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Sample records for regulates gap junctional

  1. Gap Junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Morten Schak; Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Sorgen, Paul L.; Verma, Vandana; Delmar, Mario; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are essential to the function of multicellular animals, which require a high degree of coordination between cells. In vertebrates, gap junctions comprise connexins and currently 21 connexins are known in humans. The functions of gap junctions are highly diverse and include exchange of metabolites and electrical signals between cells, as well as functions, which are apparently unrelated to intercellular communication. Given the diversity of gap junction physiology, regulation of gap junction activity is complex. The structure of the various connexins is known to some extent; and structural rearrangements and intramolecular interactions are important for regulation of channel function. Intercellular coupling is further regulated by the number and activity of channels present in gap junctional plaques. The number of connexins in cell-cell channels is regulated by controlling transcription, translation, trafficking, and degradation; and all of these processes are under strict control. Once in the membrane, channel activity is determined by the conductive properties of the connexin involved, which can be regulated by voltage and chemical gating, as well as a large number of posttranslational modifications. The aim of the present article is to review our current knowledge on the structure, regulation, function, and pharmacology of gap junctions. This will be supported by examples of how different connexins and their regulation act in concert to achieve appropriate physiological control, and how disturbances of connexin function can lead to disease. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1981-2035, 2012. PMID:23723031

  2. Gap junctions in cells of the immune system: structure, regulation and possible functional roles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.C. Sáez

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction channels are sites of cytoplasmic communication between contacting cells. In vertebrates, they consist of protein subunits denoted connexins (Cxs which are encoded by a gene family. According to their Cx composition, gap junction channels show different gating and permeability properties that define which ions and small molecules permeate them. Differences in Cx primary sequences suggest that channels composed of different Cxs are regulated differentially by intracellular pathways under specific physiological conditions. Functional roles of gap junction channels could be defined by the relative importance of permeant substances, resulting in coordination of electrical and/or metabolic cellular responses. Cells of the native and specific immune systems establish transient homo- and heterocellular contacts at various steps of the immune response. Morphological and functional studies reported during the last three decades have revealed that many intercellular contacts between cells in the immune response present gap junctions or "gap junction-like" structures. Partial characterization of the molecular composition of some of these plasma membrane structures and regulatory mechanisms that control them have been published recently. Studies designed to elucidate their physiological roles suggest that they might permit coordination of cellular events which favor the effective and timely response of the immune system.

  3. Protein kinase C-dependent regulation of connexin43 gap junctions and hemichannels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrøm, Jette Skov; Stroemlund, Line Waring; Nielsen, Morten Schak

    2015-01-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43) generates intercellular gap junction channels involved in, among others, cardiac and brain function. Gap junctions are formed by the docking of two hemichannels from neighbouring cells. Undocked Cx43 hemichannels can upon different stimuli open towards the extracellular matrix...... and allow transport of molecules such as fluorescent dyes and ATP. A range of phosphorylated amino acids have been detected in the C-terminus of Cx43 and their physiological role has been intensively studied both in the gap junctional form of Cx43 and in its hemichannel configuration. We present the current...... knowledge of protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent regulation of Cx43 and discuss the divergent results....

  4. Managing the complexity of communication: regulation of gap junctions by post-translational modification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Callø, Kirstine; von Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions are comprised of connexins that form cell-to-cell channels which couple neighboring cells to accommodate the exchange of information. The need for communication does, however, change over time and therefore must be tightly controlled. Although the regulation of connexin protein...... probability, single channel conductance or selectivity. The most extensively investigated post translational modifications are phosphorylations, which have been documented in all mammalian connexins. Besides phosphorylations, some connexins are known to be ubiquitinated, SUMOylated, nitrosylated, hydroxylated...

  5. TC-PTP directly interacts with connexin43 to regulate gap junction intercellular communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hanjun; Spagnol, Gaelle; Naslavsky, Naava; Caplan, Steve; Sorgen, Paul L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Protein kinases have long been reported to regulate connexins; however, little is known about the involvement of phosphatases in the modulation of intercellular communication through gap junctions and the subsequent downstream effects on cellular processes. Here, we identify an interaction between the T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP, officially known as PTPN2) and the carboxyl terminus of connexin43 (Cx43, officially known as GJA1). Two cell lines, normal rat kidney (NRK) cells endogenously expressing Cx43 and an NRK-derived cell line expressing v-Src with temperature-sensitive activity, were used to demonstrate that EGF and v-Src stimulation, respectively, induced TC-PTP to colocalize with Cx43 at the plasma membrane. Cell biology experiments using phospho-specific antibodies and biophysical assays demonstrated that the interaction is direct and that TC-PTP dephosphorylates Cx43 residues Y247 and Y265, but does not affect v-Src. Transfection of TC-PTP also indirectly led to the dephosphorylation of Cx43 S368, by inactivating PKCα and PKCδ, with no effect on the phosphorylation of S279 and S282 (MAPK-dependent phosphorylation sites). Dephosphorylation maintained Cx43 gap junctions at the plaque and partially reversed the channel closure caused by v-Src-mediated phosphorylation of Cx43. Understanding dephosphorylation, along with the well-documented roles of Cx43 phosphorylation, might eventually lead to methods to modulate the regulation of gap junction channels, with potential benefits for human health. PMID:24849651

  6. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue; Panda, Satya P.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. → First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. → Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b 5 and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  7. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Panda, Satya P., E-mail: panda@uthscsa.edu [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)

    2011-08-05

    Highlights: {yields} Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. {yields} First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. {yields} Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b{sub 5} and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  8. Regulation of gap junction conductance by calcineurin through Cx43 phosphorylation: implications for action potential conduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabr, Rita I; Hatch, Fiona S; Salvage, Samantha C; Orlowski, Alejandro; Lampe, Paul D; Fry, Christopher H

    2016-11-01

    Cardiac arrhythmias are associated with raised intracellular [Ca 2+ ] and slowed action potential conduction caused by reduced gap junction (GJ) electrical conductance (Gj). Ventricular GJs are composed of connexin proteins (Cx43), with Gj determined by Cx43 phosphorylation status. Connexin phosphorylation is an interplay between protein kinases and phosphatases but the precise pathways are unknown. We aimed to identify key Ca 2+ -dependent phosphorylation sites on Cx43 that regulate cardiac gap junction conductance and action potential conduction velocity. We investigated the role of the Ca 2+ -dependent phosphatase, calcineurin. Intracellular [Ca 2+ ] was raised in guinea-pig myocardium by a low-Na solution or increased stimulation. Conduction velocity and Gj were measured in multicellular strips. Phosphorylation of Cx43 serine residues (S365 and S368) and of the intermediary regulator I1 at threonine35 was measured by Western blot. Measurements were made in the presence and absence of inhibitors to calcineurin, I1 or protein phosphatase-1 and phosphatase-2.Raised [Ca 2 + ] i decreased Gj, reduced Cx43 phosphorylation at S365 and increased it at S368; these changes were reversed by calcineurin inhibitors. Cx43-S368 phosphorylation was reversed by the protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine. Raised [Ca 2+ ] i also decreased I1 phosphorylation, also prevented by calcineurin inhibitors, to increase activity of the Ca 2+ -independent phosphatase, PPI. The PP1 inhibitor, tautomycin, prevented Cx43-365 dephosphorylation, Cx43-S368 phosphorylation and Gj reduction in raised [Ca 2+ ] i . PP2A had no role. Conduction velocity was reduced by raised [Ca 2+ ] i and reversed by calcineurin inhibitors. Reduced action potential conduction and Gj in raised [Ca 2+ ] are regulated by calcineurin-dependent Cx43-S365 phosphorylation, leading to Cx43-S368 dephosphorylation. The calcineurin action is indirect, via I1 dephosphorylation and subsequent activation of PP1.

  9. Gap junctions and connexin-interacting proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G

    2004-01-01

    Gap junctions form channels between adjacent cells. The core proteins of these channels are the connexins. Regulation of gap junction communication (GJC) can be modulated by connexin-associating proteins, such as regulatory protein phosphatases and protein kinases, of which c-Src is the

  10. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    LIJUAN CHEN

    2017-12-20

    Dec 20, 2017 ... showed a lower dye diffusion distance of Cx46 V44M cells, which indicates that the gap junction intercellular ... permeability could be affected by alterations of charged residues of .... bled into gap junction plaques is not soluble in 1% Triton ..... regulation of connexin 43 expression by high glucose reduces.

  11. Regulation of connexin43 gap junctional communication by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zeijl, Leonie; Ponsioen, Bas; Giepmans, Ben N G; Ariaens, Aafke; Postma, Friso R; Várnai, Péter; Balla, Tamas; Divecha, Nullin; Jalink, Kees; Moolenaar, Wouter H

    2007-01-01

    Cell-cell communication through connexin43 (Cx43)-based gap junction channels is rapidly inhibited upon activation of various G protein coupled receptors; however, the mechanism is unknown. We show that Cx43-based cell-cell communication is inhibited by depletion of phosphatidylinositol

  12. Gap junctions and motor behavior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, Ole; Tresch, Matthew C.

    2002-01-01

    The production of any motor behavior requires coordinated activity in motor neurons and premotor networks. In vertebrates, this coordination is often assumed to take place through chemical synapses. Here we review recent data suggesting that electrical gap-junction coupling plays an important role...... in coordinating and generating motor outputs in embryonic and early postnatal life. Considering the recent demonstration of a prevalent expression of gap-junction proteins and gap-junction structures in the adult mammalian spinal cord, we suggest that neuronal gap-junction coupling might also contribute...... to the production of motor behavior in adult mammals....

  13. Spinal Gap Junction Channels in Neuropathic Pain

    OpenAIRE

    Jeon, Young Hoon; Youn, Dong Ho

    2015-01-01

    Damage to peripheral nerves or the spinal cord is often accompanied by neuropathic pain, which is a complex, chronic pain state. Increasing evidence indicates that alterations in the expression and activity of gap junction channels in the spinal cord are involved in the development of neuropathic pain. Thus, this review briefly summarizes evidence that regulation of the expression, coupling, and activity of spinal gap junction channels modulates pain signals in neuropathic pain states induced...

  14. Gap Junctions Contribute to the Regulation of Walking-Like Activity in the Adult Mudpuppy (Necturus Maculatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Lavrov

    Full Text Available Although gap junctions are widely expressed in the developing central nervous system, the role of electrical coupling of neurons and glial cells via gap junctions in the spinal cord in adults is largely unknown. We investigated whether gap junctions are expressed in the mature spinal cord of the mudpuppy and tested the effects of applying gap junction blocker on the walking-like activity induced by NMDA or glutamate in an in vitro mudpuppy preparation. We found that glial and neural cells in the mudpuppy spinal cord expressed different types of connexins that include connexin 32 (Cx32, connexin 36 (Cx36, connexin 37 (Cx37, and connexin 43 (Cx43. Application of a battery of gap junction blockers from three different structural classes (carbenexolone, flufenamic acid, and long chain alcohols substantially and consistently altered the locomotor-like activity in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, these blockers did not significantly change the amplitude of the dorsal root reflex, indicating that gap junction blockers did not inhibit neuronal excitability nonselectively in the spinal cord. Taken together, these results suggest that gap junctions play a significant modulatory role in the spinal neural networks responsible for the generation of walking-like activity in the adult mudpuppy.

  15. Gap junctions-guards of excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stroemlund, Line Waring; Jensen, Christa Funch; Qvortrup, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Cardiomyocytes are connected by mechanical and electrical junctions located at the intercalated discs (IDs). Although these structures have long been known, it is becoming increasingly clear that their components interact. This review describes the involvement of the ID in electrical disturbances...... of the heart and focuses on the role of the gap junctional protein connexin 43 (Cx43). Current evidence shows that Cx43 plays a crucial role in organizing microtubules at the intercalated disc and thereby regulating the trafficking of the cardiac sodium channel NaV1.5 to the membrane....

  16. Sox4 mediates Tbx3 transcriptional regulation of the gap junction protein Cx43

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, C.J.; Wong, L.Y.; van den Boogaard, M.; Bakker, M.A.J.; Tessadori, F.; Bakkers, J.; 't Hoen, P.A.C.; Moorman, A.F.; Christoffels, V.M.; Barnett, P.

    2011-01-01

    Tbx3, a T-box transcription factor, regulates key steps in development of the heart and other organ systems. Here, we identify Sox4 as an interacting partner of Tbx3. Pull-down and nuclear retention assays verify this interaction and in situ hybridization reveals Tbx3 and Sox4 to co-localize

  17. Stat3 is a positive regulator of gap junctional intercellular communication in cultured, human lung carcinoma cells

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    Geletu Mulu

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neoplastic transformation of cultured cells by a number of oncogenes such as src suppresses gap junctional, intercellular communication (GJIC; however, the role of Src and its effector Signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (Stat3 upon GJIC in non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC has not been defined. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed high Src activity in NSCLC biopsy samples compared to normal tissues. Here we explored the potential effect of Src and Stat3 upon GJIC, by assessing the levels of tyr418-phosphorylated Src and tyr705-phosphorylated Stat3, respectively, in a panel of NSCLC cell lines. Methods Gap junctional communication was examined by electroporating the fluorescent dye Lucifer yellow into cells grown on a transparent electrode, followed by observation of the migration of the dye to the adjacent, non-electroporated cells under fluorescence illumination. Results An inverse relationship between Src activity levels and GJIC was noted; in five lines with high Src activity GJIC was absent, while two lines with extensive GJIC (QU-DB and SK-LuCi6 had low Src levels, similar to a non-transformed, immortalised lung epithelial cell line. Interestingly, examination of the mechanism indicated that Stat3 inhibition in any of the NSCLC lines expressing high endogenous Src activity levels, or in cells where Src was exogenously transduced, did not restore GJIC. On the contrary, Stat3 downregulation in immortalised lung epithelial cells or in the NSCLC lines displaying extensive GJIC actually suppressed junctional permeability. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that although Stat3 is generally growth promoting and in an activated form it can act as an oncogene, it is actually required for gap junctional communication both in nontransformed lung epithelial cells and in certain lung cancer lines that retain extensive GJIC.

  18. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

    Mar 24, 2017 ... experiment showed a lower dye diffusion distance of Cx46 V44M cells, ... Studies of connexins show that channel gating and permeability .... have found that connexin assembled into gap junction plaques is not soluble in 1% ..... high glucose reduces gap junction activity in microvascular endothelial cells.

  19. Role of Myoendothelial Gap Junctions in the Regulation of Human Coronary Artery Smooth Muscle Cell Differentiation by Laminar Shear Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongqi Zhang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Smooth muscle cells may dedifferentiate into the synthetic phenotype and promote atherosclerosis. Here, we explored the role of myoendothelial gap junctions in phenotypic switching of human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMCs co-cultured with human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs exposed to shear stress. Methods: HCASMCs and HCAECs were seeded on opposite sides of Transwell inserts, and HCAECs were exposed to laminar shear stress of 12 dyn/cm2 or 5 dyn/cm2. The myoendothelial gap junctions were evaluated by using a multi-photon microscope. Results: In co-culture with HCAECs, HCASMCs exhibited a contractile phenotype, and maintained the expression of differentiation markers MHC and H1-calponin. HCASMCs and HCAECs formed functional intercellular junctions, as evidenced by colocalization of connexin(Cx40 and Cx43 on cellular projections inside the Transwell membrane and biocytin transfer from HCAECs to HCASMCs. Cx40 siRNA and 18-α-GA attenuated protein expression of MHC and H1-calponin in HCASMCs. Shear stress of 5 dyn/cm2 increased Cx43 and decreased Cx40 expression in HCAECs, and partly inhibited biocytin transfer from HCAECs to HCASMCs, which could be completely blocked by Cx43 siRNA or restored by Cx40 DNA transfected into HCAECs. The exposure of HCAECs to shear stress of 5 dyn/cm2 promoted HCASMC phenotypic switching, manifested by morphological changes, decrease in MHC and H1-calponin expression, and increase in platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB release, which was partly rescued by Cx43 siRNA or Cx40 DNA or PDGF receptor signaling inhibitor. Conclusions: The exposure of HCAECs to shear stress of 5 dyn/cm2 caused the dysfunction of Cx40/Cx43 heterotypic myoendothelial gap junctions, which may be replaced by homotypic Cx43/Cx43 channels, and induced HCASMC transition to the synthetic phenotype associated with the activation of PDGF receptor signaling, which may contribute to shear stress

  20. Anchored PKA as a gatekeeper for gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidoux, Guillaume; Taskén, Kjetil

    2015-01-01

    Anchored protein kinase A (PKA) bound to A Kinase Anchoring Protein (AKAP) mediates effects of localized increases in cAMP in defined subcellular microdomains and retains the specificity in cAMP-PKA signaling to distinct extracellular stimuli. Gap junctions are pores between adjacent cells constituted by connexin proteins that provide means of communication and transfer of small molecules. While the PKA signaling is known to promote human trophoblast cell fusion, the gap junction communication through connexin 43 (Cx43) is a prerequisite for this process. We recently demonstrated that trophoblast fusion is regulated by ezrin, a known AKAP, which binds to Cx43 and delivers PKA in the vicinity gap junctions. We found that disruption of the ezrin-Cx43 interaction abolished PKA-dependent phosphorylation of Cx43 as well as gap junction communication and subsequently cell fusion. We propose that the PKA-ezrin-Cx43 macromolecular complex regulating gap junction communication constitutes a general mechanism to control opening of Cx43 gap junctions by phosphorylation in response to cAMP signaling in various cell types.

  1. Amitriptyline up-regulates connexin43-gap junction in rat cultured cortical astrocytes via activation of the p38 and c-Fos/AP-1 signalling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morioka, N; Suekama, K; Zhang, F F; Kajitani, N; Hisaoka-Nakashima, K; Takebayashi, M; Nakata, Y

    2014-06-01

    Intercellular communication via gap junctions, comprised of connexin (Cx) proteins, allow for communication between astrocytes, which in turn is crucial for maintaining CNS homeostasis. The expression of Cx43 is decreased in post-mortem brains from patients with major depression. A potentially novel mechanism of tricyclic antidepressants is to increase the expression and functioning of gap junctions in astrocytes. The effect of amitriptyline on the expression of Cx43 and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in rat primary cultured cortical astrocytes was investigated. We also investigated the role of p38 MAPK intracellular signalling pathway in the amitriptyline-induced expression of Cx43 and GJIC. Treatment with amitriptyline for 48 h significantly up-regulated Cx43 mRNA, protein and GJIC. The up-regulation of Cx43 was not monoamine-related since noradrenaline, 5-HT and dopamine did not induce Cx43 expression and pretreatment with α- and β-adrenoceptor antagonists had no effect. Intracellular signalling involved p38 MAPK, as amitriptyline significantly increased p38 MAPK phosphorylation and Cx43 expression and GJIC were significantly blocked by the p38 inhibitor SB 202190. Furthermore, amitriptyline-induced Cx43 expression and GJIC were markedly reduced by transcription factor AP-1 inhibitors (curcumin and tanshinone IIA). The translocation of c-Fos from the cytosol and the nucleus of cortical astrocytes was increased by amitriptyline, and this response was dependent on p38 activity. These findings indicate a novel mechanism of action of amitriptyline through cortical astrocytes, and further suggest that targeting this mechanism could lead to the development of a new class of antidepressants. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  2. Joint diseases: from connexins to gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Henry J; Qu, Roy W; Genetos, Damian C

    2017-12-19

    Connexons form the basis of hemichannels and gap junctions. They are composed of six tetraspan proteins called connexins. Connexons can function as individual hemichannels, releasing cytosolic factors (such as ATP) into the pericellular environment. Alternatively, two hemichannel connexons from neighbouring cells can come together to form gap junctions, membrane-spanning channels that facilitate cell-cell communication by enabling signalling molecules of approximately 1 kDa to pass from one cell to an adjacent cell. Connexins are expressed in joint tissues including bone, cartilage, skeletal muscle and the synovium. Indicative of their importance as gap junction components, connexins are also known as gap junction proteins, but individual connexin proteins are gaining recognition for their channel-independent roles, which include scaffolding and signalling functions. Considerable evidence indicates that connexons contribute to the function of bone and muscle, but less is known about the function of connexons in other joint tissues. However, the implication that connexins and gap junctional channels might be involved in joint disease, including age-related bone loss, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, emphasizes the need for further research into these areas and highlights the therapeutic potential of connexins.

  3. Increasing gap junctional coupling: a tool for dissecting the role of gap junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Haugan, Ketil; Stahlhut, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Much of our current knowledge about the physiological and pathophysiological role of gap junctions is based on experiments where coupling has been reduced by either chemical agents or genetic modification. This has brought evidence that gap junctions are important in many physiological processes....... In a number of cases, gap junctions have been implicated in the initiation and progress of disease, and experimental uncoupling has been used to investigate the exact role of coupling. The inverse approach, i.e., to increase coupling, has become possible in recent years and represents a new way of testing...... the role of gap junctions. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge obtained with agents that selectively increase gap junctional intercellular coupling. Two approaches will be reviewed: increasing coupling by the use of antiarrhythmic peptide and its synthetic analogs...

  4. 17β estradiol regulation of connexin 43-based gap junction and mechanosensitivity through classical estrogen receptor pathway in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Jian; Wang, Xuhui; Wang, Guangchao; Wu, Junhua

    2013-01-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) plays an essential role in osteocyte mechanotransduction. Although estrogen involves in the adaptive responses of bone cells to mechanical loadings, its effects on osteocytic Cx43-based gap junction intercellular communication

  5. Gap junction modulation by extracellular signaling molecules: the thymus model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alves L.A.

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctions are intercellular channels which connect adjacent cells and allow direct exchange of molecules of low molecular weight between them. Such a communication has been described as fundamental in many systems due to its importance in coordination, proliferation and differentiation. Recently, it has been shown that gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC can be modulated by several extracellular soluble factors such as classical hormones, neurotransmitters, interleukins, growth factors and some paracrine substances. Herein, we discuss some aspects of the general modulation of GJIC by extracellular messenger molecules and more particularly the regulation of such communication in the thymus gland. Additionally, we discuss recent data concerning the study of different neuropeptides and hormones in the modulation of GJIC in thymic epithelial cells. We also suggest that the thymus may be viewed as a model to study the modulation of gap junction communication by different extracellular messengers involved in non-classical circuits, since this organ is under bidirectional neuroimmunoendocrine control.

  6. Gap junction diseases of the skin.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steensel, M.A.M. van

    2004-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular channels that allow the passage of water, ions, and small molecules. They are involved in quick, short-range messaging between cells and are found in skin, nervous tissue, heart, and muscle. An increasing number of hereditary skin disorders appear to be caused by

  7. Roles of gap junctions, connexins and pannexins in epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanthini eMylvaganam

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Enhanced gap junctional communication (GJC between neurons is considered a major factor underlying the neuronal synchrony driving seizure activity. In addition, the hippocampal sharp wave ripple complexes, associated with learning and seizures, are diminished by GJC blocking agents. Although gap junctional blocking drugs inhibit experimental seizures, they all have other nonspecific actions. Besides interneuronal GJC between dendrites, inter-axonal and inter-glial GJC is also considered important for seizure generation. Interestingly, in most studies of cerebral tissue from animal seizure models and from human patients with epilepsy, there is up-regulation of glial, but not neuronal gap junctional mRNA and protein. Significant changes in the expression and post-translational modification of the astrocytic connexin Cx43, and Panx1 were observed in an in vitro Co++ seizure model, further supporting a role for glia in seizure-genesis, although the reasons for this remain unclear. Further suggesting an involvement of astrocytic GJC in epilepsy, is the fact that the expression of astrocytic Cx mRNAs (Cxs 30 and 43 is several fold higher than that of neuronal Cx mRNAs (Cxs 36 and 45, and the number of glial cells outnumber neuronal cells in mammalian hippocampal and cortical tissue. Pannexin expression is also increased in both animal and human epileptic tissues. Specific Cx43 mimetic peptides, Gap 27 and SLS, inhibit the docking of astrocytic connexin Cx43 proteins from forming intercellular gap junctions, diminishing spontaneous seizures. Besides GJs, Cx membrane hemichannels in glia and Panx membrane channels in neurons and glia are also inhibited by gap junctional pharmacological blockers. Although there is no doubt that connexin-based gap junctions and hemichannels, and pannexin-based membrane channels are related to epilepsy, the specific details of how they are involved and how we can modulate their function for therapeutic purposes remain to

  8. Structure modeling and mutational analysis of gap junction beta 2 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-04-03

    Apr 3, 2012 ... Three dimensional (3 D) structure is very useful for understanding biological functions. Gap junction beta 2 (GJB2), human gene encoding for gap junction beta 2 protein is involved in ... Research in deafness became real.

  9. The psychostimulant modafinil enhances gap junctional communication in cortical astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xinhe; Petit, Jean-Marie; Ezan, Pascal; Gyger, Joël; Magistretti, Pierre; Giaume, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Sleep-wake cycle is characterized by changes in neuronal network activity. However, for the last decade there is increasing evidence that neuroglial interaction may play a role in the modulation of sleep homeostasis and that astrocytes have a critical impact in this process. Interestingly, astrocytes are organized into communicating networks based on their high expression of connexins, which are the molecular constituents of gap junction channels. Thus, neuroglial interactions should also be considered as the result of the interplay between neuronal and astroglial networks. Here, we investigate the effect of modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, on astrocyte gap junctional communication. We report that in the cortex modafinil injection increases the expression of mRNA and protein of connexin 30 but not those of connexin 43, the other major astroglial connexin. These increases are correlated with an enhancement of intercellular dye coupling in cortical astrocytes, which is abolished when neuronal activity is silenced by tetrodotoxin. Moreover, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which at a millimolar concentration induces sleep, has an opposite effect on astroglial gap junctions in an activity-independent manner. These results support the proposition that astroglia may play an important role in complex physiological brain functions, such as sleep regulation, and that neuroglial networking interaction is modified during sleep-wake cycle. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Current Pharmacology of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels'. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Gap junctions and inhibitory synapses modulate inspiratory motoneuron synchronization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bou-Flores, C; Berger, A J

    2001-04-01

    Interneuronal electrical coupling via gap junctions and chemical synaptic inhibitory transmission are known to have roles in the generation and synchronization of activity in neuronal networks. Uncertainty exists regarding the roles of these two modes of interneuronal communication in the central respiratory rhythm-generating system. To assess their roles, we performed studies on both the neonatal mouse medullary slice and en bloc brain stem-spinal cord preparations where rhythmic inspiratory motor activity can readily be recorded from both hypoglossal and phrenic nerve roots. The rhythmic inspiratory activity observed had two temporal characteristics: the basic respiratory frequency occurring on a long time scale and the synchronous neuronal discharge within the inspiratory burst occurring on a short time scale. In both preparations, we observed that bath application of gap-junction blockers, including 18 alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid, 18 beta-glycyrrhetinic acid, and carbenoxolone, all caused a reduction in respiratory frequency. In contrast, peak integrated phrenic and hypoglossal inspiratory activity was not significantly changed by gap-junction blockade. On a short-time-scale, gap-junction blockade increased the degree of synchronization within an inspiratory burst observed in both nerves. In contrast, opposite results were observed with blockade of GABA(A) and glycine receptors. We found that respiratory frequency increased with receptor blockade, and simultaneous blockade of both receptors consistently resulted in a reduction in short-time-scale synchronized activity observed in phrenic and hypoglossal inspiratory bursts. These results support the concept that the central respiratory system has two components: a rhythm generator responsible for the production of respiratory cycle timing and an inspiratory pattern generator that is involved in short-time-scale synchronization. In the neonatal rodent, properties of both components can be regulated by interneuronal

  11. Intracellular trafficking pathways of Cx43 gap junction channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epifantseva, Irina; Shaw, Robin M

    2018-01-01

    Gap Junction (GJ) channels, including the most common Connexin 43 (Cx43), have fundamental roles in excitable tissues by facilitating rapid transmission of action potentials between adjacent cells. For instance, synchronization during each heartbeat is regulated by these ion channels at the cardiomyocyte cell-cell border. Cx43 protein has a short half-life, and rapid synthesis and timely delivery of those proteins to particular subdomains are crucial for the cellular organization of gap junctions and maintenance of intracellular coupling. Impairment in gap junction trafficking contributes to dangerous complications in diseased hearts such as the arrhythmias of sudden cardiac death. Of recent interest are the protein-protein interactions with the Cx43 carboxy-terminus. These interactions have significant impact on the full length Cx43 lifecycle and also contribute to trafficking of Cx43 as well as possibly other functions. We are learning that many of the known non-canonical roles of Cx43 can be attributed to the recently identified six endogenous Cx43 truncated isoforms which are produced by internal translation. In general, alternative translation is a new leading edge for proteome expansion and therapeutic drug development. This review highlights recent mechanisms identified in the trafficking of gap junction channels, involvement of other proteins contributing to the delivery of channels to the cell-cell border, and understanding of possible roles of the newly discovered alternatively translated isoforms in Cx43 biology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Gap Junction Proteins edited by Jean Claude Herve. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 17β estradiol regulation of connexin 43-based gap junction and mechanosensitivity through classical estrogen receptor pathway in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Jian

    2013-04-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) plays an essential role in osteocyte mechanotransduction. Although estrogen involves in the adaptive responses of bone cells to mechanical loadings, its effects on osteocytic Cx43-based gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) remain obscure. We found that 17β estradiol (E2) up-regulated Cx43, and enhanced GJIC in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assay. Combination of E2 pre-treatment and oscillating fluid flow (OFF) further enhanced Cx43 expression and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation, comparing to E2 or OFF treatment alone. Both blocking of classical estrogen receptors (ERα/β) by fulvestrant and ERα knockdown by small interfering RNA inhibited E2-mediated Cx43 increase, while a GPR30-specific agonist G-1 failed to promote Cx43 expression. Our results suggest that the presence of E2 enhanced Cx43-based GJIC mainly via ERα/β pathway, and sensitized osteocytes to mechanical loading. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. GAP junctional communication in brain secondary organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosone, Camilla; Andreu, Abraham; Echevarria, Diego

    2016-06-01

    Gap junctions (GJs) are integral membrane proteins that enable the direct cytoplasmic exchange of ions and low molecular weight metabolites between adjacent cells. They are formed by the apposition of two connexons belonging to adjacent cells. Each connexon is formed by six proteins, named connexins (Cxs). Current evidence suggests that gap junctions play an important part in ensuring normal embryo development. Mutations in connexin genes have been linked to a variety of human diseases, although the precise role and the cell biological mechanisms of their action remain almost unknown. Among the big family of Cxs, several are expressed in nervous tissue but just a few are expressed in the anterior neural tube of vertebrates. Many efforts have been made to elucidate the molecular bases of Cxs cell biology and how they influence the morphogenetic signal activity produced by brain signaling centers. These centers, orchestrated by transcription factors and morphogenes determine the axial patterning of the mammalian brain during its specification and regionalization. The present review revisits the findings of GJ composed by Cx43 and Cx36 in neural tube patterning and discuss Cx43 putative enrollment in the control of Fgf8 signal activity coming from the well known secondary organizer, the isthmic organizer. © 2016 The Authors. Development, Growth & Differentiation published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  14. Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Ju Yeun; Yoon, Sei Mee; Choi, Eun Ju; Lee, Jinu

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that selectively inhibits fungal sterol synthesis by blocking squalene epoxidase. We evaluated the effect of terbinafine on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and I-YFP GJIC assays revealed that terbinafine inhibits GJIC in a reversible and dose-dependent manner in FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. Treatment with terbinafine did not affect Cx43 phosphorylation status or intracellular Ca 2+ concentration, well-known action mechanisms of various GJIC blockers. While a structurally related chemical, naftifine, attenuated GJIC, epigallocatechin gallate, another potent squalene epoxidase inhibitor with a different structure, did not. These results suggest that terbinafine inhibits GJIC with a so far unknown mechanism of action. - Highlights: • In vitro pharmacological studies were performed on FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. • Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication in both cell lines. • The inhibitory effect of terbinafine is reversible and dose-dependent. • Treatment of terbinafine does not alter Cx43 phosphorylation or cytosolic Ca 2+ concentration. • Inhibition of squalene epoxidase is not involved in this new effect of terbinafine.

  15. Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Ju Yeun, E-mail: whitewndus@naver.com [College of Pharmacy, Yonsei Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983 (Korea, Republic of); Yoon, Sei Mee, E-mail: sei_mee@naver.com [College of Pharmacy, Yonsei Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983 (Korea, Republic of); Department of Integrated OMICS for Biomedical Sciences, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Choi, Eun Ju, E-mail: yureas@naver.com [College of Pharmacy, Yonsei Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jinu, E-mail: jinulee@yonsei.ac.kr [College of Pharmacy, Yonsei Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yonsei University, 85 Songdogwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 21983 (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-09-15

    Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that selectively inhibits fungal sterol synthesis by blocking squalene epoxidase. We evaluated the effect of terbinafine on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and I-YFP GJIC assays revealed that terbinafine inhibits GJIC in a reversible and dose-dependent manner in FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. Treatment with terbinafine did not affect Cx43 phosphorylation status or intracellular Ca{sup 2+} concentration, well-known action mechanisms of various GJIC blockers. While a structurally related chemical, naftifine, attenuated GJIC, epigallocatechin gallate, another potent squalene epoxidase inhibitor with a different structure, did not. These results suggest that terbinafine inhibits GJIC with a so far unknown mechanism of action. - Highlights: • In vitro pharmacological studies were performed on FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. • Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication in both cell lines. • The inhibitory effect of terbinafine is reversible and dose-dependent. • Treatment of terbinafine does not alter Cx43 phosphorylation or cytosolic Ca{sup 2+} concentration. • Inhibition of squalene epoxidase is not involved in this new effect of terbinafine.

  16. Gap-junction-mediated communication in human periodontal ligament cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, R; Ishihara, Y; Kawanabe, N; Sumiyoshi, K; Yoshikawa, Y; Nakamura, M; Imai, Y; Yanagita, T; Fukushima, H; Kamioka, H; Takano-Yamamoto, T; Yamashiro, T

    2013-07-01

    Periodontal tissue homeostasis depends on a complex cellular network that conveys cell-cell communication. Gap junctions (GJs), one of the intercellular communication systems, are found between adjacent human periodontal ligament (hPDL) cells; however, the functional GJ coupling between hPDL cells has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we investigated functional gap-junction-mediated intercellular communication in isolated primary hPDL cells. SEM images indicated that the cells were in contact with each other via dendritic processes, and also showed high anti-connexin43 (Cx43) immunoreactivity on these processes. Gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) among hPDL cells was assessed by fluorescence recovery after a photobleaching (FRAP) analysis, which exhibited dye coupling between hPDL cells, and was remarkably down-regulated when the cells were treated with a GJ blocker. Additionally, we examined GJs under hypoxic stress. The fluorescence recovery and expression levels of Cx43 decreased time-dependently under the hypoxic condition. Exposure to GJ inhibitor or hypoxia increased RANKL expression, and decreased OPG expression. This study shows that GJIC is responsible for hPDL cells and that its activity is reduced under hypoxia. This is consistent with the possible role of hPDL cells in regulating the biochemical reactions in response to changes in the hypoxic environment.

  17. Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and Breast Cancer Metastasis to Bone

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Donahue, Henry

    2001-01-01

    .... We found that: 1) expressing the metastasis suppressing gene BRMS1 in diverse cancer cell lines, including breast and melanoma, restores homotypic gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC); 2...

  18. Terbinafine inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ju Yeun; Yoon, Sei Mee; Choi, Eun Ju; Lee, Jinu

    2016-09-15

    Terbinafine is an antifungal agent that selectively inhibits fungal sterol synthesis by blocking squalene epoxidase. We evaluated the effect of terbinafine on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and I-YFP GJIC assays revealed that terbinafine inhibits GJIC in a reversible and dose-dependent manner in FRT-Cx43 and LN215 cells. Treatment with terbinafine did not affect Cx43 phosphorylation status or intracellular Ca(2+) concentration, well-known action mechanisms of various GJIC blockers. While a structurally related chemical, naftifine, attenuated GJIC, epigallocatechin gallate, another potent squalene epoxidase inhibitor with a different structure, did not. These results suggest that terbinafine inhibits GJIC with a so far unknown mechanism of action. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Abundance of gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in adult Mosquitofish spinal cord neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose L Serrano-Velez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Dye-coupling, whole-mount immunohistochemistry for gap junction channel protein connexin 35 (Cx35, and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling (FRIL reveal an abundance of electrical synapses/gap junctions at glutamatergic mixed synapses in the 14th spinal segment that innervates the adult male gonopodium of Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis (Mosquitofish.To study gap junctions’ role in fast motor behavior, we used a minimally-invasive neural-tract-tracing technique to introduce gap junction-permeant or -impermeant dyes into deep muscles controlling the gonopodium of the adult male Mosquitofish, a teleost fish that rapidly transfers (complete in 50 of the 62 gap junctions at mixed synapses are in the 14th spinal segment.Our results support and extend studies showing gap junctions at mixed synapses in spinal cord segments involved in control of genital reflexes in rodents, and they suggest a link between mixed synapses and fast motor behavior. The findings provide a basis for studies of specific roles of spinal neurons in the generation/regulation of sex-specific behavior and for studies of gap junctions’ role in regulating fast motor behavior. Finally, the CoPA IN provides a novel candidate neuron for future studies of gap junctions and neural control of fast motor behaviors.

  20. Gap Junctions and Cancer: Communicating for 50 Years’

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aasen, Trond; Mesnil, Marc; Naus, Christian C.; Lampe, Paul D.; Laird, Dale W.

    2017-01-01

    Fifty years ago, tumour cells were found to lack electrical coupling, leading to the hypothesis that loss of direct intercellular communication is commonly associated with cancer onset and progression. Subsequent studies linked this phenomenon to gap junctions composed of connexin proteins. While many studies support the notion that connexins are tumour suppressors, recent evidence suggests that, in some tumour types, they may facilitate specific stages of tumour progression through both junctional and non-junctional signalling pathways. This Timeline article highlights the milestones connecting gap junctions to cancer, and underscores important unanswered questions, controversies and therapeutic opportunities in the field. PMID:27782134

  1. Ischemic preconditioning protects against gap junctional uncoupling in cardiac myofibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundset, Rune; Cooper, Marie; Mikalsen, Svein-Ole; Ytrehus, Kirsti

    2004-01-01

    Ischemic preconditioning increases the heart's tolerance to a subsequent longer ischemic period. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of gap junction communication in simulated preconditioning in cultured neonatal rat cardiac myofibroblasts. Gap junctional intercellular communication was assessed by Lucifer yellow dye transfer. Preconditioning preserved intercellular coupling after prolonged ischemia. An initial reduction in coupling in response to the preconditioning stimulus was also observed. This may protect neighboring cells from damaging substances produced during subsequent regional ischemia in vivo, and may preserve gap junctional communication required for enhanced functional recovery during subsequent reperfusion.

  2. Gap junction protein connexin-43 interacts directly with microtubules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Verlaan, I; Hengeveld, T; Janssen, H; Calafat, J; Falk, M M; Moolenaar, W H

    2001-01-01

    Gap junctions are specialized cell-cell junctions that mediate intercellular communication. They are composed of connexin proteins, which form transmembrane channels for small molecules [1, 2]. The C-terminal tail of connexin-43 (Cx43), the most widely expressed connexin member, has been implicated

  3. Inhibition of connexin43 gap junction channels by the endocrine disruptor ioxynil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leithe, Edward; Kjenseth, Ane; Bruun, Jarle; Sirnes, Solveig; Rivedal, Edgar

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular plasma membrane domains containing channels that mediate transport of ions, metabolites and small signaling molecules between adjacent cells. Gap junctions play important roles in a variety of cellular processes, including regulation of cell growth and differentiation, maintenance of tissue homeostasis and embryogenesis. The constituents of gap junction channels are a family of trans-membrane proteins called connexins, of which the best-studied is connexin43. Connexin43 functions as a tumor suppressor protein in various tissue types and is frequently dysregulated in human cancers. The pesticide ioxynil has previously been shown to act as an endocrine disrupting chemical and has multiple effects on the thyroid axis. Furthermore, both ioxynil and its derivative ioxynil octanoate have been reported to induce tumors in animal bioassays. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the possible tumorigenic effects of these compounds are unknown. In the present study we show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are strong inhibitors of connexin43 gap junction channels. Both compounds induced rapid loss of connexin43 gap junctions at the plasma membrane and increased connexin43 degradation. Ioxynil octanoate, but not ioxynil, was found to be a strong activator of ERK1/2. The compounds also had different effects on the phosphorylation status of connexin43. Taken together, the data show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are potent inhibitors of intercellular communication via gap junctions.

  4. Mechanotransductive Regulation of Gap-Junction Activity Between MLO-Y4 Osteocyte-Like and MC3T3-E1 Osteoblast-Like Cells in Three-Dimensional Co-Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juran, C. M.; Blaber, E. A.; Almeida, E. A. C.

    2016-01-01

    Cell and animal studies conducted onboard the International Space Station and formerly on Shuttle flights have provided groundbreaking data illuminating the deleterious biological response of bone to mechanical unloading. However the intercellular communicative mechanisms associated with the regulation of bone synthesis and bone resorption cells are still largely unknown. Connexin-43 (CX43), a gap junction protein, is hypothesized to play a significant role in osteoblast and osteocyte signaling. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate within a novel three-dimensional microenvironment how the osteocyte-osteoblast gap-junction expression changes when cultures are exposed to exaggerated mechanical load. MLO-Y4 osteocyte-like cells were cultured on a 3D-Biotek polystyrene insert and placed in direct contact with an MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblast co-cultured monolayer and exposed to 48 h of mechanical stimulation (pulsatile fluid flow (PFF) or monolayer cyclic stretch (MCS)) then evaluated for viability, proliferation, metabolism, and CX43 expression. Mono-cultured MLO-Y4 and MC3T3-E1 control experiments were conducted under PFF and MCS stimulation to observe how strain application stimuli (PFF cell membrane shear or MCS cell focal adhesion/attachment loading) initiates different signaling pathways or downstream regulatory controls. TotalLive cell count, viability and metabolic reduction (Trypan Blue, LIVEDead and Alamar Blue analysis respectively) indicate that mechanical activation of MC3T3-E1 cells inhibits proliferation while maintaining an average 1.04E4 reductioncell metabolic rate, *p0.05 n4. MLO-Y4s in monolayer culture increase in number when exposed to MCS loading but the percent of live cells within the population is low (46.3 total count, *p0.05 n4), these results may indicate an apoptotic signaling cascade. PFF stimulation of the three-dimensional co-cultures elicits a universal increase in CX43 in MLO-Y4 and MC3T3-E1 cells, illustrated by

  5. Gap junction protein connexin43 exacerbates lung vascular permeability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J O'Donnell

    Full Text Available Increased vascular permeability causes pulmonary edema that impairs arterial oxygenation and thus contributes to morbidity and mortality associated with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and sepsis. Although components of intercellular adhesive and tight junctions are critical for maintaining the endothelial barrier, there has been limited study of the roles of gap junctions and their component proteins (connexins. Since connexins can modulate inflammatory signaling in other systems, we hypothesized that connexins may also regulate pulmonary endothelial permeability. The relationships between connexins and the permeability response to inflammatory stimuli were studied in cultured human pulmonary endothelial cells. Prolonged treatment with thrombin, lipopolysaccharide, or pathological cyclic stretch increased levels of mRNA and protein for the major connexin, connexin43 (Cx43. Thrombin and lipopolysaccharide both increased intercellular communication assayed by transfer of microinjected Lucifer yellow. Although thrombin decreased transendothelial resistance in these cells, the response was attenuated by pretreatment with the connexin inhibitor carbenoxolone. Additionally, the decreases of transendothelial resistance produced by either thrombin or lipopolysaccharide were attenuated by reducing Cx43 expression by siRNA knockdown. Both carbenoxolone and Cx43 knockdown also abrogated thrombin-induced phosphorylation of myosin light chain. Taken together, these data suggest that increased lung vascular permeability induced by inflammatory conditions may be amplified via increased expression of Cx43 and intercellular communication among pulmonary endothelial cells.

  6. Observation of gap inhomogeneity in superconducting aluminum tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilmartin, H.R.

    1982-01-01

    Experiments using a novel technique to investigate spatial variations in the superconducting gap parameter of aluminum films driven out of equilibrium by intense tunnel injection are described. The technique features fine spatial and energy resolution of the gap parameter. The experiments employed a finely focused laser spot scanned across the surface of a double tunnel junction sandwich to produce a very weak electrical signal that was analyzed to determine the gap parameter as a function of position in the plane of the device. Technical aspects of the problem are emphasized, since a new technique is presented. An elaborate explanation of the origin and analysis of the laser induced signal is given, as well as a detailed description of the experimental apparatus. Very briefly, the principle of operation is that a large flux of quasiparticles is injected through the lower junction of the sandwich into the middle aluminum film, and the upper junction serves to detect the effects of that injection. The middle film takes on two or more values of the gap parameter under injection, presumably indicating spatial variation. The presence of a small laser spot on a given point on the device perturbs the potential on the detector junction very slightly. That perturbation is measured as a function of bias current to determine the gap parameter of the middle film at that point. The spot is scanned in a raster pattern to produce a picture of the space dependence of the gap parameter

  7. Hyperglycaemia and diabetes impair gap junctional communication among astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Gautam K; Ball, Kelly K; Cruz, Nancy F; Dienel, Gerald A

    2010-03-15

    Sensory and cognitive impairments have been documented in diabetic humans and animals, but the pathophysiology of diabetes in the central nervous system is poorly understood. Because a high glucose level disrupts gap junctional communication in various cell types and astrocytes are extensively coupled by gap junctions to form large syncytia, the influence of experimental diabetes on gap junction channel-mediated dye transfer was assessed in astrocytes in tissue culture and in brain slices from diabetic rats. Astrocytes grown in 15-25 mmol/l glucose had a slow-onset, poorly reversible decrement in gap junctional communication compared with those grown in 5.5 mmol/l glucose. Astrocytes in brain slices from adult STZ (streptozotocin)-treated rats at 20-24 weeks after the onset of diabetes also exhibited reduced dye transfer. In cultured astrocytes grown in high glucose, increased oxidative stress preceded the decrement in dye transfer by several days, and gap junctional impairment was prevented, but not rescued, after its manifestation by compounds that can block or reduce oxidative stress. In sharp contrast with these findings, chaperone molecules known to facilitate protein folding could prevent and rescue gap junctional impairment, even in the presence of elevated glucose level and oxidative stress. Immunostaining of Cx (connexin) 43 and 30, but not Cx26, was altered by growth in high glucose. Disruption of astrocytic trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules may alter interactions among astrocytes, neurons and endothelial cells and contribute to changes in brain function in diabetes. Involvement of the microvasculature may contribute to diabetic complications in the brain, the cardiovascular system and other organs.

  8. Pallidal gap junctions-triggers of synchrony in Parkinson's disease?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwab, B.C.; Heida, T.; Zhao, Y.; Gils, S.A. van; Wezel, R.J.A. van

    2014-01-01

    Although increased synchrony of the neural activity in the basal ganglia may underlie the motor deficiencies exhibited in Parkinson's disease (PD), how this synchrony arises, propagates through the basal ganglia, and changes under dopamine replacement remains unknown. Gap junctions could play a

  9. Pallidal gap junctions - Triggers of synchrony in Parkinson's disease?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwab, B.C.; Heida, Tjitske; Zhao, Yan; van Gils, Stephanus A.; van Wezel, Richard Jack Anton

    2014-01-01

    Although increased synchrony of the neural activity in the basal ganglia may underlie the motor deficiencies exhibited in Parkinson's disease (PD), how this synchrony arises, propagates through the basal ganglia, and changes under dopamine replacement remains unknown. Gap junctions could play a

  10. [Gap junctions: A new therapeutic target in major depressive disorder?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarrouilhe, D; Dejean, C

    2015-11-01

    Major depressive disorder is a multifactorial chronic and debilitating mood disease with high lifetime prevalence and is associated with excess mortality, especially from cardiovascular diseases and through suicide. The treatments of this disease with tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors are poorly tolerated and those that selectively target serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake are not effective in all patients, showing the need to find new therapeutic targets. Post-mortem studies of brains from patients with major depressive disorders described a reduced expression of the gap junction-forming membrane proteins connexin 30 and connexin 43 in the prefrontal cortex and the locus coeruleus. The use of chronic unpredictable stress, a rodent model of depression, suggests that astrocytic gap junction dysfunction contributes to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder. Chronic treatments of rats with fluoxetine and of rat cultured cortical astrocytes with amitriptyline support the hypothesis that the upregulation of gap junctional intercellular communication between brain astrocytes could be a novel mechanism for the therapeutic effect of antidepressants. In conclusion, astrocytic gap junctions are emerging as a new potential therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  11. Inhibition of Connexin 26/43 and Extracellular-Regulated Kinase Protein Plays a Critical Role in Melatonin Facilitated Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication in Hydrogen Peroxide-Treated HaCaT Keratinocyte Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyo-Jung Lee

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Though melatonin was known to regulate gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in chick astrocytes and mouse hepatocytes, the underlying mechanism by melatonin was not elucidated in hydrogen peroxide- (H2O2- treated HaCaT keratinocyte cells until now. In the current study, though melatonin at 2 mM and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 at 300 μM showed weak cytotoxicity in HaCaT keratinocyte cells, melatonin significantly suppressed the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells compared to untreated controls. Also, the scrape-loading dye-transfer assay revealed that melatonin enhances the intercellular communication by introducing Lucifer Yellow into H2O2-treated cells. Furthermore, melatonin significantly enhanced the expression of connexin 26 (Cx26 and connexin 43 (Cx43 at mRNA and protein levels, but not that of connexin 30 (Cx30 in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Of note, melatonin attenuated the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERKs more than p38 MAPK or JNK in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Conversely, ERK inhibitor PD98059 promoted the intercellular communication in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Furthermore, combined treatment of melatonin (200 μM and vitamin C (10 μg/mL significantly reduced ROS production in H2O2-treated HaCaT cells. Overall, these findings support the scientific evidences that melatonin facilitates gap junctional intercellular communication in H2O2-treated HaCaT keratinocyte cells via inhibition of connexin 26/43 and ERK as a potent chemopreventive agent.

  12. Regulation of Endothelial Adherens Junctions by Tyrosine Phosphorylation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Alejandro Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Endothelial cells form a semipermeable, regulated barrier that limits the passage of fluid, small molecules, and leukocytes between the bloodstream and the surrounding tissues. The adherens junction, a major mechanism of intercellular adhesion, is comprised of transmembrane cadherins forming homotypic interactions between adjacent cells and associated cytoplasmic catenins linking the cadherins to the cytoskeleton. Inflammatory conditions promote the disassembly of the adherens junction and a loss of intercellular adhesion, creating openings or gaps in the endothelium through which small molecules diffuse and leukocytes transmigrate. Tyrosine kinase signaling has emerged as a central regulator of the inflammatory response, partly through direct phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of the adherens junction components. This review discusses the findings that support and those that argue against a direct effect of cadherin and catenin phosphorylation in the disassembly of the adherens junction. Recent findings indicate a complex interaction between kinases, phosphatases, and the adherens junction components that allow a fine regulation of the endothelial permeability to small molecules, leukocyte migration, and barrier resealing. PMID:26556953

  13. Homeostatic Plasticity Mediated by Rod-Cone Gap Junction Coupling in Retinal Degenerative Dystrophic RCS Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Baoke; Fu, Yan; Weng, Chuanhuang; Liu, Weiping; Zhao, Congjian; Yin, Zheng Qin

    2017-01-01

    Rod-cone gap junctions open at night to allow rod signals to pass to cones and activate the cone-bipolar pathway. This enhances the ability to detect large, dim objects at night. This electrical synaptic switch is governed by the circadian clock and represents a novel form of homeostatic plasticity that regulates retinal excitability according to network activity. We used tracer labeling and ERG recording in the retinae of control and retinal degenerative dystrophic RCS rats. We found that in the control animals, rod-cone gap junction coupling was regulated by the circadian clock via the modulation of the phosphorylation of the melatonin synthetic enzyme arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT). However, in dystrophic RCS rats, AANAT was constitutively phosphorylated, causing rod-cone gap junctions to remain open. A further b/a-wave ratio analysis revealed that dystrophic RCS rats had stronger synaptic strength between photoreceptors and bipolar cells, possibly because rod-cone gap junctions remained open. This was despite the fact that a decrease was observed in the amplitude of both a- and b-waves as a result of the progressive loss of rods during early degenerative stages. These results suggest that electric synaptic strength is increased during the day to allow cone signals to pass to the remaining rods and to be propagated to rod bipolar cells, thereby partially compensating for the weak visual input caused by the loss of rods. PMID:28473754

  14. Inhibition of hepatocyte gap junctional intercellular communication by tumor promoters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruch, R.J.

    1988-01-01

    The mechanisms by which tumor promoters enhance neoplasia are poorly understood. One effect common to most tumor promoters is their ability to inhibit the cell-to-cell exchange of small molecules and ions through gap junctions, i.e., gap junctional intercellular communication (IC). IC maybe necessary for normal growth control and the loss of IC may predispose cells to enhanced growth. In the present studies, the effects of liver tumor promoters and other agents on IC between rodent hepatocytes in primary culture has been studied. IC was detected between hepatocytes: (1) autoradiographically following the passage and incorporation of [5- 3 H]uridine nucleotides from pre-labeled donor hepatocytes to non-labeled, adjacent recipient hepatocytes and (2) by fluorescence microscopy after microinjection of fluorescent Lucifer Yellow CH dye into hepatocytes and visualizing dye spread into adjacent hepatocytes

  15. Symposia for a Meeting on Ion Channels and Gap Junctions

    CERN Document Server

    Sáez, Juan

    1997-01-01

    Ion channels allow us to see nature in all its magnificence, to hear a Bach suite, to smell the aroma of grandmother's cooking, and, in this regard, they put us in contact with the external world. These ion channels are protein molecules located in the cell membrane. In complex organisms, cells need to communicate in order to know about their metabolic status and to act in a coordinate manner. The latter is also accomplished by a class of ion channels able to pierce the lipid bilayer membranes of two adjacent cells. These intercellular channels are the functional subunits of gap junctions. Accordingly, the book is divided in two parts: the first part is dedicated to ion channels that look to the external world, and the second part is dedicated to gap junctions found at cell interfaces. This book is based on a series of symposia for a meeting on ion channels and gap junctions held in Santiago, Chile, on November 28-30, 1995. The book should be useful to graduate students taking the first steps in this field as...

  16. Conduction gap in graphene strain junctions: direction dependence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen, M Chung; Nguyen, V Hung; Dollfus, P; Nguyen, Huy-Viet

    2014-01-01

    It has been shown in a recent study (Nguyen et al 2014 Nanotechnology 25 165201) that unstrained/strained graphene junctions are promising candidates to improve the performance of graphene transistors which is usually hindered by the gapless nature of graphene. Although the energy bandgap of strained graphene still remains zero, the shift of Dirac points in the k-space due to strain-induced deformation of graphene lattice can lead to the appearance of a finite conduction gap of several hundred meV in strained junctions with a strain of only a few per cent. However, since it depends essentially on the magnitude of the Dirac point shift, this conduction gap strongly depends on the direction of applied strain and the transport direction. In this work, a systematic study of conduction-gap properties with respect to these quantities is presented and the results are carefully analyzed. Our study provides useful information for further investigations to exploit graphene-strained junctions in electronic applications and strain sensors. (paper)

  17. Cut-loading: a useful tool for examining the extent of gap junction tracer coupling between retinal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hee Joo; Ribelayga, Christophe P; Mangel, Stuart C

    2012-01-12

    In addition to chemical synaptic transmission, neurons that are connected by gap junctions can also communicate rapidly via electrical synaptic transmission. Increasing evidence indicates that gap junctions not only permit electrical current flow and synchronous activity between interconnected or coupled cells, but that the strength or effectiveness of electrical communication between coupled cells can be modulated to a great extent(1,2). In addition, the large internal diameter (~1.2 nm) of many gap junction channels permits not only electric current flow, but also the diffusion of intracellular signaling molecules and small metabolites between interconnected cells, so that gap junctions may also mediate metabolic and chemical communication. The strength of gap junctional communication between neurons and its modulation by neurotransmitters and other factors can be studied by simultaneously electrically recording from coupled cells and by determining the extent of diffusion of tracer molecules, which are gap junction permeable, but not membrane permeable, following iontophoretic injection into single cells. However, these procedures can be extremely difficult to perform on neurons with small somata in intact neural tissue. Numerous studies on electrical synapses and the modulation of electrical communication have been conducted in the vertebrate retina, since each of the five retinal neuron types is electrically connected by gap junctions(3,4). Increasing evidence has shown that the circadian (24-hour) clock in the retina and changes in light stimulation regulate gap junction coupling(3-8). For example, recent work has demonstrated that the retinal circadian clock decreases gap junction coupling between rod and cone photoreceptor cells during the day by increasing dopamine D2 receptor activation, and dramatically increases rod-cone coupling at night by reducing D2 receptor activation(7,8). However, not only are these studies extremely difficult to perform on

  18. Connexin 26-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication suppresses paracellular permeability of human intestinal epithelial cell monolayers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morita, Hidekazu; Katsuno, Tatsuro; Hoshimoto, Aihiro; Hirano, Noriaki; Saito, Yasushi; Suzuki, Yasuo

    2004-01-01

    In some cell types, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is associated with tight junctions. The present study was performed to determine the roles of GJIC in regulation of the barrier function of tight junctions. Caco-2 human colonic cells were used as a monolayer model, and barrier function was monitored by measuring mannitol permeability and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). The monolayers were chemically disrupted by treatment with oleic acid and taurocholic acid. Western blotting analyses were performed to evaluate the protein levels of connexins, which are components of gap junctional intercellular channels. Cx26 expression was detected in preconfluent Caco-2 cells, and its level increased gradually after the monolayer reached confluency. These results prompted us to examine whether overexpression of Cx26 affects barrier function. Monolayers of Caco-2 cells stably expressing Cx26 showed significantly lower mannitol permeability and higher TER than mock transfectants when the monolayers were chemically disrupted. The levels of claudin-4, an important component of tight junctions, were significantly increased in the stable Cx26 transfectant. These results suggest that Cx26-mediated GJIC may play a crucial role in enhancing the barrier function of Caco-2 cell monolayers

  19. Gap junctional communication modulates gene transcription by altering the recruitment of Sp1 and Sp3 to connexin-response elements in osteoblast promoters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stains, Joseph P.; Lecanda, Fernando; Screen, Joanne; Towler, Dwight A.; Civitelli, Roberto

    2003-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations of gap junction proteins, connexins, represent a mechanism of disease in a variety of tissues. We have shown that recessive (gene deletion) or dominant (connexin45 overexpression) disruption of connexin43 function results in osteoblast dysfunction and abnormal expression of osteoblast genes, including down-regulation of osteocalcin transcription. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of gap junction-sensitive transcriptional regulation, we systematically analyzed the rat osteocalcin promoter for sensitivity to gap junctional intercellular communication. We identified an Sp1/Sp3 containing complex that assembles on a minimal element in the -70 to -57 region of the osteocalcin promoter in a gap junction-dependent manner. This CT-rich connexin-response element is necessary and sufficient to confer gap junction sensitivity to the osteocalcin proximal promoter. Repression of osteocalcin transcription occurs as a result of displacement of the stimulatory Sp1 by the inhibitory Sp3 on the promoter when gap junctional communication is perturbed. Modulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment also occurs on the collagen Ialpha1 promoter and translates into gap junction-sensitive transcriptional control of collagen Ialpha1 gene expression. Thus, regulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment to the promoter may represent a potential general mechanism for transcriptional control of target genes by signals passing through gap junctions.

  20. PI3K/Akt signaling is involved in the disruption of gap junctional communication caused by v-Src and TNF-α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Satoko; Hyodo, Toshinori; Hasegawa, Hitoki; Yuan, Hong; Hamaguchi, Michinari; Senga, Takeshi

    2010-09-17

    Gap junctional communication, which is mediated by the connexin protein family, is essential for the maintenance of normal tissue function and homeostasis. Loss of intercellular communication results in a failure to coordinately regulate cellular functions, and it can facilitate tumorigenesis. Expression of oncogenes and stimulation with cytokines has been shown to suppress intercellular communication; however, the exact mechanism by which intercellular communication is disrupted by these factors remains uncertain. In this report, we show that Akt is essential for the disruption of gap junctional communication in v-Src-transformed cells. In addition, inhibition of Akt restores gap junctional communication after it is suppressed by TNF-α signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the expression of a constitutively active form of Akt1, but not of Akt2 or Akt3, is sufficient to suppress gap junctional communication. Our results clearly define Akt1 as one of the critical regulators of gap junctional communication. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Gap junction coupling confers isopotentiality on astrocyte syncytium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Baofeng; Buckalew, Richard; Du, Yixing; Kiyoshi, Conrad M.; Alford, Catherine C.; Wang, Wei; McTigue, Dana D.; Enyeart, John J.; Terman, David; Zhou, Min

    2015-01-01

    Astrocytes are extensively coupled through gap junctions into a syncytium. However, the basic role of this major brain network remains largely unknown. Using electrophysiological and computational modeling methods, we demonstrate that the membrane potential (VM) of an individual astrocyte in a hippocampal syncytium, but not in a single, freshly isolated cell preparation, can be well-maintained at quasi-physiological levels when recorded with reduced or K+ free pipette solutions that alter the K+ equilibrium potential to non-physiological voltages. We show that an astrocyte’s associated syncytium provides powerful electrical coupling, together with ionic coupling at a lesser extent, that equalizes the astrocyte’s VM to levels comparable to its neighbors. Functionally, this minimizes VM depolarization attributable to elevated levels of local extracellular K+ and thereby maintains a sustained driving force for highly efficient K+ uptake. Thus, gap junction coupling functions to achieve isopotentiality in astrocytic networks, whereby a constant extracellular environment can be powerfully maintained for crucial functions of neural circuits. PMID:26435164

  2. Xenobiotic Modulation of Human Mammary Epithelial Cell Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and Growth

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ruch, Randall

    1999-01-01

    .... These agents also inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). This inhibition may contribute to the enhancement of breast epithelial growth and breast cancer formation by xenobiotics...

  3. The effects of the Histone Deacetylase (HDAC Inhibitor 4-Phenylbutyrate on gap junction conductance and permeability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua eKaufman

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Longitudinal resistance is a key factor in determining cardiac action potential propagation. Action potential conduction velocity has been shown to be proportional to the square root of longitudinal resistance. A major determinant of longitudinal resistance in myocardium is the gap junction channel, comprised of connexin proteins. Within the ventricular myocardium connexin 43 (Cx43 is the dominantly expressed connexin. Reduced numbers of gap junction channels will result in an increase in longitudinal resistance creating the possibility of slowed conduction velocity while increased numbers of channels would potentially result in an increase in conduction velocity. We sought to determine if inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC by 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PB, a known inhibitor of HDAC resulted in an increase in junctional conductance and permeability, which is not the result of changes in single channel unitary conductance. These experiments were performed using HEK-293 cells and HeLa cells stably transfected with Cx43. Following treatment with increasing concentrations of 4-PB up-regulation of Cx43 was observed via Western blot analysis. Junctional (gj conductance and unitary single channel conductance were measured via whole-cell patch clamp. In addition intercellular transfer of Lucifer Yellow (LY was determined by fluorescence microscopy. The data in this study indicates that 4-PB is able to enhance functional Cx43 gap junction coupling as indicated by LY dye transfer and multichannel and single channel data along with Western blot analysis. As a corollary, pharmacological agents such as 4-PB have the potential, by increasing intercellular coupling, to reduce the effect of ischemia. It remains to be seen whether drugs like 4-PB will be effective in preventing cardiac maladies.

  4. Cellular Interaction of Integrin α3β1 with Laminin 5 Promotes Gap Junctional Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampe, Paul D.; Nguyen, Beth P.; Gil, Susana; Usui, Marcia; Olerud, John; Takada, Yoshikazu; Carter, William G.

    1998-01-01

    Wounding of skin activates epidermal cell migration over exposed dermal collagen and fibronectin and over laminin 5 secreted into the provisional basement membrane. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) has been proposed to integrate the individual motile cells into a synchronized colony. We found that outgrowths of human keratinocytes in wounds or epibole cultures display parallel changes in the expression of laminin 5, integrin α3β1, E-cadherin, and the gap junctional protein connexin 43. Adhesion of keratinocytes on laminin 5, collagen, and fibronectin was found to differentially regulate GJIC. When keratinocytes were adhered on laminin 5, both structural (assembly of connexin 43 in gap junctions) and functional (dye transfer) assays showed a two- to threefold increase compared with collagen and five- to eightfold over fibronectin. Based on studies with immobilized integrin antibody and integrin-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells, the interaction of integrin α3β1 with laminin 5 was sufficient to promote GJIC. Mapping of intermediate steps in the pathway linking α3β1–laminin 5 interactions to GJIC indicated that protein trafficking and Rho signaling were both required. We suggest that adhesion of epithelial cells to laminin 5 in the basement membrane via α3β1 promotes GJIC that integrates individual cells into synchronized epiboles. PMID:9852164

  5. Ouabain Increases Gap Junctional Communication in Epithelial Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arturo Ponce

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The finding that endogenous ouabain acts as a hormone prompted efforts to elucidate its physiological function. In previous studies, we have shown that 10 nM ouabain (i.e., a concentration within the physiological range modulates cell-cell contacts such as tight junctions and apical/basolateral polarity. In this study, we examined whether 10 nM ouabain affects another important cell-cell feature: gap junction communication (GJC. Methods: We employed two different approaches: 1 analysis of the cell-to-cell diffusion of neurobiotin injected into a particular MDCK cell (epithelial cells from dog kidneys in a confluent monolayer by counting the number of neighboring cells reached by the probe and 2 measurement of the electrical capacitance. Results: We found that 10 nM ouabain increase GJC by 475% within 1 hour. The Na+-K+-ATPase acts as a receptor of ouabain. In previous works we have shown that ouabain activates c-Src and ERK1/2 in 1 hour; in the present study we show that the inhibition of these proteins block the effect of ouabain on GJC. This increase in GJC does not require synthesis of new protein components, because the inhibitors cycloheximide and actinomycin D did not affect this phenomenon. Using silencing assays we also demonstrate that this ouabain-induced enhancement of GJC involves connexins 32 and 43. Conclusion: Ouabain 10 nM increases GJC in MDCK cells.

  6. Chlorpromazine reduces the intercellular communication via gap junctions in mammalian cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orellana, Juan A.; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Saez, Juan C.

    2006-01-01

    In the work presented herein, we evaluated the effect of chlorpromazine (CPZ) on gap junctions expressed by two mammalian cell types; Gn-11 cells (cell line derived from mouse LHRH neurons) and rat cortical astrocytes maintained in culture. We also attempted to elucidate possible mechanisms of action of CPZ effects on gap junctions. CPZ, in concentrations comparable with doses used to treat human diseases, was found to reduce the intercellular communication via gap junctions as evaluated with measurements of dye coupling (Lucifer yellow). In both cell types, maximal inhibition of functional gap junctions was reached within about 1 h of treatment with CPZ, an recovery was almost complete at about 5 h after CPZ wash out. In both cell types, CPZ treatment increased the phosphorylation state of connexin43 (Cx43), a gap junction protein subunit. Moreover, CPZ reduced the reactivity of Cx43 (immunofluorescence) at cell interfaces and concomitantly increased its reactivity in intracellular vesicles, suggesting an increased retrieval from and/or reduced insertion into the plasma membrane. CPZ also caused cellular retraction reducing cell-cell contacts in a reversible manner. The reduction in contact area might destabilize existing gap junctions and abrogate formation of new ones. Moreover, the CPZ-induced reduction in gap junctional communication may depend on the connexins (Cxs) forming the junctions. If Cx43 were the only connexin expressed, MAPK-dependent phosphorylation of this connexin would induce closure of gap junction channels

  7. A three-dimensional model of a gap junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xylouris, K.; Wittum, G.

    2009-01-01

    Gap junctions are effective electric couplings between neurons and form a very important way of communication between them. Since they can be considered as the points on the neuron's membrane on which for example dendrites of different cells become one piece, in three dimensions they can be modelled by observing this property in the created geometry. Thus they can be easily made part in an already existing 3-dimensional model for signal propagation on the neuron's membrane, if the geometries are chosen in such a way respect the blending of the membranes. A small network of two cells was created, which blend in their dendrites and a simulation of the three-dimensional model was carried out which reveals the fast transmission of the signal from one cell to the other.

  8. Methamphetamine compromises gap junctional communication in astrocytes and neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, Paul; Nwagbo, Chisom; Martinez, Luis R; Eugenin, Eliseo A

    2016-05-01

    Methamphetamine (meth) is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that results in psychological and physical dependency. The long-term effects of meth within the CNS include neuronal plasticity changes, blood-brain barrier compromise, inflammation, electrical dysfunction, neuronal/glial toxicity, and an increased risk to infectious diseases including HIV. Most of the reported meth effects in the CNS are related to dysregulation of chemical synapses by altering the release and uptake of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. However, little is known about the effects of meth on connexin (Cx) containing channels, such as gap junctions (GJ) and hemichannels (HC). We examined the effects of meth on Cx expression, function, and its role in NeuroAIDS. We found that meth altered Cx expression and localization, decreased GJ communication between neurons and astrocytes, and induced the opening of Cx43/Cx36 HC. Furthermore, we found that these changes in GJ and HC induced by meth treatment were mediated by activation of dopamine receptors, suggesting that dysregulation of dopamine signaling induced by meth is essential for GJ and HC compromise. Meth-induced changes in GJ and HC contributed to amplified CNS toxicity by dysregulating glutamate metabolism and increasing the susceptibility of neurons and astrocytes to bystander apoptosis induced by HIV. Together, our results indicate that connexin containing channels, GJ and HC, are essential in the pathogenesis of meth and increase the sensitivity of the CNS to HIV CNS disease. Methamphetamine (meth) is an extremely addictive central nervous system stimulant. Meth reduced gap junctional (GJ) communication by inducing internalization of connexin-43 (Cx43) in astrocytes and reducing expression of Cx36 in neurons by a mechanism involving activation of dopamine receptors (see cartoon). Meth-induced changes in Cx containing channels increased extracellular levels of glutamate and resulted in higher

  9. The gap junction protein connexin43 interacts with the second PDZ domain of the zona occludens-1 protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Moolenaar, W H

    1998-01-01

    Gap junctions mediate cell-cell communication in almost all tissues and are composed of channel-forming integral membrane proteins, termed connexins [1-3]. Connexin43 (Cx43) is the most widely expressed and the most well-studied member of this family. Cx43-based cell-cell communication is regulated

  10. Limitations of the dual voltage clamp method in assaying conductance and kinetics of gap junction channels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilders, R.; Jongsma, H. J.

    1992-01-01

    The electrical properties of gap junctions in cell pairs are usually studied by means of the dual voltage clamp method. The voltage across the junctional channels, however, cannot be controlled adequately due to an artificial resistance and a natural resistance, both connected in series with the gap

  11. Limitations of the dual voltage clamp method in assaying conductance and kinetics of gap junction channels

    OpenAIRE

    Wilders, R.; Jongsma, H.J.

    1992-01-01

    The electrical properties of gap junctions in cell pairs are usually studied by means of the dual voltage clamp method. The voltage across the junctional channels, however, cannot be controlled adequately due to an artificial resistance and a natural resistance, both connected in series with the gap junction. The access resistances to the cell interior of the recording pipettes make up the artificial resistance. The natural resistance consists of the cytoplasmic access resistances to the tigh...

  12. Treatment with the gap junction modifier rotigaptide (ZP123) reduces infarct size in rats with chronic myocardial infarction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haugan, Ketil; Marcussen, Niels; Kjølbye, Anne Louise

    2006-01-01

    Treatment with non-selective drugs (eg, long-chain alcohols, halothane) that reduce gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) is associated with reduced infarct size after myocardial infarction (MI). Therefore, it has been suggested that gap junction intercellular communication stimulating ...

  13. Effects of gap junction blockers on human neocortical synchronization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gigout, S; Louvel, J; Kawasaki, H; D'Antuono, M; Armand, V; Kurcewicz, I; Olivier, A; Laschet, J; Turak, B; Devaux, B; Pumain, R; Avoli, M

    2006-06-01

    Field potentials and intracellular recordings were obtained from human neocortical slices to study the role of gap junctions (GJ) in neuronal network synchronization. First, we examined the effects of GJ blockers (i.e., carbenoxolone, octanol, quinine, and quinidine) on the spontaneous synchronous events (duration = 0.2-1.1 s; intervals of occurrence = 3-27 s) generated by neocortical slices obtained from temporal lobe epileptic patients during application of 4-aminopyridine (4AP, 50 muM) and glutamatergic receptor antagonists. The synchronicity of these potentials (recorded at distances up to 5 mm) was decreased by GJ blockers within 20 min of application, while prolonged GJ blockers treatment at higher doses made them disappear with different time courses. Second, we found that slices from patients with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) could generate in normal medium spontaneous synchronous discharges (duration = 0.4-8 s; intervals of occurrence = 0.5-90 s) that were (i) abolished by NMDA receptor antagonists and (ii) slowed down by carbenoxolone. Finally, octanol or carbenoxolone blocked 4AP-induced ictal-like discharges (duration = up to 35 s) in FCD slices. These data indicate that GJ play a role in synchronizing human neocortical networks and may implement epileptiform activity in FCD.

  14. Local dynamics of gap-junction-coupled interneuron networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lau, Troy; Zochowski, Michal; Gage, Gregory J; Berke, Joshua D

    2010-01-01

    Interneurons coupled by both electrical gap-junctions (GJs) and chemical GABAergic synapses are major components of forebrain networks. However, their contributions to the generation of specific activity patterns, and their overall contributions to network function, remain poorly understood. Here we demonstrate, using computational methods, that the topological properties of interneuron networks can elicit a wide range of activity dynamics, and either prevent or permit local pattern formation. We systematically varied the topology of GJ and inhibitory chemical synapses within simulated networks, by changing connection types from local to random, and changing the total number of connections. As previously observed we found that randomly coupled GJs lead to globally synchronous activity. In contrast, we found that local GJ connectivity may govern the formation of highly spatially heterogeneous activity states. These states are inherently temporally unstable when the input is uniformly random, but can rapidly stabilize when the network detects correlations or asymmetries in the inputs. We show a correspondence between this feature of network activity and experimental observations of transient stabilization of striatal fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs), in electrophysiological recordings from rats performing a simple decision-making task. We suggest that local GJ coupling enables an active search-and-select function of striatal FSIs, which contributes to the overall role of cortical-basal ganglia circuits in decision-making

  15. The B[a]P-increased intercellular communication via translocation of connexin-43 into gap junctions reduces apoptosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tekpli, X.; Rivedal, E.; Gorria, M.; Landvik, N.E.; Rissel, M.; Dimanche-Boitrel, M.-T.; Baffet, G.; Holme, J.A.; Lagadic-Gossmann, D.

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions are channels in plasma membrane composed of proteins called connexins. These channels are organized in special domains between cells, and provide for direct gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), allowing diffusion of signalling molecules < 1 kD. GJIC regulates cell homeostasis and notably the balance between proliferation, cell cycle arrest, cell survival and apoptosis. Here, we have investigated benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) effects on GJIC and on the subcellular localization of the major protein of gap junction: connexin-43 (Cx43). Our results showed that B[a]P increased GJIC between mouse hepatoma Hepa1c1c7 cells via translocation of Cx43 from Golgi apparatus and lipid rafts into gap junction plaques. Interestingly, inhibition of GJIC by chlordane or small interference RNA directed against Cx43 enhanced B[a]P-induced apoptosis in Hepa1c1c7 cells. The increased apoptosis caused by inhibition of GJIC appeared to be mediated by ERK/MAPK pathway. It is suggested that B[a]P could induce transfer of cell survival signal or dilute cell death signal via regulation of ERK/MAPK through GJIC.

  16. 7-Ketocholesterol modulates intercellular communication through gap-junction in bovine lens epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pereira Paulo

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Connexin43 (Cx43 is an integral membrane protein that forms intercellular channels called gap junctions. Intercellular communication in the eye lens relies on an extensive network of gap junctions essential for the maintenance of lens transparency. The association of Cx43 with cholesterol enriched lipid raft domains was recently demonstrated. The objective of this study is to assess if products of cholesterol oxidation (oxysterols affect gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC. Results Primary cultures of lens epithelial cells (LEC were incubated with 7-ketocholesterol (7-Keto, 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-OH or cholesterol and the subcellular distribution of Cx43 was evaluated by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. The levels of Cx43 present in gap junction plaques were assessed by its insolubility in Triton X-100 and quantified by western blotting. The stability of Cx43 at the plasma membrane following incubation with oxysterols was evaluated by biotinylation of cell surface proteins. Gap junction intercellular communication was evaluated by transfer of the dye Lucifer yellow. The results obtained showed that 7-keto induces an accumulation of Cx43 at the plasma membrane and an increase in intercellular communication through gap junction. However, incubation with cholesterol or 25-OH did not lead to significant alterations on subcellular distribution of Cx43 nor in intercellular communication. Data further suggests that increased intercellular communication results from increased stability of Cx43 at the plasma membrane, presumably forming functional gap-junctions, as suggested by decreased solubility of Cx43 in 1% Triton X-100. The increased stability of Cx43 at the plasma membrane seems to be specific and not related to disruption of endocytic pathway, as demonstrated by dextran uptake. Conclusions Results demonstrate, for the first time, that 7-keto induces an increase in gap junction intercellular communication

  17. Long-range gap junctional signaling controls oncogene-mediated tumorigenesis in Xenopus laevis embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook T Chernet

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In addition to the immediate microenvironment, long-range signaling may be an important component of cancer. Molecular-genetic analyses have implicated gap junctions – key mediators of cell-cell communication – in carcinogenesis. We recently showed that the resting voltage potential of distant cell groups is a key determinant of metastatic transformation and tumor induction. Here, we show in the Xenopus laevis model that gap junctional communication (GJC is a modulator of the long-range bioelectric signaling that regulates tumor formation. Genetic disruption of GJC taking place within tumors, within remote host tissues, or between the host and tumors – significantly lowers the incidence of tumors induced by KRAS mutations. The most pronounced suppression of tumor incidence was observed upon GJC disruption taking place farther away from oncogene-expressing cells, revealing a role for GJC in distant cells in the control of tumor growth. In contrast, enhanced GJC communication through the overexpression of wild-type connexin Cx26 increased tumor incidence. Our data confirm a role for GJC in tumorigenesis, and reveal that this effect is non-local. Based on these results and on published data on movement of ions through GJs, we present a quantitative model linking the GJC coupling and bioelectrical state of cells to the ability of oncogenes to initiate tumorigenesis. When integrated with data on endogenous bioelectric signaling during left-right patterning, the model predicts differential tumor incidence outcomes depending on the spatial configurations of gap junction paths relative to tumor location and major anatomical body axes. Testing these predictions, we found that the strongest influence of GJ modulation on tumor suppression by hyperpolarization occurred along the embryonic left-right axis. Together, these data reveal new, long-range aspects of cancer control by the host’s physiological parameters.

  18. Localization of connexin 43 gap junctions and hemichannels in tanycytes of adult mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szilvásy-Szabó, Anett; Varga, Edina; Beliczai, Zsuzsa; Lechan, Ronald M; Fekete, Csaba

    2017-10-15

    Tanycytes are specialized glial cells lining the lateral walls and the floor of the third ventricle behind the optic chiasm. In addition to functioning as barrier cells, they also have an important role in the regulation of neuroendocrine axes and energy homeostasis. To determine whether tanycytes communicate with each other via Connexin 43 (Cx43) gap junctions, individual tanycytes were loaded with Lucifer yellow (LY) through a patch pipette. In all cases, LY filled a larger group of tanycytes as well as blood vessels adjacent to tanycyte processes. The Cx43-blocker, carbenoxolone, inhibited spreading of LY. The greatest density of Cx43-immunoreactive spots was observed in the cell membrane of α-tanycyte cell bodies. Cx43-immunoreactivity was also present in the membrane of β-tanycyte cell bodies, but in lower density. Processes of both types of tanycytes also contained Cx43-immunoreactivity. At the ultrastructural level, Cx43-immunoreactivity was present in the cell membrane of all types of tanycytes including their ventricular surface, but gap junctions were more frequent among α-tanycytes. Cx43-immunoreactivity was also observed in the cell membrane between contacting tanycyte endfeet processes, and between tanycyte endfeet process and axon varicosities in the external zone of the median eminence and capillaries in the arcuate nucleus and median eminence. These results suggest that gap junctions are present not only among tanycytes, but also between tanycytes and the axons of hypophysiotropic neurons. Cx43 hemichannels may also facilitate the transport between tanycytes and extracellular fluids, including the cerebrospinal fluid, extracellular space of the median eminence and bloodstream. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Quantitative analysis of dual whole-cell voltage-clamp determination of gap junctional conductance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rijen, H. V.; Wilders, R.; van Ginneken, A. C.; Jongsma, H. J.

    1998-01-01

    The dual whole-cell voltage-clamp technique is used widely for determination of kinetics and conductance of gap junctions. The use of this technique may, however, occasion to considerable errors. We have analysed the errors in steady state junctional conductance measurements under different

  20. ATP- and gap junction-dependent intercellular calcium signaling in osteoblastic cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jorgensen, N R; Geist, S T; Civitelli, R

    1997-01-01

    mechanically induced calcium waves in two rat osteosarcoma cell lines that differ in the gap junction proteins they express, in their ability to pass microinjected dye from cell to cell, and in their expression of P2Y2 (P2U) purinergic receptors. ROS 17/2.8 cells, which express the gap junction protein......Many cells coordinate their activities by transmitting rises in intracellular calcium from cell to cell. In nonexcitable cells, there are currently two models for intercellular calcium wave propagation, both of which involve release of inositol trisphosphate (IP3)- sensitive intracellular calcium...... stores. In one model, IP3 traverses gap junctions and initiates the release of intracellular calcium stores in neighboring cells. Alternatively, calcium waves may be mediated not by gap junctional communication, but rather by autocrine activity of secreted ATP on P2 purinergic receptors. We studied...

  1. Synopsis of the International Gap Junction Conference in Elsinore, Denmark August 5-9, 2007

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willecke, Klaus; Nielsen, Morten Schak

    2008-01-01

    This synopsis covers the main results and conclusions from the platform presentations during the International Gap Junction Conference. More detailed information is provided in the mini reviews on controversial scientific issues, short reports of research results and conference abstracts publishe...

  2. [Inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication protects astrocytes from hypoxia/reoxygenation injury].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Xu-Hui; Gu, Yu-Chen; Jiao, Hao; Yu, Li; Dong, Shu-Ying

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the effects of inhibiting gap junctional intercellular communication on hypoxia/reoxygenation injury in astrocytes. Primary cultured cerebral cortical astrocytes of neonate rats were divided into normal control group, hypoxia reoxygenation injury group and 18-α-glycyrrhetinic acid and oleamide (gap junctional intercellular channel inhibitors) group. The gap junction intercellular communication was determined by Parachute assay. The viability of astrocyes was detected by MTT assay. The apoptosis of astrocytes were detected with annexin V/PI and Hoechst 33258 staining. Compared with the normal control group, the gap junctional function of astrocytes was increased significantly in ischemia/reperfusion group (Pastrocytes decreased significantly (Pastrocytes in18-α-glycyrrhetinic acid and oleamide group decreased significantly (Pastrocytes increased significantly (Pastrocytes.

  3. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps

    KAUST Repository

    Takaku, Yasuharu

    2014-01-07

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential for this behavior, although nerve cells in Hydra are organized in a diffuse network and do not form ganglia. Here we show that the gap junction protein innexin-2 is expressed in a small group of nerve cells in the lower body column of Hydra and that an anti-innexin-2 antibody binds to gap junctions in the same region. Treatment of live animals with innexin-2 antibody eliminates gap junction staining and reduces spontaneous body column contractions. We conclude that a small subset of nerve cells, connected by gap junctions and capable of synchronous firing, act as a pacemaker to coordinate the contraction of the body column in the absence of ganglia.

  4. Gap junctions and epileptic seizures--two sides of the same coin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladislav Volman

    Full Text Available Electrical synapses (gap junctions play a pivotal role in the synchronization of neuronal ensembles which also makes them likely agonists of pathological brain activity. Although large body of experimental data and theoretical considerations indicate that coupling neurons by electrical synapses promotes synchronous activity (and thus is potentially epileptogenic, some recent evidence questions the hypothesis of gap junctions being among purely epileptogenic factors. In particular, an expression of inter-neuronal gap junctions is often found to be higher after the experimentally induced seizures than before. Here we used a computational modeling approach to address the role of neuronal gap junctions in shaping the stability of a network to perturbations that are often associated with the onset of epileptic seizures. We show that under some circumstances, the addition of gap junctions can increase the dynamical stability of a network and thus suppress the collective electrical activity associated with seizures. This implies that the experimentally observed post-seizure additions of gap junctions could serve to prevent further escalations, suggesting furthermore that they are a consequence of an adaptive response of the neuronal network to the pathological activity. However, if the seizures are strong and persistent, our model predicts the existence of a critical tipping point after which additional gap junctions no longer suppress but strongly facilitate the escalation of epileptic seizures. Our results thus reveal a complex role of electrical coupling in relation to epileptiform events. Which dynamic scenario (seizure suppression or seizure escalation is ultimately adopted by the network depends critically on the strength and duration of seizures, in turn emphasizing the importance of temporal and causal aspects when linking gap junctions with epilepsy.

  5. Chaotic synchronization with gap junction of multi-neurons in external electrical stimulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng Bin; Wang Jiang; Fei Xiangyang

    2005-01-01

    The synchronization of n(n 3) neurons coupled with gap junction in external electrical stimulation is investigated. In this paper, the coupled model is established on the basis of nonlinear cable model, and then the relation between coupling strength of the gap junction and the synchronization is discussed in detail. The sufficient condition of complete synchronization is attained from rigorous mathematical derivation. The synchronizations of periodic neurons and chaotic neurons are studied respectively

  6. Connexin 43 Expression on Peripheral Blood Eosinophils: Role of Gap Junctions in Transendothelial Migration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harissios Vliagoftis

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Eosinophils circulate in the blood and are recruited in tissues during allergic inflammation. Gap junctions mediate direct communication between adjacent cells and may represent a new way of communication between immune cells distinct from communication through cytokines and chemokines. We characterized the expression of connexin (Cx43 by eosinophils isolated from atopic individuals using RT-PCR, Western blotting, and confocal microscopy and studied the biological functions of gap junctions on eosinophils. The formation of functional gap junctions was evaluated measuring dye transfer using flow cytometry. The role of gap junctions on eosinophil transendothelial migration was studied using the inhibitor 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid. Peripheral blood eosinophils express Cx43 mRNA and protein. Cx43 is localized not only in the cytoplasm but also on the plasma membrane. The membrane impermeable dye BCECF transferred from eosinophils to epithelial or endothelial cells following coculture in a dose and time dependent fashion. The gap junction inhibitors 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid and octanol did not have a significant effect on dye transfer but reduced dye exit from eosinophils. The gap junction inhibitor 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid inhibited eosinophil transendothelial migration in a dose dependent manner. Thus, eosinophils from atopic individuals express Cx43 constitutively and Cx43 may play an important role in eosinophil transendothelial migration and function in sites of inflammation.

  7. Intercellular communication via gap junctions affected by mechanical load in the bovine annulus fibrosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desrochers, Jane; Duncan, Neil A

    2014-01-01

    Cells in the intervertebral disc, as in other connective tissues including tendon, ligament and bone, form interconnected cellular networks that are linked via functional gap junctions. These cellular networks may be necessary to affect a coordinated response to mechanical and environmental stimuli. Using confocal microscopy with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching methods, we explored the in situ strain environment of the outer annulus of an intact bovine disc and the effect of high-level flexion on gap junction signalling. The in situ strain environment in the extracellular matrix of the outer annulus under high flexion load was observed to be non-uniform with the extensive cellular processes remaining crimped sometimes at flexion angles greater than 25°. A significant transient disruption of intercellular communication via functional gap junctions was measured after 10 and 20 min under high flexion load. This study illustrates that in healthy annulus fibrosus tissue, high mechanical loads can impede the functioning of the gap junctions. Future studies will explore more complex loading conditions to determine whether losses in intercellular communication can be permanent and whether gap junctions in aged and degenerated tissues become more susceptible to load. The current research suggests that cellular structures such as gap junctions and intercellular networks, as well as other cell-cell and cell-matrix interconnections, need to be considered in computational models in order to fully understand how macroscale mechanical signals are transmitted across scales to the microscale and ultimately into a cellular biosynthetic response in collagenous tissues.

  8. Inter-band phase fluctuations in macroscopic quantum tunneling of multi-gap superconducting Josephson junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asai, Hidehiro, E-mail: hd-asai@aist.go.jp [Electronics and Photonics Research Institute (ESPRIT), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568 (Japan); Ota, Yukihiro [CCSE, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8587 (Japan); Kawabata, Shiro [Electronics and Photonics Research Institute (ESPRIT), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568 (Japan); Nori, Franco [CEMS, RIKEN, Wako-shi, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1040 (United States)

    2014-09-15

    Highlights: • We study MQT in Josephson junctions composed of multi-gap superconductors. • We derive a formula of the MQT escape rate for multiple phase differences. • We investigate the effect of inter-band phase fluctuation on MQT. • The MQT escape rate is significantly enhanced by the inter-band phase fluctuation. - Abstract: We theoretically investigate macroscopic quantum tunneling (MQT) in a hetero Josephson junction formed by a conventional single-gap superconductor and a multi-gap superconductor. In such Josephson junctions, phase differences for each tunneling channel are defined, and the fluctuation of the relative phase differences appear which is referred to as Josephson–Leggett’s mode. We take into account the effect of the fluctuation in the tunneling process and calculate the MQT escape rate for various junction parameters. We show that the fluctuation of relative phase differences drastically enhances the escape rate.

  9. Inter-band phase fluctuations in macroscopic quantum tunneling of multi-gap superconducting Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asai, Hidehiro; Ota, Yukihiro; Kawabata, Shiro; Nori, Franco

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • We study MQT in Josephson junctions composed of multi-gap superconductors. • We derive a formula of the MQT escape rate for multiple phase differences. • We investigate the effect of inter-band phase fluctuation on MQT. • The MQT escape rate is significantly enhanced by the inter-band phase fluctuation. - Abstract: We theoretically investigate macroscopic quantum tunneling (MQT) in a hetero Josephson junction formed by a conventional single-gap superconductor and a multi-gap superconductor. In such Josephson junctions, phase differences for each tunneling channel are defined, and the fluctuation of the relative phase differences appear which is referred to as Josephson–Leggett’s mode. We take into account the effect of the fluctuation in the tunneling process and calculate the MQT escape rate for various junction parameters. We show that the fluctuation of relative phase differences drastically enhances the escape rate

  10. A PC microsimulation of a gap acceptance model for turning left at a T-junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaap, Nina; Dijck, T.; van Arem, Bart; Morsink, Peter L.J.

    2009-01-01

    Vehicles are controlled by sub-behavioral models in a microsimulation model, this includes the gap acceptance model where the decision about how to cross a junction is made. The critical gap in these models must serve as a threshold value to accept or reject the space between two successive vehicles

  11. Gap Junctions Contribute to Ictal/Interictal Genesis in Human Hypothalamic Hamartomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Human hypothalamic hamartoma (HH is a rare subcortical lesion associated with treatment-resistant epilepsy. Cellular mechanisms responsible for epileptogenesis are unknown. We hypothesized that neuronal gap junctions contribute to epileptogenesis through synchronous activity within the neuron networks in HH tissue. We studied surgically resected HH tissue with Western-blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, biocytin microinjection of recorded HH neurons, and microelectrode patch clamp recordings with and without pharmacological blockade of gap junctions. Normal human hypothalamus tissue was used as a control. Western blots showed increased expression of both connexin-36 (Cx36 and connexin-43 (Cx43 in HH tissue compared with normal human mammillary body tissue. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that Cx36 and Cx43 are expressed in HH tissue, but Cx36 was mainly expressed within neuron clusters while Cx43 was mainly expressed outside of neuron clusters. Gap-junction profiles were observed between small HH neurons with electron microscopy. Biocytin injection into single recorded small HH neurons showed labeling of adjacent neurons, which was not observed in the presence of a neuronal gap-junction blocker, mefloquine. Microelectrode field recordings from freshly resected HH slices demonstrated spontaneous ictal/interictal-like discharges in most slices. Bath-application of gap-junction blockers significantly reduced ictal/interictal-like discharges in a concentration-dependent manner, while not affecting the action-potential firing of small gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA neurons observed with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from the same patient's HH tissue. These results suggest that neuronal gap junctions between small GABAergic HH neurons participate in the genesis of epileptic-like discharges. Blockade of gap junctions may be a new therapeutic strategy for controlling seizure activity in HH patients.

  12. Gemcitabine intercellular diffusion mediated by gap junctions: new implications for cancer therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caruso Manuel

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Solid tumors are often poorly vascularized, with cells that can be 100 μm away from blood vessels. These distant cells get less oxygen and nutrients and are exposed to lower doses of chemotherapeutic agents. As gap junctions allow the passage of small molecules between cells, we tested the possibility that the chemotherapeutic agent gemcitabine can diffuse through gap junctions in solid tumors. Results We first showed with a dye transfer assay that the glioblastoma and the osteosarcoma cells used in this study have functional gap junctions. These cells were genetically engineered to express the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (TK, and induced a "bystander effect" as demonstrated by the killing of TK-negative cells in presence of the nucleoside analogue ganciclovir (GCV. The ability of gemcitabine to induce a similar bystander effect was then tested by mixing cells treated with 3 μM gemcitabine for 24 hours with untreated cells at different ratios. In all cell lines tested, bystander cells were killed with ratios containing as low as 5% treated cells, and this toxic effect was reduced in presence of α-glycyrrhetinic acid (AGA, a specific gap junction inhibitor. We also showed that a 2- or a 24-hour gemcitabine treatment was more efficient to inhibit the growth of spheroids with functional gap junctions as compared to the same treatment made in presence of AGA. Finally, after a 24-hour gemcitabine treatment, the cell viability in spheroids was reduced by 92% as opposed to 51% in presence of AGA. Conclusion These results indicate that gemcitabine-mediated toxicity can diffuse through gap junctions, and they suggest that gemcitabine treatment could be more efficient for treating solid tumors that display gap junctions. The presence of these cellular channels could be used to predict the responsiveness to this nucleoside analogue therapy.

  13. Microwave dependence of subharmonic gap structure in superconducting junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, O. Hoffman; Kofoed, Bent; Pedersen, Niels Falsig

    1974-01-01

    are integers: m=1,2,3,… and n=0,1,2,…. The power dependence of the satellite structure and the microwave-assisted tunneling structure is consistent for all junctions tested with the expression Jn2(m e Vrf / h ν), where Jn(x) is the ordinary Bessel function of order n, Vrf is the amplitude of the induced...

  14. Connexin domains relevant to the chemical gating of gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Peracchia

    1997-05-01

    Full Text Available Most cells exchange ions and small metabolites via gap junction channels. These channels are made of two hemichannels (connexons, each formed by the radial arrangement of six connexin (Cx proteins. Connexins span the bilayer four times (M1-M4 and have both amino- and carboxy-termini (NT, CT at the cytoplasmic side of the membrane, forming two extracellular loops (E1, E2 and one inner (IL loop. The channels are regulated by gates that close with cytosolic acidification (e.g., CO2 treatment or increased calcium concentration, possibly via calmodulin activation. Although gap junction regulation is still unclear, connexin domains involved in gating are being defined. We have recently focused on the CO2 gating sensitivity of Cx32, Cx38 and various mutants and chimeras expressed in Xenopus oocytes and studied by double voltage clamp. Cx32 is weakly sensitive to CO2, whereas Cx38 is highly sensitive. A Cx32 chimera containing the second half of the inner loop (IL2 of Cx38 was as sensitive to CO2 as Cx38, indicating that this domain plays an important role. Deletion of CT by 84% did not affect CO2 sensitivity, but replacement of 5 arginines (R with sparagines (N at the beginning of CT (C1 greatly enhanced the CO2 sensitivity of Cx32. This suggests that whereas most of CT is irrelevant, positive charges of C1 maintain the CO2 sensitivity of Cx32 low. As a hypothesis we have proposed a model that involves charge interaction between negative residues of the beginning of IL1 and positive residues of either C1 or IL2. Open and closed channels would result from IL1-C1 and IL1-IL2 interactions, respectively

  15. Diabetes Increases Cryoinjury Size with Associated Effects on Cx43 Gap Junction Function and Phosphorylation in the Mouse Heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palatinus, Joseph A; Gourdie, Robert G

    2016-01-01

    Diabetic patients develop larger myocardial infarctions and have an increased risk of death following a heart attack. The poor response to myocardial injury in the diabetic heart is likely related to the many metabolic derangements from diabetes that create a poor substrate in general for wound healing, response to injury and infection. Studies in rodents have implicated a role for the gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx43) in regulating the injury response in diabetic skin wounds. In this study, we sought to determine whether diabetes alters Cx43 molecular interactions or intracellular communication in the cryoinjured STZ type I diabetic mouse heart. We found that epicardial cryoinjury size is increased in diabetic mice and this increase is prevented by preinjury insulin administration. Consistent with these findings, we found that intercellular coupling via gap junctions is decreased after insulin administration in diabetic and nondiabetic mice. This decrease in coupling is associated with a concomitant increase in phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine 368, a residue known to decrease channel conductance. Taken together, our results suggest that insulin regulates both gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and injury propagation in the mouse heart.

  16. Gap junctional coupling in the vertebrate retina: variations on one theme?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Völgyi, Béla; Kovács-Oller, Tamás; Atlasz, Tamás; Wilhelm, Márta; Gábriel, Róbert

    2013-05-01

    Gap junctions connect cells in the bodies of all multicellular organisms, forming either homologous or heterologous (i.e. established between identical or different cell types, respectively) cell-to-cell contacts by utilizing identical (homotypic) or different (heterotypic) connexin protein subunits. Gap junctions in the nervous system serve electrical signaling between neurons, thus they are also called electrical synapses. Such electrical synapses are particularly abundant in the vertebrate retina where they are specialized to form links between neurons as well as glial cells. In this article, we summarize recent findings on retinal cell-to-cell coupling in different vertebrates and identify general features in the light of the evergrowing body of data. In particular, we describe and discuss tracer coupling patterns, connexin proteins, junctional conductances and modulatory processes. This multispecies comparison serves to point out that most features are remarkably conserved across the vertebrate classes, including (i) the cell types connected via electrical synapses; (ii) the connexin makeup and the conductance of each cell-to-cell contact; (iii) the probable function of each gap junction in retinal circuitry; (iv) the fact that gap junctions underlie both electrical and/or tracer coupling between glial cells. These pan-vertebrate features thus demonstrate that retinal gap junctions have changed little during the over 500 million years of vertebrate evolution. Therefore, the fundamental architecture of electrically coupled retinal circuits seems as old as the retina itself, indicating that gap junctions deeply incorporated in retinal wiring from the very beginning of the eye formation of vertebrates. In addition to hard wiring provided by fast synaptic transmitter-releasing neurons and soft wiring contributed by peptidergic, aminergic and purinergic systems, electrical coupling may serve as the 'skeleton' of lateral processing, enabling important functions such

  17. The extracellular matrix component laminin promotes gap junction formation in the rat anterior pituitary gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horiguchi, Kotaro; Kouki, Tom; Fujiwara, Ken; Kikuchi, Motoshi; Yashiro, Takashi

    2011-03-01

    Folliculo-stellate (FS) cells in the anterior pituitary gland are believed to have multifunctional properties. FS cells connect to each other not only by mechanical means, but also by gap junctional cell-to-cell communication. Using transgenic rats that express green fluorescent protein (GFP) specifically in FS cells in the anterior pituitary gland (S100b-GFP rats), we recently revealed that FS cells in primary culture markedly change their shape, and form numerous interconnections with neighboring FS cells in the presence of laminin, an extracellular matrix (ECM) component of the basement membrane. Morphological and functional changes in cells are believed to be partly modified by matricrine signaling, by which ECM components function as cellular signals. In the present study, we examined whether gap junction formation between FS cells is affected by matricrine cues. A cell sorter was used to isolate FS cells from male S100b-GFP rat anterior pituitary for primary culture. We observed that mRNA and protein levels of connexin 43 in gap junction channels were clearly higher in the presence of laminin. In addition, we confirmed the formation of gap junctions between FS cells in primary culture by electron microscopy. Interestingly, we also observed that FS cells in the presence of laminin displayed well-developed rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. Our findings suggest that, in anterior pituitary gland, FS cells may facilitate functional roles such as gap junctional cell-to-cell communication by matricrine signaling.

  18. Search for a proximity effect induced gap in gold/high Tc junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dessau, D.S.; Wells, B.O.; Shen, Z.; Spicer, W.E.; Arko, A.J.; List, R.S.; Olson, C.G.; Eom, C.B.; Mitzi, D.B.; Kapitulnik, A.; Geballe, T.H.

    1991-01-01

    We have used high-resolution photoemission spectroscopy to search for a proximity effect induced superconducting gap in gold overlayers on c-axis single crystals of Bi 2 Sr 2 CaCu 2 O 8 and a-axis thin films of YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7 . These two junction types give us a representative sampling of very well characterized near-ideal interfaces (gold/c-axis Bi 2 Sr 2 CaCu 2 O 8 ) and junctions in which the geometry more strongly favors the existence of the proximity effect but the interfacial quality may not be as ideal (gold/a-axis YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7 ). In neither of these junction types did we observe any evidence for a proximity effect induced gap, and we place an upper limit of approximately 5 meV on its existence in the junctions that we have studied

  19. Gap junction connexins in female reproductive organs: implications for women's reproductive health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterhager, Elke; Kidder, Gerald M

    2015-01-01

    Connexins comprise a family of ~20 proteins that form intercellular membrane channels (gap junction channels) providing a direct route for metabolites and signalling molecules to pass between cells. This review provides a critical analysis of the evidence for essential roles of individual connexins in female reproductive function, highlighting implications for women's reproductive health. No systematic review has been carried out. Published literature from the past 35 years was surveyed for research related to connexin involvement in development and function of the female reproductive system. Because of the demonstrated utility of genetic manipulation for elucidating connexin functions in various organs, much of the cited information comes from research with genetically modified mice. In some cases, a distinction is drawn between connexin functions clearly related to the formation of gap junction channels and those possibly linked to non-channel roles. Based on work with mice, several connexins are known to be required for female reproductive functions. Loss of connexin43 (CX43) causes an oocyte deficiency, and follicles lacking or expressing less CX43 in granulosa cells exhibit reduced growth, impairing fertility. CX43 is also expressed in human cumulus cells and, in the context of IVF, has been correlated with pregnancy outcome, suggesting that this connexin may be a determinant of oocyte and embryo quality in women. Loss of CX37, which exclusively connects oocytes with granulosa cells in the mouse, caused oocytes to cease growing without acquiring meiotic competence. Blocking of CX26 channels in the uterine epithelium disrupted implantation whereas loss or reduction of CX43 expression in the uterine stroma impaired decidualization and vascularization in mouse and human. Several connexins are important in placentation and, in the human, CX43 is a key regulator of the fusogenic pathway from the cytotrophoblast to the syncytiotrophoblast, ensuring placental growth

  20. Feature of the energy gap in YBa2 Cu3 O7 from break junction measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ekino, T.; Minami, T.; Fujii, H.

    1995-01-01

    Superconducting energy gap in YBa 2 Cu 3 O 7 have been investigated using break junctions. The tunneling conductance, dI/dV, at T=4.2 K shows no leakage around zero bias, while the gap edge peaks are broadened compared to the simple BCS density of states. These features suggest the spatial distribution of the energy gap or the anisotropic s-wave pairing. The observed largest gap value, determined by the peak-to-peak (p-p) separation in dI/dV, is 140 meV, which corresponds to the 4 δ p-p of an SIS junction. The observed tunneling density of states is fairly well expressed by the probability distribution of the energy gap using the BCS density of states

  1. Astrocytic gap junctional networks suppress cellular damage in an in vitro model of ischemia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo, E-mail: mnuriya@z2.keio.jp

    2014-02-07

    Highlights: • Astrocytes exhibit characteristic changes in [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} under OGD. • Astrocytic [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase is synchronized with a neuronal anoxic depolarization. • Gap junctional couplings protect neurons as well as astrocytes during OGD. - Abstract: Astrocytes play pivotal roles in both the physiology and the pathophysiology of the brain. They communicate with each other via extracellular messengers as well as through gap junctions, which may exacerbate or protect against pathological processes in the brain. However, their roles during the acute phase of ischemia and the underlying cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we imaged changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}) in astrocytes in mouse cortical slices under oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) condition using two-photon microscopy. Under OGD, astrocytes showed [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} oscillations followed by larger and sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increases. While the pharmacological blockades of astrocytic receptors for glutamate and ATP had no effect, the inhibitions of gap junctional intercellular coupling between astrocytes significantly advanced the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase after OGD exposure. Interestingly, the simultaneous recording of the neuronal membrane potential revealed that the onset of the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes was synchronized with the appearance of neuronal anoxic depolarization. Furthermore, the blockade of gap junctional coupling resulted in a concurrent faster appearance of neuronal depolarizations, which remain synchronized with the sustained [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i} increase in astrocytes. These results indicate that astrocytes delay the appearance of the pathological responses of astrocytes and neurons through their gap junction-mediated intercellular network under OGD. Thus, astrocytic gap junctional networks provide protection against tissue damage

  2. Astrocytic gap junctional networks suppress cellular damage in an in vitro model of ischemia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shinotsuka, Takanori; Yasui, Masato; Nuriya, Mutsuo

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Astrocytes exhibit characteristic changes in [Ca 2+ ] i under OGD. • Astrocytic [Ca 2+ ] i increase is synchronized with a neuronal anoxic depolarization. • Gap junctional couplings protect neurons as well as astrocytes during OGD. - Abstract: Astrocytes play pivotal roles in both the physiology and the pathophysiology of the brain. They communicate with each other via extracellular messengers as well as through gap junctions, which may exacerbate or protect against pathological processes in the brain. However, their roles during the acute phase of ischemia and the underlying cellular mechanisms remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we imaged changes in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca 2+ ] i ) in astrocytes in mouse cortical slices under oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) condition using two-photon microscopy. Under OGD, astrocytes showed [Ca 2+ ] i oscillations followed by larger and sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increases. While the pharmacological blockades of astrocytic receptors for glutamate and ATP had no effect, the inhibitions of gap junctional intercellular coupling between astrocytes significantly advanced the onset of the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase after OGD exposure. Interestingly, the simultaneous recording of the neuronal membrane potential revealed that the onset of the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase in astrocytes was synchronized with the appearance of neuronal anoxic depolarization. Furthermore, the blockade of gap junctional coupling resulted in a concurrent faster appearance of neuronal depolarizations, which remain synchronized with the sustained [Ca 2+ ] i increase in astrocytes. These results indicate that astrocytes delay the appearance of the pathological responses of astrocytes and neurons through their gap junction-mediated intercellular network under OGD. Thus, astrocytic gap junctional networks provide protection against tissue damage during the acute phase of ischemia

  3. Regulation of Tight Junctions in Upper Airway Epithelium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Kojima

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The mucosal barrier of the upper respiratory tract including the nasal cavity, which is the first site of exposure to inhaled antigens, plays an important role in host defense in terms of innate immunity and is regulated in large part by tight junctions of epithelial cells. Tight junction molecules are expressed in both M cells and dendritic cells as well as epithelial cells of upper airway. Various antigens are sampled, transported, and released to lymphocytes through the cells in nasal mucosa while they maintain the integrity of the barrier. Expression of tight junction molecules and the barrier function in normal human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs are affected by various stimuli including growth factor, TLR ligand, and cytokine. In addition, epithelial-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP, which is a master switch for allergic inflammatory diseases including allergic rhinitis, enhances the barrier function together with an increase of tight junction molecules in HNECs. Furthermore, respiratory syncytial virus infection in HNECs in vitro induces expression of tight junction molecules and the barrier function together with proinflammatory cytokine release. This paper summarizes the recent progress in our understanding of the regulation of tight junctions in the upper airway epithelium under normal, allergic, and RSV-infected conditions.

  4. Modulation of Connexin-36 Gap Junction Channels by Intracellular pH and Magnesium Ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimkute, Lina; Kraujalis, Tadas; Snipas, Mindaugas; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Jotautis, Vaidas; Skeberdis, Vytenis A; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2018-01-01

    Connexin-36 (Cx36) protein forms gap junction (GJ) channels in pancreatic beta cells and is also the main Cx isoform forming electrical synapses in the adult mammalian brain. Cx36 GJs can be regulated by intracellular pH (pH i ) and cytosolic magnesium ion concentration ([Mg 2+ ] i ), which can vary significantly under various physiological and pathological conditions. However, the combined effect and relationship of these two factors over Cx36-dependent coupling have not been previously studied in detail. Our experimental results in HeLa cells expressing Cx36 show that changes in both pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i affect junctional conductance (g j ) in an interdependent manner; in other words, intracellular acidification cause increase or decay in g j depending on whether [Mg 2+ ] i is high or low, respectively, and intracellular alkalization cause reduction in g j independently of [Mg 2+ ] i . Our experimental and modelling data support the hypothesis that Cx36 GJ channels contain two separate gating mechanisms, and both are differentially sensitive to changes in pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i . Using recombinant Cx36 we found that two glutamate residues in the N-terminus could be partly responsible for the observed interrelated effect of pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i . Mutation of glutamate at position 8 attenuated the stimulatory effect of intracellular acidification at high [Mg 2+ ] i , while mutation at position 12 and double mutation at both positions reversed stimulatory effect to inhibition. Moreover, Cx36 * E8Q lost the initial increase of g j at low [Mg 2+ ] i and double mutation lost the sensitivity to high [Mg 2+ ] i . These results suggest that E8 and E12 are involved in regulation of Cx36 GJ channels by Mg 2+ and H + ions.

  5. Ochratoxim A alters cell adhesion and gap junction intercellular communication in MDCK cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mally, Angela; Decker, Martina; Bekteshi, Michaela; Dekant, Wolfgang

    2006-01-01

    Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most potent renal carcinogens studied to date, but the mechanism of tumor formation by ochratoxin A remains largely unknown. Cell adhesion and cell-cell communication participate in the regulation of signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation and growth control and it is therefore not surprising that modulation of cell-cell signaling has been implicated in cancer development. Several nephrotoxicants and renal carcinogens have been shown to alter cell-cell signaling by interference with gap junction intercell communication (GJIC) and/or cell adhesion, and the aim of this study was to determine if disruption of cell-cell interactions occurs in kidney epithelial cells in response to OTA treatment. MDCK cells were treated with OTA (0-50 μM) for up to 24 h and gap junction function was analyzed using the scrape-load/dye transfer assay. In addition, expression and intracellular localization of Cx43, E-cadherin and β-catenin were determined by immunoblot and immunofluorescence analysis. A clear decrease in the distance of dye transfer was evident following treatment with OTA at concentrations/incubation times which did not affect cell viability. Consistent with the functional inhibition of GJIC, treatment with OTA resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in Cx43 expression. In contrast to Cx43, OTA did not alter total amount of the adherens junction proteins E-cadherin and β-catenin. Moreover, Western blot analysis of Triton X-100 soluble and insoluble protein fractions did not indicate translocation of cell adhesion molecules from the membrane to the cytoplasm. However, a ∼78 kDa fragment of β-catenin was detected in the detergent soluble fraction, indicating proteolytic cleavage of β-catenin. Immunofluorescence analysis also revealed changes in the pattern of both β-catenin and E-cadherin labeling, suggesting that OTA may alter cell-adhesion. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that disruption of cell

  6. Chemopreventive agents attenuate rapid inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication induced by environmental toxicants

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Babica, Pavel; Čtveráčková, Lucie; Lenčešová, Zuzana; Trosko, J. E.; Upham, B. L.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 68, č. 5 (2016), s. 827-837 ISSN 0163-5581 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LH12034 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : gap junctional intercellular communication * chemopreventive agents * environmental toxicants Subject RIV: FR - Pharmacology ; Medidal Chemistry Impact factor: 2.447, year: 2016

  7. Gap junction networks can generate both ripple-like and fast ripple-like oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Anna; Traub, Roger D.; Vladimirov, Nikita; Jenkins, Alistair; Nicholson, Claire; Whittaker, Roger G.; Schofield, Ian; Clowry, Gavin J.; Cunningham, Mark O.; Whittington, Miles A.

    2014-01-01

    Fast ripples (FRs) are network oscillations, defined variously as having frequencies of > 150 to > 250 Hz, with a controversial mechanism. FRs appear to indicate a propensity of cortical tissue to originate seizures. Here, we demonstrate field oscillations, at up to 400 Hz, in spontaneously epileptic human cortical tissue in vitro, and present a network model that could explain FRs themselves, and their relation to ‘ordinary’ (slower) ripples. We performed network simulations with model pyramidal neurons, having axons electrically coupled. Ripples ( 250 Hz, were sustained or interrupted, and had little jitter in the firing of individual axons. The form of model FR was similar to spontaneously occurring FRs in excised human epileptic tissue. In vitro, FRs were suppressed by a gap junction blocker. Our data suggest that a given network can produce ripples, FRs, or both, via gap junctions, and that FRs are favored by clusters of axonal gap junctions. If axonal gap junctions indeed occur in epileptic tissue, and are mediated by connexin 26 (recently shown to mediate coupling between immature neocortical pyramidal cells), then this prediction is testable. PMID:24118191

  8. Opposite effects of the gap junction blocker octanol on focal cerebral ischemia occluded for different durations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Wenting; Zhou, Lequan; Liu, Wei; Guan, Li; Li, Xiaoying; Liu, Haimei; Yan, Fuman; Xu, Jinwen; Zeng, Weiyong; Qiu, Min

    2014-06-01

    Protectants and executioners have been demonstrated to be used by gap junctions in focal cerebral ischemia. Certain researchers hypothesized that the opposite role of gap junctions may be associated with the injury extent, which has been demonstrated to be highly correlated with occlusion duration. In order to examine this hypothesis directly, the effects of octanol, a frequently used drug, were examined to investigate the role of gap junctions, in rats following middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 30 min/2 h and 24 h reperfusion, respectively. Octanol significantly reduced the infarct volume following 2 h of occlusion concomitant with lower neurological deficits, whereas it enlarged the infarct volume following 30 min of occlusion. Consistently, octanol attenuated the number of transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) positive neurons in the hippocampal CA1 region following 2 h of occlusion, while opposite effects were observed for 30 min of occlusion. Further immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that the expression of B-cell leukemia-2 (Bcl-2, anti-apoptotic protein) was upregulated and that Bcl-2-associated X (Bax, proapoptotic protein) was downregulated following 2 h of occlusion in the octanol group compared with the ischemic group. Conversely, octanol downregulated the expression of the Bcl-2 protein concomitant with increased Bax protein following 30 min of occlusion. These results indicated that the gap junction blocker octanol can protect against ischemic injury following long-term occlusion, however, can aggravate ischemic injury following short-term occlusion.

  9. Gap junctions and hemichannels composed of connexins: potential therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases

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    Hideyuki eTakeuchi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Microglia are macrophage-like resident immune cells that contribute to the maintenance of homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS. Abnormal activation of microglia can cause damage in the CNS, and accumulation of activated microglia is a characteristic pathological observation in neurologic conditions such as trauma, stroke, inflammation, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases. Activated microglia secrete high levels of glutamate, which damages CNS cells and has been implicated as a major cause of neurodegeneration in these conditions. Glutamate-receptor blockers and microglia inhibitors (e.g. minocycline have been examined as therapeutic candidates for several neurodegenerative diseases; however, these compounds exerted little therapeutic benefit because they either perturbed physiological glutamate signals or suppressed the actions of protective microglia. The ideal therapeutic approach would hamper the deleterious roles of activated microglia without diminishing their protective effects. We recently found that abnormally activated microglia secrete glutamate via gap-junction hemichannels on the cell surface. Moreover, administration of gap-junction inhibitors significantly suppressed excessive microglial glutamate release and improved disease symptoms in animal models of neurologic conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent evidence also suggests that neuronal and glial communication via gap junctions amplifies neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Elucidation of the precise pathologic roles of gap junctions and hemichannels may lead to a novel therapeutic strategies that can slow and halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

  10. Gap junctions suppress electrical but not [Ca(2+)] heterogeneity in resistance arteries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hald, Bjørn Olav; Welsh, Donald G; von Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2014-01-01

    arises, a virtual arteriole was developed that introduces variation in the activities of ion-transport proteins between cells. By varying the level of heterogeneity and subpopulations of gap junctions (GJs), the resulting simulations shows that GJs suppress electrical variation but can only reduce...

  11. Interfering amino terminal peptides and functional implications for heteromeric gap junction formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard David Veenstra

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin43 (Cx43 is widely expressed in many different tissues of the human body. In cells of some organs, Cx43 is co-expressed with other connexins (Cx, including Cx46 and Cx50 in lens, Cx40 in atrium, Purkinje fibers, and the blood vessel wall, Cx45 in heart, and Cx37 in the ovary. Interactions with the co-expressed connexins may have profound functional implications. The abilities of Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 to function in heteromeric gap junction combinations with Cx43 are well documented. Different studies disagree regarding the ability of Cx43 and Cx40 to produce functional heteromeric gap junctions with each other. We review previous studies regarding the heteromeric interactions of Cx43. The possibility of negative functional interactions between the cytoplasmic pore-forming amino terminal (NT domains of these connexins was assessed using pentameric connexin sequence-specific NT domain (iNT peptides applied to cells expressing homomeric Cx40, Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 gap junctions. A Cx43 iNT peptide corresponding to amino acids 9 to 13 (Ac-KLLDK-NH2 specifically inhibited the electrical coupling of Cx40 gap junctions in a transjunctional (Vj voltage-dependent manner without affecting the function of homologous Cx37, Cx46, Cx50, and Cx45 gap junctions. A Cx40 iNT (Ac-EFLEE-OH peptide counteracted the Vj-dependent block of Cx40 gap junctions, whereas a similarly charged Cx50 iNT (Ac-EEVNE-OH peptide did not, suggesting that these NT domain interactions are not solely based on electrostatics. These data are consistent with functional Cx43 heteromeric gap junction formation with Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 and suggest that Cx40 uniquely experiences functional suppressive interactions with a Cx43 NT domain sequence. These findings present unique functional implications about the heteromeric interactions between Cx43 and Cx40 that may influence cardiac conduction in atrial myocardium and the specialized conduction system.

  12. Tumor-induced loss of mural Connexin 43 gap junction activity promotes endothelial proliferation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhary, Mayur; Naczki, Christine; Chen, Wenhong; Barlow, Keith D.; Case, L. Douglas; Metheny-Barlow, Linda J.

    2015-01-01

    Proper functional association between mural cells and endothelial cells (EC) causes EC of blood vessels to become quiescent. Mural cells on tumor vessels exhibit decreased attachment to EC, which allows vessels to be unstable and proliferative. The mechanisms by which tumors prevent proper association between mural cells and EC are not well understood. Since gap junctions (GJ) play an important role in cell-cell contact and communication, we investigated whether loss of GJ plays a role in tumor-induced mural cell dissociation. Mural cell regulation of endothelial proliferation was assessed by direct co-culture assays of fluorescently labeled cells quantified by flow cytometry or plate reader. Gap junction function was assessed by parachute assay. Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein in mural cells exposed to conditioned media from cancer cells was assessed by Western and confocal microscopy; mRNA levels were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. Expression vectors or siRNA were utilized to overexpress or knock down Cx43. Tumor growth and angiogenesis was assessed in mouse hosts deficient for Cx43. Using parachute dye transfer assay, we demonstrate that media conditioned by MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells diminishes GJ communication between mural cells (vascular smooth muscle cells, vSMC) and EC. Both protein and mRNA of the GJ component Connexin 43 (Cx43) are downregulated in mural cells by tumor-conditioned media; media from non-tumorigenic MCF10A cells had no effect. Loss of GJ communication by Cx43 siRNA knockdown, treatment with blocking peptide, or exposure to tumor-conditioned media diminishes the ability of mural cells to inhibit EC proliferation in co-culture assays, while overexpression of Cx43 in vSMC restores GJ and endothelial inhibition. Breast tumor cells implanted into mice heterozygous for Cx43 show no changes in tumor growth, but exhibit significantly increased tumor vascularization determined by CD31 staining, along with decreased mural cell support

  13. Sustained inhibition of rat myometrial gap junctions and contractions by lindane

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    Grindatti Carmen M

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gap junctions increase in size and abundance coincident with parturition, forming an intercellular communication network that permits the uterus to develop the forceful, coordinated contractions necessary for delivery of the fetus. Lindane, a pesticide used in the human and veterinary treatment of scabies and lice as well as in agricultural applications, inhibits uterine contractions in vitro, inhibits myometrial gap junctions, and has been associated with prolonged gestation length in rats. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether brief exposures to lindane would elicit sustained inhibition of rat uterine contractile activity and myometrial gap junction intercellular communication. Methods To examine effects on uterine contraction, longitudinal uterine strips isolated from late gestation (day 20 rats were exposed to lindane in muscle baths and monitored for changes in spontaneous phasic contractions during and after exposure to lindane. Lucifer yellow dye transfer between myometrial cells in culture was used to monitor gap junction intercellular communication. Results During a 1-h exposure, 10 micro M and 100 micro M lindane decreased peak force and frequency of uterine contraction but 1 micro M lindane did not. After removal of the exposure buffer, contraction force remained significantly depressed in uterine strips exposed to 100 micro M lindane, returning to less than 50% basal levels 5 h after cessation of lindane exposure. In cultured myometrial myocytes, significant sustained inhibition of Lucifer yellow dye transfer was observed 24 h after lindane exposures as brief as 10 min and as low as 0.1 micro M lindane. Conclusion Brief in vitro exposures to lindane have long-term effects on myometrial functions that are necessary for parturition, inhibiting spontaneous phasic contractions in late gestation rat uterus and gap junction intercellular communication in myometrial cell cultures.

  14. Nonlinear gap junctions enable long-distance propagation of pulsating calcium waves in astrocyte networks.

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    Mati Goldberg

    Full Text Available A new paradigm has recently emerged in brain science whereby communications between glial cells and neuron-glia interactions should be considered together with neurons and their networks to understand higher brain functions. In particular, astrocytes, the main type of glial cells in the cortex, have been shown to communicate with neurons and with each other. They are thought to form a gap-junction-coupled syncytium supporting cell-cell communication via propagating Ca(2+ waves. An identified mode of propagation is based on cytoplasm-to-cytoplasm transport of inositol trisphosphate (IP(3 through gap junctions that locally trigger Ca(2+ pulses via IP(3-dependent Ca(2+-induced Ca(2+ release. It is, however, currently unknown whether this intracellular route is able to support the propagation of long-distance regenerative Ca(2+ waves or is restricted to short-distance signaling. Furthermore, the influence of the intracellular signaling dynamics on intercellular propagation remains to be understood. In this work, we propose a model of the gap-junctional route for intercellular Ca(2+ wave propagation in astrocytes. Our model yields two major predictions. First, we show that long-distance regenerative signaling requires nonlinear coupling in the gap junctions. Second, we show that even with nonlinear gap junctions, long-distance regenerative signaling is favored when the internal Ca(2+ dynamics implements frequency modulation-encoding oscillations with pulsating dynamics, while amplitude modulation-encoding dynamics tends to restrict the propagation range. As a result, spatially heterogeneous molecular properties and/or weak couplings are shown to give rise to rich spatiotemporal dynamics that support complex propagation behaviors. These results shed new light on the mechanisms implicated in the propagation of Ca(2+ waves across astrocytes and the precise conditions under which glial cells may participate in information processing in the brain.

  15. Ginsenoside Rg1 alleviates corticosterone-induced dysfunction of gap junctions in astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Cong-Yuan; Chu, Shi-Feng; Zhang, Shuai; Gao, Yan; Ren, Qian; Lou, Yu-Xia; Luo, Piao; Tian, Man-Tong; Wang, Zhi-Qi; Du, Guo-Hua; Tomioka, Yoshihisa; Yamakuni, Tohru; Zhang, Yi; Wang, Zhen-Zhen; Chen, Nai-Hong

    2017-08-17

    Ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1), one of the major bioactive ingredients of Panax ginseng C. A. Mey, has neuroprotective effects in animal models of depression, but the mechanism underlying these effects is still largely unknown AIM OF THE STUDY: Gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) dysfunction is a potentially novel pathogenic mechanism for depression. Thus, we investigated that whether antidepressant-like effects of Rg1 were related to GJIC. Primary rat prefrontal cortical and hippocampal astrocytes cultures were treated with 50μM CORT for 24h to induce gap junction damage. Rg1 (0.1, 1, or 10μM) or fluoxetine (1μM) was added 1h prior to CORT treatment. A scrape loading and dye transfer assay was performed to identify the functional capacity of gap junctions. Western blot was used to detect the expression and phosphorylation of connexin43 (Cx43), the major component of gap junctions. Treatment of primary astrocytes with CORT for 24h inhibited GJIC, decreased total Cx43 expression, and increased the phosphorylation of Cx43 at serine368 in a dose-dependent manner. Pre-treatment with 1μM and 10μM Rg1 significantly improved GJIC in CORT-treated astrocytes from the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, respectively, and this was accompanied by upregulation of Cx43 expression and downregulation of Cx43 phosphorylation. These findings provide the first evidence indicating that Rg1 can alleviate CORT-induced gap junction dysfunction, which may have clinical significance in the treatment of depression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Histone deacetylase inhibition reduces cardiac Connexin43 expression and gap junction communication

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    Qin eXu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Histone deactylase (HDAC inhibitors are being investigated as novel therapies for cancer, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and heart failure. The effects of HDAC inhibitors on the functional expression of cardiac gap junctions (GJ are essentially unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of trichostatin A (TSA and vorinostat (VOR on functional GJ expression in ventricular cardiomyocytes. The effects of HDAC inhibition on connexin43 (Cx43 expression and functional GJ assembly were examined in primary cultured neonatal mouse ventricular myocytes. TSA and VOR reduced Cx43 mRNA, protein expression, and immunolocalized Cx43 GJ plaque area within ventricular myocyte monolayer cultures in a dose-dependent manner. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed altered protein interactions with the Cx43 promoter. VOR also altered the phosphorylation state of several key regulatory Cx43 phospho-serine sites. Patch clamp analysis revealed reduced electrical coupling between isolated ventricular myocyte pairs, altered transjunctional voltage-dependent inactivation kinetics, and steady state junctional conductance inactivation and recovery relationships. Single GJ channel conductance was reduced to 54 pS only by maximum inhibitory doses of TSA (>= 100 nM. These two hydroxamate pan-HDAC inhibitors exert multiple levels of regulation on ventricular GJ communication by altering Cx43 expression, GJ area, post-translational modifications (e.g. phosphorylation, acetylation, gating, and channel conductance. Although a 50% downregulation of Cx43 GJ communication alone may not be sufficient to slow ventricular conduction or induce arrhythmias, the development of class-selective HDAC inhibitors may help avoid the potential negative cardiovascular effects of pan-HDACI.

  17. Oligomeric structure and functional characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 gap junction protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-04-12

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels.

  18. Oligomeric Structure and Functional Characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 Gap Junction Protein*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels. PMID:23460640

  19. Improving cardiac gap junction communication as a new antiarrhythmic mechanism: the action of antiarrhythmic peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhein, Stefan; Hagen, Anja; Jozwiak, Joanna; Dietze, Anna; Garbade, Jens; Barten, Markus; Kostelka, Martin; Mohr, Friedrich-Wilhelm

    2010-03-01

    Co-ordinated electrical activation of the heart is maintained by intercellular coupling of cardiomyocytes via gap junctional channels located in the intercalated disks. These channels consist of two hexameric hemichannels, docked to each other, provided by either of the adjacent cells. Thus, a complete gap junction channel is made from 12 protein subunits, the connexins. While 21 isoforms of connexins are presently known, cardiomyocytes typically are coupled by Cx43 (most abundant), Cx40 or Cx45. Some years ago, antiarrhythmic peptides were discovered and synthesised, which were shown to increase macroscopic gap junction conductance (electrical coupling) and enhance dye transfer (metabolic coupling). The lead substance of these peptides is AAP10 (H-Gly-Ala-Gly-Hyp-Pro-Tyr-CONH(2)), a peptide with a horseshoe-like spatial structure as became evident from two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance studies. A stable D: -amino-acid derivative of AAP10, rotigaptide, as well as a non-peptide analogue, gap-134, has been developed in recent years. Antiarrhythmic peptides act on Cx43 and Cx45 gap junctions but not on Cx40 channels. AAP10 has been shown to enhance intercellular communication in rat, rabbit and human cardiomyocytes. Antiarrhythmic peptides are effective against ventricular tachyarrhythmias, such as late ischaemic (type IB) ventricular fibrillation, CaCl(2) or aconitine-induced arrhythmia. Interestingly, the effect of antiarrhythmic peptides is higher in partially uncoupled cells and was shown to be related to maintained Cx43 phosphorylation, while arrhythmogenic conditions like ischaemia result in Cx43 dephosphorylation and intercellular decoupling. It is still a matter of debate whether these drugs also act against atrial fibrillation. The present review outlines the development of this group of peptides and derivatives, their mode of action and molecular mechanisms, and discusses their possible therapeutic potential.

  20. A versatile optical junction using photonic band-gap guidance and self collimation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, Man Mohan; Medhekar, Sarang, E-mail: smedhekarbit@gmail.com [Centre for Applied Physics, Central University of Jharkhand, Ranchi 835205 (India)

    2014-09-29

    We show that it is possible to design two photonic crystal (PC) structures such that an optical beam of desired wavelength gets guided within the line defect of the first structure (photonic band gap guidance) and the same beam gets guided in the second structure by self-collimation. Using two dimensional simulation of a design made of the combination of these two structures, we propose an optical junction that allows for crossing of two optical signals of same wavelength and same polarization with very low crosstalk. Moreover, the junction can be operated at number of frequencies in a wide range. Crossing of multiple beams with very low cross talk is also possible. The proposed junction should be important in future integrated photonic circuits.

  1. Effect of sound on gap-junction-based intercellular signaling: Calcium waves under acoustic irradiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deymier, P A; Swinteck, N; Runge, K; Deymier-Black, A; Hoying, J B

    2015-01-01

    We present a previously unrecognized effect of sound waves on gap-junction-based intercellular signaling such as in biological tissues composed of endothelial cells. We suggest that sound irradiation may, through temporal and spatial modulation of cell-to-cell conductance, create intercellular calcium waves with unidirectional signal propagation associated with nonconventional topologies. Nonreciprocity in calcium wave propagation induced by sound wave irradiation is demonstrated in the case of a linear and a nonlinear reaction-diffusion model. This demonstration should be applicable to other types of gap-junction-based intercellular signals, and it is thought that it should be of help in interpreting a broad range of biological phenomena associated with the beneficial therapeutic effects of sound irradiation and possibly the harmful effects of sound waves on health.

  2. Gap-Junctional communication between developing Drosophila muscles is essential for their normal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todman, M G; Baines, R A; Stebbings, L A; Davies, J A; Bacon, J P

    1999-01-01

    Recent experiments have demonstrated that a family of proteins, known as the innexins, are structural components of invertebrate gap junctions. The shaking-B (shak-B) locus of Drosophila encodes two members of this emerging family, Shak-B(lethal) and Shak-B(neural). This study focuses on the role of Shak-B gap junctions in the development of embryonic and larval muscle. During embryogenesis, shak-B transcripts are expressed in a subset of the somatic muscles; expression is strong in ventral oblique muscles (VO4-6) but only weak in ventral longitudinals (VL3 and 4). Carboxyfluorescein injected into VO4 of wild-type early stage 16 embryos spreads, via gap junctions, to label adjacent muscles, including VL3 and 4. In shak-B2 embryos (in which the shak-B(neural) function is disrupted), dye injected into VO4 fails to spread into other muscles. In the first instar larva, when dye coupling between muscles is no longer present, another effect of the shak-B2 mutation is revealed by whole-cell voltage clamp. In a calcium-free saline, only two voltage-activated potassium currents are present in wild-type muscles; a fast IA and a slow IK current. In shak-B2 larvae, these two currents are significantly reduced in magnitude in VO4 and 5, but remain normal in VL3. Expression of shak-B(neural) in a shak-B2 background fully rescues both dye coupling in embryonic muscle and whole-cell currents in first instar VO4 and 5. Our observations show that Shak-B(neural) is one of a set of embryonic gap-junction proteins, and that it is required for the normal temporal development of potassium currents in some larval muscles.

  3. In vitro study of stem cell communication via gap junctions for fibrocartilage regeneration at entheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayak, Bibhukalyan Prasad; Goh, James Cho Hong; Toh, Siew Lok; Satpathy, Gyan Ranjan

    2010-03-01

    Entheses are fibrocartilaginous organs that bridge ligament with bone at their interface and add significant insertional strength. To replace a severely damaged ligament, a tissue-engineered graft preinstalled with interfacial fibrocartilage, which is being regenerated from stem cells, appears to be more promising than ligament-alone graft. Such a concept can be realized by a biomimetic approach of establishing a dynamic communication of stem cells with bone cells and/or ligament fibroblasts in vitro. The current study has two objectives. The first objective is to demonstrate functional coculture of bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs) with mature bone cells/ligament fibroblasts as evidenced by gap-junctional communication in vitro. The second objective is to investigate the role of BMSCs in the regeneration of fibrocartilage within the coculture. Rabbit bone/ligament fibroblasts were dual-stained with DiI-Red and calcein (gap-junction permeable dye), and cocultured with unlabeled BMSCs at fixed ratio (1:10). The functional gap junction was demonstrated by the transfer of calcein from donor to recipient cells that was confirmed and quantified by flow cytometry. Type 2 collagen (cartilage extracellular matrix-specific protein) expressed by the mixed cell lines in the cocultures were estimated by real-time reverse transcription PCR and compared with that of the ligament-bone coculture (control). Significant transfer of calcein into BMSCs was observed and flow cytometry analyses showed a gradual increase in the percentage of BMSCs acquiring calcein with time. Cocultures that included BMSCs expressed significantly more type 2 collagen compared with the control. The current study, for the first time, reported the expression of gap-junctional communication of BMSCs with two adherent cell lines of musculoskeletal system in vitro and also confirmed that incorporation of stem cells augments fibrocartilage regeneration. The results open up a path to envisage a composite

  4. A unified framework for spiking and gap-junction interactions in distributed neuronal network simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan eHahne

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary simulators for networks of point and few-compartment model neurons come with a plethora of ready-to-use neuron and synapse models and support complex network topologies. Recent technological advancements have broadened the spectrum of application further to the efficient simulation of brain-scale networks on supercomputers. In distributed network simulations the amount of spike data that accrues per millisecond and process is typically low, such that a common optimization strategy is to communicate spikes at relatively long intervals, where the upper limit is given by the shortest synaptic transmission delay in the network. This approach is well-suited for simulations that employ only chemical synapses but it has so far impeded the incorporation of gap-junction models, which require instantaneous neuronal interactions. Here, we present a numerical algorithm based on a waveform-relaxation technique which allows for network simulations with gap junctions in a way that is compatible with the delayed communication strategy. Using a reference implementation in the NEST simulator, we demonstrate that the algorithm and the required data structures can be smoothly integrated with existing code such that they complement the infrastructure for spiking connections. To show that the unified framework for gap-junction and spiking interactions achieves high performance and delivers high accuracy...

  5. [Effects of gap junction blocking on the oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of the bladder meridian].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Yu, Wei-Chang; Jiang, Hong-Zhi; Chen, Sheng-Li; Zhang, Ming-Min; Kong, E-Sheng; Huang, Guang-Ying

    2010-12-01

    To explore the relation between gap junction and meridian phenomenon. The oxygen partial pressure in acupoints [see text for formula] and in their corresponding non-acupoints of the Bladder Meridian was observed with the needle-type tissue oxygen tension sensor in the gap junction blocking goats by 1-Heptanol injection and the Connexin 43 (Cx43) gene knockout mice. (1) The oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of Bladder Meridian on goats was higher than that in non-acupoints after 1-Heptanol injection with significant differences between them (both P oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of Bladder Meridian on goats increased significantly after injecting 1-Heptanol as compare with that either injecting normal saline or injecting nothing with significant differences between them (all P oxygen partial pressure in acupoints of the Bladder Meridian was significantly higher than that in the non-acupoint controls in Cx43 wild type (WT) mice (all P oxygen partial pressure between acupoints and non-acupoint controls showed no significant differences (all P > 0.05). (4) In acupoints, the oxygen partial pressure in Cx43 WT mice was significantly higher than that in Cx43 HT mice (all P 0.05). Gap junction maybe the essential factor in signal transduction of acupuncture.

  6. Phylogenetic and bioinformatic analysis of gap junction-related proteins, innexins, pannexins and connexins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fushiki, Daisuke; Hamada, Yasuo; Yoshimura, Ryoichi; Endo, Yasuhisa

    2010-04-01

    All multi-cellular animals, including hydra, insects and vertebrates, develop gap junctions, which communicate directly with neighboring cells. Gap junctions consist of protein families called connexins in vertebrates and innexins in invertebrates. Connexins and innexins have no homology in their amino acid sequence, but both are thought to have some similar characteristics, such as a tetra-membrane-spanning structure, formation of a channel by hexamer, and transmission of small molecules (e.g. ions) to neighboring cells. Pannexins were recently identified as a homolog of innexins in vertebrate genomes. Although pannexins are thought to share the function of intercellular communication with connexins and innexins, there is little information about the relationship among these three protein families of gap junctions. We phylgenetically and bioinformatically examined these protein families and other tetra-membrane-spanning proteins using a database and three analytical softwares. The clades formed by pannexin families do not belong to the species classification but do to paralogs of each member of pannexins. Amino acid sequences of pannexins are closely related to those of innexins but less to those of connexins. These data suggest that innexins and pannexins have a common origin, but the relationship between innexins/pannexins and connexins is as slight as that of other tetra-membrane-spanning members.

  7. Chemical Synaptic and Gap Junctional Interactions Between Principal Neurons: Partners in Epileptogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, Roger D.; Cunningham, Mark O.; Whittington, Miles A.

    2010-01-01

    Field potential signals, corresponding to electrographic seizures in cortical structures, often contain two components, which sometimes appear to be separable and other times to be superimposed. The first component consists of low-amplitude very fast oscillations (VFO, > 70–80 Hz); the second component consists of larger amplitude transients, lasting tens to hundreds of ms, and variously called population spikes, EEG spikes, or bursts – terms chosen in part because of the cellular correlates of the field events. To first approximation, the two components arise because of distinctive types of cellular interactions: gap junctions for VFO (a model of which is reviewed in the following), and recurrent synaptic excitation and/or inhibition for the transients. With in vitro studies of epileptic human neocortical tissue, it is possible to elicit VFO alone, or VFO superimposed on a large transient, but not a large transient without the VFO. If such observations prove to be general, they would imply that gap junction-mediated interactions are the primary factor in epileptogenesis. It appears to be the case then, that in the setting of seizure initiation (but not necessarily under physiological conditions), the gain of gap junction-mediated circuits can actually be larger than the gain in excitatory synaptic circuits. PMID:21168305

  8. Methylmercury inhibits gap junctional intercellular communication in primary cultures of rat proximal tubular cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoshida, Minoru; Sumi, Yawara [Department of Chemistry, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasagi (Japan); Kujiraoka, Toru [Department of Physiology, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasagi (Japan); Hara, Masayuki [Department of Anatomy, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasagi (Japan); Nakazawa, Hirokazu [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Meisei University (Japan)

    1998-03-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) causes renal injury in addition to central and peripheral neuropathy. To clarify the mechanism of nephrotoxicity by MeHg, we investigated the effect of this compound on intercellular communication through gap junction channels in primary cultures of rat renal proximal tubular cells. Twenty minutes after exposure to 30 {mu}M MeHg, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), which was assessed by dye coupling, was markedly inhibited before appearance of cytotoxicity. When the medium containing MeHg was exchanged with MeHg-free medium, dye coupling recovered abruptly. However, the dye-coupling was abolished again 30 min after replacement with control medium, and the cells were damaged. Intracellular calcium concentration, [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}, which modulates the function of gap junctions, significantly increased following exposure of the cells to 30 {mu}M MeHg and returned to control level following replacement with MeHg-free medium. These results suggest that the inhibiting effect of MeHg on GJIC is related to the change in [Ca{sup 2+}]{sub i}, and may be involved in the pathogenesis of renal dysfunction. (orig.) With 5 figs., 23 refs.

  9. Rescue of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)-mediated Sertoli cell injury by overexpression of gap junction protein connexin 43

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D.; Chen, Haiqi; Wong, Chris K. C.; Lee, Will M.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2016-07-01

    Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is an environmental toxicant used in developing countries, including China, as a stain repellent for clothing, carpets and draperies, but it has been banned in the U.S. and Canada since the late 2000s. PFOS perturbed the Sertoli cell tight junction (TJ)-permeability barrier, causing disruption of actin microfilaments in cell cytosol, perturbing the localization of cell junction proteins (e.g., occluden-ZO-1, N-cadherin-ß-catenin). These changes destabilized Sertoli cell blood-testis barrier (BTB) integrity. These findings suggest that human exposure to PFOS might induce BTB dysfunction and infertility. Interestingly, PFOS-induced Sertoli cell injury associated with a down-regulation of the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin43 (Cx43). We next investigated if overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells could rescue the PFOS-induced cell injury. Indeed, overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells with an established TJ-barrier blocked the disruption in PFOS-induced GJ-intercellular communication, resulting in the re-organization of actin microfilaments, which rendered them similar to those in control cells. Furthermore, cell adhesion proteins that utilized F-actin for attachment became properly distributed at the cell-cell interface, resealing the disrupted TJ-barrier. In summary, Cx43 is a good target that might be used to manage PFOS-induced reproductive dysfunction.

  10. Inhibition of dye-coupling in Patella (mollusca) embryos by microinjection of antiserum against Nephrops (arthropoda) gap junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Serras, F.; Buultjens, T.E.J.; Finbow, M.E.

    1988-01-01

    Antiserum raised against Nephrops gap junctions was injected into single cells of the 2-, 4-, 8-, 16-, and 32-cell stage of the Patella vulgata embryos. The pattern of junctional communication by iontophoresis of Lucifer Yellow CH was tested at the 32-cell stage. The results show that the normal

  11. Costimulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate and muscarinic neuronal receptors modulates gap junctional communication in striatal astrocytes

    OpenAIRE

    Rouach, N.; Tencé, M.; Glowinski, J.; Giaume, C.

    2002-01-01

    Cocultures of neurons and astrocytes from the rat striatum were used to determine whether the stimulation of neuronal receptors could affect the level of intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions in astrocytes. The costimulation of N-methyl-D-asparte (NMDA) and muscarinic receptors led to a prominent reduction of astrocyte gap junctional communication (GJC) in coculture. This treatment was not effective in astrocyte cultures, these cells being devoid of NMDA receptors. Both types ...

  12. Transient suppression of gap junctional intercellular communication after exposure to 100-nanosecond pulsed electric fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steuer, Anna; Schmidt, Anke; Labohá, Petra; Babica, Pavel; Kolb, Juergen F

    2016-12-01

    Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is an important mechanism that is involved and affected in many diseases and injuries. So far, the effect of nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEFs) on the communication between cells was not investigated. An in vitro approach is presented with rat liver epithelial WB-F344 cells grown and exposed in a monolayer. In order to observe sub-lethal effects, cells were exposed to pulsed electric fields with a duration of 100ns and amplitudes between 10 and 20kV/cm. GJIC strongly decreased within 15min after treatment but recovered within 24h. Gene expression of Cx43 was significantly decreased and associated with a reduced total amount of Cx43 protein. In addition, MAP kinases p38 and Erk1/2, involved in Cx43 phosphorylation, were activated and Cx43 became hyperphosphorylated. Immunofluorescent staining of Cx43 displayed the disassembly of gap junctions. Further, a reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton was observed whereas tight junction protein ZO-1 was not significantly affected. All effects were field- and time-dependent and most pronounced within 30 to 60min after treatment. A better understanding of a possible manipulation of GJIC by nsPEFs might eventually offer a possibility to develop and improve treatments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Gap junctions and memory: an investigation using a single trial discrimination avoidance task for the neonate chick.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verwey, L J; Edwards, T M

    2010-02-01

    Gap junctions are important to how the brain functions but are relatively under-investigated with respect to their contribution towards behaviour. In the present study a single trial discrimination avoidance task was used to investigate the effect of the gap junction inhibitor 18-alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid (alphaGA) on retention. Past studies within our research group have implied a potential role for gap junctions during the short-term memory (STM) stage which decays by 15 min post-training. A retention function study comparing 10 microM alphaGA and vehicle given immediately post-training demonstrated a significant main effect for drug with retention loss at all times of test (10-180 min post-training). Given that the most common gap junction in the brain is that forming the astrocytic network it is reasonable to conclude that alphaGA was acting upon these. To confirm this finding and interpretation two additional investigations were undertaken using endothelin-1 (ET-1) and ET-1+tolbutamide. Importantly, a retention function study using 10nM ET-1 replicated the retention loss observed for alphaGA. In order to confirm that ET-1 was acting on astrocytic gap junctions the amnestic action of ET-1 was effectively challenged with increasing concentrations of tolbutamide. The present findings suggest that astrocytic gap junctions are important for memory processing. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Entrainment, retention, and transport of freely swimming fish in junction gaps between commercial barges operating on the Illinois Waterway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jeremiah J.; Jackson, P. Ryan; Engel, Frank; LeRoy, Jessica Z.; Neeley, Rebecca N.; Finney, Samuel T.; Murphy, Elizabeth A.

    2016-01-01

    Large Electric Dispersal Barriers were constructed in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) to prevent the transfer of invasive fish species between the Mississippi River Basin and the Great Lakes Basin while simultaneously allowing the passage of commercial barge traffic. We investigated the potential for entrainment, retention, and transport of freely swimming fish within large gaps (> 50 m3) created at junction points between barges. Modified mark and capture trials were employed to assess fish entrainment, retention, and transport by barge tows. A multi-beam sonar system enabled estimation of fish abundance within barge junction gaps. Barges were also instrumented with acoustic Doppler velocity meters to map the velocity distribution in the water surrounding the barge and in the gap formed at the junction of two barges. Results indicate that the water inside the gap can move upstream with a barge tow at speeds near the barge tow travel speed. Water within 1 m to the side of the barge junction gaps was observed to move upstream with the barge tow. Observed transverse and vertical water velocities suggest pathways by which fish may potentially be entrained into barge junction gaps. Results of mark and capture trials provide direct evidence that small fish can become entrained by barges, retained within junction gaps, and transported over distances of at least 15.5 km. Fish entrained within the barge junction gap were retained in that space as the barge tow transited through locks and the Electric Dispersal Barriers, which would be expected to impede fish movement upstream.

  15. Zonulin, regulation of tight junctions, and autoimmune diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasano, Alessio

    2012-07-01

    Recent studies indicate that besides digestion and absorption of nutrients and water and electrolytes homeostasis, another key function of the intestine is to regulate the trafficking of environmental antigens across the host mucosal barrier. Intestinal tight junctions (TJs) create gradients for the optimal absorption and transport of nutrients and control the balance between tolerance and immunity to nonself antigens. To meet diverse physiological challenges, intestinal epithelial TJs must be modified rapidly and in a coordinated fashion by regulatory systems that orchestrate the state of assembly of the TJ multiprotein network. While considerable knowledge exists about TJ ultrastructure, relatively little is known about their physiological and pathophysiological regulation. Our discovery of zonulin, the only known physiologic modulator of intercellular TJs described so far, has increased our understanding of the intricate mechanisms that regulate the intestinal epithelial paracellular pathway and has led us to appreciate that its upregulation in genetically susceptible individuals leads to autoimmune diseases. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  16. Intracerebroventricular Injection of Lipopolysaccharide Increases Gene Expression of Connexin32 Gap Junction in Rat Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Abbasian

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Gap junctions are intercellular membrane channels that provide direct cytoplasmic continuity between adjacent cells. This communication can be affected by changes in expression of gap junctional subunits called Connexins (Cx. Changes in the expression and function of connexins are associated with number of brain neurodegenerative diseases. Neuroinflammation is a hallmark of various central nervous system (CNS diseases, like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. Neuroinflammation causes change in Connexins expression. Hippocampus, one of the main brain regions with a wide network of Gap junctions between different neural cell types, has particular vulnerability to damage and consequent inflammation. Cx32 – among Connexins– is expressed in hippocampal Olygodandrocytes and some neural subpopulations. Although multiple lines of evidence indicate that there is an association between neuroinflammation and the expression of connexin, the direct effect of neuroinflammation on the expression of connexins has not been well studied. In the present study, the effect of neuroinflammation induced by the Lipopolysaccharide (LPS on Cx32 gene and protein expressions in rat hippocampus is evaluated. Methods: LPS (2.5μg/rat was infused into the rat cerebral ventricles for 14 days. Cx32 mRNA and protein levels were measured by Real Time PCR and Western Blot after 1st, 7th and 14th injection of LPS in the hippocampus. Results: Significant increase in Cx32 mRNA expression was observed after 7th injection of LPS (P<0.001. However, no significant change was observed in Cx32 protein level. Conclusion: LPS seems to modify Cx32 GJ communication in the hippocampus at transcription level but not at translation or post-translation level. In order to have a full view concerning modification of Cx32 GJ communication, effect of LPS on Cx32 channel gating should also be determined.

  17. Quantification of gap junctional intercellular communication based on digital image analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hofgaard, Johannes P; Mollerup, Sarah; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2009-01-01

    Intercellular communication via gap junction channels can be quantified by several methods based on diffusion of fluorescent dyes or metabolites. Given the variation in intercellular coupling of cells, even under untreated control conditions, it is of essence to quantify the coupling between...... and in cells receiving dye by intercellular diffusion. The analysis performed is semiautomatic, and comparison with traditional cell counting shows that this method reliably determines the effect of uncoupling by several interventions. This new method of analysis yields a rapid and objective quantification...

  18. Gap junctions at the dendritic cell-T cell interface are key elements for antigen-dependent T cell activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgueta, Raul; Tobar, Jaime A; Shoji, Kenji F; De Calisto, Jaime; Kalergis, Alexis M; Bono, Maria R; Rosemblatt, Mario; Sáez, Juan C

    2009-07-01

    The acquired immune response begins with Ag presentation by dendritic cells (DCs) to naive T cells in a heterocellular cell-cell contact-dependent process. Although both DCs and T cells are known to express connexin43, a gap junction protein subunit, the role of connexin43 on the initiation of T cell responses remains to be elucidated. In the present work, we report the formation of gap junctions between DCs and T cells and their role on T cell activation during Ag presentation by DCs. In cocultures of DCs and T cells, Lucifer yellow microinjected into DCs is transferred to adjacent transgenic CD4(+) T cells, only if the specific antigenic peptide was present at least during the first 24 h of cocultures. This dye transfer was sensitive to gap junction blockers, such as oleamide, and small peptides containing the extracellular loop sequences of conexin. Furthermore, in this system, gap junction blockers drastically reduced T cell activation as reflected by lower proliferation, CD69 expression, and IL-2 secretion. This lower T cell activation produced by gap junction blockers was not due to a lower expression of CD80, CD86, CD40, and MHC-II on DCs. Furthermore, gap junction blocker did not affect polyclonal activation of T cell induced with anti-CD3 plus anti-CD28 Abs in the absence of DCs. These results strongly suggest that functional gap junctions assemble at the interface between DCs and T cells during Ag presentation and that they play an essential role in T cell activation.

  19. Connexin 30 expression and frequency of connexin heterogeneity in astrocyte gap junction plaques increase with age in the rat retina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussein Mansour

    Full Text Available We investigated age-associated changes in retinal astrocyte connexins (Cx by assaying Cx numbers, plaque sizes, protein expression levels and heterogeneity of gap junctions utilizing six-marker immunohistochemistry (IHC. We compared Wistar rat retinal wholemounts in animals aged 3 (young adult, 9 (middle-aged and 22 months (aged. We determined that retinal astrocytes have gap junctions composed of Cx26, -30, -43 and -45. Cx30 was consistently elevated at 22 months compared to younger ages both when associated with parenchymal astrocytes and vascular-associated astrocytes. Not only was the absolute number of Cx30 plaques significantly higher (P<0.05 but the size of the plaques was significantly larger at 22 months compared to younger ages (p<0.05. With age, Cx26 increased significantly initially, but returned to basal levels; whereas Cx43 expression remained low and stable with age. Evidence that astrocytes alter connexin compositions of gap junctions was demonstrated by the significant increase in the number of Cx26/Cx45 gap junctions with age. We also found gap junctions comprised of 1, 2, 3 or 4 Cx proteins suggesting that retinal astrocytes use various connexin protein combinations in their gap junctions during development and aging. These data provides new insight into the dynamic and extensive Cx network utilized by retinal astrocytes for communication within both the parenchyma and vasculature for the maintenance of normal retinal physiology with age. This characterisation of the changes in astrocytic gap junctional communication with age in the CNS is crucial to the understanding of physiological aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

  20. Heterocellular interaction enhances recruitment of α and β-catenins and ZO-2 into functional gap-junction complexes and induces gap junction-dependant differentiation of mammary epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talhouk, Rabih S.; Mroue, Rana; Mokalled, Mayssa; Abi-Mosleh, Lina; Nehme, Ralda; Ismail, Ayman; Khalil, Antoine; Zaatari, Mira; El-Sabban, Marwan E.

    2008-01-01

    Gap junctions (GJ) are required for mammary epithelial differentiation. Using epithelial (SCp2) and myoepithelial-like (SCg6) mouse-derived mammary cells, the role of heterocellular interaction in assembly of GJ complexes and functional differentiation (β-casein expression) was evaluated. Heterocellular interaction is critical for β-casein expression, independent of exogenous basement membrane or cell anchoring substrata. Functional differentiation of SCp2, co-cultured with SCg6, is more sensitive to GJ inhibition relative to homocellular SCp2 cultures differentiated by exogenous basement membrane. Connexin (Cx)32 and Cx43 levels were not regulated across culture conditions; however, GJ functionality was enhanced under differentiation-permissive conditions. Immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated association of junctional complex components (α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2) with Cx32 and Cx43, in differentiation conditions, and additionally with Cx30 in heterocellular cultures. Although β-catenin did not shuttle between cadherin and GJ complexes, increased association between connexins and β-catenin in heterocellular cultures was observed. This was concomitant with reduced nuclear β-catenin, suggesting that differentiation in heterocellular cultures involves sequestration of β-catenin in GJ complexes

  1. Fractional Josephson vortices in two-gap superconductor long Josephson junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ju

    2014-03-01

    We investigated the phase dynamics of long Josephson junctions (LJJ) with two-gap superconductors in the broken time reversal symmetry state. In this LJJ, spatial phase textures (i-solitons) can be excited due to the presence of two condensates and the interband Joesphson effect between them. The presence of a spatial phase texture in each superconductor layer leads to a spatial variation of the critical current density between the superconductor layers. We find that this spatial dependence of the crtitical current density can self-generate magnetic flux in the insulator layer, resulting in Josephson vortices with fractional flux quanta. Similar to the situation in a YBa2 Cu3O7 - x superconductor film grain boundary, the fractionalization of a Josephson vortex arises as a response to either periodic or random excitation of i-solitions. This suggests that magnetic flux measurements may be used to probe i-soliton excitations in multi-gap superconductor LJJs.

  2. Two-dimensional macroscopic quantum tunneling in multi-gap superconductor Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asai, Hidehiro; Kawabata, Shiro; Ota, Yukihiro; Machida, Masahiko

    2014-01-01

    Low-temperature characters of superconducting devices yield definite probes for different superconducting phenomena. We study the macroscopic quantum tunneling (MQT) in a Josephson junction, composed of a single-gap superconductor and a two-gap superconductor. Since this junction has two kinds to the superconducting phase differences, calculating the MQT escape rate requires the analysis of quantum tunneling in a multi-dimensional configuration space. Our approach is the semi-classical approximation along a 1D curve in a 2D potential- energy landscape, connecting two adjacent potential (local) minimums through a saddle point. We find that this system has two plausible tunneling paths; an in-phase path and an out-of-phase path. The former is characterized by the Josephson-plasma frequency, whereas the latter is by the frequency of the characteristic collective mode in a two-band superconductor, Josephson- Leggett mode. Depending on external bias current and inter-band Josephson-coupling energy, one of them mainly contributes to the MQT. Our numerical calculations show that the difference between the in-phase path and the out-of-phase path is manifest, with respect to the bias- current-dependence of the MQT escape rate. This result suggests that our MQT setting be an indicator of the Josephson-Leggett mode

  3. Non-genotoxic carcinogens: early effects on gap junctions, cell proliferation and apoptosis in the rat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mally, Angela; Chipman, James Kevin

    2002-01-01

    Non-genotoxic carcinogens are thought to induce tumour formation by disturbing the balance between cell growth and cell death. Gap junctions (GJ) contribute to the maintenance of tissue homeostasis by allowing the intercellular exchange of growth regulatory signals and potential inhibition of GJ intercellular communication through loss of connexin (Cx) plaques has been shown to be involved in the cancer process. We have investigated the time- and dose-dependent effects of the non-genotoxic hepatocarcinogens Wy-14,643, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, methapyrilene and hexachlorobenzene and the male rat kidney carcinogens chloroform, p-dichlorobenzene and d-limonene on gap junction plaque expression in relation to proliferation and apoptosis. With the exception of limonene, all non-genotoxic carcinogens significantly reduced the expression of GJ plaques containing Cx32 in their respective target tissue. No dose-dependent, significant effects were seen in non-target organs. Although alteration of Cx32 expression did not appear to correlate with induction of cell proliferation, out data suggest that the interaction of both processes--interference of GJ coupled with a proliferative stimulus (at the carcinogenic dose)--may be important in non-genotoxic carcinogenesis and provide a potential alert for non-genotoxic carcinogens in short-term toxicity tests

  4. Membrane junctions in xenopus eggs: their distribution suggests a role in calcium regulation

    OpenAIRE

    Gardiner, DM; Grey, RD

    1983-01-01

    We have observed the presence of membrane junctions formed between the plasma membrane and cortical endoplasmic reticulum of mature, unactivated eggs of xenopus laevis. The parallel, paired membranes of the junction are separated by a 10-mn gap within which electron-dense material is present. This material occurs in patches with an average center-to-center distance of approximately 30 nm. These junctions are rare in immature (but fully grown) oocytes (approximately 2 percent of the plasma mem...

  5. GABA and Gap Junctions in the Development of Synchronized Activity in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meeri Eeva-Liisa Mäkinen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The electrical activity of the brain arises from single neurons communicating with each other. However, how single neurons interact during early development to give rise to neural network activity remains poorly understood. We studied the emergence of synchronous neural activity in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC-derived neural networks simultaneously on a single-neuron level and network level. The contribution of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA and gap junctions to the development of synchronous activity in hPSC-derived neural networks was studied with GABA agonist and antagonist and by blocking gap junctional communication, respectively. We characterized the dynamics of the network-wide synchrony in hPSC-derived neural networks with high spatial resolution (calcium imaging and temporal resolution microelectrode array (MEA. We found that the emergence of synchrony correlates with a decrease in very strong GABA excitation. However, the synchronous network was found to consist of a heterogeneous mixture of synchronously active cells with variable responses to GABA, GABA agonists and gap junction blockers. Furthermore, we show how single-cell distributions give rise to the network effect of GABA, GABA agonists and gap junction blockers. Finally, based on our observations, we suggest that the earliest form of synchronous neuronal activity depends on gap junctions and a decrease in GABA induced depolarization but not on GABAA mediated signaling.

  6. Functional roles of the amino terminal domain in determining biophysical properties of Cx50 gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li eXin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Communication through gap junction channels is essential for synchronized and coordinated cellular activities. The gap junction channel pore size, its switch control for opening/closing, and the modulations by chemicals can be different depending on the connexin subtypes that compose the channel. Recent structural and functional studies provide compelling evidence that the amino terminal (NT domains of several connexins line the pore of gap junction channels and play an important role in single channel conductance (γj and transjunctional voltage-dependent gating (Vj-gating. This article reviews recent studies conducted on a series of mutations/chimeras in the NT domain of connexin50 (Cx50. Functional examination of the gap junction channels formed by these mutants/chimeras shows the net charge number at the NT domain to be an important factor in γj and in Vj-gating. Furthermore, with an increase in the net negative charge at the NT domain, we observed an increase in the γj, as well as changes in the parameters of the Boltzmann fit of the normalized steady-state conductance and Vj relationship. Our data are consistent with a structural model where the NT domain of Cx50 lines the gap junction pore and plays an important role in sensing Vj and in the subsequent conformational changes leading to gating, as well as in limiting the rate of ion permeation.

  7. GABA and Gap Junctions in the Development of Synchronized Activity in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäkinen, Meeri Eeva-Liisa; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Narkilahti, Susanna

    2018-01-01

    The electrical activity of the brain arises from single neurons communicating with each other. However, how single neurons interact during early development to give rise to neural network activity remains poorly understood. We studied the emergence of synchronous neural activity in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neural networks simultaneously on a single-neuron level and network level. The contribution of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and gap junctions to the development of synchronous activity in hPSC-derived neural networks was studied with GABA agonist and antagonist and by blocking gap junctional communication, respectively. We characterized the dynamics of the network-wide synchrony in hPSC-derived neural networks with high spatial resolution (calcium imaging) and temporal resolution microelectrode array (MEA). We found that the emergence of synchrony correlates with a decrease in very strong GABA excitation. However, the synchronous network was found to consist of a heterogeneous mixture of synchronously active cells with variable responses to GABA, GABA agonists and gap junction blockers. Furthermore, we show how single-cell distributions give rise to the network effect of GABA, GABA agonists and gap junction blockers. Finally, based on our observations, we suggest that the earliest form of synchronous neuronal activity depends on gap junctions and a decrease in GABA induced depolarization but not on GABAA mediated signaling. PMID:29559893

  8. The alpha2-adrenoreceptor agonist dexmedetomidine protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced apoptosis via inhibition of gap junctions in lung fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuan; Tan, Xiaoming; Xue, Lianfang

    2018-01-01

    The α2-adrenoceptor inducer dexmedetomidine protects against acute lung injury (ALI), but the mechanism of this effect is largely unknown. The present study investigated the effect of dexmedetomidine on apoptosis induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the relationship between this effect and gap junction intercellular communication in human lung fibroblast cell line. Flow cytometry was used to detect apoptosis induced by LPS. Parachute dye coupling assay was used to measure gap junction function, and western blot analysis was used to determine the expression levels of connexin43 (Cx43). The results revealed that exposure of human lung fibroblast cell line to LPS for 24 h increased the apoptosis, and pretreatment of dexmedetomidine and 18α-GA significantly reduced LPS-induced apoptosis. Dexmedetomidine exposure for 1 h inhibited gap junction function mainly via a decrease in Cx43 protein levels in human lung fibroblast cell line. These results demonstrated that the inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication by dexmedetomidine affected the LPS-induced apoptosis through inhibition of gap junction function by reducing Cx43 protein levels. The present study provides evidence of a novel mechanism underlying the effects of analgesics in counteracting ALI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Perfect GMR effect in gapped graphene-based ferromagnetic normal ferromagnetic junctions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hossein Karbaschi; Gholam Reza Rashedi

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the quantum transport property in gapped graphene-based ferromagnetic/normal/ferromagnetic (FG/NG/FG) junctions by using the Dirac–Bogoliubov–de Gennes equation. The graphene is fabricated on SiC and BN substrates separately, so carriers in FG/NG/FG structures are considered as massive relativistic particles. Transmission prob-ability, charge, and spin conductances are studied as a function of exchange energy of ferromagnets (h), size of graphene gap, and thickness of normal graphene region (L) respectively. Using the experimental values of Fermi energy in the normal graphene part (EFN∼400 meV) and energy gap in graphene (260 meV for SiC and 50 meV for BN substrate), it is shown that this structure can be used for both spin-up and spin-down polarized current. The latter case has different behavior of gapped FG/NG/FG from that of gapless FG/NG/FG structures. Also perfect charge giant magnetoresistance is observed in a range of EFN−mv2F

  10. Functional assessment of gap junctions in monolayer and three-dimensional cultures of human tendon cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching

    OpenAIRE

    Kuzma-Kuzniarska, Maria; Yapp, Clarence; Pearson-Jones, Thomas W.; Jones, Andrew K.; Hulley, Philippa A.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction-mediated intercellular communication influences a variety of cellular activities. In tendons, gap junctions modulate collagen production, are involved in strain-induced cell death, and are involved in the response to mechanical stimulation. The aim of the present study was to investigate gap junction-mediated intercellular communication in healthy human tendon-derived cells using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). The FRAP is a noninvasive technique that allows qu...

  11. Do gap junctions regulate synchrony in the parkinsonian basal ganglia?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwab, B.C.

    2016-01-01

    Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) typically suffer severely from different types of symptoms. Motor symptoms, restricting the patients’ ability to perform controlled movements in daily life, are of special clinical interest and have been related to neural activity in the basal ganglia.

  12. Activation of L-type calcium channels is required for gap junction-mediated intercellular calcium signaling in osteoblastic cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Niklas Rye; Teilmann, Stefan Cuoni; Henriksen, Zanne

    2003-01-01

    The propagation of mechanically induced intercellular calcium waves (ICW) among osteoblastic cells occurs both by activation of P2Y (purinergic) receptors by extracellular nucleotides, resulting in "fast" ICW, and by gap junctional communication in cells that express connexin43 (Cx43), resulting...... in "slow" ICW. Human osteoblastic cells transmit intercellular calcium signals by both of these mechanisms. In the current studies we have examined the mechanism of slow gap junction-dependent ICW in osteoblastic cells. In ROS rat osteoblastic cells, gap junction-dependent ICW were inhibited by removal...... of extracellular calcium, plasma membrane depolarization by high extracellular potassium, and the L-type voltage-operated calcium channel inhibitor, nifedipine. In contrast, all these treatments enhanced the spread of P2 receptor-mediated ICW in UMR rat osteoblastic cells. Using UMR cells transfected to express Cx...

  13. ZP123 increases gap junctional conductance and prevents reentrant ventricular tachycardia during myocardial ischemia in open chest dogs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xing, Dezhi; Kjølbye, Anne Louise; Nielsen, Morten S

    2003-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine if the stable antiarrhythmic peptide (AAP) analogue ZP123 increases gap junctional intercellular conductance and prevents reentrant ventricular tachycardia (VT) during coronary artery occlusion. METHODS AND RESULTS: Voltage clamp experiments...... demonstrated that 10 nM ZP123 improved gap junctional intercellular conductance by 69% +/- 20% in pairs of guinea pig ventricular myocytes. VT was induced by programmed stimulation in alpha-chloralose anaesthetized open chest dogs 1 to 4 hours after coronary artery occlusion. Three-dimensional activation...... AAP analogue ZP123 increased gap junctional intercellular conductance and specifically prevented the induction of reentrant VT during ischemia in a broad dose range without proarrhythmic or hemodynamic side effects. ZP123 is a promising candidate for use in preventing ischemia-induced VT....

  14. The beneficial effects of cumulus cells and oocyte-cumulus cell gap junctions depends on oocyte maturation and fertilization methods in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Jie Zhou

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cumulus cells are a group of closely associated granulosa cells that surround and nourish oocytes. Previous studies have shown that cumulus cells contribute to oocyte maturation and fertilization through gap junction communication. However, it is not known how this gap junction signaling affects in vivo versus in vitro maturation of oocytes, and their subsequent fertilization and embryonic development following insemination. Therefore, in our study, we performed mouse oocyte maturation and insemination using in vivo- or in vitro-matured oocyte-cumulus complexes (OCCs, which retain gap junctions between the cumulus cells and the oocytes, in vitro-matured, denuded oocytes co-cultured with cumulus cells (DCs, which lack gap junctions between the cumulus cells and the oocytes, and in vitro-matured, denuded oocytes without cumulus cells (DOs. Using these models, we were able to analyze the effects of gap junction signaling on oocyte maturation, fertilization, and early embryo development. We found that gap junctions were necessary for both in vivo and in vitro oocyte maturation. In addition, for oocytes matured in vivo, the presence of cumulus cells during insemination improved fertilization and blastocyst formation, and this improvement was strengthened by gap junctions. Moreover, for oocytes matured in vitro, the presence of cumulus cells during insemination improved fertilization, but not blastocyst formation, and this improvement was independent of gap junctions. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that the beneficial effect of gap junction signaling from cumulus cells depends on oocyte maturation and fertilization methods.

  15. Membrane junctions in Xenopus eggs: their distribution suggests a role in calcium regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, D M; Grey, R D

    1983-04-01

    We have observed the presence of membrane junctions formed between the plasma membrane and cortical endoplasmic reticulum of mature, unactivated eggs of xenopus laevis. The parallel, paired membranes of the junction are separated by a 10-mn gap within which electron-dense material is present. This material occurs in patches with an average center-to-center distance of approximately 30 nm. These junctions are rare in immature (but fully grown) oocytes (approximately 2 percent of the plasma membrane is associated with junctions) and increase dramatically during progesterone-induced maturation. Junctions in the mature, unactivated egg are two to three times more abundant in the animal hemisphere (25-30 percent of the plasma membrane associated with junction) as compared with the vegetal hemisphere (10-15 percent). Junction density decreases rapidly to values characteristic of immature oocytes in response to egg activation. The plasma membrane-ER junctions of xenopus eggs are strikingly similar in structure to membrane junctions in muscle cells thought to be essential in the triggering of intracellular calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. In addition, the junctions' distinctive, animal-vegetal polarity of distribution, their dramatic appearance during maturation, and their disapperance during activation are correlated with previously documented patterns of calcium-mediated events in anuran eggs. We discuss several lines of evidence supporting the hypothesis that these junctions in xenopus eggs are sites that transduce extracellular events into intracellular calcium release during fertilization and activation of development.

  16. Interaction between fractional Josephson vortices in multi-gap superconductor tunnel junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ju H.

    In a long Josephson junction (LJJ) with two-band superconductors, fractionalization of Josephson vortices (fluxons) can occur in the broken time reversal symmetry state when spatial phase textures (i-solitons) are excited. Excitation of i-solitons in each superconductor layer of the junction, arising due to the presence of two condensates and the interband Josephson effect, leads to spatial variation of the critical current density between the superconductor layers. Similar to the situation in a YBa2 Cu3O7 - x superconductor film grain boundary, this spatial dependence of the crtitical current density can self-generate magnetic flux in the insulator layer, resulting in fractional fluxons with large and small fraction of flux quantum. Similar to fluxons in one-band superconductor LJJ, these fractional fluxons are found to interact with each other. The interaction between large and small fractional fluxons determines the size of a fluxon which includes two (one large and one small) fractional fluxons. We discuss the nature of interaction between fractional fluxons and suggest that i-soliton excitations in multi-gap superconductor LJJs may be probed by using magnetic flux measurements.

  17. Intercellular signaling via cyclic GMP diffusion through gap junctions restarts meiosis in mouse ovarian follicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuhaibar, Leia C; Egbert, Jeremy R; Norris, Rachael P; Lampe, Paul D; Nikolaev, Viacheslav O; Thunemann, Martin; Wen, Lai; Feil, Robert; Jaffe, Laurinda A

    2015-04-28

    Meiosis in mammalian oocytes is paused until luteinizing hormone (LH) activates receptors in the mural granulosa cells of the ovarian follicle. Prior work has established the central role of cyclic GMP (cGMP) from the granulosa cells in maintaining meiotic arrest, but it is not clear how binding of LH to receptors that are located up to 10 cell layers away from the oocyte lowers oocyte cGMP and restarts meiosis. Here, by visualizing intercellular trafficking of cGMP in real-time in live follicles from mice expressing a FRET sensor, we show that diffusion of cGMP through gap junctions is responsible not only for maintaining meiotic arrest, but also for rapid transmission of the signal that reinitiates meiosis from the follicle surface to the oocyte. Before LH exposure, the cGMP concentration throughout the follicle is at a uniformly high level of ∼2-4 μM. Then, within 1 min of LH application, cGMP begins to decrease in the peripheral granulosa cells. As a consequence, cGMP from the oocyte diffuses into the sink provided by the large granulosa cell volume, such that by 20 min the cGMP concentration in the follicle is uniformly low, ∼100 nM. The decrease in cGMP in the oocyte relieves the inhibition of the meiotic cell cycle. This direct demonstration that a physiological signal initiated by a stimulus in one region of an intact tissue can travel across many layers of cells via cyclic nucleotide diffusion through gap junctions could provide a general mechanism for diverse cellular processes.

  18. Pannexin-1 channels show distinct morphology and no gap junction characteristics in mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckmann, Anja; Grissmer, Alexander; Krause, Elmar; Tschernig, Thomas; Meier, Carola

    2016-03-01

    Pannexins (Panx) are proteins with a similar membrane topology to connexins, the integral membrane protein of gap junctions. Panx1 channels are generally of major importance in a large number of system and cellular processes and their function has been thoroughly characterized. In contrast, little is known about channel structure and subcellular distribution. We therefore determine the subcellular localization of Panx1 channels in cultured cells and aim at the identification of channel morphology in vitro. Using freeze-fracture replica immunolabeling on EYFP-Panx1-overexpressing HEK 293 cells, large particles were identified in plasma membranes, which were immunogold-labeled using either GFP or Panx1 antibodies. There was no labeling or particles in the nuclear membranes of these cells, pointing to plasma membrane localization of Panx1-EYFP channels. The assembly of particles was irregular, this being in contrast to the regular pattern of gap junctions. The fact that no counterparts were identified on apposing cells, which would have been indicative of intercellular signaling, supported the idea of Panx1 channels within one membrane. Control cells (transfected with EYFP only, non-transfected) were devoid of both particles and immunogold labeling. Altogether, this study provides the first demonstration of Panx1 channel morphology and assembly in intact cells. The identification of Panx1 channels as large particles within the plasma membrane provides the knowledge required to enable recognition of Panx1 channels in tissues in future studies. Thus, these results open up new avenues for the detailed analysis of the subcellular localization of Panx1 and of its nearest neighbors such as purinergic receptors in vivo.

  19. Influence of drugs on gap junctions in glioma cell lines and primary astrocytes in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahra eMoinfar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Gap junctions (GJs are hemichannels on cell membrane. Once they are intercellulary connected to the neighboring cells, they build a functional syncytium which allows rapid transfer of ions and molecules between cells. This characteristic makes GJs a potential modulator in proliferation, migration and development of the cells. So far, several types of GJs are recognized on different brain cells as well as in glioma. Astrocytes, as one of the major cells that maintain neuronal homeostasis, express different types of GJs that let them communicate with neurons, oligodendrocytes and endothelial cells of the blood brain barrier; however, the main GJ in astrocytes is connexin 43. There are different cerebral diseases in which astrocyte GJs might play a role. Several drugs have been reported to modulate gap junctional communication in the brain which can consequently have beneficial or detrimental effects on the course of treatment in certain diseases. However, the exact cellular mechanism behind those pharmaceutical efficacies on GJs is not well-understood. Accordingly, how specific drugs would affect GJs and what some consequent specific brain diseases would be are the interests of the authors of this chapter. We would focus on pharmaceutical effects on GJs on astrocytes in specific diseases where GJs could possibly play a role including: 1 migraine and a novel therapy for migraine with aura, 2 neuroautoimmune diseases and immunomodulatory drugs in the treatment of demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, 3 glioma and antineoplastic and anti-inflammatory agents that are used in treating brain tumors and 4 epilepsy and anticonvulsants that are widely used for seizures therapy. All of the above-mentioned therapeutic categories can possibly affect GJs expression of astrocytes and the role is discussed in the upcoming chapter.

  20. Gap junctions are selectively associated with interlocking ball-and-sockets but not protrusions in the lens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Sondip K; Lee, Jai Eun; Brako, Lawrence; Jiang, Jean X; Lo, Woo-Kuen

    2010-11-09

    Ball-and-sockets and protrusions are specialized interlocking membrane domains between lens fibers of all species studied. Ball-and-sockets and protrusions are similar in their shape, size, and surface morphology, and are traditionally believed to play a key role in maintaining fiber-to-fiber stability. Here, we evaluate the hypothesis that ball-and-sockets and protrusions possess important structural and functional differences during fiber cell differentiation and maturation. Intact lenses of leghorn chickens (E7 days to P62 weeks old) and rhesus monkeys (1.5-20 years old) were studied with SEM, freeze-fracture TEM, freeze-fracture immunogold labeling (FRIL), and filipin cytochemistry for membrane cholesterol detection. SEM showed that ball-and-sockets were distributed along the long and short sides of hexagonal fiber cells, whereas protrusions were located along the cell corners, from superficial to deep cortical regions in both chicken and monkey lenses. Importantly, by freeze-fracture TEM, we discovered the selective association of gap junctions with all ball-and-sockets examined, but not with protrusions, in both species. In the embryonic chicken lens (E18), the abundant distribution of ball-and-socket gap junctions was regularly found in an approximate zone extending at least 300 μm deep from the equatorial surface of the superficial cortical fibers. Many ball-and-socket gap junctions often protruded deeply into neighboring cells. However, in the mature fibers of monkey lenses, several ball-and-sockets exhibited only partial occupancy of gap junctions with disorganized connexons, possibly due to degradation of gap junctions during fiber maturation and aging. FRIL analysis confirmed that both connexin46 (Cx46) and connexin50 (Cx50) antibodies specifically labeled ball-and-socket gap junctions, but not protrusions. Furthermore, filipin cytochemistry revealed that the ball-and-socket gap junctions contained different amounts of cholesterol (i.e., cholesterol

  1. Relative Roles of Gap Junction Channels and Cytoplasm in Cell-to-Cell Diffusion of Fluorescent Tracers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safranyos, Richard G. A.; Caveney, Stanley; Miller, James G.; Petersen, Nils O.

    1987-04-01

    Intercellular (tissue) diffusion of molecules requires cytoplasmic diffusion and diffusion through gap junctional (or cell-to-cell) channels. The rates of tissue and cytoplasmic diffusion of fluorescent tracers, expressed as an effective diffusion coefficient, De, and a cytoplasmic diffusion coefficient, Dcyt, have been measured among the developing epidermal cells of a larval beetle, Tenebrio molitor L., to determine the contribution of the junctional channels to intercellular diffusion. Tracer diffusion was measured by injecting fluorescent tracers into cells and quantitating the rate of subsequent spread into adjacent cells. Cytoplasmic diffusion was determined by fluorescence photobleaching. These experiments show that gap junctional channels constitute approximately 70-80% of the total cell-to-cell resistance to the diffusion of organic tracers at high concentrations in this tissue. At low concentrations, however, the binding of tracer to cytoplasm slows down the cytoplasmic diffusion, which may limit intercellular diffusion.

  2. First-principles spin-transfer torque in CuMnAs |GaP |CuMnAs junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenova, Maria; Mohebbi, Razie; Seyed-Yazdi, Jamileh; Rungger, Ivan; Sanvito, Stefano

    2017-02-01

    We demonstrate that an all-antiferromagnetic tunnel junction with current perpendicular to the plane geometry can be used as an efficient spintronic device with potential high-frequency operation. By using state-of-the-art density functional theory combined with quantum transport, we show that the Néel vector of the electrodes can be manipulated by spin-transfer torque. This is staggered over the two different magnetic sublattices and can generate dynamics and switching. At the same time the different magnetization states of the junction can be read by standard tunneling magnetoresistance. Calculations are performed for CuMnAs |GaP |CuMnAs junctions with different surface terminations between the antiferromagnetic CuMnAs electrodes and the insulating GaP spacer. We find that the torque remains staggered regardless of the termination, while the magnetoresistance depends on the microscopic details of the interface.

  3. Dynamic trafficking and delivery of connexons to the plasma membrane and accretion to gap junctions in living cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lauf, Undine; Giepmans, Ben N G; Lopez, Patricia; Braconnot, Sebastien; Chen, Shu-Chih; Falk, Matthias M

    2002-01-01

    Certain membrane channels including acetylcholine receptors, gap junction (GJ) channels, and aquaporins arrange into large clusters in the plasma membrane (PM). However, how these channels are recruited to the clusters is unknown. To address this question, we have investigated delivery of GJ channel

  4. Effect of Mefloquine, a Gap Junction Blocker, on Circadian Period2 Gene Oscillation in the Mouse Suprachiasmatic Nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinmi Koo

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundIn mammals, the master circadian pacemaker is localized in an area of the ventral hypothalamus known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN. Previous studies have shown that pacemaker neurons in the SCN are highly coupled to one another, and this coupling is crucial for intrinsic self-sustainability of the SCN central clock, which is distinguished from peripheral oscillators. One plausible mechanism underlying the intercellular communication may involve direct electrical connections mediated by gap junctions.MethodsWe examined the effect of mefloquine, a neuronal gap junction blocker, on circadian Period 2 (Per2 gene oscillation in SCN slice cultures prepared from Per2::luciferase (PER2::LUC knock-in mice using a real-time bioluminescence measurement system.ResultsAdministration of mefloquine causes instability in the pulse period and a slight reduction of amplitude in cyclic PER2::LUC expression. Blockade of gap junctions uncouples PER2::LUC-expressing cells, in terms of phase transition, which weakens synchrony among individual cellular rhythms.ConclusionThese findings suggest that neuronal gap junctions play an important role in synchronizing the central pacemaker neurons and contribute to the distinct self-sustainability of the SCN master clock.

  5. Lens intracellular hydrostatic pressure is generated by the circulation of sodium and modulated by gap junction coupling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Junyuan; Sun, Xiurong; Moore, Leon C.; White, Thomas W.; Brink, Peter R.

    2011-01-01

    We recently modeled fluid flow through gap junction channels coupling the pigmented and nonpigmented layers of the ciliary body. The model suggested the channels could transport the secretion of aqueous humor, but flow would be driven by hydrostatic pressure rather than osmosis. The pressure required to drive fluid through a single layer of gap junctions might be just a few mmHg and difficult to measure. In the lens, however, there is a circulation of Na+ that may be coupled to intracellular fluid flow. Based on this hypothesis, the fluid would cross hundreds of layers of gap junctions, and this might require a large hydrostatic gradient. Therefore, we measured hydrostatic pressure as a function of distance from the center of the lens using an intracellular microelectrode-based pressure-sensing system. In wild-type mouse lenses, intracellular pressure varied from ∼330 mmHg at the center to zero at the surface. We have several knockout/knock-in mouse models with differing levels of expression of gap junction channels coupling lens fiber cells. Intracellular hydrostatic pressure in lenses from these mouse models varied inversely with the number of channels. When the lens’ circulation of Na+ was either blocked or reduced, intracellular hydrostatic pressure in central fiber cells was either eliminated or reduced proportionally. These data are consistent with our hypotheses: fluid circulates through the lens; the intracellular leg of fluid circulation is through gap junction channels and is driven by hydrostatic pressure; and the fluid flow is generated by membrane transport of sodium. PMID:21624945

  6. Proinflammatory cytokines downregulate connexin 43-gap junctions via the ubiquitin-proteasome system in rat spinal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2015-09-04

    Astrocytic gap junctions formed by connexin 43 (Cx43) are crucial for intercellular communication between spinal cord astrocytes. Various neurological disorders are associated with dysfunctional Cx43-gap junctions. However, the mechanism modulating Cx43-gap junctions in spinal astrocytes under pathological conditions is not entirely clear. A previous study showed that treatment of spinal astrocytes in culture with pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) decreased both Cx43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) via a c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent pathway. The current study further elaborates the intracellular mechanism that decreases Cx43 under an inflammatory condition. Cycloheximide chase analysis revealed that TNF-α (10 ng/ml) alone or in combination with IFN-γ (5 ng/ml) accelerated the degradation of Cx43 protein in cultured spinal astrocytes. The reduction of both Cx43 expression and GJIC induced by a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ were blocked by pretreatment with proteasome inhibitors MG132 (0.5 μM) and epoxomicin (25 nM), a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ significantly increased proteasome activity and Cx43 ubiquitination. In addition, TNF-α and IFN-γ-induced activation of ubiquitin-proteasome systems was prevented by SP600125, a JNK inhibitor. Together, these results indicate that a JNK-dependent ubiquitin-proteasome system is induced under an inflammatory condition that disrupts astrocytic gap junction expression and function, leading to astrocytic dysfunction and the maintenance of the neuroinflammatory state. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. The antiarrhythmic peptide analog rotigaptide (ZP123) stimulates gap junction intercellular communication in human osteoblasts and prevents decrease in femoral trabecular bone strength in ovariectomized rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Niklas Rye; Teilmann, Stefan Cuoni; Henriksen, Zanne

    2005-01-01

    Gap junctions play an important role in bone development and function, but the lack of pharmacological tools has hampered the gap junction research. The antiarrhythmic peptides stimulate gap junction communication between cardiomyocytes, but effects in noncardiac tissue are unknown. The purpose...... of this study was to examine whether antiarrhythmic peptides, which are small peptides increasing gap junctional conductivity, show specific binding to osteoblasts and investigate the effect of the stable analog rotigaptide (ZP123) on gap junctional intercellular communication in vitro and on bone mass...... and strength in vivo. Cell coupling and calcium signaling were assessed in vitro on human, primary, osteoblastic cells. In vivo effects of rotigaptide on bone strength and density were determined 4 wk after ovariectomy in rats treated with either vehicle, sc injection twice daily (300 nmol per kilogram body...

  8. Neuroinflammation leads to region-dependent alterations in astrocyte gap junction communication and hemichannel activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karpuk, Nikolay; Burkovetskaya, Maria; Fritz, Teresa; Angle, Amanda; Kielian, Tammy

    2011-01-12

    Inflammation attenuates gap junction (GJ) communication in cultured astrocytes. Here we used a well-characterized model of experimental brain abscess as a tool to query effects of the CNS inflammatory milieu on astrocyte GJ communication and electrophysiological properties. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were performed on green fluorescent protein (GFP)-positive astrocytes in acute brain slices from glial fibrillary acidic protein-GFP mice at 3 or 7 d after Staphylococcus aureus infection in the striatum. Astrocyte GJ communication was significantly attenuated in regions immediately surrounding the abscess margins and progressively increased to levels typical of uninfected brain with increasing distance from the abscess proper. Conversely, astrocytes bordering the abscess demonstrated hemichannel activity as evident by enhanced ethidium bromide (EtBr) uptake that could be blocked by several pharmacological inhibitors, including the connexin 43 (Cx43) mimetic peptide Gap26, carbenoxolone, the pannexin1 (Panx1) mimetic peptide (10)Panx1, and probenecid. However, hemichannel opening was transient with astrocytic EtBr uptake observed near the abscess at day 3 but not day 7 after infection. The region-dependent pattern of hemichannel activity at day 3 directly correlated with increases in Cx43, Cx30, Panx1, and glutamate transporter expression (glial L-glutamate transporter and L-glutamate/L-aspartate transporter) along the abscess margins. Changes in astrocyte resting membrane potential and input conductance correlated with the observed changes in GJ communication and hemichannel activity. Collectively, these findings indicate that astrocyte coupling and electrical properties are most dramatically affected near the primary inflammatory site and reveal an opposing relationship between the open states of GJ channels versus hemichannels during acute infection. This relationship may extend to other CNS diseases typified with an inflammatory component.

  9. Jump in current at the gap voltage in a superconducting junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coombes, J.M.; Carbotte, J.P.

    1986-01-01

    For many materials not previously considered, we have calculated the jump, at the gap voltage, in the quasiparticle current of a tunnel junction. An empirical relationship between the jump and the effective electron-phonon coupling λ-μ/sup */ previously established is confirmed. Further, a new and equally as accurate correlation is found with the strong coupling index T/sub c//ω/sub ln/, where T/sub c/ is the critical temperature and ω/sub ln/ a specific characteristic phonon energy. A simple formula for the jump which includes a strong-coupling correction is derived and found to fit the observed correlation well. Finally, we study the effect on the jump of unusual values of Coulomb pseudopotential μ/sup */. Also a δ-function electron-phonon spectral density α 2 F(ω) is used to help in the understanding of the range of values that is possible for the jump when α 2 F(ω) is not restricted to realistic shapes

  10. Extract from the Zooxanthellate Jellyfish Cotylorhiza tuberculata Modulates Gap Junction Intercellular Communication in Human Cell Cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Piraino

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available On a global scale, jellyfish populations in coastal marine ecosystems exhibit increasing trends of abundance. High-density outbreaks may directly or indirectly affect human economical and recreational activities, as well as public health. As the interest in biology of marine jellyfish grows, a number of jellyfish metabolites with healthy potential, such as anticancer or antioxidant activities, is increasingly reported. In this study, the Mediterranean “fried egg jellyfish” Cotylorhiza tuberculata (Macri, 1778 has been targeted in the search forputative valuable bioactive compounds. A medusa extract was obtained, fractionated, characterized by HPLC, GC-MS and SDS-PAGE and assayed for its biological activity on breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKa. The composition of the jellyfish extract included photosynthetic pigments, valuable ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids, and polypeptides derived either from jellyfish tissues and their algal symbionts. Extract fractions showed antioxidant activity and the ability to affect cell viability and intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions (GJIC differentially in MCF-7and HEKa cells. A significantly higher cytotoxicity and GJIC enhancement in MCF-7 compared to HEKa cells was recorded. A putative action mechanism for the anticancer bioactivity through the modulation of GJIC has been hypothesized and its nutraceutical and pharmaceutical potential was discussed.

  11. Bipolar cell gap junctions serve major signaling pathways in the human retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kántor, Orsolya; Varga, Alexandra; Nitschke, Roland; Naumann, Angela; Énzsöly, Anna; Lukáts, Ákos; Szabó, Arnold; Németh, János; Völgyi, Béla

    2017-08-01

    Connexin36 (Cx36) constituent gap junctions (GJ) throughout the brain connect neurons into functional syncytia. In the retina they underlie the transmission, averaging and correlation of signals prior conveying visual information to the brain. This is the first study that describes retinal bipolar cell (BC) GJs in the human inner retina, whose function is enigmatic even in the examined animal models. Furthermore, a number of unique features (e.g. fovea, trichromacy, midget system) necessitate a reexamination of the animal model results in the human retina. Well-preserved postmortem human samples of this study are allowed to identify Cx36 expressing BCs neurochemically. Results reveal that both rod and cone pathway interneurons display strong Cx36 expression. Rod BC inputs to AII amacrine cells (AC) appear in juxtaposition to AII GJs, thus suggesting a strategic AII cell targeting by rod BCs. Cone BCs serving midget, parasol or koniocellular signaling pathways display a wealth of Cx36 expression to form homologously coupled arrays. In addition, they also establish heterologous GJ contacts to serve an exchange of information between parallel signaling streams. Interestingly, a prominent Cx36 expression was exhibited by midget system BCs that appear to maintain intimate contacts with bistratified BCs serving other pathways. These findings suggest that BC GJs in parallel signaling streams serve both an intra- and inter-pathway exchange of signals in the human retina.

  12. Targeting neuronal gap junctions in mouse retina offers neuroprotection in glaucoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Ramakrishnan, Hariharasubramanian; Roy, Kaushambi; Viswanathan, Suresh; Bloomfield, Stewart A.

    2017-01-01

    The progressive death of retinal ganglion cells and resulting visual deficits are hallmarks of glaucoma, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In many neurodegenerative diseases, cell death induced by primary insult is followed by a wave of secondary loss. Gap junctions (GJs), intercellular channels composed of subunit connexins, can play a major role in secondary cell death by forming conduits through which toxic molecules from dying cells pass to and injure coupled neighbors. Here we have shown that pharmacological blockade of GJs or genetic ablation of connexin 36 (Cx36) subunits, which are highly expressed by retinal neurons, markedly reduced loss of neurons and optic nerve axons in a mouse model of glaucoma. Further, functional parameters that are negatively affected in glaucoma, including the electroretinogram, visual evoked potential, visual spatial acuity, and contrast sensitivity, were maintained at control levels when Cx36 was ablated. Neuronal GJs may thus represent potential therapeutic targets to prevent the progressive neurodegeneration and visual impairment associated with glaucoma. PMID:28604388

  13. Barreloid Borders and Neuronal Activity Shape Panglial Gap Junction-Coupled Networks in the Mouse Thalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claus, Lena; Philippot, Camille; Griemsmann, Stephanie; Timmermann, Aline; Jabs, Ronald; Henneberger, Christian; Kettenmann, Helmut; Steinhäuser, Christian

    2018-01-01

    The ventral posterior nucleus of the thalamus plays an important role in somatosensory information processing. It contains elongated cellular domains called barreloids, which are the structural basis for the somatotopic organization of vibrissae representation. So far, the organization of glial networks in these barreloid structures and its modulation by neuronal activity has not been studied. We have developed a method to visualize thalamic barreloid fields in acute slices. Combining electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and electroporation in transgenic mice with cell type-specific fluorescence labeling, we provide the first structure-function analyses of barreloidal glial gap junction networks. We observed coupled networks, which comprised both astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. The spread of tracers or a fluorescent glucose derivative through these networks was dependent on neuronal activity and limited by the barreloid borders, which were formed by uncoupled or weakly coupled oligodendrocytes. Neuronal somata were distributed homogeneously across barreloid fields with their processes running in parallel to the barreloid borders. Many astrocytes and oligodendrocytes were not part of the panglial networks. Thus, oligodendrocytes are the cellular elements limiting the communicating panglial network to a single barreloid, which might be important to ensure proper metabolic support to active neurons located within a particular vibrissae signaling pathway. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Astrocytes protect glioma cells from chemotherapy and upregulate survival genes via gap junctional communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qingtang; Liu, Zhao; Ling, Feng; Xu, Geng

    2016-02-01

    Gliomas are the most common type of primary brain tumor. Using current standard treatment regimens, the prognosis of patients with gliomas remains poor, which is predominantly due to the resistance of glioma cells to chemotherapy. The organ microenvironment has been implicated in the pathogenesis and survival of tumor cells. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that astrocytes (the housekeeping cells of the brain microenvironment) may protect glioma cells from chemotherapy and to investigate the underlying mechanism. Immunofluorescent and scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that glioma cells were surrounded and infiltrated by activated astrocytes. In vitro co-culture of glioma cells with astrocytes significantly reduced the cytotoxic effects on glioma cells caused by various chemotherapeutic agents, as demonstrated by fluorescein isothiocyanate-propidium iodide flow cytometry. Transwell experiments indicated that this protective effect was dependent on physical contact and the gap junctional communication (GJC) between astrocytes and glioma cells. Microarray expression profiling further revealed that astrocytes upregulated the expression levels of various critical survival genes in the glioma cells via GJC. The results of the present study indicated that the organ microenvironment may affect the biological behavior of tumor cells and suggest a novel mechanism of resistance in glioma cells, which may be of therapeutic relevance clinically.

  15. Evolution of Microbial Quorum Sensing to Human Global Quorum Sensing: An Insight into How Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Might Be Linked to the Global Metabolic Disease Crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trosko, James E

    2016-06-15

    The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules ("quorum sensing"), the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or "connexin" genes. These germinal and somatic stem cells responded to extracellular signals that triggered intra-cellular signaling to regulate specific genes out of the total genome. These extra-cellular induced intra-cellular signals also modulated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in order to regulate the new cellular functions of symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, cell differentiation, modes of cell death, and senescence. Within the hierarchical and cybernetic concepts, differentiated by neurons organized in the brain of the Homo sapiens, the conscious mind led to language, abstract ideas, technology, myth-making, scientific reasoning, and moral decision-making, i.e., the creation of culture. Over thousands of years, this has created the current collision between biological and cultural evolution, leading to the global "metabolic disease" crisis.

  16. Evolution of Microbial Quorum Sensing to Human Global Quorum Sensing: An Insight into How Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication Might Be Linked to the Global Metabolic Disease Crisis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James E. Trosko

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The first anaerobic organism extracted energy for survival and reproduction from its source of nutrients, with the genetic means to ensure protection of its individual genome but also its species survival. While it had a means to communicate with its community via simple secreted molecules (“quorum sensing”, the eventual shift to an aerobic environment led to multi-cellular metazoan organisms, with evolutionary-selected genes to form extracellular matrices, stem cells, stem cell niches, and a family of gap junction or “connexin” genes. These germinal and somatic stem cells responded to extracellular signals that triggered intra-cellular signaling to regulate specific genes out of the total genome. These extra-cellular induced intra-cellular signals also modulated gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in order to regulate the new cellular functions of symmetrical and asymmetrical cell division, cell differentiation, modes of cell death, and senescence. Within the hierarchical and cybernetic concepts, differentiated by neurons organized in the brain of the Homo sapiens, the conscious mind led to language, abstract ideas, technology, myth-making, scientific reasoning, and moral decision–making, i.e., the creation of culture. Over thousands of years, this has created the current collision between biological and cultural evolution, leading to the global “metabolic disease” crisis.

  17. Progressive age-dependence and frequency difference in the effect of gap junctions on active cochlear amplification and hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Liang; Chen, Jin; Zhu, Yan; Zhao, Hong-Bo

    2017-07-22

    Mutations of Connexin 26 (Cx26, GJB2), which is a predominant gap junction isoform in the cochlea, can induce high incidence of nonsyndromic hearing loss. We previously found that targeted-deletion of Cx26 in supporting Deiters cells and outer pillar cells in the cochlea can influence outer hair cell (OHC) electromotility and reduce active cochlear amplification leading to hearing loss, even though there are no gap junction connexin expressions in the auditory sensory hair cells. Here, we further report that hearing loss and the reduction of active amplification in the Cx26 targeted-deletion mice are progressive and different at high and low frequency regions, first occurring in the high frequency region and then progressively extending to the middle and low frequency regions with mouse age increased. The speed of hearing loss extending was fast in the basal high frequency region and slow in the apical low frequency region, showing a logarithmic function with mouse age. Before postnatal day 25, there were no significant hearing loss and the reduction of active cochlear amplification in the low frequency region. Hearing loss and the reduction of active cochlear amplification also had frequency difference, severe and large in the high frequency regions. These new data indicate that the effect of gap junction on active cochlear amplification is progressive, but, consistent with our previous report, exists in both high and low frequency regions in adulthood. These new data also suggest that cochlear gap junctions may have an important role in age-related hearing loss. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Gap junctions composed of connexins 41.8 and 39.4 are essential for colour pattern formation in zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irion, Uwe; Frohnhöfer, Hans Georg; Krauss, Jana; Çolak Champollion, Tuǧba; Maischein, Hans-Martin; Geiger-Rudolph, Silke; Weiler, Christian; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between all three pigment cell types are required to form the stripe pattern of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio), but their molecular nature is poorly understood. Mutations in leopard (leo), encoding Connexin 41.8 (Cx41.8), a gap junction subunit, cause a phenotypic series of spotted patterns. A new dominant allele, leotK3, leads to a complete loss of the pattern, suggesting a dominant negative impact on another component of gap junctions. In a genetic screen, we identified this component as Cx39.4 (luchs). Loss-of-function alleles demonstrate that luchs is required for stripe formation in zebrafish; however, the fins are almost not affected. Double mutants and chimeras, which show that leo and luchs are only required in xanthophores and melanophores, but not in iridophores, suggest that both connexins form heteromeric gap junctions. The phenotypes indicate that these promote homotypic interactions between melanophores and xanthophores, respectively, and those cells instruct the patterning of the iridophores. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05125.001 PMID:25535837

  19. Role of Non-Myocyte Gap Junctions and Connexin Hemichannels in Cardiovascular Health and Disease: Novel Therapeutic Targets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert D; Camelliti, Patrizia

    2018-03-15

    The heart is a complex organ composed of multiple cell types, including cardiomyocytes and different non-myocyte populations, all working closely together to determine the hearts properties and maintain normal cardiac function. Connexins are abundantly expressed proteins that form plasma membrane hemichannels and gap junctions between cells. Gap junctions are intracellular channels that allow for communication between cells, and in the heart they play a crucial role in cardiac conduction by coupling adjacent cardiomyocytes. Connexins are expressed in both cardiomyocytes and non-myocytes, including cardiac fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and macrophages. Non-myocytes are the largest population of cells in the heart, and therefore it is important to consider what roles connexins, hemichannels, and gap junctions play in these cell types. The aim of this review is to provide insight into connexin-based signalling in non-myocytes during health and disease, and highlight how targeting these proteins could lead to the development of novel therapies. We conclude that connexins in non-myocytes contribute to arrhythmias and adverse ventricular remodelling following myocardial infarction, and are associated with the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. Therefore, therapeutic interventions targeting these connexins represent an exciting new research avenue with great potential.

  20. Articular chondrocyte network mediated by gap junctions: role in metabolic cartilage homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayan, Maria D; Gago-Fuentes, Raquel; Carpintero-Fernandez, Paula; Fernandez-Puente, Patricia; Filgueira-Fernandez, Purificacion; Goyanes, Noa; Valiunas, Virginijus; Brink, Peter R; Goldberg, Gary S; Blanco, Francisco J

    2017-01-01

    Objective This study investigated whether chondrocytes within the cartilage matrix have the capacity to communicate through intercellular connections mediated by voltage-gated gap junction (GJ) channels. Methods Frozen cartilage samples were used for immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry assays. Samples were embedded in cacodylate buffer before dehydration for scanning electron microscopy. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments and mass spectrometry (MS) were performed to identify proteins that interact with the C-terminal end of Cx43. GJ communication was studied through in situ electroporation, electrophysiology and dye injection experiments. A transwell layered culture system and MS were used to identify and quantify transferred amino acids. Results Microscopic images revealed the presence of multiple cellular projections connecting chondrocytes within the matrix. These projections were between 5 and 150 μm in length. MS data analysis indicated that the C-terminus of Cx43 interacts with several cytoskeletal proteins implicated in Cx trafficking and GJ assembly, including α-tubulin and β-tubulin, actin, and vinculin. Electrophysiology experiments demonstrated that 12-mer oligonucleotides could be transferred between chondrocytes within 12 min after injection. Glucose was homogeneously distributed within 22 and 35 min. No transfer was detected when glucose was electroporated into A549 cells, which have no GJs. Transwell layered culture systems coupled with MS analysis revealed connexins can mediate the transfer of L-lysine and L-arginine between chondrocytes. Conclusions This study reveals that intercellular connections between chondrocytes contain GJs that play a key role in cell-cell communication and a metabolic function by exchange of nutrients including glucose and essential amino acids. A three-dimensional cellular network mediated through GJs might mediate metabolic and physiological homeostasis to maintain cartilage tissue. PMID:24225059

  1. Thalamic gap junctions control local neuronal synchrony and influence macroscopic oscillation amplitude during EEG alpha rhythms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart eHughes

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Although EEG alpha ( (8-13 Hz rhythms are often considered to reflect an ‘idling’ brain state, numerous studies indicate that they are also related to many aspects of perception. Recently, we outlined a potential cellular substrate by which such aspects of perception might be linked to basic  rhythm mechanisms. This scheme relies on a specialized subset of rhythmically bursting thalamocortical (TC neurons (high-threshold bursting cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN which are interconnected by gap junctions (GJs. By engaging GABAergic interneurons, that in turn inhibit conventional relay-mode TC neurons, these cells can lead to an effective temporal framing of thalamic relay-mode output. Although the role of GJs is pivotal in this scheme, evidence for their involvement in thalamic  rhythms has thus far mainly derived from experiments in in vitro slice preparations. In addition, direct anatomical evidence of neuronal GJs in the LGN is currently lacking. To address the first of these issues we tested the effects of the GJ inhibitors, carbenoxolone (CBX and 18-glycyrrhetinic acid (18-GA, given directly to the LGN via reverse microdialysis, on spontaneous LGN and EEG  rhythms in behaving cats. We also examined the effect of CBX on  rhythm-related LGN unit activity. Indicative of a role for thalamic GJs in these activities, 18-GA and CBX reversibly suppressed both LGN and EEG  rhythms, with CBX also decreasing neuronal synchrony. To address the second point, we used electron microscopy to obtain definitive ultrastructural evidence for the presence of GJs between neurons in the cat LGN. As interneurons show no phenotypic evidence of GJ coupling (i.e. dye-coupling and spikelets we conclude that these GJs must belong to TC neurons. The potential significance of these findings for relating macroscopic changes in  rhythms to basic cellular processes is discussed.

  2. Estrogenic compounds inhibit gap junctional intercellular communication in mouse Leydig TM3 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwase, Yumiko; Fukata, Hideki; Mori, Chisato

    2006-01-01

    Some estrogenic compounds are reported to cause testicular disorders in humans and/or experimental animals by direct action on Leydig cells. In carcinogenesis and normal development, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays an essential role in maintaining homeostasis. In this study, we examine the effects of diethylstilbestrol (DES, a synthetic estrogen), 17β-estradiol (E 2 , a natural estrogen), and genistein (GEN, a phytoestrogen) on GJIC between mouse Leydig TM3 cells using Lucifer yellow microinjection. The three compounds tested produced GJIC inhibition in the TM3 cells after 24 h. Gradually, 10 μM DES began to inhibit GJIC for 24 h and this effect was observed until 72 h. On the other hand, both 20 μM E 2 and 25 μM GEN rapidly inhibited GJIC in 6 h and 2 h, respectively. The effects continued until 24 h, but weakened by 72 h. Furthermore, a combined effect at μM level between DES and E 2 on GJIC inhibition was observed, but not between GEN and E 2 . DES and E 2 showed GJIC inhibition at low dose levels (nearly physiological estrogen levels) after 72 h, but GEN did not. DES-induced GJIC inhibition at 10 pM and 10 μM was completely counteracted by ICI 182,780 (ICl), an estrogen receptor antagonist. On the other hand, the inhibitory effects on GJIC with E 2 (10 pM and 20 μM) and GEN (25 μM) were partially blocked by ICI or calphostin C, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, and were completely blocked by the combination of ICI and calphostin C. These results demonstrate that DES inhibits GJIC between Leydig cells via the estrogen receptor (ER), and that E 2 and GEN inhibit GJIC via ER and PKC. These estrogenic compounds may have different individual nongenotoxic mechanism including PKC pathway on testicular carcinogenesis or development

  3. Gap junction mediated intercellular metabolite transfer in the cochlea is compromised in connexin30 null mice.

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    Qing Chang

    Full Text Available Connexin26 (Cx26 and connexin30 (Cx30 are two major protein subunits that co-assemble to form gap junctions (GJs in the cochlea. Mutations in either one of them are the major cause of non-syndromic prelingual deafness in humans. Because the mechanisms of cochlear pathogenesis caused by Cx mutations are unclear, we investigated effects of Cx30 null mutation on GJ-mediated ionic and metabolic coupling in the cochlea of mice. A novel flattened cochlear preparation was used to directly assess intercellular coupling in the sensory epithelium of the cochlea. Double-electrode patch clamp recordings revealed that the absence of Cx30 did not significantly change GJ conductance among the cochlear supporting cells. The preserved electrical coupling is consistent with immunolabeling data showing extensive Cx26 GJs in the cochlea of the mutant mice. In contrast, dye diffusion assays showed that the rate and extent of intercellular transfer of multiple fluorescent dyes (including a non-metabolizable D-glucose analogue, 2-NBDG among cochlear supporting cells were severely reduced in Cx30 null mice. Since the sensory epithelium in the cochlea is an avascular organ, GJ-facilitated intercellular transfer of nutrient and signaling molecules may play essential roles in cellular homeostasis. To test this possibility, NBDG was used as a tracer to study the contribution of GJs in transporting glucose into the cochlear sensory epithelium when delivered systemically. NBDG uptake in cochlear supporting cells was significantly reduced in Cx30 null mice. The decrease was also observed with GJ blockers or glucose competition, supporting the specificity of our tests. These data indicate that GJs facilitate efficient uptake of glucose in the supporting cells. This study provides the first direct experimental evidence showing that the transfer of metabolically-important molecules in cochlear supporting cells is dependent on the normal function of GJs, thereby suggesting a

  4. INHIBITION OF GAP JUNCTIONAL INTERCELLULAR COMMUNICATION BY PERFLUORINATED COMPOUNDS IN RAT LIVER AND DOLPHIN KIDNEY EPITHELIAL CELL LINES IN VITRO AND SPRAGUE-DAWLEY RATS IN VIVO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abstract Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication (GJIC) is the major pathway of intercellular signal transduction, and is, thus, important for normal cell growth and function. Recent studies have revealed a global distribution of some perfluorinated organic compounds e...

  5. Rescue of Notch signaling in cells incapable of GDP-L-fucose synthesis by gap junction transfer of GDP-L-fucose in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayukawa, Tomonori; Matsumoto, Kenjiroo; Ishikawa, Hiroyuki O; Ishio, Akira; Yamakawa, Tomoko; Aoyama, Naoki; Suzuki, Takuya; Matsuno, Kenji

    2012-09-18

    Notch (N) is a transmembrane receptor that mediates cell-cell interactions to determine many cell-fate decisions. N contains EGF-like repeats, many of which have an O-fucose glycan modification that regulates N-ligand binding. This modification requires GDP-L-fucose as a donor of fucose. The GDP-L-fucose biosynthetic pathways are well understood, including the de novo pathway, which depends on GDP-mannose 4,6 dehydratase (Gmd) and GDP-4-keto-6-deoxy-D-mannose 3,5-epimerase/4-reductase (Gmer). However, the potential for intercellularly supplied GDP-L-fucose and the molecular basis of such transportation have not been explored in depth. To address these points, we studied the genetic effects of mutating Gmd and Gmer on fucose modifications in Drosophila. We found that these mutants functioned cell-nonautonomously, and that GDP-L-fucose was supplied intercellularly through gap junctions composed of Innexin-2. GDP-L-fucose was not supplied through body fluids from different isolated organs, indicating that the intercellular distribution of GDP-L-fucose is restricted within a given organ. Moreover, the gap junction-mediated supply of GDP-L-fucose was sufficient to support the fucosylation of N-glycans and the O-fucosylation of the N EGF-like repeats. Our results indicate that intercellular delivery is a metabolic pathway for nucleotide sugars in live animals under certain circumstances.

  6. Tight junction regulates epidermal calcium ion gradient and differentiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurasawa, Masumi; Maeda, Tetsuo; Oba, Ai; Yamamoto, Takuya; Sasaki, Hiroyuki

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: → We disrupted epidermal tight junction barrier in reconstructed epidermis. → It altered Ca 2+ distribution and consequentially differentiation state as well. → Tight junction should affect epidermal homeostasis by maintaining Ca 2+ gradient. -- Abstract: It is well known that calcium ions (Ca 2+ ) induce keratinocyte differentiation. Ca 2+ distributes to form a vertical gradient that peaks at the stratum granulosum. It is thought that the stratum corneum (SC) forms the Ca 2+ gradient since it is considered the only permeability barrier in the skin. However, the epidermal tight junction (TJ) in the granulosum has recently been suggested to restrict molecular movement to assist the SC as a secondary barrier. The objective of this study was to clarify the contribution of the TJ to Ca 2+ gradient and epidermal differentiation in reconstructed human epidermis. When the epidermal TJ barrier was disrupted by sodium caprate treatment, Ca 2+ flux increased and the gradient changed in ion-capture cytochemistry images. Alterations of ultrastructures and proliferation/differentiation markers revealed that both hyperproliferation and precocious differentiation occurred regionally in the epidermis. These results suggest that the TJ plays a crucial role in maintaining epidermal homeostasis by controlling the Ca 2+ gradient.

  7. Role of gap junctions and protein kinase A during the development of oocyte maturational competence in Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Y.; Yoshizaki, G.; Takeuchi, T.; Soyano, K.; Patino, R.

    2008-01-01

    Meiotic resumption in teleost oocytes is induced by a maturation-inducing hormone (MIH). The sensitivity of oocytes to MIH, also known as oocyte maturational competence (OMC), is induced by LH via mechanisms that are not fully understood. A previous study of Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) showed the presence of functional heterologous gap junctions (GJs) between oocytes and their surrounding granulosa cells. The objectives of this study were to determine the role of ovarian GJs and of protein kinase A (PKA) during the acquisition of OMC. We examined the effects of the specific GJ inhibitor carbenoxolone (CBX) and 18??-glycyrrhetinic acid (??-GA) on the LH-(hCG)-dependent acquisition of OMC and on MIH-(17,20??-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one)-dependent meiotic resumption; measured the cAMP content of ovarian follicles during the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC; and determined the effects of PK activators and inhibitors on hCG-dependent OMC. Production of follicular cAMP increased during the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC. Both GJ inhibitors and the PKA inhibitor H8-dihydrochloride, but not the PKC inhibitor GF109203X, suppressed the hCG-dependent acquisition of OMC in a dose-dependent manner. The PKA activator forskolin induced OMC with a similar potency to hCG. Unlike previous observations with teleosts where disruption of heterologous GJ either blocks or stimulates meiotic resumption, treatment with GJ inhibitors did not affect MIH-dependent meiotic resumption in maturationally competent follicles of Ayu. These observations suggest that ovarian GJs are essential for LH-dependent acquisition of OMC but not for MIH-dependent meiotic resumption, and that the stimulation of OMC by LH is mediated by cAMP-dependent PKA. They are also consistent with the view that a precise balance between GJ-mediated signals (positive or negative) and oocyte maturational readiness is required for hormonally regulated meiotic resumption. ?? 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. High performance as-grown and annealed high band gap tunnel junctions: Te behavior at the interface

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bedair, S. M., E-mail: bedair@ncsu.edu; Harmon, Jeffrey L.; Carlin, C. Zachary; Hashem Sayed, Islam E.; Colter, P. C. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695 (United States)

    2016-05-16

    The performance of n{sup +}-InGaP(Te)/p{sup +}-AlGaAs(C) high band gap tunnel junctions (TJ) is critical for achieving high efficiency in multijunction photovoltaics. Several limitations for as grown and annealed TJ can be attributed to the Te doping of InGaP and its behavior at the junction interface. Te atoms in InGaP tend to get attached at step edges, resulting in a Te memory effect. In this work, we use the peak tunneling current (J{sub pk}) in this TJ as a diagnostic tool to study the behavior of the Te dopant at the TJ interface. Additionally, we used our understanding of Te behavior at the interface, guided by device modeling, to modify the Te source shut-off procedure and the growth rate. These modifications lead to a record performance for both the as-grown (2000 A/cm{sup 2}) and annealed (1000 A/cm{sup 2}) high band gap tunnel junction.

  9. Role of gap junctional coupling in astrocytic networks in the determination of global ischaemia-induced oxidative stress and hippocampal damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez Velazquez, Jose L; Kokarovtseva, Larisa; Sarbaziha, Raheleh; Jeyapalan, Zina; Leshchenko, Yevgen

    2006-01-01

    While there is evidence that gap junctions play important roles in the determination of cell injuries, there is not much known about mechanisms by which gap junctional communication may exert these functions. Using a global model of transient ischaemia in rats, we found that pretreatment with the gap junctional blockers carbenoxolone, 18alpha-glycyrrhetinic acid and endothelin, applied via cannulae implanted into the hippocampus in one hemisphere, resulted in decreased numbers of TUNEL-positive neurons, as compared with the contralateral hippocampus that received saline injection. Post-treatment with carbenoxolone for up to 30 min after the stroke injury still resulted in decreased cell death, but post-treatment at 90 min after the ischaemic insult did not result in differences in cell death. However, quinine, an inhibitor of Cx36-mediated gap junctional coupling, did not result in appreciable neuroprotection. Searching for a possible mechanism for the observed protective effects, possible actions of the gap junctional blockers in the electrical activity of the hippocampus during the ischaemic insult were assessed using intracerebral recordings, with no differences observed between the saline-injected and the contralateral drug-injected hippocampus. However, a significant reduction in lipid peroxides, a measure of free radical formation, in the hippocampus treated with carbenoxolone, revealed that the actions of gap junctional coupling during injuries may be causally related to oxidative stress. These observations suggest that coupling in glial networks may be functionally important in determining neuronal vulnerability to oxidative injuries.

  10. Astrocytic Gap Junctional Communication is Reduced in Amyloid-β-Treated Cultured Astrocytes, but not in Alzheimer's Disease Transgenic Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nancy F Cruz

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease is characterized by accumulation of amyloid deposits in brain, progressive cognitive deficits and reduced glucose utilization. Many consequences of the disease are attributed to neuronal dysfunction, but roles of astrocytes in its pathogenesis are not well understood. Astrocytes are extensively coupled via gap junctions, and abnormal trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules within astrocytic syncytia could alter functional interactions among cells comprising the neurovascular unit. To evaluate the influence of amyloid-β on astrocyte gap junctional communication, cultured astrocytes were treated with monomerized amyloid-β1-40 (1 μmol/l for intervals ranging from 2 h to 5 days, and the areas labelled by test compounds were determined by impaling a single astrocyte with a micropipette and diffusion of material into coupled cells. Amyloid-β-treated astrocytes had rapid, sustained 50-70% reductions in the area labelled by Lucifer Yellow, anionic Alexa Fluor® dyes and energy-related compounds, 6-NBDG (a fluorescent glucose analogue, NADH and NADPH. Amyloid-β treatment also caused a transient increase in oxidative stress. In striking contrast with these results, spreading of Lucifer Yellow within astrocytic networks in brain slices from three regions of 8.5-14-month-old control and transgenic Alzheimer's model mice was variable, labelling 10-2000 cells; there were no statistically significant differences in the number of dye-labelled cells among the groups or with age. Thus amyloid-induced dysfunction of gap junctional communication in cultured astrocytes does not reflect the maintenance of dye transfer through astrocytic syncytial networks in transgenic mice; the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease is not appropriately represented by the cell culture system.

  11. Astrocytic gap junctional communication is reduced in amyloid-β-treated cultured astrocytes, but not in Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Nancy F; Ball, Kelly K; Dienel, Gerald A

    2010-08-17

    Alzheimer's disease is characterized by accumulation of amyloid deposits in brain, progressive cognitive deficits and reduced glucose utilization. Many consequences of the disease are attributed to neuronal dysfunction, but roles of astrocytes in its pathogenesis are not well understood. Astrocytes are extensively coupled via gap junctions, and abnormal trafficking of metabolites and signalling molecules within astrocytic syncytia could alter functional interactions among cells comprising the neurovascular unit. To evaluate the influence of amyloid-beta on astrocyte gap junctional communication, cultured astrocytes were treated with monomerized amyloid-β(1-40) (1 μmol/l) for intervals ranging from 2 h to 5 days, and the areas labelled by test compounds were determined by impaling a single astrocyte with a micropipette and diffusion of material into coupled cells. Amyloid-β-treated astrocytes had rapid, sustained 50-70% reductions in the area labelled by Lucifer Yellow, anionic Alexa Fluor® dyes and energy-related compounds, 6-NBDG (a fluorescent glucose analogue), NADH and NADPH. Amyloid-β treatment also caused a transient increase in oxidative stress. In striking contrast with these results, spreading of Lucifer Yellow within astrocytic networks in brain slices from three regions of 8.5-14-month-old control and transgenic Alzheimer's model mice was variable, labelling 10-2000 cells; there were no statistically significant differences in the number of dye-labelled cells among the groups or with age. Thus amyloid-induced dysfunction of gap junctional communication in cultured astrocytes does not reflect the maintenance of dye transfer through astrocytic syncytial networks in transgenic mice; the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease is not appropriately represented by the cell culture system.

  12. Gap junctions mediate large-scale Turing structures in a mean-field cortex driven by subcortical noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steyn-Ross, Moira L.; Steyn-Ross, D. A.; Wilson, M. T.; Sleigh, J. W.

    2007-07-01

    One of the grand puzzles in neuroscience is establishing the link between cognition and the disparate patterns of spontaneous and task-induced brain activity that can be measured clinically using a wide range of detection modalities such as scalp electrodes and imaging tomography. High-level brain function is not a single-neuron property, yet emerges as a cooperative phenomenon of multiply-interacting populations of neurons. Therefore a fruitful modeling approach is to picture the cerebral cortex as a continuum characterized by parameters that have been averaged over a small volume of cortical tissue. Such mean-field cortical models have been used to investigate gross patterns of brain behavior such as anesthesia, the cycles of natural sleep, memory and erasure in slow-wave sleep, and epilepsy. There is persuasive and accumulating evidence that direct gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons promote synchronous oscillatory behavior both locally and across distances of some centimeters, but, to date, continuum models have ignored gap-junction connectivity. In this paper we employ simple mean-field arguments to derive an expression for D2 , the diffusive coupling strength arising from gap-junction connections between inhibitory neurons. Using recent neurophysiological measurements reported by Fukuda [J. Neurosci. 26, 3434 (2006)], we estimate an upper limit of D2≈0.6cm2 . We apply a linear stability analysis to a standard mean-field cortical model, augmented with gap-junction diffusion, and find this value for the diffusive coupling strength to be close to the critical value required to destabilize the homogeneous steady state. Computer simulations demonstrate that larger values of D2 cause the noise-driven model cortex to spontaneously crystalize into random mazelike Turing structures: centimeter-scale spatial patterns in which regions of high-firing activity are intermixed with regions of low-firing activity. These structures are consistent with the

  13. Gap features of layered iron-selenium-tellurium compound below and above the superconducting transition temperature by break-junction spectroscopy combined with STS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekino, T.; Sugimoto, A.; Gabovich, A. M.

    2018-05-01

    We studied correlations between the superconducting gap features of Te-substituted FeSe observed by scanning tunnelling spectroscopy (STS) and break-junction tunnelling spectroscopy (BJTS). At bias voltages outside the superconducting gap-energy range, the broad gap structure exists, which becomes the normal-state gap above the critical temperature, T c. Such behaviour is consistent with the model of the partially gapped density-wave superconductor involving both superconducting gaps and pseudogaps, which has been applied by us earlier to high-Tc cuprates. The similarity suggests that the parent electronic spectrum features should have much in common for these classes of materials.

  14. Gold nanoparticle-mediated (GNOME) laser perforation: a new method for a high-throughput analysis of gap junction intercellular coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begandt, Daniela; Bader, Almke; Antonopoulos, Georgios C; Schomaker, Markus; Kalies, Stefan; Meyer, Heiko; Ripken, Tammo; Ngezahayo, Anaclet

    2015-10-01

    The present report evaluates the advantages of using the gold nanoparticle-mediated laser perforation (GNOME LP) technique as a computer-controlled cell optoperforation to introduce Lucifer yellow (LY) into cells in order to analyze the gap junction coupling in cell monolayers. To permeabilize GM-7373 endothelial cells grown in a 24 multiwell plate with GNOME LP, a laser beam of 88 μm in diameter was applied in the presence of gold nanoparticles and LY. After 10 min to allow dye uptake and diffusion through gap junctions, we observed a LY-positive cell band of 179 ± 8 μm width. The presence of the gap junction channel blocker carbenoxolone during the optoperforation reduced the LY-positive band to 95 ± 6 μm. Additionally, a forskolin-related enhancement of gap junction coupling, recently found using the scrape loading technique, was also observed using GNOME LP. Further, an automatic cell imaging and a subsequent semi-automatic quantification of the images using a java-based ImageJ-plugin were performed in a high-throughput sequence. Moreover, the GNOME LP was used on cells such as RBE4 rat brain endothelial cells, which cannot be mechanically scraped as well as on three-dimensionally cultivated cells, opening the possibility to implement the GNOME LP technique for analysis of gap junction coupling in tissues. We conclude that the GNOME LP technique allows a high-throughput automated analysis of gap junction coupling in cells. Moreover this non-invasive technique could be used on monolayers that do not support mechanical scraping as well as on cells in tissue allowing an in vivo/ex vivo analysis of gap junction coupling.

  15. Transparent Semiconductor-Superconductor Interface and Induced Gap in an Epitaxial Heterostructure Josephson Junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kjaergaard, M.; Suominen, H. J.; Nowak, M.P.; Akhmerov, A.R.; Shabani, J.; Palmstrøm, C. J.; Nichele, F.; Marcus, C.M.

    2017-01-01

    Measurement of multiple Andreev Reflection (MAR) in a Josephson junction made from an InAs quantum well heterostructure with epitaxial aluminum is used to quantify a highly transparent effective semiconductor-superconductor interface with near-unity transmission. The observed temperature

  16. Beyond Gap Junction Channel Function: the Expression of Cx43 Contributes to Aldosterone-Induced Mesangial Cell Proliferation via the ERK1/2 and PKC Pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aiqing Zhang

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Aims: This study aimed to explore the precise mechanism and signaling pathways of mesangial cell (MC proliferation from a new point of view considering Connexin 43 (Cx43. Methods: MC proliferation was measured by the incorporation of 3H-thymidine (3H-TdR. Cx43 was over-expressed in MC cells using lipofectamine 2000, and the expression level was tested with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. The gap junction channel function was explored by Lucifer Yellow scrape loading and dye transfer (SLDT, and the intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i were characterized by confocal microscopy on cells loaded with Fura-3/AM. Results: There was an inverse correlation between Cx43 expression and MC proliferation (P0.05. Our data also showed that the mineralcorticoid receptor (MR antagonist spironolactone, ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 and PKC inhibitor GF109203X could attenuate the down-regulation of Cx43 expression in Aldo-induced MC proliferation; however, the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 could block MC proliferation without affecting Cx43 expression at either the mRNA or protein level. In addition, Aldo promoted MC proliferation in parallel with increasing [Ca2+]i (PConclusions: Our study provides preliminary evidence that Cx43 is an important regulator of Aldo-promoted MC proliferation. Furthermore, reduced Cx43 expression promoted MC proliferation independent of the gap junction channel function, and this process might be mediated through the ERK1/2- and PKC-dependent pathways.

  17. Different mechanisms of modulation of gap junction communication by non-genotoxic carcinogens in rat liver in vivo

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowles, C.; Mally, A.; Chipman, J.K.

    2007-01-01

    This is a comparative study of the mechanisms by which three different rodent non-genotoxic carcinogens modulate connexin-mediated gap junction intercellular communication in male rat liver in vivo. In the case of the peroxisome proliferating agent Wy-14,643, a non-hepatotoxic dose of 50 mg/kg led to a marked loss of inter-hepatocyte dye transfer associated with a loss of both Cx32 and Cx26 protein expression. In contrast, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) at a non-hepatotoxic dose (25 mg/kg) was not found to alter Cx32 or Cx26 expression or to produce a measurable Cx32 serine phosphorylation but did give a small, significant reduction of cell communication. Carbon tetrachloride (CCl 4 ) did not affect cell communication (despite a small significant reduction of Cx32 content) at a non-hepatotoxic dose. Both loss of communication and Cx32 expression was observed only at a dose that caused hepatocyte toxicity as evidenced by increased serum alanine aminotransferase activity. Overall, the findings emphasise that loss of gap junctional communication in vivo can contribute to carcinogenesis by non-genotoxic carcinogens through different primary mechanism. In contrast to Wy-14,643 and DDT, the results with CCl 4 are consistent with a requirement for hepatotoxicity in its carcinogenic action

  18. HDAC inhibition amplifies gap junction communication in neural progenitors: Potential for cell-mediated enzyme prodrug therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Zahidul; Akhtar, Monira; Asklund, Thomas; Juliusson, Bengt; Almqvist, Per M.; Ekstroem, Tomas J.

    2007-01-01

    Enzyme prodrug therapy using neural progenitor cells (NPCs) as delivery vehicles has been applied in animal models of gliomas and relies on gap junction communication (GJC) between delivery and target cells. This study investigated the effects of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors on GJC for the purpose of facilitating transfer of therapeutic molecules from recombinant NPCs. We studied a novel immortalized midbrain cell line, NGC-407 of embryonic human origin having neural precursor characteristics, as a potential delivery vehicle. The expression of gap junction protein connexin 43 (C x 43) was analyzed by western blot and immunocytochemistry. While C x 43 levels were decreased in untreated differentiating NGC-407 cells, the HDAC inhibitor 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PB) increased C x 43 expression along with increased membranous deposition in both proliferating and differentiating cells. Simultaneously, Ser 279/282-phosphorylated form of C x 43 was declined in both culture conditions by 4-PB. The 4-PB effect in NGC-407 cells was verified by using HNSC.100 human neural progenitors and Trichostatin A. Improved functional GJC is of imperative importance for therapeutic strategies involving intercellular transport of low molecular-weight compounds. We show here an enhancement by 4-PB, of the functional GJC among NGC-407 cells, as well as between NGC-407 and human glioma cells, as indicated by increased fluorescent dye transfer

  19. Fluxes of lactate into, from, and among gap junction-coupled astrocytes and their interaction with noradrenaline

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leif eHertz

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Lactate is a versatile metabolite with important roles in modulation of brain glucose utilization rate (CMRglc, diagnosis of brain-injured patients, redox- and receptor-mediated signaling, memory, and alteration of gene transcription. Neurons and astrocytes release and accumulate lactate using equilibrative monocarboxylate transporters that carry out net transmembrane transport of lactate only until intra- and extracellular levels reach equilibrium. Astrocytes have much faster lactate uptake than neurons and shuttle more lactate among gap junction-coupled astrocytes than to nearby neurons. Lactate diffusion within syncytia can provide precursors for oxidative metabolism and glutamate synthesis and facilitate its release from endfeet to perivascular space to stimulate blood flow. Lactate efflux from brain during activation underlies the large underestimation of CMRglc with labeled glucose and fall in CMRO2/CMRglc ratio. Receptor-mediated effects of lactate on locus coeruleus neurons include noradrenaline release in cerebral cortex and c-AMP-mediated stimulation of astrocytic gap junctional coupling, thereby enhancing its dispersal and release from brain. Lactate transport is essential for its multifunctional roles.

  20. Fibroblast growth factor signaling potentiates VE-cadherin stability at adherens junctions by regulating SHP2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kunihiko Hatanaka

    Full Text Available The fibroblast growth factor (FGF system plays a critical role in the maintenance of vascular integrity via enhancing the stability of VE-cadherin at adherens junctions. However, the precise molecular mechanism is not well understood. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the detailed mechanism of FGF regulation of VE-cadherin function that leads to endothelial junction stabilization.In vitro studies demonstrated that the loss of FGF signaling disrupts the VE-cadherin-catenin complex at adherens junctions by increasing tyrosine phosphorylation levels of VE-cadherin. Among protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs known to be involved in the maintenance of the VE-cadherin complex, suppression of FGF signaling reduces SHP2 expression levels and SHP2/VE-cadherin interaction due to accelerated SHP2 protein degradation. Increased endothelial permeability caused by FGF signaling inhibition was rescued by SHP2 overexpression, indicating the critical role of SHP2 in the maintenance of endothelial junction integrity.These results identify FGF-dependent maintenance of SHP2 as an important new mechanism controlling the extent of VE-cadherin tyrosine phosphorylation, thereby regulating its presence in adherens junctions and endothelial permeability.

  1. Effect of low and staggered gap quantum wells inserted in GaAs tunnel junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louarn, K.; Claveau, Y.; Marigo-Lombart, L.; Fontaine, C.; Arnoult, A.; Piquemal, F.; Bounouh, A.; Cavassilas, N.; Almuneau, G.

    2018-04-01

    In this article, we investigate the impact of the insertion of either a type I InGaAs or a type II InGaAs/GaAsSb quantum well on the performances of MBE-grown GaAs tunnel junctions (TJs). The devices are designed and simulated using a quantum transport model based on the non-equilibrium Green’s function formalism and a 6-band k.p Hamiltonian. We experimentally observe significant improvements of the peak tunneling current density on both heterostructures with a 460-fold increase for a moderately doped GaAs TJ when the InGaAs QW is inserted at the junction interface, and a 3-fold improvement on a highly doped GaAs TJ integrating a type II InGaAs/GaAsSb QW. Thus, the simple insertion of staggered band lineup heterostructures enables us to reach a tunneling current well above the kA cm‑2 range, equivalent to the best achieved results for Si-doped GaAs TJs, implying very interesting potential for TJ-based components, such as multi-junction solar cells, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers and tunnel-field effect transistors.

  2. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ganesan, Shanthi; Nteeba, Jackson; Keating, Aileen F.

    2015-01-01

    The ovarian gap junction proteins alpha 4 (GJA4 or connexin 37; CX37), alpha 1 (GJA1 or connexin 43; CX43) and gamma 1 (GJC1 or connexin 45; CX45) are involved in cell communication and folliculogenesis. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) alters Cx37 and Cx43 expression in cultured neonatal rat ovaries. Additionally, obesity has an additive effect on DMBA-induced ovarian cell death and follicle depletion, thus, we investigated in vivo impacts of obesity and DMBA on CX protein levels. Ovaries were collected from lean and obese mice aged 6, 12, 18, or 24 wks. A subset of 18 wk old mice (lean and obese) were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1 mg/kg; ip) for 14 days and ovaries collected 3 days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 18 wks while Cx37 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 24 wks in obese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (P < 0.05) by obesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (P < 0.05) in DMBA exposed obese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (P < 0.05) by DMBA in both lean and obese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (P < 0.05) in obese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (P < 0.05) by obesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. - Highlights: • Ovarian gap junction proteins are affected by ovarian aging and obesity. • DMBA exposure negatively impacts gap junction proteins. • Altered gap junction proteins may contribute to infertility

  3. Integrating evolutionary game theory into an agent-based model of ductal carcinoma in situ: Role of gap junctions in cancer progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malekian, Negin; Habibi, Jafar; Zangooei, Mohammad Hossein; Aghakhani, Hojjat

    2016-11-01

    There are many cells with various phenotypic behaviors in cancer interacting with each other. For example, an apoptotic cell may induce apoptosis in adjacent cells. A living cell can also protect cells from undergoing apoptosis and necrosis. These survival and death signals are propagated through interaction pathways between adjacent cells called gap junctions. The function of these signals depends on the cellular context of the cell receiving them. For instance, a receiver cell experiencing a low level of oxygen may interpret a received survival signal as an apoptosis signal. In this study, we examine the effect of these signals on tumor growth. We make an evolutionary game theory component in order to model the signal propagation through gap junctions. The game payoffs are defined as a function of cellular context. Then, the game theory component is integrated into an agent-based model of tumor growth. After that, the integrated model is applied to ductal carcinoma in situ, a type of early stage breast cancer. Different scenarios are explored to observe the impact of the gap junction communication and parameters of the game theory component on cancer progression. We compare these scenarios by using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test succeeds in proving a significant difference between the tumor growth of the model before and after considering the gap junction communication. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test also proves that the tumor growth significantly depends on the oxygen threshold of turning survival signals into apoptosis. In this study, the gap junction communication is modeled by using evolutionary game theory to illustrate its role at early stage cancers such as ductal carcinoma in situ. This work indicates that the gap junction communication and the oxygen threshold of turning survival signals into apoptosis can notably affect cancer progression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganesan, Shanthi, E-mail: shanthig@iastate.edu; Nteeba, Jackson, E-mail: nteeba@iastate.edu; Keating, Aileen F., E-mail: akeating@iastate.edu

    2015-01-01

    The ovarian gap junction proteins alpha 4 (GJA4 or connexin 37; CX37), alpha 1 (GJA1 or connexin 43; CX43) and gamma 1 (GJC1 or connexin 45; CX45) are involved in cell communication and folliculogenesis. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) alters Cx37 and Cx43 expression in cultured neonatal rat ovaries. Additionally, obesity has an additive effect on DMBA-induced ovarian cell death and follicle depletion, thus, we investigated in vivo impacts of obesity and DMBA on CX protein levels. Ovaries were collected from lean and obese mice aged 6, 12, 18, or 24 wks. A subset of 18 wk old mice (lean and obese) were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1 mg/kg; ip) for 14 days and ovaries collected 3 days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 18 wks while Cx37 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 24 wks in obese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (P < 0.05) by obesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (P < 0.05) in DMBA exposed obese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (P < 0.05) by DMBA in both lean and obese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (P < 0.05) in obese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (P < 0.05) by obesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. - Highlights: • Ovarian gap junction proteins are affected by ovarian aging and obesity. • DMBA exposure negatively impacts gap junction proteins. • Altered gap junction proteins may contribute to infertility.

  5. Application of Stochastic Automata Networks for Creation of Continuous Time Markov Chain Models of Voltage Gating of Gap Junction Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mindaugas Snipas

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The primary goal of this work was to study advantages of numerical methods used for the creation of continuous time Markov chain models (CTMC of voltage gating of gap junction (GJ channels composed of connexin protein. This task was accomplished by describing gating of GJs using the formalism of the stochastic automata networks (SANs, which allowed for very efficient building and storing of infinitesimal generator of the CTMC that allowed to produce matrices of the models containing a distinct block structure. All of that allowed us to develop efficient numerical methods for a steady-state solution of CTMC models. This allowed us to accelerate CPU time, which is necessary to solve CTMC models, ∼20 times.

  6. Application of Stochastic Automata Networks for Creation of Continuous Time Markov Chain Models of Voltage Gating of Gap Junction Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pranevicius, Henrikas; Pranevicius, Mindaugas; Pranevicius, Osvaldas; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2015-01-01

    The primary goal of this work was to study advantages of numerical methods used for the creation of continuous time Markov chain models (CTMC) of voltage gating of gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin protein. This task was accomplished by describing gating of GJs using the formalism of the stochastic automata networks (SANs), which allowed for very efficient building and storing of infinitesimal generator of the CTMC that allowed to produce matrices of the models containing a distinct block structure. All of that allowed us to develop efficient numerical methods for a steady-state solution of CTMC models. This allowed us to accelerate CPU time, which is necessary to solve CTMC models, ∼20 times. PMID:25705700

  7. Critical role of gap junction communication, calcium and nitric oxide signaling in bystander responses to focal photodynamic injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calì, Bianca; Ceolin, Stefano; Ceriani, Federico; Bortolozzi, Mario; Agnellini, Andrielly H R; Zorzi, Veronica; Predonzani, Andrea; Bronte, Vincenzo; Molon, Barbara; Mammano, Fabio

    2015-04-30

    Ionizing and nonionizing radiation affect not only directly targeted cells but also surrounding "bystander" cells. The underlying mechanisms and therapeutic role of bystander responses remain incompletely defined. Here we show that photosentizer activation in a single cell triggers apoptosis in bystander cancer cells, which are electrically coupled by gap junction channels and support the propagation of a Ca2+ wave initiated in the irradiated cell. The latter also acts as source of nitric oxide (NO) that diffuses to bystander cells, in which NO levels are further increased by a mechanism compatible with Ca(2+)-dependent enzymatic production. We detected similar signals in tumors grown in dorsal skinfold chambers applied to live mice. Pharmacological blockade of connexin channels significantly reduced the extent of apoptosis in bystander cells, consistent with a critical role played by intercellular communication, Ca2+ and NO in the bystander effects triggered by photodynamic therapy.

  8. Modulatory effects of cAMP and PKC activation on gap junctional intercellular communication among thymic epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neves-dos-Santos Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We investigated the effects of the signaling molecules, cyclic AMP (cAMP and protein-kinase C (PKC, on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC between thymic epithelial cells (TEC. Results Treatment with 8-Br-cAMP, a cAMP analog; or forskolin, which stimulates cAMP production, resulted in an increase in dye transfer between adjacent TEC, inducing a three-fold enhancement in the mean fluorescence of coupled cells, ascertained by flow cytometry after calcein transfer. These treatments also increased Cx43 mRNA expression, and stimulated Cx43 protein accumulation in regions of intercellular contacts. VIP, adenosine, and epinephrine which may also signal through cyclic nucleotides were tested. The first two molecules did not mimic the effects of 8-Br-cAMP, however epinephrine was able to increase GJIC suggesting that this molecule functions as an endogenous inter-TEC GJIC modulators. Stimulation of PKC by phorbol-myristate-acetate inhibited inter-TEC GJIC. Importantly, both the enhancing and the decreasing effects, respectively induced by cAMP and PKC, were observed in both mouse and human TEC preparations. Lastly, experiments using mouse thymocyte/TEC heterocellular co-cultures suggested that the presence of thymocytes does not affect the degree of inter-TEC GJIC. Conclusions Overall, our data indicate that cAMP and PKC intracellular pathways are involved in the homeostatic control of the gap junction-mediated communication in the thymic epithelium, exerting respectively a positive and negative role upon cell coupling. This control is phylogenetically conserved in the thymus, since it was seen in both mouse and human TEC preparations. Lastly, our work provides new clues for a better understanding of how the thymic epithelial network can work as a physiological syncytium.

  9. Autophagy and gap junctional intercellular communication inhibition are involved in cadmium-induced apoptosis in rat liver cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zou, Hui [College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, and Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009 (China); Zhuo, Liling [College of Life Science, Zaozhuang University, Zaozhuang, Shandong, 277160 (China); Han, Tao; Hu, Di; Yang, Xiaokang; Wang, Yi; Yuan, Yan; Gu, Jianhong; Bian, Jianchun; Liu, Xuezhong [College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, and Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009 (China); Liu, Zongping, E-mail: liuzongping@yzu.edu.cn [College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, and Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009 (China)

    2015-04-17

    Cadmium (Cd) is known to induce hepatotoxicity, yet the underlying mechanism of how this occurs is not fully understood. In this study, Cd-induced apoptosis was demonstrated in rat liver cells (BRL 3A) with apoptotic nuclear morphological changes and a decrease in cell index (CI) in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. The role of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and autophagy in Cd-induced apoptosis was investigated. Cd significantly induced GJIC inhibition as well as downregulation of connexin 43 (Cx43). The prototypical gap junction blocker carbenoxolone disodium (CBX) exacerbated the Cd-induced decrease in CI. Cd treatment was also found to cause autophagy, with an increase in mRNA expression of autophagy-related genes Atg-5, Atg-7, Beclin-1, and microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) conversion from cytosolic LC3-I to membrane-bound LC3-II. The autophagic inducer rapamycin (RAP) prevented the Cd-induced CI decrease, while the autophagic inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) caused a further reduction in CI. In addition, CBX promoted Cd-induced autophagy, as well as changes in expression of Atg-5, Atg-7, Beclin-1 and LC3. CQ was found to block the Cd-induced decrease in Cx43 and GJIC inhibition, whereas RAP had opposite effect. These results demonstrate that autophagy plays a protective role during Cd-induced apoptosis in BRL 3A cells during 6 h of experiment, while autophagy exacerbates Cd-induced GJIC inhibition which has a negative effect on cellular fate. - Highlights: • GJIC and autophagy is crucial for biological processes. • Cd exposure causes GJIC inhibition and autophagy increase in BRL 3A cells. • Autophagy protects Cd induced BRL 3A cells apoptosis at an early stage. • Autophagy exacerbates Cd-induced GJIC inhibition. • GJIC plays an important role in autophagy induced cell death or survival.

  10. S-diclofenac Protects against Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy in Mice via Ameliorating Cardiac Gap Junction Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Huili; Zhang, Alian; Guo, Changfa; Shi, Chunzhi; Zhang, Yang; Liu, Qing; Sparatore, Anna; Wang, Changqian

    2011-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), as a novel gaseous mediator, plays important roles in mammalian cardiovascular tissues. In the present study, we investigated the cardioprotective effect of S-diclofenac (2-[(2,6-dichlorophenyl)amino] benzeneacetic acid 4-(3H-1,2,dithiol-3-thione-5-yl)phenyl ester), a novel H2S-releasing derivative of diclofenac, in a murine model of doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. After a single dose injection of doxorubicin (15 mg/kg, i.p.), male C57BL/6J mice were given daily treatment of S-diclofenac (25 and 50 µmol/kg, i.p.), diclofenac (25 and 50 µmol/kg, i.p.), NaHS (50 µmol/kg, i.p.), or same volume of vehicle. The cardioprotective effect of S-diclofenac was observed after 14 days. It showed that S-diclofenac, but not diclofenac, dose-dependently inhibited the doxorubicin-induced downregulation of cardiac gap junction proteins (connexin 43 and connexin 45) and thus reversed the remodeling of gap junctions in hearts. It also dose-dependently suppressed doxorubicin-induced activation of JNK in hearts. Furthermore, S-diclofenac produced a dose-dependent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effect in this model. As a result, S-diclofenac significantly attenuated doxorubicin-related cardiac injury and cardiac dysfunction, and improved the survival rate of mice with doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. These effects of S-diclofenac were mimicked in large part by NaHS. Therefore, we propose that H2S released from S-diclofenac in vivo contributes to the protective effect in doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. These data also provide evidence for a critical role of H2S in the pathogenesis of doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy. PMID:22039489

  11. Gap junction intercellular communication mediated by connexin43 in astrocytes is essential for their resistance to oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Hoa T; Sin, Wun Chey; Lozinsky, Shannon; Bechberger, John; Vega, José Luis; Guo, Xu Qiu; Sáez, Juan C; Naus, Christian C

    2014-01-17

    Oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is associated with various neurological disorders including aging, neurodegenerative diseases, as well as traumatic and ischemic insults. Astrocytes have an important role in the anti-oxidative defense in the brain. The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) forms intercellular channels as well as hemichannels in astrocytes. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of Cx43 to astrocytic death induced by the ROS hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the mechanism by which Cx43 exerts its effects. Lack of Cx43 expression or blockage of Cx43 channels resulted in increased ROS-induced astrocytic death, supporting a cell protective effect of functional Cx43 channels. H2O2 transiently increased hemichannel activity, but reduced gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). GJIC in wild-type astrocytes recovered after 7 h, but was absent in Cx43 knock-out astrocytes. Blockage of Cx43 hemichannels incompletely inhibited H2O2-induced hemichannel activity, indicating the presence of other hemichannel proteins. Panx1, which is predicted to be a major hemichannel contributor in astrocytes, did not appear to have any cell protective effect from H2O2 insults. Our data suggest that GJIC is important for Cx43-mediated ROS resistance. In contrast to hypoxia/reoxygenation, H2O2 treatment decreased the ratio of the hypophosphorylated isoform to total Cx43 level. Cx43 has been reported to promote astrocytic death induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation. We therefore speculate the increase in Cx43 dephosphorylation may account for the facilitation of astrocytic death. Our findings suggest that the role of Cx43 in response to cellular stress is dependent on the activation of signaling pathways leading to alteration of Cx43 phosphorylation states.

  12. Sphingosine-1-Phosphate reduces ischemia/reperfusion injury by phosphorylating the gap junction protein Connexin43

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morel, Sandrine; Christoffersen, Christina; Axelsen, Lene N

    2016-01-01

    recruitment seems only indirectly affected. Importantly, short-term S1P treatment at the onset of reperfusion was sufficient to reduce ischemia/reperfusion injury in isolated perfused hearts. Mechanistic in vitro and ex vivo studies revealed that 5 min of S1P treatment induced phosphorylation of the gap...

  13. Visualizing the effect of dynamin inhibition on annular gap vesicle formation and fission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickel, Beth; Boller, Marie; Schneider, Kimberly; Shakespeare, Teresa; Gay, Vernon; Murray, Sandra A

    2013-06-15

    Although gap junction plaque assembly has been extensively studied, mechanisms involved in plaque disassembly are not well understood. Disassembly involves an internalization process in which annular gap junction vesicles are formed. These vesicles undergo fission, but the molecular machinery needed for these fissions has not been described. The mechanoenzyme dynamin has been previously demonstrated to play a role in gap junction plaque internalization. To investigate the role of dynamin in annular gap junction vesicle fission, immunocytochemical, time-lapse and transmission electron microscopy were used to analyze SW-13 adrenocortical cells in culture. Dynamin was demonstrated to colocalize with gap junction plaques and vesicles. Dynamin inhibition, by siRNA knockdown or treatment with the dynamin GTPase inhibitor dynasore, increased the number and size of gap junction 'buds' suspended from the gap junction plaques. Buds, in control populations, were frequently released to form annular gap junction vesicles. In dynamin-inhibited populations, the buds were larger and infrequently released and thus fewer annular gap junction vesicles were formed. In addition, the number of annular gap junction vesicle fissions per hour was reduced in the dynamin-inhibited populations. We believe this to be the first report addressing the details of annular gap junction vesicle fissions and demonstrating a role of dynamin in this process. This information is crucial for elucidating the relationship between gap junctions, membrane regulation and cell behavior.

  14. Drosophila Big bang regulates the apical cytocortex and wing growth through junctional tension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsoumpekos, Giorgos; Nemetschke, Linda; Knust, Elisabeth

    2018-03-05

    Growth of epithelial tissues is regulated by a plethora of components, including signaling and scaffolding proteins, but also by junctional tension, mediated by the actomyosin cytoskeleton. However, how these players are spatially organized and functionally coordinated is not well understood. Here, we identify the Drosophila melanogaster scaffolding protein Big bang as a novel regulator of growth in epithelial cells of the wing disc by ensuring proper junctional tension. Loss of big bang results in the reduction of the regulatory light chain of nonmuscle myosin, Spaghetti squash. This is associated with an increased apical cell surface, decreased junctional tension, and smaller wings. Strikingly, these phenotypic traits of big bang mutant discs can be rescued by expressing constitutively active Spaghetti squash. Big bang colocalizes with Spaghetti squash in the apical cytocortex and is found in the same protein complex. These results suggest that in epithelial cells of developing wings, the scaffolding protein Big bang controls apical cytocortex organization, which is important for regulating cell shape and tissue growth. © 2018 Tsoumpekos et al.

  15. Phosphatidylcholine Specific PLC-Induced Dysregulation of Gap Junctions, a Robust Cellular Response to Environmental Toxicants, and Prevention by Resveratrol in a Rat Liver Cell Model

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sovadinová, I.; Babica, Pavel; Böke, H.; Kumar, E.; Wilke, A.; Park, J.-S.; Trosko, J. E.; Upham, B. L.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, 5 no.e0124454 (2015), s. 1-16 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LH12034 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : gap junctional intercellular communication * resveratrol * phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015

  16. Lack of connexin43-mediated Bergmann glial gap junctional coupling does not affect cerebellar long-term depression, motor coordination, or eyeblink conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mika Tanaka

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Bergmann glial cells are specialized astrocytes in the cerebellum. In the mature cerebellar molecular layer, Bergmann glial processes are closely associated with Purkinje cells, enclosing Purkinje cell dendritic synapses with a glial sheath. There is intensive gap junctional coupling between Bergmann glial processes, but their significance in cerebellar functions is not known. Connexin43 (Cx43, a major component of astrocytic gap junction channels, is abundantly expressed in Bergmann glial cells. To examine the role of Cx43-mediated gap junctions between Bergmann glial cells in cerebellar functions, we generated Cx43 conditional knockout mice with the S100b-Cre transgenic line (Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre, which exhibited a significant loss of Cx43 in the Bergmann glial cells and astrocytes in the cerebellum with a postnatal onset. The Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice had normal cerebellar architecture. Although gap junctional coupling between the Bergmann glial cells measured by spreading of microinjected Lucifer yellow was virtually abolished in Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice, electrophysiologic analysis revealed that cerebellar long-term depression could be induced and maintained normally in thier cerebellar slices. In addition, at the behavioral level, Cx43fl/fl:S100b-Cre mice had normal motor coordination in the rotarod task and normal conditioned eyelid response. Our findings suggest that Cx43-mediated gap junctional coupling between Bergmann glial cells is not necessary for the neuron-glia interactions required for cerebellum-dependent motor coordination and motor learning.

  17. Role of the Adherens Junction Protein Fascin in the Regulation of Tight Junction Permeability in the Mouse Mammary Gland

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Beeman, Neal

    2001-01-01

    .... Transduced cells are morphologically normal and produce milk. This gene delivery system was used to express an N-terminally truncated mutant of the tight junction protein occluding in the mammary gland and in cultured cells...

  18. On the universality of the ''smile''-gap in the density of states of a chaotic Josephson junction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reutlinger, Johannes; Belzig, Wolfgang [University of Konstanz, Department of Physics (Germany); Nazarov, Yuli [Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft, Delft University of Technology, Delft (Netherlands); Glazman, Leonid [Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, CT (United States)

    2015-07-01

    The superconducting proximity effect strongly modifies the local density of states in chaotic Josephson junctions. Recently we found that besides the well-known minigap a secondary gap appears just below the superconducting gap edge Δ in the limit of a large Thouless energy E{sub Th} >or similar Δ. To check the universality of this novel gap phenomenon we study the effect of nonideal contacts and show that the ''smile''-gap crucially depends on the transmission eigenvalue distribution. In a next step we use the random matrix method to investigate the ''smile''-gap. This allows us to approach the statistics of Andreev levels, going beyond the quasiclassical Greens function method. It turns out that the hard gap edge softens similar to what is already known from the minigap.

  19. A novel role of dendritic gap junction and mechanisms underlying its interaction with thalamocortical conductance in fast spiking inhibitory neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Qian-Quan

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about the roles of dendritic gap junctions (GJs of inhibitory interneurons in modulating temporal properties of sensory induced responses in sensory cortices. Electrophysiological dual patch-clamp recording and computational simulation methods were used in combination to examine a novel role of GJs in sensory mediated feed-forward inhibitory responses in barrel cortex layer IV and its underlying mechanisms. Results Under physiological conditions, excitatory post-junctional potentials (EPJPs interact with thalamocortical (TC inputs within an unprecedented few milliseconds (i.e. over 200 Hz to enhance the firing probability and synchrony of coupled fast-spiking (FS cells. Dendritic GJ coupling allows fourfold increase in synchrony and a significant enhancement in spike transmission efficacy in excitatory spiny stellate cells. The model revealed the following novel mechanisms: 1 rapid capacitive current (Icap underlies the activation of voltage-gated sodium channels; 2 there was less than 2 milliseconds in which the Icap underlying TC input and EPJP was coupled effectively; 3 cells with dendritic GJs had larger input conductance and smaller membrane response to weaker inputs; 4 synchrony in inhibitory networks by GJ coupling leads to reduced sporadic lateral inhibition and increased TC transmission efficacy. Conclusion Dendritic GJs of neocortical inhibitory networks can have very powerful effects in modulating the strength and the temporal properties of sensory induced feed-forward inhibitory and excitatory responses at a very high frequency band (>200 Hz. Rapid capacitive currents are identified as main mechanisms underlying interaction between two transient synaptic conductances.

  20. Analysis of trafficking, stability and function of human connexin 26 gap junction channels with deafness-causing mutations in the fourth transmembrane helix.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cinzia Ambrosi

    Full Text Available Human Connexin26 gene mutations cause hearing loss. These hereditary mutations are the leading cause of childhood deafness worldwide. Mutations in gap junction proteins (connexins can impair intercellular communication by eliminating protein synthesis, mis-trafficking, or inducing channels that fail to dock or have aberrant function. We previously identified a new class of mutants that form non-functional gap junction channels and hemichannels (connexons by disrupting packing and inter-helix interactions. Here we analyzed fourteen point mutations in the fourth transmembrane helix of connexin26 (Cx26 that cause non-syndromic hearing loss. Eight mutations caused mis-trafficking (K188R, F191L, V198M, S199F, G200R, I203K, L205P, T208P. Of the remaining six that formed gap junctions in mammalian cells, M195T and A197S formed stable hemichannels after isolation with a baculovirus/Sf9 protein purification system, while C202F, I203T, L205V and N206S formed hemichannels with varying degrees of instability. The function of all six gap junction-forming mutants was further assessed through measurement of dye coupling in mammalian cells and junctional conductance in paired Xenopus oocytes. Dye coupling between cell pairs was reduced by varying degrees for all six mutants. In homotypic oocyte pairings, only A197S induced measurable conductance. In heterotypic pairings with wild-type Cx26, five of the six mutants formed functional gap junction channels, albeit with reduced efficiency. None of the mutants displayed significant alterations in sensitivity to transjunctional voltage or induced conductive hemichannels in single oocytes. Intra-hemichannel interactions between mutant and wild-type proteins were assessed in rescue experiments using baculovirus expression in Sf9 insect cells. Of the four unstable mutations (C202F, I203T, L205V, N206S only C202F and N206S formed stable hemichannels when co-expressed with wild-type Cx26. Stable M195T hemichannels

  1. Gap Junctions Are Involved in the Rescue of CFTR-Dependent Chloride Efflux by Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Coculture with Cystic Fibrosis CFBE41o- Cells

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    Annalucia Carbone

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We previously found that human amniotic mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs in coculture with CF immortalised airway epithelial cells (CFBE41o- line, CFBE on Transwell® filters acquired an epithelial phenotype and led to the expression of a mature and functional CFTR protein. In order to explore the role of gap junction- (GJ- mediated intercellular communication (GJIC in this rescue, cocultures (hAMSC : CFBE, 1 : 5 ratio were studied for the formation of GJIC, before and after silencing connexin 43 (Cx43, a major component of GJs. Functional GJs in cocultures were inhibited when the expression of the Cx43 protein was downregulated. Transfection of cocultures with siRNA against Cx43 resulted in the absence of specific CFTR signal on the apical membrane and reduction in the mature form of CFTR (band C, and in parallel, the CFTR-dependent chloride channel activity was significantly decreased. Cx43 downregulation determined also a decrease in transepithelial resistance and an increase in paracellular permeability as compared with control cocultures, implying that GJIC may regulate CFTR expression and function that in turn modulate airway epithelium tightness. These results indicate that GJIC is involved in the correction of CFTR chloride channel activity upon the acquisition of an epithelial phenotype by hAMSCs in coculture with CF cells.

  2. Gap Junctions Are Involved in the Rescue of CFTR-Dependent Chloride Efflux by Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Coculture with Cystic Fibrosis CFBE41o- Cells.

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    Carbone, Annalucia; Zefferino, Roberto; Beccia, Elisa; Casavola, Valeria; Castellani, Stefano; Di Gioia, Sante; Giannone, Valentina; Seia, Manuela; Angiolillo, Antonella; Colombo, Carla; Favia, Maria; Conese, Massimo

    2018-01-01

    We previously found that human amniotic mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs) in coculture with CF immortalised airway epithelial cells (CFBE41o- line, CFBE) on Transwell® filters acquired an epithelial phenotype and led to the expression of a mature and functional CFTR protein. In order to explore the role of gap junction- (GJ-) mediated intercellular communication (GJIC) in this rescue, cocultures (hAMSC : CFBE, 1 : 5 ratio) were studied for the formation of GJIC, before and after silencing connexin 43 (Cx43), a major component of GJs. Functional GJs in cocultures were inhibited when the expression of the Cx43 protein was downregulated. Transfection of cocultures with siRNA against Cx43 resulted in the absence of specific CFTR signal on the apical membrane and reduction in the mature form of CFTR (band C), and in parallel, the CFTR-dependent chloride channel activity was significantly decreased. Cx43 downregulation determined also a decrease in transepithelial resistance and an increase in paracellular permeability as compared with control cocultures, implying that GJIC may regulate CFTR expression and function that in turn modulate airway epithelium tightness. These results indicate that GJIC is involved in the correction of CFTR chloride channel activity upon the acquisition of an epithelial phenotype by hAMSCs in coculture with CF cells.

  3. Heavy-ion-induced bystander killing of human lung cancer cells. Role of gap junctional intercellular communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harada, Kosaku; Nonaka, Tetsuo; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Sakurai, Hideyuki; Hasegawa, Masatoshi; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Nakano, Takashi; Funayama, Tomoo; Kakizaki, Takehiko

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to clarify the mechanisms of cell death induced by heavy-ion irradiation focusing on the bystander effect in human lung cancer A549 cells. In microbeam irradiation, each of 1, 5, and 25 cells under confluent cell conditions was irradiated with 1, 5, or 10 particles of carbon ions (220 MeV), and then the surviving fraction of the population was measured by a clonogenic assay in order to investigate the bystander effect of heavy-ions. In this experiment, the limited number of cells (0.0001-0.002%, 5-25 cells) under confluent cell conditions irradiated with 5 or 10 carbon ions resulted in an exaggerated 8-14% increase in cell death by clonogenic assay. However, these overshooting responses were not observed under exponentially growing cell conditions. Furthermore, these responses were inhibited in cells treated with an inhibitor of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), whereas they were markedly enhanced by the addition of a stimulator of GJIC. The present results suggest that bystander cell killing by heavy-ions was induced mainly by direct cell-to-cell communication, such as GJIC, which might play important roles in bystander responses. (author)

  4. Firing patterns and synchronization in nonsynaptic epileptiform activity: the effect of gap junctions modulated by potassium accumulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, D O C; Dickman, R; Rodrigues, A M; De Almeida, A C G

    2009-01-01

    Several lines of evidence point to the modification of firing patterns and of synchronization due to gap junctions (GJs) as having a role in the establishment of epileptiform activity (EA). However, previous studies consider GJs as ohmic resistors, ignoring the effects of intense variations in ionic concentration known to occur during seizures. In addition to GJs, extracellular potassium is regarded as a further important factor involved in seizure initiation and sustainment. To analyze how these two mechanisms act together to shape firing and synchronization, we use a detailed computational model for in vitro high-K + and low-Ca 2+ nonsynaptic EA. The model permits us to explore the modulation of electrotonic interactions under ionic concentration changes caused by electrodiffusion in the extracellular space, altered by tortuosity. In addition, we investigate the special case of null GJ current. Increased electrotonic interaction alters bursts and action potential frequencies, favoring synchronization. The particularities of pattern changes depend on the tortuosity and array size. Extracellular potassium accumulation alone modifies firing and synchronization when the GJ coupling is null

  5. Segmental Bayesian estimation of gap-junctional and inhibitory conductance of inferior olive neurons from spike trains with complicated dynamics

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    Huu eHoang

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The inverse problem for estimating model parameters from brain spike data is an ill-posed problem because of a huge mismatch in the system complexity between the model and the brain as well as its non-stationary dynamics, and needs a stochastic approach that finds the most likely solution among many possible solutions. In the present study, we developed a segmental Bayesian method to estimate the two parameters of interest, the gap-junctional (gc and inhibitory conductance (gi from inferior olive spike data. Feature vectors were estimated for the spike data in a segment-wise fashion to compensate for the non-stationary firing dynamics. Hierarchical Bayesian estimation was conducted to estimate the gc and gi for every spike segment using a forward model constructed in the principal component analysis (PCA space of the feature vectors, and to merge the segmental estimates into single estimates for every neuron. The segmental Bayesian estimation gave smaller fitting errors than the conventional Bayesian inference, which finds the estimates once across the entire spike data, or the minimum error method, which directly finds the closest match in the PCA space. The segmental Bayesian inference has the potential to overcome the problem of non-stationary dynamics and resolve the ill-posedness of the inverse problem because of the mismatch between the model and the brain under the constraints based, and it is a useful tool to evaluate parameters of interest for neuroscience from experimental spike train data.

  6. Possible Mechanisms of Mercury Toxicity and Cancer Promotion: Involvement of Gap Junction Intercellular Communications and Inflammatory Cytokines

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    Roberto Zefferino

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A number of observations indicate that heavy metals are able to alter cellular metabolic pathways through induction of a prooxidative state. Nevertheless, the outcome of heavy metal-mediated effects in the development of human diseases is debated and needs further insights. Cancer is a well-established DNA mutation-linked disease; however, epigenetic events are perhaps more important and harmful than genetic alterations. Unfortunately, we do not have reliable screening methods to assess/validate the epigenetic (promoter effects of a physical or a chemical agent. We propose a mechanism of action whereby mercury acts as a possible promoter carcinogen. In the present contribution, we resume our previous studies on mercury tested at concentrations comparable with its occurrence as environmental pollutant. It is shown that Hg(II elicits a prooxidative state in keratinocytes linked to inhibition of gap junction-mediated intercellular communication and proinflammatory cytokine production. These combined effects may on one hand isolate cells from tissue-specific homeostasis promoting their proliferation and on the other hand tamper the immune system defense/surveillance checkmating the whole organism. Since Hg(II is not a mutagenic/genotoxic compound directly affecting gene expression, in a broader sense, mercury might be an example of an epigenetic tumor promoter or, further expanding this concept, a “metagenetic” effector.

  7. Sample preconcentration utilizing nanofractures generated by junction gap breakdown assisted by self-assembled monolayer of gold nanoparticles.

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    Chun-Ping Jen

    Full Text Available The preconcentration of proteins with low concentrations can be used to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of detection. A nonlinear electrokinetic flow is induced in a nanofluidic channel due to the overlap of electrical double layers, resulting in the fast accumulation of proteins, referred to as the exclusion-enrichment effect. The proposed chip for protein preconcentration was fabricated using simple standard soft lithography with a polydimethylsiloxane replica. This study extends our previous paper, in which gold nanoparticles were manually deposited onto the surface of a protein preconcentrator. In the present work, nanofractures were formed by utilizing the self-assembly of gold-nanoparticle-assisted electric breakdown. This reliable method for nanofracture formation, involving self-assembled monolayers of nanoparticles at the junction gap between microchannels, also decreases the required electric breakdown voltage. The experimental results reveal that a high concentration factor of 1.5×10(4 for a protein sample with an extremely low concentration of 1 nM was achieved in 30 min by using the proposed chip, which is faster than our previously proposed chip at the same conditions. Moreover, an immunoassay of bovine serum albumin (BSA and anti-BSA was carried out to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed chip.

  8. Diverse pattern of gap junction beta-2 and gap junction beta-4 genes mutations and lack of contribution of DFNB21, DFNB24, DFNB29, and DFNB42 loci in autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss patients in Hormozgan, Iran

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    Masoud Akbarzadeh Laleh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: We aimed to determine the contribution of four DFNB loci and mutation analysis of gap junction beta-2 (GJB2 and GJB4 genes in autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL in South of Iran. Materials and Methods: A total of 36 large ARNSHL pedigrees with at least two affected subjects were enrolled in the current study. The GJB2 and GJB4 genes mutations were screened using direct sequencing method. The GJB2 and GJB4 negative families were analyzed for the linkage to DFNB21, DFNB24, DFNB29, and DFNB42 loci by genotyping the corresponding STR markers using polymerase chain reaction-PAGE method. Results: We found a homozygous nonsense mutation W77X and a homozygous missense mutation C169W in 5.55% of studied families in GJB2 and GJB4 genes, respectively. Five heterozygous mutations including V63G, A78T, and R127H in GJB2 gene, and R103C and R227W in GJB4 gene were detected. We identified two novel variations V63G in GJB2 and R227W in GJB4. In silico analysis predicted that both novel variations are deleterious mutations. We did not unveil any linkage between DFNB21, DFNB24, DFNB29, and DFNB42 loci and ARNSHL among studied families. Conclusion: This is the first report of GJB2 and GJB4 mutations from Hormozgan population. According to the previous publications regarding GJB2 and GJB4 mutations, the distribution of the mutations is different from other parts of Iran that should be considered in primary health-care programs. Further investigations are needed to evaluate the contribution of other loci in ARNSHL subjects in South of Iran.

  9. Inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication by noncoplanar polychlorinated biphenyls: Inhibitory potencies and screening for potential mode(s) of action

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Machala, M.; Bláha, L.; Vondráček, Jan; Trosko, J. E.; Scott, J.; Upham, B. L.

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 76, č. 1 (2003), s. 102-111 ISSN 1096-6080 R&D Projects: GA MZe QC0194; GA ČR GA525/00/D101 Grant - others:National Institute of Health(US) P42 ES04911-07 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5004920 Keywords : WB-F344 cell line * gap junction * PCB congeners Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.067, year: 2003

  10. HYS-32, a novel analogue of combretastatin A-4, enhances connexin43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication in rat astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Pei-Chun; Shen, Chien-Chang; Liao, Chih-Kai; Jow, Guey-Mei; Chiu, Chi-Ting; Chung, Tun-Hui; Wu, Jiahn-Chun

    2013-05-01

    HYS-32 [4-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-(naphthalen-2-yl)-2(5H)-furanone] is a new analogue of the anti-tumor compound combretastatin A-4 containing a cis-stilbene moiety. In this study, we investigated its effects on Cx43 gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) and the signaling pathway involved in rat primary astrocytes. Western blot analyses showed that HYS-32 dose- and time-dependently upregulated Cx43 expression. A confocal microscopic study and scrape-loading/dye transfer analyses demonstrated that HYS-32 (5μM) induced microtubule coiling, accumulation of Cx43 in gap junction plaques, and increased GJIC in astrocytes. The HYS-32-induced microtubule coiling and Cx43 accumulation in gap junction plaques was reversed when HYS-32 was removed. Treatment of astrocytes with cycloheximide resulted in time-dependent degradation of by co-treatment with HYS-32 by increasing the half-life of Cx43. Co-treatment with HYS-32 also prevented the LPS-induced downregulation of Cx43 and inhibition of GJIC in astrocytes. HYS-32 induced activation of PKC, ERK, and JNK, and co-treatment with the PKC inhibitor Go6976 or the ERK inhibitor PD98059, but not the JNK inhibitor SP600125, prevented the HYS-32-induced increase in Cx43 expression and GJIC. Go6976 suppressed the HYS-32-induced PKC phosphorylation and increase in phospho-ERK levels, while PD98059 did not prevent the HYS-32-induced increase in phospho-PKC levels, suggesting that PKC is an upstream effector of ERK. In conclusion, our results show that HYS-32 increases the half-life of Cx43 and enhances Cx43 expression and GJIC in astrocytes via a PKC-ERK signaling cascade. These novel biological effects of HYS-32 on astrocyte gap junctions support its potential for therapeutic use as a protective agent for the central nervous system. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Keratitis-Ichthyosis-Deafness syndrome-associated Cx26 mutants produce nonfunctional gap junctions but hyperactive hemichannels when co-expressed with wild type Cx43

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    García, Isaac E.; Maripillán, Jaime; Jara, Oscar; Ceriani, Ricardo; Palacios-Muñoz, Angelina; Ramachandran, Jayalakshimi; Olivero, Pablo; Pérez-Acle, Tomás; González, Carlos; Sáez, Juan C.; Contreras, Jorge E.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in Cx26 gene are found in most cases of human genetic deafness. Some mutations produce syndromic deafness associated with skin disorders, like Keratitis Ichthyosis Deafness syndrome (KID). Because in the human skin Cx26 is co-expressed with other connexins, like Cx43 and Cx30, and since KID syndrome is inherited as autosomal dominant condition, it is possible that KID mutations change the way Cx26 interacts with other co-expressed connexins. Indeed, some Cx26 syndromic mutations showed gap junction dominant negative effect when co-expressed with wild type connexins, including Cx26 and Cx43. The nature of these interactions and the consequences on hemichannels and gap junction channels functions remain unknown. In this study we demonstrate that syndromic mutations at the N-terminus segment of Cx26, change connexin oligomerization compatibility, allowing aberrant interactions with Cx43. Strikingly, heteromeric oligomer formed by Cx43/Cx26 (syndromic mutants) show exacerbated hemichannel activity, but nonfunctional gap junction channels; this also occurs for those Cx26 KID mutants that do not show functional homomeric hemichannels. Heterologous expression of these hyperactive heteromeric hemichannels increases cell membrane permeability, favoring ATP release and Ca2+ overload. The functional paradox produced by oligomerization of Cx43 and Cx26 KID mutants could underlie the severe syndromic phenotype in human skin. PMID:25625422

  12. Tanshinone IIA increases the bystander effect of herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir gene therapy via enhanced gap junctional intercellular communication.

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    Jianyong Xiao

    Full Text Available The bystander effect is an intriguing phenomenon by which adjacent cells become sensitized to drug treatment during gene therapy with herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (HSV-tk/GCV. This effect is reported to be mediated by gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC, and therefore, we postulated that upregulation of genes that facilitate GJIC may enhance the HSV-tk/GCV bystander effect. Previous findings have shown Tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA, a chemical substance derived from a Chinese medicine herb, promotes the upregulation of the connexins Cx26 and Cx43 in B16 cells. Because gap junctions are formed by connexins, we hypothesized that Tan IIA might increase GJIC. Our results show that Tan IIA increased GJIC in B16 melanoma cells, leading to more efficient GCV-induced bystander killing in cells stably expressing HSV-tk. Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrated that tumors in mice with 10% HSV-tk positive B16 cells and 90% wild-type B16 cells became smaller following treatment with the combination of GCV and Tan IIA as compared to GCV or Tan IIA alone. These data demonstrate that Tan IIA can augment the bystander effect of HSV-tk/GCV system through increased gap junction coupling, which adds strength to the promising strategy that develops connexins inducer to potentiate the effects of suicide gene therapy.

  13. Oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity is mediated through gap junction channels and hemichannels and can be prevented by octanol.

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    Kagiava, Alexia; Theophilidis, George; Sargiannidou, Irene; Kyriacou, Kyriacos; Kleopa, Kleopas A

    2015-10-01

    Oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity (OIN) is a common complication of chemotherapy without effective treatment. In order to clarify the mechanisms of both acute and chronic OIN, we used an ex-vivo mouse sciatic nerve model. Exposure to 25 μM oxaliplatin caused a marked prolongation in the duration of the nerve evoked compound action potential (CAP) by nearly 1200% within 300 min while amplitude remained constant for over 20 h. This oxaliplatin effect was almost completely reversed by the gap junction (GJ) inhibitor octanol in a concentration-dependent manner. Further GJ blockers showed similar effects although with a narrower therapeutic window. To clarify the target molecule we studied sciatic nerves from connexin32 (Cx32) and Cx29 knockout (KO) mice. The oxaliplatin effect and neuroprotection by octanol partially persisted in Cx29 better than in Cx32 KO nerves, suggesting that oxaliplatin affects both, but Cx32 GJ channels more than Cx29 hemichannels. Oxaliplatin also accelerated neurobiotin uptake in HeLa cells expressing the human ortholog of Cx29, Cx31.3, as well as dye transfer between cells expressing the human Cx32, and this effect was blocked by octanol. Oxaliplatin caused no morphological changes initially (up to 3 h of exposure), but prolonged nerve exposure caused juxtaparonodal axonal edema, which was prevented by octanol. Our study indicates that oxaliplatin causes forced opening of Cx32 channels and Cx29 hemichannels in peripheral myelinated fibers leading to disruption of axonal K(+) homeostasis. The GJ blocker octanol prevents OIN at very low concentrations and should be further studied as a neuroprotectant. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Effects of maturation-inducing hormone on heterologous gap junctional coupling in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizaki, G.; Patino, R.; Thomas, P.; Bolamba, D.; Chang, Xiaotian

    2001-01-01

    A previous ultrastructural study of heterologous (granulosa cell-oocyte) gap junction (GJ) contacts in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker suggested that these contacts disappear late during the process of resumption of oocyte meiosis. This observation suggested that, unlike scenarios proposed for a number of other species, uncoupling of GJ is not necessary for the onset of meiotic resumption in croaker follicles. However, the functionality of heterologous GJ contacts and the temporal association between maturation-inducing hormone (MIH)-induced changes in heterologous coupling and resumption of oocyte meiosis have not been examined in Atlantic croaker. These questions were addressed with a cell-cell coupling assay that is based on the transfer of a GJ marker, Lucifer Yellow, from oocytes to granulosa cells. Follicle-enclosed oocytes injected with Lucifer Yellow allowed transfer of the dye into the follicle cell layer, thus confirming that there is functional heterologous coupling between the oocyte and the granulosa cells. Dye transfer was observed in vitellogenic, full-grown/maturation-incompetent, and full-grown /maturation-competent follicles. Treatment of maturation-competent follicles with MIH caused a time-dependent decline in the number of follicles transferring dye. However, although GJ uncoupling in some of the follicles was observed before germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD, index of meiotic resumption), about 50% of the follicles maintained the ability to transfer dye even after GVBD had occurred. Further, a known GJ inhibitor (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate) blocked heterologous GJ within a time frame similar to that seen with MIH but without inducing any of the morphological changes (including GVBD) associated with follicular maturation. In conclusion, uncoupling of heterologous GJ seems insufficient and unnecessary for the onset of meiotic resumption in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science.

  15. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng, Liefeng, E-mail: fengliefeng@tju.edu.cn, E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn; Yang, Xiufang; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng [Tianjin Key Laboratory of Low Dimensional Materials Physics and Preparing Technology, Faculty of Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China); Li, Yang [Business and Vocational College of Hainan, Haikou 570203 (China); Li, Ding; Hu, Xiaodong [Research Center for Wide Band Gap Semiconductors, State Key Laboratory for Artificial Microstructure and Mesoscopic Physics, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China); Li, Hongru, E-mail: fengliefeng@tju.edu.cn, E-mail: lihongru@nankai.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory for Medicinal Chemistry and Biology, College of Pharmacy, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071 (China)

    2015-04-15

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}, as shown in Fig. 2; I{sub th}{sup l} is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; I{sub th}{sup u} is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (V{sub j}) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at I{sub th}{sup l} and I{sub th}{sup u}. The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region.

  16. Competitive behavior of photons contributing to junction voltage jump in narrow band-gap semiconductor multi-quantum-well laser diodes at lasing threshold

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng, Liefeng; Yang, Xiufang; Wang, Cunda; Yao, Dongsheng; Li, Yang; Li, Ding; Hu, Xiaodong; Li, Hongru

    2015-01-01

    The junction behavior of different narrow band-gap multi-quantum-well (MQW) laser diodes (LDs) confirmed that the jump in the junction voltage in the threshold region is a general characteristic of narrow band-gap LDs. The relative change in the 1310 nm LD is the most obvious. To analyze this sudden voltage change, the threshold region is divided into three stages by I th l and I th u , as shown in Fig. 2; I th l is the conventional threshold, and as long as the current is higher than this threshold, lasing exists and the IdV/dI-I plot drops suddenly; I th u is the steady lasing point, at which the separation of the quasi-Fermi levels of electron and holes across the active region (V j ) is suddenly pinned. Based on the evolutionary model of dissipative structure theory, the rate equations of the photons in a single-mode LD were deduced in detail at I th l and I th u . The results proved that the observed behavior of stimulated emission suddenly substituting for spontaneous emission, in a manner similar to biological evolution, must lead to a sudden increase in the injection carriers in the threshold region, which then causes the sudden increase in the junction voltage in this region

  17. Visfatin Reduces Gap Junction Mediated Cell-to-Cell Communication in Proximal Tubule-Derived Epithelial Cells

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    Claire E. Hills

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: In the current study we examined if the adipocytokine, visfatin, alters connexin-mediated intercellular communication in proximal tubule-derived epithelial cells. Methods: The effects of visfatin (10-200ng/mL on cell viability and cytotoxicity in HK2-cells were assessed by MTT, crystal violet and lactate dehydrogenase assays. Western blot analysis was used to confirm expression of Cx26, Cx40 and Cx43. The effect of visfatin (10-200ng/mL on TGF-β1 secretion was confirmed by ELISA, and the effects of both TGF-β1 (2-10ng/mL and visfatin (10-200ng/mL on connexin expression were assessed by western blot. Functional intercellular communication was determined using transfer of Lucifer Yellow and paired-whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology. Results: In low glucose (5mM, visfatin (10-200ng/mL did not affect membrane integrity, cytotoxicity or cell viability at 48hrs, but did evoke a concentration-dependent reduction in Cx26 and Cx43 expression. The expression of Cx40 was unaffected. At 48hrs, visfatin (10-200ng/mL increased the secretion of TGF-β1 and the visfatin-evoked changes in connexin expression were mimicked by exogenous application of the pro-fibrotic cytokine (2-10ng/ml. Visfatin reduced dye transfer between coupled cells and decreased functional conductance, with levels falling by 63% as compared to control. Although input resistance was increased following visfatin treatment by 166%, the change was not significant as compared to control. The effects of visfatin on Cx-expression and cell-coupling were blocked in the presence of a TGF-β1 specific neutralizing antibody. Conclusions: The adipocytokine visfatin selectively evoked a non-toxic reduction in connexin expression in HK2-cells. The loss in gap-junction associated proteins was mirrored by a loss in functional conductance between coupled cells. Visfatin increased TGF-β secretion and the pattern of change for connexins expression was mimicked by exogenous

  18. On Biophysical Properties and Sensitivity to Gap Junction Blockers of Connexin 39 Hemichannels Expressed in HeLa Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Anibal A.; Cisterna, Bruno A.; Saavedra-Leiva, Fujiko; Urrutia, Carolina; Cea, Luis A.; Vielma, Alex H.; Gutierrez-Maldonado, Sebastian E.; Martin, Alberto J. M.; Pareja-Barrueto, Claudia; Escalona, Yerko; Schmachtenberg, Oliver; Lagos, Carlos F.; Perez-Acle, Tomas; Sáez, Juan C.

    2017-01-01

    Although connexins (Cxs) are broadly expressed by cells of mammalian organisms, Cx39 has a very restricted pattern of expression and the biophysical properties of Cx39-based channels [hemichannels (HCs) and gap junction channels (GJCs)] remain largely unknown. Here, we used HeLa cells transfected with Cx39 (HeLa-Cx39 cells) in which intercellular electrical coupling was not detected, indicating the absence of GJCs. However, functional HCs were found on the surface of cells exposed to conditions known to increase the open probability of other Cx HCs (e.g., extracellular divalent cationic-free solution (DCFS), extracellular alkaline pH, mechanical stimulus and depolarization to positive membrane potentials). Cx39 HCs were blocked by some traditional Cx HC blockers, but not by others or a pannexin1 channel blocker. HeLa-Cx39 cells showed similar resting membrane potentials (RMPs) to those of parental cells, and exposure to DCFS reduced RMPs in Cx39 transfectants, but not in parental cells. Under these conditions, unitary events of ~75 pS were frequent in HeLa-Cx39 cells and absent in parental cells. Real-time cellular uptake experiments of dyes with different physicochemical features, as well as the application of a machine-learning approach revealed that Cx39 HCs are preferentially permeable to molecules characterized by six categories of descriptors, namely: (1) electronegativity, (2) ionization potential, (3) polarizability, (4) size and geometry, (5) topological flexibility and (6) valence. However, Cx39 HCs opened by mechanical stimulation or alkaline pH were impermeable to Ca2+. Molecular modeling of Cx39-based channels suggest that a constriction present at the intracellular portion of the para helix region co-localizes with an electronegative patch, imposing an energetic and steric barrier, which in the case of GJCs may hinder channel function. Results reported here demonstrate that Cx39 form HCs and add to our understanding of the functional roles of Cx39 HCs

  19. Influence of the spatially inhomogeneous gap distribution on the quasiparticle current in c-axis junctions involving d-wave superconductors with charge density waves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekino, T; Gabovich, A M; Suan Li, Mai; Szymczak, H; Voitenko, A I

    2016-11-09

    The quasiparticle tunnel current J(V) between the superconducting ab-planes along the c-axis and the corresponding conductance [Formula: see text] were calculated for symmetric junctions composed of disordered d-wave layered superconductors partially gapped by charge density waves (CDWs). Here, V is the voltage. Both the checkerboard and unidirectional CDWs were considered. It was shown that the spatial spread of the CDW-pairing strength substantially smears the peculiarities of G(V) appropriate to uniform superconductors. The resulting curves G(V) become very similar to those observed for a number of cuprates in intrinsic junctions, e.g. mesas. In particular, the influence of CDWs may explain the peak-dip-hump structures frequently found for high-T c oxides.

  20. On the role of the gap junction protein Cx43 (GJA1 in human cardiac malformations with Fallot-pathology. a study on paediatric cardiac specimen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aida Salameh

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Gap junction channels are involved in growth and differentiation. Therefore, we wanted to elucidate if the main cardiac gap junction protein connexin43 (GJA1 is altered in patients with Tetralogy of Fallot or double-outlet right ventricle of Fallot-type (62 patients referred to as Fallot compared to other cardiac anomalies (21 patients referred to as non-Fallot. Patients were divided into three age groups: 0-2years, 2-12years and >12years. Myocardial tissue samples were collected during corrective surgery and analysis of cell morphology, GJA1- and N-cadherin (CDH2-distribution, as well as GJA1 protein- and mRNA-expression was carried out. Moreover, GJA1-gene analysis of 16 patients and 20 healthy subjects was performed. RESULTS: Myocardial cell length and width were significantly increased in the oldest age group compared to the younger ones. GJA1 distribution changed significantly during maturation with the ratio of polar/lateral GJA1 increasing from 2.93±0.68 to 8.52±1.41. While in 0-2years old patients ∼6% of the lateral GJA1 was co-localised with CDH2 this decreased with age. Furthermore, the changes in cell morphology and GJA1-distribution were not due to the heart defect itself but were significantly dependent on age. Total GJA1 protein expression decreased during growing-up, whereas GJA1-mRNA remained unchanged. Sequencing of the GJA1-gene revealed only few heterozygous single nucleotide polymorphisms within the Fallot and the healthy control group. CONCLUSION: During maturation significant changes in gap junction remodelling occur which might be necessary for the growing and developing heart. In our study point mutations within the Cx43-gene could not be identified as a cause of the development of TOF.

  1. The oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu represents a cell culture system to examine functional expression of the mouse gap junction gene connexin29 (Cx29

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    Goran Christoph Söhl

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The potential gap junction forming mouse connexin29 (Cx29 protein is concomitantly expressed with connexin32 (Cx32 in peripheral myelin forming Schwann cells and together with both Cx32 and connexin47 (Cx47 in oligodendrocytes of the CNS. To study the genomic structure and functional expression of Cx29, either primary cells or cell culture systems might be selected, from which the latter are easier to cultivate. Both structure and expression of Cx29 is still not fully understood. In the mouse sciatic nerve, brain and the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu the Cx29 gene is processed in two transcript isoforms both harbouring a unique reading frame. In contrast to Cx32 and Cx47, only Cx29 protein is abundantly expressed in undifferentiated as well as differentiated Oli-neu cells but the absence of Etbr dye transfer after microinjection concealed the function of Cx29 mediated gap junction communication between those cells. Although HeLa cells stably transfected with Cx29 or Cx29-eGFP neither demonstrated any permeability for Lucifer yellow nor for neurobiotin, blocking of Etbr uptake from the media by gap junction blockers does suppose a role of Cx29 in hemi-channel function. Thus, we conclude that, due to its high abundance of Cx29 expression and its reproducible culture conditions, the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu might constitute an appropriate cell culture system to study molecular mechanisms or putative extracellular stimuli to functionally open Cx29 channels or hemi-channels.

  2. Dysfunction in gap junction intercellular communication induces aberrant behavior of the inner cell mass and frequent collapses of expanded blastocysts in mouse embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Togashi, Kazue; Kumagai, Jin; Sato, Emiko; Shirasawa, Hiromitsu; Shimoda, Yuki; Makino, Kenichi; Sato, Wataru; Kumazawa, Yukiyo; Omori, Yasufumi; Terada, Yukihiro

    2015-06-01

    We investigated the role of gap junctions (GJs) in embryological differentiation, and observed the morphological behavior of the inner cell mass (ICM) by time-lapse movie observation (TLM) with gap junction inhibitors (GJis). ICR mouse embryos were exposed to two types of GJis in CZB medium: oleamide (0 to 50 μM) and 1-heptanol (0 to 10 mM). We compared the rate of blastocyst formation at embryonic day 4.5 (E4.5) with E5.5. We also observed and evaluated the times from the second cleavage to each embryonic developing stage by TLM. We investigated embryonic distribution of DNA, Nanog protein, and Connexin 43 protein with immunofluorescent staining. In the comparison of E4.5 with E5.5, inhibition of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) delayed embryonic blastocyst formation. The times from the second cleavage to blastocyst formation were significantly extended in the GJi-treated embryos (control vs with oleamide, 2224 ± 179 min vs 2354 ± 278 min, p = 0.013). Morphological differences were traced in control versus GJi-treated embryos until the hatching stage. Oleamide induced frequent severe collapses of expanded blastocysts (77.4 % versus 26.3 %, p = 0.0001) and aberrant ICM divisions connected to sticky strands (74.3 % versus 5.3 %, p = 0.0001). Immunofluorescent staining indicated Nanog-positive cells were distributed in each divided ICM. GJIC plays an important role in blastocyst formation, collapses of expanded blastocysts, and the ICM construction in mouse embryos.

  3. Star junctions and watermelons of pure or random quantum Ising chains: finite-size properties of the energy gap at criticality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monthus, Cécile

    2015-06-01

    We consider M  ⩾  2 pure or random quantum Ising chains of N spins when they are coupled via a single star junction at their origins or when they are coupled via two star junctions at the their two ends leading to the watermelon geometry. The energy gap is studied via a sequential self-dual real-space renormalization procedure that can be explicitly solved in terms of Kesten variables containing the initial couplings and and the initial transverse fields. In the pure case at criticality, the gap is found to decay as a power-law {ΔM}\\propto {{N}-z(M)} with the dynamical exponent z(M)=\\frac{M}{2} for the single star junction (the case M   =   2 corresponds to z   =   1 for a single chain with free boundary conditions) and z(M)   =   M  -  1 for the watermelon (the case M   =   2 corresponds to z   =   1 for a single chain with periodic boundary conditions). In the random case at criticality, the gap follows the Infinite Disorder Fixed Point scaling \\ln {ΔM}=-{{N}\\psi}g with the same activated exponent \\psi =\\frac{1}{2} as the single chain corresponding to M   =   2, and where g is an O(1) random positive variable, whose distribution depends upon the number M of chains and upon the geometry (star or watermelon).

  4. The role of engineered materials in superconducting tunnel junction X-ray detectors - Suppression of quasiparticle recombination losses via a phononic band gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rippert, Edward D.; Ketterson, John B.; Chen, Jun; Song, Shenian; Lomatch, Susanne; Maglic, Stevan R.; Thomas, Christopher; Cheida, M. A.; Ulmer, Melville P.

    1992-01-01

    An engineered structure is proposed that can alleviate quasi-particle recombination losses via the existence of a phononic band gap that overlaps the 2-Delta energy of phonons produced during recombination of quasi-particles. Attention is given to a 1D Kronig-Penny model for phonons normally incident to the layers of a multilayered superconducting tunnel junction as an idealized example. A device with a high density of Bragg resonances is identified as desirable; both Nb/Si and NbN/SiN superlattices have been produced, with the latter having generally superior performance.

  5. Laminin and Matrix metalloproteinase 11 regulate Fibronectin levels in the zebrafish myotendinous junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Molly H; Alrowaished, Sarah S; Goody, Michelle F; Crawford, Bryan D; Henry, Clarissa A

    2016-01-01

    Remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) regulates cell adhesion as well as signaling between cells and their microenvironment. Despite the importance of tightly regulated ECM remodeling for normal muscle development and function, mechanisms underlying ECM remodeling in vivo remain elusive. One excellent paradigm in which to study ECM remodeling in vivo is morphogenesis of the myotendinous junction (MTJ) during zebrafish skeletal muscle development. During MTJ development, there are dramatic shifts in the primary components comprising the MTJ matrix. One such shift involves the replacement of Fibronectin (Fn)-rich matrix, which is essential for both somite and early muscle development, with laminin-rich matrix essential for normal function of the myotome. Here, we investigate the mechanism underlying this transition. We show that laminin polymerization indirectly promotes Fn downregulation at the MTJ, via a matrix metalloproteinase 11 (Mmp11)-dependent mechanism. Laminin deposition and organization is required for localization of Mmp11 to the MTJ, where Mmp11 is both necessary and sufficient for Fn downregulation in vivo. Furthermore, reduction of residual Mmp11 in laminin mutants promotes a Fn-rich MTJ that partially rescues skeletal muscle architecture. These results identify a mechanism for Fn downregulation at the MTJ, highlight crosstalk between laminin and Fn, and identify a new in vivo function for Mmp11. Taken together, our data demonstrate a novel signaling pathway mediating Fn downregulation. Our data revealing new regulatory mechanisms that guide ECM remodeling during morphogenesis in vivo may inform pathological conditions in which Fn is dysregulated.

  6. Mono-Heteromeric Configurations of Gap Junction Channels Formed by Connexin43 and Connexin45 Reduce Unitary Conductance and Determine both Voltage Gating and Metabolic Flux Asymmetry

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    Guoqiang Zhong

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In cardiac tissues, the expression of multiple connexins (Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Cx30.2 is a requirement for proper development and function. Gap junctions formed by these connexins have distinct permeability and gating mechanisms. Since a single cell can express more than one connexin isoform, the formation of hetero-multimeric gap junction channels provides a tissue with an enormous repertoire of combinations to modulate intercellular communication. To study further the perm-selectivity and gating properties of channels containing Cx43 and Cx45, we studied two monoheteromeric combinations in which a HeLa cell co-transfected with Cx43 and Cx45 was paired with a cell expressing only one of these connexins. Macroscopic measurements of total conductance between cell pairs indicated a drastic reduction in total conductance for mono-heteromeric channels. In terms of Vj dependent gating, Cx43 homomeric connexons facing heteromeric connexons only responded weakly to voltage negativity. Cx45 homomeric connexons exhibited no change in Vj gating when facing heteromeric connexons. The distributions of unitary conductances (γj for both mono-heteromeric channels were smaller than predicted, and both showed low permeability to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and Rhodamine123. For both mono-heteromeric channels, we observed flux asymmetry regardless of dye charge: flux was higher in the direction of the heteromeric connexon for MhetCx45 and in the direction of the homomeric Cx43 connexon for MhetCx43. Thus, our data suggest that co-expression of Cx45 and Cx43 induces the formation of heteromeric connexons with greatly reduced permeability and unitary conductance. Furthermore, it increases the asymmetry for voltage gating for opposing connexons, and it favors asymmetric flux of molecules across the junction that depends primarily on the size (not the charge of the crossing molecules.

  7. Mono-Heteromeric Configurations of Gap Junction Channels Formed by Connexin43 and Connexin45 Reduce Unitary Conductance and Determine both Voltage Gating and Metabolic Flux Asymmetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Guoqiang; Akoum, Nazem; Appadurai, Daniel A.; Hayrapetyan, Volodya; Ahmed, Osman; Martinez, Agustin D.; Beyer, Eric C.; Moreno, Alonso P.

    2017-01-01

    In cardiac tissues, the expression of multiple connexins (Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Cx30.2) is a requirement for proper development and function. Gap junctions formed by these connexins have distinct permeability and gating mechanisms. Since a single cell can express more than one connexin isoform, the formation of hetero-multimeric gap junction channels provides a tissue with an enormous repertoire of combinations to modulate intercellular communication. To study further the perm-selectivity and gating properties of channels containing Cx43 and Cx45, we studied two monoheteromeric combinations in which a HeLa cell co-transfected with Cx43 and Cx45 was paired with a cell expressing only one of these connexins. Macroscopic measurements of total conductance between cell pairs indicated a drastic reduction in total conductance for mono-heteromeric channels. In terms of Vj dependent gating, Cx43 homomeric connexons facing heteromeric connexons only responded weakly to voltage negativity. Cx45 homomeric connexons exhibited no change in Vj gating when facing heteromeric connexons. The distributions of unitary conductances (γj) for both mono-heteromeric channels were smaller than predicted, and both showed low permeability to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and Rhodamine123. For both mono-heteromeric channels, we observed flux asymmetry regardless of dye charge: flux was higher in the direction of the heteromeric connexon for MhetCx45 and in the direction of the homomeric Cx43 connexon for MhetCx43. Thus, our data suggest that co-expression of Cx45 and Cx43 induces the formation of heteromeric connexons with greatly reduced permeability and unitary conductance. Furthermore, it increases the asymmetry for voltage gating for opposing connexons, and it favors asymmetric flux of molecules across the junction that depends primarily on the size (not the charge) of the crossing molecules. PMID:28611680

  8. Could tight junctions regulate the barrier function of the aged skin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svoboda, Marek; Bílková, Zuzana; Muthný, Tomáš

    2016-03-01

    The skin is known to be the largest organ in human organism creating interface with outer environment. The skin provides protective barrier against pathogens, physical and chemical insults, and against uncontrolled loss of water. The barrier function was primarily attributed to the stratum corneum (SC) but recent studies confirmed that epidermal tight junctions (TJs) also play important role in maintaining barrier properties of the skin. Independent observations indicate that barrier function and its recovery is impaired in aged skin. However, trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) values remains rather unchanged in elderly population. UV radiation as major factor of photoageing impairs TJ proteins, but TJs have great self-regenerative potential. Since it may be possible that TJs can compensate TEWL in elderly due to its regenerative and compensatory capabilities, important question remains to be answered: how are TJs regulated during skin ageing? This review provides an insight into TJs functioning as epidermal barrier and summarizes current knowledge about the impact of ageing on the barrier function of the skin and epidermal TJs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Drosophila Cbp53E Regulates Axon Growth at the Neuromuscular Junction.

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    Kimberly R Hagel

    Full Text Available Calcium is a primary second messenger in all cells that functions in processes ranging from cellular proliferation to synaptic transmission. Proper regulation of calcium is achieved through numerous mechanisms involving channels, sensors, and buffers notably containing one or more EF-hand calcium binding domains. The Drosophila genome encodes only a single 6 EF-hand domain containing protein, Cbp53E, which is likely the prototypic member of a small family of related mammalian proteins that act as calcium buffers and calcium sensors. Like the mammalian homologs, Cbp53E is broadly though discretely expressed throughout the nervous system. Despite the importance of calcium in neuronal function and growth, nothing is known about Cbp53E's function in neuronal development. To address this deficiency, we generated novel null alleles of Drosophila Cbp53E and examined neuronal development at the well-characterized larval neuromuscular junction. Loss of Cbp53E resulted in increases in axonal branching at both peptidergic and glutamatergic neuronal terminals. This overgrowth could be completely rescued by expression of exogenous Cbp53E. Overexpression of Cbp53E, however, only affected the growth of peptidergic neuronal processes. These findings indicate that Cbp53E plays a significant role in neuronal growth and suggest that it may function in both local synaptic and global cellular mechanisms.

  10. Regulation of intercellular tight junctions by zonula occludens toxin and its eukaryotic analogue zonulin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasano, A

    2000-01-01

    The intestinal epithelium represents the largest interface between the external environment and the internal host milieu and constitutes the major barrier through which molecules can either be absorbed or secreted. There is now substantial evidence that tight junctions (tj) play a major role in regulating epithelial permeability by influencing paracellular flow of fluid and solutes. Tj are one of the hallmarks of absorptive and secretory epithelia. Evidence now exists that tj are dynamic rather than static structures and readily adapt to a variety of developmental, physiological, and pathological circumstances. These adaptive mechanisms are still incompletely understood. Activation of PKC either by Zonula occludens toxin (Zot) or by phorbol esters increases paracellular permeability. Alteration of epithelial tj is a recently described property for infectious agents. Clostridium difficile toxin A and B and influenza and vesicular stomatitis viruses have been shown to loosen tj in tissue culture monolayers. Unlike what occurs after the Zot stimulus, these changes appear to be irreversible and are associated with destruction of the tj complex. On the basis of this observation, we postulated that Zot may mimic the effect of a functionally and immunologically related endogenous modulator of epithelial tj. We were able to identify an intestinal Zot analogue, which we named zonulin. It is conceivable that the zonulins participate in the physiological regulation of intercellular tj not only in the small intestine, but also throughout a wide range of extraintestinal epithelia as well as the ubiquitous vascular endothelium, including the blood-brain barrier. Disregulation of this hypothetical zonulin model may contribute to disease states that involve disordered intercellular communication, including developmental and intestinal disorders, tissue inflammation, malignant transformation, and metastasis.

  11. Tuning of optical and electrical properties of wide band gap Fe:SnO{sub 2}/Li:NiO p-n junctions using 80 MeV oxygen ion beam

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mistry, Bhaumik V.; Joshi, U.S. [Gujarat University, Department of Physics, School of Sciences, Ahmedabad (India); Avasthi, D.K. [Inter University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi (India)

    2016-12-15

    Electrical and optical properties of pristine and swift heavy ion (SHI) irradiated p-n junction diode have been investigated for advanced electronics application. Fe:SnO{sub 2}/Li:NiO p-n junction was fabricated by using pulsed laser deposition on c-sapphire substrate. The optical band gaps of Fe:SnO{sub 2} and Li:NiO films were obtained to be 3.88 and 3.37 eV, respectively. The current-voltage characteristics of the oxide-based p-n junction showed a rectifying behaviour with turn-on voltage of 0.95 V. The oxide-based p-n junction diode was irradiated to 80 MeV O{sup +6} ions with 1 x 10{sup 12} ions/cm{sup 2} fluence. Decrease in grain size due to SHI irradiation is confirmed by the grazing angle X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy. In comparison with the pristine p-n junction diode, O{sup +6} ion irradiated p-n junction diode shows the increase of surface roughness and decrease of percentage transmittance in visible region. For irradiated p-n junction diode, current-voltage curve has still rectifying behaviour but exhibits lower turn-on voltage than that of virgin p-n junction diode. (orig.)

  12. Gap junctions and hydrogen peroxide are involved in endothelium-derived hyperpolarising responses to bradykinin in omental arteries and veins isolated from pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Stephanie; Mathewson, Alastair M; Baker, Philip N; Mayhew, Terry M; Dunn, William R

    2011-10-01

    Altered endothelial function may underlie human cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, diabetes and pre-eclampsia. While much is known about endothelial function in small arteries, very little is known about endothelial responses in small veins isolated from humans. Therefore, we assessed endothelium-dependent responses in omental arteries and veins isolated from healthy pregnant women, focussing on endothelium-dependent hyperpolarising (EDH) mechanisms. Human omental arteries and veins were obtained from women undergoing elective caesarean sections and examined using pressure myography. In pressurised vessels, the effects of proposed inhibitors of EDH production/function were examined on responses to bradykinin. The expression of connexins Cx37, 40 and 43 was assessed using immunohistochemistry. Bradykinin caused vasodilatation in human pressurised omental arteries and veins. In both vessels, responses to bradykinin were partially blocked in the presence of the gap junction uncoupler, carbenoxolone, and reduced further with the addition of catalase, which acts to degrade H(2)O(2). The effect of catalase alone was more pronounced in venous preparations. All three connexins were expressed in both arteries and veins, with a similar distribution pattern, where Cx37 and Cx40 were located mainly in the endothelium and Cx43 located mostly in the media. These data show that, in human omental vessels, an EDH mechanism is produced in response to bradykinin that involves gap junction communication and the production of H(2)O(2). These mechanisms may be involved in the haemodynamic alterations that take place during pregnancy, and any aberration in their function could contribute to raised blood pressure in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. SynGAP regulates protein synthesis and homeostatic synaptic plasticity in developing cortical networks.

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    Chih-Chieh Wang

    Full Text Available Disrupting the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission in the developing brain has been causally linked with intellectual disability (ID and autism spectrum disorders (ASD. Excitatory synapse strength is regulated in the central nervous system by controlling the number of postsynaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs. De novo genetic mutations of the synaptic GTPase-activating protein (SynGAP are associated with ID and ASD. SynGAP is enriched at excitatory synapses and genetic suppression of SynGAP increases excitatory synaptic strength. However, exactly how SynGAP acts to maintain synaptic AMPAR content is unclear. We show here that SynGAP limits excitatory synaptic strength, in part, by suppressing protein synthesis in cortical neurons. The data presented here from in vitro, rat and mouse cortical networks, demonstrate that regulation of translation by SynGAP involves ERK, mTOR, and the small GTP-binding protein Rheb. Furthermore, these data show that GluN2B-containing NMDARs and the cognitive kinase CaMKII act upstream of SynGAP and that this signaling cascade is required for proper translation-dependent homeostatic synaptic plasticity of excitatory synapses in developing cortical networks.

  14. Activation of the Small GTPase Rap1 Inhibits Choroidal Neovascularization by Regulating Cell Junctions and ROS Generation in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiajia; Zhang, Rong; Wang, Caixia; Wang, Xin; Xu, Man; Ma, Jingxue; Shang, Qingli

    2018-03-30

    Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a common vision-threatening complication associated with many  fundus diseases. The retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell junction barrier has critical functions in preventing CNV, and oxidative stress can cause compromise of barrier integrity and induce angiogenesis. Rap1, a small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase), is involved in regulating endothelial and epithelial cell junctions. In this work, we explored the function and mechanism of Rap1 in CNV in vivo. A laser-induced rat CNV model was developed. Rap1 was activated through intravitreal injection of the Rap1 activator 8CPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP (8CPT). At 14 days after laser treatment, CNV size in RPE/choroid flat mounts was measured by fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran staining. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cell junction proteins in RPE/choroid tissues were analyzed by western blots and quantitative real-time PCR assays. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) in RPE cells were detectedbydichloro-dihydro-fluorescein diacetate assays. The antioxidant apocynin was intraperitoneally injected into rats. Activating Rap1 by 8CPT significantly reduced CNV size and VEGF expression in the rat CNV model. Rap1 activation enhanced protein and mRNA levels of ZO-1 and occludin, two tight junction proteins in the RPE barrier. In addition, reducing ROS generation by injection of apocynin, a NADPH oxidase inhibitor, inhibited CNV formation. Rap1 activation reduced ROS generation and expression of NADPH oxidase 4. Rap1 activation inhibits CNV through regulating barrier integrity and ROS generation of RPE in vivo, and selectively activating Rap1 may be a way to reduce vision loss from CNV.

  15. Molecular Diffusion through Cyanobacterial Septal Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieves-Morión, Mercedes; Mullineaux, Conrad W; Flores, Enrique

    2017-01-03

    Heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria grow as filaments in which intercellular molecular exchange takes place. During the differentiation of N 2 -fixing heterocysts, regulators are transferred between cells. In the diazotrophic filament, vegetative cells that fix CO 2 through oxygenic photosynthesis provide the heterocysts with reduced carbon and heterocysts provide the vegetative cells with fixed nitrogen. Intercellular molecular transfer has been traced with fluorescent markers, including calcein, 5-carboxyfluorescein, and the sucrose analogue esculin, which are observed to move down their concentration gradient. In this work, we used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assays in the model heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 to measure the temperature dependence of intercellular transfer of fluorescent markers. We find that the transfer rate constants are directly proportional to the absolute temperature. This indicates that the "septal junctions" (formerly known as "microplasmodesmata") linking the cells in the filament allow molecular exchange by simple diffusion, without any activated intermediate state. This constitutes a novel mechanism for molecular transfer across the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane, in addition to previously characterized mechanisms for active transport and facilitated diffusion. Cyanobacterial septal junctions are functionally analogous to the gap junctions of metazoans. Although bacteria are frequently considered just as unicellular organisms, there are bacteria that behave as true multicellular organisms. The heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria grow as filaments in which cells communicate. Intercellular molecular exchange is thought to be mediated by septal junctions. Here, we show that intercellular transfer of fluorescent markers in the cyanobacterial filament has the physical properties of simple diffusion. Thus, cyanobacterial septal junctions are functionally analogous to metazoan gap junctions

  16. The F-BAR domains from srGAP1, srGAP2 and srGAP3 regulate membrane deformation differently

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho-Budd, Jaeda; Ghukasyan, Vladimir; Zylka, Mark J.; Polleux, Franck

    2012-01-01

    Summary Coordination of membrane deformation and cytoskeletal dynamics lies at the heart of many biological processes critical for cell polarity, motility and morphogenesis. We have recently shown that Slit-Robo GTPase-activating protein 2 (srGAP2) regulates neuronal morphogenesis through the ability of its F-BAR domain to regulate membrane deformation and induce filopodia formation. Here, we demonstrate that the F-BAR domains of two closely related family members, srGAP1 and srGAP3 [designated F-BAR(1) and F-BAR(3), respectively] display significantly different membrane deformation properties in non-neuronal COS7 cells and in cortical neurons. F-BAR(3) induces filopodia in both cell types, though less potently than F-BAR(2), whereas F-BAR(1) prevents filopodia formation in cortical neurons and reduces plasma membrane dynamics. These three F-BAR domains can heterodimerize, and they act synergistically towards filopodia induction in COS7 cells. As measured by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, F-BAR(2) displays faster molecular dynamics than F-BAR(3) and F-BAR(1) at the plasma membrane, which correlates well with its increased potency to induce filopodia. We also show that the molecular dynamic properties of F-BAR(2) at the membrane are partially dependent on F-Actin. Interestingly, acute phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2] depletion in cells does not interfere with plasma membrane localization of F-BAR(2), which is compatible with our result showing that F-BAR(2) binds to a broad range of negatively-charged phospholipids present at the plasma membrane, including phosphatidylserine (PtdSer). Overall, our results provide novel insights into the functional diversity of the membrane deformation properties of this subclass of F-BAR-domains required for cell morphogenesis. PMID:22467852

  17. Silver nanoparticles increase connexin43-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication in HaCaT cells through activation of reactive oxygen species and mitogen-activated protein kinase signal pathway

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qin, Yu; Han, Limin; Yang, Di

    2018-01-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are widely used in health and consumer products that routinely contact skin. However, the biological effects and possible mechanisms of AgNPs on skin remain unclear. Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays a critical role in multicellular organisms to ...

  18. Reappraising social emotions: the role of inferior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal junction and insula in interpersonal emotion regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro eGrecucci

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have reported the effect of emotion regulation strategies on both individual and social decision making, however the effect of regulation on socially driven emotions independent of decisions is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated the neural effects of using reappraisal to both up- and down-regulate socially driven emotions. Participants played the Dictator Game in the role of recipient while undergoing fMRI, and concurrently applied the strategies of either up-regulation (reappraising the proposer’s intentions as more negative, down-regulation (reappraising the proposer’s intentions as less negative, as well as a baseline ‘look’ condition. Results showed that regions responding to the implementation of reappraisal (effect of strategy, that is, regulating regions were the inferior and middle frontal gyrus, temporo parietal junction and insula bilaterally. Importantly, the middle frontal gyrus activation correlated with the frequency of regulatory strategies in daily life, with the insula activation correlating with the perceived ability to reappraise the emotions elicited by the social situation. Regions regulated by reappraisal (effect of regulation, that is, regulated regions were the striatum, the posterior cingulate and the insula, showing increased activation for the up-regulation and reduced activation for down-regulation, both compared to the baseline condition. When analyzing the separate effects of partners’ behavior, selfish behavior produced an activation of the insula, not observed when subjects were treated altruistically. Here we show for the first time that interpersonal emotion regulation strategies can strongly affect neural responses when experiencing socially driven emotions. Clinical implications of these findings are also discussed to understand how the way we interpret others’ intentions may affect the way we emotionally react.

  19. GAP junctional intercellular communication confers an enhanced bystander effect as well as a protective effect in HSV-TK/gancyclovir mediated cytotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wygoda, Marc R.; Rehemtulla, Alnawaz; Davis, Mary A.; Lawrence, Theodore S.

    1996-01-01

    Purpose/Objective: The 'Bystander Effect' is the phenomenon by which cells which are not transduced with the Herpes Simplex Virus - Thymidine Kinase (HSV-TK) gene are killed by the guanosine analog Gancyclovir (GCV) when they are nearby HSV-TK positive cells. Since currently available gene transfer technologies have a low efficiency (typically less than 10% of cells are transduced), a better understanding of the mechanism underlying the bystander effect is crucial for the success of the HSV-TK/GCV enzyme prodrug gene therapy approach. Gap junctions, which are specialized cell membrane channels allowing the passage of molecules < 1000 daltons in size directly from cell to cell, have been proposed as a possible mediator of the bystander effect. In particular, gap junctions could permit the transfer of toxic metabolites from the HSV-TK positive cells to the bystander cells. Our aim was to assess the role of gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) in the bystander effect. Materials and Methods: Co-culture of an HSV-TK transduced rat liver epithelial cell line (WB-TK), with either its communication competent parental cell line (WB), or an isogenic cell line differing by its communication incompetence (aB1). The ratios of effector cells (WB-TK) to bystander cells (WB or aB1), were (100(0)), (50(50)), (5(95)), or(0(100)) . These various mixed populations were exposed for 24 hours to 10μM GCV and thereafter placed at clonal density into selective media, allowing for growth of either the bystander (TK negative) cells or the effector (TK-positive) cells. Results: 1) When the effector/bystander ratio was (50(50)) the surviving fraction of the bystander cells was 3.5% and 37% for the WB and aB1, respectively. When the effector/bystander ratio was (5(95)), the surviving fraction was 51% and 65% for the WB and aB1, respectively. Either cell line (WB or aB1) cultured alone was unaffected by GCV. These results demonstrate that the bystander effect is much higher when

  20. Reappraising social emotions: the role of inferior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal junction and insula in interpersonal emotion regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grecucci, Alessandro; Giorgetta, Cinzia; Bonini, Nicolao; Sanfey, Alan G

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have reported the effect of emotion regulation (ER) strategies on both individual and social decision-making, however, the effect of regulation on socially driven emotions independent of decisions is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated the neural effects of using reappraisal to both up- and down-regulate socially driven emotions. Participants played the Dictator Game (DG) in the role of recipient while undergoing fMRI, and concurrently applied the strategies of either up-regulation (reappraising the proposer's intentions as more negative), down-regulation (reappraising the proposer's intentions as less negative), as well as a baseline "look" condition. Results showed that regions responding to the implementation of reappraisal (effect of strategy, that is, "regulating regions") were the inferior and middle frontal gyrus, temporo parietal junction and insula bilaterally. Importantly, the middle frontal gyrus activation correlated with the frequency of regulatory strategies in daily life, with the insula activation correlating with the perceived ability to reappraise the emotions elicited by the social situation. Regions regulated by reappraisal (effect of regulation, that is, "regulated regions") were the striatum, the posterior cingulate and the insula, showing increased activation for the up-regulation and reduced activation for down-regulation, both compared to the baseline condition. When analyzing the separate effects of partners' behavior, selfish behavior produced an activation of the insula, not observed when subjects were treated altruistically. Here we show for the first time that interpersonal ER strategies can strongly affect neural responses when experiencing socially driven emotions. Clinical implications of these findings are also discussed to understand how the way we interpret others' intentions may affect the way we emotionally react.

  1. Reappraising social emotions: the role of inferior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal junction and insula in interpersonal emotion regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grecucci, Alessandro; Giorgetta, Cinzia; Bonini, Nicolao; Sanfey, Alan G.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have reported the effect of emotion regulation (ER) strategies on both individual and social decision-making, however, the effect of regulation on socially driven emotions independent of decisions is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated the neural effects of using reappraisal to both up- and down-regulate socially driven emotions. Participants played the Dictator Game (DG) in the role of recipient while undergoing fMRI, and concurrently applied the strategies of either up-regulation (reappraising the proposer's intentions as more negative), down-regulation (reappraising the proposer's intentions as less negative), as well as a baseline “look” condition. Results showed that regions responding to the implementation of reappraisal (effect of strategy, that is, “regulating regions”) were the inferior and middle frontal gyrus, temporo parietal junction and insula bilaterally. Importantly, the middle frontal gyrus activation correlated with the frequency of regulatory strategies in daily life, with the insula activation correlating with the perceived ability to reappraise the emotions elicited by the social situation. Regions regulated by reappraisal (effect of regulation, that is, “regulated regions”) were the striatum, the posterior cingulate and the insula, showing increased activation for the up-regulation and reduced activation for down-regulation, both compared to the baseline condition. When analyzing the separate effects of partners' behavior, selfish behavior produced an activation of the insula, not observed when subjects were treated altruistically. Here we show for the first time that interpersonal ER strategies can strongly affect neural responses when experiencing socially driven emotions. Clinical implications of these findings are also discussed to understand how the way we interpret others' intentions may affect the way we emotionally react. PMID:24027512

  2. Inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases by cyanobacterial extracts--indications of novel tumor-promoting cyanotoxins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bláha, Ludĕk; Babica, Pavel; Hilscherová, Klára; Upham, Brad L

    2010-01-01

    Toxicity and liver tumor promotion of cyanotoxins microcystins have been extensively studied. However, recent studies document that other metabolites present in the complex cyanobacterial water blooms may also have adverse health effects. In this study we used rat liver epithelial stem-like cells (WB-F344) to examine the effects of cyanobacterial extracts on two established markers of tumor promotion, inhibition of gap-junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) - ERK1/2. Extracts of cyanobacteria (laboratory cultures of Microcystis aeruginosa and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and water blooms dominated by these species) inhibited GJIC and activated MAPKs in a dose-dependent manner (effective concentrations ranging 0.5-5mgd.w./mL). Effects were independent of the microcystin content and the strongest responses were elicited by the extracts of Aphanizomenon sp. Neither pure microcystin-LR nor cylindrospermopsin inhibited GJIC or activated MAPKs. Modulations of GJIC and MAPKs appeared to be specific to cyanobacterial extracts since extracts from green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, heterotrophic bacterium Klebsiella terrigena, and isolated bacterial lipopolysaccharides had no comparable effects. Our study provides the first evidence on the existence of unknown cyanobacterial toxic metabolites that affect in vitro biomarkers of tumor promotion, i.e. inhibition of GJIC and activation of MAPKs.

  3. Antiproliferative Action of Conjugated Linoleic Acid on Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells Mediated by Enhancement of Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication through Inactivation of NF-κB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Abdur Rakib

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The major conjugated linoleic acid (CLA isomers, c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA, have anticancer effects; however, the exact mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. Evidence suggests that reversal of reduced gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC in cancer cells inhibits cell growth and induces cell death. Hence, we determined that CLA isomers enhance GJIC in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. The CLA isomers significantly enhanced GJIC of MCF-7 cells at 40 μM concentration, whereas CLA inhibited cell growth and induced caspase-dependent apoptosis. CLA increased connexin43 (Cx43 expression both at the transcriptional and translational levels. CLA inhibited nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB activity and enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS generation. No significant difference was observed in the efficacy of c9,t11-CLA and t10,c12-CLA. These results suggest that the anticancer effect of CLA is associated with upregulation of GJIC mediated by enhanced Cx43 expression through inactivation of NF-κB and generation of ROS in MCF-7 cells.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Inhibition of gap junctional Intercellular communication in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells by triphenyltin chloride through MAPK and PI3-kinase pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsai Ming-Che

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Organotin compounds (OTCs have been widely used as stabilizers in the production of plastic, agricultural pesticides, antifoulant plaints and wood preservation. The toxicity of triphenyltin (TPT compounds was known for their embryotoxic, neurotoxic, genotoxic and immunotoxic effects in mammals. The carcinogenicity of TPT was not well understood and few studies had discussed the effects of OTCs on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC of cells. Method In the present study, the effects of triphenyltin chloride (TPTC on GJIC in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells were evaluated, using the scrape-loading dye transfer technique. Results TPTC inhibited GJIC after a 30-min exposure in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Pre-incubation of cells with the protein kinase C (PKC inhibitor did not modify the response, but the specific MEK 1 inhibitor PD98059 and PI3K inhibitor LY294002 decreased substantially the inhibition of GJIC by TPTC. After WB-F344 cells were exposed to TPTC, phosphorylation of Cx43 increased as seen in Western blot analysis. Conclusions These results show that TPTC inhibits GJIC in WB-F344 rat liver epithelial cells by altering the Cx43 protein expression through both MAPK and PI3-kinase pathways.

  7. Neuropeptide Y, substance P, and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 stimulate human osteoblast osteogenic activity by enhancing gap junction intercellular communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma, W.H.; Liu, Y.J.; Wang, W.; Zhang, Y.Z.

    2015-01-01

    Bone homeostasis seems to be controlled by delicate and subtle “cross talk” between the nervous system and “osteo-neuromediators” that control bone remodeling. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of interactions between neuropeptides and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (hBMP2) on human osteoblasts. We also investigated the effects of neuropeptides and hBMP2 on gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). Osteoblasts were treated with neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), or hBMP2 at three concentrations. At various intervals after treatment, cell viability was measured by the MTT assay. In addition, cellular alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteocalcin were determined by colorimetric assay and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The effects of NPY, SP and hBMP on GJIC were determined by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The viability of cells treated with neuropeptides and hBMP2 increased significantly in a time-dependent manner, but was inversely associated with the concentration of the treatments. ALP activity and osteocalcin were both reduced in osteoblasts exposed to the combination of neuropeptides and hBMP2. The GJIC of osteoblasts was significantly increased by the neuropeptides and hBMP2. These results suggest that osteoblast activity is increased by neuropeptides and hBMP2 through increased GJIC. Identification of the GJIC-mediated signal transduction capable of modulating the cellular activities of bone cells represents a novel approach to studying the biology of skeletal innervation

  8. Neuropeptide Y, substance P, and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 stimulate human osteoblast osteogenic activity by enhancing gap junction intercellular communication

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ma, W.H.; Liu, Y.J.; Wang, W.; Zhang, Y.Z. [The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, The Provincial Key Laboratory for Orthopedic Biomechanics of Hebei, Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province (China)

    2015-02-13

    Bone homeostasis seems to be controlled by delicate and subtle “cross talk” between the nervous system and “osteo-neuromediators” that control bone remodeling. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of interactions between neuropeptides and human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (hBMP2) on human osteoblasts. We also investigated the effects of neuropeptides and hBMP2 on gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). Osteoblasts were treated with neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), or hBMP2 at three concentrations. At various intervals after treatment, cell viability was measured by the MTT assay. In addition, cellular alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and osteocalcin were determined by colorimetric assay and radioimmunoassay, respectively. The effects of NPY, SP and hBMP on GJIC were determined by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The viability of cells treated with neuropeptides and hBMP2 increased significantly in a time-dependent manner, but was inversely associated with the concentration of the treatments. ALP activity and osteocalcin were both reduced in osteoblasts exposed to the combination of neuropeptides and hBMP2. The GJIC of osteoblasts was significantly increased by the neuropeptides and hBMP2. These results suggest that osteoblast activity is increased by neuropeptides and hBMP2 through increased GJIC. Identification of the GJIC-mediated signal transduction capable of modulating the cellular activities of bone cells represents a novel approach to studying the biology of skeletal innervation.

  9. Extending prematuration with cAMP modulators enhances the cumulus contribution to oocyte antioxidant defence and oocyte quality via gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H J; Sutton-McDowall, M L; Wang, X; Sugimura, S; Thompson, J G; Gilchrist, R B

    2016-04-01

    Can bovine oocyte antioxidant defence and oocyte quality be improved by extending the duration of pre-in vitro maturation (IVM) with cyclic adenosine mono-phosphate (cAMP) modulators? Lengthening the duration of cAMP-modulated pre-IVM elevates intra-oocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) content and reduces hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) via increased cumulus cell-oocyte gap-junctional communication (GJC), associated with an improvement in subsequent embryo development and quality. Oocytes are susceptible to oxidative stress and the oocyte's most important antioxidant glutathione is supplied, at least in part, by cumulus cells. A temporary inhibition of spontaneous meiotic resumption in oocytes can be achieved by preventing a fall in cAMP, and cyclic AMP-modulated pre-IVM maintains cumulus-oocyte GJC and improves subsequent embryo development. This study consisted of a series of 10 experiments using bovine oocytes in vitro, each with multiple replicates. A range of pre-IVM durations were examined as the key study treatments which were compared with a control. The study was designed to examine if one of the oocyte's major antioxidant defences can be enhanced by pre-IVM with cAMP modulators, and to examine the contribution of cumulus-oocyte GJC on these processes. Immature bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes were treated in vitro without (control) or with the cAMP modulators; 100 µM forskolin (FSK) and 500 µM 3-isobutyl-1-methyxanthine (IBMX), for 0, 2, 4 or 6 h (pre-IVM phase) prior to IVM. Oocyte developmental competence was assessed by embryo development and quality post-IVM/IVF. Cumulus-oocyte GJC, intra-oocyte GSH and H2O2 were quantified at various time points during pre-IVM and IVM, in the presence and the absence of functional inhibitors: carbenoxolone (CBX) to block GJC and buthionine sulfoximide (BSO) to inhibit glutathione synthesis. Pre-IVM with FSK + IBMX increased subsequent blastocyst formation rate and quality compared with standard IVM (P gap junctions between

  10. An analog RF gap voltage regulation system for the Advanced Photon Source storage ring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horan, D.

    1999-01-01

    An analog rf gap voltage regulation system has been designed and built at Argonne National Laboratory to maintain constant total storage ring rf gap voltage, independent of beam loading and cavity tuning effects. The design uses feedback control of the klystron mod-anode voltage to vary the amount of rf power fed to the storage ring cavities. The system consists of two independent feedback loops, each regulating the combined rf gap voltages of eight storage ring cavities by varying the output power of either one or two rf stations, depending on the mode of operation. It provides full operator control and permissive logic to permit feedback control of the rf system output power only if proper conditions are met. The feedback system uses envelope-detected cavity field probe outputs as the feedback signal. Two different methods of combining the individual field probe signals were used to generate a relative DC level representing one-half of the total storage ring rf voltage, an envelope-detected vector sum of the field probe rf signals, and the DC sum of individual field probe envelope detector outputs. The merits of both methods are discussed. The klystron high-voltage power supply (HVPS) units are fitted with an analog interface for external control of the mod-anode voltage level, using a four-quadrant analog multiplier to modulate the HVPS mod-anode voltage regulator set-point in response to feedback system commands

  11. [Effects of Chinese herbal compound for supplementing qi and activating blood circulation on actin, Cx43 expressions and gap junctional intercellular communication functions of myocardial cells in patients with Coxsackie virus B 3 viral myocarditis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ming-xue; He, Wei; Gu, Ping

    2010-08-01

    To observe the effect of Chinese herbal compound for supplementing qi and activating blood circulation (CHC) on the gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) function of myocardial cells in patients with Coxsackie virus B 3 (CVB3) viral myocarditis. Expressions of actin and connexin43 (Cx43) in myocardial cells of patients arranged in three groups (the normal control group, the viral infected group and the CHC treated group) were detected by immunohistochemical method; the fluorescence photobleaching recovery rate of cells was detected by laser scanning confocal microscope. As compared with the viral infected group, the expressions of actin and Cx43 were increased and the GJIC function was improved in the CHC treated group. CHC could antagonize viral injury on skeleton protein, and repair the structure of gap junction channel to improve the GJIC function of myocardial cells after being attacked by CVB3.

  12. Changes in homologous and heterologous gap junction contacts during maturation-inducing hormone-dependent meiotic resumption in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolamba, D.; Patino, R.; Yoshizaki, G.; Thomas, P.

    2003-01-01

    Homologous (granulosa cell-granulosa cell) gap junction (GJ) contacts increase in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus) during the early (first) stage of maturation, but their profile during the second stage [i.e., during maturation-inducing hormone (MIH)-mediated meiotic resumption] is unknown. The profile of homologous GJ contacts during the second stage of maturation in croaker follicles was examined in this study and compared to that of heterologous (granulosa cell-oocyte) GJ, for which changes have been previously documented. Follicles were incubated with human chorionic gonadotropin to induce maturational competence (first stage), and then with MIH to induce meiotic resumption. The follicles were collected for examination immediately before and after different durations of MIH exposure until the oocyte had reached the stage of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD; index of meiotic resumption). Ultrathin sections were observed by transmission electron microscopy, and homologous and heterologous GJ contacts were quantified along a 100-??m segment of granulosa cell-zona radiata complex per follicle (three follicles/time/fish, n=3 fish). Relatively high numbers of both types of GJ were observed before and after the first few hours of MIH exposure (up to the stage of oil droplet coalescence). GJ numbers declined during partial yolk globule coalescence (at or near GVBD) and were just under 50% of starting values after the completion of GVBD (P<0.05). These results confirm earlier observations that GVBD temporally correlates with declining heterologous GJ contacts, and for the first time in teleosts show that there is a parallel decline in homologous GJ. The significance of the changes in homologous and heterologous GJ is uncertain and deserves further study. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

  13. TBC-8, a Putative RAB-2 GAP, Regulates Dense Core Vesicle Maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannemann, Mandy; Sasidharan, Nikhil; Hegermann, Jan; Kutscher, Lena M.; Koenig, Sabine; Eimer, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Dense core vesicles (DCVs) are thought to be generated at the late Golgi apparatus as immature DCVs, which subsequently undergo a maturation process through clathrin-mediated membrane remodeling events. This maturation process is required for efficient processing of neuropeptides within DCVs and for removal of factors that would otherwise interfere with DCV release. Previously, we have shown that the GTPase, RAB-2, and its effector, RIC-19, are involved in DCV maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans motoneurons. In rab-2 mutants, specific cargo is lost from maturing DCVs and missorted into the endosomal/lysosomal degradation route. Cargo loss could be prevented by blocking endosomal delivery. This suggests that RAB-2 is involved in retention of DCV components during the sorting process at the Golgi-endosomal interface. To understand how RAB-2 activity is regulated at the Golgi, we screened for RAB-2–specific GTPase activating proteins (GAPs). We identified a potential RAB-2 GAP, TBC-8, which is exclusively expressed in neurons and which, when depleted, shows similar DCV maturation defects as rab-2 mutants. We could demonstrate that RAB-2 binds to its putative GAP, TBC-8. Interestingly, TBC-8 also binds to the RAB-2 effector, RIC-19. This interaction appears to be conserved as TBC-8 also interacted with the human ortholog of RIC-19, ICA69. Therefore, we propose that a dynamic ON/OFF cycling of RAB-2 at the Golgi induced by the GAP/effector complex is required for proper DCV maturation. PMID:22654674

  14. TBC-8, a putative RAB-2 GAP, regulates dense core vesicle maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannemann, Mandy; Sasidharan, Nikhil; Hegermann, Jan; Kutscher, Lena M; Koenig, Sabine; Eimer, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Dense core vesicles (DCVs) are thought to be generated at the late Golgi apparatus as immature DCVs, which subsequently undergo a maturation process through clathrin-mediated membrane remodeling events. This maturation process is required for efficient processing of neuropeptides within DCVs and for removal of factors that would otherwise interfere with DCV release. Previously, we have shown that the GTPase, RAB-2, and its effector, RIC-19, are involved in DCV maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans motoneurons. In rab-2 mutants, specific cargo is lost from maturing DCVs and missorted into the endosomal/lysosomal degradation route. Cargo loss could be prevented by blocking endosomal delivery. This suggests that RAB-2 is involved in retention of DCV components during the sorting process at the Golgi-endosomal interface. To understand how RAB-2 activity is regulated at the Golgi, we screened for RAB-2-specific GTPase activating proteins (GAPs). We identified a potential RAB-2 GAP, TBC-8, which is exclusively expressed in neurons and which, when depleted, shows similar DCV maturation defects as rab-2 mutants. We could demonstrate that RAB-2 binds to its putative GAP, TBC-8. Interestingly, TBC-8 also binds to the RAB-2 effector, RIC-19. This interaction appears to be conserved as TBC-8 also interacted with the human ortholog of RIC-19, ICA69. Therefore, we propose that a dynamic ON/OFF cycling of RAB-2 at the Golgi induced by the GAP/effector complex is required for proper DCV maturation.

  15. TBC-8, a putative RAB-2 GAP, regulates dense core vesicle maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandy Hannemann

    Full Text Available Dense core vesicles (DCVs are thought to be generated at the late Golgi apparatus as immature DCVs, which subsequently undergo a maturation process through clathrin-mediated membrane remodeling events. This maturation process is required for efficient processing of neuropeptides within DCVs and for removal of factors that would otherwise interfere with DCV release. Previously, we have shown that the GTPase, RAB-2, and its effector, RIC-19, are involved in DCV maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans motoneurons. In rab-2 mutants, specific cargo is lost from maturing DCVs and missorted into the endosomal/lysosomal degradation route. Cargo loss could be prevented by blocking endosomal delivery. This suggests that RAB-2 is involved in retention of DCV components during the sorting process at the Golgi-endosomal interface. To understand how RAB-2 activity is regulated at the Golgi, we screened for RAB-2-specific GTPase activating proteins (GAPs. We identified a potential RAB-2 GAP, TBC-8, which is exclusively expressed in neurons and which, when depleted, shows similar DCV maturation defects as rab-2 mutants. We could demonstrate that RAB-2 binds to its putative GAP, TBC-8. Interestingly, TBC-8 also binds to the RAB-2 effector, RIC-19. This interaction appears to be conserved as TBC-8 also interacted with the human ortholog of RIC-19, ICA69. Therefore, we propose that a dynamic ON/OFF cycling of RAB-2 at the Golgi induced by the GAP/effector complex is required for proper DCV maturation.

  16. FOXC1 modulates MYOC secretion through regulation of the exocytic proteins RAB3GAP1, RAB3GAP2 and SNAP25.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Rasnitsyn

    Full Text Available The neurodegenerative disease glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Glaucoma is characterized by progressive visual field loss caused by retinal ganglion cell (RGC death. Both surgical glaucoma treatments and medications are available, however, they only halt glaucoma progression and are unable to reverse damage. Furthermore, many patients do not respond well to treatments. It is therefore important to better understand the mechanisms involved in glaucoma pathogenesis. Patients with Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome (ARS offer important insight into glaucoma progression. ARS patients are at 50% risk of developing early onset glaucoma and respond poorly to treatments, even when surgical treatments are combined with medications. Mutations in the transcription factor FOXC1 cause ARS. Alterations in FOXC1 levels cause ocular malformations and disrupt stress response in ocular tissues, thereby contributing to glaucoma progression. In this study, using biochemical and molecular techniques, we show that FOXC1 regulates the expression of RAB3GAP1, RAB3GAP2 and SNAP25, three genes with central roles in both exocytosis and endocytosis, responsible for extracellular trafficking. FOXC1 positively regulates RAB3GAP1 and RAB3GAP2, while either increase or decrease in FOXC1 levels beyond its normal range results in decreased SNAP25. In addition, we found that FOXC1 regulation of RAB3GAP1, RAB3GAP2 and SNAP25 affects secretion of Myocilin (MYOC, a protein associated with juvenile onset glaucoma and steroid-induced glaucoma. The present work reveals that FOXC1 is an important regulator of exocytosis and establishes a new link between FOXC1 and MYOC-associated glaucoma.

  17. A new singularity in the coherent coupling in Al/GaAs/Al SNS junctions at the bias voltage corresponding to the superconducting energy gap

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taboryski, Rafael Jozef; Kutchinsky, Jonatan; Kuhn, Oliver

    1998-01-01

    Particularly high transmittivity superconductor-semiconductor barriers formed by MBE growth have been used to form short Josephson planar type Superconductor-Normal-metal-Superconductor (SNS) Josephson junctions with lengths down to 1 mu m. In these junctions the quasiparticles move diffusively...... across the normal region and carry along the phase information given to them by Andreev reflections at both SN boundaries. In order to probe the importance of the coherent transport of quasiparticles in the normal region, we formed one of the superconducting electrodes of the junction as an open loop i...

  18. Development of the mouse neuromuscular junction in the absence of regulated secretion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heeroma, J.H.; Plomp, J.J.; Roubos, E.W.; Verhage, M.

    2003-01-01

    To investigate the role of neurotransmitter secretion in the development and stabilization of synapses, the innervation of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles was studied in munc18-1 null mutant mice, which lack regulated secretion. We found that this mutant is completely devoid of both

  19. Self-regulation and the intention behaviour gap. Exploring dietary behaviours in university students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullan, Barbara; Allom, Vanessa; Brogan, Amy; Kothe, Emily; Todd, Jemma

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to explore whether two aspects of self-regulation (impulsivity and temporal orientation) could reduce the intention–behaviour gap for two dietary behaviours: fruit and vegetable consumption and saturated fat consumption. Australian undergraduate students (N = 154) completed questionnaires (the Barratt impulsiveness scale and the consideration of future consequences scale) and intention measures, and 1 week later behaviour was measured using the Block rapid food screener. After controlling for demographics, intention was associated with fruit and vegetable consumption, but the self-regulation measures did not further improve the variance accounted for. For saturated fat, gender was associated with consumption, such that males tended to consume more saturated fat. Intention was significantly associated with consumption, and impulsivity further improved the model such that those who were more impulsive tended to consume more saturated fat. These findings suggest that health protective and health risk behaviours, such as those investigated in the current study, may have different determinants.

  20. TRPV4 Regulates Tight Junctions and Affects Differentiation in a Cell Culture Model of the Corneal Epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Rendón, Jacqueline; Sánchez-Guzmán, Erika; Rueda, Angélica; González, James; Gulias-Cañizo, Rosario; Aquino-Jarquín, Guillermo; Castro-Muñozledo, Federico; García-Villegas, Refugio

    2017-07-01

    TRPV4 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 4) is a cation channel activated by hypotonicity, moderate heat, or shear stress. We describe the expression of TRPV4 during the differentiation of a corneal epithelial cell model, RCE1(5T5) cells. TRPV4 is a late differentiation feature that is concentrated in the apical membrane of the outmost cell layer of the stratified epithelia. Ca 2+ imaging experiments showed that TRPV4 activation with GSK1016790A produced an influx of calcium that was blunted by the specific TRPV4 blocker RN-1734. We analyzed the involvement of TRPV4 in RCE1(5T5) epithelial differentiation by measuring the development of transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) as an indicator of the tight junction (TJ) assembly. We showed that TRPV4 activity was necessary to establish the TJ. In differentiated epithelia, activation of TRPV4 increases the TER and the accumulation of claudin-4 in cell-cell contacts. Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) up-regulates the TER of corneal epithelial cultures, and we show here that TRPV4 activation mimicked this EGF effect. Conversely, TRPV4 inhibition or knock down by specific shRNA prevented the increase in TER. Moreover, TRPP2, an EGF-activated channel that forms heteromeric complexes with TRPV4, is also concentrated in the outmost cell layer of differentiated RCE1(5T5) sheets. This suggests that the EGF regulation of the TJ may involve a heterotetrameric TRPV4-TRPP2 channel. These results demonstrated TRPV4 activity was necessary for the correct establishment of TJ in corneal epithelia and as well as the regulation of both the barrier function of TJ and its ability to respond to EGF. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 1794-1807, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Zinc ions regulate opening of tight junction favouring efflux of macromolecules via the GSK3β/snail-mediated pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Ruyue; Yuan, Lan; He, Weijiang; Yang, Xiaoda

    2018-01-24

    Zinc is an essential trace element presenting in particularly high concentration in the brain. In some regions, e.g. lateral amygdala, subiculum and hippocampus, rapidly-exchangeable zinc may transiently reach even up to 600 μM. To explore the possible roles of high-concentration Zn 2+ in regulating the blood-brain barrier (BBB), we investigated the effects of Zn 2+ on the functions and structures of the tight junction (TJ) with an in vitro model of a Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell monolayer. The experimental results indicated that high concentrations (>200 μM) of Zn 2+ can affect the TJ integrity in a polarized manner. Basolateral addition of Zn 2+ led to reversible TJ opening with pore paths of r ∼ 2 nm or more depending on Zn 2+ concentration. The efflux/influx ratios of different sized probes were found to be ∼4.6 for FD4 (M W 4000) and ∼1.8 for Eu-DTPA (M W 560), suggesting that the Zn 2+ -induced paracelluar channels favour efflux especially for macromolecules. Further mechanistic studies revealed that the elevated intracellular Zn 2+ taken from the basolateral side can increase phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3β, primarily due to the inhibition of calcineurin (CaN), thus resulting in the elevation of the snail transcriptional repressors. Subsequently, Zn 2+ can cause the down-regulation of claudin-1, breakage of occludin and ZO-1 rings, and collapse of basolateral F-actin structures. These overall factors result in the formation of a trumpet-like paracellular channel, which allows asymmetric solute permeation. The ERK1/2 and JNK1/2 pathways may also be involved in the Zn 2+ -induced TJ opening process, while the activation of matrix metalloproteinase was not observed. Our results may suggest a potential role of zinc in regulation of BBB permeability associated with brain clearance of metabolites through the glymphatic system.

  2. RNAi-Mediated Reverse Genetic Screen Identified Drosophila Chaperones Regulating Eye and Neuromuscular Junction Morphology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep Raut

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of toxic proteins in neurons has been linked with the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, which in many cases are characterized by altered neuronal function and synapse loss. Molecular chaperones help protein folding and the resolubilization of unfolded proteins, thereby reducing the protein aggregation stress. While most of the chaperones are expressed in neurons, their functional relevance remains largely unknown. Here, using bioinformatics analysis, we identified 95 Drosophila chaperones and classified them into seven different classes. Ubiquitous actin5C-Gal4-mediated RNAi knockdown revealed that ∼50% of the chaperones are essential in Drosophila. Knocking down these genes in eyes revealed that ∼30% of the essential chaperones are crucial for eye development. Using neuron-specific knockdown, immunocytochemistry, and robust behavioral assays, we identified a new set of chaperones that play critical roles in the regulation of Drosophila NMJ structural organization. Together, our data present the first classification and comprehensive analysis of Drosophila chaperones. Our screen identified a new set of chaperones that regulate eye and NMJ morphogenesis. The outcome of the screen reported here provides a useful resource for further elucidating the role of individual chaperones in Drosophila eye morphogenesis and synaptic development.

  3. Hexavalent chromium at low concentration alters Sertoli cell barrier and connexin 43 gap junction but not claudin-11 and N-cadherin in the rat seminiferous tubule culture model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carette, Diane [INSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathology of Germ Cell Control: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms” C3M, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Perrard, Marie-Hélène, E-mail: marie-helene.durand@ens-lyon.fr [Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon I, CNRS, INRA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France); Prisant, Nadia [University of Versailles/St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Gilleron, Jérome; Pointis, Georges [INSERM U 1065, Team 5 “Physiopathology of Germ Cell Control: Genomic and Non Genomic Mechanisms” C3M, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice (France); Segretain, Dominique [University of Versailles/St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France); UMR S775, University Paris Descartes, 45 rue des Saints Pères, 75006, Paris (France); Durand, Philippe [Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon I, CNRS, INRA, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France); Kallistem SAS Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon (France)

    2013-04-01

    Exposure to toxic metals, specifically those belonging to the nonessential group leads to human health defects and among them reprotoxic effects. The mechanisms by which these metals produce their negative effects on spermatogenesis have not been fully elucidated. By using the Durand's validated seminiferous tubule culture model, which mimics the in vivo situation, we recently reported that concentrations of hexavalent chromium, reported in the literature to be closed to that found in the blood circulation of men, increase the number of germ cell cytogenetic abnormalities. Since this metal is also known to affect cellular junctions, we investigated, in the present study, its potential influence on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins present at this level such as connexin 43, claudin-11 and N-cadherin. Cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers expressed the three junctional proteins and ZO-1 for at least 12 days. Exposure to low concentrations of chromium (10 μg/l) increased the trans-epithelial resistance without major changes of claudin-11 and N-cadherin expressions but strongly delocalized the gap junction protein connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells. The possibility that the hexavalent chromium-induced alteration of connexin 43 indirectly mediates the effect of the toxic metal on the blood–testis barrier dynamic is postulated. - Highlights: ► Influence of Cr(VI) on the Sertoli cell barrier and on junctional proteins ► Use of cultured seminiferous tubules in bicameral chambers ► Low concentrations of Cr(VI) (10 μg/l) altered the trans-epithelial resistance. ► Cr(VI) did not alter claudin-11 and N-cadherin. ► Cr(VI) delocalized connexin 43 from the membrane to the cytoplasm of Sertoli cells.

  4. Regulation of white and brown adipocyte differentiation by RhoGAP DLC1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choon Kiat Sim

    Full Text Available Adipose tissues constitute an important component of metabolism, the dysfunction of which can cause obesity and type II diabetes. Here we show that differentiation of white and brown adipocytes requires Deleted in Liver Cancer 1 (DLC1, a Rho GTPase Activating Protein (RhoGAP previously studied for its function in liver cancer. We identified Dlc1 as a super-enhancer associated gene in both white and brown adipocytes through analyzing the genome-wide binding profiles of PPARγ, the master regulator of adipogenesis. We further observed that Dlc1 expression increases during differentiation, and knockdown of Dlc1 by siRNA in white adipocytes reduces the formation of lipid droplets and the expression of fat marker genes. Moreover, knockdown of Dlc1 in brown adipocytes reduces expression of brown fat-specific genes and diminishes mitochondrial respiration. Dlc1-/- knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts show a complete inability to differentiate into adipocytes, but this phenotype can be rescued by inhibitors of Rho-associated kinase (ROCK and filamentous actin (F-actin, suggesting the involvement of Rho pathway in DLC1-regulated adipocyte differentiation. Furthermore, PPARγ binds to the promoter of Dlc1 gene to regulate its expression during both white and brown adipocyte differentiation. These results identify DLC1 as an activator of white and brown adipocyte differentiation, and provide a molecular link between PPARγ and Rho pathways.

  5. P190B RhoGAP Regulates Chromosome Segregation in Cancer Cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hwang, Melissa; Peddibhotla, Sirisha; McHenry, Peter; Chang, Peggy; Yochum, Zachary; Park, Ko Un; Sears, James Cooper; Vargo-Gogola, Tracy

    2012-01-01

    Rho GTPases are overexpressed and hyperactivated in many cancers, including breast cancer. Rho proteins, as well as their regulators and effectors, have been implicated in mitosis, and their altered expression promotes mitotic defects and aneuploidy. Previously, we demonstrated that p190B Rho GTPase activating protein (RhoGAP) deficiency inhibits ErbB2-induced mammary tumor formation in mice. Here we describe a novel role for p190B as a regulator of mitosis. We found that p190B localized to centrosomes during interphase and mitosis, and that it is differentially phosphorylated during mitosis. Knockdown of p190B expression in MCF-7 and Hela cells increased the incidence of aberrant microtubule-kinetochore attachments at metaphase, lagging chromosomes at anaphase, and micronucleation, all of which are indicative of aneuploidy. Cell cycle analysis of p190B deficient MCF-7 cells revealed a significant increase in apoptotic cells with a concomitant decrease in cells in G1 and S phase, suggesting that p190B deficient cells die at the G1 to S transition. Chemical inhibition of the Rac GTPase during mitosis reduced the incidence of lagging chromosomes in p190B knockdown cells to levels detected in control cells, suggesting that aberrant Rac activity in the absence of p190B promotes chromosome segregation defects. Taken together, these data suggest that p190B regulates chromosome segregation and apoptosis in cancer cells. We propose that disruption of mitosis may be one mechanism by which p190B deficiency inhibits tumorigenesis

  6. P190B RhoGAP Regulates Chromosome Segregation in Cancer Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hwang, Melissa [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1234 Notre Dame Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617 (United States); Peddibhotla, Sirisha [Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, John P. McGovern Campus, NABS-0250, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); McHenry, Peter [Department of Biology, Southwestern Adventist University, 100 W. Hillcrest, Keene, TX 76059 (United States); Chang, Peggy; Yochum, Zachary; Park, Ko Un; Sears, James Cooper; Vargo-Gogola, Tracy, E-mail: vargo-gogola.1@nd.edu [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1234 Notre Dame Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617 (United States)

    2012-04-25

    Rho GTPases are overexpressed and hyperactivated in many cancers, including breast cancer. Rho proteins, as well as their regulators and effectors, have been implicated in mitosis, and their altered expression promotes mitotic defects and aneuploidy. Previously, we demonstrated that p190B Rho GTPase activating protein (RhoGAP) deficiency inhibits ErbB2-induced mammary tumor formation in mice. Here we describe a novel role for p190B as a regulator of mitosis. We found that p190B localized to centrosomes during interphase and mitosis, and that it is differentially phosphorylated during mitosis. Knockdown of p190B expression in MCF-7 and Hela cells increased the incidence of aberrant microtubule-kinetochore attachments at metaphase, lagging chromosomes at anaphase, and micronucleation, all of which are indicative of aneuploidy. Cell cycle analysis of p190B deficient MCF-7 cells revealed a significant increase in apoptotic cells with a concomitant decrease in cells in G1 and S phase, suggesting that p190B deficient cells die at the G1 to S transition. Chemical inhibition of the Rac GTPase during mitosis reduced the incidence of lagging chromosomes in p190B knockdown cells to levels detected in control cells, suggesting that aberrant Rac activity in the absence of p190B promotes chromosome segregation defects. Taken together, these data suggest that p190B regulates chromosome segregation and apoptosis in cancer cells. We propose that disruption of mitosis may be one mechanism by which p190B deficiency inhibits tumorigenesis.

  7. The Cellular Distribution of RanGAP1 Is Regulated by CRM1-Mediated Nuclear Export in Mammalian Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith Cha

    Full Text Available The Ran GTPase activating protein RanGAP1 plays an essential role in nuclear transport by stimulating RanGTP hydrolysis in the cytoplasmic compartment. In mammalian cells, unmodified RanGAP1 is predominantly cytoplasmic, whereas modification by small ubiquitin-related modifier protein (SUMO targets RanGAP1 to the cytoplasmic filaments of nuclear pore complex (NPC. Although RanGAP1 contains nine putative nuclear export signals and a nuclear localization signal, little is known if RanGAP1 shuttles between the nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments and how its primary localization in the cytoplasm and at the NPC is regulated. Here we show that inhibition of CRM1-mediated nuclear export using RNAi-knockdown of CRM1 and inactivation of CRM1 by leptomycin B (LMB results in nuclear accumulation of RanGAP1. LMB treatment induced a more robust redistribution of RanGAP1 from the cytoplasm to the nucleoplasm compared to CRM1 RNAi and also uniquely triggered a decrease or loss of RanGAP1 localization at the NPC, suggesting that LMB treatment is more effective in inhibiting CRM1-mediated nuclear export of RanGAP1. Our time-course analysis of LMB treatment reveals that the NPC-associated RanGAP1 is much more slowly redistributed to the nucleoplasm than the cytoplasmic RanGAP1. Furthermore, LMB-induced nuclear accumulation of RanGAP1 is positively correlated with an increase in levels of SUMO-modified RanGAP1, suggesting that SUMOylation of RanGAP1 may mainly take place in the nucleoplasm. Lastly, we demonstrate that the nuclear localization signal at the C-terminus of RanGAP1 is required for its nuclear accumulation in cells treated with LMB. Taken together, our results elucidate that RanGAP1 is actively transported between the nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments, and that the cytoplasmic and NPC localization of RanGAP1 is dependent on CRM1-mediated nuclear export.

  8. Breast cancer cell migration is regulated through junctional adhesion molecule-A-mediated activation of Rap1 GTPase

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    McSherry, Elaine A

    2011-03-23

    Abstract Introduction The adhesion protein junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) regulates epithelial cell morphology and migration, and its over-expression has recently been linked with increased risk of metastasis in breast cancer patients. As cell migration is an early requirement for tumor metastasis, we sought to identify the JAM-A signalling events regulating migration in breast cancer cells. Methods MCF7 breast cancer cells (which express high endogenous levels of JAM-A) and primary cultures from breast cancer patients were used for this study. JAM-A was knocked down in MCF7 cells using siRNA to determine the consequences for cell adhesion, cell migration and the protein expression of various integrin subunits. As we had previously demonstrated a link between the expression of JAM-A and β1-integrin, we examined activation of the β1-integrin regulator Rap1 GTPase in response to JAM-A knockdown or functional antagonism. To test whether JAM-A, Rap1 and β1-integrin lie in a linear pathway, we tested functional inhibitors of all three proteins separately or together in migration assays. Finally we performed immunoprecipitations in MCF7 cells and primary breast cells to determine the binding partners connecting JAM-A to Rap1 activation. Results JAM-A knockdown in MCF7 breast cancer cells reduced adhesion to, and migration through, the β1-integrin substrate fibronectin. This was accompanied by reduced protein expression of β1-integrin and its binding partners αV- and α5-integrin. Rap1 activity was reduced in response to JAM-A knockdown or inhibition, and pharmacological inhibition of Rap1 reduced MCF7 cell migration. No additive anti-migratory effect was observed in response to simultaneous inhibition of JAM-A, Rap1 and β1-integrin, suggesting that they lie in a linear migratory pathway. Finally, in an attempt to elucidate the binding partners putatively linking JAM-A to Rap1 activation, we have demonstrated the formation of a complex between JAM-A, AF-6

  9. Breast cancer cell migration is regulated through junctional adhesion molecule-A-mediated activation of Rap1 GTPase.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    McSherry, Elaine A

    2011-03-23

    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The adhesion protein junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) regulates epithelial cell morphology and migration, and its over-expression has recently been linked with increased risk of metastasis in breast cancer patients. As cell migration is an early requirement for tumor metastasis, we sought to identify the JAM-A signalling events regulating migration in breast cancer cells. METHODS: MCF7 breast cancer cells (which express high endogenous levels of JAM-A) and primary cultures from breast cancer patients were used for this study. JAM-A was knocked down in MCF7 cells using siRNA to determine the consequences for cell adhesion, cell migration and the protein expression of various integrin subunits. As we had previously demonstrated a link between the expression of JAM-A and β1-integrin, we examined activation of the β1-integrin regulator Rap1 GTPase in response to JAM-A knockdown or functional antagonism. To test whether JAM-A, Rap1 and β1-integrin lie in a linear pathway, we tested functional inhibitors of all three proteins separately or together in migration assays. Finally we performed immunoprecipitations in MCF7 cells and primary breast cells to determine the binding partners connecting JAM-A to Rap1 activation. RESULTS: JAM-A knockdown in MCF7 breast cancer cells reduced adhesion to, and migration through, the β1-integrin substrate fibronectin. This was accompanied by reduced protein expression of β1-integrin and its binding partners αV- and α5-integrin. Rap1 activity was reduced in response to JAM-A knockdown or inhibition, and pharmacological inhibition of Rap1 reduced MCF7 cell migration. No additive anti-migratory effect was observed in response to simultaneous inhibition of JAM-A, Rap1 and β1-integrin, suggesting that they lie in a linear migratory pathway. Finally, in an attempt to elucidate the binding partners putatively linking JAM-A to Rap1 activation, we have demonstrated the formation of a complex between JAM-A, AF

  10. Breast cancer cell migration is regulated through junctional adhesion molecule-A-mediated activation of Rap1 GTPase.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    McSherry, Elaine A

    2012-02-01

    INTRODUCTION: The adhesion protein junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) regulates epithelial cell morphology and migration, and its over-expression has recently been linked with increased risk of metastasis in breast cancer patients. As cell migration is an early requirement for tumor metastasis, we sought to identify the JAM-A signalling events regulating migration in breast cancer cells. METHODS: MCF7 breast cancer cells (which express high endogenous levels of JAM-A) and primary cultures from breast cancer patients were used for this study. JAM-A was knocked down in MCF7 cells using siRNA to determine the consequences for cell adhesion, cell migration and the protein expression of various integrin subunits. As we had previously demonstrated a link between the expression of JAM-A and beta1-integrin, we examined activation of the beta1-integrin regulator Rap1 GTPase in response to JAM-A knockdown or functional antagonism. To test whether JAM-A, Rap1 and beta1-integrin lie in a linear pathway, we tested functional inhibitors of all three proteins separately or together in migration assays. Finally we performed immunoprecipitations in MCF7 cells and primary breast cells to determine the binding partners connecting JAM-A to Rap1 activation. RESULTS: JAM-A knockdown in MCF7 breast cancer cells reduced adhesion to, and migration through, the beta1-integrin substrate fibronectin. This was accompanied by reduced protein expression of beta1-integrin and its binding partners alphaV- and alpha5-integrin. Rap1 activity was reduced in response to JAM-A knockdown or inhibition, and pharmacological inhibition of Rap1 reduced MCF7 cell migration. No additive anti-migratory effect was observed in response to simultaneous inhibition of JAM-A, Rap1 and beta1-integrin, suggesting that they lie in a linear migratory pathway. Finally, in an attempt to elucidate the binding partners putatively linking JAM-A to Rap1 activation, we have demonstrated the formation of a complex between

  11. Green tea polyphenols alleviate early BBB damage during experimental focal cerebral ischemia through regulating tight junctions and PKCalpha signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaobai; Wang, Zhenhua; Wang, Ping; Yu, Bo; Liu, Yunhui; Xue, Yixue

    2013-07-21

    It has been supposed that green tea polyphenols (GTPs) have neuroprotective effects on brain damage after brain ischemia in animal experiments. Little is known regarding GTPs' protective effects against the blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption after ischemic stroke. We investigated the effects of GTPs on the expression of claudin-5, occludin, and ZO-1, and the corresponding cellular mechanisms involved in the early stage of cerebral ischemia. Male Wistar rats were subjected to a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 0, 30, 60, and 120 min. GTPs (400 mg/kg/day) or vehicle was administered by intragastric gavage twice a day for 30 days prior to MCAO. At different time points, the expression of claudin-5, occludin, ZO-1, and PKCα signaling pathway in microvessel fragments of cerebral ischemic tissue were evaluated. GTPs reduced BBB permeability at 60 min and 120 min after ischemia as compared with the vehicle group. Transmission electron microscopy also revealed that GTPs could reverse the opening of tight junction (TJ) barrier at 60 min and 120 min after MACO. The decreased mRNA and protein expression levels of claudin-5, occludin, and ZO-1 in microvessel fragments of cerebral ischemic tissue were significantly prevented by treatment with GTPs at the same time points after ischemia in rats. Furthermore, GTPs could attenuate the increase in the expression levels of PKCα mRNA and protein caused by cerebral ischemia. These results demonstrate that GTPs may act as a potential neuroprotective agent against BBB damage at the early stage of focal cerebral ischemia through the regulation of TJ and PKCα signaling.

  12. Gap study on technical standards and quality assurance between ITER and Korean regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Myoung-suk; Lee, Sangil; Lee, Hyoen Gon; Heo, Gyunyoung

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • This paper is to secure knowledge and expand domestic specialists for license and regulation of future fusion facilities including K-DEMO. - Abstract: Currently, Korea Domestic Agency (KODA) for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project or the ITER Korea has been conducting follow-up surveys and development researches for the core technologies of its non-procurement items. This eventually aims to secure implicit as well as explicit knowledge and expand domestic specialists for future fusion facilities including K-DEMO. As a part of the project, the comparative analysis and gap study of technical standards and Quality Assurance (QA) system between ITER and Korean nuclear facilities are being performed. The goal of this study is to present a roadmap re-systematizing current safety-related standards for the fission-based facilities into fusion-based facilities in Republic of Korea. The research is considering two different tracks. First one is to secure the state-of-the-art of the fusion technical standards continually updated. For its investigation, we organized the Korean fusion safety advisory group that consists of experts from institutes, industries, and universities. The latest information of technical standards have been gathered and updated from each area of expert in periodic manner. The information is classified into Product Breakdown Structure (PBS) including safety classification, major safety issues, analysis computer codes, etc. This task will be re-organized this year such that the technical standards for procurement as well as non-procurement items can be accumulated in systematic and sustainable manner. Second one, called “Gap Study,” is to compare the requirements for domestic nuclear facilities and the results from the first track on the basis of experts’ opinion from the national and private sectors and to recommend the approaches to overcome technical and administrative barriers. The result is

  13. Gap study on technical standards and quality assurance between ITER and Korean regulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Myoung-suk [Kyung Hee University, Yongin-si 446-701, Gyeonggi-do (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Sangil; Lee, Hyoen Gon [National Fusion Research Institute, Daejeon-si 305-333 (Korea, Republic of); Heo, Gyunyoung, E-mail: gheo@khu.ac.kr [Kyung Hee University, Yongin-si 446-701, Gyeonggi-do (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-11-01

    Highlights: • This paper is to secure knowledge and expand domestic specialists for license and regulation of future fusion facilities including K-DEMO. - Abstract: Currently, Korea Domestic Agency (KODA) for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project or the ITER Korea has been conducting follow-up surveys and development researches for the core technologies of its non-procurement items. This eventually aims to secure implicit as well as explicit knowledge and expand domestic specialists for future fusion facilities including K-DEMO. As a part of the project, the comparative analysis and gap study of technical standards and Quality Assurance (QA) system between ITER and Korean nuclear facilities are being performed. The goal of this study is to present a roadmap re-systematizing current safety-related standards for the fission-based facilities into fusion-based facilities in Republic of Korea. The research is considering two different tracks. First one is to secure the state-of-the-art of the fusion technical standards continually updated. For its investigation, we organized the Korean fusion safety advisory group that consists of experts from institutes, industries, and universities. The latest information of technical standards have been gathered and updated from each area of expert in periodic manner. The information is classified into Product Breakdown Structure (PBS) including safety classification, major safety issues, analysis computer codes, etc. This task will be re-organized this year such that the technical standards for procurement as well as non-procurement items can be accumulated in systematic and sustainable manner. Second one, called “Gap Study,” is to compare the requirements for domestic nuclear facilities and the results from the first track on the basis of experts’ opinion from the national and private sectors and to recommend the approaches to overcome technical and administrative barriers. The result is

  14. CMTM3 (CKLF-Like Marvel Transmembrane Domain 3) Mediates Angiogenesis by Regulating Cell Surface Availability of VE-Cadherin in Endothelial Adherens Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrifi, Ihsan; Louzao-Martinez, Laura; Brandt, Maarten; van Dijk, Christian G M; Burgisser, Petra; Zhu, Changbin; Kros, Johan M; Duncker, Dirk J; Cheng, Caroline

    2017-06-01

    Decrease in VE-cadherin adherens junctions reduces vascular stability, whereas disruption of adherens junctions is a requirement for neovessel sprouting during angiogenesis. Endocytosis plays a key role in regulating junctional strength by altering bioavailability of cell surface proteins, including VE-cadherin. Identification of new mediators of endothelial endocytosis could enhance our understanding of angiogenesis. Here, we assessed the function of CMTM3 (CKLF-like MARVEL transmembrane domain 3), which we have previously identified as highly expressed in Flk1 + endothelial progenitor cells during embryonic development. Using a 3-dimensional coculture of human umbilical vein endothelial cells-GFP (green fluorescent protein) and pericytes-RFP (red fluorescent protein), we demonstrated that siRNA-mediated CMTM3 silencing in human umbilical vein endothelial cells impairs angiogenesis. In vivo CMTM3 inhibition by morpholino injection in developing zebrafish larvae confirmed that CMTM3 expression is required for vascular sprouting. CMTM3 knockdown in human umbilical vein endothelial cells does not affect proliferation or migration. Intracellular staining demonstrated that CMTM3 colocalizes with early endosome markers EEA1 (early endosome marker 1) and Clathrin + vesicles and with cytosolic VE-cadherin in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Adenovirus-mediated CMTM3 overexpression enhances endothelial endocytosis, shown by an increase in Clathrin + , EEA1 + , Rab11 + , Rab5 + , and Rab7 + vesicles. CMTM3 overexpression enhances, whereas CMTM3 knockdown decreases internalization of cell surface VE-cadherin in vitro. CMTM3 promotes loss of endothelial barrier function in thrombin-induced responses, shown by transendothelial electric resistance measurements in vitro. In this study, we have identified a new regulatory function for CMTM3 in angiogenesis. CMTM3 is involved in VE-cadherin turnover and is a regulator of the cell surface pool of VE-cadherin. Therefore, CMTM

  15. Ultrastructure and regulation of lateralized connexin43 in the failing heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesketh, Geoffrey G; Shah, Manish H; Halperin, Victoria L; Cooke, Carol A; Akar, Fadi G; Yen, Timothy E; Kass, David A; Machamer, Carolyn E; Van Eyk, Jennifer E; Tomaselli, Gordon F

    2010-04-02

    Gap junctions mediate cell-to-cell electric coupling of cardiomyocytes. The primary gap junction protein in the working myocardium, connexin43 (Cx43), exhibits increased localization at the lateral membranes of cardiomyocytes in a variety of heart diseases, although the precise location and function of this population is unknown. To define the subcellular location of lateralized gap junctions at the light and electron microscopic level, and further characterize the biochemical regulation of gap junction turnover. By electron microscopy, we characterized gap junctions formed between cardiomyocyte lateral membranes in failing canine ventricular myocardium. These gap junctions were varied in structure and appeared to be extensively internalizing. Internalized gap junctions were incorporated into multilamellar membrane structures, with features characteristic of autophagosomes. Intracellular Cx43 extensively colocalized with the autophagosome marker GFP-LC3 when both proteins were exogenously expressed in HeLa cells, and endogenous Cx43 colocalized with GFP-LC3 in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes. Furthermore, a distinct phosphorylated form of Cx43, as well as the autophagosome-targeted form of LC3 (microtubule-associated protein light chain 3) targeted to lipid rafts in cardiac tissue, and both were increased in heart failure. Our data demonstrate a previously unrecognized pathway of gap junction internalization and degradation in the heart and identify a cellular pathway with potential therapeutic implications.

  16. Intraepithelial lymphocytes express junctional molecules in murine small intestine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inagaki-Ohara, Kyoko; Sawaguchi, Akira; Suganuma, Tatsuo; Matsuzaki, Goro; Nawa, Yukifumi

    2005-01-01

    Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) that reside at basolateral site regulate the proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells (EC) for providing a first line of host defense in intestine. However, it remains unknown how IEL interact and communicate with EC. Here, we show that IEL express junctional molecules like EC. We identified mRNA expression of the junctional molecules in IEL such as zonula occludens (ZO)-1, occludin and junctional adhesion molecule (JAM) (tight junction), β-catenin and E-cadherin (adherens junction), and connexin26 (gap junction). IEL constitutively expressed occludin and E-cadherin at protein level, while other T cells in the thymus, spleen, liver, mesenteric lymph node, and Peyer's patches did not. γδ IEL showed higher level of these expressions than αβ IEL. The expression of occludin was augmented by anti-CD3 Ab stimulation. These results suggest the possibility of a novel role of IEL concerning epithelial barrier and communication between IEL and EC

  17. Resonance Transport of Graphene Nanoribbon T-Shaped Junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao-Lan, Kong; Yong-Jian, Xiong

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the transport properties of T-shaped junctions composed of armchair graphene nanoribbons of different widths. Three types of junction geometries are considered. The junction conductance strongly depends on the atomic features of the junction geometry. When the shoulders of the junction have zigzag type edges, sharp conductance resonances usually appear in the low energy region around the Dirac point, and a conductance gap emerges. When the shoulders of the junction have armchair type edges, the conductance resonance behavior is weakened significantly, and the metal-metal-metal junction structures show semimetallic behaviors. The contact resistance also changes notably due to the various interface geometries of the junction

  18. Flexible 2D layered material junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balabai, R.; Solomenko, A.

    2018-03-01

    Within the framework of the methods of the electron density functional and the ab initio pseudopotential, we have obtained the valence electron density spatial distribution, the densities of electron states, the widths of band gaps, the charges on combined regions, and the Coulomb potentials for graphene-based flexible 2D layered junctions, using author program complex. It is determined that the bending of the 2D layered junctions on the angle α leads to changes in the electronic properties of these junctions. In the graphene/graphane junction, there is clear charge redistribution with different signs in the regions of junctions. The presence in the heterojunctions of charge regions with different signs leads to the formation of potential barriers. The greatest potential jump is in the graphene/fluorographene junction. The greatest value of the band gap width is in the graphene/graphane junction.

  19. Ouabain stimulates a Na+/K+-ATPase-mediated SFK-activated signalling pathway that regulates tight junction function in the mouse blastocyst.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly Giannatselis

    Full Text Available The Na(+/K(+-ATPase plays a pivotal role during preimplantation development; it establishes a trans-epithelial ionic gradient that facilitates the formation of the fluid-filled blastocyst cavity, crucial for implantation and successful pregnancy. The Na(+/K(+-ATPase is also implicated in regulating tight junctions and cardiotonic steroid (CTS-induced signal transduction via SRC. We investigated the expression of SRC family kinase (SFK members, Src and Yes, during preimplantation development and determined whether SFK activity is required for blastocyst formation. Embryos were collected following super-ovulation of CD1 or MF1 female mice. RT-PCR was used to detect SFK mRNAs encoding Src and Yes throughout preimplantation development. SRC and YES protein were localized throughout preimplantation development. Treatment of mouse morulae with the SFK inhibitors PP2 and SU6656 for 18 hours resulted in a reversible blockade of progression to the blastocyst stage. Blastocysts treated with 10(-3 M ouabain for 2 or 10 minutes and immediately immunostained for phosphorylation at SRC tyr418 displayed reduced phosphorylation while in contrast blastocysts treated with 10(-4 M displayed increased tyr418 fluorescence. SFK inhibition increased and SFK activation reduced trophectoderm tight junction permeability in blastocysts. The results demonstrate that SFKs are expressed during preimplantation development and that SFK activity is required for blastocyst formation and is an important mediator of trophectoderm tight junction permeability.

  20. Ablation of CD11c(hi) dendritic cells exacerbates Japanese encephalitis by regulating blood-brain barrier permeability and altering tight junction/adhesion molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jin Hyoung; Hossain, Ferdaus Mohd Altaf; Patil, Ajit Mahadev; Choi, Jin Young; Kim, Seong Bum; Uyangaa, Erdenebelig; Park, Sang-Youel; Lee, John-Hwa; Kim, Bumseok; Kim, Koanhoi; Eo, Seong Kug

    2016-10-01

    Japanese encephalitis (JE), characterized by extensive neuroinflammation following infection with neurotropic JE virus (JEV), is becoming a leading cause of viral encephalitis due to rapid changes in climate and demography. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays an important role in restricting neuroinvasion of peripheral leukocytes and virus, thereby regulating the progression of viral encephalitis. In this study, we explored the role of CD11c(hi) dendritic cells (DCs) in regulating BBB integrity and JE progression using a conditional depletion model of CD11c(hi) DCs. Transient ablation of CD11c(hi) DCs resulted in markedly increased susceptibility to JE progression along with highly increased neuro-invasion of JEV. In addition, exacerbated JE progression in CD11c(hi) DC-ablated hosts was closely associated with increased expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IFN-β, IL-6, and TNF-α) and CC chemokines (CCL2, CCL3, CXCL2) in the brain. Moreover, our results revealed that the exacerbation of JE progression in CD11c(hi) DC-ablated hosts was correlated with enhanced BBB permeability and reduced expression of tight junction and adhesion molecules (claudin-5, ZO-1, occluding, JAMs). Ultimately, our data conclude that the ablation of CD11c(hi) DCs provided a subsidiary impact on BBB integrity and the expression of tight junction/adhesion molecules, thereby leading to exacerbated JE progression. These findings provide insight into the secondary role of CD11c(hi) DCs in JE progression through regulation of BBB integrity and the expression of tight junction/adhesion molecules. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. An extracellular-matrix-specific GEF-GAP interaction regulates Rho GTPase crosstalk for 3D collagen migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutys, Matthew L; Yamada, Kenneth M

    2014-09-01

    Rho-family GTPases govern distinct types of cell migration on different extracellular matrix proteins in tissue culture or three-dimensional (3D) matrices. We searched for mechanisms selectively regulating 3D cell migration in different matrix environments and discovered a form of Cdc42-RhoA crosstalk governing cell migration through a specific pair of GTPase activator and inhibitor molecules. We first identified βPix, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), as a specific regulator of migration in 3D collagen using an affinity-precipitation-based GEF screen. Knockdown of βPix specifically blocks cell migration in fibrillar collagen microenvironments, leading to hyperactive cellular protrusion accompanied by increased collagen matrix contraction. Live FRET imaging and RNAi knockdown linked this βPix knockdown phenotype to loss of polarized Cdc42 but not Rac1 activity, accompanied by enhanced, de-localized RhoA activity. Mechanistically, collagen phospho-regulates βPix, leading to its association with srGAP1, a GTPase-activating protein (GAP), needed to suppress RhoA activity. Our results reveal a matrix-specific pathway controlling migration involving a GEF-GAP interaction of βPix with srGAP1 that is critical for maintaining suppressive crosstalk between Cdc42 and RhoA during 3D collagen migration.

  2. IGF-1 decreases portal vein endotoxin via regulating intestinal tight junctions and plays a role in attenuating portal hypertension of cirrhotic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Tian-Yu; Su, Li-Ping; Ma, Chun-Ye; Zhai, Xiao-Han; Duan, Zhi-Jun; Zhu, Ying; Zhao, Gang; Li, Chun-Yan; Wang, Li-Xia; Yang, Dong

    2015-07-08

    Intestinal barrier dysfunction is not only the consequence of liver cirrhosis, but also an active participant in the development of liver cirrhosis. Previous studies showed that external administration of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) improved intestinal barrier function in liver cirrhosis. However, the mechanism of IGF-1 on intestinal barrier in liver cirrhosis is not fully elucidated. The present study aims to investigate the mechanisms of IGF-1 improving intestinal barrier function via regulating tight junctions in intestines. We used carbon tetrachloride induced liver cirrhotic rats to investigate the effect of IGF-1 on intestinal claudin-1 and occludin expressions, serum alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels, severity of liver fibrosis, portal pressures, enterocytic apoptosis and lipopolysaccharides (LPS) levels in portal vein. The changes of IGF-1 in serum during the development of rat liver cirrhosis were also evaluated. Additionally, we assessed the effect of IGF-1 on claudin-1 and occludin expressions, changes of transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and apoptosis in Caco-2 cells to confirm in vivo findings. Serum IGF-1 levels were decreased in the development of rat liver cirrhosis, and external administration of IGF-1 restored serum IGF-1 levels. External administration of IGF-1 reduced serum ALT and AST levels, severity of liver fibrosis, LPS levels in portal vein, enterocytic apoptosis and portal pressure in cirrhotic rats. External administration of IGF-1 increased the expressions of claudin-1 and occludin in enterocytes, and attenuated tight junction dysfunction in intestines of cirrhotic rats. LPS decreased TEER in Caco-2 cell monolayer. LPS also decreased claudin-1 and occludin expressions and increased apoptosis in Caco-2 cells. Furthermore, IGF-1 attenuated the effect of LPS on TEER, claudin-1 expression, occludin expression and apoptosis in Caco-2 cells. Tight junction dysfunction develops during the

  3. Disruption of hippocampus-regulated behavioural and cognitive processes by heterozygous constitutive deletion of SynGAP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhia, Mary; Yee, Benjamin K; Feldon, Joram; Markopoulos, Foivos; Knuesel, Irene

    2010-02-01

    The brain-specific Ras/Rap-GTPase activating protein (SynGAP) is a prime candidate linking N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors to the regulation of the ERK/MAP kinase signalling cascade, suggested to be essential for experience-dependent synaptic plasticity. Here, we evaluated the behavioural phenotype of SynGAP heterozygous knockout mice (SG(+/-)), expressing roughly half the normal levels of SynGAP. In the cognitive domain, SG(+/-) mice demonstrated severe working and reference memory deficits in the radial arm maze task, a mild impairment early in the transfer test of the water maze task, and a deficiency in spontaneous alternation in an elevated T-maze. In the non-cognitive domain, SG(+/-) mice were hyperactive in the open field and appeared less anxious in the elevated plus maze test. In contrast, object recognition memory performance was not impaired in SG(+/-) mice. The reduction in SynGAP thus resulted in multiple behavioural traits suggestive of aberrant cognitive and non-cognitive processes normally mediated by the hippocampus. Immunohistochemical evaluation further revealed a significant reduction in calbindin-positive interneurons in the hippocampus and doublecortin-positive neurons in the dentate gyrus of adult SG(+/-) mice. Heterozygous constitutive deletion of SynGAP is therefore associated with notable behavioural as well as morphological phenotypes indicative of hippocampal dysfunction. Any suggestion of a possible causal link between them however remains a matter for further investigation.

  4. Tight junctions and human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Norimasa; Murata, Masaki; Kikuchi, Keisuke; Osanai, Makoto; Tobioka, Hirotoshi; Kojima, Takashi; Chiba, Hideki

    2003-09-01

    Tight junctions are intercellular junctions adjacent to the apical end of the lateral membrane surface. They have two functions, the barrier (or gate) function and the fence function. The barrier function of tight junctions regulates the passage of ions, water, and various macromolecules, even of cancer cells, through paracellular spaces. The barrier function is thus relevant to edema, jaundice, diarrhea, and blood-borne metastasis. On the other hand, the fence function maintains cell polarity. In other words, tight junctions work as a fence to prevent intermixing of molecules in the apical membrane with those in the lateral membrane. This function is deeply involved in cancer cell biology, in terms of loss of cell polarity. Of the proteins comprising tight junctions, integral membrane proteins occludin, claudins, and JAMs have been recently discovered. Of these molecules, claudins are exclusively responsible for the formation of tight-junction strands and are connected with the actin cytoskeleton mediated by ZO-1. Thus, both functions of tight junctions are dependent on the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton as well as ATP. Mutations in the claudin14 and the claudin16 genes result in hereditary deafness and hereditary hypomagnesemia, respectively. Some pathogenic bacteria and viruses target and affect the tight-junction function, leading to diseases. In this review, the relationship between tight junctions and human diseases is summarized.

  5. START-GAP3/DLC3 is a GAP for RhoA and Cdc42 and is localized in focal adhesions regulating cell morphology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawai, Katsuhisa; Kiyota, Minoru; Seike, Junichi; Deki, Yuko; Yagisawa, Hitoshi

    2007-01-01

    In the human genome there are three genes encoding RhoGAPs that contain the START (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR)-related lipid transfer)-domain. START-GAP3/DLC3 is a tumor suppressor gene similar to two other human START-GAPs known as DLC1 or DLC2. Although expression of START-GAP3/DLC3 inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells, its molecular function is not well understood. In this study we carried out biochemical characterization of START-GAP3/DLC3, and explored the effects of its expression on cell morphology and intracellular localization. We found that START-GAP3/DLC3 serves as a stimulator of PLCδ1 and as a GAP for both RhoA and Cdc42 in vitro. Moreover, we found that the GAP activity is responsible for morphological changes. The intracellular localization of endogenous START-GAP3/DLC3 was explored by immunocytochemistry and was revealed in focal adhesions. These results indicate that START-GAP3/DLC3 has characteristics similar to other START-GAPs and the START-GAP family seems to share common characteristics

  6. Workshop to address gaps in regulation of minimally manipulated autologous cell therapies for homologous use in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Jolene; von Tigerstrom, Barbara; Bedford, Patrick; Fradette, Julie; Viswanathan, Sowmya

    2017-12-01

    In Canada, minimally manipulated autologous cell therapies for homologous use (MMAC-H) are either regulated under the practice of medicine, or as drugs or devices under the Food and Drugs Act, Food and Drug Regulations (F&DR) or Medical Device Regulations (MDR). Cells, Tissues and Organs (CTO) Regulations in Canada are restricted to minimally manipulated allogeneic products for homologous use. This leaves an important gap in the interpretation of existing regulations. The purposes of this workshop co-organized by the Stem Cell Network and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) were to discuss the current state of regulation of MMAC-H therapies in Canada and compare it with other regulatory jurisdictions, with the intent of providing specific policy recommendations to Health Canada. Participants came to a consensus on the need for well-defined common terminology between regulators and stakeholders, a common source of confusion and misinformation. A need for a harmonized national approach to oversight of facilities providing MMAC-H therapies based on existing standards, such as Canadian Standards Association (CSA), was also voiced. Facilities providing MMAC-H therapies should also participate in collection of long-term data to ensure patient safety and efficacy of therapies. Harmonization across provinces of the procedures and practices involving administration of MMAC-H would be preferred. Participants felt that devices used to process MMAC-H are adequately regulated under existing MDR. Overly prescriptive regulation will stifle innovation, whereas insufficient regulation might allow unsafe or ineffective therapies to be offered. Until a clear, balanced and explicit approach is articulated, regulatory uncertainty remains a barrier. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. LL5beta: a regulator of postsynaptic differentiation identified in a screen for synaptically enriched transcripts at the neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishi, Masashi; Kummer, Terrance T; Eglen, Stephen J; Sanes, Joshua R

    2005-04-25

    In both neurons and muscle fibers, specific mRNAs are concentrated beneath and locally translated at synaptic sites. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction, all synaptic RNAs identified to date encode synaptic components. Using microarrays, we compared RNAs in synapse-rich and -free regions of muscles, thereby identifying transcripts that are enriched near synapses and that encode soluble membrane and nuclear proteins. One gene product, LL5beta, binds to both phosphoinositides and a cytoskeletal protein, filamin, one form of which is concentrated at synaptic sites. LL5beta is itself associated with the cytoplasmic face of the postsynaptic membrane; its highest levels border regions of highest acetylcholine receptor (AChR) density, which suggests a role in "corraling" AChRs. Consistent with this idea, perturbing LL5beta expression in myotubes inhibits AChR aggregation. Thus, a strategy designed to identify novel synaptic components led to identification of a protein required for assembly of the postsynaptic apparatus.

  8. Measuring students' self-regulated learning in professional education: bridging the gap between event and aptitude measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endedijk, Maaike D; Brekelmans, Mieke; Sleegers, Peter; Vermunt, Jan D

    Self-regulated learning has benefits for students' academic performance in school, but also for expertise development during their professional career. This study examined the validity of an instrument to measure student teachers' regulation of their learning to teach across multiple and different kinds of learning events in the context of a postgraduate professional teacher education programme. Based on an analysis of the literature, we developed a log with structured questions that could be used as a multiple-event instrument to determine the quality of student teachers' regulation of learning by combining data from multiple learning experiences. The findings showed that this structured version of the instrument measured student teachers' regulation of their learning in a valid and reliable way. Furthermore, with the aid of the Structured Learning Report individual differences in student teachers' regulation of learning could be discerned. Together the findings indicate that a multiple-event instrument can be used to measure regulation of learning in multiple contexts for various learning experiences at the same time, without the necessity of relying on students' ability to rate themselves across all these different experiences. In this way, this instrument can make an important contribution to bridging the gap between two dominant approaches to measure SRL, the traditional aptitude and event measurement approach.

  9. Phospho-regulated Drosophila adducin is a determinant of synaptic plasticity in a complex with Dlg and PIP2 at the larval neuromuscular junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Ji Hau Wang

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Adducin is a ubiquitously expressed actin- and spectrin-binding protein involved in cytoskeleton organization, and is regulated through phosphorylation of the myristoylated alanine-rich C-terminal kinase (MARCKS-homology domain by protein kinase C (PKC. We have previously shown that the Drosophila adducin, Hu-li tai shao (Hts, plays a role in larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ growth. Here, we find that the predominant isoforms of Hts at the NMJ contain the MARCKS-homology domain, which is important for interactions with Discs large (Dlg and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2. Through the use of Proximity Ligation Assay (PLA, we show that the adducin-like Hts isoforms are in complexes with Dlg and PIP2 at the NMJ. We provide evidence that Hts promotes the phosphorylation and delocalization of Dlg at the NMJ through regulation of the transcript distribution of the PAR-1 and CaMKII kinases in the muscle. We also show that Hts interactions with Dlg and PIP2 are impeded through phosphorylation of the MARCKS-homology domain. These results are further evidence that Hts is a signaling-responsive regulator of synaptic plasticity in Drosophila.

  10. Processes, information, and accounting gaps in the regulation of Argentina's private railways

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-07-17

    Almost a decade after Argentina began privatizing its railways, resolution of the conflicts between regulators, users, and operators continues to take longer, and to be more difficult, than expected. This paper argues that many of these conflicts are...

  11. A RabGAP regulates life-cycle duration via trimeric G-protein cascades in Dictyostelium discoideum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hidekazu Kuwayama

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The life-cycle of cellular slime molds comprises chronobiologically regulated processes. During the growth phase, the amoeboid cells proliferate at a definite rate. Upon starvation, they synthesize cAMP as both first and second messengers in signalling pathways and form aggregates, migrating slugs, and fruiting bodies, consisting of spores and stalk cells, within 24 h. In Dictyostelium discoideum, because most growth-specific events cease during development, proliferative and heterochronic mutations are not considered to be interrelated and no genetic factor governing the entire life-cycle duration has ever been identified. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using yeast 2-hybrid library screening, we isolated a Dictyostelium discoideum RabGAP, Dd Rbg-3, as a candidate molecule by which the Dictyostelium Gα2 subunit directs its effects. Rab GTPase-activating protein, RabGAP, acts as a negative regulator of Rab small GTPases, which orchestrate the intracellular membrane trafficking involved in cell proliferation. Deletion mutants of Dd rbg-3 exhibited an increased growth rate and a shortened developmental period, while an overexpression mutant demonstrated the opposite effects. We also show that Dd Rbg-3 interacts with 2 Gα subunits in an activity-dependent manner in vitro. Furthermore, both human and Caenorhabditis elegans rbg-3 homologs complemented the Dd rbg-3-deletion phenotype in D. discoideum, indicating that similar pathways may be generally conserved in multicellular organisms. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that Dd Rbg-3 acts as a key element regulating the duration of D. discoideum life-span potentially via trimeric G-protein cascades.

  12. Governance strategies for living technologies: bridging the gap between stimulating and regulating technoscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Est, Rinie; Stemerding, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    The life sciences present a politically and ethically sensitive area of technology development. NBIC convergence-the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information and cognitive technology-presents an increased interaction between the biological and physical sciences. As a result the bio-debate is no longer dominated by biotechnology, but driven by NBIC convergence. NBIC convergence enables two bioengineering megatrends: "biology becoming technology" and "technology becoming biology." The notion of living technologies captures the latter megatrend. Accordingly, living technology presents a politically and ethically sensitive area. This implies that governments sooner or later are faced with the challenge of both promoting and regulating the development of living technology. This article describes four current political models to deal with innovation promotion and risk regulation. Based on two specific developments in the field of living technologies-(psycho)physiological computing and synthetic biology-we reflect on appropriate governance strategies for living technologies. We conclude that recent pleas for anticipatory and deliberative governance tend to neglect the need for anticipatory regulation as a key factor in guiding the development of the life sciences from a societal perspective. In particular, when it is expected that a certain living technology will radically challenge current regulatory systems, one should opt for just such a more active biopolitical approach.

  13. CED-10/Rac1 regulates endocytic recycling through the RAB-5 GAP TBC-2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Sun

    Full Text Available Rac1 is a founding member of the Rho-GTPase family and a key regulator of membrane remodeling. In the context of apoptotic cell corpse engulfment, CED-10/Rac1 acts with its bipartite guanine nucleotide exchange factor, CED-5/Dock180-CED-12/ELMO, in an evolutionarily conserved pathway to promote phagocytosis. Here we show that in the context of the Caenorhabditis elegans intestinal epithelium CED-10/Rac1, CED-5/Dock180, and CED-12/ELMO promote basolateral recycling. Furthermore, we show that CED-10 binds to the RAB-5 GTPase activating protein TBC-2, that CED-10 contributes to recruitment of TBC-2 to endosomes, and that recycling cargo is trapped in recycling endosomes in ced-12, ced-10, and tbc-2 mutants. Expression of GTPase defective RAB-5(Q78L also traps recycling cargo. Our results indicate that down-regulation of early endosome regulator RAB-5/Rab5 by a CED-5, CED-12, CED-10, TBC-2 cascade is an important step in the transport of cargo through the basolateral recycling endosome for delivery to the plasma membrane.

  14. NbN tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villegier, J.C.; Vieux-Rochaz, L.; Goniche, M.; Renard, P.; Vabre, M.

    1984-09-01

    All-niobium nitride Josephon junctions have been prepared successfully using a new processing called SNOP: Selective Niobium (nitride) Overlap Process. Such a process involves the ''trilayer'' deposition on the whole wafer before selective patterning of the electrodes by optically controlled dry reactive ion etching. Only two photomask levels are need to define an ''overlap'' or a ''cross-type'' junction with a good accuracy. The properties of the niobium nitride films deposited by DC-magnetron sputtering and the surface oxide growth are analysed. The most critical point to obtain high quality and high gap value junctions resides in the early stage of the NbN counterelectrode growth. Some possibilities to overcome such a handicap exist even if the fabrication needs substrate temperatures below 250 0 C

  15. impairs gap junction function causing congenital cataract

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Navya

    2017-03-24

    Mar 24, 2017 ... ... applied to analyze the expression and subcellular localization of recombinant ... Cx46. The fluorescent localization assay revealed the plaque formation ... composed of six trans-membrane protein subunits called connexins ...

  16. Molecular Diffusion through Cyanobacterial Septal Junctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes Nieves-Morión

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria grow as filaments in which intercellular molecular exchange takes place. During the differentiation of N2-fixing heterocysts, regulators are transferred between cells. In the diazotrophic filament, vegetative cells that fix CO2 through oxygenic photosynthesis provide the heterocysts with reduced carbon and heterocysts provide the vegetative cells with fixed nitrogen. Intercellular molecular transfer has been traced with fluorescent markers, including calcein, 5-carboxyfluorescein, and the sucrose analogue esculin, which are observed to move down their concentration gradient. In this work, we used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP assays in the model heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 to measure the temperature dependence of intercellular transfer of fluorescent markers. We find that the transfer rate constants are directly proportional to the absolute temperature. This indicates that the “septal junctions” (formerly known as “microplasmodesmata” linking the cells in the filament allow molecular exchange by simple diffusion, without any activated intermediate state. This constitutes a novel mechanism for molecular transfer across the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane, in addition to previously characterized mechanisms for active transport and facilitated diffusion. Cyanobacterial septal junctions are functionally analogous to the gap junctions of metazoans.

  17. 21-Benzylidene Digoxin: A Proapoptotic Cardenolide of Cancer Cells That Up-Regulates Na,K-ATPase and Epithelial Tight Junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Sayonarah C.; Pessoa, Marco T. C.; Neves, Luiza D. R.; Alves, Silmara L. G.; Silva, Luciana M.; Santos, Herica L.; Oliveira, Soraya M. F.; Taranto, Alex G.; Comar, Moacyr; Gomes, Isabella V.; Santos, Fabio V.; Paixão, Natasha; Quintas, Luis E. M.; Noël, François; Pereira, Antonio F.; Tessis, Ana C. S. C.; Gomes, Natalia L. S.; Moreira, Otacilio C.; Rincon-Heredia, Ruth; Varotti, Fernando P.; Blanco, Gustavo; Villar, Jose A. F. P.; Contreras, Rubén G.; Barbosa, Leandro A.

    2014-01-01

    Cardiotonic steroids are used to treat heart failure and arrhythmia and have promising anticancer effects. The prototypic cardiotonic steroid ouabain may also be a hormone that modulates epithelial cell adhesion. Cardiotonic steroids consist of a steroid nucleus and a lactone ring, and their biological effects depend on the binding to their receptor, Na,K-ATPase, through which, they inhibit Na+ and K+ ion transport and activate of several intracellular signaling pathways. In this study, we added a styrene group to the lactone ring of the cardiotonic steroid digoxin, to obtain 21-benzylidene digoxin (21-BD), and investigated the effects of this synthetic cardiotonic steroid in different cell models. Molecular modeling indicates that 21-BD binds to its target Na,K-ATPase with low affinity, adopting a different pharmacophoric conformation when bound to its receptor than digoxin. Accordingly, 21-DB, at relatively high µM amounts inhibits the activity of Na,K-ATPase α1, but not α2 and α3 isoforms. In addition, 21-BD targets other proteins outside the Na,K-ATPase, inhibiting the multidrug exporter Pdr5p. When used on whole cells at low µM concentrations, 21-BD produces several effects, including: 1) up-regulation of Na,K-ATPase expression and activity in HeLa and RKO cancer cells, which is not found for digoxin, 2) cell specific changes in cell viability, reducing it in HeLa and RKO cancer cells, but increasing it in normal epithelial MDCK cells, which is different from the response to digoxin, and 3) changes in cell-cell interaction, altering the molecular composition of tight junctions and elevating transepithelial electrical resistance of MDCK monolayers, an effect previously found for ouabain. These results indicate that modification of the lactone ring of digoxin provides new properties to the compound, and shows that the structural change introduced could be used for the design of cardiotonic steroid with novel functions. PMID:25290152

  18. Traction force dynamics predict gap formation in activated endothelium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valent, Erik T.; Nieuw Amerongen, Geerten P. van; Hinsbergh, Victor W.M. van; Hordijk, Peter L., E-mail: p.hordijk@vumc.nl

    2016-09-10

    In many pathological conditions the endothelium becomes activated and dysfunctional, resulting in hyperpermeability and plasma leakage. No specific therapies are available yet to control endothelial barrier function, which is regulated by inter-endothelial junctions and the generation of acto-myosin-based contractile forces in the context of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. However, the spatiotemporal distribution and stimulus-induced reorganization of these integral forces remain largely unknown. Traction force microscopy of human endothelial monolayers was used to visualize contractile forces in resting cells and during thrombin-induced hyperpermeability. Simultaneously, information about endothelial monolayer integrity, adherens junctions and cytoskeletal proteins (F-actin) were captured. This revealed a heterogeneous distribution of traction forces, with nuclear areas showing lower and cell-cell junctions higher traction forces than the whole-monolayer average. Moreover, junctional forces were asymmetrically distributed among neighboring cells. Force vector orientation analysis showed a good correlation with the alignment of F-actin and revealed contractile forces in newly formed filopodia and lamellipodia-like protrusions within the monolayer. Finally, unstable areas, showing high force fluctuations within the monolayer were prone to form inter-endothelial gaps upon stimulation with thrombin. To conclude, contractile traction forces are heterogeneously distributed within endothelial monolayers and force instability, rather than force magnitude, predicts the stimulus-induced formation of intercellular gaps. - Highlights: • Endothelial monolayers exert dynamic- and heterogeneous traction forces. • High traction forces correlate with junctional areas and the F-actin cytoskeleton. • Newly formed inter-endothelial gaps are characterized by opposing traction forces. • Force stability is a key feature controlling endothelial permeability.

  19. Traction force dynamics predict gap formation in activated endothelium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valent, Erik T.; Nieuw Amerongen, Geerten P. van; Hinsbergh, Victor W.M. van; Hordijk, Peter L.

    2016-01-01

    In many pathological conditions the endothelium becomes activated and dysfunctional, resulting in hyperpermeability and plasma leakage. No specific therapies are available yet to control endothelial barrier function, which is regulated by inter-endothelial junctions and the generation of acto-myosin-based contractile forces in the context of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. However, the spatiotemporal distribution and stimulus-induced reorganization of these integral forces remain largely unknown. Traction force microscopy of human endothelial monolayers was used to visualize contractile forces in resting cells and during thrombin-induced hyperpermeability. Simultaneously, information about endothelial monolayer integrity, adherens junctions and cytoskeletal proteins (F-actin) were captured. This revealed a heterogeneous distribution of traction forces, with nuclear areas showing lower and cell-cell junctions higher traction forces than the whole-monolayer average. Moreover, junctional forces were asymmetrically distributed among neighboring cells. Force vector orientation analysis showed a good correlation with the alignment of F-actin and revealed contractile forces in newly formed filopodia and lamellipodia-like protrusions within the monolayer. Finally, unstable areas, showing high force fluctuations within the monolayer were prone to form inter-endothelial gaps upon stimulation with thrombin. To conclude, contractile traction forces are heterogeneously distributed within endothelial monolayers and force instability, rather than force magnitude, predicts the stimulus-induced formation of intercellular gaps. - Highlights: • Endothelial monolayers exert dynamic- and heterogeneous traction forces. • High traction forces correlate with junctional areas and the F-actin cytoskeleton. • Newly formed inter-endothelial gaps are characterized by opposing traction forces. • Force stability is a key feature controlling endothelial permeability.

  20. Molecular electronic junction transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solomon, Gemma C.; Herrmann, Carmen; Ratner, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Whenasinglemolecule,oracollectionofmolecules,isplacedbetween two electrodes and voltage is applied, one has a molecular transport junction. We discuss such junctions, their properties, their description, and some of their applications. The discussion is qualitative rather than quantitative, and f...

  1. Electron optics with ballistic graphene junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shaowen

    Electrons transmitted across a ballistic semiconductor junction undergo refraction, analogous to light rays across an optical boundary. A pn junction theoretically provides the equivalent of a negative index medium, enabling novel electron optics such as negative refraction and perfect (Veselago) lensing. In graphene, the linear dispersion and zero-gap bandstructure admit highly transparent pn junctions by simple electrostatic gating, which cannot be achieved in conventional semiconductors. Robust demonstration of these effects, however, has not been forthcoming. Here we employ transverse magnetic focusing to probe propagation across an electrostatically defined graphene junction. We find perfect agreement with the predicted Snell's law for electrons, including observation of both positive and negative refraction. Resonant transmission across the pn junction provides a direct measurement of the angle dependent transmission coefficient, and we demonstrate good agreement with theory. Comparing experimental data with simulation reveals the crucial role played by the effective junction width, providing guidance for future device design. Efforts toward sharper pn junction and possibility of zero field Veselago lensing will also be discussed. This work is supported by the Semiconductor Research Corporations NRI Center for Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration (INDEX).

  2. GAP Analysis Program (GAP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — The Kansas GAP Analysis Land Cover database depicts 43 land cover classes for the state of Kansas. The database was generated using a two-stage hybrid classification...

  3. Junction and circuit fabrication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackel, L.D.

    1980-01-01

    Great strides have been made in Josephson junction fabrication in the four years since the first IC SQUID meeting. Advances in lithography have allowed the production of devices with planar dimensions as small as a few hundred angstroms. Improved technology has provided ultra-high sensitivity SQUIDS, high-efficiency low-noise mixers, and complex integrated circuits. This review highlights some of the new fabrication procedures. The review consists of three parts. Part 1 is a short summary of the requirements on junctions for various applications. Part 2 reviews intergrated circuit fabrication, including tunnel junction logic circuits made at IBM and Bell Labs, and microbridge radiation sources made at SUNY at Stony Brook. Part 3 describes new junction fabrication techniques, the major emphasis of this review. This part includes a discussion of small oxide-barrier tunnel junctions, semiconductor barrier junctions, and microbridge junctions. Part 3 concludes by considering very fine lithography and limitations to miniaturization. (orig.)

  4. Closing the gap between glia and neuroblast proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limmer, Stefanie; Klämbt, Christian

    2014-08-11

    Reporting in this issue of Developmental Cell, Spéder and Brand (2014) show that gap junctions are required in blood-brain barrier glial cells to reactivate proliferation of quiescent neuroblasts. Gap junctions allow synchronous Ca(2+) waves and control insulin-like protein Dipl6 expression and secretion to trigger neuroblast division. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Scattering theory of superconductive tunneling in quantum junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shumeiko, V.S.; Bratus', E.N.

    1997-01-01

    A consistent theory of superconductive tunneling in single-mode junctions within a scattering formulation of Bogolyubov-de Gennes quantum mechanics is presented. The dc Josephson effect and dc quasiparticle transport in the voltage-biased junctions are considered. Elastic quasiparticle scattering by the junction determines the equilibrium Josephson current. The origin of Andreev bound states in tunnel junctions and their role in equilibrium Josephson transport are discussed. In contrast, quasiparticle tunneling in voltage-biased junctions is determined by inelastic scattering. A general expression for inelastic scattering amplitudes is derived and the quasiparticle current is calculated at all voltages with emphasis on a discussion of the properties of sub gap tunnel current and the nature of subharmonic gap structure

  6. The RabGAP TBC1D1 plays a central role in exercise-regulated glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stöckli, Jacqueline; Meoli, Christopher C; Hoffman, Nolan J

    2015-01-01

    Insulin and exercise stimulate glucose uptake into skeletal muscle via different pathways. Both stimuli converge on the translocation of the glucose transporter GLUT4 from intracellular vesicles to the cell surface. Two Rab guanosine triphosphatases-activating proteins (GAPs) have been implicated...... weight, insulin action, and exercise. TBC1D1(-/-) mice showed normal glucose and insulin tolerance, with no difference in body weight compared with wild-type littermates. GLUT4 protein levels were reduced by ∼40% in white TBC1D1(-/-) muscle, and TBC1D1(-/-) mice showed impaired exercise endurance...... together with impaired exercise-mediated 2-deoxyglucose uptake into white but not red muscles. These findings indicate that the RabGAP TBC1D1 plays a key role in regulating GLUT4 protein levels and in exercise-mediated glucose uptake in nonoxidative muscle fibers....

  7. Disruption of gap junctional intercellular communication by antibiotic gentamicin is associated with aberrant localization of occludin, N-cadherin, connexin 43, and vimentin in SerW3 Sertoli cells in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekheet, Souad H M; Stahlmann, Ralf

    2009-09-01

    Spermatogenesis is a very complex process by which male germ cells differentiate into mature spermatozoa. The sophisticated communication network that controls spermatogenesis can be derailed so that dysfunction of one cell type propagates to all types as a cascade. This accounts for the particular vulnerability of the testis to environmental factors such as drugs and xenobiotics. Sertoli cells play an important role in protecting developing germ cells by forming a physiological barrier, limiting exposure to potentially toxic substrates, or conversely, facilitating uptake of xenobiotics within the testis. In this study, cells from the rat Sertoli line (SerW3) were incubated for 3, 6 and 9 subsequent days in serum free DMEM (SFDM) composed of DMEM supplemented with three different concentrations of antibiotic gentamicin (10, 30, and 100 μg). The effect of the three different concentrations of this antibiotic was determined on Sertoli cell-cell interaction through impaired expression of their constitutive tight junction proteins as early targets for different toxicants in vitro by immunochemistry analysis. The Sertoli SerW3 cell line illustrated the cytotoxicity of GS, as the intercellular junction proteins such as occludin, N-cadherin, connexin 43, and vimentin were delocalized from the membrane to the cytoplasmic compartment during exposure to the antibiotic. This study underlines the potential deleterious effects of the routine use of antibiotics during continuous cell culture.

  8. Josephson junction arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bindslev Hansen, J.; Lindelof, P.E.

    1985-01-01

    In this review we intend to cover recent work involving arrays of Josephson junctions. The work on such arrays falls naturally into three main areas of interest: 1. Technical applications of Josephson junction arrays for high-frequency devices. 2. Experimental studies of 2-D model systems (Kosterlitz-Thouless phase transition, commensurate-incommensurate transition in frustrated (flux) lattices). 3. Investigations of phenomena associated with non-equilibrium superconductivity in and around Josephson junctions (with high current density). (orig./BUD)

  9. Equivalent Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyadzhiev, T.L.; ); Semerdzhieva, E.G.; Shukrinov, Yu.M.; Fiziko-Tekhnicheskij Inst., Dushanbe

    2008-01-01

    The magnetic field dependences of critical current are numerically constructed for a long Josephson junction with a shunt- or resistor-type microscopic inhomogeneities and compared to the critical curve of a junction with exponentially varying width. The numerical results show that it is possible to replace the distributed inhomogeneity of a long Josephson junction by an inhomogeneity localized at one of its ends, which has certain technological advantages. It is also shown that the critical curves of junctions with exponentially varying width and inhomogeneities localized at the ends are unaffected by the mixed fluxon-antifluxon distributions of the magnetic flux [ru

  10. Carbachol ameliorates lipopolysaccharide-induced intestinal epithelial tight junction damage by down-regulating NF-{kappa}{beta} and myosin light-chain kinase pathways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Ying [Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine Center, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, Hubei Province, People' s Republic of China (China); Li, Jianguo, E-mail: 2010lijianguo@sina.cn [Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine Center, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, Hubei Province, People' s Republic of China (China)

    2012-11-16

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Carbachol reduced the lipopolysaccharide-induced intestinal barrier breakdown. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Carbachol ameliorated the lipopolysaccharide-induced ileal tight junction damage. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Carbachol prevented the LPS-induced NF-{kappa}{beta} and myosin light-chain kinase activation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Carbachol exerted its beneficial effects in an {alpha}7 nicotinic receptor-dependent manner. -- Abstract: Carbachol is a cholinergic agonist that protects the intestines after trauma or burn injury. The present study determines the beneficial effects of carbachol and the mechanisms by which it ameliorates the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced intestinal barrier breakdown. Rats were injected intraperitoneally with 10 mg/kg LPS. Results showed that the gut barrier permeability was reduced, the ultrastructural disruption of tight junctions (TJs) was prevented, the redistribution of zonula occludens-1 and claudin-2 proteins was partially reversed, and the nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-{kappa}{beta}) and myosin light-chain kinase (MLCK) activation in the intestinal epithelium were suppressed after carbachol administration in LPS-exposed rats. Pretreatment with the {alpha}7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ({alpha}7nAchR) antagonist {alpha}-bungarotoxin blocked the protective action of carbachol. These results suggested that carbachol treatment can protect LPS-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction. Carbachol exerts its beneficial effect on the amelioration of the TJ damage by inhibiting the NF-{kappa}{beta} and MLCK pathways in an {alpha}7nAchR-dependent manner.

  11. Control strategies for reducing consumption and pollutant emission on isolated junctions: field results; Enjeux de la regulation aux carrefours pour reduire la consommation et la polution: resultats experimentaux

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Midenet, S.; Boillot, F.; Pierrelee, J.C. [Institut National de Recherche sur les Transports et leur Securite, INRETS, Lab. Genie des Reseaux de Transports et Informatique Avancee, GRETIA, 94 - Arcueil (France)

    2000-07-01

    We present experimental results dealing with traffic light control strategies for reducing CO{sub 2} emission and fuel consumption on isolated intersection. The experimental site, located near Paris, is a 400 meter area centred on an isolated junction that has been equipped with video sensors (for queue lengths and other spatial traffic measurements). A complete control device enables to actually control the junction traffic lights from our INRETS laboratory. A model has been designed to estimate emission and consumption mean costs based on video traffic measurements. The model's coefficients have been calibrated with real life kinematics profiles and corresponding instantaneous emission measurements, provided by INRETS-LTE; we ended up with coefficients for diesel, catalyst gasoline and non-catalyst gasoline passenger cars. An 8 months experimental period in 1998-1999 led to constitute a large database of one-hour traffic measurement samples, that cover the usual traffic condition ranges for each strategy applied on field. The consumption and emission costs for each strategy, along with comparative benefits have been computed on this basis. We show that the CRONOS adaptive real-time strategy based on waiting time minimization leads to important benefits on the part of the cost that is related to stops and waiting time: 14 % on average for CO{sub 2} emission. This benefit remains significant on the total cost (around 4 % for CO{sub 2}) and noticeable whatever the traffic conditions. (authors)

  12. Characterization of cytoskeletal and junctional proteins expressed by cells cultured from human arachnoid granulation tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehta Bhavya C

    2005-10-01

    the in vitro culture of arachnoidal cells grown from human AG tissue. We demonstrated that these cells in vitro continue to express some of the cytoskeletal and junctional proteins characterized previously in human AG tissue, such as proteins involved in the formation of gap junctions, desmosomes, epithelial specific adherens junctions, as well as tight junctions. These junctional proteins in particular may be important in allowing these arachnoidal cells to regulate CSF outflow.

  13. Baicalin Protects against TNF-α-Induced Injury by Down-Regulating miR-191a That Targets the Tight Junction Protein ZO-1 in IEC-6 Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Zhang, Ren; Chen, Jian; Wu, Qihui; Kuang, Zaoyuan

    2017-04-01

    Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) plays an important role in the developing process of inflammatory bowel disease. Tight junction protein zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), one of epithelial junctional proteins, maintains the permeability of intestinal barrier. The objective of this study was to investigate the mechanism of the protective effect of baicalin on TNF-α-induced injury and ZO-1 expression in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). We found that baicalin pretreatment significantly improved cell viability and cell migration following TNF-α stimulation. miR-191a inhibitor increased the protective effect of baicalin on cell motility injured by TNF-α. In addition, miR-191a down-regulated the mRNA and protein level of its target gene ZO-1. TNF-α stimulation increased miR-191a expression, leading to the decline of ZO-1 mRNA and protein. Moreover, pretreatment with baicalin reversed TNF-α induced decrease of ZO-1 and increase of miR-191a, miR-191a inhibitor significantly enhanced ZO-1 protein expression restored by baicalin. These results indicate that baicalin exerts a protective effect on IEC-6 (rat small intestinal epithelial cells) cells against TNF-α-induced injury, which is at least partly via inhibiting the expression of miR-191a, thus increasing ZO-1 mRNA and protein levels.

  14. Interactive effects of inflammatory cytokine and abundant low-molecular-weight PAHs on inhibition of gap junctional intercellular communication, disruption of cell proliferation control, and the AhR-dependent transcription

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kabátková, Markéta; Svobodová, Jana; Pěnčíková, K.; Mohatad, D.S.; Šmerdová, Lenka; Kozubík, Alois; Machala, M.; Vondráček, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 232, č. 1 (2015), s. 113-121 ISSN 0378-4274 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP503/11/1227; GA ČR(CZ) GA13-07711S Institutional support: RVO:68081707 Keywords : PAHs * Inflammation * Cell proliferation Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 3.522, year: 2015

  15. Supramolecular tunneling junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wimbush, K.S.

    2012-01-01

    In this study a variety of supramolecular tunneling junctions were created. The basis of these junctions was a self-assembled monolayer of heptathioether functionalized ß-cyclodextrin (ßCD) formed on an ultra-flat Au surface, i.e., the bottom electrode. This gave a well-defined hexagonally packed

  16. Na,K-ATPase regulates intercellular communication in the vascular wall via cSrc kinase dependent connexin43 phosphorylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hangaard, Lise; Bouzinova, Elena; Stæhr, Christian Albeck

    2017-01-01

    Communication between vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is dependent on gap junctions and is regulated by the Na-K-ATPase. The Na-K-ATPase is therefore important for synchronized VSMC oscillatory activity, i.e., vasomotion. The signaling between the Na-K-ATPase and gap junctions is unknown. We...... coupling in rat mesenteric small arteries in vitro. Phosphorylation of cSrc kinase and connexin43 (Cx43) were semiquantified by Western blotting. Micromole concentration of ouabain reduced the amplitude of norepinephrine-induced vasomotion and desynchronized Ca2+ transients in VSMC in the arterial wall...

  17. Msx1 and Msx2 are functional interacting partners of T-box factors in the regulation of Connexin43

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, Kees-Jan; Wong, L. Y. Elaine; Christoffels, Vincent M.; Klarenbeek, Meinke; Ruijter, Jan M.; Moorman, Antoon F. M.; Barnett, Phil

    2008-01-01

    AIMS: T-box factors Tbx2 and Tbx3 play key roles in the development of the cardiac conduction system, atrioventricular canal, and outflow tract of the heart. They regulate the gap-junction-encoding gene Connexin43 (Cx43) and other genes critical for heart development and function. Discovering

  18. Functional Molecular Junctions Derived from Double Self-Assembled Monolayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Sohyeon; Hwang, Eunhee; Cho, Yunhee; Lee, Junghyun; Lee, Hyoyoung

    2017-09-25

    Information processing using molecular junctions is becoming more important as devices are miniaturized to the nanoscale. Herein, we report functional molecular junctions derived from double self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) intercalated between soft graphene electrodes. Newly assembled molecular junctions are fabricated by placing a molecular SAM/(top) electrode on another molecular SAM/(bottom) electrode by using a contact-assembly technique. Double SAMs can provide tunneling conjugation across the van der Waals gap between the terminals of each monolayer and exhibit new electrical functions. Robust contact-assembled molecular junctions can act as platforms for the development of equivalent contact molecular junctions between top and bottom electrodes, which can be applied independently to different kinds of molecules to enhance either the structural complexity or the assembly properties of molecules. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Enhanced Andreev reflection in gapped graphene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majidi, Leyla; Zareyan, Malek

    2012-08-01

    We theoretically demonstrate unusual features of superconducting proximity effect in gapped graphene that presents a pseudospin symmetry-broken ferromagnet with a net pseudomagnetization. We find that the presence of a band gap makes the Andreev conductance of graphene superconductor/pseudoferromagnet (S/PF) junction to behave similar to that of a graphene ferromagnet-superconductor junction. The energy gap ΔN can enhance the pseudospin inverted Andreev conductance of S/PF junction to reach a limiting maximum value for ΔN≫μ, which depending on the bias voltage can be larger than the value for the corresponding junction with no energy gap. We further demonstrate a damped-oscillatory behavior for the local density of states of the PF region of S/PF junction and a long-range crossed Andreev reflection process in PF/S/PF structure with antiparallel alignment of pseudomagnetizations of PFs, which confirm that, in this respect, the gapped normal graphene behaves like a ferromagnetic graphene.

  20. Pentacene-based photodiode with Schottky junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Jiyoul; Hwang, D.K.; Park, C.H.; Kim, S.S.; Im, Seongil

    2004-01-01

    We have fabricated a metal/organic semiconductor Schottky photodiode based on Al/pentacene junction. Since the energy band gap of thin solid pentacene was determined to be 1.82 eV, as characterized by direct absorption spectroscopy, we measured spectral photoresponses on our Schottky photodiode in the monochromatic light illumination range of 325-650 nm applying a reverse bias of -2 V. The main features of photo-response spectra were found to shift from those of direct absorption spectra toward higher photon energies. It is because the direct absorption spectra mainly show exciton level peaks rather than the true highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO)-lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) gaps while the photo-response spectra clearly represents the true HOMO-LUMO gap. Our photo-response spectra reveal 1.97 eV as the HOMO-LUMO gap

  1. Differential regulation of the Rac1 GTPase-activating protein (GAP) BCR during oxygen/glucose deprivation in hippocampal and cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Katharine R; Rajgor, Dipen; Hanley, Jonathan G

    2017-12-08

    Brain ischemia causes oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) in neurons, triggering a cascade of events leading to synaptic accumulation of glutamate. Excessive activation of glutamate receptors causes excitotoxicity and delayed cell death in vulnerable neurons. Following global cerebral ischemia, hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons are more vulnerable to injury than their cortical counterparts, but the mechanisms that underlie this difference are unclear. Signaling via Rho-family small GTPases, their upstream guanine nucleotide exchange factors, and GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) is differentially dysregulated in response to OGD/ischemia in hippocampal and cortical neurons. Increased Rac1 activity caused by OGD/ischemia contributes to neuronal death in hippocampal neurons via diverse effects on NADPH oxidase activity and dendritic spine morphology. The Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor Tiam1 mediates an OGD-induced increase in Rac1 activity in hippocampal neurons; however, the identity of an antagonistic GAP remains elusive. Here we show that the Rac1 GAP breakpoint cluster region (BCR) associates with NMDA receptors (NMDARs) along with Tiam1 and that this protein complex is more abundant in hippocampal compared with cortical neurons. Although total BCR is similar in the two neuronal types, BCR is more active in hippocampal compared with cortical neurons. OGD causes an NMDAR- and Ca 2+ -permeable AMPAR-dependent deactivation of BCR in hippocampal but not cortical neurons. BCR knockdown occludes OGD-induced Rac1 activation in hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, disrupting the Tiam1-NMDAR interaction with a fragment of Tiam1 blocks OGD-induced Tiam1 activation but has no effect on the deactivation of BCR. This work identifies BCR as a critical player in Rac1 regulation during OGD in hippocampal neurons. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  2. Primary Tunnel Junction Thermometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pekola, Jukka P.; Holmqvist, Tommy; Meschke, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    We describe the concept and experimental demonstration of primary thermometry based on a four-probe measurement of a single tunnel junction embedded within four arrays of junctions. We show that in this configuration random sample specific and environment-related errors can be avoided. This method relates temperature directly to Boltzmann constant, which will form the basis of the definition of temperature and realization of official temperature scales in the future

  3. A response regulator interfaces between the Frz chemosensory system and the MglA/MglB GTPase/GAP module to regulate polarity in Myxococcus xanthus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Keilberg

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available How cells establish and dynamically change polarity are general questions in cell biology. Cells of the rod-shaped bacterium Myxococcus xanthus move on surfaces with defined leading and lagging cell poles. Occasionally, cells undergo reversals, which correspond to an inversion of the leading-lagging pole polarity axis. Reversals are induced by the Frz chemosensory system and depend on relocalization of motility proteins between the poles. The Ras-like GTPase MglA localizes to and defines the leading cell pole in the GTP-bound form. MglB, the cognate MglA GTPase activating protein, localizes to and defines the lagging pole. During reversals, MglA-GTP and MglB switch poles and, therefore, dynamically localized motility proteins switch poles. We identified the RomR response regulator, which localizes in a bipolar asymmetric pattern with a large cluster at the lagging pole, as important for motility and reversals. We show that RomR interacts directly with MglA and MglB in vitro. Furthermore, RomR, MglA, and MglB affect the localization of each other in all pair-wise directions, suggesting that RomR stimulates motility by promoting correct localization of MglA and MglB in MglA/RomR and MglB/RomR complexes at opposite poles. Moreover, localization analyses suggest that the two RomR complexes mutually exclude each other from their respective poles. We further show that RomR interfaces with FrzZ, the output response regulator of the Frz chemosensory system, to regulate reversals. Thus, RomR serves at the functional interface to connect a classic bacterial signalling module (Frz to a classic eukaryotic polarity module (MglA/MglB. This modular design is paralleled by the phylogenetic distribution of the proteins, suggesting an evolutionary scheme in which RomR was incorporated into the MglA/MglB module to regulate cell polarity followed by the addition of the Frz system to dynamically regulate cell polarity.

  4. RASAL3, a novel hematopoietic RasGAP protein, regulates the number and functions of NKT cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, Suguru; Kawamura, Toshihiko; Higuchi, Masaya; Kobayashi, Takahiro; Yoshita-Takahashi, Manami; Yamazaki, Maya; Abe, Manabu; Sakimura, Kenji; Kanda, Yasuhiro; Kawamura, Hiroki; Jiang, Shuying; Naito, Makoto; Yoshizaki, Takumi; Takahashi, Masahiko; Fujii, Masahiro

    2015-05-01

    Ras GTPase-activating proteins negatively regulate the Ras/Erk signaling pathway, thereby playing crucial roles in the proliferation, function, and development of various types of cells. In this study, we identified a novel Ras GTPase-activating proteins protein, RASAL3, which is predominantly expressed in cells of hematopoietic lineages, including NKT, B, and T cells. We established systemic RASAL3-deficient mice, and the mice exhibited a severe decrease in NKT cells in the liver at 8 weeks of age. The treatment of RASAL3-deficient mice with α-GalCer, a specific agonist for NKT cells, induced liver damage, but the level was less severe than that in RASAL3-competent mice, and the attenuated liver damage was accompanied by a reduced production of interleukin-4 and interferon-γ from NKT cells. RASAL3-deficient NKT cells treated with α-GalCer in vitro presented augmented Erk phosphorylation, suggesting that there is dysregulated Ras signaling in the NKT cells of RASAL3-deficient mice. Taken together, these results suggest that RASAL3 plays an important role in the expansion and functions of NKT cells in the liver by negatively regulating Ras/Erk signaling, and might be a therapeutic target for NKT-associated diseases. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Quantum Junction Solar Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Tang, Jiang

    2012-09-12

    Colloidal quantum dot solids combine convenient solution-processing with quantum size effect tuning, offering avenues to high-efficiency multijunction cells based on a single materials synthesis and processing platform. The highest-performing colloidal quantum dot rectifying devices reported to date have relied on a junction between a quantum-tuned absorber and a bulk material (e.g., TiO 2); however, quantum tuning of the absorber then requires complete redesign of the bulk acceptor, compromising the benefits of facile quantum tuning. Here we report rectifying junctions constructed entirely using inherently band-aligned quantum-tuned materials. Realizing these quantum junction diodes relied upon the creation of an n-type quantum dot solid having a clean bandgap. We combine stable, chemically compatible, high-performance n-type and p-type materials to create the first quantum junction solar cells. We present a family of photovoltaic devices having widely tuned bandgaps of 0.6-1.6 eV that excel where conventional quantum-to-bulk devices fail to perform. Devices having optimal single-junction bandgaps exhibit certified AM1.5 solar power conversion efficiencies of 5.4%. Control over doping in quantum solids, and the successful integration of these materials to form stable quantum junctions, offers a powerful new degree of freedom to colloidal quantum dot optoelectronics. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

  6. The role of Rap1 in cell-cell junction formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooistra, M.R.H.

    2008-01-01

    Both epithelial and endothelial cells form cell-cell junctions at the cell-cell contacts to maintain tissue integrity. Proper regulation of cell-cell junctions is required for the organisation of the tissue and to prevent leakage of blood vessels. In endothelial cells, the cell-cell junctions are

  7. Combinatorial regulation of meiotic holliday junction resolution in C. elegans by HIM-6 (BLM) helicase, SLX-4, and the SLX-1, MUS-81 and XPF-1 nucleases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostinho, Ana; Meier, Bettina; Sonneville, Remi; Jagut, Marlène; Woglar, Alexander; Blow, Julian; Jantsch, Verena; Gartner, Anton

    2013-01-01

    Holliday junctions (HJs) are cruciform DNA structures that are created during recombination events. It is a matter of considerable importance to determine the resolvase(s) that promote resolution of these structures. We previously reported that C. elegans GEN-1 is a symmetrically cleaving HJ resolving enzyme required for recombinational repair, but we could not find an overt role in meiotic recombination. Here we identify C. elegans proteins involved in resolving meiotic HJs. We found no evidence for a redundant meiotic function of GEN-1. In contrast, we discovered two redundant HJ resolution pathways likely coordinated by the SLX-4 scaffold protein and also involving the HIM-6/BLM helicase. SLX-4 associates with the SLX-1, MUS-81 and XPF-1 nucleases and has been implicated in meiotic recombination in C. elegans. We found that C. elegans [mus-81; xpf-1], [slx-1; xpf-1], [mus-81; him-6] and [slx-1; him-6] double mutants showed a similar reduction in survival rates as slx-4. Analysis of meiotic diakinesis chromosomes revealed a distinct phenotype in these double mutants. Instead of wild-type bivalent chromosomes, pairs of "univalents" linked by chromatin bridges occur. These linkages depend on the conserved meiosis-specific transesterase SPO-11 and can be restored by ionizing radiation, suggesting that they represent unresolved meiotic HJs. This suggests the existence of two major resolvase activities, one provided by XPF-1 and HIM-6, the other by SLX-1 and MUS-81. In all double mutants crossover (CO) recombination is reduced but not abolished, indicative of further redundancy in meiotic HJ resolution. Real time imaging revealed extensive chromatin bridges during the first meiotic division that appear to be eventually resolved in meiosis II, suggesting back-up resolution activities acting at or after anaphase I. We also show that in HJ resolution mutants, the restructuring of chromosome arms distal and proximal to the CO still occurs, suggesting that CO initiation

  8. Four-junction superconducting circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Yueyin; Xiong, Wei; He, Xiao-Ling; Li, Tie-Fu; You, J. Q.

    2016-01-01

    We develop a theory for the quantum circuit consisting of a superconducting loop interrupted by four Josephson junctions and pierced by a magnetic flux (either static or time-dependent). In addition to the similarity with the typical three-junction flux qubit in the double-well regime, we demonstrate the difference of the four-junction circuit from its three-junction analogue, including its advantages over the latter. Moreover, the four-junction circuit in the single-well regime is also investigated. Our theory provides a tool to explore the physical properties of this four-junction superconducting circuit. PMID:27356619

  9. Tunable Nitride Josephson Junctions.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Missert, Nancy A. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Henry, Michael David [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lewis, Rupert M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Howell, Stephen W. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wolfley, Steven L. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Brunke, Lyle Brent [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Wolak, Matthaeus [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-12-01

    We have developed an ambient temperature, SiO2/Si wafer - scale process for Josephson junctions based on Nb electrodes and Ta x N barriers with tunable electronic properties. The films are fabricated by magnetron sputtering. The electronic properties of the TaxN barriers are controlled by adjusting the nitrogen flow during sputtering. This technology offers a scalable alternative to the more traditional junctions based on AlOx barriers for low - power, high - performance computing.

  10. Majorana splitting from critical currents in Josephson junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cayao, Jorge; San-Jose, Pablo; Black-Schaffer, Annica M.; Aguado, Ramón; Prada, Elsa

    2017-11-01

    A semiconducting nanowire with strong Rashba spin-orbit coupling and coupled to a superconductor can be tuned by an external Zeeman field into a topological phase with Majorana zero modes. Here we theoretically investigate how this exotic topological superconductor phase manifests in Josephson junctions based on such proximitized nanowires. In particular, we focus on critical currents in the short junction limit (LN≪ξ , where LN is the junction length and ξ is the superconducting coherence length) and show that they contain important information about nontrivial topology and Majoranas. This includes signatures of the gap inversion at the topological transition and a unique oscillatory pattern that originates from Majorana interference. Interestingly, this pattern can be modified by tuning the transmission across the junction, thus providing complementary evidence of Majoranas and their energy splittings beyond standard tunnel spectroscopy experiments, while offering further tunability by virtue of the Josephson effect.

  11. Niobium nitride Josephson tunnel junctions with magnesium oxide barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shoji, A.; Aoyagi, M.; Kosaka, S.; Shinoki, F.; Hayakawa, H.

    1985-01-01

    Niobium nitride-niobium nitride Josephson tunnel junctions have been fabricated using amorphous magnesium oxide (a-MgO) films as barriers. These junctions have excellent tunneling characteristics. For example, a large gap voltage (V/sub g/ = 5.1 mV), a large product of the maximum critical current and the normal tunneling resistance (I/sub c/R/sub n/ = 3.25 mV), and a small subgap leakage current (V/sub m/ = 45 mV, measured at 3 mV) have been obtained for a NbN/a-MgO/NbN junction. The critical current of this junction remains finite up to 14.5 K

  12. Resistance switch employing a simple metal nanogap junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naitoh, Yasuhisa; Horikawa, Masayo; Abe, Hidekazu; Shimizu, Tetsuo

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, several researchers have reported the occurrence of reversible resistance switching effects in simple metal nanogap junctions. A large negative resistance is observed in the I-V characteristics of such a junction when high-bias voltages are applied. This phenomenon is characteristic behaviour on the nanometre scale; it only occurs for gap widths slightly under 13 nm. Furthermore, such a junction exhibits a non-volatile resistance hysteresis when the bias voltage is reduced very rapidly from a high level to around 0 V, and when the bias voltage is reduced slowly. This non-volatile resistance change occurs as a result of changes in the gap width between the metal electrodes, brought about by the applied bias voltage

  13. Gap Resolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2017-04-25

    Gap Resolution is a software package that was developed to improve Newbler genome assemblies by automating the closure of sequence gaps caused by repetitive regions in the DNA. This is done by performing the follow steps:1) Identify and distribute the data for each gap in sub-projects. 2) Assemble the data associated with each sub-project using a secondary assembler, such as Newbler or PGA. 3) Determine if any gaps are closed after reassembly, and either design fakes (consensus of closed gap) for those that closed or lab experiments for those that require additional data. The software requires as input a genome assembly produce by the Newbler assembler provided by Roche and 454 data containing paired-end reads.

  14. Quantum Junction Solar Cells

    KAUST Repository

    Tang, Jiang; Liu, Huan; Zhitomirsky, David; Hoogland, Sjoerd; Wang, Xihua; Furukawa, Melissa; Levina, Larissa; Sargent, Edward H.

    2012-01-01

    -performing colloidal quantum dot rectifying devices reported to date have relied on a junction between a quantum-tuned absorber and a bulk material (e.g., TiO 2); however, quantum tuning of the absorber then requires complete redesign of the bulk acceptor, compromising

  15. Multiband model for tunneling in MgB2 junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brinkman, Alexander; Golubov, Alexandre Avraamovitch; Rogalla, Horst; Dolgov, O.V.; Kortus, J.; Kong, Y.; Jepsen, O.; Andersen, O.K.

    2002-01-01

    A theoretical model for quasiparticle and Josephson tunneling in multiband superconductors is developed and applied to MgB2-based junctions. The gap functions in different bands in MgB2 are obtained from an extended Eliashberg formalism, using the results of band structure calculations. The

  16. The role of remote closure in the perception of occlusion at junctions and illusory contours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillam, Barbara J; Grove, Philip M; Layden, Jessica

    2010-01-01

    Abstract. Perceived occlusion at T-junctions or illusory contours at implicit T-junctions are often modelled by using edge information without surface context. We explored the effect of closure on perceived occlusion at T-junctions. Two vertical lines separated by a gap each had six abutting horizontal lines on opposite sides forming T-junctions. These lines were either closed or not closed into pairs at the stem ends of the Ts. In experiment 1, closed T-junction stems gave a much stronger sense of occlusion at the vertical lines than unclosed ones, even though closure information was remote from the putative occlusion and local T-junction information remained constant. When the outer two T-junctions were converted to L-junctions, perceived occlusion considerably diminished. The effect of closure on illusory-contour strength for stimuli like those of experiment 1 but with the vertical lines omitted was explored in experiment 2. The two sets of horizontal lines, separated by a gap, were either closed or not closed into pairs at their outer ends. Illusory-contour strength along the vertical alignments was much greater for closed pairs. Line terminations on both sides of the gap enhanced illusory-contour strength, but whether they were collinear or not had little effect.

  17. Mythic gaps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Hansen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Different kinds of omissions sometimes occur, or are perceived to occur, in traditional narratives and in tradition-inspired literature. A familiar instance is when a narrator realizes that he or she does not fully remember the story that he or she has begun to tell, and so leaves out part of it, which for listeners may possibly result in an unintelligible narrative. But many instances of narrative gap are not so obvious. From straightforward, objective gaps one can distinguish less-obvious subjective gaps: in many cases narrators do not leave out anything crucial or truly relevant from their exposition, and yet readers perceive gaps and take steps to fill them. The present paper considers four examples of subjective gaps drawn from ancient Greek literature (the Pandora myth, ancient Roman literature (the Pygmalion legend, ancient Hebrew literature (the Joseph legend, and early Christian literature (the Jesus legend. I consider the quite varied ways in which interpreters expand the inherited texts of these stories, such as by devising names, manufacturing motives, creating backstories, and in general filling in biographical ellipses. Finally, I suggest an explanation for the phenomenon of subjective gaps, arguing that, despite their variety, they have a single cause.

  18. Josephson junctions array resonators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gargiulo, Oscar; Muppalla, Phani; Mirzaei, Iman; Kirchmair, Gerhard [Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Innsbruck (Austria)

    2016-07-01

    We present an experimental analysis of the self- and cross-Kerr effect of extended plasma resonances in Josephson junction chains. The chain consists of 1600 individual junctions and we can measure quality factors in excess of 10000. The Kerr effect manifests itself as a frequency shift that depends linearly on the number of photons in a resonant mode. By changing the input power we are able to measure this frequency shift on a single mode (self-kerr). By changing the input power on another mode while measuring the same one, we are able to evaluate the cross-kerr effect. We can measure the cross-Kerr effect by probing the resonance frequency of one mode while exciting another mode of the array with a microwave drive.

  19. Curved Josephson junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobrowolski, Tomasz

    2012-01-01

    The constant curvature one and quasi-one dimensional Josephson junction is considered. On the base of Maxwell equations, the sine–Gordon equation that describes an influence of curvature on the kink motion was obtained. It is showed that the method of geometrical reduction of the sine–Gordon model from three to lower dimensional manifold leads to an identical form of the sine–Gordon equation. - Highlights: ► The research on dynamics of the phase in a curved Josephson junction is performed. ► The geometrical reduction is applied to the sine–Gordon model. ► The results of geometrical reduction and the fundamental research are compared.

  20. Tunneling Spectroscopy of the Energy Gap in MgB2 Under Magnetic Fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ekino, T.; Takasaki, T.; Fujii, H.; Muranaka, T.; Akimitsu, J.

    2003-01-01

    Effects of magnetic field on the multiple-gap structure in the superconductor MgB 2 have been studied by break junctions. With increasing the field, the gap value decreases with filling up of the states inside of the gap. The gap-closing field B c correlates with the gap size. The extrapolated B c value for the larger gap is almost consistent with the upper critical field of this compound. (author)

  1. Many-junction photovoltaic device performance under non-uniform high-concentration illumination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia, Christopher E.; Wilkins, Matthew M.; Chahal, Sanmeet S.; Proulx, Francine; Provost, Philippe-Olivier; Masson, Denis P.; Fafard, Simon; Hinzer, Karin

    2017-09-01

    A parameterized 3D distributed circuit model was developed to calculate the performance of III-V solar cells and photonic power converters (PPC) with a variable number of epitaxial vertically-stacked pn junctions. PPC devices are designed with many pn junctions to realize higher voltages and to operate under non-uniform illumination profiles from a laser or LED. Performance impacts of non-uniform illumination were greatly reduced with increasing number of junctions, with simulations comparing PPC devices with 3 to 20 junctions. Experimental results using Azastra Opto's 12- and 20-junction PPC illuminated by an 845 nm diode laser show high performance even with a small gap between the PPC and optical fiber output, until the local tunnel junction limit is reached.

  2. Dynamics of fractional vortices in long Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaber, Tobias

    2007-01-01

    In this thesis static and dynamic properties of fractional vortices in long Josephson junctions are investigated. Fractional vortices are circulating supercurrents similar to the well-known Josephson fluxons. Yet, they show the distinguishing property of carrying only a fraction of the magnetic flux quantum. Fractional vortices are interesting non-linear objects. They spontaneously appear and are pinned at the phase discontinuity points of so called 0-κ junctions but can be bend or flipped by external forces like bias currents or magnetic fields. 0-κ junctions and fractional vortices are generalizations of the well-known 0-π junctions and semifluxons, where not only phase jumps of pi but arbitrary values denoted by kappa are considered. By using so-called artificial 0-κ junctions that are based on standard Nb-AlO x -Nb technology the classical dynamics of fractional vortices has been investigated experimentally for the very first time. Here, half-integer zero field steps could be observed. These voltage steps on the junction's current-voltage characteristics correspond to the periodic flipping/hopping of fractional vortices. In addition, the oscillatory eigenmodes of fractional vortices were investigated. In contrast to fluxons fractional vortices have an oscillatory eigenmode with a frequency within the plasma gap. Using resonance spectroscopy the dependence of the eigenmode frequency on the flux carried by the vortex and an applied bias current was determined. (orig.)

  3. Chaos synchronization of coupled neurons with gap junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Qingyun; Lu Qishao; Chen Guanrong; Guo Dinghui

    2006-01-01

    Based on the asymptotic stability theory of dynamical systems and matrix theory, a general criterion of synchronization stability of N coupled neurons with symmetric configurations is established in this Letter. Especially, three types of connection styles (that is, chain, ring and global connections) are considered. As an illustration, complete synchronization of four coupled identical chaotic Chay neurons is investigated. The maximal conditional Lyapunov exponent is calculated and used to determine complete synchronization. As a result, complete synchronization of four coupled identical chaotic Chay neurons can be achieved when the coupling strength is above a critical value, which is dependent on the specific connection style. Numerical simulation is in good agreement with the theoretical analysis

  4. Gap Junction Intercellular Communication in Bone Marrow Failure

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-10-01

    traits are responsible for the differences in the severity of these diseases and their relation to skeletal malformations in BMF syndromes. Using a...mesenchymal transition (19-29), and are crucial in the establishment of electrical synapses in the central nervous system, heart , immune system and...developmental defective osteogenesis resulting in craniofacial and skeletal anomalies and associated with heart defects and neurological defects. ODDD

  5. Conduction slowing by the gap junctional uncoupler carbenoxolone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, [No Value; Veenstra, T; Verkerk, AO; Wilders, R; Smits, JPP; Wilms-Schopman, FJG; Wiegerinck, RF; Bourier, J; Belterman, CNW; Coronel, R; Verheijck, EE

    2003-01-01

    Background: Cellular electrical coupling is essential for normal propagation of the cardiac action potential, whereas reduced electrical coupling is associated with arrhythrmas. Known cellular uncoupling agents have severe side effects on membrane ionic currents. We investigated the effect of

  6. Josephson junction analog and quasiparticle-pair current

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Christen Kjeldahl; Pedersen, Niels Falsig

    1973-01-01

    A close analogy exists between a Josephson junction and a phase-locked loop. A new type of electrical analog based on this principle is presented. It is shown that the inclusion in this analog of a low-pass filter gives rise to a current of the same form as the Josephson quasiparticle-pair current....... A simple picture of the quasiparticle-pair current, which gives the right dependences, is obtained by assuming a junction cutoff frequency to be at the energy gap. ©1973 American Institute of Physics...

  7. Nonlinearity in superconductivity and Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lazarides, N.

    1995-01-01

    Within the framework of the Bardeen, Cooper and Schrieffers (BCS) theory, the influence of anisotropy on superconducting states are investigated. Crystal anisotropy exists in un-conventional low temperature superconductors as e.g. U 1-x Th x Be 13 and in high temperature superconductors. Starting from a phenomenological pairing interaction of the electrons or holes, the BCS approach is used to derive a set of coupled nonlinear algebraic equations for the momentum dependent gap parameter. The emphasis is put on bifurcation phenomena between s-, d-wave and mixed s- and d-wave symmetry and the influence on measurable quantities as the electron specific heat, spin susceptibility and Josephson tunnelling. Pitch-fork and perturbed pitch-fork bifurcations have been found separating s- and d-wave superconducting states from mixed s- and d-wave states. The additional superconducting states give rise to jumps in the electron specific heat below the transition temperature. These jumps are rounded in the case of perturbed pitch-fork bifurcations. An experiment to measure the sign of the interlayer interaction using dc SQUIDS is suggested. The Ambegaokar-Baratoff formalism has been used for calculating the quasiparticle current and the two phase coherent tunnelling currents in a Josephson junction made of anisotropic superconductors. It is shown that anisotropy can lead to a reduction in the product of the normal resistance and the critical current. For low voltages across the junction the usual resistively shunted Josephson model can be used. Finally, bunching in long circular Josephson junctions and suppression of chaos in point junctions have been investigated. (au) 113 refs

  8. Edge currents in frustrated Josephson junction ladders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, A. M.; Santos, F. D. R.; Dias, R. G.

    2016-09-01

    We present a numerical study of quasi-1D frustrated Josephson junction ladders with diagonal couplings and open boundary conditions, in the large capacitance limit. We derive a correspondence between the energy of this Josephson junction ladder and the expectation value of the Hamiltonian of an analogous tight-binding model, and show how the overall superconducting state of the chain is equivalent to the minimum energy state of the tight-binding model in the subspace of one-particle states with uniform density. To satisfy the constraint of uniform density, the superconducting state of the ladder is written as a linear combination of the allowed k-states of the tight-binding model with open boundaries. Above a critical value of the parameter t (ratio between the intra-rung and inter-rung Josephson couplings) the ladder spontaneously develops currents at the edges, which spread to the bulk as t is increased until complete coverage is reached. Above a certain value of t, which varies with ladder size (t = 1 for an infinite-sized ladder), the edge currents are destroyed. The value t = 1 corresponds, in the tight-binding model, to the opening of a gap between two bands. We argue that the disappearance of the edge currents with this gap opening is not coincidental, and that this points to a topological origin for these edge current states.

  9. The human myotendinous junction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, A B; Larsen, M; Mackey, Abigail

    2015-01-01

    The myotendinous junction (MTJ) is a specialized structure in the musculotendinous system, where force is transmitted from muscle to tendon. Animal models have shown that the MTJ takes form of tendon finger-like processes merging with muscle tissue. The human MTJ is largely unknown and has never...... been described in three dimensions (3D). The aim of this study was to describe the ultrastructure of the human MTJ and render 3D reconstructions. Fourteen subjects (age 25 ± 3 years) with isolated injury of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), scheduled for reconstruction with a semitendinosus...

  10. Breaking into the epithelial apical-junctional complex--news from pathogen hackers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogelmann, Roger; Amieva, Manuel R; Falkow, Stanley; Nelson, W James

    2004-02-01

    The epithelial apical-junctional complex is a key regulator of cellular functions. In addition, it is an important target for microbial pathogens that manipulate the cell to survive, proliferate and sometimes persist within a host. Out of a myriad of potential molecular targets, some bacterial and viral pathogens have selected a subset of protein targets at the apical-junctional complex of epithelial cells. Studying how microbes use these targets also teaches us about the inherent physiological properties of host molecules in the context of normal junctional structure and function. Thus, we have learned that three recently uncovered components of the apical-junctional complex of the Ig superfamily--junctional adhesion molecule, Nectin and the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor--are important regulators of junction structure and function and represent critical targets of microbial virulence gene products.

  11. Breaking into the epithelial apical–junctional complex — news from pathogen hackers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogelmann, Roger; Amieva, Manuel R; Falkow, Stanley; Nelson, W James

    2012-01-01

    The epithelial apical–junctional complex is a key regulator of cellular functions. In addition, it is an important target for microbial pathogens that manipulate the cell to survive, proliferate and sometimes persist within a host. Out of a myriad of potential molecular targets, some bacterial and viral pathogens have selected a subset of protein targets at the apical–junctional complex of epithelial cells. Studying how microbes use these targets also teaches us about the inherent physiological properties of host molecules in the context of normal junctional structure and function. Thus, we have learned that three recently uncovered components of the apical–junctional complex of the Ig superfamily — junctional adhesion molecule, Nectin and the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor — are important regulators of junction structure and function and represent critical targets of microbial virulence gene products. PMID:15037310

  12. A15 Nb-Sn tunnel junction fabrication and properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudman, D.A.; Hellman, F.; Hammond, R.H.; Beasley, M.R.

    1984-01-01

    We have investigated the deposition conditions necessary to produce optimized films of A15 Nb-Sn (19--26 at. % Sn) by electron-beam codeposition. Reliable high-quality superconducting tunnel junctions can be made on this material by using an oxidized-amorphous silicon overlayer as the tunneling barrier and lead as the counter-electrode. These junctions have been used both as a tool for materials diagnosis and as a probe of the superconducting properties (critical temperature and gap) of the films. Careful control of the substrate temperature during the growth of the films has proved critical to obtain homogeneous samples. When the substrate temperature is properly stabilized, stoichiometric Nb 3 Sn is found to be relatively insensitive to the deposition temperature and conditions. In contrast, the properties of the off-stoichiometry (Sn-poor) material depend strongly on the deposition temperature. For this Sn-poor material the ratio 2Δ/kT/sub c/ at a given composition increases with increasing deposition temperature. This change appears to be due to an increase in the gap at the surface of the material (as measured by tunneling) relative to the critical temperature of the bulk. All the tunnel junctions exhibit some persistent nonidealities in their current-voltage characteristics that are qualitatively insensitive to composition or deposition conditions. In particular, the junctions show excess conduction below the sum of the energy gaps (with onset at the counter-electrode gap) and a broadened current rise at the sum gap. The detailed origins of these problems are not yet understood

  13. NbN-AlN-NbN Josephson junctions on different substrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merker, Michael; Bohn, Christian; Voellinger, Marvin; Ilin, Konstantin; Siegel, Michael [KIT, Karlsruhe (Germany)

    2016-07-01

    Josephson junction technology is important for the realization of high quality cryogenic devices such as SQUIDs, RSFQ or SIS-mixers. The material system based on NbN/AlN/NbN tri-layer has gained a lot of interest, because it offers higher gap voltages and critical current densities compared to the well-established Nb/Al-AlOx/Nb technology. However, the realization of high quality Josephson junctions is more challenging. We developed a technology of Josephson junctions on a variety of substrates such as Silicon, Sapphire and Magnesium oxide and compared the quality parameters of these junctions at 4.2 K. The gap voltages achieved a range from 4 mV (for the junctions on Si) to 5.8 mV (in case of MgO substrates) which is considerably higher than those obtained from Nb based Josephson junctions. Another key parameter is the ratio of the subgap resistance to the normal state resistance. This so-called subgap ratio corresponds to the losses in a Josephson junction which have to be minimized. So far, subgap ratios of 26 have been achieved. Further careful optimization of the deposition conditions is required to maximize this ratio, The details of the optimization of technology and of characterization of NbN/AlN/NbN junctions will be presented and discussed.

  14. Thin film hybrid Josephson junctions with Co doped Ba-122

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, Stefan; Doering, Sebastian; Schmidl, Frank; Tympel, Volker; Grosse, Veit; Seidel, Paul [Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena, Institut fuer Festkoerperphysik, Helmholtzweg 5, 07743 Jena (Germany); Haindl, Silvia; Iida, Kazumasa; Kurth, Fritz; Holzapfel, Bernhard [IFW Dresden, Institut fuer Metallische Werkstoffe, Helmholtzstrasse 20, 01069 Dresden (Germany); Moench, Ingolf [IFW Dresden, Institut fuer Integrative Nanowissenschaften, Helmholtzstrasse 20, 01069 Dresden (Germany)

    2011-07-01

    Josephson junctions are a strong tool to investigate fundamental superconducting properties, such as gap behaviour, dependencies from external fields and the order parameter symmetry. Finding secure values enables the possibility of theoretical descriptions to understand the physical processes within the new iron-based superconductors. Based on Co-doped BaFe{sub 2}As{sub 2} (Ba-122) layers produced via pulsed laser deposition (PLD) on (La,Sr)(Al,Ta)O{sub 3} substrates, we manufactured superconductor-normal conductor-superconductor (S-N-S) junctions structures by using photolithography, ion beam etching as well as insulating SiO{sub 2} layers. We present working Ba-122/Au/PbIn thin film Josephson junctions with different contact areas and barrier thicknesses, their temperature dependence and response to microwave irradiation. The calculated I{sub c}R{sub N} product is in the range of a couple of microvolts.

  15. Knowledge Gaps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyles, Marjorie; Pedersen, Torben; Petersen, Bent

    2003-01-01

    The study explores what factors influence the reduction of managers' perceivedknowledge gaps in the context of the environments of foreign markets. Potentialdeterminants are derived from traditional internationalization theory as well asorganizational learning theory, including the concept...... of absorptive capacity. Building onthese literature streams a conceptual model is developed and tested on a set of primarydata of Danish firms and their foreign market operations. The empirical study suggeststhat the factors that pertain to the absorptive capacity concept - capabilities ofrecognizing......, assimilating, and utilizing knowledge - are crucial determinants ofknowledge gap elimination. In contrast, the two factors deemed essential in traditionalinternationalization process theory - elapsed time of operations and experientiallearning - are found to have no or limited effect.Key words...

  16. Mind the Gap!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Kjeld; Simone, Carla

    2000-01-01

    CSCW at large seems to be pursuing two diverging strategies: on one hand a strategy aiming at coordination technologies that reduce the complexity of coordinating cooperative activities by regulating the coordinative interactions, and on the other hand a strategy that aims at radically flexible m...... and blended in the course of real world cooperative activities. On the basis of this discussion the paper outlines an approach which may help CSCW research to bridge this gap....... means of interaction which do not regulate interaction but rather leave it to the users to cope with the complexity of coordinating their activities. As both strategies reflect genuine requirements, we need to address the issue of how the gap can be bridged, that is, how the two strategies can...

  17. dc properties of series-parallel arrays of Josephson junctions in an external magnetic field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewandowski, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    A detailed dc theory of superconducting multijunction interferometers has previously been developed by several authors for the case of parallel junction arrays. The theory is now extended to cover the case of a loop containing several junctions connected in series. The problem is closely associated with high-T c superconductors and their clusters of intrinsic Josephson junctions. These materials exhibit spontaneous interferometric effects, and there is no reason to assume that the intrinsic junctions form only parallel arrays. A simple formalism of phase states is developed in order to express the superconducting phase differences across the junctions forming a series array as functions of the phase difference across the weakest junction of the system, and to relate the differences in critical currents of the junctions to gaps in the allowed ranges of their phase functions. This formalism is used to investigate the energy states of the array, which in the case of different junctions are split and separated by energy barriers of height depending on the phase gaps. Modifications of the washboard model of a single junction are shown. Next a superconducting inductive loop containing a series array of two junctions is considered, and this model is used to demonstrate the transitions between phase states and the associated instabilities. Finally, the critical current of a parallel connection of two series arrays is analyzed and shown to be a multivalued function of the externally applied magnetic flux. The instabilities caused by the presence of intrinsic serial junctions in granular high-T c materials are pointed out as a potential source of additional noise

  18. Junction detection and pathway selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Alex N.; Lim, Willie Y.; Breul, Harry T.

    1992-02-01

    The ability to detect junctions and make choices among the possible pathways is important for autonomous navigation. In our script-based navigation approach where a journey is specified as a script of high-level instructions, actions are frequently referenced to junctions, e.g., `turn left at the intersection.' In order for the robot to carry out these kind of instructions, it must be able (1) to detect an intersection (i.e., an intersection of pathways), (2) know that there are several possible pathways it can take, and (3) pick the pathway consistent with the high level instruction. In this paper we describe our implementation of the ability to detect junctions in an indoor environment, such as corners, T-junctions and intersections, using sonar. Our approach uses a combination of partial scan of the local environment and recognition of sonar signatures of certain features of the junctions. In the case where the environment is known, we use additional sensor information (such as compass bearings) to help recognize the specific junction. In general, once a junction is detected and its type known, the number of possible pathways can be deduced and the correct pathway selected. Then the appropriate behavior for negotiating the junction is activated.

  19. Mixing in T-junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kok, Jacobus B.W.; van der Wal, S.

    1996-01-01

    The transport processes that are involved in the mixing of two gases in a T-junction mixer are investigated. The turbulent flow field is calculated for the T-junction with the k- turbulence model by FLOW3D. In the mathematical model the transport of species is described with a mixture fraction

  20. Dynamics of Josephson junction arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hadley, P.

    1989-01-01

    The dynamics of Josephson junction arrays is a topic that lies at the intersection of the fields of nonlinear dynamics and Josephson junction technology. The series arrays considered here consist of several rapidly oscillating Josephson junctions where each junction is coupled equally to every other junction. The purpose of this study is to understand phaselocking and other cooperative dynamics of this system. Previously, little was known about high dimensional nonlinear systems of this sort. Numerical simulations are used to study the dynamics of these arrays. Three distinct types of periodic solutions to the array equations were observed as well as period doubled and chaotic solutions. One of the periodic solutions is the symmetric, in-phase solution where all of the junctions oscillate identically. The other two periodic solutions are symmetry-broken solutions where all of the junction do not oscillate identically. The symmetry-broken solutions are highly degenerate. As many as (N - 1) stable solutions can coexist for an array of N junctions. Understanding the stability of these several solutions and the transitions among them is vital to the design of useful devices

  1. Garlic (Allium sativum) feeding impairs Sertoli cell junctional proteins in male Wistar rat testis: microscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammami, I; Nahdi, A; Atig, F; El May, A; El May, M V

    2016-12-01

    Sertoli cell junctions, such as adhesion junction (AJ), gap junction (GJ) and tight junction (TJ), are important for maintaining spermatogenesis. In previous studies, we showed the inhibitory effect of crude garlic (Allium sativum, As) on spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis. The aim of this work was to complete our investigation on the impact of this plant, especially on Sertoli cell junctional proteins (SCJPs). During 1 month, 24 male rats were divided into groups: group control (0% of As) and treated groups fed 5%, 10% and 15% of As. Light and electron microscopy observations were performed to localise junctional proteins: connexin-43, Zona Occluding-1 and N-cadherin (immunohistochemistry) and to describe junctions. We showed that the specific cells involved in the localisation of the SCJP were similar in both control and treated groups, but with different immunoreactivity intensity between them. The electron microscopy observation focused on TJs between Sertoli cells, constituting the blood-testis barrier, showed ultrastructural changes such as fragmentation of TJs between adjacent Sertoli cell membranes and dilatation of rough endoplasmic reticulum saccules giving an aspect of scale to these junctions. We concluded that crude garlic consumption during 1 month induces perturbations on Sertoli cell junctions. These alterations can explain apoptosis in testicular germ cells previously showed. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  2. Dielectric properties of biological tissues in which cells are connected by communicating junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asami, Koji

    2007-01-01

    The frequency dependence of the complex permittivity of biological tissues has been simulated using a simple model that is a cubic array of spherical cells in a parallel plate capacitor. The cells are connected by two types of communicating junctions: one is a membrane-lined channel for plasmodesmata in plant tissues, and the other is a conducting patch of adjoining plasma membranes for gap junctions in animal tissues. Both junctions provided similar effects on the dielectric properties of the tissue model. The model without junction showed a dielectric relaxation (called β-dispersion) that was expected from an interfacial polarization theory for a concentrated suspension of spherical cells. The dielectric relaxation was the same as that of the model in which neighbouring cells were connected by junctions perpendicular to the applied electric field. When neighbouring cells were connected by junctions parallel to the applied electric field or in all directions, a dielectric relaxation appeared at a lower frequency side in addition to the β-dispersion, corresponding to the so called α-dispersion. When junctions were randomly introduced at varied probabilities P j , the low-frequency (LF) relaxation curve became broader, especially at P j of 0.2-0.5, and its intensity was proportional to P j up to 0.7. The intensity and the characteristic frequency of the LF relaxation both decreased with decreasing junction conductance. The simulations indicate that communicating junctions are important for understanding the LF dielectric relaxation in tissues

  3. Dielectric properties of biological tissues in which cells are connected by communicating junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asami, Koji

    2007-06-01

    The frequency dependence of the complex permittivity of biological tissues has been simulated using a simple model that is a cubic array of spherical cells in a parallel plate capacitor. The cells are connected by two types of communicating junctions: one is a membrane-lined channel for plasmodesmata in plant tissues, and the other is a conducting patch of adjoining plasma membranes for gap junctions in animal tissues. Both junctions provided similar effects on the dielectric properties of the tissue model. The model without junction showed a dielectric relaxation (called β-dispersion) that was expected from an interfacial polarization theory for a concentrated suspension of spherical cells. The dielectric relaxation was the same as that of the model in which neighbouring cells were connected by junctions perpendicular to the applied electric field. When neighbouring cells were connected by junctions parallel to the applied electric field or in all directions, a dielectric relaxation appeared at a lower frequency side in addition to the β-dispersion, corresponding to the so called α-dispersion. When junctions were randomly introduced at varied probabilities Pj, the low-frequency (LF) relaxation curve became broader, especially at Pj of 0.2-0.5, and its intensity was proportional to Pj up to 0.7. The intensity and the characteristic frequency of the LF relaxation both decreased with decreasing junction conductance. The simulations indicate that communicating junctions are important for understanding the LF dielectric relaxation in tissues.

  4. Mechanical tuning of conductance and thermopower in helicene molecular junctions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vacek, Jaroslav; Vacek Chocholoušová, Jana; Stará, Irena G.; Starý, Ivo; Dubi, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 19 (2015), s. 8793-8802 ISSN 2040-3364 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP207/10/2207 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : helicene molecular junctions * quantum interference * stereoselective syntheses * nonlinear optical properties Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 7.760, year: 2015 http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2015/nr/c5nr01297j

  5. STIM proteins and the endoplasmic reticulum-plasma membrane junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Silvia; Meyer, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    Eukaryotic organelles can interact with each other through stable junctions where the two membranes are kept in close apposition. The junction that connects the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane (ER-PM junction) is unique in providing a direct communication link between the ER and the PM. In a recently discovered signaling process, STIM (stromal-interacting molecule) proteins sense a drop in ER Ca(2+) levels and directly activate Orai PM Ca(2+) channels across the junction space. In an inverse process, a voltage-gated PM Ca(2+) channel can directly open ER ryanodine-receptor Ca(2+) channels in striated-muscle cells. Although ER-PM junctions were first described 50 years ago, their broad importance in Ca(2+) signaling, as well as in the regulation of cholesterol and phosphatidylinositol lipid transfer, has only recently been realized. Here, we discuss research from different fields to provide a broad perspective on the structures and unique roles of ER-PM junctions in controlling signaling and metabolic processes.

  6. Morphology of the cemento-enamel junction in premolar teeth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arambawatta, Kapila; Peiris, Roshan; Nanayakkara, Deepthi

    2009-12-01

    The present study attempted to describe the distribution of the mineralized tissues that compose the cemento-enamel junction, with respect to both the different types of permanent premolars of males and females and the various surfaces of individual teeth. The cervical region of ground sections of 67 premolars that had been extracted for orthodontic reasons were analyzed using transmitted light microscopy to identify which of the following tissue interrelationships was present at the cemento-enamel junction: cementum overlapping enamel; enamel overlapping cementum; edge-to-edge relationship between cementum and enamel; or the presence of gaps between the enamel and cementum with exposed dentin. An edge-to-edge interrelation between root cementum and enamel was predominant (55.1%). In approximately one-third of the sample, gaps between cementum and enamel with exposed dentin were observed. Cementum overlapping enamel was less prevalent than previously reported, and enamel overlapping cementum was seen in a very small proportion of the sample. In any one tooth, the distribution of mineralized tissues at the cemento-enamel junction was irregular and unpredictable. The frequency of gaps between enamel and cementum with exposure of dentin was higher than previously reported, which suggests that this region is fragile and strongly predisposed to pathological changes. Hence, this region should be protected and carefully managed during routine clinical procedures such as dental bleaching, orthodontic treatment, and placement of restorative materials.

  7. Quasiparticle dynamics in superconducting tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozorezov, A.G.; Brammertz, G.; Hijmering, R.A.; Wigmore, J.K.; Peacock, A.; Martin, D.; Verhoeve, P.; Golubov, A.A.; Rogalla, H.

    2006-01-01

    Superconducting Tunnel Junctions (STJs) used as single photon detectors possess extreme sensitivity and excellent resolving power. However, like many other cryogenic detectors they operate under extremely non-equilibrium conditions. In order to understand the physics of the non-equilibrium, non-stationary state, to interpret experimental data adequately, and to optimize the STJs unique performance, it is necessary to use a fully kinetic approach. We have developed the detailed theory of interactions between quasiparticles (qps) and the two types of phonons, sub-gap and pair-breaking, in STJ photon detectors. We discuss the results of extensive sets of experiments to study the non-equilibrium state in Al-based STJs. For the first time we are capable of explaining all available data systematically using a single set of parameters determined from STJ diagnostics and independent experiments

  8. Human zonulin, a potential modulator of intestinal tight junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, W; Uzzau, S; Goldblum, S E; Fasano, A

    2000-12-01

    Intercellular tight junctions are dynamic structures involved in vectorial transport of water and electrolytes across the intestinal epithelium. Zonula occludens toxin derived from Vibrio cholerae interacts with a specific intestinal epithelial surface receptor, with subsequent activation of a complex intracellular cascade of events that regulate tight junction permeability. We postulated that this toxin may mimic the effect of a functionally and immunologically related endogenous modulator of intestinal tight junctions. Affinity-purified anti-zonula occludens toxin antibodies and the Ussing chamber assay were used to screen for one or more mammalian zonula occludens toxin analogues in both fetal and adult human intestine. A novel protein, zonulin, was identified that induces tight junction disassembly in non-human primate intestinal epithelia mounted in Ussing chambers. Comparison of amino acids in the active zonula occludens toxin fragment and zonulin permitted the identification of the putative receptor binding domain within the N-terminal region of the two proteins. Zonulin likely plays a pivotal role in tight junction regulation during developmental, physiological, and pathological processes, including tissue morphogenesis, movement of fluid, macromolecules and leukocytes between the intestinal lumen and the interstitium, and inflammatory/autoimmune disorders.

  9. Instabilities in thin tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konkin, M.K.; Adler, J.G.

    1978-01-01

    Tunnel junctions prepared for inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy are often plagued by instabilities in the 0-500-meV range. This paper relates the bias at which the instability occurs to the barrier thickness

  10. The Control of Junction Flows

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Charles

    1997-01-01

    An experimental study of the effects of spatially-limited (i.e. localized) surface suction on unsteady laminar and turbulent junction flows was performed using hydrogen bubble flow visualization and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV...

  11. Josephson junctions with ferromagnetic interlayer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wild, Georg Hermann

    2012-01-01

    We report on the fabrication of superconductor/insulator/ferromagnetic metal/superconductor (Nb/AlO x /Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 /Nb) Josephson junctions (SIFS JJs) with high critical current densities, large normal resistance times area products, and high quality factors. For these junctions, a transition from 0- to π-coupling is observed for a thickness d F =6 nm of the ferromagnetic Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 interlayer. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current of the junctions demonstrates good spatial homogeneity of the tunneling barrier and ferromagnetic interlayer. Magnetic characterization shows that the Pd 0.82 Ni 0.18 has an out-of-plane anisotropy and large saturation magnetization indicating negligible dead layers at the interfaces. A careful analysis of Fiske modes up to about 400 GHz provides valuable information on the junction quality factor and the relevant damping mechanisms. Whereas losses due to quasiparticle tunneling dominate at low frequencies, at high frequencies the damping is explained by the finite surface resistance of the junction electrodes. High quality factors of up to 30 around 200 GHz have been achieved. They allow to study the junction dynamics, in particular the switching probability from the zero-voltage into the voltage state with and without microwave irradiation. The experiments with microwave irradiation are well explained within semi-classical models and numerical simulations. In contrast, at mK temperature the switching dynamics without applied microwaves clearly shows secondary quantum effects. Here, we could observe for the first time macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson junctions with a ferromagnetic interlayer. This observation excludes fluctuations of the critical current as a consequence of an unstable magnetic domain structure of the ferromagnetic interlayer and affirms the suitability of SIFS Josephson junctions for quantum information processing.

  12. Josephson junctions with ferromagnetic interlayer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wild, Georg Hermann

    2012-03-04

    We report on the fabrication of superconductor/insulator/ferromagnetic metal/superconductor (Nb/AlO{sub x}/Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18}/Nb) Josephson junctions (SIFS JJs) with high critical current densities, large normal resistance times area products, and high quality factors. For these junctions, a transition from 0- to {pi}-coupling is observed for a thickness d{sub F}=6 nm of the ferromagnetic Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18} interlayer. The magnetic field dependence of the critical current of the junctions demonstrates good spatial homogeneity of the tunneling barrier and ferromagnetic interlayer. Magnetic characterization shows that the Pd{sub 0.82}Ni{sub 0.18} has an out-of-plane anisotropy and large saturation magnetization indicating negligible dead layers at the interfaces. A careful analysis of Fiske modes up to about 400 GHz provides valuable information on the junction quality factor and the relevant damping mechanisms. Whereas losses due to quasiparticle tunneling dominate at low frequencies, at high frequencies the damping is explained by the finite surface resistance of the junction electrodes. High quality factors of up to 30 around 200 GHz have been achieved. They allow to study the junction dynamics, in particular the switching probability from the zero-voltage into the voltage state with and without microwave irradiation. The experiments with microwave irradiation are well explained within semi-classical models and numerical simulations. In contrast, at mK temperature the switching dynamics without applied microwaves clearly shows secondary quantum effects. Here, we could observe for the first time macroscopic quantum tunneling in Josephson junctions with a ferromagnetic interlayer. This observation excludes fluctuations of the critical current as a consequence of an unstable magnetic domain structure of the ferromagnetic interlayer and affirms the suitability of SIFS Josephson junctions for quantum information processing.

  13. An EMMPRIN–γ-catenin–Nm23 complex drives ATP production and actomyosin contractility at endothelial junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Vanessa; Gonzalo, Pilar; Gómez-Escudero, Jesús; Pollán, Ángela; Acín-Pérez, Rebeca; Breckenridge, Mark; Yáñez-Mó, María; Barreiro, Olga; Orsenigo, Fabrizio; Kadomatsu, Kenji; Chen, Christopher S.; Enríquez, José A.; Dejana, Elisabetta; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Arroyo, Alicia G.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cell–cell adhesions are important sites through which cells experience and resist forces. In endothelial cells, these forces regulate junction dynamics and determine endothelial barrier strength. We identify the Ig superfamily member EMMPRIN (also known as basigin) as a coordinator of forces at endothelial junctions. EMMPRIN localization at junctions correlates with endothelial junction strength in different mouse vascular beds. Accordingly, EMMPRIN-deficient mice show altered junctions and increased junction permeability. Lack of EMMPRIN alters the localization and function of VE-cadherin (also known as cadherin-5) by decreasing both actomyosin contractility and tugging forces at endothelial cell junctions. EMMPRIN ensures proper actomyosin-driven maturation of competent endothelial junctions by forming a molecular complex with γ-catenin (also known as junction plakoglobin) and Nm23 (also known as NME1), a nucleoside diphosphate kinase, thereby locally providing ATP to fuel the actomyosin machinery. These results provide a novel mechanism for the regulation of actomyosin contractility at endothelial junctions and might have broader implications in biological contexts such as angiogenesis, collective migration and tissue morphogenesis by coupling compartmentalized energy production to junction assembly. PMID:24994937

  14. An EMMPRIN-γ-catenin-Nm23 complex drives ATP production and actomyosin contractility at endothelial junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Vanessa; Gonzalo, Pilar; Gómez-Escudero, Jesús; Pollán, Ángela; Acín-Pérez, Rebeca; Breckenridge, Mark; Yáñez-Mó, María; Barreiro, Olga; Orsenigo, Fabrizio; Kadomatsu, Kenji; Chen, Christopher S; Enríquez, José A; Dejana, Elisabetta; Sánchez-Madrid, Francisco; Arroyo, Alicia G

    2014-09-01

    Cell-cell adhesions are important sites through which cells experience and resist forces. In endothelial cells, these forces regulate junction dynamics and determine endothelial barrier strength. We identify the Ig superfamily member EMMPRIN (also known as basigin) as a coordinator of forces at endothelial junctions. EMMPRIN localization at junctions correlates with endothelial junction strength in different mouse vascular beds. Accordingly, EMMPRIN-deficient mice show altered junctions and increased junction permeability. Lack of EMMPRIN alters the localization and function of VE-cadherin (also known as cadherin-5) by decreasing both actomyosin contractility and tugging forces at endothelial cell junctions. EMMPRIN ensures proper actomyosin-driven maturation of competent endothelial junctions by forming a molecular complex with γ-catenin (also known as junction plakoglobin) and Nm23 (also known as NME1), a nucleoside diphosphate kinase, thereby locally providing ATP to fuel the actomyosin machinery. These results provide a novel mechanism for the regulation of actomyosin contractility at endothelial junctions and might have broader implications in biological contexts such as angiogenesis, collective migration and tissue morphogenesis by coupling compartmentalized energy production to junction assembly. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  15. Electronic thermometry in tunable tunnel junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maksymovych, Petro

    2016-03-15

    A tunable tunnel junction thermometry circuit includes a variable width tunnel junction between a test object and a probe. The junction width is varied and a change in thermovoltage across the junction with respect to the change in distance across the junction is determined. Also, a change in biased current with respect to a change in distance across the junction is determined. A temperature gradient across the junction is determined based on a mathematical relationship between the temperature gradient, the change in thermovoltage with respect to distance and the change in biased current with respect to distance. Thermovoltage may be measured by nullifying a thermoelectric tunneling current with an applied voltage supply level. A piezoelectric actuator may modulate the probe, and thus the junction width, to vary thermovoltage and biased current across the junction. Lock-in amplifiers measure the derivatives of the thermovoltage and biased current modulated by varying junction width.

  16. Peltier cooling in molecular junctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Longji; Miao, Ruijiao; Wang, Kun; Thompson, Dakotah; Zotti, Linda Angela; Cuevas, Juan Carlos; Meyhofer, Edgar; Reddy, Pramod

    2018-02-01

    The study of thermoelectricity in molecular junctions is of fundamental interest for the development of various technologies including cooling (refrigeration) and heat-to-electricity conversion1-4. Recent experimental progress in probing the thermopower (Seebeck effect) of molecular junctions5-9 has enabled studies of the relationship between thermoelectricity and molecular structure10,11. However, observations of Peltier cooling in molecular junctions—a critical step for establishing molecular-based refrigeration—have remained inaccessible. Here, we report direct experimental observations of Peltier cooling in molecular junctions. By integrating conducting-probe atomic force microscopy12,13 with custom-fabricated picowatt-resolution calorimetric microdevices, we created an experimental platform that enables the unified characterization of electrical, thermoelectric and energy dissipation characteristics of molecular junctions. Using this platform, we studied gold junctions with prototypical molecules (Au-biphenyl-4,4'-dithiol-Au, Au-terphenyl-4,4''-dithiol-Au and Au-4,4'-bipyridine-Au) and revealed the relationship between heating or cooling and charge transmission characteristics. Our experimental conclusions are supported by self-energy-corrected density functional theory calculations. We expect these advances to stimulate studies of both thermal and thermoelectric transport in molecular junctions where the possibility of extraordinarily efficient energy conversion has been theoretically predicted2-4,14.

  17. Review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for Automated Commercial Vehicles: Preliminary Assessment of Interpretation and Enforcement Challenges, Questions, and Gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-03-01

    The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) reviewed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to identify compliance and enforcement challenges related to the operation of automated commercial vehicles (CMVs) in interstate c...

  18. Characterization of the Tetraspan Junctional Complex (4JC) superfamily.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Amy; Lee, Andre; Hendargo, Kevin J; Reddy, Vamsee S; Shlykov, Maksim A; Kuppusamykrishnan, Harikrishnan; Medrano-Soto, Arturo; Saier, Milton H

    2017-03-01

    Connexins or innexins form gap junctions, while claudins and occludins form tight junctions. In this study, statistical data, derived using novel software, indicate that these four junctional protein families and eleven other families of channel and channel auxiliary proteins are related by common descent and comprise the Tetraspan (4 TMS) Junctional Complex (4JC) Superfamily. These proteins all share similar 4 transmembrane α-helical (TMS) topologies. Evidence is presented that they arose via an intragenic duplication event, whereby a 2 TMS-encoding genetic element duplicated tandemly to give 4 TMS proteins. In cases where high resolution structural data were available, the conclusion of homology was supported by conducting structural comparisons. Phylogenetic trees reveal the probable relationships of these 15 families to each other. Long homologues containing fusions to other recognizable domains as well as internally duplicated or fused domains are reported. Large "fusion" proteins containing 4JC domains proved to fall predominantly into family-specific patterns as follows: (1) the 4JC domain was N-terminal; (2) the 4JC domain was C-terminal; (3) the 4JC domain was duplicated or occasionally triplicated and (4) mixed fusion types were present. Our observations provide insight into the evolutionary origins and subfunctions of these proteins as well as guides concerning their structural and functional relationships. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Testicular cell junction: a novel target for male contraception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Nikki P Y; Wong, Elissa W P; Mruk, Dolores D; Cheng, C Yan

    2009-01-01

    Even though various contraceptive methods are widely available, the number of unwanted pregnancies is still on the rise in developing countries, pressurizing the already resource limited nations. One of the major underlying reasons is the lack of effective, low cost, and safe contraceptives for couples. During the past decade, some studies were performed using animal models to decipher if the Sertoli-germ cell junction in the testis is a target for male fertility regulation. Some of these study models were based on the use of hormones and/or chemicals to disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (e.g., androgen-based implants or pills) and others utilized a panel of chemical entities or synthetic peptides to perturb spermatogenesis either reversibly or non-reversibly. Among them, adjudin, a potential male contraceptive, is one of the compounds exerting its action on the unique adherens junctions, known as ectoplasmic specializations, in the testis. Since the testis is equipped with inter-connected cell junctions, an initial targeting of one junction type may affect the others and these accumulative effects could lead to spermatogenic arrest. This review attempts to cover an innovative theme on how male infertility can be achieved by inducing junction instability and defects in the testis, opening a new window of research for male contraceptive development. While it will still take much time and effort of intensive investigation before a product can reach the consumable market, these findings have provided hope for better family planning involving men.

  20. Design of thin InGaAsN(Sb) n-i-p junctions for use in four-junction concentrating photovoltaic devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkins, Matthew M.; Gupta, James; Jaouad, Abdelatif; Bouzazi, Boussairi; Fafard, Simon; Boucherif, Abderraouf; Valdivia, Christopher E.; Arès, Richard; Aimez, Vincent; Schriemer, Henry P.; Hinzer, Karin

    2017-04-01

    Four-junction solar cells for space and terrestrial applications require a junction with a band gap of ˜1 eV for optimal performance. InGaAsN or InGaAsN(Sb) dilute nitride junctions have been demonstrated for this purpose, but in achieving the 14 mA/cm2 short-circuit current needed to match typical GaInP and GaAs junctions, the open-circuit voltage (VOC) and fill factor of these junctions are compromised. In multijunction devices incorporating materials with short diffusion lengths, we study the use of thin junctions to minimize sensitivity to varying material quality and ensure adequate transmission into lower junctions. An n-i-p device with 0.65-μm absorber thickness has sufficient short-circuit current, however, it relies less heavily on field-aided collection than a device with a 1-μm absorber. Our standard cell fabrication process, which includes a rapid thermal anneal of the contacts, yields a significant improvement in diffusion length and device performance. By optimizing a four-junction cell around a smaller 1-sun short-circuit current of 12.5 mA/cm2, we produced an InGaAsN(Sb) junction with open-circuit voltage of 0.44 V at 1000 suns (1 sun=100 mW/cm2), diode ideality factor of 1.4, and sufficient light transmission to allow >12.5 mA/cm2 in all four subcells.

  1. Transport properties of molecular junctions

    CERN Document Server

    Zimbovskaya, Natalya A

    2013-01-01

    A comprehensive overview of the physical mechanisms that control electron transport and the characteristics of metal-molecule-metal (MMM) junctions is presented. As far as possible, methods and formalisms presented elsewhere to analyze electron transport through molecules are avoided. This title introduces basic concepts—a description of the electron transport through molecular junctions—and briefly describes relevant experimental methods. Theoretical methods commonly used to analyze the electron transport through molecules are presented. Various effects that manifest in the electron transport through MMMs, as well as the basics of density-functional theory and its applications to electronic structure calculations in molecules are presented. Nanoelectronic applications of molecular junctions and similar systems are discussed as well. Molecular electronics is a diverse and rapidly growing field. Transport Properties of Molecular Junctions presents an up-to-date survey of the field suitable for researchers ...

  2. Gravitation at the Josephson Junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Atanasov

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A geometric potential from the kinetic term of a constrained to a curved hyperplane of space-time quantum superconducting condensate is derived. An energy conservation relation involving the geometric field at every material point in the superconductor is demonstrated. At a Josephson junction the energy conservation relation implies the possibility of transforming electric energy into geometric field energy, that is, curvature of space-time. Experimental procedures to verify that the Josephson junction can act as a voltage-to-curvature converter are discussed.

  3. Towards ferromagnet/superconductor junctions on graphene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pakkayil, Shijin Babu

    2015-01-01

    Ever since A. Aspect et al. performed the famous 1982 experiment to prove the violation of Bell's inequality, there have been suggestions to conduct the same experiment in a solid state system. Some of those proposals involve superconductors as the source of entangled electron pair and spin depended interfaces as the optical analogue of polariser/filter. Semiconductors can serve as the best medium for such an experiment due to their long relaxation lengths. So far there are no reports on a ferromagnet/superconductor junctions on a semiconductor even though such junctions has been successfully realised in metallic systems. This thesis reports the successful fabrication of ferromagnet/superconductor junction along with characterising measurements in a perfectly two dimensional zero-gap semiconductor known as graphene. Since it's discovery in 2004, graphene has attracted prodigious interest from both academia and industry due to it's inimitable physical properties: very high mobility, high thermal and electrical conductivity, a high Young's modulus and impermeability. Graphene is also expected to have very long spin relaxation length and high spin life time because of it's low spin orbit coupling. For this reason and since researchers are always looking for novel materials and devices to comply with the high demands for better and faster data storage devices, graphene has emanated as a brand new material system for spin based devices. The very first spin injection and detection in graphene was realised in 2007 and ever since, the focal point of the research has been to improve the spin transport properties. A part of this thesis discusses a new fabrication recipe which has a high yield for successfully contacting graphene with a ferromagnet. A high starting yield for ferromagnetic contacts is a irremissible condition for combining superconducting contacts to the device to fabricate ferromagnet/superconductor junctions. Any fabrication recipe

  4. Towards ferromagnet/superconductor junctions on graphene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pakkayil, Shijin Babu

    2015-07-01

    Ever since A. Aspect et al. performed the famous 1982 experiment to prove the violation of Bell's inequality, there have been suggestions to conduct the same experiment in a solid state system. Some of those proposals involve superconductors as the source of entangled electron pair and spin depended interfaces as the optical analogue of polariser/filter. Semiconductors can serve as the best medium for such an experiment due to their long relaxation lengths. So far there are no reports on a ferromagnet/superconductor junctions on a semiconductor even though such junctions has been successfully realised in metallic systems. This thesis reports the successful fabrication of ferromagnet/superconductor junction along with characterising measurements in a perfectly two dimensional zero-gap semiconductor known as graphene. Since it's discovery in 2004, graphene has attracted prodigious interest from both academia and industry due to it's inimitable physical properties: very high mobility, high thermal and electrical conductivity, a high Young's modulus and impermeability. Graphene is also expected to have very long spin relaxation length and high spin life time because of it's low spin orbit coupling. For this reason and since researchers are always looking for novel materials and devices to comply with the high demands for better and faster data storage devices, graphene has emanated as a brand new material system for spin based devices. The very first spin injection and detection in graphene was realised in 2007 and ever since, the focal point of the research has been to improve the spin transport properties. A part of this thesis discusses a new fabrication recipe which has a high yield for successfully contacting graphene with a ferromagnet. A high starting yield for ferromagnetic contacts is a irremissible condition for combining superconducting contacts to the device to fabricate ferromagnet/superconductor junctions. Any fabrication recipe

  5. Regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballereau, P.

    1999-01-01

    The different regulations relative to nuclear energy since the first of January 1999 are given here. Two points deserve to be noticed: the decree of the third august 1999 authorizing the national Agency for the radioactive waste management to install and exploit on the commune of Bures (Meuse) an underground laboratory destined to study the deep geological formations where could be stored the radioactive waste. The second point is about the uranium residues and the waste notion. The judgment of the administrative tribunal of Limoges ( 9. july 1998) forbidding the exploitation of a storage installation of depleted uranium considered as final waste and qualifying it as an industrial waste storage facility has been annulled bu the Court of Appeal. It stipulated that, according to the law number 75663 of the 15. july 1965, no criteria below can be applied to depleted uranium: production residue (possibility of an ulterior enrichment), abandonment of a personal property or simple intention to do it ( future use aimed in the authorization request made in the Prefecture). This judgment has devoted the primacy of the waste notion on this one of final waste. (N.C.)

  6. Spin nutation effects in molecular nanomagnet–superconductor tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abouie, J; Abdollahipour, B; Rostami, A A

    2013-01-01

    We study the spin nutation effects of a molecular nanomagnet on the Josephson current through a superconductor|molecular nanomagnet|superconductor tunnel junction. We explicitly demonstrate that, due to the spin nutation of the molecular nanomagnet, two oscillatory terms emerge in the ac Josephson current in addition to the conventional ac Josephson current. Some resonances occur in the junction due to the interactions of the transported quasiparticles with the bias voltage and molecular nanomagnet spin dynamics. Their appearance indicates that the energy exchanged during these interactions is in the range of the superconducting energy gap. We also show that the spin nutation is able to convert the ac Josephson current to a dc current, which is interesting for applications. (paper)

  7. Extended Majorana zero modes in a topological superconducting-normal T-junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spånslätt, Christian; Ardonne, Eddy

    2017-03-01

    We investigate the sub gap properties of a three terminal Josephson T-junction composed of topologically superconducting wires connected by a normal metal region. This system naturally hosts zero energy Andreev bound states which are of self-conjugate Majorana nature and we show that they are, in contrast to ordinary Majorana zero modes, spatially extended in the normal metal region. If the T-junction respects time-reversal symmetry, we show that a zero mode is distributed only in two out of three arms in the junction and tuning the superconducting phases allows for transfer of the mode between the junction arms. We further provide tunneling conductance calculations showing that these features can be detected in experiments. Our findings suggest an experimental platform for studying the nature of spatially extended Majorana zero modes.

  8. Note on Hartman effect in gapped graphene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jahani, D.

    2013-01-01

    In this manuscript the effect of an opening gap on the dwell time corresponding to the electronic tunneling in graphene is explored. It is shown that tunneling time of quasiparticles in passing through junctions of gapped graphene as well as pure flakes is not independent of the barrier thickness and therefore Hartman effect is not observed due to tunneling of relativistic electrons with a finite effective mass in graphene. The numerical results also reveal that the traversal time in gapped graphene is equal to the traversal time in absence of the barrier for a broad range of incident energy. It is also found that the origin of the problem of Hartman effect could be explained in terms of an average-constant behavior of the probability density of the electronic wave under the barrier

  9. Electronic noise of superconducting tunnel junction detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jochum, J.; Kraus, H.; Gutsche, M.; Kemmather, B.; Feilitzsch, F. v.; Moessbauer, R.L.

    1994-01-01

    The optimal signal to noise ratio for detectors based on superconducting tunnel junctions is calculated and compared for the cases of a detector consisting of one single tunnel junction, as well as of series and of parallel connections of such tunnel junctions. The influence of 1 / f noise and its dependence on the dynamical resistance of tunnel junctions is discussed quantitatively. A single tunnel junction yields the minimum equivalent noise charge. Such a tunnel junction exhibits the best signal to noise ratio if the signal charge is independent of detector size. In case, signal charge increases with detector size, a parallel or a series connection of tunnel junctions would provide the optimum signal to noise ratio. The equivalent noise charge and the respective signal to noise ratio are deduced as functions of tunnel junction parameters such as tunneling time, quasiparticle lifetime, etc. (orig.)

  10. O tabagismo está associado com a remodelação de junções comunicantes no coração de ratos: explicação do paradoxo dos fumantes? Smoking is associated with remodeling of gap junction in the rat heart: smoker's paradox explanation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosangela Novo

    2013-03-01

    reperfusion. OBJECTIVE: Thus, this study aimed to analyze the effects of exposure to tobacco smoke on intensity, distribution or phosphorylation of connexin 43 in the rat heart. METHODS: Wistar rats weighing 100 g were randomly allocated into 2 groups: 1 Control (n = 25; 2 Exposed to tobacco smoke (ETS, n = 23. After 5 weeks, left ventricular morphometric analysis, immunohisthochemistry and western blotting for connexin 43 (Cx43 were performed. RESULTS: Collagen volume fraction, cross-sectional areas, and ventricular weight were not statistically different between control and ETS. ETS showed lower stain intensity of Cx43 at intercalated disks (Control: 2.32 ± 0.19; ETS: 1.73 ± 0.18; p = 0.04. The distribution of CX43 at intercalated disks did not differ between the groups (Control: 3.73 ± 0.12; ETS: 3.20 ± 0.17; p = 0.18. ETS rats showed higher levels of dephosphorylated form of Cx43 (Control: 0.45 ± 0.11; ETS: 0.90 ± 0.11; p = 0.03. On the other hand, total Cx43 did not differ between control and ETS groups (Control: 0.75 ± 0.19; ETS: 0.93 ± 0.27; p = 0.58. CONCLUSION: Exposure to tobacco smoke resulted in cardiac gap junction remodeling, characterized by alterations in the quantity and phosphorylation of the Cx43, in rats hearts. This finding could explain the smoker's paradox observed in some studies.

  11. Effect of d-wave pairing symmetry in transport properties of silicene-based superconductor junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vosoughi-nia, S.; Rashedi, G.; hajati, Y.

    2018-06-01

    We theoretically study the tunneling conductance of a normal/d-wave superconductor silicene junction using Blonder-Tinkham-Klapwijk (BTK) formalism. We discuss how the conductance spectra are affected by changing the chemical potential (μN) in the normal silicene region. It is obtained that the amplitude of the spin/valley-dependent Andreev reflection (AR) and charge conductance (G) of the junction can be strongly modulated by the orientation angle of superconductive gap (β) and perpendicular electric field (Ez). We demonstrate that the charge conductance exhibits an oscillatory behavior as a function of β by a period of π/2. Remarkably, variation of μN strongly modifies the amplitude of the oscillations and periodically there are transport gaps in the G - β oscillations for a range of μN. These findings suggest that one may experimentally tune the transport properties of the junction through changing β, Ez and μN.

  12. Dynamic Tunneling Junctions at the Atomic Intersection of Two Twisted Graphene Edges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellunato, Amedeo; Vrbica, Sasha D; Sabater, Carlos; de Vos, Erik W; Fermin, Remko; Kanneworff, Kirsten N; Galli, Federica; van Ruitenbeek, Jan M; Schneider, Grégory F

    2018-04-11

    The investigation of the transport properties of single molecules by flowing tunneling currents across extremely narrow gaps is relevant for challenges as diverse as the development of molecular electronics and sequencing of DNA. The achievement of well-defined electrode architectures remains a technical challenge, especially due to the necessity of high precision fabrication processes and the chemical instability of most bulk metals. Here, we illustrate a continuously adjustable tunneling junction between the edges of two twisted graphene sheets. The unique property of the graphene electrodes is that the sheets are rigidly supported all the way to the atomic edge. By analyzing the tunneling current characteristics, we also demonstrate that the spacing across the gap junction can be controllably adjusted. Finally, we demonstrate the transition from the tunneling regime to contact and the formation of an atomic-sized junction between the two edges of graphene.

  13. Current noise in tunnel junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frey, Moritz; Grabert, Hermann [Physikalisches Institut, Universitaet Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Strasse 3, 79104, Freiburg (Germany)

    2017-06-15

    We study current fluctuations in tunnel junctions driven by a voltage source. The voltage is applied to the tunneling element via an impedance providing an electromagnetic environment of the junction. We use circuit theory to relate the fluctuations of the current flowing in the leads of the junction with the voltage fluctuations generated by the environmental impedance and the fluctuations of the tunneling current. The spectrum of current fluctuations is found to consist of three parts: a term arising from the environmental Johnson-Nyquist noise, a term due to the shot noise of the tunneling current and a third term describing the cross-correlation between these two noise sources. Our phenomenological theory reproduces previous results based on the Hamiltonian model for the dynamical Coulomb blockade and provides a simple understanding of the current fluctuation spectrum in terms of circuit theory and properties of the average current. Specific results are given for a tunnel junction driven through a resonator. (copyright 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  14. Robustness of Majorana bound states in the short-junction limit

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sticlet, D.C.; Nijholt, B.; Akhmerov, A.R.

    2017-01-01

    We study the effects of strong coupling between a superconductor and a semiconductor nanowire on the creation of the Majorana bound states, when the quasiparticle dwell time in the normal part of the nanowire is much shorter than the inverse superconducting gap. This "short-junction" limit is

  15. Stability of large-area molecular junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akkerman, Hylke B.; Kronemeijer, Auke J.; Harkema, Jan; van Hal, Paul A.; Smits, Edsger C. P.; de Leeuw, Dago M.; Blom, Paul W. M.

    The stability of molecular junctions is crucial for any application of molecular electronics. Degradation of molecular junctions when exposed to ambient conditions is regularly observed. In this report the stability of large-area molecular junctions under ambient conditions for more than two years

  16. Dynamics of pi-junction interferometer circuits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kornkev, V.K.; Mozhaev, P.B.; Borisenko, I.V.

    2002-01-01

    The pi-junction superconducting circuit dynamics was studied by means of numerical simulation technique. Parallel arrays consisting of Josephson junctions of both 0- and pi-type were studied as a model of high-T-c grain-boundary Josephson junction. The array dynamics and the critical current depe...

  17. Bridging the Divide: The Role of Motivation and Self-Regulation in Explaining the Judgment-Action Gap Related to Academic Dishonesty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason M. Stephens

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available There is often a divide between moral judgment and moral action; between what we believe we ought to do (or not do and what we do. Knowledge of this divide is not new, and numerous theories have attempted to offer more robust accounts of ethical decision-making and moral functioning. Knowledge of widespread academic dishonesty among students is also not new, and several studies have revealed that many students report cheating despite believing it is wrong. The present study, involving cross-sectional survey data from a sample of secondary students (N = 380 in the United States, contributes to the literature on this important area of theory and research by fulfilling three broad purposes. The first purpose concerned the assessment of students' judgments related to academic dishonesty, and offered evidence for the utility of a new instrument that measures what domain (personal, conventional, or moral students use to categorize various types of cheating behavior rather than how much they believe it to be wrong. The second purpose involved exploring the relations between domain judgments and engagement in academic dishonesty, and results provided evidence for the hypothesis that students who believed an action to be morally wrong would be less likely to report doing it. Finally, the third and most important purpose of the study involved bridging the divide between moral judgment and action of academic dishonesty by testing competing theoretical models of moral functioning. Results indicated that the data demonstrated the best fit to a modified version of the hypothesized four-component model, whereby self-regulation (in the form of selective moral disengagement played a significant mediating role in the relations between moral judgment and academic dishonesty, and that moral judgment also affected self-regulation indirectly through moral motivation (i.e., responsibility judgments. In brief, findings from this study offer support for the contention

  18. Actin-interacting protein 1 controls assembly and permeability of intestinal epithelial apical junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechuga, Susana; Baranwal, Somesh; Ivanov, Andrei I

    2015-05-01

    Adherens junctions (AJs) and tight junctions (TJs) are crucial regulators of the integrity and restitution of the intestinal epithelial barrier. The structure and function of epithelial junctions depend on their association with the cortical actin cytoskeleton that, in polarized epithelial cells, is represented by a prominent perijunctional actomyosin belt. The assembly and stability of the perijunctional cytoskeleton is controlled by constant turnover (disassembly and reassembly) of actin filaments. Actin-interacting protein (Aip) 1 is an emerging regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, playing a critical role in filament disassembly. In this study, we examined the roles of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of AJs and TJs in human intestinal epithelium. Aip1 was enriched at apical junctions in polarized human intestinal epithelial cells and normal mouse colonic mucosa. Knockdown of Aip1 by RNA interference increased the paracellular permeability of epithelial cell monolayers, decreased recruitment of AJ/TJ proteins to steady-state intercellular contacts, and attenuated junctional reassembly in a calcium-switch model. The observed defects of AJ/TJ structure and functions were accompanied by abnormal organization and dynamics of the perijunctional F-actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, loss of Aip1 impaired the apico-basal polarity of intestinal epithelial cell monolayers and inhibited formation of polarized epithelial cysts in 3-D Matrigel. Our findings demonstrate a previously unanticipated role of Aip1 in regulating the structure and remodeling of intestinal epithelial junctions and early steps of epithelial morphogenesis. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  19. The policy-practice gap: describing discordances between regulation on paper and real-life practices among specialized drug shops in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wafula, Francis; Abuya, Timothy; Amin, Abdinasir; Goodman, Catherine

    2014-09-16

    Specialized drug shops (SDSs) are popular in Sub-Saharan Africa because they provide convenient access to medicines. There is increasing interest in how policymakers can work with them, but little knowledge on how their operation relates to regulatory frameworks. This study sought to describe characteristics and predictors of regulatory practices among SDSs in Kenya. The regulatory framework governing the Kenya pharmaceutical sector was mapped, and a list of regulations selected for inclusion in a survey questionnaire. An SDS census was conducted, and survey data collected from 213 SDSs from two districts in Western Kenya. The majority of SDSs did not comply with regulations, with only 12% having a refrigerator and 22% having a separate dispensing area for instance. Additionally, less than half had at least one staff with pharmacy qualification (46%), with less than a third of all interviewed operators knowing the name of the law governing pharmacy.Regulatory infringement was more common among SDSs in rural locations; those that did not have staff with pharmacy qualifications; and those whose operator did not know the name of the pharmacy law. Compliance was not significantly associated with the frequency of inspections, with over 80% of both rural and urban SDSs reporting an inspection in the past year. While compliance was low overall, it was particularly poor among SDSs operating in rural locations, and those that did not have staff with pharmacy qualification. This suggested the need for policy to introduce levels of practice in recognition of the variations in resource availability. Under such a system, rural SDSs operating in low-resource setting, and selling a limited range of medicines, may be exempted from certain regulatory requirements, as long as their scope of practice is limited to certain essential services only. Future research should also explore why regulatory compliance is poor despite regular inspections.

  20. An Efficient Solution-Processed Intermediate Layer for Facilitating Fabrication of Organic Multi-Junction Solar Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ning Li; Baran, Derya; Forberich, Karen

    2013-01-01

    ):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) is demonstrated for series-connected multi-junction organic solar cells (OSCs). Drying at 80 °C in air is sufficient for this solution-processed IML to obtain excellent functionality and reliability, which allow the use of most of high performance donor materials in the tandem structure....... An open circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.56 V is obtained for single-junction OSCs based on a low band-gap polymer, while multi-junction OSCs based on the same absorber material deliver promising fill factor values along with fully additive Voc as the number of junctions increase. Optical and electrical...... simulations, which are reliable and promising guidelines for the design and investigation of multi-junction OSCs, are discussed. The outcome of optical and electrical simulations is in excellent agreement with the experimental data, indicating the outstanding efficiency and functionality of this solution...

  1. AUDIT EXPECTATION GAP: AUDITORS IN UNENDING ROLE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GRACE

    Key Words: Expectation gap, Auditors, Shareholders, Self-regulation, Audit ... of auditing has changed from fraud detection to ‗verification of financial .... According to the role theory, the role of the auditors can be viewed in terms of the.

  2. Ferromagnetic Josephson Junctions for Cryogenic Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedzielski, Bethany M.; Gingrich, Eric C.; Khasawneh, Mazin A.; Loloee, Reza; Pratt, William P., Jr.; Birge, Norman O.

    2015-03-01

    Josephson junctions containing ferromagnetic materials are of interest for both scientific and technological purposes. In principle, either the amplitude of the critical current or superconducting phase shift across the junction can be controlled by the relative magnetization directions of the ferromagnetic layers in the junction. Our approach concentrates on phase control utilizing two junctions in a SQUID geometry. We will report on efforts to control the phase of junctions carrying either spin-singlet or spin-triplet supercurrent for cryogenic memory applications. Supported by Northorp Grumman Corporation and by IARPA under SPAWAR Contract N66001-12-C-2017.

  3. Method of manufacturing Josephson junction integrated circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jillie, D.W. Jr.; Smith, L.N.

    1985-01-01

    Josephson junction integrated circuits of the current injection type and magnetically controlled type utilize a superconductive layer that forms both Josephson junction electrode for the Josephson junction devices on the integrated circuit as well as a ground plane for the integrated circuit. Large area Josephson junctions are utilized for effecting contact to lower superconductive layers and islands are formed in superconductive layers to provide isolation between the groudplane function and the Josephson junction electrode function as well as to effect crossovers. A superconductor-barrier-superconductor trilayer patterned by local anodization is also utilized with additional layers formed thereover. Methods of manufacturing the embodiments of the invention are disclosed

  4. MgB2 energy gap determination by scanning tunnelling spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heitmann, T W; Bu, S D; Kim, D M; Choi, J H; Giencke, J; Eom, C B; Regan, K A; Rogado, N; Hayward, M A; He, T; Slusky, J S; Khalifah, P; Haas, M; Cava, R J; Larbalestier, D C; Rzchowski, M S

    2004-01-01

    We report scanning tunnelling spectroscopy (STS) measurements of the gap properties of both ceramic MgB 2 and c-axis oriented epitaxial MgB 2 thin films. Both show a temperature dependent zero bias conductance peak and evidence for two superconducting gaps. We report tunnelling spectroscopy of superconductor-insulator-superconductor (S-I-S) junctions formed in two ways in addition to normal metal-insulator-superconductor (N-I-S) junctions. We find a gap δ = 2.2-2.8 meV, with spectral features and temperature dependence that are consistent between S-I-S junction types. In addition, we observe evidence of a second, larger gap, δ 7.2 meV, consistent with a proposed two-band model

  5. Molecular series-tunneling junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Kung-Ching; Hsu, Liang-Yan; Bowers, Carleen M; Rabitz, Herschel; Whitesides, George M

    2015-05-13

    Charge transport through junctions consisting of insulating molecular units is a quantum phenomenon that cannot be described adequately by classical circuit laws. This paper explores tunneling current densities in self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-based junctions with the structure Ag(TS)/O2C-R1-R2-H//Ga2O3/EGaIn, where Ag(TS) is template-stripped silver and EGaIn is the eutectic alloy of gallium and indium; R1 and R2 refer to two classes of insulating molecular units-(CH2)n and (C6H4)m-that are connected in series and have different tunneling decay constants in the Simmons equation. These junctions can be analyzed as a form of series-tunneling junctions based on the observation that permuting the order of R1 and R2 in the junction does not alter the overall rate of charge transport. By using the Ag/O2C interface, this system decouples the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO, which is localized on the carboxylate group) from strong interactions with the R1 and R2 units. The differences in rates of tunneling are thus determined by the electronic structure of the groups R1 and R2; these differences are not influenced by the order of R1 and R2 in the SAM. In an electrical potential model that rationalizes this observation, R1 and R2 contribute independently to the height of the barrier. This model explicitly assumes that contributions to rates of tunneling from the Ag(TS)/O2C and H//Ga2O3 interfaces are constant across the series examined. The current density of these series-tunneling junctions can be described by J(V) = J0(V) exp(-β1d1 - β2d2), where J(V) is the current density (A/cm(2)) at applied voltage V and βi and di are the parameters describing the attenuation of the tunneling current through a rectangular tunneling barrier, with width d and a height related to the attenuation factor β.

  6. Narrowing the gap between eye care needs and service provision: a model to dynamically regulate the flow of personnel through a multiple entry and exit training programme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masnick Keith

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this paper is to present a complex yet transparent, computable model to simulate the regulation of the flow of personnel through a previously described multiple-entry, multiple-exit eye care training scheme linked to the health workforce. This methodology should be a useful tool for the planner; it can address changes and feedbacks over time and be sensitive to any unexpected consequences of the interactions. The same model template can be applied to calculate the finances associated with the personnel flow. Presentation of the hypothesis The worth of any model or set of concepts of human resources for health is considerably enhanced by actual field application. However, implementation involves the selection of one set of parameters and a large, long-term commitment of resources. A far less expensive and time-consuming, yet still effective, method of testing assumptions and ideas would be to simulate their application using a variety of possible inputs, structural configurations and/or desired outcomes. To that end, this paper presents a computable, dynamic model of personnel flows within a health system. Testing the hypothesis Some testing of the model has been demonstrated in a previous paper. However, the value of the model is that all stakeholders can enter their own data and parameter assumptions and readily review the outcomes. Implications of the hypothesis The complex yet easy-to-use model presented in this paper opens the debate on current and future policy to any stakeholder. A very wide range of scenarios can be considered and a selected option can be monitored and changed dynamically over time.

  7. Triptycene: A Nucleic Acid Three-Way Junction Binder Scaffold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Ina

    Nucleic acids play a critical role in many biological processes such as gene regulation and replication. The development of small molecules that modulate nucleic acids with sequence or structure specificity would provide new strategies for regulating disease states at the nucleic acid level. However, this remains challenging mainly because of the nonspecific interactions between nucleic acids and small molecules. Three-way junctions are critical structural elements of nucleic acids. They are present in many important targets such as trinucleotide repeat junctions related to Huntington's disease, a temperature sensor sigma32 in E. coli, Dengue virus, and HIV. Triptycene-derived small molecules have been shown to bind to nucleic acid three-way junctions, resulting from their shape complementary. To develop a better understanding of designing molecules for targeting different junctions, a rapid screening of triptycene-based small molecules is needed. We envisioned that the installation of a linker at C9 position of the bicyclic core would allow for a rapid solid phase diversification. To achieve this aim, we synthesized 9-substituted triptycene scaffolds by using two different synthetic routes. The first synthetic route installed the linker from the amidation reaction between carboxylic acid at C9 position of the triptycene and an amine linker, beta-alanine ethyl ester. This new 9-substituted triptycene scaffold was then attached to a 2-chlorotrityl chloride resin for solid-phase diversification. This enabled a rapid diversification and an easy purification of mono-, di-, and tri-peptide triptycene derivatives. The binding affinities of these compounds were investigated towards a (CAG)˙(CTG) trinucleotide repeat junction. In the modified second synthetic route, we utilized a combined Heck coupling/benzyne Diels-Alder strategy. This improved synthetic strategy reduced the number of steps and total reaction times, increased the overall yield, improved solubilities of

  8. Josephson junctions and circle maps

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bak, P; Bohr, T; Jensen, M H; Christiansen, P V

    1984-01-01

    The return map of a differential equation for the current driven Josephson junction, or the damped driven pendulum, is shown numerically to be a circle map. Phase locking, noise and hysteresis, can thus be understood in a simple and coherent way. The transition to chaos is related to the development of a cubic inflection point. Recent theoretical results on universal behavior at the transition to chaos can readily be checked experimentally by studying I-V characteristics. 17 references, 1 figure.

  9. Morphometry of medial gaps of human brain artery branches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canham, Peter B; Finlay, Helen M

    2004-05-01

    The bifurcation regions of the major human cerebral arteries are vulnerable to the formation of saccular aneurysms. A consistent feature of these bifurcations is a discontinuity of the tunica media at the apex of the flow divider. The objective was to measure the 3-dimensional geometry of these medial gaps or "medial defects." Nineteen bifurcations and 2 junctions of human cerebral arteries branches (from 4 male and 2 female subjects) were formalin-fixed at physiological pressure and processed for longitudinal serial sectioning. The apex and adjacent regions were examined and measurements were made from high-magnification photomicrographs, or projection microscope images, of the gap dimensions at multiple levels through the bifurcation. Plots were made of the width of the media as a function of distance from the apex. The media at each edge of the medial gap widened over a short distance, reaching the full width of the media of the contiguous daughter vessel. Medial gap dimensions were compared with the planar angle of the bifurcation, and a strong negative correlation was found, ie, the acute angled branches have the more prominent medial gaps. A discontinuity of the media at the apex was seen in all the bifurcations examined and was also found in the junction regions of brain arteries. We determined that the gap width is continuous with well-defined dimensions throughout its length and average length-to-width ratio of 6.9. The gaps were generally centered on the prominence of the apical ridge.

  10. Nuclear radiation detection with superconducting tunnel junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurakado, Masahiko

    1984-01-01

    Since the gap energy of superconductors is as small as 1 meV and 1/1000 of that of semiconductors, it is expected that the number of electron-hole pairs produced in superconductors by radiation is several thousands times as many as the pairs in semiconductors. Therefore, high sensitivity and high resolution radiation detectors may be manufactured by using superconductors. A computer simulation of the cascade excitation process of electrons was carried out. The experimental study was performed by using Sn junctions. The variation of transient voltage was measured by the constant current method. The alpha particles from Po-210 were measured, and the generation of quasi particles was confirmed. The relaxation time of signals was measured by using pulsed laser beam. It was found that the superconductors just after the incidence of radiation became nonequilibrium. The typical alpha spectra were obtained by cooling the superconductors to 0.32 K. The detector is still under development. The problem is leakage current. (Kato, T.)

  11. Squeezed States in Josephson Junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, X.; Nori, F.

    1996-03-01

    We have studied quantum fluctuation properties of Josephson junctions in the limit of large Josephson coupling energy and small charging energy, when the eigenstates of the system can be treated as being nearly localized. We have considered(X. Hu and F. Nori, preprints.) a Josephson junction in a variety of situations, e.g., coupled to one or several of the following elements: a capacitor, an inductor (in a superconducting ring), and an applied current source. By solving an effective Shrödinger equation, we have obtained squeezed vacuum (coherent) states as the ground states of a ``free-oscillating'' (linearly-driven) Josephson junction, and calculated the uncertainties of its canonical momentum, charge, and coordinate, phase. We have also shown that the excited states of the various systems we consider are similar to the number states of a simple harmonic oscillator but with different fluctuation properties. Furthermore, we have obtained the time-evolution operators for these systems. These operators can make it easier to calculate the time-dependence of the expectation values and fluctuations of various quantities starting from an arbitrary initial state.

  12. Superconducting tunnel-junction refrigerator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melton, R.G.; Paterson, J.L.; Kaplan, S.B.

    1980-01-01

    The dc current through an S 1 -S 2 tunnel junction, with Δ 2 greater than Δ 1 , when biased with eV 1 +Δ 2 , will lower the energy in S 1 . This energy reduction will be shared by the phonons and electrons. This device is shown to be analogous to a thermoelectric refrigerator with an effective Peltier coefficient π* approx. Δ 1 /e. Tunneling calculations yield the cooling power P/sub c/, the electrical power P/sub e/ supplied by the bias supply, and the cooling efficiency eta=P/sub c//P/sub e/. The maximum cooling power is obtained for eV= +- (Δ 2 -Δ 1 ) and t 1 =T 1 /T/sub c/1 approx. 0.9. Estimates are made of the temperature difference T 2 -T 1 achievable in Al-Pb and Sn-Pb junctions with an Al 2 O 3 tunneling barrier. The performance of this device is shown to yield a maximum cooling efficiency eta approx. = Δ 1 /(Δ 2 -Δ 1 ) which can be compared with that available in an ideal Carnot refrigerator of eta=T 1 /(T 2 -T 1 ). The development of a useful tunnel-junction refrigerator requires a tunneling barrier with an effective thermal conductance per unit area several orders of magnitude less than that provided by the A1 2 O 3 barrier in the Al-Pb and Sn-Pb systems

  13. Valley and spin resonant tunneling current in ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic/ferromagnetic silicene junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaser Hajati

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available We study the transport properties in a ferromagnetic/nonmagnetic/ferromagnetic (FNF silicene junction in which an electrostatic gate potential, U, is attached to the nonmagnetic region. We show that the electrostatic gate potential U is a useful probe to control the band structure, quasi-bound states in the nonmagnetic barrier as well as the transport properties of the FNF silicene junction. In particular, by introducing the electrostatic gate potential, both the spin and valley conductances of the junction show an oscillatory behavior. The amplitude and frequency of such oscillations can be controlled by U. As an important result, we found that by increasing U, the second characteristic of the Klein tunneling is satisfied as a result of the quasiparticles chirality which can penetrate through a potential barrier. Moreover, it is found that for special values of U, the junction shows a gap in the spin and valley-resolve conductance and the amplitude of this gap is only controlled by the on-site potential difference, Δz. Our findings of high controllability of the spin and valley transport in such a FNF silicene junction may improve the performance of nano-electronics and spintronics devices.

  14. Epitaxial-graphene/graphene-oxide junction: an essential step towards epitaxial graphene electronics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaosong; Sprinkle, Mike; Li, Xuebin; Ming, Fan; Berger, Claire; de Heer, Walt A

    2008-07-11

    Graphene-oxide (GO) flakes have been deposited to bridge the gap between two epitaxial-graphene electrodes to produce all-graphene devices. Electrical measurements indicate the presence of Schottky barriers at the graphene/graphene-oxide junctions, as a consequence of the band gap in GO. The barrier height is found to be about 0.7 eV, and is reduced after annealing at 180 degrees C, implying that the gap can be tuned by changing the degree of oxidation. A lower limit of the GO mobility was found to be 850 cm2/V s, rivaling silicon. In situ local oxidation of patterned epitaxial graphene has been achieved.

  15. Down-regulation of Connexin43 expression reveals the involvement of caveolin-1 containing lipid rafts in human U251 glioblastoma cell invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strale, Pierre-Olivier; Clarhaut, Jonathan; Lamiche, Coralie; Cronier, Laurent; Mesnil, Marc; Defamie, Norah

    2012-11-01

    Glioblastoma cells are characterized by high proliferation and invasive capacities. Tumor development has been associated with a decrease of gap-junctional intercellular communication, but the concrete involvement of gap junction proteins, connexins, remains elusive since they are also suspected to promote cell invasion. In order to better understand how connexins control the glioma cell phenotype, we studied the consequences of inhibiting the intrinsic expression of the major astrocytic connexin, Connexin43, in human U251 glioblastoma cells by the shRNA strategy. The induced down-regulation of Cx43 expression has various effects on the U251 cells such as increased clonogenicity, angiogenesis and decreased adhesion on specific extracellular matrix proteins. We demonstrate that the invasion capacity measured in vitro and ex vivo correlates with Cx43 expression level. For the first time in a cancer cell context, our work demonstrates that Cx43 cofractionates, colocalizes and coimmunoprecipitates with a lipid raft marker, caveolin-1 and that this interaction is inversely correlated to the level of Cx43. This localization of Cx43 in these lipid raft microdomains regulates both homo- and heterocellular gap junctional communications (respectively between U251 cells, or between U251 cells and astrocytes). Moreover, the adhesive and invasive capacities are not dependent, in our model, on Cav-1 expression level. Our results tend to show that heterocellular gap junctional communication between cancer and stroma cells may affect the behavior of the tumor cells. Altogether, our data demonstrate that Cx43 controls the tumor phenotype of glioblastoma U251 cells and in particular, invasion capacity, through its localization in lipid rafts containing Cav-1. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Pulse-voltammetric glucose detection at gold junction electrodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rassaei, Liza; Marken, Frank

    2010-09-01

    A novel glucose sensing concept based on the localized change or "modulation" in pH within a symmetric gold-gold junction electrode is proposed. A paired gold-gold junction electrode (average gap size ca. 500 nm) is prepared by simultaneous bipotentiostatic electrodeposition of gold onto two closely spaced platinum disk electrodes. For glucose detection in neutral aqueous solution, the potential of the "pH-modulator" electrode is set to -1.5 V vs saturated calomel reference electrode (SCE) to locally increase the pH, and simultaneously, either cyclic voltammetry or square wave voltammetry experiments are conducted at the sensor electrode. A considerable improvement in the sensor electrode response is observed when a normal pulse voltammetry sequence is applied to the modulator electrode (to generate "hydroxide pulses") and the glucose sensor electrode is operated with fixed bias at +0.5 V vs SCE (to eliminate capacitive charging currents). Preliminary data suggest good linearity for the glucose response in the medically relevant 1-10 mM concentration range (corresponding to 0.18-1.8 g L(-1)). Future electroanalytical applications of multidimensional pulse voltammetry in junction electrodes are discussed.

  17. Magnetometry with Low-Resistance Proximity Josephson Junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabdaraghi, R. N.; Peltonen, J. T.; Golubev, D. S.; Pekola, J. P.

    2018-06-01

    We characterize a niobium-based superconducting quantum interference proximity transistor (Nb-SQUIPT) and its key constituent formed by a Nb-Cu-Nb SNS weak link. The Nb-SQUIPT and SNS devices are fabricated simultaneously in two separate lithography and deposition steps, relying on Ar ion cleaning of the Nb contact surfaces. The quality of the Nb-Cu interface is characterized by measuring the temperature-dependent equilibrium critical supercurrent of the SNS junction. In the Nb-SQUIPT device, we observe a maximum flux-to-current transfer function value of about 55 nA/Φ_0 in the sub-gap regime of bias voltages. This results in suppression of power dissipation down to a few fW. Low-bias operation of the device with a relatively low probe junction resistance decreases the dissipation by up to two orders of magnitude compared to a conventional device based on an Al-Cu-Al SNS junction and an Al tunnel probe (Al-SQUIPT).

  18. The dynamics of connexin expression, degradation and localisation are regulated by gonadotropins during the early stages of in vitro maturation of swine oocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Santiquet

    Full Text Available Gap junctional communication (GJC plays a primordial role in oocyte maturation and meiotic resumption in mammals by directing the transfer of numerous molecules between cumulus cells and the oocyte. Gap junctions are made of connexins (Cx, proteins that regulate GJC in numerous ways. Understanding the dynamic regulation of connexin arrangements during in vitro maturation (IVM could provide a powerful tool for controlling meiotic resumption and consequently in vitro development of fully competent oocytes. However, physiological events happening during the early hours of IVM may still be elucidated. The present study reports the dynamic regulation of connexin expression, degradation and localization during this stage. Cx43, Cx45 and Cx60 were identified as the main connexins expressed in swine COC. Cx43 and Cx45 transcripts were judged too static to be a regulator of GJC, while Cx43 protein expression was highly responsive to gonadotropins, suggesting that it might be the principal regulator of GJC. In addition, the degradation of Cx43 expressed after 4.5 h of IVM in response to equine chorionic gonadotropin appeared to involve the proteasomal complex. Cx43 localisation appeared to be associated with GJC. Taken together, these results show for the first time that gonadotropins regulate Cx43 protein expression, degradation and localisation in porcine COC during the first several hours of IVM. Regulation of Cx43 may in turn, via GJC, participate in the development of fully competent oocytes.

  19. Regulation of germ cell development by intercellular signaling in the mammalian ovarian follicle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Hugh J

    2018-01-01

    Prior to ovulation, the mammalian oocyte undergoes a process of differentiation within the ovarian follicle that confers on it the ability to give rise to an embryo. Differentiation comprises two phases-growth, during which the oocyte increases more than 100-fold in volume as it accumulates macromolecules and organelles that will sustain early embryogenesis; and meiotic maturation, during which the oocyte executes the first meiotic division and prepares for the second division. Entry of an oocyte into the growth phase appears to be triggered when the adjacent granulosa cells produce specific growth factors. As the oocyte grows, it elaborates a thick extracellular coat termed the zona pellucida. Nonetheless, cytoplasmic extensions of the adjacent granulosa cells, termed transzonal projections (TZPs), enable them to maintain contact-dependent communication with the oocyte. Through gap junctions located where the TZP tips meet the oocyte membrane, they provide the oocyte with products that sustain its metabolic activity and signals that regulate its differentiation. Conversely, the oocyte secretes diffusible growth factors that regulate proliferation and differentiation of the granulosa cells. Gap junction-permeable products of the granulosa cells prevent precocious initiation of meiotic maturation, and the gap junctions also enable oocyte maturation to begin in response to hormonal signals received by the granulosa cells. Development of the oocyte or the somatic compartment may also be regulated by extracellular vesicles newly identified in follicular fluid and at TZP tips, which could mediate intercellular transfer of macromolecules. Oocyte differentiation thus depends on continuous signaling interactions with the somatic cells of the follicle. WIREs Dev Biol 2018, 7:e294. doi: 10.1002/wdev.294 This article is categorized under: Gene Expression and Transcriptional Hierarchies > Cellular Differentiation Signaling Pathways > Cell Fate Signaling Early Embryonic

  20. The prototype GAPS (pGAPS) experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mognet, S.A.I., E-mail: mognet@astro.ucla.edu [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Aramaki, T. [Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Bando, N. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Boggs, S.E.; Doetinchem, P. von [Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Fuke, H. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Gahbauer, F.H.; Hailey, C.J.; Koglin, J.E.; Madden, N. [Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Mori, K.; Okazaki, S. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Ong, R.A. [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Perez, K.M.; Tajiri, G. [Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 (United States); Yoshida, T. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Zweerink, J. [University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States)

    2014-01-21

    The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) experiment is a novel approach for the detection of cosmic ray antiparticles. A prototype GAPS (pGAPS) experiment was successfully flown on a high-altitude balloon in June of 2012. The goals of the pGAPS experiment were: to test the operation of lithium drifted silicon (Si(Li)) detectors at balloon altitudes, to validate the thermal model and cooling concept needed for engineering of a full-size GAPS instrument, and to characterize cosmic ray and X-ray backgrounds. The instrument was launched from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Taiki Aerospace Research Field in Hokkaido, Japan. The flight lasted a total of 6 h, with over 3 h at float altitude (∼33km). Over one million cosmic ray triggers were recorded and all flight goals were met or exceeded.

  1. The prototype GAPS (pGAPS) experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mognet, S.A.I.; Aramaki, T.; Bando, N.; Boggs, S.E.; Doetinchem, P. von; Fuke, H.; Gahbauer, F.H.; Hailey, C.J.; Koglin, J.E.; Madden, N.; Mori, K.; Okazaki, S.; Ong, R.A.; Perez, K.M.; Tajiri, G.; Yoshida, T.; Zweerink, J.

    2014-01-01

    The General Antiparticle Spectrometer (GAPS) experiment is a novel approach for the detection of cosmic ray antiparticles. A prototype GAPS (pGAPS) experiment was successfully flown on a high-altitude balloon in June of 2012. The goals of the pGAPS experiment were: to test the operation of lithium drifted silicon (Si(Li)) detectors at balloon altitudes, to validate the thermal model and cooling concept needed for engineering of a full-size GAPS instrument, and to characterize cosmic ray and X-ray backgrounds. The instrument was launched from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Taiki Aerospace Research Field in Hokkaido, Japan. The flight lasted a total of 6 h, with over 3 h at float altitude (∼33km). Over one million cosmic ray triggers were recorded and all flight goals were met or exceeded

  2. Dynamics of fractional vortices in long Josephson junctions; Dynamik fraktionaler Flusswirbel in langen Josephsonkontakten

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaber, Tobias

    2007-07-01

    In this thesis static and dynamic properties of fractional vortices in long Josephson junctions are investigated. Fractional vortices are circulating supercurrents similar to the well-known Josephson fluxons. Yet, they show the distinguishing property of carrying only a fraction of the magnetic flux quantum. Fractional vortices are interesting non-linear objects. They spontaneously appear and are pinned at the phase discontinuity points of so called 0-{kappa} junctions but can be bend or flipped by external forces like bias currents or magnetic fields. 0-{kappa} junctions and fractional vortices are generalizations of the well-known 0-{pi} junctions and semifluxons, where not only phase jumps of pi but arbitrary values denoted by kappa are considered. By using so-called artificial 0-{kappa} junctions that are based on standard Nb-AlO{sub x}-Nb technology the classical dynamics of fractional vortices has been investigated experimentally for the very first time. Here, half-integer zero field steps could be observed. These voltage steps on the junction's current-voltage characteristics correspond to the periodic flipping/hopping of fractional vortices. In addition, the oscillatory eigenmodes of fractional vortices were investigated. In contrast to fluxons fractional vortices have an oscillatory eigenmode with a frequency within the plasma gap. Using resonance spectroscopy the dependence of the eigenmode frequency on the flux carried by the vortex and an applied bias current was determined. (orig.)

  3. Efficient density matrix renormalization group algorithm to study Y junctions with integer and half-integer spin

    KAUST Repository

    Kumar, Manoranjan

    2016-02-03

    An efficient density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) algorithm is presented and applied to Y junctions, systems with three arms of n sites that meet at a central site. The accuracy is comparable to DMRG of chains. As in chains, new sites are always bonded to the most recently added sites and the superblock Hamiltonian contains only new or once renormalized operators. Junctions of up to N=3n+1≈500 sites are studied with antiferromagnetic (AF) Heisenberg exchange J between nearest-neighbor spins S or electron transfer t between nearest neighbors in half-filled Hubbard models. Exchange or electron transfer is exclusively between sites in two sublattices with NA≠NB. The ground state (GS) and spin densities ρr=⟨Szr⟩ at site r are quite different for junctions with S=1/2, 1, 3/2, and 2. The GS has finite total spin SG=2S(S) for even (odd) N and for MG=SG in the SG spin manifold, ρr>0(<0) at sites of the larger (smaller) sublattice. S=1/2 junctions have delocalized states and decreasing spin densities with increasing N. S=1 junctions have four localized Sz=1/2 states at the end of each arm and centered on the junction, consistent with localized states in S=1 chains with finite Haldane gap. The GS of S=3/2 or 2 junctions of up to 500 spins is a spin density wave with increased amplitude at the ends of arms or near the junction. Quantum fluctuations completely suppress AF order in S=1/2 or 1 junctions, as well as in half-filled Hubbard junctions, but reduce rather than suppress AF order in S=3/2 or 2 junctions.

  4. Efficient density matrix renormalization group algorithm to study Y junctions with integer and half-integer spin

    KAUST Repository

    Kumar, Manoranjan; Parvej, Aslam; Thomas, Simil; Ramasesha, S.; Soos, Z. G.

    2016-01-01

    An efficient density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) algorithm is presented and applied to Y junctions, systems with three arms of n sites that meet at a central site. The accuracy is comparable to DMRG of chains. As in chains, new sites are always bonded to the most recently added sites and the superblock Hamiltonian contains only new or once renormalized operators. Junctions of up to N=3n+1≈500 sites are studied with antiferromagnetic (AF) Heisenberg exchange J between nearest-neighbor spins S or electron transfer t between nearest neighbors in half-filled Hubbard models. Exchange or electron transfer is exclusively between sites in two sublattices with NA≠NB. The ground state (GS) and spin densities ρr=⟨Szr⟩ at site r are quite different for junctions with S=1/2, 1, 3/2, and 2. The GS has finite total spin SG=2S(S) for even (odd) N and for MG=SG in the SG spin manifold, ρr>0(<0) at sites of the larger (smaller) sublattice. S=1/2 junctions have delocalized states and decreasing spin densities with increasing N. S=1 junctions have four localized Sz=1/2 states at the end of each arm and centered on the junction, consistent with localized states in S=1 chains with finite Haldane gap. The GS of S=3/2 or 2 junctions of up to 500 spins is a spin density wave with increased amplitude at the ends of arms or near the junction. Quantum fluctuations completely suppress AF order in S=1/2 or 1 junctions, as well as in half-filled Hubbard junctions, but reduce rather than suppress AF order in S=3/2 or 2 junctions.

  5. Mechanics of Fluid-Filled Interstitial Gaps. II. Gap Characteristics in Xenopus Embryonic Ectoderm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barua, Debanjan; Parent, Serge E; Winklbauer, Rudolf

    2017-08-22

    The ectoderm of the Xenopus embryo is permeated by a network of channels that appear in histological sections as interstitial gaps. We characterized this interstitial space by measuring gap sizes, angles formed between adjacent cells, and curvatures of cell surfaces at gaps. From these parameters, and from surface-tension values measured previously, we estimated the values of critical mechanical variables that determine gap sizes and shapes in the ectoderm, using a general model of interstitial gap mechanics. We concluded that gaps of 1-4 μm side length can be formed by the insertion of extracellular matrix fluid at three-cell junctions such that cell adhesion is locally disrupted and a tension difference between cell-cell contacts and the free cell surface at gaps of 0.003 mJ/m 2 is generated. Furthermore, a cell hydrostatic pressure of 16.8 ± 1.7 Pa and an interstitial pressure of 3.9 ± 3.6 Pa, relative to the central blastocoel cavity of the embryo, was found to be consistent with the observed gap size and shape distribution. Reduction of cell adhesion by the knockdown of C-cadherin increased gap volume while leaving intracellular and interstitial pressures essentially unchanged. In both normal and adhesion-reduced ectoderm, cortical tension of the free cell surfaces at gaps does not return to the high values characteristic of the free surface of the whole tissue. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Cell-cell interactions of isolated and cultured oligodendrocytes: formation of linear occluding junctions and expression of peculiar intramembrane particles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massa, P T; Szuchet, S; Mugnaini, E

    1984-12-01

    Oligodendrocytes were isolated from lamb brain. Freshly isolated cells and cultured cells, either 1- to 4-day-old unattached or 1- to 5-week-old attached, were examined by thin section and freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Freeze-fracture of freshly isolated oligodendrocytes showed globular and elongated intramembrane particles similar to those previously described in oligodendrocytes in situ. Enrichment of these particles was seen at sites of inter-oligodendrocyte contact. Numerous gap junctions and scattered linear tight junctional arrays were apparent. Gap junctions were connected to blebs of astrocytic plasma membrane sheared off during isolation, whereas tight junctions were facing extracellular space or blebs of oligodendrocytic plasma membrane. Thin sections of cultured, unattached oligodendrocytes showed rounded cell bodies touching one another at points without forming specialized cell junctions. Cells plated on polylysine-coated aclar dishes attached, emanated numerous, pleomorphic processes, and expressed galactocerebroside and myelin basic protein, characteristic markers for oligodendrocytes. Thin sections showed typical oligodendrocyte ultrastructure but also intermediate filaments not present in unattached cultures. Freeze-fracture showed intramembrane particles similar to but more numerous, and with a different fracture face repartition, than those seen in oligodendrocytes, freshly isolated or in situ. Gap junctions were small and rare. Apposed oligodendrocyte plasma membrane formed linear tight junctions which became more numerous with time in culture. Thus, cultured oligodendrocytes isolated from ovine brains develop and maintain features characteristic of mature oligodendrocytes in situ and can be used to explore formation and maintenance of tight junctions and possibly other classes of cell-cell interactions important in the process of myelination.

  7. The Dissolution of Double Holliday Junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bizard, Anna H; Hickson, Ian D

    2014-01-01

    as "double Holliday junction dissolution." This reaction requires the cooperative action of a so-called "dissolvasome" comprising a Holliday junction branch migration enzyme (Sgs1/BLM RecQ helicase) and a type IA topoisomerase (Top3/TopoIIIα) in complex with its OB (oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding......Double Holliday junctions (dHJS) are important intermediates of homologous recombination. The separate junctions can each be cleaved by DNA structure-selective endonucleases known as Holliday junction resolvases. Alternatively, double Holliday junctions can be processed by a reaction known......) fold containing accessory factor (Rmi1). This review details our current knowledge of the dissolution process and the players involved in catalyzing this mechanistically complex means of completing homologous recombination reactions....

  8. Geodynamical simulation of the RRF triple junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z.; Wei, D.; Liu, M.; Shi, Y.; Wang, S.

    2017-12-01

    Triple junction is the point at which three plate boundaries meet. Three plates at the triple junction form a complex geological tectonics, which is a natural laboratory to study the interactions of plates. This work studies a special triple junction, the oceanic transform fault intersects the collinear ridges with different-spreading rates, which is free of influence of ridge-transform faults and nearby hotspots. First, we build 3-D numerical model of this triple junction used to calculate the stead-state velocity and temperature fields resulting from advective and conductive heat transfer. We discuss in detail the influence of the velocity and temperature fields of the triple junction from viscosity, spreading rate of the ridge. The two sides of the oceanic transform fault are different sensitivities to the two factors. And, the influence of the velocity mainly occurs within 200km of the triple junction. Then, we modify the model by adding a ridge-transform fault to above model and directly use the velocity structure of the Macquarie triple junction. The simulation results show that the temperature at both sides of the oceanic transform fault decreases gradually from the triple junction, but the temperature difference between the two sides is a constant about 200°. And, there is little effect of upwelling velocity away from the triple junction 100km. The model results are compared with observational data. The heat flux and thermal topography along the oceanic transform fault of this model are consistent with the observed data of the Macquarie triple junction. The earthquakes are strike slip distributed along the oceanic transform fault. Their depths are also consistent with the zone of maximum shear stress. This work can help us to understand the interactions of plates of triple junctions and help us with the foundation for the future study of triple junctions.

  9. Hysteresis development in superconducting Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Refai, T.F.; Shehata, L.N.

    1988-09-01

    The resistively and capacitive shunted junction model is used to investigate hysteresis development in superconducting Josephson junctions. Two empirical formulas that relate the hysteresis width and the quasi-particle diffusion length in terms of the junctions electrical parameters, temperature and frequency are obtained. The obtained formulas provide a simple tool to investigate the full potentials of the hysteresis phenomena. (author). 9 refs, 3 figs

  10. Mechanics of Fluid-Filled Interstitial Gaps. I. Modeling Gaps in a Compact Tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parent, Serge E; Barua, Debanjan; Winklbauer, Rudolf

    2017-08-22

    Fluid-filled interstitial gaps are a common feature of compact tissues held together by cell-cell adhesion. Although such gaps can in principle be the result of weak, incomplete cell attachment, adhesion is usually too strong for this to occur. Using a mechanical model of tissue cohesion, we show that, instead, a combination of local prevention of cell adhesion at three-cell junctions by fluidlike extracellular material and a reduction of cortical tension at the gap surface are sufficient to generate stable gaps. The size and shape of these interstitial gaps depends on the mechanical tensions between cells and at gap surfaces, and on the difference between intracellular and interstitial pressures that is related to the volume of the interstitial fluid. As a consequence of the dependence on tension/tension ratios, the presence of gaps does not depend on the absolute strength of cell adhesion, and similar gaps are predicted to occur in tissues of widely differing cohesion. Tissue mechanical parameters can also vary within and between cells of a given tissue, generating asymmetrical gaps. Within limits, these can be approximated by symmetrical gaps. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Josephson tunnel junction microwave attenuator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Koshelets, V. P.; Shitov, S. V.; Shchukin, A. V.

    1993-01-01

    A new element for superconducting electronic circuitry-a variable attenuator-has been proposed, designed, and successfully tested. The principle of operation is based on the change in the microwave impedance of a superconductor-insulator-superconductor (SIS) Josephson tunnel junction when dc biased...... at different points in the current-voltage characteristic. Both numerical calculations based on the Tien-Gordon theory and 70-GHz microwave experiments have confirmed the wide dynamic range (more than 15-dB attenuation for one stage) and the low insertion loss in the ''open'' state. The performance of a fully...

  12. Loss models for long Josephson junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, O. H.; Samuelsen, Mogens Rugholm

    1984-01-01

    A general model for loss mechanisms in long Josephson junctions is presented. An expression for the zero-field step is found for a junction of overlap type by means of a perturbation method. Comparison between analytic solution and perturbation result shows good agreement.......A general model for loss mechanisms in long Josephson junctions is presented. An expression for the zero-field step is found for a junction of overlap type by means of a perturbation method. Comparison between analytic solution and perturbation result shows good agreement....

  13. Harmonic synchronization in resistively coupled Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blackburn, J.A.; Gronbech-Jensen, N.; Smith, H.J.T.

    1994-01-01

    The oscillations of two resistively coupled Josephson junctions biased only by a single dc current source are shown to lock harmonically in a 1:2 mode over a significant range of bias current, even when the junctions are identical. The dependence of this locking on both junction and coupling parameters is examined, and it is found that, for this particular two-junction configuration, 1:1 locking can never occur, and also that a minimum coupling coefficient is needed to support harmonic locking. Some issues related to subharmonic locking are also discussed

  14. Superconducting flux qubits with π-junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shcherbakova, Anastasia

    2014-01-01

    In this thesis, we present a fabrication technology of Al/AlO x /Al Josephson junctions on Nb pads. The described technology gives the possibility of combining a variety of Nb-based superconducting circuits, like pi-junction phase-shifters with sub-micron Al/AlO x /Al junctions. Using this approach, we fabricated hybrid Nb/Al flux qubits with and without the SFS-junctions and studied dispersive magnetic field response of these qubits as well as their spectroscopy characteristics.

  15. Behind the Pay Gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Judy Goldberg; Hill, Catherine

    2007-01-01

    Women have made remarkable gains in education during the past three decades, yet these achievements have resulted in only modest improvements in pay equity. The gender pay gap has become a fixture of the U.S. workplace and is so ubiquitous that many simply view it as normal. "Behind the Pay Gap" examines the gender pay gap for college graduates.…

  16. DHT deficiency perturbs the integrity of the rat seminiferous epithelium by disrupting tight and adherens junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolasa, Agnieszka; Marchlewicz, Mariola; Wenda-Różewicka, Lidia; Wiszniewska, Barbara

    2011-01-01

    In rats with a DHT deficiency induced by finasteride, morphological changes in the seminiferous epithelium were observed. The structural alterations were manifested by the premature germ cells sloughing into the lumen of seminiferous tubules. The etiology of this disorder could be connected with intercellular junctions disintegration. We showed in the immunohistochemical study the changes in expression of some proteins building tight and adherens junctions. The depression of N-cadherin, β-catenin and occludin immunoexpressions could be the reason for the release of immature germ cells from the seminiferous epithelium. However, the observed increase of the immunohistochemical reaction intensity of vinculin, one of the cadherin/catenin complex regulators, could be insufficient to maintain the proper function of adherens junctions. The hormonal imbalance appears to influence the pattern of expression of junctional proteins in the seminiferous epithelium. It could lead to untimely germ cells sloughing, and ultimately could impair fertility.

  17. Theory of tunneling in metal--superconductor devices: Supercurrents in the superconductor gap at zero temperature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia, N.; Flores, F.; Guinea, F.

    1988-01-01

    Tunneling experiments in metal-oxide superconductor have shown the existence of ''leakage'' currents for applied voltages V smaller than one-half of the superconductor gap Δ. These currents are independent of temperature T. Recently experiments with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and squeezable tunnel junctions have shown that the observation of the superconductor gap depends strongly on the resistance in the junction. In fact only for resistances larger than ∼10 6 Ω the gap is clearly observable. These experiments have been explained in terms of the perturbative Hamiltonian formalism of Bardeen. However, it may happen that this theory while applicable for very large resistances may not be so for small tunnel resistances. We present here a nonperturbative theory in all orders of the transmitivity chemical bondTochemical bond 2 and show the existence of supercurrents for values of V 2 . We believe that experiments in STM and other junctions should be interpreted in the frame of this theory

  18. Regulation of connexins expression levels by microRNAs, an update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Calderon

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Control of cell-cell coordination and communication is regulated by several factors, including paracrine and autocrine release of biomolecules, and direct exchange of soluble factors between cells through gap junction channels. Additionally, hemichannels also participate in cell-cell coordination through the release of signaling molecules, such as ATP and glutamate. A family of transmembrane proteins named connexins forms both gap junction channels and hemichannels. Because of their importance in cell and tissue coordination, connexins are controlled both by post-translational and post-transcriptional modifications. In recent years, non-coding RNAs have garnered research interest due to their ability to exert post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. One of the most recent, well-documented control mechanisms of protein synthesis is found through the action of small, single-stranded RNA, called micro RNAs (miRNAs or miRs. Put simply, miRNAs are negative regulators of the expression of a myriad proteins involved in many physiological and pathological processes. This mini review will briefly summarize what is currently known about the action of miRNAs over Cxs expression/function in different organs under some relevant physiological and pathological conditions

  19. Interplay of Chiral and Helical States in a Quantum Spin Hall Insulator Lateral Junction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, M. R.; de Juan, F.; Ilan, R.; Fox, E. J.; Bestwick, A. J.; Mühlbauer, M.; Wang, J.; Ames, C.; Leubner, P.; Brüne, C.; Zhang, S. C.; Buhmann, H.; Molenkamp, L. W.; Goldhaber-Gordon, D.

    2017-12-01

    We study the electronic transport across an electrostatically gated lateral junction in a HgTe quantum well, a canonical 2D topological insulator, with and without an applied magnetic field. We control the carrier density inside and outside a junction region independently and hence tune the number and nature of 1D edge modes propagating in each of those regions. Outside the bulk gap, the magnetic field drives the system to the quantum Hall regime, and chiral states propagate at the edge. In this regime, we observe fractional plateaus that reflect the equilibration between 1D chiral modes across the junction. As the carrier density approaches zero in the central region and at moderate fields, we observe oscillations in the resistance that we attribute to Fabry-Perot interference in the helical states, enabled by the broken time reversal symmetry. At higher fields, those oscillations disappear, in agreement with the expected absence of helical states when band inversion is lifted.

  20. An update on minding the gap in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesnil, Marc; Aasen, Trond; Boucher, Jonathan; Chépied, Amandine; Cronier, Laurent; Defamie, Norah; Kameritsch, Petra; Laird, Dale W; Lampe, Paul D; Lathia, Justin D; Leithe, Edward; Mehta, Parmender P; Monvoisin, Arnaud; Pogoda, Kristin; Sin, Wun-Chey; Tabernero, Arantxa; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Yeh, Elizabeth S; Dagli, Maria Lucia Zaidan; Naus, Christian C

    2018-01-01

    This article is a report of the "International Colloquium on Gap junctions: 50Years of Impact on Cancer" that was held 8-9 September 2016, at the Amphitheater "Pôle Biologie Santé" of the University of Poitiers (Poitiers, France). The colloquium was organized by M Mesnil (Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France) and C Naus (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the seminal work published in 1966 by Loewenstein and Kanno [Intercellular communication and the control of tissue growth: lack of communication between cancer cells, Nature, 116 (1966) 1248-1249] which initiated studies on the involvement of gap junctions in carcinogenesis. During the colloquium, 15 participants presented reviews or research updates in the field which are summarized below. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Protein kinase C isoforms at the neuromuscular junction: localization and specific roles in neurotransmission and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanuza, Maria A; Santafe, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Besalduch, Núria; Tomàs, Marta; Obis, Teresa; Priego, Mercedes; Nelson, Phillip G; Tomàs, Josep

    2014-01-01

    The protein kinase C family (PKC) regulates a variety of neural functions including neurotransmitter release. The selective activation of a wide range of PKC isoforms in different cells and domains is likely to contribute to the functional diversity of PKC phosphorylating activity. In this review, we describe the isoform localization, phosphorylation function, regulation and signalling of the PKC family at the neuromuscular junction. Data show the involvement of the PKC family in several important functions at the neuromuscular junction and in particular in the maturation of the synapse and the modulation of neurotransmission in the adult. © 2013 Anatomical Society.

  2. Linker-dependent Junction Formation Probability in Single-Molecule Junctions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Pil Sun; Kim, Taekyeong [HankukUniversity of Foreign Studies, Yongin (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-01-15

    We compare the junction formation probabilities of single-molecule junctions with different linker molecules by using a scanning tunneling microscope-based break-junction technique. We found that the junction formation probability varies as SH > SMe > NH2 for the benzene backbone molecule with different types of anchoring groups, through quantitative statistical analysis. These results are attributed to different bonding forces according to the linker groups formed with Au atoms in the electrodes, which is consistent with previous works. Our work allows a better understanding of the contact chemistry in the metal.molecule junction for future molecular electronic devices.

  3. Cavity syncronisation of underdamped Josephson junction arrays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barbara, P.; Filatrella, G.; Lobb, C.

    2003-01-01

    the junctions in the array and an electromagnetic cavity. Here we show that a model of a one-dimensional array of Josephson junctions coupled to a resonator can produce many features of the coherent be havior above threshold, including coherent radiation of power and the shape of the array current...

  4. Functional anatomy of the human ureterovesical junction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roshani, H.; Dabhoiwala, N. F.; Verbeek, F. J.; Lamers, W. H.

    1996-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The valve function of the ureterovesical-junction (UVJ) is responsible for protection of the low pressure upper urinary tract from the refluxing of urine from the bladder. Controversy about the microanatomy of the human ureterovesical-junction persists. METHODS: Ten (3 male and 7 female)

  5. Spin, Vibrations and Radiation in Superconducting Junctions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Padurariu, C.

    2013-01-01

    This thesis presents the theoretical study of superconducting transport in several devices based on superconducting junctions. The important feature of these devices is that the transport properties of the junction are modified by the interaction with another physical system integrated in the

  6. Multiplication in Silicon p-n Junctions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moll, John L.

    1965-01-01

    Multiplication values were measured in the collector junctions of silicon p-n-p and n-p-n transistors before and after bombardment by 1016 neutrons/cm2. Within experimental error there was no change either in junction fields, as deduced from capacitance measurements, or in multiplication values i...

  7. Radiating gap filler

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-01-01

    Full text: In May, corrosion on the outside wall of the over 50 year old Canadian Chalk River reactor vessel caused a heavy water leak and the reactor was shut down triggering worldwide a nuclear medicine shortage. The reactor is also a major supplier of the isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), a precursor of the medically widely used technetium-99 m . To fill the gap in demand, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has now arranged with US company Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc., a world leader in medical imaging, to supply Mo-99. Subject to pending Australian regulatory processes, the deal is expected to assist in alleviating the world's current nuclear medicine shortage. As ANSTO is currently also the only global commercial supplier that produces Mo-99 from low enriched uranium (LEU) targets, Lantheus will be the first company bringing LEU derived Tc-99 m to the US market. To date, over 95% of Mo-99 is derived from highly enriched uranium (HEU) targets. However, there are concerns regarding proliferation risks associated with HEU targets and for commercial uses production from LEU targets would be desirable. ANSTO says that global Mo-99 supply chain is fragile and limited and it is working closely with nuclear safety and healthy regulators, both domestically and overseas, to expedite all necessary approvals to allow long-term production and export of medical isotopes.

  8. In vitro early changes in intercellular junctions by treatment with a chemical carcinogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachikawa, T; Kohno, Y; Matsui, Y; Yoshiki, S

    1986-06-01

    To examine early intercellular junction changes caused by treatment with 9,10-dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene (DMBA), rat lingual epithelium was cultivated in isolation and observed by electrophysiological, freeze-fracture and whole-mount electron microscopy. Electrophysiological measurements showed a transient decrease in membrane potential of -10.2 mV 6 h after the treatment. It returned to almost the same level as that of the control group 1 day later. Six hours after treatment, input resistance decreased rapidly to 5.3 M omega but increased to 18.0 M omega 12 h after treatment. Transient reduction of input resistance and membrane potential occurred prior to the decrease in the coupling ratio 6 h after treatment with DMBA. In freeze-fracture replicas, the number of gap junctions decreased by approximately 45% of the control value 6 h after treatment with DMBA. At 12 h and thereafter, the number and area of gap junctions subsequently decreased by 60-80% of the control value. Alterations in the number and area of desmosomes were similar to those of the gap junctions. The formation of epithelial cytoskeletons, partially devoid of the 2-4 and 5-8 nm filaments was also observed. A decrease in the density of filament networks beneath the plasma membranes was especially apparent. Treatment with a carcinogen brought about morphological cellular changes as early as 6 h after treatment, and such early changes might trigger metabolic cellular abnormalities. Affected cells appear to move away from normal cells in a process of repeated destruction and revision of intercellular junctions, and cytoskeletons.

  9. Experimental observation of the transition from weak link to tunnel junction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muller, C.J.; Ruitenbeek, J.M. van; Jongh, L.J. de

    1992-01-01

    An extension to Morelands break junction technique is developed in order to obtain a clean and stable, mechanically adjustable junction. As a function of an externally applied force the coupling of two electrodes can be varied in vacuum. Experiments are described of a junction with niobium electrodes at 4.2 K which undergo a continuous change in normal resistance R N , from 1 to 10 9 Ω upon applying an increasing force. In this resistance range we discern a transition from a weak link regime to a tunnel regime. The current voltage (I-V) curves are reproducible upon adjustment changes in the whole resistance range. In the weak link regime the two electrodes of the junction are in physical contact with each other. The product of the critical current and normal resistance is compared with predictions of Ambegaokar-Baratoff and Kulik-Omelyanchuk. The product of the excess current and normal resistance shows a logarithmic increase for low R N values and decreases for the highest R N values in the weak link regime. Subharmonic gap structure, originating from multiple Andreev reflections is observed over a wide range of R N . In the transition regime the two electrodes are not in contact but there is still a large overlap of the superconducting and quasiparticle wave functions. In this regime a finite slope in the ''critical current part'' in the current voltage curve is observed. The I-V curves show features characteristic for both a weak link and a tunnel junction. In the tunnel regime there exists a vacuum gap between the electrodes and the Josephson coupling is suppressed. A considerable subgap current is observed, where the product of the subgap current and normal resistance is constant over almost four orders of magnitude of R N . A decreasing conductance near zero bias shows up in this regime. The normal resistance exhibits an exponential behaviour upon variations in the vacuum gap. (orig./WL)

  10. Fabrication of Josephson Junction without shadow evaporation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xian; Ku, Hsiangsheng; Long, Junling; Pappas, David

    We developed a new method of fabricating Josephson Junction (Al/AlOX/Al) without shadow evaporation. Statistics from room temperature junction resistance and measurement of qubits are presented. Unlike the traditional ``Dolan Bridge'' technique, this method requires two individual lithographies and straight evaporations of Al. Argon RF plasma is used to remove native AlOX after the first evaporation, followed by oxidation and second Al evaporation. Junction resistance measured at room temperature shows linear dependence on Pox (oxidation pressure), √{tox} (oxidation time), and inverse proportional to junction area. We have seen 100% yield of qubits made with this method. This method is promising because it eliminates angle dependence during Junction fabrication, facilitates large scale qubits fabrication.

  11. Overlap junctions for high coherence superconducting qubits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, X.; Long, J. L.; Ku, H. S.; Lake, R. E.; Bal, M.; Pappas, D. P.

    2017-07-01

    Fabrication of sub-micron Josephson junctions is demonstrated using standard processing techniques for high-coherence, superconducting qubits. These junctions are made in two separate lithography steps with normal-angle evaporation. Most significantly, this work demonstrates that it is possible to achieve high coherence with junctions formed on aluminum surfaces cleaned in situ by Ar plasma before junction oxidation. This method eliminates the angle-dependent shadow masks typically used for small junctions. Therefore, this is conducive to the implementation of typical methods for improving margins and yield using conventional CMOS processing. The current method uses electron-beam lithography and an additive process to define the top and bottom electrodes. Extension of this work to optical lithography and subtractive processes is discussed.

  12. Quantum synchronization effects in intrinsic Josephson junctions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Machida, M.; Kano, T.; Yamada, S.; Okumura, M.; Imamura, T.; Koyama, T.

    2008-01-01

    We investigate quantum dynamics of the superconducting phase in intrinsic Josephson junctions of layered high-T c superconductors motivated by a recent experimental observation for the switching rate enhancement in the low temperature quantum regime. We pay attention to only the capacitive coupling between neighboring junctions and perform large-scale simulations for the Schroedinger equation derived from the Hamiltonian considering the capacitive coupling alone. The simulation focuses on an issue whether the switching of a junction induces those of the other junctions or not. The results reveal that the superconducting phase dynamics show synchronous behavior with increasing the quantum character, e.g., decreasing the junction plane area and effectively the temperature. This is qualitatively consistent with the experimental result