar distribution in the Bering Sea has shifted north, coinciding with a northward shift in fish catches and a warming ocean. Our study shows that fisheries are an important, but not the only factor, shaping fulmar distribution and abundance trends in the eastern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    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 combined effects of elevation, microtopography, and vegetation, but their relative effects at fine spatial scales are poorly known. We used boosted regression trees to model the spatial distribution of fine-scale, under-canopy air temperatures in mountainous terrain. Spatial models predicted observed independent test data well (r = 0.87). As expected, elevation strongly predicted temperatures, but vegetation and microtopography also exerted critical effects. Old-growth vegetation characteristics, measured using LiDAR (light detection and ranging), appeared to have an insulating effect; maximum spring monthly temperatures decreased by 2.5°C across the observed gradient in old-growth structure. These cooling effects across a gradient in forest structure are of similar magnitude to 50-year forecasts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and therefore have the potential to mitigate climate warming at local scales. Management strategies to conserve old-growth characteristics and to curb current rates of primary forest loss could maintain microrefugia, enhancing biodiversity persistence in mountainous systems under climate warming.

  7. 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...

  8. The structure of the asteroid 4 Vesta as revealed by models of planet-scale collisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jutzi, M.; Asphaug, E.; Gillet, P.; Barrat, J.-A.; Benz, W.

    2013-02-01

    Asteroid 4 Vesta seems to be a major intact protoplanet, with a surface composition similar to that of the HED (howardite-eucrite-diogenite) meteorites. The southern hemisphere is dominated by a giant impact scar, but previous impact models have failed to reproduce the observed topography. The recent discovery that Vesta's southern hemisphere is dominated by two overlapping basins provides an opportunity to model Vesta's topography more accurately. Here we report three-dimensional simulations of Vesta's global evolution under two overlapping planet-scale collisions. We closely reproduce its observed shape, and provide maps of impact excavation and ejecta deposition. Spiral patterns observed in the younger basin Rheasilvia, about one billion years old, are attributed to Coriolis forces during crater collapse. Surface materials exposed in the north come from a depth of about 20 kilometres, according to our models, whereas materials exposed inside the southern double-excavation come from depths of about 60-100 kilometres. If Vesta began as a layered, completely differentiated protoplanet, then our model predicts large areas of pure diogenites and olivine-rich rocks. These are not seen, possibly implying that the outer 100 kilometres or so of Vesta is composed mainly of a basaltic crust (eucrites) with ultramafic intrusions (diogenites).

  9. Agent-based modeling of autophagy reveals emergent regulatory behavior of spatio-temporal autophagy dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Börlin, Christoph S; Lang, Verena; Hamacher-Brady, Anne; Brady, Nathan R

    2014-09-10

    Autophagy is a vesicle-mediated pathway for lysosomal degradation, essential under basal and stressed conditions. Various cellular components, including specific proteins, protein aggregates, organelles and intracellular pathogens, are targets for autophagic degradation. Thereby, autophagy controls numerous vital physiological and pathophysiological functions, including cell signaling, differentiation, turnover of cellular components and pathogen defense. Moreover, autophagy enables the cell to recycle cellular components to metabolic substrates, thereby permitting prolonged survival under low nutrient conditions. Due to the multi-faceted roles for autophagy in maintaining cellular and organismal homeostasis and responding to diverse stresses, malfunction of autophagy contributes to both chronic and acute pathologies. We applied a systems biology approach to improve the understanding of this complex cellular process of autophagy. All autophagy pathway vesicle activities, i.e. creation, movement, fusion and degradation, are highly dynamic, temporally and spatially, and under various forms of regulation. We therefore developed an agent-based model (ABM) to represent individual components of the autophagy pathway, subcellular vesicle dynamics and metabolic feedback with the cellular environment, thereby providing a framework to investigate spatio-temporal aspects of autophagy regulation and dynamic behavior. The rules defining our ABM were derived from literature and from high-resolution images of autophagy markers under basal and activated conditions. Key model parameters were fit with an iterative method using a genetic algorithm and a predefined fitness function. From this approach, we found that accurate prediction of spatio-temporal behavior required increasing model complexity by implementing functional integration of autophagy with the cellular nutrient state. The resulting model is able to reproduce short-term autophagic flux measurements (up to 3

  10. Statistical modeling reveals the effect of absolute humidity on dengue in Singapore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai-Yan Xu

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Weather factors are widely studied for their effects on indicating dengue incidence trends. However, these studies have been limited due to the complex epidemiology of dengue, which involves dynamic interplay of multiple factors such as herd immunity within a population, distinct serotypes of the virus, environmental factors and intervention programs. In this study, we investigate the impact of weather factors on dengue in Singapore, considering the disease epidemiology and profile of virus serotypes. A Poisson regression combined with Distributed Lag Non-linear Model (DLNM was used to evaluate and compare the impact of weekly Absolute Humidity (AH and other weather factors (mean temperature, minimum temperature, maximum temperature, rainfall, relative humidity and wind speed on dengue incidence from 2001 to 2009. The same analysis was also performed on three sub-periods, defined by predominant circulating serotypes. The performance of DLNM regression models were then evaluated through the Akaike's Information Criterion. From the correlation and DLNM regression modeling analyses of the studied period, AH was found to be a better predictor for modeling dengue incidence than the other unique weather variables. Whilst mean temperature (MeanT also showed significant correlation with dengue incidence, the relationship between AH or MeanT and dengue incidence, however, varied in the three sub-periods. Our results showed that AH had a more stable impact on dengue incidence than temperature when virological factors were taken into consideration. AH appeared to be the most consistent factor in modeling dengue incidence in Singapore. Considering the changes in dominant serotypes, the improvements in vector control programs and the inconsistent weather patterns observed in the sub-periods, the impact of weather on dengue is modulated by these other factors. Future studies on the impact of climate change on dengue need to take all the other contributing

  11. Statistical modeling reveals the effect of absolute humidity on dengue in Singapore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hai-Yan; Fu, Xiuju; Lee, Lionel Kim Hock; Ma, Stefan; Goh, Kee Tai; Wong, Jiancheng; Habibullah, Mohamed Salahuddin; Lee, Gary Kee Khoon; Lim, Tian Kuay; Tambyah, Paul Anantharajah; Lim, Chin Leong; Ng, Lee Ching

    2014-05-01

    Weather factors are widely studied for their effects on indicating dengue incidence trends. However, these studies have been limited due to the complex epidemiology of dengue, which involves dynamic interplay of multiple factors such as herd immunity within a population, distinct serotypes of the virus, environmental factors and intervention programs. In this study, we investigate the impact of weather factors on dengue in Singapore, considering the disease epidemiology and profile of virus serotypes. A Poisson regression combined with Distributed Lag Non-linear Model (DLNM) was used to evaluate and compare the impact of weekly Absolute Humidity (AH) and other weather factors (mean temperature, minimum temperature, maximum temperature, rainfall, relative humidity and wind speed) on dengue incidence from 2001 to 2009. The same analysis was also performed on three sub-periods, defined by predominant circulating serotypes. The performance of DLNM regression models were then evaluated through the Akaike's Information Criterion. From the correlation and DLNM regression modeling analyses of the studied period, AH was found to be a better predictor for modeling dengue incidence than the other unique weather variables. Whilst mean temperature (MeanT) also showed significant correlation with dengue incidence, the relationship between AH or MeanT and dengue incidence, however, varied in the three sub-periods. Our results showed that AH had a more stable impact on dengue incidence than temperature when virological factors were taken into consideration. AH appeared to be the most consistent factor in modeling dengue incidence in Singapore. Considering the changes in dominant serotypes, the improvements in vector control programs and the inconsistent weather patterns observed in the sub-periods, the impact of weather on dengue is modulated by these other factors. Future studies on the impact of climate change on dengue need to take all the other contributing factors into

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Corina Barros de Andrade e Sousa1

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 1H NMR-based metabolic profiling reveals inherent biological variation in yeast and nematode model systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szeto, Samuel S. W.; Reinke, Stacey N.; Lemire, Bernard D.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-04-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi Lewin

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

  16. 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.

  17. Translational rodent models of Korsakoff syndrome reveal the critical neuroanatomical substrates of memory dysfunction and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Lisa M; Hall, Joseph M; Resende, Leticia S

    2012-06-01

    Investigation of the amnesic disorder Korsakoff Syndrome (KS) has been vital in elucidating the critical brain regions involved in learning and memory. Although the thalamus and mammillary bodies are the primary sites of neuropathology in KS, functional deactivation of the hippocampus and certain cortical regions also contributes to the chronic cognitive dysfunction reported in KS. The rodent pyrithiamine-induced thiamine deficiency (PTD) model has been used to study the extent of hippocampal and cortical neuroadaptations in KS. In the PTD model, the hippocampus, frontal and retrosplenial cortical regions display loss of cholinergic innervation, decreases in behaviorally stimulated acetylcholine release and reductions in neurotrophins. While PTD treatment results in significant impairment in measures of spatial learning and memory, other cognitive processes are left intact and may be recruited to improve cognitive outcome. In addition, behavioral recovery can be stimulated in the PTD model by increasing acetylcholine levels in the medial septum, hippocampus and frontal cortex, but not in the retrosplenial cortex. These data indicate that although the hippocampus and frontal cortex are involved in the pathogenesis of KS, these regions retain neuroplasticity and may be critical targets for improving cognitive outcome in KS.

  18. 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

  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. Mathematical modeling reveals kinetics of lymphocyte recirculation in the whole organism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitaly V Ganusov

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The kinetics of recirculation of naive lymphocytes in the body has important implications for the speed at which local infections are detected and controlled by immune responses. With a help of a novel mathematical model, we analyze experimental data on migration of 51Cr-labeled thoracic duct lymphocytes (TDLs via major lymphoid and nonlymphoid tissues of rats in the absence of systemic antigenic stimulation. We show that at any point of time, 95% of lymphocytes in the blood travel via capillaries in the lung or sinusoids of the liver and only 5% migrate to secondary lymphoid tissues such as lymph nodes, Peyer's patches, or the spleen. Interestingly, our analysis suggests that lymphocytes travel via lung capillaries and liver sinusoids at an extremely rapid rate with the average residence time in these tissues being less than 1 minute. The model also predicts a relatively short average residence time of TDLs in the spleen (2.5 hours and a longer average residence time of TDLs in major lymph nodes and Peyer's patches (10 hours. Surprisingly, we find that the average residence time of lymphocytes is similar in lymph nodes draining the skin (subcutaneous LNs or the gut (mesenteric LNs or in Peyer's patches. Applying our model to an additional dataset on lymphocyte migration via resting and antigen-stimulated lymph nodes we find that enlargement of antigen-stimulated lymph nodes occurs mainly due to increased entrance rate of TDLs into the nodes and not due to decreased exit rate as has been suggested in some studies. Taken together, our analysis for the first time provides a comprehensive, systems view of recirculation kinetics of thoracic duct lymphocytes in the whole organism.

  1. 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.

  2. Multistate models of bigheaded carps in the Illinois River reveal spatial dynamics of invasive species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulter, Alison A.; Brey, Marybeth; Lubejko, Matthew; Kallis, Jahn L.; Coulter, David P.; Glover, David C.; Whitledge, Gregory W.; Garvey, James E.

    2018-01-01

    Knowledge of the spatial distributions and dispersal characteristics of invasive species is necessary for managing the spread of highly mobile species, such as invasive bigheaded carps (Bighead Carp [Hypophthalmichthys nobilis] and Silver Carp [H. molitrix]). Management of invasive bigheaded carps in the Illinois River has focused on using human-made barriers and harvest to limit dispersal towards the Laurentian Great Lakes. Acoustic telemetry data were used to parameterize multistate models to examine the spatial dynamics of bigheaded carps in the Illinois River to (1) evaluate the effects of existing dams on movement, (2) identify how individuals distribute among pools, and (3) gauge the effects of reductions in movement towards the invasion front. Multistate models estimated that movement was generally less likely among upper river pools (Starved Rock, Marseilles, and Dresden Island) than the lower river (La Grange and Peoria) which matched the pattern of gated versus wicket style dams. Simulations using estimated movement probabilities indicated that Bighead Carp accumulate in La Grange Pool while Silver Carp accumulate in Alton Pool. Fewer Bighead Carp reached the upper river compared to Silver Carp during simulations. Reducing upstream movement probabilities (e.g., reduced propagule pressure) by ≥ 75% into any of the upper river pools could reduce upper river abundance with similar results regardless of location. Given bigheaded carp reproduction in the upper Illinois River is presently limited, reduced movement towards the invasion front coupled with removal of individuals reaching these areas could limit potential future dispersal towards the Great Lakes.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Dynamic Modeling of GAIT System Reveals Transcriptome Expansion and Translational Trickle Control Device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Peng; Potdar, Alka A.; Arif, Abul; Ray, Partho Sarothi; Mukhopadhyay, Rupak; Willard, Belinda; Xu, Yichi; Yan, Jun; Saidel, Gerald M.; Fox, Paul L.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms superimpose “fine-tuning” control upon “on-off” switches characteristic of gene transcription. We have exploited computational modeling with experimental validation to resolve an anomalous relationship between mRNA expression and protein synthesis. Differential GAIT (Gamma-interferon Activated Inhibitor of Translation) complex activation repressed VEGF-A synthesis to a low, constant rate despite high, variable VEGFA mRNA expression. Dynamic model simulations indicated the presence of an unidentified, inhibitory GAIT element-interacting factor. We discovered a truncated form of glutamyl-prolyl tRNA synthetase (EPRS), the GAIT constituent that binds the 3’-UTR GAIT element in target transcripts. The truncated protein, EPRSN1, prevents binding of functional GAIT complex. EPRSN1 mRNA is generated by a remarkable polyadenylation-directed conversion of a Tyr codon in the EPRS coding sequence to a stop codon (PAY*). By low-level protection of GAIT element-bearing transcripts, EPRSN1 imposes a robust “translational trickle” of target protein expression. Genome-wide analysis shows PAY* generates multiple truncated transcripts thereby contributing to transcriptome expansion. PMID:22386318

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

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

    KAUST Repository

    Wolfowicz, Iliona; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Voss, Philipp A.; Hambleton, Elizabeth A.; Voolstra, Christian R.; Hatta, Masayuki; Guse, Annika

    2016-01-01

    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.

  10. 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'.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shane E Gordon

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Systems biology integration of proteomic data in rodent models of depression reveals involvement of the immune response and glutamatergic signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carboni, Lucia; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong; Caberlotto, Laura

    2016-12-01

    The pathophysiological basis of major depression is incompletely understood. Recently, numerous proteomic studies have been performed in rodent models of depression to investigate the molecular underpinnings of depressive-like behaviours with an unbiased approach. The objective of the study is to integrate the results of these proteomic studies in depression models to shed light on the most relevant molecular pathways involved in the disease. Network analysis is performed integrating preexisting proteomic data from rodent models of depression. The IntAct mouse and the HRPD are used as reference protein-protein interaction databases. The functionality analyses of the networks are then performed by testing overrepresented GO biological process terms and pathways. Functional enrichment analyses of the networks revealed an association with molecular processes related to depression in humans, such as those involved in the immune response. Pathways impacted by clinically effective antidepressants are modulated, including glutamatergic signaling and neurotrophic responses. Moreover, dysregulations of proteins regulating energy metabolism and circadian rhythms are implicated. The comparison with protein pathways modulated in depressive patients revealed significant overlapping. This systems biology study supports the notion that animal models can contribute to the research into the biology and therapeutics of depression. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acacio Aparecido Navarrete

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

  14. 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

  15. Genome-wide investigation reveals high evolutionary rates in annual model plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Jia-Xing; Li, Jinpeng; Wang, Dan; Araki, Hitoshi; Tian, Dacheng; Yang, Sihai

    2010-11-09

    Rates of molecular evolution vary widely among species. While significant deviations from molecular clock have been found in many taxa, effects of life histories on molecular evolution are not fully understood. In plants, annual/perennial life history traits have long been suspected to influence the evolutionary rates at the molecular level. To date, however, the number of genes investigated on this subject is limited and the conclusions are mixed. To evaluate the possible heterogeneity in evolutionary rates between annual and perennial plants at the genomic level, we investigated 85 nuclear housekeeping genes, 10 non-housekeeping families, and 34 chloroplast genes using the genomic data from model plants including Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula for annuals and grape (Vitis vinifera) and popular (Populus trichocarpa) for perennials. According to the cross-comparisons among the four species, 74-82% of the nuclear genes and 71-97% of the chloroplast genes suggested higher rates of molecular evolution in the two annuals than those in the two perennials. The significant heterogeneity in evolutionary rate between annuals and perennials was consistently found both in nonsynonymous sites and synonymous sites. While a linear correlation of evolutionary rates in orthologous genes between species was observed in nonsynonymous sites, the correlation was weak or invisible in synonymous sites. This tendency was clearer in nuclear genes than in chloroplast genes, in which the overall evolutionary rate was small. The slope of the regression line was consistently lower than unity, further confirming the higher evolutionary rate in annuals at the genomic level. The higher evolutionary rate in annuals than in perennials appears to be a universal phenomenon both in nuclear and chloroplast genomes in the four dicot model plants we investigated. Therefore, such heterogeneity in evolutionary rate should result from factors that have genome-wide influence, most likely those

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leacock, Stefanie W; Basse, Audrey N; Chandler, Garvin L; Kirk, Anne M; Rakheja, Dinesh; Amatruda, James F

    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.

  2. Unique attributes of cyanobacterial metabolism revealed by improved genome-scale metabolic modeling and essential gene analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broddrick, Jared T.; Rubin, Benjamin E.; Welkie, David G.; Du, Niu; Mih, Nathan; Diamond, Spencer; Lee, Jenny J.; Golden, Susan S.; Palsson, Bernhard O.

    2016-01-01

    The model cyanobacterium, Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, is a genetically tractable obligate phototroph that is being developed for the bioproduction of high-value chemicals. Genome-scale models (GEMs) have been successfully used to assess and engineer cellular metabolism; however, GEMs of phototrophic metabolism have been limited by the lack of experimental datasets for model validation and the challenges of incorporating photon uptake. Here, we develop a GEM of metabolism in S. elongatus using random barcode transposon site sequencing (RB-TnSeq) essential gene and physiological data specific to photoautotrophic metabolism. The model explicitly describes photon absorption and accounts for shading, resulting in the characteristic linear growth curve of photoautotrophs. GEM predictions of gene essentiality were compared with data obtained from recent dense-transposon mutagenesis experiments. This dataset allowed major improvements to the accuracy of the model. Furthermore, discrepancies between GEM predictions and the in vivo dataset revealed biological characteristics, such as the importance of a truncated, linear TCA pathway, low flux toward amino acid synthesis from photorespiration, and knowledge gaps within nucleotide metabolism. Coupling of strong experimental support and photoautotrophic modeling methods thus resulted in a highly accurate model of S. elongatus metabolism that highlights previously unknown areas of S. elongatus biology. PMID:27911809

  3. 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

  4. A mouse model for Costello syndrome reveals an Ang II–mediated hypertensive condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuhmacher, Alberto J.; Guerra, Carmen; Sauzeau, Vincent; Cañamero, Marta; Bustelo, Xosé R.; Barbacid, Mariano

    2008-01-01

    Germline activation of H-RAS oncogenes is the primary cause of Costello syndrome (CS), a neuro-cardio-facio-cutaneous developmental syndrome. Here we describe the generation of a mouse model of CS by introduction of an oncogenic Gly12Val mutation in the mouse H-Ras locus using homologous recombination in ES cells. Germline expression of the endogenous H-RasG12V oncogene, even in homozygosis, resulted in hyperplasia of the mammary gland. However, development of tumors in these mice was rare. H-RasG12V mutant mice closely phenocopied some of the abnormalities observed in patients with CS, including facial dysmorphia and cardiomyopathies. These mice also displayed alterations in the homeostasis of the cardiovascular system, including development of systemic hypertension, extensive vascular remodeling, and fibrosis in both the heart and the kidneys. This phenotype was age dependent and was a consequence of the abnormal upregulation of the renin–Ang II system. Treatment with captopril, an inhibitor of Ang II biosynthesis, prevented development of the hypertension condition, vascular remodeling, and heart and kidney fibrosis. In addition, it partially alleviated the observed cardiomyopathies. These mice should help in elucidating the etiology of CS symptoms, identifying additional defects, and evaluating potential therapeutic strategies. PMID:18483625

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Glioblastoma models reveal the connection between adult glial progenitors and the proneural phenotype.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Lei

    Full Text Available Tumor heterogeneity is a major obstacle for finding effective treatment of Glioblastoma (GBM. Based on global expression analysis, GBM can be classified into distinct subtypes: Proneural, Neural, Classical and Mesenchymal. The signatures of these different tumor subtypes may reflect the phenotypes of cells giving rise to them. However, the experimental evidence connecting any specific subtype of GBM to particular cells of origin is lacking. In addition, it is unclear how different genetic alterations interact with cells of origin in determining tumor heterogeneity. This issue cannot be addressed by studying end-stage human tumors.To address this issue, we used retroviruses to deliver transforming genetic lesions to glial progenitors in adult mouse brain. We compared the resulting tumors to human GBM. We found that different initiating genetic lesions gave rise to tumors with different growth rates. However all mouse tumors closely resembled the human Proneural GBM. Comparative analysis of these mouse tumors allowed us to identify a set of genes whose expression in humans with Proneural GBM correlates with survival.This study offers insights into the relationship between adult glial progenitors and Proneural GBM, and allows us to identify molecular alterations that lead to more aggressive tumor growth. In addition, we present a new preclinical model that can be used to test treatments directed at a specific type of GBM in future studies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, María; Lado, Carlos

    2012-08-01

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

  9. Nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease revealed in an animal model with reduced monoamine storage capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Tonya N; Caudle, W Michael; Shepherd, Kennie R; Noorian, AliReza; Jackson, Chad R; Iuvone, P Michael; Weinshenker, David; Greene, James G; Miller, Gary W

    2009-06-24

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by the loss of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, culminating in severe motor symptoms, including resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. In addition to motor deficits, there are a variety of nonmotor symptoms associated with PD. These symptoms generally precede the onset of motor symptoms, sometimes by years, and include anosmia, problems with gastrointestinal motility, sleep disturbances, sympathetic denervation, anxiety, and depression. Previously, we have shown that mice with a 95% genetic reduction in vesicular monoamine transporter expression (VMAT2-deficient, VMAT2 LO) display progressive loss of striatal dopamine, L-DOPA-responsive motor deficits, alpha-synuclein accumulation, and nigral dopaminergic cell loss. We hypothesized that since these animals exhibit deficits in other monoamine systems (norepinephrine and serotonin), which are known to regulate some of these behaviors, the VMAT2-deficient mice may display some of the nonmotor symptoms associated with PD. Here we report that the VMAT2-deficient mice demonstrate progressive deficits in olfactory discrimination, delayed gastric emptying, altered sleep latency, anxiety-like behavior, and age-dependent depressive behavior. These results suggest that the VMAT2-deficient mice may be a useful model of the nonmotor symptoms of PD. Furthermore, monoamine dysfunction may contribute to many of the nonmotor symptoms of PD, and interventions aimed at restoring monoamine function may be beneficial in treating the disease.

  10. Tropical-extratropical climate interaction as revealed in idealized coupled climate model experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Haijun [Peking University, Department of Atmospheric Science and Laboratory for Severe Storm and Flood Disasters, School of Physics, Beijing (China); Liu, Zhengyu [University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Climatic Research and Department of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Madison, WI (United States)

    2005-06-01

    Tropical-extratropical climate interactions are studied by idealized experiments with a prescribed 2 C SST anomaly at different latitude bands in a coupled climate model. Instead of focusing on intrinsic climate variability, this work investigates the mean climate adjustment to remote external forcing. The extratropical impact on tropical climate can be as strong as the tropical impact on extratropical climate, with the remote sea surface temperature (SST) response being about half the magnitude of the imposed SST change in the forcing region. The equatorward impact of extratropical climate is accomplished by both the atmospheric bridge and the oceanic tunnel. About two-thirds of the tropical SST change comes from the atmospheric bridge, while the remaining one-third comes from the oceanic tunnel. The equatorial SST increase is first driven by the reduced latent heat flux and the weakened poleward surface Ekman transport, and then enhanced by the decrease in subtropical cells' strength and the equatorward subduction of warm anomalies. In contrast, the poleward impact of tropical climate is accomplished mainly by the atmospheric bridge, which is responsible for extratropical temperature changes in both the surface and subsurface. Sensitivity experiments also show the dominant role of the Southern Hemisphere oceans in the tropical climate change. (orig.)

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Dynamic occupancy modelling reveals a hierarchy of competition among fishers, grey foxes and ringtails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, David S; Matthews, Sean M; Swiers, Robert C; Callas, Richard L; Scott Yaeger, J; Farber, Stuart L; Schwartz, Michael K; Powell, Roger A

    2018-05-01

    Determining how species coexist is critical for understanding functional diversity, niche partitioning and interspecific interactions. Identifying the direct and indirect interactions among sympatric carnivores that enable their coexistence is particularly important to elucidate because they are integral for maintaining ecosystem function. We studied the effects of removing nine fishers (Pekania pennanti) on their population dynamics and used this perturbation to elucidate the interspecific interactions among fishers, grey foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and ringtails (Bassariscus astutus). Grey foxes (family: Canidae) are likely to compete with fishers due to their similar body sizes and dietary overlap, and ringtails (family: Procyonidae), like fishers, are semi-arboreal species of conservation concern. We used spatial capture-recapture to investigate fisher population numbers and dynamic occupancy models that incorporated interspecific interactions to investigate the effects members of these species had on the colonization and persistence of each other's site occupancy. The fisher population showed no change in density for up to 3 years following the removals of fishers for translocations. In contrast, fisher site occupancy decreased in the years immediately following the translocations. During this same time period, site occupancy by grey foxes increased and remained elevated through the end of the study. We found a complicated hierarchy among fishers, foxes and ringtails. Fishers affected grey fox site persistence negatively but had a positive effect on their colonization. Foxes had a positive effect on ringtail site colonization. Thus, fishers were the dominant small carnivore where present and negatively affected foxes directly and ringtails indirectly. Coexistence among the small carnivores we studied appears to reflect dynamic spatial partitioning. Conservation and management efforts should investigate how intraguild interactions may influence the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Enhanced neuronal glucose transporter expression reveals metabolic choice in a HD Drosophila model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Marie Thérèse; Alegría, Karin; Garrido-Gerter, Pamela; Barros, Luis Felipe; Liévens, Jean-Charles

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by toxic insertions of polyglutamine residues in the Huntingtin protein and characterized by progressive deterioration of cognitive and motor functions. Altered brain glucose metabolism has long been suggested and a possible link has been proposed in HD. However, the precise function of glucose transporters was not yet determined. Here, we report the effects of the specifically-neuronal human glucose transporter expression in neurons of a Drosophila model carrying the exon 1 of the human huntingtin gene with 93 glutamine repeats (HQ93). We demonstrated that overexpression of the human glucose transporter in neurons ameliorated significantly the status of HD flies by increasing their lifespan, reducing their locomotor deficits and rescuing eye neurodegeneration. Then, we investigated whether increasing the major pathways of glucose catabolism, glycolysis and pentose-phosphate pathway (PPP) impacts HD. To mimic increased glycolytic flux, we overexpressed phosphofructokinase (PFK) which catalyzes an irreversible step in glycolysis. Overexpression of PFK did not affect HQ93 fly survival, but protected from photoreceptor loss. Overexpression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), the key enzyme of the PPP, extended significantly the lifespan of HD flies and rescued eye neurodegeneration. Since G6PD is able to synthesize NADPH involved in cell survival by maintenance of the redox state, we showed that tolerance to experimental oxidative stress was enhanced in flies co-expressing HQ93 and G6PD. Additionally overexpressions of hGluT3, G6PD or PFK were able to circumvent mitochondrial deficits induced by specific silencing of genes necessary for mitochondrial homeostasis. Our study confirms the involvement of bioenergetic deficits in HD course; they can be rescued by specific expression of a glucose transporter in neurons. Finally, the PPP and, to a lesser extent, the glycolysis seem to mediate the hGluT3

  17. Enhanced neuronal glucose transporter expression reveals metabolic choice in a HD Drosophila model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Thérèse Besson

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by toxic insertions of polyglutamine residues in the Huntingtin protein and characterized by progressive deterioration of cognitive and motor functions. Altered brain glucose metabolism has long been suggested and a possible link has been proposed in HD. However, the precise function of glucose transporters was not yet determined. Here, we report the effects of the specifically-neuronal human glucose transporter expression in neurons of a Drosophila model carrying the exon 1 of the human huntingtin gene with 93 glutamine repeats (HQ93. We demonstrated that overexpression of the human glucose transporter in neurons ameliorated significantly the status of HD flies by increasing their lifespan, reducing their locomotor deficits and rescuing eye neurodegeneration. Then, we investigated whether increasing the major pathways of glucose catabolism, glycolysis and pentose-phosphate pathway (PPP impacts HD. To mimic increased glycolytic flux, we overexpressed phosphofructokinase (PFK which catalyzes an irreversible step in glycolysis. Overexpression of PFK did not affect HQ93 fly survival, but protected from photoreceptor loss. Overexpression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD, the key enzyme of the PPP, extended significantly the lifespan of HD flies and rescued eye neurodegeneration. Since G6PD is able to synthesize NADPH involved in cell survival by maintenance of the redox state, we showed that tolerance to experimental oxidative stress was enhanced in flies co-expressing HQ93 and G6PD. Additionally overexpressions of hGluT3, G6PD or PFK were able to circumvent mitochondrial deficits induced by specific silencing of genes necessary for mitochondrial homeostasis. Our study confirms the involvement of bioenergetic deficits in HD course; they can be rescued by specific expression of a glucose transporter in neurons. Finally, the PPP and, to a lesser extent, the glycolysis seem to

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Muñoz

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Xavier; Felicísimo, Ángel M.

    2016-01-01

    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 parks. PMID

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  2. Modeling the Downstream Processing of Monoclonal Antibodies Reveals Cost Advantages for Continuous Methods for a Broad Range of Manufacturing Scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummel, Jonathan; Pagkaliwangan, Mark; Gjoka, Xhorxhi; Davidovits, Terence; Stock, Rick; Ransohoff, Thomas; Gantier, Rene; Schofield, Mark

    2018-01-17

    The biopharmaceutical industry is evolving in response to changing market conditions, including increasing competition and growing pressures to reduce costs. Single-use (SU) technologies and continuous bioprocessing have attracted attention as potential facilitators of cost-optimized manufacturing for monoclonal antibodies. While disposable bioprocessing has been adopted at many scales of manufacturing, continuous bioprocessing has yet to reach the same level of implementation. In this study, the cost of goods of Pall Life Science's integrated, continuous bioprocessing (ICB) platform is modeled, along with that of purification processes in stainless-steel and SU batch formats. All three models include costs associated with downstream processing only. Evaluation of the models across a broad range of clinical and commercial scenarios reveal that the cost savings gained by switching from stainless-steel to SU batch processing are often amplified by continuous operation. The continuous platform exhibits the lowest cost of goods across 78% of all scenarios modeled here, with the SU batch process having the lowest costs in the rest of the cases. The relative savings demonstrated by the continuous process are greatest at the highest feed titers and volumes. These findings indicate that existing and imminent continuous technologies and equipment can become key enablers for more cost effective manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. 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.

  4. Modeling of the Dorsal Gradient across Species Reveals Interaction between Embryo Morphology and Toll Signaling Pathway during Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koslen, Hannah R.; Chiel, Hillel J.; Mizutani, Claudia Mieko

    2014-01-01

    Morphogenetic gradients are essential to allocate cell fates in embryos of varying sizes within and across closely related species. We previously showed that the maternal NF-κB/Dorsal (Dl) gradient has acquired different shapes in Drosophila species, which result in unequally scaled germ layers along the dorso-ventral axis and the repositioning of the neuroectodermal borders. Here we combined experimentation and mathematical modeling to investigate which factors might have contributed to the fast evolutionary changes of this gradient. To this end, we modified a previously developed model that employs differential equations of the main biochemical interactions of the Toll (Tl) signaling pathway, which regulates Dl nuclear transport. The original model simulations fit well the D. melanogaster wild type, but not mutant conditions. To broaden the applicability of this model and probe evolutionary changes in gradient distributions, we adjusted a set of 19 independent parameters to reproduce three quantified experimental conditions (i.e. Dl levels lowered, nuclear size and density increased or decreased). We next searched for the most relevant parameters that reproduce the species-specific Dl gradients. We show that adjusting parameters relative to morphological traits (i.e. embryo diameter, nuclear size and density) alone is not sufficient to reproduce the species Dl gradients. Since components of the Tl pathway simulated by the model are fast-evolving, we next asked which parameters related to Tl would most effectively reproduce these gradients and identified a particular subset. A sensitivity analysis reveals the existence of nonlinear interactions between the two fast-evolving traits tested above, namely the embryonic morphological changes and Tl pathway components. Our modeling further suggests that distinct Dl gradient shapes observed in closely related melanogaster sub-group lineages may be caused by similar sequence modifications in Tl pathway components, which

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. The elastic network model reveals a consistent picture on intrinsic functional dynamics of type II restriction endonucleases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uyar, A; Kurkcuoglu, O; Doruker, P; Nilsson, L

    2011-01-01

    The vibrational dynamics of various type II restriction endonucleases, in complex with cognate/non-cognate DNA and in the apo form, are investigated with the elastic network model in order to reveal common functional mechanisms in this enzyme family. Scissor-like and tong-like motions observed in the slowest modes of all enzymes and their complexes point to common DNA recognition and cleavage mechanisms. Normal mode analysis further points out that the scissor-like motion has an important role in differentiating between cognate and non-cognate sequences at the recognition site, thus implying its catalytic relevance. Flexible regions observed around the DNA-binding site of the enzyme usually concentrate on the highly conserved β-strands, especially after DNA binding. These β-strands may have a structurally stabilizing role in functional dynamics for target site recognition and cleavage. In addition, hot spot residues based on high-frequency modes reveal possible communication pathways between the two distant cleavage sites in the enzyme family. Some of these hot spots also exist on the shortest path between the catalytic sites and are highly conserved

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xia, Xiaojun; Park, Eunmi; Fischer, Susan M.; Hu, Yinling

    2013-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Analysis of the fibroblast growth factor system reveals alterations in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hensel, Niko; Ratzka, Andreas; Brinkmann, Hella; Klimaschewski, Lars; Grothe, Claudia; Claus, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The monogenetic disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is characterized by a progressive loss of motoneurons leading to muscle weakness and atrophy due to severe reduction of the Survival of Motoneuron (SMN) protein. Several models of SMA show deficits in neurite outgrowth and maintenance of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) structure. Survival of motoneurons, axonal outgrowth and formation of NMJ is controlled by neurotrophic factors such as the Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) system. Besides their classical role as extracellular ligands, some FGFs exert also intracellular functions controlling neuronal differentiation. We have previously shown that intracellular FGF-2 binds to SMN and regulates the number of a subtype of nuclear bodies which are reduced in SMA patients. In the light of these findings, we systematically analyzed the FGF-system comprising five canonical receptors and 22 ligands in a severe mouse model of SMA. In this study, we demonstrate widespread alterations of the FGF-system in both muscle and spinal cord. Importantly, FGF-receptor 1 is upregulated in spinal cord at a pre-symptomatic stage as well as in a mouse motoneuron-like cell-line NSC34 based model of SMA. Consistent with that, phosphorylations of FGFR-downstream targets Akt and ERK are increased. Moreover, ERK hyper-phosphorylation is functionally linked to FGFR-1 as revealed by receptor inhibition experiments. Our study shows that the FGF system is dysregulated at an early stage in SMA and may contribute to the SMA pathogenesis.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    Here we propose a new approach to modeling gene expression based on the theory of random dynamical systems (RDS) that provides a general coupling prescription between the nodes of any given regulatory network given the dynamics of each node is modeled by a RDS. The main virtues of this approach are the following: (i) it provides a natural way to obtain arbitrarily large networks by coupling together simple basic pieces, thus revealing the modularity of regulatory networks; (ii) the assumptions about the stochastic processes used in the modeling are fairly general, in the sense that the only requirement is stationarity; (iii) there is a well developed mathematical theory, which is a blend of smooth dynamical systems theory, ergodic theory and stochastic analysis that allows one to extract relevant dynamical and statistical information without solving the system; (iv) one may obtain the classical rate equations form the corresponding stochastic version by averaging the dynamic random variables (small noise limit). It is important to emphasize that unlike the deterministic case, where coupling two equations is a trivial matter, coupling two RDS is non-trivial, specially in our case, where the coupling is performed between a state variable of one gene and the switching stochastic process of another gene and, hence, it is not a priori true that the resulting coupled system will satisfy the definition of a random dynamical system. We shall provide the necessary arguments that ensure that our coupling prescription does indeed furnish a coupled regulatory network of random dynamical systems. Finally, the fact that classical rate equations are the small noise limit of our stochastic model ensures that any validation or prediction made on the basis of the classical theory is also a validation or prediction of our model. We illustrate our framework with some simple examples of single-gene system and network motifs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Julie A E; Zoetmulder, Marielle; Koch, Henriette; Frandsen, Rune; Arvastson, Lars; Christensen, Søren R; Jennum, Poul; Sorensen, Helge B D

    2014-09-30

    Manual scoring of sleep relies on identifying certain characteristics in polysomnograph (PSG) signals. However, these characteristics are disrupted in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. This study evaluates sleep using a topic modeling and unsupervised learning approach to identify sleep topics directly from electroencephalography (EEG) and electrooculography (EOG). PSG data from control subjects were used to develop an EOG and an EEG topic model. The models were applied to PSG data from 23 control subjects, 25 patients with periodic leg movements (PLMs), 31 patients with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) and 36 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The data were divided into training and validation datasets and features reflecting EEG and EOG characteristics based on topics were computed. The most discriminative feature subset for separating iRBD/PD and PLM/controls was estimated using a Lasso-regularized regression model. The features with highest discriminability were the number and stability of EEG topics linked to REM and N3, respectively. Validation of the model indicated a sensitivity of 91.4% and a specificity of 68.8% when classifying iRBD/PD patients. The topics showed visual accordance with the manually scored sleep stages, and the features revealed sleep characteristics containing information indicative of neurodegeneration. This study suggests that the amount of N3 and the ability to maintain NREM and REM sleep have potential as early PD biomarkers. Data-driven analysis of sleep may contribute to the evaluation of neurodegenerative patients. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Fibrillation mechanism of a model intrinsically disordered protein revealed by 2D correlation deep UV resonance Raman spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikirzhytski, Vitali; Topilina, Natalya I; Takor, Gaius A; Higashiya, Seiichiro; Welch, John T; Uversky, Vladimir N; Lednev, Igor K

    2012-05-14

    Understanding of numerous biological functions of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) is of significant interest to modern life science research. A large variety of serious debilitating diseases are associated with the malfunction of IDPs including neurodegenerative disorders and systemic amyloidosis. Here we report on the molecular mechanism of amyloid fibrillation of a model IDP (YE8) using 2D correlation deep UV resonance Raman spectroscopy. YE8 is a genetically engineered polypeptide, which is completely unordered at neutral pH yet exhibits all properties of a fibrillogenic protein at low pH. The very first step of the fibrillation process involves structural rearrangements of YE8 at the global structure level without the detectable appearance of secondary structural elements. The formation of β-sheet species follows the global structural changes and proceeds via the simultaneous formation of turns and β-strands. The kinetic mechanism revealed is an important new contribution to understanding of the general fibrillation mechanism proposed for IDP.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A Reformulation of the Dual Career Conceptual Model for Analysis in an Organizational Scope: Revealing new Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heliani Berlato

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Couples who live a dual career, in general, are characterized by their continuing professional engagement and their desire for personal growth together. It is a synergy between career aspirations and family sphere, so that they co-exist; reflecting nowadays, a challenge for people who seek to live this duality. Not exempt from it, it is possible to understand the need for management models of people who are in harmony with the desires of dual career couples who are part of organizations. If in the 1980s the existence of dual career couples was not so common in Brazil, nowadays organizations increasingly receive these couples, which impacts the need for people management models to keep up with these social changes. Therefore, the model recognizes that the personal dimension (impacts on the organizational context cannot be avoided, and also that other factors affect both spheres (personal and organizational when referring to the normative roles that permeate these areas. The main intention of this essay is to construct a theoretical model of dual career to consider the factor - organization, as vital to understand (and accept the need to consider other dimensions on the dual career analytical perspective. The first evidences of dual career studies in Brazil revealed that the look at this movement only from the individual's margin is limited. This way, to consider the existence of other dimensions and consequently the influences they may cause, favors an expansion of the perspective, and also brings a detailing about the external factors (organization, society and culture that influence the dual career couple. To consider that this couple, as well as having personal challenges in the relationship between work and family, is subject to the culture that regulates their roles (men and women and that directly influences how organizations will handle that topic reveals the merit of this study. This, in turn, draws attention to the organizational sphere

  1. Molecular modelling studies of kdr mutations in voltage gated sodium channel revealed significant conformational variations contributing to insecticide resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yellapu, Nanda Kumar; Gopal, Jeyakodi; Kasinathan, Gunasekaran; Purushothaman, Jambulingam

    2018-06-01

    Voltage gated sodium channels (VGSC) of mosquito vectors are the primary targets of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and other synthetic pyrethroids used in public health programmes. The knockdown resistant (kdr) mutations in VGSC are associated with the insecticide resistance especially in Anophelines. The present study is aimed to emphasize and demarcate the impact of three kdr-mutations such as L1014S, L1014F and L1014H on insecticide resistance. The membrane model of sodium transport domain of VGSC (STD-VGSC) was constructed using de novo approach based on domain and trans-membrane predictions. The comparative molecular modelling studies of wild type and mutant models of STD-VGSC revealed that L1014F mutant was observed to be near native to the wild type model in all the respects, but, L1014S and L1014H mutations showed drastic variations in the energy levels, root mean square fluctuations (RMSF) that resulted in conformational variations. The predicted binding sites also showed variable cavity volumes and RMSF in L1014S and L1014H mutants. Further, DDT also found be bound in near native manner to wild type in L1014F mutant and with variable orientation and affinities in L1014S and L1014H mutants. The variations and fluctuations observed in mutant structures explained that each mutation has its specific impact on the conformation of VGSC and its binding with DDT. The study provides new insights into the structure-function-correlations of mutant STD-VGSC structures and demonstrates the role and effects of kdr mutations on insecticide resistance in mosquito vectors.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-21

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

  6. 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

  7. A Mouse Model of Visual Perceptual Learning Reveals Alterations in Neuronal Coding and Dendritic Spine Density in the Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Genome-wide allelotyping of a new in vitro model system reveals early events in breast cancer progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zheng; Meng, Zhen Hang; Sayeed, Aejaz; Shalaby, Refaat; Ljung, Britt-Marie; Dairkee, Shanaz H

    2002-10-15

    Toward the goal of identifying early genetic losses, which mediate the release of human breast epithelium from replicative suppression leading to cellular immortalization, we have used a newly developed in vitro model system. This system consists of epithelial cultures derived from noncancerous breast tissue, treated with the chemical carcinogen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea, and continuously passaged to yield cell populations culminating in the immortal phenotype. Genome-wide allelotyping of early passage N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea-exposed cell populations revealed aberrations at >10% (18 of 169) loci examined. Allelic losses encompassing chromosomes 6q24-6q27, implicating immortalization-associated candidate genes, hZAC and SEN6, occurred in two independently derived cell lines before the Hayflick limit. Additional LOH sites were present in one cell line at 3p11-3p26, 11p15, and 20p12-13. Allelic losses reported in this cell line preceded detectable levels of telomerase activity and the occurrence of p53-related aberrations. Information gained from the search for early immortalization-associated genetic deletions in cultured cells was applied in a novel approach toward the analysis of morphologically normal terminal ductal lobular units microdissected from 20 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ. Notably, clonal allelic losses at chromosome 3p24 and 6q24 were an early occurrence in adjoining terminal ductal lobular units of a proportion of primary tumors, which displayed loss of heterozygosity (3 of 11 and 3 of 6, respectively). The biological insights provided by the new model system reported here strongly suggest that early allelic losses delineated in immortalized cultures and validated in vivo could serve as surrogate endpoints to assist in the identification and intervention of high-risk benign breast tissue, which sustains the potential for continuous proliferation.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Born term for high-energy meson-hadron collisions from QCD and chiral quark model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochs, W.; Shimada, T.

    1988-01-01

    Various experimental observations reveal a sizeable hard component in the high-energy 'soft' hadronic collisions. For primary meson beams we propose a QCD Born term which describes the dissociation of the primary meson into a quark-antiquark pair in the gluon field of the target. A pointlike effective pion-quark coupling is assumed as in the chiral quark model by Manohar and Georgi. We derive the total cross sections which for pion beams, for example, are given in terms of f π -2 and some properties of the hadronic final states. In particular, we stress the importance of studying three-jet events in meson-nucleon scattering and discuss the seagull effect. (orig.)

  14. Atomic force microscopy reveals multiple patterns of antenna organization in purple bacteria: implications for energy transduction mechanisms and membrane modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturgis, James N; Niederman, Robert A

    2008-01-01

    Recent topographs of the intracytoplasmic membrane (ICM) of purple bacteria obtained by atomic force microscopy (AFM) have provided the first surface views of the native architecture of a multicomponent biological membrane at submolecular resolution, representing an important landmark in structural biology. A variety of species-dependent, closely packed arrangements of light-harvesting (LH) complexes was revealed: the most highly organized was found in Rhodobacter sphaeroides in which the peripheral LH2 antenna was seen either in large clusters or in fixed rows interspersed among ordered arrays of dimeric LH1-reaction center (RC) core complexes. A more random organization was observed in other species containing both the LH1 and LH2 complexes, as typified by Rhododspirillum photometricum with randomly packed monomeric LH1-RC core complexes intermingled with large, paracrystalline domains of LH2 antenna. Surprisingly, no structures that could be identified as the ATP synthase or cytochrome bc (1) complexes were observed, which may reflect their localization at ICM vesicle poles or in curved membrane areas, out of view from the flat regions imaged by AFM. This possible arrangement of energy transducing complexes has required a reassessment of energy tranduction mechanisms which place the cytochrome bc (1) complex in close association with the RC. Instead, more plausible proposals must account for the movement of quinone redox species over considerable membrane distances on appropriate time scales. AFM, together with atomic resolution structures are also providing the basis for molecular modeling of the ICM that is leading to an improved picture of the supramolecular organization of photosynthetic complexes, as well as the forces that drive their segregation into distinct domains.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Multi-omics reveal the lifestyle of the acidophilic, mineral-oxidizing model species Leptospirillum ferriphilumT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christel, Stephan; Herold, Malte; Bellenberg, Sören; El Hajjami, Mohamed; Buetti-Dinh, Antoine; Pivkin, Igor V; Sand, Wolfgang; Wilmes, Paul; Poetsch, Ansgar; Dopson, Mark

    2017-11-17

    Leptospirillum ferriphilum plays a major role in acidic, metal rich environments where it represents one of the most prevalent iron oxidizers. These milieus include acid rock and mine drainage as well as biomining operations. Despite its perceived importance, no complete genome sequence of this model species' type strain is available, limiting the possibilities to investigate the strategies and adaptations Leptospirillum ferriphilum T applies to survive and compete in its niche. This study presents a complete, circular genome of Leptospirillum ferriphilum T DSM 14647 obtained by PacBio SMRT long read sequencing for use as a high quality reference. Analysis of the functionally annotated genome, mRNA transcripts, and protein concentrations revealed a previously undiscovered nitrogenase cluster for atmospheric nitrogen fixation and elucidated metabolic systems taking part in energy conservation, carbon fixation, pH homeostasis, heavy metal tolerance, oxidative stress response, chemotaxis and motility, quorum sensing, and biofilm formation. Additionally, mRNA transcript counts and protein concentrations were compared between cells grown in continuous culture using ferrous iron as substrate and bioleaching cultures containing chalcopyrite (CuFeS 2 ). Leptospirillum ferriphilum T adaptations to growth on chalcopyrite included a possibly enhanced production of reducing power, reduced carbon dioxide fixation, as well as elevated RNA transcripts and proteins involved in heavy metal resistance, with special emphasis on copper efflux systems. Finally, expression and translation of genes responsible for chemotaxis and motility were enhanced. IMPORTANCE Leptospirillum ferriphilum is one of the most important iron-oxidizers in the context of acidic and metal rich environments during moderately thermophilic biomining. A high-quality circular genome of Leptospirillum ferriphilum T coupled with functional omics data provides new insights into its metabolic properties, such as the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Kristensen

    2018-02-01

    , the CATS model isolated 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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.

  3. The landscape of chromosomal aberrations in breast cancer mouse models reveals driver-specific routes to tumorigenesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ben-David, Uri; Ha, Gavin; Khadka, Prasidda; Jin, Xin; Wong, Bang; Franke, Lude; Golub, Todd R.

    Aneuploidy and copy-number alterations (CNAs) are a hallmark of human cancer. Although genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) are commonly used to model human cancer, their chromosomal landscapes remain underexplored. Here we use gene expression profiles to infer CNAs in 3,108 samples from 45

  4. 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.

  5. Participatory Water Resources Modeling in a Water-Scarce Basin (Rio Sonora, Mexico) Reveals Uncertainty in Decision-Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, A. S.; Vivoni, E. R.; Halvorsen, K. E.; Kossak, D.

    2014-12-01

    The Rio Sonora Basin (RSB) in northwest Mexico has a semi-arid and highly variable climate along with urban and agricultural pressures on water resources. Three participatory modeling workshops were held in the RSB in spring 2013. A model of the water resources system, consisting of a watershed hydrology model, a model of the water infrastructure, and groundwater models, was developed deliberatively in the workshops, along with scenarios of future climate and development. Participants were asked to design water resources management strategies by choosing from a range of supply augmentation and demand reduction measures associated with water conservation. Participants assessed water supply reliability, measured as the average daily supply divided by daily demand for historical and future periods, by probing with the climate and development scenarios. Pre- and post-workshop-surveys were developed and administered, based on conceptual models of workshop participants' beliefs regarding modeling and local water resources. The survey results indicate that participants believed their modeling abilities increased and beliefs in the utility of models increased as a result of the workshops. The selected water resources strategies varied widely among participants. Wastewater reuse for industry and aquifer recharge were popular options, but significant numbers of participants thought that inter-basin transfers and desalination were viable. The majority of participants indicated that substantial increases in agricultural water efficiency could be achieved. On average, participants chose strategies that produce reliabilities over the historical and future periods of 95%, but more than 20% of participants were apparently satisfied with reliabilities lower than 80%. The wide range of strategies chosen and associated reliabilities indicate that there is a substantial degree of uncertainty in how future water resources decisions could be made in the region.

  6. Multi-process Late Quaternary landscape evolution modelling reveals lags in climate response over small spatial scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temme, A.J.A.M.; Veldkamp, A.

    2009-01-01

    Landscapes evolve in complex, non-linear ways over Quaternary timespans. Integrated geomorphological field studies usually yield plausible hypotheses about timing and impact of process activity. Landscape Evolution Models (LEMs) have the potential to test and falsify these landscape evolution

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

    KAUST Repository

    Lovrics, Anna; Gao, Yu; Juhá sz, Bianka; Bock, Istvá n; Byrne, Helen M; Dinnyé s, Andrá s; Ková cs, Krisztiá n A

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. What Population Reveals about Individual Cell Identity: Single-Cell Parameter Estimation of Models of Gene Expression in Yeast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artémis Llamosi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Significant cell-to-cell heterogeneity is ubiquitously observed in isogenic cell populations. Consequently, parameters of models of intracellular processes, usually fitted to population-averaged data, should rather be fitted to individual cells to obtain a population of models of similar but non-identical individuals. Here, we propose a quantitative modeling framework that attributes specific parameter values to single cells for a standard model of gene expression. We combine high quality single-cell measurements of the response of yeast cells to repeated hyperosmotic shocks and state-of-the-art statistical inference approaches for mixed-effects models to infer multidimensional parameter distributions describing the population, and then derive specific parameters for individual cells. The analysis of single-cell parameters shows that single-cell identity (e.g. gene expression dynamics, cell size, growth rate, mother-daughter relationships is, at least partially, captured by the parameter values of gene expression models (e.g. rates of transcription, translation and degradation. Our approach shows how to use the rich information contained into longitudinal single-cell data to infer parameters that can faithfully represent single-cell identity.

  10. 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.

  11. Revealing Rembrandt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Parker

    2014-04-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

    IgG autoantibodies against aquaporin-4 (AQP4), an astrocytic water channel. Antibodies against AQP4 can damage astrocytes via complement, but NMO histopathology also shows demyelination, and - importantly - axon injury, which may determine permanent deficits following NMO relapses. The dynamics...... antibodies in mice. RESULTS: We found that human AQP4 antibodies caused acute astrocyte depletion with initial oligodendrocyte survival. Within two hours of antibody application, we observed secondary axon injury in the form of progressive swellings. Astrocyte toxicity and axon damage were dependent on 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...... or activated macrophages, increasing the phagocytic ability of resting and activated macrophages simultaneously and lastly, adding additional macrophages to the site of inflammation. The latter seems counter-intuitive at first glance, but nevertheless it appears to be the most promising, as evidenced by recent...

  16. Within-host selection of drug resistance in a mouse model reveals dose-dependent selection of atovaquone resistance mutations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nuralitha, Suci; Murdiyarso, Lydia S.; Siregar, Josephine E.; Syafruddin, Din; Roelands, Jessica; Verhoef, Jan; Hoepelman, Andy I.M.; Marzuki, Sangkot

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary selection of malaria parasites within an individual host plays a critical role in the emergence of drug resistance. We have compared the selection of atovaquone resistance mutants in mouse models reflecting two different causes of failure of malaria treatment, an inadequate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quilodrán, Claudio S; Currat, Mathias; Montoya-Burgos, Juan I

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debashis Barik

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A General Model of Distant Hybridization Reveals the Conditions for Extinction in Atlantic Salmon and Brown Trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quilodrán, Claudio S.; Currat, Mathias; Montoya-Burgos, Juan I.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25003336

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Disentangling and modeling interactions in fish with burst-and-coast swimming reveal distinct alignment and attraction behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calovi, Daniel S.; Litchinko, Alexandra; Lopez, Ugo; Chaté, Hugues; Sire, Clément

    2018-01-01

    The development of tracking methods for automatically quantifying individual behavior and social interactions in animal groups has open up new perspectives for building quantitative and predictive models of collective behavior. In this work, we combine extensive data analyses with a modeling approach to measure, disentangle, and reconstruct the actual functional form of interactions involved in the coordination of swimming in Rummy-nose tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus). This species of fish performs burst-and-coast swimming behavior that consists of sudden heading changes combined with brief accelerations followed by quasi-passive, straight decelerations. We quantify the spontaneous stochastic behavior of a fish and the interactions that govern wall avoidance and the reaction to a neighboring fish, the latter by exploiting general symmetry constraints for the interactions. In contrast with previous experimental works, we find that both attraction and alignment behaviors control the reaction of fish to a neighbor. We then exploit these results to build a model of spontaneous burst-and-coast swimming and interactions of fish, with all parameters being estimated or directly measured from experiments. This model quantitatively reproduces the key features of the motion and spatial distributions observed in experiments with a single fish and with two fish. This demonstrates the power of our method that exploits large amounts of data for disentangling and fully characterizing the interactions that govern collective behaviors in animals groups. PMID:29324853

  6. 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.

  7. Model-Driven Analysis of Eyeblink Classical Conditioning Reveals the Underlying Structure of Cerebellar Plasticity and Neuronal Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonietti, Alberto; Casellato, Claudia; D'Angelo, Egidio; Pedrocchi, Alessandra

    The cerebellum plays a critical role in sensorimotor control. However, how the specific circuits and plastic mechanisms of the cerebellum are engaged in closed-loop processing is still unclear. We developed an artificial sensorimotor control system embedding a detailed spiking cerebellar microcircuit with three bidirectional plasticity sites. This proved able to reproduce a cerebellar-driven associative paradigm, the eyeblink classical conditioning (EBCC), in which a precise time relationship between an unconditioned stimulus (US) and a conditioned stimulus (CS) is established. We challenged the spiking model to fit an experimental data set from human subjects. Two subsequent sessions of EBCC acquisition and extinction were recorded and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied on the cerebellum to alter circuit function and plasticity. Evolutionary algorithms were used to find the near-optimal model parameters to reproduce the behaviors of subjects in the different sessions of the protocol. The main finding is that the optimized cerebellar model was able to learn to anticipate (predict) conditioned responses with accurate timing and success rate, demonstrating fast acquisition, memory stabilization, rapid extinction, and faster reacquisition as in EBCC in humans. The firing of Purkinje cells (PCs) and deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) changed during learning under the control of synaptic plasticity, which evolved at different rates, with a faster acquisition in the cerebellar cortex than in DCN synapses. Eventually, a reduced PC activity released DCN discharge just after the CS, precisely anticipating the US and causing the eyeblink. Moreover, a specific alteration in cortical plasticity explained the EBCC changes induced by cerebellar TMS in humans. In this paper, for the first time, it is shown how closed-loop simulations, using detailed cerebellar microcircuit models, can be successfully used to fit real experimental data sets. Thus, the changes of the

  8. A Mouse Model of Visual Perceptual Learning Reveals Alterations in Neuronal Coding and Dendritic Spine Density in the Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng

    2016-01-01

    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 p...

  9. High resolution linkage maps of the model organism Petunia reveal substantial synteny decay with the related genome of tomato

    OpenAIRE

    Bossolini, Eligio; Klahre, Ulrich; Brandenburg, Anna; Reinhardt, Didier; Kuhlemeier, Cris

    2011-01-01

    Two linkage maps were constructed for the model plant Petunia. Mapping populations were obtained by crossing the wild species Petunia axillaris subsp. axillaris with Petunia inflata, and Petunia axillaris subsp. parodii with Petunia exserta. Both maps cover the seven chromosomes of Petunia, and span 970 centimorgans (cM) and 700 cM of the genomes, respectively. In total, 207 markers were mapped. Of these, 28 are multilocus amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers and 179 are gene...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Tom E X

    2007-07-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Xin; Ji-Ping Huang

    2017-01-01

    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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Xianghuo

    2010-07-01

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

  18. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jia, Deshui; Yao, Ming; Yan, Mingxia; Wang, Xiaomin; Hao, Xiangfang; Liang, Linhui; Liu, Lei; Kong, Hanwei; He, Xianghuo; Li, Jinjun

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Source model and Coulomb stress change of 2017 Mw 6.5 Philippine (Ormoc) Earthquake revealed by SAR interferometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, M. C.; Hu, J. C.; Yang, Y. H.; Hashimoto, M.; Aurelio, M.; Su, Z.; Escudero, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Multi-sight and high spatial resolution interferometric SAR data enhances our ability for mapping detailed coseismic deformation to estimate fault rupture model and to infer the Coulomb stress change associated with a big earthquake. Here, we use multi-sight coseismic interferograms acquired by ALOS-2 and Sentinel-1A satellites to estimate the fault geometry and slip distribution on the fault plane of the 2017 Mw 6.5 Ormoc Earthquake in Leyte island of Philippine. The best fitting model predicts that the coseismic rupture occurs along a fault plane with strike of 325.8º and dip of 78.5ºE. This model infers that the rupture of 2017 Ormoc earthquake is dominated by left-lateral slip with minor dip-slip motion, consistent with the left-lateral strike-slip Philippine fault system. The fault tip has propagated to the ground surface, and the predicted coseismic slip on the surface is about 1 m located at 6.5 km Northeast of Kananga city. Significant slip is concentrated on the fault patches at depth of 0-8 km and an along-strike distance of 20 km with varying slip magnitude from 0.3 m to 2.3 m along the southwest segment of this seismogenic fault. Two minor coseismic fault patches are predicted underneath of the Tononan geothermal field and the creeping segment of the northwest portion of this seismogenic fault. This implies that the high geothermal gradient underneath of the Tongonan geothermal filed could prevent heated rock mass from the coseismic failure. The seismic moment release of our preferred fault model is 7.78×1018 Nm, equivalent to Mw 6.6 event. The Coulomb failure stress (CFS) calculated by the preferred fault model predicts significant positive CFS change on the northwest segment of the Philippine fault in Leyte Island which has coseismic slip deficit and is absent from aftershocks. Consequently, this segment should be considered to have increasing of risk for future seismic hazard.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of clinically relevant MPL mutations in the transmembrane domain revealed at the atomic level through computational modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tai-Sung; Kantarjian, Hagop; Ma, Wanlong; Yeh, Chen-Hsiung; Giles, Francis; Albitar, Maher

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in the thrombopoietin receptor (MPL) may activate relevant pathways and lead to chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). The mechanisms of MPL activation remain elusive because of a lack of experimental structures. Modern computational biology techniques were utilized to explore the mechanisms of MPL protein activation due to various mutations. Transmembrane (TM) domain predictions, homology modeling, ab initio protein structure prediction, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to build structural dynamic models of wild-type and four clinically observed mutants of MPL. The simulation results suggest that S505 and W515 are important in keeping the TM domain in its correct position within the membrane. Mutations at either of these two positions cause movement of the TM domain, altering the conformation of the nearby intracellular domain in unexpected ways, and may cause the unwanted constitutive activation of MPL's kinase partner, JAK2. Our findings represent the first full-scale molecular dynamics simulations of the wild-type and clinically observed mutants of the MPL protein, a critical element of the MPL-JAK2-STAT signaling pathway. In contrast to usual explanations for the activation mechanism that are based on the relative translational movement between rigid domains of MPL, our results suggest that mutations within the TM region could result in conformational changes including tilt and rotation (azimuthal) angles along the membrane axis. Such changes may significantly alter the conformation of the adjacent and intrinsically flexible intracellular domain. Hence, caution should be exercised when interpreting experimental evidence based on rigid models of cytokine receptors or similar systems.

  7. Terrane-Scale Metastability in Subducted Himalayan Continental Crust as Revealed by Integrated Petrological and Geodynamic Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palin, R. M.; Reuber, G. S.; White, R. W.; Kaus, B. J. P.; Weller, O. M.

    2017-12-01

    The Tso Morari massif, northwest India, is one of only two regions in the Himalayan Range that exposes subduction-related ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphic rocks. The tectonic evolution of the massif is strongly debated, however, as reported pressure estimates for peak metamorphism range between 2.4 GPa and 4.8 GPa. Such ambiguity hinders effective lithospheric-scale modeling of the early stages of the orogen's evolution. We present the results of integrated petrological and geodynamic modeling (Palin et al., 2017, EPSL) that provide new quantitative constraints on the prograde-to-peak pressure-temperature-time (P-T-t) path, and predict the parageneses that felsic and mafic components of the massif crust should have formed under equilibrium conditions. Our model shows that peak P-T conditions of 2.6-2.8 GPa and 600-620 °C, representative of subduction to 90-100 km depth (assuming lithostatic pressure), were reached just 3 Myr after the onset of collision. These P-T-t constraints correlate well with those reported for similar UHP eclogite in the along-strike Kaghan Valley, Pakistan, suggesting that the northwest Himalaya contains dismembered remnants of a 400-km long UHP terrane comparable in size to the Western Gneiss Region, Norway, and the Dabie-Sulu belt, China. The extremely high pressures (up to 4.8 GPa) for peak metamorphism reported by some workers are likely to be unreliable due to thermobarometry having been performed on minerals that did not represent equilibrium assemblages. Furthermore, key high-P minerals predicted to form in subducted Tso Morari continental crust (e.g. jadeite, Mg-rich garnet) are absent from natural samples in the region, reflecting the widespread metastable preservation of lower-pressure protolith assemblages during subduction and exhumation. This result questions the reliability of geodynamic simulations of orogenesis that are commonly predicated on equilibrium metamorphism operating continuously throughout tectonic cycles.

  8. 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.

  9. Variability of the 2014-present inflation source at Mauna Loa volcano revealed using time-dependent modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johanson, I. A.; Miklius, A.; Okubo, P.; Montgomery-Brown, E. K.

    2017-12-01

    Mauna Loa volcano is the largest active volcano on earth and in the 20thcentury produced roughly one eruption every seven years. The 33-year quiescence since its last eruption 1984 has been punctuated by three inflation episodes where magma likely entered the shallow plumbing system, but was not erupted. The most recent began in 2014 and is ongoing. Unlike prior inflation episodes, the current one is accompanied by a significant increase in shallow seismicity, a pattern that is similar to earlier pre-eruptive periods. We apply the Kalman filter based Network Inversion Filter (NIF) to the 2014-present inflation episode using data from a 27 station continuous GPS network on Mauna Loa. The model geometry consists of a point volume source and tabular, dike-like body, which have previously been shown to provide a good fit to deformation data from a 2004-2009 inflation episode. The tabular body is discretized into 1km x 1km segments. For each day, the NIF solves for the rates of opening on the tabular body segments (subject to smoothing and positivity constraints), volume change rate in the point source, and slip rate on a deep décollement fault surface, which is constrained to a constant (no transient slip allowed). The Kalman filter in the NIF provides for smoothing both forwards and backwards in time. The model shows that the 2014-present inflation episode occurred as several sub-events, rather than steady inflation. It shows some spatial variability in the location of the inflation sub-events. In the model, opening in the tabular body is initially concentrated below the volcano's summit, in an area roughly outlined by shallow seismicity. In October, 2015 opening in the tabular body shifts to be centered beneath the southwest portion of the summit and seismicity becomes concentrated in this area. By late 2016, the opening rate on the tabular body decreases and is once again under the central part of summit. This modeling approach has allowed us to track these

  10. Neural computational modeling reveals a major role of corticospinal gating of central oscillations in the generation of essential tremor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-en Qu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Essential tremor, also referred to as familial tremor, is an autosomal dominant genetic disease and the most common movement disorder. It typically involves a postural and motor tremor of the hands, head or other part of the body. Essential tremor is driven by a central oscillation signal in the brain. However, the corticospinal mechanisms involved in the generation of essential tremor are unclear. Therefore, in this study, we used a neural computational model that includes both monosynaptic and multisynaptic corticospinal pathways interacting with a propriospinal neuronal network. A virtual arm model is driven by the central oscillation signal to simulate tremor activity behavior. Cortical descending commands are classified as alpha or gamma through monosynaptic or multisynaptic corticospinal pathways, which converge respectively on alpha or gamma motoneurons in the spinal cord. Several scenarios are evaluated based on the central oscillation signal passing down to the spinal motoneurons via each descending pathway. The simulated behaviors are compared with clinical essential tremor characteristics to identify the corticospinal pathways responsible for transmitting the central oscillation signal. A propriospinal neuron with strong cortical inhibition performs a gating function in the generation of essential tremor. Our results indicate that the propriospinal neuronal network is essential for relaying the central oscillation signal and the production of essential tremor.

  11. Neural computational modeling reveals a major role of corticospinal gating of central oscillations in the generation of essential tremor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Hong-En; Niu, Chuanxin M; Li, Si; Hao, Man-Zhao; Hu, Zi-Xiang; Xie, Qing; Lan, Ning

    2017-12-01

    Essential tremor, also referred to as familial tremor, is an autosomal dominant genetic disease and the most common movement disorder. It typically involves a postural and motor tremor of the hands, head or other part of the body. Essential tremor is driven by a central oscillation signal in the brain. However, the corticospinal mechanisms involved in the generation of essential tremor are unclear. Therefore, in this study, we used a neural computational model that includes both monosynaptic and multisynaptic corticospinal pathways interacting with a propriospinal neuronal network. A virtual arm model is driven by the central oscillation signal to simulate tremor activity behavior. Cortical descending commands are classified as alpha or gamma through monosynaptic or multisynaptic corticospinal pathways, which converge respectively on alpha or gamma motoneurons in the spinal cord. Several scenarios are evaluated based on the central oscillation signal passing down to the spinal motoneurons via each descending pathway. The simulated behaviors are compared with clinical essential tremor characteristics to identify the corticospinal pathways responsible for transmitting the central oscillation signal. A propriospinal neuron with strong cortical inhibition performs a gating function in the generation of essential tremor. Our results indicate that the propriospinal neuronal network is essential for relaying the central oscillation signal and the production of essential tremor.

  12. 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

  13. Investigation into diffusion induced plastic deformation behavior in hollow lithium ion battery electrode revealed by analytical model and atomistic simulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Jia; Fang, Qihong; Wu, Hong; Liu, Youwen; Wen, Pihua

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Diffusion induced stress is established. • Yield stress is dependent upon concentration. • Plastic deformation induced stress lowers tensile stress. • Plastic deformation suppresses crack nucleation. • Plastic deformation occurs not only at lithiated phase but also at electrode interior. - Abstract: This paper is theoretically suggested to describe diffusion induced stress in the elastoplastic hollow spherical silicon electrode for plastic deformation using both analytical model and molecular simulation. Based on the plastic deformation and the yield criterion, we develop this model accounting for the lithium-ion diffusion effect in hollow electrode, focusing on the concentration and stress distributions undergoing lithium-ion insertion. The results show that the two ways, applied compressive stress to inner surface or limited inner surface with higher concentration using biological membranes maintaining concentration difference, lead to the compressive stress induced by the lithium-ion diffusion effect. Hollow spherical electrode reduces effectively diffusion induced stress through controlling and tuning electrode parameters to obtain the reasonably low yield strength. According to MD simulations, plastic deformation phenomenon not only occurs at interface layer of lithiated phase, but also penetrates at electrode interior owning to confinement imposed by lithiated phase. These criteria that radial and hoop stresses reduce dramatically when plastic deformation occurs near the end faces of hollow electrode, may help guide development of new materials for lithium-ion batteries with enhanced mechanical durability, by means of reasonable designing yield strength to maintain mechanical stress below fracture strength, thereby increasing battery life.

  14. Gaze patterns reveal how texts are remembered: A mental model of what was described is favored over the text itself

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Traub, Franziska; Johansson, Roger; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    or incongruent with the spatial layout of the text itself. 28 participants read and recalled three texts: (1) a scene description congruent with the spatial layout of the text; (2) a scene description incongruent with the spatial layout of the text; and (3) a control text without any spatial scene content....... Recollection was performed orally while gazing at a blank screen. 
Results demonstrate that participant’s gaze patterns during recall more closely reflect the spatial layout of the scene than the physical locations of the text. We conclude that participants formed a mental model that represents the content...... of what was described, i.e., visuospatial information of the scene, which then guided the retrieval process. During their retellings, they moved the eyes across the blank screen as if they saw the scene in front of them. Whereas previous studies on the involvement of eye movements in mental imagery tasks...

  15. Pluripotent stem cell models of Shwachman-Diamond syndrome reveal a common mechanism for pancreatic and hematopoietic dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulpule, Asmin; Kelley, James M.; Lensch, M. William; McPherson, Jade; Park, In Hyun; Hartung, Odelya; Nakamura, Tomoka; Schlaeger, Thorsten M.; Shimamura, Akiko; Daley, George Q.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS), a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and hematopoietic dysfunction, is caused by mutations in the Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome (SBDS) gene. We created human pluripotent stem cell models of SDS by knock-down of SBDS in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and generation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from two SDS patients. SBDS-deficient hESCs and iPSCs manifest deficits in exocrine pancreatic and hematopoietic differentiation in vitro, enhanced apoptosis and elevated protease levels in culture supernatants, which could be reversed by restoring SBDS protein expression through transgene rescue or by supplementing culture media with protease inhibitors. Protease-mediated auto-digestion provides a mechanistic link between the pancreatic and hematopoietic phenotypes in SDS, highlighting the utility of hESCs and iPSCs in obtaining novel insights into human disease. PMID:23602541

  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

    patients with idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) and 36 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). The data were divided into training and validation datasets and features reflecting EEG and EOG characteristics based on topics were computed. The most discriminative feature subset for separating i...... and the ability to maintain NREM and REM sleep have potential as early PD biomarkers. Data-driven analysis of sleep may contribute to the evaluation of neurodegenerative patients. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.......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...

  17. Perturbations in DNA structure upon interaction with porphyrins revealed by chemical probes, DNA footprinting and molecular modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, K G; Neidle, S

    1995-06-01

    The interactions of several porphyrins with a 74 base-pair DNA sequence have been examined by footprinting and chemical protection methods. Tetra-(4-N-methyl-(pyridyl)) porphyrin (TMPy), two of its metal complexes and tetra-(4-trimethylanilinium) porphyrin (TMAP) bind to closely similar AT-rich sequences. The three TMPy ligands produce modest changes in DNA structure and base accessibility on binding, in contrast to the large-scale conformational changes observed with TMAP. Molecular modelling studies have been performed on TMPy and TMAP bound in the AT-rich minor groove of an oligonucleotide. These have shown that significant structural change is needed to accommodate the bulky trimethyl substituent groups of TMAP, in contrast to the facile minor groove fit of TMPy.

  18. Zebrafish model of tuberous sclerosis complex reveals cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous functions of mutant tuberin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seok-Hyung Kim

    2011-03-01

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC is an autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in either the TSC1 (encodes hamartin or TSC2 (encodes tuberin genes. Patients with TSC have hamartomas in various organs throughout the whole body, most notably in the brain, skin, eye, heart, kidney and lung. To study the development of hamartomas, we generated a zebrafish model of TSC featuring a nonsense mutation (vu242 in the tsc2 gene. This tsc2vu242 allele encodes a truncated Tuberin protein lacking the GAP domain, which is required for inhibition of Rheb and of the TOR kinase within TORC1. We show that tsc2vu242 is a recessive larval-lethal mutation that causes increased cell size in the brain and liver. Greatly elevated TORC1 signaling is observed in tsc2vu242/vu242 homozygous zebrafish, and is moderately increased in tsc2vu242/+ heterozygotes. Forebrain neurons are poorly organized in tsc2vu242/vu242 homozygous mutants, which have extensive gray and white matter disorganization and ectopically positioned cells. Genetic mosaic analyses demonstrate that tsc2 limits TORC1 signaling in a cell-autonomous manner. However, in chimeric animals, tsc2vu242/vu242 mutant cells also mislocalize wild-type host cells in the forebrain in a non-cell-autonomous manner. These results demonstrate a highly conserved role of tsc2 in zebrafish and establish a new animal model for studies of TSC. The finding of a non-cell-autonomous function of mutant cells might help explain the formation of brain hamartomas and cortical malformations in human TSC.

  19. The initiation and tectonic regimes of the Cenozoic extension in the Bohai Bay Basin, North China revealed by numerical modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lu; Qiu, Nansheng

    2017-06-01

    In this study the dynamic aspects of the Cenozoic extension in the Bohai Bay Basin are considered in the context of initial thickness of the crust and lithosphere, tectonic force, strain rate and thermal rheology, which are directly or indirectly estimated from a pure shear extensional model. It is accordingly reasonable to expect that, in the Bohai Bay Basin, the thickness variation could be present prior to the initiation of extension. The extensional deformation is localized by a thickness variation of the crust and lithosphere and the heterogeneity of the initial thickness plays an important role in rifting dynamics. The onset of rifting requires a critical tectonic force (initial tectonic force) to be applied, which then immediately begins to decay gradually. Rifting will only occur when the total effective buoyancy force of the subducting slab reaches a critical level, after a certain amount of subduction taking place. The magnitude of the tectonic force decreases with time in the early phase of rifting, which indicates the weakening due to the increase in geothermal gradient. In order to deform the continental lithosphere within the currently accepted maximum magnitude of the force derived from subducted slab roll-back, the following conditions should be satisfied: (1) the thickness of the continental lithosphere is significantly thin and less than 125 km and (2) the lithosphere has a wet and hot rheology, which provides implications for rheological layering in continental lithosphere. Our results are strongly supported by the ;crème brûlée; model, in which the lower crust and mantle are relatively ductile.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. In trans complementation of lethal factor reveal roles in colonization and dissemination in a murine mouse model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Lowe

    Full Text Available Lethal factor (LF is a component of the B. anthracis exotoxin and critical for pathogenesis. The roles of LF in early anthrax pathogenesis, such as colonization and dissemination from the initial site of infection, are poorly understood. In mice models of infection, LF-deficient strains either have altered dissemination patterns or do not colonize, precluding analysis of the role of LF in colonization and dissemination from the portal of entry. Previous reports indicate rabbit and guinea pig models infected with LF-deficient strains have decreased virulence, yet the inability to use bioluminescent imaging techniques to track B. anthracis growth and dissemination in these hosts makes analysis of early pathogenesis challenging. In this study, the roles of LF early in infection were analyzed using bioluminescent signature tagged libraries of B. anthracis with varying ratios of LF-producing and LF-deficient clones. Populations where all clones produced LF and populations where only 40% of clones produce LF were equally virulent. The 40% LF-producing clones trans complimented the LF mutants and permitted them to colonize and disseminate. Decreases of the LF producing strains to 10% or 0.3% of the population led to increased host survival and decreased trans complementation of the LF mutants. A library with 10% LF producing clones could replicate and disseminate, but fewer clones disseminated and the mutant clones were less competitive than wild type. The inoculum with 0.3% LF producing clones could not colonize the host. This strongly suggests that between 10% and 0.3% of the population must produce LF in order to colonize. In total, these findings suggest that a threshold of LF must be produced in order for colonization and dissemination to occur in vivo. These observations suggest that LF has a major role in the early stages of colonization and dissemination.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Multistate Models Reveal Long-Term Trends of Northern Spotted Owls in the Absence of a Novel Competitor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Kroll

    Full Text Available Quantifying spatial and temporal variability in population trends is a critical aspect of successful management of imperiled species. We evaluated territory occupancy dynamics of northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina, California, USA, 1990-2014. The study area possessed two unique aspects. First, timber management has occurred for over 100 years, resulting in dramatically different forest successional and structural conditions compared to other areas. Second, the barred owl (Strix varia, an exotic congener known to exert significant negative effects on spotted owls, has not colonized the study area. We used a Bayesian dynamic multistate model to evaluate if territory occupancy of reproductive spotted owls has declined as in other study areas. The state-space approach for dynamic multistate modeling imputes the number of territories for each nesting state and allows for the estimation of longer-term trends in occupied or reproductive territories from longitudinal studies. The multistate approach accounts for different detection probabilities by nesting state (to account for either inherent differences in detection or for the use of different survey methods for different occupancy states and reduces bias in state assignment. Estimated linear trends in the number of reproductive territories suggested an average loss of approximately one half territory per year (-0.55, 90% CRI: -0.76, -0.33, in one management block and a loss of 0.15 per year (-0.15, 90% CRI: -0.24, -0.07, in another management block during the 25 year observation period. Estimated trends in the third management block were also negative, but substantial uncertainty existed in the estimate (-0.09, 90% CRI: -0.35, 0.17. Our results indicate that the number of territories occupied by northern spotted owl pairs remained relatively constant over a 25 year period (-0.07, 90% CRI: -0.20, 0.05; -0.01, 90% CRI: -0.19, 0.16; -0.16, 90% CRI: -0.40, 0.06. However, we cannot exclude

  9. Multistate Models Reveal Long-Term Trends of Northern Spotted Owls in the Absence of a Novel Competitor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroll, Andrew J; Jones, Jay E; Stringer, Angela B; Meekins, Douglas J

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying spatial and temporal variability in population trends is a critical aspect of successful management of imperiled species. We evaluated territory occupancy dynamics of northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina), California, USA, 1990-2014. The study area possessed two unique aspects. First, timber management has occurred for over 100 years, resulting in dramatically different forest successional and structural conditions compared to other areas. Second, the barred owl (Strix varia), an exotic congener known to exert significant negative effects on spotted owls, has not colonized the study area. We used a Bayesian dynamic multistate model to evaluate if territory occupancy of reproductive spotted owls has declined as in other study areas. The state-space approach for dynamic multistate modeling imputes the number of territories for each nesting state and allows for the estimation of longer-term trends in occupied or reproductive territories from longitudinal studies. The multistate approach accounts for different detection probabilities by nesting state (to account for either inherent differences in detection or for the use of different survey methods for different occupancy states) and reduces bias in state assignment. Estimated linear trends in the number of reproductive territories suggested an average loss of approximately one half territory per year (-0.55, 90% CRI: -0.76, -0.33), in one management block and a loss of 0.15 per year (-0.15, 90% CRI: -0.24, -0.07), in another management block during the 25 year observation period. Estimated trends in the third management block were also negative, but substantial uncertainty existed in the estimate (-0.09, 90% CRI: -0.35, 0.17). Our results indicate that the number of territories occupied by northern spotted owl pairs remained relatively constant over a 25 year period (-0.07, 90% CRI: -0.20, 0.05; -0.01, 90% CRI: -0.19, 0.16; -0.16, 90% CRI: -0.40, 0.06). However, we cannot exclude small

  10. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fichorova, Raina N.; Mendonca, Kevin; Yamamoto, Hidemi S.; Murray, Ryan; Chandra, Neelima; Doncel, Gustavo F.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Seasonal Trophic Shift of Littoral Consumers in Eutrophic Lake Taihu (China Revealed by a Two-Source Mixing Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiong Zhou

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated the seasonal variation in the contributions of planktonic and benthic resources to 11 littoral predators in eutrophic Lake Taihu (China from 2004 to 2005. Seasonal fluctuations in consumer σ13C and σ15N were attributed to the combined impacts of temporal variation in isotopic signatures of basal resources and the diet shift of fishes. Based on a two-end-member mixing model, all target consumers relied on energy sources from coupled benthic and planktonic pathways, but the predominant energy source for most species was highly variable across seasons, showing seasonal trophic shift of littoral consumers. Seasonality in energy mobilization of consumers focused on two aspects: (1 the species number of consumers that relied mainly on planktonic carbon showed the lowest values in the fall and the highest during spring/summer, and (2 most consumer species showed seasonal variation in the percentages of planktonic reliance. We concluded that seasonal trophic shifts of fishes and invertebrates were driven by phytoplankton production, but benthic resources were also important seasonally in supporting littoral consumers in Meiliang Bay. Energy mobilization of carnivorous fishes was more subject to the impact of resource availability than omnivorous species.

  14. An Exponential Regression Model Reveals the Continuous Development of B Cell Subpopulations Used as Reference Values in Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Königs

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available B lymphocytes are key players in humoral immunity, expressing diverse surface immunoglobulin receptors directed against specific antigenic epitopes. The development and profile of distinct subpopulations have gained awareness in the setting of primary immunodeficiency disorders, primary or secondary autoimmunity and as therapeutic targets of specific antibodies in various diseases. The major B cell subpopulations in peripheral blood include naïve (CD19+ or CD20+IgD+CD27−, non-switched memory (CD19+ or CD20+IgD+CD27+ and switched memory B cells (CD19+ or CD20+IgD−CD27+. Furthermore, less common B cell subpopulations have also been described as having a role in the suppressive capacity of B cells to maintain self-tolerance. Data on reference values for B cell subpopulations are limited and only available for older age groups, neglecting the continuous process of human B cell development in children and adolescents. This study was designed to establish an exponential regression model to produce continuous reference values for main B cell subpopulations to reflect the dynamic maturation of the human immune system in healthy children.

  15. Revealing additional preference heterogeneity with an extended random parameter logit model: the case of extra virgin olive oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Yangui

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Methods that account for preference heterogeneity have received a significant amount of attention in recent literature. Most of them have focused on preference heterogeneity around the mean of the random parameters, which has been specified as a function of socio-demographic characteristics. This paper aims at analyzing consumers’ preferences towards extra-virgin olive oil in Catalonia using a methodological framework with two novelties over past studies: 1 it accounts for both preference heterogeneity around the mean and the variance; and 2 it considers both socio-demographic characteristics of consumers as well as their attitudinal factors. Estimated coefficients and moments of willingness to pay (WTP distributions are compared with those obtained from alternative Random Parameter Logit (RPL models. Results suggest that the proposed framework increases the goodness-of-fit and provides more useful insights for policy analysis. The most important attributes affecting consumers’ preferences towards extra virgin olive oil are the price and the product’s origin. The consumers perceive the organic olive oil attribute negatively, as they think that it is not worth paying a premium for a product that is healthy in nature.

  16. A spatially resolved network spike in model neuronal cultures reveals nucleation centers, circular traveling waves and drifting spiral waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paraskevov, A V; Zendrikov, D K

    2017-03-23

    We show that in model neuronal cultures, where the probability of interneuronal connection formation decreases exponentially with increasing distance between the neurons, there exists a small number of spatial nucleation centers of a network spike, from where the synchronous spiking activity starts propagating in the network typically in the form of circular traveling waves. The number of nucleation centers and their spatial locations are unique and unchanged for a given realization of neuronal network but are different for different networks. In contrast, if the probability of interneuronal connection formation is independent of the distance between neurons, then the nucleation centers do not arise and the synchronization of spiking activity during a network spike occurs spatially uniform throughout the network. Therefore one can conclude that spatial proximity of connections between neurons is important for the formation of nucleation centers. It is also shown that fluctuations of the spatial density of neurons at their random homogeneous distribution typical for the experiments in vitro do not determine the locations of the nucleation centers. The simulation results are qualitatively consistent with the experimental observations.

  17. A mouse model for creatine transporter deficiency reveals early onset cognitive impairment and neuropathology associated with brain aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baroncelli, Laura; Molinaro, Angelo; Cacciante, Francesco; Alessandrì, Maria Grazia; Napoli, Debora; Putignano, Elena; Tola, Jonida; Leuzzi, Vincenzo; Cioni, Giovanni; Pizzorusso, Tommaso

    2016-10-01

    Mutations in the creatine (Cr) transporter (CrT) gene lead to cerebral creatine deficiency syndrome-1 (CCDS1), an X-linked metabolic disorder characterized by cerebral Cr deficiency causing intellectual disability, seizures, movement and autistic-like behavioural disturbances, language and speech impairment. Since no data are available about the neural and molecular underpinnings of this disease, we performed a longitudinal analysis of behavioural and pathological alterations associated with CrT deficiency in a CCDS1 mouse model. We found precocious cognitive and autistic-like defects, mimicking the early key features of human CCDS1. Moreover, mutant mice displayed a progressive impairment of short and long-term declarative memory denoting an early brain aging. Pathological examination showed a prominent loss of GABAergic synapses, marked activation of microglia, reduction of hippocampal neurogenesis and the accumulation of autofluorescent lipofuscin. Our data suggest that brain Cr depletion causes both early intellectual disability and late progressive cognitive decline, and identify novel targets to design intervention strategies aimed at overcoming brain CCDS1 alterations. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. High resolution linkage maps of the model organism Petunia reveal substantial synteny decay with the related genome of tomato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossolini, Eligio; Klahre, Ulrich; Brandenburg, Anna; Reinhardt, Didier; Kuhlemeier, Cris

    2011-04-01

    Two linkage maps were constructed for the model plant Petunia. Mapping populations were obtained by crossing the wild species Petunia axillaris subsp. axillaris with Petunia inflata, and Petunia axillaris subsp. parodii with Petunia exserta. Both maps cover the seven chromosomes of Petunia, and span 970 centimorgans (cM) and 700 cM of the genomes, respectively. In total, 207 markers were mapped. Of these, 28 are multilocus amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers and 179 are gene-derived markers. For the first time we report on the development and mapping of 83 Petunia microsatellites. The two maps retain the same marker order, but display significant differences of recombination frequencies at orthologous mapping intervals. A complex pattern of genomic rearrangements was detected with the related genome of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), indicating that synteny between Petunia and other Solanaceae crops has been considerably disrupted. The newly developed markers will facilitate the genetic characterization of mutants and ecological studies on genetic diversity and speciation within the genus Petunia. The maps will provide a powerful tool to link genetic and genomic information and will be useful to support sequence assembly of the Petunia genome.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Improved ability of biological and previous caries multimarkers to predict caries disease as revealed by multivariate PLS modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ericson Thorild

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dental caries is a chronic disease with plaque bacteria, diet and saliva modifying disease activity. Here we have used the PLS method to evaluate a multiplicity of such biological variables (n = 88 for ability to predict caries in a cross-sectional (baseline caries and prospective (2-year caries development setting. Methods Multivariate PLS modelling was used to associate the many biological variables with caries recorded in thirty 14-year-old children by measuring the numbers of incipient and manifest caries lesions at all surfaces. Results A wide but shallow gliding scale of one fifth caries promoting or protecting, and four fifths non-influential, variables occurred. The influential markers behaved in the order of plaque bacteria > diet > saliva, with previously known plaque bacteria/diet markers and a set of new protective diet markers. A differential variable patterning appeared for new versus progressing lesions. The influential biological multimarkers (n = 18 predicted baseline caries better (ROC area 0.96 than five markers (0.92 and a single lactobacilli marker (0.7 with sensitivity/specificity of 1.87, 1.78 and 1.13 at 1/3 of the subjects diagnosed sick, respectively. Moreover, biological multimarkers (n = 18 explained 2-year caries increment slightly better than reported before but predicted it poorly (ROC area 0.76. By contrast, multimarkers based on previous caries predicted alone (ROC area 0.88, or together with biological multimarkers (0.94, increment well with a sensitivity/specificity of 1.74 at 1/3 of the subjects diagnosed sick. Conclusion Multimarkers behave better than single-to-five markers but future multimarker strategies will require systematic searches for improved saliva and plaque bacteria markers.

  3. Dissociable mechanisms of speed-accuracy tradeoff during visual perceptual learning are revealed by a hierarchical drift diffusion model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiaxiang eZhang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Two phenomena are commonly observed in decision-making. First, there is a speed-accuracy tradeoff such that decisions are slower and more accurate when instructions emphasize accuracy over speed, and vice versa. Second, decision performance improves with practice, as a task is learnt. The speed-accuracy tradeoff and learning effects have been explained under a well-established evidence-accumulation framework for decision-making, which suggests that evidence supporting each choice is accumulated over time, and a decision is committed to when the accumulated evidence reaches a decision boundary. This framework suggests that changing the decision boundary creates the tradeoff between decision speed and accuracy, while increasing the rate of accumulation leads to more accurate and faster decisions after learning. However, recent studies challenged the view that speed-accuracy tradeoff and learning are associated with changes in distinct, single decision parameters. Further, the influence of speed-accuracy instructions over the course of learning remains largely unknown. Here, we used a hierarchical drift-diffusion model to examine the speed-accuracy tradeoff during learning of a coherent motion discrimination task across multiple training sessions, and a transfer test session. The influence of speed-accuracy instructions was robust over training and generalized across untrained stimulus features. Emphasizing decision accuracy rather than speed was associated with increased boundary separation, drift rate and non-decision time at the beginning of training. However, after training, an emphasis on decision accuracy was only associated with increased boundary separation. In addition, faster and more accurate decisions after learning were due to a gradual decrease in boundary separation and an increase in drift rate. The results suggest that speed-accuracy instructions and learning differentially shape decision-making processes at different time scales.

  4. 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.

  5. STRUCTURAL GLITCHES NEAR THE CORES OF RED GIANTS REVEALED BY OSCILLATIONS IN G-MODE PERIOD SPACINGS FROM STELLAR MODELS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cunha, M. S.; Avelino, P. P. [Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Universidade do Porto, CAUP, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); Stello, D. [Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA), School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 (Australia); Christensen-Dalsgaard, J. [Stellar Astrophysics Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 120, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); Townsend, R. H. D., E-mail: mcunha@astro.up.pt [Department of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2535 Sterling Hall, 475 N. Charter Street, Madison, WI 53706 (United States)

    2015-06-01

    With recent advances in asteroseismology it is now possible to peer into the cores of red giants, potentially providing a way to study processes such as nuclear burning and mixing through their imprint as sharp structural variations—glitches—in the stellar cores. Here we show how such core glitches can affect the oscillations we observe in red giants. We derive an analytical expression describing the expected frequency pattern in the presence of a glitch. This formulation also accounts for the coupling between acoustic and gravity waves. From an extensive set of canonical stellar models we find glitch-induced variation in the period spacing and inertia of non-radial modes during several phases of red giant evolution. Significant changes are seen in the appearance of mode amplitude and frequency patterns in asteroseismic diagrams such as the power spectrum and the échelle diagram. Interestingly, along the red giant branch glitch-induced variation occurs only at the luminosity bump, potentially providing a direct seismic indicator of stars in that particular evolution stage. Similarly, we find the variation at only certain post-helium-ignition evolution stages, namely, in the early phases of helium core burning and at the beginning of helium shell burning, signifying the asymptotic giant branch bump. Based on our results, we note that assuming stars to be glitch-free, while they are not, can result in an incorrect estimate of the period spacing. We further note that including diffusion and mixing beyond classical Schwarzschild could affect the characteristics of the glitches, potentially providing a way to study these physical processes.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A zebrafish model for Waardenburg syndrome type IV reveals diverse roles for Sox10 in the otic vesicle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Kirsten; Abbas, Leila; Spencer, Joanne; Brannon, Claire; Mowbray, Catriona; Nikaido, Masataka; Kelsh, Robert N; Whitfield, Tanya T

    2009-01-01

    In humans, mutations in the SOX10 gene are a cause of the auditory-pigmentary disorder Waardenburg syndrome type IV (WS4) and related variants. SOX10 encodes an Sry-related HMG box protein essential for the development of the neural crest; deafness in WS4 and other Waardenburg syndromes is usually attributed to loss of neural-crest-derived melanocytes in the stria vascularis of the cochlea. However, SOX10 is strongly expressed in the developing otic vesicle and so direct roles for SOX10 in the otic epithelium might also be important. Here, we examine the otic phenotype of zebrafish sox10 mutants, a model for WS4. As a cochlea is not present in the fish ear, the severe otic phenotype in these mutants cannot be attributed to effects on this tissue. In zebrafish sox10 mutants, we see abnormalities in all otic placodal derivatives. Gene expression studies indicate deregulated expression of several otic genes, including fgf8, in sox10 mutants. Using a combination of mutant and morphant data, we show that the three sox genes belonging to group E (sox9a, sox9b and sox10) provide a link between otic induction pathways and subsequent otic patterning: they act redundantly to maintain sox10 expression throughout otic tissue and to restrict fgf8 expression to anterior macula regions. Single-cell labelling experiments indicate a small and transient neural crest contribution to the zebrafish ear during normal development, but this is unlikely to account for the strong defects seen in the sox10 mutant. We discuss the implication that the deafness in WS4 patients with SOX10 mutations might reflect a haploinsufficiency for SOX10 in the otic epithelium, resulting in patterning and functional abnormalities in the inner ear.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 muscles [9.80 (2.27) vs 13.07 (3.37) N cm -2 ; P = 0

  14. 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

  15. Novel cancer gene variants and gene fusions of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) reveal their molecular diversity conserved in the patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Jaeyun; Jang, Kiwon; Ju, Jung Min; Lee, Eunji; Lee, Jong Won; Kim, Hee Jung; Kim, Jisun; Lee, Sae Byul; Ko, Beom Seok; Son, Byung Ho; Lee, Hee Jin; Gong, Gyungyup; Ahn, Sei Yeon; Choi, Jung Kyoon; Singh, Shree Ram; Chang, Suhwan

    2018-04-20

    Despite the improved 5-year survival rate of breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) remains a challenge due to lack of effective targeted therapy and higher recurrence and metastasis than other subtypes. To identify novel druggable targets and to understand its unique biology, we tried to implement 24 patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) of TNBC. The overall success rate of PDX implantation was 45%, much higher than estrogen receptor (ER)-positive cases. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed conserved ER/PR/Her2 negativity (with two exceptions) between the original and PDX tumors. Genomic analysis of 10 primary tumor-PDX pairs with Ion AmpliSeq CCP revealed high degree of variant conservation (85.0% to 96.9%) between primary and PDXs. Further analysis showed 44 rare variants with a predicted high impact in 36 genes including Trp53, Pten, Notch1, and Col1a1. Among them, we confirmed frequent Notch1 variant. Furthermore, RNA-seq analysis of 24 PDXs revealed 594 gene fusions, of which 163 were in-frame, including AZGP1-GJC3 and NF1-AARSD1. Finally, western blot analysis of oncogenic signaling proteins supporting molecular diversity of TNBC PDXs. Overall, our report provides a molecular basis for the usefulness of the TNBC PDX model in preclinical study. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. 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.

  17. Diverse Brain Myeloid Expression Profiles Reveal Distinct Microglial Activation States and Aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease Not Evident in Mouse Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brad A. Friedman

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microglia, the CNS-resident immune cells, play important roles in disease, but the spectrum of their possible activation states is not well understood. We derived co-regulated gene modules from transcriptional profiles of CNS myeloid cells of diverse mouse models, including new tauopathy model datasets. Using these modules to interpret single-cell data from an Alzheimer’s disease (AD model, we identified microglial subsets—distinct from previously reported “disease-associated microglia”—expressing interferon-related or proliferation modules. We then analyzed whole-tissue RNA profiles from human neurodegenerative diseases, including a new AD dataset. Correcting for altered cellular composition of AD tissue, we observed elevated expression of the neurodegeneration-related modules, but also modules not implicated using expression profiles from mouse models alone. We provide a searchable, interactive database for exploring gene expression in all these datasets (http://research-pub.gene.com/BrainMyeloidLandscape. Understanding the dimensions of CNS myeloid cell activation in human disease may reveal opportunities for therapeutic intervention.

  18. Separating foliar physiology from morphology reveals the relative roles of vertically structured transpiration factors within red maple crowns and limitations of larger scale models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauerle, William L.; Bowden, Joseph D.

    2011-01-01

    A spatially explicit mechanistic model, MAESTRA, was used to separate key parameters affecting transpiration to provide insights into the most influential parameters for accurate predictions of within-crown and within-canopy transpiration. Once validated among Acer rubrum L. genotypes, model responses to different parameterization scenarios were scaled up to stand transpiration (expressed per unit leaf area) to assess how transpiration might be affected by the spatial distribution of foliage properties. For example, when physiological differences were accounted for, differences in leaf width among A. rubrum L. genotypes resulted in a 25% difference in transpiration. An in silico within-canopy sensitivity analysis was conducted over the range of genotype parameter variation observed and under different climate forcing conditions. The analysis revealed that seven of 16 leaf traits had a ≥5% impact on transpiration predictions. Under sparse foliage conditions, comparisons of the present findings with previous studies were in agreement that parameters such as the maximum Rubisco-limited rate of photosynthesis can explain ∼20% of the variability in predicted transpiration. However, the spatial analysis shows how such parameters can decrease or change in importance below the uppermost canopy layer. Alternatively, model sensitivity to leaf width and minimum stomatal conductance was continuous along a vertical canopy depth profile. Foremost, transpiration sensitivity to an observed range of morphological and physiological parameters is examined and the spatial sensitivity of transpiration model predictions to vertical variations in microclimate and foliage density is identified to reduce the uncertainty of current transpiration predictions. PMID:21617246

  19. The pattern and time course of somatosensory changes in the human UVB sunburn model reveal the presence of peripheral and central sensitization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustorff, Burkhard; Sycha, Thomas; Lieba-Samal, Doris; Rolke, Roman; Treede, Rolf-Detlef; Magerl, Walter

    2013-04-01

    The ultraviolet B (UVB) sunburn model was characterized with a comprehensive battery of quantitative sensory testing (QST). Primary hyperalgesia in UVB-irradiated skin and secondary hyperalgesia in adjacent nonirradiated skin were studied in 22 healthy subjects 24h after irradiation with UVB at 3-fold minimal erythema dose of a skin area 5 cm in diameter at the thigh and compared to mirror-image contralateral control areas. The time course of hyperalgesia over 96 h was studied in a subgroup of 12 subjects. Within the sunburn area, cold hyperesthesia (P=.01), profound generalized hyperalgesia to heat (Psunburn was surrounded by large areas of pinprick hyperalgesia (mean±SEM, 218±32 cm(2)) and a small rim of dynamic mechanical allodynia but no other sensory changes. Although of smaller magnitude, secondary hyperalgesia and dynamic mechanical allodynia adjacent to the UVB-irradiated area were statistically highly significant. Primary and secondary hyperalgesia developed in parallel within hours, peaked after 24-32 h, and lasted for more than 96 h. These data reveal that the UVB sunburn model activates a broad spectrum of peripheral and central sensitization mechanisms and hence is a useful human surrogate model to be used as a screening tool for target engagement in phases 1 and 2a of drug development. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.......42) while retaining the 30kDa isoform (p30)-we modified the mouse Cebpa locus to express only p30. p30 supported the formation of granulocyte-macrophage progenitors. However, p42 was required for control of myeloid progenitor proliferation, and p42-deficient mice developed AML with complete...

  1. 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.

  2. Grainyhead-like 2 (GRHL2) distribution reveals novel pathophysiological differences between human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and mouse models of pulmonary fibrosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahavadi, Poornima; Sasikumar, Satish; Cushing, Leah; Hyland, Tessa; Rosser, Ann E.; Riccardi, Daniela; Lu, Jining; Kalin, Tanya V.; Kalinichenko, Vladimir V.; Guenther, Andreas; Ramirez, Maria I.; Pardo, Annie; Selman, Moisés; Warburton, David

    2013-01-01

    Chronic injury of alveolar lung epithelium leads to epithelial disintegrity in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We had reported earlier that Grhl2, a transcriptional factor, maintains alveolar epithelial cell integrity by directly regulating components of adherens and tight junctions and thus hypothesized an important role of GRHL2 in pathogenesis of IPF. Comparison of GRHL2 distribution at different stages of human lung development showed its abundance in developing lung epithelium and in adult lung epithelium. However, GRHL2 is detected in normal human lung mesenchyme only at early fetal stage (week 9). Similar mesenchymal reexpression of GRHL2 was also observed in IPF. Immunofluorescence analysis in serial sections from three IPF patients revealed at least two subsets of alveolar epithelial cells (AEC), based on differential GRHL2 expression and the converse fluorescence intensities for epithelial vs. mesenchymal markers. Grhl2 was not detected in mesenchyme in intraperitoneal bleomycin-induced injury as well as in spontaneously occurring fibrosis in double-mutant HPS1 and HPS2 mice, whereas in contrast in a radiation-induced fibrosis model, with forced Forkhead box M1 (Foxm1) expression, an overlap of Grhl2 with a mesenchymal marker was observed in fibrotic regions. Grhl2's role in alveolar epithelial cell plasticity was confirmed by altered Grhl2 gene expression analysis in IPF and further validated by in vitro manipulation of its expression in alveolar epithelial cell lines. Our findings reveal important pathophysiological differences between human IPF and specific mouse models of fibrosis and support a crucial role of GRHL2 in epithelial activation in lung fibrosis and perhaps also in epithelial plasticity. PMID:24375798

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca B Hoyle

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

  5. Quantitative imaging reveals heterogeneous growth dynamics and treatment-dependent residual tumor distributions in a three-dimensional ovarian cancer model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celli, Jonathan P.; Rizvi, Imran; Evans, Conor L.; Abu-Yousif, Adnan O.; Hasan, Tayyaba

    2010-09-01

    Three-dimensional tumor models have emerged as valuable in vitro research tools, though the power of such systems as quantitative reporters of tumor growth and treatment response has not been adequately explored. We introduce an approach combining a 3-D model of disseminated ovarian cancer with high-throughput processing of image data for quantification of growth characteristics and cytotoxic response. We developed custom MATLAB routines to analyze longitudinally acquired dark-field microscopy images containing thousands of 3-D nodules. These data reveal a reproducible bimodal log-normal size distribution. Growth behavior is driven by migration and assembly, causing an exponential decay in spatial density concomitant with increasing mean size. At day 10, cultures are treated with either carboplatin or photodynamic therapy (PDT). We quantify size-dependent cytotoxic response for each treatment on a nodule by nodule basis using automated segmentation combined with ratiometric batch-processing of calcein and ethidium bromide fluorescence intensity data (indicating live and dead cells, respectively). Both treatments reduce viability, though carboplatin leaves micronodules largely structurally intact with a size distribution similar to untreated cultures. In contrast, PDT treatment disrupts micronodular structure, causing punctate regions of toxicity, shifting the distribution toward smaller sizes, and potentially increasing vulnerability to subsequent chemotherapeutic treatment.

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardanhazy, Anett; Molnar, Mark; Jardanhazy, Tamas

    2009-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  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. 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

  13. Stochastic modelling of shifts in allele frequencies reveals a strongly polygynous mating system in the re-introduced Asiatic wild ass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renan, Sharon; Greenbaum, Gili; Shahar, Naama; Templeton, Alan R; Bouskila, Amos; Bar-David, Shirli

    2015-04-01

    Small populations are prone to loss of genetic variation and hence to a reduction in their evolutionary potential. Therefore, studying the mating system of small populations and its potential effects on genetic drift and genetic diversity is of high importance for their viability assessments. The traditional method for studying genetic mating systems is paternity analysis. Yet, as small populations are often rare and elusive, the genetic data required for paternity analysis are frequently unavailable. The endangered Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus), like all equids, displays a behaviourally polygynous mating system; however, the level of polygyny has never been measured genetically in wild equids. Combining noninvasive genetic data with stochastic modelling of shifts in allele frequencies, we developed an alternative approach to paternity analysis for studying the genetic mating system of the re-introduced Asiatic wild ass in the Negev Desert, Israel. We compared the shifts in allele frequencies (as a measure of genetic drift) that have occurred in the wild ass population since re-introduction onset to simulated scenarios under different proportions of mating males. We revealed a strongly polygynous mating system in which less than 25% of all males participate in the mating process each generation. This strongly polygynous mating system and its potential effect on the re-introduced population's genetic diversity could have significant consequences for the long-term persistence of the population in the Negev. The stochastic modelling approach and the use of allele-frequency shifts can be further applied to systems that are affected by genetic drift and for which genetic data are limited. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. 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.

  15. Crizotinib-Resistant ROS1 Mutations Reveal a Predictive Kinase Inhibitor Sensitivity Model for ROS1- and ALK-Rearranged Lung Cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facchinetti, Francesco; Loriot, Yohann; Kuo, Mei-Shiue; Mahjoubi, Linda; Lacroix, Ludovic; Planchard, David; Besse, Benjamin; Farace, Françoise; Auger, Nathalie; Remon, Jordi; Scoazec, Jean-Yves; André, Fabrice; Soria, Jean-Charles; Friboulet, Luc

    2016-12-15

    The identification of molecular mechanisms conferring resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) is a key step to improve therapeutic results for patients with oncogene addiction. Several alterations leading to EGFR and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) resistance to TKI therapy have been described in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Only two mutations in the ROS1 kinase domain responsible for crizotinib resistance have been described in patients thus far. A patient suffering from a metastatic NSCLC harboring an ezrin (EZR)-ROS1 fusion gene developed acquired resistance to the ALK/ROS1 inhibitor crizotinib. Molecular analysis (whole-exome sequencing, CGH) and functional studies were undertaken to elucidate the mechanism of resistance. Based on this case, we took advantage of the structural homology of ROS1 and ALK to build a predictive model for drug sensitivity regarding future ROS1 mutations. Sequencing revealed a dual mutation, S1986Y and S1986F, in the ROS1 kinase domain. Functional in vitro studies demonstrated that ROS1 harboring either the S1986Y or the S1986F mutation, while conferring resistance to crizotinib and ceritinib, was inhibited by lorlatinib (PF-06463922). The patient's clinical response confirmed the potency of lorlatinib against S1986Y/F mutations. The ROS1 S1986Y/F and ALK C1156Y mutations are homologous and displayed similar sensitivity patterns to ALK/ROS1 TKIs. We extended this analogy to build a model predicting TKI efficacy against potential ROS1 mutations. Clinical evidence, in vitro validation, and homology-based prediction provide guidance for treatment decision making for patients with ROS1-rearranged NSCLC who progressed on crizotinib. Clin Cancer Res; 22(24); 5983-91. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpanini, Sarah M; McKie, Lisa; Thomson, Derek; Wright, Ann K; Gordon, Sarah L; Roche, Sarah L; Handley, Mark T; Morrison, Harris; Brownstein, David; Wishart, Thomas M; Cousin, Michael A; Gillingwater, Thomas H; Aligianis, Irene A; Jackson, Ian J

    2014-06-01

    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 interventions.

  18. Polarized quark distributions in bound nucleon and polarized EMC effect in Thermodynamical Bag Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganesamurthy, Kuppusamy, E-mail: udckgm@sify.co [Research Department of Physics, Urumu Dhanalakshmi College, Trichy 620019 (India); Sambasivam, Raghavan, E-mail: udcsam@sify.co [Research Department of Physics, Urumu Dhanalakshmi College, Trichy 620019 (India)

    2011-04-15

    The polarized parton distribution functions (PDFs) and nuclear structure functions are evaluated by the phenomenological Thermodynamical Bag Model for nuclear media {sup 7}Li and {sup 27}Al. The Fermi statistical distribution function which includes the spin degree of freedom is used in this statistical model. We predict a sizeable polarized EMC effect. The results of quark spin sum and axial coupling constant of bound nucleons are compared with theoretical predictions of modified Nambu-Jona-Lasinio (NJL) model by Bentz et al.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Behavioural mapping of a pelagic seabird: combining multiple sensors and a hidden Markov model reveals the distribution of at-sea behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Ben; Freeman, Robin; Kirk, Holly; Leonard, Kerry; Phillips, Richard A.; Perrins, Chris M.; Guilford, Tim

    2013-01-01

    The use of miniature data loggers is rapidly increasing our understanding of the movements and habitat preferences of pelagic seabirds. However, objectively interpreting behavioural information from the large volumes of highly detailed data collected by such devices can be challenging. We combined three biologging technologies—global positioning system (GPS), saltwater immersion and time–depth recorders—to build a detailed picture of the at-sea behaviour of the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) during the breeding season. We used a hidden Markov model to explore discrete states within the combined GPS and immersion data, and found that behaviour could be organized into three principal activities representing (i) sustained direct flight, (ii) sitting on the sea surface, and (iii) foraging, comprising tortuous flight interspersed with periods of immersion. The additional logger data verified that the foraging activity corresponded well to the occurrence of diving. Applying this approach to a large tracking dataset revealed that birds from two different colonies foraged in local waters that were exclusive, but overlapped in one key area: the Irish Sea Front (ISF). We show that the allocation of time to each activity differed between colonies, with birds breeding furthest from the ISF spending the greatest proportion of time engaged in direct flight and the smallest proportion of time engaged in foraging activity. This type of analysis has considerable potential for application in future biologging studies and in other taxa. PMID:23034356

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthamilarasan, Mehanathan; Khan, Yusuf; Jaishankar, Jananee; Shweta, Shweta; Lata, Charu; Prasad, Manoj

    2015-01-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. A mistletoe tale: postglacial invasion of Psittacanthus schiedeanus (Loranthaceae) to Mesoamerican cloud forests revealed by molecular data and species distribution modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Gándara, Etelvina; Vásquez-Aguilar, Antonio Acini; Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Ortiz-Rodriguez, Andrés Ernesto; González, Clementina; Mejía Saules, María Teresa; Ruiz-Sanchez, Eduardo

    2016-04-12

    Ecological adaptation to host taxa is thought to result in mistletoe speciation via race formation. However, historical and ecological factors could also contribute to explain genetic structuring particularly when mistletoe host races are distributed allopatrically. Using sequence data from nuclear (ITS) and chloroplast (trnL-F) DNA, we investigate the genetic differentiation of 31 Psittacanthus schiedeanus (Loranthaceae) populations across the Mesoamerican species range. We conducted phylogenetic, population and spatial genetic analyses on 274 individuals of P. schiedeanus to gain insight of the evolutionary history of these populations. Species distribution modeling, isolation with migration and Bayesian inference methods were used to infer the evolutionary transition of mistletoe invasion, in which evolutionary scenarios were compared through posterior probabilities. Our analyses revealed shallow levels of population structure with three genetic groups present across the sample area. Nine haplotypes were identified after sequencing the trnL-F intergenic spacer. These haplotypes showed phylogeographic structure, with three groups with restricted gene flow corresponding to the distribution of individuals/populations separated by habitat (cloud forest localities from San Luis Potosí to northwestern Oaxaca and Chiapas, localities with xeric vegetation in central Oaxaca, and localities with tropical deciduous forests in Chiapas), with post-glacial population expansions and potentially corresponding to post-glacial invasion types. Similarly, 44 ITS ribotypes suggest phylogeographic structure, despite the fact that most frequent ribotypes are widespread indicating effective nuclear gene flow via pollen. Gene flow estimates, a significant genetic signal of demographic expansion, and range shifts under past climatic conditions predicted by species distribution modeling suggest post-glacial invasion of P. schiedeanus mistletoes to cloud forests. However, Approximate

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Evaluation of a hierarchy of models reveals importance of substrate limitation for predicting carbon dioxide and methane exchange in restored wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikawa, P. Y.; Jenerette, G. D.; Knox, S. H.; Sturtevant, C.; Verfaillie, J.; Dronova, I.; Poindexter, C. M.; Eichelmann, E.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2017-01-01

    Wetlands and flooded peatlands can sequester large amounts of carbon (C) and have high greenhouse gas mitigation potential. There is growing interest in financing wetland restoration using C markets; however, this requires careful accounting of both CO2 and CH4 exchange at the ecosystem scale. Here we present a new model, the PEPRMT model (Peatland Ecosystem Photosynthesis Respiration and Methane Transport), which consists of a hierarchy of biogeochemical models designed to estimate CO2 and CH4 exchange in restored managed wetlands. Empirical models using temperature and/or photosynthesis to predict respiration and CH4 production were contrasted with a more process-based model that simulated substrate-limited respiration and CH4 production using multiple carbon pools. Models were parameterized by using a model-data fusion approach with multiple years of eddy covariance data collected in a recently restored wetland and a mature restored wetland. A third recently restored wetland site was used for model validation. During model validation, the process-based model explained 70% of the variance in net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) and 50% of the variance in CH4 exchange. Not accounting for high respiration following restoration led to empirical models overestimating annual NEE by 33-51%. By employing a model-data fusion approach we provide rigorous estimates of uncertainty in model predictions, accounting for uncertainty in data, model parameters, and model structure. The PEPRMT model is a valuable tool for understanding carbon cycling in restored wetlands and for application in carbon market-funded wetland restoration, thereby advancing opportunity to counteract the vast degradation of wetlands and flooded peatlands.

  14. 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...

  15. Sizeable acquired subglottic cyst in a baby with Williams-Beuren syndrome: association or coincidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoforidis, Athanasios; Tsakalides, Christos; Chatziavramidis, Angelos; Karagianni, Paraskevi; Dimitriadou, Meropi; Konstantinidis, Iordanis

    2013-10-15

    We describe a case of an acquired subglottic cyst presented with persistent stridor and voice hoarsening in a baby diagnosed with Williams-Beuren syndrome that was born premature and required intubation during neonatal period. We also comment on whether this is a coincidence or there can be an association between impaired elastogenesis, a feature of patients with the syndrome and the formation of a subglottic cyst. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Model Studies of the Histidine-Tyrosine Cross-Link in Cytochrome c Oxidase Reveal the Flexible Substituent Effect of the Imidazole Moiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratt, Derek A.; Pesavento, Russell P.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.

    2010-01-01

    Experimental and theoretical studies were carried out to interrogate the effect of an imidazole substituent in each of the ortho, meta, and para positions on the pKa, E°, and O–H BDE of phenol. The results reveal that imidazole substitution lowers the pKa of phenol and increases the E° of phenoxide due to its σ-electron withdrawing ability (σp− = +0.21, σm− = +0.45) but decreases the O–H BDE and E° of phenol due to its σ-electron-donating ability (σp+ = −0.45). PMID:15957934

  19. Precision calculations for h → WW/ZZ → 4 fermions in a singlet extension of the Standard Model with P rophecy4 f

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altenkamp, Lukas; Boggia, Michele; Dittmaier, Stefan

    2018-04-01

    We consider an extension of the Standard Model by a real singlet scalar field with a ℤ2-symmetric Lagrangian and spontaneous symmetry breaking with vacuum expectation value for the singlet. Considering the lighter of the two scalars of the theory to be the 125 GeV Higgs particle, we parametrize the scalar sector by the mass of the heavy Higgs boson, a mixing angle α, and a scalar Higgs self-coupling λ 12. Taking into account theoretical constraints from perturbativity and vacuum stability, we compute next-to-leading-order electroweak and QCD corrections to the decays h → WW/ZZ → 4 fermions of the light Higgs boson for some scenarios proposed in the literature. We formulate two renormalization schemes and investigate the conversion of the input parameters between the schemes, finding sizeable effects. Solving the renormalization-group equations for the \\overline{MS} parameters α and λ 12, we observe a significantly reduced scale and scheme dependence in the next-to-leading-order results. For some scenarios suggested in the literature, the total decay width for the process h → 4 f is computed as a function of the mixing angle and compared to the width of a corresponding Standard Model Higgs boson, revealing deviations below 10%. Differential distributions do not show significant distortions by effects beyond the Standard Model. The calculations are implemented in the Monte Carlo generator P rophecy4 f, which is ready for applications in data analyses in the framework of the singlet extension.

  20. Congruence between distribution modelling and phylogeographical analyses reveals Quaternary survival of a toadflax species (Linaria elegans) in oceanic climate areas of a mountain ring range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Mazuecos, Mario; Vargas, Pablo

    2013-06-01

    · The role of Quaternary climatic shifts in shaping the distribution of Linaria elegans, an Iberian annual plant, was investigated using species distribution modelling and molecular phylogeographical analyses. Three hypotheses are proposed to explain the Quaternary history of its mountain ring range. · The distribution of L. elegans was modelled using the maximum entropy method and projected to the last interglacial and to the last glacial maximum (LGM) using two different paleoclimatic models: the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) and the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate (MIROC). Two nuclear and three plastid DNA regions were sequenced for 24 populations (119 individuals sampled). Bayesian phylogenetic, phylogeographical, dating and coalescent-based population genetic analyses were conducted. · Molecular analyses indicated the existence of northern and southern glacial refugia and supported two routes of post-glacial recolonization. These results were consistent with the LGM distribution as inferred under the CCSM paleoclimatic model (but not under the MIROC model). Isolation between two major refugia was dated back to the Riss or Mindel glaciations, > 100 kyr before present (bp). · The Atlantic distribution of inferred refugia suggests that the oceanic (buffered)-continental (harsh) gradient may have played a key and previously unrecognized role in determining Quaternary distribution shifts of Mediterranean plants. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  1. 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.

  2. MicroRNA profiling in Muc2 knockout mice of colitis-associated cancer model reveals epigenetic alterations during chronic colitis malignant transformation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonghua Bao

    Full Text Available Our previous studies have demonstrated that genetic deletion of the Muc2 gene causes colorectal cancers in mice. The current study further showed that at the early stage (3 months the mice exhibited colorectal cancer, including a unique phenotype of rectal prolapsed (rectal severe inflammation and adenocarcinoma. Thus, the age of 3 months might be the key point of the transition from chronic inflammation to cancer. To determine the mechanisms of the malignant transformation, we conducted miRNA array on the colonic epithelial cells from the 3-month Muc2-/- and +/+ mice. MicroRNA profiling showed differential expression of miRNAs (i.e. lower or higher expression enrichments in Muc2-/- mice. 15 of them were validated by quantitative PCR. Based on relevance to cytokine and cancer, 4 miRNAs (miR-138, miR-145, miR-146a, and miR-150 were validate and were found significantly downregulated in human colitis and colorectal cancer tissues. The network of the targets of these miRNAs was characterized, and interestedly, miRNA-associated cytokines were significantly increased in Muc2-/-mice. This is the first to reveal the importance of aberrant expression of miRNAs in dynamically transformation from chronic colitis to colitis-associated cancer. These findings shed light on revealing the mechanisms of chronic colitis malignant transformation.

  3. 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

    . In contrast, pigs are emerging as an excellent animal model for obesity studies, due to their similarities in their metabolism, their digestive tract and their genetics, when compared to humans. The Göttingen minipig is a small sized easy-to-handle pig breed which has been extensively used for modeling human...... obesity, due to its capacity to develop severe obesity when fed ad libitum. The aim of this study was to identify differentially expressed of protein-coding genes and miRNAs in a Göttingen minipig obesity model. Liver, skeletal muscle and abdominal adipose tissue were sampled from 7 lean and 7 obese...... 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Fold-recognition and comparative modeling of human α2,3-sialyltransferases reveal their sequence and structural similarities to CstII from Campylobacter jejuni

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balaji Petety V

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The 3-D structure of none of the eukaryotic sialyltransferases (SiaTs has been determined so far. Sequence alignment algorithms such as BLAST and PSI-BLAST could not detect a homolog of these enzymes from the protein databank. SiaTs, thus, belong to the hard/medium target category in the CASP experiments. The objective of the current work is to model the 3-D structures of human SiaTs which transfer the sialic acid in α2,3-linkage viz., ST3Gal I, II, III, IV, V, and VI, using fold-recognition and comparative modeling methods. The pair-wise sequence similarity among these six enzymes ranges from 41 to 63%. Results Unlike the sequence similarity servers, fold-recognition servers identified CstII, a α2,3/8 dual-activity SiaT from Campylobacter jejuni as the homolog of all the six ST3Gals; the level of sequence similarity between CstII and ST3Gals is only 15–20% and the similarity is restricted to well-characterized motif regions of ST3Gals. Deriving template-target sequence alignments for the entire ST3Gal sequence was not straightforward: the fold-recognition servers could not find a template for the region preceding the L-motif and that between the L- and S-motifs. Multiple structural templates were identified to model these regions and template identification-modeling-evaluation had to be performed iteratively to choose the most appropriate templates. The modeled structures have acceptable stereochemical properties and are also able to provide qualitative rationalizations for some of the site-directed mutagenesis results reported in literature. Apart from the predicted models, an unexpected but valuable finding from this study is the sequential and structural relatedness of family GT42 and family GT29 SiaTs. Conclusion The modeled 3-D structures can be used for docking and other modeling studies and for the rational identification of residues to be mutated to impart desired properties such as altered stability, substrate

  6. Dynamic energy budget modeling reveals the potential of future growth and calcification for the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi in an acidified ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Erik B; Nisbet, Roger M

    2014-06-01

    Ocean acidification is likely to impact the calcification potential of marine organisms. In part due to the covarying nature of the ocean carbonate system components, including pH and CO2 and CO3(2-) levels, it remains largely unclear how each of these components may affect calcification rates quantitatively. We develop a process-based bioenergetic model that explains how several components of the ocean carbonate system collectively affect growth and calcification rates in Emiliania huxleyi, which plays a major role in marine primary production and biogeochemical carbon cycling. The model predicts that under the IPCC A2 emission scenario, its growth and calcification potential will have decreased by the end of the century, although those reductions are relatively modest. We anticipate that our model will be relevant for many other marine calcifying organisms, and that it can be used to improve our understanding of the impact of climate change on marine systems. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Threading structural model of the manganese-stabilizing protein PsbO reveals presence of two possible beta-sandwich domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pazos, F; Heredia, P; Valencia, A; de las Rivas, J

    2001-12-01

    The manganese-stabilizing protein (PsbO) is an essential component of photosystem II (PSII) and is present in all oxyphotosynthetic organisms. PsbO allows correct water splitting and oxygen evolution by stabilizing the reactions driven by the manganese cluster. Despite its important role, its structure and detailed functional mechanism are still unknown. In this article we propose a structural model based on fold recognition and molecular modeling. This model has additional support from a study of the distribution of characteristics of the PsbO sequence family, such as the distribution of conserved, apolar, tree-determinants, and correlated positions. Our threading results consistently showed PsbO as an all-beta (beta) protein, with two homologous beta domains of approximately 120 amino acids linked by a flexible Proline-Glycine-Glycine (PGG) motif. These features are compatible with a general elongated and flexible architecture, in which the two domains form a sandwich-type structure with Greek key topology. The first domain is predicted to include 8 to 9 beta-strands, the second domain 6 to 7 beta-strands. An Ig-like beta-sandwich structure was selected as a template to build the 3-D model. The second domain has, between the strands, long-loops rich in Pro and Gly that are difficult to model. One of these long loops includes a highly conserved region (between P148 and P174) and a short alpha-helix (between E181 and N188)). These regions are characteristic parts of PsbO and show that the second domain is not so similar to the template. Overall, the model was able to account for much of the experimental data reported by several authors, and it would allow the detection of key residues and regions that are proposed in this article as essential for the structure and function of PsbO. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. A systems biology approach reveals a link between systemic cytokines and skeletal muscle energy metabolism in a rodent smoking model and human COPD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsen, Peter K; Herbert, John M; Antczak, Philipp; Clarke, Kim; Ferrer, Elisabet; Peinado, Victor I; Gonzalez, Constancio; Roca, Josep; Egginton, Stuart; Barberá, Joan A; Falciani, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    A relatively large percentage of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) develop systemic co-morbidities that affect prognosis, among which muscle wasting is particularly debilitating. Despite significant research effort, the pathophysiology of this important extrapulmonary manifestation is still unclear. A key question that remains unanswered is to what extent systemic inflammatory mediators might play a role in this pathology. Cigarette smoke (CS) is the main risk factor for developing COPD and therefore animal models chronically exposed to CS have been proposed for mechanistic studies and biomarker discovery. Although mice have been successfully used as a pre-clinical in vivo model to study the pulmonary effects of acute and chronic CS exposure, data suggest that they may be inadequate models for studying the effects of CS on peripheral muscle function. In contrast, recent findings indicate that the guinea pig model (Cavia porcellus) may better mimic muscle wasting. We have used a systems biology approach to compare the transcriptional profile of hindlimb skeletal muscles from a Guinea pig rodent model exposed to CS and/or chronic hypoxia to COPD patients with muscle wasting. We show that guinea pigs exposed to long-term CS accurately reflect most of the transcriptional changes observed in dysfunctional limb muscle of severe COPD patients when compared to matched controls. Using network inference, we could then show that the expression profile in whole lung of genes encoding for soluble inflammatory mediators is informative of the molecular state of skeletal muscles in the guinea pig smoking model. Finally, we show that CXCL10 and CXCL9, two of the candidate systemic cytokines identified using this pre-clinical model, are indeed detected at significantly higher levels in serum of COPD patients, and that their serum protein level is inversely correlated with the expression of aerobic energy metabolism genes in skeletal muscle. We conclude that

  9. 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

  10. Permselectivity of blood follicle barriers in mouse ovaries of the mifepristone-induced polycystic ovary model revealed by in vivo cryotechnique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Hong; Ohno, Nobuhiko; Terada, Nobuo; Saitoh, Sei; Naito, Ichiro; Ohno, Shinichi

    2008-11-01

    Despite the potential association of polycystic ovary (PCO) syndrome with hemodynamic changes, follicular microenvironment and the involvement of blood follicle barriers (BFB), a histopathological examination has been hampered by artifacts caused by conventional preparation methods. In this study, mouse ovaries of a mifepristone-induced PCO model were morphologically and immunohistochemically examined by in vivo cryotechnique (IVCT), which prevents those technical artifacts. Ovarian specimens of PCO model mice were prepared by IVCT or the conventional perfusion fixation after s.c. injection of mifepristone. Their histology and immunolocalization of plasma proteins, including albumin (molecular mass, 69 kDa), immunoglobulin G (IgG, 150 kDa), inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor (ITI, 220 kDa), fibrinogen (340 kDa), and IgM (900 kDa), were examined. In the PCO model, enlarged blood vessels with abundant blood flow were observed in addition to cystic follicles with degenerative membrana granulosa. The immunolocalization of albumin and IgM in the PCO model were similar to those in normal mice. Albumin immunolocalized in the blood vessels, interstitium or follicles, and IgM was mostly restricted within the blood vessels. In contrast, immunolocalization of IgG, ITI, and fibrinogen changed in the PCO model. Both IgG and ITI were clearly blocked by follicular basement membranes, and hardly observed in the membrana granulosa, though fibrinogen was mostly observed within blood vessels. These findings suggest that increased blood flow and enhanced selectivity of molecular permeation through the BFB are prominent features in the PCO ovaries, and changes in hemodynamic conditions and permselectivity of BFB are involved in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of PCO syndrome.

  11. 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.

  12. Unraveling 14-3-3 proteins in C4 panicoids with emphasis on model plant Setaria italica reveals phosphorylation-dependent subcellular localization of RS splicing factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karunesh Kumar

    Full Text Available 14-3-3 proteins are a large multigenic family of regulatory proteins ubiquitously found in eukaryotes. In plants, 14-3-3 proteins are reported to play significant role in both development and response to stress stimuli. Therefore, considering their importance, genome-wide analyses have been performed in many plants including Arabidopsis, rice and soybean. But, till date, no comprehensive investigation has been conducted in any C4 panicoid crops. In view of this, the present study was performed to identify 8, 5 and 26 potential 14-3-3 gene family members in foxtail millet (Si14-3-3, sorghum (Sb14-3-3 and maize (Zm14-3-3, respectively. In silico characterization revealed large variations in their gene structures; segmental and tandem duplications have played a major role in expansion of these genes in foxtail millet and maize. Gene ontology annotation showed the participation of 14-3-3 proteins in diverse biological processes and molecular functions, and in silico expression profiling indicated their higher expression in all the investigated tissues. Comparative mapping was performed to derive the orthologous relationships between 14-3-3 genes of foxtail millet and other Poaceae members, which showed a higher, as well as similar percentage of orthology among these crops. Expression profiling of Si14-3-3 genes during different time-points of abiotic stress and hormonal treatments showed a differential expression pattern of these genes, and sub-cellular localization studies revealed the site of action of Si14-3-3 proteins within the cells. Further downstream characterization indicated the interaction of Si14-3-3 with a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling phosphoprotein (SiRSZ21A in a phosphorylation-dependent manner, and this demonstrates that Si14-3-3 might regulate the splicing events by binding with phosphorylated SiRSZ21A. Taken together, the present study is a comprehensive analysis of 14-3-3 gene family members in foxtail millet, sorghum and maize

  13. Unraveling 14-3-3 proteins in C4 panicoids with emphasis on model plant Setaria italica reveals phosphorylation-dependent subcellular localization of RS splicing factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Karunesh; Muthamilarasan, Mehanathan; Bonthala, Venkata Suresh; Roy, Riti; Prasad, Manoj

    2015-01-01

    14-3-3 proteins are a large multigenic family of regulatory proteins ubiquitously found in eukaryotes. In plants, 14-3-3 proteins are reported to play significant role in both development and response to stress stimuli. Therefore, considering their importance, genome-wide analyses have been performed in many plants including Arabidopsis, rice and soybean. But, till date, no comprehensive investigation has been conducted in any C4 panicoid crops. In view of this, the present study was performed to identify 8, 5 and 26 potential 14-3-3 gene family members in foxtail millet (Si14-3-3), sorghum (Sb14-3-3) and maize (Zm14-3-3), respectively. In silico characterization revealed large variations in their gene structures; segmental and tandem duplications have played a major role in expansion of these genes in foxtail millet and maize. Gene ontology annotation showed the participation of 14-3-3 proteins in diverse biological processes and molecular functions, and in silico expression profiling indicated their higher expression in all the investigated tissues. Comparative mapping was performed to derive the orthologous relationships between 14-3-3 genes of foxtail millet and other Poaceae members, which showed a higher, as well as similar percentage of orthology among these crops. Expression profiling of Si14-3-3 genes during different time-points of abiotic stress and hormonal treatments showed a differential expression pattern of these genes, and sub-cellular localization studies revealed the site of action of Si14-3-3 proteins within the cells. Further downstream characterization indicated the interaction of Si14-3-3 with a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling phosphoprotein (SiRSZ21A) in a phosphorylation-dependent manner, and this demonstrates that Si14-3-3 might regulate the splicing events by binding with phosphorylated SiRSZ21A. Taken together, the present study is a comprehensive analysis of 14-3-3 gene family members in foxtail millet, sorghum and maize, which provides

  14. 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

  15. A Systems Approach Reveals MAVS Signaling in Myeloid Cells as Critical for Resistance to Ebola Virus in Murine Models of Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukta Dutta

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The unprecedented 2013–2016 outbreak of Ebola virus (EBOV resulted in over 11,300 human deaths. Host resistance to RNA viruses requires RIG-I-like receptor (RLR signaling through the adaptor protein, mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS, but the role of RLR-MAVS in orchestrating anti-EBOV responses in vivo is not known. Here we apply a systems approach to MAVS−/− mice infected with either wild-type or mouse-adapted EBOV. MAVS controlled EBOV replication through the expression of IFNα, regulation of inflammatory responses in the spleen, and prevention of cell death in the liver, with macrophages implicated as a major cell type influencing host resistance. A dominant role for RLR signaling in macrophages was confirmed following conditional MAVS deletion in LysM+ myeloid cells. These findings reveal tissue-specific MAVS-dependent transcriptional pathways associated with resistance to EBOV, and they demonstrate that EBOV adaptation to cause disease in mice involves changes in two distinct events, RLR-MAVS antagonism and suppression of RLR-independent IFN-I responses.

  16. A Systems Approach Reveals MAVS Signaling in Myeloid Cells as Critical for Resistance to Ebola Virus in Murine Models of Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Mukta; Robertson, Shelly J; Okumura, Atsushi; Scott, Dana P; Chang, Jean; Weiss, Jeffrey M; Sturdevant, Gail L; Feldmann, Friederike; Haddock, Elaine; Chiramel, Abhilash I; Ponia, Sanket S; Dougherty, Jonathan D; Katze, Michael G; Rasmussen, Angela L; Best, Sonja M

    2017-01-17

    The unprecedented 2013-2016 outbreak of Ebola virus (EBOV) resulted in over 11,300 human deaths. Host resistance to RNA viruses requires RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) signaling through the adaptor protein, mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS), but the role of RLR-MAVS in orchestrating anti-EBOV responses in vivo is not known. Here we apply a systems approach to MAVS -/- mice infected with either wild-type or mouse-adapted EBOV. MAVS controlled EBOV replication through the expression of IFNα, regulation of inflammatory responses in the spleen, and prevention of cell death in the liver, with macrophages implicated as a major cell type influencing host resistance. A dominant role for RLR signaling in macrophages was confirmed following conditional MAVS deletion in LysM+ myeloid cells. These findings reveal tissue-specific MAVS-dependent transcriptional pathways associated with resistance to EBOV, and they demonstrate that EBOV adaptation to cause disease in mice involves changes in two distinct events, RLR-MAVS antagonism and suppression of RLR-independent IFN-I responses. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. D:L-Amino Acid Modeling Reveals Fast Microbial Turnover of Days to Months in the Subsurface Hydrothermal Sediment of Guaymas Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, Mikkel H; Glombitza, Clemens; Lever, Mark A; Deng, Longhui; Morono, Yuki; Inagaki, Fumio; Doll, Mechthild; Su, Chin-Chia; Lomstein, Bente A

    2018-01-01

    We investigated the impact of temperature on the microbial turnover of organic matter (OM) in a hydrothermal vent system in Guaymas Basin, by calculating microbial bio- and necromass turnover times based on the culture-independent D:L-amino acid model. Sediments were recovered from two stations near hydrothermal mounds (community of microorganisms in the hydrothermal sediment demonstrated short turnover times. The modeled turnover times of microbial bio- and necromass in the hydrothermal sediments were notably faster (biomass: days to months; necromass: up to a few hundred years) than in the cold sediments (biomass: tens of years; necromass: thousands of years), suggesting that temperature has a significant influence on the microbial turnover rates. We suggest that short biomass turnover times are necessary for maintance of essential cell funtions and to overcome potential damage caused by the increased temperature.The reduced OM quality at the hyrothemal sites might thus only allow for a small population size of microorganisms.

  18. Model-Based Analysis of Arabidopsis Leaf Epidermal Cells Reveals Distinct Division and Expansion Patterns for Pavement and Guard Cells1[W][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asl, Leila Kheibarshekan; Dhondt, Stijn; Boudolf, Véronique; Beemster, Gerrit T.S.; Beeckman, Tom; Inzé, Dirk; Govaerts, Willy; De Veylder, Lieven

    2011-01-01

    To efficiently capture sunlight for photosynthesis, leaves typically develop into a flat and thin structure. This development is driven by cell division and expansion, but the individual contribution of these processes is currently unknown, mainly because of the experimental difficulties to disentangle them in a developing organ, due to their tight interconnection. To circumvent this problem, we built a mathematic model that describes the possible division patterns and expansion rates for individual epidermal cells. This model was used to fit experimental data on cell numbers and sizes obtained over time intervals of 1 d throughout the development of the first leaf pair of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The parameters were obtained by a derivative-free optimization method that minimizes the differences between the predicted and experimentally observed cell size distributions. The model allowed us to calculate probabilities for a cell to divide into guard or pavement cells, the maximum size at which it can divide, and its average cell division and expansion rates at each point during the leaf developmental process. Surprisingly, average cell cycle duration remained constant throughout leaf development, whereas no evidence for a maximum cell size threshold for cell division of pavement cells was found. Furthermore, the model predicted that neighboring cells of different sizes within the epidermis expand at distinctly different relative rates, which could be verified by direct observations. We conclude that cell division seems to occur independently from the status of cell expansion, whereas the cell cycle might act as a timer rather than as a size-regulated machinery. PMID:21693673

  19. Neurodevelopmental Animal Models Reveal the Convergent Role of Neurotransmitter Systems, Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress as Biomarkers of Schizophrenia: Implications for Novel Drug Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Möller, M; Swanepoel, T; Harvey, B H

    2015-07-15

    Schizophrenia is a life altering disease with a complex etiology and pathophysiology, and although antipsychotics are valuable in treating the disorder, certain symptoms and/or sufferers remain resistant to treatment. Our poor understanding of the underlying neuropathological mechanisms of schizophrenia hinders the discovery and development of improved pharmacological treatment, so that filling these gaps is of utmost importance for an improved outcome. A vast amount of clinical data has strongly implicated the role of inflammation and oxidative insults in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Preclinical studies using animal models are fundamental in our understanding of disease development and pathology as well as the discovery and development of novel treatment options. In particular, social isolation rearing (SIR) and pre- or postnatal inflammation (PPNI) have shown great promise in mimicking the biobehavioral manifestations of schizophrenia. Furthermore, the "dual-hit" hypothesis of schizophrenia states that a first adverse event such as genetic predisposition or a prenatal insult renders an individual susceptible to develop the disease, while a second insult (e.g., postnatal inflammation, environmental adversity, or drug abuse) may be necessary to precipitate the full-blown syndrome. Animal models that emphasize the "dual-hit" hypothesis therefore provide valuable insight into understanding disease progression. In this Review, we will discuss SIR, PPNI, as well as possible "dual-hit" animal models within the context of the redox-immune-inflammatory hypothesis of schizophrenia, correlating such changes with the recognized monoamine and behavioral alterations of schizophrenia. Finally, based on these models, we will review new therapeutic options, especially those targeting immune-inflammatory and redox pathways.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Transcriptome-Based Modeling Reveals that Oxidative Stress Induces Modulation of the AtfA-Dependent Signaling Networks in Aspergillus nidulans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erzsébet Orosz

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available To better understand the molecular functions of the master stress-response regulator AtfA in Aspergillus nidulans, transcriptomic analyses of the atfA null mutant and the appropriate control strains exposed to menadione sodium bisulfite- (MSB-, t-butylhydroperoxide- and diamide-induced oxidative stresses were performed. Several elements of oxidative stress response were differentially expressed. Many of them, including the downregulation of the mitotic cell cycle, as the MSB stress-specific upregulation of FeS cluster assembly and the MSB stress-specific downregulation of nitrate reduction, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and ER to Golgi vesicle-mediated transport, showed AtfA dependence. To elucidate the potential global regulatory role of AtfA governing expression of a high number of genes with very versatile biological functions, we devised a model based on the comprehensive transcriptomic data. Our model suggests that an important function of AtfA is to modulate the transduction of stress signals. Although it may regulate directly only a limited number of genes, these include elements of the signaling network, for example, members of the two-component signal transduction systems. AtfA acts in a stress-specific manner, which may increase further the number and diversity of AtfA-dependent genes. Our model sheds light on the versatility of the physiological functions of AtfA and its orthologs in fungi.

  4. Computational Cardiac Modeling Reveals Mechanisms of Ventricular Arrhythmogenesis in Long QT Syndrome Type 8: CACNA1C R858H Mutation Linked to Ventricular Fibrillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jieyun Bai

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Functional analysis of the L-type calcium channel has shown that the CACNA1C R858H mutation associated with severe QT interval prolongation may lead to ventricular fibrillation (VF. This study investigated multiple potential mechanisms by which the CACNA1C R858H mutation facilitates and perpetuates VF. The Ten Tusscher-Panfilov (TP06 human ventricular cell models incorporating the experimental data on the kinetic properties of L-type calcium channels were integrated into one-dimensional (1D fiber, 2D sheet, and 3D ventricular models to investigate the pro-arrhythmic effects of CACNA1C mutations by quantifying changes in intracellular calcium handling, action potential profiles, action potential duration restitution (APDR curves, dispersion of repolarization (DOR, QT interval and spiral wave dynamics. R858H “mutant” L-type calcium current (ICaL augmented sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium content, leading to the development of afterdepolarizations at the single cell level and focal activities at the tissue level. It also produced inhomogeneous APD prolongation, causing QT prolongation and repolarization dispersion amplification, rendering R858H “mutant” tissue more vulnerable to the induction of reentry compared with other conditions. In conclusion, altered ICaL due to the CACNA1C R858H mutation increases arrhythmia risk due to afterdepolarizations and increased tissue vulnerability to unidirectional conduction block. However, the observed reentry is not due to afterdepolarizations (not present in our model, but rather to a novel blocking mechanism.

  5. Ensemble survival tree models to reveal pairwise interactions of variables with time-to-events outcomes in low-dimensional setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dazard, Jean-Eudes; Ishwaran, Hemant; Mehlotra, Rajeev; Weinberg, Aaron; Zimmerman, Peter

    2018-01-01

    Unraveling interactions among variables such as genetic, clinical, demographic and environmental factors is essential to understand the development of common and complex diseases. To increase the power to detect such variables interactions associated with clinical time-to-events outcomes, we borrowed established concepts from random survival forest (RSF) models. We introduce a novel RSF-based pairwise interaction estimator and derive a randomization method with bootstrap confidence intervals for inferring interaction significance. Using various linear and nonlinear time-to-events survival models in simulation studies, we first show the efficiency of our approach: true pairwise interaction-effects between variables are uncovered, while they may not be accompanied with their corresponding main-effects, and may not be detected by standard semi-parametric regression modeling and test statistics used in survival analysis. Moreover, using a RSF-based cross-validation scheme for generating prediction estimators, we show that informative predictors may be inferred. We applied our approach to an HIV cohort study recording key host gene polymorphisms and their association with HIV change of tropism or AIDS progression. Altogether, this shows how linear or nonlinear pairwise statistical interactions of variables may be efficiently detected with a predictive value in observational studies with time-to-event outcomes. PMID:29453930

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuka Matsumoto

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. Dynamic causal modeling revealed dysfunctional effective connectivity in both, the cortico-basal-ganglia and the cerebello-cortical motor network in writers' cramp

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inken Rothkirch

    Full Text Available Writer's cramp (WC is a focal task-specific dystonia characterized by sustained or intermittent muscle contractions while writing, particularly with the dominant hand. Since structural lesions rarely cause WC, it has been assumed that the disease might be caused by a functional maladaptation within the sensory-motor system. Therefore, our objective was to examine the differences between patients suffering from WC and a healthy control (HC group with regard to the effective connectivity that describes causal influences one brain region exerts over another within the motor network. The effective connectivity within a network including contralateral motor cortex (M1, supplementary motor area (SMA, globus pallidus (GP, putamen (PU and ipsilateral cerebellum (CB was investigated using dynamic causal modeling (DCM for fMRI. Eight connectivity models of functional motor systems were compared. Fifteen WC patients and 18 age-matched HC performed a sequential, five-element finger-tapping task with the non-dominant and non-affected left hand within a 3 T MRI-scanner as quickly and accurately as possible. The task was conducted in a fixed block design repeated 15 times and included 30 s of tapping followed by 30 s of rest. DCM identified the same model in WC and HC as superior for reflecting basal ganglia and cerebellar motor circuits of healthy subjects. The M1-PU, as well as M1-CB connectivity, was more strongly influenced by tapping in WC, but the intracortical M1-SMA connection was more facilitating in controls. Inhibiting influences originating from GP to M1 were stronger in controls compared to WC patients whereby facilitating influences the PU exerts over CB and CB exerts over M1 were not as strong. Although the same model structure explains the given data best, DCM confirms previous research demonstrating a malfunction in effective connectivity intracortically (M1-SMA and in the cortico-basal ganglia circuitry in WC. In addition, DCM analysis

  9. Structure of the dimeric N-glycosylated form of fungal β-N-acetylhexosaminidase revealed by computer modeling, vibrational spectroscopy, and biochemical studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sklenář Jan

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fungal β-N-acetylhexosaminidases catalyze the hydrolysis of chitobiose into its constituent monosaccharides. These enzymes are physiologically important during the life cycle of the fungus for the formation of septa, germ tubes and fruit-bodies. Crystal structures are known for two monomeric bacterial enzymes and the dimeric human lysosomal β-N-acetylhexosaminidase. The fungal β-N-acetylhexosaminidases are robust enzymes commonly used in chemoenzymatic syntheses of oligosaccharides. The enzyme from Aspergillus oryzae was purified and its sequence was determined. Results The complete primary structure of the fungal β-N-acetylhexosaminidase from Aspergillus oryzae CCF1066 was used to construct molecular models of the catalytic subunit of the enzyme, the enzyme dimer, and the N-glycosylated dimer. Experimental data were obtained from infrared and Raman spectroscopy, and biochemical studies of the native and deglycosylated enzyme, and are in good agreement with the models. Enzyme deglycosylated under native conditions displays identical kinetic parameters but is significantly less stable in acidic conditions, consistent with model predictions. The molecular model of the deglycosylated enzyme was solvated and a molecular dynamics simulation was run over 20 ns. The molecular model is able to bind the natural substrate – chitobiose with a stable value of binding energy during the molecular dynamics simulation. Conclusion Whereas the intracellular bacterial β-N-acetylhexosaminidases are monomeric, the extracellular secreted enzymes of fungi and humans occur as dimers. Dimerization of the fungal β-N-acetylhexosaminidase appears to be a reversible process that is strictly pH dependent. Oligosaccharide moieties may also participate in the dimerization process that might represent a unique feature of the exclusively extracellular enzymes. Deglycosylation had only limited effect on enzyme activity, but it significantly affected

  10. Directed coupling in local field potentials of macaque V4 during visual short-term memory revealed by multivariate autoregressive models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor M Hoerzer

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Processing and storage of sensory information is based on the interaction between different neural populations rather than the isolated activity of single neurons. In order to characterize the dynamic interaction and transient cooperation of sub-circuits within a neural network, multivariate autoregressive (MVAR models have proven to be an important analysis tool. In this study, we apply directed functional coupling based on MVAR models and describe the temporal and spatial changes of functional coupling between simultaneously recorded local field potentials (LFP in extrastriate area V4 during visual memory. Specifically, we compare the strength and directional relations of coupling based on Generalized Partial Directed Coherence (GDPC measures while two rhesus monkeys perform a visual short-term memory task. In both monkeys we find increases in theta power during the memory period that are accompanied by changes in directed coupling. These interactions are most prominent in the low frequency range encompassing the theta band (3-12~Hz and, more importantly, are asymmetric between pairs of recording sites. Furthermore, we find that the degree of interaction decreases as a function of distance between electrode positions, suggesting that these interactions are a predominantly local phenomenon. Taken together, our results show that directed coupling measures based on MVAR models are able to provide important insights into the spatial and temporal formation of local functionally coupled ensembles during visual memory in V4. Moreover, our findings suggest that visual memory is accompanied not only by a temporary increase of oscillatory activity in the theta band, but by a direction-dependent change in theta coupling, which ultimately represents a change in functional connectivity within the neural circuit.

  11. 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.

  12. Comparative Proteomic Characterization of 4 Human Liver-Derived Single Cell Culture Models Reveals Significant Variation in the Capacity for Drug Disposition, Bioactivation, and Detoxication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sison-Young, Rowena L C; Mitsa, Dimitra; Jenkins, Rosalind E; Mottram, David; Alexandre, Eliane; Richert, Lysiane; Aerts, Hélène; Weaver, Richard J; Jones, Robert P; Johann, Esther; Hewitt, Philip G; Ingelman-Sundberg, Magnus; Goldring, Christopher E P; Kitteringham, Neil R; Park, B Kevin

    2015-10-01

    In vitro preclinical models for the assessment of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) are usually based on cryopreserved primary human hepatocytes (cPHH) or human hepatic tumor-derived cell lines; however, it is unclear how well such cell models reflect the normal function of liver cells. The physiological, pharmacological, and toxicological phenotyping of available cell-based systems is necessary in order to decide the testing purpose for which they are fit. We have therefore undertaken a global proteomic analysis of 3 human-derived hepatic cell lines (HepG2, Upcyte, and HepaRG) in comparison with cPHH with a focus on drug metabolizing enzymes and transport proteins (DMETs), as well as Nrf2-regulated proteins. In total, 4946 proteins were identified, of which 2722 proteins were common across all cell models, including 128 DMETs. Approximately 90% reduction in expression of cytochromes P450 was observed in HepG2 and Upcyte cells, and approximately 60% in HepaRG cells relative to cPHH. Drug transporter expression was also lower compared with cPHH with the exception of MRP3 and P-gp (MDR1) which appeared to be significantly expressed in HepaRG cells. In contrast, a high proportion of Nrf2-regulated proteins were more highly expressed in the cell lines compared with cPHH. The proteomic database derived here will provide a rational basis for the context-specific selection of the most appropriate 'hepatocyte-like' cell for the evaluation of particular cellular functions associated with DILI and, at the same time, assist in the construction of a testing paradigm which takes into account the in vivo disposition of a new drug. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology.

  13. Live imaging-based model selection reveals periodic regulation of the stochastic G1/S phase transition in vertebrate axial development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayu Sugiyama

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available 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

  14. Applicability of a particularly simple model to nonlinear elasticity of slide-ring gels with movable cross-links as revealed by unequal biaxial deformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondo, Yuuki; Urayama, Kenji; Kidowaki, Masatoshi; Mayumi, Koichi; Takigawa, Toshikazu; Ito, Kohzo

    2014-10-07

    The strain energy density function (F) of the polyrotaxane-based slide-ring (SR) gels with movable cross-links along the network strands is characterized by unequal biaxial stretching which can achieve various types of deformation. The SR gels as prepared without any post-preparation complication exhibit considerably smaller values of the ratio of the stresses (σy/σx) in the stretched (x) and constrained (y) directions in planar extension than classical chemical gels with heterogeneous and nearly homogeneous network structures do. This feature of the SR gels leads to the peculiar characteristic that the strain energy density function (F) has no explicit cross term of strains in different directions, which is in contrast to F with explicit strain cross terms for most chemical gels and elastomers. The biaxial stress-strain data of the SR gels are successfully described by F of the Gent model with only two parameters (small-strain shear modulus and a parameter representing ultimate elongation), which introduces the finite extensibility effect into the neo-Hookean model with no explicit cross term of strain. The biaxial data of the deswollen SR gels examined in previous study, which underwent a considerable reduction in volume from the preparation state, are also well described by the Gent model, which is in contrast to the case of the classical chemical gels that the stress-strain relations before and after large deswelling are not described by a common type of F due to a significant degree of collapse of the network strands in the deswollen state. These intriguing features of nonlinear elasticity of the SR gels originate from a novel function of the slidable cross-links that can maximize the arrangement entropy of cross-linked and non-cross-linked cyclic molecules in the deformed networks.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. UPLC Q-TOF/MS-Based Metabolic Profiling of Urine Reveals the Novel Antipyretic Mechanisms of Qingkailing Injection in a Rat Model of Yeast-Induced Pyrexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoyan Gao

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Fever is one of the most common clinical symptoms of many diseases. Qingkailing (QKL injection is widely used in China as a clinical emergency medicine due to its good antipyretic effects. It is a herbal formula which is composed by eight kinds of traditional Chinese medicines (TCM. As a kind of typical multiple constituents and multiple actions of TCM, it is very difficult to elaborate the antipyretic mechanism by conventional pharmacological method. Metabonomics technique provides beneficial tool for this challenge. In this study, an ultra performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC Q-TOF/MS metabonomics method was developed to explore the changing process of biochemical substances in rats of yeast-induced pyrexia. Partial least squares discriminate analysis (PLS-DA was used to distinguish the normal control group, the pyrexia model group, and the pyrexia model group treated by QKL injection. The potential biomarkers related to pyrexia were confirmed and identified. MetPA was used to find the possible metabolic pathways. The results indicated that the antipyretic effect of QKL injection on yeast-induced pyrexia rats was performed by repairing the perturbed metabolism of amino acids.

  19. Long-term landscape evolution of the Poços de Caldas Plateau revealed by thermokinematic numerical modeling using the software code Pecube, SE- Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doranti Tiritan, Carolina; Hackspacher, Peter C.; Glasmacher, Ulrich A.

    2014-05-01

    The Poços de Caldas Plateau in the southeastern Brazil, and it is characterized by a high relief topography supported by the pre-Cambrian crystalline rocks and by the Poços de Caldas Alkaline Massif (PCAM). Ulbrich et al (2002) determine that the ages for the predominant PCAM intermediate rocks were constrained ~83Ma. In addition, geologic observations indicates the phonolites, tinguaites and nepheline syenites were emplaced in a continuous and rapid sequence lasting between 1 to 2 Ma. The topography is characterized by dissected plateau with irregular topographic ridges and peaks with elevations between 900 and 1300m (a.s.l.) on the metamorphic basement and from 1300 to 1700m (a.s.l) on the PCAM region. Therefore, the aim of the work was quantify the main processes that were responsible for the evolution of the landscape by using methods as the low temperature thermochronology and the 3D thermokinematic modeling, for obtaining data of uplift and erosion rates and to correlate them with the thermal gradients of the region. The 3D thermokinematic modeling was obtained using the software code PECUBE (Braun 2003).

  20. 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

  1. Combined Use of Systematic Conservation Planning, Species Distribution Modelling, and Connectivity Analysis Reveals Severe Conservation Gaps in a Megadiverse Country (Peru)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fajardo, Javier; Lessmann, Janeth; Bonaccorso, Elisa; Devenish, Christian; Muñoz, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Conservation planning is crucial for megadiverse countries where biodiversity is coupled with incomplete reserve systems and limited resources to invest in conservation. Using Peru as an example of a megadiverse country, we asked whether the national system of protected areas satisfies biodiversity conservation needs. Further, to complement the existing reserve system, we identified and prioritized potential conservation areas using a combination of species distribution modeling, conservation planning and connectivity analysis. Based on a set of 2,869 species, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and plants, we used species distribution models to represent species' geographic ranges to reduce the effect of biased sampling and partial knowledge about species' distributions. A site-selection algorithm then searched for efficient and complementary proposals, based on the above distributions, for a more representative system of protection. Finally, we incorporated connectivity among areas in an innovative post-hoc analysis to prioritize those areas maximizing connectivity within the system. Our results highlight severe conservation gaps in the Coastal and Andean regions, and we propose several areas, which are not currently covered by the existing network of protected areas. Our approach helps to find areas that contribute to creating a more representative, connected and efficient network. PMID:25479411

  2. 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.

  3. Homology modeling and docking analyses of M. leprae Mur ligases reveals the common binding residues for structure based drug designing to eradicate leprosy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanmugam, Anusuya; Natarajan, Jeyakumar

    2012-06-01

    Multi drug resistance capacity for Mycobacterium leprae (MDR-Mle) demands the profound need for developing new anti-leprosy drugs. Since most of the drugs target a single enzyme, mutation in the active site renders the antibiotic ineffective. However, structural and mechanistic information on essential bacterial enzymes in a pathway could lead to the development of antibiotics that targets multiple enzymes. Peptidoglycan is an important component of the cell wall of M. leprae. The biosynthesis of bacterial peptidoglycan represents important targets for the development of new antibacterial drugs. Biosynthesis of peptidoglycan is a multi-step process that involves four key Mur ligase enzymes: MurC (EC:6.3.2.8), MurD (EC:6.3.2.9), MurE (EC:6.3.2.13) and MurF (EC:6.3.2.10). Hence in our work, we modeled the three-dimensional structure of the above Mur ligases using homology modeling method and analyzed its common binding features. The residues playing an important role in the catalytic activity of each of the Mur enzymes were predicted by docking these Mur ligases with their substrates and ATP. The conserved sequence motifs significant for ATP binding were predicted as the probable residues for structure based drug designing. Overall, the study was successful in listing significant and common binding residues of Mur enzymes in peptidoglycan pathway for multi targeted therapy.

  4. 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; Sheong, Fu Kit; Zhu, Lizhe; Gao, Xin; Bernauer, Julie; Huang, Xuhui

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Multiple functional roles of the accessory I-domain of bacteriophage P22 coat protein revealed by NMR structure and CryoEM modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzo, Alessandro A; Suhanovsky, Margaret M; Baker, Matthew L; Fraser, LaTasha C R; Jones, Lisa M; Rempel, Don L; Gross, Michael L; Chiu, Wah; Alexandrescu, Andrei T; Teschke, Carolyn M

    2014-06-10

    Some capsid proteins built on the ubiquitous HK97-fold have accessory domains imparting specific functions. Bacteriophage P22 coat protein has a unique insertion domain (I-domain). Two prior I-domain models from subnanometer cryoelectron microscopy (cryoEM) reconstructions differed substantially. Therefore, the I-domain's nuclear magnetic resonance structure was determined and also used to improve cryoEM models of coat protein. The I-domain has an antiparallel six-stranded β-barrel fold, not previously observed in HK97-fold accessory domains. The D-loop, which is dynamic in the isolated I-domain and intact monomeric coat protein, forms stabilizing salt bridges between adjacent capsomers in procapsids. The S-loop is important for capsid size determination, likely through intrasubunit interactions. Ten of 18 coat protein temperature-sensitive-folding substitutions are in the I-domain, indicating its importance in folding and stability. Several are found on a positively charged face of the β-barrel that anchors the I-domain to a negatively charged surface of the coat protein HK97-core. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Proteomic analysis of a model unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, during short-term exposure to irradiance stress reveals significant down regulation of several heat-shock proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahong, Bancha; Roytrakul, Suttiruk; Phaonaklop, Narumon; Wongratana, Janewit; Yokthongwattana, Kittisak

    2012-03-01

    Oxygenic photosynthetic organisms often suffer from excessive irradiance, which cause harmful effects to the chloroplast proteins and lipids. Photoprotection and the photosystem II repair processes are the mechanisms that plants deploy to counteract the drastic effects from irradiance stress. Although the protective and repair mechanisms seemed to be similar in most plants, many species do confer different level of tolerance toward high light. Such diversity may originate from differences at the molecular level, i.e., perception of the light stress, signal transduction and expression of stress responsive genes. Comprehensive analysis of overall changes in the total pool of proteins in an organism can be performed using a proteomic approach. In this study, we employed 2-DE/LC-MS/MS-based comparative proteomic approach to analyze total proteins of the light sensitive model unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in response to excessive irradiance. Results showed that among all the differentially expressed proteins, several heat-shock proteins and molecular chaperones were surprisingly down-regulated after 3-6 h of high light exposure. Discussions were made on the possible involvement of such down regulation and the light sensitive nature of this model alga.

  8. 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.

  9. High resolution isotope data and ensemble modelling reveal ecohydrological controls on catchment storage-discharge relationships and flux travel time distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soulsby, C.; Kuppel, S.; Smith, A.; Tetzlaff, D.

    2017-12-01

    The dynamics of water storage in a catchment provides a fundamental insight into the interlinkages between input and output fluxes, and how these are affected by environmental change. Such dynamics also mediate, and help us understand, the fundamental difference of the rapid celerity of the rainfall-runoff (minutes to hours) response of catchments and the much slower velocity of water particles (months to decades) as they are transported through catchment systems. In this contribution we report an intensive, long-term (>10year), multi-scale isotope study in the Scottish Highlands that has sought to better understand these issues. We have integrated empirical data collection with diverse modelling approaches to quantify the dynamics and residence times of storage in different compartments of the hydrological system (vegetation canopies, soils, ground waters etc.) and their relationship between the magnitude and travel time distributions of output fluxes (stream flow, transpiration and evaporation). Use of conceptual, physically-based and probabilistic modelling approaches give broadly consistent perspectives on the storage-discharge relationships and the preferential selection of younger waters in runoff, evaporation and transpiration; while older waters predominate in groundwater. The work also highlighted the importance role vegetation plays in regulating fluxes in evaporation and transpiration and how this contributes to the differential ageing of water in mobile and bulk waters in the soil compartment. A separate case study shows how land use change can affect storage distributions in a catchment and radically change travel time distributions in output fluxes.

  10. 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.

  11. Structural modelling and phylogenetic analyses of PgeIF4A2 (Eukaryotic translation initiation factor) from Pennisetum glaucum reveal signature motifs with a role in stress tolerance and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Aakrati; Mudgil, Yashwanti; Pandey, Saurabh; Fartyal, Dhirendra; Reddy, Malireddy K

    2016-01-01

    Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4A (eIF4A) is an indispensable component of the translation machinery and also play a role in developmental processes and stress alleviation in plants and animals. Different eIF4A isoforms are present in the cytosol of the cell, namely, eIF4A1, eIF4A2, and eIF4A3 and their expression is tightly regulated in cap-dependent translation. We revealed the structural model of PgeIF4A2 protein using the crystal structure of Homo sapiens eIF4A3 (PDB ID: 2J0S) as template by Modeller 9.12. The resultant PgeIF4A2 model structure was refined by PROCHECK, ProSA, Verify3D and RMSD that showed the model structure is reliable with 77 % amino acid sequence identity with template. Investigation revealed two conserved signatures for ATP-dependent RNA Helicase DEAD-box conserved site (VLDEADEML) and RNA helicase DEAD-box type, Q-motif in sheet-turn-helix and α-helical region respectively. All these conserved motifs are responsible for response during developmental stages and stress tolerance in plants.

  12. Zebrafish Models for the Mechanosensory Hair Cell Dysfunction in Usher Syndrome 3 Reveal That Clarin-1 Is an Essential Hair Bundle Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopal, Suhasini R; Chen, Daniel H-C; Chou, Shih-Wei; Zang, Jingjing; Neuhauss, Stephan C F; Stepanyan, Ruben; McDermott, Brian M; Alagramam, Kumar N

    2015-07-15

    Usher syndrome type III (USH3) is characterized by progressive loss of hearing and vision, and varying degrees of vestibular dysfunction. It is caused by mutations that affect the human clarin-1 protein (hCLRN1), a member of the tetraspanin protein family. The missense mutation CLRN1(N48K), which affects a conserved N-glycosylation site in hCLRN1, is a common causative USH3 mutation among Ashkenazi Jews. The affected individuals hear at birth but lose that function over time. Here, we developed an animal model system using zebrafish transgenesis and gene targeting to provide an explanation for this phenotype. Immunolabeling demonstrated that Clrn1 localized to the hair cell bundles (hair bundles). The clrn1 mutants generated by zinc finger nucleases displayed aberrant hair bundle morphology with diminished function. Two transgenic zebrafish that express either hCLRN1 or hCLRN1(N48K) in hair cells were produced to examine the subcellular localization patterns of wild-type and mutant human proteins. hCLRN1 localized to the hair bundles similarly to zebrafish Clrn1; in contrast, hCLRN1(N48K) largely mislocalized to the cell body with a small amount reaching the hair bundle. We propose that this small amount of hCLRN1(N48K) in the hair bundle provides clarin-1-mediated function during the early stages of life; however, the presence of hCLRN1(N48K) in the hair bundle diminishes over time because of intracellular degradation of the mutant protein, leading to progressive loss of hair bundle integrity and hair cell function. These findings and genetic tools provide an understanding and path forward to identify therapies to mitigate hearing loss linked to the CLRN1 mutation. Mutations in the clarin-1 gene affect eye and ear function in humans. Individuals with the CLRN1(N48K) mutation are born able to hear but lose that function over time. Here, we develop an animal model system using zebrafish transgenesis and gene targeting to provide an explanation for this phenotype

  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. 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.

  15. D:L-Amino Acid Modeling Reveals Fast Microbial Turnover of Days to Months in the Subsurface Hydrothermal Sediment of Guaymas Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikkel H. Møller

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of temperature on the microbial turnover of organic matter (OM in a hydrothermal vent system in Guaymas Basin, by calculating microbial bio- and necromass turnover times based on the culture-independent D:L-amino acid model. Sediments were recovered from two stations near hydrothermal mounds (<74°C and from one cold station (<9°C. Cell abundance at the two hydrothermal stations dropped from 108 to 106 cells cm-3 within ∼5 m of sediment depth resulting in a 100-fold lower cell number at this depth than at the cold site where numbers remained constant at 108 cells cm-3 throughout the recovered sediment. There were strong indications that the drop in cell abundance was controlled by decreasing OM quality. The quality of the sedimentary OM was determined by the diagenetic indicators %TAAC (percentage of total organic carbon present as amino acid carbon, %TAAN (percentage of total nitrogen present as amino acid nitrogen, aspartic acid:β-alanine ratios, and glutamic acid:γ-amino butyric acid ratios. All parameters indicated that the OM became progressively degraded with increasing sediment depth, and the OM in the hydrothermal sediment was more degraded than in the uniformly cold sediment. Nonetheless, the small community of microorganisms in the hydrothermal sediment demonstrated short turnover times. The modeled turnover times of microbial bio- and necromass in the hydrothermal sediments were notably faster (biomass: days to months; necromass: up to a few hundred years than in the cold sediments (biomass: tens of years; necromass: thousands of years, suggesting that temperature has a significant influence on the microbial turnover rates. We suggest that short biomass turnover times are necessary for maintance of essential cell funtions and to overcome potential damage caused by the increased temperature.The reduced OM quality at the hyrothemal sites might thus only allow for a small population size of microorganisms.

  16. Model-based analyses reveal insular population diversification and cryptic frog species in the Ischnocnema parva complex in the Atlantic forest of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehara, Marcelo; Barth, Adriane; Oliveira, Eliana Faria de; Costa, Marco Antonio; Haddad, Célio Fernando Baptista; Vences, Miguel

    2017-07-01

    The Atlantic Forest (AF) of Brazil has long been recognized as a biodiversity conservation hotspot. Despite decades of studies the species inventory of this biome continues to increase with the discovery of cryptic diversity and the description of new species. Different diversification mechanisms have been proposed to explain the diversity in the region, including models of forest dynamics, barriers to gene flow and dispersal. Also, sea level change is thought to have influenced coastal diversification and isolated populations on continental islands. However, the timing and mode of diversification of insular populations in the AF region were rarely investigated. Here, we analyze the phylogeography and species diversity of the small-sized direct-developing frog Ischnocnema parva. These frogs are independent from water bodies but dependent on forest cover and high humidity, and provide good models to understand forest dynamics and insular diversification. Our analysis was based on DNA sequences for one mitochondrial and four nuclear genes of 71 samples from 18 localities including two islands, São Sebastião, municipality of Ilhabela, and Mar Virado, municipality of Ubatuba, both in the state of São Paulo. We use molecular taxonomic methods to show that I. parva is composed of six independently evolving lineages, with the nominal I. parva likely endemic to the type locality. The time-calibrated species tree shows that these lineages have diverged in the Pliocene and Pleistocene, suggesting the persistence of micro-refuges of forest in the AF. For the two insular populations we used approximate Bayesian computation to test different diversification hypotheses. Our findings support isolation with migration for São Sebastião population, with ∼1Mya divergence time, and isolation without migration for Mar Virado population, with ∼13Kya divergence time, suggesting a combination of different processes for diversification on AF islands. Copyright © 2017. Published

  17. Distinct roles of autophagy-dependent and -independent functions of FIP200 revealed by generation and analysis of a mutant knock-in mouse model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Song; Wang, Chenran; Yeo, Syn; Liang, Chun-Chi; Okamoto, Takako; Sun, Shaogang; Wen, Jian; Guan, Jun-Lin

    2016-01-01

    Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved cellular process controlled through a set of essential autophagy genes (Atgs). However, there is increasing evidence that most, if not all, Atgs also possess functions independent of their requirement in canonical autophagy, making it difficult to distinguish the contributions of autophagy-dependent or -independent functions of a particular Atg to various biological processes. To distinguish these functions for FIP200 (FAK family-interacting protein of 200 kDa), an Atg in autophagy induction, we examined FIP200 interaction with its autophagy partner, Atg13. We found that residues 582–585 (LQFL) in FIP200 are required for interaction with Atg13, and mutation of these residues to AAAA (designated the FIP200-4A mutant) abolished its canonical autophagy function in vitro. Furthermore, we created a FIP200-4A mutant knock-in mouse model and found that specifically blocking FIP200 interaction with Atg13 abolishes autophagy in vivo, providing direct support for the essential role of the ULK1/Atg13/FIP200/Atg101 complex in the process beyond previous studies relying on the complete knockout of individual components. Analysis of the new mouse model showed that nonautophagic functions of FIP200 are sufficient to fully support embryogenesis by maintaining a protective role in TNFα-induced apoptosis. However, FIP200-mediated canonical autophagy is required to support neonatal survival and tumor cell growth. These studies provide the first genetic evidence linking an Atg's autophagy and nonautophagic functions to different biological processes in vivo. PMID:27013233

  18. Combined fishing and climate forcing in the southern Benguela upwelling ecosystem: an end-to-end modelling approach reveals dampened effects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgane Travers-Trolet

    Full Text Available The effects of climate and fishing on marine ecosystems have usually been studied separately, but their interactions make ecosystem dynamics difficult to understand and predict. Of particular interest to management, the potential synergism or antagonism between fishing pressure and climate forcing is analysed in this paper, using an end-to-end ecosystem model of the southern Benguela ecosystem, built from coupling hydrodynamic, biogeochemical and multispecies fish models (ROMS-N2P2Z2D2-OSMOSE. Scenarios of different intensities of upwelling-favourable wind stress combined with scenarios of fishing top-predator fish were tested. Analyses of isolated drivers show that the bottom-up effect of the climate forcing propagates up the food chain whereas the top-down effect of fishing cascades down to zooplankton in unfavourable environmental conditions but dampens before it reaches phytoplankton. When considering both climate and fishing drivers together, it appears that top-down control dominates the link between top-predator fish and forage fish, whereas interactions between the lower trophic levels are dominated by bottom-up control. The forage fish functional group appears to be a central component of this ecosystem, being the meeting point of two opposite trophic controls. The set of combined scenarios shows that fishing pressure and upwelling-favourable wind stress have mostly dampened effects on fish populations, compared to predictions from the separate effects of the stressors. Dampened effects result in biomass accumulation at the top predator fish level but a depletion of biomass at the forage fish level. This should draw our attention to the evolution of this functional group, which appears as both structurally important in the trophic functioning of the ecosystem, and very sensitive to climate and fishing pressures. In particular, diagnoses considering fishing pressure only might be more optimistic than those that consider combined effects

  19. Imaging beneath the skin of large tropical rivers: System morphodynamics of the Fly and Beni Rivers revealed by novel sub-surface sonar, deep coring, and modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aalto, R. E.; Grenfell, M.; Lauer, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Tropical rivers dominate Earth's fluvial fluxes for water, carbon, and mineral sediment. They are characterized by large channels and floodplains, old system histories, prolonged periods of flooding, and a clay-dominated sediment flux. However, the underlying bed & floodplain strata are poorly understood. Available data commonly stem from skin-deep approaches such as GIS analysis of imagery, shallow sampling & topographic profiling during lower river stages. Given the large temporal & spatial scales, new approaches are needed to see below lag deposits on mobile sandy beds & deep into expansive floodbasins. Furthermore, such data are needed to test whether we can interpret large tropical river morphology using analogies to small temperate systems. Systems in a dynamic state of response to sea level rise or an increase/contrast in sediment load would provide especially valuable insight. Last August we conducted a field campaign along the Fly and Strickland Rivers in Papua New Guinea (discharge ~5,350 CMS) and this September we investigated the Beni River in Northern Bolivia (discharge ~3,500 CMS). Results were obtained using a novel measurement method: a high-power (>4kW) dual-frequency SyQwest sub-bottom profiler customized to best image 10-20m below the river/lake bed in shallow water. We were able to distinguish sandy deposits from harder clay and silt lenses and also collected bed grab samples to verify our sonar results. Deep borehole samples (5-15m), bank samples, and push cores confirmed observations from the sonar profiling. We simultaneously collected side-scan sonar imagery plus DGPS records of water/bed elevations that could be used to parameterize numerical models. We have now analyzed these results in some detail. Findings for the Fly River include: 1) The prevalence of hard clay beneath the bed of the Lower Fly River and many locations along the Strickland River, retarding migration; 2) Unusual bed morphology along the lower Middle Fly River, where the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Horst

    Full Text Available 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Revealing the Solvation Structure and Dynamics of Carbonate Electrolytes in Lithium-Ion Batteries by Two-Dimensional Infrared Spectrum Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Chungwen; Kwak, Kyungwon; Cho, Minhaeng

    2017-12-07

    Carbonate electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries play a crucial role in conducting lithium ions between two electrodes. Mixed solvent electrolytes consisting of linear and cyclic carbonates are commonly used in commercial lithium-ion batteries. To understand how the linear and cyclic carbonates introduce different solvation structures and dynamics, we performed molecular dynamics simulations of two representative electrolyte systems containing either linear or cyclic carbonate solvents. We then modeled their two-dimensional infrared (2DIR) spectra of the carbonyl stretching mode of these carbonate molecules. We found that the chemical exchange process involving formation and dissociation of lithium-ion/carbonate complexes is responsible for the growth of 2DIR cross peaks with increasing waiting time. In addition, we also found that cyclic carbonates introduce faster dynamics of dissociation and formation of lithium-ion/carbonate complexes than linear carbonates. These findings provide new insights into understanding the lithium-ion mobility and its interplay with solvation structure and ultrafast dynamics in carbonate electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries.

  5. Epigenomic analysis in a cell-based model reveals the roles of H3K9me3 in breast cancer transformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qing-Lan; Lei, Pin-Ji; Zhao, Quan-Yi; Li, Lianyun; Wei, Gang; Wu, Min

    2017-08-01

    Epigenetic marks are critical regulators of chromatin and gene activity. Their roles in normal physiology and disease states, including cancer development, still remain elusive. Herein, the epigenomic change of H3K9me3, as well as its potential impacts on gene activity and genome stability, was investigated in an in vitro breast cancer transformation model. The global H3K9me3 level was studied with western blotting. The distribution of H3K9me3 on chromatin and gene expression was studied with ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq, respectively. The global H3K9me3 level decreases during transformation and its distribution on chromatin is reprogrammed. By combining with TCGA data, we identified 67 candidate oncogenes, among which five genes are totally novel. Our analysis further links H3K9me3 with transposon activity, and suggests H3K9me3 reduction increases the cell's sensitivity to DNA damage reagents. H3K9me3 reduction is possibly related with breast cancer transformation by regulating gene expression and chromatin stability during transformation.

  6. 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.

  7. Delimitation of the embryonic thermosensitive period for sex determination using an embryo growth model reveals a potential bias for sex ratio prediction in turtles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girondot, Marc; Monsinjon, Jonathan; Guillon, Jean-Michel

    2018-04-01

    The sexual phenotype of the gonad is dependent on incubation temperature in many turtles, all crocodilians, and some lepidosaurians. At hatching, identification of sexual phenotype is impossible without sacrificing the neonates. For this reason, a general method to infer sexual phenotype from incubation temperatures is needed. Temperature influences sex determination during a specific period of the embryonic development, starting when the gonad begins to form. At constant incubation temperatures, this thermosensitive period for sex determination (TSP) is located at the middle third of incubation duration (MTID). When temperature fluctuates, the position of the thermosensitive period for sex determination can be shifted from the MTID because embryo growth is affected by temperature. A method is proposed to locate the thermosensitive period for sex determination based on modelling the embryo growth, allowing its precise identification from a natural regime of temperatures. Results from natural nests and simulations show that the approximation of the thermosensitive period for sex determination to the middle third of incubation duration may create a quasi-systematic bias to lower temperatures when computing the average incubation temperature during this period and thus a male-bias for sex ratio estimate. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Crucial role of dynamic linker histone binding and divalent ions for DNA accessibility and gene regulation revealed by mesoscale modeling of oligonucleosomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collepardo-Guevara, Rosana; Schlick, Tamar

    2012-01-01

    Monte Carlo simulations of a mesoscale model of oligonucleosomes are analyzed to examine the role of dynamic-linker histone (LH) binding/unbinding in high monovalent salt with divalent ions, and to further interpret noted chromatin fiber softening by dynamic LH in monovalent salt conditions. We find that divalent ions produce a fiber stiffening effect that competes with, but does not overshadow, the dramatic softening triggered by dynamic-LH behavior. Indeed, we find that in typical in vivo conditions, dynamic-LH binding/unbinding reduces fiber stiffening dramatically (by a factor of almost 5, as measured by the elasticity modulus) compared with rigidly fixed LH, and also the force needed to initiate chromatin unfolding, making it consistent with those of molecular motors. Our data also show that, during unfolding, divalent ions together with LHs induce linker-DNA bending and DNA–DNA repulsion screening, which guarantee formation of heteromorphic superbeads-on-a-string structures that combine regions of loose and compact fiber independently of the characteristics of the LH–core bond. These structures might be important for gene regulation as they expose regions of the DNA selectively. Dynamic control of LH binding/unbinding, either globally or locally, in the presence of divalent ions, might constitute a mechanism for regulation of gene expression. PMID:22790986

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The central role of mosquito cytochrome P450 CYP6Zs in insecticide detoxification revealed by functional expression and structural modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandor-Proust, Alexia; Bibby, Jaclyn; Régent-Kloeckner, Myriam; Roux, Jessica; Guittard-Crilat, Emilie; Poupardin, Rodolphe; Riaz, Muhammad Asam; Paine, Mark; Dauphin-Villemant, Chantal; Reynaud, Stéphane; David, Jean-Philippe

    2013-10-01

    The resistance of mosquitoes to chemical insecticides is threatening vector control programmes worldwide. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs) are known to play a major role in insecticide resistance, allowing resistant insects to metabolize insecticides at a higher rate. Among them, members of the mosquito CYP6Z subfamily, like Aedes aegypti CYP6Z8 and its Anopheles gambiae orthologue CYP6Z2, have been frequently associated with pyrethroid resistance. However, their role in the pyrethroid degradation pathway remains unclear. In the present study, we created a genetically modified yeast strain overexpressing Ae. aegypti cytochrome P450 reductase and CYP6Z8, thereby producing the first mosquito P450-CPR (NADPH-cytochrome P450-reductase) complex in a yeast recombinant system. The results of the present study show that: (i) CYP6Z8 metabolizes PBAlc (3-phenoxybenzoic alcohol) and PBAld (3-phenoxybenzaldehyde), common pyrethroid metabolites produced by carboxylesterases, producing PBA (3-phenoxybenzoic acid); (ii) CYP6Z8 transcription is induced by PBAlc, PBAld and PBA; (iii) An. gambiae CYP6Z2 metabolizes PBAlc and PBAld in the same way; (iv) PBA is the major metabolite produced in vivo and is excreted without further modification; and (v) in silico modelling of substrate-enzyme interactions supports a similar role of other mosquito CYP6Zs in pyrethroid degradation. By playing a pivotal role in the degradation of pyrethroid insecticides, mosquito CYP6Zs thus represent good targets for mosquito-resistance management strategies.

  12. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Gérin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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

  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. Immunopathological changes and apparent recovery from infection revealed in cattle in an experimental model of Johne's disease using a lyophilised culture of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begg, Douglas J; Plain, Karren M; de Silva, Kumudika; Gurung, Ratna; Gunn, Alison; Purdie, Auriol C; Whittington, Richard J

    2018-06-01

    Johne's disease (JD) or paratuberculosis is an economically significant, chronic enteropathy of ruminants caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). Experimental models of JD in cattle are logistically challenging due to the need for long term monitoring, because the clinical disease can take years to manifest. Three trials were undertaken, the largest involving 20 cattle exposed orally to a low dose of C strain MAP and 10 controls studied for 4.75 years. Frequent blood and faecal sampling was used to monitor immunological and infection parameters, and intestinal biopsies were performed at two time points during the subclinical disease phase. Although clinical disease was not seen, there was evidence of infection in 35% of the animals and at necropsy 10% had histopathological lesions consistent with JD, similar to the proportions expected in naturally infected herds. Faecal shedding occurred in two distinct phases: firstly there was intermittent shedding <∼9 months post-exposure that did not correlate with disease outcomes; secondly, in a smaller cohort of animals, this was followed by more consistent shedding of increasing quantities of MAP, associated with intestinal pathology. There was evidence of regression of histopathological lesions in the ileum of one animal, which therefore had apparently recovered from the disease. Both cattle with histopathological lesions of paratuberculosis at necropsy had low MAP-specific interferon-gamma responses at 4 months post-exposure and later had consistently shed viable MAP; they also had the highest loads of MAP DNA in faeces 4.75 year s post-exposure. In a trial using a higher dose of MAP, a higher proportion of cattle developed paratuberculosis. The information derived from these trials provides greater understanding of the changes that occur during the course of paratuberculosis in cattle. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Occupancy modeling reveals territory-level effects of nest boxes on the presence, colonization, and persistence of a declining raptor in a fruit-growing region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shave, Megan E; Lindell, Catherine A

    2017-01-01

    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.

  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. Phylogeography and Ecological Niche Modeling Reveal Reduced Genetic Diversity and Colonization Patterns of Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus; Araceae From Glacial Refugia in Eastern North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seon-Hee Kim

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Alternating glacial and interglacial periods during the Quaternary have dramatically affected the distribution and population genetic structure of plant and animal species throughout the northern hemisphere. Surprisingly, little is known about the post-glacial recolonization history of wetland herbaceous perennials that are widely distributed in the understory of deciduous or mixed deciduous-evergreen forests in eastern North America. In this study, we investigated infraspecific variation among 32 populations of skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, to test the hypothesis that the extant species diversity of skunk cabbage is the result of a post-glacial range expansion from southern refugia during the Quaternary Ice Age. A total of 4041 base pairs (bp of the chloroplast intergenic spacer region (cpDNA was sequenced from 485 individuals sampled from glaciated (18 populations, 275 individuals and unglaciated (14 populations, 210 individuals regions east and west of the Appalachian Mountains. Haplotype number, haplotype diversity, and nucleotide diversity were calculated, and genetic variation within and among populations was assessed by analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA. The geographic pattern of genetic differentiation was further investigated with a spatial analysis of molecular variance (SAMOVA. A total of eight haplotypes and three genetic groups (SAMOVA were recovered and a much higher haplotype number (eight haplotypes and haplotype diversity (0.7425 was observed in unglaciated compared to glaciated populations (five haplotypes, haplotype diversity = 0.6099. All haplotypes found in glaciated regions represented a subset of haplotypes found in unglaciated regions. Haplotypes of S. foetidus likely diverged during the Tertiary (mid-Miocene and late Pliocene, predating the last glacial maximum (LGM. Predictions based on ecological niche modeling (ENM suggested that there was considerably less suitable habitat for skunk cabbage during the LGM

  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. A knock-in/knock-out mouse model of HSPB8-associated distal hereditary motor neuropathy and myopathy reveals toxic gain-of-function of mutant Hspb8.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouhy, Delphine; Juneja, Manisha; Katona, Istvan; Holmgren, Anne; Asselbergh, Bob; De Winter, Vicky; Hochepied, Tino; Goossens, Steven; Haigh, Jody J; Libert, Claude; Ceuterick-de Groote, Chantal; Irobi, Joy; Weis, Joachim; Timmerman, Vincent

    2018-01-01

    Mutations in the small heat shock protein B8 gene (HSPB8/HSP22) have been associated with distal hereditary motor neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and recently distal myopathy. It is so far not clear how mutant HSPB8 induces the neuronal and muscular phenotypes and if a common pathogenesis lies behind these diseases. Growing evidence points towards a role of HSPB8 in chaperone-associated autophagy, which has been shown to be a determinant for the clearance of poly-glutamine aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases but also for the maintenance of skeletal muscle myofibrils. To test this hypothesis and better dissect the pathomechanism of mutant HSPB8, we generated a new transgenic mouse model leading to the expression of the mutant protein (knock-in lines) or the loss-of-function (functional knock-out lines) of the endogenous protein Hspb8. While the homozygous knock-in mice developed motor deficits associated with degeneration of peripheral nerves and severe muscle atrophy corroborating patient data, homozygous knock-out mice had locomotor performances equivalent to those of wild-type animals. The distal skeletal muscles of the post-symptomatic homozygous knock-in displayed Z-disk disorganisation, granulofilamentous material accumulation along with Hspb8, αB-crystallin (HSPB5/CRYAB), and desmin aggregates. The presence of the aggregates correlated with reduced markers of effective autophagy. The sciatic nerve of the homozygous knock-in mice was characterized by low autophagy potential in pre-symptomatic and Hspb8 aggregates in post-symptomatic animals. On the other hand, the sciatic nerve of the homozygous knock-out mice presented a normal morphology and their distal muscle displayed accumulation of abnormal mitochondria but intact myofiber and Z-line organisation. Our data, therefore, suggest that toxic gain-of-function of mutant Hspb8 aggregates is a major contributor to the peripheral neuropathy and the myopathy. In addition, mutant Hspb8 induces

  1. 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.

  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. 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...

  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. 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

  6. 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...... 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...... 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...

  7. 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....

  8. Revealing Television's Analogue Heroes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jackson, Vanessa

    2013-01-01

    abstractIn this article I will argue that we need to create new archival models in order to preserve and share knowledge of historical, ‘hidden’ television professions and production cultures. Oral history traditions of recording life stories give us a useful starting point. Engineering ‘encounters’

  9. 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.

  10. Revealing Television's Analogue Heroes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Jackson

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article I will argue that we need to create new archival models in order to preserve and share knowledge of historical, ‘hidden’ television professions and production cultures. Oral history traditions of recording life stories give us a useful starting point. Engineering ‘encounters’ between skilled television technicians, and the now obsolete equipment they operated in the 1970s and 80s, is challenging for a myriad of reasons, but videoing the interaction of man and machine provides us with a rich insight into how analogue television was produced and broadcast. Social media enables us to disseminate these histories in new and innovative ways..

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Titan Casts Revealing Shadow

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-05-01

    A rare celestial event was captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory as Titan -- Saturn's largest moon and the only moon in the Solar System with a thick atmosphere -- crossed in front of the X-ray bright Crab Nebula. The X-ray shadow cast by Titan allowed astronomers to make the first X-ray measurement of the extent of its atmosphere. On January 5, 2003, Titan transited the Crab Nebula, the remnant of a supernova explosion that was observed to occur in the year 1054. Although Saturn and Titan pass within a few degrees of the Crab Nebula every 30 years, they rarely pass directly in front of it. "This may have been the first transit of the Crab Nebula by Titan since the birth of the Crab Nebula," said Koji Mori of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, and lead author on an Astrophysical Journal paper describing these results. "The next similar conjunction will take place in the year 2267, so this was truly a once in a lifetime event." Animation of Titan's Shadow on Crab Nebula Animation of Titan's Shadow on Crab Nebula Chandra's observation revealed that the diameter of the X-ray shadow cast by Titan was larger than the diameter of its solid surface. The difference in diameters gives a measurement of about 550 miles (880 kilometers) for the height of the X-ray absorbing region of Titan's atmosphere. The extent of the upper atmosphere is consistent with, or slightly (10-15%) larger, than that implied by Voyager I observations made at radio, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths in 1980. "Saturn was about 5% closer to the Sun in 2003, so increased solar heating of Titan may account for some of this atmospheric expansion," said Hiroshi Tsunemi of Osaka University in Japan, one of the coauthors on the paper. The X-ray brightness and extent of the Crab Nebula made it possible to study the tiny X-ray shadow cast by Titan during its transit. By using Chandra to precisely track Titan's position, astronomers were able to measure a shadow one arcsecond in

  18. 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.

  19. Using principal component analysis to capture individual differences within a unified neuropsychological model of chronic post-stroke aphasia: Revealing the unique neural correlates of speech fluency, phonology and semantics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halai, Ajay D; Woollams, Anna M; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A

    2017-01-01

    Individual differences in the performance profiles of neuropsychologically-impaired patients are pervasive yet there is still no resolution on the best way to model and account for the variation in their behavioural impairments and the associated neural correlates. To date, researchers have generally taken one of three different approaches: a single-case study methodology in which each case is considered separately; a case-series design in which all individual patients from a small coherent group are examined and directly compared; or, group studies, in which a sample of cases are investigated as one group with the assumption that they are drawn from a homogenous category and that performance differences are of no interest. In recent research, we have developed a complementary alternative through the use of principal component analysis (PCA) of individual data from large patient cohorts. This data-driven approach not only generates a single unified model for the group as a whole (expressed in terms of the emergent principal components) but is also able to capture the individual differences between patients (in terms of their relative positions along the principal behavioural axes). We demonstrate the use of this approach by considering speech fluency, phonology and semantics in aphasia diagnosis and classification, as well as their unique neural correlates. PCA of the behavioural data from 31 patients with chronic post-stroke aphasia resulted in four statistically-independent behavioural components reflecting phonological, semantic, executive-cognitive and fluency abilities. Even after accounting for lesion volume, entering the four behavioural components simultaneously into a voxel-based correlational methodology (VBCM) analysis revealed that speech fluency (speech quanta) was uniquely correlated with left motor cortex and underlying white matter (including the anterior section of the arcuate fasciculus and the frontal aslant tract), phonological skills with

  20. Cosmic Flasher Reveals All!

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-09-01

    predicted to cause "starquakes" in which the solid crust of the neutron star is cracked, releasing energy. That energy is released in two forms -- a burst of gamma-rays and X-rays and an ejection of subatomic particles at nearly the speed of light. The gamma-ray and X-ray burst lasts no more than a few minutes, while the ejected particles, interacting with the star's magnetic field, can produce detectable amounts of radio emission for several days. On August 27, the SGR called 1900+14 underwent a tremendous burst, the likes of which had not been seen since 1979. "For a number of years now, I've been routinely looking toward the region of sky where we thought this thing might be," said Frail, "hoping the magnetar would show itself." It did not disappoint; on September 3, the VLA found a new source of radio emission where one had not previously existed. The source quickly faded from view one week later. The immediate importance of this finding is that it provides a new and independent confirmation of the magnetar model. These impulsive particle "winds," predicted by theory, carry as much energy as the flashes of hard X-ray emission and are important in slowing down the spinning magnetar. This discovery also allows astronomers to pinpoint the exact location of the SGR to allow further study of the magnetar with other powerful telescopes. "Trying to find this source of gamma-rays was like nighttime sailing with a broken lighthouse; now, we're no longer in the dark, and can study the magnetar for years to come," said Bloom. In time, the free-flowing particle wind can inflate a nebula called a plerion. "This 'windbag nebula' can tell us a lot about the outflow of particles and the burst history of the object," Frail said. "In fact, studying this phenomenon can give us information about the magnetar that we can't learn any other way." The VLA is an instrument of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative

  1. Comparative modeling and docking studies of p16ink4/Cyclin D1/Rb pathway genes in lung cancer revealed functionally interactive residue of RB1 and its functional partner E2F1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    e Zahra Syeda Naqsh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lung cancer is the major cause of mortality worldwide. Major signalling pathways that could play significant role in lung cancer therapy include (1 Growth promoting pathways (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor/Ras/ PhosphatidylInositol 3-Kinase (2 Growth inhibitory pathways (p53/Rb/P14ARF, STK11 (3 Apoptotic pathways (Bcl-2/Bax/Fas/FasL. Insilico strategy was implemented to solve the mystery behind selected lung cancer pathway by applying comparative modeling and molecular docking studies. Results YASARA [v 12.4.1] was utilized to predict structural models of P16-INK4 and RB1 genes using template 4ELJ-A and 1MX6-B respectively. WHAT CHECK evaluation tool demonstrated overall quality of predicted P16-INK4 and RB1 with Z-score of −0.132 and −0.007 respectively which showed a strong indication of reliable structure prediction. Protein-protein interactions were explored by utilizing STRING server, illustrated that CDK4 and E2F1 showed strong interaction with P16-INK4 and RB1 based on confidence score of 0.999 and 0.999 respectively. In order to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the complex interactions between candidate genes with their functional interactors, GRAMM-X server was used. Protein-protein docking investigation of P16-INK4 revealed four ionic bonds illustrating Arg47, Arg80,Cys72 and Met1 residues as actively participating in interactions with CDK4 while docking results of RB1 showed four hydrogen bonds involving Glu864, Ser567, Asp36 and Arg861 residues which interact strongly with its respective functional interactor E2F1. Conclusion This research may provide a basis for understanding biological insights of P16-INK4 and RB1 proteins which will be helpful in future to design a suitable drug to inhibit the disease pathogenesis as we have determined the interacting amino acids which can be targeted in order to design a ligand in-vitro to propose a drug for clinical trials. Protein -protein docking of

  2. 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.

  3. Local thermodynamic equilibrium and related metrological issues involving collisional-radiative model in laser-induced aluminum plasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Travaille, G.; Peyrusse, O.; Bousquet, B.; Canioni, L.; Pierres, K. Michel-Le; Roy, S.

    2009-01-01

    We present a collisional-radiative approach of the theoretical analysis of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) plasmas. This model, which relies on an optimized effective potential atomic structure code, was used to simulate a pure aluminum plasma. The description of aluminum involved a set of 220 atomic levels representative of three different stages of ionization (Al 0 , Al + and Al ++ ). The calculations were carried for stationary plasmas, with input parameters (n e and T e ) ranging respectively between 10 13-18 cm -3 and 0.3-2 eV. A comparison of our atomic data with some existing databases is made. The code was mainly developed to address the validity of the local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) assumption. For usual LIBS plasma parameters, we did not reveal a sizeable discrepancy of the radiative equilibrium of the plasma towards LTE. For cases where LTE was firmly believed to stand, the Boltzmann plot outputs of this code were used to check the physical accuracy of the Boltzmann temperature, as it is currently exploited in several calibration-free laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (CF-LIBS) studies. In this paper, a deviation ranging between 10 and 30% of the measured Boltzmann temperature to the real excitation temperature is reported. This may be due to the huge dispersion induced on the line emissivities, on which the Boltzmann plots are based to extract this parameter. Consequences of this fact on the CF-LIBS procedure are discussed and further insights to be considered for the future are introduced.

  4. An integrative computational modelling of music structure apprehension

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lartillot, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    , the computational model, by virtue of its generality, extensiveness and operationality, is suggested as a blueprint for the establishment of cognitively validated model of music structure apprehension. Available as a Matlab module, it can be used for practical musicological uses.......An objectivization of music analysis requires a detailed formalization of the underlying principles and methods. The formalization of the most elementary structural processes is hindered by the complexity of music, both in terms of profusions of entities (such as notes) and of tight interactions...... 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...

  5. 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,...

  6. Orbital angular momentum parton distributions in quark models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scopetta, S.; Vento, V.

    2000-01-01

    At the low energy, hadronic, scale we calculate Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) twist-two parton distributions for the relativistic MIT bag model and for nonrelativistic quark models. We reach the scale of the data by leading order evolution in perturbative QCD. We confirm that the contribution of quarks and gluons OAM to the nucleon spin grows with Q 2 , and it can be relevant at the experimental scale, even if it is negligible at the hadronic scale, irrespective of the model used. The sign and shape of the quark OAM distribution at high Q 2 may depend strongly on the relative size of the OAM and spin distributions at the hadronic scale. Sizeable quark OAM distributions at the hadronic scale, as proposed by several authors, can produce the dominant contribution to the nucleon spin at high Q 2 . (author)

  7. 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...

  8. On-line monitoring of important organoleptic methyl-branched aldehydes during batch fermentation of starter culture Staphylococcus xylosus reveal new insight into their production in a model fermentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Vos Petersen, Christian; Beck, Hans Christian; Lauritsen, Frants R

    2004-01-01

    A small fermentor (55 mL) was directly interfaced to a membrane inlet mass spectrometer for continuous on-line monitoring of oxygen and volatile metabolites during batch fermentations of the starter culture Staphylococcus xylosus. Using this technique, we were able to correlate production...... of a longer aerobic growth period. Growing S. xylosus under conditions resembling those in a fermented sausage revealed that NaCl (5%) increased aldehyde production considerably, whereas KNO(3) (0.03%) or NaNO(2) (0.03%) had little effect. A lowering of pH from 7.2 to 6.0 reduced cell density, but had a minor...

  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. 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

  11. Chain networking revealed by molecular dynamics simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yexin; Tsige, Mesfin; Wang, Shi-Qing

    Based on Kremer-Grest model for entangled polymer melts, we demonstrate how the response of a polymer glass depends critically on the chain length. After quenching two melts of very different chain lengths (350 beads per chain and 30 beads per chain) into deeply glassy states, we subject them to uniaxial extension. Our MD simulations show that the glass of long chains undergoes stable necking after yielding whereas the system of short chains is unable to neck and breaks up after strain localization. During ductile extension of the polymer glass made of long chain significant chain tension builds up in the load-bearing strands (LBSs). Further analysis is expected to reveal evidence of activation of the primary structure during post-yield extension. These results lend support to the recent molecular model 1 and are the simulations to demonstrate the role of chain networking. This work is supported, in part, by a NSF Grant (DMR-EAGER-1444859)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Hubble Images Reveal Jupiter's Auroras

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    These images, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, reveal changes in Jupiter's auroral emissions and how small auroral spots just outside the emission rings are linked to the planet's volcanic moon, Io. The images represent the most sensitive and sharply-detailed views ever taken of Jovian auroras.The top panel pinpoints the effects of emissions from Io, which is about the size of Earth's moon. The black-and-white image on the left, taken in visible light, shows how Io and Jupiter are linked by an invisible electrical current of charged particles called a 'flux tube.' The particles - ejected from Io (the bright spot on Jupiter's right) by volcanic eruptions - flow along Jupiter's magnetic field lines, which thread through Io, to the planet's north and south magnetic poles. This image also shows the belts of clouds surrounding Jupiter as well as the Great Red Spot.The black-and-white image on the right, taken in ultraviolet light about 15 minutes later, shows Jupiter's auroral emissions at the north and south poles. Just outside these emissions are the auroral spots. Called 'footprints,' the spots are created when the particles in Io's 'flux tube' reach Jupiter's upper atmosphere and interact with hydrogen gas, making it fluoresce. In this image, Io is not observable because it is faint in the ultraviolet.The two ultraviolet images at the bottom of the picture show how the auroral emissions change in brightness and structure as Jupiter rotates. These false-color images also reveal how the magnetic field is offset from Jupiter's spin axis by 10 to 15 degrees. In the right image, the north auroral emission is rising over the left limb; the south auroral oval is beginning to set. The image on the left, obtained on a different date, shows a full view of the north aurora, with a strong emission inside the main auroral oval.The images were taken by the telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 between May 1994 and September 1995.This image and other images and data

  15. Mathematical modeling and comparison of protein size distribution in different plant, animal, fungal and microbial species reveals a negative correlation between protein size and protein number, thus providing insight into the evolution of proteomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiessen Axel

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The sizes of proteins are relevant to their biochemical structure and for their biological function. The statistical distribution of protein lengths across a diverse set of taxa can provide hints about the evolution of proteomes. Results Using the full genomic sequences of over 1,302 prokaryotic and 140 eukaryotic species two datasets containing 1.2 and 6.1 million proteins were generated and analyzed statistically. The lengthwise distribution of proteins can be roughly described with a gamma type or log-normal model, depending on the species. However the shape parameter of the gamma model has not a fixed value of 2, as previously suggested, but varies between 1.5 and 3 in different species. A gamma model with unrestricted shape parameter described best the distributions in ~48% of the species, whereas the log-normal distribution described better the observed protein sizes in 42% of the species. The gamma restricted function and the sum of exponentials distribution had a better fitting in only ~5% of the species. Eukaryotic proteins have an average size of 472 aa, whereas bacterial (320 aa and archaeal (283 aa proteins are significantly smaller (33-40% on average. Average protein sizes in different phylogenetic groups were: Alveolata (628 aa, Amoebozoa (533 aa, Fornicata (543 aa, Placozoa (453 aa, Eumetazoa (486 aa, Fungi (487 aa, Stramenopila (486 aa, Viridiplantae (392 aa. Amino acid composition is biased according to protein size. Protein length correlated negatively with %C, %M, %K, %F, %R, %W, %Y and positively with %D, %E, %Q, %S and %T. Prokaryotic proteins had a different protein size bias for %E, %G, %K and %M as compared to eukaryotes. Conclusions Mathematical modeling of protein length empirical distributions can be used to asses the quality of small ORFs annotation in genomic releases (detection of too many false positive small ORFs. There is a negative correlation between average protein size and total number of

  16. 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

  17. Three-Dimensional Spatiotemporal Modeling of Colon Cancer Organoids Reveals that Multimodal Control of Stem Cell Self-Renewal is a Critical Determinant of Size and Shape in Early Stages of Tumor Growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Huaming; Konstorum, Anna; Lowengrub, John S

    2018-05-01

    We develop a three-dimensional multispecies mathematical model to simulate the growth of colon cancer organoids containing stem, progenitor and terminally differentiated cells, as a model of early (prevascular) tumor growth. Stem cells (SCs) secrete short-range self-renewal promoters (e.g., Wnt) and their long-range inhibitors (e.g., Dkk) and proliferate slowly. Committed progenitor (CP) cells proliferate more rapidly and differentiate to produce post-mitotic terminally differentiated cells that release differentiation promoters, forming negative feedback loops on SC and CP self-renewal. We demonstrate that SCs play a central role in normal and cancer colon organoids. Spatial patterning of the SC self-renewal promoter gives rise to SC clusters, which mimic stem cell niches, around the organoid surface, and drive the development of invasive fingers. We also study the effects of externally applied signaling factors. Applying bone morphogenic proteins, which inhibit SC and CP self-renewal, reduces invasiveness and organoid size. Applying hepatocyte growth factor, which enhances SC self-renewal, produces larger sizes and enhances finger development at low concentrations but suppresses fingers at high concentrations. These results are consistent with recent experiments on colon organoids. Because many cancers are hierarchically organized and are subject to feedback regulation similar to that in normal tissues, our results suggest that in cancer, control of cancer stem cell self-renewal should influence the size and shape in similar ways, thereby opening the door to novel therapies.

  18. A retrospective investigation on canine papillomavirus 1 (CPV1 in oral oncogenesis reveals dogs are not a suitable animal model for high-risk HPV-induced oral cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilaria Porcellato

    Full Text Available CPV1 (also called COPV is a papillomavirus responsible for oral papillomatosis in young dogs. The involvement of this viral type in oral oncogenesis has been hypothesized in oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs, but has never been investigated in other neoplastic and hyperplastic oral lesions of dogs. Aim of this study was to investigate the presence of CPV1 in different neoplastic and hyperplastic lesions in order to assess its role in canine oral oncogenesis; according to the results obtained, a second aim of the study was to define if the dog can be considered a valid animal model for oral high risk HPV-induced tumors. Eighty-eight formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE canine oral lesions including 78 oral tumors (papillomas, SCCs, melanomas, ameloblastomas, oral adenocarcinomas and 10 hyperplastic lesions (gingival hyperplasia were investigated with immunohistochemistry for the presence of papillomavirus L1 protein and with Real-Time PCR for CPV1 DNA. RT-PCR for RNA was performed on selected samples. All viral papillomas tested were positive for immunohistochemistry and Real-time PCR. In 3/33 (10% SCCs, viral DNA was demonstrated but no viral RNA could be found. No positivity was observed both with immunohistochemistry and Real-Time PCR in the other hyperplastic and neoplastic lesions of the oral cavity of dogs. Even though the finding of CPV1 DNA in few SCCs in face of a negative immunohistochemistry could support the hypothesis of an abortive infection in the development of these lesions, the absence of viral RNA points out that CPV1 more likely represents an innocent bystander in SCC oncogenesis. The study demonstrates a strong association between CPV1 and oral viral papillomas whereas viral contribution to the pathogenesis of other oral lesions seems unlikely. Moreover, it suggests that a canine model of CPV1 infection for HPV-induced oncogenesis could be inappropriate.

  19. A retrospective investigation on canine papillomavirus 1 (CPV1) in oral oncogenesis reveals dogs are not a suitable animal model for high-risk HPV-induced oral cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porcellato, Ilaria; Brachelente, Chiara; Guelfi, Gabriella; Reginato, Alice; Sforna, Monica; Bongiovanni, Laura; Mechelli, Luca

    2014-01-01

    CPV1 (also called COPV) is a papillomavirus responsible for oral papillomatosis in young dogs. The involvement of this viral type in oral oncogenesis has been hypothesized in oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), but has never been investigated in other neoplastic and hyperplastic oral lesions of dogs. Aim of this study was to investigate the presence of CPV1 in different neoplastic and hyperplastic lesions in order to assess its role in canine oral oncogenesis; according to the results obtained, a second aim of the study was to define if the dog can be considered a valid animal model for oral high risk HPV-induced tumors. Eighty-eight formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) canine oral lesions including 78 oral tumors (papillomas, SCCs, melanomas, ameloblastomas, oral adenocarcinomas) and 10 hyperplastic lesions (gingival hyperplasia) were investigated with immunohistochemistry for the presence of papillomavirus L1 protein and with Real-Time PCR for CPV1 DNA. RT-PCR for RNA was performed on selected samples. All viral papillomas tested were positive for immunohistochemistry and Real-time PCR. In 3/33 (10%) SCCs, viral DNA was demonstrated but no viral RNA could be found. No positivity was observed both with immunohistochemistry and Real-Time PCR in the other hyperplastic and neoplastic lesions of the oral cavity of dogs. Even though the finding of CPV1 DNA in few SCCs in face of a negative immunohistochemistry could support the hypothesis of an abortive infection in the development of these lesions, the absence of viral RNA points out that CPV1 more likely represents an innocent bystander in SCC oncogenesis. The study demonstrates a strong association between CPV1 and oral viral papillomas whereas viral contribution to the pathogenesis of other oral lesions seems unlikely. Moreover, it suggests that a canine model of CPV1 infection for HPV-induced oncogenesis could be inappropriate.

  20. Mathematical modeling of ultradeep sequencing data reveals that acute CD8+ T-lymphocyte responses exert strong selective pressure in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected macaques but still fail to clear founder epitope sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Tanzy M T; Thurston, Sally W; Keefer, Michael C; Dewhurst, Stephen; Lee, Ha Youn

    2010-06-01

    The prominent role of antiviral cytotoxic CD8(+) T-lymphocytes (CD8-TL) in containing the acute viremia of human and simian immunodeficiency viruses (HIV-1 and SIV) has rationalized the development of T-cell-based vaccines. However, the presence of escape mutations in the acute stage of infection has raised a concern that accelerated escape from vaccine-induced CD8-TL responses might undermine vaccine efficacy. We reanalyzed previously published data of 101,822 viral genomes of three CD8-TL epitopes, Nef(103-111)RM9 (RM9), Tat(28-35)SL8 (SL8), and Gag(181-189)CM9 (CM9), sampled by ultradeep pyrosequencing from eight macaques. Multiple epitope variants appeared during the resolution of acute viremia, followed by the predominance of a single mutant epitope. By fitting a mathematical model, we estimated the first acute escape rate as 0.36 day(-1) within escape-prone epitopes, RM9 and SL8, and the chronic escape rate as 0.014 day(-1) within the CM9 epitope. Our estimate of SIV acute escape rates was found to be comparable to very early HIV-1 escape rates. The timing of the first escape was more highly correlated with the timing of the peak CD8-TL response than with the magnitude of the CD8-TL response. The transmitted epitope decayed more than 400 times faster during the acute viral decline stage than predicted by a neutral evolution model. However, the founder epitope persisted as a minor population even at the viral set point; in contrast, the majority of acute escape epitopes were completely cleared. Our results suggest that a reservoir of SIV infection is preferentially formed by virus with the transmitted epitope.

  1. Infection and cellular defense dynamics in a novel 17β-estradiol murine model of chronic human group B streptococcus genital tract colonization reveal a role for hemolysin in persistence and neutrophil accumulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Alison J; Tan, Chee Keong; Mirza, Shaper; Irving-Rodgers, Helen; Webb, Richard I; Lam, Alfred; Ulett, Glen C

    2014-02-15

    Genital tract carriage of group B streptococcus (GBS) is prevalent among adult women; however, the dynamics of chronic GBS genital tract carriage, including how GBS persists in this immunologically active host niche long term, are not well defined. To our knowledge, in this study, we report the first animal model of chronic GBS genital tract colonization using female mice synchronized into estrus by delivery of 17β-estradiol prior to intravaginal challenge with wild-type GBS 874391. Cervicovaginal swabs, which were used to measure bacterial persistence, showed that GBS colonized the vaginal mucosa of mice at high numbers (10(6)-10(7) CFU/swab) for at least 90 d. Cellular and histological analyses showed that chronic GBS colonization of the murine genital tract caused significant lymphocyte and PMN cell infiltrates, which were localized to the vaginal mucosal surface. Long-term colonization was independent of regular hormone cycling. Immunological analyses of 23 soluble proteins related to chemotaxis and inflammation showed that the host response to GBS in the genital tract comprised markers of innate immune activation including cytokines such as GM-CSF and TNF-α. A nonhemolytic isogenic mutant of GBS 874391, Δcyle9, was impaired for colonization and was associated with amplified local PMN responses. Induction of DNA neutrophil extracellular traps, which was observed in GBS-infected human PMNs in vitro in a hemolysin-dependent manner, appeared to be part of this response. Overall, this study defines key infection dynamics in a novel murine model of chronic GBS genital tract colonization and establishes previously unknown cellular and soluble defense responses to GBS in the female genital tract.

  2. Nonlinear (MARS modeling of long-term variations of surface UV-B radiation as revealed from the analysis of Belsk, Poland data for the period 1976–2000

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. W. Krzyścin

    Full Text Available A new, powerful statistical technique, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS, is applied to reproduce monthly fractional deviations of UV-B doses over Belsk, Poland, during the snowless (May–October part of the year in the period 1976–2000. Two kinds of regressors were used: local ones (total ozone, percentage of sky covered by low-, mid-, high-level clouds or total solar radiation over Belsk and non-local ones, i.e. those describing the long-distance forcings on the surface UV-B due to changes in the global atmospheric circulation. Standard indices of the Quasi-Biennial, North Atlantic, El Niño-Southern Oscillations, and the 11-year solar activity were used as non-local regressors. The results there indicate that the MARS procedure is able to reproduce the observed year-to-year and decadal oscillations in the UV data. The MARS model yields better model-observation agreement than an ordinary least-squares fit based on the same set of regressors. It is found that MARS is capable of handling interactions between the local and non-local regressors, suggesting a possible nonlinear nature of connections between variables characterizing the atmospheric transparency over Belsk and the long-distance forcings. MARS enables a reconstruction of the surface UV-B variations over any site based on the cloud and ozone data presently stored on web pages.

    Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (aerosols and particles; biosphere-atmosphere interactions

  3. Revealing effective classifiers through network comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallos, Lazaros K.; Fefferman, Nina H.

    2014-11-01

    The ability to compare complex systems can provide new insight into the fundamental nature of the processes captured, in ways that are otherwise inaccessible to observation. Here, we introduce the n-tangle method to directly compare two networks for structural similarity, based on the distribution of edge density in network subgraphs. We demonstrate that this method can efficiently introduce comparative analysis into network science and opens the road for many new applications. For example, we show how the construction of a “phylogenetic tree” across animal taxa according to their social structure can reveal commonalities in the behavioral ecology of the populations, or how students create similar networks according to the University size. Our method can be expanded to study many additional properties, such as network classification, changes during time evolution, convergence of growth models, and detection of structural changes during damage.

  4. Lepton-flavour violation in a Pati-Salam model with gauged flavour symmetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feldmann, Thorsten; Luhn, Christoph; Moch, Paul [Theoretische Physik 1, Naturwissenschaftlich-Technische Fakultät,Universität Siegen, Walter-Flex-Straße 3, 57068 Siegen (Germany)

    2016-11-11

    Combining Pati-Salam (PS) and flavour symmetries in a renormalisable setup, we devise a scenario which produces realistic masses for the charged leptons. Flavour-symmetry breaking scalar fields in the adjoint representations of the PS gauge group are responsible for generating different flavour structures for up- and down-type quarks as well as for leptons. The model is characterised by new heavy fermions which mix with the Standard Model quarks and leptons. In particular, the partners for the third fermion generation induce sizeable sources of flavour violation. Focusing on the charged-lepton sector, we scrutinise the model with respect to its implications for lepton-flavour violating processes such as μ→eγ, μ→3e and muon conversion in nuclei.

  5. Focus groups reveal consumer ambivalence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-01-01

    According to qualitative research, Salvadoreans are ambivalent about the use of contraceptives. Since complete responsibility for management of the CSM project was accepted by the Association Demografica Salvadorena (ADS), the agency which operates the contraceptive social marketing project in El Salvador, in November 1980, the need for decisions in such areas as product price increases, introduction of new condom brands, promotion of the vaginal foaming tablet, and assessment of product sales performance had arisen. The ICSMP funded market research, completed during 1983, was intended to provide the data on which such decisions by ADS could be based. The qualitative research involved 8 focus groups, comprised of men and women, aged 18-45, contraceptive users and nonusers, from the middle and lower socioeconomic strata of the city of San Salvador and other suburban areas. In each group a moderator led discussion of family planning and probed respondents for specific attitudes, knowledge, and behavior regarding the use of contraceptives. To assess attitudes at a more emotional level, moderators asked respondents to "draw" their ideas on certain issues. A marked discrepancy was revealed between respondents' intellectual responses to the issues raised in group discussion, as opposed to their feelings expressed in the drawings. Intellectually, participants responded very positively to family planning practice, but when they were asked to draw their perceptions, ambivalent feelings emerged. Drawings of both the user and the nonuser convey primarily negative aspects for either choice. The user is tense and moody toward her children; the nonuser loses her attractiveness and "dies." Figures also show drawings of some of the attitudes of single and married male participants. 1 drawing shows an incomplete and a complete circle, symbolizing a sterilized man (incomplete) and a nonsterilized man (complete). Another picture depicts a chained man who has lost his freedom

  6. Modelling reveals endogenous osmotic adaptation of storage tissue water potential as an important driver determining different stem diameter variation patterns in the mangrove species Avicennia marina and Rhizophora stylosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandegehuchte, Maurits W; Guyot, Adrien; Hubeau, Michiel; De Swaef, Tom; Lockington, David A; Steppe, Kathy

    2014-09-01

    Stem diameter variations are mainly determined by the radial water transport between xylem and storage tissues. This radial transport results from the water potential difference between these tissues, which is influenced by both hydraulic and carbon related processes. Measurements have shown that when subjected to the same environmental conditions, the co-occurring mangrove species Avicennia marina and Rhizophora stylosa unexpectedly show a totally different pattern in daily stem diameter variation. Using in situ measurements of stem diameter variation, stem water potential and sap flow, a mechanistic flow and storage model based on the cohesion-tension theory was applied to assess the differences in osmotic storage water potential between Avicennia marina and Rhizophora stylosa. Both species, subjected to the same environmental conditions, showed a resembling daily pattern in simulated osmotic storage water potential. However, the osmotic storage water potential of R. stylosa started to decrease slightly after that of A. marina in the morning and increased again slightly later in the evening. This small shift in osmotic storage water potential likely underlaid the marked differences in daily stem diameter variation pattern between the two species. The results show that in addition to environmental dynamics, endogenous changes in the osmotic storage water potential must be taken into account in order to accurately predict stem diameter variations, and hence growth.

  7. Revealing Nanostructures through Plasmon Polarimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleemann, Marie-Elena; Mertens, Jan; Zheng, Xuezhi; Cormier, Sean; Turek, Vladimir; Benz, Felix; Chikkaraddy, Rohit; Deacon, William; Lombardi, Anna; Moshchalkov, Victor V; Vandenbosch, Guy A E; Baumberg, Jeremy J

    2017-01-24

    Polarized optical dark-field spectroscopy is shown to be a versatile noninvasive probe of plasmonic structures that trap light to the nanoscale. Clear spectral polarization splittings are found to be directly related to the asymmetric morphology of nanocavities formed between faceted gold nanoparticles and an underlying gold substrate. Both experiment and simulation show the influence of geometry on the coupled system, with spectral shifts Δλ = 3 nm from single atoms. Analytical models allow us to identify the split resonances as transverse cavity modes, tightly confined to the nanogap. The direct correlation of resonance splitting with atomistic morphology allows mapping of subnanometre structures, which is crucial for progress in extreme nano-optics involving chemistry, nanophotonics, and quantum devices.

  8. Defense response in non-genomic model species: methyl jasmonate exposure reveals the passion fruit leaves' ability to assemble a cocktail of functionally diversified Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitors and recruit two of them against papain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botelho-Júnior, Sylvio; Machado, Olga L T; Fernandes, Kátia V S; Lemos, Francisco J A; Perdizio, Viviane A; Oliveira, Antônia E A; Monteiro, Leandro R; Filho, Mauri L; Jacinto, Tânia

    2014-08-01

    Multiplicity of protease inhibitors induced by predators may increase the understanding of a plant's intelligent behavior toward environmental challenges. Information about defense mechanisms of non-genomic model plant passion fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims) in response to predator attack is still limited. Here, via biochemical approaches, we showed its flexibility to build-up a broad repertoire of potent Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitors (KTIs) in response to methyl jasmonate. Seven inhibitors (20-25 kDa) were purified from exposed leaves by chromatographic techniques. Interestingly, the KTIs possessed truncated Kunitz motif in their N-terminus and some of them also presented non-consensus residues. Gelatin-Native-PAGE established multiple isoforms for each inhibitor. Significant differences regarding inhibitors' activity toward trypsin and chymotrypsin were observed, indicating functional polymorphism. Despite its rarity, two of them also inhibited papain, and such bifunctionality suggests a recruiting process onto another mechanistic class of target protease (cysteine-type). All inhibitors acted strongly on midgut proteases from sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (a lepidopteran insect) while in vivo assays supported their insecticide properties. Moreover, the bifunctional inhibitors displayed activity toward midgut proteases from cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus (a coleopteran insect). Unexpectedly, all inhibitors were highly effective against midgut proteases from Aedes aegypti a dipteran insect (vector of neglected tropical diseases) opening new avenues for plant-derived PIs for vector control-oriented research. Our results reflect the KTIs' complexities in passion fruit which could be wisely exploited by influencing plant defense conditions. Therefore, the potential of passion fruit as source of bioactive compounds with diversified biotechnological application was strengthened.

  9. Patient-derived Hormone-naive Prostate Cancer Xenograft Models Reveal Growth Factor Receptor Bound Protein 10 as an Androgen Receptor-repressed Gene Driving the Development of Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Jun; Ci, Xinpei; Xue, Hui; Wu, Rebecca; Dong, Xin; Choi, Stephen Yiu Chuen; He, Haiqing; Wang, Yu; Zhang, Fang; Qu, Sifeng; Zhang, Fan; Haegert, Anne M; Gout, Peter W; Zoubeidi, Amina; Collins, Colin; Gleave, Martin E; Lin, Dong; Wang, Yuzhuo

    2018-06-01

    Although androgen deprivation therapy is initially effective in controlling growth of hormone-naive prostate cancers (HNPCs) in patients, currently incurable castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) inevitably develops. To identify CRPC driver genes that may provide new targets to enhance CRPC therapy. Patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) of HNPCs that develop CRPC following host castration were examined for changes in expression of genes at various time points after castration using transcriptome profiling analysis; particular attention was given to pre-CRPC changes in expression indicative of genes acting as potential CRPC drivers. The functionality of a potential CRPC driver was validated via its knockdown in cultured prostate cancer cells; its clinical relevance was established using data from prostate cancer patient databases. Eighty genes were found to be significantly upregulated at the CRPC stage, while seven of them also showed elevated expression prior to CRPC development. Among the latter, growth factor receptor bound protein 10 (GRB10) was the most significantly and consistently upregulated gene. Moreover, elevated GRB10 expression in clinical prostate cancer samples correlated with more aggressive tumor types and poorer patient treatment outcome. GRB10 knockdown markedly reduced prostate cancer cell proliferation and activity of AKT, a well-established CRPC mediator. A positive correlation between AKT activity and GRB10 expression was also found in clinical cohorts. GRB10 acts as a driver of CRPC and sensitizes androgen receptor pathway inhibitors, and hence GRB10 targeting provides a novel therapeutic strategy for the disease. Development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is a major problem in the management of the disease. Using state-of-the-art patient-derived hormone-naive prostate cancer xenograft models, we found and validated the growth factor receptor bound protein 10 gene as a driver of CRPC, indicating that it may be used as a

  10. Mapping the resistance-associated mobilome of a carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain reveals insights into factors shaping these regions and facilitates generation of a 'resistance-disarmed' model organism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Dexi; Jiang, Xiaofei; Sheng, Zi-Ke; Ngmenterebo, David; Tai, Cui; Wang, Minggui; Deng, Zixin; Rajakumar, Kumar; Ou, Hong-Yu

    2015-10-01

    This study aims to investigate the landscape of the mobile genome, with a focus on antibiotic resistance-associated factors in carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. The mobile genome of the completely sequenced K. pneumoniae HS11286 strain (an ST11, carbapenem-resistant, near-pan-resistant, clinical isolate) was annotated in fine detail. The identified mobile genetic elements were mapped to the genetic contexts of resistance genes. The blaKPC-2 gene and a 26 kb region containing 12 clustered antibiotic resistance genes and one biocide resistance gene were deleted, and the MICs were determined again to ensure that antibiotic resistance had been lost. HS11286 contains six plasmids, 49 ISs, nine transposons, two separate In2-related integron remnants, two integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) and seven prophages. Sixteen plasmid-borne resistance genes were identified, 14 of which were found to be directly associated with Tn1721-, Tn3-, Tn5393-, In2-, ISCR2- and ISCR3-derived elements. IS26 appears to have actively moulded several of these genetic regions. The deletion of blaKPC-2, followed by the deletion of a 26 kb region containing 12 clustered antibiotic resistance genes, progressively decreased the spectrum and level of resistance exhibited by the resultant mutant strains. This study has reiterated the role of plasmids as bearers of the vast majority of resistance genes in this species and has provided valuable insights into the vital role played by ISs, transposons and integrons in shaping the resistance-coding regions in this important strain. The 'resistance-disarmed' K. pneumoniae ST11 strain generated in this study will offer a more benign and readily genetically modifiable model organism for future extensive functional studies. © The Author 2015. 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.

  11. Revealing conceptual understanding of international business

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sue Ashley; Dr. Harmen Schaap; Prof.Dr. Elly de Bruijn

    2017-01-01

    This study aims to identify an adequate approach for revealing conceptual understanding in higher professional education. Revealing students’ conceptual understanding is an important step towards developing effective curricula, assessment and aligned teaching strategies to enhance conceptual

  12. Partial radiogenic heat model for Earth revealed by geoneutrino measurements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abe, S.; et al., [Unknown; Decowski, M.P.

    2011-01-01

    The Earth has cooled since its formation, yet the decay of radiogenic isotopes, and in particular uranium, thorium and potassium, in the planet’s interior provides a continuing heat source. The current total heat flux from the Earth to space is 44.2±1.0 TW, but the relative contributions from

  13. Revealing spatially heterogeneous relaxation in a model nanocomposite

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cheng, Shiwang; Bocharova, Vera [Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831 (United States); Mirigian, Stephen; Schweizer, Kenneth S. [Department of Materials Science and Chemistry, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (United States); Carrillo, Jan-Michael Y.; Sumpter, Bobby G. [Center for Nanophase Materials Sci